Bone-Chilling Cold: With Almost -40C Temperature, Chicago Freezes Due To Polar Vortex
January 31st, 2019 / 4:11 PM
Image Credit: Twitter/Donald Trump
Frozen arctic winds have brought record-low temperatures across many parts of the United States Of America, which has rendered cities like Chicago virtually crippled. As of January 30, at least eight deaths have been linked to the absurd climactic conditions in the midwestern states of USA.
Temperature drops in Chicago
Temperatures in Chicago dropped around -30C reported The Guardian and with strong wind chills, the temperature reached a record low of -45 degrees to -55 degrees in certain locations. Not only were classes cancelled in Chicago, but the US Postal Services have also halted their services in several parts of the country. The extreme climatic conditions have been attributed to the phenomena of the polar vortex – a band of strong winds that keeps extremely cold winds locked around the Arctic region.
However, even as many parts of the US are struggling to keep themselves warm amidst the dangerous blast of cold arctic air, President Donald Trump has again taken a questionable dig on the topic of global warming as he tweeted, “In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!”
According to The Guardian, occasionally, the vortex can become distorted and meander further south than what is normal. While this has happened before as well, the polar vortex has broken in two which has resulted in extreme weather situations, so much so, that the temperatures in Chicago were 10 degrees lower than in Antarctica.
The increased phenomena of the polar vortex coming down on heavily populated areas have been attributed to climate change. Reportedly, there has been some evidence that the jet stream which flows over North America and Europe is slowing down and becoming heavier as the planet gradually warms. This stream then interacts with the polar vortex, bringing frigid temperatures further down south.
In retaliation to Trump’s comments, The Guardian reported that the scientist pointed out that climate change allows arctic wind to flow down south and also mentioned that the winters still exist.
Funny story about that. There’s growing evidence that a warming Arctic drives the polar vortex. The jet stream is powered in part by the difference between Arctic and mid-latitude temperatures. Warm Arctic = less difference = less power = stuck jet pulling cold air south = BRRRR. https://t.co/ubYKCmFwfT
— Dr. Jacquelyn Gill (@JacquelynGill) January 29, 2019
“It’s cold outside…I’d like a little global warming now!” Your annual reminder that one snowstorm over the US east coast does not invalidate decades of observations around the entire world showing that yes, the planet is warming. https://t.co/hX7yep8ZTE
— Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe) January 21, 2019
This is certainly not the first time that Trump has made an irresponsible comment with regards to global warming and climate change.
A teenager from Assam, Astha Sarmah really won the internet over on November 22 after she gave a science lesson to US President Donald Trump in a tweet. On November 21, when the temperature in Washington dropped below -2C, Trump took to Twitter and wrote, “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS Whatever happened to Global Warming.”
Donald Trump denies global warming
The annual calculation of the “emissions gap,” which looks at the difference between global pollution and international efforts to curb it has put the blame on the behaviours of certain nations, including the USA. The 2018 Emissions Gap report suggested that countries need to put in five times more effort to curb pollution in order to keep global warming at 1.5C.
Nations must raise their #ClimateAction ambition by
🔴 3X to meet the 2°C warming target
🔴 5X to meet the 1.5°C warming target
We urgently need a large-scale push to bridge the #EmissionsGap: https://t.co/hpEut7Gn1B pic.twitter.com/u0vEYso0AA
— UN Environment (@UNEnvironment) November 27, 2018
However, this is certainly not the first time that President Trump has denied climate change. His claims that global warming is not real goes against the claims made by hundreds of researchers who have said that the earth is rapidly warming up and will continue to do so unless there are collective efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses.
In a recent interview with The Washington Post, the President said that he did not believe the scientific consensus which surrounds climate change. “You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean. … As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it — not nearly like it is,” he said. In June 2017, Trump had also pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, citing the same reason.
Global warming is a serious issue that needs serious thought and considerations from all individuals, especially world leaders like Donald Trump. The adverse effects of global warming have been highlighted time and again and each person should work in tandem to curb it at the earliest.
Written by : Sromona Bhattacharyya
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi