A “polar vortex” was responsible for the freezing conditions in the US state of Texas last month, UN weather experts said on Tuesday, before warning of a worrying increase in global carbon dioxide levels. Spokesperson Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organization told journalists during a regular briefing in Geneva that the United States shivered through its coldest February since 1989, thanks to the natural phenomenon: The vortex is “area of low pressure and cold air, surrounding either of the poles”, she said. “It normally keeps cold air in the Arctic, warmer air in the lower latitudes. It weakened this winter so that meant that the cold air came spinning out of the Artic…warm air by contrast went into parts of the Arctic.” The UN agency also cautioned that although February was a relatively cold month, this does not negate the long-term warming trend from climate change. “Cold records are becoming rarer, in contrast to heat temperature records and heatwaves. We expect this trend to continue”, WMO said in a statement.
By UN News. March 9, 2021.