Claim: Climate Change Made the US Deep Freeze Warmer

Giant blocks of ice wash ashore at Cape Cod (2015)

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


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In fact, the attribution analysis, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found that the effects of global warming on cold outbreaks like this is to make them warmer than they otherwise would be, by about 4 degrees Fahrenheit.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.

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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.

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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.

93 thoughts on “Claim: Climate Change Made the US Deep Freeze Warmer

      • I don’t know where you are, but it was 50 degrees at noon today and by 5 PM it was 23 degrees. Monday night will be back below zero. This is NOTHING new. I also remember 1967 in January when it went into the low 60’s and two days later we had 27 inches of snow. It’s called WEATHER.

      • We were talking about NY harbor so that’s where I was referring to, and yes it is weather. By the way it’s a balmy 46 right now in NYC. A lot of the ice on the harbor has floated down from further north.

  1. Unreal . I said this in jest last week, that it caused the extreme cold but because of climate change the 20 days ending Jan 10 was not as cold as 83-84 ( analog I showed in early December) I did it to point out the absurdity of an argument that says it gets cold because of their idea, but is not as cold too. They actually do it. You cant make this up. Climate ambulance chasers

    • New law of climate science: No matter how implausible a parody of a climate explanation you try to create to mock the climate faithful, someone, somewhere will present your parody as a serious explanation for a weather event.

      • Old law of climate science: no matter how outrageous or absurd…they’ve already thought of it and used it

      • New law of climate science? Actually it’s an old law: “you can’t prove a negative.” That’s why science has protocols against such, by refusing to admit false positives with no proof, and this is prevented via instituting rigorous standards for rejecting the null hypothesis against any proposed alternatives.
        However these standards were completely ignored in the case of AGW, and so the entire case has to be thrown OUT.

    • You have to love Freedman’s use of research where short term cycle trends are assigned century and longer status.
      Those bozos ignore centuries of climate cycles so they can utilize extremely short term trends. These researchers note that historically similar events occurred fifty and one hundred years ago; but they then apply their short term trend claims along with their belief that CO2 magic means long climate cycles will never return.

      All, to place another daft excuse on the CO2 altar of failures and busted predictions.

      • ATheok: what I love even more, is how he arbitrarily assigns measurement periods to the turn of the century, as if there is actually a difference in centuries when it comes to climate. So he talks about the 20th century, and what’s expected for the 21st LOL
        I’m not Albert Einstein, but I don’t think time works that way.

    • Just as youth reportedly think the book 1984 is and instruction manual, climate scientists see every objection or point made as a contest to see who can first produce a peer-reviewed paper on why global warming caused the phenomena or didn’t. Normal scientific discourse is no longer possible, and stay far away from speculation. That really pushes them off the rails.

    • Joe B! I “discovered” you only about a year ago and have been very impressed with your successful forecasts, especially when compared against the world-wide echo chamber of unhinged hacks (who’ve somehow convinced the masses -even otherwise smart people- that they are experts in this field. Expert idiots, perhaps. Other than that – meh.) In addition to YOUR ACTUAL measurable expertise, I give you a world of credit for even bothering to look into, let alone respond to, the moronosphere were orbits Phil and his ilk (Philk?). I’ve tried discussing and/or arguing with turnips like this and find it a pointless use of the finite moments of my life. But God bless ya Joe and keep up the great work!

    • Warmer, huh? Yeah, after our little ‘warm snap’ this week (not an unusual thing in my kingdom) the REAL temperatures dropped back to the low 20s and mid-teens in about an hour, when the cold front from Siberia/Alberta/Great Frozen North passed through here on its way Eastward.

      I did my errands-running very quickly yesterday, because I knew that cold snap was coming. High Thursday was 69F w/rain. Temps dropped like a stone in less than an hour, and AM temp (local) is 20F and will drop to 19F by sunrise. I checked last year’s temps for the same dates: same temps, same sloppy, icky weather.

      Just as a side note, while I was at the grocery store, I passed by some young lady wearing short shorts and flipflops, on the phone with someone complaining that she hates climate change because it makes her wear winter clothing.

      I kid you not. Some things you simply can’t make up.

    • Eric Holthaus: correct our understanding of meteorology? That’s nothing! climate change has taught us that the entire standard scientific method is all wrong, and that there is no longer any need to prove alternative propositions to the null hypothesis of all scientific knowledge established in history! That’s right, any random claim can now be accepted as a positive absolute, against which the null hypothesis must be proven as a negative– and for those who say that’s impossible, that’s okay too since logic need not apply!
      Thank Obama for climate change, because actually having to prove one’s position was was just so old-school and unliberated.
      Just like picking presidents on the basis of qualifications– if we did that, we would have gotten President John McCain or Mitt Romney! And then where would climate change be? Right back in the library under “children’s fiction” next to Harry Potter!
      Good thing we dodged THAT bullet, we would have to throw out the entire climate change issue for all time if we follow the standard scientific method.

    • Christ. HTF do these people look at themselves in the mirror?! You’d think a toxic concoction of stupidity coupled with the deep seated knowledge that they’ve either blatantly lied, or said something SO DUMB that people laugh at them would have caused a leap off a bridge by now. But I guess I’m remembering sad choices made by those who felt desperate because they flouted standards in a world that still had standard for honesty and integrity (esp in science)! God help us.

  2. A week ago tomorrow it was -39.6 C, Obviously NO greenhouse gas climate warming gases were present in my backyard, or several million backyards. Actually, just a winter day here, and for large areas, of Canada.

      • As Ed Bo will tell you they are still photons, it doesn’t matter where they come from, they will still be absorbed and heat up whatever they hit.
        SB be damned.

    • Davis: well that proves it, since if they were greenhouse gases in your backyard and it couldn’t have been that cold LOL
      And it also proves it, because everything proves it. For the simple reason that you can’t prove a negative, and AGW has been a asserted as a positive… and who needs all that “proof by the scientific method” thing? Everyone knows that’s just a fossil fuel industry plot LOL

  3. “sharks froze to death on Massachusetts beaches,”

    Sharks don’t normally spend much time on beaches, do they? The ocean they swim in is liquid (above freezing), isn’t it? How did live sharks freeze?

    • Consider a shark out to sea off Portsmouth, NH, well north of Cape Cod. The shark heads south looking for warmer water. If the shark follows the coast too closely, it comes down *west* of the outer cape. The outer cape hooks up to the north, and the shark is effectively penned into Cape Cod Bay. The shallow and relatively calm waters of the bay are susceptible to freezing as shown by the picture of ice on the beach, above.

      You can even see Green and Leatherback turtles in the bay (both species are tropical/sub-tropical). Apparently they ride the Gulf Stream up north, then get snagged in the bay on their way back south.

      • Land sharks, indeed.
        We are getting pretty sick of the cold up here, so let’s all take a break.
        Here are your tropical land sharks.


  4. No matter how little effort or how much effort is put into preventing it, the climate will always change.

  5. Yes, absolutely *everything* is caused by human-caused CO2. The Alarmists tell us so.

    This looks like a normal winter to me. It gets cold for a few weeks, and then it warms up for a few weeks and then it gets cold for a few weeks and then it warms up again.

    In a couple of weeks the Alarmists will be citing the warm weather on the U.S. East Coast as being caused by human-caused CO2. Right in the middle of winter, and it warmed up!!!

  6. Coclusion from warmist argument: So it was a record-setting cold in many places, but it could’ve been even colder were it not for AGW.

    So what’s the problem?
    None. AGW is a non-problem with likely benefits. Those benefits far outweighing costs in any attempt to fix weather by beggaring ourselves before a pagan religion and its carbon demon.

    • What “could have been” is not a testable hypothesis, therefore not science. You can’t turn back the clock, run the same weather pattern with slightly different components, and determine what could have been. That’s like saying, “If I’d married Suzy instead of Linda our kids would have been geniuses who cured cancer, instead of lazy, ungrateful brats who shoplift on the rare days they’re not incapacitated with drugs.”

      It’s an interesting speculation, but it’s not science.

  7. Wonder what the chiropractic bill is for dealing with the pain of all the contortions these scientists twist themselves into to defend the cause .

  8. Climate change me arse ….
    Looks like the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, aka AMO, to me.
    Look at Figure 3 in Oldenborgh etc. et al. ad nauseum …
    Then feast your eyes on the AMO …
    A nice 60-year cycle with lots of noise superimposed.
    The AMO affect hurricanes, too, but oppositely. More cold waves, fewer hurricanes.
    As a kid in Philadelphia I remember the hurricanes of the 1950s (Hazel, Carol, Donna, etc.) being rather abruptly replaced by blizzards in the 1960s, and the first subzero reading in town in 25 years on JFK’s first day as president.
    It’s called “natural variability”, and has been known for decades.

  9. Well I guess next year when it happens again, they will tell us how a warmer world mkes these cold waves more common.

    • No doubt! Here in the midwest, just a few years ago, we had record breaking cold weather (-15°F)!! How could this cold snap, similar to the one a few years ago, be calculated as a once in every 250 year event when it just happened twice in 3 years?

      • Because of ancient weather records that will be published soon that it has only happened 3 times in the last 750 years. NOAA are working on them as we speak.

      • Because these assclowns bank on the short term memory of people being as crappy as it is. People don’t remember and don’t trust their memories and if they hear a lie enough, that becomes their “memory” of the event.

  10. Global warming caused the recent cold snaps, Global Warming made the recent cold snaps less cold, Merkel has given up on the Paris agreement after berating Trump for doing the same. The racket coming out of the House of CAGW is rising to a crescendo. Bodies will soon be seen coming out of the first and second-floor windows.

  11. If the science is settled, why do we continually need new theories to explain these events?. It should be well understood.

    • Jeff Wilson, because the science is settled in terms of being completely abandoned from the get-go. By both sides.

  12. Several places in eastern VA and NC set their all-time coldest ever low records during the cold wave (such as Wakefield VA -14F and Elizabeth City NC +2F), so the claim the cold wave was warmer that earlier cold waves is ludicrous.

    • Oh, but you forget the homogenation and averaging part. When the climate folks are done, it will be the warmest ever cold wave.

      • Sheri : “Oh, but you forget the homogenation and averaging part. When the climate folks are done, it will be the warmest ever cold wave.”
        Yep, who needs double blind testing when they’ve got both eyes up their butts? So what they lose in carbon credits they save in colonoscopy- bills.

  13. Just more of the same we’ve been seeing lately. They are desperate and it shows. I mean after all, where did “consensus” go? Now we’ve had three different stories from the alarmists. First it was Climate change made it worse. Then it was Climate Change didn’t cause it. Now it’s it would have been colder if not for Climate Change. And the litany of excuses and claims by the Climate Change crowd for what caused it to get so cold goes on and on and it’s all about WEATHER!

    You can fiddle with the numbers and the temperature records all you want. You can play with your climate models and pretend they accurately portray what THE WEAHER is going to be in the coming years. But you can’t fool mother nature nor those exposed to what she dishes out. There is not enough BS they can possibly shovel to change that fact.

    I really believe that so many of these “climate scientists” believe that they can get away with pushing the same shit on grown adults who have been around and done and seen things as they push on their students.

    I remember as a new SF soldier I and several of us other new guys were detailed to go support recruiters in SE OH, N WV, and SW PA. Visit two High Schools per day. I was standing in line for the cafeteria talking to the kids and a guy walks up and says “take off your hat”. (We had been told by the recruiter to wear our berets inside as PR I guess). I said “please identify yourself”. He started to reach to snatch my beret off my head and I caught his hand and twisted his wrist almost putting him to his knees. It was just a instinctive reaction. After that the guy identified himself as the vice principle. I told him to use some manners and ask me to remove my head gear and I would do so. A Hole was trying to embarrass me and inflate his own status with those kids. Instead he was the one that was embarrassed. I’m sure those of you that have kid have met the type when you’ve visited your kids at school. Well climate scientists remind me of that kind of arrogant teacher.

    • RAH: You can fiddle with the numbers and the temperature records all you want …
      That sure is true with colleagues in the academic climate biz, where I’ve been for 47 years now. But before that I was a field meteorologist in the U.S. Army, giving winds and temperatures to the artillery guys, fly boys, and anyone else who cared. And in operational meteorology you DO NOT fiddle with the numbers. Bad data kills. I’ve known guys killed by bad data, be it coordinates, winds, or aim angles, that caused the 105’s to hit a bit too close, or because someone somewhere misread a tornado’s motion vector.
      I’m still a weather observer, and fiddling with the numbers remains out of the question.
      As for that principal, he should have listened to Jim Croce when (and if) he was growing up:

    • US Army protocol/(regulation) is to immediately remove cover when going indoors, unless under arms. It’s not only a signal to others that you are not armed, but is also the respectful thing to do, especially in someone else’s mess hall. Some soldiers come to live by the rules, and increase the likelihood that they live. You were eating dinner in his mess and failing to follow his rules, then got physical with him.
      You’d already been told to uncover. He didn’t need to ask “nice”. That doesn’t excuse his reaching for his hat, but doesn’t give you braggin’ rights, either.

      I guess you still haven’t figured out who the true a- hole was in this situation. That’s why you aren’t ashamed to admit to such a huge f- up in a public forum.
      Good thing for you, a certain ex- SSG wasn’t on scene. On the other hand, you’d have had it figured out for you, back then.

      • I think you are being a little hard on RAH.

        He was told to wear the beret.

        An unknown male comes up and starts ordering him around, so RAH asks the guy who he is.

        Then the guy, without identifying himself, reaches to snatch the beret off RAH’s head, and RAH takes action to counter the aggression, gaining control of his assailant, but not harming him physically.

        Under the circumstances, I think RAH acted properly.

        I’m betting the vice principal always thinks twice now before trying to snatch a beret off a Special Forces troop’s head.

        What would you do, Alan, if your superior told you to wear your beret indoors? Would you defy him? Would you drag out the Code of Military Conduct?

  14. I came across this yesterday:

    Cold Winter Over North America: The Influence of the East Atlantic (EA) and the Tropical/Northern Hemisphere (TNH) Teleconnection Patterns
    The abstract begins:
    -“Anomalous cold temperatures and strong cyclonic circulation were observed during winter 2013/14 over North America. In this article, we propose for the first time that positive East Atlantic (EA) and positive Tropical/Northern Hemisphere (TNH) patterns were dominant in the winter of 2013/14….”-

    It is open access and seems to link the anomalous cold in north eastern US – 2013/4 ( how quickly people forget, clearly not a once in 285 years effect) to warmer than normal sea surface temperatures . If the latter is the result of global warming then there might be something in the claim that global warming causes the extreme cold in 2013/4 and 2017/8. Could it be?

    • If we had two of these event within two years, we will expect the next cold snap in about 285 years times two. You can be sure about it.

  15. “such as carbon dioxide and methane”

    I’ve noticed that the narrative has started to push methane up the hierarchy.

    Waiting for the water vapour horse to be introduced bigly.

    • The video with the surfer taking off in slush is interesting. He puts a chunk of ice on the front of his surf board. You don’t see that much.

  16. in short: would there be no macical CO2 molecule the cold records would have been broken…

    euhm errrrr….

    weren’t they broken? and a few years before other snow and cold records were broken?

    Of course that’s all weather, but weather events should at least give some idea of how climate change works. like that the LIA in europe wasn’t really a “colder episode” but a more volatile episode that did average as colder.

  17. These Scientists are very US centric, they haven’t noticed the Cold & Snow in
    Italian Alps
    French Alps
    Sahara Desert

    So does that look like it is only a polar event in the USA?

  18. Climate Change Double Standard Double Speak Proves Slimate Clience is a Fraud

    Liberals can take one position, that the recent record cold is normal and natural, when they are taking the position opposite of President Trump. Liberals can then take the exact opposite position when they are defending Al Gore and Michael Mann. The position a liberal will take isn’t dependent upon the science, data or facts, the position a liberal will take is dependent upon who is making the claim. If Conservative believe the facts point to climate change being a fraud, liberals will defend it to the death as scientific truth. Liberals are so oblivious to the facts that The Guardian recently published an article about global warming and defended their position by using quotes that disprove the very position they were intended to defend.

  19. How do these so called scientists have the effrontery to make these utterly ridiculous statements. Can they tell us why periods of very cold weather that have prevailed over many countries of the world in recent and ancient history have never led to or have been caused by global warming? Ice at the North Pole may be melting slightly more through any of a number of reasons, but with record freezing over so many areas of the world, it is hard to imagine how the GW clan can argue that that a slightly bigger melt in the Arctic equates to GLOBAL warming.

    • It’s lucrative. They get a check and they have a nice house. Some may have faith in the results, some may be true believers. Bottom line, they have jobs. They produce what their employer demands they produce. While we like to believe science is different, sorry, it’s not. People are paid to make science into whatever the person paying for it wants. The government wanted global warming, so universities, funded by the government, produce that. The quaint notion that science is for discovery died a long time ago. Discovery is merely an accident and often it’s tossed out if it contradicts the desired results. Science became too competative and too expensive for discovery. Just find what you are supposed to find.

      • Science is different because it has protocols designed to circumvent this sort of pimping of scientific results. However these protocols have been breached by all sides, and therefore it is by definition no longer science.
        If a police officer brings a suspect into court, and there is no probable cause, the case is thrown out.
        Similarly, if somebody presents an alternative hypothesis and it is not properly proved against the null hypothesis, then it is also thrown out.
        And guess what: AGW has never been properly proved against the null hypothesis. So guess what has to be done, in order to call it “science?”
        Yep. Therefore, agw ain’t science.

  20. 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.

    …or what, three times in the past five years?

    This article literally made me LoL.

    • Yeah, it hit -12 F here in Oklahoma in the winter of 2012, about the lowest low we’ve seen in about 30 years. My water pipe *almost* froze that day. Right now it’s a balmy 20 degrees outside. Call me when the record-breaking cold comes along.

  21. Rushing to the press even before peer-review? Some Josh Willis-esque PhD student drone wrote this bullshit overnight in response to the current cold spell.

    Laughable and pathetic. Childishly written, too many paragraphs beginning with “in fact”.

  22. Gee. Sounds to me like they’re just running the same set of alarmist predictions all over again.
    They’re really counting on people being too stupid to remember the last round.
    What’s really sad is how often that actually works.

  23. These two points have been made above, but I wish to summarize.

    First, just what is it about the words “record low temperatures” do these researchers fail to understand? In many stations the data goes back over a hundred years, and if the old record was twenty and the new record is nineteen, you cannot say the nineteen degrees is somehow a “warmer” nineteen than the old twenty. (or, you can do it, but you will look like an idiot if you do so.) Furthermore, if you say the record-setting cold is warmer, what you are in fact saying is that the record would have been broken by five degrees rather than a single degree, and an epic cold wave would have happened, and that really fails to convince people the world is “warming”. You defeat your own purpose.

    Second, to bandy about data concerning how often these cold waves occur makes you look especially foolish when a child in third grade can recall worse winters. In actual fact the picture at the start of the post is old file-footage from the winter of 2014-2015. So it is somewhat ridiculous to talk about once-every-seventeen-years, or once-every-250-years, when in actual fact Massachusetts Bay has seen sea-ice three times in five years.

    This sort of poor fact-checking is a disgrace to science, and journalism, and even science-fiction. I get the feeling these fellows just make it up as they go along.

    Back in 2014-2015 Michael Mann had to dream up an excuse for Boston being buried by snow, so he stated “warmer oceans” created “higher humidity” in Boston, leading to more snow. But he never bothered check Boston’s records. Joe Bastardi did that, and discovered the entire record-setting month of February the humidity was well below average. Also Mann didn’t check out the reports from the shore, and was embarrassed by pictures of “slurpie surf” way out on Nantucket:

  24. If this proves anything, it’s my original point that reaching scientific protocols in order to allow and unproven positive, results in junk science and proving a negative, and therefore the entire discussion has to be thrown out.

    In fact at this point of global panic, I really don’t even think that’s possible that there can never be an objective analysis of the situation. Because you can’t prove a negative. It’s like we are in a Panic Room elevator and all the buttons have been pushed. So it’s just going to stop at every floor… except the top one because a panic monger’s elevator doesn’t reach it.
    The Earth could turn to a solid block of ice, and they would still blame human CO2 emissions. That’s what happens when you let a bad apple in the barrel… and precisely why we have basic protocols in the scientific method.
    Since these have been breached on both sides, we need to throw the entire discussion on climate change, it’s been a tragic mistrial for which there can be no resolution.

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