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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 9 December, 2019
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While Storm Frank flooded Ireland, it raised North Pole temperatures above freezing

It was 20 degrees Celsius above the mid-winter norm.

PastedImage-95409 Source: The Weather Network

TEMPERATURES AT THE North Pole rose above freezing point yesterday, 20 degrees Celsius above the mid-winter norm and the latest abnormality in a season of extreme weather events.

Canadian weather authorities blamed the temperature spike on the freak depression which has already caused flooding across Ireland – the effects of which was called Storm Frank by Met Éireann and the UK’s Met Office – and brought record Christmas temperatures to North America.

The deep low pressure area is currently looming over Iceland and churning up hurricane force 140kmph winds and 10 metre waves in the north Atlantic while dragging warm air northwards.

“It’s a very violent and extremely powerful depression, so it’s not surprising that hot temperatures have been pushed so far north,” said Canadian government meteorologist Nathalie Hasell.

This deep depression has pushed hot air as far as the North Pole, where temperatures are at least 20 degrees above normal, at around freezing point, between zero and two degrees.

US scientists from the North Pole Environmental Observatory told AFP that the temperatures had climbed suddenly.

An Arctic monitoring point 300 kilometers from the Pole that had been recording minus 37 degrees on Monday had shot up to minus eight by Wednesday, said senior researcher James Morison.

The polar region is the area of the world that has seen the most profound effects of climate change in recent decades.

It would be too hasty, however, to pin this week’s extreme weather directly on the man-made climate change phenomenon, rather than on a discreet anomaly. The event has occurred before the past.

Hasell said that Canada has not kept complete records of North Pole weather but that it was nonetheless “bizarre” to see such high temperatures on the ice pack in the middle of its long night.

Baffin Island, better known for its snow and ice, experienced unheard of rainfall in December, said David Phillips of Canada’s Environment Ministry.

“It’s doubtless the El Nino effect, venturing further north,” he told AFP, referring to a tropical Pacific weather phenomenon that reoccurs every four to seven years in more southerly climes.

The 2015 El Nino is regarded as perhaps the most powerful in a century and, combined with the effects of climate change, it has generated storms, flood and droughts in Central America and beyond.

© – AFP 2015 

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