The month of May brought persistent floods to Texas and an unrelenting heat wave to India. On Monday, researchers from Rutgers University published an explanation for the repeating weather patterns. Kris Van Cleave reports.
Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming
New metrics and evidence are presented that support a linkage between rapid Arctic warming, relative to Northern hemisphere mid-latitudes, and more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns. We find robust relationships among seasonal and regional patterns of weaker poleward thickness gradients, weaker zonal upper-level winds, and a more meridional flow direction. These results suggest that as the Arctic continues to warm faster than elsewhere in response to rising greenhouse-gas concentrations, the frequency of extreme weather events caused by persistent jet-stream patterns will increase. http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/10/1/014005/article