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How Global Warming Influences Extreme Cold Weather Conditions

March 26, 2020


The earth is warming up and yet we are experiencing cold snaps in various parts of the globe. How is that possible??? Since the 20th century, and most notably, since the late 1970s the globe has experienced an upward temperature trend that directly corresponds to the quantity of carbon dioxide, that has been observed in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel emissions since the industrial revolution. This increase in the average global temperature is what we call global war- -ming. The warmer atmosphere brought about by global warming, triggers a shift in the normal climate patterns by leading to phenomenon such as sea level rise, melting glaciers and ice sheets and extreme weather events. This shift in the normal climate patterns is called… Climate Change. And since this shift is brought about by Global Warming, which is primarily induced by human activities (such as burning of fossil fuel, modern agriculture and deforestation), it has been termed Anthropogenic Climate Change by Climate Scientist Anthropogenic here meaning “Human Induced.” It is quite easy to understand how a warming earth can lead to sea level rise. Of course, when temperature rises ice would melt and thermal expansion of water would occur. Therefore, a combination of melting polar ice and thermal expansion of sea water would lead to a rise in sea level. Global Warming has been said to influence extreme weather events like drought, flooding, storms, heat waves.. and cold snaps. Global warming doesn’t create these new weather events, but rather increases the risk we face by making our drought stronger, our heat waves more frequent and increasing the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, therefore when storms sweeps through, which they normally would, they would have more water to pick up and dump on us as rain, thereby leading to flooding. In drought prone areas, faster evaporation would occur due to increased temperature, thereby drying out their soils, lakes and reservoirs, which would lead to stronger and long-lasting drought, when it finally occurs. So, how exactly does Global warming influence extreme cold weather conditions. As the earth is warming up, the Arctic is warming so much faster than the mid-latitude. Why???? As the arctic warms…….. the polar ice sheet melts, leaving dark open water in its place. This dark water absorbs more of the sun’s heat, making the Arctic warm even faster. This leads to the narrowing of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the mid-latitude. The temperature difference between the Arctic and the mid-latitude is very important because it drives the Jet streams. The Jet streams are a narrow band of strong winds high up in the atmosphere, that often pushes our weather systems along. As the temperature difference decreases Scientist suspects that the Jet streams begins to slow down and meander. A slower Jet stream makes our weather system less predictable. With wavier Jet stream, there is also concerns that the Polar vortex can be pulled further south during winter The Polar Vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air over the earth’s north and south poles. When the Jet stream weakens, it becomes wavier allowing cold air to dip southwards in some places while warmer air pushes northward in other places This can explain why, cold snaps can be experienced in North America and Europe, while Austrailia would be experiencing extreme heat waves. I know some of us may get confused in the use of languages such as Jet stream, temperature gradient and polar vortex So, this is why I have brought this illustration done by Dr Thomas Culhane on how warming can actually lead to cold ……………..I hope we now all understand the mechanism behind global warming leadiing to extreme cold weather. Thanks for watching my channel and please do subscribe. Byeeee and see you in my next video.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Yaddel Ezeribe March 14, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    very informative. keep up the good work 🙂

  • Reply Rarosue Amaraibi. March 14, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Sorry, if the sound is not loud enough, please use turn on subtitles"

  • Reply Nwabueze Emmanuel January 21, 2020 at 7:46 am

    My kind of woman… Trump needs to get lectured by this brilliant lady…

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