Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps

insideclimatenews_The loss of sea ice may be weakening the polar vortex, allowing cold blasts to dip south from the Arctic, across North America, Europe and Russia, a new study says.
A strong versus weakened polar vortex. Credit: NOAA

A strong polar vortex (left, from December 2013) is centered over the Arctic. A weakened polar vortex (right, from January 2014) allows cold air to dip farther south. Credit: NOAA

When winter sets in, “polar vortex” becomes one of the most dreaded phrases in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s enough to send shivers even before the first blast of bitter cold arrives.

New research shows that some northern regions have been getting hit with these extreme cold spells more frequently over the past four decades, even as the planet as a whole has warmed. While it may seem counterintuitive, the scientists believe these bitter cold snaps are connected to the warming of the Arctic and the effects that that warming is having on the winds of the stratospheric polar vortex, high above the Earth’s surface.

Here’s what scientists involved in the research think is happening: The evidence is clear that the Arctic has been warming faster than the rest of the planet. That warming is reducing the amount of Arctic sea ice, allowing more heat to escape from the ocean. The scientists think that the ocean energy that is being released is causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic, which normally keep cold air centered over the polar region. That weakening is then allowing cold polar air to slip southward more often.

Continue reading “Ice Loss and the Polar Vortex: How a Warming Arctic Fuels Cold Snaps”


Multiple Mekong forums risk igniting rivalry

ASEAN+ January 03, 2018 01:00


LEADERS FROM six riparian states along the Mekong River will be busy this year as meetings on many cooperation schemes in the region are scheduled in a situaton that observers have said is overlapping.

 The youngest forum, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), will call its second summit meeting next Wednesday in Phnom Penh to endorse a five-year action plan (2018-2022) regarding its cooperation projects.

Its participants – six counties in the Mekong basin comprising China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – have all been involved in many cooperation schemes over the past decades.
Continue reading “Multiple Mekong forums risk igniting rivalry”

Thu hút công chúng quan tâm đến các nghiên cứu khoa học – A practical guide to Public engagement to scientific findings

Ngày nay, thu hút công chúng quan tâm đến các kết quả nghiên cứu khoa học  cần được khích lệ trong giới nghiên cứu, Tài liệu này sẽ đưa ra những chỉ dẫn hữu ích để viết các dự án có tác động thực tiễn. Năm bước chính của chỉ dẫn sẽ giúp các nhà nghiên cứu truyền thông với công chúng các nghiên cứu khoa học của mình: Giới hạn, thu hút cộng đồng, lên kế hoạch, thử nghiệm và phổ biến

Tải tài liệu tại đây PDF downloadable here.

Nowadays, public engagement is highly encouraged among researchers. In this guide, you will find useful tips on how to plan and write your next project so it has a real impact. Five steps will guide you in communicating your research: Scoping, Involving people, Planning, User-testing and Dissemination.

PDF downloadable here.

Commodity prices likely to rise further in 2018: World Bank
Oil prices to average $56 a barrel in 2018, up from 2017 average of $53/bbl

WASHINGTON, October 26 – Oil prices are forecast to rise to $56 a barrel in 2018 from $53 this year as a result of steadily growing demand, agreed production cuts among oil exporters and stabilizing U.S. shale oil production, while the surge in metals prices is expected to level off next year, the World Bank said on Thursday.

Prices for energy commodities – which include oil, natural gas, and coal — are forecast to climb 4 percent in 2018 after a 28 percent leap this year, the World Bank said in its October Commodity Markets Outlook. The metals index is expected to stabilize in the coming year, after a 22 percent jump this year as a correction in iron ore prices is offset by increased prices in other base metals. Prices for agricultural commodities, including food commodities and raw materials, are anticipated to recede modestly in 2017 and edge up next year. Continue reading “Commodity prices likely to rise further in 2018: World Bank”