During the February 13 broadcast of CBS This Morning, host Charlie Rose and his guest turned to the topic of this year’s harsh winter, calling the extreme cold an example of global warming.
Guest Michio Kaku, a physics professor from New York City College–not a climatologist, but a physicist–claimed that the “wacky weather” could get “even wackier” and its all because of global warming. “What we’re seeing is that the jet stream and the polar vortex are becoming unstable. Instability of historic proportions. We think it’s because of the gradual heating up of the North Pole. The North Pole is melting,” professor Kaku said.
“That excess heat generated by all this warm water is destabilizing this gigantic bucket of cold air… So that’s the irony, that heating could cause gigantic storms of historic proportions,” the prof explained.
This was all because of global warming, Rose insisted.
Kaku went on to say that the weather “instabilities” we are seeing are because of the “erratic nature of the jet stream” and the “polar vortex.”
Kaku also said that it is too late to change any of this:
Well, the bad news is that the north polar region continues to rise in temperature, it seems to be irreversible at a certain point, so we may have to get used to a new normal. That is, a north polar region that is melting, causing more instability in this bucket, causing more things to spill out, which means more extremes. Some winters could be very mild, other winters could be horrendous.
According to The Weather Channel, the Polar Vortex is not the sort of weather system that directly affects the surface. In fact, the polar vortex is an upper atmosphere system, not one that impacts directly on the surface of the earth.
Further, the idea that the polar vortex has become “unstable” is not necessarily true.The Weather Channel notes that the upper atmosphere system sometimes shifts, helping to sweep weather systems in the lower atmosphere to drift far afield from more common patterns.
CBS Host Norah O’Donnell also took the occasion of the discussion to claim that 2014 will be the hottest summer ever.
Newsbusters has the whole transcript.