Studies dealing with impact of the Arctic warming and related sea ice decline on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation are considered. The causes of occurrence of extremely cold winters over the mid-latitude continents observed in the recent decades against the warming background are discussed. Several conceptions are outlined which explain potential reasons for occurrence of this phenomenon. The paper discusses impacts of the Arctic sea ice loss on the large-scale atmospheric circulation, oscillations of planetary waves. It also discusses issues related to sea ice changes in the Barents and Kara seas and their link to the frequency of extremely cold winters observed in Eurasia and North America, the contribution of internal atmospheric variability to the increasing frequency of cold weather, and the role of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation in the Arctic sea ice reduction.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
V. A. Semenov, I. I. Mokhov, and M. Latif, “Influence of Sea Ice Boundary and Sea Surface Temperature on Regional Climate in Eurasia during Recent Decades,” Izv. Akad. Nauk, Fiz. Atmos. Okeana, No. 4, 48 (2012) [Izv., Atmos. Oceanic Phys., No. 4, 48 (2012)].
M. A. Alexander, U. S. Bhatt, J. E. Walsh, M. Timlin, and J. S. Miller, “The Atmospheric Response to Realistic Arctic Sea Ice Anomalies in an AGCM during Winter,” J. Climate, 17 (2004).
J. Bader, D. S. M. Michel, K. I. Hodges, N. Keenlyside, S. osterhus, and M. Miles, “A Review on Northern Hemisphere Sea–ice, Storminess and the North Atlantic Oscillation: Observations and Projected Changes,” Atmos. Res., 101 (2011).
E. A. Barnes, “Revisiting the Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid–latitudes,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (2013).
E. A. Barnes and L. M. Polvani, “CMIP5 Projections of Arctic Amplification, of the North American/North Atlantic Circulation, and of Their Relationship,” J. Climate, 28 (2015).
L. Bengtsson, V. Semenov, and O. M. Johannessen, “The Early Twentieth–century Warming in the Arctic—A Possible Mechanism,” J. Climate, 17 (2004).
R. Blackport and P. J. Kushner, “The Transient and Equilibrium Climate Response to Rapid Summertime Sea Ice Loss in CCSM4,” J. Climate, 29 (2016).
J. Boe, A. Hall, and X. Qu, “Sources of Spread in Simulations of Arctic Sea Ice Loss over the Twenty–first Century. A Letter,” Climatic Change, 99 (2010).
D. Budikova, “Role of Arctic Sea Ice in Global Atmospheric Circulation: A Review,” Glob. Planet. Change, 68 (2009).
H. W. Chen, F. Zhang, and R. B. Alley, “The Robustness of Midlatitude Weather Pattern Changes due to Arctic Sea Ice Loss,” J. Climate, 29 (2016).
J. Cohen, J. A. Screen, J. C. Furtado, M. Barlow, D. Whittleston, D. Coumou, J. Francis, K. Dethloff, D. Entekhabi, J. Overland, and J. Jones, “Recent Arctic Amplification and Extreme Mid–latitude Weather,” Nature Geosci., 7 (2014).
D. P. Dee, S. M. Uppala, A. J. Simmons, P. Berrisford, P. Poli, S. Kobayashi, U. Andrae, M. A. Balmaseda, G. Balsamo, P. Bauer, P. Bechtold, A. C. M. Beljaars, L. van de Berg, J. Bidlot, N. Bormann, C. Delsol, R. Dragani, M. Fuentes, A. J. Geer, L. Haimberger, S. B. Healy, H. Hersbach, E. V. Hylm, L. Isaksen, P. Kellberg, M. Kohler, M. Matricardi, A. P. McNally, B. M. Monge–Sanz, J.–J. Morcrette, B.–K. Park, C. Peubey, P. de Rosnay, C. Tavolato, J.–N. Thepaut, and F. Vitart, “The ERA–Interim Reanalysis: Configuration and Performance of the Data Assimilation System,” Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 137 (2011).
C. Deser, G. Magnusdottir, R. Saravanan, and A. Phillips, “The Effects of North Atlantic SST and Sea–ice Anomalies on the Winter Circulation in CCM3. Part II: Direct and Indirect Components of the Response,” J. Climate, 17 (2004).
C. Deser, R. A. Tomas, M. Alexander, and D. Lawrence, “The Seasonal Atmospheric Response to Projected Arctic Sea–ice Loss in the Late 21st Century,” J. Climate, 23 (2010).
C. Deser, R. A. Tomas, and L. Sun, “The Role of Ocean–Atmosphere Coupling in the Zonal–mean Atmospheric Response to Arctic Sea Ice Loss,” J. Climate, 28 (2015).
R. Doscher, T. Vihma, and E. Maksimovich, “Recent Advances in Understanding the Arctic Climate System State and Change from a Sea Ice Perspective: A Review,” Atmos. Chem. Phys., 14 (2014).
F. Fetterer, K. Knowles, W. Meier, and M. Savoie, Sea Ice Index, Version 2 [Monthly Sea Ice Extent from 1980 to 2015, Northern Hemisphere] (NSIDC: National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 2016, updated daily).
E. M. Fischer and R. Knutti, “Heated Debate on Cold Weather,” Nature Clim. Change, 4 (2014).
E. Frajka–Williams, C. Beaulieu, and A. Duchez, Emerging Negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation Index in Spite of Warm Subtropics (2017), www.nature.com/scientificrepots.
J. A. Francis and S. J. Vavrus, “Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather in Mid–latitudes,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 39 (2012).
J. A. Francis and S. J. Vavrus, “Evidence for a Wavier Jet Stream in Response to Rapid Arctic Warming,” Environ. Res. Lett., 10 (2015).
Y. Q. Gao, J. Sun, F. Li, S. He, S. Sandven, Q. Yan, Z. Zhang, K. Lohmann, N. Keenlyside, T. Furevik, and L. Suo, “Arctic Sea Ice and Eurasian Climate: A Review,” Adv. Atmos. Sci., No. 1, 32 (2015).
P. R. Gent, G. Danabasoglu, L. J. Donner, M. M. Holland, E. C. Hunke, S. R. Jayne, D. M. Lawrence, R. B. Neale, P. J. Rasch, M. Vertenstein, P. H. Worley, Z. Yang, and M. Zhang, “The Community Climate System Model Version 4,” J. Climate, 24 (2011).
M. Honda, J. Inoue, and S. Yamane, “Influence of Low Arctic Sea–ice Minima on Anomalously Cold Eurasian Winters,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 36 (2009).
J. W. Hurrel, Y. Kushnir, G. Ottersen, and M. Visbeck, “The North Atlantic Oscillation: Climatic Significance and Environmental Impact,” Amer. Geophys. Union, 134 (2013).
J. Inoue, E. H. Masatake, and T. Koutarou, “The Role of Barents Sea Ice in the Wintertime Cyclone Track and Emergence of a Warm–Arctic Cold–Siberian Anomaly,” J. Climate, 25 (2012).
O. M. Johannessen, S. I. Kuzmina, L. P. Bobylev, and M. W. Miles, “Surface Air Temperature Variability and Trends in the Arctic: New Amplification Assessment and Regionalization,” Tellus A, 68 (2016).
V. Kattsov, V. Ryabinin, J. Overland, M. Serreze, M. Visbeck, J. Walsh, W. Meier, and X. Zhang, “Arctic Sea Ice Change: A Grand Challenge of Climate Science,” J. Glaciol., 56 (2010).
J. E. Kay, C. Deser, A. Phillips, A. Mai, C. Hannay, G. Strand, J. M. Arblaster, S. C. Bates, G. Danabasoglu, J. Edwards, M. Holland, P. Kushner, J.–F. Lamarque, D. Lawrence, K. Lindsay, A. Middleton, E. Munoz, R. Neale, K. Oleson, L. Polvani, and M. Vertenstein, “The Community Earth System Model (CESM) Large Ensemble Project: A Community Resource for Studying Climate Change in the Presence of Internal Climate Variability,” Bull. Amer. Meteorol. Soc. (2015).
J.–S. Kug, J.–H. Jeong, Y.–S. Jang, B.–M. Kim, C. K. Folland, S.–K. Min, and S.–W. Son, “Two Distinct Influences of Arctic Warming on Cold Winters over North America and East Asia,” Nature Geosci., 8 (2015).
D. Li, R. Zhang, and T. R. Knutson, “On the Discrepancy between Observed and CMIP5 Multi–model Simulated Barents Sea Winter Sea Ice Decline,” Nature Commun., 8 (2017).
J. Liu, J. A. Curry, H. Wang, M. Song, and R. M. Horton, “Impact of Declining Arctic Sea Ice on Winter Snowfall,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., No. 11, 109 (2012).
G. Magnusdottir, C. Deser, and R. Saravanan, “The Effect of North Atlantic SST and Sea Ice Anomalies on the Winter Circulation in CCM3. Part I: Main Features of the Response,” J. Climate, 17 (2004).
I. Mahlstein and R. Knutti, “September Arctic Sea Ice Predicted to Disappear near 2°C Global Warming above Present,” J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 117 (2012).
K. E. McCusker, J. C. Fyfe, and M. Sigmond, “Twenty–five Winters of Unexpected Eurasian Cooling Unlikely due to Arctic Sea Ice Loss,” Nature. Geosci., 9 (2016).
V. P. Meleshko, O. M. Johannessen, A. V. Baidin, T. V. Pavlova, and V. A. Govorkova, “Arctic Amplification: Does It Impact the Polar Jet Stteam?, Tellus A, 68 (2016).
M. W. Miles, D. V. Divine, T. Furevik, E. Jansen, M. Moros, A. E. J. Ogilvie, “A Signal of Persistent Atlantic Multidecadal Variability in Arctic Sea Ice,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 41 (2014).
M. Mori, M. Watanabe, H. Shiogama, J. Inoue, and M. Kimoto, “Robust Arctic Sea–ice Influence on the Frequent Eurasian Cold Winters in Past Decades,” Nature Geosci., 7 (2014).
R. B. Neale, J. Richter, S. Park, P. H. Lauritzen, S. J. Vavrus, P. J. Rasch, and M. Zhang, “The Mean Climate of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM4) in Forced SST and Fully Coupled Experiments,” J. Climate, 26 (2013).
F. Ogawa, N. Keenlyside, Y. Gao, T. Koenigk, S. Yang, L. Suo, T. Wang, G. Gastineau, T. Nakamura, H.–N. Cheung, N.–E. Omrani, J. Ukita, and V. Semenov, “Evaluating Impacts of Recent Arctic Sea Ice Loss on the Northern Hemisphere Winter Climate Change,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 45 (2018).
I. H. Onarheim and M. Arthun, “Toward an Ice–free Barents Sea,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 44 (2017).
J. E. Overland and M. Wang, “When will the Summer Arctic be Nearly Sea Ice Free?", Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (2013).
J. E. Overland, K. R. Wood, and M. Wang, “Warm Arctic–Cold Continents: Climate Impacts of the Newly Open Arctic Sea,” Polar Res., 30 (2011).
T. Palmer, “Record–breaking Winters and Global Climate Change,” Science, 344 (2014).
Y. Peings and G. Magnusdottir, “Response of the Wintertime Northern Hemisphere Atmospheric Circulation to Current and Projected Arctic Sea Ice Decline: A Numerical Study with CAM5,” J. Climate, 27 (2014).
V. Petoukhov and V. A. Semenov, “A Link between Reduced Barents–Kara Sea Ice and Cold Winter Extremes over Northern Continents,” J. Geophys. Res., 115 (2010).
I. V. Polyakov, R. V. Bekryaev, G. V. Alekseev, R. L. Colony, A. P. Maskshtas, and D. Walsh, “Variability and Trends of Air Temperature and Pressure in the Maritime Arctic, 1875–2000,” J. Climate, 16 (2003).
I. V. Polyakov, L. A. Timokhov, V. A. Alexeev, Sh. Bacon, I. A. Dmitrenko, L. Forter, I. E. Frolov, J.–C. Gascard, E. Hansen, V. V. Ivanov, S. Laxon, C. Mauritzen, D. Perovich, R. Shimada, H. L. Simmons, V. T. Sokolov, M. Steele, and J. Tool, “Arctic Ocean Warming Contributes to Reduced Polar Ice Cap,” J. Phys. Oceanogr., 40 (2010).
N. A. Rayner, D. E. Parkler, E. B. Horton, C. K. Folland, L. V. Alexander, D. P. Rowell, E. C. Kent, and A. Kaplan, “Global Analyses of Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Ice, and Night Marine Air Temperatures since the Late Nineteenth Century,” J. Geophys. Res., No. D14, 108 (2003).
J. A. Screen, “Arctic Amplification Decreases Temperature Variance in Northern Mid–to High–latitudes,” Nature Clim. Change, 4 (2014).
J. A. Screen, C. Deser, and I. Simmonds, “Local and Remote Controls on Observed Arctic Warming,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 39 (2012).
J. A. Screen, C. Deser, I. Simmonds, and R. Tomas, “Atmospheric Impacts of Arctic Sea–ice Loss, 1979–2009: Separating Forced Change from Atmospheric Internal Variability,” Climate Dynamics, 43 (2014).
J. A. Screens, C. Deser, D. M. Smith, X. Zhang, R. Blackport, P. J. Kushner, T. Oudar, K. E. McCusker, and L. Sun, “Consistency and Discrepancy in the Atmospheric Response to Arctic Sea–ice Loss across Climate Models,” Nature Geosci, 11 (2018).
J. A. Screen, C. Deser, and L. Sun, “Reduced Risk of North American Coid Extremes due to Continued Arctic Sea Ice Loss,” Bull. Amer. Meteoroi. Soc., 96 (2015).
J. A. Screen and I. Simmonds, “Exploring Links between Arctic Amplification and Mid–latitude Weather,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 40 (2013).
J. A. Screen and I. Simmonds, “The Central Roie of Diminishing Sea Ice in Recent Arctic Temperature Amplification,” Nature, 464 (2010).
I. A. Seierstad and J. Bader, “Impact of a Projected Future Arctic Sea Ice Reduction on Extratropical Storminess and the NAO,” Climate Dynamics, 33 (2009).
V. A. Semenov and L. Bengtsson, “Modes of the Wintertime Arctic Temperature Variability,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 30 (2003).
M. C. Serreze and R. G. Barry, “Processes and Impacts of Arctic Amplification: A Research Synthesis,” Global and Planetary Change, 77 (2011).
D. M. Smith, J. A. Screen, C. Deser, J. Cohen, C. Fyfe John, J. Garcia–Serrano, T. Jung, V. Kattsov, D. Matei, R. Msadek, Y. Peings, M. Sigmond, J. Ukita, J.–H. Yoon, and X. Zhang, “The Poiar Amplification Model Intercomparison Project (PAMIP) Contribution to CMIP6: Investigating the Causes and Consequences of Poiar Amplification,” Geosci. Model Dev. (2018).
J. C. Stroeve, V. Kattsov, A. Barrett, M. Serreze, T. Pavlova, M. Hoiland, and W. N. Meier, “Trends in Arctic Sea Ice Extent from CMIP5, CMIP3 and Observations,” Geophys. Res. Lett. 39 (2012).
L. Sun, J. Perlwitz, and M. Hoerling, “What Caused the Recent "Warm Arctic, Coid Continents" Trend Pattern in Winter Temperatures?,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 43 (2016).
N. C. Swart, J. C. Fyfe, E. Hawkins, J. E. Kay, and A. Jahn, “Influence of Internal Variability on Arctic Sea–ice trends,” Nature Clim. Change, 5 (2015).
K. Takaya and H. Nakamura, “Geographical Dependence of Upper–level Blocking Formation Associated with Intraseasonal Amplification of the Siberian High,” J. Atmos. Sci., 62 (2005).
D. W. J. Thompson and J. M. Wallace, “The Arctic Oscillation Signature in the Wintertime Geopotential Height and Temperature Fields,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 25 (1998).
T. Vihma, “Effects of Arctic Sea Ice Decline on Weather and Climate: A Review,” Surv. Geophys., 35 (2014).
J. M. Wallace, “North Atlantic Oscillation/Annular Mode: Two Paradigms–One Phenomenon,” Quart. J. Roy. Meteorol. Soc., 126 (2000).
J. M. Wallace, I. M. Held, D. W. J. Thompson, K. E. Trenberth, and J. E. Walsh, “Global Warming and Winter Weather,” Science, 343 (2014).
J. E. Walsh, “Intensified Warming of the Arctic: Causes and Impacts on Middle Latitudes,” Global and Planetary Change, 117 (2014).
S. Yang and J. H. Christensen, “Arctic Sea Ice Reduction and European Coid Winters in CMIP5 Climate Change Experiments,” Geophys. Res. Lett., 39 (2012).
R. Zhang, “Mechanisms for Low–frequency Variability of Summer Arctic Sea Ice Extent,” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 112 (2015).
R. Zhang and T. R. Knutson, “The Roie of Global Climate Change in the Extreme Low Summer Arctic Sea Ice Extent in 2012 (in Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective),” Bull. Amer. Meteoroi. Soc., 94 (2013).
Original Russian Text © V.P. Meleshko, V.M. Kattsov, V.M. Mirvis, A.V. Baidin, T.V. Pavlova, V.A. Govorkova, 2018, published in Meteorologiya i Gidrologiya, 2018, No. 11, pp. 49–67.
About this article
Cite this article
Meleshko, V.P., Kattsov, V.M., Mirvis, V.M. et al. Is There a Link between Arctic Sea Ice Loss and Increasing Frequency of Extremely Cold Winters in Eurasia and North America? Synthesis of Current Research. Russ. Meteorol. Hydrol. 43, 743–755 (2018). https://doi.org/10.3103/S1068373918110055