A Stormy Arctic Is the New Normal

Scientific American excerpts a new book on the future of the Arctic

Severe summer storms like this that cause considerable damage have been relatively uncommon in the western Arctic because of high pressure and sea ice that lingers long into the summer season. With so much heat being reflected back into the atmosphere, there was not enough open water in the past to produce the moisture needed to grow cyclones with any degree of consistency.

This promises to change as the Arctic Ocean becomes seasonally ice-free. In the “New Normal” that is opening up new pathways for killer whales and Pacific salmon to move into the Arctic, rising temperatures and disappearing sea ice are also fueling storms that used to be triggered later in the fall months.