Study: Climate change does not cause extreme winters

NASA's Terra satellite captured this picture of snow across the eastern United States on Feb. 19 at 16:20 UTC (11:20 a.m. EST). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

NASA’s Terra satellite captured this picture of snow across the eastern United States on Feb. 19 at 16:20 UTC (11:20 a.m. EST). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team

This comes from ETH Zurich:

Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

Repeated cold snaps led to temperatures far below freezing across the eastern United States in the past two winters. Parts of the Niagara Falls froze, and ice floes formed on Lake Michigan. Such low temperatures had become rare in recent years. Pictures of icy, snow-covered cities made their way around the world, raising the question of whether climate change could be responsible for these extreme events.

It has been argued that the amplified warming of the Arctic relative to lower latitudes in recent decades has weakened the polar jet stream, a strong wind current several kilometres high in the atmosphere driven by temperature differences between the warm tropics and cold polar regions. One hypothesis is that a weaker jet stream may become more wavy, leading to greater fluctuations in temperature in mid-latitudes. Through a wavier jet stream, it has been suggested, amplified Arctic warming may have contributed to the cold snaps that hit the eastern United States.

Temperature range will decrease

Scientists at ETH Zurich and at the California Institute of Technology, led by Tapio Schneider, professor of climate dynamics at ETH Zurich, have come to a different conclusion. They used climate simulations and theoretical arguments to show that in most places, the range of temperature fluctuations will decrease as the climate warms. So not only will cold snaps become rarer simply because the climate is warming. Additionally, their frequency will be reduced because fluctuations about the warming mean temperature also become smaller, the scientists wrote in the latest issue of the Journal of Climate.

The study’s point of departure was that higher latitudes are indeed warming faster than lower ones, which means that the temperature difference between the equator and the poles is decreasing. Imagine for a moment that this temperature difference no longer exists. This would mean that air masses would have the same temperature, regardless of whether they flow from the south or north. In theory there would no longer be any temperature variability. Such an extreme scenario will not occur, but it illustrates the scientists’ theoretical approach.

Extremes will become rarer

Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. It showed that the temperature variability in mid-latitudes indeed decreases as the temperature difference between the poles and the equator diminishes. Climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed similar results: as the climate warms, temperature differences in mid-latitudes decrease, and so does temperature variability, especially in winter.

Temperature extremes will therefore become rarer as this variability is reduced. But this does not mean there will be no temperature extremes in the future. “Despite lower temperature variance, there will be more extreme warm periods in the future because the Earth is warming,” says Schneider. The researchers limited their work to temperature trends. Other extreme events, such as storms with heavy rain or snowfall, can still become more common as the climate warms, as other studies have shown.

North-south shift makes the difference

And the jet stream? Schneider shrugs off the idea: “The waviness of the jet stream that makes our day-to-day weather does not change much.” Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability.

Schneider wants to explore the implications these results have in further studies. In particular, he wants to pursue the question of whether heatwaves in Europe may become more common because the frequency of blocking highs may increase. And he wants to find why these high pressure systems become stationary and how they change with the climate.

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137 thoughts on “Study: Climate change does not cause extreme winters

    • The climate IS changing…we are sliding towards another Ice Age. All this ‘we will roast to death’ garbage is ridiculous.

    • The hotter you are, the greater is the “noise”. The sun has more temperature variability than does the earth. At absolute zero, there is no temperature variability.
      But the issue here is different. The earth is in a special temperature/condition. We have lots of ice at the poles and next to none naturally elsewhere. Global warming’s end game is no or much less polar ice. This paper says that in the long term if things go in that direction at the rate they are going, then there should be less “force” because of the temperature differences.
      However, in the interim, which could last for centuries but surely decades, we have a destabilizing situation. For example, the little understood polar vortex is moving around and leading to significant cold in some places and warm in others. Statistical analysis of modern weather does show increases in both cold and warm events. How long this increased variability will last before we end up with more plain weather (always hot by equator and plain cold at poles), who knows?

  1. global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

    From a simplistic understanding of a Carnot engine, that makes sense.
    But the current headline of this post does not.

    • Well, warming doesn’t reduce the differential in general, the sun has more temperature variability than something near absolute zero. But on earth we are in an interesting situation (lots of polar ice) and global warming here is indeed moving in the direction to decrease the differential. That said, in the interim we are seeing things like a destabilized polar vortex and resultant extreme highs and lows for many places. At least at a local level, we are seeing more extremes.

  2. From here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150327132207.htm
    “Temperature extremes will therefore become rarer as this variability is reduced. But this does not mean there will be no temperature extremes in the future. “Despite lower temperature variance, there will be more extreme warm periods in the future because the Earth is warming,” says Schneider. The researchers limited their work to temperature trends. Other extreme events, such as storms with heavy rain or snowfall, can still become more common as the climate warms, as other studies have shown.”
    If the variability becomes “rarer” then the temperature differences between air masses which lead to “storminess” should also then be reduced shouldn’t they?

  3. This is certainly compatible with something the CAWG crowd insist upon, which is that the poles will warm faster than tropics, which will reduce not only equator to pole contrasts, but the contrasts across frontal interfaces. Reduce Delta T and efficiency of heat engines declines.

  4. Guess what. next winter will have extremes on the cold side also, most likely in the east or plains.. Nemias papers have to be read and why all mets and climo people dont know this is beyond me. But here they are
    http://www.calcofi.org/publications/calcofireports/v07/Vol_07_Namias.pdf
    http://spo.nmfs.noaa.gov/mfr415-6/mfr415-63.pdf
    this is not me being arrogant, its me giving credit to where credit is due, to people who saw things like this before hand and enabled people like Joe D aleo and myself to have a fighting chance as much as 9 months in advance this year, 6 months last year, to be able to put out ideas of the extremities that were on the way. Again we are not perfect, but by understanding the past, we have a chance.. and thats all it is, a chance to have an inkling of the future. The most baffling thing to me is how many people know very little about Nemias and the work he has done.. The most egregious example is with the AGW agenda people who if they do know about him, do not want it revealed ,but most likely dont given their methodology.
    You know the mark of greatness.. when what someone did before like a Nemias or Bill Gray, grows bigger as time goes by.
    With each passing day, I am more awed by the people that came before me

    • There were three papers in the late 70s or early 80s debunking Steve Schneider’s contention that climate would be more variable in a cooling atmosphere. They showed that cooling or warming made np difference to the variability. They were by DeBoer in Canada, van Loon in the USA, and by the climatologist in Arizona, whose name escapes me.

    • Joe, maybe you should write a post on this. I never heard of them and I’m sure most of those not in meteorology haven’t either. Maybe even those in climatology are ignorant of their work.

    • Nice forecast on the return of winter you made several weeks ago.
      Ballsy on-the-money call.

    • Joe Bastardi thanks for the Namias link great reading!! To this laymen, his 50 year old paper seems contemporary!

    • Interesting Joe. The 2014 summer in the east US was the coolest in many decades because the winter-like jetstream pattern continued (mostly) from the 2014 winter. Then it continued mostly this winter (relaxed a bit in Dec). Seems like the warm water in the eastern N Pacific has alot to do w/the jetstream pattern over N America, so unless that changes….

    • I will back that up Joe. My solar based forecast has super cold hits from early November 2015 into December, and returning February and through March 2016.

    • My Pine Trees in So Cal are showing to me that we will have above normal rainfall for the 2015/2016 rainfall season.

  5. I still don’t get it.
    CO2 has increased because of man.
    CO2 is a well mixed gas.
    CO2 is trapping reflected energy/heat.
    Shouldn’t the heat go up the same, everywhere?
    Same CO2.
    Same energy.
    What gives?

    • I used to wonder the same thing. The explanation I got has to do with absorption of IR by water vapor.
      Suppose you are a photon with the right wavelength to be absorbed by CO2. If you tried to take off from the equator and make it into outer space, you’d be much more likely to bump into a molecule of water vapor (which absorbs at most of the same wavelengths) than a molecule of CO2.
      But at the poles, where it is cold, the air does not contain much water vapor, so now with higher CO2 you can perhaps bump into a CO2 molecule. Ergo, greater warming at the poles if CO2 increases (not that a person notice, because he would have frozen to death).
      That’s the theory as it has been explained to me. Whether any of that is true is a separate question.

      • That’s one. Ice and snow albedo feedbacks are the commonly cited biggies. It’s thought that even those aren’t necessary due to atmospheric and oceanic heat transport to the poles from lower latitudes. The extreme example is Venus, which is essentially isothermal, day, night, polar or equatorial latitude. Here on Earth it’s less of a no-brainer and therefore far from settled.

  6. The cold winters of the last two seasons were cold…but wasn’t it three years ago we were biking in Feb and had a drought in the midwest? I think even with GWing were will still be winter.

    • “I think even with GWing were will still be winter.”
      Repent or ye shall be sent back to the lower dimensions. Repeat after me: Children Won’t Know What Snow Is. Thus spake the Mighty Climate Scientists.

  7. Its obvious, if warmer means that we have less of a difference, then the fact that its more extreme must mean that its getting colder.
    So is that the end of Global warming come climate change come extreme weather. Of course not, its a nice money spinner as per the taxpayers money, so no way will they admit defeat.
    The circus will continue, with all or at least most of the worlds politicians going to Paris this year. After all they must appear to be green, its votes for them, nothing else.

  8. That simply cannot be true. I have it on full authority, from on high, that climate change causes EVERYTHING.

      • Let me guess: a warming planet will cause colder temperatures even though it’s warmer, because science. As a result, there will be more ‘snuggle time’ between a client and a prostitute.
        So while the prostitute earns the same money, she will have fewer clients, but they will buy double sessions instead of the usual single session. This will lead to an increased demand for prostitutes, because while the client base will not shrink (heh), the time spend per client will expand.
        Therefore, more prostitutes.

      • Karim D. Ghantous
        Um, I’m sorry to say but your analysis is not robust. My research is very robust and it tells me that most prostitutes are employed as streetwalkers. In cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, and Minneapolis that experience winter the winter cold tends to diminish this outdoor solicitation. However, the milder winters associated with global warming will extend the length of time that streetwalkers can spend soliciting business. The increased income from this increased business provides additional funds for the prostitutes to pay off the police. Thus, police enforcement of prostitution laws will diminish so that the effects of milder winters will be amplified. My co-investigators and myself call this the amplification erect; oops, I meant ‘effect.’ Believe me, the computer models I’ve been staring … I mean looking at, have indicated that this research is very robust.

      • @Nancy, Bruce and Tom . and here I thought I had a headache after reading the article. (but thanks for the laugh) AGW causing prostitution!!! I read that a few days ago and just about lost another keyboard!

      • There has always been prostitution (oldest profession).
        There has always been Climate Change.
        These two are co-related.
        So next we add some CAGW alarmist logic and we know: Co-relation means causation.
        But, I think The Congresswoman has it wrong.
        It should be.
        Prostitution causes Climate Change.

      • As Grandma would toast in her thick yet svelte brogue “To the CAGW! …not to the kind that burns down shacks & shanties, let’s drink to the heat that pulls down slacks and panties!

  9. “Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change”. I agree with he authors . These global warming alarmists are talking as if cold weather in United States is brand new phenomena that has never happened before , We are having cold winters like we used to have back in the 1950-1979 and again 1895–1920. Global warming was not the cause then nor is it now .Also how can global warming be behind the winter cooling when the annual temperatures have actually been falling since 1998 . Winter temperatures have been declining since 1995 in United States and Northern Hemisphere for 20 years or since 1995. This is another example of the bad science coming from the alarmists who first said that the winters were going get warmer with global warming and when that did not happen they invent these ridiculous claims that the even the public does not buy into..

    • It depends on the type of warming. If it’s longer term warming from a real increase in forcing of the climate, then cold winters will be reduced. But if the warming were predominately a negative feedback to a decline in forcing, such as the sharp AMO warming signal from 1995, then cold winters would increase, as the forcing is lower, and continental interior regions would be drier.
      http://snag.gy/HxdKY.jpg

  10. This is how global warming “science” works. As long as every possible outcome is covered by at least one global warming scientist, SOMEBODY is bound to be right, thereby “proving” global warming.
    Psychics operate the same way. As long as at least one psychic out there has predicted the next major world event (Putin will be assassinated/a Hollywood couple will split/an earthquake will hit Costa Rica, etc.) some psychic will have predicted it, thereby “proving” that psychics are for real.

    • Physics works the same way. Neutrinos are predicted to be massless/with mass/with negative / imaginary mass and then experimenting provides a solution.
      /joking
      There is really a big difference.

  11. In a sane would such a study wouldn’t be needed. It would be like doing a study to find out that most humans, but not all have ten fingers.

  12. These two following statements carry much significance: “Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying…”, and “…he wants to find why these high pressure systems become stationary and how they change with the climate.”
    The first statement, if viewed from the perspective of a greater temperature gradient, would mean the chances would increase for south/eastward moving Arctic cold high pressure systems causing increasing incidents of lower pressure, warmer moisture laden air to be advected northward. The opposite would be in effect for a lower pole/equator temperature gradient.
    The second statement – wow, that is the million dollar question, but I would assume it is related to SST’s.
    I always find Joe’s comments cogent and intelligent. The East Coast being hit with big storms the last two seasons — I always wonder if he was basing his predictions on the La Niñas and the Arctic losing lots of heat the past few years due to less ice coverage. Keep up the good work Joe.

  13. It was always obvious, and the extreme weather meme always was a transparent scare tactic at fundamental odds with the entire AGW hypothesis, tacked on solely for the purpose of swaying scientifically unengaged public opinion. But, kudos to the authors for laying it out in detail so that the panic merchants can be easily refuted.

  14. Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory.

    Dear me, the only worse thing they could have done is used tree rings.

    • It all stands or falls together, Brandon. Either climate models are reliable, and you have to accept that there will be no increase in extreme weather, or they are unreliable, and you will have to concede there is no basis for any type of alarm over increasing atmospheric CO2. So, which is it?

      • Neither. I don’t buy into your dichotomy since not all models are equal. I will say with great confidence that they’re all wrong, and always will be. As to the specific issue at hand — as opposed to extreme weather in general — I have no opinion.

      • So, basically, you pick and choose which evidences you believe and which you do not, based on what you want to believe. Unfortunately, this is not a very good standard for the rest of us to adopt. For one thing, we have no way of knowing at all times and on all subjects precisely what it is you want to believe. Perhaps you could commission an app for that.

      • Bart,

        So, basically, you pick and choose which evidences you believe and which you do not, based on what you want to believe. Unfortunately, this is not a very good standard for the rest of us to adopt.

        I agree. That was my point.

        For one thing, we have no way of knowing at all times and on all subjects precisely what it is you want to believe.

        If you think it’s relevant, which I find odd, all you need do is ask. My answer is already on file: I have no opinion on whether global warming will cause more extreme winters.

        Perhaps you could commission an app for that.

        No amount of software will improve your reading skills by its very existence. You have to decide to improve them. Then the method becomes a matter of choice as to what you find works best.
        Same goes for your intellectual dishonesty.

      • Bart,
        Oh goody, we’re at the pithy barbs phase of you losing the argument. Very well.
        1) Shinola is not meant for polishing the tea service.
        2) You only thought you were using Shinola.

  15. Just another sack of climate hubris not worth the paper it’s printed on.
    Simple climate models made by simple minds.

  16. California has had three extreme winters in a row. Go ahead. Find a climate warmst that will so much as suggest these may not be climate related.

  17. How’s this for a theory…
    The jet stream stays zonal for a long period, allowing ice and snow to build in the northern climes (the Aussies are on their own).
    The snow and ice just keeps building, and creeps further and further south.
    Until the jets get meridional again. Then it melts.
    Melting is good, no ?

  18. They haven’t managed to separate climate change from global warming. They used climate change in the first sentence and global warming in the second, like they were the same thing. How strange. Makes me wonder who proof reads these press releases. The title and the first sentence are wrong. Climate change such as a cooling period or a new glaciation will cause extreme winters and cold snaps. The same climate change that has been happening as long as this planet has been here.

    • Ask any proponent of “Climate Change” whether the climate changes we are “already” experiencing are due to global warming or global cooling. They will answer “Global Warming”.

  19. “Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. ”
    Well those cave-dwelling simpletons. Tut tut. We real climate scientists use SOPHISTICATED climate models.

  20. It is simply a matter of the sign of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations. Increased forcing of the climate by whatever means increases positive AO/NAO. While typically, extreme cold winter months occur during negative AO/NAO episodes. Trying to find an internal solution to the negative AO/NAO episodes will drive one crazy. It’s the Sun doing it at an event scale.
    10.3.5.6 Annular Modes and Mid-Latitude Circulation Changes
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

  21. Such low temperatures had become rare in recent years……………… whether climate change could be responsible for these extreme events.
    ===
    are these people on some drug that makes them totally disconnect from reality……….

  22. You saw the map here on WUWT, the East of the US is 10-20 degrees belowo normal, and the western half is 10-220 degrees above normal.
    So on average, things are normal.

    • Yeah, out west here I wondered why everything was charred and black – until I looked at the thermometer and it was pegged at 220 degrees.

  23. Probably over-simplification will get me into trouble, but…..we hear that the arctic region is unusually “warm” these days. It seems logical to me that if cold air is leaving the arctic and covering central and eastern north America (as it has for so much of this winter), then that cold air must be replaced with air from the south. Which happens to be “warm”. Is this why temperatures in the arctic are “warmer” than usual, or is my over-simplifying working against me?
    Ian M

    • I hear ya. Sort of reminded me of that Jack Black movie where he invented the aerosol spray for dog poop that when sprayed it would disappear. A “doomsdayer was running around the town yelling “where does it go, where does the Poo go?” So when the cold air comes, is warm air replacing it at the poles or is it just less cold air replacing it that quickly becomes colder air because of its location over the poles?

  24. Whilst it’s always refreshing to see something that doesn’t blame global warming for events, the reliance on models shows this is just another example of pseudo scientists having guessing.

  25. “…not only will cold snaps become rarer simply because the climate is warming..”
    Well we may be getting back to the original AGW ideas.

    • The study was not referring to less extreme weather in general.
      “… less frequent cold outbreaks in Northern Hemisphere winter …”

  26. A simplified climate model?
    There are no conclusions in this paper that cannot be arrived at through application of Stefan-Boltzmanm Law. It is some of the most basic physics. Plenty of physicists have been saying this for a very long time. Must be nice to get paid to regurgitate known physics and dress it up as something new.

  27. Unless their model captures the motion of Rossby waves and shows how their amplitude changes and how they are blocked and unblocked, they missed the whole ballgame.

  28. Really? So are they saying strong storms won’t become stronger and weak storms weaker? The hell you say. Lol.

  29. The arrogance of anyone predicting climate beyond a few days ( either warmer or colder ) is like a mosquito on his back, floating down the river and shouting: “Open the draw bridge.”

    • Oh he was funny.
      Even warmists have very different views on what, how much and where, which are the three necessary components of a successful prediction. So many of them will be dead wrong and I don’t believe in averaging the predictions – nor in taking the extremes as the basis of climate politics.

  30. “And the jet stream? Schneider shrugs off the idea: “The waviness of the jet stream that makes our day-to-day weather does not change much.” Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability”
    =========================================
    I am not so certain this is supportable. What drives jet streams is up for discussion and research. Yet loopy jet streams certainly have consequences, bringing North cold further south, and vice versa. (N.H.)

    • The stability of the polar vortex is directly proportional to solar activity, specifically plasma penetration events. The more plasma entering our system the more stable the vortices and, therefore, the more stable the jet stream.
      The converse of this is also true.

  31. “My research is very robust and it tells me that most prostitutes are employed as streetwalkers. […]Believe me, the computer models I’ve been staring … I mean looking at, have indicated that this research is very robust.”
    You worried me. For a moment there, I thought you were actually trying to use data to support your hypothesis. I am glad that you stuck with the purity of the models – untainted by laymen, derived by mathematics and not samples, safeguarded by the Authority.

  32. Schneider wants to explore the implications these results have in further studies. In particular, he wants to pursue the question of whether heatwaves in Europe may become more common because the frequency of blocking highs may increase

    The key word here is MAY. It may increase if it is a linear trend. If it is cyclical, it may increase and then decrease just like the previous cycles. He is hoping to get a decade or so of grants to find out.
    Isn’t climate change great? The market’s wide open!

  33. Cold snaps like the ones that hit the eastern United States in the past winters are not a consequence of climate change. Scientists at ETH Zurich and the California Institute of Technology have shown that global warming actually tends to reduce temperature variability.

    Translation from ‘climate speak’ to standard English.
    Record observed cold temperatures in the eastern United States and eastern Canada in the last two winters are not the consequence of global warming. Record sea ice in the Antarctic for all months of the year, staring in 2012, and the recovery of Arctic sea ice is not caused by global warming. The sudden and unexplained outbreak of record cold temperatures both poles is early indication that global warming is over. A sudden increase in snowfall on the Greenland ice sheet and cooling on the Greenland Ice sheet is not due to global warming. The planet is cooling.
    What we will experience (significant abrupt cooling) has happened before when the sun changes from the most active in 8000 years to a weird type of Maunder minimum state. There are cycles of warming and cooling in the paleo record. In the last 10 years the geomagnetic specialists have determined using multi proxy analysis techniques that the geomagnetic field for unknown reasons suddenly drops intensity and that significant planetary cooling occurs when the geomagnetic field intensity drops.
    A observational hint that something weird is happening is the fact that the geomagnetic field intensity started to drop in intensity at 5%/decade (the geomagnetic field intensity was dropping intensity a 5%/century prior to the mid 1990s) starting in the mid 1990s which is roughly ten times faster than believed possible if the origin of the geomagnetic field is movement of magma in the earth core.
    There is no explanation as to why there would suddenly in the mid 1990s be a massive movement of the magma in the earth’s core. Even if there was some mechanism to cause massive movement of magma in the earth’s core starting in the mid 1990s, a back emf is generated, if the magma change did occur, that resists fast and large changes to the earth magnetic field. The only physically possible method for a change as large as observed and as rapid as observed is a surface change of electrical charge.
    Although we need observations to confirm, it is likely the cooling will be similar to the 8200 BP event. Significant abrupt cooling will be a big surprise, a big media event. During the last two decades we have been told almost daily that the science is settled, all of the warming in the last 50 years is due to the increase in atmospheric CO2. Furthermore we have been told that we must spend trillions and trillions of dollars on green scams that do not work to ‘save’ the planet from dangerous warming. Abrupt significant cooling is only possible if everything we have been told by the IPCC for the last two decades is incorrect.
    http://www.geo.arizona.edu/palynology/geos462/8200yrevent.html

    The 8200-year Climate Event
    This figure shows snow accumulation and isotopically inferred temperature records in the Greenland GISP2 ice core and a temperature record derived from oxygen isotope measurements of fossil shells in the sediments of Lake Ammersee, southern Germany. These records all show a major climatic instability event which occurred around 8200 years ago, during the Holocene. The event was large both in magnitude, as reflected by a temperature signal in Greenland of order 5 C, and in its geographical extent, as indicated by the close correlation of the signal in these two locations. The dramatic event is also seen in the methane record from Greenland (not shown here) indicating possible major shifts in hydrology and land cover in lower latitudes. source: Von Grafenstein et al (1998) Climate Dynamics, 14, 73-81. quoted

    Abrupt tropical cooling ~8,000 years ago
    “We drilled a sequence of exceptionally large, well-preserved Porites corals within an uplifted palaeo-reef in Alor, Indonesia, with Th-230 ages spanning the period 8400 to 7600 calendar years before present (Figure 2). The corals lie within the Western Pacific Warm Pool, which at present has the highest mean annual temperature in the world’s ocean. Measurements of coral Sr/Ca and oxygen 18 isotopes at 5-year sampling increments for five of the fossil corals (310 annual growth increments) have yielded a semi-continuous record spanning the 8.2 ka event. The measurements (Figure 2) show that sea-surface temperatures were essentially the same as today from 8400 to 8100 years ago, followed by an abrupt ~3C cooling over a period of ~100 years, reaching a minimum ~8000 years ago. The cooling calculated from coral oxygen 18 isotopes is similar to that derived from Sr/Ca. The exact timing of the termination of the cooling event is not yet known, but a coral dated as 7600 years shows sea-surface temperatures similar to those of today.” quoted text
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/BardPapers/responseCourtillotEPSL07.pdf

    Response to Comment on “Are there connections between Earth’s magnetic field and climate?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 253, 328–339, 2007” by Bard, E., and Delaygue, M., Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., in press, 2007
    Also, we wish to recall that evidence of a correlation between archeomagnetic jerks and cooling events (in a region extending from the eastern North Atlantic to the Middle East) now covers a period of 5 millenia and involves 10 events (see f.i. Figure 1 of Gallet and Genevey, 2007). The climatic record uses a combination of results from Bond et al (2001), history of Swiss glaciers (Holzhauser et al, 2005) and historical accounts reviewed by Le Roy Ladurie (2004). Recent high-resolution paleomagnetic records (e.g. Snowball and Sandgren, 2004; St-Onge et al., 2003) and global geomagnetic field modeling (Korte and Constable, 2006) support the idea that part of the centennial-scale fluctuations in 14C production may have been influenced by previously unmodeled rapid dipole field variations. In any case, the relationship between climate, the Sun and the geomagnetic field could be more complex than previously imagined. And the previous points allow the possibility for some connection between the geomagnetic field and climate over these time scales.

    http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/416/

    Is the geodynamo process intrinsically unstable?
    Recent palaeomagnetic studies suggest that excursions of the geomagnetic field, during which the intensity drops suddenly by a factor of 5 to 10 and the local direction changes dramatically, are more common than previously expected. The `normal’ state of the geomagnetic field, dominated by an axial dipole, seems to be interrupted every 30 to 100 kyr; it may not therefore be as stable as we thought.

    http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/transit.html

    • And I await your giving concrete real-life observations that do fit your qualitative model, Mr Wilde. Mucho data from over the recent past two winters do reveal the solar influence on ozone, stratospheric warming events, offset polar vortex activity, and therefore the wavy jetstream action we’ve experienced. The data is out there, and I suggest you collect it and use it to demonstrate your model, please. Help yourself.

      • No need, Bob. It is all pretty obvious and should already be obvious to most professionals in the field.
        I’m content to let the planet do the proving.

    • It isn’t at all obvious to everyone. If you were correct that it’s obvious to most professionals in the field, every time there’s a SSW, someone in the field would make a point of it – something that doesn’t happen, and it would be common knowledge, which it isn’t. Can anyone name one well-known person in the field who does that?
      If it were common knowledge, people like Piers Corbyn, who regularly predicts solar-induced SSWs and the weather effects of SSWs, would not be vilified by people who obviously don’t understand what is happening or what he does or says.
      If it were common knowledge, our friend ‘ren’ probably wouldn’t feel the need to regularly post graphics that illustrate what is happening as it happens wrt the polar vortex.
      If it were common knowledge, you wouldn’t need to keep coming back proclaiming your ‘new climate model’, as it would have been accepted long ago, and it would be an “old” climate model by now, and furthermore, it wouldn’t be ‘your’ model anymore, would it?
      How can it be ‘your’ model anyway? What makes it a model? Where’s the rigor?
      You’re a nice guy, non-confrontational, persistent, but you don’t supply much in the way of evidence or examples when you could very easily do that. For example, what particular solar event(s) triggered the latest polar vortex displacements? What happened, and how did it happen? Show us you know the particulars and aren’t hand-waving.
      I wish I could get away with doing next to nothing to prove my points.

      • Bob,
        I note your frustration.
        It is only obvious to someone prepared to go out and see how well my conceptual ‘model’ fits new observations as they come in.
        As for SSWs they occur all the time whether the system is warming or cooling. My contention is that over decades and centuries the net interplay between the sun from above and the oceans from below gradually affects the average length and frequency of SSW events. Greater frequency and persistence gives more clouds and global cooling and vice versa.
        Real world observations of past climate regimes is not detailed enough to rebut or prove my hypothesis so I have to rely on new observations as they arise and then point out how they fit into my proposed scenario.

      • Don’t get me wrong, I do generally agree with what you’re saying. There is actually so much data to collect, one could spend a lot of their time getting and presenting it coherently, regularly.

  34. really? this will be?
    i am waiting eagerly for a new study with opposite conclusions.
    but may be as a conséquence of global warming the rate of publication of studies with “opposite” conclusions will slow.

    • and well if you behead all the people who disagree with agw..i guess well this rate might actually slow.

  35. I quote “It has been argued that the amplified warming of the Arctic relative to lower latitudes in recent decades has weakened the polar jet stream, a strong wind current several kilometers high in the atmosphere driven by temperature differences…”
    Horsefeathers. First, this is not Arctic amplification at work, Polyakoff went looking for Arctic amplification in person and could not find any sign of it, Arctic warming today is caused by warm Gulf Stream water, carried into the Arctic ocean by North Atlantic currents. It started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century, before which there was nothing but slow, linear cooling for two thousand years. There was a a thirty year pause in mid-century but the warming resumed in 1970 and kept on going. Most observations start about 1980 and they have no idea of what happened before this, Carbon dioxide as a cause of warming is completely ruled out because laws of physics do not allow this, In order to start carbon dioxide greenhouse warming youmust put new carbon dioxide into the air. What istgere already is in use and does not count. The Keeling curve shows that no no carbon dioxide wasadded to the atmosphere when the warminh bega. For ffurther details, read E&E 22(8):1069-1083(2011).

  36. From the article:
    “And the jet stream? Schneider shrugs off the idea: “The waviness of the jet stream that makes our day-to-day weather does not change much.” Changes in the north-south difference in temperatures play a greater role in modifying temperature variability.”
    Perhaps you need to understand Meteorology to twig this logical/scientific fail. I do.
    They are saying on the one hand that the DeltaT twixt Equ and Pole is decreasing but also that the PJS waviness does not change much.
    Sorry, it has to, and if readers doubt this, with a bit of effort you can demonstrate this to yourself using a water filled dish in the centre of a turntable. Put drops of ink in the water. Gently heat the rim of the dish with (say) a hair-drier. Rotate the turntable. Observe. Now place an ice-cube in the centre of the dish. Again observe. You will see a much wavier stream of inky water in the region of greatest deltaT in the water (akin PJS) without ice than with. Basic thermodynamics. If a wave gets stuck in one region (eg E US this winter and last) then “severe weather” results.
    Also a “simple model” will not simulate local changes in heat transport which can set up planetary waves in early winter. eg open Arctic seas feeding more moisture into Eurasia to allow a quicker build up of snow field) This factor is known to favour harsher European winters.

    • Tony said:
      “If a wave gets stuck in one region (eg E US this winter and last) then “severe weather” results.”
      That block seems to be due to a west-east SST difference across the north Pacific. A defined north-south SST gradient would tend to force a zonal atmospheric pattern.

      • It may have been … or it may not. My point is that a “stuck” trough north of a meridionally plunging PJS will necessarily produce severe cold in the NH in winter. The E US has more than most of these instances due the Rockies diverting the PJS southwards to it’s lee. If you look up the IA ice sheet geography you will see this pattern reflected in that. Basic Rossby wave/vorticity theory.

      • I would first look at the jet stream pattern when the north Pacific SST pattern is the reverse with a warm west and cold east, and see if that block still occurred there.

  37. Note where the colder air is . Note the air circulation change . Warm air is being sucked into the high Arctic and the North Pole region. Cold air gets pushed out over North America . Changes in global air circulation could be behind these steady SSW events that now last the entire winter instead of just a few during a typical previous winter. But cooling started already in 1995 for the Northern Hemisphere but the alarmists were in a denial mode about cooling of any kind . North Atlantic has also been cooling as the AMO has been dropping since 2003 and the index is almost 0.
    http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=277.78,71.44,397

  38. HH Lamb was telling us the same thing 30 yrs ago.
    Taliking about the little cooling period after the war, he comments:
    Over the years since the 1940’s, it has become apparent that many of the tendencies in world climate which marked the previous 50 to 80 years or more have either ceased or changed…. It was only after the Second World War that the benign trend of the climate towards general warming over those previous decades really came in for much scientific discussion and began to attract public notice.
    VARIABILITY INCREASES
    Such worldwide surveys as have been attempted seem to confirm the increase of variability of temperature and rainfall [since 1950].’’
    In Europe, there is a curious change in the pattern of variability: from some time between 1940 and 1960 onwards, the occurrence of extreme seasons – both as regards temperature and rainfall has notably increased…..
    These variations, perhaps more than any underlying trend to a warmer or colder climate, create difficulties for the planning age in which we live. They may be associated with the increased meridionality of the general wind circulation, the greater frequency of blocking, of stationary high and low pressure systems, giving prolonged northerly winds in one longitude and southerly winds in another longitude sector in middle latitudes.
    Over both hemispheres there has been more blocking in these years… The most remarkable feature seems to be the an intensification of the cyclonic activity in high latitudes near 70-90N, all around the northern polar region. And this presumably has to do with the almost equally remarkable cooling of the Arctic since the 1950’s, which has meant an increase in the thermal gradient between high and middle latitudes.

    And he did not even need a computer model!
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/11646/

  39. “Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. It showed that the temperature variability in mid-latitudes indeed decreases as the temperature difference between the poles and the equator diminishes. Climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed similar results: as the climate warms, temperature differences in mid-latitudes decrease, and so does temperature variability, especially in winter.”
    Increased forcing of the climate produces a more zonal northerly circulation pattern, and increases the temperature difference with Arctic. As through the last couple of years, and the trend from 1979 to 1995:
    http://snag.gy/mfOI7.jpg

  40. “Using a highly simplified climate model….”
    Well that’s already inspired my confidence in the conclusions 🙂

  41. Do we even know what the actual temps across the Poles are? It seems to me they’re both SWAGs based on a very small sample size that is then extrapolated for locations up to 1200km away. How can anyone use such numbers with any kind of confidence?

    • And, across a singularity region. It’s like trying to predict the direction of the lay of a person’s hair on his crown based on measuring it at his ears, collar, and forehead.

  42. Cool photo of all that snow.
    Very impressive the way they sweep the state borders so neatly and precisely.

  43. Using a highly simplified climate model, they examined various climate scenarios to verify their theory. It showed that the temperature variability in mid-latitudes indeed decreases as the temperature difference between the poles and the equator diminishes. Climate model simulations by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    ABOVE FORM THE ARTICLE ,MY REPLY BELOW. I AM GOING TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT.
    That is FALSE. When the AO/NAO are in a negative phase which occurs when higher pressure is present over the poles (warm or less cold ) relative to lower pressure over the mid latitudes (cold or less warm) , the atmospheric circulation becomes more meridional (weak polar vortex) which means more extremes in temperature will be present which by the way I will show on my next post the models did not call for.
    The models used for evaluating AGW theory originally called for a more zonal atmospheric circulation due to a +NAO/+AO becoming more common in response to increasing greenhouse gases. This equates to colder polar regions relative to the lower latitudes which keep the cold air locked up near the poles.
    They have it backwards.

    • Correct. It is Antarctic sea ice that is the direct proxy for rates of forcing of the climate, it increased in extent since 1995, in the same time frame that Arctic sea ice reduction accelerated.

      • I should have said half correct as it pertains to the Arctic. They actually have it upside down and not backwards. But the larger problem is in what they have inside out, so called internal variability.

  44. No l don’t think that climate change causes extreme winters.
    But l do think that a long term pattern of extreme winters in North America over many years would cause big changes to the climate in the NH.
    Because l believe that the trend when North America suffers from a Arctic blast. lt then leads to a mild winter in europe, is just a short term pattern and not a long term trend. The extent of the ice sheets in the last ice age would support this.

  45. Below is common knowledge. The argument this article is trying to make under the present variation of temperature contrast between polar regions and the equator is false.
    In addition it is prolonged solar minimum activity which causes the ozone distribution /concentrations to change between the poles and lower latitudes that has been correlated with a more meridional jet stream pattern (more extreme weather) not Greenhouse Gases /Low Arctic Sea Ice another false argument being put forth.
    “The first type, zonal circulation, is characterised by increasing intensity of the zonal circulation at all latitudes and pole-ward shift of the wind intensity maximums. The circulation is accompanied somewhat by a decrease in the overall range of surface-air temperature between the equator and poles and by an overall increase in the mean global surface-air temperatures. Ocean-surface temperatures tend to increase in high latitudes. The second type, meridional circulation, is characterised by weakening in zonal circulation, shift of the main atmospheric streams toward lower latitudes, and overall decrease in global temperature (Lamb 1972). Both easterly and westerly winds increase during the zonal type of circulation and both decrease in the periods of the meridional type of the circulation.”

    • There’s a big problem with that. A more northerly atmospheric circulation in the northern hemisphere has to mean positive AO/NAO, and that cools the AMO, and is directly associated with faster trade winds, which means increases in La Nina conditions and episodes. That lowers the average global surface temperature, like in 1970-71 and 1973-76.

  46. My own analysis of North American climate is that AMO has the greatest effect on eastern CANADA and the northern part of northeastern US which is the area referred to in the above paper for extreme winters . This was confirmed in peer reviewed paper by MULLER ET ALL including JUDITH CURRY called DECADAL TEMPERATURE VARIATIONS , They found less of an impact on Europe . Sometime, the European weather can come directly across from North AMERICA , if one follows the air circulation and when it is colder and the North Atlantic is colder , this may affect Europe( but western Europe mostly)

  47. Now of course with all things being equal the greater the temperature gradient between the pole and equator the more extremes would come about in the mid latitudes , but I do not think that was their point. I think their point (which is wrong ) was if a meridional pattern(-ao/-nao) is superimpose upon a given temperature gradient between the poles and the equator that the lesser variability in the temperature gradient( which comes about with a meridional atmospheric circulation) between the poles and equator would cause less extremes in temperatures in the mid latitudes which is flat out wrong.
    If that was their point.
    If their point was simply a lesser temperature gradient between the poles and the equator would correlate to less extremes in the mid latitudes then I could see their point.

    • The temperature gradient in the winter polar vortex depends on the speed of the solar wind. Polar vortex expands and contracts depending on the strength of the solar wind. When expands pressure rises in the troposphere above the the polar circle, which enables the exchange of air at high and mid-latitudes. When the vortex is strong exchange is blocked by a strong jet stream.

  48. Eastern United States? I live in the South and have had three consecutive “extreme” winters. At least compared to previous winters. Dang it’s been cold, and snowy, and icy. It’s cold today in the South. What’s up with that?

  49. Wouldn’t it be better to say CO2 doesn’t cause extreme winters. We should’t succumb to this corruption of language. If climate change is now synonymous with warming, then what words/phrases are we going to use to describe cooling?

  50. The study is evidence that global warming and Arctic Amplification supresses cold outbreaks, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. I hope they do a study for the Southern Hemisphere as well.

  51. A better way to look at a meridional atmospheric circulation versus a zonal atmospheric circulation is extremes will be less with a zonal atmospheric circulation because polar air is locked up near the poles.
    How this translates to global temperature averages is complicated because of snow cover changes and cloud cover changes associated with each circulation which could oppose or counter ENSO /AMO phases, associated with each circulation.

  52. I just found out that carbon dioxide acts as a greenhouse gas, trapping extra heat in the atmosphere. Apparently, there is a lot more carbon dioxide in the air than there used to be 100 years ago.
    Is this something to worry about?

    • That is because zonality is less cloudy than meridionality due to shorter lines of air mass mixing around the globe.
      That observation supports my new climate model rather than the Svensmark hypothesis unless cosmic rays can be shown to influence zonality / meridionality but I don’t see how they could.
      It has to be a matter of altering the gradient of tropopause height between equator and poles by altering the ozone creation/destruction processes in the stratosphere differently above equator and poles as per my hypothesis.

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