SCIENTISTS: Global Warming Is Not Causing Harsh Winter Weather

Record snowfall, a “bomb cyclone” and cold Arctic air have once again stirred up the debate over global warming’s impact on winter weather.

Some climate scientists are pointing the finger at manmade global warming as a culprit behind recent wintry weather, but there’s not a lot of evidence or agreement that global warming is currently driving extreme cold and snow.

Penn State University climate scientist Michael Mann authored a blog post for the Climate Reality Project, former Vice President Al Gore’s group, claiming what’s happening is “precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” Mann’s argument is that we can expect more “bomb cyclones” and cold snaps as the planet warms.

But Mann, who often invokes the “consensus” on global warming, seems out of step with the evidence on this issue. Kevin Trenberth, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said “winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change.”

“The Arctic is greatly affected by climate change and it has a feedback effect – but not in winter,” Trenberth told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It is not a cause but a part of climate change.”

“Such claims make no sense and are inconsistent with observations and the best science,” University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass said of claims made by Mann and others. “The frequency of cold waves have decreased during the past fifty years, not increased. That alone shows that such claims are baseless.”

“And on a personal note, it is very disappointing that members of my profession are making such obviously bogus claims,” Mass said. “It hurts the science, it hurts the credibility of climate scientists, and weakens our ability to be taken seriously by society.”

Colder Is Warmer

Every winter seems to reignite the global warming debate. Things got intense in 2014 when former White House science czar John Holdren put out a video where he claimed that year’s “polar vortex” was actually a sign of global warming.

Holdren’s video was largely based on research by Rutgers University scientist Jennifer Francis, which claims that warming in the Arctic is making the jet stream more wobbly, making cold snaps and nor’easter storms more frequent.

Holdren later admitted that his video was based on his “personal opinion” of the science, but the argument is still used every time cold Arctic air pours down through the lower 48 states.

“When this pattern is in place, nor’easters are likely to form along the boundary between the cold air and the warm Atlantic, fueled by the dynamics in the flow of the jet stream along the eastern seaboard,” Francis said in an emailed statement on current U.S. weather conditions.

“We can’t say this particular storm is caused by global warming, but we can say that the persistent ridge/trough pattern, which is one factor in causing nor’easters, is likely to occur more frequently,” Francis said.

Mann wrote that global warming may be “causing the jet stream to meander in a particular pattern” that causes cold spells in the eastern U.S. Mann suggested this pattern was being driven by “the dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic.”

Yet, scientists aren’t sold on this theory. Mass noted how theoretical research shows the opposite happening, future warming would drive less undulation in the jet stream and heat up the area responsible for cold spells in the U.S.

“Research documented in peer-reviewed journals has demonstrated that there is no evidence for their claims of increasing frequency of ‘lazy jet streams’ and blocking over time,” Mass said.

“If you substantially warm the source region of cold air, cold waves will decline,” Mass said.

A 2014 study led by Colorado State University climate scientist Elizabeth Barnes found no evidence to back up the theory that a lazy or wobbling jet stream was becoming more frequent.

“There is much disagreement on whether we have already witnessed substantial impacts,” Barnes wrote in a Thursday blog post for the Climate Variability and Predictability program.

Neither Barnes nor Francis responded to TheDCNF’s request for comment.

New Year, New Nor’Easter

Winter Storm Grayson has been another flashpoint in the climate debate. The “bomb cyclone” brought freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall to the eastern seaboard.

“We can expect more intense nor’easters as human-caused climate change continues to warm the oceans,” Mann said, referring to the “bomb cyclone” that hit the northeast Thursday.

Basically, as the Atlantic Ocean warms, it will interact with cold air off the North American continent, leading to more nor’easters.

“The storm will be encountering that exceptional ocean heat as it travels northward along the US coastline, and that is part of why it has a very good chance of becoming the most intense nor’easter we’ve yet observed,” Mann wrote.

However, climatologist Judith Curry said the “bomb cyclone” currently hammering North America is nothing new. Those extra-tropical storms have undergone “bombogenesis,” or rapid intensification.

“The term ‘bomb’ for such storms was coined almost 40 years ago by MIT’s Fred Sanders,” Curry told TheDCNF, “who spent much of his career studying such storms back when global warming most definitely was not a factor.”

Curry said that while “armer oceans can cause greater snowfall,” storm intensity is also influenced ” by the patterns of sea surface temperature not so much the average temperatures.”

But Mann’s arguments are more based on expectations of what could happen with more warming, and have little to do with current trends in “bomb cyclones.”

Weather.us meteorologist Ryan Maue, an expert on cyclones, pointed out there are between 50 and 60 “bomb cyclones” every year in the Northern Hemisphere, many of which we don’t notice because they are too far out at sea.

But Maue’s research on “bomb cyclones” also don’t show any discernible trends from 1979 to 2010.

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Comments (7)

  • Avatar

    Steelman

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    “Mann wrote that global warming may be “causing the jet stream to meander in a particular pattern” that causes cold spells in the eastern U.S. Mann suggested this pattern was being driven by “the dramatic loss of sea ice in the Arctic.”
    Yet, during the ice age scare in the 60s and 70s, they blamed the polar vortex on MUCH ice in the Arctic.
    Seams to be a pattern, that they recycle theories to use as it fits. They think they cover all angles and stays in power, but people seems to have discovered the scams.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    I doubt that the gullible climate change believers analyze anything. Sooner or later, b.s. will thin their ranks.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    BTW
    While everyone wants to talk about the stupidity of
    the global warming supposition and its logical impossibility.
    Why don’t we consider the
    HAARP project in non-panhandle southeast Alaska ?
    The HAARP project is located right next to station 11 of the
    Alyeska pipeline project.
    The HAARP project consists of a gigantic antenna array of a square mile focused on the upper atmosphere and is powered by an immense stationary diesel array that was purposely designed to operate off of straight unrefined light crude oil.
    Why was the ALEYEKA pipeline built ?
    It was built enable the HAARP project.
    The HAARP project has been used to experimentally manipulate weather.
    To use weather as a weapon.
    The HAARP project has been frying the ionosphere for decades.
    Who knows what knowledge or effects they have gained from this research
    BUT
    Anyone who thinks CO2 or other trace gasses has anything to do with it
    Is just as stupid as the government wants you to be.
    All the while when the government is pumping
    Tera-watts into the ionosphere for

    ” Atmospheric Research “.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Those crack-pots who blame all this snow on Global Warming/Climate Change are more nutty then 2000 acres of walnut trees in the summer before harvest times

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    A snow” bomb cyclone” . What ever happened to the scientific frauds who claimed kids won’t know what snow is ? It is called winter and no amount of Al Gore huffing and puffing is going to change that . Until such time as humans have figured out how to control sun spot activity , ocean currents , volcanos , cloud cover and the other natural variables running the climate show we can expect cycles of warming and cooling. The leeches in the oh so scary global warming industry lie straight faced to the public by pretending to be able to control the earth’s average temperature to
    an arbitrary number . Hog wash . Why do most of the MSM fall all over the biggest fraud in history. Self interest , but mainly just pure laziness . On a day to day basis President Trump controls the narrative and has exposed the dishonest activists claiming to be journalists .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    David Lewis

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    It is said that the earth has warmed 1 degree C but in reality it is probably less than that. Natural variability has climate varying much more than that. There have been periods of three, five years or longer when one period is much more than one degree higher or lower than the last one. Considering natural variability, it is ludicrous to claim the cold back east is being caused by climate change.

    Reply

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