Thousands of years ago, a warm Arctic made mid-latitudes drier

The Arctic is the fastest-warming region of the planet.

Enlarge / The Arctic is
the fastest-warming region of the planet. (credit: NASA)

The thing about a global climate change is that it isn’t as
simple as shifting the temperatures everywhere by a set number of
degrees. The temperature change isn’t uniform around the globe,
and these regional differences can drive considerable knock-on
effects on weather patterns.

The Arctic, for example, will warm more than the equatorial
region. For our current global warming venture, there will be
consequences of this fact beyond the Arctic itself. One juicy
hypothesis is that the greater Arctic warming affects the behavior
of the polar jet stream, driving significant changes on extreme
weather patterns in the mid-latitudes. This idea is the subject of
ongoing research, as well as genuine scientific debate and
uncertainty.

Lessons from the past

One way to study patterns like this is to look to past climate
changes. That’s what a team led by Northern Arizona
University’s Cody Routson
did, compiling paleoclimate records of rainfall in the Northern
Hemisphere over the last 10,000 years.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Thousands of years ago, a warm Arctic made mid-latitudes drier