May 08, 2013
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Weather patterns around the globe are getting weirder and weirder: heat waves and record snow storms in Spring, blasts of Arctic air followed by sudden summer, record deluges and then drought. Climate change due to fossil fuels emissions has risen the global temperature by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last century, impacting our climate and therefore our weather.
But recent research has shown how climate change may be having an additional impact on weather patterns, at least in the northern hemisphere. Rapid warming in the Arctic and sea ice melt may be weakening the jetstream, creating a more meandering, slower-moving jetstream. Such a shift brings unseasonable weather patterns (both hot and cold) to the northern hemisphere, and causes these weather patterns to last longer than usual.
A new video describes the mechanics of the shifting jetstream through a presentation by Jennifer Francis with the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University.
For more on this phenomenon: Extreme cold linked to climate change, say scientists