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Did a freak storm push the North Pole to a melting point?

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Climate writer Robertscribbler (real name Robert Fanney) put together a post on his Wordpress stating that a North Atlantic storm would "Push Temps to 36-72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal At North Pole". Each mention of the storm in further articles also states that while El Niño is the usual cause of these storms, the temperature difference is not normal.

This article focuses on the storm that pushed the North Pole 50 degrees above melting point. A winter cyclone same as the one that caused tornado outbreaks in throughout the US along with severe flooding pushed the North Pole above melting point. There was an extreme drop in pressure this causes the criteria for a bomb cyclone which is defined as dropping one millibar an hour for 24 hours. NOAA predicted that the minimum pressure drop was around 928 millibars around 1 am. The normal temperature at the North Pole is usually 20 degrees below zero. For it to reach freezing or a little higher shows severe weather issues.


The claim was first made by climate writer Robertscribbler on his Wordpress. The blog post was made on December 27, 2015, and was titled "Warm Arctic Storm To Hurl Hurricane Force Winds at UK and Iceland, Push Temps to 36-72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal at North Pole". Robertscribbler pulls information from a variety of sources, such as Earth Nullschool and Claudio Cassardo's Wordpress. Robertscribbler's work has been featured in National Geographic's science blogs and has been quoted in major news sources ( as stated on his Facebook page), and Cassardo has a doctorate in physics. Robertscribbler's post was used as a source in an article by the Atlantic talking about the storm, posted on December 29, 2015.

Later mentions of this claim have been made on Weather.com, an Australian news website name Smh.com, and by meteorologists Ryan Maue and Chris Dolce. All of which were made in February 2017. This claim was also mentioned in November 2016, when a similar event was reported by the Washington Post.

The article's original source is the Washington Post. It was published on December 30, 2015.

This story has been updated to include buoy measurements that confirm the North Pole temperature climbed above 32 degrees.

What was added on January: "Data from the International Arctic Buoy Programme confirms that temperatures very close to the North Pole surpassed the melting point on Wednesday. A buoy (WMO ID Buoy 6400476) at a latitude of 87.45 degrees North hit a high temperature of 0.7 degrees Celsius — or 33 degrees Fahrenheit."

Issues and Analysis

A day after the Atlantic article, on December 30, 2015, the Washington Post posted their own article about the freak storm. The article did not mention either Robertscribbler's or the Atlantic's articles. This article pulls from a variety of sources but most notably Mashable, which also directly discusses the storm.

Because prior sources have not been linked to El Nino, which can occur in a annual cycle, it is hard to find whether or not the claim is concretely true because it has appeared in more than one occasion from 2015 to 2017.

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