While we have a major winter snowstorm barreling through the USA Midwest, we know that the usual suspects will jostle for position to tell the media that this is just another signature of
global warming climate change climate disruption extreme weather caused by global warming. But these sorts of claims, like the claims made by AP’s Seth Borenstein about the recent Northeast blizzard, are nothing more than desperate spin, and it is easy to prove by looking at similar claims of the past. Thanks to email from”Haunting the Library” for the primer, which I’ve built upon.
First, the obligatory Dr. David Viner quote:
However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
Next, let’s refresh our memory on what Mark Lynas told us about cold winters in 2004:
. . . snow has become so rare that when it does fall – often just for a few hours – everything grinds to a halt. In early 2003 a ‘mighty’ five-centimetre snowfall in southeast England caused such severe traffic jams that many motorists had to stay in their cars overnight. Today’s kids are missing out . . .
Many of these changes are already underway, but have been accelerating over the last two decades. Termites have already moved into southern England. Garden centres are beginning to stock exotic sub-tropical species, which only a few years ago would have been killed off by winter.
Mark Lynas, High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis
And of course, there’s The Independent‘s fatuous warning over lack of snow in winter and what it portends, no not the David Viner one, it is another separate article from December 2006. This somber editorial admonished us that the lack of snow was evidence of a “dangerous seasonal disorder” -
The countryside is looking rather peculiar this winter. It seems we have a number of unexpected guests for Christmas. Dragonflies, bumblebees and red admiral butterflies, which would normally be killed off by the frost, can still be seen in some parts of the country . . .
Some might be tempted to welcome this late blossoming of the natural world as a delightful diversion from the bleakness of this time of year. But these fluctuations should be cause for concern because it is overwhelmingly likely that they are a consequence of global warming
. . . all this is also evidence that global warming is occurring at a faster rate than many imagined. And it will not only be the natural world adversely effected by climate change.
The Independent Leading Article: A Dangerous Seasonal Disorder.
Finally, courtesy of the awesome long memory and extensive archive of blogger Alexjc38, we have the strictly impartial and scientific BBC and their “One Planet” program from early 2007. In a “One Planet Special” entitled with ominous finality “It Seems the Winters of Our Youth are Unlikely to Return” presenter Richard Hollingham thinks backs to the snowy winters of his youth and asks whether the run of mild winters was caused by global warming. He also speaks to climate scientists to get their views. Their conclusion? In the words of the BBC, they all give “predictions of warmer winters, for UK & [the] Northern Hemisphere”.
He speaks to people in Russia, China, and the UK who all reminisce about snowy winters in their youth and wring their hands over the present snow-less and mild winters (do you think they’re still doing that?). Finally, he turns to Brenda Ekwurzel who introduces herself as “the climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists”. Wow. “The” Climate Scientist, huh? Okay, so Hollingham puts the question to her:
Richard Hollingham: Now those of us who grew up with very cold winters, who tell our children that winter’s not what it used to be, we’re right, aren’t we?Brenda Ekwurzel: Yes, absolutely. It has changed.
Summing up, Hollingham reviews the evidence of the people he’s interviewed, and the testimony of the climate scientists he spoke to and gives his opinion as presenter of the BBC’s One Planet on the outlook for winter under global warming:
Sitting here at the BBC, leafing through my old photos, I can’t help feeling nostalgic for proper winters. This year we had just one day of snow in southern Britain. Mind you, it still brought the roads, railways and airports to a standstill, and shut the schools. But as most people in London, Moscow, Washington, Beijing or Oslo will testify, a cold, crisp winter’s day with snow on the ground is infinitely preferable to the mild, damp miserable winters many of us are having to get used to. And it seems the winters of our youth are unlikely to return.
From the Western Mail (Wales Online) from 2007.
The article, entitled “Snowless Winters Forecast for Wales as World Warms Up” quotes one of the global warming movement’s key figures, Sir John Houghton, former head of the IPCC and former head of the UK Met Office:
Former head of the Met Office Sir John Houghton, who is one of the UK’s leading authorities on climate change, said all the indicators suggest snowy winters will become increasingly rare
He said, “Snowlines are going up in altitude all over the world. The idea that we will get less snow is absolutely in line with what we expect from global warming.”
But just three years later January 8, 2010, we have this:
No it’s not a time warp photo of Dicken’s time, it’s from the NASA MODIS satellite imager this week. This is like one of those “spot the cow in this photo” images, looking for the UK in a sea of white.
While the UK was snow-covered, there’s this one from February 2010:
Winter snow season has been slowly shrinking in past 50 years, says researcher
Research gathered over a 50-year period showed that the snow season in winters in B.C. are getting shorter by between four and five weeks, with warmer temperatures overall, Bruce said.
And next winter, it happened again, no not the shortage of snow …
WUWT readers may recall this post from last year on January 8th, 2010 All of Britain covered by snow Along with a stunning satellite image. Well, it has happened again, much earlier this year. See the newest satellite image below.
So with massive snows, now what are they saying? George Monbiot provides the window into the mind of the vapid vortex of anything for the cause:
And more recently:
The WWF in Russia blames the exceptional winter weather on global warming:
Whether or not Blinkin is right about the tires, City Hall would be well-advised to give the massive snowfall some serious thought. Scientists say such extreme weather is only likely to increase.
“The weather we’ve seen in the past couple of days completely fits with the tendency that was identified a couple of years ago, that we are going to to see much stronger, intensive bursts of precipitation in the future,” said Alexei Kokorin, director of the climate and energy program at WWF Russia. “In the summer, we will probably see stronger bursts of rain.”
So, when the inevitable claims in current news stories start again today and tomorrow about the midwest blizzard being
global warming climate change climate disruption extreme weather caused by global warming, you’ll have a window into the game plan.
Except, there’s no science to support such claims, as we learned last time a major blizzard went through the midwest, the Ground Hog Day blizzard.
What might be the real cause of these large snow events? NASA says it isn’t “global warming”:
This is a satellite image of one of the massive “Snowmaggedon” blizzard systems in February 2010. Notice the distinctive comma-shaped cloud pattern. Credit: NASA/GSFC
The 2010 Snowmageddon event was quickly seized upon in an NYT op-ed by global warming zealot Al Gore as yet more proof of…climate…warming…mumble.. something.
Yet in this NASA article highlighting a new peer reviewed paper, global warming/climate change isn’t even mentioned.
“There are things that we know that affect storminess over the U.S.,” Schubert said. “One is when there is an El Niño, which tends to favor more storms. Given the connection between El Niño and sea surface temperatures, we thought we’d actually do a modeling study to see if we could pinpoint the role of sea surface temperatures in driving the snowstorms.”
“This model not only confirms that a negative North Atlantic Oscillation and El Niño conditions created the conditions that allowed these storms to form,” said Seager, who did not work with Schubert on this research. “But it is useful in showing how the atmosphere can act differently when combining El Niño with different sea surface temperatures. These models provide controlled conditions, which allow us to be sure about the exact causes,” Seager added.
And recently, the ENSO link was highlighted again:
A new study, just published in the February issue of the Journal of Climate, describes an atmospheric El Niño signal that is very strongly associated with U.S. winter weather impacts. Ed Harrison, Ph.D. of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle and Andrew Chiodi, Ph.D., of the NOAA Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington, co-authored the paper.
This study shows that, since 1979 when outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) observations became reliably available, most of the useful U.S. seasonal weather impact of El Niño events is associated with the few events identified by the behavior of outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) over the eastern equatorial Pacific (“OLR–El Niño events”). These events produce composite seasonal regional weather anomalies that are 95% statistically significant and robust (associated with almost all events). Results also show that there are very few statistically significant seasonal weather anomalies, even at the 80% level, associated with the non-OLR–El Niño events. A major enhancement of statistical seasonal forecasting skill over the contiguous United States appears possible by incorporating these results. It is essential to respect that not all events commonly labeled as El Niño events lead to statistically useful U.S. seasonal forecast skill.
So much for AGW driving winter weather. In California’s Sierra Nevada, which is highly affected by ENSO events, there is no trend:
Weather. is. not. climate.
And finally, Michael Tobis STILL has bupkis