The arctic area is currently much too warm.
Political people in the United States are watching the chaos in Washington in the moment. But some people in the science community are watching the chaos somewhere else the Arctic.
It’s polar night there now the sun isn’t rising in much of the Arctic. That’s when the Arctic is supposed to get super-cold, when the sea ice that covers the vast Arctic Ocean is supposed to grow and thicken.
But in fall 2016 which has been a zany year for the region, with multiple records set for low levels of monthly sea ice something is totally off. The Arctic is superhot, even as a vast area of cold polar air has been displaced over Siberia.
At the same time, one of the key indicators of the state of the Arctic the extent of sea ice covering the polar ocean is at a record low right now. The ice is freezing up again, as it always does this time of year after reaching its September low, but it isn’t doing so as rapidly as usual.
In fact, the ice’s area is even lower than it was during the record-low 2012.