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Recent weather extremes fit polar shift model

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Based on the relative positions of record cold and warmth around the world this year, it would appear the North Pole has drifted southward.

At least that’s what people in central North America might be thinking, with the Great Lakes frozen over and the Canadian Atlantic with more ice than the past 30 years.

Yet the concept of a new North Pole might also help explain temperature anomalies recorded elsewhere around the globe, particularly in regions surrounding the Pacific Basin.

Moving clockwise around the Pacific; Alaska, California, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, China and Mongolia have all experienced unusual, if not record-breaking, heat or drought this year.

Arctic sea ice on February 18 reached an all-time low for that month, with a large portion of the Sea of Okhotsk off Siberia registering 10 degrees C warmer than the 1980-2010 average.

In the Antarctic, the Bellingshausen Sea southwest of Cape Horn is reportedly melting faster than the most rapidly retreating regions of the Arctic.

While this polar shift model clearly lacks substantiation, the question remains: why would extraordinary heat and drought be occurring around the Pacific in both hemispheres while central North America sustains a deep-freeze?

Such questions are being examined at this week’s International Symposium on Sea Ice in Hobart, Australia.

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