Return of Polar Vortex Stirs Debate on Climate Change

Friday, 11 Jul 2014 05:34 PM

By John Blosser

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Advocates of the theory of man-caused global warming have taken another hit – a polar vortex is about to knock temperatures down by 10 to 30 degrees below average in parts of the United States, The Washington Post reports.

After a bitterly cold winter, expected temperatures in Minneapolis in the 50s and 60s in mid-July and overall Midwest temperatures slated to be 10 to 30 degrees cooler than normal, voters and experts are asking themselves whether global warming is all it's iced up to be.

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After all, global warming advocates have been stung recently with the revelation that the levels of sea ice in Antarctica are at their highest level in recorded history and on the increase. While global warming was thought to be an unstoppable worldwide ice melter, Antarctica has added a section of new ice the size of Greenland, and it is still growing, covering 16 million square kilometers, or 2.1 million more than is expected in July, and the most ice since scientists started tracking it in 1979.

Weather forecasters are struggling to blame the polar vortex on climate change.

Michael Mann, professor of meteorology at Penn State, wrote at livescience.com, "So, is there a climate connection to this strange occurrence? While more study is certainly needed, I have been increasingly impressed by the growing body of evidence supporting the hypothesis that climate change may lead to more persistent meanders in the jet stream," which, in turn, could be the cause the polar vortex’s chill air wafting down from the north.

However, conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh takes a different tack — "So despite the polar vortex freezing everybody's buns off, it's because Arctic air is getting warmer, and it's breaking down the boundaries of the polar vortex. Now, I'm here to assure you this is a crock, but this is how the left works, and you don't have anybody in the media questioning this."

While ice is melting in the Arctic, professor Judith Curry, head of climate science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is beginning to question scientific findings on global warming, noting that global warming advocates have, in effect, been trumpeting the warming of Arctic ice while ignoring the growth in Antarctic ice.

"We do not have a quantitative, predictive understanding of the rise in Antarctic sea ice extent," she told the Daily Mail. "Convincing arguments regarding the causes of sea ice variations require understanding and ability to model both the Arctic and the Antarctic."

The Fifth Assessment Report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found, "There is low confidence in the scientific understanding of the observed increase in Antarctic sea ice extent since 1979, due to … incomplete and competing scientific explanations for the causes of change," the Mail reported.

The Mail’s Andrew Mountford openly speculated that the "relentless focus by activist scientists on the Arctic decline does suggest a political imperative rather than a scientific one."

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