Greenland Ice Loss Intensifies European Summer Heat

Weather and Climate Dynamics, 28 February 2024

Europe will become even hotter and drier in coming decades as melting from the Greenland ice sheet speeds up, intensifying weather extremes beyond what climate models predicted from fossil fuel emissions alone. This is the first study to unravel how influxes of meltwater in the North Atlantic would trigger changes in the strength and position of the polar jet stream – a belt of air currents that greatly influences European weather. Their key finding: periods of rapid melting from Greenland generate unusually hot, dry summer weather patterns that can last multiple years. For a present-day example, researchers predict that the rapid ice loss observed during 2023 will bring usually high temperatures to southern Europe during 2024 and 2025, with strong heatwaves and droughts eventually progressing into northern Europe as well.

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By Amy Imdieke, Global Outreach Director, and Pam Pearson, Director of ICCI.
Published Mar. 22, 2024      Updated Mar. 22, 2024 2:05 am