While New Yorkers and Bostonians recoil in fear when they hear the two words, “Polar Vortex,” skiers in the northeast couldn’t be happier to hear the phrase after enduring last season’s epic drought.
Turns out, skiers have reason to laugh and cry as those polar vortex events are projected to appear more often and last longer into spring as climate change causes a “shift” in the arctic climate model.
According to a recent study completed by Nature Climate Change, the polar vortex is shifting due to a loss of sea ice that is consequently causing significant cooling events across the middle-to-northern latitudes of Eurasia and eastern North America specifically– New England and the surrounding states.
- Polar Vortex (n.) – A polar vortex is a large pocket of very cold air, typically the coldest air in the Northern Hemisphere, which sits over the polar region during the winter season. – Accuweather
While the study found that the vortex weakened over the past couple decades, researchers also noticed that the “vortex” is becoming more and more unpredictable. That instability mean the vortex is likely to drop further south into New England, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic later each year over the next few decades.
“The potential vortex shift in response to persistent sea-ice loss in the future6, 7, and its associated climatic impact, deserve attention to better constrain future climate changes.” – Nature Climate Change Letter
The thinking is very counter intuitive but remains in line with climate change models that suggest instability in weather patterns will trump (no pun intended) a consequential 1:1 C02 = global warming mindset.
Find the entire study here: Persistent shift of the Arctic polar vortex towards the Eurasian continent in recent decades