Global Warming Causes Cold Weather?
I read an article from National Geographic that said that the melting of arctic sea (as a result of global warming) could lead to extreme weather. This weather could include increased heat waves, more severe storms, draughts, and cold spells. I found a quote from the article where the writer is interviewing Jennifer Frances, explaining this idea further:
“Arctic sea ice reduction can both raise temperatures in the northern hemisphere and influence the “meander,” or flow, of atmospheric jet streams, which are like rivers of air that circulate the globe. Already, said Francis, the Arctic melt has meant that “these meanders in the jet stream are both getting larger and moving more slowly.” Since jet streams generate and steer storms, she added, their slowing meander can prolong fall and winter weather patterns across the entire Northern Hemisphere.” Many extreme weather events are associated with weather patterns that are stuck or moving very slowly … including droughts, cold spells, heat waves[.]”
The fact that global warming and melting ice could lead to meanders was understandable, but when the article mentioned cold spells I became very confused. The more I considered this, the more I wondered, how could melting ice and global warming, two things that add heat to the earth, cause cold spells, or more rain? This discovery lead me to a similar thought I had back in 2010-2011.
Where I live, we do not get much snow. Maybe a thin layer, not even a full inch some years, but never much more. I had never seen a real snow before the “snowcation” of 2010-2011. We had just come back from winter break, maybe two or three weeks back into school. Everyone talked about how it might snow, and we all became all super excited. On a Sunday night, around 10pm, it started to snow. This snow was much heavier, thicker, and longer than any of the others I had seen. The ground quickly became covered with a fairly thick layer of snow, or so I thought even though it was probably only about 4 inches. Schools all over the area cancelled classes for a whole week because the temperatures never rose high enough to melt the snow, which had turned to ice overnight. No one could drive on the slippery ice either. The next weekend I saw an article on the news about global warming, and started talking to my dad. I said that I did not see how global warming could happen if we just had a huge snow.
After reading this article, I have been able to connect my string of thoughts; now I understand what is going on. I see now that our “snowcation” was, possibly, an effect of global warming. Another example of this is the huge storm in 2009-2010 that lead to a devastating, city wide flood that I believe spread state also state wide. Even earlier, a major draught caused new regulations on water. Now I realize that all this time global warming has hidden in plain sight. While I thought these weather patterns lead towards no global warming, possibly even global cooling, these weather patterns actually showed that global warming is happening. Our planet needs saving before anything more catastrophic can happen. Global warming has hidden in plain sight the whole time, but I have not been able to see it. I hope that the rest of the world, especially the leaders of our society, are more observant because our world is changing at this very moment, whether we are aware of it or not.