2010 – A very cold winter

The question we are asking these days, amid this storm of cold and snow and where the Eurpean continent seems a Siberia landscape, is if this cold weather is normal.

It seems that while Europe has had some of the most severe storms in recent decades, other parts more used to this kind of inclement have had a milder winter. In fact, Greenland and Alaska are living an extremely mild winter with temperatures 10 degrees above what would be normal for this time of year.

Has the weather gone crazy? Experts say this storm is due to a reversal in the atmospheric currents that defins the weather in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Which in more technical terms, is a negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Not to worry, or no? It appears that this phenomenon is repeated often enough, but experts don’t remember an extreme situation lasting like this in the last 50 years. In fact the Arctic Oscillation period wasn’t as bad since 1950.

Now, the next question we ask is if this unusual whether is a consequence of climate change.

Climate-change skeptics insists that one thing is the natural variability of climate and another is the global warming from the accumulation of greenhouse gases. So, every heat wave or cold winter can not be attributed to climate change. The only way to know if it is the consequence of climate change it is studying these changes over time and seeing how it has evolved in number and intensity.

Perhaps, when we are certain that these problems are caused by the emission of greenhouse gases it will be too late.

I here are two images explanatory (in spanish):

ENorth Atlantic Oscillation

North Atlantic Oscillation

North Atlantic Oscillation

North Atlantic Oscillation

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