Arctic Sea-Ice influence on Pacific Trade Winds rebounding to the PNW Storm Surge

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Beginning with the modeling work initially conducted at Battelle-PNNL and EMSL (2013-2014) on diminishing Sea-Ice from global warming and “Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)” that seems to lead to jet stream instability and Arctic Vortex collapse, comes another scathing study.   From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences a realtionship is found between diminishing Sea-Ice and El Niño patterns in the Central Pacific with an unexpected re-bound effect.

How many more such studies are necessary until we stop.  Just stop emissions?


“The rapid decline of Arctic sea ice during the last couple of decades has spurred climate scientists to study how that meltdown influences the rest of the planet, and a new study suggests that the effects may extend deep into the tropics.

“The study, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, detected a pattern that links sea ice decline since the late 1990s with more frequent warm cycles in the Central Pacific Ocean. The surges of ocean heating in that region can disrupt the climate, affecting drought, flood and hurricane patterns around the world.

“Winds are the link between the melting ice and the tropics. The researchers posit that the Arctic Ocean has warmed up so much in the last 20 years that warm, late-summer sea surface air forms powerful convective towers, rising to the stratosphere. When the air falls back toward the equatorial Pacific, it intensifies prevailing east-to-west trade winds that push warm water toward Asia and Oceana, giving birth to a Central Pacific El Niño, a geographically specific variation of  the well-documented Pacific warming and cooling cycle that is a key driver of the global climate.

The study found a secondary effect. The atmospheric roller coaster rebounds back north, and may weaken a weather pattern near Alaska that steers Pacific storms toward the West Coast. “

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Fig. 2. Lagged correlation between the September sea-ice concentration and the December trade-wind dipole index. Maps show the correlation between the December trade-wind dipole index and sea-ice concentration (SIC) during the preceding September for P1 (Upper) and P2 (Lower). SIC data were taken from the NOAA/NSIDC passive microwave data record. The southernmost latitude is 67° North. Thick line denotes 15% SIC contour.

PNAS – full PDF of article 

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