White House: The Polar Vortex Explained in 2 Minutes

by Becky Fried | January 08, 2014  | Release URL Here at the White House, while we’re beginning to thaw from this week’s bone-chilling deep freeze, our discussions about the science of weather extremes are heating up. We know that no single weather episode proves or disproves climate change. Climate refers to the patterns observed in the weather…

Yale: Climate, Jetstream and Polar Vortex


Blanket 24/7 media coverage of the short but frigid ‘Polar Vortex’ temperatures — climate change? global warming? — provides a cornucopia of material for this month’s ‘This is Not Cool’ video.

The Science of the Polar Vortex and Jet Stream

At least since around 2001 we have study papers connecting the polar vortex / jet stream behavior to anomalies, such as cold weather outbreaks or precipitation changes. The polar vortex phenomenon was described as early as 1853. In recent years studies linked changes in the cryosphere to the polar vortex. Feel free to suggest further study papers in the comments.…

Polar Vortex, Jet Stream and Climate Change

Current coverage of polar vortex intrusion. ‘Polar vortex’ could send wind chill to 65 below zero in Midwest More realtime coverage Carson Walker: Temperature records will likely be broken during the short, yet forceful deep freeze that will begin in many places on Sunday and extend into early next week. That’s thanks to a perfect…

Estimating northern polar CH4 flux

A compilation of related science with some commentary. Microbes in thawing permafrost: the unknown variable in the climate change equation David E Graham, Matthew D Wallenstein, Tatiana A Vishnivetskaya, Mark P Waldrop,Tommy J Phelps, Susan M Pfiffner, Tullis C Onstott, Lyle G Whyte, Elizaveta M Rivkina,David A Gilichinsky, Dwayne A Elias, Rachel Mackelprang, Nathan C…

Newly discovered Mesospheric Polar Clouds possible indicator of Global Warming

The Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) mission is the first satellite dedicated to the study of noctilucent clouds. Noctilucent clouds, sometimes called Polar Mesospheric Clouds, were first reported in 1885. Forming at altitudes above 50 miles, they are so faint that they can only be seen from the ground in the reflected light…

Does Freshwater Runoff in the Arctic change Ocean Circulation to Unlock Methane Hydrate in the Deep Ocean?

Recently freshwater intake into the Arctic Circle have changed ocean currents, in the following a collection of related science, and what if freshwater currents drive warmer water into the deep ocean and unlock methane hydrates? Mechanism have been identified recently. Arctic freshwater input into the North Pacific could serve as a catalyst for methane hydrate…

Stable Antarctic Permafrost Melting Faster than Expected

University of Texas: July 24, 2013 AUSTIN, Texas — For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a…

Does Sea Ice loss create the condition for an emerging permanent El Nino state?

Recently Doug asked: “…my question is, how far could this phenomenon go? What is the “end” state? Is it possible for example that we could find the jet stream staying in place for months at a time, years, decades? How wavy could this waviness become?” A main theme of Sea ice loss seems to be…

Arctic Amplification(Extreme Weather): Jennifer Francis June 6, 2013

This video is part of a Climate Desk event “Climate Desk Live 06/06/13: The Alarming Science Behind Climate Change’s Increasingly Wild Weather” featuring top climate researcher Jennifer Francis. Watch the full event (including Stu Ostro on atmospheric thickness) here . Event website http://climatedesk.org/2013/05/climat… For more detail on Francis’s research, see: Arctic Warming Favors Extreme, Prolonged Weather Events…

Exceptional 2012 Greenland Ice Melt Caused By Jet Stream Changes That May Be Driven By Global Warming

By Joe Romm / Climate Progress: New research finds that “unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012.” Prof. Jennifer Francis tells me these changes are consistent with those caused by warming-driven “Arctic Amplification.” And that means GrIS may melt faster than…

Cyclone Activity Has Been Intensified in the Arctic

Cyclones are key weather elements that make a major contribution to climate trends and variability, and that also bring intense high-frequency changes in wind, temperature and precipitation. Given the recent dramatic change of the Arctic climate, Arctic cyclone activity has attracted an increasing amount of attention. We investigated the Arctic cyclone activity in the context…

Arctic Amplification and Extreme Weather

The “Arctic Paradox” was coined during recent winters when speculations arose that the dramatic changes in the Arctic may be linked to severe snowstorms and cold temperatures in mid-latitudes, particularly along the U.S. east coast and in Europe. Recent studies have illuminated these linkages. Evidence is presented for a physical mechanism connecting Arctic Amplification —…

Lesson: Arctic Sea Ice Decline

Jennifer Francis, Rutgers University – assesses the broad topic of the Arctic Sea Ice Decline and explains seasonal impacts. Observations, especially since the 1950’s, explain how the “Arctic Amplification” leads to rapid sea ice changes during the summer month. Much more ridging in North America during the winter. And this affects weather patterns, because a…

Central West Antarctica among the most rapidly warming regions on Earth

There is clear evidence that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is contributing to sea-level rise. In contrast, West Antarctic temperature changes in recent decades remain uncertain. West Antarctica has probably warmed since the 1950s, but there is disagreement regarding the magnitude, seasonality and spatial extent of this warming. This is primarily because long-term near-surface temperature…