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What's Causing This Extreme Winter Weather?

A new study suggests that rapid increases in temperature in the Arctic are causing the jet stream to change.

Screen grab of Twitter feed.
Screen grab of Twitter feed.
As much of the U.S. has endured a seemingly endless string of nasty winter storms, some scientists are suggesting that an altered jet stream pattern might be to blame.

Is this unusual or just a bad winter? One study suggests that climate change has altered the jet stream creating a situation where weather patterns are stagnating over the U.S. 
The study, according to Time, shows that the jet stream over Northern Europe and North America has shifted . The study found that as temperatures continue to rapidly rise in the arctic, the temperature difference between the Arctic and middle latitudes is diminishing – slowing the jet stream.

The BBC reported that as the jet stream slows, it has begun taking a longer, more meandering path. Consequently, weather patterns tend to become "stuck over areas" and cold weather is driven further south while warm weather is driven further north.

However, other scientists have disputed the notion that climate change is to blame for shifting the jet stream.

The Daily Mail quoted climate professor Mat Collins as saying "There is no evidence that global warming can cause the jet stream to get stuck in the way it has this winter. If this is due to climate change, it is outside our knowledge."

What do you think? Let us know your views in comments.



Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:35 PM
The United States and the Soviet Union are mounting large-scale investigations to determine why the Arctic climate is becoming more frigid, why parts of the Arctic sea ice have recently become ominously thicker and whether the extent of that ice cover contributes to the onset of ice ages. - New York Times - July 18, 1970 The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. -- Paul Ehrlich - The Population Bomb (1968) It is now pretty clearly agreed that the CO2 content [in the atmosphere] will rise 25% by 2000. This could increase the average temperature near the earth's surface by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This in turn could raise the level of the sea by 10 feet. Goodbye New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.- - Presidential advisor Daniel Moynihan 1969 By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half..." Life magazine, January 1970. By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate...that there won't be any more crude oil. You'll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill 'er up, buddy,' and he'll say, `I am very sorry, there isn't any.'" Kenneth Watt, Ecologist 1970 "Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support...the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution...by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half...." • Life Magazine, January 1970 If present trends continue, the world will be ... eleven degrees colder by the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age." Kenneth E.F. Watt, in "Earth Day," 1970. Get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters--the worst may be yet to come. That's the long-long-range weather forecast being given out by "climatologists." the people who study very long-term world weather trends.... Washington Post January 11, 1970 Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor "...the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born," Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970. In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish. -- Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:36 PM
Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years." • Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist 1970 "(By 1995) somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct." Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970. "Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions....By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine." • Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University 1970 Convection in the Antarctic Ice Sheet Leading to a Surge of the Ice Sheet and Possibly to a New Ice Age. - Science 1970 "In the next 50 years fine dust that humans discharge into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel will screen out so much of the sun's rays that the Earth's average temperature could fall by six degrees. Sustained emissions over five to 10 years, could be sufficient to trigger an ice age." - Washington Post - July 9, 1971 "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Paul Ehrlich 1971 New Ice Age Coming---It's Already Getting Colder. Some midsummer day, perhaps not too far in the future, a hard, killing frost will sweep down on the wheat fields of Saskatchewan, the Dakotas and the Russian steppes.....Los Angles Times Oct 24, 1971 Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000. - Los Angles Times - May 16, 1972
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:37 PM
"There is very important climatic change (Global Cooling) going on right now, and it's not merely something of academic interest. It is something that, if it continues, will affect the whole human occupation of the earth - like a billion people starving. The effects are already showing up in a rather drastic way." - Fortune Magazine February 1974 "Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age" - Time Magazine June 24, 1974 A number of climatologists, whose job it is to keep an eye on long-term weather changes, have lately been predicting deterioration of the benign climate to which we have grown accustomed....Various climatologists issued a statement that "the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade," If policy makers do not account for this oncoming doom, "mass deaths by starvation and probably in anarchy and violence" will result. New York Times - December 29, 1974 Regardless of long term trends, such as the return of an Ice Age, unsettled weather conditions now appear more likely than those of the abnormally favorable period which ended in 1972. - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society - October 10, 1975 A RECENT flurry of papers has provided further evidence for the belief that the Earth is cooling. There now seems little doubt that changes over the past few years are more than a minor statistical fluctuation - Nature - March 6, 1975 Scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. - The Cooling World Newsweek, April 28, 1975 "Scientist ponder why World's Climate is changing; a major cooling is considered to be inevitable - New York Times May 21, 1975 Telltale signs are everywhere -from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest. Since the 1940s the mean global temperature has dropped about 2.7° F." - Climatologist George J. Kukla of Columbia University in Time Magazine's June 24th, 1975 article Another Ice Age? This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000. -- Lowell Ponte "The Cooling", 1976 An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. - New York Times - January 5, 1978
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:39 PM
One of the questions that nags at climatologists asks when and how fast a new ice age might descend. A Belgian scientist suggests this could happen sooner and swifter than you might think. - Christian Science Monitor - Nov 14, 1979 Evidence has been presented and discussed to show a cooling trend over the Northern Hemisphere since around 1940, amounting to over 0.5°C, due primarily to cooling at mid- and high latitudes - Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society - November 1980 In 1982 Hermann Flohn gave the Arctic ice only 20 more years of life. He said it would be totally gone by 2002 "Within 15 years," said Goddard Space Flight Honcho James Hansen, "global temperatures will rise to a level which hasn't existed on earth for 100,000 years". Sandy Grady, "The Heat is On," -- The News and Courier, June 17th 1986 Average temperatures up nine degrees, sparse rainfall destroying crops, melting polar ice slicing beaches at such places as Atlantic City by 85 feet in 25 years, 2 million yearly cases of skin cancer." Sandy Grady, "The Heat is On," The News and Courier, June 17th 1986 A global warming trend could bring heat waves, dust-dry farmland and disease, the experts said... Under this scenario, the resort town of Ocean City, Md., will lose 39 feet of shoreline by 2000 and a total of 85 feet within the next 25 years - San Jose Mercury News - June 11, 1986 [In New York City by 2008] The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won't be there. The trees in the median strip will change. There will be more police cars. Why? Well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up... Under the greenhouse effect, extreme weather increases. Depending on where you are in terms of the hydrological cycle, you get more of whatever you're prone to get. New York can get droughts, the droughts can get more severe and you'll have signs in restaurants saying "Water by request only." - James Hansen testimony before Congress in June 1988 STUDY FORESEES 86 NEW POWER PLANTS TO COOL U.S. WHEN GLOBE GETS HOTTER: Global warming could force Americans to build 86 more power plants -- at a cost of $110 billion -- to keep all their air conditioners running 20 years from now, a new study says...Using computer models, researchers concluded that global warming would raise average annual temperatures nationwide two degrees by 2010, and the drain on power would require the building of 86 new midsize power plants - Associated Press May 15, 1989 U.N. OFFICIAL PREDICTS DISASTER SAYS GREENHOUSE EFFECT COULD WIPE SOME NATIONS OFF MAP - entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of "eco-refugees," threatening political chaos, said Brown, 'New York will probably be like Florida 15 years from now,' - St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sept. 17, 1989 [By] 1995, the greenhouse effect would be desolating the heartlands of North America and Eurasia with horrific drought, causing crop failures and food riots...[By 1996] The Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers." Michael Oppenheimer, published in "Dead Heat," St. Martin's Press, 1990. Giant sand dunes may turn Plains to desert - Huge sand dunes extending east from Colorado's Front Range may be on the verge of breaking through the thin topsoil, transforming America's rolling High Plains into a desert, new research suggests. The giant sand dunes discovered in NASA satellite photos are expected to re- emerge over the next 20 to 50 years, depending on how fast average temperatures rise from the suspected "greenhouse effect," scientists believe. -Denver Post April 18, 1990
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:40 PM
By 2000, British and American oil will have dimished to a trickle......Ozone depletion and global warming threaten food shortages, but the wealthy North will enjoy a temporary reprieve by buying up the produce of the South. Unrest among the hungry and the ensuing political instability, will be contained by the North's greater military might. A bleak future indeed, but an inevitable one unless we change the way we live.....At present rates of exploitation there may be no rainforest left in 10 years. If measures are not taken immediately, the greenhouse effect may be unstoppable in 12 to 15 years. - 5000 Days to Save the Planet - Edward Goldsmith 1991 'I think we're in trouble. When you realize how little time we have left - we are now given not 10 years to save the rainforests, but in many cases five years. Madagascar will largely be gone in five years unless something happens. And nothing is happening.' - ABC - The Miracle Planet April 22, 1990 The planet could face an "ecological and agricultural catastrophe" by the next decade if global warming trends continue - Carl Sagan - Buffalo News Oct. 15, 1990 Today (in 1996) 25 million environmental refugees roam the globe, more than those pushed out for political, economic, or religious reasons. By 2010, this number will grow tenfold to 200 million. - The Heat is On -The High Stakes Battle Over Earth's Threatened Climate - Ross Gelbspan - 1996 One of the world's leading climate experts warned of an underestimated threat posed by the buildup of greenhouse gases ' an abrupt collapse of the ocean's prevailing circulation system that could send temperatures across Europe plummeting in a span of 10 years. If that system shut down today, winter temperatures in the North Atlantic region would fall by 20 or more degrees Fahrenheit within 10 years. Dublin would acquire the climate of Spitsbergen, 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle. "The consequences could be devastating," said Wallace S. Broecker, Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University's - Science Magazine Dec 1, 1997 Scientists are warning that some of the Himalayan glaciers could vanish within ten years because of global warming. A build-up of greenhouse gases is blamed for the meltdown, which could lead to drought and flooding in the region affecting millions of people. - The Birmingham Post (England) July 26, 1999 Within a few years winter snowfall will become a very rare and exciting even. Children just aren't going to know what snow is," Dr David Viner, Senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia - Mar 20, 2000
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:41 PM
Officials with the Panama Canal Authority, managers of the locks and reservoirs since the United States relinquished control of the canal in 1999, warn that global warming, increased shipping traffic and bigger seagoing vessels could cripple the canal's capacity to operate within a decade. CNN November 1, 2000 Within a few years "children just aren't going to know what snow is." Snowfall will be "a very rare and exciting event." Dr. David Viner, senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, interviewed by the UK Independent, March 20, 2000. In ten years time, most of the low-lying atolls surrounding Tuvalu's nine islands in the South Pacific Ocean will be submerged under water as global warming rises sea levels, CNN Mar 29, 2001 Next year(2003)may be warmest recorded: Global temperatures in 2003 are expected to exceed those in 1998 - the hottest year to date - Telegraph UK- December 30, 2002 Environmental refugees to top 50 million in 5 years --"There are well-founded fears that the number of people fleeing untenable environmental conditions may grow exponentially as the world experiences the effects of climate change and other phenomena," says UNU-EHS Director Janos Bogardi. - United Nations University news release - October 11, 2005 It has been over one hundred years but the Chicken Little's just keep running around in circles while crying "OMG were gonna DIE" When?
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:42 PM
It has been over one hundred years but the Chicken Little's just keep running around in circles while crying "OMG were gonna DIE. When?
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 08:45 PM
Well, yeah it was cut-n-paste day.....but so much fun :-j
Brew February 23, 2014 at 09:08 PM
Obviously, I can't fact check everything you post. But, what I have makes me uncomfortable. Paul Ehrlich is an entomologist. He has written about over-population but he is not a climatologist. Are these the sorts of sources you're citing? If you had any credibility left, it's gone now. And that cutting and pasting crap, that just put it over the top. Every time you cut and paste a kardashian has a spontaneous abortion. Be careful!
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 09:24 PM
Oh brew, brew, brew... Relax... The quotes were of people, and groups telling us why we are doomed. If posting that makes you react as you have, well, ok. Read the last line about chicken littles. Credibility? Make sure to separate opposing point of view from credibility, something difficult for all of us.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 09:30 PM
Global warming causes kardashians to .... Hmmm WAIT! Now I see why some people are blogging just to argue. It's caused by all that damn heat ( http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-01/global-warming-sparks-fistfights-and-war-researchers-say.html
Carl Petersen III February 23, 2014 at 09:59 PM
Funny how Fortified lists several issues where action was taken (for example reducing the rate of population growth) but then labels the warnings as "chicken little" because the negative consequences did not happen.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 23, 2014 at 10:12 PM
Funny how Carl lives to set up confrontations instead of exchange of ideas. Do you have anything of substance about global warming. Your expiration date has past. Does anyone have anything of substance to discuss, or is knee jerk reactions, and insults the only method of everyone on the alarmist side? I don't have the patience to respond to personal attacks.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 24, 2014 at 06:07 PM
Dishonest discussion as always with carl. Personal attacks from everyone who is an alarmist. What a wasteland. They call names, declare victory, and run away, and no one ever learns anything. And you wonder how a hoax can be this big? Good luck
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 01:20 PM
It is funny how the people on here are of the belief that scientists are not human and don't fall prey to their own greed and politics. The more they cry "climate change" the more money they get from the politicians, which allow the scientists to keep their job. And how much of that grant money ends up back in the politicians re-election fund?
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 01:25 PM
How does stopping a pipeline from Canada help stop "climate change"? Does Canada stop producing oil from oil sands? Or does Canada sell it to China? The flow of oil will still be coming to the US from Canada. It will just continue to come by train. It will be safer for the environment to build the pipeline, since trains derail.
Jojo February 27, 2014 at 01:34 PM
Libs always resort to name-calling and character demonization when they can't have an intelligent conversation with facts and ideas. It's Saul Alinsky 101.
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 01:34 PM
I assume all of you are living on LI. So my question is, if "climate change" is real, why the hell are all of you still living on an island? You should all be moving off the garbage cancer heap, not for your sake but for your great grand children, who will no doubt be feeling the dire affects of rising ocean levels. Or is it deep down you know this is bullshit! Or is it you don't give a shit about YOUR future generations?
Issy February 27, 2014 at 03:22 PM
And how much of that grant money ends up back in the politicians re-election fund?................a big fat ZERO. You clearly have no idea how scientific funding works. Every penny has to be accounted for.
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 03:35 PM
Issy you clearly have no idea how to think past the surface. How do scientists get paid? All or part by grant money, are you going to tell me the scientific community doesn't give money to politicians that keep them in business? Let me guess, big oil gives lots of money to politicians and scientists who don't believe in "climate change".
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 03:40 PM
Issy - The school budget in part goes to teachers salaries, correct? Can we say teachers vote? Teachers have an interest in who gets elected? Do teachers give campaign contributions? Are they going to give campaign contributions to politicians who will get them raises and good benefits?
Issy February 27, 2014 at 04:43 PM
That is just nonsense. You might as well say that Teachers support terrorists, because teachers buy gas for their cars and the profit for the gas goes to countries that support terrorists.............. The simple fact is that you were wrong and now you are trying to Kevin Bacon your way out of it. Have some respect for yourself admit your were wrong and move on.
CHRIS February 27, 2014 at 07:19 PM
LOL...how does one Kevin Bacon his way out of something? Buying oil from countries who sponsor terrorism is an indirect result of buying gas at the pump. Teachers have a direct and intentional motivation for supporting politicians who help or support teachers and their unions. Teachers also pay union dues and unions give money to politicians. I'm using teachers as an example. Get your head out of the sand.
Michael Ecklund February 27, 2014 at 08:50 PM
ok :
Michael Ecklund February 27, 2014 at 08:52 PM
How long will you people keep this up. This world is without end, signed Jesus..................You all need to check it out !!!
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 27, 2014 at 09:50 PM
How long? Until the cows come home, when the chicken comes home to roost. Until perches grow on mango trees in February.... Until the sees run dry, and the hills turn to dust....until the stars go out....And if their is a life after this....until forever there....Or, until I get tired and bored here, which could be anytime now.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger February 27, 2014 at 09:53 PM
This world without end.... I think refers to the end of Earth, and it's the next world without end
CHRIS March 11, 2014 at 01:23 PM
Update: Large Democrat donor threatens to withhold $100million from the Democrat campaign funds if they don't get serious about global climate change. Result: Dems pull an all nighter to discuss global climate change. Hmmm. What is the one thing politicians want most? More power. How do they get more power? More government. How do they get more government? Creating a threat and needing to create another govt entity, raise taxes to pay for it.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger March 11, 2014 at 06:19 PM
Chris, here is the story: ( http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-pn-senate-climate-change-20140310,0,5951075.story#axzz2vcRe5t6p ) The glacier in the poster has been retreating since the mid 1700's. Underneath, the land is exposing what was a forest during the medieval warm period, until the little ice age. Coming out of the little ice age as we have been brings it back to what it was before. But these people cherry-pick locations and time periods to suit the propaganda. ALWAYS, I STATE THE SAME....IF IT WAS TRUE, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE TO LIE. ( http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/retreating-alaskan-glacier-reveals-remains-of-medieval-forest/ ) ( http://www.wunderground.com/news/melting-glacier-exposes-frozen-forest-20130924 ) WIKIPEDIA IS INTERESTING. They describe the retreat because of coming out of the little ice age. They don't realize the description of the slowing of retreat and times of more retreat coincide with the sun cycles, and global tenmps of the 60 year cycle. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retreat_of_glaciers_since_1850 )
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger March 11, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Now that we have google earth, one can look at the larger picture of the muir glacier, and actually see the expansion of ice from 1994. GLOBAL WARMING: If it were true, they wouldn't have to lie. Disclaimer: Although the glacier topic is something I don't know much about, Its probably more than these senators.

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