The rapid melting of Arctic sea ice has already been linked to warmer ocean temperatures and higher sea levels, and new research shows it could reduce rainfall in California, worsening future droughts in the state, NBC News reported.
By the middle of the century, California's 20-year median for rainfall is projected to drop by 10 to 15 percent due to the loss of ice in the Arctic and warming temperatures there, according to a study released Tuesday by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
It ties together an early proposed link between Arctic climate and California drought with the conventional wisdom from the time, which instead connected the state's prolonged dry spells to atmospheric changes in the subtropics.
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The computer simulation behind the study didn't judge whether the Arctic had a role in the recent drought, which was California's worst on record.