The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Arctic Warming Amplifies Extreme Weather Events Globally: Wildfires, Flooding Likely to Be More Severe
Warming in the Arctic is causing the jet stream, a belt of air held "up" around the Arctic by the temperature difference between the Arctic and warmer climates, to weaken and slow.
This is resulting in "stuck" weather patterns, according to a new review paper published in Nature Communications Monday. What would normally be a short-term heat wave, for example, is sticking around for considerably longer, exacerbating extreme weather events that remain in place for longer than normal.
While winter weather patterns have been the focus of many studies, the new research finds plenty of evidence for this weather stalling during the summer, when heat waves are particularly dangerous.
As reported by Earth.com:
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is a co-author of the second study and the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).
"Giant airstreams encircle our globe in the upper troposphere—we call them planetary waves," said Schellnhuber. "Now evidence is mounting that humanity is messing with these enormous winds. Fueled by human-made greenhouse-gas emissions, global warming is probably distorting the natural patterns."
The waves usually travel eastward between the Equator and the North Pole.
"Yet when they get trapped due to a subtle resonance mechanism, they slow down so the weather in a given region gets stuck. Rains can grow into floods, sunny days into heat waves, and tinder-dry conditions into wildfires," said Schellnhuber.
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Sydney Swanson
With April hopping along and Easter just around the corner, it's time for dyeing eggs (and inadvertently, dyeing hands.) It's easy to grab an egg-dyeing kit at the local supermarket or drug store, but those dye ingredients are not pretty.
By Sierra Searcy
This week, progressive Democrats and youth advocates are launching a nationwide tour to win support for the Green New Deal. Though popular, the ambitious plan to tackle climate change has struggled to earn the endorsement of centrist Democrats in Rust Belt states like Michigan, the second stop on the tour.
It's heartening, in the midst of the human-caused sixth mass extinction, to find good wildlife recovery news. As plant and animal species disappear faster than they have for millions of years, Russia's Siberian, or Amur, tigers are making a comeback. After falling to a low of just a few dozen in the mid-20th century, the tigers now number around 500, with close to 100 cubs — thanks to conservation measures that include habitat restoration and an illegal hunting crackdown.