Author Topic: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?  (Read 1477 times)

Offline Skyfarmr

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Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« on: January 06, 2014, 07:46:22 PM »
Interesting article considering the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and all the references to it in the forum.
(I included this article in the "What's the Weather in Your Area" thread, also; sorry for the redundancy.)

Quote
By Erik Ortiz, Staff Writer, NBC News

Move over, haboob. See you next summer, heat dome. The weather phenomenon hogging all the attention now is "polar vortex."

Twenty-six states are under wind-chill warnings or watches, and the polar vortex is to blame, breaking loose from its North Pole confines and plunging the country in a deep, dangerous freeze.

"Think of this as a polar hurricane," said NBC News' Al Roker.

It isn't expected to linger for long but will leave a mark. Here's what you need to know:

So what exactly is a polar vortex?

A polar vortex is basically a great swirling pool of extremely cold air located tens of thousands of feet in the atmosphere, said Frank Giannasca, senior meteorologist with The Weather Channel.
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Basically an arctic cyclone, it ordinarily spins counterclockwise around the north and south poles.

While it tends to dip over northeastern Canada, it’s catching everyone’s attention because it has moved southward over such a large population — as many as 140 million Americans are feeling the freeze.

Why has it traveled so far south?

There’s a variety of reasons why a chunk of cold air over Canada would break off our way.

Chiefly, warmer air builds up over areas such as Greenland or Alaska, and that air forces the colder, denser air southward.


Also, weather patterns can create the right conditions for the polar vortex to point south.

But in this case, “this very well just may be one of those anomalies where it forces itself southward,” Giannasca said.

Is this a rare phenomenon?

Yes, and no.

Through the course of a winter, the arctic air can get displaced southward, typically into the eastern U.S. But it is uncommon for such cold air to cover such a large part of the country, happening maybe once a decade or longer.

Amplifying this polar vortex are the extreme cold and brutal winds — sending places such as Fargo, N.D., at 32 below zero and Madison, Wis., at minus 21. Add the wind chill, and it will feel like minus 50s and 60s in some parts.

Could there be a polar vortex again this winter?

Forecasts show temperatures around the country as a whole will begin moderating by the end of the week — that means the 20s and 30s in the Plains and Midwest, while parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast could be in the 40s.

But, like any unpredictable weather phenomenon, whether or not this can happen again, “is hard to say,” Giannasca said.

"warmer air builds up over areas such as Greenland or Alaska..."?
Could the warmer air be an effect from warmer ocean currents due to undersea vents/submarine volcanoes heating the"lungs of the world"? Could explain while coastal dwellers and oceanographers are screaming global warming while the landlubbers are replying: hogwash! 
Regardless, the extremes being recorded on both ends scream WAKE UP!!!

Offline Archaea

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 09:31:59 AM »
I had a weird theory back during superstorm Huiyan. There was a picture on Sott of the storm from space, and it reminded me of what the C's said about Earth looking like Jupiter in 4D. The theory was that the weather of the Earth is transitioning from what it is/was to a state where there are bands of white clouds over blue sea rapping right around the Earth.

Now, I'm a bit of a one track pony, so I'm going to mention chaos theory. I think that maybe it's possible that the Earth's weather is changing from one more or less stable state to another more or less stable state. And what is happening now is all the weirdness that occurs between states.

However, I have absolutely nothing to back that theory up. 

Offline Laura

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 11:45:15 AM »
Interesting article considering the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" and all the references to it in the forum.
(I included this article in the "What's the Weather in Your Area" thread, also; sorry for the redundancy.)

Quote
By Erik Ortiz, Staff Writer, NBC News

Move over, haboob. See you next summer, heat dome. The weather phenomenon hogging all the attention now is "polar vortex."

Twenty-six states are under wind-chill warnings or watches, and the polar vortex is to blame, breaking loose from its North Pole confines and plunging the country in a deep, dangerous freeze.

"Think of this as a polar hurricane," said NBC News' Al Roker.

It isn't expected to linger for long but will leave a mark. Here's what you need to know:

So what exactly is a polar vortex?

A polar vortex is basically a great swirling pool of extremely cold air located tens of thousands of feet in the atmosphere, said Frank Giannasca, senior meteorologist with The Weather Channel.
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Basically an arctic cyclone, it ordinarily spins counterclockwise around the north and south poles.

While it tends to dip over northeastern Canada, it’s catching everyone’s attention because it has moved southward over such a large population — as many as 140 million Americans are feeling the freeze.

Why has it traveled so far south?

There’s a variety of reasons why a chunk of cold air over Canada would break off our way.

Chiefly, warmer air builds up over areas such as Greenland or Alaska, and that air forces the colder, denser air southward.


Also, weather patterns can create the right conditions for the polar vortex to point south.

But in this case, “this very well just may be one of those anomalies where it forces itself southward,” Giannasca said.

Is this a rare phenomenon?

Yes, and no.

Through the course of a winter, the arctic air can get displaced southward, typically into the eastern U.S. But it is uncommon for such cold air to cover such a large part of the country, happening maybe once a decade or longer.

Amplifying this polar vortex are the extreme cold and brutal winds — sending places such as Fargo, N.D., at 32 below zero and Madison, Wis., at minus 21. Add the wind chill, and it will feel like minus 50s and 60s in some parts.

Could there be a polar vortex again this winter?

Forecasts show temperatures around the country as a whole will begin moderating by the end of the week — that means the 20s and 30s in the Plains and Midwest, while parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast could be in the 40s.

But, like any unpredictable weather phenomenon, whether or not this can happen again, “is hard to say,” Giannasca said.

"warmer air builds up over areas such as Greenland or Alaska..."?
Could the warmer air be an effect from warmer ocean currents due to undersea vents/submarine volcanoes heating the"lungs of the world"? Could explain while coastal dwellers and oceanographers are screaming global warming while the landlubbers are replying: hogwash! 
Regardless, the extremes being recorded on both ends scream WAKE UP!!!

Actually, I think that this explanation of the "polar vortex" is not correct.

The aberrations in the polar vortex are not caused by it being heated and breaking down.  The most likely cause of the aberrations of the vortex are 1) slowing of the planet; 2) weakening of the magnetic field. 3) comet dust causing the upper atmosphere to become COLDER and fall lower, compressing the troposphere. 4) other factors.

The jet stream isn't warming the poles though the meandering is keeping some areas warmer than normal as long as they are BELOW the jet stream itself.

The SURFACE of the planet was, for a period of time (as reported in numerous stories back some 5/6 years ago, actually warming.  There were reports of many hot-spots in various places, in some cases, hot enough to ignite.  This is now being countered by surface cooling due to other factors, probably global dimming/induction of colder air (see below). This heating of the lithosphere is probably due to the slowing of rotation which generates internal heat between the lithosphere and the mantle, and leads to increased volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, sinkholes, etc, and is probably also responsible for many of the strange sounds.

It is the UPPER atmosphere - the stratosphere -  that is cooling and that is the reason for  sun pillars, rings around the sun, double/triple/quadruple images of the sun, contrails, etc.

Volcanic dust does not heat the upper atmosphere by "trapping heat" in the stratosphere.  That the stratosphere is colder and has dropped lower has been reported by scientists, though that information gets sidelined. The AGW folks would LOVE people to believe that nonsense.

Then, there is the comet dust/smoke in the upper atmosphere that further contributes to the cooling as you can see from the dramatic increase in noctilucent clouds.

AT THE SAME TIME that is going on, the quiescent sun and the earth's weakened magnetic field allow more cosmic radiation to reach the TROPOSPHERE where it forms cloud nuclei and increases precipitation from the increased evaporation from the oceans caused by the increasing heat within the earth caused by the slowing of rotation.

These are all the conditions for the initiation of an ICE age: heat at the lower levels, troposphere where "weather" takes place,  extreme cold at the upper levels of the atmosphere, which can then create interesting effects including polar vortexs. A polar vortex is, I think, an induction of the very, very, very coldness of space onto our planet thanks to the above mentioned factors. 
He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
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Offline Laura

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 12:02:09 PM »
More (though I'm not sure that I buy this explanation either) but he's got pretty pics:

_http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/07/a-sober-look-at-the-northern-polar-vortex/

Quote
Currently there is a lot of media hype about the Polar Vortex over North America, but little in the way of coherent explanation as to what a Polar Vortex is and how it affects Earth’s temperature. As such, a Polar Vortex is “caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.” Universe Today “A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles.” “The vortex is most powerful in the hemisphere’s winter, when the temperature gradient is steepest, and diminishes or can disappear in the summer.” Wikipedia In addition to those on Earth, Polar Vortices also have been sighted on Venus, Mars, Jupiter , Saturn and Saturn’s Moon Titan.

Long-term vortices are a frequent phenomenon in the atmospheres of fast rotating planets, like Jupiter and Saturn, for example. Venus rotates slowly, yet it has permanent vortices in its atmosphere at both poles. What is more, the rotation speed of the atmosphere is much greater than that of the planet. “We’ve known for a long time that the atmosphere of Venus rotates 60 times faster than the planet itself, but we didn’t know why. The difference is huge; that is why it’s called super-rotation. And we’ve no idea how it started or how it keeps going.

The permanence of the Venus vortices contrasts with the case of the Earth. “On the Earth there are seasonal effects and temperature differences between the continental zones and the oceans that create suitable conditions for the formation and dispersal of polar vortices. On Venus there are no oceans or seasons, and so the polar atmosphere behaves very differently,” says Garate-Lopez.” Phys.org

So with that background, let’s take a look at the Polar Vortex currently over North America. Starting at 10 hPa/mb – Approximately 31,000 meters (101,700 feet) here we have a Height Analysis showing the low pressure area;



a Temperature Analysis showing the cold area;



Zonal Mean Temperatures showing the cold area from a global perspective;

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/polar/gif_files/time_lat_t10_2013.gif
Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?


a Wind Animation showing the motion of the Vortex, http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/10hPa/azimuthal_equidistant

and Ozone Mixing Ratio map showing the “Ozone Hole” within it:

http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_o3mr_10_nh_f00.gif
Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?


Now we are going to travel down the Polar Vortex in several steps, so here’s another Height Analysis showing the low pressure area at 30 hPa/mb – Approximately 23,700 meters (77,800 feet);



So why is it so cold in North America right now? Per Global – 10-hPa/mb Height Temperature Anomalies – Atmospheric Temperature Anomalies At Approximately 31,000 meters (101,700 feet);



it appears that that we are having a Sudden Stratospheric Warming growing over East Asia, i.e. “the breakdown of the polar vortex is an extreme event known as a sudden stratospheric warming, here the vortex completely breaks down and an associated warming of 30-50 degrees Celsius over a few days can occur. {Here is where I wonder if they've gone wrong.  Looks more like there is a sudden heating from the troposphere that is creating bubbles that push against the heavier, colder, stratosphere and cause the jet stream to warp.} The Arctic vortex is elongated in shape, with two centres, one roughly over Baffin Island in Canada and the other over northeast Siberia. In rare events, the vortex can push further south as a result of axis interruption, see January 1985 Arctic outbreak.” Wikipedia ”The January 1985 Arctic outbreak was a meteorological event, the result of the shifting of the polar vortex further south than is normally seen. Blocked from its normal movement, polar air from the north pushed into nearly every section of the eastern half of the United States, shattering record lows in a number of states.” Wikipedia {Which might be evidence that my "heating from below pushing against the colder, heavier air causing this warping" effect.} This BBC Article and Video are helpful in understanding Sudden Stratospheric Warmings. {I think the "sudden stratospheric warming" is a load of nonsense UNLESS you picture it as a heating from below, pushing up, like a big moving bubble of trapped hot air.}

In terms of claims that “US polar vortex may be example of global warming” Guardian and “Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold Weather” Time, these appear to be unsupported conjecture as:

   
Quote
“Many atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs) and chemistry–climate models (CCMs) are not able to reproduce the observed polar stratospheric winds in simulations of the late 20th century. Specifically, the polar vortices break down too late and peak wind speeds are higher than in the ERA-40 reanalysis. Insufficient planetary wave driving during the October–November period delays the breakup of the southern hemisphere (SH) polar vortex in versions 1 (V1) and 2 (V2) of the Goddard Earth Observing System (GEOS) chemistry–climate model, and is likely the cause of the delayed breakup in other CCMs with similarly weak October-November wave driving.”

    “In the V1 model, the delayed breakup of the Antarctic vortex biases temperature, circulation and trace gas concentrations in the polar stratosphere in spring. The V2 model behaves similarly (despite major model upgrades from V1), though the magnitudes of the anomalous effects on springtime dynamics are smaller.”

    “Clearly, if CCMs cannot duplicate the observed response of the polar stratosphere to late 20th century climate forcings, their ability to simulate the polar vortices in future may be poor.” (Assessment and Consequences of the Delayed Breakup of the Antarctic Polar Vortex in Chemistry-Climate Models Hurwitz et al., 2009)

    “It is unclear how much confidence can be put into the model projections of the vortices given that the models typically only have moderate resolution and that the climatological structure of the vortices in the models depends on the tuning of gravity wave parameterizations.

    Given the above outstanding issues, there is need for continued research in the dynamics of the vortices and their representation in global models.” (Stratospheric Polar Vortices, Waugh et al. 2010)

To learn more about Polar Vortices please visit the WUWT Polar Vortex Reference Page.


I don't think that we will learn that much about polar vortices from these standard interpretations that do not take into account the slowing of the planet, the decline of the magnetic field, etc.

I would also suggest that, based on that image above that shows how the heat grows and moves and forces the warping of the jet stream, it is altogether possible that it will move even more and Eurasia may get the next "polar vortex treatment" - possibly even this winter.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 12:04:27 PM by Laura »
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And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
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Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
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Offline Laura

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Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
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Offline Al Today

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2014, 10:48:36 PM »
Have a look at this:
http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/01/01/1200Z/wind/isobaric/850hPa/orthographic=-65.72,65.88,512

Quite well the quote above displays the hurricane like wind pattern out in the North Atlantic, just west of the U.K. It's been there for a while and y'all are getting pounded. I can't help but remember the C's posting that Europe get's the ice age before USA.

I do not have the resources as I remember when y'all placed the Current velocities of the Gulf Stream ( http://rads.tudelft.nl/gulfstream/ ) on the SotT web page. To see a time lapse of the Gulf Stream stopping up for the past year or so methinks would be quite telling?


Offline Pob

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 12:45:39 AM »
Have a look at this:
http://earth.nullschool.net/#2014/01/01/1200Z/wind/isobaric/850hPa/orthographic=-65.72,65.88,512

Quite well the quote above displays the hurricane like wind pattern out in the North Atlantic, just west of the U.K. It's been there for a while and y'all are getting pounded.

Yeah, it's a very impressive graphic. No ice age here yet, we're just underwater. Although reports suggest temperatures will start dropping next week.
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Offline sbeaudry

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 12:54:22 AM »
Interesting how quickly this can happen.  Looking at some of the pictures of the northeast US and considering all of the flooding going on in the UK may provide a glimpse into how quickly fairly massive sheets of ice could form over land... Imagine if this 'polar vortex' had extended over that area after or during such flooding...   
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Offline H-kqge

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 05:11:47 AM »
Interesting how quickly this can happen.  Looking at some of the pictures of the northeast US and considering all of the flooding going on in the UK may provide a glimpse into how quickly fairly massive sheets of ice could form over land... Imagine if this 'polar vortex' had extended over that area after or during such flooding...

My thoughts too. Two or three years ago in the UK we "suffered" from just a bit of snow & things came to a grinding halt. Ok there was some ice, but nothing like US & elsewhere experiences it. I could barely believe that I was going to be off work because the roads weren't gritted & other measures weren't in place. Transport, schools etc. I saw a report the next day (US coverage) on how Britain was "a laughing stock" because of it. After a while I began thinking that it may have been done on purpose.

Still, with the precursor(s)to a maximum ice age that's going to hit Eurasia, the UK is bound to be in the top 3 worst places to be as an island, & one that's not even adequately prepared for floods...
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Offline Skyfarmr

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 12:05:29 AM »
After reading Laura's insightful comments (in blue), started thinking about past trends and found this article: "Sudden STratospheric Warming caused the  Polar Vortex to Split in two" from last Winter.

Apparently this splitting of the polar vortex was noted last January (2013) as well with some very interesting explanations and graphics.  The author calls it "sudden stratospheric warming", despite commenting that the heating comes from below.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/16/1179397/-Sudden-Stratospheric-Warming-Split-the-Polar-Vortex-in-Two
Quote
Sudden stratospheric warming has split the polar vortex in two. The polar vortex, which forms and deepens as the atmosphere loses heat to space in the darkness of the long Arctic winter night, was split in two by massive heating from below. A series of intense storms in the far north Pacific intensified a very long wave in the lower atmosphere. Energy on that planet sized wave went upwards from the lower atmosphere around the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau and broke into the stratosphere, causing major sudden warming. It rapidly reversed the strong cyclonic winds in the stratosphere around the pole, creating a central dome, breaking the vortex into two smaller vortices.

The article incorporates some interesting historical and trend data, as well.
Quote
Major stratospheric warmings have taken place, on average, every other year over the past 50 years. The physics of these warmings is very complicated. Since 1998 these warmings have been more frequent and earlier in the winter. Previously, major warmings typically happened in February. Over the past decade they have happened in December and January, but this one is exceptional on all counts. This stratospheric warming is apparently the strongest ever observed in the first half of January according to the NOAA figure. No one knows why the number of major warmings is increasing but a correlation has been with positive sea surface temperature anomalies and the active phase of the solar cycle. [or possibly submarine volcanic activity?]  This year the sun is active and there are large positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the north Indian ocean and the north-west Pacific.

THen, in trying to explain what is happening include this which to me defies physics... I always was taught cold air sinks, warm air rises.
Is there some dynamic which would defy this "rule of thumb"?  Their explanation doesn't make sense to me, and is contrary to what was stated in the intro of this article.

Quote
Major stratospheric warming events like these have a large impact on the weather. The warm air in the stratosphere radiates heat and sinks, then warms as it sinks by compressional heating. [Is there anyone who can verify or explain this?] It causes a mound of relatively warm air and high pressure to develop around the pole. Cold air is pushed away from the pole, in this case under the two vortices. In the Pacific ocean the dynamic interaction of the cold air with abnormally warm water off of the northeast coast of Japan developed one of the strongest north Pacific storm in many years with a central pressure of 932mb, as low as a major hurricane, and modeled wave heights of over 60 feet.

Recently, posted about the SOTT flashback article regarding the massive under sea volcanoes in the Artic http://www.sott.net/article/182702-Global-Warming-in-the-Arctic-Or-Simply-Massive-Under-Sea-Volcanoes-
Sure seems like this could be a heat source for this sort of weather anomaly.
Quote
     Recent massive volcanoes have risen from the ocean floor deep under the Arctic ice cap, spewing plumes of fragmented magma into the sea, scientists who filmed the aftermath reported Wednesday.

    The eruptions [plural!] - as big as the one that buried Pompei - took place in 1999 along the Gakkel Ridge, an underwater mountain chain snaking 1,800 kilometres (1,100 miles) from the northern tip of Greenland to Siberia.

    Scientists suspected even at the time that a simultaneous series of earthquakes were linked to these volcanic spasms.

    But when a team led of scientists led by Robert Sohn of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts finally got a first-ever glimpse of the ocean floor 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) beneath the Arctic pack ice, they were astonished.

    What they saw was unmistakable evidence of explosive eruptions rather than the gradual secretion of lava bubbling up from Earth's mantle onto the ocean floor.

Folks need to understand that the Arctic Ocean is a fairly closed system because it resides in a large bowl shaped depression with only limited outlets that rise to much shallower depths, as seen in the following picture:

The natural basin that is the Arctic Ocean is possibly the reason why Arctic water temperatures were rising because the warming caused by these massive underwater explosions couldn't really circulate out of the basin. Is this the real culprit for why the ice and glaciers have been receding in the Arctic and ice as been growing in the Antarctic? Seems highly possible.

Update: Is it simply coincidence that the regions of the Arctic Ocean experiencing thin ice (which has so many 'scientists' blowing hot air about Global Warming) is the same region that is right over these massive undersea volcanoes just discovered?




more on the Gakkel Ridge Expedition can be found here:  http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/expedition11/index.html
Some of the "hot topics" (links in left margin) include biogeography of hydrothermal vents, seafloor magnetics and seafloor gravity around undersea volcanoes, the latter two which seem to have a relationship with lava flows.  Still checking out those links, but at first glance seems to play into the big picture.

Artic oscillation (AO) (aka Polar Vortex?) was also discussed in 2009: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972
and in 2011:  http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=48882&eocn=image&eoci=related_image

This all seems to be part of a trend that began back in 1998/99 - post Gakkel Ridge eruption. (Interestingly, on a personal/human experiential note, this was a pivotal year of change for myself, my closest friend, and for my husband-to-be at that time and was about the time I found my way to Cassiopeia.org ...shortly after buying my first computer)

Here's a more detailed analysis of the trend remarked upon in the Daily Kos article:

Quote
    The dynamical activity in recent winters reveals that the frequency of MWs (Major Warmings) in the Arctic is increasing (e.g. Charlton Perez et al., 2008). ...

    On average, during 1957/58–1990/91, MWs occurred only once every two Arctic winters (e.g Bancala et al. ´ , 2012; Cohen and Jones, 2011; Andrews et al., 1987). Conversely, no MW occurred in 9 consecutive winters from 1989/90 to 1997/98, except a minor warming in early February 1990 (Manney et al., 2005).

    However, there were 7 MWs in 5 out of the 6 winters from 1998/99 to 2003/04. The winter 1999/00 was unusually cold but each other winter was prone to MWs... Furthermore, two MWs were observed in 1998/99 and 2001/02...This warming sequence continued and there were 5 MWs in 5 winters again in 2005/06–2009/10... Many of the MWs in recent years have been atypically early (December/early January) compared to those found before 1990s, which were observed mostly in February.

Big question is, what was happening in 98/99 that could have woke up/opened up Gakkel Ridge? 
We know that global warming hysteria soon followed, keeping in mind this Gakkel Ridge eruption wasn't written about until 2007-2008, one year after the release of "An Inconvenient Truth"... a convenient smoke-screen if you ask me.

So was there anything happening astronomically in 1998 of note?
What about the SGR 1900+14 (super gamma ray) burst revealed by NASA? Could that have been an electromagnetic catalyst?
Quote
The flash of gamma rays was detected on Aug. 27 by at least seven spacecraft in Earth orbit and in deep space. It capped several months of observations of an object known as SGR 1900+14, a Soft Gamma Repeater located in the constellation Aquila (the eagle) near Sagittarius (the archer). Note to editors: High-resolution and PDF copies of these images are available on a separate Magnetar Image Page.
Left: SGR 1900+14 - observed by the Italian-Dutch Beppo SAX satellite - during a dormant phase in 1997 (left side) and in September 1998 (right side) after it erupted with a series of energetic flares[Actually eruption observed earlier than this and was confirmed and announced on Aug 27]. Links to 720x486-pixel, 34KB JPG. Credit: Chryssa Kouveliotou, USRA, and Peter Woods, UAH.



links to more information about this event:

Crusty young star
makes its presence felt
Gamma ray flash zaps satellites, illuminates Earth, and sheds light on several mysterious stellar events

http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/1998/ast29sep98_1/

Radiation from magnetar offers a look at a mysterious star
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9809/29/cosmic.blast/


Offline French Marigold

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Re: Polar vortex: What is it, and when is it going away?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 09:58:50 AM »
Interesting how quickly this can happen.  Looking at some of the pictures of the northeast US and considering all of the flooding going on in the UK may provide a glimpse into how quickly fairly massive sheets of ice could form over land... Imagine if this 'polar vortex' had extended over that area after or during such flooding...

My thoughts too. Two or three years ago in the UK we "suffered" from just a bit of snow & things came to a grinding halt. Ok there was some ice, but nothing like US & elsewhere experiences it. I could barely believe that I was going to be off work because the roads weren't gritted & other measures weren't in place. Transport, schools etc. I saw a report the next day (US coverage) on how Britain was "a laughing stock" because of it. After a while I began thinking that it may have been done on purpose.

Still, with the precursor(s)to a maximum ice age that's going to hit Eurasia, the UK is bound to be in the top 3 worst places to be as an island, & one that's not even adequately prepared for floods...

Im wondering if the polar vortex could ocurr in the UK?
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