Intense Summer Could be an Outcome of Arctic Melting, Study Says

Intense Summer Could be an Outcome of Arctic Melting, Study Says

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As per a new study, the rapidly warming arctic is causing disruption in the jet stream leading to diminished summer storms which in turn is resulting in increased summer heat waves. The study has appeared in the journal Science. Lead-author Dim Coumou, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research stated “When the great air streams in the sky above us get disturbed by climate change, this can have severe effects on the ground. While you might expect reduced storm activity to be something good, it turns out that this reduction leads to a greater persistence of weather systems in the Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes. In summer, storms transport moist and cool air from the oceans to the continents bringing relief after periods of oppressive heat. Slack periods, in contrast, make warm weather conditions endure, resulting in the buildup of heat and drought.”

Some highly controversial theories have surfaced since 2012 and the recent research is in favor of these theories. Potsdam researchers have stated that winter weather activity was the main focus of most of the previous researches on storm activity. Winter storm activity, which is the most damaging, is almost unchanged as per the global data; however, some regions may have unusual frequency or intensity of storms.

Analysis of weather station and satellite data suggests a prominent and consistent decline in average summer storm activity. This may lead to a decrease in frequency or intensity or both. The research team specifically analyzed synoptic eddies which is a specific type of turbulence and calculated the total energy held by them on the basis of their wind speed. The energy generated is a measure of the “interplay between intensity and frequency of high and low pressure systems in the atmosphere.” Since 1979, this intensity has dropped by ten percent. Co-author Jascha Lehmann said “Unabated climate change will probably further weaken summer circulation patterns which could thus aggravate the risk of heat waves. Remarkably, climate simulations for the next decades, the CMIP5, show the same link that we found in observations. So the warm temperature extremes we’ve experienced in recent years might be just a beginning.”

The Arctic is warming twice as fast as other regions of the Earth and this could be the driving force behind these changes. With the decline in sea ice coverage, less heat is absorbed by the region and the dark water reflects less light back into space. Usually the difference between the cold arctic and the warm air drives air movement. As this difference is less, the jet stream is weakened which is leading to decreased storm activity. Coumou explained “From whichever angle we look at the heat extremes, the evidence we find points in the same direction. The heat extremes do not just increase because we’re warming the planet, but because climate change disturbs airstreams that are important for shaping our weather. The reduced day-to-day variability that we observed makes weather more persistent, resulting in heat extremes on monthly timescales. So the risk of high-impact heat waves is likely to increase.”

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James Hailey a worshipper of life as it comes to him. He enjoys soft music while working on his latest manuscripts spread over his desk and his tablet on hand. His curiosity to observe everything around him and love for writing has propelled him to take up the job of a news journalist. Soon he realised, he enjoyed being at the back seat and editing all those news collected by others. He has been working as a lead news editor for both the digital and print media since the past 8 years. On his spare time he indulges in yoga to calm his hectic life style. He writes on Geology and Earth. Wmail : james@dailysciencejournal.com
  • Mike Hugh-jass

    The piece of the puzzle I’ve been hunting for is if the current pattern we’re seeing of a warm West coast and East coast Snowmageddon will be typical, or are deep cold troughs in the jet stream completely random in relation to longitude?

    In other words, would an arctic dipole pattern tend to position itself in a certain way (with a persistent low over central Canada) or is the west coast of the US, or England just as likely to see what Boston did in 2014/2015?

  • Voodude

    Despite how much scientists “learn” by studying computer simulations, the jet stream was discovered by new-fangled, high-flying USA bombers, during World War II. Scientists know less about the Jet Stream than they do about “climate science” – which is, tragically, very little.

  • Voodude

    The arctic has been warmer. Recently. How well did those periods of a warmer arctic, affect summers, then? Has anybody told you that lots of arctic temperature readings have been declining for quite a while? The satellite measurements (TLT) processed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville, (UAH) show a decline since September, 2004 – more than ten years.

    Sample size: 126 monthly readings, Sept 2004-Feb 2015
    Mean y (ȳ): 0.6438 Intercept (a): 1.946
    Slope (b): -0.000648 (a negative slope indicates a decline in temperature)
    Source of data: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt

  • Voodude

    Average, year-round temperature of Bettles, Alaska has been COOLING since 1976. Click image to enlarge it. Temperature data is from NASA, GISS (after adjustments).

  • Voodude

    Average, year-round temperature of Arctic Baffin station Gmo Im.E.K. F (77.7, -104.4) has been COOLING since 2004. Click image to enlarge it. Temperature data is from NASA, GISS (after adjustments).

  • Voodude

    Average, year-round temperature of Arctic Alaska’s north-east interior has been COOLING since 1993. Click image to enlarge it. Temperature data is from NASA, GISS (after adjustments).

  • Voodude

    Average, year-round temperature of Arctic Alaska’s Northern Slope has been COOLING since 1997. Click image to enlarge it. Temperature data is from NASA, GISS (after adjustments).

  • Voodude

    Shishmaref, Alaska has been complaining of being the first ‘Climate Change’ refugees… having to move, due to permafrost melting. Nearby, the average, year-round temperature of Arctic Alaska’s Kotzebue has been COOLING since 2000. Click image to enlarge it. Temperature data is from NASA, GISS (after adjustments).

  • Voodude

    Remote Sensing Systems’ data shows that the Arctic has been COOLING since early 2009.
    Sample size: 72, 2009.25 – 2015.25

    Mean y (ȳ): 0.7939

    Intercept (a): 16.20

    Slope (b): -0.00766

  • Voodude

    Slightly below the Arctic Circle, in Iceland, Akureyri has been COOLING since 2002.

  • Voodude

    Slightly below the Arctic Circle, in Russia’s Turuhansk has been COOLING since 1993.

  • Voodude

    Slightly below the Arctic Circle, Canada’s Baker Lake has been COOLING since 1998.

  • Voodude

    Slightly below the Arctic Circle, Canada’s Cold Lake, in Alberta, has been COOLING since 1986.

  • Voodude

    Here are six time-series of temperature, in Alaska, that show extended COOLING