Arctic ice loss warms summers, cools winters

By on April 2, 2013
Ice loss in the Arctic (Credit: Ben Holt, Sr., NASA)

Ice loss in the Arctic (Credit: Ben Holt, Sr., NASA)

Climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin have linked global warming and the subsequent summer melting of Arctic sea ice to colder winters and hotter summers in middle latitude regions, according to redOrbit.

Extreme winter temperatures in middle latitude countries are a result of jet stream winds being slowed by Arctic ice loss. The weakened jet stream winds can’t transport warm air over land in the winter as effectively, thus keeping the land frigid.

Conversely, melting Arctic ice contributes to elevated summer temperatures because it allows more solar energy to be captured by the Arctic Ocean rather than reflected back to the atmosphere by the ice’s surface, which intensifies greenhouse gas concentrations.

Image: Ice loss in the Arctic (Credit: Ben Holt, Sr., NASA)

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