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Mass: Dueling 'Nonsense' Surrounding Polar Vortex And Global Warming

Global warming behind the recent polar vortex? Nonsense, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

“There’s really no basis for this,” said Mass, adding there's a lot of misguided hype on both sides of the issue. 

1. Global Warming More Cold Waves

“There is no evidence that global warming is going to bring more cold waves to any place,” said Mass. 

In fact, Mass said, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested “cold waves will get less frequent under global warming.”

2. Cold Waves Don’t Disprove Global Warming, Either

“Some of the climate skeptics are saying, ‘Well, all this cold air disproves global warming.’ That’s nonsense,” said Mass.

“So we have sort of battling nonsense going on, and it’s not helping the dialogue at all.”


The weekly KPLU feature "Weather with Cliff Mass" airs every Friday at 9 a.m. immediately following BirdNote, and twice on Friday afternoons during All Things Considered. The feature is hosted by KPLU Environment Reporter Bellamy Pailthorp. Cliff Mass is a University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, a renowned Seattle weather prognosticator, and a popular weather blogger. You can also subscribe to a podcast of “Weather with Cliff Mass” shows.

Bellamy Pailthorp covers the environment beat for KNKX, where she has worked since 1999. From 2000-2012, she covered the business and labor beat. Bellamy has a deep interest in Indigenous affairs and the Salish Sea. She has a masters in journalism from Columbia University.