Continued burning of fossil fuels is likely to fuel even more extreme summers than that of 2018 because of its impact on the jet stream.
Photo: shutterstock/Yuriy Kulik

23.11.2018

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Continued burning of fossil fuels is likely to fuel even more extreme summers than that of 2018 because of its impact on the jet stream. The rapid disappearance of aerosols produced by pollution may, however, mitigate the impact by mid-century if countries like China phase-out such fuels, according to an international team of climate scientists.

Computer simulations predict a strong increase of events in which the undulations of the jet stream in the atmosphere stop moving along and grow very large. This can favour more frequent extreme weather events on the ground: the westerly winds stop pushing forward weather systems which hence become more persistent. An international team of scientists links this to human-caused warming specifically in the Arctic.

"We expect a roughly 50 per cent increase in the incidence of atmospheric conditions that favour a slow, broadly meandering jet stream and stalled weather extremes", says Michael Mann from the U.S.

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