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
'Work Together' or 'Destroy it': Goldman Prize Winner Francia Márquez on World's Second Deadliest Country For Environmental Activists
In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.
By Stuart Braun
A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.
Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.
By Jessica Corbett
Pointing to the deaths of more than half a billion bees in Brazil over a period of just four months, beekeepers, experts and activists are raising concerns about the soaring number of new pesticides greenlighted for use by the Brazilian government since far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office in January — and the threat that it poses to pollinators, people and the planet.
By Elliott Negin
On July 19, President Trump hosted Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins and their families, along with the family of their deceased colleague Neil Armstrong, at a White House event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon.
- Cold-climate lizards that give live birth to their offspring are more likely to be driven to extinction than their egg-laying cousins as global temperatures continue to rise, new research suggests.