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Story Publication logo April 22, 2018

How a Warmer Arctic Could Intensify Extreme Weather


polar bears on an ice floe

As the ice vanishes, will the Arctic die? Aboard the Norwegian research vessel Helmer Hanssen, Eli...

Title screen of "Thaw Part 2." Image by Vox. United States, 2018.
Title screen of 'Thaw Part 2.' Image by Vox. United States, 2018.

Is there a link between the vanishing Arctic sea ice and extreme weather?

Some prominent climate researchers think so. That's because warming temperatures in the Arctic are altering the behavior of the polar jet stream, a high-altitude river of air that drives weather patterns across the globe. As the winds that propel the jet stream weaken, storms, droughts, and extreme heat and cold move over continents at slower rates, meaning bad weather can stick around for longer.

Eli Kintisch reports aboard the Norwegian research vessel Helmer Hanssen about how changing conditions at the top of the world could be impacting weather far away.

To learn more, watch the video above.

This video is part of a three-part series on the changing Arctic. Thanks to the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting for supporting Thaw. You can find part one and all of Vox's videos on YouTube. Subscribe and stay tuned for more.

Footage and story made possible by Interdependent Pictures' documentary film Into the Dark, coming 2019.


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change

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