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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
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Linkages Between Arctic Warming
and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns

Summary of a Workshop

Katie Thomas, Rapporteur

Committee on Linkages Between Arctic Sea Ice Loss
and Mid-Latitude Weather Pattern: A Workshop

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Polar Research Board

Division on Earth and Life Studies

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

                                                OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C.
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the National Science Foundation under contract numbers AGS-1158602 and ARC-1137066, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under contract numbers NNX08AB07G and NNX10AR69G, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under contract numbers NA11OAR4600211 and NA13OAR4310215. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring agencies or any of their subagencies.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-30188-6
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-30188-2

Additional copies of this report are available for sale from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington, DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu/.

Copyright 2014 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

www.national-academies.org

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
×

COMMITTEE ON LINKAGES BETWEEN ARCTIC SEA ICE LOSS AND MID‐LATITUDE WEATHER PATTERNS: A WORKSHOP

DAVID A. ROBINSON, (Chair), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway

UMA BHATT, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

CECILIA BITZ, University of Washington, Seattle

LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany

DAVID H. BROMWICH, Ohio State University, Columbus

CLARA DESER, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

WALTER MEIER, University of Colorado, Boulder

NRC Staff:

KATIE THOMAS, Study Director

AMANDA STAUDT, Director

SUSAN ROBERTS, Director (until September 2013)

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

AMANDA PURCELL, Research and Financial Associate

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
×

BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE

ANTONIO J. BUSALACCHI, JR. (Chair), University of Maryland, College Park

GERALD A. MEEHL (Vice Chair), National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany

MARK A. CANE, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

SHUYI S. CHEN, University of Miami, Florida

HEIDI CULLEN, Climate Central, Princeton, New Jersey

PAMELA EMCH, Northrup Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, California

WILLIAM B. GAIL, Global Weather Corporation, Boulder, Colorado

LISA GODDARD, Columbia University, Palisades, New York

TERRI S. HOGUE, Colorado School of Mines, Golden

ANTHONY JANETOS, Joint Global Change Research Institute, College Park, Maryland

RONALD “NICK” KEENER, JR., Duke Energy Corporation, Charlotte, North Carolina

JOHN E. KUTZBACH, University of Wisconsin-Madison

STEPHEN W. PACALA, Princeton University, New Jersey

ARISTIDES A.N. PATRINOS, New York University, Brooklyn

RAYMOND T. PIERREHUMBERT, The University of Chicago, Illinois

KIMBERLY PRATHER, University of California, San Diego

S.T. RAO, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

DAVID A. ROBINSON, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway

JOHN T. SNOW, The University of Oklahoma, Norman

CLAUDIA TEBALDI, Climate Central, Princeton, New Jersey

XUBIN ZENG, University of Arizona, Tucson

Ocean Studies Board Liaison

DANIEL RUDNICK, University of California, San Diego

NRC Staff

AMANDA STAUDT, Director

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

KATHERINE THOMAS, Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Associate Program Officer

AMANDA PURCELL, Research and Financial Associate

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2014. Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18727.
×

POLAR RESEARCH BOARD

JAMES W. C. WHITE (Chair), University of Colorado, Boulder

WALEED ABDALATI, University of Colorado, Boulder

SRIDHAR ANANDAKRISHNAN, Pennsylvania State University, University Park

KATEY WALTER ANTHONY, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

JULIE BRIGHAM-GRETTE, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

JOHN CASSANO, University of Colorado, Boulder

JENNIFER A. FRANCIS, Rutgers University, Marion, Massachusetts

EILEEN E. HOFMANN, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

BERNICE M. JOSEPH, University of Alaska, Fairbanks (until January 13, 2014)

ELLEN S. MOSLEY-THOMPSON, Ohio State University, Columbus

GEORGE B. NEWTON, U.S. Arctic Research Commission, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts

RAFE POMERANCE, Independent Consultant, Washington, DC

CARYN REA, ConocoPhillips, Anchorage, Alaska

GAIUS R. SHAVER, The Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

ALLAN T. WEATHERWAX, Siena College, Loudonville, New York

Ex-Officio

JACQUELINE M. GREBMEIER (U.S. Delegate to IASC), University of Maryland, Solomons

TERRY WILSON (U.S. Delegate to SCAR), Ohio State University, Columbus

DENEB KARENTZ (Alternate U.S. Delegate to SCAR), University of San Francisco, California

NRC Staff

AMANDA STAUDT, Director

EDWARD DUNLEA, Senior Program Officer

LAURIE GELLER, Senior Program Officer

KATHERINE THOMAS, Program Officer

LAUREN BROWN, Associate Program Officer

AMANDA PURCELL, Research and Financial Associate

RITA GASKINS, Administrative Coordinator

ROB GREENWAY, Program Associate

SHELLY FREELAND, Senior Program Assistant

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The Arctic has been undergoing significant changes in recent years. Average temperatures are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The extent and thickness of sea ice is rapidly declining. Such changes may have an impact on atmospheric conditions outside the region. Several hypotheses for how Arctic warming may be influencing mid-latitude weather patterns have been proposed recently. For example, Arctic warming could lead to a weakened jet stream resulting in more persistent weather patterns in the mid-latitudes. Or Arctic sea ice loss could lead to an increase of snow on high-latitude land, which in turn impacts the jet stream resulting in cold Eurasian and North American winters. These and other potential connections between a warming Arctic and mid-latitude weather are the subject of active research.

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns is the summary of a workshop convened in September 2013 by the National Research Council to review our current understanding and to discuss research needed to better understand proposed linkages. A diverse array of experts examined linkages between a warming Arctic and mid-latitude weather patterns. The workshop included presentations from leading researchers representing a range of views on this topic. The workshop was organized to allow participants to take a global perspective and consider the influence of the Arctic in the context of forcing from other components of the climate system, such as changes in the tropics, ocean circulation, and mid-latitude sea surface temperature. This report discusses our current understanding of the mechanisms that link declines in Arctic sea ice cover, loss of high-latitude snow cover, changes in Arctic-region energy fluxes, atmospheric circulation patterns, and the occurrence of extreme weather events; possible implications of more severe loss of summer Arctic sea ice upon weather patterns at lower latitudes; major gaps in our understanding, and observational and/or modeling efforts that are needed to fill those gaps; and current opportunities and limitations for using Arctic sea ice predictions to assess the risk of temperature/precipitation anomalies and extreme weather events over northern continents.

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