Scientists: warming of the Russian Arctic freeze and snow in the Eastern United States

© AFP 2018 / Mandel NganЗдание the Capitol in WashingtonScientists: warming of the Russian Arctic freeze and snow in the Eastern United States© AFP 2018 / Mandel Ngan

. A further increase in temperature from summer to winter in the Russian and canadian Arctic will lead to the fact that winters in the northeast United States will become even more severe and snowy climate scientists write in a scientific paper published in Nature Communications.

«In fact, our observations confirm the story, which I have already say a few years. Warming of the Arctic region periodically causes high winds to abruptly change course, and when their flows are deflected to the South, cold Arctic air is starting to get there. The following shift is happening soon, why such episodes of abnormally cold or warm weather lasts a very long time,» says Jennifer Francis, a climatologist from Atheroscle University (USA).

The last few years, the Northern United States and southern Canada are experiencing unusually cold winter with heavy snowfalls, very low temperatures, which not only caused massive inconvenience for residents, but also the forced heating company to empty the reserves of natural gas and even slowed the growth of the economy. A similar situation was observed in the North of Asia.

Two years ago, climate scientists from Korea have suggested that this episode is an abnormally long winter of cold weather has been linked to accelerated melting of sea ice in the Russian Arctic and the dramatic changes in the nature of the movement of the winds generated by this process.

Francis and her colleagues have confirmed that this is indeed so, comparing how the climate was changing in the Arctic and winter weather in the Northern United States and Canada since the mid-20th century through last year, analyzing the data of satellite observations and polar expeditions.

As the scientists explain, they were interested in three key parameters – the thickness of the polar ice caps, the number and magnitude of temperature anomalies in the Arctic circle and how severe was the winter in different regions of the United States. Comparing these climatic indicators, the authors tried to understand whether there is a relationship between the weather in temperate latitudes and climatic processes in the Arctic.

It turned out that such a relationship does exist, but not for all over the United States. Most clearly it is manifested in the North and North-East of the country, in the vicinity of the Atlantic coast of the United States and the territory of the Rocky mountains, where the probability of severe winters has increased approximately four times, if in the Arctic at that time was dominated by a mild climate.

Changes in the pattern of the movement of winds carrying with them not only low temperature but also an unusually high level of precipitation. It is, as scientists believe, in good agreement with the fact that the last few winters and communal services of the United States had to concentrate all forces to eliminate the piles of snow on the roads and drifts in the streets.

Interestingly, such problems have not affected the Western part of the United States, where cold winters occur only in the case if the weather in the Arctic was unusually cold. The reasons for this are not yet clear.

As suggested by Francis, the further development of global warming will lead to the fact that such winters will occur in the U.S. more often, and in the near future, these processes will also affect Europe and Asia.

«The last five of the six winter seasons was incredibly cold in the Eastern USA and warm and dry in the West, while in the Arctic there was record warm weather. Is it a coincidence? I don’t think. It is not clear how much of the Arctic affects the climate of the temperate latitudes, but to ignore these relationships is becoming increasingly difficult», says the climatologist.


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