Claim: ‘Arctic amplification’ has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes in the Northern Hemisphere

2011 ChicagoFrom the University of Exeter

Arctic warming linked to fewer European and US cold weather extremes, new study shows

Climate change is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, similar to those that gripped the USA in a deep freeze last winter, new research has shown.

The Arctic amplification phenomenon refers to the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places further south. It is this phenomenon that has been linked to a spike in the number of severe cold spells experienced in recent years over Europe and North America.

However, new research by University of Exeter expert Dr James Screen has shown that Arctic amplification has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere.

The intriguing new study, published in leading scientific journal Nature Climate Change, questions growing fears that parts of Europe and North America will experience a greater number, or more severe, extreme cold days over the course of the next century.

Dr Screen, a Mathematics Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, said: “Autumn and winter days are becoming warmer on average, and less variable from day-to-day. Both factors reduce the chance of extremely cold days.”

The idea that there was a link between Arctic amplification and extreme weather conditions became prevalent during the severe winter weather that plagued large areas of the United States in January 2014, leading to major transport disruption, power cuts and crop damage.

In his study, Dr Screen examined detailed climate records to show that autumn and winter temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid-to-high latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades.

He found that this has occurred mainly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days.

Dr Screen said: “Cold days tend to occur when the wind is blowing from the north, bringing Arctic air south into the mid-latitudes. Because the Arctic air is warming so rapidly these cold days are now less cold than they were in the past.”

Using the latest mathematical climate modelling, Dr Screen has also been able to show that these changes will continue in to the future, with projected future decreases in temperature variability in all seasons, except summer.

‘Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid-to-high-latitudes’, by James Screen, is published in Nature Climate Change online, on Sunday, June 15.

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This research was financially supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council.

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52 Responses to Claim: ‘Arctic amplification’ has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes in the Northern Hemisphere

  1. MattN says:

    Winter 2014 says “Hello”.

  2. Kenny says:

    WTF!

  3. rod leman says:

    Agreed Kenny.

  4. Robert W Turner says:

    1990 called, they want their meme back.

  5. Nylo says:

    Nonsense, it depends on how the arctic warms. If it is uniformly warmer, in time and space, then yes. But if it is warmer because of repeatedly suffering warm spells, with big masses of warmer air comming from the South from time to time, then hell no, because this mass of warmer air comes to replace the cold air that was there in the beginning, and this cold air, guess where it is going, yes, to the South, causing cold spells wherever it goes.

    Warmer arctic without increased mising with air from lower lattitudes = lower lattitudes suffer less cold spells. But warmer arctic due to increased mixing with air from lower lattitudes = lower lattitudes suffer more cold spells. So both things are possible with a warmer arctic, it depends on the cause of its temperature increase.

  6. JimS says:

    I am betting that Dr. James Screen did his undergraduate work under Dr. David Viner at the University of East Anglia, who was the one who said in 2000, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

  7. Pamela Gray says:

    No. Villages everywhere want their arguing children back. When my three kids used to get into these “did not-did too” fights in the car I used to whack them with a fly swatter. Arm was too short to reach back there without it.

  8. Bob Mount says:

    But surely, according to “Warmists”, AGW is the font of all extreme weather?!

  9. John F. Hultquist says:

    I wonder if Carhartt® will take back my new winter coat?

  10. JimS says:

    @ Bob Mount

    It appears that the science is unsettling.

  11. LOL in Oregon says:

    Haaa, Haaa, Haaa!
    Didn’t these guys ever hear of an “air conditioner”?

    Send warm Hawaiian air to a “dark place the sun don’t shine”
        “..autumn and winter days…”
    and voila!
        heat is radiated into the dark and cold air produced!

    Now, if you want to keep air in a “dark place the sun don’t shine” cold
    don’t let it move. It will radiate for a while and then just “sit there”.

    Of course, it violates the eco-religious dogma to even think such things!
    This marble has only so much resources and,
        since we’re smart as a sack of hammers,
    we can’t possibly send our kids to anyplace else,
    so everyone, use less, share, and decrease the surplus populaton!

    Haaa, Haaa, Haaa,
    what mar-roons with their gull-i-bull brainwashed followers!

  12. Dennis Gaskill says:

    Someday; they will run out of magic theories that will explain away the fact that they are totally
    misguided and have no idea of what they are doing !
    Do they know how foolish they look ?
    Hey! they have to protect that fat Government pay check !

  13. Box of Rocks says:

    Isn’t air from a dark place the sun don’t shine also called a – fart?

  14. According to daily HADCET 2010 had the 6th highest number of days below 0C and the 2nd highest below -5C.

    http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/will-britain-enjoy-fewer-cold-days-thanks-to-global-warming-no/

  15. Henry Galt says:

    The coming decade will be enough to knock this guy and his loony theory onto its arse. With a resounding thump.

  16. Kristian says:

    Nylo says, June 16, 2014 at 9:27 am:

    “Nonsense, it depends on how the arctic warms. If it is uniformly warmer, in time and space, then yes. But if it is warmer because of repeatedly suffering warm spells, with big masses of warmer air comming from the South from time to time, then hell no, because this mass of warmer air comes to replace the cold air that was there in the beginning, and this cold air, guess where it is going, yes, to the South, causing cold spells wherever it goes.

    Warmer arctic without increased mising with air from lower lattitudes = lower lattitudes suffer less cold spells. But warmer arctic due to increased mixing with air from lower lattitudes = lower lattitudes suffer more cold spells. So both things are possible with a warmer arctic, it depends on the cause of its temperature increase.”

    Riiight. So this (the above) is NOT nonsense, then, I presume …

  17. ShrNfr says:

    Nothing has been shown. Something has been postulated. The background behind the hypothesis may or may not have merit, but it is a hypothesis none the less. The hypothesis can be used to make predictions. Let us see if the predictions are close to the reality. “Has been shown” is too much like “settled science” in my opinion. I have no opinion on this particular matter, but I am getting sick of hypotheses being anything more than hypotheses in the press and blogosphere.

  18. Rud Istvan says:

    Poor Dr. Screen. His new paper says the exact opposite of what the US 2014 NCA just said, about which Obama said the science was settled. Even had a picture of Chicago’ 2011 blizzard to prove winters are getting harsher because of climate change, not milder.
    How unsettling to settled science.

  19. Jimbo says:

    The intriguing new study, published in leading scientific journal Nature Climate Change, questions growing fears that parts of Europe and North America will experience a greater number, or more severe, extreme cold days over the course of the next century.

    Yet the IPCC et al told us the opposite.

    Winter northern hemisphere snow extent has been Winter snow extent trending up since 1967.

    Using the latest mathematical climate modelling,….

    Another modeled result?

  20. Jimbo says:

    Winter northern hemisphere snow extent has been Winter snow extent trending up since 1967.

  21. kuhnkat says:

    This ASSumes we continue to warm. Unfortunately using a short period of time proves nothing except in a short warming period things get nicer.

  22. E. Martin says:

    You’ve got to love these guys, “cold days occur when the wind is blowing from the north, bringing Arctic air south….”

  23. Jimbo says:

    Kenny says:
    June 16, 2014 at 9:11 am

    WTF!

    I agree with you entirely. They told us to expect milder NH winters.

    Ooops, then they said we should expect colder winters due to CAGW.

    Oooops, now they tell us to expect less extreme winters.

    Next they will tell us to expect more extreme winters due to CAGW. This is not a science, it is garbage. Helped along by the useful idiots.

    Guardian – 20 December 2010
    That snow outside is what global warming looks like
    Unusually cold winters may make you think scientists have got it all wrong. But the data reveal a chilling truth
    There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere. With the help of the severe weather analyst John Mason and the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, I’ve been through as much of the scientific literature as I can lay hands on (see my website for the references). Here’s what seems to be happening……..

    The open sea, being darker, absorbed more heat from the sun in the warmer, light months. As it remained clear for longer than usual it also bled more heat into the Arctic atmosphere. This caused higher air pressures, reducing the gradient between the Iceland low and the Azores high…….

    I can already hear the howls of execration: now you’re claiming that this cooling is the result of warming! Well, yes, it could be. A global warming trend doesn’t mean that every region becomes warmer every month…….

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/dec/20/uk-snow-global-warming

  24. catweazle666 says:

    Awesome, more computer games!

    These buffoons will still be claiming the climate is warming when the next tranche of glaciers roll over their labs.

  25. Louis says:

    “Autumn and winter days are becoming warmer on average, and less variable from day-to-day.”

    So where does Dr. Screen make the case that this reduced risk of cold extremes will be catastrophic for the planet? If he doesn’t find a way to make that connection, his research will be dismissed and ridiculed. He will also suffer an increased risk of extreme cold shoulders from colleagues and a reduced flow of grant money.

  26. But Mosher says the science is settled!!!!!!

  27. Stephen Richards says:

    You’ve got to love these guys, “cold days occur when the wind is blowing from the north, bringing Arctic air south….”

    The truth is that it’s the East- North Easterley that brings the intense cold and always has going back to the LIA when Pepyes wrote about the perishing east wind.

  28. Stephen Richards says:

    “Autumn and winter days are becoming warmer on average, and less variable from day-to-day.”

    So where does Dr. Screen make the case that this reduced risk of cold extremes will be catastrophic for the planet?

    And how the hell does he measure day to day variability ?

  29. mark wagner says:

    Any time I read an article, report or comment starting with “climate change may cause…” I think shouldn’t they first demonstrate that the climate is, in fact, changing?

    After 17+ years of no warming it sounds a lot like whatever happens after “may cause” isn’t really a threat.

  30. Sandi says:

    Using the latest mathematical climate modelling, Dr Screen has also been able to show that these changes will continue in to the future, with projected future decreases in temperature variability in all seasons, except summer.

    <a href="http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/14/stunning-admission-and-a-new-excuse-for-the-pause-lousy-data/"Apparently he didn't get the memo:

    “The models don’t have the skill we thought they had. That’s the problem,” admits Peter Jan van Leeuwen, director of the National Centre of Earth Observation at the University of Reading.

  31. Latitude says:

    Paul Homewood says:
    June 16, 2014 at 11:22 am
    But Mosher says the science is settled!!!!!!
    ==========
    He also says the temperature record is pristine…..

  32. Admad says:

    “new research by University of Exeter expert Dr James Screen has shown that Arctic amplification has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere”.

    So Dr Screen is wrong, then.

  33. mkelly says:

    John F. Hultquist says:
    June 16, 2014 at 9:41 am
    I wonder if Carhartt® will take back my new winter coat?
    ======

    I got the brown Artic no hood. Warm as toast. Knitted cuffs are the best.

  34. njsnowfan says:

    Was there anything to back claims and what is causing it.
    #wxAMO is the cause..

    https://mobile.twitter.com/NJSnowFan/status/478630026397499392

  35. TomRude says:

    Between James Screen and Jennifer Francis, we see the absolute zero of competence in meteorology leading to climatological nonsense.

  36. ldd says:

    ENSO is a bit down today; must be due to global warming caused by man – again. /s

  37. SIGINT EX says:

    Not ready to write on this.

    I do find it a funny and serious rebuttal to and refutation of Dr. Holdren and Mr. Obama.

    A key question: What do the Observations show in regard to land-surface temperature changes and variations (non-stationarity) and the change(s) of the number of days land-surface temperature is above 0C for a period of 12 years (at 4 different equator crossing times) and counting on the Arctic ? [MODIS (PFM and FM1) on Terra and Aqua, respectively] !

    :-)

  38. Sandi says:

    I find it a bit disingenuous when posters laugh at climate models when they are used by the alarmist ( and I agree with that ) but will willingly to use them when it serves a purpose, such as to refute Obama. Lets not have our cake and eat it too.

    This is not the way to win.

  39. goldminor says:

    I believe that I have just experienced the opposite of what this paper claims. The jet stream moved overhead of the area of where I live around a week ago. This brought in a welcome change of cooler days and nights. During this time the temps dropped close to 50 F during the evenings. My air conditioner does not work so this is important to me. In fact this morning, I was surprised to feel just how cold it was when I stepped outside barefoot. I went back for the thermometer and took a ground reading of 40 F at 6:30 am. So when the jet moves south from the Arctic, it still has the age old cooling capacity that it has been known for.

  40. lorne50 says:

    The Middle of June In Red Deer Alberta Canada 11C for a high WTF I’m BURNING stop the BURNING !!!! ;>)

  41. SAMURAI says:

    Firstly, from 1980 to 1990, Arctic temps were flat/slightly falling, then spiked from 1990~2000 and then have slowed down again after 2003:

    ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tlt/plots/rss_ts_channel_tlt_northern%20polar_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

    I think a large portion of that warming can be attributed to 30-yr AMO warm cycle, which started around 1994. The AMO is starting to wind down and the PDO already entered its 30-yr cool cycle in 2005.

    When the AMO enters it’s 30-yr cool cycle in 2020, I think we’ll see Arctic temps start to fall again, especially since the PDO is already in its 30-yr cool cycle, we’re now in the weakest solar cycle in 100 years and the next solar cycle could be the weakest since the Maunder Minimum (1645~1715).

    Secondly, what’s so bad about slightly warmer temperatures in northern latitudes? Warmer temperatures lead to longer growing seasons, increases arable land area, crop yields and forest growth are increased from increased CO2 levels, plants require LESS water due to higher CO2 levels, the tree-line expands in northern latitudes, heating energy requirements are reduced, animal populations are increased (including Polar Bears!!), and generally life in northern latitudes becomes less severe and more enjoyable.

    Where is the economic damage???? All I see are benefits.

  42. Rob says:

    Ah geeze, more non Meteorologist publishing papers.

  43. james says:

    in mjd June its snowing in Sweden,Norway ,Russia..Turkey ,Wyomy , Utah, how’s that for global warming

  44. TimB says:

    What we’re seeing with climate science is exactly what we see with evolutionary science. There is no doubt about CO2 being a greenhouse gas. There is no doubt that humans add CO2 into the atmosphere. But the problem is that it is too complex to be predictive. Like natural selection is used to explain extinction and survival, it’s a lousy model for prediction. It’s a truism to say that natural selection and evolution is explains the fauna and flora on the planet. Homo sapiens were selected over Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon because of evolution and natural selection. But that’s all hindcasting from the present. What will future species look like? Which species will not adapt and become extinct? The truth is that any future can be attributed and forecast. The lucky ones that were correct are used to validate the process yet just as many got it wrong. This is akin to finding lottery winners and attributing their methods as a science to win the lottery. In this small case, we will have scientists that say “colder” because of AGW, some that say “warmer” because of AGW and some that say “no measurable impact” because of “AGW”. All will be peer reviewed and scientific and when we actually get to the point where we can find the ascertain the correct version, it will be used to validate AGW. There is a lot of effort used to analyze the “skill” of short term predictors such as hurricane formation but very little effort in analyzing the overall skill of long term climate prediction. Since every scenario is predicted, we just need to forget the wrongly predicted ones and we see how correct it is.

  45. Oscar Bajner says:

    Generals Forest, Snow and Winter, they not say “Hell is not so hot, but she’s very cold”
    General Forrest, he not (ever) say “I win cos I git thar fustest with the mostest”
    But General Climate, he say “I win cos I git thar data fustest with the MoshTest”

    Si Senor, Solaright, wrong number. (with apologies to Juan, from Mind Your Language)

  46. goldminor says:

    ldd says:
    June 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    ENSO is a bit down today; must be due to global warming caused by man – again. /s
    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    I noticed that. This means that my wild and crazy conjecture on solar into the ocean and back out after a delay still has legs. I had forecast for the + ENSO to peak at the end of May or in June. Then ENSO should turn neutral to slightly negative by the end of July or in August to continue the scenario.

    Temps this morning in No California, about 70 miles inland from the Pacific, were reading 30 F at 5:00am, and 35 F at 6:30am. This is very different from the warmth of the preceding several years.

  47. Jbird says:

    Gee. With morons like Dr. Screen running around making these kinds of pronouncements, we no longer have to worry about the value of earning a PhD. Instead, we can become unemployed night club comics. It’s cheaper.

  48. Sandi says:

    TimB says:
    June 16, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Well said in lay terms Tim.

  49. rw says:

    The only explanation I can think of for this new twist is that the paper was accepted for publication prior to last winter. Too bad for them that it comes out looking like another DOA.

  50. rishrac says:

    @ Tim B, The simplified version is that the heat from water vapor gets retained rather than released. If that were true, there would be no pause, nor would there be any disagreement over whether we are warming or not given the tremendous amount of co2 that has been injected into the atmosphere. co2 as a thermostat controller, no. In a nonlinear, open system, co2 is simply overstated as to regulating temperature. The year 1998, which is claimed as the warmest on record, occurred a long time ago now, we should have seen some years since that were warmer. I have stated often, my concern isn’t warmer, it’s colder climate that we should fear. The most I can calculate is that co2 might be responsible for 3% of the observed increase in temperature, which is so small that it is or might as well be background noise.

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