Resolute Bay's Mid-Winter Sunrise (Novaya Zemlya Effect)


Gone But Not Forgotten
Aug 18, 2002
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Man unravels mystery of Resolute's mid-winter sun

WebPosted Dec 27 2004 07:47 AM MST

IQALUIT - A weather station operator in Resolute Bay says he's solved an Arctic mystery.
Wayne Davidson says the sun rose in Resolute on Nov. 14, 2001 – nine days after it was supposed to disappear below the horizon for the winter.

He says legendary South Pole explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Scott also saw the phenomenon nearly a century ago, but couldn't explain it.

Davidson says it all has to do with pockets of warm air in the environment.

"It's a mirage, similar to a road mirage that we commonly see on highways. The mirage that we see in the sky is in reverse. Imagine the highway in the sky, and that would help a little bit."

Davidson says pockets of warm air on top of cold air refract the light of the sun, making it appear where it shouldn't be.

He attributes the phenomenon to global warming, and says it also explains why Inuit hunters in Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord are seeing brighter twilight in the winter than they used to.
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