Arctic warming cause of record April snowfall | Letter
EDITOR: Blizzard Evelyn was a real surprise. Cities all over north central and northern Wisconsin had record snowfalls. Amherst, for example, got 33 inches of snow. The blizzard delayed planting in area farms for several weeks, and maple sugaring in many areas also took a major hit.
Why did we get such crazy weather?
Circling the arctic at about 30,000 feet from west to east at speeds of 100 miles an hour or more are the winds we call the Polar Jet Stream. Ordinarily, they serve as a strong barrier between the arctic cold air and the warmer air to the south.
But, the part of our planet that’s warming faster than any other, strangely enough, is the arctic. It’s warming about twice as fast as the rest of our planet, and as it warms, the Polar Jet Stream becomes weaker, dropping that barrier farther south in some places and bringing it farther north in others. This April, it dropped cold air deep into Wisconsin, leading to Blizzard Evelyn.
Can we expect more crazy weather in coming years?
That depends on whether we can reduce the warming of the arctic. To do that, climate scientists say we must reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The best way to accomplish that is for Congress to pass a carbon fee and dividend bill, so urge your member of Congress to support such a bill … and remember global warming every time you go into the voting booth.