The text, published in the journal Science, used observational data and models to make a link between human-related global warming and an event known as ‘stratospheric polar vortex disturbance’ (SPV).
SPV is a piece of westerly wind that surrounds the Arctic and, under normal conditions, contains the cool air of that region.
The team found that the rapid warming of the Arctic and its consequences, such as sea ice loss or increased snowfall in Siberia, are causing an increase in humidity in the atmosphere, an ever-increasing increase in temperature difference from the west. East across Eurasia.
This phenomenon leads to the weakening of the SPV, which could cause cold waves like the one that hit Canada, the United States and Mexico last winter, causing dozens of deaths in Texas, as well as more than $ 200 billion in damage.
“It seems very counter-intuitive” and “unexpectedly this strong warming in the Arctic is cooling other areas,” said AFP Matthew Barlow, co-author of the study at the University of Massachusetts.
But the outcome of the investigation was clear.
“I was a little surprised that the results were so clear that we could make a connection like we did,” the researcher said.
The Arctic is warming twice as much as the world average and severe winter weather is increasing in the latitudes, but the question of whether the two phenomena are related is a matter of scientific debate.
“In the past, it was used as a justification for not reducing this extreme cold (polluting gas) emissions in the United States and Russia, but there is no longer an excuse, we need to start reducing that emissions now,” said Sam Corfingel, co-author of the study from the University of Jerusalem, in a video.
According to these scientists, one of the strengths of the research was the revision of historical data and the use of a powerful climate model to test whether the hypothesis is true when there are still new parameters in Siberia, such as higher temperatures and higher snowfall.
The results could be used to improve extreme weather warnings in Asia, Canada and the United States, “as early as a few weeks,” Barlow said.
“People are starting to realize that even if climate change doesn’t happen in their backyard, they can still be affected,” he added. “Climate change in the Arctic is not only sad for polar bears, it’s not an interesting fact.”
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