January 17, 2013
24th Annual Glen Gerberg Weather and Climate Summit: Rutgers Professor Discusses ‘Wacky Weather’
. At a recent annual weather and climate summit held in Breckenridge, Colorado, Rutgers Professor and CECI affiliate Jennifer Francis
gave a lecture entitled “Wacky Weather and the Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice: Are They Connected?” in which she presented her research on the effects of melting Arctic ice on the atmosphere, weather and climate for the rest of the globe. Francis detailed the “stunning” loss of Arctic sea ice over the past summer and linked it to the litany of extreme weather events that countries around the globe have experienced over the last year or so. The loss of sea ice in the Arctic means that the ocean absorbs much more energy from the sun than it normally would during the summer months, which has profound implications for moisture levels in the atmosphere and the strength and path of the jet stream. Francis even suggested that this dynamic may have been a driving factor in the intensity and unusual path taken by Hurricane Sandy which recently devastated large areas of the New Jersey and New York coastline.