North and South Poles Hit With Heat Spikes at Same Time

Mar 21, 2022

Extreme heat waves at both of the Earth’s poles stunned scientists over the weekend. Some worry that could mean climate change may be warming the planet much faster than previously believed. 

In the Antarctic, temperatures hit a record-breaking high of up to 70 degrees above normal. That’s as temperatures there should be falling quickly after summer. Around the North Pole, temperatures climbed to 50 degrees higher than normal

The strange heat spells occurred in two regions that are always in opposite seasons. It’s spring in the Arctic and autumn in the Antarctic. 

“You don’t see the North and the South (poles) both melting at the same time,” a climate scientist told The Associated Press.

Meier’s not ready to blame the heat at the Earth’s two poles on climate change, unless it happens again. 

But other climate scientists are really worried. 

“We have entered a new extreme phase of climate change much earlier than we had expected,” one expert told The Guardian.

The Antarctica region cools at this time of year. And it’s now losing 25 minutes of sunlight every day. Yet, the high hit 10 degrees Friday. That’s 70 degrees above normal. 

Warm air from the Pacific and Greenland’s coast brought the high temps, experts say. 

Photo from Reuters.

Why is warm air from the Pacific and Greenland's coast significant to this story? (Common Core RI.5.3; RI.6.3)
a. it's the cause of climate change
b. it's the likely cause of the heat spikes in Antarctica and the Arctic
c. it's caused by decreased sunlight during autumn
d. it's caused by increased sunlight during spring
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