S87 Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Loss on Extreme Cold and Blizzard Events in the Mid-Latitudes

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Ashton McCormack Collins, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA

Anthropogenic climate change has caused Arctic sea ice to melt at a rapid rate, but up until recently it has not been considered that this melting would affect synoptic weather patterns, only long-term climate factors. This research attempts to establish a connection between melting Arctic sea ice, changes in the jet stream and polar vortex, and extreme cold and blizzard events in the mid-latitudes. Cold events and blizzards during the months of December-February are analyzed over the past decade and compared with a 30-year climatology using NCEP reanalysis data, and correlated with measures of Arctic sea ice extent, thickness, and concentration. Future projections are analyzed using CMIP5 model data. Observations and model projections are analyzed to show the relationship between loss of Arctic sea ice, a weakening jet stream, and changes in the Arctic Oscillation.
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