What is the Reason for Europe's Winter Heat Wave

What is the Reason for Europe’s Winter Heat Wave?

What is the Reason for Europe’s Winter Heat Wave?: Over the New Year’s weekend, several regions of Europe saw an unusually warm winter heat wave, according to a Monday story from The Washington Post. Experts described it as an “extreme event,” noting that temperatures rose by 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. At least seven nations had their warmest January temperatures ever, the research said. Pole, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia were among them.

According to climatologists, the temperatures spiked to spring or summer levels. For instance, The Guardian reported that the temperature at Korbielów, a small village in Poland, hit 19 degrees Celsius, which is 18 degrees above the one degree Celsius monthly normal for January and a temperature the area is more accustomed to in May.

In contrast, temperatures in portions of Belarus, where they typically hover around zero degrees Celsius, reached their highest point on January 1 at 16.4 degrees Celsius. The continent is reportedly going through an extremely warm spell as a result of the development of a heat dome over the area, according to a story in The Washington Post. The Indian Express examines its composition and what it is.

What is the Reason for Europe's Winter Heat Wave (1)

A heat dome: what is it?

When heated air is trapped over a place for a long time, much like a lid on a pot, by an area of high pressure, it forms a heat dome. Every day that passes brings warmer circumstances since the sun works more to heat the air the longer it is imprisoned. Heat domes typically last a few days, but they occasionally last for up to weeks, which could result in catastrophic heat waves.

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Scientists contend that air is forced to sink in any area of high pressure, whether or not it is a heat dome. Once the air reaches the earth, it is compressed and becomes even hotter. Additionally, as air lowers, it becomes drier, pushing the temperature of the area even higher.

What connection is there between the jet stream and heat domes?

The behavior of the jet stream, a region of swiftly moving air located high in the atmosphere, has an impact on how the heat dome forms. The jet stream is thought to move continuously from north to south and then back north in a manner like a wave. These waves move slowly and can occasionally become stagnant as they become larger and longer. A heat dome develops when a high-pressure system becomes locked in this manner.

Even though heat domes have probably always existed, researchers believe that climate change may be lengthening and intensifying them. They claim that as temperatures rise, it is anticipated that the jet stream would become more erratic and have more deviations, leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.

What examples of heat domes have there been in the past?

A heat dome that formed over western Canada and the US in 2021 brought on fatal heat waves. The temperature in Portland, Oregon, US, rose to 46 degrees Celsius, while it reached 49 degrees Celsius in Washington. The temperature climbed to nearly 46 degrees Celsius in Lytton, British Columbia.

Hundreds of people are thought to have perished as a result of this terrible weather event, according to media reports. A study published in 2022 revealed that if global temperatures aren’t kept to less than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, this heat dome might become a once-in-ten-year phenomenon.

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According to the researchers, the dry soil in some parts of the Pacific Northwest “possibly allowed the heat to become more extreme, and so they enhanced the heat that was already at a high level,” which is one effect of the rising temperatures. In September 2022, a fresh heat dome descended over the US, setting a record-high for temperatures. Wildfires were sparked by the intense heat, and the power grid was under strain.