- Santa and his reindeer will be able to see their way
better than ever on Christmas Eve, for a mysterious light is beginning
to brighten the dark polar winter.
- Eskimos and scientists report a strange "lightness
at noon" that is turning the usual all-day darkness of the high Canadian
Arctic into twilight, apparently in defiance of natural laws. Canadian
government officials say it may be the result of an unusual atmospheric
phenomenon caused by global warming.
- Inuit hunters are telling the government's weather station
at Resolute Bay - Canada's second most northerly village, 1,000 miles from
the North Pole - of a new light in the sky.
- And Wayne Davidson, the Canadian government official
who runs the station, says he believes it it caused by climate change.
- For the past five years, Mr Davidson says, there has
been a growing light along the horizon in the middle of the day in winter.
"The entire horizon is raised like magic, like the hand of God is
bringing it up," he says.
- But Mr Davidson's investigations, backed by other scientists,
suggest a more prosaic explanation. Warmer air, from global warming, is
overlaying the cold air of the Arctic and the interface between the two
creates a kind of "mirror in the sky" which reflects the sun's
rays from further south.
- So this Christmas Santa may be able to ignore Rudolph's
red-nose and rely on pollution from the world's chimneys to find his way
- © 2004 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd