Monday July 22, 2024

Arctic ice loss may help predict European summer weather: study

Published : 28 Feb 2024, 21:26

  DF News Desk
DF File Photo.

A recent study has found that Arctic ice loss is linked to hotter and drier European summers, meaning European weather may be predictable up to a year in advance, reported Xinhua.

"The location and strength of meltwater occurrences in the North Atlantic in winter provide valuable clues about the location, strength and character of European weather anomalies in the subsequent summers," says Marilena Oltmanns, a research scientist at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) who led the research.

The NOC is an independent oceanographic institution in the United Kingdom that conducts scientific research into subjects including marine physics and ocean climate, marine systems modeling, and ocean technology and engineering.

The paper, published in Weather and Climate Dynamics, proposes a mechanism whereby meltwater in the North Atlantic initiates a chain of events, triggering hotter and drier weather over Europe in summer.

It suggests that the melting of land and sea ice is expected to increase over the coming decades, resulting in an increased amount of freshwater flowing into the North Atlantic.

Using satellite data, the research results indicate an increasing risk of warm, dry European summers, heatwaves, and droughts, since stronger freshwater anomalies have a faster impact on the atmospheric circulation and, hence, weather.

The identified links are significant on timescales from years to decades and indicate enhanced predictability of European summer weather at least a winter in advance.

According to the NOC, the study is a step forward for improving models, which will "enable industries and stakeholders to plan ahead for specific weather conditions," such as informing farmers which crops will be best to grow, predicting fuel usage, and bracing for flooding events.