Arctic Sea Ice Melt Might Spur Extreme Weather Conditions in Europe

extreme-winter

This year, the Arctic sea experienced a record ice melt during the summer and this might mean that northern Europe will experience a frigid winter. In the past years, when there was a lot of ice melt, there were bad winters.

Jennifer Francis, a researcher at Rutgers University, states that they can’t make any certain predictions, but she suspects that winter will be hard this year. This year’s ice melt has broken the record that was established in 2007. Ice experts thought that they wouldn’t see a record ice melt like in 2007 again anytime soon, but they were wrong.

frozen-bike-winter

The unprecedented expanse of the ice-free Arctic Ocean has been absorbing vast amounts of heat during the polar summer. This heat must be released into the atmosphere if the ice is to reform this autumn.

This could affect the jet streams. Other researchers have already shown that jet streams have been shifting northwards in the last few years. The jet streams also seem to be slowing down.

This can result in weather systems not moving around much, producing such conditions as heat waves. While it isn’t possible to connect the US heat wave to the Greenland ice melt of this summer, if the jet streams are blocked or slowed down, weather patterns will emerge elsewhere.

If this persists, then the climate will shift even further, with wild temperature swings and greater number of extreme weather events.

[via Wired]

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