Study: Melting Arctic Ice Could Push California Storms North, Creating Drought

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A study published in Nature Communications says that as the climate warms and sea ice in the Arctic melts, that could impact the climate of California making it drier.

Dr. Ivana Cvijanovic with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ran a climate model that melted most of the sea ice in the Arctic, which is projected over the next few decades.

The melting of the ice leads to warmer ocean temperatures, which can lead to a change in atmospheric pressure patterns.

In the model, this parked a high-pressure system over the Pacific. With a high-pressure system in this location, it leads to the upper-level jet to be pushed to the north. This pushes storm systems and our rain and north through Canada as opposed to California which could lead to more drought across the state.

Over a 20-year period, it reduced precipitation by 15 percent. It is important to note that ice melt is just one of many variables when it comes to impacts from climate change. With more research in the future, this study will help scientists better understand the impacts of climate change.

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