Climate Change and Winter Storms

Recent winter storms have annoyed many. Yet this pattern may be a sign of greater importance and more imminent danger.

It’s no surprise that climate change is heating up the Earth. Yet many don’t realize that winter storms are also a by product of the greenhouse effect. North America has been receiving extreme blizzards recently, and it’s not just the North. Many cannot forget the Texas winter storm of 2021, and though this year’s winter storm wasn’t as extreme, it was still plenty above average. The average extent of these winter storms has been getting more extreme by the decade, in both northern and southern regions. Many scientists are contributing this to climate change.

The polar vortex is the airmass surrounding the arctic region high above the surface in which the air moves rapidly, like a freezing cyclone. The polar jet stream contains the polar vortex, yet every year the polar jet stream weakens, disrupting the controlled cyclical flow of the arctic winds and spinning them out of control into lower latitudes. If we don’t take global warming seriously, many consequences are sure to follow.

What does this mean for Texas? The Southern regions of the U.S. have seemed to have gotten colder and more extreme winters recently, and the conditions are going to spin even more out of control if we don’t start to change our lifestyles. Winter Storms will slowly but surely get stronger, destroying southern wildlife not suited for such cold temperatures. The need for change is urgent, as reversing the damage already done gets harder by the year. Decreasing the use of conventional gas-powered cars, using more renewable energy to power homes, and so much more is needed by our collective willpower to recover the Earth.