Turn on virtually any local TV weather forecast for a storm these days, and chances are you’ll come across more and more “jet stream” references.
But why? And what exactly is the jet stream, and what, if any, is its connection to extreme weather events, be it droughts, extreme heat, forest fires or floods? ?
“It is difficult to find examples of major weather events from the past year that are‘you related to the jet stream,” says Maiya May, PBS producer and host of “PBS Terra,” in a new video from Yale Climate Connections, produced by freelance videographer Peter Sinclair.
Climate models may be ‘too conservative’ on jet stream impacts given current observations, says Columbia University scientist Kai Kornhuber, pointing to recent record-breaking extreme weather events .
“The observational evidence for crazier jet stream activity has certainly been strong,” Yale Climate Connections meteorologist Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground, says in the video. “We are seeing very unusual activity over the past few decades.” Citing recent research establishing links between jet stream disturbances and severe weather, Masters adds that theoretical and computer modeling evidence remains limited, making the topic still “difficult to solve”.
Among the puzzles addressed by the researchers is the extent to which climate change may influence what Nebraska State climatologist Martha Shulski calls “wavy” jet stream behaviors and air outbreaks. more polar. Other experts speak on the range of known, unknown and suspected issues involving the jet stream, climate change and global weather.