Past Event

Linkages between Arctic Sea Ice Loss and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: A Workshop

September 12, 2013 - September 13, 2013

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland
5825 University of Maryland Research Park College Park MD 20740

Workshop presentations are now available here.

Compilation of Relevant Papers as identified by the workshop participants. (Note: this list is not exhaustive.)

Rising global average temperatures, and especially intense warming in the northern polar regions, are leading to a rapid loss of the sea ice cap that covers the Arctic ocean. Emerging research may indicate that large losses of Arctic sea ice cover can have dramatic impacts upon weather patterns across the heavily populated northern mid-latitudes, and that such impacts could increase as ice cover continues to retreat in the coming decades. An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a public workshop that brings together a diverse array of experts to examine linkages between Arctic sea ice and mid latitude weather patterns. The outcome of this activity will be a report that summarizes the workshop presentations and discussions to address the following questions:

  • What do we currently understand about the mechanisms that link declines in Arctic sea ice cover, loss of high-latitude snow cover, changes in arctic-region energy fluxes, atmospheric circulation patterns, and the occurrence of extreme weather events?
  • What may be the possible implications of more severe loss (and eventually, total loss) of summer Arctic sea ice upon weather patterns at lower latitudes?
  • What are the major gaps in our understanding, and what sort of observational and/or modeling efforts are needed to fill those gaps?
  • What are the current opportunities and limitations for using Arctic sea ice predictions to assess the risk of temperature/precipitation anomalies and extreme weather events over northern continents? How might these capabilities improve over time?
NOTE: Due to meeting space constraints, we have reached capacity for the number of participants in the room. However, we invite you to tune into the webinar of the plenary sessions (noted in blue in the attached agenda) via Adobe Connect. To join the meeting, please go to Please note that you may need a browser plug-in to use Adobe Connect.

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There will also be an NRC report that summarizes the workshop discussions, published around the end of the year.

Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event

Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns, Summary of a Workshop (2014)

The National Research Council held a workshop in September 2013 to review the connections between Arctic warming and mid-latitude weather patterns, to discuss gaps in understanding, and to explore future research needs. Presenters and participants at the workshop (see list of participants) included many leading researchers in this realm with a diverse array of perspectives. Several hypotheses for how Arctic warming may be influencing mid-latitud... More >>