Heat wave roils Arctic over Christmas

The Arctic continued to see temperatures 50 degrees warmer than usual over Christmas, with ice caps shrinking at an alarming rate.

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Polar bears rely on ice cover to hunt seals, making them particularly vulnerable to warming

However, an interesting phenomena has been observed whereby a warmer Arctic can ironically lead to plunging thermometers in other parts of the Eurasian and North American continents. With ice cover disappearing, vast amounts of moisture become unlocked, travelling southward – and this air is still chilly, regardless of the unusually high temperatures. Outlined in a recent study entitled Warm Arctic, Cold Continents, these latest observations underscore how puny our powers of prediction really are when trying to gauge what the future climate will bring. These complexities are why the deliberately vague phrase “climate change” is often preferred over “global warming;” while carbon emissions will heat up the planet, the results will not be uniform and some regions could actually become acutely cold in the short term.

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