Arctic Sea Ice Volume 2014: Decline Leads to Colder Winters in Europe and Asia

Oct 27, 2014 04:51 PM EDT
Sea Ice
The experiment showed that the decline in sea ice pushed the waters to absorb heat from the sun that eventually led to changes in the temperature.

A new study found a link between declining Arctic sea ice and the colder winters experienced in Europe and Asia near the Northern Hemisphere.

Researchers from Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo performed 200 computer simulations showing what happens when the ice melts in the Barents-Kara area. The model revealed that ice declines in the region doubled the coldness of winters in Europe and Asia.

The experiment showed that the decline in sea ice pushed the waters to absorb heat from the sun that eventually led to changes in the temperature. Researchers saw blocking patterns where the atmosphere is unchanged for days or weeks.

The findings of the study are similar to an earlier study performed by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University, who initially suggested a link between declining sea ice and extreme weather change at the Northern Hemisphere.

"This is a very solid paper that supports the mechanism identified in other recent papers linking sea-ice loss in the area of the Arctic Ocean north of Scandinavia to persistently cold winter conditions in central Asia," Francis said in an email to Climate Central.

Aside from the winter simulation, researchers also looked at the global warming pattern at the end of the century. The model showed an overall warming in Europe and Asia. The team admitted that further research is needed to establish the results.

The United Nations also had a study showing that warmer temperatures can make the storms more severe in some places and alter the seasons in different countries. Climate scientists presumed that Earth is currently on the pace wherein it is absorbing heat and trapping it in the oceans, according to Bloomberg.

"This 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. It has not," Colin Summerhayes, emeritus associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, said in a statement.

Details of the study were published in the Oct. 26 issue of Nature Geoscience.

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