Overland, J.E. (2016): Is the melting Arctic changing mid-latitude weather? Phys. Today, 69(3), 38–43, doi: 10.1063/PT.3.3107.
According to model simulations, a warming Arctic can shift the circulation patterns of the polar jet stream and bring frigid air southward. But has it?
Since the 1980's the Arctic’s temperature rose at a rate more than double that of the Northern Hemisphere average—a relative increase referred to as Arctic amplification. Thinning sea ice, retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, and greening tundra are among the numerous trends that are apparent in today’s Arctic.
Arctic warming may be responsible for another kind of severe weather: bouts of abnormally cold weather a thousand kilometers south of the Arctic circle. Scientific opinions differ, however, on whether such episodes of extreme weather are random events or are discernible contributions from the Arctic.
Despite the controversy, national and international agencies actively encourage research on the topic. An important question is whether Arctic amplification can become a new tool for extended weather forecasting. This article lays out the current state of the science.