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Arctic Weather Reports

Nature volume 140, page 394 (04 September 1937) | Download Citation



ONLY forty-one years have passed since Nansen made his perilous and unsuccessful attempt to drift with the arctic ice from northern Siberia across the North Pole to the neighbourhood of Greenland, yet since July at least one London morning newspaper has been publishing daily a weather report from the region of the North Pole along with similar reports from New York and various Continental capitals. Such observations are not at present of great importance to weather forecasters, because the normal travel of weather systems generally tends to be circurnpolar, and, moreover, the gap between the Pole and other arctic weather stations—even Spitsbergen—is a very wide one, so wide that it is impracticable to complete a system of isobars to cover the polar regions. But as a landmark in the gradual spreading of a network of observing stations over the whole world, this event is important. Owing to the drift of the ice, a permanent station at the North Pole is impracticable, but the Russian station from which the published observations have been received has apparently not drifted very far from the Pole yet. Its co-ordinates at the end of August were about lat. 87 ° N., long. 2 ° E. The reports include an observation of the direction of the wind, and owing to the fact that these are not made exactly at the Pole, the direction can be given in the ordinary manner. At the Pole itself, of course, all winds are from the south, and direction would presumably have to be given in terms of longitude instead of being referred to the points of the compass.

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