Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increase in Arctic cyclones is linked to climate change

Date:
February 18, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Winter in the Arctic is not only cold and dark; it is also storm season when hurricane-like cyclones traverse the northern waters from Iceland to Alaska. These cyclones are characterized by strong localized drops in sea level pressure, and as Arctic-wide decreases in sea level pressure are one of the expected results of climate change, this could increase extreme Arctic cyclone activity, including powerful storms in the spring and fall. A new study uses historical climate model simulations to demonstrate that there has been an Arctic-wide decrease in sea level pressure since the 1800's.

Strong Arctic cyclone.
Credit: NASA

Winter in the Arctic is not only cold and dark; it is also storm season when hurricane-like cyclones traverse the northern waters from Iceland to Alaska. These cyclones are characterized by strong localized drops in sea level pressure, and as Arctic-wide decreases in sea level pressure are one of the expected results of climate change, this could increase extreme Arctic cyclone activity, including powerful storms in the spring and fall.

Related Articles


A new study in Geophysical Research Letters uses historical climate model simulations to demonstrate that there has been an Arctic-wide decrease in sea level pressure since the 1800's.

"This research shows that the Arctic appears to be expressing symptoms expected from ongoing climate change," said Dr. Stephen Vavrus from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "The long-term decline in atmospheric pressure over most of the Arctic is consistent with the response typically simulated by climate models to greenhouse warming, and this study finds a general corresponding increase in the frequency of extreme Arctic cyclones since the middle 19th century."

Tracking changes in Arctic cyclone activity through time, Vavrus calculated a statistically significant, though minor, increase in extreme Arctic cyclone frequency over the study period, with increases strongest near the Aleutian Islands and Iceland. Dr. Vavrus suggests that, as of yet, the effect of climate change on Arctic cyclone activity has been minimal, but that future changes in polar climate will drive stronger shifts.

"One societally relevant implication is that more storminess probably means more erosion of Arctic coastlines, especially in tandem with declines in buffering sea ice cover and increases in thawing coastal permafrost," concluded Dr. Vavrus. "Erosion of Arctic coastlines has already been growing more severe during recent decades, and this study points to a contributing factor that will likely become an even more recognizable culprit in the future."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Stephen J. Vavrus. Extreme Arctic cyclones in CMIP5 historical simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 2013; 40 (23): 6208 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058161

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Increase in Arctic cyclones is linked to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100707.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, February 18). Increase in Arctic cyclones is linked to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100707.htm
Wiley. "Increase in Arctic cyclones is linked to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218100707.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

How A Chorus Led Scientists To A New Frog Species

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) A frog noticed by a conservationist on New York's Staten Island has been confirmed as a new species after extensive study and genetic testing. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Hawaii Lava Approaching Village Road

Raw: Hawaii Lava Approaching Village Road

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii was 225 yards from Pahoa Village Road on Wednesday night. The lava is slowing down but still approaching the village. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

Endangered Carpathian Ponies Are Making a Comeback in Poland

AFP (Oct. 29, 2014) At the foot of the rugged Carpathian mountains near the Polish-Ukrainian border, ranchers and scientists are trying to protect the Carpathian pony, known as the Hucul in Polish. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

Deadly Mudslide in Sri Lanka Buries Houses

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins