Arctic ice melt prelude to severe winters
Washington: The dramatic melt-off of Arctic sea ice due to climate change could lead to severe winter outbreaks, reveals a study.
Charles H. Greene, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University and colleague Bruce C. Monger, senior research associate, detail this phenomenon, the journal Oceanography reported.
"Everyone thinks of Arctic climate change as this remote phenomenon that has little effect on our everyday lives," Greene said. "But what goes on in the Arctic remotely forces our weather patterns here."
A warmer Earth increases the melting of sea ice during summer, exposing darker ocean water to incoming sunlight. This causes increased absorption of solar radiation and excess summertime heating of the ocean - further accelerating the ice melt, according to a university statement.
The excess heat is released to the atmosphere, especially during the autumn, decreasing the temperature and atmospheric pressure gradients between the Arctic and middle latitudes.
"What`s happening now is that we are changing the climate system, especially in the Arctic," Greene said. "It`s something to think about given our recent history."
This past winter, an extended cold snap descended on central and Eastern Europe in mid-January, with temperatures approaching minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit and snowdrifts reaching rooftops.
There were also the record snowstorms fresh in the memories of residents from several eastern US cities, as well as many other parts of the Eastern Seaboard during the previous two years.
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