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North Pole: Thunderstorms Strike Hard

Although thunderstorm has rarely occurred in the Arctic until now, it will become more and more frequent in the coming years.

On 11 August, the Alaska weather Service came out with a major warning: only 500 kilometers away from the Arctic, thunderstorms were detected. Meteorologists were struck with stupidity. Because of a thunderstorm at the North Pole? This seemed very unlikely in the climate in the region.

Storms Detected

Yet it turned out to be accidents. In the Arctic Ocean north of the Laptevzee, just above Siberia, 58 discharges were noted. Several US weather satellites then passed the area. And also these satellite images clearly reveal typical ‘ storm clouds ‘. It is a fairly peculiar and rare condition. The most seven discharges at a time.

Rare Climatic Change

So it is not often In the Arctic. This is because for the emergence of a thunderstorm heat, moisture and up to high altitude unstable air is needed. Ingredients that are frequently present in tropical areas, but which are a real rarity in the harsh Arctic region. The question is therefore clear: what is currently going on at the North Pole?

Warm temperatures

The answer to that question is in our warming climate. This summer, high temperatures have been recorded in the Arctic. This led to natural fires and a lot of melting ice. For instance, researchers in mid-July showed that some 100 intense and long-standing natural fires had been spotted in the Arctic region.

It is assumed that higher temperatures and greater drought in the summer months promote the emergence of the fires. Moreover, the Arctic region is known to have no other effects on climate change. This region heats up almost twice faster than the rest of the earth.

How do the thunderstorms Occur?

The perceived thunderstorm is caused by a bubble with warm, moist air coming from Siberia. There it was in the first half of August at 750 meters height about seven degrees warmer than normal. Northwards pulling Siberian air masses normally cool down quite quickly. But this summer the water temperature in the Laptevzee is also abnormally warm. For instance, values of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius were measured far beyond the coast.

Researchers are predicting that this trend will continue in the future. We can, therefore, assume that there will be many more thunderstorms in the North Pole in the coming years. Researchers also keep a close eye on the temperature increase in the area.

Because even if the global temperature ‘ only ‘ rises by two degrees Celsius, not much of the sea ice that is rich in the Arctic region remains.

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