Polar Vortex Update

January 7, 2014

Stay Tuned. Video due out soon, maybe later today.

Andy Borowitz:

The so-called polar vortex caused hundreds of injuries across the Midwest today, as people who said “so much for global warming” and similar comments were punched in the face.

Authorities in several states said that residents who had made ignorant comments erroneously citing the brutally cold temperatures as proof that climate change did not exist were reporting a sharp increase in injuries to the face and head regions.

In an emergency room in St. Paul, Harland Dorrinson, forty-one, was waiting to be treated for bruising to the facial area after he made a crack about how the below-freezing temperatures meant that climate-change activists were full of shit.

“I’d just finished saying it and boom, out of nowhere someone punched me in the face,” he said. “This polar vortex is really dangerous.”

The meteorology professor Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota, issued a safety warning to residents of the states hammered by the historic low temperatures: “If you are living within the range of the polar vortex and you have something idiotic to say about climate change, do not leave your house.”


Rush Limbaugh on Monday accused the media and liberals of creating the polar vortex to “lie” to the public about the “hoax” of climate change and global warming.

The conservative radio host told his listeners that “the left, the media, everybody” came up with “this phrase called the ‘polar vortex’” to connect the current cold weather conditions around the country to “the global warming agenda.”

“We are having a record-breaking cold snap in many parts of the country,” he said, according to a transcript. “And right on schedule the media have to come up with a way to make it sound like it’s completely unprecedented. Because they’ve got to find a way to attach this to the global warming agenda, and they have. It’s called the ‘polar vortex.’ The dreaded polar vortex.”

Limbaugh said liberals are “in the middle of a hoax, they’re perpetrating a hoax, but they’re relying on their total dominance of the media to lie to you each and every day about climate change and global warming.”

“So they created the polar vortex, and the polar vortex, something’s happened, and that cold air which normally stays is in the North Pole, something’s happening, something deeply mysterious and perhaps tragic is happening,” Limbaugh said.

The weather system “actually sounds like a crappy science fiction movie to me,” according to the radio host.


Is it a side effect of global warming and should we expect more events like this?

This is a hotly researched topic. In short, yes, it could be. It seems counterintuitive that global warming could cause significant cold snaps like this one, but some research shows that it could. We know that different types of extreme weather can result from the overall warming of the planet, melting of the Arctic Sea ice, etc. This includes extreme distortions of the jet stream, which can cause heat waves in summer and cold snaps in winter.

Parts of Western Europe have been battered by the worst storms for two decades during the past week — are they related to the weather system in the United States?

They are related in a sense, but I wouldn’t say “caused by.” The storms in Europe are the result of a persistent pattern that has seen the jet stream parked near the United Kingdom and Ireland, which has brought a train of storm systems over the British Isles. This is the same jet stream, of course, that has plunged deep into the southern portions of the United States.  So, the jet stream has been “stuck” in a position that is allowing cold Arctic air to spill into much of the United States and Canada. But it is in a position that is bringing warmer, moist air from the Atlantic over Northwest Europe, resulting in the stormy conditions.


11 Responses to “Polar Vortex Update”

  1. climatestate Says:

    Turns out the evidence connecting polar vortex to extreme weather goes back to 2001 – at least.

    The Science of the Polar Vortex/Jet Stream

  2. To concede that all our weather is NOT affected by global warming is not the way to advance the cause. 4 atom bombs a second for decades is an awful lot of energy to add to a climate system to simply dismiss as not having a probable effect on all our weather.

    We KNOW that air and land temperatures are higher than 50 years ago. We KNOW that these is 5% more moisture in the atmosphere than 50 years ago. We KNOW that there is less Arctic ice than 50 years ago. We KNOW that seas are warmer then 50 years ago.

    Most importantly, we KNOW that our understanding of the vicissitudes of climate change, while incomplete and nascent, are at least *coherent*. Which one can not say for the opposition, who claims that no weather events are AGW-related.

    The proper course of action, when asked whether the next weather aberration is AGW-related, is to answer “Of course it is”, and then, if challenged, tell them what we KNOW and then ask them to prove their own case.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Very well said, Roger. I agree that we should stop apologizing for the incompleteness of our knowledge and start emphasizing the fact that all the accumulating evidence just keeps pointing in the same direction—-that AGW is real and IS causing “wild weather”. Period. Let the wankers try to refute that.

      Speaking of wankers, I love the irony of the “damage caused by AGW” to that idiot’s face. I would pay $1,000 to be able to do the same to the face of the fattest and most dangerous wanker of them all—-The Gasbag Rush. (I wonder if they have to strap him into his chair to keep him from rising to the ceiling?)

  3. skeptictmac57 Says:

    Nothing can now get in to the hermetically sealed Fox News et al bubble.
    They proactively thwart all science that contradicts their talking points by claiming that climate science is a lefty/liberal conspiracy/hoax,and cannot be trusted,and oh by the way,only Fox News has the truth,and all other news outlets are ‘lame stream media’ biased liberal run propaganda machines. Project much?

  4. […] And extreme cold of course means that people who know nothing about science but like bloviating about weather are claiming that unusually cold weather means climate change isn’t happening. […]

  5. […] Stay Tuned. Video due out soon, maybe later today. Andy Borowitz: The so-called polar vortex caused hundreds of injuries across the Midwest today, as people who said “so much for global warming” an…  […]

  6. DOG – I could use a good Leslie Nielsen comedy, rest his soul, with some slapstick about Rush. I’d like to see him do to Rush what he did to a half dozen dictators.
    I particularly like the Mohawk, but rush is bald.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Yeah, great clip and great fantasy, especially about doing it to Rush. The Mohawk is great, but the “I knew it” after rubbing off Gorby’s birthmark hit me harder.

      And I wonder how many of Rush’s devoted followers are really going to buy his horsepucky about the arctic vortex hoax? Are they that stupid?

      • Stupidity is unfathomable. Half the population has an IQ under 100. I bet you could actually get argument out of deniers on that one. I prefer my nonsense in movies, not from real people.

  7. This is a good post on the reality of the Polar Vortex and climate trend in the US for cold

    “In Much of U.S., Extreme Cold is Becoming More Rare”


  8. MorinMoss Says:

    From Accuweather:

    What Caused the Polar Vortex to Move?
    “The polar vortex moves around at times during the course of the winter, but rarely do you see it get pushed this far south,” Anderson said.
    A large, powerful high pressure system originating in the Eastern Pacific is stretching to the North Pole, shoving the vortex farther south than is typical, allowing it to settle in Canada and the U.S.

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