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Global climate change

North Pacific storms becoming more severe

By Brett Anderson, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
8/24/2017, 2:41:09 PM

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Winter storm activity in Alaska and northwest British Columbia is unprecedented in magnitude and duration over the past millennium, according to new research from Dartmouth College.

The researchers analyzed sea salt sodium levels in mountain ice cores and determined that warming sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have strengthened the Aleutian low pressure system that drives storm activity in the North Pacific, according to the Dartmouth News.

The team concluded that the current period of storm intensification began in 1741.

"It is more stormy in Alaska now than at any time in the last 1200 years, and that is driven by tropical ocean warming," said Erich Osterberg, an assistant professor of earth sciences at Dartmouth College.

The ice cores, which measured over 600 feet long, were drilled back in 2013 and provide a glimpse of over 1,000 years of climate history in the North Pacific through sea salt blown into the atmosphere by winter ocean storms.

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This study was published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal

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The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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Global climate change