NOAA-led study: 'Arctic amplification' could add to U.S. and European weather extremes

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The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on October 10:  “Changes in summer Arctic wind patterns contribute not only to an unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice, but could also bring about shifts in North American and European weather, according to a new NOAA-led study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. ... The researchers say that with more solar energy going into the Arctic Ocean because of lost ice, there is reason to expect more extreme weather events, such as heavy snowfall, heat waves, and flooding in North America and Europe...”

From the NOAA media announcement:

Arctic summer wind shift could affect sea ice loss and U.S./European weather, says NOAA-led study

Changes in summer Arctic wind patterns contribute not only to an unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice, but could also bring about shifts in North American and European weather, according to a new NOAA-led study published today in Geophysical Research Letters.

“Our research reveals a change in the summer Arctic wind pattern over the past six years. This shift demonstrates a physical connection between reduced Arctic sea ice in the summer, loss of Greenland ice, and potentially, weather in North American and Europe,” said Overland, an oceanographer who leads the [NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory’s] Coastal and Arctic Research Division.

The shift provides additional evidence that changes in the Arctic are not only directly because of global warming, as shown by warmer air and sea temperatures, but are also part of an “Arctic amplification” through which multiple Arctic-specific physical processes interact to accelerate temperature change, ice variability, and ecological impacts. …

The researchers say that with more solar energy going into the Arctic Ocean because of lost ice, there is reason to expect more extreme weather events, such as heavy snowfall, heat waves, and flooding in North America and Europe but these will vary in location, intensity, and timescales.

“What we're seeing is stark evidence that the gradual temperature increase is not the important story related to climate change; it's the rapid regional changes and increased frequency of extreme weather that global warming is causing. As the Arctic warms at twice the global rate, we expect an increased probability of extreme weather events across the temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere, where billions of people live,” said Jennifer Francis, Ph.D., of Rutgers.

Also see this post on the study by Jason Samenow at the Washington Post Capital Weather Gang:  “Study: Arctic ice loss may be making North America weather more extreme

 

 

 

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One Response to NOAA-led study: 'Arctic amplification' could add to U.S. and European weather extremes

  1. prokaryotes says:

    It is a paradox that we as the human race do not act timely to this approaching threat.

    I posted a small forum roundup, including a 14 minute video on the points made.

    http://climatestate.com/forum/study/4-a-closer-look-at-arctic-sea-ice-melt-and-extreme-weather.html

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