Cold snap of February 2012 and climate change: Is there a link ?

The climate is already changing, especially in the Arctic, where permafrost is melting, glaciers are retreating and ice is disappearing.

Changes in the Arctic will not only have an impact on populations and ecosystems, but also the rest of the planet, because the Arctic plays a special role in global climate.

How Arctic climate has changed so far, and how should it evolve ?

Evaluating the impact of climate change in the Arctic (ACIA, for Arctic Climate Impact Assessment) is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Scientific Committee (IASC ) to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change and increased ultraviolet radiation and its consequences. The results of this evaluation were presented to the International Scientific Symposium of the CFIA in 2004 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

You can find the summary on : and in Spanish on :

You will also find a presentation of a new data on the relation between the ozone layer depletion and climate change on :

 Excerpt of the report summary  : Arctic warming and its consequences have worldwide implications.

Changes in the Arctic can influence the global climate through three major mechanisms. More…

3.1 The amount of the sun’s energy reflected back to space decreases as snow and ice melt, leading to a more intense surface warming. More…


Changes in surface reflectivity

3.2 The melting of Arctic ice and increased regional precipitation can add freshwater to the oceans, and potentially affect ocean currents in the North Atlantic. More…

3.3 As warming progresses, more greenhouse gases could be released into the atmosphere by the thawing of the permafrost. However, warming can increase biological growth, and thus absorption of CO2. More…


To discover further the underlying scientific facts related to climate :

– read the GreenFacts  summary of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report – also available in Dutch, French and Spanish

– see also several related digests available through the GreenFacts  Climate change Theme page
addressing for instance energy technologies, biofuels and CO2 capture and storage.

Note : the content of the shorts reports of the blog are not verified by the Scientific Board

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