Study: Climate change warping weather’s flow
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.”