Weird weather shows 'why we've got to realize the Arctic is important,' expert says
“While much of the U.S. is seeing a wicked winter, the Arctic is going through just the opposite: January saw the least amount of sea ice for that month on record, plus the region's air temperatures are way above normal. So experts are asking themselves: are these two events intertwined?
La Nina, the naturally occurring (i.e., not manmade) ocean cycle, is certainly a factor in terms of the precipitation coming off the Gulf of Mexico that's colliding with the cold Arctic air. But what's rare is the Arctic air moving so far south and in several rounds this winter.
It's well documented that the Arctic has been warming much faster than other parts of the world in recent years, and many experts tie that to manmade emissions of greenhouse gases that trap heat.” Story here.
This map by the National Snow and Ice Data Center shows the extent of Arctic sea ice in January, and how it compares to the 1979-2010 median (purple line).