Antarctica Storm Photographed by SatelliteBy: Brian Powell - March 6, 2014
People here in the United States are simply tired of hearing about winter weather; The polar vortex and winter storm Titan have brought enough cold and precipitation to last the eastern US for quite some time. That being said, looking at nifty weather conditions and storms in other locations is still quite cool, as evidenced by the recent clamor surrounding pictures released of a current storm happening around Antarctica.
The Meteosat satellite, operated by the crew at European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), captured the images of the raging storm whilst flying over the southern hemisphere on Wednesday. According to Simon Proud, a postdoctoral assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) atmospheric, oceanic, and climate sciences program, the storm measures approximately 3,500 miles in breadth.
The seas between the southern hemisphere and Antarctica have been known for quite some time due to the turbulent waters and violent weather conditions present in the area. Recently, climate scientists from Colorado State University have discovered the reason as to why that particular area of the world experiences such dynamic weather conditions: A 20 to 30 day oscillation period, or baroclinic annular mode (BAM) appears frequently in the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica due to uneven heating patterns and distributions between the warmer southern hemisphere continents and the much colder Antarctic waters.
“[This] periodicity clearly has potentially profound implications for understanding and predicting Southern Hemisphere climate variability over broad spatial scales,” stated the scientists in their report.
In looking at long-term implications of their study, the scientists from Colorado State hope that this discovery will assist scientists in combating the issues associated with global warming and climate variability in the southern hemisphere in years to come.
Image via Twitter