Warming Arctic may be causing jet stream changes

By Scott Neuman, NPR

Mark Twain once said: “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait a few minutes.”

He was making an unknowing reference to the jet stream, which drives the weather over North America and Europe like a high-altitude conveyor belt. But increasingly, the jet stream is taking a more circuitous route over the northern latitudes, meaning weather systems hang around longer than they used to. And, a warming Arctic is probably to blame, says Jennifer Francis, a professor at Rutger’s University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences.

Francis — who says it’s too early to know if the well-established Arctic warming is caused by man or some natural phenomenon — was speaking during a session on Arctic change at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Saturday.

The wayward jet stream could account for the persistently severe winter weather this year in the U.S. and Britain, as well as California’s long drought.

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Comments (14)
  1. suspicious mind says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    Arctic ice is way up and this dude is talking about Arctic warming. I don’t get it but I’m sure he figured a contrived and convoluted way to his conclusions.

  2. Rick says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    Suspicious mind, not sure what you have been smokin’ (more likely reading propaganda from Fox and the Koch Brothers), but no, Arctic ice is shrinking.


    and before you claim ice in increasing in the Antarctic, you need to recognize there is a big difference between sea ice (which forms in the winter and melts completely in the summer) and land ice which was formed over thousands of years and is melting at an alarming rate.

    see below:

    Skeptic arguments that Antarctica is gaining ice frequently hinge on an error of omission, namely ignoring the difference between land ice and sea ice.

    In glaciology and particularly with respect to Antarctic ice, not all things are created equal. Let us consider the following differences. Antarctic land ice is the ice which has accumulated over thousands of years on the Antarctica landmass itself through snowfall. This land ice therefore is actually stored ocean water that once fell as precipitation. Sea ice in Antarctica is quite different as it is ice which forms in salt water primarily during the winter months. When land ice melts and flows into the oceans global sea levels rise on average; when sea ice melts sea levels do not change measurably.

    In Antarctica, sea ice grows quite extensively during winter but nearly completely melts away during the summer (Figure 1). That is where the important difference between Antarctic and Arctic sea ice exists as much of the Arctic’s sea ice lasts all the year round. During the winter months it increases and before decreasing during the summer months, but an ice cover does in fact remain in the North which includes quite a bit of ice from previous years (Figure 1). Essentially Arctic sea ice is more important for the earth’s energy balance because when it increasingly melts, more sunlight is absorbed by the oceans whereas Antarctic sea ice normally melts each summer leaving the earth’s energy balance largely unchanged.

    I suspect, facts simply get in the way of your narrative – but you continue to exhibit your ignorance as it relates to science.


  3. Garry Bowen says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    As even Bob Dylan said a while back: “You don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. . .”, but apparently some will have to have it explained away as a ‘RED NECK’ plot before they even begin to realize it’s not a ‘Red Neck,’ or ‘Left Wing’, issue. . .(although some comments might in fact be “Wing Nut”). . . it’s most of us who can’t read the symptoms well enough that can’t (won’t!) do something about it) . . .most of the 7, soon to be 9 – 000,000,000 of us. . .

  4. Marlene of Tahoe says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    Just like all the IPCC phake phizzicks, algore phollowers, and those that “believe” since Leonardo Di Capria says it’s so! Kerry was just in Indonesia touting GW in the midst of another massive volcanic eruption spewing tons into the atmosphere. Nothing to see here just move along. Can’t wait till they start blaming GW on earthquakes and Volcanos – but who will they tax????

    Weather “is” because that’s the Nature of the world.

    For those that keep trying to explain/blame each individual storm, hurrican, tornado, typhoon or gust of wind on one cause continues the madness of this distortion of fact and perpetuates the funding of the phoney scientists and institutes that create the phoney models, and predictions.
    Don’t forget that East Angila professors predicted in 2000, that seeing snow after the year 2010 would be a rarity!! This is the hocky stick crowd. There’s a real shovel full for everyone!!
    49 states have snow as of this week!! And guess what, “It’s Winter!!”

    Everyone wants a clean and respected planet – at least the non-power hungry population of the planet.
    unfortunately $$$$$ = power, power = control, control = abuse!!
    This equation has been around since the beginning of time.
    There are those in power that have contrived a scam and played on crisis to perpetuate the indoctrination to the uneducated. Dressed up the delivery system to the masses, jet about with entourages and the dance continues.

    Here’s little fact based info; http://www.drroyspencer.com/

    and of course the tin foil crowd will pick it apart!!

  5. A.B. says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    Another day, another Global Warming article advancing the narrative of sheer nonsense.

  6. [email protected] says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    In case anyone is interested in the SCIENCE,
    this article alleges to be based upon:

    From the NSIDC report
    (National Snow and Ice Data Center),
    February 5, 2014

    “While satellite observations have shown a decline in Arctic Ocean sea ice extent since the late 1970s, SEA ICE IS HIGHLY MOBILE, and a
    Observations of thickness (which allows calculation of volume) have been limited,
    The European Space Agency (ESA) CryoSat satellite was launched in October 2010 and
    has enabled ESTIMATES of sea ice thickness and volume for the last three years.

    “Preliminary measurements from CryoSat show that
    the volume of Arctic sea ice in autumn 2013 was about 50% HIGHER than in the autumn of 2012.
    In October 2013, CryoSat measured
    approximately 9,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 2,200 cubic miles) of sea ice
    compared to 6,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 1,400 cubic miles) in October 2012.
    About 90% of the increase in volume between the two years
    is due to the retention of thick, multiyear ice around Northern Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago.”

  7. A.B. says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    The only thing you need to know to verify that Global Warming is a scam is to look at who is behind it.

    The folks backing the Global Warming narrative are socialists. They want government solutions to everything, which means take money from you in the form of a tax and give it to someone else. The byproduct is more bureaucracy and control over people’s lives.

    Inside every liberal is a statist just screaming to get out.

  8. A.B. says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    How do we know that what is occurring at present isn’t the norm for climate?

  9. Observer says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    And you are an expert on arctic ice how?

  10. cosa pescado says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    “Arctic ice is way up and this dude is talking about Arctic warming. I don’t get it but I’m sure he figured a contrived and convoluted way to his conclusions.”

    Someone hasn’t done their homework.
    Define climate, use a number and a unit of time.

    “The only thing you need to know to verify that Global Warming is a scam is to look at who is behind it. ”
    So…. you can’t comment on the science, so you call people socialists and that is how to settle the discussion.
    Lets turn the tables. Look at the skeptics. They are really just denialists, because skepticism is an active pursuit. The ‘skeptics’ don’t seem to ever be able to define the most basic concept here. Climate. But that doesn’t stop them from commenting. They are either completely ignorant, or total frauds.

  11. cosa pescado says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    Another thing denialists do is cherry pick data.
    Take [email protected] for example. They copy and paste some text, don’t link to the source.
    Well here is the source.

    And they conveniently left out this part:
    ” However, this apparent recovery in ice volume ***should be considered in a long-term context****. It is estimated that in the early 1980s, October ice volume was around 20,000 cubic kilometers (approximately 4,800 cubic miles), meaning that ice volume in October 2013 still ***ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years****. CryoSat will continue to monitor sea ice through the current growth season, and the data will reveal the effect of this past autumn’s increase on ice volume at the end of winter.”

    That was easy.

  12. rock4tahoe says - Posted: February 18, 2014

    HEY AB! The Oil/Coal Industries have the MOST to loose if Humans start using less of their fossil fuels and all you want to do is blame the actual Scientist that actually study the planet? Please not that most of the Scientist you are bashing have families and friends on this Planet. I would pose to you that it is much more likely that the Oil/Coal Industries are conspiring.

  13. go figure says - Posted: February 19, 2014

    Ab stoopid is as stoopid does, and you cant fix stoopid

  14. cosa pescado says - Posted: February 23, 2014

    I disagree go figure, with the second part. And I am not being facetious. ‘Stoopid is as stoopid does’: That is a condition that can be changed.
    Education is important. Science is important. Our country has a major problem with scientific literacy. Not everyone needs to understand climatology, but everyone should be expected to discern good sources from bad ones and be aware of logical fallacies and tactics such as cherry picking data, and quoting experts out of context (which happened here).