US scientists maintain there's a direct link between the decline of sea ice in the Canadian Arctic and worsening summer severe weather events across the southern US.
The study draws upon four decades of satellite data of Arctic sea ice coverage collected between 1979 and 2016, overlapped with heat wave frequency data across the United States during the same time period.
The team found evidence for a strong statistical relationship between the extent of summer sea ice in the Hudson Bay and heat waves across the southern Plains and southeastern U.S.
"The latest research on this topic suggests that declining Arctic sea ice may be linked to increased incidence of extreme weather patterns across the northern hemisphere," said Dagmar Budikova, a climatologist at Illinois State University in Normal and lead author of the new study. "Our results confirm this hypothesis by offering further evidence that Arctic sea ice variability has the potential to influence extreme summer temperatures and the frequency of heat waves across the southern U.S."
The report appears in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research.
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