Climate Craziness of the Week: 'Cold snaps result of global warming'

We’ve just been waiting for this predictable headline to emerge somewhere, and it happened to pop up in Canada’s CBC News:


h/t to Ron Christie in WUWT Tips and Notes

That “new study” from Rutgers? Not even new. They write:

The 2012 paper says melting Arctic ice is weakening the jet stream. This weakening causes the jet stream to dip further south, which in Canada brings severe cold temperatures for prolonged periods of time.

Um, no. The 2012 study by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers they allude to (but don’t mention) is titled:

Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes

Arctic amplification (AA) – the observed enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere – is evident in lower-tropospheric temperatures and in 1000-to-500 hPa thicknesses. Daily fields of 500 hPa heights from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis are analyzed over N. America and the N. Atlantic to assess changes in north-south (Rossby) wave characteristics associated with AA and the relaxation of poleward thickness gradients. Two effects are identified that each contribute to a slower eastward progression of Rossby waves in the upper-level flow: 1) weakened zonal winds, and 2) increased wave amplitude. These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea-ice loss, but are also apparent in summer, possibly related to earlier snow melt on high-latitude land. Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.

So what is being argued is that somehow, Arctic Amplification (making the Arctic warm faster than the rest of the planet) results is bitterly cold air masses that protrude southward from the circumpolar vortex and linger longer. Note in this forecast panel for the next few days, the cold air outbreak is a regional issue. Would CBC care to say that the warm outbreak over Alaska and the North Atlantic (giving some very nice weather to the UK) is also caused by the same mechanism? If they do, then of course it becomes an unfalsifiable belief, essentially a religion.


Dr. Judith Curry has already taken on this nonsense back in January and writes:

Is global warming causing the polar vortex?

by Judith Curry

In a word, no.

And now for the 2nd question: Does the massive cold air outbreak blanketing much of the U.S. disprove global warming?

Same word: no.

The media are mostly  in stupid mode over this one.

Cliff Mass provides a good overview, the punch lines:

The bottom line:  the claims that greenhouse warming causes more cold waves like we have seen  this week really seems to be without any basis in observational evidence or in theory.  The media needs to stop pushing this unsupported argument.

It is SO frustrating that every major weather event causes such claims and counterclaims to be aired, with many media outlets unable to do the minimal research that would allow them to give the public more dependable information. 

All this bogus reporting has done substantial damage, with many American’s believing that global warming is already causing our winter weather to become more extreme, while the observational evidence suggests no such thing.  One day some sociologists will study this situation and the psychological elements that drove it.

The arguments in favor of an AGW impact on the cold air in the U.S. come from Jennifer Francis (see this previous post).

The bitter winter of 1976-77 in the U.S. with its large polar excursions certainly didn’t have anything to do with global warming then, and it would have been absurd then to make such a claim, it is no less absurd now.


Read the whole paper: 1977v002no04-Wagner (PDF)

The “blocking high” slowed down the progression of the jet stream much like Ms. Francis suggests in her 2012 paper, see this pictorial for what happened in January 2014, much like the pattern of 1977:

Except in 1977, “global warming” was the furthest thing from most scientists and journalists minds at the time.





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Jim Cripwell

At times like these, I am ashamed to be a Canadian.


Climates can get colder, right? Or do these Climateers only think it will get warmer?

David L.

Of course warming causes cooling. During the winter when my furnace kicks on, some rooms get boiling hot while other rooms dip below zero F. That’s because Maxwell’s demon is opening and shutting doors furiously, allowing all the hot air to go one way and the cold air to go the other way.
/sarc? You mean that’s not how it works?


Commenting is closed at CBC – how odd that seems to happen on so many occasions…

John Levick

Jim Cripwell, we as Canadians already know the publicly funded CBC is a national embarrassment. The only thing that comes close is the Toronto Star. Cheers from the north shore of Lake Erie.

Mike Maguire

I’ve been using the 1976/77 Winter weather maps to show this for 3 months now. I’ll post those again later this morning.

With few exceptions, I have rarely seen a competent scientist speak truth in plain language.

The media are mostly in stupid mode over this one.

With that one sentence, Dr. Curry recaptures the English language for all the laymen! Her honesty both in her profession and her writings are why I love to read her and trust her over most everyone else on the subject.


I’m waiting for the “new study” that shows manmade CO2 is causing the Sun to weaken.
(Hey, you know it’s coming!)

John S.

Does anybody remember how the movie The Day After Tomorrow ended? Hint: It wasn’t very warm in New York City.

Paul Vaughan

Jennifer Francis appears clearly & thoroughly untrustworthy.
(Why? One can only speculate…)

Crispin in Waterloo

The Day After Tomorrow is one of the most egregious examples of violations of the Laws of Thermodynamics ever to come out of Hollywood. And that includes the movie about the giant killer rabbits. And the bulldozer that had an evil mind of its own. At least the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was ‘believable’.


Anthony: “giving some very nice weather to the UK”
Scotland (which is part of the UK you know) might disagree slightly about the warm bit.
“Most snow in hills in 69 years, says Hamish MacInnes”


Solar it the Reason, Increased activity warmed Western Pacific placing Ridge over the west and Trough in the east.

David Gradidge

And warm snaps are a result of global cooling …….?


Also Solar has direct effect on PDO not like the AMO that has a lag time.

Jim Bo

Does this mean I can sleep comfortably at night in full knowledge that the “National Centers for Environmental Prediction Reanalysis” are looking over the shoulders of those dolts at the “National Centers for Environmental Prediction Analysis”? I hope so.


I tweeted this the other day 1976 Arctic temps and Solar Activity. Arctic same temps then and Solar TSI.

Alan Robertson

When POTUS makes speeches about shutting down the nation’s carbon- polluting power plants and then urges everyone to spread the message of climate doom, it is no surprise to see such propaganda in print.

So, to sum up: Every weather event that happen is because of man-made global warming/climate change and so you need to pay up and surrender your rights.


If this Global Warming keeps up, the Arctic will become a bubbling cauldron surrounded by a doughnut of snow.


AGW, The amazing belief system:
Its proponents can’t debate it in public
When it is dry, it is AGW
When it is wet, it is AGW
When it hot, it is AGW
When it is cold, it is AGW
And those who dare doubt are the most dangerous people in the world.

Greg Locke

Well. Are they really trying to say that we can only have cold winters in a warming world? What caused the cold US winters in the 1930s, 1960s and 1970s then? What caused the little ice age? Like many here like to say, “the stupid, it burns.”


Jetstream is in the tropopause, at the border of the stratosphere as a result of the polar vortex, which is located in the stratosphere. The state of the polar vortex determines the direction of the wind.,72.07,318,72.07,318

Bloke down the pub

When Chicago is covered with 100′ of ice, there’ll still be some who’ll say it’s caused by global warming.

John piccirilli

Add another peer reviewed paper to the 98%……

James Strom

The Francis abstract you post says this–“These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea-ice loss,…”, and while the theory is conceivably correct, this is the wrong year to bring it up, since the later part of 2013 saw a large Arctic ice gain.


AS a matter of record, 1976/77 was an incredibly mild one in the SE of England.
Does seem that there may be a teleconnection between brutal US winter and mild winter in UK?


Don’t get too worked up about the CBC. The Canadian state-owned broadcaster is firmly in the CAGW camp along with the BBC, the Australian ABC, and the rest of the consensus, bobblehead media.


Jetstream is at a height of 300-250 hPa, it is 8 km. The temperature there is almost constant and is currently -60 to degrees C. The air movement is caused by so in the stratosphere, through the polar vortex.


Someone is trying to cheat, without giving any justification.

Pamela Gray

And the solar stupid, it burns too. Possibly more.

tom s

$$$ and the unfalsifiable science of global warming = gravy train.

“The media are mostly in stupid mode over this one.”
Change “this one” to “CAGW” and you’ve got a more encompassing statement.
Can’t correlate a stupid media to global warming however, since the main stream media (in the US anyway) appears to embrace “stupid mode” no matter what the climate does.
Just an observation.

Bruce Cobb

Yes. The global warming, which hasn’t been happening for the past 17 years or so is now suddenly causing these massive polar incursions to the south. Of course.
Pull the other one, CBC.
Far more likely is that, although still “just weather”, it is a further indication that we are, in fact cooling.

Coach Springer

Falsifiable? It’s a good thing we can go back in time and see jet stream activity. No? Perhaps there is still a need at Rutgers for Michael Mann and another tree ring study to prove definitively that jet streams have never behaved like this before.

Ray Van Dune

So if AGW makes some places hotter and some places colder, and those places can vary, there is no weather phenomenon that can possibly disprove AGW. Everything proves Global Warming – yeah, lecture me some more about science.

when they predict it rather than hindsight forecasting then they might have a handle on the processes. Till then its just another disaster movie headline for the media who never let facts [like the co2ers never predicted it but they did predict warming and above av drier winter] get in the way of a good story

Pamela Gray

Reminds me of all such religious arguments. Its “basic tenant” explains everything. And only those that accept it will be saved.
How in the heck did we get here?!?!?!?!? I used to say “save me from religion. Now I have to add “science” and “scientists” to it! And I used to be one!!!

The media is as confused as the rest of us as to what is really real in CC. If the conclusions of scientific data is widely debated by the experts, lay people have no chance of winnowing the wheat from the chaff.
I thought this philosophical look at Climate Change would be of interest here. CC is a complex issue, and this article “An Ontology of Climate Change, Integral pluralism and the enactment of multiple objects” by Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, was helpful to me in understanding the how, what, why that seems to be blocking collaborative agreement and action. It is about 20 pages, but worth the time, IMO. take good care…..
[I]f ontology is multiple, then it is also political. Ecological debates are becoming both more complex and epistemologically distant. The days of environmental crises that can be easily seen and quickly contained are rapidly becoming distant memory. The global environmental problems of the twenty-fi rst century are thus likely to become increasingly multiple as they move further and further beyond our epis- temological reach. What, then, are we to do? With people ultimately talking about different objects, how can we ever hope for consensus and cooperation?….there is still hope. Remember, multiplicity does not necessarily mean fragmentation. All that is solid does not melt into thin air. – Michael Carolan1 So what is the ontological status of climate change (CC)? Is it real or not? Is it happening at an alarm- ing apocalyptic rate or is it environmental hype driven by special eco-interests? Or is it somewhere in- between or some mix thereof? Or might it be something altogether different than what this common binary framing can allow? What if it was very real but not real in the way that we typically think (or feel) about “things out there” in the external world?
This article is about ontology and CC.2 It presents what I feel is a unique view on the topic—at least unique in the context of CC discourse. Although many have presented the many-sidedness of CC—Mike Hulme’s
Journal of Integral Theory and Practice, 5(1), pp. 143–174
ABSTRACT Climate change is a complex phenomenon that is enacted by multi ple methodologies from various disciplines. No single method by itself can “see” or reveal climate change in its enti rety. This raises the issue of the ontological status of climate change and to what degree are the data from these methodological traditi ons pointi ng to a singular or multi ple object. This arti cle explores the ontology of climate change. First, the noti on of ontological pluralism is introduced and linked to climate change. Next, the role of enactment and performati vity is explored in the context of climate change. As a result of this analysis, climate change is presented as a multi ple object with overlapping and divergent dimensions. Issues of hybridity and multi plicity are linked to climate change acti on. Lastly, a framework of Integral Pluralism is presented that addresses the relati onship between epis- temological distance (the Who), methodological variety (the How), and ontological complexity (the What). In conclusion, this arti cle presents fi ve reasons why it is advantageous—philosophically and pragmati cally—to relate to climate change as an ontological plurality.
Follow the above link for more…..

@Pamela Gray
Climate works in mysterious ways.


I am now confused as to what constitutes natural weather for the US as the US has had longer droughts, hotter decades, colder weather…


Attack of Carbonzilla, coming to a theater near you. Nothing can prepare you for the terror to come, as Carbonzilla rolls out of the tropics into the artic and brings total death and destruction across North America. The horror of the frozen deniers will more than you can handle, no place to run, no place to hide from Carbonzilla.


Try getting this through the media: “The last Australian summer was plagued by killer heat waves, wild fires and drought, all caused by global cooling.”

Bruce Cobb

@Sister Michelle,
The first thing you need to do is distinguish climate change, which is real and always happening from the mythical “manmade climate change”, which I assume is what you mean when you say “CC”.
Beyond that, yes, we know that manmade climate change and religion have many similarities. Perhaps you could discuss those.

Jeff Alberts

“And the bulldozer that had an evil mind of its own.”
Killdozer was actually a decent short story, written by Theodore Sturgeon, I believe (going from memory).


in the hottest year ever for Australia-
17 September 2013
Australia’s gross value of farm production is expected to achieve a record of $49 billion* in 2013-14, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Releasing the September edition of Agricultural Commodities today, Executive Director of ABARES, Paul Morris, said the value of farm production was expected to exceed $46 billion for the fourth year in a row.
“This continues the recovery in the farm sector from the drought-affected decade of the 2000s.

ok- so if we have a warm streak- global warming, a cold snap- global warming- what exactly would the weather have to look like for “not” global warming? Global warming- what a joke!

Jeff L

Among other absurdities, this illustrates the meaninglessness of a “global average temperature”. If the rest of the planet stayed at a constant temp & the arctic were to “warm” 10 deg (it hasn’t , this is just for illustration) , the net planetary temp would show “warming”.
Yet, even with that “warming”, this arctic air would still be extremely cold & if that cold air gets displaced, the mid latitude areas effected by those air masses will also be extremely cold, despite the warming. In this situation, there are always compensating ridges (as noted in this post with ridges over Alaska & the North Atlantic, either side of the deep low over eastern North America) either side so the mid latitude temps are net neutral, yet the “global temperature” would up because the arctic was up.
So how meaningful was that measurement of increased global temperature ? Not very.
Furthermore, see this post by Willis :
Although not as extreme as the above example, the above link essentially shows that this is what is happening.

C.M. Carmichael

Good luck for Canadians, nobody with any sense believes the CBC. Between hockey games they just air filler, Coranation Street, commie propaganda and fluff pieces on Olivia Chow. There is a pocket of gullibility called Toronto that may in fact eat this crap up, but for the most part the CBC is regarded as a joke, just like the Maple Leafs.