An increase in frequency of occurrence of extreme climate and weather events has ostensibly been observed across the Northern Hemisphere midlatitude continents, including adverse cold spells, severe heat waves, destructive floods, and persistent droughts. It is accordingly proposed that the Arctic changes and the midlatitude climate and weather would be linked. However, inconsistences and even controversies emerged among different studies, leading to strong debates and then challenging some of traditional atmospheric dynamics. Considering the importance of this topic in science and the potentially high impact of extreme events on the populated midlatitude regions, a series of workshops have been organized worldwide to try to better understand the problem. In particular, the US CLIVAR and the Aspen Climate Change Institute organized two international workshops this year to get together world’s leading scientists on the relevant topics. These workshops aim to synthesize the state of the knowledge, identify key questions and knowledge gaps, and recommend ways to move forward. This presentation will highlight central pieces of the workshops’ outcome and introduce the recommended efforts to converge the currently diversified research results.
Professor Xiangdong Zhang from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks has conducted integrative researches on northern high and mid latitude climate variability and changes, including atmospheric circulation dynamics, water and energy cycle, storm track dynamics, atmosphere-sea ice-ocean-hydrology interactions, and extreme climate, weather, and hydrology events. His research has been published at prestigious journals including Nature Climate Change, Nature Communications, and so on. He is now a co-chair of the U.S. CLIVAR Working Group of Arctic Change and Possible Influence on Midlatitude Climate and Weather, a co-lead of the task team of the international CliC-CLIVAR Northern Ocean Regional Panel on Advancing the Understanding of Climate Variability Due to Arctic–Midlatitude Linkages.