Arctic Warming Linked to Extreme Cold Weather in the US
A new study by an international team of scientists revealed that the warming Arctic caused by climate change may have contributed to the severe cold weather that hit the United States and United Kingdom in 2014 and 2015.
The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, showed a link between the warming conditions of the Arctic, including melting of the sea ice, increase in ocean surface temperature and warming air temperatures, and the emerging pattern of severe cold winter weather.
The researchers discovered that the warming of the Arctic had some sort of intensifying effects in the position of the jet streams. Previous studies have shown that jet streams’ pattern could influence severe weather conditions in different regions of the world. When the jet streams are wavy, more episodes of severe cold weather are observed in the south from the Arctic into the mid-latitude persisting for weeks at a time. On the other hand, countries within the mid-latitude experience normal winter weather when the jet streams are flowing strongly from west to east and are not wavy.