Mar 27, 2017
Climate change is shifting global air currents
And it will lead to more droughts, floods and heatwaves
Huge jetstreams that circle Earth are being altered by climate change, scientists have warned.
The researchers claim that man-made global warming has slowed down the way that air flows and distributes weather - and the consequences could be severe. They say the shift will see an increase in extreme weather globally, including more deadly droughts, floods and heatwaves.
Jetstreams are influenced by the difference in temperatures between the equator and the Arctic. These streams circle the Earth and transport heat and moisture from the Arctic to the tropics.
But when the planetary waves stall droughts or floods can occur. Warming caused by greenhouse-gases from fossil fuels stall airstreams, the international team of researchers found.
'The unprecedented 2016 California drought, the 2011 US heatwave and 2010 Pakistan flood all belong to a most worrying series of extremes,' says study lead author Dr Michael Mann from Pennsylvania State University.
'The increased incidence of these events exceeds what we would expect from the direct effects of global warming alone.
'There must be an additional climate change effect.'
Dr Mann and his team used data from computer simulations as well as real world observations.
By HARRY PETTIT FOR MAILONLINE