Hey everyone, this is SciLife and today I’m going to talk about climate change once again! So today I’m only going to be talking about one portion of climate change and it’s how the colder winters and harsher winter storms actually prove global warming exists… and scientists have predicted it for decades. But first, you may be thinking that global warming doesn’t exist because it may be cold outside right now, correct? That’s a common misconception so it’s okay if you get that wrong, but you really need to know why it’s wrong. Here’s the thing, that’s where you can point out the difference between weather and climate. What’s the difference between weather and climate? Weather is what happens in the atmosphere day to day or during the short term such as a single season.
Climate is how the atmosphere behaves over long periods of time. So it may be cold right now and you may be in the middle of a blizzard but over the course of the last century the entire planet on average has been in a warming trend with 14 of the 15 hottest years on record occurring since the year 2000. It’s been proven that the previous decade is the warmest decade on record. It’s also been proven by many reliable sources that 2014 was the warmest year on record as well. A lot of people in the United States may disagree with it being the warmest year on record because well it was only the 34th hottest year on record for the United States. However, just because it wasn’t as warm here in the US doesn’t mean it’s not happening elsewhere. Also, to further claim that a cold winter or a snow storm proves that global warming doesn’t exist is like saying that just because it’s not raining for a day or two in a rain forest then it doesn’t generally rain there or that if it’s cold mid-day in the Sahara Desert then it’s going to freeze there.
Anyway, let’s get back on topic.. How exactly does a colder winter prove global warming is real? To explain this you need to look North towards the Arctic Circle. In the Arctic, frigid air is typically trapped in a tight loop known as the polar vortex. The air is not just cold, but it also has a very low barometric pressure and the surrounding air has a higher pressure, so the higher pressure air around the arctic essentially presses it into the Arctic Circle and keeps it there. Kind of like a coral or a fence. Over the last few winters scientists have noticed that this polar vortex has become increasingly unstable. What does that have to do with climate change? Well it has to do with the warming of the Arctic which is known as Arctic amplification. Sea ice is melting in the arctic due to climate change which leaves behind dark open ocean water, which absorbs more of the heat from the sun than reflective ice. The arctic is actually warming about twice as fast on average as the rest of the world.
The increase in heat also destabilizes the polar vortex and raises the barometric pressures inside it. As the temperature and the pressure raises more and more and the polar vortex becomes more unstable, it can essentially break through the jet-streams that holds it in place and move much further South than it normally would. Depending on where the polar vortex of frigid arctic air moves, it can either make our winters warmer or colder. During the 2011/2012 winter season it made it warmer as it shifted towards Russia. During the 2013/2014 winter it made it much colder because it shifted towards the United States instead of Russia, subsequently leaving Russia with a much warmer winter than normal. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my quick summary on the difference between climate and weather and on how colder winters can and do prove that global warming exists. For more videos like this or videos on current events around the world, please subscribe to stay tuned! Don’t forget to hit that like button down below and leave and comments or questions that I will be sure to answer.
That’s it for today, so take care everyone!.