Monday, August 05, 2019

Global Heating & Colder Winters

Over recent winters many locations across North America have experienced record breaking cold weather. Some people believe that cold weather in the winter disproves global heating,
The fact is, however, that extreme winters are in fact just another consequence of a warming planet. One Reason for this is the polar vortex.

EarthTime's Polar Vortex interactive story helps to visualize how global warming can lead to more extreme winters. A polar vortex is the air and wind streaming around the Earth's poles. This air is colder than the warm air streaming around the mid-latitudes. However if the air in the polar vortex becomes warmer it can take wild swings bringing cold air south. The  'warmer' air of a polar vortex is obviously still colder that the air in mid-latitude regions and the result of a polar vortex moving south is colder temperatures in places such as North America.

The EarthTime Polar Vortex map visualizes some recent examples of when a polar vortex has caused a mass of cold air to move south from the North Pole into Canada and the United States, bringing Arctic temperatures with it. For example, in January 2014 a polar vortex caused a cold winter in much of North America, and record-low temperatures that extended well into March.

No comments: