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Scientists link frozen spring to dramatic Arctic sea ice loss

March 31, 2013

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By John Vidal

Climate scientists have linked the massive snowstorms and bitter spring weather now being experienced across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice.

Both the extent and the volume of the sea ice that forms and melts each year in the Arctic Ocean fell to an historic low last autumn, and satellite records published on Monday by the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, show the ice extent is close to the minimum recorded for this time of year.


“This is what is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes,” she said. “It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. The pattern can be slow to change because the [southern] wave of the jet stream is getting bigger. It’s now at a near record position, so whatever weather you have now is going to stick around,” she said.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    April 12, 2013 5:52 am

    Why isn’t the Antarctic being taken into consideration?
    The Antarctic sea ice has been growing since satellites first began measuring the ice 33 years ago and the sea ice has been above the 33-year average throughout 2012. I do not know what the effects are when ice recedes in one pole and increases in the other. It would seem nature finds a balance. This may mean that the the areas around the poles would be more affected than areas closer to the equator. Know that the earth is sentient.

    • mdnelson permalink
      April 12, 2013 12:54 pm

      We posted a link on this subject back in December last year:

      From the article they claim that the recent increases in sea ice area is from increasing northwinds building these areas up. The reason that it builds is because Antarctica is still very,very cold- enough to keep freezing sea ice. What the article observes is that overall the temperatures are increasing and over time these increases will make it warmer in that area- at some time maybe enough to have warm enough “summer” temps resulting in ice melts.

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