Snowstorm gone, 'polar vortex' brings deep, deep chill to US
The US is shivering beneath temperatures 15 to 20 degrees below normal for this time of year, with some areas bracing for a minus-50 or worse wind chill factor. Packers may play coldest game ever at Lambeau.
(Page 2 of 2)
Most of the Great Lakes are expected to freeze in the next few days, which usually ensures a long cold winter at least for those in that part of the country.Skip to next paragraph
Patrik Jonsson is the Atlanta-based correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor. He writes about national affairs from a decidedly Dixie frame of mind.
In Pictures Coping with the weather in 2014
Infographic Five weather myths debunked
Portrait of Millennials: Call them Generation Unaffiliated
Mass. upskirt photos now illegal as lawmakers keep their promise
'Upskirt' photos legal in Mass., court rules. Not for long, critics say. (+video)
Obama calls Senate rejection of his civil rights nominee 'a travesty' (+video)
Bin Laden kin agreed to speak for Al Qaeda while N.Y. burned, prosecutor says (+video)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The historic chill comes in the same week that a large group of climate researchers looking for signs of climate change around the South Pole got stuck for days in unusually thick Antarctic ice, only to be rescued by helicopter after a rescue ship also got stuck. Indeed, it turns out the Antarctic annual summer ice melt has been the smallest ever recorded.
Winnipeg, Canada, already got a taste of the deep chill, as thermometers this week dipped into the kind of mercury readings usually found on Mars. This week’s NHL Winter Classic, played in Ann Arbor, Mich., set the tone as snow and wind chill pulled on nostalgic memories of what winter used to look and feel like.
A French and Australian study published this week in the journal Nature, meanwhile, suggests that the Earth’s climate is more sensitive to man-made carbon dioxide emissions than previously believed, meaning that the Earth’s temperature could rise by 4 degree Celsius by 2,100.
Studying how carbon dioxide affects cloud formations, researchers Steven Sherwood, Sandrine Bony, and Jean-Louis Dufresne wrote that “real world observations” suggested that regularly cited climate models are low-balling predictions of future global warming.
To be sure, some of the warmest years on record also had extreme cold spells, suggesting that regional and yearly weather and temperature variations don’t necessarily undermine the widely-accepted man-made climate change theory.
For instance, the Twin Cities may see 20-below temperatures on Sunday, but it was only around this time in early 2009, which followed the hottest year on record, where Minnesota temperatures dipped equally low, if not colder.
Just for context, the US record low of minus-79.8 Fahrenheit was recorded on Jan 23, 1971, at the Prospect Creek Camp in northern Alaska. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the contiguous United States, minus-69.7 Fahrenheit, was found at Rogers Pass, Mont., on Jan. 20, 1954.
RECOMMENDED: Top 5 weather apps