In Oslo last June climate researcher’s told me the melting Arctic ice will likely produce colder winters in the eastern United States and Europe. Looks like they were right. Winter freeze up in the sunless Arctic ocean was two months late this year because of a near record ice loss last summer that is expected to continue if not accelerate in future years.
Several research programs have been studying the impacts of this huge loss in Arctic sea ice and presented their findings for first time at the International Polar Year Oslo Science Conference. My summary from 15 June:
Climate change has warmed the entire Arctic region, melting 2.5 million square kilometres of sea ice, and that, paradoxically, is producing colder and snowier winters for Europe, Asia and parts of North America.
“The exceptional cold and snowy winter of 2009-2010 in Europe, eastern Asia and eastern North America is connected to unique physical processes in the Arctic,” said James Overland of the NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in the United States.
“In future, cold and snowy winters will be the rule rather than the exception” in these regions, Overland told IPS.
Thanks to support from readers and the organizers of the conference I was able to attend that polar science conference. No media/publication would front any travel money to help me get there. I was one of a small handful of jurnos there and the first to write a piece documenting the link between global warming and bitter winter weather.
My full article from Oslo is here: Arctic Melt Down Is Bringing Harder Winters and Permanently Altering Weather Patterns