How melting Arctic ice results in European drought and heatwaves

The Wamme river is seen at a low level during the European heatwave on Aug 10, 2022 in Rochefort, Belgium.

Enlarge / The Wamme river is seen at a low degree throughout the European heatwave on Aug 10, 2022 in Rochefort, Belgium. (credit score: Thierry Monasse/Getty Photographs)

The Arctic Ocean is usually enclosed by the coldest components of the Northern Hemisphere’s continents, ringed in by Siberia, Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, with solely a small opening to the Pacific by way of the Bering Strait, and a few slender channels by way of the labyrinth of Canada’s Arctic archipelago.

However east of Greenland, there’s a stretch of open water about 1,300 miles throughout the place the Arctic can pour its icy coronary heart out to the North Atlantic. These flows embrace growing surges of chilly and recent water from melted ice, and a brand new research within the journal Climate and Local weather Dynamics exhibits how these pulses can set off a series response from the ocean to the environment that finally ends up inflicting summer time heatwaves and droughts in Europe.

The big new inflows of recent water from melting ice are a comparatively new ingredient to the North Atlantic climate cauldron, and based mostly on measurements from the brand new research, a at present rising “freshwater anomaly” will seemingly set off a drought and heatwave this summer time in Southern Europe, mentioned the research’s lead creator, Marilena Oltmanns, an oceanographer with the UK’s Nationwide Oceanography Centre.

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