Greenland blows hot and cold while Europe freezes

There’s a colorfully sharp temperature contrast in Greenland, one might think it was “red hot” there. Hmmm where have we seen something like this before? The warm red pocket over southern Greenland and Eastern Canada is caused by a blocking high pressure cell, while all the cold Arctic air flows around it. Readers may recall that a blocking high was responsible for the Russian heat wave this summer also, despite many early erroneous claims that “global warming caused it”(look at the list at the end). NOAA’s analysis concluded it had everything to do with weather, and not greenhouse gases saying:

Despite this strong evidence for a warming planet, greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over western Russia. The natural process of atmospheric blocking, and the climate impacts induced by such blocking, are the principal cause for this heat wave.

We have the same blocking situation here. The difference? In Nuuk Greenland today, the temperature was not “red hot”, but a cool 6°C/42°F for the high. Hint: If you want to see current surface temps on the image below, download the Google Earth KMZ file link at the end of this story, then enable “weather” as an overlay in GE.

From NASA Earth Observatory: The first week of December was a chilly one for much of Europe and parts of the United States. This image shows the temperature of the land surface for December 3-10, 2010, compared to the average temperature for the same period between 2002 and 2009. The measurements are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Clearly, 2010 was cooler than average in northern Europe and the eastern United States. Greenland and parts of northern Canada, however, were exceptionally warm. This temperature pattern was caused by the Arctic Oscillation.

The Arctic Oscillation is a climate pattern that influences winter weather in the northern hemisphere. It describes the relationship between high pressure in the mid-latitudes and low pressure over the Arctic. When the pressure systems are weak, the difference between them is small, and air from the Arctic flows south, while warmer air seeps north. This is referred to as a negative Arctic Oscillation. Like December 2009, the Arctic Oscillation was negative in early December 2010. Cold air from the Arctic channeled south around a blocking system over Greenland, while Greenland and northern Canada heated up.

The unusual cold brought heavy snow to Northern Europe, stopping flights and trains early in December. Cold temperatures and snow also closed roads and schools in the eastern United States and Canada during the first week of December. The diagonal path of a powerful winter storm is visible as a streak of cold across the Upper Midwest of the United States.

  1. References

  2. Associated Press. (2010, December 14). Bone-chilling cold plods into Northeast US. Accessed December 15, 2010.
  3. BBC News. (2010, December 3). Europe’s deadly cold snap maintains grip. Accessed December 15, 2010.
  4. Climate Prediction Center. (2010, December 15). Arctic Oscillation. NOAA National Weather Service. Accessed December 15, 2010.
  5. CNN. (2010, December 2). Heavy snow creates European travel chaos. Accessed December 15, 2010.
  6. NOAA National Climatic Data Center. (2010, December). State of the climate: National overview for November 2010. Accessed December 15, 2010.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the NASA/GSFC Distributed Active Archive Center. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

Aqua – MODIS
download large image (5 MB, PNG) acquired December 3 – 10, 2010
download GeoTIFF file (26 MB, TIFF) acquired December 3 – 10, 2010

download Google Earth file (KML)

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December 19, 2010 5:39 am

Let’s remember that Greenland is called that for a reason. Vikings who settleted there did so because Greenland at the time was inviting enough to live there. Is it possible that this blocking pattern could be long term? For example 10 -20 years of warmth in Greenland, and colder weather for the rest of Northern Hemisphere for the same amount of time?

December 19, 2010 5:53 am

Greenland temps and surrounding SST’s should be above normal. The current situation is building again as the high pressure cell over Greenland continues to build like late Nov. Both hemispheres are a buzz with extreme cold, rain and snow. Tomorrow in Oz we are expecting snow during summer as we recover from record floods.
The Sun is also in a weird place, and refuses to ramp up. We are at 4 spotless days in a row (Layman’s Count) with weak activity in the pipeline. F10.7 flux also is flat lining with December looking to be another dud month.

December 19, 2010 5:54 am

The warmist side has been well prepared for this with rebranding (Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruption) – you’d think they were clued up on the coming change and the increase in blocking events it would bring. They need reminding that 10 years ago they were suggesting that the predominace of the AO (and NAO) positive phase was at least partly due to anthropogenic causes: and that models suggested it was likely to stay that way.

Pamela Gray
December 19, 2010 6:25 am

It’s almost worth a dime to get on those AGW sites and talk the game up to see just how far they will go to support their cause. Kinda like going to an auction and bidding up the price with no intention whatsoever to actually buy the junk they are selling. It’s just a fun challenge to do it.

December 19, 2010 6:27 am

I have an Inuit friend in Nuuk who’s complaining that its 13C with no snow. Oh the irony.

December 19, 2010 6:34 am

Take pity on poor Iqualuit, Nunavut, Canada. They have set themselves up as the place to cold test new commercial aircraft. For them to be able to fulfil their oligatioins they need weather with temperatures of -40 (C or F). I know there is still time until the dead of winter. But nevertheless…..

Pamela Gray
December 19, 2010 6:41 am

What is more fascinating to me is the fact that during positive values, the tight vortex within the circle sucks in warm Atlantic waters into the Arctic edge, leading to thinning ice conditions and melt from below the surface, especially during the melt season, as those warmed waters slide underneath the ice to the pole.
During negative values, and right now it is at -5, strong surface winds, in a wider circle than during positive values, form a barrier to warm Atlantic water invasion, allowing Arctic-wide ice to grow very thick. Were this situation to occur during the summer, ice would melt very slowly and not thin so much from underneath.
Might we be seeing a pushing away of those warm Atlantic waters (and water-warmed air) from the Arctic circle, pushing and piling that warmer stuff to the lower half of Greenland?
It makes sense to me. I would expect, under these conditions, a return to normal ice extent and a return to thicker ice throughout the circle.

December 19, 2010 6:41 am

What the Greenland High is doing is key to what is going on in Europe and USA – and there is plenty going on, see –
The Warmers cult will of course always claim anything that happens supports their intellectually, morally and scientifically bankrupt view. Crucially whatever they claim they can predict NOTHING.

December 19, 2010 6:45 am

Glaciers in Wales? Some people will do anything for a piece of cheap publicity.

December 19, 2010 6:52 am

Pamela, one should not poke fun at the terminally mislead. It’s cruel and just upsets them.
OK, let’s do it. They deserve every squirm!

Philip Mulholland
December 19, 2010 6:53 am

Try this link for a better explanation of the Arctic Oscillation than your NOAA CPC reference.

December 19, 2010 7:02 am

At the inner part of Greenland the temperature is -39C at the moment, expected to drop down to -58C during the week.
“Red hot”?

Dave Springer
December 19, 2010 7:10 am

Unemployment would be far worse if it weren’t for the stimulus program.
The financial system would have collapsed if it weren’t for the bank bailouts.
The housing market would have collapsed if it weren’t for the first time buyer rebate program.
There would be no wars right now if George W. Bush hadn’t been president.
And so on and so forth including:
Europe would be far colder right now if it weren’t for global warming.
It’s great fun making up alternative histories that can’t be disproven. Maybe even more fun than academics must have making predictions of the future so distant that they’ll be retired or dead before the prediction fails. What great sport! I think there needs to be a seriously funded study to measure exactly how much fun this is.

December 19, 2010 7:23 am

Does this explain things?
Looks like what is left of Gulfstream heat has been shoved by the currents up to Greenland.

December 19, 2010 7:25 am

“This image shows the temperature of the land surface for December 3-10, 2010, compared to the average temperature for the same period between 2002 and 2009. ”
Maybe this is a dumb question, but why are these guys talking about the average from 2002 – 2009?
Could it be that warming compared with 1980 – 200x average has stopped and now they want to talk up climate disruption ?

Pamela Gray
December 19, 2010 7:25 am

I went to the sea ice reference pages and noticed a strange little down tick. So I went to Cryosphere to see what I could see. Looks like the invasion of the necklace again.

December 19, 2010 7:35 am

For Europe, the strongly negative arctic oscillation which is visualized here, brings a more ‘continental ‘ climate, instead of the usual ‘atlantic’ climate (when such weather pattern dominate, they are called climate). A more continental climate leads to colder winters and warmer summers. Such was the case during Maunder minimum. So, let us look at the most recent sunspot number: “the earth facing side of the sun is blank”(quote spaceweather). It is all accidental, of course. But the minimum between cycles 23 and 24 is not over, yet. It is now almost 7 years since the first blank day occurred.

Ed Caryl
December 19, 2010 7:47 am

High pressure over central Greenland result in downslope, adiabatic winds, which warm the coastal weather stations. If the pressure differential is high, you get more warming. All normal.

December 19, 2010 7:56 am

I’m from Europe, but I’ve been living in Nuuk, Greenland for more than two decades.
We always used to say, that if the winter temperature is low in Nuuk, it’s quite warm i Scandinavia, or the other way around. -No, I have not consulted mr Gore.

Ian L. McQueen
December 19, 2010 7:57 am

But, but, but…..won’t the warmists just claim that the Arctic Oscillation is caused by global warming / climate change (which, as we all know, is caused by increased CO2 concentration – sarc/off)?

James Sexton
December 19, 2010 7:58 am

Pamela Gray says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:25 am
It’s almost worth a dime to get on those AGW sites and talk the game up to see just how far they will go to support their cause. Kinda like going to an auction and bidding up the price with no intention whatsoever to actually buy the junk they are selling. It’s just a fun challenge to do it.
Was once one of my favorite past times, but after a while it gets a bit depressing. Something akin to staring into the abyss.

Ian L. McQueen
December 19, 2010 7:58 am

Can you delete my message that got sent prematurely with caps reversed? Thanks.
[Well, yes, glad to help. But it did look kind of funny. 8,) Robt]

December 19, 2010 8:16 am

Looks like similar conditions to last winter when I got a 100-yr single snowfall event here in the central Appalachian mountains.
If the cold stays in the east US long enough, eventually something will get cooked-up along the Gulf coast/SE coast & produce a coastal snowstorm.

December 19, 2010 8:25 am

Poor Iceland is missing the balmy temperatures. That must irritate them to no end.

December 19, 2010 8:26 am

Pamela Gray says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:25 am
It’s almost worth a dime to get on those AGW sites and talk the game up to see just how far they will go to support their cause.
They will go far enough to cause suffering and death.
It was their predictions of mild winters and less snow, rushing to get green/windmills, their hysteria, that is now causing suffering and death.
If this were anything else, the liberals would be screaming their heads off….

December 19, 2010 8:27 am

The fact that the pro-CAGW have had to resort to the ‘climate disruption’ metaphor shows they have lost the game. However, this was a stupid tactic to adopt as a quick look at the historic weather record show that all the recent types of ‘climate disruption’ events have happened many times in the past.
This weakens the case that climate is strongly warming and completely severs the link to CO2. I just love it when the pompous baboons of the IPCC climate cabal shoot themselves in the foot!
They need to improve their critical thinking skills as well as learning how to do real science.

December 19, 2010 8:27 am

Hint: If you want to see current surface temps on the image below, download the Google Earth KMZ file link at the end of this story, then enable “weather” as an overlay in GE.

You learn something new everyday.
Here in Australia, December 2010 has been very peculiar. Summer hasn’t really set in yet. Yesterday (Sunday), in Sydney, I felt chilly in my shorts and T-shirt. Yeah, laugh for all you wish, but that is not normal, mate!
I just checked Google Earth with KMZ, etc, and the entire continent barely shows a warm spot. Almost a third of Australia, mostly in the East, shows the deepest of the blue color.

December 19, 2010 8:29 am

This is the meteorological catastrophe Godley, Creme, Cook and the Gizmotron tried to warn us about in 1977.

December 19, 2010 8:38 am

So what, warm air advections around powerful anticyclones need to go somewhere, hence Greenland southern hot spot. At 1065hPa on northern Greenland… that’s a strong anticyclone!

December 19, 2010 8:44 am
maelstrom the irreverent
December 19, 2010 8:45 am

Dear Robt, formas, Anthony Watts, et al.,
I was just reading a newspaper website in Nunavut with articles demanding payments from the industrialized nations to the Inuit in Canada for climate disruption. The other stories seemed to be about record cold.
Greenland in the extreme south, Nanortalik and Cape Farewell, had an exceptionally warm winter last year as well iirc. They actually had some tufts of grass that didn’t completely die off that winter.
I was intuitively thinking much earlier in the season that we would have a repeat of the winter of 41/42 here in Eastern Europe. It would be interesting to see what Greenland was doing that winter.
I hate to ruin a cool story, but the truth as far as I can tell is that no one really knows why it’s called Greenland. There are several theories. One is: it was warmer and green in the Middle Ages. Another is: Eric wanted to attract settlers from Iceland and Norway (this is the main version of the etymology in the Icelandic sagas from what I can tell). A third theory is that the actual original word used wasn’t GREEN at all, but an archaic Norse word for shallow gravel cognate with GROUND, something more like GRUNT-LAND, and this eventually was corrupted to GROENLAND over the centuries. Remember, the “lost” Norse colonies there lasted from about AD 980 to about AD 1400, making them more successful and/or enduring than the United States as a political entity, to date.

December 19, 2010 8:48 am

Greenland is too hot for me, I’m having Nunavut and I am going Nome.

John F. Hultquist
December 19, 2010 9:19 am

Ed Caryl’s comment at 7:47
“. . . High pressure over central Greenland result in downslope, adiabatic winds, . . .
can be reinforced by looking at a visual satellite image
of the area and noting the lack of clouds over the region shown in red on your colored map.
The concept of an adiabatic process causing a temperature increase in descending air is useful in explaining these temperature anomalies.

December 19, 2010 9:22 am

I would expect that a negative AO will act to cool the planet faster as warmer air makes it’s way to the dark polar region where the rate of radiation cooling is much faster due to the long dark nights…

Jean Meeus
December 19, 2010 9:35 am

About the picture: is it not strange than in Greenland the boundary between the warm (red) and the blue (cold) regions is a shaply defined, slightly curved line?
It seems to coincide with a parallel of latitude, at 72 or 73 degrees north.
If that is an artifact, what confidence can we have in that picture?

December 19, 2010 9:36 am

I’d like to show you how warmist damage-control propaganda works in France in relation to this “unbearable warmth” in Greenland and record low temperatures in Europe, thus proving global warming theory:
Look at:
and especially the following graph:
On December the first, temperature in Greenland was an amazing +18°C!!! (somewhere in Greenland), -15°C in Orléans (the real Orléans, not the one that got flooded by global warming), and +25°C in Sophia/Bulgaria.
Small problem here, they mixed °Celsius and °Fahrenheit where it was convenient in order to prove their point. After verification, you had to read: 18°F/-15°C/25°F ~ -7.8°C/-15°C/-3.9°C
Mind you is a right-wing newspaper that recently tuned down (just a bit) its warmist credo. I let you imagine the level of disinformation elsewhere in spite of an increasingly skeptic public.

December 19, 2010 9:53 am

Being warm in the arctic or subarctic is a very relative thing. If you live in those areas no complaint. It is all the yin and yang of things if milder then normal great and no complaint. If normal it is that an to be expected. If colder then normal that to is well to be expected. People will grumble a bit but that is because we like complaining.

December 19, 2010 10:02 am

2010: Another record breaking winter. So what happened to global warming?

stephen richards
December 19, 2010 10:03 am

Saw a classic on thte BBC news today. The plonker Liberal Transport minister says they may have to invest in more appropriate road maintenance strategy but they must listen to their chief scientific officer. He says cold winters are normal in global warming. Hmmm, where have I heard that before.And yet, this same dickhead said there would be no need for snow ploughs etc because of global warming.
If it doesn’t go to prediction change the prediction. Heh.

December 19, 2010 10:15 am

Jean Meeus writes “If that is an artifact, what confidence can we have in that picture?”
See if you can find an image of where the jet stream was at the same time. My bet is that you will find the two lines are just about in the same place.

December 19, 2010 10:15 am

Geoff Sharp says:
December 19, 2010 at 5:53 am
Agreed… 4 spotless days on the wall. They had a darned penumbra-shaded pore stuck up there for 2 days to pad the count.
A poor pore. I have seen used car salesmen selling Lemons doing a better job than that.

December 19, 2010 10:21 am

The Russians had the cause of the heat wave last summer pegged correctly. They also went on to predict a very bad winter, which has struck. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, something the GCMs once promised.

December 19, 2010 10:21 am

Pamela Gray says:
December 19, 2010 at 7:25 am
I went to the sea ice reference pages and noticed a strange little down tick.

That’s what ~60km/day drift of that thin new ice does.

Eimear Dwyer
December 19, 2010 10:29 am

Great site Anthony.
I like the way you show us all the data.
Keep up the good work.

R. Gates
December 19, 2010 10:43 am

Anthony, this was a great summary of the real-world effects caused by the a negative AO. No hype and no hyperbole– just as I would expect from you. For those of us who enjoy studying weather and climate, and are not just out to spin a tale for their side, noting such things as the effects of extremes in the AO index can be very enlightening and allows us not to get caught up in the extreme viewpoints. I will continue to watch with interest over the next several years to see if the conditions that set up the negative AO, as well as other atmospheric blocking events, such as the Russian Heat Wave increase in frequency. It will also be interesting to see if there is any appreciable effect on Arctic Sea Ice extent, either through melting/expansion or transport via the Fram Strait etc. Currently, it seems the negative AO has had no effect on Arctic sea ice extent winter growth rates, or even perhaps a slightly negative effect as Arctic Sea ice extent remains at near record (satellite record) lows for this date. This goes back to the false assumption that just because it is colder and snowier in Europe this winter, that this must necessarily mean that the Arctic sea ice will expand, and fortunately, those who follow WUWT, know that isn’t necessarily the case.

December 19, 2010 10:46 am

Just an update;
Below are some of my latest thoughts on what is driving the weather and climate.
These patterns of blocking highs are a natural cycle that is just passing through the calendar right now.
All of the universe affects the rest of it, it all sits in a bowl of gravitational and magnetically driven mass of ions and regular atoms, that respond to the basic physics detailing the “normal rules or laws”. To think that there are voltages or ions that move with out magnetic fields attached violates first principals.
The magnetically permeable inductive components of planetary bodies are susceptible to Ohms laws, and Maxwell’s power equations still apply to the full spectrum of electro-magnetic effects from DC to most energetic particle seen. There is no reason to suspend known physical laws governing electromagnetic interactions, just because the round metal balls are the size of planets.
So we should be able use basic physics to figure forces at work when planets have synod conjunctions, by determining the shifts of flux of the magnetic fields, with the shifting density and speed of the solar wind. When the Ulysses satellite was on polar orbit of the sun “they were amazed that the patterns usually seen in the solar wind were still there, but also much stronger than they expected by several orders of magnitude.”
To me this means that the main crux of magnetic connections between the planets is in the normal distribution of concentrations at the poles/apexes of lab magnets and the large sweeping fields are weakest along the circumference, neutral current sheet, or equatorial regions, and also not only flowing with the neutral sheet of the solar wind but focus concentrations down onto the poles of the planets, as evidenced by the polar Auroral displays from the much larger loops further off of the ecliptic plane.
The galactic magnet fields are also influenced by these basic rules of interaction with the solar magnetic fields as well, which leads me to the conclusion that the interactions of the composite solar system from the rotation of the Galaxy, and the declinational movement of the solar system in that larger frame of reference, as well as the density waves that propagate around driving the spiral arm flux variances give rise to the longer cyclic term climatology of the Earth. Some have been found, other underlying cycles also exist that as yet we do not have their specific drivers identified. (back to this point later)
The heliopause seems to have auroral knotted bands (recently spotted ribbons of ion activity) on its leading side as it progresses through the interstellar gases and dust clouds, the solar system passes through in its travels. I think that this is due to the conductance of the galactic fields into or through the heliopause, coupling through the polar regions of the sun and planets, at near equilibrium, or the balance felt as steering currents in the slow transition of the orbital slowing and swaying of the solar system as it winds its way through the gravitational and radiation gauntlet, shoved around ever so slowly by the rest of the individual stars.
So then as a result the makeup of the planetary interaction periods have become some what stable, and have formed harmonic coupled interactions between themselves, and the non-random long term slower periods. Not much is said about the tilt of the magnetic poles, of most of the planets and the sun from their spin axes. I think even this has something to add about long term climate effects.
In the common hospital use of MRI scanners, the magnetic induction pulses are used to flip atomic spin axes in line with the dense fields momentarily formed with pulse current on, and watching the return to ambient spin axes when current goes off. (back to this point later) If people have learned to control the effects would not they also occur in nature if they are so predictable? If you apply the calculations with the right power increase needed to satisfy the balance of the equation, the same effects should occur with reference to stars and planets.
If all of the planets and the sun are running along, in near balance with changes in outlying fluxes upon the solar system, disruptions in the periodic patterns should be minimal, with much greater stability being found in the harmonic patterns in the interactions between the planets of the solar system, as a result milder climate with less wild extremes would dominate at times of stability.
Currently the magnetic poles of the sun are running ~12 degrees off of its vertical axes of rotation, with a period of rotation of 27.32 days, as a result the Earth and Moon themselves move above and below the ecliptic plane alternately, while the system barycenter scribes a smooth ellipse responding to the gravitational and tidal tugs of the outer planets as we pass them almost every 12 months plus a few days.
The resultant periodic 27.32 day flux of the polarity of the solar wind as it passes the Earth creates and drives the declinational swings North and South in the two bodies, as a giant pulsed oscillator circuit, dampened by the tidal drag of the fluidity of the various parts of the Earth, small solid core, outer liquid core, fluid mantel, and fragmented floating crust, that is itself creeping along tectonically in response to the dance of the combination of the additions of the other planetary tidal, gravitational, and electromagnetic induction fluxes that keep the inner fluids warm.
The further off of vertical, and/or the stronger the total magnetic flux of the sun’s magnetic poles, the more energy available to be driven into the lunar declinational cycle balanced by the tidal dampening into the Earth, hence the greater the solar magnetic impulse input the greater the resultant tectonic turmoil, the more extreme the weather and climate.
The weaker the magnetic fields of the sun relative to the near DC fields of the galactic background levels, and the more vertical the magnetic fields of the sun the less energy gets driven into the lunar declinational movement and resultant tidal dampening energy into the Earth.
As the spin axes and magnetic axes of the sun approach straight on alignment, the whole declinational drive component of the Moon orbital dynamic decreases, to maybe as little as a degrees either side of the ecliptic plane, changing to a more synergistic combination of the solar and lunar tidal effects at an angle of 23.5 +/_.5 referenced to the equator, keeping the atmospheric global circulation in the kind of high turbulence blocking pattern, sort of weather we have been having the past two years and the next two as well.
The total Lunar eclipse coming up on the 21st is a case where the Moon and the Sun have the same maximum declinational culmination angle, marks the transition through the decreasing angle at culmination, due to the current Lunar declinational angle referenced to the ecliptic plane is ZERO, as it goes negative through the progression of the nodal movement cycle.
When continued past the normal length of time (about 3 years on the down and up side) in the 18.6 year variation of the mechanism of transport of equatorial heat towards the poles, if the movement on reference to the ecliptic plane stalled in this, the most active section of atmospheric lunar tidal effects, leaving the lunar tides coupled in sync to the solar tides as well, the long term trend then becomes a constant la nina, and an ice age sets in.
Just as in MRI scanning the initial pulsed spin flip is nearly instantaneous, and does not seem to affect the covalent bonds the atoms are part of, so maybe the solar magnetic orientation to polar axes of rotation, flip is hardly noticeable over 100 years or less, just as the wandering of the Earth’s magnetic field pole positions are hardly noticed by the public, but several posters on here are tracking its movement.
The ongoing dampening of the tidal movement of the lunar declinational extent at culmination would regulate the dropping rate due to actual amount of tidal dampening load transferred to the Earth. As the declination off of the ecliptic plane drive energy lessens and becomes slowly coupled out by tidal inter action, and the Lunar orbital diameter expanded to compensate slightly.
This would explain the rapid onset of ice ages, and then the re-flip to off axes solar magnetic polar alignment, renew the declinational driver system again and cause the pulsation type exit usually seen from ice ages.
The short term inter ice age, realistic application of these ideas is in the much more recent history (due to short instrument records) of the past three to five maybe (Ulric Lyons says 10 cycles works best because it = the 179.5 year cycle period.) Can be assembled in composite maps that use the 6558 day period of 240 declinational periods that shows analog synchronization of the inner planet harmonic effects on the weather, from just the past three cycles as seen on the daily maps here.
The problem left then is that the outer planet have a set of harmonics of their own that induce the 178.8 years envelope on the 18.6 year mn cycle pattern that have in turn a finer 27.32 day oscillation imposed, so the complete long period of compounded modulation is as Ulric Lyons suggests 179.5 years long as Landschimdt (sp) was on about with the effects of the outer planetary returns driving the solar sunspot cycles due to SS Barycenter displacement due to Uranus / Neptune synod (171.4 year period) conjunctions. The available data base gets extremely thin out 170+ year ago. Due to data limitations, I have so far stayed with just the last three cycles of 6558 day periods or ~17.95 years.
On April 20th of 1993 we had the most recent synod conjunction of Neptune and Uranus, which the Earth passed on July 12th of 1993, presenting as an epic precipitation surge globally with heavy rains through the summer and massive flooding of several river system around the world.
It is my contention that the increase in magnetic couplings through the polar magnetic field connections induces a homopolar generator charge increase at these times and a quick global discharge just after synod conjunction. The results of these increases in pole to equator charge increases drives positive ions off of the sea surface along the ITCZ, where by mutual static repulsion of the condensation nuclei inhibits cloud formation and precipitation, and at the same time allows more SW radiation to reach the tropical sea and land surfaces promoting rapid warming driving ENSO extremes, with the rapid precipitation that results on the global discharge side, post synod conjunction, also leaving clearer skies for additional warming after the flooding subsides.
The lunar declination phase of the 18.6 year mn cycle was in an increasing through 23.5 degree culmination angle at the same time, being in phase with the temperature increases. By early 2005 the declinational angle at culminations was at its peak extreme, and the distance between Uranus and Neptune was separating again to about 29 days apart August 8th of 2005 for synod of Earth and Neptune and September 1st of 2005 for synod conjunction of Earth and Uranus.
The Southeast gulf coast was ravaged by Katrina and Rita as a direct result of these influences. Combining with the 27.32 day period lunar declinational tides culminations they rode in on, to produce the storm intensity that resulted.
As the outer planets Neptune and Uranus continued to separate and the declinational angle shifted past peak angle at culmination the resultant peak warming period shifted further into the late Summer and now is in the Fall in 2010. The reason I think the last season 2010 was so active but not as powerful in ACE production as 2005 was due to the addition of Jupiter in Synod conjunction on April 3rd in 2005 kicking things off, and on the 21st of September 2010 with Uranus on the same day, creating a late fast finish in 2010. After having a half hearted start of a season in 2010 as a result of the difference.
Over all the whole period of the close Neptune and Uranus synods in the mid to late summer allowed the extra clearing of clouds and resultant heating the last 15+ years of the SST and ENSO intensity periods, CO2 just was in the air along for the ride.
This is all part of the 60 year patterns in the weather cycles, and can be explained as such. Now that the outer planet synod conjunctions of the Earth with Neptune and Uranus are moving into the fall and early winter, we can expect them to produce the increased snowfall events and cold polar blasts being seen in both hemispheres.
With the investigation of these methods of predicting the extreme effects of the weather patterns they produce, long range forecasts for both weather and climate will become possible. I am betting my life savings and the rest of the creative efforts of my life time on it.
What I want to do is create a set of animations of the goes and other satellite images like this set
to show the atmospheric response to lunar declinational tidal forcing, daily phase relationships, and the on and off driving of the trade winds that result from the combined effects of the interactions of the Solar tides and the lunar tides showing the periodic surges in the global circulation patterns that we can all learn from.
The last three years of the goes series are available free from ftp site
What I wanted to do was to show the harmonic oscillations in the atmosphere around the globe to be able to visualize the topographical effects of the different ocean basins and how the pattern shifts across areas of the globe. So far I have downloaded the GOES 11,12,and 13, that are available through the site.
If you watch one of the monthly videos from the first link it is easy to see the wide spread of the westerly zonal flow around the Himalayas, that splits the flow around the North side that comes into the Pacific basin from around Japan, and the Southern flows that sweep off of the Southern Indian Ocean into Australia.
If you watch the same type of movie of the GOES images you can see the effects of the Rockies and Andes mountains enhancing the declinational effects on the lee sides. then as the westerly flow crosses the North Atlantic the pattern folds over to double the frequency of the USA patterns and accounts for why the UK and Northern Europe is harder to forecast.
With the addition of the European to Indian Ocean/ Pacific Ocean areas you could watch the blocking patterns of the Urals, come and go, and the out washes of Arctic air masses repeat as well. The Mediterranean Ocean micro climate patterns might be real informative as well.
Once the animation of the satellite stills are assembled with the overhead position of the moon shown as a small 30-50% transparent circle on the surface, that is updated every frame to the new current position, one can watch the resultant changes in albedo due to cloud modulation effects, storm rapid intensification periods, and movement due to tidal effects in each of the ocean basins and the teleconnections between them that is commonly talked about in the literature but the process is not discussed as a global wide (why not?) atmosphere lunar tidal effect.
By sequencing the segmenting of the animation product I can show the 27.32 days periods and the four fold patterns of the underlying jet stream and Rossby wave movement. Once you watch the process for series of at least several months of progressed stills, it becomes obvious that there are non-random pulses imposed upon this background pattern that will be the disruptions to this smooth pattern by the synod conjunctions of Earth with the outer planets.
The resultant generated animation can be viewed to show the rhythmic effects the modulation of the solar wind has on the ion content of the atmosphere with these Synod conjunction that drives the homopolar generator effects that produce episodic cycles of cloud formation and lack there of in the tropics, generating the SST heating surges that become the ENSO effects.
As an outer planet approaches Synod conjunction the additional magnetic coupling in the solar wind out to the gas giant interacts with the magnetosphere of the Earth, the solar wind speed slows and the magnetic fields inducted into the polar areas increases the pole to equator charge gradient, driving more positive ion generation in the ITCZ, which clears the air allows much more solar input to the land and sea surface. While at the same time changes the drive of the mid latitude zonal flow speed, and the trade wind speed, while loading lots of positive ions into the equatorial air masses that are being perturbed off of the equator by the underlying patterns of lunar declinational tides into the mid latitudes.
The declination of the outer planets referenced to the ecliptic plane pulls the neutral current sheet North or South of the Earth, and may be a lot of the influence Erl Happ finds in the ion shifts in the polar vortex effects the atmosphere is responding to, have the suspected correlations, or lack there of, been show for investigating the relationship as a quantifiable and track able mechanism for a driver?
This movie will allow everyone to see with there own eyes, what I have been visualizing in my head for several years, so we can figure out the timing and effects of the interactions of the changes of solar transparency [pre-conjunction], and the shift to more cloudiness [post conjunction] and rapid convergence of the jet streams that result in the production of severe weather, additional production of Tornadoes in Spring and increased intensity of Hurricanes in Mid summer to fall. (On top of the normal surges of production at the lunar declinational culminations both South and North.)
Once we have this visual aide to show the dynamic effects in a cyclic pattern then further refinement as to the actual shifts in the timing and duration of these effects can be sorted out and algorithms derived to project their usual timetable of effects.
A program for current active severe weather forecasting could pull up the photos and basic weather maps showing the individual affects of the past three cycles, tiled as three past and the fourth as a composite of the expected repeat forecast, on the other side of the screen, the current most recent photos plotted per frame and the past [10] (selectable #) days looped so as to show the difference between this cycle and the last three for hurricane, and tornado, and hail forecasting.
It is my opinion that a much better understanding of the whole ENSO and ocean basin oscillation patterns can be shown to repeat to the point of real usable long term predictability. NOAA allows free public access to the last three years of GOES photos, I would need to purchase the complete record and assemble the stills into a full length movie then parse out the 27.32 day periods to show the repetition of the cyclic nature.
If any of you know of a better source of the high resolution images for the whole 1975+ GOES series already assembled into movies, it would save some time. My daughter is a graphic designer in the web advertising business and has some connections to commercial grade and retired Navy Comm Center developers who are available for hire to assist in this process, like they did in the automation of the map making process I now use.

John F. Hultquist
December 19, 2010 11:09 am

Jean Meeus says:
December 19, 2010 at 9:35 am
About the picture: is it not strange than in Greenland the boundary between the warm (red) and the blue (cold) regions is a shaply defined, slightly curved line?

No. Being high pressure, cloud production is unlikely except for near surface haze. However, find a picture of a nice “Low” and look at its shape. It will have the slightly curved outer perimiter which you have noted.
There is one here:
Wilky says:
December 19, 2010 at 9:22 am
I would expect that a negative AO will act to cool the planet faster as warmer air makes it’s way to the dark polar region . . .

This sounds a bit up-side-down to me. The “poles” are characterized by High Pressure – meaning the air is subsiding and swirling out near the surface. That air is coming down from near the tropopause and got up there via Low Pressure systems at lower latitudes. It is in those locations where the atmospheric temperature begins to drop adiabatically then continues to drop as radiation outward accompanies its movement away from the Low Pressure centers.
A warm air mass flowing in the direction of cold air will have to rise as it (the warm) is more buoyant – or less dense, if you prefer.

Ian L. McQueen
December 19, 2010 11:12 am

How can we get the map showing Land Surface Temperature Anomaly as shown in this posting? I managed to find one for the whole globe, but it was centered on Europe and I am more interested in North America and Europe only.

December 19, 2010 11:33 am

Can someone add the jet stream on top of the colorful map? I posted a link at “Ray says:
December 19, 2010 at 8:44 am”. I think it will be a perfect fit to the contour of the temperature anomaly.

December 19, 2010 11:33 am

With apologies to Robert Browning:
O, to be in Greenland,
Now December’s there,
And whoever wakes in Greenland
Sees, some morning, newly aware,
That the ice is gone and the green is back,
That the farmers are once again in the black,
While politicos say, “See! We knew how!”
In Greenland—now!

December 19, 2010 11:35 am

Looking at the map, it is clear that Northern Greenland and most of Northern Canada are colder than usual.
However are the nearest weather stations to the arctic ,that GISS use to extrapolate arctic temps, in these colder parts or further south in the warm bits?

CRS, Dr.P.H.
December 19, 2010 12:11 pm

@Pamela Gray says:
December 19, 2010 at 6:25 am
It’s almost worth a dime to get on those AGW sites and talk the game up to see just how far they will go to support their cause.
REPLY: Heh! I’ve been blocked from RealClimate etc. for ages!!
However, I do pop over there once & a while to see what they are up to, this is a comment posted to RC regarding the cold weather, note Gavin’s brilliant & insightful scientific response:
It’s difficult for me to understand how one can evaluate the consequences of the Earth’s passage around the sun, if the local changes are so much unknown. The global consequences are just the sum of local consequences – if they are so many unknown in the local responses of seasons, rains, etc.. how can one evaluate any sensible figure ? and more generally, if the LOCAL variance is higher than the seasonal cycle (which can be true even if the GLOBAL one is not), how can it affect significantly the all day life of people living in some place?
In response, Gavin says:
“Indeed, it is truly a mystery. – gavin”
TRULY A MYSTERY?? I thought the CAGW crowd had all this nailed-down, in-the-box, scientific-consensus etc.!!

December 19, 2010 12:34 pm

The map is showing the difference in one weekly average from the average of seven weekly averages, and this is supposed to tell us what? Or am I reading the map wrong?

wayne Job
December 19, 2010 1:56 pm

I seem to recall that during ice ages the arctic ocean stays ice free. This would explain the moisture in the air needed to create the ice sheets that engulf North America and Europe. The hot spots may be a foretaste of what is to come. Geologists on this site may have some idea as to the conditions in the arctic ocean during an ice age.

December 19, 2010 2:22 pm

Dan says: December 19, 2010 at 8:48 am
Greenland is too hot for me, I’m having Nunavut and I am going Nome.
I-nu-it! They should Nuuk the lot of it.

December 19, 2010 6:31 pm

I remember walking to church on Xmas eve in Sydney in the 1940’s, wearing a thick jumper and feeling cold.
Serves me right!
There’s nothing new in the climate.
We have just entered the cool part of the cycle again.
Last night and this morning it was very cold on our north facing balcony, with a chilly breeze blowing – where’s the cold coming from, north west of Sydney?
Can anybody tell me?

David L
December 20, 2010 2:45 am

If Greenland becomes tropical and the tropics become as cold as Greenland, and the average temperature between the two remains the same, is that Global Warming?

December 20, 2010 4:17 am

rbateman says:
December 19, 2010 at 10:15 am
Agreed… 4 spotless days on the wall. They had a darned penumbra-shaded pore stuck up there for 2 days to pad the count.
A poor pore. I have seen used car salesmen selling Lemons doing a better job than that.

Hi Robert, we can add another day to the toll. All this is happening 12 months after the start of the cycle up ramp. I wonder if this has occurred since Wolf began his count?

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