Future of the Environment

How Arctic warming could be the cause of extreme cold-weather events 

Could we expect more of this? Image: REUTERS/Gabriele Forzano

Judah Cohen

Climate scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Mathew Barlow

Professor of Climate Science, University of Massachusetts Lowell


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Future of the Environment

Surface temperatures on Feb. 15, 2021, at 6 a.m. in Texas. The black lines show the jet stream, and the white line indicates the extent of freezing temperatures. Image: Mathew Barlow/University of Massachusetts Lowel

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Two circulation patterns of the stratospheric polar vortex: strong (left) and stretched (right). Image: Mathew Barlow, University of Massachusetts Lowell
A schematic shows wave activity reflecting off the stretched stratospheric polar vortex. Image: Mathew Barlow, University of Massachusetts Lowell

A timeline shows the pathway from Arctic climate change to cold temperatures in North America. Red and blue in the third panel indicate differences from average conditions. Image: Mathew Barlow/University of Massachusetts Lowell

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Related topics:

Future of the EnvironmentClimate ChangeArctic


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