Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Polar Vortex

January 7, 2013, 8:00 a.m.

God's 'Cold Shoulder' Revenge

I thought "polar vortex" was a patented new fabric for winter wear. When none of the Iowa City stores seemed to have any in stock, further research revealed it's just more scientist-speak (see below). [Photo credit: Nick Brancaccio, Windsor Star.]

Scientists want to have a scientific explanation for everything, whether they really understand it or not.

No wonder an ever-increasing number of Republicans -- now 57% -- are coming to reject even the theory of evolution. As a recent Pew Center poll revealed, even among
"those who express a belief in human evolution . . . roughly a quarter of adults (24%) say that 'a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.' . . .

White evangelical Protestants are particularly likely to believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Roughly two-thirds (64%) express this view . . ..

There also are sizable differences by party affiliation in beliefs about evolution, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown. In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said humans have evolved over time, a difference of 10 percentage points. Today, 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats say humans have evolved, a 24-point gap."
"Public's Views on Human Evolution," Pew Research: Religion & Public Life Project, Pew Research Center, Dec. 30, 2013.

In other words, the current cold snap has a religious, rather than a scientific, explanation. It is just God -- or as the non-believers say, "Mother Nature" -- giving the climate change theorists her cold shoulder.

Makes sense to me.

The previous blog essay addressed this subject in a slightly different context: "Snopes, Popes, and Presidents; Believing is Seeing," Dec. 26, 2013. So does this article: Zach Beauchamp, "Why Republicans Don’t Believe In Evolution Anymore," ThinkProgress, Dec. 31, 2013 ("A wealth of research into political psychology shows that people’s partisan affiliations affect their beliefs on basic facts. Republicans are overwhelmingly more likely to think the economy is doing well when Republicans hold the Presidency, and ditto with Democrats when their guy holds the White House. A recent experiment found that even basic math is contaminated by politics; people are much more likely to correctly solve basic math problems when, in context, solving them correctly helps rather than hurts their party.").

Ever wonder why so many Americans believe in religious reality rather than theoretical "science"? Here's how scientists, rejecting God's/Mother Nature's "cold shoulder" reality, try to explain these frigid temperatures with a theory, and in a language, few true believers can even comprehend let alone accept:

"A polar vortex (also known as an Arctic cyclone, sub-polar cyclone, and a circumpolar whirl) is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near either of a planet's geographical poles. On Earth, the polar vortices are located in the middle and upper troposphere and the stratosphere. They surround the polar highs and lie in the wake of the polar front. These cold-core low-pressure areas strengthen in the winter and weaken in the summer. They usually span . . . 620–1,240 miles in which the air is circulating in a counter-clockwise fashion (in the northern hemisphere). As with other cyclones, their rotation is caused by the Coriolis effect. Within the stratosphere, strategies such as the use of the 4 mb pressure surface, which correlates to the 1200K isentropic surface, located midway up the stratosphere, is used to create climatologies of the feature. Due to model data unreliability, other techniques use the 50 mb pressure surface. Polar cyclones are climatological features that hover near the poles year-round. They are weaker during summer and strongest during winter. Extratropical cyclones that occlude and migrate into higher latitudes create cold-core lows within the polar vortex. Volcanic eruptions in the tropics lead to a stronger polar vortex during the winter for as long as two years afterwards. The strength and position of the cyclone shapes the flow pattern across the hemisphere of its influence. An index which is used in the northern hemisphere to gauge its magnitude is the Arctic oscillation." "Polar vortex," Wikipedia.com.

Yeah, right.
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1 comment:

Mary Gilchrist said...

The scientific explanation of a polar vortex sounds as confounding as "lawyer speak" to me!