You are in the STAGING environment


  • Do more with your content!Discover PreventionWeb Services
  • Scientists are divided over whether climate change is fueling extreme cold events

    Email sent!

    An email has been sent to the email addresses provided, with a link to this content.

    Thank you for sharing!


Scientists are divided over whether climate change is fueling extreme cold events

Source(s):  Vox Media Inc. (Vox)

By Umair Irfan

Winter Storm Uri scattered bitter cold, snow, and ice this week across a huge swath of the United States, including places that rarely see such extreme low temperatures.


With average temperatures rising around the world due to greenhouse gas emissions, there is more heat in the global climate system. That’s already having some predictable impacts, like an increase in the frequency and intensity of heat waves.


There are a couple of competing ideas for how more warming will change the likelihood of extreme cold periods, like the frigid weather currently gripping much of the US. One group of researchers says that warming will make such events less likely, while another says that warming in the Arctic will increase the chances of frigid polar air spilling further south, leading to more periods of extreme cold in the near term.


Clearly, a complicated array of variables had to align to produce the severe cold across the US this week, and such alignments don’t happen very often, making them hard to study, and even harder to predict into the future.



Add this content to your collection!

Enter an existing tag to add this content to one or more of your current collections. To start a new collection, enter a new tag below.

See My collections to name and share your collection
Back to search results to find more content to tag

Log in to add your tags
  • Publication date 18 Feb 2021

Please note:Content is displayed as last posted by a PreventionWeb community member or editor. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of UNDRR PreventionWeb, or its sponsors. See our terms of use