“The mankind survived the last Ice Age. We are certainly capable of surviving this one. All depends on whether or not we are able to learn from our mistakes.”

-Prof. Jack Hall

North American Christmas has been different this year. It was white, cold and with terrible blizzard conditions that targeted some areas from north Mexico to Canada. Nevertheless, this extreme weather wave has impacted the life of so many people and caused the power cut, traffic accidents and travel chaos. The life has been, just in short time, divided into the period before the Arctic cold and the period after, when comes.

The North America is fighting the terrible cold while, at the same time, Europe has a mild winter. How is that possible and why? Especially if we take into the consideration the constant discussion about the climate change. Isn’t normal for winter to be cold with blizzards ? As far as I know, such a kind of winter has been earlier, when I was a child, something expected and considered as winter standard, in Europe. Then, something happened and we lost such a kind of winter that has been replaced with mutated autumn. The real snow has been forgotten and almost experienced as surprise, once when there is. But, what we do have now in USA ? The media report that it is “once-in-a-generation” storm because this arctic blizzard has conquered the Midwest ad eastern U.S. in late December 2022, producing the chaotic consequences and people being trapped in snow storm. The worst situation is, as it seems, in Buffalo, NY, where the parts are buried under snow attacks. According to writing, for now, there are about 50 people who died due to the winter storm, across the country. The toll is not just finished black statistic but it is still counting. Some of the scenery reminds us all on the movie The Day After Tomorrow and the struggles of the main figures to get over the winter tragedy. This time, the white settings with dark end are the reality of many people that are dealing with extreme cold weather and its output. In the year of so many challenges, being stuck with coldness, storm, power cut and uncertain tomorrow is everything but not the nice idea for December. Driving or flying home for Christmas for many Americans have been followed by 1000 obstacles and troubles on the road. Many didn’t reach the final point yet while others inform about travels that take days. The nature has shown that has no mercy for anyone. The forgotten winter power is back and the question is why now and how nobody expected it will be so ?

The scientists inform that they observed the satellite images and they knew that it will come the arctic blizzard but they didn’t expect such a kind of lake effect snow, not in this intensity. What is the lake effect snow ? Based on the definition, it is special phenomena that exists in the Great Lakes region during the fall and winter time, created by NASA:“Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere. The air rises, clouds form and grow into narrow band that produces 2 to 3 inches of snow per hour or more. While snowfall totals generally stayed below 5 inches (13 centimeters) in most areas touched by the storm, lake-effect snow caused totals to surge above  50 inches in communities east of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie in upstate New York—including Buffalo. In these areas, early winter storms are known for producing huge amounts of snow because the lakes often have not frozen over yet. Wind direction is a key component in determining which areas will receive lake effect snow. Heavy snow may be falling in one location, while the sun may be shining just a mile or two away in either direction. The physical geography of the land and water is also important. National Weather Service meteorologists consider these factors as well as others when forecasting lake effect snow.”

The historic arctic outbreak or Winter Elliott as it is also known has been actually forecasted but this intensity ? The Erie County in Buffalo has faced the deep anger of the nature, by all snow storm and wind hits but this white horror opened the old painful books of the climate changes and the permanent debates if that is real or fake news. Nevertheless, the political reasons for being pro or con this issue are not solving the current situation on the ground. This is an extreme winter and how it is happening just now ? The science has some explanation that might help us to understand what we are dealing with. The Earth climate is changing so extreme situations will occur more often and with dramatic intensity. The average air temperature is increasing now for decades which results with more water vapour in some areas, bringing the risk of rain and snow events. The people who do not believe in global warming and climate change will ask why we talk about it, because it is nothing strange about cold winter. Those who support global warming theory will fight them with the results of it, in this bomb cyclone that is over Buffalo. The truth is somewhere in between and could be analysed for the both side, parallel.

If you want to trust to the words of atmospheric science professor Dan Chaves from Indiana, you need to keep on mind that climate has always had seasons but climate change is a gradual warming which causes all season to experience a little bit of warming. In other words, it doesn’t mean it is getting warmer everywhere at the same time but it does mean that global temperatures have risen 1,9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. The happenings like ice storm in Texas and the heat and flooding in Pakistan could be at the same time. The Mother Nature is reacting to our actions, nothing more or less. That is paradox, I know. How could be more snow storms and extreme blizzard be related with global warming ? The researcher come out with the theory that climate changes is rising the extreme weather situations all over. This means, we will have heat during the summers and the blizzard during the winters since there is no anymore the standard or average. To understand this, we need to understand what is polar vortex or stratospheric jet stream, which is some kind of large area of low pressure and cold air that is located around both of Earth´s poles. Any kind of shifting of our jet stream will produce the certain modifications:” An elongated polar vortex can lead to a wavier jet stream with higher latitude peaks and lower latitude troughs. When a deep trough occurs over a northern hemisphere land area, this brings cold Arctic air to lower latitudes and unusual weather for those areas as a general rule. At the same time, the higher peaks bring warmer air from lower latitudes to higher latitudes, leading to unusual weather in Alaska, northern Canada, or northern Eurasia.

I am not here to support any theory but it is happening, indeed something strange with the nature. The mankind has done enough damage to the Planet so it doesn’t surprise what we receive it as a feedback. On the other side, if this is something that prove the climate change theory, I cant accept either. For me, as an explorer and researcher, it is not easy to keep on one perspective or to see through one dimension only. Personally, I believe that one day we will have Ice Age again but not because of the global warming or freezing but because the Earth will turn into the ice period again. When this will happen, I am not sure but we will still have the day after tomorrow, the new chance for the human race to recollect bravery and responsibility for this only home we have, our Planet A, before it is not so late.


  1. Sarah’s interesting article reminded me of the difficulties palaeoclimatologists are confronted with when attempting to acquire evidence and create simulation models of past climates on the Earth…

    There is definitive evidence (i.e. forensic chemical fossils) that water existed on the planet circa 4 billion years ago and that glaciations across the terrestrial regions emerged circa 2.1 billion years ago: the planet is influenced by a vast array of extraneous and interior factors (e.g. gravitation of other planets, solar winds and the Earth’s core), which can trigger global glaciations.

    However, this is first time in the planet’s evolutionary history that synthetic progenitors (e.g. Anthropocene pollution) are triggering climatic changes, in conjunction with natural influences: we do not know what will happen, as this is a threshold.

    Past, dramatic climate change on the planet (e.g. the last ice age) can only offer a glimpse into possibilities, as they occurred without human interference in the planetary systems.

    Whatever happens, the planet will continue to exist, with or without humans on it…


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About Sarahowlgirl1982

I am a master of Political Sciences, with special focus on Security Studies, Islamic Counter Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction. I enjoy discovering and commenting things which are " in the air" but still not spoken.I also do like science writing and planing to move myself into the pure science journalism !