The extreme cold temperatures that are being recorded across much of North America are attributable to stratospheric warming which is pushing the polar vortex southward. While the Climate skeptics, love to use cold weather to question the veracity of global warming, it should come as no surprise that they are confused.
Just as one extreme weather event does not prove global warming, a cold snap does not disprove it. Further, there is evidence that this extreme cold may actually be a corollary of climate change.
Despite the cold snap, there is a clear global warming trend. There is also an unmistakable trajectory of warmer winters in North America over the last century which has gotten worse over the last couple of decades.
While the evidence of warming lends credence to the scientific consensus on climate change, occasional cold spells may also support global warming.
The polar vortex is bringing the extreme cold weather to much of North America. A polar vortex is a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles. Slower wind speeds can cause this cold air to spill southward which may have been triggered by a sudden stratospheric warming event.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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