Temperature departure from average in the Arctic and Northern Hemisphere, 24 December 2016. Graphic: University of Maine / Climate Change Institute / ClimateReanalyzer.org

By Jason Samenow
22 December 2016

(The Washington Post) – Santa may need water skis instead of a sleigh this year.

A weather buoy about 90 miles south of the North Pole registered a temperature at the melting point of 32 degrees (0 Celsius) early Thursday, as a giant storm east of Greenland drew abnormally warm air northward.

Weather models had predicted temperatures could get this warm and this buoy, part of the North Pole Environmental Observatory, provides validation.

“It seems likely areas very close to or at the North Pole were at the freezing point” Thursday, said Zachary Labe, a doctoral student researching Arctic climate and weather at the University of California at Irvine.

Data from the buoy (No. 300234064010010, which can be downloaded here) show that air temperatures have risen more than 40 degrees in the past two days, when they hovered near minus-11 degrees (minus-24 Celsius) which, even then, was above average. [more]

Weather buoy near North Pole hits melting point

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