Arctic sea ice loss driving snowy wintersFebruary 28th, 2012 - 4:50 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) Heavy ice loss in Arctic regions may be linked with greater frequency of snowy winters in the US, Europe and China, according to the latest evidence unearthed by researchers.
They found that a decrease in autumn Arctic sea ice of one million square km, as big as Egypt, corresponded to higher than normal winter snow cover in large parts of the northern US, northwestern and central Europe, and northern and central China.
“Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation,” said Judith Curry, professor of atmospheric sciences at Georgia Tech Institute of Technology, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports.
“The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents,” said Curry, who led the study, based on data collected between 1979 and 2010, according to a Georgia Tech statement.
Scientists from Georgia Tech, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Columbia University expanded on previous research by combining observational data and model simulations to explore the link between unusually large snowfall amounts in the Northern Hemisphere in recent winters and diminishing Arctic sea ice.
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Tags: arctic regions, arctic sea ice, atmospheric circulation, central china, chinese academy of sciences, columbia university, frequent episodes, georgia tech institute, journal proceedings, judith curry, model simulations, national academy of sciences, northern continents, northern hemisphere, observational data, proceedings of the national academy, proceedings of the national academy of sciences, snow cover, snowfall amounts, snowy winters