Feeling much chilled this winter than the previous one ??? Then blame the GW(Global Warming).
Counter-intuitive but true, say scientists: a string of freezing European winters scattered over the last decade has been driven in large part by global warming.
According to a new study, the Arctic's surface ice, if the current rates of decline continues, will disappear entirely during summer months by century's end.
The mechanism uncovered triples the chances that future winters in Europe and north Asia will be similarly inclement, the study reports.
Earth's temperature steadily rises, possibly by as much as five or six degrees Celsius (9.0 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100.
Climate sceptics who question the gravity of global warming or that humans are to blame point to the deep chills as confirmation of their doubts.
Such assertions, counter scientists, mistakenly conflate the long-term patterns of climate with the short-term vagaries of weather, and ignore regional variation in climate change impacts.
New research, however, goes further, showing that global warming has actually contributed to Europe's winter blues.
Rising temperatures in the Arctic -- increasing at two to three times the global average -- have peeled back the region's floating ice cover by 20 percent over the last three decades.
This has allowed more of the Sun's radiative force to be absorbed by dark-blue sea rather than bounced back into space by reflective ice and snow, accelerating the warming process.
More critically for weather patterns, it has also created a massive source of heat during the winter months.
The result, according to a modelling study published earlier this month the Journal of Geophysical Research, is a strong high-pressure system over the newly-exposed sea which brings cold polar air, swirling counter-clockwise, into Europe.
With AFP Inputs