The climate crisis and a warming Arctic lead to an increasingly widespread eruption of cold air from the polar vortex. The polar vortex is a region of low pressure that – in the case of the North Pole – rotates counterclockwise over the North Pole that normally keeps cold air in place. But the warmer air weakens the polar vortex, which means it can take on a more elongated shape and move south.
In the past 40 years, the phenomenon has more than doubled, says study lead author Judah Cohen, at Atmospheric Environment Research.
It’s a paradox that a warming Arctic could lead to extreme cold as far away as Texas, but the lesson to be learned from our analysis is to expect the unexpected when it comes to climate change, he says.
Hundreds died in Texas in the freezing cold
It was particularly cold and unusual in Texas in February, when more than 100 people died and the power grid collapsed, prompting researchers to take a closer look at the phenomenon. In the models developed by the research team, it was possible to see how the warming regions north of the British Isles and in Scandinavia are causing the polar vortex to expand to the east, which in turn causes cold air to move from Siberia through the Arctic. The region and the south in the central and eastern United States.
— The study takes a controversial hypothesis and makes it clearly at odds with accepted science, says climate researcher Jennifer Francis, who co-launched the idea, but was not involved in the study.
Eric Kelstrom, professor of climatology, is not impressed. He says the study is interesting, but he thinks the model used is too simplistic.
– I wouldn’t pull very large gears on connections without first looking at several studies and climate models. But the result suggests that there is something to this, he told TT.
This is how the climate changed in eight years
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