While climate alarmists are know to talk about “global warming”, there is something to be said right now as according to CBS News, the Arctic region is warming up a lot.
It’s been happening for several years now, especially in the autumn, but it never ceases to unsettle meteorologists like myself: Temperatures in the Arctic are astonishingly warmer than they should be.
According to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanlayzer, this weekend the Arctic Circle was an average 12 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. This is not just one location, but the average of all 7.7 million square miles. That is a huge area, nearly double the size of the entire United States, being on average 12 degrees above normal.
Now, it’s far from toasty warm in the Arctic; temperatures are near zero in many places. But as you can see in the image below, which illustrates departures from normal, the bright red shaded patches indicate that temperatures are greater than 20 degrees Celsius (30-40 degrees F) above where they should be at this time of year.
“It’s all but becoming an annual reminder of the rapid climate change we have observed in the Arctic,” explains Dr. Zack Labe, an Arctic climate specialist from Colorado State University.
While the pace of global warming is the fastest we have seen in millions of years, nowhere is it warming faster than the Arctic. Temperatures in the Arctic are rising at three times the pace of the rest of the globe.
In 2020, Arctic warming is among the highest levels yet.
The rapid warming trend in the Arctic can be traced to the unique makeup of the Arctic Ocean, which is rapidly changing. The Arctic is mainly ocean covered by millions of square miles of sea ice most of the year. But since the 1970s, sea ice extent has been decreasing quickly and sea ice volume has dropped by two-thirds. (source)
While it is true that the Arctic is “warming up”, I want to be clear that I do not wish to connect this to ideas of “global warming”, for the Earth always warms and cools. Rather, it seems to be connected to Russian geopolitical aspirations in the Arctic. This is even noted by the image comparison above- note how most of the ice has melted around where Russia is, which is also in the area that has become heavily militarized by the Russian government and in recent years, significantly more industrialized in a process that is still continuing.
To summarize the Russian situation, the Russian railway system is outdated, falling apart, and is not standardized to international standards used by the rest of the world. In other words, trains from the rest of Europe cannot reach Asia through Russia, and Russia has resisted this for geopolitical reasons. Instead, the other nations are just building around Russia, and she is literally being “built out” of the world economic system. The “Belt-And-Road” initiative with China is a joke and a dream, and it is more realistic that the current railway being constructed with Turkish, German, and American help is going to be far more successful, as it is following the old Silk Road passages.
Instead, Russia is trying for an alternative, which is to “seal herself off” and create a practically exclusive path by going through the Arctic, carving a sea road through the ice, and because the ice is cold, the combination of Russian industrial activity through building nuclear plants and factories as well as “cutting” the ice naturally is warming it.
However, let’s remember too that Russia is known for incompetence that results in terrible environmental disasters. The examples of this are too many to count, such as the severe poisoning of the environment around Norilsk with toxic heavy metals, the nuclear disaster at Kyshtym in 1957 that poisoned Lake Karachay and turned it into a giant toxic waste dump, and the notorious destruction of the Aral Sea in the name of trying to produce (and only producing low quality) cotton in Uzbekistan. These are just a few, but the stereotype of Russian industrial disasters is not a joke because, like the existence of fat people on tiny motor scooters at any Wal-Mart anywhere in the US at a given time, is supported by countless examples for evidence.
In a serious way, the Russian warming of the Arctic- which again must ABSOLUTELY be distinguished from climate alarmism found among many Western political leftist circles -is serious not just because of pollution (which the Russians probably will do), but that many of the cities of the far north- including Norilsk -are build on permafrost. If the ground warms, the ground which support the cities changes, and the buildings constructed on those cities could collapse.
It is not just a trend, but an interesting series of trends here, for we have the Russians conducting activity to warm the arctic in the name of trying to revive the USSR, but at the same time, in traditional Soviet fashion, doing things to try to get worldly success that end up causing more problems and destruction for them, and in this case potentially but with evidence already showing.
It will be important to see if this trend of Arctic warming continues, for it is not about Mathusianism masquerading as environmental concern, but geopolitics and the pursuit of power without thinking about the consequences.