Temperatures are 40°C above normal in Antarctic areas and 30°C above normal in Arctic regions
Both poles of the Earth are experiencing simultaneous and dizzying heat waves, which has sounded the alarm among climatologists: the “unprecedented” events could signal a climate collapse closer than expected.
In Antarctica, temperatures reached record highs this weekend, with 40°C above normal in some places. At the same time, weather stations near the North Pole showed signs of melting, with some temperatures 30°C above normal, reaching normal levels much later in the year.
What is predicted for this time of year is that Antarctica will cool rapidly after the summer and the Arctic will slowly emerge from winter as the days start to last longer than the nights. This warming, at both poles simultaneously, at this time of year, is unprecedented.
The Associated Press reported that an Antarctic weather station broke its all-time high of 15C, while another coastal station used to deep frosts at this time of year was 7C above the mark. of freezing. In the Arctic, meanwhile, some areas were 30°C warmer than average.
Rapidly rising temperatures at the poles are a clear warning that Earth’s weather systems are out of balance. Last year, in the first chapter of a comprehensive review of climate science, the IPCC report pointed to signs of warming already underway and causing some changes – such as polar melting – that could quickly be irreversible. .
As the poles warm, the white ice that reflects the heat loses space to the dark sea, which absorbs the heat. The phenomenon further intensifies the warming.
Polar heatwaves reinforce the warning that humanity is changing the planet’s climate, while causing a melt that can trigger further cascading changes that accelerate climate collapse.
As polar ice melts, especially in the Arctic, the landscape turns into a dark sea that absorbs more heat than white ice, which reflects heat. In Antarctica, much of the ice covers the land and its melting causes sea levels to rise.
For the director of the Center for Earth System Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, Michael Mann, the extreme weather conditions recorded already exceeded forecasts in a worrying way. “The warming of the Arctic and Antarctic is a cause for concern, and the increase in extreme weather events – of which these are an example – is also a cause for concern,” he said. “Climate models have predicted global warming, but we think extreme events are exceeding model predictions. These events show the urgency to act.