Francis, Jennifer A., Vavrus, Stephen J., Cohen, Judah

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change

Published date May 16, 2017

Amplified Arctic warming and mid‐latitude weather: new perspectives on emerging connections

  • States the Arctic is warming and melting at alarming rates
  • States that within the lifetime of a Millennial, the volume of ice floating on the Arctic Ocean has declined by at least half
  • States the pace of Arctic warming is two-to-three times that of the globe and that this disparity reached a new record high during 2016
  • States that while the Arctic spans only a small fraction of the Earth, it plays a disproportionate and multifaceted role in the climate system
  • Offers new perspectives on ways in which the Arctic's rapid warming may influence weather patterns in heavily populated regions (the mid-latitudes) of the Northern Hemisphere
  • States that the atmosphere is complex, highly variable, and undergoing a multitude of simultaneous changes, many of which have become apparent only recently
  • States that these realities present challenges to robust signal detection and to clear attribution of cause-and-effect
  • Proposes an explanation for the varying and intermittent response of mid-latitude circulation to the rapidly warming Arctic, in addition to updating the state of this science