Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Biting winters driven by global warming, say Warmists

The explanation below depends on retreating Arctic ice but in the last two years it has in fact been growing. So they are wrong from their first premise. As an explanation of the present freeze, their explanation explains nothing. They are just closing their eyes and gibbering

Counter-intuitive but true, say scientists: a string of freezing European winters scattered over the last decade has been driven in large part by global warming.

The culprit, according to a new study, is the Arctic's receding surface ice, which at current rates of decline could to disappear entirely during summer months by century's end. The mechanism uncovered triples the chances that future winters in Europe and north Asia will be similarly inclement, the study reports.

Bitingly cold weather wreaked havoc across Europe in the winter months of 2005-2006, dumping snow in southern Spain and plunging eastern Europe and Russia into an unusually -- and deadly -- deep freeze.

Another sustained cold streak in 2009-2010, gave Britain its coldest winter in 14 years, and wreaked transportation havoc across the continent. This year seems poised to deliver a repeat performance.

At first glance, this flurry of frostiness would seem to be at odds with standard climate change scenarios in which Earth's temperature steadily rises, possibly by as much as five or six degrees Celsius (9.0 to 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. Climate sceptics who question the gravity of global warming or that humans are to blame point to the deep chills as confirmation of their doubts.

Such assertions, counter scientists, mistakenly conflate the long-term patterns of climate with the short-term vagaries of weather, and ignore regional variation in climate change impacts.

New research, however, goes further, showing that global warming has actually contributed to Europe's winter blues. Rising temperatures in the Arctic -- increasing at two to three times the global average -- have peeled back the region's floating ice cover by 20 percent over the last three decades.

This has allowed more of the Sun's radiative force to be absorbed by dark-blue sea rather than bounced back into space by reflective ice and snow, accelerating the warming process.

More critically for weather patterns, it has also created a massive source of heat during the winter months. "Say the ocean is at zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit)," said Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "That is a lot warmer than the overlying air in the polar area in winter, so you get a major heat flow heating up the atmosphere from below which you don't have when it is covered by ice. That's a massive change," he told AFP in an interview.

The result, according to a modelling study published earlier this month the Journal of Geophysical Research, is a strong high-pressure system over the newly-exposed sea which brings cold polar air, swirling counter-clockwise, into Europe.

"Recent severe winters like last year's or the one of 2005-2006 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it," explained Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study and a physicist at the Potsdam Institute. "These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and north Asia," he said.

The researchers created a computer model simulating the impact on weather patterns of a gradual reduction of winter ice cover in the Barents-Kara Sea, north of Scandinavia.

Other possible explanations for uncommonly cold winters -- reduced Sun activity or changes in the Gulf Stream -- "tend to exaggerate their effect," Petoukhov said.

He also points out that during the freezing 2005-2006 winter, when temperatures averaged 10 C below normal in Siberia, there were no unusual variations in the north Atlantic oscillation, another putative cause.

Colder European winters do not indicate a slowing of global warming trends, only an uneven distribution, researchers say. "As I look out my window is see about 30 centimetres of snow and the thermostat reads -14.0 C," said Rahmstorf, speaking by phone from Potsdam. "At the same time, in Greenland we have above zero temperatures -- in December."


Comment on the above by Roger A. Pielke, Sr., pointing out that, for all their theories, the Warmists' still can't predict anything

They continue to miss the significance that it is the regional circulations that matter, not a global average anomaly, as I mentioned on my post today.

Until and unless they can skillfully predict observationally documented CHANGES in the statistics (probabilities) of the different major circulation patterns, their explanations are necessarily flawed. There is no evidence that the global climate model multi-decadal predictions (and even shorter term runs on a year or less into the future) have the needed skill.

This does not mean that added CO2, and other human climate forcings [that we discuss in our EOS paper, as well as natural focrings and feedbacks, are not important, but just that we can not predict their effects on circulation features.

Bastardi on global warming causes cold weather myth

Bastardi's Italian English breaches all rules of English grammar but you get the drift

Much of the United States and Europe is suffering through extreme wintery weather conditions. But what is causing it?

Some have blamed global warming, specifically the “Arctic paradox.” However, AccuWeather’s chief hurricane and long-range forecaster Joe Bastardi told the Fox Business Network on Tuesday you can chalk it up to three things – oceans, sunspots and volcanoes.

“A few years ago, about why we have to start looking for more and more of this [cold weather],” Bastardi said. “It’s called the triple crown of cooling – the natural reversal of the oceans cycles. Three years ago the Pacific went into the cold state. Solar activity, very low sunspot activity and volcanic activity, not the kind you see in the tropics but the kind we had in the Arctic regions a couple of winters ago — and this is something that could be causing a return to for instance, the times of the Victorian era when they used to have ice fairs in the early-1800s around Christmastime on the Thames and you’re seeing that type of thing go on.”

As for those who are blaming global warming, Bastardi said that theory was childish and presented instead the possibility of long-term global cooling.

“Well, I’ve been saying what I believe is going on is this is the big debate between the natural cycles and the forces of AGW [anthropogenic global warming] – by the way, these folks claiming that global warming is causing severe cold is like the kid on the playground who doesn’t get his way and takes his ball home. The fact of the matter is the forecast that was made by this forecaster three years ago that we we’re going to start seeing these things because of this and it opens up the big debate – are the natural cycles taking over and are we going to see cooling over the next 20 to 30 years? You see, we started measuring temperatures with satellite at the end of the last cold cycle in the Pacific. We had nothing but warm in the Pacific and warm in the Atlantic. What’s going to happen to the temperatures if the oceans are warm? Now that they’re cooling let’s see what’s going to happens in the next 20 to 30 years.”

He said that the unseasonably cold winter is something that could be predicted and told viewers not to just blame global warming.

“This is predictable if you study cycles, if you study climatology,” Bastardi said. “And don’t just say everything is global warming.”

But, Bastardi also warned of a drought that will in cause higher commodity prices.

“I think the southern plains of the United States are starting evolve a drought now,” Bastardi said. “This dryness that you’re seeing in Texas I think will evolve into spring and summer time and Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas into the lower Mississippi valley looked to me to be very dry this upcoming summer and nothing like crazy weather. It is the pattern and what the pattern dictates.”


The mini ice age starts here

The article below is from a year ago. It shows that the skeptical scientists drew the right inferences from the data they had then and DID predict the current freeze. "By their predictions ye shall know the truth and the truth will set you free", to paraphrase a little

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in summer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

The scientists’ predictions also undermine the standard climate computer models, which assert that the warming of the Earth since 1900 has been driven solely by man-made greenhouse gas emissions and will continue as long as carbon dioxide levels rise.

They say that their research shows that much of the warming was caused by oceanic cycles when they were in a ‘warm mode’ as opposed to the present ‘cold mode’.

This challenge to the widespread view that the planet is on the brink of an irreversible catastrophe is all the greater because the scientists could never be described as global warming ‘deniers’ or sceptics.

However, both main British political parties continue to insist that the world is facing imminent disaster without drastic cuts in CO2. Last week, as Britain froze, Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband maintained in a parliamentary answer that the science of global warming was ‘settled’.

Among the most prominent of the scientists is Professor Mojib Latif, a leading member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been pushing the issue of man-made global warming on to the international political agenda since it was formed 22 years ago.

Prof Latif, who leads a research team at the renowned Leibniz Institute at Germany’s Kiel University, has developed new methods for measuring ocean temperatures 3,000ft beneath the surface, where the cooling and warming cycles start.

He and his colleagues predicted the new cooling trend in a paper published in 2008 and warned of it again at an IPCC conference in Geneva last September.

Last night he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘A significant share of the warming we saw from 1980 to 2000 and at earlier periods in the 20th Century was due to these cycles – perhaps as much as 50 per cent.

'They have now gone into reverse, so winters like this one will become much more likely. Summers will also probably be cooler, and all this may well last two decades or longer.

‘The extreme retreats that we have seen in glaciers and sea ice will come to a halt. For the time being, global warming has paused, and there may well be some cooling.’

As Europe, Asia and North America froze last week, conventional wisdom insisted that this was merely a ‘blip’ of no long-term significance.

Though record lows were experienced as far south as Cuba, where the daily maximum on beaches normally used for winter bathing was just 4.5C, the BBC assured viewers that the big chill was merely short-term ‘weather’ that had nothing to do with ‘climate’, which was still warming.

The work of Prof Latif and the other scientists refutes that view.

On the one hand, it is true that the current freeze is the product of the ‘Arctic oscillation’ – a weather pattern that sees the development of huge ‘blocking’ areas of high pressure in northern latitudes, driving polar winds far to the south.

Meteorologists say that this is at its strongest for at least 60 years.

As a result, the jetstream – the high-altitude wind that circles the globe from west to east and normally pushes a series of wet but mild Atlantic lows across Britain – is currently running not over the English Channel but the Strait of Gibraltar.

However, according to Prof Latif and his colleagues, this in turn relates to much longer-term shifts – what are known as the Pacific and Atlantic ‘multi-decadal oscillations’ (MDOs).

For Europe, the crucial factor here is the temperature of the water in the middle of the North Atlantic, now several degrees below its average when the world was still warming.

But the effects are not confined to the Northern Hemisphere. Prof Anastasios Tsonis, head of the University of Wisconsin Atmospheric Sciences Group, has recently shown that these MDOs move together in a synchronised way across the globe, abruptly flipping the world’s climate from a ‘warm mode’ to a ‘cold mode’ and back again in 20 to 30-year cycles.

'They amount to massive rearrangements in the dominant patterns of the weather,’ he said yesterday, ‘and their shifts explain all the major changes in world temperatures during the 20th and 21st Centuries.

'We have such a change now and can therefore expect 20 or 30 years of cooler temperatures.’

Prof Tsonis said that the period from 1915 to 1940 saw a strong warm mode, reflected in rising temperatures.

But from 1940 until the late Seventies, the last MDO cold-mode era, the world cooled, despite the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continued to rise.

Many of the consequences of the recent warm mode were also observed 90 years ago.

For example, in 1922, the Washington Post reported that Greenland’s glaciers were fast disappearing, while Arctic seals were ‘finding the water too hot’.

It interviewed a Captain Martin Ingebrigsten, who had been sailing the eastern Arctic for 54 years: ‘He says that he first noted warmer conditions in 1918, and since that time it has gotten steadily warmer.

'Where formerly great masses of ice were found, there are now moraines, accumulations of earth and stones. At many points where glaciers formerly extended into the sea they have entirely disappeared.’

As a result, the shoals of fish that used to live in these waters had vanished, while the sea ice beyond the north coast of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean had melted.

Warm Gulf Stream water was still detectable within a few hundred miles of the Pole. In contrast, Prof Tsonis said, last week 56 per cent of the surface of the United States was covered by snow.

‘That hasn’t happened for several decades,’ he pointed out. ‘It just isn’t true to say this is a blip. We can expect colder winters for quite a while.’

He recalled that towards the end of the last cold mode, the world’s media were preoccupied by fears of freezing.

For example, in 1974, a Time magazine cover story predicted ‘Another Ice Age’, saying: ‘Man may be somewhat responsible – as a result of farming and fuel burning [which is] blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the Earth.’

Prof Tsonis said: ‘Perhaps we will see talk of an ice age again by the early 2030s, just as the MDOs shift once more and temperatures begin to rise.’

Like Prof Latif, Prof Tsonis is not a climate change ‘denier’. There is, he said, a measure of additional ‘background’ warming due to human activity and greenhouse gases that runs across the MDO cycles.

But he added: ‘I do not believe in catastrophe theories. Man-made warming is balanced by the natural cycles, and I do not trust the computer models which state that if CO2 reaches a particular level then temperatures and sea levels will rise by a given amount.

'These models cannot be trusted to predict the weather for a week, yet they are running them to give readings for 100 years.’

Prof Tsonis said that when he published his work in the highly respected journal Geophysical Research Letters, he was deluged with ‘hate emails’.

He added: ‘People were accusing me of wanting to destroy the climate, yet all I’m interested in is the truth.’

He said he also received hate mail from climate change sceptics, accusing him of not going far enough to attack the theory of man-made warming.

The work of Profs Latif, Tsonis and their teams raises a crucial question: If some of the late 20th Century warming was caused not by carbon dioxide but by MDOs, then how much?

Tsonis did not give a figure; Latif suggested it could be anything between ten and 50 per cent.

Other critics of the warming orthodoxy say the role played by MDOs is even greater.

William Gray, emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, said that while he believed there had been some background rise caused by greenhouse gases, the computer models used by advocates of man-made warming had hugely exaggerated their effect.

According to Prof Gray, these distort the way the atmosphere works. ‘Most of the rise in temperature from the Seventies to the Nineties was natural,’ he said. ‘Very little was down to CO2 – in my view, as little as five to ten per cent.’

But last week, die-hard warming advocates were refusing to admit that MDOs were having any impact.

In March 2000, Dr David Viner, then a member of the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, the body now being investigated over the notorious ‘Warmergate’ leaked emails, said that within a few years snowfall would become ‘a very rare and exciting event’ in Britain, and that ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’.

Now the head of a British Council programme with an annual £10 million budget that raises awareness of global warming among young people abroad, Dr Viner last week said he still stood by that prediction: ‘We’ve had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn’t change anything.

'This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.’

The longer the cold spell lasts, the harder it may be to persuade the public of that assertion.


GWPF Calls For Independent Inquiry Into Met Office's Winter Advice

The Global Warming Policy Foundation ( is an all-party and non-party think tank and a registered educational charity

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has called on the Government to set up an independent inquiry into the winter advice it received by the Met Office and the renewed failure to prepare the UK for the third severe winter in a row.

"The current winter fiasco is no longer a joke as the economic damage to the British economy as a result of the country's ill-preparedness is running at £1bn a day and could reach more than £15 billion," said Dr Benny Peiser, the GWPF's Director.

"It would appear that the Met Office provided government with rather poor if not misleading advice and we need to find out what went wrong. Lessons have to be learned well in advance of the start of next year's winter so that we are much better prepared if it is severe again," Dr Peiser said.

Last summer, the Department of Transport carried out a study of the resilience of Britain's transport infra structure in the light of the two previous severe winters.

The Met Office informed the government that the chance of a severe winter would be relatively small and that the effect of climate change had further reduced the probability of severe winters in the UK.

The transport minister Philip Hammond said yesterday that he has asked the government's chief scientific adviser whether the three winters was a ‘step change’ in weather in the UK.

"The Met Office appears to deny this possibility. But the key question is: if there was a 'step change' in the UK weather, what would it look like? The answer is, of course, it would look like what we have seen in recent years. Hence there is no logical case to say there hasn't been a step change - we will have to wait and see but it cannot be ruled out," said Dr David Whitehouse, the GWPF's science editor.

In light of the renewed failure to prepare the UK for a prolonged and harsh winter, the following questions need to be addressed in order to avoid future debacles:

1. Why did the Met Office publish estimates in late October showing a 60 per cent to 80 per cent chance of warmer-than-average temperatures this winter? What was the scientific basis of this probabilistic estimate?

2. Has the October prediction by the Met Office that this winter would be mild affected planning for this winter? If so, what is the best estimate of how much this has cost the country?

3. Last year, the Met Office predicted a 65% chance that winter will be milder than normal. Has the Met Office subsequently explained what went wrong with its computer modelling?

4. What is the statistical and scientific basis for the Met Office's estimate of a 1-in-20 chance of a severe winter?

5. Has the Met Office changed its view, or its calculations, following the harsh winters of 2008, 2009 and 2010?

6. Is the Met Office right to claim that the severe winters of the last three years are not related?

7. Which severe weather alerts were issued by the Met Office and when?

8. Although the Met Office stopped sending its 3-month forecasts to the media, it would appear that this service is still available to paying customers, the Government and Local Authorities for winter planning. What was their advice, in September/October, for the start of winter 2010?

9. Has the Met Office been the subject of any complaints from its paying customers regarding the quality of its advice?

10. Is it appropriate that the chairman of the Met Office is a member, or a former member of climate pressure groups or carbon trading groups?

11. Should senior Met Office staff (technically employed by the MoD) make public comments advocating political action they see necessary to tackle climate change?

12. Has the government evaluated different meteorological service providers and has it ensured that it is using the most accurate forecaster?

13. What plans has the government to privatise the Met Office?

Above is a press release from the GWPF. Contact Dr Benny Peiser []

Another amusing flashback -- to Feb. 2008

Winter has gone for ever and we should officially bring spring forward instead, one of the country’s most respected gardeners said yesterday. For climate change has wiped out the season of traditionally long, hard frosts and replaced it with brightly blossoming gardens bursting into flower months early.

The curator of Kew Gardens said that native plants which historically flower in May are already in leaf and a modern definition of the seasons was needed. “Over the last 12 months there has been no winter,” said Dr Nigel Taylor. “Last year was extraordinary. Spring was in January, April was summer, the summer was cool, then it was warmer and sunny in autumn.

“English hawthorn or May – so called because it used to flower then – has leafed out in Kew in the last week of January, two months or more ahead of when it normally would. “It may flower before the end of February. Blackthorn is already leafed out and in flower and common ash is in flower.

“These are months earlier than the norm and, given that they are species which have evolved in the vagaries of the English climate, the more remarkable and surprising. “The climate is behaving very strangely. No one predicted winter was finished but these plants’ behaviour shows it has ended.

“There is no winter any more despite a cold snap before Christmas. It is nothing like years ago when I was younger. There is a real problem with spring because so much is flowering so early year to year. It’s hard to plan attractions as the marketing has to be planned. You do that relying on things happening at certain times.”

Dr Taylor added: “Like most scientists, I’m fairly convinced that climate change is down to man’s reckless use of fossil fuels and destruction of natural habitats.


Australia: Another stupid "Green" scheme bites the dust

In the latest environmental bungle to plague the Gillard Government, a $130 million program to help households go green was yesterday scrapped before it even started.

The cancellation of the Green Loans program and now its replacement, Green Start, leaves the Federal Government without a major scheme to help Australians tackle rising power costs and climate change in their own homes.

The mishandled policy has also left the Government with a $30 million bill to help the estimated 10,000 green loans assessors who will be left without work from February next year when the existing scheme ends.

But those who never got a job will have to wait up to 12 months to get a refund on their $3000 training costs while contracted assessors will get $2500 to upgrade their skills.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet yesterday insisted a number of positives had come from the program. "Hundreds of thousands of home sustainability assessments have been conducted and I think have been conducted professionally," he said. "I think that's been of significant benefit to many households and the Government will continue to look for effective value-for-money programs that can assist households achieving improvements."

Mr Combet said any new household abatement assistance would not be considered until the Government decided how to put a price on carbon, a process which will ramp up next year.

He said there were too many risks to go ahead with the Green Start program amid concerns about poor quality data from home assessments already conducted under the Green Loans program.

The loans component of the $175 million scheme was cancelled in July after a damning audit found widespread problems with the scheme including mismanagement and breaches of Government guidelines.



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