Summer sea ice loss in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic could be responsible for the extreme rainfall events in central India in the month of September, the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) has suggested.
The NCPOR research team has linked the extreme rainfall in September to declining summer sea ice during the Early Twentieth Century Warming (ETCW, 1920–1940) period and recent warming since the 1980s. Data shows that after the 1980s, the warming period has been stronger.
The research paper, 'A Possible Relation between Arctic Sea Ice and Late Season Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall Extremes,' was published in Nature, a science journal, last month.
"As the sea ice reduces in the Barents-Kara Sea region, there is more convection and upward air motion over the open ocean during summer. The air moves towards northwest Europe intensifying into a deep anticyclonic atmospheric circulation to finally reach subtropical Asia," lead author Sourav Chatterjee, NCPOR said.
The paper has said the Arctic Sea Ice Extent (SIE) has been declining by 4.4 percent per decade in annual mean since 1979. Though unclear if the decline in the sea ice can influence extreme weather in the tropics or even during the monsoon season in India, scientists from NCPOR are proposing it may be causing a high-pressure area over northwest Europe.
Though the impact of Arctic Sea ice changes on the mid-latitudes are still debated, it is proposed that an increase in mid-latitude extreme weather events is directly linked to the Arctic amplification induced loss in sea ice. According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, the Arctic has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the world in the last 30 years.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)