Blaming a wiggly jet stream on local weather change? Not so quick



Enlarge / The climate map on February 15. (credit score: NASA EO)
Some songs are earworms—catchy whether or not you want them or not. (I gained’t infect the remainder of your day with an instance.) Some explanations in science appear to be the earworm equal: inherently intuitive, making them stick readily within the thoughts. That’s clearly the case for the speculation {that a} warming Arctic results in a wigglier jet stream, producing climate extremes within the mid-latitudes just like the latest epic chilly snap within the central US.
The chilly arrived after the spinning “polar vortex” within the higher environment above the Arctic was disturbed in January, unleashing its contents southward because the jet stream detoured from its standard commute. May this habits really be a consequence of world warming? The suggestion has appeared in information articles and Twitter threads throughout the land. However the thought is stickier than the science says it needs to be.
Jet setting
Though the specifics differ, the overall thought relies on the truth that the Arctic is warming quicker than the mid-latitudes. Consequently, the temperature distinction between them is getting somewhat smaller. The jet stream kinds on the boundary between the Arctic and mid-latitude air, so a smaller temperature distinction would weaken the jet stream. And a weaker jet stream is extra susceptible to nice, wiggling meanders that may carry you chilly air from the north or heat air from the south.Learn 7 remaining paragraphs | Feedback



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