One Of The Most Troubling Ideas About Climate Change Just Found New Evidence In Its Favor
The following is an excerpt from Chris Mooney | March 27, 2017 | Thewashingtonpost.com |
Ever since 2012, scientists have been debating a complex and frankly explosive idea about how a warming planet will alter our weather — one that, if it’s correct, would have profound implications across the Northern Hemisphere and especially in its middle latitudes, where hundreds of millions of people live.
The idea is that climate change doesn’t merely increase the overall likelihood of heat waves, say, or the volume of rainfall — it also changes the flow of weather itself. By altering massive planet-scale air patterns like the jet stream (pictured above), which flows in waves from west to east in the Northern Hemisphere, a warming planet causes our weather to become more stuck in place. This means that a given weather pattern, whatever it may be, may persist for longer, thus driving extreme droughts, heat waves, downpours and more.
This basic idea has sparked half a decade of criticism and debate, and at the cutting edge of research, scientists continue to grapple with it. And now, a new study once again reinforces one of its core aspects.
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