Uh-Oh, This Winter Might Be Nasty

Study blames melting Arctic ice

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 14, 2012 6:13 AM CDT | Updated Sep 16, 2012 8:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Get your winter coats ready. Thanks to melting Arctic ice, this year's hot summer could be matched by a harsh winter, reports Business Insider, picking up on a study in Nature. Sea ice levels in the late summer appear to be linked to the distribution of high and low pressure areas in the northern Atlantic, and that can affect storms and lead to "extended cold surges." When there's less ice in the ocean, atmospheric pressure gradients change, says one researcher. That means less of the wind that carries warm air.

The takeaway quote: "The impacts will become more apparent in autumn, once the freeze-up is under way and we see how circulation patterns have influenced the geographical distribution of sea ice," says another climate researcher. "We can probably expect somewhere in the mid/high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere to have a snowy and cold winter."

In this 2008 file photo, a Canadian Ranger looks along the length of one of the gaping new cracks in the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in the Arctic.
In this 2008 file photo, a Canadian Ranger looks along the length of one of the gaping new cracks in the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in the Arctic.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Bob Weber, File)
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