What the Polar Vortex Can Teach Us About the Earth’s Climate
Comedian Jon Stewart has come out to comment on media reporting of the “cold-equals-no-global-warming” claims.
Stewart said: “Yeah, your [expletive] opinion. That’s your opinion. It means nothing . . . It’s your opinion: Yeah, based on its flavor, I think lead paint is good to drink. That’s my opinion. Peeing into a fountain at the same time as another person is a good way to switch souls with them. That’s my opinion.”
Other media outlets joked that “its so cold, even polar bears and penguins were being kept indoors.”
The deep freeze has caused both sides of the climate change debate to come out with gloves up, ready to fight – or combat subzero temperatures.
And this has led to some interesting articles; including how dogs predict weather conditions by which direction they face while they defecate.
The continental US is currently trapped in a polar vortex, as it is called.
Sardonic responses from Donald Trump sum-up the temperament of some.
Trump said on Twitter : “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps, and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”
To keep the idea of global warming alive, some contend that it has an indirect role to play in the “occasional deep freeze”.
Jennifer Francis, research professor at Rutgers University claims that : “The temperature difference between the Arctic and North America is shrinking. That’s one factor causing wobbliness in the jet stream, the west-east current that circles the Northern Hemisphere. Normally, that river of air keeps low-pressure cold air contained above the Arctic and holds higher-pressure warm air above the temperate regions, where most people live.”
Francis said: “Scientists tend to call the jet stream a ‘polar vortex’.”
Because of the cold, 3 Amtrak trains derailed, trapping 500 passengers heading to Chicago.
Reports from passengers to media relayed that after the trains derailed, there were long periods without food and “the conditions [were] cold, we’re wearing coats.”
Bathrooms were flooding and sinks overflowed with water.
Other reports were not so dire, showing that passengers were kept happy by staff and as comfortable as possible.
PJM Interconnection, power plants that service the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, have had to take “emergency steps” to combat the subzero temperatures, while maintaining electricity to customers.
In Pennsylvania, customers have been asked by PJM to conserve their electricity.
PJM stated that this request would continue because the demand for electricity is taxing their power plants.
Local media suggests that customers:
- Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits
- Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until midday or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases
- Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using
In Providence, Rhode Island a water main burst ; causing wet conditions to add to the dangerous roadways.
Sections of roads were blocked off by local law enforcement.