A strange thing happened in the stratosphere


A predictable pattern of winds in the stratosphere recently changed in a way scientists had not seen in more than 60 years of record-keeping. Credit: NASA

This disruption to the wind pattern – called the “quasi-biennial oscillation” – did not have any immediate impact on weather or climate as we experience it on Earth’s surface.

But it does raise interesting questions for the NASA scientists who observed it: If a pattern holds for six decades and then suddenly changes, what caused that to happen?

Will it happen again?

What effects might it have?

To be continued on


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