Monday, December 22, 2014

Something Very Odd Is Going On In the Arctic

No, not Santa.

Alphaville's Izabella Kaminska linked to an interesting story in this morning's Further Reading post.
From The Guardian:
Hopeful holiday skiers pray for snow as Alps resorts feel the effects of warmer weather 
Lift pass prices are slashed as weather forecasters warn that there’s more sun to come on the pistes 
Head high or stay at home and, if you go, definitely wear a helmet. That is the message for skiers looking to hit the slopes this week after one of the worst starts to a season in living memory.

As many of Europe’s leading ski resorts scramble to lure in skiers over the all-important Christmas period, there are fears some operators could be in grave financial difficulties if, as meteorologists suggest, the current lack of snow persists.

Hopes that the poor start was coming to an end were dashed after a snowfall across much of the Alps last Wednesday petered out. Now forecasters are predicting several days of sun across many European resorts, according to the Ski Club of Great Britain (SCGB)....MORE
The reason I found it interesting was the shape of the Daily Mean Temperatures in the Arctic (north of 80° N latitude) chart from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

You'll note that in the depths of Arctic winter -days 0-100 and 300-present- temps averaged over 5° Kelvin above the 40-year average but because this occurred at a time when temps are below freezing anyway, and because during the melt season, days 160-240 temps were below average, the net result is that current arctic sea ice extent is at a ten year high (also from the DMI):

Now the question becomes: "Does the expanded sea ice cause the the warmth we're seeing in Switzerland?"
I don't know.
More to come