Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Arctic Heatwave Drives Deadly Asian Cold Snap

In the Arctic today, there’s a warm wind howling over Siberia.  It’s a wind blowing from the northwest.  A wind originating from the Arctic Ocean.  Siberia is warming up today because warm air blew in from the direction of the North Pole.  This should strike everyone as ridiculously, insanely odd.

Temperature Departure from Average (Credit: climatereanalyzer.org) Click to Enlarge.
In Okinawa it snowed for the first time on record this weekend.  In Taiwan a cold snap turned deadly killing 85 as tens of thousands more huddled in homes that lacked any form of central heating.  In South Korea, 500 flights were grounded due to unseasonable weather.  In Hong Kong the temperature was 3 C — the same temperature as a region near the southwestern coast of Svalbard east of Greenland and above the Arctic Circle.

What the hell is going on?  In short, a global warming driven heat-up of the Arctic has punched a hole in the Jet Stream and driven chill, Arctic air all the way into portions of Southeast Asia that seldom ever see temperatures go below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius).

An Arctic Super-Warmed By Climate Change
Temperatures in the Arctic are just off the charts warm for this time of year.  It’s the sad result for a region that now sits in the bull’s eye of rapid heat accumulation due to human greenhouse gas emissions forcing the world above 400 parts per million CO2 and 485 parts per million CO2e. CO2 levels alone that have not been seen in at least 3 million years and a ridiculous total heat forcing at the top of the atmosphere that likely hasn’t been seen for all of the past 10 million years.

It’s the kind of heat forcing that has a profound, far-ranging impacts.  Impacts, that for many regions of our world, start in the Arctic.
Extreme Warmth in the Arctic, Cold in Southeast Asia
Just off the coast of Svalbard the current temperature is 3.7 C (or 39 degrees F).  That’s the same reading that Taipei City Taiwan, thousands of miles to the south and sitting in the ridiculously warm Southwest Pacific, saw yesterday.  Running along the zero degree Longitude line to 85 North, just a few hundred miles from the North Pole, we find 1 C or 34 F temperatures. Temperatures run near or even above freezing along a vast section of ice-covered waters in the Arctic Ocean above 80 North Latitude and on toward the coast of Siberia.  There at 74.5 North and 87.55 East, a freakishly warm northwest wind howling out of the Arctic Ocean is pushing temperatures to -1.4 C (29.5 F and above the point at which salty ocean water freezes).  It’s colder now in the hills of North Vietnam at 20.1 North Latitude, 103.9 East Longitude with temperatures there hitting -1.5 C (29.3 F).

This is worth repeating — it’s colder in North Vietnam than it is on the shores of Arctic Siberia. Something, most definitely is not right with the weather.

Read more at Arctic Heatwave Drives Deadly Asian Cold Snap

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