Mother Jones: Polar vortex on “drunken” excursion from Arctic home, such unorderly conduct thanks in part to overall warming of the Arctic according to research of Dr. Jennifer Francis. [Fact Checking]
POSTED FOR COMMENTARY BY THE CCNF SCIENTIST COMMUNITY:
1. From “Everything You Wanted To Know About The ‘Polar Vortex’,” by Emily Atkin, Jan. 6, 2014, ThinkProgress.org (original quote below from “Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk,” by Greg Laden, Jan. 5, 2014, ScienceBlogs.com):
“The Polar Vortex, a huge system of moving swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air, has shifted so it is not sitting right on the pole as it usually does,” Greg Laden writes. “We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon. We are seeing the usual cold polar air taking an excursion. So, this cold weather we are having does not disprove global warming.”
2. “Why the Arctic Is Drunk Right Now” by Chris Mooney, Jan. 6, 2014, MotherJones.com:
When it comes to the reason why the United States is currently experiencing life-threatening cold—with temperatures in the negative-20s in the Upper Midwest, and wind chills much lower than that—that’s actually not so far from the truth. “It’s basically the jet stream on a drunken path going around the Northern Hemisphere,” explains Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis. In other words, we’re experiencing record-breaking cold temperatures because a wavy and elongated jet stream has allowed frigid Arctic air to travel much farther south than usual.
And according to Francis’ research—which has drawn increasing attention in the past few years—we’re seeing more of just this kind of jet stream behavior, thanks, at least in part, to the rapid warming of the Arctic.