Friday, September 21, 2012

Summer Arctic ice melt, and winter weather


This year's record Arctic sea ice melt, nicely illustrated in the video, is providing the starting point for a series of studies on the possible impact on the jet stream - and with the jet stream, on global weather.

As Andrew Freedman of Climate Central puts it, one study suggests that because of the extent of the ice melt:
the jet stream, which has always been rather capricious, is behaving differently now. It has become slightly more elongated during fall and winter, with bigger troughs and ridges. A more wavy jet stream may have contributed to recent extreme winters that have featured historic blizzards along the East Coast of the U.S. as well as in Europe . . .
Another study has found that the colder winters and large snowstorms of the northern hemisphere are at least in part the result of the arctic ice melt. I'll be keeping an eye out for updates.

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