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Earth Science

Climate Change Is Altering Global Air Currents (independent.co.uk) 369

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous "hockey stick" graph is now warning that giant jetstreams which circle the planet are being altered by climate change. Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the Arctic and the equator. But the Arctic has been warming much faster than tropical climates -- the island of Svalbard, for example was 6.5 degrees celsius warmer last year compared to the average between 1961 and 1990. The land has also been warming faster than the sea. Both of those factors were changing the flow of these major air currents to create "extreme meanders" which were helping to cause "extreme weather events", Professor Michael Mann said. In a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, Professor Mann and other researchers wrote that evidence of the effect of climate change on the jetstreams had "only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability." They said that projections of the effect on the jetstreams in "state-of-the-art" climate models were "mirrored" in "multiple" actual temperature measurements. The jetstream normally flows reasonably consistently around the planet, but can develop loops extending north and south. The researchers, who studied temperature records going back to 1870 as well as satellite data, said these loops could grow "very large" or even "grind to a halt" rather than moving from west to east. The effect has been most pronounced during the past 40 years, they found.
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Climate Change Is Altering Global Air Currents

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  • Those air currents are playing hell with my golf score!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Luckily the wall will block the rogue currents!

      We love you Donald!!!!

  • Around the "extreme meander" and "extreme weather events."

  • How did this story make /. news?
    • I saw the headline and instantly blurted out, "GEEEEEEEE, YA THINK?!" and then my wife came in and asked if everything is OK.

    • Clickbait.

      This is the /. version of "One simple trick to herp your derp" that people who don't run adblock see around the internet.

      And it worked. We clicked. Even though we all knew all of the comments in advance, including your version of the classic "how is this news for nerds?", we all clicked on the link.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @06:27AM (#54125593)

    I can't really explain it, but it's at least interesting to ponder. Take a look at Climate change opinion by country [wikipedia.org].

    Awareness that there is something like this is pretty much as one would expect: People in countries with a free or mostly free press and open and affordable access to the internet are way more informed about it than people in countries where information is scarce, hard to come by or government controlled. Also, the more spare time people have to waste, the more informed they claim to be.

    The map on whether it's caused by humans is interesting. Why is practically all of South America convinced that humans are the source of global warming? There is also an interesting difference between Western/Middle Europe and Eastern Europe/Russia, with the former being more convinced of human caused global warming than the latter. It's not quite the divide the Iron Curtain formed, rather it seems to be more a matter between former USSR countries being less convinced than the Rest of Europe, with some noteworthy exceptions in the BeNeLux states and England. And Japan being a real puzzle, being absolutely convinced of human-caused global warming and it being a threat.

    Really interesting is now, though, when you compare that map (human caused yes/no) with the last map that deals with the question whether people think that global warming is a threat. It looks like whether people consider climate change a threat is more dependent on the country having a free press than whether they think it's human made. It's also interesting that in Western Europe more people think it's a threat than people think it's caused by humans.

    All in all, pretty interesting.

    • The map on whether it's caused by humans is interesting. Why is practically all of South America convinced that humans are the source of global warming?

      Because they're not being asked to cut back their energy consumption. It's easier to convince people of a problem if you don't also tell them that they have to change their lifestyle.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Tuesday March 28, 2017 @09:44AM (#54126507) Homepage Journal

      You can explain these results quite simply. People in countries that have benefited greatly from causing climate change through the emission of CO2 are less willing to accept that their actions are the cause. People in countries where pollution is bad and the effects of climate change are more apparent are more likely to accept it.

      Japan is an outlier because people there tend to accept expert opinion and broad scientific consensus, rather than assume they know better or that it's some giant conspiracy theory. If you look at the rest of the countries where people are skeptical, it's obviously Dunning-Kruger at work. Most of the people who think they are "experts" on climate change really just googled a load of conspiracy theory web sites and enjoyed the confirmation that their 20 MPG SUV isn't the problem.

  • We don't refer to it as "global warming" any more, but as "climate change".
  • "One of the scientists who demonstrated conclusively that global warming was an unnatural event with the famous "hockey stick" graph..."

    If by "demonstrated conclusively" you mean:
    - used sketchy, statistically dubious 'smoothing', omitted the Medieval warm period, and cherry picked data to 'prove' an already-supposed conclusion, and
    - then when called to produce his data, "lost it" ....then yeah, he's the guy.

  • Two types of climate change: man-made climate change and natural climate change. What % of the change in air currents is caused by each?

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