Mar 21, 2022
Extreme heat waves at both of the Earth’s poles stunned scientists over the weekend. Some worry that could mean climate change may be warming the planet much faster than previously believed.
In the Antarctic, temperatures hit a record-breaking high of up to 70 degrees above normal. That’s as temperatures there should be falling quickly after summer. Around the North Pole, temperatures climbed to 50 degrees higher than normal
The strange heat spells occurred in two regions that are always in opposite seasons. It’s spring in the Arctic and autumn in the Antarctic.
“You don’t see the North and the South (poles) both melting at the same time,” a climate scientist told The Associated Press.
Meier’s not ready to blame the heat at the Earth’s two poles on climate change, unless it happens again.
But other climate scientists are really worried.
“We have entered a new extreme phase of climate change much earlier than we had expected,” one expert told The Guardian.
The Antarctica region cools at this time of year. And it’s now losing 25 minutes of sunlight every day. Yet, the high hit 10 degrees Friday. That’s 70 degrees above normal.
Warm air from the Pacific and Greenland’s coast brought the high temps, experts say.
Photo from Reuters.
What's Happening at the Poles?
In this 60-minute experiment, students visualize the difference in sea level rise between icebergs that melt in the ocean and glaciers that melt on land and end up in the ocean.
What Do Warmer Waters Mean for Life Below the Waves?
In this podcast, students will learn that the oceans have mitigated the effects of climate change by absorbing extra heat and carbon from the atmosphere, but that this has taken a toll on marine ecosystems.
Feedback Loops - Albedo
This video describes the feedback loops related to arctic sea ice, the loss of the albedo effect, and sea level rise.