We are getting increasingly colder periods during winter – particularly over the last few years – but should this come as a surprise?
Well no! As global temperatures rise, a recent study has indicated that winters in the northern hemisphere are set to get colder and snowier. Data from the last two decades suggests that this colder trend is already under way. Indeed the chilly winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 caused many to question whether global warming was happening at all.
Ironically, it turns out that these harsh winters may be a consequence of global warming. Careful analysis of northern hemisphere temperature, humidity, snow cover and sea ice cover data over the last two decades has revealed a trend. Data from Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) in Massachusetts, has shown that as northern hemisphere summer temperatures have risen, September sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean has shrunk. At the same time atmospheric moisture levels in the Arctic have risen, October snowfall across Eurasia has increased, and winters have become colder. Their findings are published in the journal Environmental Research.
These colder winters may be explained by the increase in open water over the Arctic Ocean, enabling more water to be evaporated, which produces more snow. As the current winter shows, mild winters are still possible. It is believed this snowy and cooling trend is likely to continue, though winters may eventually become wetter, if temperatures become too warm for snow.
Still don’t believe in the changes in our global climate?