While mainland Norway and much of Europe have been shivering through one of the coldest winters in years, it’s been the warmest ever registered in the Arctic. There’s also never been so little ice and so much open sea.
“This is just completely wild,” Mark Serreze, leader of the US’ National Snow and Ice Data Center, which has studied the Arctic since 1982. He referred to “heat waves” like he’s never seen this season, with meteorologists registering temperatures that are 4.9 degrees above average in winter, which is considered to be the months of December, January and February.
He stressed that this is a result of global warming that can’t be popularly forgotten just because of record low temperatures in many areas of Europe and the US this winter. On the Norwegian mainland, for example, temperatures as low as minus-42C were recorded last month, with lots of snow and ice, while it was above freezing and raining on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. The weather was blamed on high and low pressure systems colliding offshore that sent warmer weather from the south directly to the Arctic.