What is the meteorological phenomenon that could affect the northern hemisphere in the coming days
It is known that global warming has consequences, and that some of them could be felt within several years. However, there are certain weather events that experts are concerned about immediacy of its effects, which could even modify the climate of a region. It is what is happening in the Iberian Peninsula, a territory that includes countries like Spain, France, Portugal and Andorra, under the maritime influence of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean.
What is it about? Of sudden stratospheric warming, which begins with a polar vortex: a band of winds that encircle the Arctic and keep the cold “locked up” in the far north of planet Earth. With an increase in temperature, the windy band can subside, allowing icy air to move towards the southern areas, which could imply cold waves in any part of the northern hemisphere.
Sudden stratospheric warming, as a term, is believed to have first appeared in an issue of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, according to the US Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 1853 of the magazine Living Age. However, most people heard it for the first time in the year 2014when a record cold hit the United States and especially New York in January.
Although it happens every year, experts warned that today there could be direct and worrying consequences, in principle, in European regions. “Cold air can begin to move to other regions and produce a strong evacuation in some area of the world, causing a very wintry weather change. The models between now and the end of January suggest that is likely to happenbut nobody knows if in the following weeks it will have consequences, in the form of a polar wave in some region, which could be Europe”he said in dialogue with The world the meteorologist José Miguel Viñas.
“In the Arctic there is now accumulated cold air, which is how the polar vortex is formed. That vortex exists both in the troposphere (the lower part of the atmosphere, which is where we live), and in the stratosphere. In winter, the cold is concentrated in these two layers, which are coupled. Sometimes it happens that very warm air is injected from the troposphere into the stratosphere, and this sudden stratospheric heating is formed. Both the cold wave in Russia today and the one that occurred in America (from the north) in December they do not occur with that magnitude every year, ”added the professional.
Sudden stratospheric global warming is not the only climate event that worries experts due to its direct and immediate consequences. For example, the call “bomb cyclone” a large and intense mid-latitude storm that has a low pressure at its center, weather fronts, and a number of associated weather conditions, is very common on the east coast of the United States.
Why does it happen there? Because storms in the mid-latitudes – a temperate zone north of the tropics that includes the entire US mainland – get their energy from big temperature contrasts. Along the east coast of the United States, during the winter, there is a powerful natural thermal contrast between the cold land and the warm Gulf Stream, according to the magazine Time.
In this way, they can be observed from blizzards to strong electrical storms and precipitation. This phenomenon becomes a “bomb” when its central pressure decreases very rapidly, at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Two famous meteorologists, Fred Sanders and John Gyakum, named this pattern in a 1980 study.
When a cyclone “bombards”, or undergoes a bombogenesis, this indicates that it has access to the optimal ingredients to strengthen itself, such as high amounts of heat, humidity and rising air. Most cyclones do not intensify rapidly in this way. Bomb cyclones put forecasters on high alert, because they can produce significant damaging impacts.
Another very latent problem at present is the “gray swan”. According to the magazine Time, this is a term used by scientists to describe “an incredibly rare extreme event, statistically speaking”. And as climate change makes so-called “once in a century” events (the unpredictable ones, or “black swans”) more likely to occur, experts are looking to determine to what extent the rise in global temperatures it makes certain extreme weather events more likely. This is known as climate attribution science.
For example, a study published in November found that the 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave was a “gray swan” event, made possible by a series of unlikely weather conditions that occurred at the same time. Same time. The author of the research assured the media at the time that, despite being statistically unlikely, based on how the climate is changing, they are becoming “physically conceivable and also potentially predictable for the present or the future.”