Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.
I want a ship that will let me travel between parallel universes. I want to find a parallel Earth where humans did not evolve and the plant is colder and covered with massive forests. Then I could travel to this parallel Earth to see species which humans have driven to extinction. I would build a facility to comfortably live thru severe winters and bring in scientists to compare this colder Earth with our own.
Our own future will be warmer and less extreme.
Scientists at ETH Zurich and at the California Institute of Technology, led by Tapio Schneider, professor of climate dynamics at ETH Zurich, have come to a different conclusion. They used climate simulations and theoretical arguments to show that in most places, the range of temperature fluctuations will decrease as the climate warms. So not only will cold snaps become rarer simply because the climate is warming. Additionally, their frequency will be reduced because fluctuations about the warming mean temperature also become smaller, the scientists wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate.
The study's point of departure was that higher latitudes are indeed warming faster than lower ones, which means that the temperature difference between the equator and the poles is decreasing. Imagine for a moment that this temperature difference no longer exists. This would mean that air masses would have the same temperature, regardless of whether they flow from the south or north. In theory there would no longer be any temperature variability. Such an extreme scenario will not occur, but it illustrates the scientists' theoretical approach.
While the US east coast just had a really cold winter a much less mentioned opposite condition happened in the US west: a far milder and warmer winter. The warmer west is not getting the same attention as the colder east. This creates a false impression about trends in winter weather.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2015 May 02 10:27 AM|