Science: Polar Warming

The winter air high above the North Pole should be the coldest part of the atmosphere. But rocket soundings have shown that 50 miles above the pole, the air is warmer in winter ( — 38° C.) than in summer ( — 100° C.). In fact, the pole's winter air at this altitude is warmer than that over New Mexico in midsummer (75° C.). Last week Dr. Will Kellogg of Rand Corp. told a Los Angeles meeting of the American Geophysical Union that this paradoxical warmth comes from the recombination of broken oxygen molecules....

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