No, Global Warming is Not Causing More Frequent Arctic Outbreaks

Reposted from Chris Martz Weather

Posted on 10 Nov 2019 by Chris Martz


By Chris Martz | November 9, 2019


Just when wildfires weren’t enough, we now have people blaming cold weather on a warming climate, which seems quite contradictory. In light of the Arctic outbreak in forecast this coming week, people like Phil Plait (who has since blocked me) took to Twitter (Figure 1) to claim that man-made climate change is causing frigid, Arctic air to be displaced south into the United States, Europe, and Asia.


Figure 1. Phil Plait thinks cold weather is caused by climate change.

His argument, which is supported by some climate scientists, suggests that man-made global warming causes the polar jet stream to destabilize causing it to become wavy rather than zonal, sending Arctic air southward into the mid-latitude regions. He also stated that without global warming, the polar air would stay near the north pole. Both of these claims are exactly backwards from reality and are not supported by weather dynamics, the global warming theory, or statistical observations in long-term temperature data.


Cold air outbreaks are generally caused by disruptions in a large scale atmospheric circulation known as the polar vortex which surrounds the coldest air above the North Pole.

Contrary to popular belief, the polar vortex is not unusual, extreme, or a new phenomenon. As Waugh et al., 2016 stated, “they are simply basic features of Earth’s climatology.”¹

There are two main polar vorticies in each Hemisphere, but for sake of time, I’m only going to discuss the one that gets the most attention; the Northern Hemisphere polar vortex. It’s commonly believed that the two polar vortexes, one in the troposphere and the other in the stratosphere, are directly connected as one, but they are in fact quite different (Waugh et al., 2016).¹

The tropospheric polar vortex is found between approximately 5,000 feet (850 mb) and 52,000 feet (100 mb) with it’s core at approximately 18,000 feet (500 mb) in altitude (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ The stratospheric polar vortex however, is located much farther up in altitude (Figure 2).¹


Figure 2. Climatological zonal-mean zonal wind in Jan and Jul. The diamonds mark the hemispheric maximum of the zonal wind at each pressure level and the approximate edge of the polar vortex for that hemisphere. Data source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) analyses. – Waugh et al., 2016.

As shown in the diagram below (Figure 3), the tropospheric polar vortex circulation is much larger than the stratospheric circulation (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ The circulation of the stratospheric polar vortex is much more organized and less wavy.¹


Figure 3. Schematic of stratospheric and tropospheric polar vortices. – Waugh et al., 2016.

While the tropospheric polar vortex remains present all year long (and is stronger during the cool season), the stratospheric circulation only arises during the late autumn, winter, and early spring (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ This is why it’s rare for temperatures to fall far below average in the mid-latitudes during summer.

Following the summer solstice in June, the sun angle becomes increasingly lower over the Northern Hemisphere’s high-latitudes before finally “setting” throughout the course of the winter.¹ ² With the lack of solar heating (short-wave radiation) reaching the surface, long-wave radiation begins being naturally emitted into outer space.¹ ² As radiational cooling occurs, air temperatures cool causing sea ice to grow. The more sea ice there is, the more radiational cooling occurs due to stronger albedo, and the more radiational cooling that occurs, the colder it gets in the troposphere and eventually the stratosphere (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ ²

This cooling causes a dense, cold air mass to form in the Arctic forming the surface “polar highs,” while subsequently lowering the air pressure aloft.

The strong cooling that occurs in the atmosphere over the Arctic strengthens the temperature gradient between the tropics and the North Pole causing winds to flow faster in attempt to balance the large temperature contrast (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ ² The winds flow cyclonically (counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere) due to Earth’s rotation.

Because the Northern Hemisphere has much more land than the Southern Hemisphere, strong upward-moving waves will occasionally move up into the stratosphere causing polar temperatures in the stratosphere to rise (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ This is often referred to as a sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event. This warming in the stratosphere causes the cyclonic circulation to break down and split forming two to three separate vorticies generally over the U.S., Europe, and Asia causing the polar jet stream beneath to become very wavy ushering very cold air into the mid-latitudes.


While the theory of increased Siberian snow cover due to sea ice decline (caused by global warming) in the Arctic (Cohen et al., 2014) causes a disruption in the polar vortex later in the cool season is supported with observations, global warming theory does not support increased visits from Arctic air masses, as I’ll discuss later.

The theory simply states that due to sea ice decline in the Arctic, increased snowfall over Eurasia will lead to a stronger Siberian high through albedo and radiational cooling (Cohen et al., 2014).³ The high in turn will produce an upward energy flux into the stratosphere causing sudden stratospheric warming event in December or January, disrupting the cyclonic flow leading to a polar vortex split by January or February.³ ⁴ This theory is indeed supported by both sea ice data and Eurasian snow cover anomalies since 1979.⁴


Figure 4. October Eurasian snow cover extent 1979 through 2018 with 2019 estimated.  I expect 2019 to be comparable to 2013. – Dr. Judah Cohen.

But here’s what it almost never mentioned in most peer-reviewed publications and media pieces…


While global warming theory specifically states that the tropical upper atmosphere should warm the most (Tropical Hotspot Theory)⁵, it’s also expected that the poles, especially the Arctic, warm faster at the low and mid-levels of the atmosphere compared to anywhere else.

Image result for tropical hotspot theory"

Figure 5. Latitude – Altitude cross-section of 38-year temperature trends (°C decade−1) from the Canadian Climate Model Run 3. The tropical tropospheric section is in the outlined box. – Watts Up With That.

A faster rate of change in surface and/or lower tropospheric temperatures in the Arctic versus the tropics would reduce the temperature gradient between the two regions, which is exactly what we have seen. While the anomaly differences have diverged drastically since January 1979 (Figure 6), the gradient between the absolute tropical tropospheric temperatures and Arctic absolute temperatures has been reduced. (Author’s note: I linear regressed the data to show the trend between the two datasets clearly. Obviously, the linear model does not explain the entire rate of change given R2 values are 0.243 for the Arctic and 0.198 for the tropics, respectively.)

Figure 6. Arctic and Tropical Lower Tropospheric Temperature Anomalies (linear regressed); January 1979 to October 2019. – NSSTC UAH. (download the raw data here).

While having a conversation through private messaging on Twitter with Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., he confirmed what I already knew…

A reduced temperature gradient between the Arctic, the mid-latitudes and the tropics results in a weaker jet stream. While it’s popular belief that a weaker jet stream produces a wavier jet stream, this is scientifically incorrect. As previously discussed, the temperature gradient is stronger during the autumn, winter, and spring months, which is when we tend to see lobes of cold air penetrate the mid-latitudes; this means that the polar jet stream is strong, not weak. During the summer months, the polar jet stream is more zonal and weaker, which is why we do not typically see significant cool air outbreaks during the summer.

Another bust in the theory that climate change is causing more frequent Arctic outbreaks is that when the troposphere warms, the stratosphere cools, which is exactly what satellite data shows (Figure 7). Considering Arctic outbreaks require the stratosphere over the North Pole to warm to cause a polar vortex split, this is a major bust in attributing cold air outbreaks to man-made global warming.

Figure 7. Global Lower Tropospheric and Lower Stratospheric Temperature Anomalies; January 1979 to October 2019. – NSSTC UAH. (download raw data here (Lt) and here (Ls)).

Last, but not least, perhaps the most obvious flaw in claiming that Arctic outbreaks will increase in intensity and frequency in the coming years and decades due to climate change is the very simple fact that these very cold air outbreaks occur every year and have for at least as long as we have temperature data and historical documentation.

Moreover, to make a more compelling argument against climate activists, cold spells have become less common over the last 124 years (at least in the United States where the best long-term surface temperature data exists) due to the very fact that climate change (which I conclude is mostly natural variability) decreases the overall cold air supply, warms the troposphere, and cools the stratosphere.

Raw temperature data from the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), plotted by Alabama State Climatologist, Dr. John Christy, shows that the average number of November through March cold waves lasting at least two days in 27 Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, and New England states has decreased from around five times per year in the 1890s and 1900s to around three times per year in the last decade (Figure 8).⁶ The trend since the 1970s has been quite similar to the long-term trend, despite a lot of year-to-year variation.

Figure 8. Average number of November through March cold waves lasting at least two days at USHCN stations from 27 Midwestern, Mid-Atlantic, and New England states. – Dr. John Christy.

The EPA has a graph (Figure 9) showing the percent of land area in the Lower 48 affected by unusually cold winter temperatures from 1911 to 2016.⁷ Once again, confirming the data complied by Dr. Christy, the trend is considerably negative over the last century, and especially during the 1970s.

Line graph showing what percentage of the contiguous 48 states experienced unusually cold daily high and low temperatures in December, January, and February of each year from 1911 to 2016.

Figure 9. Area of the Contiguous 48 States With Unusually Cold Winter Temperatures, 1911–2016. – EPA Climate Change Indicators.


While I agree with the background theory presented in Cohen et al., 2014 that Arctic sea ice decline has indirectly contributed to polar vortex disruptions in recent years, I do find it very challenging for anyone to assert that climate change is behind Arctic outbreaks considering that they a.) have solid meteorological explanations, b.) are not supported to occur more frequently by a cooling stratosphere, and c.) have declined in frequency over time.

While I respect the research scientists like Dr. Cohen have conducted, especially because it’s supported fairly well with statistical relationships and mechanisms, I do respectfully disagree with the climate change attribution aspect due to what we’ve been observing in the big picture with the frequency of cold spells.

What is very perplexing to me is not what scientists are saying, but rather the amount of ignorant statements on climate change being touted throughout social media from politicians, journalists, and people like Phil Plait who have no clue what they’re talking about.

I have a strong passion for meteorology, mathematics, and history (just ask Joe Bastardi or Tony Heller). I know quite a bit about each of those three topics because I spend hours upon hours doing research.

There are many things in science and other aspects of life that I am not knowledgeable about, and I don’t claim to be. That’s why I don’t go touting out nonsense about things I know nothing about. I would highly suggest other people who say absurd things about climate change take my dad’s advice; “know a lot about a little, not a little about a lot.” In other words, don’t be an expert in everything, but rather narrow your focus to be an expert on a few things. Always check your facts.


[1] Waugh et al., 2016. “What is the Polar Vortex and How Does It Influence Weather?” AMS Journals. February 27, 2016. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[2] Haby, Jeff. “HABYTIME MINI LECTURE 66: THE POLAR VORTEX.” The Weather Prediction Education. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[3] Cohen et al., 2014. “Linking Siberian Snow Cover to Precursors of Stratospheric Instability.” AMS Journals. March 31, 2014. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[4] Cohen, Judah. “Arctic Oscillation and Polar Vortex Analysis and Forecasts.” AER. November 4, 2019. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[5] Watts, Anthony. “UAH finds a warming error in satellite data, lowers “tropical hotspot” temperature trend, contradicts IPCC models.” April 6, 2018. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[6] Spencer, Roy. “If the Polar Vortex is due to Global Warming, Why are U.S. Cold Waves Decreasing?” Roy Spencer, Ph.D. January 31, 2019. Accessed November 9, 2019.

[7] “Climate Change Indicators: High and Low Temperatures.” EPA Climate Change Indicators in the United States. Accessed November 9, 2019.

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A C Osborn
November 11, 2019 10:12 am

If you google Wavy Polar Jetstream practically every hit is for it being caused by Climate Change and loss of Arctic Sea Ice.
The knowledge of wavy jetsreams has been around decades, including the Polar Vortex coming south, way before the latest accumulation of man made CO2.
They are literally rewriting history.

Bill Powers
Reply to  A C Osborn
November 11, 2019 10:33 am

That is what Socialists do which is what Orwell so effectively depicted in 1984. “Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.”

Those of us alive and past the age of 5 in the northern hemisphere, back in the 70″s know all about polar vortexes. The Chicken Little Alarmists where clucking about the coming Ice Age. Now when the climate turns in that direction we will really have something to be alarmed over.

forget the Nest Ice Age I am afraid we are going to experience another series of Winters like the 70″s and that really is going to be difficult to survive without fossil fuel depending on Wind and Solar. Get real Big Brother.

Reply to  A C Osborn
November 11, 2019 11:24 am

How can a changing climate be caused by climate change?

It merely shows how insane the alarmists have become that even their language is now meaningless.

Reply to  MarkG
November 11, 2019 2:32 pm

Yes, it’s tantamount to saying, “I’ve decided to raise my D average to a B, so that should raise my test scores.” Huh? Got the cart before the horse.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  MarkG
November 12, 2019 6:23 am

I just remind my climate-guilt-ridden comrades that a theory which claims to have predicted everything that happens has actually predicted nothing. Most of the folks old enough to remember are talking about the return of 70’s winters.

Robert Herron
Reply to  A C Osborn
November 11, 2019 1:55 pm

The sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) event occurs in the Antarctic as well. It has occurred this year. Large outbreaks of cold air are hitting Australia even though we are moving into summer.

Martin Cropp
Reply to  Robert Herron
November 11, 2019 6:36 pm

The “large outbreaks” for this time of year are not unusual, ssw or no ssw.

November 11, 2019 10:23 am

Wait. I thought the science was settled.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 11, 2019 10:45 am

Human caused “Climatastrophy” is not science……D’OH !

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 11, 2019 10:45 am

Not quite.

With the lack of solar heating (short-wave radiation) reaching the surface, long-wave radiation begins being naturally emitted into outer space.¹ ²

NO, long-wave radiation is naturally emitted into outer space all year round, even more so in the summer when it is warmer.

LWIR happens 24/7/356 and increases where there is more open water. That is why is the naive : less ice , more melting “tipping point” never happened when ice hit new lows in 2007 and 2012. Arctic sea ice has shown a persistent recovery since 2012 OMG minimum.

What no one is talking about is effect less ice has on LWIR.

Reply to  Greg
November 11, 2019 11:09 am

Yes, I should have rephrased it, but the general point is that more radiational cooling occurs.

Reply to  Chris Martz
November 11, 2019 2:10 pm

Good article, thank you Chris.

USA TODAY, Nov.8, 2019

This week’s cold snap is only an appetizer compared with the main Arctic blast that’s coming next week, meteorologists said. That freeze could be one for the record books.”
“The National Weather Service is forecasting 170 potential daily record cold high temperatures Monday to Wednesday,” tweeted Weather Channel meteorologist Jonathan Erdman. “A little taste of January in November.”
The temperature nosedive will be a three-day process as a cold front charges across the central and eastern U.S. from Sunday into Tuesday.
The front will plunge quickly through the northern Plains and upper Midwest Sunday, into the southern Plains and Ohio Valley Monday, then through most of the East Coast and Deep South by Tuesday, the Weather Channel said.

Some people will say this cooling is caused by CO2 and global warming. They will be wrong.

November 11, 2019 6:32 pm


Greg Patrick
Reply to  Greg
November 12, 2019 8:28 am

Agree. Also…

‘The more sea ice there is, the more radiational cooling occurs due to stronger albedo, and the more radiational cooling that occurs, the colder it gets in the troposphere and eventually the stratosphere (Waugh et al., 2016).¹ ²’

Don’t agree. Covering a relatively warm and turbulent ocean with a blanket will reduce LWIR (as stated above).

And albedo is irrelevant in the dark of winter as there is no incoming radiation to reflect.

Reply to  Rob_Dawg
November 11, 2019 12:11 pm

Settled? Science just poses from time to time.
The polar vortex extends from the tropopause at 8–11 km in altitude, to the stratopause at around 50–60 km in altitude.
During strong solar activity passenger jets avoid flying polar route, since the Earth magnetic field funnels charge particles towards magnetic poles. The charge particles strongly ionise atmospheric gasses in the vortex. Atmospheric velocity of polar vortex is well in excess of 100km/h and often 2 or 3x that.
Noting that the atmosphere of the polar vortex is ionised, basic laws of physics stipulate that movement of such gasses is under influence of the magnetic field present.
Downward cascade of charged particles strongly ionises polar vortex atmosphere, this state may persist for few weeks or even a month or so.
When the charge is low the effect of earth’s field on the vortex is weak, when vortex is strong the jet stream is under control of the vortex it is mainly regular and restricted to high latitudes.
With high charge the vortex is pulled away by the concentration of intensity in the earth’s MF, eventually splitting it up into two distinct but much weaker entities.
as in this type of often seen image:
or movie:
Electrically charged polar vortex in The Northern Hemisphere is progressively spread out and weaken by effect of split magnetic field and eventually it is itself split after number of days or couple of weeks.
There is a strong relationship between polar vortex and polar jet stream.
When the polar vortex is strong, there is a single vortex with a jet stream that is “well constrained” near the polar front. When the Arctic vortex weakens, it separates into two vortices above Canada and Siberia in contrast the Antarctic’s vortex of the Southern Hemisphere is a single low pressure zone.
When the polar vortex is strong, the mid-latitude Westerlies (winds at the surface level between 30° and 60° latitude from the west) increase in strength and are persistent. When the polar vortex is weak, high pressure zones of the mid latitudes may push poleward, moving the jet stream, and polar weather front equator-ward. The jet stream is seen to “buckle” and deviate south. This rapidly brings cold dry air into contact with the warm, moist air of the mid latitudes, resulting in a rapid and dramatic change of weather known as a “cold snap”.
Science based on physics, or at least I happen to think so.

john g
Reply to  vukcevic
November 11, 2019 2:12 pm

Can you suggest any further reading to support this?

Reply to  john g
November 12, 2019 6:49 am

Hi J G
No, it is a hypothesis I built from assembly of known facts.
NOAA website publishes regular 100hp altitude pressure forecast
comment image
confirming the main tenet of hypothesis that the splitting of polar vortex always follows the Earth’s peak magnetic intensity geographic coordinates, while the rest i.e. ionisation, vortex-jet stream relationship, etc. are well known facts.

Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 10:43 am

Without knowing him, Phill Plait’s tweet seems to me to be sarcasm with the “know” highlighted.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 11:59 am

….that was my take too

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 12:23 pm

He’s the typical (of the left), arrogant, know-it-all jerk who thinks disparaging hubris is a sign of intelligence. Here’s the original plus followup.

Reply to  icisil
November 11, 2019 12:59 pm

So his tweet sequence starts off with the typical “I know what I’m talking about, science is settled” assertion… then he admits error… then he ends with:

Ah, I see a small error in my tweet: I implied that w/o global warming these meanders wouldn’t happen, but actually GW increases the number of them we see over what we’d see w/o GW. I’m getting deniers jumping all over that of course (block block block) so I want to be clear.
And finally, my point wasn’t that warming is causing this specific meander, it’s that we’ll see a flood of forehead-slap-inducing “wow look at all that global warming” tweets when the frigid air hits.

While having said this earlier in the article he wrote:

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a few times on how the “polar vortex”—actually, deep meanders or excursions in the usually stable west-to-east direction of the polar cyclonic air stream—may be tied to global warming, but there hadn’t been enough research done yet to be sure.

Is this another case of a bad astronomer being even worse at climate science?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  icisil
November 11, 2019 1:31 pm

And he must block those nasty “deniers”! Wouldn’t want to be exposed to other analyses or research! Heavens no!

Talk about Hear/See/Speak no evil.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  icisil
November 11, 2019 4:49 pm

Caught making false claims…he’s very bad at back-tracking…and in complete “denial.”

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 12:25 pm

Here’s a more detailed article he wrote about the topic at hand

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 4:00 pm

@Phill Plait

A reminder, because you *know* what’s coming online: Global warming destabilizes the jet stream, making it weaker so that it can meander, bringing arctic air down to lower latitudes. Without warming that frigid air would stay up near the pole.

It is not sarcasm. Indeed, Plait clearly is claiming, in his own words above, (in spite of his later denial) that it is “global warming” that enables the jet stream to meander.

These jet-stream “meanders” are in fact called Rossby waves, and are caused by the Coriolis effect, not global warming/climate change. Small perturbations to the zonal stream circulation cause changes in stream latitude. Potential vorticity (PV) must be conserved on isoentropic surfaces (i.e. constant potential temperature), so (in the NH) southward departures create positive vorticity (cyclonic) and northward departures create negative vorticity (anti-cyclonic) to restore the total potential vorticity.

Yes, the jet stream velocity is dependent on temperature gradients, but these are vertical gradients created by changes in seasonal insolation, not climate change.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
November 12, 2019 6:15 am

Phil Plait, the so-called Skeptical Asstronomer, is a long-known Climitasterist and marxist apparatchik.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  beng135
November 12, 2019 6:47 am

He should report to the Salvation Army Citadel and “fill plate(s)”. 🙄

john g
November 11, 2019 10:47 am

As I understood, the meridional flow is caused by contraction of the atmoshpere during the solar minimum. Has anyone here looked at this hypothesis?

Reply to  john g
November 11, 2019 12:41 pm

John G,
That was my impression too.

Reply to  john g
November 11, 2019 1:11 pm

NASA did a model that showed the reduction in ozone affects the planetary wave.

Chilly Temperatures During the Maunder Minimum

Reply to  john g
November 11, 2019 1:14 pm

Falling slope of solar cycles is characterized by strong CMEs and the actual minimum by the galactic cosmic rays maximum, both of these ionise the uper levels of polar atmosphere, being pulled there by Earth’s magnetic field. For rest see my comment further above at

November 11, 2019 10:51 am

It’s very simple. This currently touted theory that the waviness and spread of the polar vortex is driven by global warming is just a rehash of the previous explanation from the 1970’s; which was that the waviness and spread of the polar vortex was driven by global cooling. So, they can explain everything post-hoc and it’s heads they win and tails we lose. As explained here, by Heller:

November 11, 2019 10:53 am

***very cold air outbreaks occur every year and have for at least as long as we have temperature data and historical documentation.

As a user of Weather data and products for over 20 years as an Air Force Master Navigator I had 10 years of flying in polar region. I was issued wind flow charts and used them to analyse the aircraft’s drift (what Nav’s do). I always saw variability of the Jet flows and came to know that it was never static. When it moved south over North America we knew we could not stay on ground in Alaska long or the plane would freeze, so we would land and sometimes keep engines running while we refueled. We have to look at the facts and observations and get away from the over reliance on simulations and models. Even 12 hour forecast wind flow charts were almost never accurate for our use.

John Tillman
November 11, 2019 11:03 am

Polar vortex-driven, worst blizzard on record happened in 1888:

Without benefit of a fourth molecule of plant food per 10,000 dry air molecules.

November 11, 2019 11:05 am

“Just when wildfires weren’t enough, we now have people blaming cold weather on a warming climate”

Given this logic, I need to start blaming Ardbeg Uigeadail for my sobriety.

John Tillman
November 11, 2019 11:05 am

Then there was the Arctic outbreak of 1899:

Bruce Cobb
November 11, 2019 11:07 am

If we’re not careful, “global warming” will cause another ice age.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 12, 2019 7:17 am

I think you will find that that story line has already been used in the documentary “The Day After Tomorrow”.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
November 12, 2019 9:23 am

“Documentary?!” Calling “The Day After Tomorrow” a “documentary” is like calling watching “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” scientific research.

Joel O'Bryan
November 11, 2019 11:10 am

“In other words, don’t be an expert in everything, but rather narrow your focus to be an expert on a few things. Always check your facts.

And always know what your assumptions, even the deepest ones, are and understand where they may be wrong.

As for the expert part:
But I also I don’t have to be an MD to see when someone obviously needs to go the doctor if they appear ill. But conversely I would be conducting malpractice to claim to provide the definitive diagnosis. I would also be skeptical of the snake oil salesman spouting “one product fixes all ailments”. That’s a charlatan.
Similarly with bad science I can recognize likely junk climate science claims, when I see claims of CO2 is the control knob that explains everything.

To be a skeptic on the high CO2 sensitivity of climate claims of many climate modelers doesn’t require I be an expert about climate change CO2-AGW theory and be able write and solve radiative transfer mathematics.
When a hypothesis effectively claims to be predict everything and every conceivable outcome is ascribed to that hypothesized cause, I immediately know its junk science.

I don’t have to be climate model expert to know that computer models must be rigorously validated to observation and experiment to be of any use, just as weather models are continuously scored and validated for prediction sk1ll.

So when I see highly complex computer climate models that are hand-tuned with multiple parameters of very important energy transfer mechanisms, and the modelers can thus get just about any result they want and they do not rigorously validate that to observation, I also know that too is junk science.

Bob Vislocky
November 11, 2019 11:13 am

Yes, it’s nonsense that global warming is causing more frequent arctic blasts in mid-latitude locations. If such was really true then the range of extreme temperatures at observing stations would be increasing over time (i.e., global warming increases max winter temps and decreases the coldest winter temps through the polar vortex disruptions, so the range between the two should get bigger if the thesis was true). Earlier this year I wrote a blurb here showing that such ranges are actually decreasing over time, which disrupts the notion that global warming or climate change is increasing arctic cold outbreaks.

November 11, 2019 11:14 am

What doesn’t this hoax do?

November 11, 2019 11:19 am

Everything is global warming, Sorry I meant climate change 😐 I’m waiting for a group of scientist’s to break out on to the main news media stage and actually tell the truth. I want to see these scientists on my television and hear them on the radio discussing factual science regarding the weather and explaining past weather cycles.

If greta and Mr broccoli can have the main stage, then we should be able to as well.

Len Werner
November 11, 2019 11:33 am

I no longer think that any technical explanations like this matter as we have a population moving ever forwards to an ‘Idiocracy’ mentality. As more and more people move into cities, and experience actual weather in the ever diminishing intervals when moving between climate-controlled homes to climate controlled transportation to climate-controlled offices, anything that hits their faces as different from the climate-controlled environment they live in when they step outside becomes ‘extreme’ and uncomfortable, and they make changes in behavior to minimize this exposure.

A result of this is that weather becomes more increasingly experienced through media, not through personal interaction with it. And that makes more and more people every decade more susceptible to believing that climate is what they’re told it is, not what it actually is.

And every Michael Mann of the world knows this, and knows how to exploit it. All we have to do to understand this is listen to Greta; had this poor wailing waif spent time out in the natural world instead of becoming convinced that ‘people are dying’ from watching TV she would understand how foolish she is and looks.

She can motivate demonstrators in large cities like Vancouver, but not in logging towns like Quesnel where so many people have to chain up for every load from now until May.

Reply to  Len Werner
November 11, 2019 12:44 pm


I love it. Perfect.

November 11, 2019 11:34 am

Look at the geomagnetic field in the north and the stratospheric polar vortex.
comment image
comment image
When the magnetic field of solar wind weakens, the polar vortex pattern depends on the geomagnetic field.

B d Clark
Reply to  ren
November 11, 2019 12:30 pm

Exactly GSM

November 11, 2019 11:40 am

Arctic air reaches the Gulf of Mexico over Texas and Louisiana.
comment image

November 11, 2019 11:47 am

The division of the stratospheric polar vortex will soon cause a temperature drop in Europe. Highs will develop to the north and east of Europe.

November 11, 2019 11:57 am

3D animation – 2009 SSW (Sudden Stratospheric Warming)

Joel Snider
November 11, 2019 12:07 pm

You’d think the average person would notice the twisting and contradictory gyrations of the climate narrative – and, in point of fact, the similar BS spread about pretty much all across the progressive field.

It SHOULD be hard to miss.

B d Clark
Reply to  Joel Snider
November 11, 2019 12:59 pm

Caught a radio show today the interviewer was asking “average persons” on the political debate in the UK the interviewer picked topical questions that were across the MSM eg “do you think Johnson will pull off brexit”99% of the average persons had not heard of the topical questions nor had a opinion.the interviews were loaded to see how much the average person paid attention to what’s going on. What hope have we in the climate debate.

B d Clark
November 11, 2019 12:16 pm

Hello Chris long time no speak! You might remember me I was one of your first supporters on your channel ,

Very good article, which reminded me of a thread on here last week were some one posted the same nonsense that the warmests are using in the face of polar vortexes heres the thread ( link in there and my responce)

November 11, 2019 12:42 pm

John G,
That was my impression too.

November 11, 2019 12:43 pm
Dr Deanster
November 11, 2019 12:46 pm

I seem to recall stories of rivers freezing over in winter back in the Dalton Minimum. Guess they misbranded it ….. they should have called it the Dalton Maximum, because clearly it was the global warming of the Dalton that caused the wavy jet stream that brought such cold air so far south.

Frankly, I’m not believing any of this schist. Ice caps in the winter when there is no sunshine contribute nothing to albedo. … therefore, I think it is quite the opposite, ice caps serve as insulation between the bitterly cold air and the warmer water below. Ice caps trap heat. Arctic Warming leads to less ice, allowing more heat to escape to space, thus ice caps are a feedback that responds to the surface water temp, not to atmospheric air temp. Larger, more prolonged ice caps may result in colder air simply by cutting off the source of heat …. the warm water below.

Gary Mount
Reply to  Dr Deanster
November 11, 2019 2:01 pm

There is exactly the same amount of “no sunshine” in the fall as there is in the winter. The symmetry centers around the winter solstice which is also the end of fall.

November 11, 2019 1:02 pm

What I find more disturbing than the frequency of these polar vortexes and whether global warming is to blame is the fact that no matter how many of these arctic blasts occur that somehow the headlines will show that this was one of the hottest months on record.
In Melbourne this feels like the coldest Spring I can remember for decades but especially with bushfires in New South Wales the B of M will announce record hot conditions at the end of the month.
My query is how do the global bureaus manage to maintain the global warming narrative when people are experiencing unusually cold weather.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Zigmaster
November 11, 2019 1:28 pm

There’s a whole cookbook of methods the adjusters use to create their deception.

Cooling the past, such as BoMs Darwin adjustments of 100 year old readings.
Making dubious statistical adjustments between historical SST readings taken with ship intakes vs buoy data.
Removing rural stations from the present and under compensating UHI effects on the remaining urban-concentrated data.

The very high 0.98 R^2 of (Final-Raw) vs (MLO CO2) plot says exactly what they are doing — Adjusting data to meet theory.

November 11, 2019 1:06 pm

After it became obvious that there was no truth to the “future generations will forget what snow was” trope, they had to come up with something else.

Gary Mount
November 11, 2019 1:30 pm

Doesn’t the “setting” begin at the start of fall/autumn and stop setting or reverses at the beginning of winter?

Tom Abbott
November 11, 2019 2:07 pm

From the article: “Last, but not least, perhaps the most obvious flaw in claiming that Arctic outbreaks will increase in intensity and frequency in the coming years and decades due to climate change is the very simple fact that these very cold air outbreaks occur every year and have for at least as long as we have temperature data and historical documentation.”

Yes, there is nothing occurring in the Earth’s atmosphere today that didn’t occur in the past before CO2 could have been an issue. There is no unprecedented weather being caused by human-caused CO2, because there is no unprecedented weather to begin with.

Thanks for this explanation of what is going on with the Polar Vortex and the Jet Stream.

On a related topic: I wonder if the Earth’s Polar Vortex is comparable to the activity at the poles of Jupiter and Saturn. Is what we are seeing on those planets their equivalent of the Polar Vortex? Is there a Jet Stream lower down in the atmosphere, as it is with Earth?

My personal experience with cold spells is the US usually gets two or three of these excursions each Fall/Winter starting around November and ending in March. The cold spell will arrive and stay for a short period of time and then it will warm up for a while before the next one comes along.

I’m lucky. I’m situated where snow does not remain on the ground for very long, so my area can warm up pretty quickly after a serious cold snap. That’s not the case for people living farther north. They get snow and it stays on the ground for much longer and keeps them colder, longer.

November 11, 2019 2:48 pm

Please update with this:

Minimal influence of reduced Arctic sea ice on coincident cold winters in mid-latitudes
• Russell Blackport,
• James A. Screen,
• Karin van der Wiel &
• Richard Bintanja
Nature Climate Change (2019) | Download Citation
Observations show that reduced regional sea-ice cover is coincident with cold mid-latitude winters on interannual timescales. However, it remains unclear whether these observed links are causal, and model experiments suggest that they might not be. Here we apply two independent approaches to infer causality from observations and climate models and to reconcile these sources of data. Models capture the observed correlations between reduced sea ice and cold mid-latitude winters, but only when reduced sea ice coincides with anomalous heat transfer from the atmosphere to the ocean, implying that the atmosphere is driving the loss. Causal inference from the physics-based approach is corroborated by a lead–lag analysis, showing that circulation-driven temperature anomalies precede, but do not follow, reduced sea ice. Furthermore, no mid-latitude cooling is found in modelling experiments with imposed future sea-ice loss. Our results show robust support for anomalous atmospheric circulation simultaneously driving cold mid-latitude winters and mild Arctic conditions, and reduced sea ice having a minimal influence on severe mid-latitude winters.

And this

The study “puts to rest the notion that Arctic sea-ice loss caused the cold mid-latitude winters,” said John Fyfe, a research scientist with the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis who was not involved in the research, in an accompanying commentary.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TomRude
November 12, 2019 5:26 am

Thanks for those quotes, Tom.

John Robertson
November 11, 2019 3:28 pm

“Sun so hot I froze to death..”
Of course(Insert Weather) is caused by global warming.
Everything is caused by great Gaia,buy your indulgences or DOOM DOOM Doom!.
Welcome to the world we have created.
This is the “success” of public education.
Mass Hysteria is quite a thing.

These gullible minions of the Cult of Calamitous Climate are immune to evidence,logic and reason.
But that is OK,for they feel.
So their mindless attempts to collapse technical civilization as we know it…..we must tolerate,cause they feeel.

Oh well the lesson of the last few decades is obvious, protecting the useless and clueless produces hordes of them.
Who could have known.?

November 11, 2019 3:59 pm

Anyone with a interest in cold weather events should make a study of the “Great frost of 1709” which stuck europe. l think it was a very rare and interesting event, because from what l have read about it.
lt suggests that europe suffered a type of LGM weather pattern set up that happened within recorded history.

Gord in Calgary
November 11, 2019 4:33 pm

In climate science I think there are too many people who “know a lot about a little, not a little about a lot.” It leads these experts to make ridiculous extrapolations from tree rings or corals or sediments because they don’t see the interconnections with other areas of climate science. As my old science teacher said “an expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less, until they know everything about nothing!”

Michael Jankowski
November 11, 2019 4:43 pm

Global warming causes colder weather until it doesn’t.

Mike Maguire
November 11, 2019 6:02 pm

Nice discussion. Thanks.

Many of us remember this special “damage control” video put out by John Holdren, President Obama’s climate czar, when the polar vortex hit in the US during January 2014.

“Breathtaking”: The White House Releases Its Climate Heavy Hitter on the Polar Vortex”
” Holdren stated: “A growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues,” Holdren asserts.”

As Mother Jones and other MSM outlets cheered him on. “Go climate propaganda, Go climate propaganda!”

We’ve yet to see that increasing frequency of extreme cold predicted by Holdren, as proven by the data in this article which shows the opposite.

We have however, seen the continued increase of extreme events being blamed on man made climate change. Extreme events have absolutely NOT increased. We can find similar extreme events, often much more extreme in the past.
The reporting of them being caused by what used to be called global warming has gone way up though. Changing it to climate change was a good marketing strategy since that includes everything. But change was not a scary enough word, so now its the climate crisis. Even that is not scary enough, so many, like Bernie Sanders use climate emergency.

Those are all political descriptions based on a model manufactured, simulated atmosphere for the next 100 years.

Here on the real planet. REAL, R-E-A-L, the observers from life on this greening planet, are telling us what all scientists agreed on before climate science was hijacked for the political agenda.
We are having a climate OPTIMUM:

Life is experiencing the best weather/climate in the last 1,000 years and the best CO2 conditions since humans have existed as we continue to recover from CO2 starvation.
It’s the coldest places in the coldest times of year that are warming up the most.
So what happens in the mid/high latitudes during Winter?
Life suffers tremendous adversity from cold. So much that some creatures migrate south to escape the life threatening cold and find food. Most stay and many struggle, even die. With the lack of food, some creatures hibernate until it warms back up.

Plants go dormant or suffer death from the cold. Annuals are all killed by the cold. Humans are unable to grow food and must live off of what was stored during the previous warm seasons.
Why is warming in these coldest places entirely a bad thing? OK, it melts ice and contributes to the tiny increase in sea levels.
What is the other legit reason?

What does life have to say about this(outside of humans)?

Life: “We’re the ones that have to survive outside, naked and without food in the Winter, please can we have more CO2 and warmth? Pretty please???

Bruce of Newcastle
November 11, 2019 6:12 pm

The great Moscow Heatwave of 2010 was caused by jet stream blocking, as was the white-out of the British Isles that year.

Jet stream blocking is a result of sinuous Rossby waves, which this blog post is essentially about.

So last time we were in a solar minimum we had major blocking events related to low solar activity. Is it any surprise that we are now seeing the same weather patterns given solar activity is again at a minimum?

Can’t meteorologists remember back even 11 years?

November 11, 2019 10:27 pm

The frosty front moves East.
comment image

November 11, 2019 10:30 pm

The distribution of ozone during the solar minimum over the polar circle is highly asymmetrical.
comment image

November 11, 2019 10:41 pm

The polar vortex pattern is formed in the upper stratosphere depending on the influx of ozone. Strong current in the stratosphere is created due to the temperature difference.
comment image

November 12, 2019 12:41 am

Oh yes it is!

The rapid warming of the pole and continuing sea ice decline IS absolutely causing the cold outbreaks.

there is ample recent evidence from winter weather patterns in the USA.

Reply to  griff
November 12, 2019 7:36 am

Ha ha ha, explain why we had the very opposite from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, when there were MORE Arctic outbreaks than now.

Come on Griff!

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Sunsettommy
November 12, 2019 11:44 am


“Climate Change” (TM) causes everything, even things diametrically opposed to one another – Griff didn’t tell you?

Or, more correctly, it doesn’t cause any of it, because it’s an imaginary “crisis” that doesn’t exist.

I wonder how Griff deals with all that cognitive dissonance; maybe he drinks.

Reply to  AGW is not Science
November 12, 2019 8:50 pm

My money is on cannabis. I would submit, though, if he’s posting here, then deep down he’s seeking truth in matters discussed here. Even I once bought into the CAGW, etc. narrative, reinforced through approved sources. Then I came and checked a citation pointing to an article on WUWT, and here I am, still astounded at how I could ever have so easily (lazily) accepted the CO2-is-evil narrative.

Reply to  griff
November 12, 2019 9:16 am

The temperature above the 80th parallel is in line with the average from 1958-2002.

Reply to  ren
November 12, 2019 1:32 pm


Reply to  griff
November 12, 2019 9:20 am

The ice range in the central Arctic is the largest in five years.

November 12, 2019 5:26 am

NOVEMBER 11, 2019
The National Weather Service predicts that more than 250 new cold records could be tied or set during the first half of the week.

November 12, 2019 8:58 am

Know a little about a lot (and you’ll more often sense the likelihood of nonsense when you see it).


Know a lot about a little (and then you may speak with some authority… with confidence).

November 12, 2019 9:39 am

Current temperature anomalies in North America.
comment image

November 12, 2019 9:43 am

Forecast of temperature anomalies in North America.
comment image

November 12, 2019 9:55 am

Cold is the worst kind of warm.

November 12, 2019 11:43 am

All I know, the brass monkeys are getting nervous.

November 12, 2019 1:40 pm

A positive temperature anomaly in Iceland during the winter of 1708/1709 indicates a breakdown of the polar vortex. Was it a fault of CO2 growth?
comment image

Reply to  ren
November 12, 2019 3:09 pm

Yes this winter is not just note worthy because of its cold. But also because its a cold event that the climate models cannot explain. l think its a rare gem in climate history because it open up window into what was going on in europe during the LGM. lt would be interesting to find out what was going on in the eastern USA during this time. ls there any recording of weather events in the USA that go back as far as 1709.

Reply to  taxed
November 13, 2019 12:25 am

Great question!

Matt G
November 13, 2019 4:15 pm

Only one thing that causes this and that’s the change in the sun.


Zero sunlight causes the cold dense air to build in the first place over the pole. The polar vortex and positioning of the Jetstream are divided between this polar air and sub-tropical air.

A warming planet leads to more sub-tropical air reaching North, so the positioning of the jet stream moves further North.

A cooling planet leads to more polar air reaching South, so the positioning of the jet stream moves further South.

The polar vortex is generally controlled by solar activity where when high leads to a more often zonal jet stream cooling the polar regions, but warming mid-latitude regions. In winter it is much stronger and further south then compared with Summer.

With low solar activity the Jetstream meanders and causes polar vortex to move further south at times more often. Increases the risk of severe cold episodes that can reach much further south than usual.

There is no coincidence this event has been occurring while solar activity remains low with potential record lows.

Finally, cold out-breaks were more frequent and more severe hundreds of years ago or less because solar activity was on the whole low compared to recent decades. These events have been always occurring and CO2 doesn’t distinguish anything between them. When solar activity ramps up again in future these will be forgotten about, but when low solar activity returns they will be back again.

November 15, 2019 4:00 am

Climate change responsible for unprecedented floods in the UK and Venice (well at least for several decades)

Johann Wundersamer
November 22, 2019 1:24 am

“Contrary to popular belief, the polar vortex is not unusual, extreme, or a new phenomenon. As Waugh et al., 2016 stated, “they are simply basic features of Earth’s climatology.”¹”

And polar vortices even aren’t restricted to Planet Earth but to find on most planets in the Solar system:

Johann Wundersamer
November 22, 2019 1:37 am
Johann Wundersamer
November 22, 2019 1:43 am

Added: fact

Solar vortices on the moons prove the plain fact every celestial body with substantial atmosphere may develop polar vortices:

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