Jet streams are a zone of high velocity winds in the upper troposphere. They play a crucial role in the development and movement of weather systems across the earth. New research seems to indicate that global warming may be altering these very important winds. Cristina Archer and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology examined jet stream conditions in both northern and southern hemispheres over a 23-year period from 1979 to 2001.They found that the jet streams in both hemispheres have risen in altitude and shifted toward the poles. The jet stream in the northern hemisphere has also weakened. These changes fit predictions from global warming climate models and have drastic implications for the frequency and intensity of storms systems and patterns of precipitation that will reverberate through the earth system.
For more see: “Changing Jet Streams May Alter Paths of Storms and Hurricanes”