For the first time, the Arctic sea ice is not yet freezing in late October – the unusual phenomenon could result in extreme weather conditions in the upcoming winter.
The delay of the annual freeze could bring an extremely cold winter, Portfolio reports. Based on data from the Hungarian Meteorological Service, while the extent of sea ice in the Arctic in September 2020 was recorded the second lowest, in October, it reached a record-low level. The freeze-up takes a completely different pace now; the recovering of the ice is much slower than ever before.
But how does this affect the weather?
The atmosphere of the large area, the transport of saltier water towards the Arctic Ocean, and the above-normal surface temperature of the ice-free water can produce positive feedback mechanisms, which can then cause a delay in freezing.
If the temperature on the arctic permanently remains 15-20 degrees Celsius above the average, it can have an effect on the jet stream; if the jet stream loses its strength, it can cause extreme weather conditions, like unusual cold and warm periods.
About the jet stream…
Studies show that the jet stream and the arctic freezing have a mutual effect on each other. The jet stream is a stream of air that flows around the globe. When such weather anomalies stop the Arctic sea ice from freezing, the power of the jet stream will weaken. Consequently, warmer air outbreak on the North and colder air outbreak on the South will bring the extremely cold winter to Europe or North America.