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Global Warming and Cold Winters

Posted on 15 January 2011 by D.Salmons

Guest post by D.Salmons

If you were to look out most windows as of this writing, there is a good chance that you would be presented with an image of winter. All around me, winter has sprung, dumping measurable inches of frozen precipitation and snarling the usual habits of work and school as we struggle to cope with its effects on modern life. And more than a few of you might be asking yourself, "What happened to global warming?"

Well, the effects of global warming are all around us. That harsh winter that we are experiencing, it is not proof that global warming is not happening, but rather serves as proof that it is indeed happening, and even a bit faster than we might like to think. It also shows why the phrase "Climate Change" is a better term to describe the effects of man on his environment.

Vladimir Petoukhov, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, has recently completed a study on the effect of climate change on winter. According to Petoukhov,

These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia. Recent severe winters like last year's or the one of 2005-06 do not conflict with the global warming picture, but rather supplement it.
But how does a colder winter support the idea of a warming earth? It's really simple when you look at the evidence.

Radiative Force Creates Warming

 

 

If we look at the Nasa Map above, it shows that the Arctic has been heating up, and studies show that is happening at two to three times the global average. This rising temperature in the Arctic has served to reduce the region's floating ice layer by more than 20%. And as you would expect, when the reflective ice and snow layer is stripped away, it leaves a dark blue sea.

Now, what does the effect of the dark blue sea being exposed have on the Arctic area? Well, the ice and snow layer reflects the majority of the sun's rays harmlessly back into space. But the dark blue of the exposed sea absorbs the rays, aiding the heating process.

 

In short, as the ice shelf shrinks, the Arctic region becomes a better collector of the Sun's energy, speeding up the warming effect and creating an even wider solar collector from the exposed sea. It should be easy to see how the process accelerates itself.

Global Pressure creates Arctic Corridor

As the ocean gets warmer from the radiative force of the Sun's rays, it is in marked contrast with the polar air above it. The heat from the warmed ocean flows upward into the polar air, creating a high pressure system.

 

This high pressure forces the polar air to move, and soon we have a clockwise swirl that pushes frigid air downwards into Europe and across the globe.

 

This newly formed "Arctic Corridor" pushes the frigid air from Europe into Eastern China and the Americas, dropping temperatures and making winter conditions more extreme than usual.

Records Support The Model

 

Record keeping by NASA and other institutes support the model of the artic corridor. If we look at the NASA's temperature graph by latitude, the temperature shift becomes much more pronounced as you approach the 90-degree mark. The effect, sometimes referred to in the Arctic Dipole Anomaly, explains the shift in weather patterns from established normals.

If the recent past is any indication, we can expect to see more wildly varied weather patterns and temperature shifts. In fact, we can look at the current weather season to see this shift in place. As we huddle in our abodes to avoid the effects of winter, consider that Greenland had temperatures above zero in December. Climate Change may be a very mild description indeed of what is happening to Planet Earth.

Author's bio: D. Salmons is a freelance writer and social media consultant for several companies, ranging from individuals to Fortune 500. She is a bit of a geek and enjoys writing about consumer electronics at Test Freak, a website that collects product information and reviews for the best GPS and other tech gadgets.

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Comments 101 to 150 out of 179:

  1. Really? We have something other than a model forecast? What would that be, a time machine? The fact is both the carbon and temperature projections require exponential responses. The most basic requirement of any model is that it duplicates known outcomes when fed with historical data. Something these models have always struggled to do.

    The veiled antagonism to any contrary view illustrates your problem. A strong bias hardly ensures good science in such an uncertain and complex field. Nor does the constant explaining away of contrary data with increasingly concepts.
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  2. Mozart:
    I provided you a link to prove my claim of record warmth in 2010. You have made an unsupported assertion that cold records exceed warm records in 2011. Provide a link to your wild, unsupported assertion of cold records exceeding warm records in 2011. The record warm temperatures at the start of January in Greenland, as much as 25C above normal for weeks, exceed anything you will be able to find for cold anywhere in the world. I had this discussion with another sqeptic last month, they cited record warm temperatures as evidence that it was getting colder because it was only 10C warmer than normal. Deniers love to make wild unsupported claims and waste our time chasing down the correct data. If you cannot provide data you must withdraw your wild claim.
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  3. Well Michael "wild" it may be, but it's not unsupported. In Herrera's definitive site you will find the following:

    Kaikohe (New Zealand) max. 40.6
    Bayanbulak (China) min. -49.6
    Woomera (Australia) max. 48.1
    Salmon Gums (Australia) max. 46.3
    Pecos Ranger (New Mexico,USA) min. -35
    Ruidoso (New Mexico,USA) min. -32.8
    Safford (Arizona,USA) min. -15
    Chihuahua (Mexico) min. -16
    Ciudad Delicias (Mexico) min. -18
    Durango City (Mexico) min. -11.5
    El Carrizo (Mexico) min. -2.5
    Los Mochis (Mexico) min. -1.5
    Guasave (Mexico) min. 0
    Timaru (New Zealand) max. 40.3

    I make that 10 new minimums and 4 new maximums. But let me hasten to say, I attach no importance to these empirical observations. There are many more new maximums in the past years, which is consistent with slowly rising temperatures.

    No need to apologize.
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] Actually, you were asked to provide a link to the sources you've used to base your claims on. You still have not done so.
  4. Mozart,
    I posted 17 National all time hot records records for 2010. The data you have posted cannot possibly be national records, since I see many that are duplicate. Please weed through the chaff and see if any of your temperatures is a national record. I notice that you have not added any of the record tempertaures in Greenland and Northern Canada, no surprises there. You can continue to post your cherry picked data, but when we get to the final data you will see that January was a pretty average month around the globe. A handful of single data point cold records doesn't amount to anything next to 17 all time hot records for a country.
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  5. Now scadden you and I differ on the likely course of CO2. You refer me to a site with wildly varying estimates, most of which are hopelessly out of date following the Global near depression. No doubt those prognosticators that find their estimates within one standard deviation of the mean, feel they are being pretty "conservative".

    But read the US Energy Information Administrations stats on the growth of energy and you come up with the following:

    Energy usage from all sources will increase 48% by 2035, off a 2007 base. Taking that to 2011 and extrapolating to 2050....you get a linear trend number of 67%. Call it 80% to allow for compounding.

    So, even assuming we can't drive any efficiencies in carbon per unit of energy....we don't double carbon output from man made sources. And man made sources constitute a fraction of total CO2 production.

    Given this and the relatively small rise of 23% in CO2 since 1900, I find your confidence in these wildly differing estimates, bemusing to say the least.
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  6. mozart - We certainly don't need to double industrial energy use to double CO2 levels. They are increasing now at ~2.3ppm/year, an ongoing rate, any additional industrialization will increase that rate. At current rates (with no changes whatsoever in industry levels) we'll hit a doubling of CO2 over pre-industrial levels in ~70 years, and expected additional industrialization will make that time-frame shorter considerably shorter.

    Given your numbers, by 2050 we'll be increasing CO2 by an 80% higher rate, 4.15ppm/year.
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  7. Well I apologize for not providing a link, I assumed the herrera site was familiar to most serious students of the topic. But here you go:

    http://www.mherrera.org/temp.htm
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  8. mozart - The 4.15 ppm/year rate with 80% industrial expansion discussed in my previous post assumes that the same percentage of CO2 produce (just under 50%) is absorbed by the oceans.

    If oceans are limited to absorbing 2ppm/year as they currently are doing, then the rates by 2050 (again, using your numbers) will be 5.75ppm/year increase in CO2 for 80% increase in industrialization - still 2.3ppm/year with no change in industry whatsoever.

    We only need an additional 165 ppm to reach a doubling of pre-industrial CO2...
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  9. Sweet your counter example was an example of one....Greenland. How you have the temerity to criticize a straight data pull that notes places in 5 different countries is astonishing.
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  10. Mozart,
    Quickly scanning your site I see that none of the points you cherry picked are national records. Since it is currently winter in the Northern Henisphere and all the records are land based you would expect more cold records than warm records to be set in the past two weeks. There is more land in the Northern Hemisphere. Your hand picked records do not compare to the 17:1 ratio of All time National hot versus cold records set in 2010, and the yearly record is not biased hot versus cold. I ask you again: what does the ratio have to be for you to be convinced it is not natural: 25:1, 100:1 or 1000:1?
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  11. Mozart,
    My original post was 17 national all time records. You have not posted any national records. Who has temerity?
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  12. Well KR I appreciate those comments, but to me it seems reasonable to believe two things:

    1) We will become more carbon efficient in our energy needs, motivated primarily by economic forces.

    2) The oceans will continue to absorb 50 to 55% of atmospheric CO2.

    So I conclude a doubling of the CO2 extant today, is a long, long way off. But that's just my guess. I could go on about the trade-offs but then scadden would discipline me again, and who needs that.
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  13. Sweet...show me where I said they were national records. I haven't seen any national records yet for 2011. So we expand it to a much broader data base of global cities. And please don't say "cherry picked" when I produced the entire list.
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  14. mozart - "So I conclude a doubling of the CO2 extant today, is a long, long way off."

    The proper term for that line is moving the goalposts. The discussion on this is doubling CO2 from pre-industrial levels, not from what they were yesterday.

    Secondly, folks, temperature record discussion belongs on Record high temperatures versus record lows.

    Moderator(s) - I believe this CO2 offshoot is well off-topic? Any suggestions for a more appropriate thread?
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Tried that here; Mozart apparently feels he can dance to his own tune. Move CO2 discussion to a CO2 thread, please.
  15. Mozart, you are cherry picking by showing data for 2011 to date, it is only early February for goodness' sakes, those data are not even representative of the boreal winter (austral summer), never mind the meteorological year. Look at 2010, and report back what was observed. That said, to do this properly one has to look at the trends over many years.

    As demonstrated by Meehl et al. (2009) the ratio of record highs to record lows in increasing. note that the ratio is changing, no-one said no new record minimums will be set, just fewer.

    Michael sweet, 19 all time national record highs were set around the globe in 2010, not 17 (see here).
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  16. Well KR I'm working off today's energy usage and temperature so today's Co2 seemed more relevant. But I gather I'm off topic, so it's moot. Apologies and regards to all.
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  17. mozart - Each and every one of your claims about highs and lows is answered here.
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  18. Albatross I am no more cherry picking than Sweet is by mentioning Greenland. You will note in my posting above I point out it has no significance. Furthermore these record highs have to be taken with a pinch of salt because of cherry picking of measurement sites. Many, for example are airports, where the heat island effect needs to be considered. In this subject treating data as factual, is a mistake.

    But there I go off subject again....
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  19. mozart - I strongly recommend using the "Search" box. For example, a quick run with "heat island" produces this link, while Temp record is unreliable is even listed on every page of this site, on the left border.

    If you post on the appropriate page a proper discussion can occur - otherwise we get a scattershot on all threads, and it's difficult to actually follow the issues.

    Incidentally - both skeptic arguments are incorrect.
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  20. Mozart @119,

    I was addressing your claims, let us deal with those OK? No need to obfuscate or turn this into a "he said, she said".

    re:
    "....pinch of salt because of cherry picking of measurement sites. Many, for example are airports, where the heat island effect needs to be considered. In this subject treating data as factual, is a mistake."

    Absolute nonsense. That myth and fallacy has been addressed by Menne et al. (2010), as well as by the CCC group.

    Please stop perpetuating myths and insulting us all here with long debunked (and oftentimes unsubstantiated) contrarian speaking points.
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  21. Sorry old chap, but reading that data, they aren't denying that heat island effects exist. They are simply saying it doesn't affect the global record. That record is of modest temperature increases.....I accept that.

    But the effect on local records can be significant even if hard to quantify. Look at it this way.....nothing is influencing local minimums down....but according to the very article you site the heat island effect can influence local maximums up. Sufficient reason to be careful.
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] Let's start over: Welcome to Skeptical Science! Newcomers typically are urged to Start Hereand then read the Big Picture, after which I urge them watch this. Skeptical Science is an immense resource for those coming here to learn about the science of climate, climate change, the human attribution of it and skeptic's arguments against it. In that regard, you are encouraged to use the Search function in the Upper Left corner of every page. Why? To save everyone time. Chances are there's already a post on one's question and a thread discussion of it. After using the search function, if you still have questions, post them on the most relevant thread & someone here will answer it in due time. Thanks!
  22. Fair enough Daniel, but I just sense the welcome is a little cold (if you'll forgive the word). Skeptic, as a term for those who need more proof, seems to understate things a little bit on this site. Heretic seems closer to the truth, when I weigh this little string.

    No matter I'll soldier on, from time to time. You chaps need a little debate and above all a little humour.

    Regards.
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  23. Mozart: ...the heat island effect needs to be considered.

    One thing you may not understand is that when you see temperature representations that they are reported as anomalies to a specific base period. In other words its the change in temperature that matters not the actual temperature. You might also look at the discussion on the heat island effect here and here on this site.
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  24. Mozart @122,

    Oh dear, nobody is claiming that the UHI does not exist...that is why they correct for it, and they are very careful.

    Let me remind you of the title of this post "Global Warming and Cold Winters", it speaks to the intriguing hypothesis that the loss of arctic sea ice could be responsible (at least in part) to the AO going into deep negative territory. The result...temperatures running 15-20 K higher than normal in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland, and much below average temperatures over portions of Eurasia and N. America. According to the RSS data, lower tropospheric temperatures (70 S to 82.5 N) in November were near record highs, with positive anomalies in December and January-- and that despite one of the strongest La Ninas on record and despite the strongly negative AO. By comparison, a weaker (but significant according to the MEI) La Nina event in 1988-1989 resulted global lower tropospheric temperature anomalies that were over 0.3 K lower than are being observed for this strong event.

    The very first point you made is that we are still observing record lows as evidence that we do not have a problem. That is simply wrong, and runs contrary to you claiming that the UHI is allegedly causing record highs. On the one hand you are arguing that the record highs are because of UHI (they are not), and on the other hand you claim the occurrence of record lows as evidence that there is not an issue. You want it both ways. Such internally inconsistent arguments are frequently made my "skeptics".

    The UHI crutch cannot be used "skeptics" to explain away the increase in global SSTs, satellite data, loss of sea Arctic ice, loss of ice from glaciers and ice sheets, earlier leaf burst, changes in migrations et cetera. The figure below shows the global SSTs, no UHI there mate....and if you want a peer-reviewed paper, here is one by Rayner et al. (2005).



    Now here is an exercise for you...superimpose on that map above the global SAT temperatures. You will find that they correlate extremely well.

    You continue to argue straw men and continue make unsubstantiated comments. I am not interested in your opinions or musings, I am interested in the science and facts. Such internally inconsistent arguments are frequently made by "skeptics".

    You are, of course entitled to your opinions on this, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
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  25. Ah but Rick that's exactly my point.....change is what we are after, and cities and heat islands are growing. There is every reason to believe, even with stable temperatures, readings taken in cities will continue to rise. By contrast there is no reason that a reading taken in the city or the country would fall over time. We have a built in bias.

    Now as Albie points out above serious attempts are made to eliminate this bias. But I'm from Missouri on this one, I doubt the effects are totally eliminated at all the sites records are kept, in every country around the globe.

    But as Daniel would say, I'm off the subject and wasting your time...so best not go there.
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] UHI is off-topic on this thread. Find the appropriate thread for continuing discussions of that topic. Thanks!
  26. I also showed you the SSTs @125, which you of course ignored, instead once electing to keep arguing about a long debunked point. Now, please either stay on topic move the discussion to the appropriate thread. Thanks.
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  27. @126 mozart

    First digest the two links I gave you and especially the links provided in those articles. It is not something that is ignored or even looked upon lightly. The point I was trying to make with the anomalies is that a change of 1 deg C is a change of 1 deg C whether it occurred in a UHI or twenty miles from it. The UHI actual temp change may be 17C to 18C and the station 20 miles away may be 14C to 15C. Different temperatures but still only a change in 1 deg C.
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    Moderator Response: [Daniel Bailey] Please keep in mind the topic of this thread. UHI is best discussed here or here or here (at this point, take your pick). Thanks!
  28. Well here's one for you to ponder Albie, and it's on topic. If an Arctic high pressure region caused by warmer sea temperatures is causing all this misery....why do we have 6 new record lows in Mexico? Refer to my off topic response 104.
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  29. "You refer me to a site with wildly varying estimates, most of which are hopelessly out of date following the Global near depression. "

    I sent you to site from which the scenarios used for IPCC models are taken. The models are run for each scenario so you can see what happens. You appear not to have read the assumptions on economic factors. As to idea that they are hopelessly out of date. see CO2 since 1990. Can you see the global depression is that curve?


    "Energy usage from all sources will increase 48% by 2035,"
    How about putting in links? I assume this global not US?

    "So, even assuming we can't drive any efficiencies in carbon per unit of energy....we don't double carbon output from man made sources."

    Dont need to. As has been pointed out, do your maths.

    " And man made sources constitute a fraction of total CO2 production."

    Another skeptic dance. Natural sources AND sinks are huge but balanced. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is mostly manmade. See appropriate threads.


    "Given this and the relatively small rise of 23% in CO2 since 1900, I find your confidence in these wildly differing estimates, bemusing to say the least. "

    Your erroneous maths on this subject has been pointed out many times. Start at 1950, 310ppm, and add 2 ppm per year.
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  30. #119: "In this subject treating data as factual, is a mistake."

    Wow, doesn't that just say it all?
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  31. #129: "why do we have 6 new record lows in Mexico?"

    Perhaps you should study the distinction between weather and climate. See the thread "It's freaking cold". Then look at maps of the jet stream, which is pulling very far to the south, in part because of the anomalously warm Arctic. Also see the thread on "extreme weather". In fact, do as Moderator DB suggests; read and learn before developing so many opinions.
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  32. Mozart @129,

    "why do we have 6 new record lows in Mexico?"

    You are fishing, but i'll bite. Look at the loading patter for the AO. The AO was incredibly low in late November and December, which probably led to some cold outbreaks as cold air was pulled southwards over the lower latitudes of N. America:



    Observed 500-mb height anomalies for last 30-days, [Note the below average heights extending as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, Florida experienced record cold weather recently]



    The result as far as temperatures are concerned.....


    With a bit of effort mozart you could have easily figured this out for yourself. Now I have more important things to do.
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  33. Figured what out Albie, that the temperature was way lower than normal in Europe and North America because a high was displacing Arctic air? Isn't that always the reason for really cold air?

    But I guess the difference here is the high was supposedly caused caused by global warming effects on the ice cap. Now this loss of ice hasn't happened suddenly this year. So if we follow this line of reasoning we should have seen a succession of colder winters.

    Unfortunately here things break apart. We have seen generally warm winters in North America, apart from last year and this year. We can't even discern any trend towards colder winters.

    So sorry....it's a nice theory, elegant almost.....but it just doesn't hold up. Just another attempt to make any result, warming or cooling, the result of man's insouciance.

    I know Albie is too busy to respond, but I'm wondering, am I still on topic Danny?
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  34. Mozart - "albie" and "Danny" are somewhat impolite ways to refer to other posters. I'm Phil, by the way.

    On topic, the paper in question looked at a mechanism by which the changing albedo in arctic sea (recent) could impact on the arctic polar circulation. The effects are local to parts of Europe and parts of US. The data is drawn from that corridor, and yes, overall, europe and US are warming like the rest of the world.

    I think the paper is interesting, plausible, but I agree that the time period is way too short for any evaluation of this account for what is a weather rather than climatic phenomena. The point of paper is that colder winters in some parts of the world are not necessarily at odds with the overall rising global temperatures.
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  35. #134: "if we follow this line of reasoning we should have seen a succession of colder winters."

    Mozart, what a wonderful world you must live in, where things always behave in such a linear progression.

    "We can't even discern any trend towards colder winters."

    Depends on how you look at things. Consider, for example, that the March maximum of sea ice extent doesn't decrease as rapidly from year to year as the September minimum. It must therefore be the case that each winter's freeze-up, starting from a lesser extent and winding up at about the same maximum extent requires more aggressive freezing during the winter. Could that be a trend towards colder winters in the Arctic? Of course, the succeeding melt season is necessarily even more aggressive; could that be a trend towards warmer summers? (If you care to look, you can find all the support you need for these observations on various Arctic ice threads here at SkS).

    Egads, both warming and cold winters? How cognitively dissonant of our unhappy climatic system, requiring that we keep two conflicting ideas in our aching heads at the same time. But that's why you can't just dismiss a 'nice theory, elegant almost' with mere hand-waving. That is, if you enjoy credibility.
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  36. muoncounter - in interests of politeness, calling him "moz" is just heading down same road as "albie" and "Danny". I think it leads to an antagonist debate rather than encouraging respectful one (and yes, I know it's pot calling kettle black, but I am trying).
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  37. #137: You're right, Phil, bad judgment on my part.
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  38. Phil I have no problem with moz, but I appreciate the distinction you are making.
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  39. KR just a small addendum to your thought on doubling CO2. We have already increased CO2 by 24% since 1900 with a very modest effect on temperatures....that's a known relationship. So I see little reason to ignore that and go back to a pre industrial revolution base.

    What's of interest is the the likely future growth of Co2 and the temperature sensitivity to those changes.

    On the former point I would direct you to the Mauna Loa measurements...http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/. If you split the CO2 trends into decades, you find an average 81/90 of 1.545..91/2000 of 1.543....2001/2010 of 2.039 ppm per year increase.

    So we actually had a flat decade in the 90s, where CO2 was accumulating no faster than the 80s. A volcanic phenominon?

    In any case if you then include the 2000s, it would not be unreasonable to say we seem to be accelerating growth at a smoothed trend of 0.25 ppm per decade. At that rate it would take us 8 decades to get to a 4ppm per year increase.

    But many factors could intervene....slower global growth rates than in this China phase, carbon efficiencies per unit of energy, and the loss of our oil reserves. All of which would extend this number.
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  40. mozart - I have replied to your last post in the thread here.

    Note that the "Recent Comments" link at the top of the page will take you to current conversations - most people monitor that, so moving to another thread doesn't mean that current readers will lose track of the conversation. However, new readers will actually be able to find relevant posts if you stay on topic.

    Please respect the Comments Policy and stay on topic, commenting on relevant threads. I'm actually quite surprised your last few comments have survived moderation, considering how you have failed to stay on appropriate topics despite requests.
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  41. Albatross: Thanks for the link, I missed it earlier in the year.

    Mozart,
    Good luck convincing people with your choice of data. Read carefully what you are writing. Are you really prepared to deal with weather like Australia has had to face this year all the time? Millions of people have been made climate refugees this year alone (for example 20 million in Pakistan), what will it take for your to be convinced that is a problem? It will not get better unless we decide to take action.
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  42. Michael we have built a global economy with a world population of seven billion people. Maybe 500 million of those are self sufficient. The rest have no way of feeding or clothing themselves. They rely on an incredibly complex global network powered by oil. Try to change that in a hurry and the events in Australia will pale in comparison.

    And citing Australia is no better than citing the 2 foot of snow I see outside my window in Chicago. Storms have happened before and they will happen again.

    As for my numbers they come straight from the best carbon source Mauna Loa.
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  43. Mozart,

    "...why do we have 6 new record lows in Mexico?"

    and

    "Figured what out Albie..."

    You are not paying attention. My post @133 addressed exactly the question about the record lows in Mexico. And you are welcome by the way.....please put in some effort of your own.

    Mozart @143, again you are off topic. This thread is about "Global Warming and Cold Winters". If you do not wish people to dismiss you as a troll, please stop behaving like one.
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  44. Michael @142,

    You are welcome.
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  45. Troll? Hahaha....very polite Albie. Actually if you care to look you will find post number 143 was a response to another poster....as were many others where I was accused of being off topic.

    In fact this whole page doesn't contain one posting that is "on topic", except for my question on the Mexican lows and a few responses to that. My guess is, this silly idea has run it's course. It's a pretty embarrassing bit of speculation.
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Actually, your comments have wandered all over the map and you have ignored suggestions to redirect to other threads. Your opinions about 'silly ideas' are irrelevant. Please see the Comments Policy to develop some understanding of how this site works.
  46. Mozart @146,

    So you do not deny it. Actually, it is your tone and persistent attempts to obfuscate and derail this thread that are offensive. Sorry, but you have been called on your game. I doubt very much that you have even consulted the peer-review paper by Petoukhov and Semenov (2010) which speaks to the possibility that the loss of Arctic sea ice can modulate the mode of the AO.

    Actually many of the 146 comments to date have been on topic....at least make the for to read the entire thread before making such a ridiculous and false assertion.

    The research and pursuit of science will continue, and maybe the researcher's hypothesis is wrong, but at least they are making a concrete effort to improve our understanding of the climate system. You dismissing it as a "silly" idea is both juvenile and ridiculous. I challenge you to refute their findings with your own research published in a legitimate journal.

    Now unless you decide to actually speak to the science, show a sincere effort to engage in good faith, and back up your assertions with appropriate data, you can expect me to ignore you.
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  47. Just to motivate this a bit, let's look at Chicago as a good example of a city impacted by Arctic weather systems. The data base registers record lows and highs going back to 1950. So if we choose the decade starting with 2001 running through end 2010, we would expect five highs and five lows. See:http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/wxclimatology/daily/USIL06

    In fact what we get is: two all time highs in January and no lows, one high in February and no lows, and no highs in March and two lows.

    These results are far below the expected five lows/highs for each month....showing the general mildness of the weather. And reasonably balanced with three highs and two lows.

    Furthermore, the Chicago results would likely be duplicated throughout the Mid West, the region most impacted by Arctic air. There is no empirical evidence for the theory, in the region which is most likely to demonstrate it.
    0 0
  48. From the NSIDC report for January 2011:

    "Potential links with mid-latitude weather
    While the Arctic has been warm, cold and stormy weather has affected much of the Northeast U.S. and Europe. Last winter also paired an anomalously warm Arctic with cold and snowy weather for the eastern U.S. and northern Europe. Is there a connection?

    Warm conditions in the Arctic and cold conditions in northern Europe and the U.S. are linked to the strong negative mode of the Arctic oscillation. Cold air is denser than warmer air, so it sits closer to the surface. Around the North Pole, this dense cold air causes a circular wind pattern called the polar vortex , which helps keep cold air trapped near the poles. When sea ice has not formed during autumn and winter, heat from the ocean escapes and warms the atmosphere. This may weaken the polar vortex and allow air to spill out of the Arctic and into mid-latitude regions in some years, bringing potentially cold winter weather to lower latitudes.

    Some scientists have speculated that more frequent episodes of a negative Arctic Oscillation, and the stormy winters that result, are linked to the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Dr. James Overland of NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL) recently noted a link between low sea ice and a weak polar vortex in 2005, 2008, and the past two winters, all years with very low September sea ice extent. Earlier work by Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University and colleagues also suggested a relationship between autumn sea ice levels and mid-latitude winter conditions. Judah Cohen, at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., and his colleagues propose another idea—a potential relationship between early snowfall in northern Siberia, a negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation, and more extreme winters elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. More research on these ideas may shed light on the connections and have the potential to improve seasonal weather forecasting."


    And from their December 2010 report:

    "A recent study led by Julienne Strove of NSIDC showed that while wind patterns linked with the strongly negative Arctic Oscillation winter of 2009-2010 transported much old ice into the southern Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, most of this ice later melted. It may be that with a warmer Arctic, old rules regarding links between the atmospheric pressure patterns and sea ice extent no longer hold."

    That bolded part is of particular concern. It seems that we are witnessing climate disruption in action. It is going to be interesting to see whether this is a transient phase before a new state is achieved. The disruption of the polar vortex because of polar amplification (not a random process) his is probably going to be an area of much more research in coming years.
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  49. Thanks for that, Albatross.

    Question for you: Some time back, I read a study which looked at a model output that showed that conditions in the Arctic supported only a full-ice or a no-ice solution. Once the system was perturbed enough to transition to a seasonal-ice condition, the transition to a full no-ice condition was effected in less than 10 years (and vice-versa). Temperature swings were about 1 degree C per year during the transition.

    For the life of me I can't find the link or remember where I read of it (I'm not blaming early senility, just being overworked). Strike any bells with you?

    Thanks!

    The Yooper
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  50. No worries Daniel @150. I too recall reading something along those lines-- can't recall which paper it was though. I'll poke around my PDF library.
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