By WUWT Regular “Just The Facts”
For anyone who was witness to the absurdity of the recent warming makes it cold meme, it should come as no surprise that even ardent Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming believers are trying to distance themselves from the meme before it causes more damage. After the White House took a run at it, and the willfully gullible media, e.g. Bloomberg Businessweek, BBC and NPR lapped it up, now everyone, including the scientist credited with starting it, are walking away. Let us start with this Washington Post – Capital Weather Gang article yesterday, “Scientists: Don’t make “extreme cold” centerpiece of global warming argument“:
“It’s an intriguing theory – that recently has gotten legs: the melting Arctic – spurred by global warming – is causing the weather’s steering flow, the jet stream, to become more extreme. This extreme jet stream – rather than zipping around the world in a straight circle (right below) – is more frequently meandering off course (left below) and getting stuck in place, sending bitter, prolonged blasts of cold southward and conversely, see-sawing strong heat domes northward. It’s a fascinating paradox: global warming as the culprit for bone-chilling cold.
But more and more scientists are expressing reservations about this hypothesis, first proposed by Rutgers climate scientist Jennifer Francis and collaborators.
“It’s an interesting idea, but alternative observational analyses and simulations with climate models have not confirmed the hypothesis, and we do not view the theoretical arguments underlying it as compelling,” write five preeminent climate scientists (John Wallace, Isaac Held, David Thompson, Kevin Trenberth, and John Walsh) in a recent letter published in Science Magazine.
Elizabeth Barnes, an atmospheric scientists from Colorado State University, after an attempt to dismantle Francis’ theory last summer, published a second challenge in January.
“…the link between recent Arctic warming and increased Northern Hemisphere blocking is currently not supported by observations,” Barnes’ study concludes.”
Funny stuff and it gets even better, from this Princetonian article from two days ago, “U. lecturer argues global warming doesn’t cause polar vortex”
“The polar vortex is a ring of Westerlies, prevailing winds that blow from west to east around the poles that are strongest in the winter, Wallace explained. Wallace is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington.
Wallace noted that the vortex continually changes its shape, and when its lobes sweep down over temperate areas, those regions get periods of cold weather.
“I don’t think the slowing down of the polar vortex is enough to really affect behavior of the vortex very much,” he said.
He also noted that the belief that human-induced climate change could cause more extreme cold was, in fact, held by only a small minority of researchers.”
“Like Held, University Physics professor William Happer said this year’s weather is not anomalous.
“It’s exactly the same as weather we’ve had in my own lifetime many times,” Happer said. “Why should it suddenly be climate change?”
Happer explained that this year’s record lows have been emphasized in order to support the climate change “myth.”
“You know, for years we were told we’re going to fry, and the earth refused to cooperate. And so they desperately look for something else to hang their hat on,” he said, referring to supporters of the global warming theory.
Held also said this year’s extreme cold is most likely part of natural fluctuations in global climate.”
And then, to top it all off, Jennifer Francis, who first proposed the warming causes cold meme, and had previously blessed us with pearls of wisdom like;
“‘It’s basically the jet stream on a drunken path going around the Northern Hemisphere,’ explains Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis.” Grist
“Scientists tend to call the jet stream a “polar vortex,” Francis says.” Bloomberg Businessweek
has now has seen the light:
“The media certainly had a field day with the “attack of the polar vortex” in early January, and in their hyping of the story, some misquoted me (and others) by saying that climate change caused the unusual cold spell. Of course this sort of event has happened before, and this one wasn’t unprecedented.
I also agree that greenhouse-gas induced warming will reduce, not increase, the likelihood of breaking cold temperature records — the data already show this.” New York Times – Dot Earth
Gotta love when we can all agree on something. If you would like to learn more about what might actually have caused the recent “weak vortex event” and associated “cold-air outbreaks”, this article and associated comments offers a reasonably detailed analysis.