Stratospheric Warming Tied To Greenland High, Shoveling Arctic Cold into US

As the Arctic warms and its ice disappears, more extreme atmospheric conditions are occurring, which are already causing more extreme weather in the US.  From the beginning of 2013, Neven Acropolis reports at Climate Progress, two Sudden Stratospheric Warming events occurred, the latest of which led to the unusually early collapse of the Polar Vortex, polar winds that keep polar air in polar regions. This latest warming is also tied to an unusually strong high pressure area over Greenland, a blocking pattern that acts like an atmospheric stop sign for weather systems, says Andrew Freedman at Climate Central, allowing them to gather strength and tap into Arctic cold.  This is resulting in extremely cold blizzards in the US. Freedman notes that, “Blocking patterns are often associated with extreme weather events, from heat waves like the one that occurred last March, to historic cold air outbreaks and blizzards.” And adds that several recent studies indicate climate change could be contributing to strong blocking patterns.  Meanwhile, Acropolis notes, the current pattern of Arctic ice fracturing is very extensive and occurring earlier than expected, conditions that could accelerate Arctic summer melt further.

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Source Ice Breaking News: This Is Your 2013 Arctic Freezing Season On Crack   See also:


About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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One Response to Stratospheric Warming Tied To Greenland High, Shoveling Arctic Cold into US

  1. R. Gates says:

    Hi Mel,

    Just wanted to comment here about SSW events and Neven’s site. I’ll be doing a guest post on his blog next Monday that will detail some interesting new information on these major reorganizations of the winter atmosphere. While the Greenland high pressure and block has some synergistic effects associated to SSW’s, the actual cause of these very interesting stratopheric events starts far away on the other side of the Earth and at much lower latitudes. Stop by Neven’s next Monday and find out more.

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