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17 Jun 2013: Changes in Jet Stream Triggered
Record Greenland Melt in 2012, Study Says

An unusual shift in the jet stream triggered the historic level of surface ice melt that occurred across Greenland last summer, a new study says. Using satellite data and a computer model simulation,

Linking Weird Weather to
Rapid Warming of the Arctic

Linking Weird Weather to Rapid Warming of the Arctic
The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. As Jennifer Francis writes, scientists are now just beginning to understand how these shifts may be increasing the likelihood of extreme weather.
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scientists from the University of Sheffield found that a high-pressure system developed in the mid-troposphere over Greenland for much of the summer, pushing warm southerly winds over the western edge of the ice sheet and creating a “heat dome” over Greenland. According to the study, published in the International Journal of Climatology, this unprecedented event caused record melting across virtually the entire ice sheet, including on Summit Station, Greenland’s highest peak. Ocean temperatures and Arctic sea ice retreat, meanwhile, played a minimal part in the record surface ice melt, the scientists reported. The study predicted that the record ice melt of 2012 is not likely to be “climatically representative of future ‘average’ summers” during the coming century. Other scientists say the loss of Arctic sea ice in summer and warmer temperatures in the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia, triggering more prolonged and extreme weather events.


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