Linkages between Arctic Sea Ice Loss and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: A WorkshopBoard on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland
5825 University of Maryland Research Park College Park MD 20740
Workshop presentations are now available here.
Rising global average temperatures, and especially intense warming in the northern polar regions, are leading to a rapid loss of the sea ice cap that covers the Arctic ocean. Emerging research may indicate that large losses of Arctic sea ice cover can have dramatic impacts upon weather patterns across the heavily populated northern mid-latitudes, and that such impacts could increase as ice cover continues to retreat in the coming decades. An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public workshop that brings together a diverse array of experts to examine linkages between Arctic sea ice and mid latitude weather patterns. The outcome of this activity will be a report that summarizes the workshop presentations and discussions to address the following questions:
- What do we currently understand about the mechanisms that link declines in Arctic sea ice cover, loss of high-latitude snow cover, changes in arctic-region energy fluxes, atmospheric circulation patterns, and the occurrence of extreme weather events?
- What may be the possible implications of more severe loss (and eventually, total loss) of summer Arctic sea ice upon weather patterns at lower latitudes?
- What are the major gaps in our understanding, and what sort of observational and/or modeling efforts are needed to fill those gaps?
- What are the current opportunities and limitations for using Arctic sea ice predictions to assess the risk of temperature/precipitation anomalies and extreme weather events over northern continents? How might these capabilities improve over time?
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There will also be an NRC report that summarizes the workshop discussions, published around the end of the year.