Hot poles: Antarctica, Arctic 70 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal

Earth’s poles are undergoing simultaneous freakish extreme heat with parts of Antarctica more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average and areas of the Arctic more than 50 degrees warmer than average. 

It caught officials at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, by surprise because they were paying attention to the Arctic where it was 50 degrees warmer than average and areas around the North Pole were nearing or at the melting point, which is really unusual for mid-March.

They are opposite seasons. You don’t see the north and the south (poles) both melting at the same time.  It’s definitely an unusual occurrence.  Not a good sign when you see that sort of thing happen. What happened in Antarctica is probably just a random weather event and not a sign of climate change.  But if it happens again or repeatedly then it might be something to worry about and part of global warming.

The Antarctic continent as a whole on Friday (3/18/22) was about 8.6 degrees warmer than a baseline temperature between 1979 and 2000.  On Friday the Arctic as a whole was 6 degrees warmer than the 1979 to 2000 average.  By comparison, the world as a whole was only 1.1 degrees above the 1979 to 2000 average. Globally the 1979 to 2000 average is about half a degree warmer than the 20th century average.

What likely happened was “a big atmospheric river” pumped in warm and moist air from the Pacific southward.  And in the Arctic, which has been warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe and is considered vulnerable to climate change, warm Atlantic air was coming north off the coast of Greenland.