Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Snap frozen sharks and brutal winter cold will soon be a thing of the past, according to climate scientists.
Cold snaps just ain’t what they used to be, scientists find
BY ANDREW FREEDMAN
The first week of January was the coldest such week on record in most locations in the Eastern United States. It was so frigid that week, and the week preceding it, that sea ice formed around Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay, sharks froze to death on Massachusetts beaches, and alligators went into a resting state while entombed in ice.
One might think that a cold snap like this one all but disproves global warming, or at least refutes the more dire scenarios about winter all but disappearing as the globe responds to sharp increases in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane.
However, the reality is far more complex, scientists say. In fact, it’s getting harder to pull off a cold outbreak of the severity and longevity of the late December and early January Arctic blast, according to a new analysis published on Thursday.
In fact, the attribution analysis, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that the effects of global warming on cold outbreaks like this is to make them warmer than they otherwise would be, by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, the researchers calculated that a cold wave like this occurred about once every 17 years at the beginning of the 20th century, but now can be expected to occur just once out of every 250 years. In other words, there used to be a 5.8 percent chance of such a cold wave occurring in a given year, but now the odds are down to 0.4 percent.
The abstract of the analysis;
Over the last week of 2017 and first week of 2018, a cold wave gripped the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, with temperatures over 18ºF (10ºC) colder than is typical at this time of year over this area, setting records at many sites. We show that the temperature of North American cold waves has increased substantially over the last century due to global warming. So, although this cold spell would not have been unusual before global warming, it is now a relatively rare event in any one region. The chance of a cold wave anywhere in North America is much larger than in this specific location. We do not find any evidence for an intensification of these types of cold waves due to the Arctic warming faster than the midlatitudes. On the contrary, they seem to be warming faster than the winter mean as the Arctic air coming south is less cold now.
Climate scientists who explain that global warming is causing extreme winter cold are simply demonstrating their lack of faith. The climate models tell us that winters full of snap frozen sharks and bomb cyclones can now only occur once every 250 years.