‘Not a good sign’: Both of Earth’s poles see temperatures 30C and 40C above normal

pastel sunset in Antarctica
Antarctica has seen temperatures 40C higher than normal for this time of year (Getty)

Both of Earth’s poles are baking in extreme heat events at the same time - with parts of Antarctica more than 40C warmer than average for this time of year.

Meanwhile, areas of the Arctic are more than 30C warmer than average.

Climate scientist Dr Zachary Labe said, ‘Both of these weather events are related to the poleward transport of heat and moisture, similar to atmospheric rivers.’

Labe pointed to a NASA article which said that such warming events are becoming more common at both the north and south poles.

Zachary Labe blamed the extreme temperatures on transfers of heat and moisture towards the poles (Twitter)
Zachary Labe blamed the extreme temperatures on transfers of heat and moisture towards the poles (Twitter)

Vostok station in Antarctica recorded a temperature of -17.7C, which beat its record by 15C.

Read more: A 1988 warning about climate change was mostly right

At the north pole, several stations recorded temperatures 30C above normal levels, with record temperatures recorded in Norway.

University of Wisconsin meteorologist Matthew Lazzara recorded temperatures at East Antarctica’s Dome C-ii of -10C on Friday last week: the normal temperature is -43C.

Lazzara said, “That’s a temperature that you should see in January, not March. January is summer there. That’s dramatic.”

He said, “'Not a good sign when you see that sort of thing happen.”

Lazzarra also suggested that an atmospheric river - long, narrow bands of concentrated water vapour - may be responsible for temperatures in Antarctica.

The Antarctic continent as a whole on Friday was 4.8C warmer than a baseline temperature between 1979 and 2000, according to the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyser.

The Reanalyser is based on US National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration weather models.

Read more: Melting snow in Himalayas drives growth of green sea slime visible from space

At the same time, on Friday the Arctic as a whole was 3.3C warmer than the 1979 to 2000 average.

By comparison, the world as a whole was only 0.6C above the 1979 to 2000 average.

The South Pole, the most remote place on the planet, has warmed three times faster than other areas over the past three decades, researchers say.

Research published in Nature Climate Change found that an abrupt shift has seen temperatures rocket upwards at the pole from 1989.

Since that point, temperatures at the pole have risen 0.6 degrees per decade, three times the rate for the rest of the planet.

Researchers believe that the high temperatures are being fuelled not just by a rise in greenhouse gases, but also by natural weather shifts in the tropics.

Dr Kyle Clem of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, said: "These trends were unlikely the result of natural climate change alone.

"The effects have likely worked in tandem to make this one of the strongest warming trends on Earth."

Read more: Nature crisis - new global extinction target agreed

Dr Clem, said: "The South Pole has warmed at over three times the global rate since 1989."

The average rise of 0.61°C per decade was mainly driven by natural tropical climate variability - and was likely intensified by the burning of fossil fuels, he said.

Watch: What sea levels will look like in 2050