Arctic storms could worsen due to climate change, putting fisheries, oil and gas exploration, and sea lanes at risk, warn researchers writing in the journal Climate Dynamics.
“Large increases in the potential for extreme weather events were found along the entire southern rim of the Arctic Ocean, including the Barents, Bering and Beaufort Seas,” write British and Norwegian scientists, Erik W. Kolstad and Thomas J. Bracegirdle.
The disappearance of ice in the Arctic, which leads to greater expanses of open ocean, is expected to promote the formation of stronger storms.
“The bad news is that as the sea ice retreats you open up a lot of new areas to this kind of extreme weather,” Kolstad, a researcher at the Bjerknes Center for Climate Change in Norway, told Reuters.
Industries emerging in the region — including oil, gas, and mineral exploration; shipping; and commercial fishing &8212; would be at risk from the storms. Coastal areas could also face increased erosion.
Alister Doyle. Arctic storms seen worsening; threat to oil, ships. Reuters Feb 4, 2009