It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age – London Mayor Boris Johnson

GISP2 TemperatureSince10700 BP with CO2 from EPICA DomeC
Image Credit: Climate4You.com

From The Telegraph – By London Mayor Boris Johnson

“The Sun is god!” cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

I remember snow that used to come and settle for just long enough for a single decent snowball fight before turning to slush; I don’t remember winters like this. Two days ago I was cycling through Trafalgar Square and saw icicles on the traffic lights; and though I am sure plenty of readers will say I am just unobservant, I don’t think I have seen that before. I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.

But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. I see from the BBC website that there are scientists who say that “global warming” is indeed the cause of the cold and snowy winters we seem to be having. A team of Americans and Chinese experts have postulated that the melting of the Arctic ice means that the whole North Atlantic is being chilled as the floes start to break off — like a Martini refrigerated by ice cubes.

I do not have the expertise to comment on the Martini theory; I merely observe that there are at least some other reputable scientists who say that it is complete tosh, or at least that there is no evidence to support it. We are expecting the snow and cold to go on for several days, and though London transport has coped very well so far, with few delays or cancellations, I can’t help brooding on my own amateur meteorological observations. I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.

When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715 — the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames — there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.

I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn is right. If he is, that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy and the economy as a whole. Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age.

But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.

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Not saying anything about the accuracy of the content of the article, but it is certainly interesting that it was written by London Mayor and eventual Prime Minister hopeful Boris Johnson. The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.

91 thoughts on “It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age – London Mayor Boris Johnson

  1. He’s an odd character, our Boris. I find it impossible to dislike him, even though I feel I ought to.

    There is also something of a ‘George Dubya’ about him: An ability to consistently beat low expectations.

  2. Classic! I just saw that on Drudge and was going to Facebook it and of course WUWT beat me to it. I think I will start saying The Beast from the East” is Global Warming’s middle name.

  3. Johnson, (no relation I hasten to add), is one of the few politicians we have who actually seems to have a mind of his own and does at least appear to think for himself

  4. It’s good to see Boris thinking about this and open to views that aren’t so warming. It’s hard for any politician to take sides in an issue that is so contentious, but more seem to be tiptoeing around the edge to see if it’s safe to wade deeper in and away from the Greenie so-called consensus. Good on him, I hope he makes PM.

  5. Yes, a great many climate myopics could stand to visit their climoptometrist to extend their “vision”. What seemingly few people seem to recognize is the occurrence of another “mini ice age” might not actually be long-sighted enough. The Holocene is now half-aprecessional cycle old and change. Five of the last 6 interglacials have each lasted about half a precession cycle.

    The possibility therefore exists that we could be at a climate junction often described these days as a tipping-point. Tipping the Holocene into extending itself with GHGs is perceived as a horror by many. Naturally tipping the Holocene into the next ice age, however, might bring great benefit to society by selecting-out those with climate myopia as well as other intellectual ailments.

  6. The Guardian is one of the last bastions of ‘the science is settled’.

    As science is NEVER settled, since it can never be proven, only disproven, one might ask if they understand the fundamental basis of science, which most certainly doesn’t comprise of ‘ask a few Professors what they think and spend 20 years promulgating their opinions as FACTS, without considering the cost implications of their expostulations, the link between scientist prosperity and scientist theory and the correlation between the simplicity of their theories and the complexity of the systems they study”.

    Let us be absolutely clear: those scientists on record as saying that solar and oceanic factors are overwhelmed by carbon dioxide must lose positions, funding and respect if they try to gain future funding misappropriating the long-held convictions of skeptics whose integrity they have impugned for many years.

    They made their bed, now they must lie in it.

    Their bed is the seventy two virgin version of climate science, with carbon dioxide the key driver of it.

    Oceanic modulations is not their creed and nor are SSWs caused by CMEs, X-flares etc etc. Solar output is not important according to them after all.

    If they try to say that they are, fire them!!!!

  7. The minutia of CO2 and solar variation is apparently endlessly fascinating to many people who consider the elephant in the chair beside them boring stuff indeed.

  8. It took the hide-bound Royal Navy40 years to adopt the (obviously useful) Beaufort Scale for determining the rigging of ships sails in gales of different strengths. But adopt it they eventually did. I truly hope Piers receives his due recognition before his tomb freezes over with a mile of ice.

    Well said Boris, thanks for paying attention! And thanks for being better-read than average. We live in a changing world.

  9. You’re lucky he just wrote in English – as a Torygraph columnist he generally regales us in Latin at some point. Perhaps “Sub sole nihil novi est” (there’s nothing new under the sun) might have been apt, or “et sceleratis sol oritur” (the sun even shines on the wicked) :-’)

  10. Maybe OT, but I wish we could get the tab, or whatever it is called, back, to send things on by e-mail, and that used to appear at the bottom of every post so that we could forward it.
    As a technodinosaur I now find it difficult to make others aware of information like that contained above. (I see that spellchecker does not like “technodinosaur”.)

  11. I’ve never seen that gisp2 graph before, how reputable is it and why does no one talk about the very obvious cooling trend for the last few thousand years? There can be no argument about the statistical significance of that time period ….

  12. Boris knows from Piers that Climate Alchemy has made a Big Mistake. It originated from Schwarzchild’s 1906 paper used to justify the Aarhenius ‘GHG blanket’. Houghton used this flawed thinking to claim you can have opposing streams of IR energy and that the heat from each is additive.

    This breaches Maxwell’s Equations, specifically Poynting’s Theorem which states that the vectors can only add vectorially so the power of opposing wave fronts is subtractive not additive. Hansen et al picked up Houghton’s work in 1981. The result of this is vastly exaggerated warming via the water cycle, the imaginary positive feedback.

    So, we are now seeing the result of the natural experiment that proves Houghton and Hansen got it wrong. There is virtually no CO2-AGW, some warming from water vapour side bands only.

  13. At least the Mayor admits that he is a fairly ignorant layperson who does not read or understand the science. This post shows two graphs. Were they posted from the Mayor’s speech? The source of the graphs is something called “Climate4your.com. If I go to that web site will I find a peer-reviewed source, or are the graphs just something made up by the people who run the web site?

    REPLY: Crimony Bill, you are an academic for a major university, with far better access to journals and data than we have. Do the work research yourself instead of whining about it – Anthony

  14. “It really feels like the start of a mini ice age.”

    I have no first hand knowledge of what the start of a mini ice age feels like. Brian Fagan has some interesting comments in his books, I would give more weight to his selection than to one of the new offerings.

    Many of Fagan’s finds pertain to rain and crop failures, e.g. from “The Little Ice Age:”

    The Reverend Daniel Schaller, pastor of Stendal in the Prussian Alps, wrote: “There is no real constant sunshine, neither a steady winter nor summer; the earth’s crops and produce do not ripen, are no longer as healthy as they were in bygone years. The fruitfulness of all creatures and of the world as a whole is receding; field and grounds have tired from bearing fruits and even become impoverished, thereby giving rise to the increases of prices and famine, as id heard in towns and villages from the whining and lamenting among the farmers.”

    It would take some effort to translate that into 21st century issues in a world where I can eat fresh asparagus every day of the year. Grey and raw seems to come through in many of the quotes Fagan found.

  15. “The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.

    Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: That’s not funny!

  16. I’ve got to say, as a life-long socialist, Boris Johnson is about the only hope the torys have of ever getting my vote. Buffoon? Maybe (on the face of it). Right wing? Naturally – what else would he be with his background!

    But he’s also far more intelligent than most others in British politics – he can at least string a coherent argument together to support his opinions without resorting to insults. He also appears to possess a social conscience, which is something that the best of the Right always had before that dreadful woman appeared with her mantra of everyone for themselves / Screw Thy Neighbour.

    I suspect lot of others in the UK feel the same way so, if he starts muttering doubts, expect the muttering to get louder.

  17. Whatever the merits of Boris Johnson’s reflections, it is true what you say about the Guardian not being amused.
    The Guardian is a left wing newspaper (nothing wrong with that) which prides itself on its website with a comment section called ‘Comment is Free’. Whilst comment may be free, free speech certainly isn’t as far the Guardian is concerned. In common with all left wing ideologues it cannot entertain differences of opinion. If you look at their comment section on ‘Comment is Free’ you will see that every commentator agrees with them. Wow – what perfection!
    There are of course some mysterious entries which simply say

    “This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards”.

    Which is to say, you agreed with Boris Johnson and not us – Not allowed!
    Of course, it is always easy to give the impression of ‘consensus’ when all opposing views are deleted.

  18. BillD says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    At least the Mayor admits that he is a fairly ignorant layperson who does not read or understand the science. This post shows two graphs. Were they posted from the Mayor’s speech? The source of the graphs is something called “Climate4your.com. If I go to that web site will I find a peer-reviewed source, or are the graphs just something made up by the people who run the web site?

    You want peer review, I’ll give you peer review. ;-)

    Abstract
    Rasool and Schneider 1971
    ……………An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5°K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abs/ra00600k.html

    Forgive me if I don’t go down on bended knees over peer review.

  19. Jimbo, you are entirely correct in pointing out that peer-review has not only been discredited but never was intended to hallmark a position.

  20. Liberal skeptic says: January 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I’ve never seen that gisp2 graph before, how reputable is it and why does no one talk about the very obvious cooling trend for the last few thousand years? There can be no argument about the statistical significance of that time period ….

    Background information on the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) can be found here;

    http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/

    background on Climate4You.com can be found here

    http://climate4you.com/

    and it’s proprietor Ole Humlum can be found here:

    http://climate4you.com/Text/BIBLIOGRAPHY%20OLE%20HUMLUM.pdf

    I have seen no basis to question the GISP2 data, but that is not to say there isn’t one. In terms of Climate4You.com, we’ve used Ole’s charts on WUWT’s reference pages;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/

    for a few years and no one has ever presented a credible challenge to their accuracy, but again that is not to say there isn’t one. I had planned to included the GISP2 chart on the forthcoming WUWT Paleoclimate Reference Page, thus if anyone can present evidence challenging its accuracy, please do so.

  21. Read our Boris’s effluvia this morning on the train.
    As every Monday.
    interesting.
    Classically educated, I doubt he can spell dysprosium [an answer in today’s Telegraph X-word]; but Boris is certainly no fool.
    The tide seems to be turning.
    Whether the fat-faced one [and the Cameroons] relinquish a seat – and the premiership – before the election may determine the 2015 General Election.

    Auto.

  22. According to NASA, the whole last decade is now warmer by at least .02C than what they reported last month.

  23. Boris obviously didn’t believe the Beeb!

    12 Jan: BBC Weather: John Hammond: Sudden stratospheric warming responsible for UK’s icy blast
    For a few weeks now, forecasters have been monitoring an abrupt jump in temperatures way up in the stratosphere – not a cooling, but actually a sudden warming.
    Such sudden stratospheric warmings (SSW) have led to notable cold spells in recent years…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/20998895

  24. Pamela Gray says:

    Excellent point. I don’t believe they woud call it “Greenland” were it discovered today. Not so many sheep being raised there as a thousand or so years ago. Orbital eccentricity, obliquity, and precession all have something to say though none is extreme at present. But then again plenty of other potential causal variables in the mix, including solar variations. I’m betting upon a colder near term future, unfortunately for us in the northern climes. Warmer would, indeed, be better.

    As the growing belt moves south, the Russians (& Chinese?)will be rattling their swords. The US should be able to trade food for oil, if we are allowed by our omnicient leaders to use it. Most Canadian crops grow within 300 miles of the US border. Depending upon the resultant effect upon precipitation patterns, other southern locations may become the bigger food producers, of course given geopolitical stability which is not apparent today in some of these places. It is all predestined to occur. It’s all really only a matter of when.

  25. For those in Europe who want to see climate change in action………………just look out your window. PS, remember when the lack of snow was blamed on global warming? Now this repeated event is also blamed on global warming. There is nothing co2 can’t do.

    You look out the window and you see climate change in action,” Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research says in a clip from PBS NewsHour. “This is the way it gets manifested.”

    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/07/you-look-out-window-and-you-see-climate-change-action

    Flights scrapped as snow blankets Europe

  26. Climate science simplistically says the Earth is uniformly illuminated by the Solar radiation over the section of the globe in daytime – which is a disk area having the Earth’s radius.

    Climate science then says the Earth radiates to space over the whole area of its sphere which is four times the area of a disk.

    If energy in equals energy out the only logical interpretation of these propositions is that the power of the Solar insolation is four times the power of the Earth’s radiation to space – their own equations show this.

    Climate science then pulls a stunt and calculates the “effective” temperature of the Earth

    Solar radiation(1 – albedo) = sigma T^4 x 4 – this is the equation taught at many Universities –

    and comes up with the result of 255 K using this equation.

    Then Kiehl & Trenberth make the following illogical statement in their energy budget paper:

    “Here we assume a “solar constant” of 1367 W /m2 (Hartmann 1994), and because the incoming solar radiation is one-quarter of this, that is, 342 W /m2, a planetary albedo of 31% is implied.”

    If the incoming solar radiation is one quarter of the “solar constant” how can anyone possibly re-create the original proposition about radiation balance at the top of the atmosphere ?

    If energy in = energy out and both of these radiative fluxes have an associated temperature and these temperatures have to be related by the fourth root of the proportion of area of sphere to area of disk which is 1.41 – the fourth root of 4.

    255 K x 1.41 is almost 360 K.

    Plug 360 K into the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the associated radiative flux is about 952 W/sq metre.

    1367 W/sq metre x (1 – albedo) results in about 943 W/sq metre using 0.31 as albedo or 957 W/sq metre using 0.3 as albedo.

    Averaging the solar insolation simply fails this simple mathematical analysis and is therefore meaningless for any purpose other than calculating the 255 K result. It has no further meaning.

    If it did applying the reverse analysis must lead to the original proposition – mathematics is reliable like that – any correct procedure is reversible.

    If “because the incoming solar radiation is one-quarter of this, that is, 342 W /m2″ had any REAL meaning in the physics of climate science then DIVIDING the temperature associated with this radiative flux – 278 K – by 1.41 ( the fourth root of 4) ( ~197 K) should yield 255 K – obviously it doesn’t.

    What I assert truly represent REAL solar insolation – approximately 952 W /sq m and 360 K passes the reverse analysis – 360 divided by 1.41 is indeed 255 K.

    If even a simple “back of the envelope” analysis cannot reproduce their original assertion through a simple reverse analysis ( I can using the correct figures) using their own figures then how can the immensely complicated computer models produce anything but random gibberish ?

    I know the 342 is an “average” uniform insolation but if it has any REAL mathematical meaning it must comply with reverse analysis.

    As it doesn’t one must logically conclude the “average” method produces ONLY ONE meaningful result – the effective 255 K Earth radiating temperature.

    It cannot be used to assert anything else !

    After all 255 K is the temperature associated with THE EARTH’S RADIATION and NOT the SOLAR INSOLATION adjusted for albedo.

    Quartering the solar constant is simply incorrect ! All the science from this point on is bogus.

  27. BillD says: January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    This post shows two graphs. Were they posted from the Mayor’s speech?

    No, I added the graph to help readers to see the Little Ice Age in perspective.

    The source of the graphs is something called “Climate4your.com. If I go to that web site will I find a peer-reviewed source, or are the graphs just something made up by the people who run the web site?

    Climate4You.com is just a data aggregator, the data in this case comes from;

    http://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/

    and yes it has been through peer review numerous times:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0033589485710794

    http://www.cheric.org/research/tech/periodicals/view.php?seq=250261

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v372/n6507/abs/372663a0.html

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/96GL03700/abstract

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=GISP2&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C31&as_sdtp=

    Can you present any evidence to challenge the accuracy of the GISP2 data or Climate4You.com’s graphing of it?

  28. MikeB says:

    “Of course, it is always easy to give the impression of ‘consensus’ when all opposing views are deleted.”

    Propaganda and censorship are mainstays of the left. Their philosophy will not withstand the light of truth. The old USSR and the eastern block European countries with their failed socioeconomic histories are prime examples. A lie told over and over in the educational system and in the media becomes the truth for the vast majority of the people. It is only when the promises of free stuff at the expense of the productive few in the system run out that folks are ready to make real change.

  29. Boris better get used to this weather. There is more coming for the next several decades like UK had in the period 1962-1987 and 1880- 1910 as the planet enters again a cooler phase for the next 20-30 years possibly . Some of us have been predicting this weather for Europe since 2009. When the sun cycle and the ocean SST cycle are both in sync and if both are declining and the Enso signal is in Neutral , the Arctic Oscillation is often negative , thus allowing colder Arctic upper atmosphere air to come south. AO is predicted to remain negative at least to early February so the near term cold may continue.

  30. Joe, Maggie did NOT say screw thy neighbour. Yes, she did say, “there is no such thing as society” but nobody ever puts that quote into context. Here is the full quote, “If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people, and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”

    In short, another version of the golden rule.

  31. MikeB says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    …………………Guardian is concerned. In common with all left wing ideologues it cannot entertain differences of opinion. If you look at their comment section on ‘Comment is Free’ you will see that every commentator agrees with them.

    They disable sceptical accounts. You can open an account and as soon as your start regular posting your account is disabled. It has happened to me over 8 times, in the end I just gave up and decided that if they want to be an echo chamber then let them. They allow some sceptical comments through to hide from accusations. Don’t worry, their circulation is going down the toilet.

  32. <i.Curt says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.

    Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: That’s not funny!

    Took me a couple of beats to get it, but that was funny!

  33. Curt says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    “The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.

    Q: How many leftists does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: That’s not funny!

    Took me a couple of beats to get it, but that was funny!

  34. from the Guardian…”He wafts away the scientists who say snowy winters are consistent with global warming (an uncontroversial idea based on the premise that a warming world leads to more moisture in the atmosphere)”.

    Funny, I thought that a warming world leads to warmer temperatures, making rain more likely than snow, despite any increased moisture content. My understanding from the UK is that it isn’t just more snow, it’s more cold. Am I wrong?

  35. It may not be an ice age that is coming but the predictions for the next 5 years show a variety of forecasts. Here is a
    summary of various forecasts of global temperature anomaly [hadcrut3] at the end of 2017 [after next 5 years]

    The data has been calculated or eyeballed from data or graphs available on the internet

    CO2 BASED

    JAMES HANSON 1.4 C for A,

    1.2 C for B

    0.6 C for C

    IPCC 0 .750 C [A2, A1B, B1]

    CLIVE BEST 0. 55 to 0 .7 C ADJUSTED BASED ON AIB and B1 SCENARIOS]

    MET OFFICE 0.430 C [0.28 C to 0.59 C] WAS 0.76 C previously

    NON CO2 BASED

    N.SCAFETTA 0.450 C HARMONIC MODEL [RANGE 0.3 to 0.55 C]

    P. MICHAELS 0.4 to o.5 C ADJUSTED TREND OF IPCC

    TALLBLOKE 0.4 to 0.5 C BASED ON SEA SURFACE TEMP

    G.ORSSENGO 0.226 C STATISTICAL MODEL BASEDON GMTA HADCRUT 3 [0.1C to 0.55C lower and upper limit]

    D. EASTERBROOK -0.1C BASED ON 1790-1820 PAST TREND

    0.0 C BASED ON 1880-1915 PAST TREND

    0.4 C BASED ON 1945-1977 PAST TREND

    S-ICHI AKASOFU < 0.5 C [BASED ON PAST TEMPERATURE PATTERN

    LAST 12 MONTH TREND OF HADCRUT3 EXTENDED TO THE END OF 2017 0.350 C

    OBSERVED HADCRUT 3GL TO THE END OF NOVEMBER 2012 0.417 C

    It would appear that the trend of the latest forecasts is a significant lowering of the IPCC/ HANSON alarmists predictions.

  36. @oldseadog
    >…I wish we could get the tab, or whatever it is called,
    > back, to send things on by e-mail, and that used to
    > appear at the bottom of every post …

    I think it’s called a “link”, not “tab”. And it’s still there: just right-click on the date-time string under the name and then select “Copy Shortcut”. The hyperlink to that post can then be pasted into your reply or other documents.

    For example, here’s the link that I copied from your post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/21/its-snowing-and-it-really-feels-like-the-start-of-a-mini-ice-age-london-mayor-boris-johnson/#comment-1205104

  37. Anything that upsets the loss-making Guardian is always good for a laugh. The comments are quite hilarious in their utter ignorance. Still, you don’t read the Guardian to learn anything, just to get a job at the BBC and Met Office. It is embarrassing to see what are supposed to be top scientists knowing so little – or are they just playing along to keep the cash rolling in as they are all funded from the Global Warming scam.

  38. The reason Boris Johnson is interesting is also the reason why he will never be the Prime Minister in the UK – he does not toe the party line. He was a ‘rebel’ when he was an MP and was pretty much forced to run for Mayor of London as a way to remove him from the back benches where he was too likely to say something not approved by the party leaders.

    As to intelligence, he is probably no worse or better than most MPs – successful politicians only dumb in respect to saying nothing which has not been approved by their party.

  39. justthefactswuwt says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm
    BillD says: January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm
    ——————————————————————-

    Data is from here:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt

    “Present” appears to be 1950, so latest data point should be around 1856.
    Greenland has warmed since then by about 2 degrees, though 1 degree or so due to AMO effect which should be subtracted, as we are now on the top of the AMO cycle and ice core resolution does not resolve such short term peaks. UHI correction also not considered.

  40. I love Boris, top chap! As he says he is an empiricist, see whats happening around you rather than look at computer models that tell you what should be happening.

  41. The grauinad doesn’t just remove comments it disagrees with, it removes whole commentators too – with no reason given.

    I know – I am proud to be one of the Disappeared!

  42. For our American friends and other non-Londoners, here is an introduction to our glorious Lord Mayor and the unlikely future PM, Boris Johnson

    (going back few years now)

  43. We’ll trade you a Johnson for an Obama. Promised to tackle “dangerous Climate Change” in his speech today. Also to make everyone safe, wealthy, etc…

  44. Right wing Boris is a big fan of Piers Corbyn.
    Now that seems unlikely but true.
    Piers is an unreconstructed Bolshevik who finds Leningrad easier to say than St Petersburg.
    However Piers has put his reputation on the line by coming up with a number of recent unlikely weather predictions that turned out to be accurate

  45. MikeB says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Also, the Guardian’s comment sections are patrolled by pit bulls who exert enormous energy to poison any rational discussion. I am not claiming that these pit bulls are Guardian employees but they do their best to protect, through whatever means, the opinions of Guardian employees.

  46. Jimbo says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    “It’s not just the UK shivering, but Europe.”

    Check out “Notrickszone.” He has been following the disastrous cold eastern Europe, China, and Malaysia. Objective reports are that it is the worst in 50 years.

  47. Boris Johnson is a breath of fresh air. He is a man with his own mind who expects others to have their own minds. He addresses others as if they have their own minds. I hope he can prevail.

  48. So Boris looks out of the window and sees snow and then decides to write about a possible mini ice age. Priceless.

    He cannot remember, apparently, snow like this before.

    He says

    “By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.”

    So Boris you cannot remember the relentless snow and cold of the winter of 1978/9 in England (he was 14) ? You can’t remember thick ice floes on the rivers that winter ?

    You cannot remember the winter of 1981/2 when it was so cold in southern England that it killed non-hardy trees (-15C in Essex) ?

    Nor the heavy snow in early 1987 with daytime temperatures well below freezing and 2 foot long icicles hanging off the gutters ?

    Nor the winters in the 1990s when several times lakes froze over and villages in the south east were cut-off due to drifting snow with gale force easterly winds ?

    Yes we have had a cold week or so, but thats totally normal in an English winter. Funny how Boris did not write an article about the fact that the spring bulbs were pushing through in the south east in the previous weeks. Here in Essex we had no frost at all for 21 straight nights to the 9th Jan.

    Its both amazing and revealing that the sceptic world gets itself in such a lather when Boris looks out of his window and sees snow.

    Its called weather.

  49. Joe says:
    January 21, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    “He also appears to possess a social conscience, which is something that the best of the Right always had before that dreadful woman appeared with her mantra of everyone for themselves / Screw Thy Neighbour.”

    Oh this old calumny again. Typical socialist miscasting of an opponent’s real beliefs and motives. Thatcher’s view, as a Grocer’s daughter, who took a degree in Chemistry, and became Prime Minister of course, was that people should stand on their own two feet, live within their means, and not expect the state to owe them a living. It did not preclude helping those who for whatever reason cannot help themselves. But that only when you have made good are you in a position to help those less fortunate. Making your own way in life does not mean disregarding others.
    The left could never beat her in argument so warped her views to that selfish, bitter and down-right nasty phraseology above so they could attack that.

    As a life-long socialist he should know that someone somewhere has to earn some money before it can be appropriated and shared out. In fact, to adapt his elegant phraseology, Everyone help themselves to the money-tree/ Screw Thy Hard Working Neighbour is actually how the socialist creed pans out.

  50. Has anyone looked at South Korea lately? As I recall, Korea usually has a cold dry air mass during the winter from Siberia — very cold and not much snow. My wife, who is Korean, keeps calling me over to the TV (we get Korean TV) every few days to show the snowstorms Korea is getting — she just showed me one they are getting now.

  51. As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

    I wondered why Boris is Lord Mayor and wants to be prime minister! He is going to fix the fireball thingie!

    Don’t let him kid you folks. Boris wants power so that he can use it, not because it does not exist.

  52. James Abbott says:
    January 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    “Its both amazing and revealing that the sceptic world gets itself in such a lather when Boris looks out of his window and sees snow.”

    The interest generated by Boris’ article had nothing to do with the one item that you fixed upon. You should read his entire article and give it some thought. Then you might write a post about what there is in Boris’ article that interests others.

    In addition, read some of the comments above. In those comments, you will find reasons that persons are interested in Boris’ article.

    I found it very interesting as a declaration of personal liberty. Boris has decided to use his own mind in evaluating the matter of a coming Little Ice Age and is telling the BBS and all lock step leftist propagandists to stick it where the sun does not shine. That is something very desirable in a politician. He might prove to be a reformer.

  53. Regarding comments about eating asparagus every day and there not being an ice age because of food availablility. You only havbe to look at the rampant food pricec inflation because of the shortages that are now occuring. Crops failed last year with potatoes rotting in the ground farmers not being able to go on to their land to harvest wheat and other cereals. Yes you maw well be able to eat asparagus every day but how much are you now paying for it and how far ar you now havi8ng to go to buy it?

    By the way anyone that falls for the buffon image Boris Johnson has nutured be ready for a surprise.

  54. I have always been an admirer of Boris Johnson, he is one of those rare politicians who speak as they find, not as their poitical whims dictate. I read this column, this morning and thought that my admiration was not misplaced and I think that he will make an excellent PM!
    The Guardian on the other hand berates him for writing this column and getting paid £5000 for his work. The Guardian is quite happy to advertise non-jobs for Labour Councils (Diversity Manager, Lesbian Outreach workers, to give two examples) paying tens of thousands of pounds per year. This together with their attitude of “The science is settled” shows their hypocrisy in its true colours!
    Going back to the article, I think it was full of insight, he discussed it as a layman, which is the way many of us on WUWT debate this topic.

  55. Antonia says:
    January 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Joe, Maggie did NOT say screw thy neighbour. Yes, she did say, “there is no such thing as society” but nobody ever puts that quote into context. Here is the full quote, “If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people, and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”

    —————————————————–

    I wasn’t actually thinking of that quote because I agree that it’s mis-used far too often, although the last part hints at where my problem with her sits.

    Think carefully about what she’s saying, and about exactly which “unfortunates” are likely to benefit from all this wonderful voluntary help – will it be your neighbour who’s just lost a packet in the city or the poor kid on a council estate who’s excluded form all the extra-curricular stuff because it costs? I refuse to believe she was stupid enough not to realise that, especially seeing as so many of her policies over the years absolutely reinforced that situation. How to sound like you care while not really giving a damn.

    Interesting to see that you spotted which “awful woman” I was referring to though ;)

  56. The polar vortex has apparently split into two sections after the very recent sudden stratospheric warming event of mid January.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/16/1179397/-Sudden-Stratospheric-Warming-Split-the-Polar-Vortex-in-Two

    Combine this with high pressure over Scandinavia, and the UK gets easterlies and snow.

    The article claims ‘This stratospheric warming is apparently the strongest ever observed in the first half of January according to the NOAA figure. No one knows why the number of major warmings is increasing but a correlation has been with positive sea surface temperature anomalies and the active phase of the solar cycle. This year the sun is active and there are large positive sea surface temperature anomalies in the north Indian ocean and the north-west Pacific.’.

    So Robert is your Father’s Brother (Bob’s your uncle), as us Brits would say.

  57. I like Boris he seems to come across as a bumbling buffoon but he is a very clever man who is thinking way ahead and then trips over what is in front of him, he has come up with some far sighted ideas for London and will say what he is thinking which can get him into hot water from time to time.
    I liked Curt says:joke very funny.
    James Bull

  58. “The Guardian certainly isn’t amused.”

    Silly Boris, doesn’t he know? Cold and snow is merely weather, only when its warm is it climate change…..

  59. pat says: January 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Boris obviously didn’t believe the Beeb!

    12 Jan: BBC Weather: John Hammond: Sudden stratospheric warming responsible for UK’s icy blast
    For a few weeks now, forecasters have been monitoring an abrupt jump in temperatures way up in the stratosphere – not a cooling, but actually a sudden warming.
    Such sudden stratospheric warmings (SSW) have led to notable cold spells in recent years…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/features/20998895

    Ian Robinson says: January 21, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    The polar vortex has apparently split into two sections after the very recent sudden stratospheric warming event of mid January.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/16/1179397/-Sudden-Stratospheric-Warming-Split-the-Polar-Vortex-in-Two

    Yes, the reason for the recent arctic temperatures extending southward appears to be the break up of the Polar Vortex;

    Note: This animation shows Earth’s Winter 2008 – 09 Arctic Polar Vortex and a Sudden Stratospheric Warming, which occurs when the Polar Vortex splits or breaks-up:

    Resulting in a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW):

    Global – 10-hPa/mb Height Temperature Anomalies – Atmospheric Temperature Anomalies At Approximately 31,000 meters (101,700 feet)

    NOAA – National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

    Northern Hemisphere – Vertical Cross Section of Geopotential Height Anomalies (Polar Vortex)

    NOAA – National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

    The Sudden Stratospheric Warming appears to be related to Eddy Heat, i.e.: “Strong negative fluxes indicate poleward flux of heat via eddies. Multiple strong poleward episodes will result in a smaller polar vortex, Sudden Stratospheric Warmings and an earlier transition from winter to summer circulations. Relatively small flux amplitudes will result in a more stable polar vortex and will extend the winter circulation well into the Spring

    10 day Averaged Eddy Heat Flux Towards The South Pole At 100mb (2012)

    NOAA – National Weather Service – Climate Prediction Center – Click the pic to view at source

    You can learn more about Polar Vortices from this article;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/29/new-wuwt-polar-vortex-reference-page/

    and monitor Polar Vorticity on the WUWT Polar Vortex page here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/climatic-phenomena-pages/polar-vortex/

  60. MikeB
    “The Guardian is a left wing newspaper (nothing wrong with that) which prides itself on its website with a comment section called ‘Comment is Free’. Whilst comment may be free, free speech certainly isn’t as far the Guardian is concerned.”

    A university-based scientist of my acquaintance was informed last year that her blogs will no longer be permitted to appear. Her occasional blogs were always written on a subject where she is an expert (not climate-related) to correct, in very polite terms, erroneous claims and statistics by one or more of the Guardian journalists.

  61. justthefactswuwt says:
    January 22, 2013 at 4:50 am
    ………………..
    The NOAA animation at 10 hPa may be misleading, since at that latitude shows as if the SSW is triggered and rising from the Middle East., which I think may not be.
    If you go to a much lower altitude at 50 hPa

    than you may notice that the SSW is actually connected with a prolonged link to the Kamchatka peninsula, where two or three volcanoes are currently active.
    I have some more details here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH.htm

  62. Justthefactswuwt,

    Re the GISP2 data used to produce the charts: this appears to be derived from the data used for ‘The Younger Dryas cold interval as viewed from central Greenland’ (Alley, 2000) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379199000621

    If so then it should be made clear that the period marked ‘0’ on the Climate4you chart at the top of your post ends around 1900. This is because the data (here: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt) start at 49 years ‘before present’, where ‘present’ is defined as 1950 (following convention).

    Therefore the period marked ‘Modern warm period’ on the C4Y chart does not in fact include any of the warming observed over the 20th century and up to the present. As such, I fear the chart may be rather misleading for anyone unaware of this.

  63. I am so tired of hearing about TSI and temperatures from 10,000 tears ago. The Earth’s atmosphere filters and reflects [non-uniformly] energy from the Sun. This is why UV at the Earth’s surface rises during a Sunspot Peak [UV from the Sun up x10]. What is the TRUE TSI? That is, what is the amount of energy, frequency weighted, that actually “is captured” by the Planet. It is NOT the amount of TSI !!!!!!!

    From 1750 until 2000 the average number of Sunspots per year rose. The Earth warmed. Now the average number of Sunspots per year is declining, and there will be cooling.

    It is very unfortunate that Government controls almost all research and development around the world. For example: Almost all Government funded research goes to Military. Apple purchased the company [funded by the Navy] that created Siri.

    World government [IPCC] wanted warming; Government research give it to them. Now, how about real research into UV, etc., from the Sun.

  64. justthefactswuwt says:
    January 22, 2013 at 4:50 am

    If this post is an answer then what is the question? My question is serious and not an attempt at snark.

  65. Yeah, and it’s -7 deg C in New York City, today. It’s clearly evidence that the next ice age must be starting.

    Fooled by noise.

    The crowd here is likely to still announce “global cooling” as just being around the corner, even when the global surface temperature anomaly caused by the continuing increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases has increased another 0.5 K compared to today.

  66. Jan P Perlwitz says: January 22, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Yeah, and it’s -7 deg C in New York City, today. It’s clearly evidence that the next ice age must be starting.

    Fooled by noise.

    The crowd here is likely to still announce “global cooling” as just being around the corner, even when the global surface temperature anomaly caused by the continuing increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases has increased another 0.5 K compared to today
    ================================
    Does not compute. What is your assertion?

  67. Manfred says:
    January 21, 2013 at 2:25 pm
    Data is from here:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/greenland/summit/gisp2/isotopes/gisp2_temp_accum_alley2000.txt
    “…“Present” appears to be 1950, so latest data point should be around 1856. Greenland has warmed since then by about 2 degrees…”
    ________________
    Not to quibble with your data, I would point out that you are citing ice core proxy data not thermometer data. Working with your numbers I see temperatures ranging from -28 to -58 deg C. Add 2 degrees to -28 = -26 deg C. This is supposed to cause melting? Seriously???

    Where l live our January temperatures are ranging between lows of -18 C and highs of -8 C. I can assure you that at -8 C the snow is still cold enough to squeak when you walk on it. Sorry, no melting
    to be seen.

  68. vukcevic says:
    January 22, 2013 at 6:54 am
    justthefactswuwt says:
    January 22, 2013 at 4:50 am
    ………………..
    The NOAA animation at 10 hPa may be misleading, since at that latitude shows as if the SSW is triggered and rising from the Middle East., which I think may not be.
    If you go to a much lower altitude at 50 hPa

    than you may notice that the SSW is actually connected with a prolonged link to the Kamchatka peninsula, where two or three volcanoes are currently active.
    I have some more details here:

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NH.htm

    If Vukcevic is correct in attributing SSW events in the northern polar vortex to vulcanism, then it might be possible to look at the historic volcanic activity record, together with the onset of SSW’s and see how good the correlations are…

    Were these dreadful winters during the Maunder minimum etc solar based, or could they have been extended SSW type events due to collapses in the polar vortex due to vulcanism?

  69. Well that second graph of the first slide, showing “Atmospheric CO2″ from the EPICA dome C ice cores, is the only graph I’ve ever seen of recent (last 11,000 years) data that shows “Atmospheric CO2″ ever going down.
    The latest ML data, aside from the 6 ppm annual cyclic perturbation is monotonically upwards.

    Well actually, that 11,000 years of data, strictly speaking is the EPICA Dome C ice cores CO2 ; NOT the atmospheric CO2 over those 11,000 years. And in the Antarctic, there isn’t any 6 ppm annual cyclic perturbation; maybe about 1 ppm maybe, while in the Arctic, it is more like a 18-20 ppm annual cyclic perturbation.
    Well whoopee, I do believe the range of that 11,000 year ice core CO2 data, is also about 18-20 ppm.

    So where the heck is dome C ? Nah ! they wouldn’t give us Arctic Temperatures, and Antarctic CO2 would they ?

  70. Jan P Perlwitz says:
    January 22, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Fooled by noise.
    The crowd here is likely to still announce “global cooling” as just being around the corner, even when the global surface temperature anomaly caused by the continuing increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases has increased another 0.5 K compared to today.

    Are you talking about a real increase or an adjustment as just happened over the last few days when the highest monthly anomaly on GISS, namely January 2007, was raised from 0.89 to 0.93. Do you have a good explanation for that?
    Should “Fooled by noise” be “Fooled by adjustments”?

  71. Theo Goodwin says: January 22, 2013 at 8:42 am

    If this post is an answer then what is the question? My question is serious and not an attempt at snark.

    I think the question could be inferred as why is the UK in a cold snap at the moment. Given that global temps are a couple tenths of a degrees celcius above the 30 year average at the moment,

    UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present

    University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) – Dr. Roy Spencer – Click the pic to view at source

    RSS Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present

    Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

    it would seem unlikely that the UK cold snap is a result of global anything.

  72. Jan P Perlwitz says: January 22, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Yeah, and it’s -7 deg C in New York City, today. It’s clearly evidence that the next ice age must be starting.

    Fooled by noise.

    Funny, I am sure you will be the first in line to comment the next time the Guardian erroneously attributes a local heat wave to Global Warming…

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2013/jan/08/australia-bush-fires-heatwave-temperature-scale

    In fact a few months ago I had to point out to Bill McKibben;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/30/another-inconvenient-truth-2012-us-tornado-count-well-below-normal/#comment-1161366

    that one of his articles seemed “to be based on many anecdotes from small geographic regions, e.g.”:

    “North American summer actually started two days before the official end of winter this year, when the town of Winner, South Dakota turned in a 94-degree temperature reading” http://e360.yale.edu/feature/mckibben_summer_of_weather_extremes_signifies_new_climate_normal/2568/

    Seems like noise fools lots of people…

    The crowd here is likely to still announce “global cooling” as just being around the corner, even when the global surface temperature anomaly caused by the continuing increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gases has increased another 0.5 K compared to today.

    I will announce whatever the facts are, as I have no vested interest in either side of this debate. What about you?…

  73. The linear trend of the mean UK winter temperatures has been declining since 1989.. The 2012 mean winter temperature was 4.58C .The winters of 2009,2010,2011 were well below the long term average of about 4.59C. The hand writing has been there for 20 years that the winter temperatures were trending down.So it should not be a surprise if the snow now comes more often and it is colder more often. The cycle is pointing to cooler weather and various weather factors that caused the cooling before are again coming into prominence.

  74. justthefactswuwt says:
    January 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you for answering my question. You are very kind.

    Actually, I was thrown off kilter by the animation of the Arctic. I take it that you or someone is saying that the phenomenon in the Arctic explains the cold in Britain and the phenomenon is not related to global warming. If I have it roughly correct then you do not need to respond.

  75. The figure at the top of this post is noteworthy in its own right. It gives the [snip . . site rules . . mod] some work to do.

    The 4 recent highlighted warm spikes – the last being the current one – are interesting. Its almost as if they are “interglacials within an interglacial”. When you see a structure inside a structure, both similar in form – the word “fractal” should spring to mind. Nonequilibrium chaotic pattern formation leaves fractal pattern as a signature. Think fern leaves – a small part looking the same as the whole.

    The Holocene as a whole has a form suggesting that it is almost over.

    Curious that CO2 has moved opposite to temperature – but lets leave it to our [snip . . site rules . . mod] friends to explain that one.

  76. Is there a correlation, perhaps a causality? I am cycling every day, and it is getting colder.

  77. I lived in London during the WWII, when coal was rationed, and we burned wood. We froze, no central heating then. 1947 was one of the coldest on record, people blamed the atom bomb. I disappeared from 1960 to 1963 to the eastern Mediterranean and came back to London for another bad winter. The Thames froze near Windsor too. I moved to Lincolnshire, and never got out of my sheepskin coat all summer! Grapes were not grown but in large greenhouses like citrus fruit. Walking to school 1 and half miles one way, I’d arrived home in winter with numbed feet and hands, white. Snow was a regular event out of London, but the city was often not so afflicted but it was known but it did settle for more than a few days. The UHI affect of course. But smog, of course killed thousands. I remember leaving London for Liverpool in 1944 because of the VI & V2 bombing, and one Christmas we woke up on Christmas Eve to deep snow, it was delightful. Snow can be a problem, and I recall how Scotland suffered with deep snow drifts and people being cut off for days, livestock being fed from air drops etc., They should welcome the short warm period, because we are an ice planet and may experience more cold periods to come. We’ll adapt. Or we will perish. Oh to English posters who are of the age, remember our school holidays started in July and ended at the beginning of September. The weather was lousy, raining etc., and after we came back to Term 1 the weather improved. And I remember a Welsh village got washed away by flood waters, and that dreadful slag heap collapsing on a school after heavy rain. Best of luck Boris.

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