It’s So Cold Out! Where’s the Global Warming?!

Xkcd cold weather global warming’In what is now an annual tradition, when the temperatures in some part of the US plunge below zero degrees on the Fahrenheit scale, some nitwit Republican climate change-denier live-tweets from the back pocket of industry something like “It’s so cold out where’s the global warming when we need it???? #OwnTheLibs”. This time around, it was our very own Shitwhistle-in-Chief who tweeted merrily about the current polar vortex bearing down on the Midwest…’

Via kottke

As the article tells it, there are two major factors in the relationship between climate change and severe cold snaps. The first is perception. Quite simply, as it warms up, cold snaps that used to be more typical now seem more memorably extreme. The second reason is a more meteorological one. Global warming is causing a warming in polar latitudes that diminishes the temperature gradient between the poles and the middle latitudes. As a result, the jet stream is weakened and slowed. It thus takes a more meandering course and, in so doing, splits the stratospheric polar vortex into eddying swirls, some of which wander southward and bring their cold air to lower latitudes.