Q&A: How is Arctic warming linked to the ‘polar vortex’ and other extreme weather?
Over the past decade or so, a growing body of research has proposed ways in which rapid Arctic warming can lead to harsh winters, summer heatwaves and even floods and droughts across the mid-latitudes.
Some scientists say that climate change and Arctic sea ice loss are the root cause of these events, but others are more circumspect.
In this detailed Q&A, Carbon Brief speaks to scientists about the potential connections between Arctic warming and extreme weather across the mid-latitudes, what those theories look like, and how the evidence measures up.
- What is the theory?
- Where did the theory originate?
- What are the mechanisms?
- Mechanisms – Wavier jet stream
- Mechanisms – Polar vortex
- Mechanisms – Wave resonance
- What are the criticisms of the theory?
- Why is there uncertainty around the theory?
- Could a definitive link emerge in the future?
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