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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium: Rapid Arctic Warming and Extreme Weather Events in Mid-Latitudes: Are They Connected?

Speaker(s) / Presenter(s):
Dr. Jennifer Francis (Rutgers University)

In this presentation, I will discuss the hypothesis proposed by Francis and Vavrus (2012) that links rapid Arctic warming (so-called Arctic amplification) to changes in the large-scale atmospheric circulation in the northern hemisphere that favors more persistent weather patterns and a higher likelihood of extreme weather events such as droughts, cold spells, flooding, heavy snows, and heat waves. This hypothesis has been a topic of considerable controversy in recent months, particularly regarding its relationship to the unusual weather conditions that persisted in the winter of 2013/2014. I will discuss various aspects of this linkage, what we know and don't know, and present new related research. Refreshments will be served in CP 173 at 3PM