Polar regions set new records - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Polar regions set new records

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VOSTOK, Antarctica -

Even though the weather has been fairly calm for quite a while in the Great Lakes region, the polar regions are seeing some big extremes. Let's first talk about Alaska and the arctic. Recently that area has been battered by powerful storms that have brought heavy rainfall and hurricane force winds. However, the world has been much more concerned about another type of record that was set a little further north. On September 16th the Arctic set a record low for sea ice extent since satellite records began. The sea ice extent fell to 1.32 million miles. The average ice extent in the arctic during the summer since 1979 was more than twice this much at 2.97 million miles.

Meanwhile, there has been research that has shown a correlation between the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the globe. When one end of the world has an up, the other has a down. The two regions tend to oscillate oppositely. Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but on the same date (September 16, 2012) the Arctic hit a record low for sea ice extent, Antarctica set a very cold milestone. The temperatures at the Vostok observation site dropped to minus 119 degrees. That is not the wind chill, but rather the actual temperature observation. The temperature falls short of the world record low temperature which was set at the same spot back in July of 1983. The temperature was an unbelievable 129 degrees below zero then. So just as the season was about to flip from summer to autumn in the Arctic and winter to spring in Antarctica, two very different weather extremes were taking place.

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