Weather forecast is not encouraging for the U.S. and the severe snowfall is a natural consequence of the ‘polar vortex’ which has been terrorizing the country for the past two weeks. The Arctic’s cold air has moved to the eastern and northern parts of the U.S. and even if authorities cannot do anything to prevent the polar vortex from freezing the country, scientists have finally explained the phenomenon.
Meteorologists call this weather in many ways: bombogenesis, polar vortex, severe snowfall but the answer to the forecast which has determined the White House to cancel its press briefing and one of Barack Obama’s commission’s meeting is simple: climate change. It seems that old sayings like “it’s too cold to snow” come true these days, because scientists have finally explained the reason why the U.S. is paralyzed by a polar vortex which usually belongs to the Arctic.
In short, what happened is that the climate change caused the sea ice to vanish from the Arctic, leaving the ocean water open to heat. By absorbing the sun rays, the Arctic is now warming almost twice the global average, a phenomenon which derives from the melting of the ice caps. Therefore, the generally warm weather in the U.S. intersected with the frigid temperatures coming from the Arctic and created the polar vortex or bombogenesis, which also refers to the junction between the U.S.’s weather and the cold air.
In total, over 3,800 flights have been cancelled all over the U.S.; some in the aftermath of the storms and others because of the weather forecast which announces another round of severe snowfalls. New York faced gridlock on highways and a simple drive in the city quadrupled its normal duration. Washington shut down city schools and offices and in New England roofs yielded because of the severe snowfall amounts.
January 2014 resembles February 2010 and its ‘Snowmageddon’ which hit the U.S. for the first time in over a century and meteorologists alert the population to stay inside and delay or cancel any travelling plans they might have. Scientific voices emphasize the fact that February 2010 is upon the U.S. again because of the climate change,an environmental problem that authorities around the world have been delaying. Recent analysis shows that as temperatures rise, more severe snowfalls should be expected in the upcoming period.
Weather forecast still discourages people because of severe snowfall that continues to force the U.S. to surrender, but the phenomenon has been finally explained. People like Professor Stephen Henry Schneider who taught Global Change at Stanford University and advised federal agencies and White House staff in administrations from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama saw global warming coming and tried to spread the news by militating against greenhouse gas emissions.
Weather forecast may bring another round of severe snowfalls, but scientists are optimistic about the fact that the phenomenon has been finally explained. The cause of these abnormalities like an Arctic cold air in the middle of a warm climate can be clarified in only two words, namely climate change. In the U.S., wind chills will continue to make the weather feel as cold as -15F (-26C) and the polar vortex has not spared the country just yet.
By Gabriela Motroc