Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Haley Reading Group: :Into the Maelstrom


[The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015)]

By Rae'Jean Spears

“Traditionally researchers have attributed the rapid Artic warming to local drivers such as the loss of ice and snow. In other words, the Artic is generally seen as the victim, not the perpetrator” (157). Eli Kintisch, author of “Into the Maelstrom,” states this in explaining the overall message of the piece: how Jennifer Francis’ research on climate change is different than all scientists who have come before her.

This quotation is interesting because nature is usually never blamed for Earth’s conditions, especially things such as global warming. For Jennifer Francis to be such a young scientist, she is challenging how esteemed scientists have done things for centuries.

After reading Kintisch’s article, what’s an uncommon assertion that scientist Jennifer Francis made? In what way was it different from things you have previously heard in your science classes? Please provide a page citation.

51 comments:

Raillane Kamdem said...

Francis made the uncommon assertion had a “suprising take on a topic that everyone loves to talk about: the weather” (158). She had an uncommon hypothesis at the time that the weather was directly related to global warming, something many people didn’t correlate together until then. In the past I thought global warming just meant the ice in the Artic was melting, but for Francis to say that it also caused the massive heat waves in Texas was very eye opening or me. Global warming was more intricate than I thought it was.

Mackenzie Cohoon said...

In the article, Francis questioned if the "amplification -2 Degrees Celsius more warming than the rest of the globe over the past two decades (could) be changing the behavior of the polar jet stream, with global consequences" (157). This is significant because traditionally, no one had thought to look to the arctic as part of the problem. This way of thinking is very important to scientist, if for no other reason than that it explores all of the possibilities of the cause of the problem.

Christine Sheriff said...

Kintisch's article was very interesting. While reading, it became clear to me that the scientist Jennifer Francis made a differing point than what most do pertaining to this topic. Francis proposed that the warming of the Arctic is a major contributing factor in changing temperatures in temperate latitudes. This is different from what I have previously learned because her side speaks on why the warming of the Arctic could be changing the weather, and not the other way around. I guess with this issue only time will tell what is the cause and as Francis say on page 162, "within a few years...we will have enough data to to know whether or not we're right." Only time will tell.

Alliyah M. said...

The uncommon assertion that brought much controversy towards Jennifer Francis was her claim that the warming of the arctic is what's causing climate and weather change. I think Francis’ hypothesis was deemed uncommon because when we typically think of what causes climate change, we don’t think of the arctic. In previous science classes, I have always heard that the rise in pollution and the greenhouse effect are the major factors in global warming, so Francis’ hypothesis seemed unusual.

Also, other hypothesis stated from the article make more sense such as one stated by Kevin Trenberth. The article stated, “The more likely culprit, he says, is natural variability driven by the tropics, where Earth gets its largest input of solar energy” (160). I think this is more of a logical reason for most people since the tropics typically have warm temperatures and it only make sense that it would be causing global warming.

Ivyanne B said...

While reading this article I found it very interesting that Kintisch went against the things we were taught in science class. On page 156 it says "I started to wonder how much the arctic was affecting the system". In science class you usually hear how global warming is causing the arctic to melt. They never taught us that the arctic could have something to do with the climate change. She was open to more ideas and was willing to go against what everybody had originally said. This made me think that there are so many things that can be discovered about things we already thought we knew about -Ivyanne B.

Lena Searcy said...

Francis made quite an uncommon assertion. “If a warming arctic is already affecting the weather in the mid latitudes, then climate change no longer becomes something that’s remote” (155). This is different from other hypothesis I have heard regarding global warming, instead of us effecting the arctic, the arctic is affecting us. That is an interesting position, Francis really put in the effort to support her claim. This is not something I have thought of before but after reading this article, it could possibly be true.

Joke Adanri said...

On page 157 Francis contemplated that the -2 degrees warming the Arctic and the rest of the globe was changing the polar jet streams rather than melting ice. I never payed that close of attention to climate change so I never new the influence the speed and power of jet streams had on warming and cooling temperatures. It also never occurred to me that the warming of the Arctic was affecting the rest of the planet, I always thought it was the other way around.

Jayla Pierce said...

Francis said, " Maybe this acceptance of higher risk was something I was more comfortable with than most, and maybe it translates to my research as having more confidence in myself-my judgement and my ability." To me this quote sums up what I got out of her personality from reading this article. She was very brave in sharing her hypothesis, she knew the outcome, yet she still went with it. It was interesting to read about what her hypothesis was and how climate change related to us. It was nice to hear about a woman in science who stood up for her belief and didn’t let other opinions sway her decision. You don’t really hear much about women in science. Throughout she talked about her experience and how she accepted the risk. She believed in herself when most didn’t.

Anonymous said...

Kintisch notions toward the idea that the arctic is the perpetrator in global warming and not the victim. She had suggested that the polar jet stream was changing and "researchers have come to understand that shifts in...the jet stream...exert a powerful influence over weather in the northern hemisphere"(157). Since I can remember, whenever someone would talk about global warming, they would pity the arctic. No one thought that the arctic jet stream was causing a backlash of weather effects, essentially fueling its own change.
-Desmond Crumer

Anonymous said...

I believe that Francis was very radical for doing what she did. She went against what everybody used to think. On page 155 they talk about what she has done, and how we aren't affecting the polar bears something else is. People can't just excuse her, she was Obama's science advisor so she knows what she is talking about.


- Tara Thompson

Brianna Pickens said...

In this passage Francis, so young, takes a leap of faith against a majority of scientists around the world. For decades scientists have whole heartedly believed that people are the reason for the warming in the arctic. That our actions against the environment have lead to a retaliation of sorts from our surroundings. Yet, Francis suggests that the arctic is its own ferocious enemy. She explains that the "amplification -2 Degrees Celsius more warming than the rest of the globe over the past two decades (could) be changing the behavior of the polar jet stream, with global consequences" (157). Basically suggesting that a simple change in temperature overtime could have lead to the change in weather. Well, "within a few years...we will have enough data to know whether or not we're right"(162). Let's wait and see.

Tyla Lucas said...

I have always believed that humans were responsible for the weather changes and global warming. Francis’s hypothesis that the “warming of the Artic is changing weather patterns in temperate latitudes by altering the behaviors of the northern polar jet stream” on page 154 is controversial to say the least. I’ve never heard that the Artic warming up could potentially be the reason that weather patterns are changing so drastically. Francis is correct to say that her hypothesis does not have enough evidence and only time will tell if she is correct or not.

Kendall Clark said...

If I were to hear someone say nature itself was to blame for global warming, I would think they must be confused. Yet, scientist Jennifer Francis firmly believes in this idea, and provided scientific evidence in favor of her beliefs as well. For example, on page 157, Kintisch discussed Francis' belief that the jet stream's winds were slowing down due to the Artic's lost of sea ice. If this was the case, Artic amplification could be shaping weather in southern parts of the world (157). This is so different from anything I've ever been taught in school because human error and modification is always used as the enemy when discussing global warning, never nature itself. Francis' argument provides an interesting different outlook on this particular issue.

Avant Hall said...

This article shows one of the main things I learned that makes a great scientist. That is to be open minded. When someone discovers something that could be potentially new in the field, it should be studied instead of instantly denied because it is too far fetched. Having this mentality will lead nowhere to discovering new things. The fact that she is a woman also amplifies this because it has been known that women are having hard times in fields where they are the minority and they're not taken seriously in the workplace.

Diana L said...

This article was interesting because it is a different view than what most have on the topic. In my opinion, an uncommon assertion that scientist Jennifer Francis made was "The end result of all that slower motion ... is more persistent weather that could be more extreme" (158). Out of context, it makes no sense. Before that sentence, the article stated that weather such as dry periods and warm spells, or storms and cold snaps, would persist due to the "increased 'waviness,' as some researchers call it" (158). Francis used examples to demonstrate this at the American Geophysical Union in late 2011. Climate change is very real, and it is affecting more than just the polar bears and ice caps. A different view and different research is vital to helping solve the issue.

Rodney Clark said...

"Into the Maelstrom", by Eli Kintisch, is about climate science and what Jennifer Francis had to do to get where she is. She faced a lot of push back and disbelief during her presentation of climate change. However, she did what she could to explain her thought process and what could be happening. She wasn't the only one noticing issues, there were many studies that took place in the arctic to discover how the ice was changing. While she was exploring the world, she took a trip to the Arctic and saw the jet streams, to do some personal research. People even thought the slowing of the wind to be ridiculous. I've heard much about these types of situations. The scientific community is very evidence based and people will go to extreme lengths to disprove your thoughts for numerous reasons. The community in which she is in filters out what is implausible and lacks evidence. In the end disbelief is important and helps out the world to discover what is truly happening to the planet.

-Rodney Clark

Youssef Hassan said...

The debate about Climate Change is known by many when it comes to politics. I recently read an article which said that scientists are not in a disagreement on the issue of Global Warming (Only about 3% disagree). For this reason I never really seen scientists have a disagreement about the climate. Luckily i got to read Into the Maelstrom to show me that, not only is their other aspects of Climate Change to talk about, but also more things to be discovered that would eventually give us many answers.

Kamela Cross said...

I think while reading Kintisch article, the thing I found most interesting was the fact that she as a scientist is seen as estranged from other scientist for her seeing nature as an important catalyst to global warming. While her way of looking at the problem is a new way, scientist have for decades been reluctant to do so, so maybe the way she is looking at the problem isn't as strange as people may see it.

Kelsey McNeil said...

One uncommon assertion in Eli Kintisch's "Into the Maelstrom" that was made by Jennifer Francis was Arctic warming and that "west to east winds were weakening, or slowing, especially after Arctic summers with less sea ice" (157). In my past science classes I really haven't learned about anything like what is said in this so it was very interesting to read. Learning about the many different things that could possibly be contributing to climate change is very important because we need to know all the reasons why things might be changing. After reading this and seeing how much research Francis put into all of her work it was clear that she knew what she was talking about and shed light on the possible reasons for our climate.

Devin Ellis-Martin said...

One part of this story i found interesting was on page 157, when the idea that nature is actually to blame for global warming and it is effecting us, we are not effecting nature. I think this is interesting because for so long we’ve thought we have been the influence that has changed nature, when it could’ve been the way nature has worked all along.

Anonymous said...

One very uncommon assertion that caught my eye was the proposition that the Arctic warming up is changing weather conditions in temperate latitudes (154). This was such an eye-catching statement to me because I had never had any teachers mention that climate change could also be to blame for weather change elsewhere in the world. Plus, that thought had just never crossed my mind to even be possible. For a young scientist to be thinking outside of the box like this, shows that she is definitely a bright mind that will be challenging the way that people think for a long time to come.
-Kevin Cox

Argos 1756 said...


Daeja Daniels

Climate change has been a hot topic for many years and will continue to be. While reading the Kintisch article allowed for me to understand this topic from a different perspective. Understanding that the problem of climate change has many different aspects is important in finding a solution. After reading this passage its very clear that scientist such as Francis are really looking and investigating this problem at its roots. In the article she says " weather such as dry periods and warm spells, or storms and cold snaps, would persist due to the "increased 'waviness,' as some researchers call it" (158). Examples such of these help illustrate that we will too soon be effected by climate control.


Ronnie Akpan said...

Eli Kintisch's story, "Into the Maelstrom" (154-162), argues the phenomenon of whether or not humans are responsible for climate change or if climate change is solely due to the day-by-day environmental changes. This can also be tied back to the "Nature vs Nurture" theory that is used to explain why humans act the way they do. According to Nature vs Nurture, the behavior of a human being is fifty percent genetics (nature) and the other fifty percent upbringing in society (nurture). The way that this concept ties back to the subject's matter is that in this case, the world is the human being (nature), but the humans and climate change compose the nurture part. In this case overall, the reasoning behind the weather changes in the Arctic areas would involve both areas that come together to produce the day by day transformations.

Marley McCoy said...

An uncommon assertion that Francis made is that the warming of the arctic actually causes global warming. In science classes when we would talk about global warming the cause would be air pollution and greenhouse gases causing heat he get trapped in the atmosphere. I found it interesting that Francis came to this unusual conclusion in the article because I had never heard of something like this before.

Samontriona P said...

In the article "Into the Maelstrom," by Eli Kintisch, the uncommon assertion that Francis made was when she suggested that the artic was the perpetrator of Global Warming and not the victim. She says that the artic as a major contributing factor to temperature. In school, we were always told that Global warming was the cause of climate change.She brought light to the subject that nature is affecting us rather than us having an effect on nature. That was very interesting to me.

Tomika Collins said...

Eli Kintisch's story, "Into the Maelstrom" (154-162), argues whether or not humans are the cause of climate change or if it is caused by changes in the environment. Climate change is something that has been debated back and forth for many years. The fact that Arctic warming is changing weather conditions in temperate latitudes (154) is almost mind blowing. The idea that nature is actually to blame for global warming and it is effecting us (157), we are not effecting nature. Environmentalists and others have blamed "us" for global warming when in fact the environment has been warming itself.

James Beverly said...

This reading was very eye opening for me, since I’ve always been avid about learning about global warming. I’ve always thought global warming was based in highly populated areas due to various degrees of pollution. But to learn that the arctic can cause global warming as well was mind opening. The ice caps melting can contribute to heat wave in Texas was one of the point I was drawn to in this reading. Overall, this was a very interesting reading, and so far my favorite.

Chidera Onyeizeh said...

Eli Kintish’s article a statement she made that I didn’t know about was on page 157 where she said, “The Artic is warming faster than the midlatitudes...known as Arctic amplification.” I wasn’t aware of this and this wasn’t taught in any of my science classes. As she goes on to explain the effect of this phenomenon it gave me a better understanding of global warming.

Chidera Onyeizeh

Jada Baker said...

On Page 157 Kintisch says, " The Arctic is warming faster than the mid-latitudes, she noted, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Could that amplification-- 2 degrees Celsius more warming than the rest of the globe over the past two decades-- be changing the behavior of the polar jet stream, with global consequences?" I found this statement to be uncommon because it goes against everything we have learned. We are taught that humans are the reason for global warming and that we need to fix it. We are never presented with the idea that nature itself may have a role in the issue.

Stella Nguepnang said...

When I read "Into the Maelstrom" by Eli Kinstich, an uncommon assertion that I realized she made was on the weather in other places in the world and its correlation with the poles. I have never thought as all parts of the world really being that connected and it seemed to be something I had not heard much of, even in class.

Kameryn Sabino said...

On page 157, Francis suspected the changing of the jet streams were a big factor in the global warming and changes in the weather. What differs between her and what I already knew, is the arctic amplification shaping the weather farther south. I didn't know that the speed and the path of the jet streams had a big impact on weather in the northern hemisphere.

-Kameryn Sabino

Dayejah Coates said...

I find it very interesting that on page 157 Francis makes nature out to be the bad guy.. Usually, we believe that nature is the victim of global warming and that we should protect nature, instead of protect ourselves like she implies.

Christen King said...

On page 157 Francis made the assertion that “warming of the Artic is changing weather patterns in temperate latitudes by altering the behaviors of the northern polar jet stream." Like most people that read the article, I was taken aback because I have always been taught humans were the reason for climate change. In my previous science class, I was taught pollution, which is made from humans, was the main cause of climate control. It is interesting to hear her claims and I would like to see how the data unfolds in years to come to see if she is correct.

Jonathan Sanchez said...

Francis talks about The planets wearher being affected by global warmin on page 158. To me, this idea is interesting because when we think of global warming, we pay attention to the word “warming” and associate the climate change with just heat. Weather change is a big part of global warming and we see it today with the natutal disasters that we’ve been having lately along with our winter going from a 60 degree day to a -15 degree day. We need to stop and think about what is happening in our own homes and how we can stop the crisis of global warming.

Isaiah Johnson said...

Francis' notion that the Arctic's melting is pertaining to global warming is interesting to me because not only was it uncommon at the time, gaining her a lot of controversy and criticizing, but I thought it actually holds ground, as the warming of the poles, which regulate temperature throughout the planet, would cause other parts of the planet to warm more. Also, if we think about the electromagnetic field around Earth, and that the poles are coldest because the field is the strongest there, then we can conclude that the electromagnetic field could well be weakening, causing global warming.

Qcadwell said...

What stood out to me was on page 157 that described artic warming as one of the greater influences on climate change. The changing climate in the artic has changed the path and speed of the jet stream causing the weather to change in the northern hemisphere. I was always taught that green house gases were the sole reason for change in the environment.

Taija Cook said...

Francis had the uncommon assertion that the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world(154). The idea neatly linked climate change to weather, and it has resonated with the press, the public, and powerful policymakers(154). In high school I was never taught that climate change was directly linked with weather. I found this article very interesting and knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

Reading Kintish’s article quickly had me questioning the scientist Jennifer Francis at the beginning of the article. On page 154, Kintisch writes, “Three years ago, Francis proposed that the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world.” This made me think, because I’ve always been taught that the warming of temperatures in the Arctic was an affect of the climate changes in the warmer parts of the world. Typically, it was never said that global warming is caused by the slight increase in temperature of the coldest area in the world, but increases in the hottest areas in the world.
Shaina F.
________________________________________

Kiana S said...

In my personal life, I do not know much about the climate changes and what causes them. What I do hear a lot though is that us humans are destroying the natural system. This makes Jennifer Francis' ideas all different. Her saying that nature itself is the cause of the climate changes is an uncommon assertion (p. 157). Saying the changing jet streams can account to the climate change rather than the climate change accounting to the changing jet streams is an innovative outlook on something people deemed as a solved mystery.

Jasmyn Kloster said...

One uncommon assertion in Eli Kintisch's "Into the Maelstrom" that was made by Jennifer Francis I found on page 155. She stated, “If a warming arctic is already affecting the weather in the mid latitudes, then climate change no longer becomes something that’s remote”. This stuck out to me because it states that the artic weather if affecting other regions weather, instead of the more common knowledge of us effecting the artic. This statement hints to the fact that the artic is not the only area that can be majorly impacted by global warming, and that is an interesting thought.

Jada James said...

Jennifer Francis has one of the most controversial opinions on global warming that I've encountered. She hypothesizes that "the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperate latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world" (154). This claim essentially states that humans are not the sole or even the main cause of global warming, and that the Earth is naturally warming due to factors out of our control.

Alishiana Ivy said...

After reading Kintisch’s article, one uncommon assertion that the scientist, Jennifer Francis made was within the text that I found on page 157. When Kintisch stated in the article, "West to east winds were weakening, or slowing, especially after Arctic summers with less sea ice" (Kintisch 157). One way that I feel that it was different from things that I have previously heard in my science classes is that she figures that winds out of all weather conditions, pertains to the reasoning for global warming being existent.

Dejanee Geeters said...

The uncommon assertion that brought much controversy towards Jennifer Francis was her claim that the warming of the arctic is what's causing climate and weather change. She suggests "the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperate latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world" (154). We are taught that humans are the reason for global warming, never were we taught that nature had a play in global warming it’s self

Kiara Coker said...

Reading this passage was intriguing to me because I've read passages about climate change and other changes that were going on but never in this way. The facts there were used were new to me. She says that nature is causing its own climate change.(157) A common belief I've read a lot is that us humans are destroying the ecosystem and are the leading cause of climate change. She also asserted that the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world.(154) Her theories make sense but its just the matter of it being a new study that I had never heard before that amazes me.

Anonymous said...

After reading Kintisch’s article, what’s an uncommon assertion that scientist Jennifer Francis made? In what way was it different from things you have previously heard in your science classes? Please provide a page citation.

The uncommon assertion that I wasn’t aware of is that global warning could freeze things over. Earlier in high school I was taught that global warming meant that the Arctic would melt and the polar bears would go extinct, not knowing that that was just one side of the store. In reality, global warming can cause “extreme cold in midlatitudes.” Now that I think of it, it does make sense that my science teacher only focused on the “melting” part of global warming because teaching the concept in its entirety wouldn’t have gone over well in a room full of rowdy, inquiring students like the ones in my class.

Toriel S.

Chike Nkemeh said...

As a scientist doing research, it is important to keep an open mind and think of all the possibilities of something happening. This is especially important in Kintisch's case, when she made the assertion that nature itself could be a cause of global warming. “Three years ago, Francis proposed that the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world" (154).

Abraham Carmichael said...

This has to be one of the most interesting, uncommon stances on climate change that has been proposed. Instead of the actions of society and humans for the last few hundred years affecting nature, the author believes nature is hurting itself. "West to east winds were weakening, or slowing, especially after Arctic summers with less sea ice" (157).

DeMarco McCottrell said...

Francis's assertion that the "Arctic amplification could affect the polar jet stream" was very surprising to me(157). It shocked me mostly because usually in class we only touch in the fact that the weather in the world changes the Arctic, so to hear that the Arctic is actually having an effect on the weather in the rest of the world is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

After reading Kintsch's article, one uncommon assertion that Jennifer Francis makes within the passage is her claim about climate change and how it is and will be affecting us, as she states on page 154 writing, “Three years ago, Francis proposed that the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream, the high, fast-moving river of air that snakes around the top of the world." This is something that actually shocked me after reading. I always thought of global warming to be most critical in locations with higher temperatures, however, after thinking more on this topic, I realized that even a minuscule increase in temperatures in areas with lower temperatures can also bring very large consequences. I have always been one who has enjoyed learning about various topics within the STEM field and found this article to be extremely inspiring to all women looking to enter a career in the STEM field as well as anyone in general who simply wishes to learn more about what really goes into the scientific process.
Kobi P.

Jaleel Fuquay said...

One very uncommon assertion that Francis had was that global warming and the warming of the artic is a big reason for climate and weather changes. I have never heard this and it really changed my perception of global warming. I had tunnel vision when it came to this subject. I only thought about the things that cause global warming and what human can do to fight it. I never thought about the effects it had on other things like nature and climate.

Breonna Roberts said...

Jennifer Francis proposed a hypothesis that was different than most hypothesis on Global Warming. She proposed that " the warming Arctic is changing weather patterns in temperature latitudes by altering the behavior of the northern polar jet stream" (pg 154) This is different than what most science classes teach because she is saying, although Global Warming is melting the Arctic, the Arctic is negatively affecting something as well. In class, it is usually only taught that global warming is causing ice caps to melt and the temperatures to become more unstable, which is caused by human pollution and byproduct of trash and 'carbon footprints'. Francis relates climate change to weather instead (154)