February 2021 brought the planet’s 16th-warmest February, and this December is much warmer than it should be. Although warmer climates are being experienced across the world, experts say that the temperatures have a much bigger impact in regions that are usually cold. Further, experts say that the warm winter is likely to lead to more adverse weather patterns in the coming year.
In addition to climate change, uneven warmer winter can trigger tornados and heavy storms, according to Kai Kornhuber, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
“One of the truisms in climate science is that cold places and cold times of year warm faster than the warmer places and warmer times of the year,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. “Not only is the actual rate of warming faster in colder seasons and places – like the Arctic, which is warming three times faster than other places – but also a lot of impacts that are associated with warming are amplified.”
Although global warming is a factor across the world, scientists have proven over time that colder regions warm much faster. This often means irregular precipitation, whether it is in terms of rain or snow. Further, the effects caused by even a slight increase in temperature can be far-reaching. For instance, if the temperature causes rain instead of snowfall, the effect will be that the rainwater washes away much faster than snow.
“Winter warming affects the frozenness – or not – of things, which is ecologically important for the accumulation of snowpack and the water supply,” Swain explained.
Extreme warm spells in winter can result in heat waves in summer. The warmth in this season can lead to premature snowmelt and even vegetation growth, which lowers moisture content in soils and increases the likelihood of extreme and persistent heatwaves in summer.
Hot winters will also affect agriculture. Agriculture needs chill months to yield high outcomes. Fruits that require a long period of cold weather, such as apples, cherries and pears, will be hit the hardest.
Via The Guardian
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