The Relationship between Jet Stream Breakdown, Polar Vortex Instability, & Loss of Sea Ice

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 28 May 2019



The Jet Streams
Actual Jet Stream Configuration, Lyndon State College Meteorology.
Actual Jet Stream Configuration, Lyndon State College Meteorology.



The Relationship between Jet Stream Breakdown, Polar Vortex Instability, & Loss of Sea Ice:

A Warming Arctic Produces Weather Extremes in our Latitudes,
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research,
May 28, 2019.


Increasing Jet Stream Disruptions-Freak Outs
"For years, climate researchers around the globe have been investigating the question as to whether the jet stream's winding course over the Northern Hemisphere - observed with increasing frequency in recent years - is a product of climate change, or a random phenomenon that can be traced back to natural variations in the climate system."

Polar Jet Stream
"They less often blow along a straight course parallel to the Equator; instead, they sweep across the Northern Hemisphere in massive waves. In turn, during the winter these waves produce unusual intrusions of cold air from the Arctic into the middle latitudes - like the extreme cold that struck the Midwest of the USA in late January 2019. In the summer, a weakened jet stream leads to prolonged heat waves and dry conditions, like those experienced in Europe in e.g. 2003, 2006, 2015 and 2018."

The Jet Stream
"The term "jet stream" refers to a powerful band of westerly winds over the middle latitudes, which push major weather systems from west to east. These winds whip around the planet at an altitude of roughly 10 kilometres, are driven by temperature differences between the tropics and the Arctic, and in the past, often reached top speeds of up to 500 kilometres per hour."

Figured it Out
"...researchers hadn't succeeded in realistically portraying the jet stream's wavering course in climate models or demonstrating a connection between the faltering winds and global climate change."

Missing Piece
"We've developed a machine learning algorithm that allows us to represent the ozone layer as an interactive element in the model, and in so doing, to reflect the interactions from the stratosphere and ozone layer."

"With the new model system we can now realistically reproduce the observed changes in the jet stream."

"...sea-ice retreat and the accompanying increased activity of atmospheric waves are creating a significant, ozone-amplified warming of the polar stratosphere. Since the low polar temperatures form the jet stream's motor, the rising temperatures in the stratosphere are causing it to falter. In turn, this weakening of the jet stream is now spreading downward from the stratosphere, producing weather extremes."

More Fun Tomorrow
"If the ice cover continues to dwindle, we believe that both the frequency and intensity of the extreme weather events previously observed in the middle latitudes will increase."


Bottom Line

Polar Vortex Breakdown,
Breakdown in Relationship between Arctic & Tropics:

Everything Changes

The jet stream typically, or should I say, "traditionally," moves rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight-line oscillating manner. But over recent years as Arctic Warming has rapidly increased, and the Arctic Vortex no longer, "spins down," during Winter, the Northern Jet Stream has been wobbling and weaving around during Wintertime, like a fan with a bad bearing, spreading weird weather havoc as it wobbles around its now completely unbalanced center. The more the Arctic Vortex experiences these ongoing and growing splits, shifts, and weakens, the more it pushes the jet stream out of its traditional tracks into weird starts, stops, wild turns, and big undulations flailing wildly north and south, resulting in the changeable and extreme weather we've been experiencing.


On the Ground & Sky In Alaska
More Aberrant Weather in Alaska

The Wettest Part of Alaska Is Experiencing Extreme Drought. Is Climate Change to Blame?
Pacific Standard, May 31, 2019.

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Sea Ice

Greenland Ice Cores link Arctic Sea Ice Loss to Abrupt Climate Events

2019: Arctic Seasonal MAX & MINS on Steady Warming Trajectory

2018 Arctic Sea Ice Winter Maximum: Trend of Record Lows Continues





Sea Ice Minimum and Arctic Summer of 2017 Information: End of the Summer Melt, 8th Lowest of 13 Measured




Melting Ice, Glaciers, & Ice Caps: Estimating Dates for Reaping the Whirlwind(s)

2018 Sea Surface Temperatures Hottest Ever


Polar Vortex

Jan 2019
Polar Vortex Splits Under Warming Stratosphere



Sept 2018
Arctic Roots of Increasing Extreme Weather

March 2018
Polar Vortex Effect Further Quantified, Causes & Effects

Feb 2018
Warm Arctic Chills Dixie? Warming Arctic Channels Frigid Air South

Feb 2018
Polar Vortex Not Spinning Down



Dec 2017
Traditional Arctic Weather Cycle Gone


What Happens when You Grow Too Big for your Britches? The Arctic Vortex Weakens!


The O Zone

China Cheating the World: Ozone Edition 

One Filth Offsetting Another: Godzilla vs. Mothra? Global Warming Stratospheric Warming Dampens Chemical-Caused Ozone Hole

Eco-Crash News: Ozone Progress and Problems


Stratospheric Atmospheric Ozone Healing: CFC Ban Working



Extreme Arctic Warming

April 2019
Alaska Skips Mid-Winter to Experience Late Spring Conditions in March


Jan 2019
Rapid Arctic Warming, 2019: Unique Arctic Atmosphere & Local Amplification Cited




Eco Crashing News

May 2019 News of Man & Nature








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climate change, global warming, research, sea ice melting, disrupting, Polar Vortex, destabilized, Jet Stream, unstable, extreme weather


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