Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Warming Wednesdays: why you are freezing your butt this winter

Just in case you run into Ted Cruz or Rush Limbaugh who think that current freezing temperatures in the central and east United States prove that the planet isn't warming, here's a video that explains why melting arctic ice leads to bitter cold weather. Meteorologists call what is happening "arctic amplification." The Jet Stream -- the motor of "the weather" -- both passes further north in its gyrations and also gets "stuck."

Brrr.

H/t Climate Progress.
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And then there's what happens under that freezing weather. Several years ago in a column on gay aging, I highlighted the story of a 93 year old man who froze, apparently as a lethal consequence of social isolation and cold temperatures. That's one predictable result of very cold winters: more lonely deaths. So, naturally, our politicians are cutting subsidies to poor people for heating costs through sequestration and the deficit slashing mania.

1 comment:

Rain Trueax said...

They should watch Day after Tomorrow. Yeah, it's happening faster in that film than scientists expect, but truly does show how this works and from what we can tell by geologic and biological evidence, has worked-- sometimes very quickly. The issue is whether this is a cycle or man-made and given the evidence regarding methane and CO2, we are facing something that might make a natural cycle into the end of human life. The fearful part is how it might at some point be irreversible. The naysayers might change their mind but it will be impossible to turn it around.

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