ARE COLD WINTERS THE FLIP SIDE OF CLIMATE CHANGE? – Bitterly cold winters in Europe and the U.S. in 2010 may be a paradoxical side effect of climate change, some scientists said.
Rising temperatures mean a shrinking of sea ice in the Arctic, heating the region and pushing cold air southwards during the winter, according to a study last month in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
Warming of the air over the Barents and Kara seas, for instance, seems to bring cold winter winds to Europe.
‘This is not what one would expect,’ said Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study and climate scientist at Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.
‘Whoever thinks that the shrinking of some far away sea-ice won’t bother him could be wrong.’
The release of the NOAA report itself was delayed one day by an unusually hard snow storm in North Carolina.
‘These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia,’ he said.
‘Recent severe winters like last year’s… do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it.’ ( dailymail )
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