Published in ERW, 11 Mar 2013
Realistic sea-ice data are crucial to the reliable predictions of climate models. That is the conclusion of an international group of scientists, who warn against the use of models that employ averaged or “climatological” sea-ice conditions.
The steady loss of sea ice around the Arctic over the past few decades is expected to have a strong impact on the climate. Recent studies have linked the loss of ice to a cooling over mid-latitudes in the northern hemisphere – a counterintuitive result, since the lost ice should itself have had a reflective, cooling quality. Scientists think that an initial warming caused by the ice loss might have weakened the sub-polar jet stream, which would have eased the flow of cold Arctic air southwards. In any case, the message seems clear: there is a complex interaction between sea ice and the climate, which scientists need to understand. […]
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