Monday, January 31, 2022

PBS Terra's 'Weathered' examines how the wandering jet stream is making extreme weather worse

For the final entry of January 2022, I'm returning to the topic of last year's The connections among climate change, the wobbling jet stream, and the polar vortex explained by PBS Terra and CBS News with PBS Terra's "Weathered" asking Is THIS the Real Reason Weather is Getting Wilder?

If you feel like the weather has been getting a lot weirder and wilder lately, you’re not alone. While it’s easy to blame climate change, we need to dive deeper. There has been a recent increase in polar vortex events, extreme heat waves like in the Pacific Northwest, and extreme rain like we saw after Hurricane Ida. Even fires in Siberia and drought hint at a new dust bowl. NOAA’s 2020 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disaster report showed a notable uptick in extremes. And 2021 was no exception, with 10.6% of all weather stations reporting record temperatures. And with the continued emission of carbon into the atmosphere, this should come as no real surprise.

But some new scientific research shows that there is a surprising thread that connects nearly all of these weather events. Tune in to learn why it feels like our weather is spiraling out of control and what we might have in store.
I begin my reaction by recycling what I wrote last year.
The story Maiya May told "about these surprising effects of climate change and their connection to the jet stream, the polar vortex, and a phenomenon known as 'arctic amplification'" is one I've told before in Polar vortex and difference between climate and weather explained, Vox explains how a warming Arctic can cause extreme weather, and The polar vortex returns, bringing near-record cold temperatures, so it's not news to me. Still, this blog has gained a lot of new readers in the last two years, so I think it's worth repeating, especially with the new examples and footage in the PBS Terra video.
Since then, I wrote The costs of loss and prevention from the Texas polar vortex blackout from Vox and Business Insider, Western drought likely worst in a millennium and may be the beginning of 'aridification', Detroit floods while the Pacific Northwest bakes in record temperatures along with two entries that depicted the effects of Hurricane Ida, Seth Meyers and James Corden team up for Climate Night and 2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation, all of which are among the examples of extreme weather related to climate change PBS Terra mentioned in this video. I'm adding I had an eventful three days and two nights because of a severe storm knocking out my power to the posts about extreme weather, although I place less blame on the weather and more on local energy infrastructure not being up to the challenge. That connects to John Oliver on the power grid for Cut Your Energy Costs Day, but that's a topic for another day.

This concludes January 2022's blogging. Stay tuned for Lunar New Year and Groundhog Day! to begin February.

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