Hannah Grist, Joan Ballester, M. Femke de Jong, Helene R. Langehaug, Steffen M. Olsen & Didier Swingedouw
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, but is intricately connected to it through oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Improved observational networks quantifying these connections and subsequent climate model development are enhancing our ability to describe, model, and predict Arctic climate change and its impact on northern hemisphere weather and climate, including their extremes. These developments have made skilful predictions from a sub-seasonal to a decadal timescale possible. Decadal prediction lies in the middle between short to medium range weather forecasts and global-scale climate change projections, and allows predictions of time-evolving regional climate conditions. These predictions are very relevant to the time period that many communities need in order to plan for the near future and beyond, where adaptation is possible and understandable for a wide range of sectors and new opportunities can be explored.
Here, we talk about climate change in the Arctic, and the mechanisms by which it can influence the northern hemisphere weather and climate. We discuss how recent scientific work on understanding these mechanisms can increase predictive skill. We present case studies demonstrating the potential for these outputs to be translated into climate services across the region, providing specific and relevant information for businesses, communities and policy-makers on evolving future conditions and allowing dynamic adaptation. Finally, we look ahead to the next developments in this area, and discuss the scientific requirements for future progression.