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Scientists were stunned this week when three successive thunderstorms swept across the icy Arctic region from Siberia to northern Alaska, unleashing lightning bolts, in an unusual phenomenon that scientists say will become less rare with global warming.
Ed Plumb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, said: storms Which began on Saturday: “Meteorologists have never seen anything like this before,” Reuters reported.
Usually lacks air above Arctic Ocean, to the convective heat needed to generate thunderstorms, especially when the water is covered with ice. But scientists say that Climate change The Arctic is warming faster than the rest of the world.
Episodes of summer lightning within the Arctic Circle have tripled since 2010, a trend directly linked to climate change and increased sea ice loss in the Far North, scientists report in a study published in March. As sea ice disappears, more water can evaporate, adding moisture to the warming atmosphere.
These electric storms threaten the boreal forests that surround the Arctic, as they ignite fires in remote areas that are already baking under the summer sun around the clock.
In Alaska alone, thunderstorm activity is on course to triple by the end of the century if current climate trends continue, according to two studies by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, published last year in the Journal of Climate Dynamics.