By Matt Owens April 28, 2014
Arctic air temperature data from the Danish Meteorological Institute shows that the warming trend continues to worsen as we head towards the summer of 2014. Click on the image above for a larger resolution.
The wave-form line in green represents the daily average temperature calculated by averaging temperature data from 1958 to 2002. Back in the 1960's the temperature used to regularly dip below that average line, but now it rarely ever does. Values below average are in blue and values above average are in red.
According to Jennifer Francis, the warming of the Arctic, especially the loss of sea ice - which when absent, allows heat to escape from the ocean water into the air overhead - is contributing to weather instability across the United States and Europe.
Her theory is however opposed by researchers who haven't studied the Arctic, but whose focus has been on the tropical oceans. These researchers say that the extra heat being absorbed by the waters in the tropics because of global warming is a much larger factor in extreme weather, and a bigger concern on its own.
One of those critical researchers, Kevin Trenbreth, has pointed out that the frequency, intensity, and duration of rainfall are all being effected by global warming, and that the changes have the potential to induce punishing droughts as well as floods.