Jan 2019 was a month of extremes: UN

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Feb 2019 09:35:14


 

UNITED NATIONS,

It’s an influence of Polar Vortex, says UN weather agency WMO’s report

January witnessed extreme cold in North America, record high heat and wildfires in Australia, heavy rains in parts of South America, and heavy snow on the Alps and Himalayas


‘HIGH impact weather’ has gripped much of the world so far this year, the UN weather agency, WMO, reported, with dangerous and extreme cold in North America, record high heat and wildfires in Australia, heavy rains in parts of South America, and heavy snow on the Alps and Himalayas. The WMO assessment of January’s weather, published on Friday, describes it as ‘a month of extremes’, with large parts of North America gripped by  bitterly cold temperatures, caused by the influence of the Polar Vortex.


In southern Minnesota, reports the UN weather agency, the
wind chill factor pushed readings down to minus 65 degree F (-53.90C) on January 30. The national low temperature record was measured at minus 56 ‘F (-48.9 degree C).
“Disturbances in the jet stream and the intrusion of warmer mid-latitude air masses can alter the structure and the dynamics of the Polar Vortex, sending Arctic air south into middle latitudes and bringing warmer air into the Arctic. This is not a new phenomenon, although there is increasing research into how it is being impacted by climate change,” the agency said.


But climate sceptics should  be careful before equating the frigid conditions, with a rejection of the inexorable rise in global temperatures due to global warming, or rising carbon dioxide emissions.  “The cold weather in the eastern United States certainly does not disprove climate change,” said WMO Secretary General Petteri Taalas.