Public Lecture: Weird weather and disappearing Arctic sea ice - are they connected?

Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University
February 26, 2013 - 7:00pm

Unprecedented snowfall in Alaska, the worst drought in two generations, the warmest March on record, “Frankenstorm”…have the weather gods gone mad? It’s not your imagination. Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity all across the northern hemisphere. Concurrently, Arctic sea ice is in accelerating decline, the entire surface of Greenland melted for the first time in at least 150 years, glaciers are disappearing around the world, and snow cover on Arctic land hit new record lows this spring. Are these rapid changes on top of the world linked to the rash of weird weather around the northern hemisphere? This presentation will discuss new research that points to climate change, in the Arctic, in particular, as a culprit in fueling the increase in extreme weather.

Jennifer Francis earned a BSc in Meteorology from San Jose State University in 1988 and a PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington in 1994. As a professor at Rutgers University since 1994, she has taught courses in satellite remote sensing and climate change issues, and also co-founded and co-directed the Rutgers Climate and Environmental Change Initiative. Presently, she is a Research Professor with the Rutgers Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. Her research focuses on Arctic climate change and Arctic-global climate linkages. From July 2009 - July 2010, her family of four spent a year sailing through Central America. She and her husband circumnavigated the world in a sailboat from 1980 - 1985, including Cape Horn and the Arctic, which is when she first became interested in Arctic weather and climate.