Our planet is seeing more and more extreme weather. Meteorologists say the storrms in the UK and the subzero temperatures in North America have been caused a 'polar vortex'. This is because of a lack of temperature variation in the Artic to the more lower regions of the Northern Hemisphere has created a greater oscillation in the jet stream.
In the midwest and east of the USA, temperatures have been as low as -35 degrees Farenheit (-37 degrees Celsius) which at the time was colder than the South Pole in summer.
In the last few days of this extreme cold spell, the BBC has reported at least 21 people have died due to the weather. In the Amercian Midwest, wind chills are dropping temperatures to as much as 60 below zero.
Some areas saw a ban on driving because of the dangers and people were urged to remain indoors to prevent hypothermia and frostbite.
While the USA has received extreme cold, the UK has been battered with wind and rain. High speed gales have left destruction in their paths and the pouring rain has brought many flood warnings across the country. Rivers burst their banks, high tides have brought down flood banks and thousands have been without water and electricity.
But why are we seeing these extremes? What is a polar vortex and what is it caused by? Is it connected to climate change?
In this video, two experts, Rutgers University's Jennifer Francis and Weather Underground's Jeff Masters, explain how climate change is affecting the jet streams and the polar vortex.
Watch Nicholas Stern explain the facts and solutions to climate change
Read extracts from Nicholas Stern's talk on climate change mitigation
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