Most of the Arctic states have already welcomed spring. Majority of them, have only seen it on the calendar as temperatures have been staying on the negative side of a meter. Why hasn´t a spring truly arrived yet?
Climatologists blame an unprecedented melting of Arctic sea ice. According to their research it is the reason for this year's extraordinary cold spring weather in northern Europe and North America.
A massive high pressure has been stable over major parts of the northern hemisphere weeks longer than normal, while the traditional warm winds from the Atlantic Sea have been absent. The consequence has been temperatures far below the seasonal average.
The reason for the trend is the powerful warming and subsequent ice melting in the Arctic, researchers believe.
While northern Europe this spring has experienced cold and dry weather, North America has had low temperatures and late snow. Figures from the Norwegian Meteological Institute show that southern Norway in the period January-March had average temperatures between 2-4 degrees below normal. Northern Norway, meanwhile, had temperatures significantly above the average and snow and rain in abundance.
Data from National Snow and Ice Database suggest that the Arctic sea ice extent in March 2013 averaged 15.04 million square kilometers (5.81 million square miles). This is 710,000 kilometers (274,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent, and 610,000 square kilometers (236,000 square miles) above the record low for the month, which happened in 2006. Continuing a trend in recent winters, ice extent was near or below average levels throughout most of the Arctic, with the exception of higher extent in the Bering Sea.