Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Arctic warming linked to fewer European and U.S. cold weather extremes, new study shows

Date:
June 15, 2014
Source:
University of Exeter
Summary:
Climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the United States in a deep freeze last winter, new research has shown. The Arctic amplification phenomenon refers to the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places further south. It is this phenomenon that has been linked to a spike in the number of severe cold spells experienced in recent years over Europe and North America.

Snowy pine on a sunny winter day (stock image). New research suggests that climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the United States in a deep freeze last winter.
Credit: Myst / Fotolia

Climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the United States in a deep freeze last winter, new research has shown.

The Arctic amplification phenomenon refers to the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places further south. It is this phenomenon that has been linked to a spike in the number of severe cold spells experienced in recent years over Europe and North America.

However, new research by University of Exeter expert Dr James Screen has shown that Arctic amplification has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere.

The intriguing new study, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, questions growing fears that parts of Europe and North America will experience a greater number, or more severe, extreme cold days over the course of the next century.

Dr Screen, a Mathematics Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, said: "Autumn and winter days are becoming warmer on average, and less variable from day-to-day. Both factors reduce the chance of extremely cold days."

The idea that there was a link between Arctic amplification and extreme weather conditions became prevalent during the severe winter weather that plagued large areas of the United States in January 2014, leading to major transport disruption, power cuts and crop damage.

In his study, Dr Screen examined detailed climate records to show that autumn and winter temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid-to-high latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades.

He found that this has occurred mainly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days.

Dr Screen said: "Cold days tend to occur when the wind is blowing from the north, bringing Arctic air south into the mid-latitudes. Because the Arctic air is warming so rapidly these cold days are now less cold than they were in the past."

Using the latest mathematical climate modelling, Dr Screen has also been able to show that these changes will continue in to the future, with projected future decreases in temperature variability in all seasons, except summer.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. James A. Screen. Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid- to high-latitudes. Nature Climate Change, 2014 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2268

Cite This Page:

University of Exeter. "Arctic warming linked to fewer European and U.S. cold weather extremes, new study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143834.htm>.
University of Exeter. (2014, June 15). Arctic warming linked to fewer European and U.S. cold weather extremes, new study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143834.htm
University of Exeter. "Arctic warming linked to fewer European and U.S. cold weather extremes, new study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140615143834.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. 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:
from the past week

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