Disrupting the Theory on PV and Global Warming

Disrupting the Theory on PV and Global Warming
February 4, 2019
Guest post by Bob Vislocky

From the “where theory doesn’t agree with the numbers” camp comes this Washington Post article and many others like it that we’re all familiar with by now which claims that global warming will cause more polar vortex disruptions thereby leading to more frequent extreme cold outbreaks like the one observed last week:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/science-says-get-used-to-polar-vortex-outbreaks/2019/01/28/6c3eba52-233f-11e9-b5b4-1d18dfb7b084_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e1cac7e64271

This note attempts to address is whether there is any data to back up such a claim. If global warming is causing more frequent or severe cold outbreaks in the mid-latitudes then this should manifest itself in the observational temperature history. Specifically, the warmest day in winter should increase over time as one would expect with a warming planet, but if the proposed theory is true then the coldest day in winter would not be expected to rise as much or remain steady for stations in the northern half of the US.

Therefore, if global warming is causing more potent cold outbreaks due to disruption of the polar vortex, then the temperature difference in winter between the warmest day and the coldest day should increase over time. Fortunately this is very easy to test using available NOWDATA from NOAA, and five stations from New York to Denver that have a long historical temperature record were selected for the analysis (see figures 1-5 below).

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Figure 1. Difference between the warmest daily temperature and coldest daily temperature in winter (Dec-Feb) by year for New York City (in blue) and the least squares trend line (in black).

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Figure 2. Same as Figure 1, except for Pittsburgh.

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Figure 3. Same as Figure 1, except for Chicago.

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Figure 4. Same as Figure 1, except for Minneapolis.

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Figure 5. Same as Figure 1, except for Denver.

Results show that the temperature range (difference between the warmest day in winter and the coldest day) has actually decreased substantially over time at Minneapolis

(-0.065*/year) while Denver (-0.020*/year), New York (-0.017*/year) and Chicago (-0.010*/year) displayed more modest decreases in the trend. Only Pittsburgh (+0.001*/year) showed any increase in the temperature range over time but it was quite insignificant. Therefore, there does not appear to be any observational evidence to support the claim that global warming is causing greater or more frequent cold outbreaks like the one observed last week in the north-central US.

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February 4, 2019 10:29 pm

The proff of the pudding is in the eating, Hi.

MJE

Joel O'Bryan
February 4, 2019 10:33 pm

Only the true science morons, like Seth Borenstein or Bill Nye, or the Climate Liars, like Liar Michael Mann or John Holdren, actually say that Climate Change will bring on Polar Vortex cold wave intrusions. The climate morons and climate liars have a paycheck to protect.

Any climate scientist with a brain (and able to use it) realizes that zonal wind patterns (W-E jet stream) switching to meridonal wind (N-S wavy jet stream) patterns is likely a multi-decadal cyclical occurrence in the weather patterns of the Northern Hemisphere.

The claim by the climate morons and climate liars that Arctic cold air intrusions into the NH mid-latitudes is evidence of climate change is really just evidence of desperation. A desperation to keep the climate hustle going when one is being “bee-aach slapped”-around by contrary evidence.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 5, 2019 6:25 am

“Any climate scientist with a brain (and able to use it) realizes that zonal wind patterns (W-E jet stream) switching to meridonal wind (N-S wavy jet stream) patterns is likely a multi-decadal cyclical occurrence in the weather patterns of the Northern Hemisphere.”

I would say there is no doubt about it.

Every year we have a period of time when very cold Polar air intrudes into the United States. That’s “every year”. So either the Polar Vortex is active every year and brings down the arctic air or there is another mechanism that doesn’t require a Polar Vortex.

It gets real cold in the United States every year. It did that long before CO2 became a possible issue.

Menicholas
February 4, 2019 10:35 pm

So it seems the whole assertion was simply made up by warmistas, latched onto as factual, and then repeated ad nauseum with no confirmation.
Warmistas, making stuff up?
Golly, whodathunkit?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Menicholas
February 5, 2019 3:27 am

What else can they do when the predicted hot winter turns out to look like an Antarctic expedition?

“Oops we were wrong” is certainly not an option.

The sheep are so desperate to believe the CC gospel that they are in fact swallowing this whopper whole.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Menicholas
February 5, 2019 6:27 am

“So it seems the whole assertion was simply made up by warmistas, latched onto as factual, and then repeated ad nauseum with no confirmation”

That’s standard operating procedure for Alarmists.

unka
February 4, 2019 11:02 pm

If Max-Min decreases in time it may mean that Maximums increase less than Minimums. The negative gradient of Max-Min does not contradict warming!

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  unka
February 4, 2019 11:30 pm

Yes, you describe Climate Moderation.
(decreasing extremes)
Not very scary.
And that is more likely than Climate Alarmism in a warmer world.

Alarmists hate moderation. They need crisis as a fire needs oxygen.

John Bills
Reply to  unka
February 4, 2019 11:40 pm

It would prove it.
But here too there is a pause.

Rich Davis
Reply to  unka
February 5, 2019 3:30 am

Terrifying!

Ooooooooooo change! Mommy! It’s getting moderated. Help me!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  unka
February 5, 2019 6:34 am

“The negative gradient of Max-Min does not contradict warming!”

TMAX *does* contradict warming.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/15/it-is-the-change-in-temperature-compared-to-what-weve-been-used-to-that-matters-part-2/

sycomputing
Reply to  unka
February 5, 2019 7:27 am

The negative gradient of Max-Min does not contradict warming!

The point here isn’t to contradict warming. Rather, the author seems to be contradicting the notion that warming is causing more potent cold outbreaks (emphasis added):

Therefore, if global warming is causing more potent cold outbreaksdue to disruption of the polar vortex, then the temperature difference in winter between the warmest day and the coldest day should increase over time.”

John Endicott
Reply to  unka
February 5, 2019 11:59 am

Did you even bother reading the article unka? the point isn’t to “contradict warming” (you’ll find no word to that effect in the article) but rather to address the latest ad-hoc blame-it-on-global-warming claims about the polar vortex.

ren
February 4, 2019 11:55 pm

Polar vortex pattern in the middle of the stratosphere.
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Such a polar vortex pattern is clearly visible in winter weather in North America.
comment image

ShanghaiDan
February 5, 2019 12:06 am

You! Yes you! Stop it with the facts and logic and reason, there’s a calamity to push!

Tim Beatty
February 5, 2019 1:11 am

The methodology is incorrect. The warmest day in winter does not need to increase. Global warming is an increase in the average temperature. If say, the warmest temp is 1 day at 20C and it increases to 3 days at 20C, that would be warming without an increase in the high temperature.

What you really need is an ANOVA study. For a warming world to support larger cold extremes, the variance in the data needs to increase. It’s not clear that the variance is symmetric or Gaussian. A rough look at Minnesota shows that their top ten extreme cold days span 125 years with cold days in late 1800’s through 1996. There are decades without extreme cold but they are not time dependent.

the difficulty is that the data keepers have massaged the data a few times mostly by making the past colder. It really needs to be done on several stations that have long records using observed data. The large massaged datasets do too much manipulation to create temporal and spatial reimaginations. It doesn’t take much to create trends that are less than 0.1C/decade and they stop massaging when it matches their theory.

Phoenix44
Reply to  Tim Beatty
February 5, 2019 6:16 am

Whilst you are mathematically correct, the theory does not say that “shoulder” days will somehow increase in temperature whilst max and min stay the same. Indeed, how could that ever be the case?

Bob Vislocky
Reply to  Tim Beatty
February 5, 2019 6:24 am

1. While the warmest day each winter does not *need* to increase with global warming as you state, it’s unlikely that it wouldn’t over the span of 140 years. Plus if using average temperature then the cold outbreaks become part of the average which makes it more difficult for the cold snaps to stand out. However, to address your point I computed the trend in the range (difference) between the coldest day each winter vs. the average temperature each winter (results below). Since the range is decreasing with time at each city then cold waves are becoming less potent over time relative to their winter averages. Therefore the observational evidence still does not show that increasing arctic global warming can be “blamed” for cold outbreaks that happen in the northern US.
New York: -0.030*/yr
Pittsburgh: -0.019*/yr
Chicago: -0.032*/yr
Minneapolis: -0.045*/yr
Denver: -0.033*/yr

2. If I had daily station temperatures readily available for quick analysis I might have used them too. I agree that the variance would need to increase for a warming world to support more frequent or intense cold snaps. While my study doesn’t use variance per se, it does look at the extreme range, which is simply a different way of looking at variability, and this measure of variability clearly shows it decreasing over time.

3. The observational station data that I used is presumably unadjusted by the climate folks.

David
February 5, 2019 1:51 am

As my wife says when we are arguing. There you go bringing facts into the argument like they are going to help you. You cannot argue with a mad woman or climate change believer.

leitmotif
Reply to  David
February 5, 2019 2:55 am

“You cannot argue with a mad woman or climate change believer.”

Katharine Hayhoe is both.

nw sage
Reply to  leitmotif
February 5, 2019 5:56 pm

And the two attributes do NOT cancel each other out!

ren
February 5, 2019 1:59 am

Winter stratospheric intrusion visible over northern California.
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ren
February 5, 2019 2:11 am

The Arctic air returns over the Great Lakes.
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ThomasJK
February 5, 2019 2:46 am

Has habitual “rote” learning played a significant role in the number of people who are ‘buying in’ to the CAGW dogma?

Rote learning – Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rote_learning
Rote learning is a Memorization technique based on repetition.The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the more one repeats it. Some of the alternatives to rote learning include meaningful learning, associative learning, and active learning

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  ThomasJK
February 5, 2019 4:09 pm

While you’re there, look up catechism: prescribed standard answers to a set of questions, to be repeated without alteration.

Steve O
February 5, 2019 3:54 am

Wouldn’t it just be easier to look at the incidence of “cold snaps” over time?

Bob Vislocky
Reply to  Steve O
February 5, 2019 5:27 am

John Christy already did that analysis as reported on Dr. Roy’s web site:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/01/if-the-polar-vortex-is-due-to-global-warming-why-are-u-s-cold-waves-decreasing/

Mine represents an alternative method that looks at the variance (or more precisely the range) of extreme temperatures. The problem with looking at cold snaps is that since winters are becoming warmer in general for other reasons then that trend needs to be filtered out of the equation to detect increasing PV intrusions caused by the differential warming.

Sara
February 5, 2019 4:28 am

Summer is warm, frequently hot. Sometimes it rains and spoils your picnic. Winter is chilly, mostly cold. Snows a lot, too. What’s the problem?

Maybe if someone turned off the air conditioners and opened the windows, some fresh air could have a chance to blow the cobwebs out of their skulls…. Just a thought. 🙂

Don Mingay
February 5, 2019 5:30 am

Don
It is not obvious that everybody is aware of the difference between the polar vortex and the circum- polar vortex at 11 km which is totally different and is responsible for impacts on the Jet Stream .

Phil R
Reply to  Don Mingay
February 5, 2019 9:34 am

Don Mingay,

Not trying to be snarky or smart*ss or anything, but I might be one of those “everybody”s that may not be aware of the difference. If you bring it up, could you provide a brief description/explanation of what the difference is?

Don
Reply to  Phil R
February 5, 2019 11:16 am

Polar vortices tend to weaken in the summer and strengthen in the winter. The Arctic vortex when strong, is a well defined single vortex that is well contained within the Arctic, typically within 500 km of the pole with a jet stream that is well constrained near the polar front. When weaker it can break into two or more vortices at the top of the troposphere and when very weak, cold Arctic air can push towards the equator bringing a rapid and sharp temperature drop and driving the Jet Stream southwards. I believe that this is known as a circumpolar vortex and tends to be more defined by the northern land contours and boundaries rather than the strong polar vortex magnetically defined trajectory.
Phil R; Thank you for noting this omission of any detail by me originally. I await with interest any return comments on this description for validation or not. Perhaps the term “polar vortex” is used as a default option for simplicity and I am being too pedantic …. even wrong?

Phil R
Reply to  Don
February 5, 2019 5:28 pm

Don,

I don’t know enough to comment on whether your description is valid or not, but I appreciate your taking the time to respond, and I think your comment makes sense. My main point was, that there are a wide variety of visitors/posters here with various backgrounds, many with post-graduate degrees in various subjects, but not necessarily in some of the subjects discussed on this site. You’re original comment was fine, especially for people who have backgrounds in meteorology or climatology. But you started your comment with:

“It is not obvious that everybody is aware of the difference…”

I think you’re correct, but it would be nice to provide ( which you did) a little explanation of a concept that not everybody might be aware of.

And for clarification, this wasn’t meant to call you out specifically. I think that there are several people who, at times, post technical comments that, while interesting, they seem to assume everybody should understand.

Don
Reply to  Phil R
February 5, 2019 10:11 pm

Phil R you are a star. Thank you. I have a Ph D in Nuclear astrophysics (1964) and International experience in pure research as well as applied technology. I remain broad based and spent the last 15 years moving closely with the times on Climate Change and Energy. I find many “Climatologists” in debate badly devoid of Physics backgrounds and understanding when commenting which is crucial in my mind. For your specific possible interest: https://youtu.be/qkQvqyuAPhI.

February 5, 2019 6:22 am

ja, ja
it is globally cooling.
but you are all using the wrong methods to try and prove the world is still warming.
click on my name to read my reports

Reply to  henryp
February 5, 2019 6:49 am

Just looking at New York now

I find that average temperatures at NY Kennedy airport have gone up by about about 0.7K since 45 years ago.
But if you look carefully you will find that it is the maximum temperatures that are pushing up this average temperature.
Maximum T has gone up by 1.15k since 1973
Minimum T has gone up by only 0.18K since 1973

obviously

these results prove that it is not more CO2 or GH gases causing the warming in NY as the theory of GH gases would have it that it is minimum T pushing up average T.

But now we are only looking at one place on the world. What is happening is that less clouds are getting to NY due to the global cooling….

I know all of this is confusing. Live with it. Click on my name to read my reports on this.

February 5, 2019 6:31 am

Denver is not a good choice for tracking deep Arctic air outbreaks (now called polar vortex disruptions by the media) because those mostly go east of Denver.

ren
February 5, 2019 6:50 am

Stratospheric Intrusions are more common in the winter/spring months and are more frequent during La Nina periods.
https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/
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Tom Abbott
February 5, 2019 7:03 am

Here is nullschool showing the jet stream meandering north and south off the west coast of the U.S.

It looks like the low pressure system that smacked the U.S. is heading to the UK now.

Notice the subtropical jet stream cutting diagonally across the U.S. This has been bringing us moisture all season long. The slight drought in my area has been wiped out by the rain brought in by this jet stream.

This subtropical jet stream configuration is called the “Pineapple Express”.

https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/500hPa/orthographic=-75.54,66.82,401

Alasdair
February 5, 2019 7:04 am

I doubt it is a Theory. More like a propaganda defence ploy.

John Endicott
Reply to  Alasdair
February 5, 2019 12:02 pm

Indeed. its ad-hoc excuse making. Same as “children won’t know what snow is due to global warming making snow rare” after a few mild winters that was then followed by “global warming means more snow” after some heavy winter snow made the first statement look foolish.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  John Endicott
February 6, 2019 7:11 am

Yup, it’s the “whatever is going on outside the window that seems like “bad weather” in any way, shape, or form is to be blamed on “global warming/climate change,” by whatever contorted logic we can dream up” carnival barking that makes up (supposedly “mainstream”)”climate science.”

TDBraun
February 5, 2019 7:18 am

The author’s conclusion:
“Therefore, there does not appear to be any observational evidence to support the claim that global warming is causing greater or more frequent cold outbreaks like the one observed last week in the north-central US.”
… is an exaggeration.

The article presents contrary evidence on this ONE particular guess about how increased frequency of polar vortex intrusions would reveal itself in the temperature record of the USA. And it only presents FIVE temperature records in this analysis, which might be cherry picked for all we know. It is some good evidence against the claim, but hardly proves that there is no observational evidence anywhere else to support the claim. It may be that other ways of analyzing the record would show evidence.

However, even if such evidence were found for increased frequency of vortexes, it is still a long way from there to prove that it is due to increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by one thousandth of one percent. Maybe the increase would be due to the quiet sun the last 10 years, or some natural cycle.

It is worth noting that no climate scientists that I know of predicted increased polar vortex intrusions BEFORE the recent occurrences of them. As far as I can tell, the claims they are caused by global warming were created ex post facto. And that is very telling.

ren
Reply to  TDBraun
February 5, 2019 7:46 am

Low solar activity will cause cold winters in North America.

Bob Vislocky
Reply to  TDBraun
February 5, 2019 8:32 am

The stations were indeed cherry picked, but only for those with a long temperature history, LOL. I tried to cover an equidistant span between stations across the northern US and certainly didn’t pick based on results. However I’d be glad to test any city anyone wishes. I agree though that this doesn’t prove there is NO observational evidence against the claim that arctic warming = more vortex disruptions = more cold outbreaks for mid latitudes, so in that respect I over-spoke, but like you said I think it is some good evidence against that claim.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  TDBraun
February 6, 2019 7:15 am

“As far as I can tell, the claims they are caused by global warming were created ex post facto.”

As is every claim of something that appears to conflict with their previously made predictions being “caused by climate change.” Which, as you say, is very telling.

What it’s telling us is, they are full of “Ship High In Transit.”

February 5, 2019 7:23 am

TDBraun

by one thousandth of one percent.

Henry says

Counting from about the time when regular measurements started (1960), it is about 0.01%

It is still not much, but let us just be correct.

goldminor
February 5, 2019 7:32 am

Speaking of the polar vortex, look at what CNBC just figured out, … https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/05/tesla-jaguar-and-nissan-evs-lose-power-in-freezing-temps-.html

Reply to  goldminor
February 5, 2019 7:58 am

thx. good comment. I was able to use this now at another website.

February 5, 2019 8:02 am

thx. good comment. I was able to use this now at another website.

RHS
February 5, 2019 10:36 am

I think the graphs, particularly the Denver graph should have an asterisks indicating when the official measurement was moved. Originally the official temp for Denver was taken in City Park. That is until the Stapleton airport opened and the location was changed roughly 1932. Then, the location changed again with the opening of DIA, 1995. I would expect changing from a park to a concrete jungle would influence the recorded temps. Not sure how the graphs would be affected, but this info would be good to know.

Gary Pearse
February 5, 2019 3:50 pm

Bob, its even simpler than that. Theory says warming anomalies in the Arctic are 300% greater than the average warming of the globe. Where, then is all that cold air comeming from that is breaking cold records wholesale. This Cold air is spreading (diluted) over 15 times the area of the normal Arctic region over the whole continent of N Am. and Russia. How can this be because of warming. Nevermind science, common sense says OH, WI, IL, MI should never break a cold record under a planet warming at a clip that has us doomed in 12yrs or even 100yrs.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 5, 2019 3:51 pm

Ask these armwavers pointed questions!

Johann Wundersamer
February 5, 2019 10:48 pm

we’re all familiar with by now which claims that global warming will cause more polar vortex disruptions thereby leading to more frequent extreme cold outbreaks like the one observed last week:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/science-says-get-used-to-polar-vortex-outbreaks/2019

___________________________________________________

What will WaPo tell their readers when it comes clear that 2019 was a very discrete, singular event in climate behalf :

WaPo will knit another new alarming toy models story.

AGW is not Science
February 6, 2019 7:22 am

Retort to (NON) “science” – “We’re already used to polar vortex outbreaks, they bring us the cold weather every winter.”

Chaamjamal
February 6, 2019 4:14 pm

“Therefore, if global warming is causing more potent cold outbreaks due to disruption of the polar vortex, then the temperature difference in winter between the warmest day and the coldest day should increase over time. Fortunately this is very easy to test using available NOWDATA from NOAA, and five stations from New York to Denver that have a long historical temperature record were selected for the analysis”

The validity of the empirical test depends on the results, of course. Denialism bias maybe.

https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/03/hidden-hand/

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