Satellite visualization of December's deadly cold in Europe and Russia

Earlier I wrote about the Arctic Oscillation Index going strongly negative in December and what new cold to expect in January. From NASA’s Earth observatory, we have a high resolution temperature anomaly map that provides visualization of the effects. This image was taken while the Copenhagen Climate Conference was in progress.

Deadly Cold Across Europe and Russia

Color bar for Deadly Cold Across Europe and Russia
Click image above to enlarge or download large image (3 MB, JPEG) acquired December 11 – 18, 2009

It will be interesting to see how the NASA imagery compares with the anomaly maps of GISS and HadCRUT for December when they are made available. More images are available at links below.

A wave of frigid air spilled down over Europe and Russia from the Arctic in mid-December, creating a deadly cold snap. According to BBC.com, at least 90 people had died in Europe, including 79 people, mostly homeless, in Poland. In places, the bitter cold was accompanied by heavy snow, which halted rail and air traffic for several days during the week of Christmas.

This image shows the impact of the cold snap on land surface temperatures across the region from December 11–18, 2009, compared to the 2000–2008 average. The measurements were made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. Places where temperatures were up to 20 degrees Celsius below average are blue, locations where temperatures were average are cream-colored, and places where temperatures were above average are red. Light gray patches show where clouds were so persistent during the week that MODIS could not make measurements of the land surface temperature. The biggest anomalies were in northern Russia, but a swath of below-average temperatures stretched across the countries around the Baltic Sea as well.

See also:

  1. Daily, 8-day, and monthly land surface temperature anomaly maps
  2. Animation of monthly global land surface temperature anomalies

h/t to WUWT reader “JT”

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Brian D

Don’t worry, smoothing(smearing) will take out some of that cold. There are warmer areas in the midst.

David L. Hagen

During the The Little Ice Age in Europe, greater cold caused major reductions in food production with consequent major famines. This was associated with 400% to 700% increases in food prices.

One of the worst famines in the seventeenth century occurred in France due to the failed harvest of 1693. Millions of people in France and surrounding countries were killed.

Today
One Could Say the Cupboard is Bare, But Actually There is No Cupboard
Apr. 09, 2008

We now read that over seven of the past eight years (2000-2007) the production of grains has been lower than the consumption. These years include the 2000 and 2001 crop years when prices were extremely low and U.S. farmers were collecting emergency and marketing loan payments. We were told that the prices in those years were low because farmers were overproducing.
The U.S. virtually eliminated government-held stocks under the provisions of the 1996 act. With consumption exceeding production, stock levels for grains fell by more than 200 million tonnes since 2000.
The present volatility is no surprise given the drastic reduction in grain stocks over the past eight years coupled with farmer investment in ethanol plants to increase grain.

“when the CO2 fertilization effect was included in the simulation, there were no adverse impacts [our italics] on China’s food production under the projected range of temperature rise (0.9-3.9°C).”

Xiong, W., Lin, E., Ju, H. and Xu, Y. 2007. Climate change and critical thresholds in China’s food security. Climatic Change 81: 205-221.
We need to INCREASE CO2 to increase food production to feed the world’s growing population.

Sorry to go off topic, Anthony, but I thought you’d appreciate this. Through my numerous quest posts here at WUWT, I am now in the pocket of Big Oil:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/memo-to-big-oil.html
Unfortunately, no one bothered to tell Big Oil, or they’ve been sending the checks to the wrong Bob Tisdale. Just my luck.

commonsense

Now in Europe the heat is on again.
Temps in the Mediterranean are back to +15ºC … so…
In Italy and Greece, with 21ºC, people WENT TO THE BEACH.. ON CHRISTMAS!
Even in Continental Europe, Temps are ABOVE FREEZING, so all the snow that fell should have melted away.
See the NOAA links:
1) Temperatures of last 7 days:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_07.rnl.html
2) Temperature ANOMALIES of last 7 days:
http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/map/images/rnl/sfctmpmer_07a.rnl.html
There is a BIG WARM ANOMALY ( between +3ºC and +9ºC) IN THE ARCTIC …
… despite the NEGATIVE Artic Oscillation values.
Also warm anomalies in Europe. The only notable cool ones are in Siberia-Scandinavia. This air masses will move away as the day pass, but …
I BET THE ARCTIC WILL STAY VERY WARM ALMOST ALL WEEKS UNTIL NEXT SUMMER.
Anyone wants to defy the bet?

Greg

And how much of those $billions discussed in Copenhagen is going to help out in areas being slammed by these storms and temperatures?

Gotta add in all those hot spots around Hopenhagendaze due to the chartered jets landing, taking off, landing again, and then waiting at the auxiliary airfields in Sweden, Germany, France ….

John Blake

On threshold of a probable 70-year “dead sun” Maunder Minimum, thanks to decades of Luddite sociopaths’ sabotage of coal, oil, and nuclear energy economies, the benighted U.S. population will finally face the consequences of supine acquiescence to death-eating Climate Cultists and their homicidal greenie-weenie friends.
Last time around, 1645 – 1715 defined the depths of a 500-year Little Ice Age when wolves froze to death in Rhineland forests and wine iced over in Louis XIV’s goblet at the Palace of Versailles. No-one born after c. 1980 has ever experienced winters of sustained deep cold, but Gaia and Sol are working to correct that oversight. Next time you meet Al Gore or any of his criminally malfeasant ilk, best knock ’em to pieces lest they freeze, impoverish, and finally starve you first.

Brian D

Being that this daytime land surface temps, and not air temps, it’s kind of apples and oranges. Baseline is also 2000-2008. Here’s the description of what your looking at.
Land surface temperature is how hot the “surface” of the Earth would feel to the touch in a particular location. From a satellite’s point of view, the “surface” is whatever it sees when it looks through the atmosphere to the ground. It could be snow and ice, the grass on a lawn, the roof of a building, or the treetops in a forest. Thus, land surface temperature is not the same as the air temperature that is included in the daily weather report.
An anomaly is when the conditions depart from average conditions for a particular place at a given time of year. The maps show daytime land surface temperature anomalies for a given month compared to the average conditions during that period between 2000-2008. Places that were warmer than average are red, places that were near normal are white, and places that were cooler than average are blue. The observations were collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.
Some land surface temperature anomalies are simply random weather phenomena, not part of a specific pattern or trend. Others anomalies are more meaningful. Widespread cold anomalies may be an indication of a harsh winter with lots of snow on the ground. Small, patchy warm anomalies that appear in forests or other natural ecosystems may indicate deforestation or insect damage. Many urban areas also show up as hot spots in these maps because developed areas are often hotter in the daytime than surrounding natural ecosystems or farmland. Warm anomalies that persist over large parts of the globe for many years can be signs of global warming.

mark in austin

i am excited to see if bastardini (wait…something is wrong with that spelling but you know who i mean) is right about the cold blast coming around jan 6th….

TerryBixler

The problem with AGW politics is they are believers. This costs human life. No planning for reality only planning for fantasy based on falsehoods, thanks Skyrocket Energy Obama.

David L. Hagen

The link is: One Could Say the Cupboard is Bare, But Actually There is No Cupboard
We have a far greater challenge to deal with greater cold than increased warming:
Chapter 2, The Great Famine, The Little Ice Age: how climate made history, 1300-1850 By Brian M. Fagan

The winter of 1215 in particular was exceptionally cold in eastern Europe and caused widespread famine.

By contrast:

A 300-ppm increase in the air’s CO2 content typically raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; and this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways (C3, C4, CAM) of photosynthesis. For woody plants, the response is even greater. The productivity benefits of CO2 enrichment are also experienced by aquatic plants, including freshwater algae and macrophytes, and marine microalgae and macroalgae.


Chapter 7 – Biological Effects of Carbon Dioxide Enhancement

Steve Oregon

Gee I guess the 100s of climate refugees will be headed south instead of north?

Steve Oregon

Ckeck that, 100s of millions.

Mooloo

Even in Continental Europe, Temps are ABOVE FREEZING, so all the snow that fell should have melted away.
Why the all caps? Temperatures at this time of year are usually above freezing. Winter hasn’t really started yet.
I BET THE ARCTIC WILL STAY VERY WARM ALMOST ALL WEEKS UNTIL NEXT SUMMER.
My definition of “warm” is above 20°C, so I’m happy to take your bet. Let us say $1,000,000 ?
🙂

juanslayton

Brian D
Help me out here, as I am not familiar with MODIS. The NOAA website at
http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/about/specifications.php
does not seem to show land temperature, only various atmospheric measurements. Do you refer to “land/cloud/aerosol boundaries” and “land/cloud/aerosol properties”?
John

rbateman

commonsense (18:04:01) :
This
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
says that the anomaly is all wrong.
NOAA has failed to call the last few years. They join the MET office and others who tied thier predictions to warming models instead of looking out the window at reality.
Falling down on the job failed.
I am nothing short of appalled at the waste of taxpayer dollars.
Move over, rover, and let Bastardi and Corbyn take over.
In fact, I would go so far as to propose that Bastardi be given the head job at NOAA and Corbyn can clean house at the MET.

Mariss Freimanis

Stop the %#$ decline! We’re still hiding the last batch and now here comes some more! It’s a travesty!

rob m

Shouldn’t there be a big red spot where Copehagen is located?

kuhnkat

Yes lack of COMMONSENSE, I will “defy” your stupid bet.
It’s WEATHER when less than 30 years, REMEMBER?!?!?!?!?!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
already below average. WEATHER changes by the minute , unlike your AGW which is unphysical!!!! Different wind patterns moving warmer air over the arctic and cooler air from the arctic over lower latitudes will result in the warmer air over the arctic losing more heat to space than it would if still over the lower latitudes. Net result, cooler AVERAGE temps!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Robert of Ottawa

But … but … Iceland is bright red! … we’re all going to fry … in Iceland!

Robert of Ottawa

Worse than we thought … Mariss Freimanis (18:51:28) :

Robinson

In other news, an interesting story about “carousel” frauds in Europe, taking advantage of…… carbon trading.

yonason

Brian D (17:48:48) :
“Don’t worry, smoothing(smearing) will take out some of that cold. There are warmer areas in the midst.”
Drat! You beat me to it. I guess it was pretty obvious, though.

rbateman

Mariss Freimanis (18:51:28) :
Getting mighty hard to hide any sort of decline what with that Tallbloke patented Heat Transfer Pump to the Arctic Energy Leak Zone.
The warmists were jumping up & down when the ice blew out of the Arctic in 07, but the reality of what was happening is just now sinking in.
Air makes a great insulator, but not when the barn door is left wide open.

Brian D

juanslayton, the links are under the post. See also 1 and 2 are the links.

DirkH

“commonsense (18:04:01) :
Now in Europe the heat is on again.
Temps in the Mediterranean are back to +15ºC … so…
In Italy and Greece, with 21ºC, people WENT TO THE BEACH.. ON CHRISTMAS!
Even in Continental Europe, Temps are ABOVE FREEZING, so all the snow that fell should have melted away.”
Unsinn. Tell that to the snow. I’m in Braunschweig, Germany. 10cm fresh snow on the cars and that’s here in the city. If you don’t believe me:
http://www.wetteronline.de/cgi-bin/aktframe?LANG=de&TYP=temperatur&ART=bild&JJ=news&KEY=DL
There’s a north-south divide here; the south is above zero and gets air from the west, we in northern germany are still slightly below zero.
Not an arctic blast ATM, though, or cold eastern wind from russia.

Caleb

commonsense (18:04:01) :
When the arctic vortex is strong, the cold air stays locked up there, and just goes around and around and around the pole all winter. During such winters it is very cold up there, and more pleasant down here.
However this winter the cold is not locked up there. The hounds of winters have been unleashed, and arctic blasts are roaming far south. So, if the cold air is not trapped up there, of course it will be warmer up there.
Get it?
Now here is the mystery: In which case is there more cold air? When it is all locked up at the poles, or when it is warmer at the poles and the cold spreads down here?
Let me take a wild guess: It takes energy to lock the cold up there. When there is less energy available that cold air escapes. Therefore, contrary to what we might think, it might take more energy (heat) to make it colder at the poles.
Now here’s another wild guess. It might take more energy to create a cold La Nina than a warm El Nino, because it takes a lot of energy to shove all the warm water over to Austrailia and drag the cold, heavy, dense La Nina waters up from the depths. When there is less available energy the warm water comes sloshing back from Austrailia and cold water sinks back down, and you have an El Nina. IE: We have another result contrary to what we might think, as less energy (heat) creates a El Nino’s heating.
Conclusion: My wild guess is that less total energy might create a warm El Nino sending warmth north, at the exact same time less total energy sends the hounds of winter south from the poles. When these two forses meet they brew up super storms. Once again less makes more, as less energy creates more energetic storms.
I will prove my ideas are true, if you will figure out how I can get ten million or so of stimulous money, and a couple of genius geeks who are good at creating computer models.

commonsense

Moloo, kuhnkat: my definition of “very warm” is a Temperature ANOMALY greater than 3-4ºC.
rbateman,kuhnkat: the link to Danish Centre for Ocean and Ice actually CONFIRMS the NOAA anomalies. The anomalies were greater than 4ºC, this is evident from both the NOAA maps and the Danish graph.
If you don’t see it, you should get a new pair of eyeglasses.
And if wasn’t clear in my post, these maps show WEEKLY anomalies. Just because last day the temperatures returned to normal levels, the WEEKLY anomaly is still astoundingly high.

Red Nek Engineer

Commonnonsense
Positive AOs and NAOs are always asssociated with warm anomalies within the high latitude ridges. They are warm core highs where dynamically air is piled on top of low level arctic air. They are associated with the largest surface high pressures on the edges where cold dense air and piled up air combine for greatest weight. These huge air masses push south and displace the polar front equatorward, resulting in unusual cold in middle latitudes.
More cold air is spreading across Europe this weekend and next week and Siberian air keeps invading China. India will have frost and freezes this week.
Give it up. The Dalton (Eddy) Minimum will just keep frustrating you and your warminista buddies the next few decades.

JAE

The far-left joker-morons will not relent, even if the glaciers doze their houses down. “Climate science” is becoming the comedy of the first decade of the 21st century! Let the comedy continue!!!!

To be perfectly fair, the MODIS satellite can only image land surface temperature under clear skies. In Winter, clear skies preferentially select for colder days. Therefore, during the sampling time period of 12/11/09 – 12/18/09, it will tend to be the colder days that get imaged.
I’m not saying you should “hide the decline,” but it shouldn’t be exaggerated either. I think MODIS images exaggerate the cold. As the grown-ups in the climate debate, those of us who are skeptical of AGW bear an extra burden to be sure we are presenting data in an unbiased fashion.
Is the anomaly in this image relative to other MODIS-derived temperatures? In that case, the cold biases would cancel. If it is relative to land-based thermometers, it should say so.

Paul Friesen

Every day reader but never comment but think this comment needs a challenge. commonsense (18:04:01) :
Now in Europe the heat is on again.
Could you inform me what city in europe you show above average. i checked several for the next 10 days and all are below normal/average. for example Helsinki average for Janruary is 30f/23f daily the 10 day forecast is 16f/12f with several snow days. Thanks in advance for your reply.

commonsense

DirkH: at what elevation does your city stay?
The NOAA maps that I linked have not enough resolution to notice cold spots caused by elevation. Even the cold Alps are missed.
So they only give the Big Picture (at a 500 km scale).
Anyway, thanks for the comment.

Mick

“rob m (19:02:38) :
Shouldn’t there be a big red spot where Copehagen is located?
No, it’s a big red flag. The satellite couldn’t pick up the vertical flagpole.
LOL

Peter of Sydney

It won’t surprise me to see NASA report December as one of the hottest months in decades. In fact I will surprise me to see them report this month as anywhere near one of the coldest, which will prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they are either deliberately fudging the data or are using a invalid method to process the raw numbers. In either case they should be scolded and if possible punished for publishing bogus climate data, and it must be stopped.

An interesting exercise is to check Wiki on historical coolings, Little Ice Age etc. It’s a hoot. Among some facts and okay speculations you get, albeit covered by disclaimers, some possible causes:
– solar variations, which get a weak run
– “heightened” volcanic activity, which gets the longest treatment, even though there’s an admission that it only has a two year effect.
– population and agriculture decrease after Black Death, implying medieval AGW!
– ocean conveyor slowdown due to – yep – medieval warming
And you even get that grand old sporting implement, slightly re-bent…the hockeystick!
These AGW guys are burrowed in like [snip] snipers on the last Pacific islands. A personal appeal to Jimmy Wales in order?

Steve Oregon

OT
According to NOAA sea rise has been only 2-3 inches per century.
http://www.burtonsys.com/climategate/MSL_global_trendtablefc.html
“Conclusion #1:
According to NOAA’s data, global average mean sea levels have been creeping up at a rate of only about 2-3 inches per century (0.5-0.7 mm/year). That is about one-third of the 1.8 mm/year (7.1 inches/century) rate which AGW alarmists typically claim.”

Mann O Mann

“It will be interesting to see how the NASA imagery compares with the anomaly maps of GISS and HadCRUT for December when they are made available.”
It will be interesting to see if the mysterious Siberian hotspot will return to keep the global anomaly high.

Keith Minto

Robert of Ottawa (19:07:21) :
But … but … Iceland is bright red! … we’re all going to fry … in Iceland!
It’s OK, they just had to import a lot of red ink to write up their National debt, some of it must have spilt.

Michael

Don’t expect the president to change his mind any time soon about man-made global warming.
Obama’s Involvement in Chicago Climate Exchange–The Rest of the Story
http://www.carbonoffsetsdaily.com/news-channels/usa/obama%E2%80%99s-involvement-in-chicago-climate-exchange-the-rest-of-the-story-5581.htm

Don.W

Peter of Sydney (20:45:12)
Sorry to hear of your cool December. Here in northern Nevada, on the weather news this evening our local Meteorologist reported that this December will go down as the 4th or 5th coldest December along the Eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range since records have been kept. This of course is all prior to the necessary “adjustments” that you allude to are applied!

Doug in Seattle

Steve Oregon (18:32:18) :
“Ckeck that, 100s of millions.”

I think the real figure will be closer to your first number.
Then again maybe many of the recent immigrants from the south may want to return after a few more winters like the last two.

Leigh

Keith Minto (21:04:36) :
Robert of Ottawa (19:07:21) :
But … but … Iceland is bright red! … we’re all going to fry … in Iceland!
It’s OK, they just had to import a lot of red ink to write up their National debt, some of it must have spilt
There were these guys working with models who thought they had it sorted. When the GFC hit the fan I think they tried to repatriate money from the UK back to Iceland, but the UK Government actually dealt with them under the terrorism laws. So watch out Phil and fellow modellers at CRU, if there is consistency in the way the UK Government deals with these things there could be a rendition or two to who knows where.

INGSOC

We had 4 inches of global warming today. Now turned to rain… Methinks there will be more along shortly.
BTW. This is totally off topic, but I love this line;
“Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook. ”
Lets see who can name the film it is from. No googling!!!
Cheers!

savethesharks

rbateman: “Move over, rover, and let Bastardi and Corbyn take over.
In fact, I would go so far as to propose that Bastardi be given the head job at NOAA and Corbyn can clean house at the MET.”

I concur completely.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

savethesharks

Bob Tisdale (18:03:34) :
“Sorry to go off topic, Anthony, but I thought you’d appreciate this. Through my numerous quest posts here at WUWT, I am now in the pocket of Big Oil:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/memo-to-big-oil.html
Unfortunately, no one bothered to tell Big Oil, or they’ve been sending the checks to the wrong Bob Tisdale. Just my luck.”

If it were not so tragic, it would be funny, Bob. Carry on.
The reasonable and sane of the world do not buy that bull**** for a hot minute.
It is plainly obvious that “Big Oil” has jumped on the AGW Train (anybody see the latest Shell commercials??) , so you could not POSSIBLY be a part of it.
The Difference: You actually have a brain. And a damn good one at that.
Carry on!
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

ShaneOfMelbourne

Peter of Sydney
as I sit here in 37C heat, a random review of BOM temperature data from about 30 towns across Australia indicates that December average maximums are up to 2 degrees above the long term average. I did find a couple of exceptions however.
Anyway Pete, there are two hemispheres; just because it’s cold in the NH doesn’t mean it’s cold here as well; as much as you appear to want it to be. It is summer here you know. And you would be aware that things generally don’t start really cookin’ here until mid Jan through February. It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m not sure what has happened in the rest of the SH and I’m not fussed either way.
So it’s not as cold as you imagine or maybe you’re just stuck in your fridge all day pulling out cold beers.

savethesharks

Caleb (20:20:58) :
Spot on!
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

TerryBixler

Michael (21:15:36) :
So BO up to his armpits CarbonGate. Chicago carbon exchange, your money or your ….who would have guessed and Al was there too.

kadaka

Steve Oregon (20:55:51) :
OT
According to NOAA sea rise has been only 2-3 inches per century.

Okay, big-head questions. We are burning hydrocarbon fossil fuels. How much new water are we making? I know it’s probably just a drop in the ocean, but not literally one. The planet gains mass continually from assorted “space dust.” How much of that is water, as is found with comets? Also, we are bombarded with cosmic rays, of which almost 90% are protons, naked hydrogen nuclei. Don’t they lead to the creation of new water as well?
Could a statistically significant part of that ocean rise per century, be because new water is being added to the oceans?