Polar weather has been far warmer this winter than any winter on record, shocking scientists who are watching sea ice volume decline to record lows for the date. Winds have driven large amounts of the oldest ice out of the Arctic while the weather has been far too warm for months for the ice to thicken like it normally does by February. And now the north pole is fifty degrees F above normal. Again.
The polar vortex has been wobbling like a lopsided football all winter sending warm air towards the pole from the Atlantic, then the Pacific, and back again, while the cold air has escaped to the west Pacific by way of Siberia and to western Atlantic by way of Canada. Surges of warm winds and storm waves have driven back the sea ice edges repeatedly on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic. The ice is extraordinarily thin across most of the Arctic ocean. neven1.typepad.com/...
Water temperatures many degrees above normal on the Atlantic side of the Arctic are fueling storm after storm repeatedly sending heat towards the pole and into higher levels of the atmosphere blocking the normal jet stream path across northern Europe. The effects of the excessive heat have sent atmospheric waves breaking into the stratosphere, disrupting the polar vortex, pushing it towards Siberia. Or in layman’s terms the waters and the weather are insanely warm.
Estimates of “Freezing degree days” of each winter since 1979 have been made by participants in the Arctic sea ice blog. “FDD” is an estimate of the cooling power of winter temperatures from 80 degrees north to the pole for generating sea ice. The graph of Freezing degree days shows how there’s been less cold this winter around the pole than any winter on record. It’s stunning.
The warm GFS model based temperatures in the top figure have been verified by actual measurements from a buoy at 87 N at 18 hours GMT of a temperature of -0.5 C or 31 degrees F.
We are in uncharted waters now. Arctic warming is now happening at rates far higher than IPCC experts predicted just a few years ago.