Global Warming and the Polar Vortex

global warming

With the polar vortex seemingly coming to an end, the question of whether global warming is still present in minds across the United States. The frigid weather this winter makes it hard to believe that man-made climate increases are still occurring. The faux phenomenon is in fact that, and global warming is still occurring today.

The country did incur a polar vortex, the problem with the view of many persons in regards to this occurrence is the belief that this weather event represents the climate today as a whole. The singular regional weather do not show the overall weather pattern, and if anything show support for the presences of global warming.

The term polar vortex is not a new expression. It is used to describe when pockets of cold air, or chilly winds, sit and swirl over the North and South poles. The collection of cold air causes an increase in the difference in degrees between the poles and the Equator. This change leads to an intensification of the cold winds and the jet stream. These jet stream winds act like a wall and isolate the polar regions, working to keep the warmer air out. This cold air ‘bully system’ is what causes the counter-clockwise air movement over the Arctic and leads to the freezing temperatures felt in America from mid-line to the East coast.

When looking at acute weather events it is important to keep in mind that the weather in the U.S does not reflect global weather patterns. The United States makes up less then two percent of the Earth’s surface, and even portions of that two percent were not unusually cold. California had hotter and drier conditions then the state annual average. Alaska also experienced a warmer then normal year. Australia experienced record breaking warm temperatures as well. So while certain parts of America may be getting piles of snow and feeling that Jack Frost has killed sunshine and burned all of the flip flops, it is not in fact true; it is a matter of perspective.

While scientist and meteorologist are able to explain the weather occurrences, one event this year even has them perplexed. This event is the world air and ocean temperatures continuing to increase over time. Antarctica, and the Southern Ocean surrounding it, now have the largest amount of sea ice measured since the 1970s. The thickest portions of the ice are however still showing signs of melting, so while larger surfaces of ice are seen, it does still seem to be melting.

The rate of ice melting is a direct result of the global increase in temperature. The rise is reported to be occurring at a rate of 0.05°C per decade. This sounds like a small number, but over time it does add up and leads to changes that are being seen all over the world. An important point to keep in mind is that while warming is occurring, and an average is seen for Earth as a whole, the rate of rise varies on location. This would help in explaining the polar vortex in some parts of the U.S, while other portions of American and the world still seem to reflect the idea most people have of global warming.

Source:
The Weather Channel
TIME
Rutgers

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