Those icy hats that got lost

🇮🇹 🇪🇸

People in northern/central Europe are asking, “Why is so cold here in April?”, while Iberia is already burning.

(There were 38.8C registered yesterday — April 27, 2023 — at the airport of Cordoba, Spain)

We cannot understand what is going on unless we look at the planet as a whole.

We need to consider planet Earth as it is — a single planet, all connected.

planet Earth is a single entity.

Everything is interconnected on planet Earth’s biosphere, among this everything: the air currents.

So what is going on with the currents of air on planet Earth? Simplifying quite a lot:

What we used to have was the stable presence of cold air at the Earth’s poles. Humans call this a polar vortex. Like two little hats made of cold air, the northern and southern polar vortices used to stay there: at the north and at the south pole.

This made the air at latitudes just below the northern polar vortex/just above the southern polar vortex, to be circulating predominantly horizontally, from west to east or from east to west. And so we used to have more or less the same weather at the same latitude, on planet Earth.

The latitude is the “vertical” distance of a place on Earth from the equator. It is positive above the equator, and negative below it; for example, Madrid has a latitude of about 40 degrees (or 40 degrees north), while São Paulo has a latitude of about -23 degrees (or 23 degrees south).

The longitude is the “horizontal” distance of a place on Earth from Greenwich: it is negative westward and positive eastward; for example, Madrid has a longitude of about -3 degrees (or 3 degrees west), while Milan has longitude of about 9 degrees (or 9 degrees east).

Iberia used to share the same kind of weather of central and eastern Europe. There were differences, but not that big, because the climate equilibrium on planet Earth was making all the places at the same latitude to share more or less the same kind of climate zone.

That equilibrium has broken, because of the large (and growing) increase of the average temperature of the planet.

The little hats made of ice are no more stable at the poles: at the poles now, there is often warm air.

It was raining this year in February, close to the North Pole.

Illustration of the differences between our past and our present/future situation, referred to the northern hemisphere. On the left: a stable polar vortex at the pole makes the air below to circulate predominantly west-eastward and keeps cold air at the poles, war air closer to the equator. On the right: an unstable polar vortex makes the air below to circulate predominantly south-north: cold air moves south, and warm air moves north. Image credit: GETTYIMAGES / PISCINE

This makes the air below the poles to be much more wavy, unstable, but especially, this makes that air to move predominantly vertically.
In the northern hemisphere, huge masses of air are now able to move south from the north pole, while giant masses of warmer air can move northern from the equator.
In the southern hemisphere, huge masses of air move north from the south pole, while giant masses of warmer air move southern from the equator.

Everything in the movement of our planetary air mass is much more unstable, and moving more vertically (north/south and south/north) than ever.

For these reasons we can easily have difference of twenty Celsius degrees or more between places that are just a few degrees of longitude away. This has happened a few months ago already in the US/Canada, and it is happening now in Europe/Asia. Huge cold air mass, and just a few kilometers west/east, huge hot air mass. The first coming from the North Pole, the second coming from the equator.

In the image below you can see the reconstruction of the temperature anomaly with respect to the average — blue is colder than usual, red is hotter than usual — for the day of yesterday, April 27, 2023. One can see a huge cold air mass over central Europe, and just a few kilometers west/east, huge hot air masses.

If you zoom out to the north, you can see that that cold air mass is coming down almost vertically straight from the North Pole.

If you zoom out to the south, you can see that that hot air mass is coming up almost vertically from the North African region.

Iberia shares the weather with the Sahara desert, these days, while the Benelux, Germany, Poland, the Balkans, are sharing the weather with the North Pole.

This is our present, this is our future, these effects are going to intensify yes or yes,
and the velocity depends mainly on us (collectively as humanity).

During my life on Earth (40 years), (a part of) humanity has burned as much fossil fuels than in all the rest of the history of humanity, all summed together, all the thousands of years before. We are increasing these emissions and our production, as the craziest of lemmings all together toward
the big nothing (ashes).

We need to understand the problem we are all in.

We need to stop and understand the problem,
I am not sure in which order but we need to do both.

We all share the same planet.


(and those who talk about Terra-forming planet Mars must be among the foolest humans ever lived.)

Published by marghezz

Astronomer, human of planet Earth investigating supermassive black holes.

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