Final day of weather conference looks at global climate factors
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY —Along with steadily increasing temperatures, climate researchers say that global warming will result in more extreme weather events, including droughts, floods, cold snaps and heat waves.
The mechanisms driving those extremes aren’t completely understood, but one factor could be the so-called Arctic paradox, with warmer air over the polar region displacing colder air to the south.
The first session of the final day at the 2012 Weather and Climate Summit in Breckenridge will explore the link between the warmer Arctic regime and last winter’s severe snowstorms and cold temperatures in mid-latitudes, especially along the U.S. east coast and in Europe.
All the presentations are webcast live at the summit’s USTREAM channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/weather-and-climate-summit
The presentation by Jennifer Francis, of Rutgers University, will include evidence for a physical mechanism connecting Arctic Amplification ‚— the enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere — with the frequency and intensity of several types of extreme weather events in mid-latitudes, such as droughts, floods, heat waves, and cold spells, according to an abstract of the presentation. A Powerpoint presentation and a video about the Arctic paradox are also posted at the conference website.
In Friday’s second session, the University of Colorado’s Jim White will explain results of some recent research in Greenland. After studying deep ice cores, scientists found a limit on the amount of ice that melted from the Greenland ice cap during the last interglacial period, which was warmer than today.
White will also also look at sea level data from Antarctica, where ice shelves are rapidly collapsing.
Finally, White will discuss the potential of rapid carbon loss from the Arctic, as methane and as carbon dioxide, from melting permafrost and methane ice (clathrates) in ocean sediments, as well as the potential that the Earth’s natural carbon sinks may slow down or even fail in the future.
Filed under: climate and weather, Colorado, Environment, global warming, Summit County news Tagged: | Arctic, Arctic paradox, Breckenridge, extreme weather, global warming, greenland, Greenland ice sheet, Rutgers University, weather and climate summit