Shifting Poleward (IMAGE) Columbia Climate School Caption The researchers found that during the warm parts of the Pliocene (3-5 million years ago), the westerlies were located closer to the poles. The image on the right shows how the westerlies moved toward the equator during colder intervals afterward. Recent observations indicate that as the planet warms due to climate change, the westerlies are once again shifting poleward. Credit Abell et al., Nature 2021 Usage Restrictions Credit must be given. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.