Environmental scientists have declared a “global climate emergency” after the Northern Hemisphere Jet Stream was found to have crossed the equator, bringing “unprecedented” changes to the world’s weather patterns.
Robert Scribbler and University of Ottawa researcher Paul Beckwith warned of the “weather-destabilising and extreme weather-generating” consequences of the jet stream shift.
The scientists said the anomalies were most likely precipitated by man-made climate change, which caused the jet stream to slow down and create larger waves.
Scribbler wrote in a post on his environmental blog on Tuesday: “It’s the very picture of weather-weirding due to climate change. Something that would absolutely not happen in a normal world. Something, that if it continues, basically threatens seasonal integrity.
The blogger explained the barrier between the two jet streams generates the strong divide between summer and winter, and the “death of winter” could commence if it is eroded as warm weather leaks into the “winter zone” of the year.
He continued: “As the poles have warmed due to human-forced climate change, the Hemispherical Jet Streams have moved out of the Middle Latitudes more and more. You get this weather-destabilising and extreme weather generating mixing of seasons.”
Meanwhile Beckwith confirmed the changes would usher in a sustained period of “climate system mayhem” which could prove difficult to resolve.
He said: “Our climate system behaviour continues to behave in new and scary ways that we have never anticipated, or seen before.
“Welcome to climate chaos. We must declare a global climate emergency.
“The behaviour of the jet stream suggests massive hits to the [global] food supply and the potential for massive geopolitical unrest. There’s very strange things going on on planet Earth right now.”
There are two forms of jet streams – polar and subtropical – and the northern and southern hemispheres have one of each.
The streams are the products of atmospheric heating by solar radiation and kept in place by the force of inertia.