National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2023

Arctic climate extremes

Overland, J.E.

Atmosphere, 13(10), 1670, doi: 10.3390/atmos13101670, View online - open access article (external link) (2022)

There are multiple extreme events underway in the Arctic that are beyond previous records: rain in Greenland, Alaska weather variability, and ecosystem reorganizations in the Barents and the northern Bering Sea associated with climate change and sea-ice loss. Such unique extreme events represent a philosophical challenge for interpretation, i.e., a lack of statistical basis, as well as important information for regional adaptation to climate change. These changes are affecting regional food security, human/wildlife health, cultural activities, and marine wildlife conservation. Twenty years ago, the Arctic was more resilient to climate change than now, as sea ice had a broader extent and was three times thicker than today. These new states cannot be assigned probabilities because one cannot a priori conceive of these states. They often have no historical analogues. A way forward for adaptation to future extremes is through scenario/narrative approaches; a recent development in climate change policy is through decision making under deep uncertainty (DMDU).

Feature Publications | Outstanding Scientific Publications

Contact Sandra Bigley |