Rapid Arctic Warming and Changing Mid-Latiitude Weather: Is there a connection? Jennifer Francis

The workshop’s first presentation was a status report on arctic climate from Dr. Jennifer Francis. In the past 30 years, she says, aerial coverage of sea ice has been reduced by half. Ice volume had declined 70% over the same period. She offers a novel hypothesis that Arctic amplification “regional warming in excess of the global average” causes the jet stream to slacken producing meanders that ‘lock in’ and cause aberrant weather for prolonged periods of time. Satellite imagery and this past winter’s ‘polar vortex’ and extended drought in the W. United States are some of the dramatic evidence she presents in support of the idea.

July 24, 2014