The North Pole is famous for many things. 24-hour darkness, polar bears, and of course, being the home of Santa Claus.

One thing it's definitely not known for, though, is balmy, casual, "Hey, how cold is it? Do you think I need a light jacket?" type temperatures.

The north pole is freezing. It's one of the coldest places on Earth. In fact, it's sometimes colder than Mars. Mars!


The frozen ice-ball where Matt Damon lives. Photo by NASA/Getty Images.

But according to scientists, a storm the likes of which few have ever seen is about to raise north pole temperatures to as high as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

That's about 50 degrees warmer than usual and is, according to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, "absolutely terrifying."

It's always comforting when a scientist uses the words "absolutely terrifying."

The biggest reason behind that terror? Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. But if it gets warmer than that, ice melts. If the North Pole (which is covered in sea ice) begins to melt, less sunlight can be reflected off the ice. Thus, arctic temperatures rise even faster in a vicious cycle.

Also, if the continental ice sheets in that region start to melt, sea levels everywhere could quickly rise to dangerous levels.

Rising sea levels have already started to affect areas like Robbins, Maryland. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The storm is on its way to becoming one of the strongest in the North Atlantic's history.

It's a "meteorological marvel" that has so far ripped through Texas in the form of brutal tornados, dumped record amounts of rain onto the Midwest, and is now moving on with the intention of flooding an already soaked U.K. ... and bringing hoodie weather to one of the coldest places on the planet.

It rained so much in London this year that everyone was required to buy cool umbrellas. Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images.

Hurricane-force winds and alarmingly low barometric pressure are pushing it into the category of "bombogenesis..." a term used to describe "meteorological bombs" that often devastate large areas.

One piece of good news, though: The 230-mile-per-hour jet stream that the storm caused in the North Atlantic actually shortened flights from New York to London to a little over five hours. (It usually takes six or seven.)

"This, more than any other extreme weather event in a remarkable year for the climate, feels like something new," writes climate blogger Robert Scribbler.

And it has been a remarkable year for the climate. The east coast just had its warmest Christmas ever. Manhattan was over 70 degrees at noontime, and in Queens, people were surfing. Yeah. Surfing.

Surfers flocked to Rockaway Beach this Christmas because the waves were "totally tubular" or whatever they say. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

So what in the lukewarm world is going on here?

Well, as you can probably imagine, climate change is playing a big part.

According to many climate scientists, including Michael E. Mann of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, regular El Nino ocean temperature fluctuations are being made worse by human-caused climate change.

All of which is causing worse storms than usual.

Robert Scribbler writes that the strong winds and tropical air associated with the storm system "reeks of human-forced warming of the Earth's climate."

And although some remain skeptical of the correlation in this case, it's hard to imagine a situation where record-breaking-ly warm air being hurled at the North Pole is a good thing.

The only positive outcome I can imagine is that Santa, who obviously spends his downtime hang gliding and reading mystery novels in Bermuda, might not have to go anywhere else this year. He could probably just have a barbecue in his backyard with all his reindeer.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Image from Strut Safe's Instagram.

In March 2021, a woman named Sarah Everard was kidnapped, raped and murdered in South London as she was walking home.

Simply walking home alone at night proved to be life-threatening. But this aspect of the story is no new news. Women have long shared their fears on the subject.

Constant glances over the shoulder and walking with keys between the fingers have become well-known protection rituals against potential violence. And these efforts, though necessary measures of self defense, can at times feel like small band-aids over a larger wound.

As Alice Jackson and Rachel Chung, two students in Edinburgh, attended one of Everard’s vigils, an idea struck them. And it’s helping women in the U.K. gain not only a sense of safety, but something else too. Something of equal immense value.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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