Amplified Arctic Warming Causing Stratospheric Polar Vortex Stretching and Extreme Cold Outbreaks

Amplified Arctic Warming Causing Stratospheric Polar Vortex Stretching and Extreme Cold Outbreaks // Oct 19, 2021

Arctic warming is occurring at a rate that is between 4 and 5 times faster than global warming. Not twice as fast, as still incorrectly reported by most mainstream scientists who should know better, and parroted incorrectly by the media.

This warming in the North lowers the temperature gradient to the equator, causing the jet streams to slow and become wavier in the North-South direction. This in turn increases the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme weather events such as heat waves and droughts in some places, and torrential rains leading to floods in other regions. Also, weather extremes are occurring in regions where they did not before. I call this human experience of living in a world with this weather weirding, weather wilding, and weather whiplashing living in the climate casino.

Another effect that we are seeing is more cold weather outbreaks over North America, such as the February, 2021 cold, snowy, long duration freeze that crippled the entire Texas power grid.

Interestingly, but completely expected to me, and completely unexpectedly to most scientists and lay people and computer models, the Arctic Temperature Amplification (and thus climate system change) is the cause. Loss of Arctic Sea Ice, specifically in the Kara-Barents region of the Arctic, as well as abundant snowfall and snow cover in parts of Eurasia in the Fall season cause a stretching or elongation of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex (SPV) which opens a pathway in the atmosphere for cold air to spill out of the Arctic into places like Texas. Most studies on troposphere-stratosphere interactions up to now have focussed solely on Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events and subsequent consequences, but it turns out that SPV stretching was the most important factor in causing the $20+ billion dollar US cold outbreak in the USA in February, 2021.

Ref: Linking Arctic variability and change with extreme winter weather in the United States.


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About paulbeckwith

Well known climate science educator; Part-time Geography professor (climatology, oceanography, environmental issues), University of Ottawa. Physicist. Engineer. Master's Degree in Science in Laser Optics, Bachelors of Engineering, in Engineering Physics. Won Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario gold medal. Also interested in investment and start-ups in climate solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Avid chess player, and likes restoring old homes. Married with children.
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