Melting sea ice, increased snowfall over Siberia and escalating Arctic temperatures – the Arctic is heating up about twice as fast as the global average – could disrupt the weather system that normally traps cold air in the Arctic, the researchers found.

The study published in the journal Science finds changes in the Arctic contribute to more extreme winter weather conditions in parts of the US.

The study, published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science magazine, showed that a circular wind pattern was disrupted by the Arctic’s heat, leading to severe winter weather in some states of the United States.

That set off a string of events that led to February snowfalls in Texas, where heat is normally fierce.

“provides cautionary evidence that a warming planet will not necessarily protect us from the devastating impacts of severe winter weather,”Judah Cohen

The study “provides cautionary evidence that a warming planet will not necessarily protect us from the devastating impacts of severe winter weather,” said lead study author Judah Cohen, professor at MIT and director of atmospheric and pollution research, an atmospheric risk management undertaking.

Associate author of the study, Mathew Barlow, added,”The synthesis of both observational analysis and computer model experiments is a particular strength of this study and greatly increases our confidence in the results. The dynamical pathway explored here – from surface climate change in the Arctic up to the polar stratosphere and then back down to the surface in the US – highlights one example of the wide range of impacts that climate change can have.”

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The Arctic has seen major climate change impact on Earth in the last three decades

Details of the February freeze, which killed hundreds in Texas and left millions without electricity, are still being released months after the incident.


Environmental science

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences to the study of the environment, (wikipedia)


Atmospheric science

Atmospheric science is the study of the Earth’s atmosphere and its various inner-working physical processes. (wikipedia)


Woodwell Climate Research Center

Woodwell Climate Research Center, formerly known as the Woods Hole Research Center until August 2020, is a scientific research organization that studies climate change impacts and solutions. (wikipedia)


Pennsylvania State University

The Pennsylvania State University is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. (wikipedia)


Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is a public research university based in Jerusalem, Israel. It is the second-oldest Israeli university, established in 1918, (wikipedia)


Arctic sea ice decline

The Arctic sea ice decline has occurred in recent decades by sea ice in the Arctic Ocean melting faster than it refreezes in the winter. (wikipedia)


Climate

Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in an area, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, (wikipedia)


University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia, (wikipedia)

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Global warming

The long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system. It is a major aspect of current climate change, (wikipedia)