Scientists Connect Record Arctic Sea Ice Loss With Unusual Weather

Graphic from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The Arctic sea ice will hit its minimum any day now and freeze up will begin again. But the extent of this summer’s melt has already smashed the previous record set in 2007. Scientists are starting to draw a link between Arctic ice retreat and unusual weather around the world.

Jennifer Francis, a Research Professor at Rutgers University, is immersed in this emerging area of science. She says Arctic ice melt is altering the jet stream waves that govern weather patterns, causing them to move more slowly.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.