Blue Dot 207: Polar Climate Change and Our Weather: A Conversation With Jennifer Francis
Dave talks to polar climate expert Jennifer Francis about the hows and whys of the north polar region's dramatic warming is affecting weather here at temperate latitudes.
From freezing temperatures in Texas to the persistent drought conditions in California, it turns out much of what is happening (or not happening in the case of winter storms hitting California) is due to changes in the polar jet stream caused by a rapidly warming climate at the highest latitudes.
Francis is a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Her work was cited by Barack Obama seeking to counter misinformation from Senator James Imhoff (Republican/Oklahoma) who famously brought a snowball into the Senate chamber in 2014 as "proof" that global warming is a "hoax."
Turns out, that snowball was more of a canary in the coal mine and an indicator of more severe weather to come in our warming world.