Baek-Min Kim, from the Department of Environmental Atmospheric Sciences of Pukyong National University in Korea, tells about his work to prove a link between sea ice melting in Antarctica and changes in the weather of mid-latitude regions
Here is a summary of the video we invite you to watch, if you were not able to attend our 24-hours online event, 5 June 2023.
The Planet is warming, but the Arctic region is warming four time faster than the global average temperature. There are many consequences of this huge temperature increase.
The increase of air temperature pattern shows a high coincidence with sea ice metlting pattern: where the ocean surface is exposed, water releases a lot of energy in the atmosphere due to the difference of temperature with cold air.
The origin of weather
Weather exists due to Earth rotation and temperature gradient between cold Arctic region and warm tropical regions. This is called baroclinic instability, and that is the reason why atmosphere is instable. Weather is the repeated birth and decay of baroclinic eddies.
It is difficult to detect changes in weather due to increase in Arctic temperatures, because weather is chaotic and highly volatile. And there is a strong debate among scientists about Arctic and mid-latitudes regions linkage.
Examining the significant heat fluxes from the ocean in the reduced sea ice area and their correlation with pressure patterns, indicates a potential Arctic-mid-latitude linkage. But the statistical significance of data is contested. Sophisticated modeling and analysis and numerical experiments helped to gain confidence in the role of sea ice and its connection to middle latitude weather patterns
Sea ice loss in the Arctic also has an influence on the stratosphere, polar vortex, and downward control of the troposphere, leading to cold winters and changes in weather patterns.
What happens in the Arctic does not remain in the Arctic: mid-latitude weather is linked to Arctic condition. However, there is still no consensus on many detailed issues about this link. To understand what extreme weather we can expect in the near-future, we need to look at Arctic carefully!