9:45 AM, March 28, 2013
Every Thursday, MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner joins The Daily Circuit to talk about the latest research on our changing climate and the consequences we’re seeing here in Minnesota and worldwide. (MPR Illustration)
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- How a persistent winter could have its roots in global warming (program audio)
If it seems difficult to imagine how a warming climate can contribute to a cold, persistent winter like the one we’ve been experiencing, consider this: The rapid disappearance of sea ice and the overall warming of the Arctic tend to push the jet stream farther south. In turn, the jet stream tends to make weather patterns stay put.
Jennifer Francis, research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science, is quoted in The Guardian as saying that the loss of Arctic ice “is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes … It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. The pattern can be slow to change because the [southern] wave of the jet stream is getting bigger. It’s now at a near record position, so whatever weather you have now is going to stick around.” (read more).