Temperature Fluctuation And Climate Change

Temperature Fluctuation And Climate Change

Why Does Temperature Fall Suddenly

Winter storm Elliot, in late December 2022, caused severe temperature fluctuation enough to plummet by almost 70 degrees overnight in some northern states of the US. The reason behind the fall in temperature was the arctic blast that had moved into the midwest.

The movement of air masses is one of the main factors that can cause temperature fluctuations. Air masses are large bodies of air with similar temperature and humidity characteristics. When an air mass moves over an area, it can change temperature and weather. For example, when a cold air mass moves over an area, it can cause temperatures to drop. While a warm air mass can cause temperatures to rise.

El Niño and La Niña

Natural climate patterns, such as the jet stream and El Niño/La Niña, can also influence temperature fluctuations. The jet stream is a strong, narrow band of high-speed winds. It flows around the Earth at high altitudes and helps to steer storms and cold air masses. When the jet stream moves farther south than usual, it can bring milder air and fewer cold air outbreaks to northern latitudes, resulting in milder weather.

El Niño and La Niña are opposing phases of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. It is a natural climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean. During an El Niño event, the sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean become warmer than usual, while during a La Niña event, they become cooler than usual. These temperature changes can significantly impact the global climate, including the severity of winter weather. For example, El Niño events often associate with milder winters in the northern United States. On the other hand La Niña events can bring colder and stormier winters.

Human Impact on Temperature Fluctuation

Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation, can also contribute to temperature fluctuations. Human activities release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. These gases trap heat and contribute to the overall warming of the planet.

The severity of winter weather depends on various factors, including the position and strength of atmospheric and oceanic systems, such as the jet stream and El Niño/La Niña.

Other factors that can influence the severity of winter weather include the amount of snow cover, the amount of solar radiation, and the presence of natural climate patterns, such as the Arctic Oscillation.

Climate change is the long-term warming of the planet. The increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide, which trap heat cause the Earth’s temperature to rise.

It is difficult to attribute specific weather events, such as the severity of a particular winter, directly to climate change.

There is evidence that climate change contributes to the overall warming of the planet. It may influence the severity and frequency of extreme weather events. For example, research has shown that the warming of the Earth’s surface is causing the jet stream to become wavier. That can lead to more extreme weather events, such as cold spells and heatwaves.

Climate change is a long-term trend, and it isn’t easy to attribute specific weather events directly to it. However, the overall warming trend and the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events are consistent with what is expected due to climate change.