Climate change may be a political football, but we all know it’s real. Summers are hotter, winters are warmer, storms are stronger, and floods are turning cities into lakes. And to make matters worse, the North Pole is experiencing above freezing temperatures in the dead of winter. The sun won’t come up in the North Pole until March 20, but the ice is thawing at an unprecedented rate. Temperatures in the North Pole were 50 degrees above normal in February due to a massive storm that brought intense heat through the Greenland Sea.
The ice is melting. That’s old news, but the new news is the ice is melting faster than scientist said it would. The old theories that low-level shorelines around the world would be under water by the end of the 21st century are wrong, according to environmentalists who study climate change. Parts of Miami, New Orleans, and other low-lying cities will be under water as soon as 2050, according to new studies. And if the world’s temperature increases by two degrees Celsius, those cities could be in danger within 20 years. As more ice melts, more storms occur. And the strong southern winds from those storms pushes ice north into the center of the Arctic. That phenomenon exposes open water, and heat hits the atmosphere from the ocean.
The area north of Greenland has open water now. That area usually has old, thick ice. The open sea water will raise air temperatures. Atmospheric Physics Professor Kent Moore at the University of Toronto studies the loss of sea ice, and he said there are several reasons for the latest warming episode. More storms are tracking toward the North Pole through the Greenland Sea, and the sea’s temperature is warmer than in years past. But Professor Moore didn’t say why the storms and the sea are acting the way they are this year. He did say the atmospheric layer where most weather patterns happen is warmer. That atmospheric layer is 30,000 feet high. Moore didn’t say whether this warming trend will continue. But for the last four out of five years temperatures in the North Pole are not as cold as they should be in winter.
Scientists can’t say why storms are changing their course. But some scientists think the planet is adjusting its rotation because of human changes to the planet.