27 November 2016

In the Heat of the Polar Night

As the lights go out for the winter in the Arctic, something strange and terrible stirs.

Despite the onset of polar night (24 hours of darkness), temperatures in the Arctic have soared to 36 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Additionally, Grist points out that Arctic sea ice has hit an all-time low for this time of year. The video below explains both issues:

We already know that global warming disproportionately affects the poles. Put simply, the Arctic and Antarctic will experience a greater degree of warming relative to other parts of the planet. Some estimates put the polar temperature increases at 12 degrees warmer than usual. This most recent news from the Arctic suggests those predictions might prove optimistic.

The stunning 36-degree increase over normal temperatures, and the equally shocking flatlining of sea ice production indicates a major change has come to our planet. We've already heard whispers of it in storms, droughts, glaciers, the oceans, and more. However, it's rumbling to life right now in the Arctic. We don't have to wait to see if this is a big moment. We know it is. Natural cycles, badly warped by human influence, have shifted into a startling new force and altered our world in dramatic ways.

In the polar night, that unfamiliar force stalks us, and when the lights come on and we open our eyes, we'll find ourselves confronted by its horrific visage.

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