Blockheaded thinking on well known weather patterns and ‘extreme weather’

I had to laugh at this statement from the press release below:

“What we found is that during several recent extreme weather events these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks.”

Gosh,”frozen patterns” like Rex blocks have been known for decades.Wikipedia has a good summary:

Blocks in meteorology are large-scale patterns in the atmospheric pressure field that are nearly stationary, effectively “blocking” or redirecting migratory cyclones. They are also known as blocking highs or blocking anticyclones. These blocks can remain in place for several days or even weeks, causing the areas affected by them to have the same kind of weather for an extended period of time (e.g. precipitation for some areas, clear skies for others).[2] In the Northern Hemisphere, extended blocking occurs most frequently in the spring over the eastern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

NCAR also has a good explanation of it here. An example: – NOAA on the Russian heat wave of 2010:

The heat wave was due primarily to a natural phenomenon called an atmospheric “blocking pattern”, in which a strong high pressure system developed and remained stationary over western Russia…”

One of the hottest summers the USA ever experienced in 1936 was due to a blocking high:

The 1936 blocking ridge happened several times in that year & had occurred in 1934, as well.  By comparison, record-breaking warmth occurred in March 1986, only to return in mid April with 88-93 setting records. – See more at: http://blogs.wlfi.com/2012/03/20/55894/#sthash.7p8c5pWX.dpuf

Now, according to PIK, suddenly such atmospheric blocks are caused by “climate change”. What a load of tosh. Thank our old alarmist buddy Hans Joachim Schellnhuber for turning mundane meteorology into something sinister.

Weather extremes provoked by trapping of giant waves in the atmosphere

02/2572013 – The world has suffered from severe regional weather extremes in recent years, such as the heat wave in the United States in 2011 or the one in Russia 2010 coinciding with the unprecedented Pakistan flood. Behind these devastating individual events there is a common physical cause, propose scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The study will be published this week in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow around the globe’s Northern hemisphere through a subtle resonance mechanism.

Potsdam_wave_image

Meridional windfield over four different timespans. Image: PIK

“An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions. So when they swing up, these waves suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US, and when they swing down, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic,” explains lead author Vladimir Petoukhov.

“What we found is that during several recent extreme weather events these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks. So instead of bringing in cool air after having brought warm air in before, the heat just stays. In fact, we observe a strong amplification of the usually weak, slowly moving component of these waves,” says Petoukhov. Time is critical here: two or three days of 30 degrees Celsius are no problem, but twenty or more days lead to extreme heat stress. Since many ecosystems and cities are not adapted to this, prolonged hot periods can result in a high death toll, forest fires, and dramatic harvest losses.

Anomalous surface temperatures are disturbing the air flows

Climate change caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning does not mean uniform global warming – in the Arctic, the relative increase of temperatures, amplified by the loss of snow and ice, is higher than on average. This in turn reduces the temperature difference between the Arctic and, for example, Europe, yet temperature differences are a main driver of air flow. Additionally, continents generally warm and cool more readily than the oceans. “These two factors are crucial for the mechanism we detected,” says Petoukhov. “They result in an unnatural pattern of the mid-latitude air flow, so that for extended periods the slow synoptic waves get trapped.”

The authors of the study developed equations that describe the wave motions in the extra-tropical atmosphere and show under what conditions those waves can grind to a halt and get amplified. They tested their assumptions using standard daily weather data from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). During recent periods in which several major weather extremes occurred, the trapping and strong amplification of particular waves – like “wave seven” (which has seven troughs and crests spanning the globe) – was indeed observed. The data show an increase in the occurrence of these specific atmospheric patterns, which is statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level.

The probability of extremes increases – but other factors come in as well

“Our dynamical analysis helps to explain the increasing number of novel weather extremes. It complements previous research that already linked such phenomena to climate change, but did not yet identify a mechanism behind it,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK and co-author of the study. “This is quite a breakthrough, even though things are not at all simple – the suggested physical process increases the probability of weather extremes, but additional factors certainly play a role as well, including natural variability.” Also, the 32-year period studied in the project provides a good indication of the mechanism involved, yet is too short for definite conclusions.

Nevertheless, the study significantly advances the understanding of the relation between weather extremes and man-made climate change. Scientists were surprised by how far outside past experience some of the recent extremes have been. The new data show that the emergence of extraordinary weather is not just a linear response to the mean warming trend, and the proposed mechanism could explain that.

Article: Petoukhov, V., Rahmstorf, S., Petri, S., Schellnhuber, H. J. (2013): Quasi-resonant amplification of planetary waves and recent Northern Hemisphere weather extremes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Early Edition) [doi:10.1073/pnas.1222000110]

Weblink to the article (once it is published): www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1222000110

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57 Responses to Blockheaded thinking on well known weather patterns and ‘extreme weather’

  1. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Go look at the blocking highs across the Alps in winters 1988/9 and 1989/90. They lasted for 8 – 10 weeks.

    Only planetary thing I can see there is a conjunction of Saturn, Neptune and Uranus.

    Anything to do with it??

  2. joel says:

    Hit me with your rhythm stick…

  3. intrepid_wanders says:

    Rahmstorf, S. and Schellnhuber, H. J.

    Need there be any other B.S. or are we all stocked up.

    Question… Why and How can they publish in PNAS? Can C. Monckton or D. Evans publish in this non-peer reviewed publication?

  4. A.D. Everard says:

    When oh when oh when are they going to run out of fears for us? They must be scraping the barrel by now. Why do they keep doing this? We all know the only thing for certain caused by global warming is funding – Oh wait…!

  5. I consulted the birds on my bird feeder. I actually had to set up a rack where they could perch and read WUWT. They have so much birdseed they never need to forage. They read this and tweeted “What alot of tosh!”.

  6. Cassiefairy says:

    Hi, I found you via WordPress “blog of the day” and I’m really enjoying reading your articles. I will pass your link on to my friend over at http://greenfieldsblog.wordpress.com/ he would also be very interested in your subject :) thanks!

  7. Brent Walker says:

    They are talking about the Rossby waves of Jet streams aren’t they. Only a few years ago there were a number of reports suggesting AGW was causing the jet streams to contract to the poles and the Rossby waves to be less pronounced. Are they saying the opposite now?
    Of course it couldn’t be due to the 40% reduction in average Extreme UV emissions of the sun that has occurred in Solar cycle 24? All the papers on the physics involved in the role EUV and FUV emissions play in the creation of the ionosphere, the thermosphere and exosphere must be wrong! And of course these emissions of the sun can have nothing to do with the balance in the exosphere and stratosphere of ozone and the two nitrogen oxides that it readily interacts with in the presence of specific wavelengths of these photon emissions. All that science must be tosh. So all of the scientists who have worked in this area of atmospheric physics for the last few decades must have been totally naive in not realising that it is carbon dioxide rather than the sun that causes these changes.

  8. Bair Polaire says:

    Schellnhuber appears to be one of the most lunatic of all prominent climate scientists.

    First he does not know the data. In a press conference before Copenhagen in 2009 he believes global mean temperatures to be 15,3 C while the IPPC has it at 14,5 C. Than he believes in a linear (!) relationship between future (!) CO2 and global mean temperatures.

    Video in German:

    At 4:37 Schellnhuber explains, that it was proven “by our friends” that there is a “linear” relationship between CO2 emissions of the “next four or five decades” and the expected increase in global temperatures.

  9. Peter Miller says:

    I decided to look up Rahmstorf. He is a big wheel with the IPCC and a serial alarmist. His strength lies in data manipulation, just like His Mannness. A good demonstration of this is in some ‘research’ of his picked by good old reliable Skeptical Science, which demonstrates – by blatant data manipulation – the steady rise in the Earth’s temperature over the past 15/16 years and that the IPCC is underestimating sea level rise.

    So we sceptics were wrong all along, global temperature has not been stable over this period! This article is such BS, it is worth a look.

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=rahmstorf&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CEUQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fskepticalscience.com%2Frahmstorf-foster-cazenave-2012.html&ei=mQ8vUb_8A8Sv0QX72YC4AQ&usg=AFQjCNFir-9qWdD8_qOK7wlwFl2fPTu3cA

    Now this statement of his should really put us sceptics in our place:

    “Given that the warming is now evident even to lay people, the trend sceptics are a gradually vanishing breed. They argue that no significant climate warming is taking place at all, claiming that the warming trend measured by weather stations is an artefact due to urbanisation around those stations (“urban heat island effect”). In fact, the measured trends have already been adjusted to allow for this effect by comparing adjacent urban and rural stations.The warming above the oceans as measured by ships, the global retreat of glaciers, and the declining Arctic sea ice provide further evidence against this claim”

    It is clear this guy has absolutely no concept of natural climate cycles, but that is to be expected as that is the alarmist cult’s great heresy.

  10. Martin says:

    Every time there’s a flood or fire or hurricane people say it’s global warming. We’ve had all of these before – drought, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, snow storms, heat waves. Stupid scientists don’t know what they are talking about as if we’ve never had weather in the past.

    I’m still waiting for this supposed catastrophic new weather that we haven’t had before. As if that’s going to happen.

  11. Justthinkin says:

    Oh noes.A blocking wave???? Is that like a blond?? And it was only -98F in Siberia yesterday.

  12. jeez says:

    So the inventor of Rahm-smoothing does it again with Rahm-blocking.

  13. J says:

    Oh dear: winter blocking patterns related to solar activity (?)

    Barriopedro, D., R. García-Herrera, and R. Huth (2008), Solar modulation of Northern Hemisphere winter blocking, J. Geophys. Res., 113, D14118, doi:10.1029/2008JD009789.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008JD009789/abstract

    The blocking response to the 11-year solar cycle is investigated for 44 winters (1955–1999) and stratified according to the level of solar activity and the phase of the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Several blocking features are modulated by solar activity, irrespective of the QBO phase, but the responses amplify under the QBO-west phases. Solar activity modulates the preferred locations for blocking occurrence over both Oceans, causing local frequency responses therein. Over the Pacific Ocean high/low solar activity induces an enhanced blocking activity over its eastern/western part. Atlantic blocking occurrence increases for both (high/low) solar phases, with a spatial dependent response confined to western/eastern Atlantic. Although solar effects are negligible in blocking frequency for the entire Atlantic sector, other blocking features exhibit significant responses. Low solar Atlantic blocking episodes last longer, are located further east and become more intense than high solar blocking events. The implications of these solar-related changes are discussed. Our results suggest that the excessively cold conditions recorded in Europe during the Maunder Minimum may have arisen from an eastward shift of long-lasting blockings with near-normal frequencies.

  14. ColdOldMan says:

    P Gosselin over at http://notrickszone.com/ has regular updates on this bunch of alarmists. If PIK ever concede that AGW is a fraud then I’ll know the war has been won.
    I think their anthem goes something like this;
    ‘You gotta PIK a pocket or two, boys, you gotta PIK a pocket or two’ (apologies to Oliver the Musical)

  15. tonyb says:

    iAnthony

    was interested in the references to extreme weather. Last year I wrote a long article entitled ‘The Long slow Thaw.’ In it I followed the reconstructions of Lamb and Mann as I reconstructed CET from 1660 to 1538. Here is an extract-sorry for the length but it is relevant.

    In his book ‘The Little Ice Age’ Professor Brian Fagan notes;

    “The little ice age of 1300 to about 1850 is part of a much longer sequence of short term changes from colder to warmer and back again which began millennia earlier. The harsh cold of the LIA winters live on in artistic masterpieces….(such as) Peter Breughel the elders ‘hunters in the snow’ (see Figure 9) painted during the first great winter of the LIA but there was much more to the LIA than freezing cold and it was framed by two distinctly warmer periods. A modern day European transported to the heights of the LIA would not find the climate very different even if winters were sometimes colder than today and summers very warm on occasion too. There was never a monolithic deep freeze rather a climatic see saw that swung constantly back and forwards in volatile and sometimes disastrous shifts. There were arctic winters, blazing summers, serious droughts, torrential rain years, often bountiful harvests and long periods of mild winters and warm summers. Cycles of excessive cold and unusual rainfall could last a decade a few years or just a single season. The pendulum of climate change rarely paused for more than a generation.”

    Having examined tens of thousands of accounts of the weather from 1500-1750-for this article, through books, online and also during several days research in the Met office archives in Exeter, Fagan’s account resonated with me. Being so dependent on the land and the successful raising of crops made our ancestors acutely aware of the weather and of climatic trends, and their accounts are often highly detailed.

    Reading their vivid testimony of the seasons – sometimes in books several hundred years old- was like viewing their lives in a speeded up film.

    First, a disastrously cold winter threatened their existence- but brought the chance of riotous frost fairs- which might quickly thaw to a mixed and floody spring where crop planting was a struggle, to be rapidly supplanted by a hot bucolic summer bringing anxious periods of drought, saved by rain that enabled a bountiful harvest, after which violent winds would blow in a stormy autumn as first one weather system gained ascendancy, only to be supplanted by another as the wind direction changed. During the following year all may be reversed, with complaints that an excessively wet mild winter didn’t destroy diseases, whilst the previous year’s baking hot summer was supplanted by a series of dull cool months threatening the all-important harvest, touching our ancestors with the ever present specter of famine.

    Clusters of wet or dry years were as notable as clusters of cold or warm years, and sometimes all conditions coincided within one year demonstrating the variability which the Met office discounted.

    The overwhelming impression I formed from reading the accounts of the vagaries of the climate of yesteryear was that they sounded exactly like today, with perhaps greater variability, extreme events and colder bits thrown in, although after the last few bitter winters the striking similarities with the past have become even closer. It is difficult to determine any evidence of notable climate change in recent years leading to a dramatic change in our climate or a surge in temperatures. What we can observe is a transition from the anomalously intermittently cold periods of the LIA together with lots of examples of climate variability.

    Most notably the modern observer might feel that our current era seems to have lost the extreme winters of yesteryear- which in turn have had a considerable impact on the overall mean average temperature in the last few decades. However, once again history can show us that this apparent dearth of cold winters has had numerous precedents in our past.

    Reginald Jeffery observed in his book ‘Was it Wet or was it fine,’ “By 1708 the middle aged would say where are our old winters?””

    —–

    .I was at the Met Office library again yesterday carrying out research back to 1200AD in an effort to try to identify the transition from the MWP to the LIA and extend my reconstruction. I went through thousands more observations. Boy were their extremes!! Months of rain , searing heat tragic floods, devastating drought. Tornadoes. Everything happened.

    The evidence of the extremes is in the Met Offices own library. The trouble is that I would reckon that the vast majority of climatic information has not been digitised so therefore to most researchers it is not available. The vast majority of the met Office archives are not digitised and after a visit to the SCott Polar institute last year I know that isnt eithrer.

    More desk research is needed, more picking through old books. Its all there but its not as glamorous or as exciting as running computer models with colourful graphs that get cited and become the subject of press attention.
    tonyb

  16. Mindert Eiting says:

    Don’t underestimate this development. The birth year of the weather extremes was 2010. It’s the big deal now and we will get more and more of this kind of sewing work. We have accepted this for too long. Ask for at least three observable consequences of this construction. The observations should be done now and not in the distant future. Observations should be done by independent teams. No consequences, no science.

  17. Chris Wright says:

    Global warming seems to be blamed for just about everything, provided it’s something unpleasant.
    But one thing is beyond doubt: global warming drives many people, particularly climate scientists, mad. Present company excepted, of course!
    Chris

  18. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    The responses to “Jim” at SkS are hilarious. All you have to do to find the increase in temperature in the last 16 years is subtract the confusion caused by the measured values. SkS is truly the vale of the lost sheep.

    They make two significant errors: they assume that ENSO is a cycle and the models of melting ice and permafrost do not consider the absorption of CO2 by meltwater or the growth of biomass that results from an increase in temperature. Even if they were correct in their forcing estimate the moderation of the forcing by meltwater and biomass accumulation (CO2 absorption) would be significant.

    As much is made about melting permafrost it is also worth mentioning that once melted, trees grow like crazy on it. Have they not wondered where the (sequestered) carbon in the ground came from? Doh!

  19. John says:

    Funny how papers about extremes are starting to pop up everywhere now that this is to become the new narrative. Where were these papers in the 90′s early 2000′s? They did not need them since everything was about warming temps. I am not a scientist but even I know that you only get extreme weather with extreme varying temps. One thing I learned in earth science. So if we start getting more tornado’s hurricanes droughts etc it will be because winters are gettting colder not getting warmer as they predicted. Of I am not a scientist so I could be wrong.

  20. Andyj says:

    The IPCC crowd would attack the free world thinkers like a tonne of bricks if we came out with silly stories like this. These sad, unintelligent goofballs in the IPCC seem to be for ever thrashing around in a vain attempt to sell fear. In turn the fear mongers in return think their message is getting out because the media adore a good scare story merely to keep the buying interest of the public piqued.
    If he wants to look for man induced climate change and the consequent C02 changes then I suggest he should look to the re-deforestation of continents. Not the Worlds most stable high and low pressure systems that have been here for millions of years.

  21. Gamecock says:

    It is so common in the U.S. that is has a name: “Ring of Fire.” An entrenched high pressure in the central U.S. Most every summer, Stephanie Abrams tells me that’s why it is so hot here.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I clearly remember my father who was a meteorologist for the WMO posted in Latin America telling me as a kid that once a pattern of weather set in for some time it tended to prolong “itself” further ie drought or major heat/ cold rain or very clear sunny weather events.

  23. Paul Vaughan says:

    Those who think the origin of multidecadal variations is THC (thermohaline circulation), think again about the root cause of that. THC is coherent with wind, which is driven by temperature gradients.

    Häkkinen, S.; Rhines, P.B.; & Worthen, D.L. (2011). Atmospheric blocking and Atlantic multi-decadal ocean variability.
    http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110008410_2011008681.pdf

    tonyb (February 28, 2013 at 1:42 am) is correct about rapid dialing of extremes within the year…

    solar-terrestrial volatility weaves

    And Brent Walker’s (February 28, 2013 at 12:19 am) also right. Those engineers keep expensive satellites in orbit. If climate scientists were in charge of that, the satellites would be crashing on us. I’ve analysed the data, but unfortunately the “rules of the road” prevent me from commenting:
    http://cedarweb.hao.ucar.edu/wiki/index.php/Tools_and_Models:Emmert_sat_drag_neutral_mass_density
    Hopefully they’ll change the “rules of the road” one day soon so we’ll be at liberty to appreciate nature in public.

  24. eo says:

    It seems another group of scientists are emerging in the climate debate that could be aptly called the “saboteurs”. Those scientist makes very wild claims that even a one year old child will have difficulty accepting although those claims are the tipping points to AGW fanatics. The saboteurs will enjoy all the benefits from the current political consensus on AGW but when the time comes when the political consensus will dump the AGW mantra, the saboteurs could claim they were responsible for outing the mistakes or discrediting AGW consensus by making all those irrational claims. The saboteurs have a perfect game plan. If it is tail they win and if its head their opponents loss.

  25. Tom in Florida says:

    I suppose Noah could have built his ark in response to a prediction of a blocking weather pattern. Now that is what I call climate change!

  26. pochas says:

    I wouldn’t pooh-pooh this. The sun’s irradiance is nearly constant, so the earth’s radiating temperature must also be nearly constant. Any variation (from UV, cosmic rays, solar particles, magnetics, etc) is must be constrained to produce local effects only, absent major volcanism.

    Alarmists will hitch their wagon to this study and implicate CO2, even though there is nothing in the study that supports this. Notice that the wind fields in the figure tend to be located inshore of western coastlines and offshore of eastern coastlines. This may be cherry-picking but if valid it does suggest that blocking mechanisms may be involved.

    We shouldn’t dismiss this, but we should expect alarmists to confabulate a connection with global warming and be prepared to counter it.

  27. Stephen Skinner says:

    High pressure systems will be either hotter or colder than average. With slow moving air at the equator heat will come in from the sun with little horizontal movement to reduce heat. With slow moving air nearer the poles there is little heat coming in from the sun and with the system pushing air outwards and any surface heat radiated to space through clear skys I would expect temps to go down.

  28. DavidS says:

    Rahmstorf……..why am I not surprised!

  29. Corey S. says:

    WOW! The old becomes the new. Talk about changing the history books.

    Also, I wondered if Dr. Roy Spencer woud have anything to say on the matter. When I went over to his site, I get on the screen “tested by gabby”, and music plays. The tab heading reads “u have just got kissed”. WUWT? Was he hacked?

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/

  30. tgmccoy says:

    Remember 89-93 period had very nice springs-early ones on the South coast of Oregon,
    then off to fight fire. at Medford, Or. However,’92 had a wet summer thrown in for good measure.
    We never turned a Propeller except for water drops and a few local fires…Making
    blanket about “unprecedented” or “worst ever” never sems to be quite the way it really is.
    Humans think that in their own short life it is all about them…

  31. starzmom says:

    The lead author notes that some ecosystems (like apparently single species agricultural areas) and cities are poorly equipped to handle extended weather “extremes”. This sounds to me more like poor planning and management, not some new climate problem we have never seen before. Well, DUH! as the kids say.

  32. DCA says:

    Brent Walker says:
    They are talking about the Rossby waves of Jet streams aren’t they.
    +++++++++++++++

    I was debating an alarmist about this issue earlier this week and he posted this guardian piece on the Petoukhov study,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/feb/26/global-warming-planetary-airflow-extreme-weather-us-eu

    He then said: “AGW naysayers cannot present a plausible theory…..”

    So I countered with this.

    Possible Effect of Solar Wind on Rossby Wave Propagation and Breaking

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2012EGUGA..1410210L

  33. Jim Clarke says:

    Its ENSO and 60-year ocean cycles in play.

    The temperature difference between the equator and the poles governs the nature of the jet stream. That temperature difference is controlled by ENSO and the 60-year ocean cycles.

    In El Nino winters, the temperature difference is greater and the jet stream is stronger. It flows more zonally (west to east) with little chance of developing persistent blocking highs. If any blocking pattern develops, the stronger El Nino jet will blow right through it and change the pattern. In La Nina winters the temperature difference is less and the jet stream is generally weaker. Blocking patterns are more likely, but will tend to be further north and a little less likely to produce high amplitude ridges and extreme weather patterns.

    It is the ENSO Neutral winters that give you a better chance of persistent blocking patterns while still providing the energy to produce more high amplitude ridges and troughs. Those are the conditions in which extreme weather occurs.

    Blocking patterns have always been very common in the summer months, particularly in La Nina summers, when the jet stream becomes very weak. This tends to increase the occurrence of localized heat waves and drought.

    Over the last 20 years we have been slowly transitioning from a predominant El Nino pattern to a predominant La Nina pattern, which increases the the likelihood of blocking weather systems and localized extreme events (due to persistence), while decreasing the number of severe weather events (due to powerful storms).

    The overall cycle repeats about every 60 years, regardless of how much CO2 is in the air. The only thing we can do about it is learn to live with it. Regulating CO2 emissions to control this would be no more effective than sacrificing virgins, and probably more barbaric, as the artificial escalation of energy prices would likely cause more deaths!

  34. mkelly says:

    Some of these patterns have names. Like “Bermuda High”.

  35. Bernie McCune says:

    tonyb
    I skimmed through your article found here:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

    Very interesting and enjoyable read. I plan to go back and really read it when I have a minute. Thanks.

    I am old enough to realize that much of the “extreme” weather we have seen in the past 30 years is probably only “extreme” in its higher visibility and impact on an increasing and spreading population.

    Bernie

  36. ferdberple says:

    The data show an increase in the occurrence of these specific atmospheric patterns, which is statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level.
    =============
    Assuming that climate data is normally distributed with a constant mean and deviation. Something that is highly unlikely to be true.

    But then again, statistics never were a strong suit in climatology. Where deserts and rainforests are considered to have the same climate because they have the same average temperature.

  37. ferdberple says:

    Jim Clarke says:
    February 28, 2013 at 7:04 am
    Its ENSO and 60-year ocean cycles in play.
    ==============
    the harmonic of the oceans oscillating with the orbits of jupiter and saturn (12yr, 30yr), in phase with the longer 182 year cycle of solar system.

    long term climate is more predictable using the position of the planets in the sky (the same way we calculate the ocean tides) than it is based on first principles. the reason is simple. over thousands and millions of years harmonics have developed throughout the solar system that cannot be explained simply as chance occurrences.

    while we don’t have a satisfactory mathematical explanation of why this happens, we can certainly make accurate predictions based on observations. early humans learned to make accurate predictions about the coming of winter and summer by observing the position of the sun in the sky, long before they understood why the earth had seasons.

    we know from observation that climate also exhibits cyclical behavior over longer time scales and that from the paleo records large swings in climate are an early warning of the next ice age approaching. we also know from the records that our 10k+ years of the interglacial is about how long they last on average.

    We also know from human history that humans have repeatedly acted with superstitious belief that their actions are the cause of climate change, and the universal solution throughout history has been human sacrifice. We are the descendants of these humans, and there is nothing to indicate we are any less prone to superstition.

    The global warming craze is no different. It is the high priests calling down from the temple for more sacrifice to appease the gods so that the rest of us will be spared. No different.

    And like the high priests of old, it is always the rest of us that are expected to sacrifice. Never the priests. They continue to sit in the temple, high on the hill, until the day of reckoning – which always comes eventually if history is any indication. On that day the temples are burned to the ground and the priests put to the sword. Until the next time.

  38. outtheback says:

    As the temp is not going anywhere these days it is paramount to find other reasons to keep the cash coming in. This should tickle the fancy of a few more government agencies or of those who continue to benefit from the industry created around the hype.
    Give the report with one hand, take the money with the other. Better still, put the report on the table and take the money with both hands in order to have a firm grip on the cash since they don’t on the conclusions.
    In the courts of old the jester was paid by the lord (government) of the house, he had to please to get paid/fed.
    Be outrageous, funny, make a song and dance.
    Nothing has changed.

  39. Jeff L says:

    I wonder if this thought process is representative of all climatologists &/or climate alarmists. If so, their grasp on the very basics of meteorology is shockingly poor. I mean , come on, Rex blocks are taught in Met 101.

  40. Tim Ball says:

    I have written often over the years about changing patterns of the Rossby Waves and how you can have entire decades and even most of centuries predominantly Zonal or Meridional. The 14th century was predominantly Meridional as the world cooled from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age. Weather patterns were surprisingly similar to what we currently experience. Marcel Leroux briefly reintroduced the concept calling the blocking High systems Mobile Polar Highs (MPH), but they were the same as the old cA (Continental Arctic) air mass when air mass classifications dominated understanding of air movement.

    The term often used for a Blocking High was an Omega Block because the inverted greek letter omega Ω was the shape of the Polar Front on a weather map.

    Here are a couple of the articles I have written on the subject. One includes reference to an article similar to the Harvard paper, referenced in an earlier comment, and originally posted on John Daly’s site about the impact of the Solar Wind on the Magnetosphere and subsequent connections to the changing upper level winds.

    http://www.john-daly.com/guests/tim-ball.htm

    Other articles on the topic are posted to my web site and include variously.

    http://drtimball.com/2012/current-global-weather-patterns-normal-despite-government-and-media-distortions/

    http://drtimball.com/2012/claims-global-warming-increases-severe-weather-are-scientifically-incorrect/

    Here is an article that talks to the recent German model study that showed the IPCC models don’t deal with El Nino or the Indian Monsoon.

    http://drtimball.com/2012/what-causes-el-nino-la-nina-ipcc-doesnt-know-but-builds-models-and-makes-projections-anyway/

    Another on how they distort temperature extremes.

    http://drtimball.com/2012/jet-stream-wave-patterns-further-distort-the-official-global-temperatures/

    Finally, one on the historical development about knowledge of the atmosphere. There is no way the models are simulating, even with parameterization, what is happening either at the surface, but especially at the Troposphere.

    http://drtimball.com/2012/static-climate-models-in-a-virtually-unknown-dynamic-atmosphere/

    As i keep reiterating, the IPCC set climate science back 30 years and this discussion is further proof.

  41. Joe Crawford says:

    ferdberple says: (February 28, 2013 at 7:22 am)

    We also know from human history that humans have repeatedly acted with superstitious belief that their actions are the cause of climate change, and the universal solution throughout history has been human sacrifice. We are the descendants of these humans, and there is nothing to indicate we are any less prone to superstition.

    The global warming craze is no different. It is the high priests calling down from the temple for more sacrifice to appease the gods so that the rest of us will be spared. No different.

    And like the high priests of old, it is always the rest of us that are expected to sacrifice. Never the priests. They continue to sit in the temple, high on the hill, until the day of reckoning – which always comes eventually if history is any indication. On that day the temples are burned to the ground and the priests put to the sword. Until the next time.

    I’ll drink to that!

  42. Blocking patterns are well described in Chapter 1 of John Gribbin’s book ‘The Climatic Threat’ (1978). How the hell can Potsdam claim to have just discovered them? I’m speechless!

  43. Eric in SoCal says:

    Leftists/Progressives rely on fear, anger, envy, and a mal-educated populace to spread their lies.
    We are now in a social “perfect storm.” Will we survive?

  44. u.k.(us) says:

    Don’t tempt Her !!
    “biblical proportions” are only recent (written) history.
    She has been benevolent, of late.

  45. cbrtxus says:

    Such heat waves occur from time to time. There was a terrible heat wave in 1896.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/worst_heat_ever_AODrk6IWtHsutybJvVvvVL

    If we look at the GISS, HadCRUT, and NOAA surface temperature data, that was during a cool period. In New York City, there was an estimated 1,300 people that died. It was also estimated that 200 horses a day died from the heat. We are now at approximately 0.0396 % (395.55 ppm). In 1972, we were at approximately 0.0327% (326.88 ppm). Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) espousers blame that approximately seven thousandths of a percentage point increase for virtually everything bad that happens (68.67 ppm increase).

    If heat waves now are caused by anthropogenic CO2, what caused the heat waves before anthropogenic CO2 could have been the cause?

  46. gymnosperm says:

    The Russians pioneered an index for this I believe in the sixties. We have a similar index at NCDC for meridional amplitude that I think goes back to the eighties. The kids writing this stuff don’t even know basic geography. They are programers.

  47. Tim Folkerts says:

    “I had to laugh at this statement from the press release below: “
    And I had to laugh in turn at this blog post from WUWT.

    “Gosh,”frozen patterns” like Rex blocks have been known for decades.”
    Gosh, that was not the point!

    They were not talking about the existence of such features, but the magnitude of such features.

    “In fact, we observe a strong amplification of the usually weak, slowly moving component of these waves ….
    The data show an increase in the occurrence of these specific atmospheric patterns, which is statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level.”

    “Now, according to PIK, suddenly such atmospheric blocks are caused by “climate change”. What a load of tosh.
    What a load of tosh indeed! Let me fix that …
    “Now, according to PIK, s̶u̶d̶d̶e̶n̶l̶y̶ gradually such atmospheric blocks are c̶a̶u̶s̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶y̶ disturbed by “climate change”. (” … suggests that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns …”.)

    Fortunately, several reader offered some valuable insights (maybe this is just part of some ~60 year cycle; maybe such things were related to the MWP and LIA; maybe it is related to changes in the solar cycles; maybe there is no true change but only a slight change in luck). That made the post worth reading. WUWT does have some dedicated readers who provide considerable “value-added” to the top posts.

  48. oldfossil says:

    First they called it global warming, but it stopped warming. Then they called it climate change, but it didn’t cause enough panic. Then they tried calling it extreme weather, but nobody believes that anymore. Where to now? I say that CO2 is behind increasing antibiotic resistance, alternatively it makes fast food more fattening. There’s also a strong link with extreme financial crises and the size of the federal deficit.

  49. john robertson says:

    It would seem in an easily or voluntarily alarmed persons world view, one must wake each morning absolved of all memory of days past.
    This wailing about the weather being new, strange, “unprecedented” reflects well on these propagandists.
    People paying zero attention to the climate info wars, look at these authorities of climatology and snicker.
    The alarmist world view is only credible, if one was born yesterday.
    We who are doubtful of the veracity of both the claims and the claimants need to sweetly encourage this blather that blames weather upon acts of man.
    Scepticism of that particular meme is in all humanities DNA.
    The cause was lost, when they decided that the public are stupid.
    That assumption will always lead to a failure to communicate.

  50. TomRude says:

    What else to expect from the author Petoukov who claimed warm air pushes denser, colder air?

    “Climate change caused by greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil-fuel burning does not mean uniform global warming – in the Arctic, the relative increase of temperatures, amplified by the loss of snow and ice, is higher than on average. This in turn reduces the temperature difference between the Arctic and, for example, Europe, yet temperature differences are a main driver of air flow. Additionally, continents generally warm and cool more readily than the oceans. “These two factors are crucial for the mechanism we detected,” says Petoukhov. “They result in an unnatural pattern of the mid-latitude air flow, so that for extended periods the slow synoptic waves get trapped.”

    2013? We waited that long for these clowns to realize that and yet in their illusionist novelty act of arm (Rossby) waving demonstrate their lack of knowledge about atmospheric circulation patterns and the lower troposphere. The Late Marcel Leroux must have a good laugh at these contortionists worthy of Barnum and all those who are still use erroneous concepts such as Polar Front etc…

  51. tom says:

    As a meteorologist now for 25yrs, all’s I can say is and roll my eyes. Sickening.

  52. Luther Wu says:

    At last! We can identify the exact person responsible for the beginning of the great disaster known as AGW and even identify the approximate date when it all started. These metachronal event wave patterns in the atmosphere can all be laid at the feet of Krazy George.
    It’s no longer all our fault, it’s all his fault.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krazy_George_Henderson

  53. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Extreme weather events (EWEs) is the latest from the team which brought you CAGW climate change global climate disruption weather on steroids.

    Which is only apt since stampeding sheep is what they’re about. If you don’t succeed etc.

  54. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    To be slightly more serious I note that jet stream blocking has been shown by Mike Lockwood to be due to low solar activity. We are presently in the weakest solar cycle for a couple centuries. Prof Lockwood is not a climate sceptic as far as I know.

    This looks a whole lot more likely to me than Herr Schellnhuber’s ‘explanation’ that CO2 suddenly locked the Rossby waves after some magic pCO2 threshold was passed.

  55. John F. Hultquist says:

    After a busy day I’ve found an entertaining way of relaxing is to read a few blogs to see who among our leaders has made the most outrageous statement, or what person Anthony Watts, Jo Nova, and others have irritated beyond the pale, thus, eliciting a response tending toward conniption.

    Rep. Maxine Waters provided a nice start with the observation that 170 million jobs would be lost with the sequester.
    http://michellemalkin.com/2013/02/28/maxine-waters-jobs/comment-page-1/
    Tim Folkerts @ 11:13 am gets the nod here at WUWT. The issue of CAGW has, until recently, been focused in the distant future. The models “tell us” that we are going to be in deep dodo after 60 or 70 or 80 years. According to the CAGW metric (average atmosphere temperature) not much has happened, nothing is happening, and there is little reason to suspect anything will. Now the story is “ that man-made climate change repeatedly disturbs the patterns of atmospheric flow.” That is fantasy. Something that has yet to occur cannot “repeatedly” do anything.

    I do agree some of the comments are informative. I always find tonyb’s work to be helpful – so thanks, tonyb. Thus, I’m off to read his report on Judith’s site, the nypost story of the 1896 heat in NYC, and Tim Ball’s article on the john-daly site. Thanks to Maxine and Tim F., and to mods, Anthony and all the rest of you that comment. Now it is food time.

  56. WJohn says:

    Any relevance to Saturn’s Red Spot? – existing for centuries. Causing, or caused by Saturnalian climate chaos?

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