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The biggest unnoticed storms in the world cause sudden Polar Vortex havoc

 Sudden Stratospheric Warmings

Who knew? The polar vortices are the two strongest and largest “storms” on the planet. These continent scale storms are 600 miles across with winds raging at 300km per hour. Simon Clark is doing (or has done) a PhD in polar vortexes. He describes how  each winter they form high over the poles. These are stratospheric, circling far above jet streams and planes. The tight circular pattern keeps the coldest air corralled. But every now again, the neat circle falls apart. In the polar stratosphere sometimes temperatures warm in days by stupid amounts, like 50 degrees C. It’s called a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) and one started around Christmas time.

As Clark describes it, these are easily the most violent weather events on the planet.  (They sound fascinating). As with unbalanced centrifuges, when things unravel,  as the high speed system unravels, the arctic cold could spin off anywhere — this week it’s the US, but Europe and Russia are often targets too. There is a lag involved — after an SSW it may take two weeks for things to hit the fan on the surface, so to speak. Generally, when an SSW hits it presages a brutal winter with outbreaks of super-cold blobs down for the next month or two.

I’m reminded of Stephen Wilde’s prediction years ago that we would see more meandering jet streams with a less active Sun. Hypothetically, if he were right, this is what it might look like. The American Midwest is colder than Antarctica, temperatures are hitting minus 50C. Eight people have died (even an 18 year old student). Instead of using electricity, some places are keeping the poor warm by letting them ride on buses. Railways tracks are being set alight to keep trains running and Hell really has frozen over.

Naturally, the Eco-worriers are saying it was misplaced Moroccan warm air. Knowledge is ignorance, Pain is bliss, and warm air causes cold air.

Simon Clark   |  Watch especially from 1:20

But really it’s climate change, trust me, and besides, how can you argue with this:

Some scientists—but by no means most—see a connection between human-caused climate change and difference in atmospheric pressure that causes slower moving waves in the air.

“It’s a complicated story that involves a hefty dose of chaos and an interplay among multiple influences, so extracting a clear signal of the Arctic’s role is challenging,” said Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. Several recent papers have made the case for the connection, she noted.

“This symptom of global warming is counterintuitive for those in the cross-hairs of these extreme cold spells,” Francis said in an email. “But these events provide an excellent opportunity to help the public understand some of the ‘interesting’ ways that climate change will unfold.”

— From Phys Org

Trust The Guardian to fall for the post hoc genius and ask a question they already knew the answer to in 1990:

Is this weather event linked to climate change?

Studies have pointed to a recent increase in instances where the polar vortex has bulged down into heavily populated areas. Scientists are gaining a better understanding of why this is happening, with many identifying climate change as an influence.

There’s some evidence that the jet stream, a meandering air current that flows over North America and Europe, is slowing and becoming wavier as the planet warms. The jet stream interacts with the polar vortex, helping bring numbing temperatures further south.

And the “evidence” they link too is a Michael Mann et al paper from 2018. Having noticed that polar vortex disturbances are on the increase, they find a way to link it to your SUV:

Examining state-of-the-art [Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5)] climate model projections, we find that QRA events are likely to increase by ~50% this century under business-as-usual carbon emissions, but there is considerable variation among climate models. Some predict a near tripling of QRA events by the end of the century, while others predict a potential decrease.

Even post hoc, the models are useless.

h/t Tallbloke, See Extreme rainfall events.

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