Publication Date April 27, 2016

Climate change and extreme weather linked to high pressure over Greenland

High pressure weather systems over Greenland. Image: University of Plymouth/Helen Nance/Len Wood

Professor Hanna said: “Our research has found an increase in the incidence of high pressure weather systems remaining stationary over Greenland since the 1980s, which is having a significant impact on extreme weather and climate change in the region.

“These weather systems are occurring in the area more often because of strong Arctic warming and changes in the atmospheric jet stream in recent years.

“This is resulting in an increase in the occurrence of warm air in the region and it is also affecting weather systems downstream of Greenland, such as over the UK. The unusually wet weather seen in the UK in the summers of 2007 and 2012, for instance, is linked to these stationary high pressure systems over Greenland"...

This research has more than doubled the timespan of data analysed on Greenland ‘blocking’ weather systems and is a useful measure of changes in North Atlantic atmospheric circulation. The results can enable an improved understanding of the links between mid-latitude and high-latitude climate change when combined with other climatological studies