Skip to content

Arctic air blasts North America, but is global warming to blame?

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
12/28/2017 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (

Polar vortex brings temperatures 20 degrees below average.

A cold airmass had dipped from the Arctic into Canada and the eastern U.S., causing temperatures to plunge 20 degrees below seasonal averages. At least one person has died from the cold.

Erie, PA got more than 50 inches of snow in just two days.

Erie, PA got more than 50 inches of snow in just two days.


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (
12/28/2017 (3 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Polar vortex, cold, Americas, global warming, December 2017

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A polar vortex has brought record-shattering cold temperatures as well as heavy snow to most of Canada and the Eastern United States. Temps will remain below average at least until January. 

Massive drifts of snow in places like Erie, PA have captured headlines. Erie was buried under more than 50 inches of snow, forcing locals to resort to using a bulldozer to clear streets. Record cold temperatures were reported across the region as far south as Missouri. Today, it is colder in Canada and the eastern U.S. than it is in Siberia or Antarctica (it is summer in Antarctica).

A homeless man froze to death at a bus stop in Cincinnati, OH, making him the first casualty of the record cold. There may be others, and suffering and misery are widespread. 

While cold is a common denominator this time of year, the current spell is particularly bitter. The below seasonal temperatures are a product of the polar vortex. Normally the polar vortex, which is an upper-level low-pressure mass of air that generally remains fixed over the north pole. However, certain conditions can cause the polar jet stream, which corrals the vortex over the north pole, to weaken and meander. When that happens, the jet stream meanders south and cold polar air moves with it, chilling whatever it touches, sometimes as far south as the Gulf Coast. The western U.S. is protected by the Rocky Mountains, which helps channel the airmass to the east. 

According to climate scientists, these events are increasing in frequency and severity because of global warming. According to their hypothesis, as the atmosphere warms, the jet stream confining the polar air weakens, causing the vortexes to move south. 

The data to confirm this hypothesis is still being gathered, and so far no climate scientist is so bold as to claim that any specific weather event is "caused by global warming." Instead, global warming is more likely to make weather more unpredictable. The heat in the atmosphere is a form of energy, and more energy means more activity. 

Is the present cold the product of global warming? Occasional blasts of arctic air are normal for the northern states. However, global warming does not cause this phenomenon itself, but it is believed to exacerbate these conditions. 

Support FREE Catholic Education


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2018
For those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters.
That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.


More Green

Earth Day 2018: We are stewards of Creation, and we must act like it Watch

Image of Earth belongs to God and we are its stewards.

Sunday was Earth Day and Pope Francis called for us "to see the world through the eyes of the God the Creator." As news accumulates to ... continue reading

Scientists detect disastrous trend in North Atlantic waters Watch

Image of Scientists have detected a weakening of the current that brings warmth to western Europe.

Scientists have detected evidence that global warming is affecting currents in the North Atlantic. These currents are responsible for ... continue reading

Immigration is on the rise around the globe. Here's why Watch

Image of Immigration is on the rise around the globe.

Human migration around the world has increased in the last 30 years. Here's why and where. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - In the ... continue reading

What's wrong with the Sun? Lack of solar activity could cause mini ice age by 2050 Watch

Image of What's wrong with the Sun now?

Scientists think the Sun may be approaching a record minimum in its recorded history, a state which could lead to a mini ice age in North ... continue reading

Are we failing as stewards of creation? Scientists warn Earth is dying Watch

Image of We are filling up our oceans with plastic trash, choking and killing our sea creatures.

On the sixth day, God gave man stewardship over the creatures of the Earth. With stewardship comes responsibility. According to scientists, ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.