Warm Arctic means colder, snowier winters in northeastern U.S., study says

Enlarge  Temperatures at the start of 2018—a familiar pattern as

"In the USA we had the "bomb cyclone" in January, followed by July-like warm weather in February that I'd never seen before".

The new study also separately analyzed whether Arctic amplification is contributing to more frequent severe cold and heavy snowfalls in the eastern U.S. While a robust connection to severe cold was not found, the analysis did show a statistically significant increase in heavy snowfalls related to Arctic amplification for many northeastern cities. This, in turn, affected the jet stream - a conveyer belt of wind that carries warm air and moisture around the globe - by increasing its "waviness", making jetstream waves dive farther south and stretch farther to the north.

Francis has been at the forefront of recent scientific research into how the weather and climate of the Arctic affects our weather here in the U.S. Scientists know this warmer Arctic air destabilizes the jet stream - and when Arctic air is free to wander south, it leads to cold snaps in the US or causes intense winter storms. When the warming extended into the stratosphere, however, disruptions of the stratospheric polar vortex were likely.

Arctic scientists like to say that "what happens in the Arctic doesn't stay in the Arctic", but the interconnectivity between Earth's dynamic atmospheric systems is no laughing matter, Cohen said.

It seems counterintuitive that a warming Arctic and melting sea ice would lead to colder, snowier winters in the middle latitudes of the northern hemisphere - but the "warm arctic, cold continents" theory has been a hot topic in climate research for the past several years.

It is important to note that this was a data-analysis study, meant to derive a correlation between Arctic warmth and extremes in winter weather in the United States - but correlation does not mean causation. "It was kind of expected that if you warm the Arctic, the only thing that's going to lead to is just milder temperatures everywhere - and that's not a complete picture".

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"During this time period in December 2017 and early January 2018, the AO was positive", Cohen told CNN.

In the last few years in the United States have already been observed anomalies with extremely cold winters accompanied by heavy snowfall.

Experts from the USA researched the issue of climate change in the Arctic and estimated its impact on the United States.

Most are subjected to cold winters of the North-Eastern part of the country and territory from the Rocky mountains.

"While no firm scientific consensus exists in the climate community on these Arctic "extreme" interactions, this research communication will help direct future research and spur timely debate on a high-impact climate-change problem", Maue said.



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