EDMONTON — It’s a long way from the Arctic Ocean to southern Alberta, but scientists are increasingly intrigued by theories that link disappearing sea ice to off-the-hook weather such as last week’s flooding.
Many are coming to believe there’s a common thread between not enough ice on the ocean and too much water in the rivers — a high-altitude, high-speed torrent of air called the jet stream.
“There’s been a lot of interest in the jet stream in the last two or three years,” said Dave Phillips, an Environment Canada climatologist.
The jet stream usually rushes rapidly from west to east in a mostly straight direction, more or less around the Canada-U.S. border. But lately it’s been wobbling and weaving like a drunken driver, causing havoc as it goes.
The jet stream gets its energy from the temperature difference between the frigid Arctic and the milder south. The greater the…
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