space news

Rapid warming of the Arctic is likely a key driver of extreme winter weather in the United States, according to a new study that addresses a longstanding apparent contradiction in climate science and could explain events like February’s cold snap in Texas.

The paper, published in the journal Science, used observational data and modeling to establish a link between planetary warming linked to human activity and a phenomenon called the stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) disruption.

The stratospheric polar vortex is a band of westerly winds encircling the Arctic that under normal conditions keep its cold air contained.

The team found that rapid Arctic warming and its effects, namely sea ice loss, coupled with increased snow cover in Siberia as a result of more moisture in the atmosphere, is leading to a strengthening temperature difference from west to east across Eurasia.

This leads to a weakening of the SPV, which in turn can trigger cold spells like the one that hit Canada, the US and Mexico last winter. In Texas, dozens were killed where it caused more than $200 billion in damage.

“It seems very counterintuitive, it seems very unexpected that you have this very very strong warming in the Arctic, and that somehow it’s causing cooling, in other regions,” study co-author Matthew Barlow of the University of Massachusetts Lowell told AFP.

“I was a little surprised that the results came out as cleanly as they did, that we were able to establish as direct a link as we did.”

The Arctic is warming at a rate twice the global average, and severe winter weather is increasing in mid-latitude regions, but the question of whether the two are linked has remained a matter of scientific debate.

“In the past, these cold extremes over the US and Russia have been used to justify not reducing emissions — and there’s no longer any excuse, we need to start reducing emissions, right away,” study co-author Chaim Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem added in an accompanying video.

According to the authors, one of the strengths of the study was that in addition to reviewing historical data, it used a high-powered climate model to test whether their hypothesis was true when inputting new parameters, such as even more heat and snow cover in Siberia.

The results could be used to extend the warning lead time of cold extremes in Asia, Canada, and the United States, the authors say, “maybe even a few weeks in advance,” said Barlow.

“People are starting to appreciate the reality that even if the climate change isn’t in your own backyard, it can still really affect you,” he added.

“Climate change in the Arctic is not just something unfortunate for polar bears, not just a kind of a curiosity.”

TECH NEWS RELATED

Tesla China recalls 21.5k Model Y over front and rear steering knuckle issues

Tesla China has issued a recall for 21,559 domestically-made Model Y due to a fault in the vehicle’s front and rear steering knuckles. The recall covers locally-manufactured Model Ys produced between February 4 and October 30, 2021. “Tesla Co., Ltd. filed a recall plan with the State Administration for ...

View more: Tesla China recalls 21.5k Model Y over front and rear steering knuckle issues

Preventing ’Alien’ Invasions

Preventing ’Alien’ Invasions The search of life beyond our world is an exciting venture that may yield an enormous discovery in the not-too-distant future. However, space agencies around the world, including NASA and the European Space Agency, have long been aware of the potential risks of biological contamination and ...

View more: Preventing ’Alien’ Invasions

Dolphins perform special spin dive when hunting deep prey

Risso’s dolphins have been observed to perform a rapid sprint coupled with a spin when starting a dive, even though this highly energetic movement costs considerably more energy than normal, much slower dives. A team of researchers has discovered that these dolphins use the spin dive to hunt prey ...

View more: Dolphins perform special spin dive when hunting deep prey

A Cornucopia of Microbial Foods

Military deployments around the world come with lengthy, costly, and complex logistics, including tons of food to sustain troops over weeks and months. Similarly, military support to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations (HADR) requires large food provisions, which displaces cargo space that otherwise could be used to transport ...

View more: A Cornucopia of Microbial Foods

Team builds first living robots that can reproduce

To persist, life must reproduce. Over billions of years, organisms have evolved many ways of replicating, from budding plants to sexual animals to invading viruses. Now scientists have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction – and applied their discovery to create the first-ever, self-replicating living robots. The ...

View more: Team builds first living robots that can reproduce

Two Tesla Semi Megachargers are now live at Giga Nevada: report

Tesla Giga Nevada’s Semi Megachargers are live, based on recent reports and pictures from the factory. Tesla appears to have started expanding the parking lot at Giga Nevada as well. Construction on the Tesla Semi Megachargers, which appear to be larger versions of the company’s Urban Superchargers with thicker cables, was ...

View more: Two Tesla Semi Megachargers are now live at Giga Nevada: report

Artificial material protects light states on smallest length scales

Light not only plays a key role as an information carrier for optical computer chips, but also in particular for the next generation of quantum computers. Its lossless guidance around sharp corners on tiny chips and the precise control of its interaction with other light are the focus of ...

View more: Artificial material protects light states on smallest length scales

Harvard-led researchers document the presence of quantum spin liquids, a never-before-seen state of matter

In 1973, physicist Philip W. Anderson theorized the existence of a new state of matter that has been a major focus of the field, especially in the race for quantum computers. This bizarre state of matter is called a quantum spin liquid and, contrary to the name, has nothing ...

View more: Harvard-led researchers document the presence of quantum spin liquids, a never-before-seen state of matter

Pentagon Chief Slams Chinese Hypersonic Weapons During Visit to Shore Up South Korean Alliance

Kymeta and OneWeb Partner to Develop Flat Panel User Terminal for LEO Network

Orbital Insight Integrates with Esri's ArcGIS Platform to Streamline Satellite and Sensor Imagery Analysis

Eutelsat's Konnect Africa and Vodacom Partner to Bring High-Speed Broadband to Unserved Regions of Tanzania

Back in the USSR? Pentagon chief slips up on Russia reference

Space Force welcomes North Carolina A&T to the University Partnership Program

Palantir Secures Additional $43 Million Contract from Space Systems Command

$1.5M advances hypersonics research and technology at UArizona

'No cause for optimism' on Iran nuclear deal: US

Space Development Agency Approves L3Harris' Missile-Tracking Satellite Design

Iran: Nuclear deal 'within reach' if West shows goodwill, ball in US court

Israel PM calls on US to halt Iran nuclear talks

OTHER TECH NEWS

;