What is it about?

Even if there has been a statistical relationship between two variables in the past, does that guarantee that the same relationship will be valid in the future? By using long reconstructions of climate going back to 1865, we have shown that the relationship between sea ice and winter weather has changed enormously over time.

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Why is it important?

Phenomena like El Niño often lead to quite predictable changes in the weather patterns in many places. The potential value of a similar relationship between sea ice and weather is huge. Imagine if we could know in advance if the coming winter was going to be cold and dry or wet and mild!


It was a great pleasure to work with James, who's an expert on Arctic climate change. The questions we asked are important to me because I work to improve seasonal weather forecasts, and our work indicated that statistical models should not be relied on (as the assumptions they build on may change). To me, this is an argument for putting more effort into improving dynamical models.

Dr Erik W Kolstad
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Non-Stationary Relationship between Autumn Arctic Sea Ice and the Winter North Atlantic Oscillation, Geophysical Research Letters, June 2019, American Geophysical Union (AGU),
DOI: 10.1029/2019gl083059.
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