A man works in a frozen river in Taiyuan, Shanxi province

The year 2012 was unusually cold in China, which may be a result of the record loss of Arctic sea ice. "Observation and data analysis showed that Arctic sea ice loss may cause cold and snowy winters in parts of Asia," Chen Yu, senior engineer of the National Climate Center in China states.

The Arctic sea ice saw it record low extent on September 16th 2012.

The China Daily reports and Chen explains that when sea ice melts in the Arctic, the water temperature increases. When that happens, the air becomes moister and is more likely to form cold fronts.

According to the China Meteorological Administration, in December most of China suffered colder weather than usual. On Dec 24, frequent cold fronts led to temperatures in 21 monitoring stations hitting record lows.

And the cold weather continued and the weather has been cold since late December.

Kang Zhiming, weather forecaster of the National Meteorological Center, said weather models showed the temperature will not rise until late January.

"The weather authorities will keep a close eye on any changes in the weather, especially before Spring Festival, in order to give timely information to transport and related departments, particularly in the event of extreme weather," Kang said.

China has a research station in Ny Alesund, on Svalbard, and among other projects is monitoring weather and sea ice from the station.


China Daily