Pat Shingleton for April 4, 2013

Research professor Jennifer Francis from the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science has offered another alarming example of global warming that has contributed to cold persistent winters. Her research team believes the loss of Arctic ice affects the jet stream and pushes it farther south, creating an avenue for Arctic air to follow. She contends that the melting ice occurs from the warming pattern and exposes the ocean to sunlight that previously had been reflected into space. The Guardian reports that the maximum ice this season was the sixth-lowest accumulation on record. Scientists believe that in the past 30 years, the extent of Arctic sea ice has been cut in half. Analysis says loss of sea ice acts as an accelerator to the warming pattern due to greenhouse gases. Fastcast: Overcast.