My 6-year-old asked me about Santa the other day. Luckily, it wasn't the moment where his innocence is shattered forever.
Instead, he was wondering how Santa was going, preparing for his annual voyage around the world, dispensing plastic junk from China to all the world's least-needy kids. (I added the last part, but you get the drift).
I painted the picture that my parents had passed on to me. I explained to him how the night is slowly descending across the North Pole at the moment, and by the time Santa sets off on his sleigh across the ice on Christmas Eve, it will be shrouded in continuous darkness, lit only by his Christmas candles, and one shiny red nose.
My son is very interested in fashion, and so we talked at length about Santa's warm red jacket. The sad thing that I didn't have the heart to tell my son is that, at the moment, Santa's big red jacket is probably too warm for Santa himself, even at the North Pole.
Santa is a fantasy but climate change is not, and it's started to do truly alarming things to the North Pole.
Over the past few weeks the temperature of the North Pole has been 22 degrees hotter than the average temperature for this time of year. That's not a typo. It's not 2.2 degrees hotter. It's 22 degrees Celsius hotter.
The reason it's such a huge difference is because even though night is now falling, the temperature around the poles is still getting hotter rather than colder. That's never happened before. What it means is that the gap between average temperature and this year's temperature is getting wider and wider by the day.