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 January 31, 2015 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 January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
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