Quote of the week – climate induced 'extreme weather' has long been a concern of climate scientists


As the subzero ‘polar vortex’ that froze the nation turns into the latest selling point for global warmers, with even the White House getting in on the act, it is important to turn to history, because all this extreme weather hullabaloo has happened before.

Except, the situation was different, they were trying to tie it to global cooling, not warming.

“As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval…the trend shows no indication of reversing.”

Time magazine, June 24, 1974, “Another Ice Age?”

h/t to David Deming

You can read it here: http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html

From a guest post by David Middleton on the subject:

The full text of the article can be accessed through Steve Goddard’s Real Science.

TIME, like most of the mainstream-ish media, has acted like a climate weathervane over the years…

Dan Gainor compiled a great timeline of media alarmism (both warming and cooling) in his Fire and Ice essay.

While the 1977 TIME cover was a fake, this 1975 magazine cover and article were very real…

Energy and Climate: Studies in Geophysics was a 1977 National Academies publication. It featured what appears to be the same temperature graph, clearly demonstrating a mid-20th century cooling trend…

The mid-20th Century cooling trend is clearly present in the instrumental record, at least in the northern hemisphere…

So, why are the warmists so obsessed with denying this? Is the mid-20th century cooling period so “inconvenient” that it has to be erased from history like the Medieval Warm Period?

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January 9, 2014 9:33 am

This post from Steve is an excellent post to look at along with this article….

lurker, passing through laughing
January 9, 2014 9:34 am

This reminds me so much of superstitious religious fanatics: No matter what happens, it is the hand of God. A tortilla with an interesting mark: a sign from God. A cow dies? A portent. A comet passes in the sky, a message form God.
AGW is pernicious because it enables its true believers to fool themselves into thinking they are on the “side of science”, and are not simply indulging their prejudiecs and predilections.
Think on this: If extreme weather was in fact becoming more frequent, then why do we typically have to look back 20 or more years to find the prior examples?

January 9, 2014 9:38 am

I believe the warmist argument is thus: “Well sure TIME magazine and other media sources talked about global cooling but there was never a bonafide, genuine, 100% authentic Scientific Consensus™ like there is about warming today!”

January 9, 2014 9:39 am

This post from Steve is an excellent post to look at along with this article….
Unless all 3 of those temperature series have been calibrated to the same base period, that is a completely useless graphic.

January 9, 2014 9:43 am

Scientific Consensus with a trademark. Best laugh I’ve had all day. Thanks.

January 9, 2014 9:47 am

And while I believe that yes C02 has certain radiative properties, “climate change” -at least so far -is largely a product of the ‘availability heuristic’: http://psychology.about.com/od/aindex/g/availability-heuristic.htm

Mike Maguire
January 9, 2014 9:53 am

Regarding the movement of the Polar Vortex. The alarmists are preying on
1. People’s longer term memory(especially young adults that haven’t been around a long time) being cloudy
2. Lack of meteorological expertise
3. Lack of readily available weather records that go back 100 years
As an operational meteorologist for 31 years, I have all 3 in spades.
The portrayal of the Polar Vortex as an extreme event, supposedly displayed as a result of Global Warming/Climate Change is complete hogwash. It has happened many, many, many times before CO2 levels went way up.
In, fact it would be more strange if it never happened and is a normal part of how this planet rebalances the disparate heat/energy imbalances.
The lower latitudes receive more heat/energy by many orders of magnitiude more than the higher latitudes. The greater the imbalance, the greater the amount of meridional flow(and potential) energy in the system.
During the 1980’s/90’s with global warming increasing temps most in the Arctic and decreasing the temperature disparity, there was less need for meridional flow and extreme events.
Global cooling is more likely to increase severe weather and extreme weather.
To make anything out of the Polar Vortex moving so far away from its average position is to imply that weather systems are not supposed to move outside of a regional boundary that is defined by their origin or conditions that led to them to acquire their noteworthy characteristics.
If these were the rules on our planet, the weather would stay pretty much the same most of the time everywhere.
The Polar Vortex moving so far south was clearly extreme weather but is supposed to happen from time to extreme time as it always has because of the physics that rule our atmosphere.

Mike Freeman
January 9, 2014 9:55 am

@ lurker
Any particular reason you threw in the nasty hack at people of faith or is it just because you’re a hateful bigot?

January 9, 2014 10:01 am

Perhaps there is a distinction between “people of faith” and “superstitious religious fanatics”?

January 9, 2014 10:14 am

Mike Freeman, I believe lurker was throwing a “nasty hack” at “superstitious religious fanatics”. If that describes you, then you probably think he is also a hateful bigot. Ho-hum, lighten up.

January 9, 2014 10:18 am

The term “inconvenient” seems to pop up a lot. 😉
Maybe the term is inconvient?

A C Osborn
January 9, 2014 10:19 am

Mike Freeman says: January 9, 2014 at 9:55 am “Hateful”?
Full of Hate for people of Faith?
He said “superstitious religious fanatics”, are you suggesting that there are no superstitious religious fanatics?

A C Osborn
January 9, 2014 10:20 am

Mike Freeman says: January 9, 2014 at 9:55 am “Hateful”?
What did he says that displays this “HATE” that you accuse him of?

Peter Miller
January 9, 2014 10:30 am

Where are the alarmists when you need them.
The global temperature has remained almost stationery for over 17 years now, according to the satellite data and a lesser period for the homogenised/manipulated data from ground readings.
Any argument there?
No? So what is suddenly causing all these ‘extreme weather events’, if there is no change in the temperature?
Answer: Mann (and others) made fantasies.

January 9, 2014 10:31 am

Given that there is most likely a 60 year cycle to the weather, that means that for just about everybody, todays weather (whatever its warm or cold nature) is going to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ event (depending on how good your memory is from under 10 anyway)!

Frank K.
January 9, 2014 10:31 am

I remember when the Polar Vortex(tm) used to be the “Alberta Clipper”… 🙂

A C Osborn
January 9, 2014 10:33 am

MattN says: January 9, 2014 at 9:39 am “Unless all 3 of those temperature series have been calibrated to the same base period, that is a completely useless graphic.

Wrong, the graphs show that the Temperatures as understood by the Scientists of the day and the older people like me who lived through some of those years went up 1 whole degree in only 60 years and down nearly 3/4 of a degree in only another 30 years.
And yet the whole warming of a century coming out of the LIA is only just over a degree.
Whats up with that is the Hockey Stick and Current Temperature data manipulation which has removed that 1 degree from the historic record.

January 9, 2014 10:37 am

Cannot resist…

January 9, 2014 10:39 am

I see a tie in here to Chris Christie as I’ve been trying to re-publicize Christie’s AGW stance, as Republicans don’t go for that and now that Christie has perhaps been given a bit of a jab on the lane closure thing I want to finish the one two punch on him. Christie has been effusively supportive of the AGWers, and especially on Sandy he went along with Obama on at least implying that Obama was 100% right that it was a climate change thing, and Romney was wrong… a week before the election! So here’s a 2 minute video of Christie, from just two years ago, obsessing in agreement with the leftists, even talking of the continuing rise in temperatures when at that point we’d had 13 years on no warming, really it’s pitiful for a “Republican,” see it yourself:

January 9, 2014 10:46 am

Reblogged this on leclinton and commented:
The internet and those of us with memories of this have to point this fact out to everyone that will listen .

Paul in MI
January 9, 2014 10:50 am

I believe an Alberta Clipper is more a wave/front of cold air, than the cyclonic vortex. Both of these events have happened before and will happen again. All I know, is that it probably cost me a car battery.

PeterB in Indianapolis
January 9, 2014 10:50 am

The government will always attempt to control the people through fear. If people had any sense, they would clearly recognize the alternations between “we are all gonna freeze!” and “we are all gonna fry!” scare tactics every 30 years or so.
Given the “normal” climate cycles, the “every 30 years or so” should be a dead give-away that what is going on is perfectly natural, but the vast majority of people will never see this and will simply believe the “experts” when they claim that the heating (or cooling) is caused by something that we are doing that now “must be stopped” (for the greater good, of course!)
The best definition of “expert” I have ever heard is “X is the unknown quantity, and spurt is just a drip under pressure”.

Gail Combs
January 9, 2014 10:51 am

RichardLH says: @ January 9, 2014 at 10:31 am
…. depending on how good your memory is from under 10 anyway!
The snow is over my head! I lived in the lake effect snow belt of New York state and I was very short, still looking up at door knobs in second grade.

Reply to  Gail Combs
January 9, 2014 12:43 pm

@Gail Combs – yea, but when you tell the kids, do you show them how high on their bodies or on yours? 😉

Kevin Kilty
January 9, 2014 10:52 am

Since climate and weather are random processes, does anyone, including climate scientists, know the distribution of any climate/weather observations well enough to say that any particular observation is extraordinary? Hansen’s 99% probability claim in his 1988 Congressional testimony implies he must have had in mind some distribution–normal most likely. Since he never explained what distribution he had in mind, and defended its use, his testimony was hyperbole.

January 9, 2014 11:06 am

Mike Freeman, why do you think that believing in a Fuehrer makes you a better person? I mean, the difference is not whether your Fuehrer is in Heaven or in the Reichstag – the difference is whether you are a man yourself or whether you need someone greater than youself as your guide. You have outed yourself as having the mindset of a mere slave. Sorry for you.

Robert W Turner
January 9, 2014 11:09 am

I’m much more worried about the hijacking of the media by radical liberals than I am of the weather.

PeterB in Indianapolis
January 9, 2014 11:11 am

Actually, as I remember it, the Alberta Clipper was a low pressure system with a tailing cold-front originating in Canada that would blanket the “upper Midwest” with 2 to 6 inches of snow, usually followed by the intense cold (now known as the Polar Vortex).
I also remember the dreaded “Panhandle Hook” which was a low pressure system out of the Pacific that would dip down into the Texas Panhandle, pick up a ton of moisture from the Gulf, and then rocket up towards the “upper Midwest” and blanket the region with 8-12 inches of snow.
Those were the days!

Matt G
January 9, 2014 11:30 am

I have spotted the main reason why global temperatures show difference between different time periods. The key is not the adjustments done to the northern hemisphere (NH) data, but mainly what was done to the southern hemisphere (SH) data.
The graph below shows the cooling during the HADRUT4 NH compared with later warming global period from RSS..
What you will notice there has been little warming over recent decades compared to the 1940s.
The graph below shows stable much cooler temperatures during HADCRUT4 SH compared with later warming global period from RSS.
The graph below shows how adding the SH temperatures for the recent warming show little difference in trend and about as much warming if not more.
How did the SH not warm until the 1940s and not cool until the 1970s, but the NH did?
Doesn’t the SH behave differently to the NH?
Not according to recent data during the satellite era, where both the NH and SH have warming similarly during this period, with the NH warming a little more.
The Arctic during the early 1940s also show little difference to the trend in global temperatures of recent years and show hardly any warmer now than before.
The SH data looks incorrect to me especially for the period just before satellites and the cooling that had suppose to have occurred. The less available SH station data and secretly keeping this period much cooler has resulted in a big difference in global temperatures between the 1940s and recent decades. The SH is suppose to warm and cool less than the NH, but the change in trends is likely deliberately done and is dishonest IMO. The SH has changed from no warming and cooling between the 1940s and 1970s to a warming trend hardly no different to the NH, how is that even possible?

January 9, 2014 11:41 am

The UK Met Office has just pulled the rug from under the Prime Minister’s feet. Is the Met Office suffering from a dose of realism? Are they fed up of being mocked?

Guardian – 9 January 2014
Too early to link UK extreme weather to climate change, says Met Office
Agency at odds with David Cameron’s linking of recent heavy rainfall and storms with climate change

Of course it’s too early as no research paper into this issue has had time to be conducted. It was a wild arse guess as usual.

Berényi Péter
January 9, 2014 11:41 am

For the overlapping period HadCRUT4 and the 1977 figure from Energy and Climate are the same, except they are not.
Somehow, I am sure no one has the faintest idea why, 4 decades of intensive cooling (0.88 K peak-to-peak) all but disappeared from HadCRUT.
see Intercomparison

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
George Orwell, 1984

The cooling from the late 30’s to the late 70’s was very real, I can see why people got anxious about the coming deep freeze.

January 9, 2014 11:58 am

Mike Freeman says:
January 9, 2014 at 9:55 am
@ lurker
Any particular reason you threw in the nasty hack at people of faith or is it just because you’re a hateful bigot?
I know I shouldn’t go here (so snip at will, Mods).
Where did you get hateful ?
Is “bigot” the new term to use when there is a difference of opinion ?
You might want to visit websites more to your liking.

January 9, 2014 12:07 pm

Global warming and cooling scares are nothing new. Here is over 150 years of alarmism starting at various stages.
“Fire and Ice”
“150 Years of Global Warming and Cooling at the New York Times”
Farmers Almanac timeline of scares
“The 1970’s Global Cooling Compilation”

January 9, 2014 12:07 pm

Extreme reaction to extreme westher is not a new phenomenon…

They were absolutely certain back in the LIA that this couldn’t possibly be “natural”. The result was a literal witch hunt. Sound familiar?

January 9, 2014 12:14 pm

There was another cool period that caused people much grief. Then, as now, they had to find a way to blame man (or rather woman). Instead of direct human sacrifices our modern day Messiah complex sufferers prefer freezing old people to death during winters and depriving the poor of energy through higher energy costs. It’s happening right now in the UK and USA as I type.

Bohringer – pp 335-351 – 1999
Climatic Change and Witch-Hunting: The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Mentalities
…During the late 14th and 15th centuries the traditional conception of witchcraft was transformed into the idea of a great conspiracy of witches, to explain “unnatural” climatic phenomena……Scapegoat reactions may be observed by the early 1560s…..extended witch-hunts took place at the various peaks of the Little Ice Age because a part of society held the witches directly responsibile for the high frequency of climatic anomalies and the impacts thereof……
Christian Pfister et. al. – 1999
Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis
Peasant communities which were suffering large collective damage from the effects of climatic change pressed authorities for the organization of witch-hunts. Seemingly most witches were burnt as scapegoats of climatic change.
Christian Pfister – 2012
Climatic Extremes, Recurrent Crises and Witch Hunts
Strategies of European Societies in Coping with Exogenous Shocks in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
Finally, by confirming the thesis advanced by Wolfgang Behringer relating extensive witch hunts during that period to climatic change and recurrent subsistence crises, this article makes a plea for bridging the gap separating studies of climate from those of culture.
doi: 10.1177/097194580701000202

Bob Diaz
January 9, 2014 12:51 pm

I don’t have the exact data to back this up, but this massice drop in temperatures has happend before. I recall about 25 – 30 years ago artic conditions forced temperatures in mid-Idaho into about -20F. It would be nice to have a list of artic chills that have happened before.

Alan Tomlin
January 9, 2014 1:04 pm

Watch this CBC national (Canada) interview of Michael Mann, Jan 7/2014. Note his intro as Nobel co-winner by the CBC interviewer, Susan Bonner!? Weep over his comments……

January 9, 2014 1:22 pm

pity bbc doesn’t do transcripts of these progs.
on “world business report” today, Swiss Re rep on how there are far less of these extreme freeze-ups in the USA today, which would therefore be evidence of man-made global warming; Hudson Insitute’s Irwin Stelzer on Al Gore’s irrelevance today, war on coal, etc.
BBC: Weird Weather
Duration: 29 minutes (MOSTLY ON “WEIRD WEATHER”)
First broadcast:Thursday 09 January 2014
Extreme weather in the US sparks renewed debate over climate change.

January 9, 2014 1:42 pm

When the greenies realized there was no way to tax our way out of global cooling the magic bullet became global warming and a well-known industrial gas and plant fertilizer became the demon. (BTW, taxing our way out of it is actually the scam – there is no intent to have an end game for carbon as it would ultimately lead to yielding all the control it brings.) It is a controllable substance and can even be metered. It was perfect for the purpose and could be blamed for cooling, warming, rain, wind, storms, tornadoes, and more. It was the perfect foil, a gift delivered from God above. CO2 and its badly formed alias, carbon, has since been demonized as the worst thing to hit the world since Christopher Columbus and the principles of the free market.

January 9, 2014 1:58 pm

9 Jan: BBC: Storms’ link to climate change uncertain – Met Office
The recent storms that have brought heavy rain and floods to much of the UK cannot definitely be linked to climate change, the Met Office has said.
A spokesman said that was “a research project which hasn’t been done”.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister David Cameron said he “very much” suspected that an increase in abnormal weather events was linked to climate change…
In terms of the global picture, he (Met Office, Dan Williams) said, “there has been some observed increase in some types of extreme weather and there is some evidence, depending on which types of extreme weather you are talking about, of a link between man-made climate change and some types of extreme weather”.
He added: “You can’t say definitively that an event is caused by climate change and climate change only because we have always had extreme weather.
“But the chances of extreme weather occurring may have altered because of climate change. So it would be consistent with the picture we have seen of increasing rainfall in the UK over the past few decades.”…

Gail Combs
January 9, 2014 2:08 pm

philjourdan says:
On the door :>)
The Highest Single Day Snowfall was 30 inches and highest for the month of January was 83.5 inches and for the month of March 75.5 inches. (Too freakin cold to snow much in February so only 51.1 inches.
The lowest recorded temperature in that town was -35°F in 1957. I remember that too because I almost froze to death and I mean that literally. Frost bite, hypothermia and all that. Think screaming wind and a small girl weighing 40 pounds in a dress, because girls had to wear dresses, walking a mile because the bus couldn’t make it through drifts on the unplowed road. I’ve hated dresses ever since.

Kevin Kilty
January 9, 2014 2:34 pm

A better reference to “global cooling” than Time magazine would be a 1975 National Academy of Sciences report. I’m 50(0) miles from home right now, but I’ll post the reference if I can locate it in my notebooks.

January 9, 2014 3:59 pm

The initial impetus for US funding of large scale climate research of the late 1970s and 80s was to investigate the harbingers and timing of the next ice age as insurance against a catastrophic surprise onset.

January 9, 2014 3:59 pm

IIRC, in the 1990s they were saying that STRENGTHENING of the Arctic vortex was responsible for GW. And now the culprit is its WEAKENING?

January 9, 2014 4:02 pm

Oops a vital mistake: “responsible for GW” should read “responsible for bad weather in the northern hemisphere”.

January 9, 2014 5:08 pm

And in the meantime, Delhi (not usually regarded as a site for the Winter Olympics) is having a particularly severe cold spell. Pagett, M.P., would have rejoiced*.
Must be caused by Global Warming.

January 9, 2014 5:46 pm

The record is in denial.

Mac the Knife
January 9, 2014 6:29 pm

Eric Simpson says:
January 9, 2014 at 10:39 am
Christie is a RINO (Republican In Name Only). Punch away, if it makes you happy…

January 9, 2014 6:36 pm

Apparently, parts of Niagara Falls were frozen due to the polar vortex. I have no imagry or links at this time.

Mac the Knife
January 9, 2014 6:42 pm

Thorsten says:
January 9, 2014 at 11:06 am
Mike Freeman, why do you think that believing in a Fuehrer makes you a better person? I mean, the difference is not whether your Fuehrer is in Heaven or in the Reichstag – the difference is whether you are a man yourself or whether you need someone greater than youself as your guide. You have outed yourself as having the mindset of a mere slave. Sorry for you.
Mike Freemans statement was a bit presumptive and rude. Yours was way over the top. Der Fuehrer? Slavery? Really????
Sorry for both of you,

Henry Clark
January 9, 2014 9:10 pm

Is the mid-20th century cooling period so “inconvenient” that it has to be erased from history like the Medieval Warm Period?
For them, yes. That way they can say the hockey stick of (their) temperature history mismatches the double peak of solar activity history, instead of people noticing how really both were double peaks over the past hundred years which match up well (as illustrated along with much more too in http://img250.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=45311_expanded_overview2_122_15lo.jpg ). The CAGW movement doesn’t fear skeptics blaming variation in the global temperature index on variation in the AMO index, for the AMO index is just another temperature index itself by definition. They do fear spread of knowledge of the solar-temperature truth they buried by data adjustment, by revisionism of history.

Gunga Din
January 10, 2014 6:55 am

A question. We had a “derecho” pass through may area in recent years. I didn’t remember ever hearing the term before. Now we just had a “polar vortex” pass through and, again, I don’t remember ever hearing the term before. Both terms seem to be legitimate descriptions of weather events.
Such things have happened before but is it only in the last few years that such terms are being used to describe them to the public or have I just not noticed them before?
PS I live in central Ohio if that makes a difference.

Chris R.
January 10, 2014 12:40 pm

To Gunga Din:
The “polar vortex” has been around for a long time. Essentially,
it forms nearly every winter in some location in the far North. It
may persist for quite some time. For example, when the the
U.S. east coast had several very strong snowstorms during the
winter of 2009-2010, this was because the polar vortex was over
SE Canada. This resulted in steering several lows into an optimal
path for delivery of strong east coast snowstorms.
I had never heard the term “derecho” before 2009. However,
the term had evidently been coined by a meteorologist as far
back as the late 1800s. I believe the “derecho” events in the
U.S. Midwest of 2009 were mentioned in a WUWT posting
a few months later–the essence of the post was that such
events occur normally every few years.
Our good Web log host may be able to shed some insight into
whether the term “derecho” was in widespread use during the
early stages of his career as a working meteorologist.

Chris R.
January 10, 2014 1:08 pm

Whoops! My error. I did a search on WUWT for the
relevant posting on the occurrence of a “derecho”.
I found that the posting was not in reference to the
Midwest “derecho” of May, 2009, but was in reference
to a “derecho” in June, 2012, which began near Chicago
and reached the Chesapeake Bay (including the the
suburbs of Washington, DC) before dissipating.

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