This winter in the UK has been relatively mild so far. Ok so the last few days have been icy and fieldwork on the coast was bitter over the weekend, but compared to previous winters this one has been tame. Well new model studies suggest that the increasing frequency of cold winters is due to global warming. How does a winter get colder when the planet is warming? Well it is all down to the melting of Artic sea-ice (caused by global warming) creating blocking anticlonic circulation that forces cold Arctic air into the mid-latitudes of Europe and Asia. Brrr.
Over the past decade, severe winters occurred frequently in mid-latitude Eurasia, despite increasing global- and annual-mean surface air temperatures. Observations suggest that these cold Eurasian winters could have been instigated by Arctic sea-ice decline, through excitation of circulation anomalies similar to the Arctic Oscillation.