Cold spells are often used as fodder for climate Denial. However, the science behind them is entirely consistent with a warming planet. In this video Climate scientist Jennifer A. Francis of Rutgers University reviews how the jetstream and Rossby waves work. The key factor is a feedback mechanism of climate change known as Arctic amplification. As ice and snow vanish in the Arctic this causes warming slowing down wind speeds in the atmosphere and creating wavier jet stream patterns which pushes cold air further south.
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