Extreme weather closes out 2015

north pole

Image Courtesy CNN

The North Pole climbs above freezing, deadly tornadoes strike Texas, extreme heat bakes Australia and historic floods hit Britain and the American Midwest – the world is filled with extreme weather as it welcomes 2016.

A powerful and destructive North Atlantic low-pressure system brought eastern Canada an unusually warm holiday period, climbing to a spring-like 16°C in Montreal on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by heavy snow from Ontario to the Maritimes.

In the United States, tornadoes and floods left almost 50 dead.

The mighty Mississippi River has already exceeded overflow levels by four metres in some areas.

Scientists say the common cause of these events is a strong El Nino, a weather phenomenon which emerges every few years on average.

Record rainfall has brought unprecedented flooding to England and Scotland and Britain’s mean December temperature was a record-breaking 8°C, smashing the previous high of 6.9°C set in 1934.

With El Nino showing little sign of running out of steam, many scientists say 2016 could be even warmer than 2015.

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