Climate scientists have issued a warning about recent heatwaves at both of the poles. They said that this is an “unprecedented” event that could lead to a rapid climate breakdown.
According to the report, temperatures in Antarctica registered at 40C higher than normal. At the same time, the temperature at the north pole was 30C higher than usual.
Alarmingly, these temperatures are much hotter than those usually seen in the regions, which could indicate a change in climate systems due to the impact of human lifestyles.
At this time of year, the scientists claim that weather stations in the Antarctic usually start to register a cooling of temperatures, as it’s the end of summer. Additionally, the Arctic is usually emerging from winter slowly at this time and the days begin to lengthen.
The scientists point out that for both poles to heat so quickly at the same time is a “dramatic” and a “historic” event, that should be taken as a warning of potential disruption.
One of the dangers of these heatwaves at the poles is that it’s a strong signal of damage to the earth’s climate. Another risk is that it could trigger polar melting that could trigger irreversible changes and this could accelerate the climate breakdown process.
If the polar ice melts – especially in the Arctic – the dark sea is revealed and this absorbs more heat than reflective ice. This could warm the planet further and raise sea levels.
Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University said, “The warming of the Arctic and Antarctic is cause for concern, and the increase in extreme weather events – of which these are an example – is a cause for concern as well.
“The models have done a good job projecting the overall warming, but we’ve argued that extreme events are exceeding model projections. These events drive home the urgency of action.”