North Pole temperatures climb near melting point this Christmas week


North Pole temperatures climb near melting point this Christmas week:


Really, the warmest I see on the forecast for Alert NWT (just south of the north pole this week is -24 degrees.


Although it is only -17 today which is kind of balmy for a place that can go to -70!


I think NOAA calls it temperature homogenization.


Oddly enough, the forecast for some areas around the north pole are for much colder than the north pole itself.

But if you notice the little curl of green right at the north pole in this University of Maine forecast map for Christmas, you see what they mean. Green is right at the melting point.


Is this related to all that cold air being pushed down North America?



As Aquinians might say, nothing moves on its own. If cold air moves, something is pushing it. And that something is normally heat.



To my understanding, the North Pole is generally not the coldest place within the arctic circle. Parts of Siberia and Greenland are typically colder, because they’re on land masses while the North Pole gets warmed by the Arctic Ocean and is just floating ice itself. Parts of Antarctica are, of course, coldest of all.

And there apparently have always been open water areas in the polar area. Some, it appears, are called polynyas, and some are sea-sized themselves. I don’t think they’re well understood, but the likelihood is said by some to be that they’re caused by shifts in ocean currents that bring much warmer water to or near the pole. Apparently one of the major areas of occurrence is in the ocean between Greenland and the area north of the North American continent.

One might argue that this year’s occurrence is greater than some other year’s. But I don’t think one can legitimately argue that open water in enormous polar areas that are more often ice-covered is unprecedented.


I’m guessing it’s more likely due to a shift in ocean currents, which happens from time to time. If I’m reading Leaf’s map properly, the big one this time is near the terminus of the Gulf Stream, between Europe and Greenland.

But it also appears the colder places in the arctic are in Greenland and Siberia which, according to the article I cited earlier, is typical.


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