The Arctic

Despite an intention to keep this blog going, I have been so comfortably immersed in other matters that I didn’t comment on the Paris climate conference.

But this got my attention: the Arctic 30 degrees Centigrade hotter than usual! I know the ups and downs are amplified there, but for a moment that gave me a feeling of superstitious terror. Like turning on a Geiger counter and discovering you have been invisibly drenched with radiation: the first spooky indication that something terribly wrong has happened.

I have no sense at all for what this really means. But it occurs to me, don’t deserts show extremes of temperature too, in certain places? Very hot in the day, far below zero at night? Or maybe I am thinking of Mars…

Update: Possibly it was due to warm air from the Atlantic that flowed into the Arctic.

Update 2: I am telling myself that what this means, is that the border between the Arctic atmosphere, and the next zone down, has become more porous, with major air masses sometimes moving across. Thus, a year or three ago, I think North America had anomalous cold as Arctic air came South, and this year the anomalous flow is in the other direction.

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One Response to “The Arctic”

  1. John Baez Says:

    It’s due to warm air moving into the Atlantic, as the maps on my blogs show. But this is not a routine event: as the Atlantic article states, “Air temperatures at the Earth’s most northernly region, in the middle of winter, will rise above freezing for only the second time on record.”

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