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Temperatures around the North Pole surged close to melting point on Thursday as a freak blast of warm air blanketed an Arctic region usually deep frozen in mid-winter darkness, scientists said.
Air temperatures at the North Pole were an estimated minus 4 degrees Celsius around midday with light snow, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, against a more usual temperature close to minus 30 degrees Celsius.
There are no weather stations at the Pole itself but a buoy floating in the Arctic Ocean north of the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen was reporting zero degrees on Thursday.
Worldwide, this year is set to be the warmest on record, driven up by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and a powerful El Nino weather event in the Pacific Ocean.
Arctic sea ice is at a record low for the time of year, according to December 20 measurements by the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre.
The Arctic region is warming at twice the global average, disrupting the hunting livelihoods of indigenous people and threatening creatures such as polar bears.
Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/print/2016/12/28/2003662025