According to researchers at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, the melting and decline of Arctic sea ice is causing causing nastier winters in central Eurasia according to a recently published study in Nature Geoscience journal.
“Both reanalysis data and our simulations suggest that sea-ice decline leads to more frequent Eurasian blocking situations, which in turn favour cold-air advection to Eurasia and hence severe winters,” according to a letter that accompanied the study.
Global warming: Others chime in
This was reiterated by Emeritus associate Colin Summerhayes of the Scott Polar Research Institute who recently stated that the “counterintuitive effect of the global warming that led to the sea ice decline in the first place makes some people think that global warming has stopped,” though “it has not.”
The recent study was led by Masato Mori who performed over 200 computer simulations from data on years with both low and high sea-ice cover and found that found that this cold winter paradox and been going on for a somewhere in the neighborhood of a decade despite an increase in surface air temperatures all over the world. The years where melting was more pronounced saw harsher winters in Eurasia.
“The agreement between observations in the real world and these computer models is very important in giving us more confidence that this [doubled risk of severe winters] is a real effect,” said Prof Adam Scaife, a climate change expert at the UK Met Office who was not part of the research team that published the report. “The balance of evidence suggests this is real.”
Not expected to last
This trend is not expected to continue for more than 30 years according to the study as the continued melting of sea-ice will force wind change (not a good thing), and “Sea-ice-driven cold winters are unlikely to dominate in a warming future climate,” said the report.
Later this week, representatives of over 100 governments as well as leading scientists are meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark to edit a recent U.N. report that has concluded that climate change could potentially have “serious, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems” if the world doesn’t reduce greenhouse gas emissions.