The Arctic Fence is a term used to describe the pressure difference between North Pole and the middle latitudes. The difference forces the Jet Stream into a a circle around the North Pole, keeping arctic (really cold) air inside the “fence.”
Also known as the “polar vortex” the Arctic fence is a pressure differentiation that keeps the cold air on top of the world. Sometimes the fence weakens, and the cold air seeps southward, being responsible for the freakishly cold and snowy winters New York suffered this winter. Reasons for why this weakening was more drastic than normal flucuations abound amongst researchers, but there isn’t enough evidence from the last two years to back up any one theory more significantly than another.
The Arctic Fence usually keeps the extremely cold air in Northeastern Canada and Greenland, preventing it from spreading anywhere south. The Arctic Fence has recently collapsed, allowing the cold air to spread south and warmer air to travel north.
A jet stream is air moving swiftly through the Northern Hemisphere. The pressure differences between the polar regions of Earth and the middle latitudes creates a sort of vortex. A vortex is a cyclone of swirling air.The pressure from the two regions swirls the air into a vortex and keeps the colder air at the north pole. This is referred to by some as the arctic fence as it keeps the coldest temperatures from reaching habitable land. There has been concern that this vortex or fence has weakened due to the colder air in Europe and warmer air in Canada.
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