Jennifer Francis and Natasa Skific

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences

Published date July 13, 2015

Evidence linking rapid Arctic warming to mid-latitude weather patterns

  • States that the emergence of Arctic amplification—the enhanced sensitivity of high-latitude temperature to global warming—in only the last 10–20 years presents a challenge to identifying statistically robust atmospheric responses using observations
  • Presents new metrics and evidence that suggest disproportionate Arctic warming—and resulting weakening of the poleward temperature gradient—is causing the Northern Hemisphere circulation to assume a more meridional character (i.e. wavier), although not uniformly in space or by season, and that highly amplified jet-stream patterns are occurring more frequently
  • Further analysis based on self-organizing maps supports this finding
  • States that these changes in circulation are expected to lead to persistent weather patterns that are known to cause extreme weather events
  • Concludes that as emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, therefore, the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions