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Severe winters to come in Europe and Asia caused by Arctic melting ice

Climate Change

Severe winters to come in Europe and Asia caused by Arctic melting ice
Posted: October 28, 2014

The risk of severe winters in Europe and northern Asia has been doubled by global warming, according to new research. The counter-intuitive finding is the result of climate change melting the Arctic ice cap and causing new wind patterns that push freezing air and snow southwards. The new work is the most comprehensive computer modelling study to date and indicates the frozen winters are being caused by climate change, not simply by natural variations in weather. 

The new research, published in Nature Geoscience, shows that the increased risk of icy winters will persist for the next few decades. But beyond that continued global warming overwhelms the colder winter weather. The Arctic is expected to be ice-free in late summer by the 2030s, halting the changes to wind patterns, while climate change will continue to increase average temperatures.

Climate scientists have warned for many years that global warming is not simply leading to a slow, gradual rise in temperature. Instead, it is putting more energy into the climate system which drives more frequent extreme events.

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