Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
Yesterday, Eric Worrall posted an interesting article entitled “Forbes: Global Warming is Causing Colder Februaries“. The title says it all. The Forbes article states:
Thanks To Climate Change, February Is Now The Cruelest Month
Jan 29, 2023,12:14am EST
Those unusual frozen Februaries in Texas may not be so unusual anymore.
Early winter has been warming across North America, but late winter is another story. Scientists have documented a cooling trend over more than 40 Februaries, marked by dangerous and increasingly common intrusions of Arctic air deep into the United States.
The underlying article in Science says:
Cold weather disruptions
Despite the rapid warming that is the cardinal signature of global climate change, especially in the Arctic, where temperatures are rising much more than elsewhere in the world, the United States and other regions of the Northern Hemisphere have experienced a conspicuous and increasingly frequent number of episodes of extremely cold winter weather over the past four decades. Cohen et al. combined observations and models to demonstrate that Arctic change is likely an important cause of a chain of processes involving what they call a stratospheric polar vortex disruption, which ultimately results in periods of extreme cold in northern midlatitudes (see the Perspective by Coumou).
The Arctic is warming at a rate twice the global average and severe winter weather is reported to be increasing across many heavily populated mid-latitude regions, but there is no agreement on whether a physical link exists between the two phenomena. We use observational analysis to show that a lesser-known stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) disruption that involves wave reflection and stretching of the SPV is linked with extreme cold across parts of Asia and North America, including the recent February 2021 Texas cold wave, and has been increasing over the satellite era. We then use numerical modeling experiments forced with trends in autumn snow cover and Arctic sea ice to establish a physical link between Arctic change and SPV stretching and related surface impacts.
Now, I’m a data guy. So I went and got the US February temperatures from four different datasets—Berkeley Earth, CERES, NOAA ClimDiv, and the UAH MSU lower troposphere data. All but the CERES dataset cover the 1979—2021 period covered by the study.
Here are the US February trends from the four datasets:
Figure 1. February Continental US Temperature Anomalies, four datasets.
In all four datasets, February has been getting warmer, not colder … go figure.
So … how did they get their results? Well, they didn’t look at observational data.
Instead, they used a climate model fed with the results of a climate reanalysis model plus snow cover data plus arctic sea ice data … and in addition, they used K-means clustering of the 100 hPa reanalysis geopotential heights, multiple linear regression, a simplified Betts-Miller convection scheme, an idealized boundary layer scheme based on Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, a slab ocean, the Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTMG) radiation scheme, and lots of other good juju.
What it seems they didn’t do was … actually look at real-world data instead of using the Bette-Midler convection scheme.
Gotta say, the dying throes of the climate insanity are kind of amusing to watch … or they would be if climate alarmism weren’t so dangerous, particularly to the poor. This kind of madness is driving energy prices through the roof, and that’s the cruelest tax of all.
My very best to everyone,
Oh the weather outside is frightful
But my gas heat is so delightful
So as long as it’s cold and snows
Let it flow
Let it flow
Let it flow
Well it shows no sign of stopping
And my Lectricity bill’s really popping
But as long as gas keeps me warm
Let it flow
Let it flow
Let it flow
Great. Now that song’s going to be stuck in my head all week.
A beautiful model, destroyed by an ugly little fact. (apologies to TH Huxley).
“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.”
― Richard P. Feynman
What happens when your experiment is wrong?
I guess this depends on whether the research is led by René Blondlot or Chris Turney.
Looks like juju is a variety of hocus pocus.
Juju has a religious basis while hocus pocus is just deliberate hoodwinking.
Yes, an ethical basis.
Ja. Ja. I told you. Did I not?
The heat is coming from up north and slowly going south …
Trends….as with all trends — the trend depends on the starting point (date in this case). Re-draw the trend since the turn of the century and you have a decline.
In any case, February Continental US Temperature Anomalies is not the same as a conspicuous and increasingly frequent number of episodes of extremely cold winter weather over the past four decades.
The original paper is about “stretching of the SPV” [stratospheric polar vortex disruption] and not something as simplistic as February Continental US Temperature Anomalies.
Kip, I think you meant “starting point,” but “staring point” still gets the message over.
And yes, monthly averages and episodes away from the average are not the same thing. Perhaps Willis should start looking at standard deviations of temperatures in February, rather than mean temperatures? Have temperatures in a given season become more variable over the years, in the US or elsewhere? I don’t know; but Willis has both the techniques and the time to answer such a question.
The standard deviations of the absolute temperatures should be used, that *should* give the same standard deviation as for the anomalies. If they aren’t the same then investigation should figure out why.
Neil ==> Thanks — lazy fingers, I guess. Luckily, I can correct my typos!
You have to have pity on the poor fellows, Kip. They have a point to make, but when they search for evidence, none is to be found. Can you imagine how hard this makes it?
I know how hard it is. I’ve been itching to write a post about how the wicked cold in northeast China will freeze the Yellow Sea, and cause the Yellow Sea ports problems, and the implications this may have in China’s ability to unload enough liquified natural gas to keep their northeast warm in the cold wave. The only problem is, I can find absolutely no evidence the Yellow Sea is clotted with sea-ice this winter.
Oh dear! What to do! What to do!
I’ll tell you what to do. You just write the damn post, using links to past winters to make your point. You never actually SAY the Yellow Sea has frozen this year. But it’s amazing what you can do with some carefully crafted insinuation. And I wouldn’t want my research to go to waste, would I?
If interested, the post (fairly short) is here:
CHINA CHILLED? | Sunrise’s Swansong (wordpress.com)
I learned my art of insinuation at school. For twelve years I gave very little evidence my homework was done, yet, without evidence, had to figure out how to avoid punishment.
Maybe that is what these Alarmists are doing now. They are attempting to avoid punishment. If so, they are not very good at it. For a reasonable fee I could teach them a thing or two.
“Oh dear! What to do! What to do!”
The same thing they have always done. Make it up!
Homogenize, interpolate, extrapolate, cherry pick, and if all else fails, just plain LIE!
So Texas gets one unusually but not unprecedented February cold spell, and “scientists” conclude the frequency is increasing. For us in Central Texas, Valentine Day 2021 was miserable, but it didn’t remotely compare to the cold snap of 1899, when Arctic air dropped the mercury far below freezing for several days, bottoming out at 1 degree F on February 15th and only 4 F the following day. The 2021 freeze didn’t even get below 10F. 1900, 1933 and 1951 saw days in February comparable to 2021. Run and hide, we’re all gonna die!
So how can one reliably predict rare severe cold spells? One can’t.
Willis has used available observations to make reasonable assertions versus a highly speculative multivariate model that cannot be disproven without about 100 years of future data. By then, this paper will be long-forgotten and the modelers all dead.
Short but sweet, Willis!
I glad to see that the authors used modeling and “observational analysis” to reach their conclusions. Apparently oceanic cycles like AMO, PDO and ENSO were too complicated for them to include; instead they flailed around for something that might stick against the wall once thrown! That’s some mighty good juju!
Gotta say that I agree with how humorous the priestly prognostations are becoming; if only the cost in lives and treasure weren’t so high this would be thoroughly entertaining! Hope you’re staying safe and dry despite the relentless drought!
“that might stick against the wall once thrown!”
More likely to stick to their hands
Like slightly chewed jujubes
“Observational analysis is a popular technique that require coaches to become effective observers to enable them to identify an athlete’s strengths and weaknesses in performance.”
Climate scientists resemble sports reporters more and more ..
“K-means clustering”? Did you say “K-means clustering“?
How timely: https://xkcd.com/2731/
I think there are fewer clusterings of K-Marts in the US now than in the past.
I’m not sure what that means.
The one nearest me declustered itself a year or two ago and is some other chain store now.
A priest picked up a robe from a pile in the middle of the room, aka, cluster frock.
xkcd lists Hayhoe as a source.
Global warming causes global cooling except when it is warming … never mind the actual temperatures.
As Samuel Clemons quipped, “There are lies, and damned lies, and then there’s statistics.”
And then there’s climate models.
It is misstated that Samuel Clemens “attributed to Disraeli” The statistics quote: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Samuel Clemens did not quip any such line, he borrowed it from another person.
Progressive prices and availability through redistributive change schemes that are socially justified with cargo cult science and experts.
Mondays! The Bette-Midler scheming over Texas word picture is bad, imagining it having something to do with convection is somehow much, much worse.
Bette need to be in west Texas to get ready to experience the global warming they’re set to get there first hand.
Old country saying in England
February fill the dyke, Be it black or be it white; But if it be white, It’s the better to like.
It looks like science, it sounds like science, but don’t worry – it’s only climate science “where the answers come first”
What on Earth have we done to deserve this tragedy?
It’s alarmist junk – modelled, of course. And it’s designed to… frighten.
“”It is no surprise that climate anxiety is rising, particularly among young people, who have mostly only known a world affected by climate change.
But experts and activists have told BBC News that these fears can actually be good news for the planet.
“People who are really aware of climate change may be more motivated to take action,””
No data required, just fear
What people haven’t “mostly only known a world affected by climate change?” And what exactly are these climate change effects? I’d say it is mass psychosis brought about from constant fear-mongering rather than from any supposed observed climate change.
“I’d say it is mass psychosis brought about from constant fear-mongering rather than from any supposed observed climate change.”
That is what I would say, too. We are getting a lesson in human psychology with this human-caused climate change scam.
I think we are also getting a lesson in just how detrimental the Mass Media can be when they are the main source of this constant fearmongering.
As a result of this fearmongering, our Western politicians are setting out to destroy the very energy sources that power our societies, oil, natural, gas and coal, and their attempts are failing miserably and are destroying our economies.
All based on a pack of lies about the Earth’s climate.
Remember, the globe is warming except where it is not.
And concerning colder Febs, the globe is warming except when it’s not.
“trend over more than 40 Februaries”
How old did they claim planet Earth was?
I lived through that forty year period and don’t notice much difference between then and now.
February is a rather good month in general, but does get short-term arctic cold snaps as the cold arctic air gets colder over the winter and eventually this denser air moves south, pushing aside less dense air.
The coldest arctic air as of today is marked on the graphic at the link below:
And the jet stream, which is blowing across the U.S. from west to east is keeping the southern tier of the United States relatively warm:
My question is, will that area of arctic cold air come down into the U.S. all the way to the Gulf of Mexico, like one did in February 2021?
It looks to me like the really cold air is too far east to make it all the way to the Gulf coast. It looks like it will effect the northern and northeastern States. But that’s just a guess. 🙂
Meanwhile, although we are below freezing here in Oklahoma and will be for a couple of more days, we are going to warm up into the 60’sF by the end of the week. That’s what a favorable jet stream will do for you. Everyone north of the jet stream will be colder than those south of it.
This winter looks like “Business as Usual” to me.
The Bette-Midler convection scheme? In the immortal words of Adam Sandler, “Well, THERE’S your problem!” The last brain cell in that head died of loneliness long, long ago.
Willis is clearly not a member of the Current Events Climate Science Attribution Club.
You would see that they were 100% correct if you didn’t cherry pick the start date from when the global cooling scam ended but, instead, when the end-of-snow predictions started.
As Science shows again here, it takes complicated climate science methods to explain something that didn’t happen. Mann used some to fabricate his paleoclimate hockey stick in 1999–including his Nature trick. Wadhams used some to say summer Arctic sea ice would disappear by 2014. Viner at UKMet used some to say UK children soon would not know snow.
Cohen needs to pay his heating bills with the pub mill payoff.
Let’s play out the claim that early Winter is warmer and late winter is colder. Why would that be a bad thing? Would that mean a shorter Spring? Or longer Fall? It’s like taking an 8 ounce glass of water, pouring 5 ounces into another glass, then from that glass pouring out 2 ounces into a third glass. It’s still 8 fscking ounces in total. It doesn’t matter how you divide it and it doesn’t matter which glass has more water in it.
Hey come on Willis, you can’t expect those Climate Alarmist’ scientists’ (sic) to get involved in real world data.
They are soaring way above that old fashioned science you are so fond of. No, these Climate Alarmists have computer models to fall back on and they can always be relied on to produce the right results.
For some bizarre reason I would have always said February is the coldest month here in the UK, but that is simply based on personal experience and no science at all. Heck with my experience, I could fit right in with the cold February is caused by global warming loons. They don’t use science in their projections either….
Cliff Mass did a piece back in 2021 here in WUWT —>
scroll down the comments a bit and read this piece by Vuc :
“Tue, 22 Dec 2020
Sheveluch volcano (Kamchatka, Russia): powerful eruptionA few hours later, at 19:30 local time on today evening, another strong explosion detected by Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) Tokyo produced spectacular ash plume rising up to 28,000 ft (8,500 m) altitude and extended about 130 km to the southeast of the volcano. Incandescence continues to be observed in the crater identified in satellite data.”
That set into motion the cold outbreak that froze Texas IMO, but if you google
Sheveluch Eruption it doesn’t even show that event happened..
What am I missing?
There was a volcanic eruption on 12/22/2020 –>
and another last November —>
The common media narrative for the Texas freeze up is climate change. nothing
about volcanic ash rising into the stratosphere and disrupting the vortex. Same
again this year..seems curious to me.
To reinforce your inclination to look at the data, I offer this view of these claims about February.
Last year I plotted the daily Tmax ClimGrid data for the contiguous U.S. This gridded dataset corresponds to the monthly ClimDiv data you used. Daily values are available from 1951 to the present. These plots are for the 5-year centered mean of each date’s values. So the plot shows 1953 through 2019, from the daily data from 1951 through 2021.
View the images one by one by clicking forward or backward to keep the frame stationary. You can see that February dates look like most are cooling during recent decades but December and January look like most are warming.
I realize this is Tmax, not Tavg. But in any case, visually it shows that the claims of CO2-driven warming cannot explain what is happening with the cycles and trends over the whole record. It looks like cycles of timed effects of different periods are combining and cancelling differently by date.
Take a look. All the dates of the year are plotted. Leap year February 29 is ignored.
There is a filenames.txt file in this folder giving the web addresses for the ClimGrid dataset files, which are by year and month for the daily values.
Thanks, David. I fear that I have no use for running means. The problem is that they have horrible characteristics as a filter. Here’s an example.
As you can see in the graph, the running mean (red line above, also known as a boxcar filter) happily turns troughs into peaks and vice versa. As a result, I don’t trust them in the slightest.
Thanks Willis, I appreciate your reply and the cautionary example. Here is the same ClimGrid data with no smoothing at all, so as to not miss the larger point about the differences by date.
(nClimGrid daily CONUS Tmax, 1951 through 2021.)
These stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) disruption (breakdown) events are driven by Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) events.
According to Wikipedia (yeah I know Wikipedia bias sucks, but this isn’t a controversial point):
“The first continued measurements of the stratosphere were taken by German meteorologist Richard Scherhag in 1951 using radiosondes to take reliable temperature readings in the upper stratosphere (~40 km) and he became the first to observe stratospheric warming on 27 January 1952.”
And then to further explain this comes from NOAA’s NorthDakota office:
“A sudden stratospheric warming is a significant disruption of the stratospheric polar vortex that begins with large-scale atmosphere waves (called Rossby waves) getting pushed higher into the atmosphere. These waves can “break” (like waves in the ocean) on top of the polar vortex and weaken it. If waves are strong enough, the winds of the polar vortex can weaken so much that they can reverse from being westerly to easterly. This leads to cold air descending and warming rapidly, with the red line on the graph showing the sudden jump in temperature.”
So SSWs and polar vortex disruption in the Northern Hemisphere are an ancient, and common stratospheric phenomenon that involve the oscillating, long-period atmospheric wave functions that control our weather. Nothing to do with the ClimateScam.
Never let data get in the way of your model
“The Arctic is warming at a rate twice the global average”
Never forget that everywhere on land around the globe is warming at twice the global average.
Because the planet surface is 70% water which has a huge specific heat capacity and therefore warms much more slowly than land. Its pretty obvious really.
The whole climate scam is based only on models and what they spew out.
My bad, it didn’t occur to me they didn’t even look at the thermometer…
Not to be outdone…
Every Place On Earth Warming Faster Than Every Other Place On Earth
I could take the place of all these modeling wing-nuts with my magic 8 ball. Name your price. I am sure I’ll make a good living publishing fantasy climate doom porn and the sponsors will still realize immense savings after pulling all the
researchpropaganda grants from the stupefying university crowd.
It probably took Willis an hour or two to gather the information he shared with us. An hour or two to completely destroy the premise of this study. How do these bottom feeders continue to get funded, how can a study like this pass even the simplest review process. We need to start holding these scoundrels accountable for wasting our time and money.
“This kind of madness is driving energy prices through the roof”
What you see as an unfortunate side-effect of the green’s policy, I see as the purpose. The greens want to stop the poor from using power by making it outrageously expensive.
Yea, would want them to use it all up.
Yes. Remember: We are the carbon they want to reduce.
They looked at snow and assumed it is associated with being colder.
Snowfall requires a lot of energy. Every tonne of snow on land corresponds to liberating the same amount of heat as burning 100kg of coal. That heat is released at high altitude to lower the radiating temperature and resultant heat loss. More snow means more heat and warmer winters.
The heat gores into the ocean surface to liberate water and is released over land as the water solidifies.
Snowfall is going up as the winter temperature is increasing.
Spring is reducing because that is when solar intensity is rising fastest in the NH
Well that’s not how it works, Rick.
When we’re getting very little snow, it’s because of “climate change.”
When we’re getting record breaking snow, THAT’S because of “climate change.”
Heads they win, tales we lose. Didn’t you get the memo?
/sarc, if necessary.
I looked a the Hadcet data for central England. Of the three winter month, Dec, Jan, Feb, Feb seems to have the most warming. Of course, the coefficients of the slopes for Dec and Jan range from negative to positive, so, that is sorta a weak signal for warming in those months.
Thanks, Joel. The problem with the HadCET is that there are no less than 17 splices in the record, as one location is replaced with another. This makes it less than useful for long-term trends.
I only looked at data only from 1980 onwards, since that seems to be about when things get warmer in that record so the splicing stuff shouldn’t be a problem. I also looked at daily minimum temperatures in winter months as well (data not shown.). The average daily minimum temperature in Feb has increased just like the average daily mean temperature, with almost identical slopes with linear regression:
y(average daily min in Feb) = 0.045x + 32.3. Again, of interest, the slopes for Jan and Dec are positive but like the mean daily temperatures, the 2SD estimate of the coefficients range from negative to positive. So, in winter, only February is showing “statistically significant” warming.
Proxies vs. instrument data
Liquid in glass vs. electronic thermometers
Thermometers in genuinely rural areas to thermometers in the middle of airports surrounded by tarmac and jet engines and terminal HVAC equipment
“article entitled “Forbes: Global Warming is Causing Colder Februaries“. The title says it all”
Yes, it does. I’ve bolded the important part of the title. It is Forbes saying that.
What the paper they are describing says is:
“We use observational analysis to show that a lesser-known stratospheric polar vortex (SPV) disruption that involves wave reflection and stretching of the SPV is linked with extreme cold across parts of Asia and North America, including the recent February 2021 Texas cold wave, and has been increasing over the satellite era.”
They are not saying that the February average is decreasing. They are saying that cold snaps are becoming more extreme.
So extreme cold in February is becoming more common but the monthly average is warming? …
It seems so.
Yes, that is the claim.
More extreme cold snaps would have a negative impact on winter wheat harvests from freezing of the sprouts. That doesn’t seem to be happening, we are still seeing record harvests every year in both the central US and Canada. Something isn’t jiving here.
Bette Midler is my top “go to” source for all things climate.
As an audiophile, I know Bette Midler can be a very good singer, Most musicians I like are not conservatives, but none are leftist loudmouths like Bette Midler
I did like her song as the last guest on the last Johnny Carson show:
“One More For My Baby” – Bette Midler – YouTube
And this Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy quartet video
Bette Midler Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – YouTube
I don’t follow this closely but I do remember a few things I’ve read. On was on temperature homogenization and how it distorts official data sets. The other was on unhomogenized arctic temperatures.
In the first there were a number of examples. I suspect most people here have seen some of the many articles with similar information. Anyway, in this article several published temperatures were deconstructed by showing the distant sites from which came the temperature readings to compute the published figure. While it isn’t exactly ‘the Arctic’, the published Greenland temperature was a calculation from three sites, one on the east coast of Greenland, one in Nova Scotia, and the third from somewhere else on the North American Coast. It was a rather warm, above freezing number, rather different than any likely to be measured at most spots on the island of Greenland away from the coasts, i.e. over most of Greenland.
The other article was about readings from most or all stations within the Arctic Circle. The data presented clearly supported the article’s claim that the Arctic has shown no warming above the rate or magnitude of anywhere else at extra-tropic latitudes. “Arctic Amplification” is a ruse.
The point is, using those published datasets is likely to be falling into a propaganda trap as your first step rather than a means to unveil the real state of affairs. On the other hand, for this particular article, maybe it makes no difference.
Bah.. last week I criticized Kip Hansen for publishing datasets we know that are wrong (just ask R. Spencer about the proper use of MSU channels) and that fit lines without uncertainty are wrong and unscientific and here we have yet another example of shady work.
Please do your homework and dont use wrong datasets and post incomplete results of an analysis!
Otherwise it seems to be a nice find!
WE if you would plot the error curves for the trend lines on graphs like this, you would clearly show us all that the slope of the trend line for this data set can be either positive or negative. I learned how to do that when I took statistics in the early 70s, but I have since forgotten how to do it now. Now to link this to my friends.
“Early winter has been warming across North America”
Could have fooled me. December was pretty damn cold here in Colorado.
If the Arctic has been warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, how can it cause the rest of the world to get colder? A peer-reviewed paper by Cowtan and Way claimed the Arctic was warming 8 times faster than the rest of the world. Unless they have retracted their paper, shouldn’t the Arctic be pretty toasty by now?
Nothing x nothing = nothing.
Same goes for 8x nothing.
When temperatures supposedly taken in “the Arctic” are actually temperatures “divined” from readings taken thousands of miles away, the “rate” doesn’t really mean much.
the more misleading and dishonest the claim the more it is trumpeted by the media
The lesson here is not that Will E, so effectively refuted the false February claim. Here in Michigan, it is obvious our winters, which include February, are not as cold as in the 1970s. And we love that. We don’t need a scientist to tell us about the climate change we live in.
The important lesson is that Climate Howlers can say anything without fear of being fact checked by the mainstream media or by any leftists. Nothing they claim has to be backed by data.
The prediction of CAGW, since the 1979 Charney Report, has NEVER been backed by data. CAGW has never been observed — only predicted, since 1979, and it never happened. There are no CAGW data. CAGW is a fantasy.
With leftist control of the mass media, the Climate Howlers can throw mud on the wall (fake climate scaremongering predictions of doom) much faster than Willie E. and other competent scientists can refute the claims.
It’s what I call “The Baffle Them with Climate BS” strategy. Climate Howlers keep Climate Realists busy, and on defense, by throwing out more and more baloney reports and “studies”.
Next week’s top climate headline, I predict:
“Climate change will kill your dog!”
My daily list of the best climate science and energy articles I read, that will include this one later today, is at:
Honest Climate Science and Energy
Yes I suppose we can modify an old adage – since they can’t dazzle us with brilliance, they bury us with bullshit.
Ya missed this one: https://electroverse.co/antarctica-record-cold-utah-62f-asias-all-time-lows-stratosphere-very-cold/
For what it’s worth, here’s the GISS map of trends for February since 1979.
Whilst the USA might have been warming on the whole, there is a very large area over Canada and the North of the US that has been cooling.
And since 2000 is much worse. Must be the beginning of a new ice age 🙂
Talk about torturing the models until they give the right results…
I attended the inaugural Hoover Institute “environment” conference yesterday. Steve Koonin was part of one of the (2+chairman) panels. One of the many interesting notes (most of which WuWT people are familiar with) is that he called out the fact that the IPCC expected ranges of temperature increases have fallen from 4-5 degrees C to 3. Not quite to Nick Lewis/Judith Curry ECS levels but getting closer…
Now, I’m a data guy.
There’s always a smartypants in every class ruining the perfect lesson plan and disrupting the other students.