– Scientists are expressing dismay over unprecedented warm temperatures in the Arctic. In recent days, temperatures at the North Pole have surged above freezing—even though the sun set last October and won’t rise again until later this month. On the northern tip of Greenland, a meteorological site has logged an unprecedented 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018. The record-breaking temperatures are connected to an unusual retreat of sea ice in the sunless Arctic winter. Scientists suggest warming temperatures are eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once cushioned the frozen north. The alarming heat wave is causing scientists to reconsider even their bleakest forecasts of climate change. According to a leaked draft of a scientific report by a United Nations panel of scientists, “The risk of an ice-free Arctic in summer is about 50 per cent or higher,” with warming of between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius. We speak with Jason Box, professor in glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen.
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