As the warming of Arctic region continues, studies have shown that the temperatures in the region have disturbed the circular pattern of winds, probably creating extreme weather events globally. The report was released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s journal Science.
According to The Guardian, scientists have long argued over the connection between the uptick in such severe winter events as powerful snowfalls and atypical cold snaps across the northern hemisphere, and accelerated Arctic warming, or Arctic amplification, one of the hallmarks of global warming.
The study points out that the changes in the Arctic region have generated disruption in a wind system called Stratospheric Polar Vortex (SPV). This has lead to extreme cold events and most probably caused cold wave in Texas in February 2021.
Judah Cohen, one of the paper’s authors said to The Guardian, “I know it’s very counterintuitive, and I think that’s why there’s a lot of resistance and hesitancy to our idea, right? Because how could make the Earth warmer lead to more extreme cold? But that’s what we’re arguing.”
According to Cohen this was the only paper that actually showed the connection between the cold wave and Arctic change, and demonstrated the physical mechanism surrounding all of this- the stretched polar vortex.
“When the polar vortex is nice and circular, that’s a sign all the cold air is bottled up over the Arctic. When it stretches like this, a piece of i goes into Asia and a piece of it goes towards eastern North America. So that’s what we’re seeing. And that was what happened with the Texas cold wave,” added Cohen.
The Conversation’s science newsletter states that in February 2021, in midst of warming of global temperatures, an exceptionally severe cold wave hit large parts of North America, from Canada to Northern Mexico. The impact huge, particularly in Texas which alone had more than 125 death associated with it. In the US, it was the coldest February in more than 30years.
The Indian Express reports that a reversal of polar vortex is known to bring warm winter temperatures in Southern Asia. Talking about its effects on India, Dr Cohen told The Indian Express that the polar vortex stretching events are associated with relatively cold temperatures in Central and East Asia but there are no strong signals no India.