Study: Cli­mate change warp­ing weather’s flow

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS - Wash­ing­ton Post

Ever since 2012, sci­en­tists have been de­bat­ing a com­plex and frankly ex­plo­sive idea about how a warm­ing planet will al­ter our weather — one that would have pro­found im­pli­ca­tions across the North­ern Hemi­sphere.

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, which flows in waves from west to east in the North­ern Hemi­sphere, a warm­ing planet causes our weather to be­come more stuck in place.

A new study in Nature Sci­en­tific Re­ports finds that at least in the spring and sum­mer, the large-scale flow of the at­mos­phere is in­deed chang­ing in such a way as to cause weather to get stuck more often.

The study, its au­thors write, “adds to the weight of ev­i­dence for a hu­man in­flu­ence on the oc­cur­rence of dev­as­tat­ing events such as the 2003 Euro­pean heat wave, the 2010 Pak­istan flood and Rus­sian heat wave, the 2011 Texas heat wave and re­cent floods in Europe.”

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