SOURCE: Washington Post

DATE: July 10, 2017

SNIP: As if melting glaciers, thawing permafrost and starving polar bears weren’t enough, scientists are finding that the effects of climate change in the Arctic are even more complex — and far-reaching — than we thought. New research suggests that warm spells at the top of the world can, surprisingly, cause unusually cold weather in parts of North America — and that could be hurting plants, damaging agriculture and even affecting the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into our atmosphere.

Plus, it further reinforces a controversial but persistent theory suggesting that the fast-warming of the Arctic could be causing weather extremes in the heavily populated mid-latitudes as well.

The new study, just out Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience by a team of researchers from South Korea, China and the United States, finds that warmer-than-usual springtime temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are followed by colder-than-usual temperatures across much of North America, as well as a reduction in precipitation in some parts of the southern United States. And these conditions are also associated with a reduction in plant growth and development, in some cases even leading to reduced crop yields.