Hurricane Season Overview Oct. 11

Your weather channel is airing charts like this to show how active is this year’s storm season impacting the Caribbean and US east coast.  So far, there have been many more named storms, two more hurricanes than average, and one less major hurricane at this point in the season.  Dr. Ryan Maue provides (here) a global context for understanding storm activity this year, updated October 11, 2020.

So globally, the ACE (Accumulated Cyclone Energy) is 2/3 of the average 1981-2010 at this point in the season.  ACE compiles the storm strengths as well the the number of storms.  Clearly the North Atlantic is 143% of average, but slightly behind 2019.  This indicates that many of the named storms were not that strong.

Meanwhile the Northern Hemisphere is running 69% of average and well behind last year.  This is due to North Pacific having a quiet season offsetting North Atlantic activity.  See the graph below from RealClimateScience

The historical summary of Tropical Hurricane ACE as of September 30, 2020:

Figure: Last 50-years+ of Global and Northern Hemisphere Accumulated Cyclone Energy: 24 month running sums. Note that the year indicated represents the value of ACE through the previous 24-months for the Northern Hemisphere (bottom line/gray boxes) and the entire global (top line/blue boxes). The area in between represents the Southern Hemisphere total ACE.

The hiatus of storms lasted a decade after 2006 (Thanks Global Warming).  Now seasons are more active (Your fault Global Warming), though somewhat less than previous peaks.   Maybe it’s Mother Nature after all.

Why the Left Coast is Still Burning

Update September 13, 2020:  This reprint of a post two years ago shows nothing has changed, except for the worse.

It is often said that truth is the first casualty in the fog of war. That is especially true of the war against fossil fuels and smoke from wildfires. The forests are burning in California, Oregon and Washington, all of them steeped in liberal, progressive and post-modern ideology. There are human reasons that fires are out of control in those places, and it is not due to CO2 emissions. As we shall see, Zinke is right and Brown is wrong. Some truths the media are not telling you in their drive to blame global warming/climate change. Text below is excerpted from sources linked at the end.

1. The World and the US are not burning.

The geographic extent of this summer’s forest fires won’t come close to the aggregate record for the U.S. Far from it. Yes, there are some terrible fires now burning in California, Oregon, and elsewhere, and the total burnt area this summer in the U.S. is likely to exceed the 2017 total. But as the chart above shows, the burnt area in 2017 was less than 20% of the record set way back in 1930. The same is true of the global burnt area, which has declined over many decades.

In fact, this 2006 paper reported the following:

“Analysis of charcoal records in sediments [31] and isotope-ratio records in ice cores [32] suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years. Although the magnitude of the actual differences between pre-industrial and current biomass burning rates may not be as pronounced as suggested by those studies [33], modelling approaches agree with a general decrease of global fire activity at least in past centuries [34]. In spite of this, fire is often quoted as an increasing issue around the globe [11,26–29].”

People have a tendency to exaggerate the significance of current events. Perhaps the youthful can be forgiven for thinking hot summers are a new phenomenon. Incredibly, more “seasoned” folks are often subject to the same fallacies. The fires in California have so impressed climate alarmists that many of them truly believe global warming is the cause of forest fires in recent years, including the confused bureaucrats at Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting agency. Of course, the fires have given fresh fuel to self-interested climate activists and pressure groups, an opportunity for greater exaggeration of an ongoing scare story.

This year, however, and not for the first time, a high-pressure system has been parked over the West, bringing southern winds up the coast along with warmer waters from the south, keeping things warm and dry inland. It’s just weather, though a few arsonists and careless individuals always seem to contribute to the conflagrations. Beyond all that, the impact of a warmer climate on the tendency for biomass to burn is considered ambiguous for realistic climate scenarios.

2. Public forests are no longer managed due to litigation.

According to a 2014 white paper titled; ‘Twenty Years of Forest Service Land Management Litigation’, by Amanda M.A. Miner, Robert W. Malmsheimer, and Denise M. Keele: “This study provides a comprehensive analysis of USDA Forest Service litigation from 1989 to 2008. Using a census and improved analyses, we document the final outcome of the 1125 land management cases filed in federal court. The Forest Service won 53.8% of these cases, lost 23.3%, and settled 22.9%. It won 64.0% of the 669 cases decided by a judge based on cases’ merits. The agency was more likely to lose and settle cases during the last six years; the number of cases initiated during this time varied greatly. The Pacific Northwest region along with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals had the most frequent occurrence of cases. Litigants generally challenged vegetative management (e.g. logging) projects, most often by alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act. The results document the continued influence of the legal system on national forest management and describe the complexity of this litigation.”

There is abundant evidence to support the position that when any forest project posits vegetative management in forests as a pretense for a logging operation, salvage or otherwise, litigation is likely to ensue, and in addition to NEPA, the USFS uses the Property Clause to address any potential removal of ‘forest products’. Nevertheless, the USFS currently spends more than 50% of its total budget on wildfire suppression alone; about $1.8 billion annually, while there is scant spending for wildfire prevention.

3. Mega fires are the unnatural result of fire suppression.

And what of the “mega-fires” burning in the West, like the huge Mendocino Complex Fire and last year’s Thomas Fire? Unfortunately, many decades of fire suppression measures — prohibitions on logging, grazing, and controlled burns — have left the forests with too much dead wood and debris, especially on public lands. From the last link:

“Oregon, like much of the western U.S., was ravaged by massive wildfires in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl drought. Megafires were largely contained due to logging and policies to actively manage forests, but there’s been an increasing trend since the 1980s of larger fires.

Active management of the forests and logging kept fires at bay for decades, but that largely ended in the 1980s over concerns too many old growth trees and the northern spotted owl. Lawsuits from environmental groups hamstrung logging and government planners cut back on thinning trees and road maintenance.

[Bob] Zybach [a forester] said Native Americans used controlled burns to manage the landscape in Oregon, Washington and northern California for thousands of years. Tribes would burn up to 1 million acres a year on the west coast to prime the land for hunting and grazing, Zybach’s research has shown.

‘The Indians had lots of big fires, but they were controlled,’ Zybach said. ‘It’s the lack of Indian burning, the lack of grazing’ and other active management techniques that caused fires to become more destructive in the 19th and early 20th centuries before logging operations and forest management techniques got fires under control in the mid-20th Century.”

4. Bad federal forest administration started in 1990s.

Bob Zybach feels like a broken record. Decades ago he warned government officials allowing Oregon’s forests to grow unchecked by proper management would result in catastrophic wildfires.

While some want to blame global warming for the uptick in catastrophic wildfires, Zybach said a change in forest management policies is the main reason Americans are seeing a return to more intense fires, particularly in the Pacific Northwest and California where millions of acres of protected forests stand.

“We knew exactly what would happen if we just walked away,” Zybach, an experienced forester with a PhD in environmental science, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Zybach spent two decades as a reforestation contractor before heading to graduate school in the 1990s. Then the Clinton administration in 1994 introduced its plan to protect old growth trees and spotted owls by strictly limiting logging.  Less logging also meant government foresters weren’t doing as much active management of forests — thinnings, prescribed burns and other activities to reduce wildfire risk.

Zybach told Evergreen magazine that year the Clinton administration’s plan for “naturally functioning ecosystems” free of human interference ignored history and would fuel “wildfires reminiscent of the Tillamook burn, the 1910 fires and the Yellowstone fire.”

Between 1952 and 1987, western Oregon saw only one major fire above 10,000 acres. The region’s relatively fire-free streak ended with the Silver Complex Fire of 1987 that burned more than 100,000 acres in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness area, torching rare plants and trees the federal government set aside to protect from human activities. The area has burned several more times since the 1980s.

“Mostly fuels were removed through logging, active management — which they stopped — and grazing,” Zybach said in an interview. “You take away logging, grazing and maintenance, and you get firebombs.”

Now, Oregonians are dealing with 13 wildfires engulfing 185,000 acres. California is battling nine fires scorching more than 577,000 acres, mostly in the northern forested parts of the state managed by federal agencies.

The Mendocino Complex Fire quickly spread to become the largest wildfire in California since the 1930s, engulfing more than 283,000 acres. The previous wildfire record was set by 2017’s Thomas Fire that scorched 281,893 acres in Southern California.

While bad fires still happen on state and private lands, most of the massive blazes happen on or around lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies, Zybach said. Poor management has turned western forests into “slow-motion time bombs,” he said.

A feller buncher removing small trees that act as fuel ladders and transmit fire into the forest canopy.

5. True environmentalism is not nature love, but nature management.

While wildfires do happen across the country, poor management by western states has served to turn entire regions into tinderboxes. By letting nature play out its course so close to civilization, this is the course California and Oregon have taken.

Many in heartland America and along the Eastern Seaboard often see logging and firelines if they travel to a rural area. This is part and parcel of life outside of the city, where everyone knows that because of a few minor eyesores their houses and communities are safer from the primal fury of wildfires.

In other words, leaving the forests to “nature,” and protecting the endangered Spotted Owl created denser forests––300-400 trees per acre rather than 50-80–– with more fuel from the 129 million diseased and dead trees that create more intense and destructive fires. Yet California spends more than ten times as much money on electric vehicle subsidies ($335 million) than on reducing fuel in a mere 60,000 of 33 million acres of forests ($30 million).

Rancher Ross Frank worries that funding to fight fires in Western communities like Chumstick, Wash., has crowded out important land management work. Rowan Moore Gerety/Northwest Public Radio

Once again, global warming “science” is a camouflage for political ideology and gratifying myths about nature and human interactions with it. On the one hand, progressives seek “crises” that justify more government regulation and intrusion that limit citizen autonomy and increase government power. On the other, well-nourished moderns protected by technology from nature’s cruel indifference to all life can afford to indulge myths that give them psychic gratification at little cost to their daily lives.

As usual, bad cultural ideas lie behind these policies and attitudes. Most important is the modern fantasy that before civilization human beings lived in harmony and balance with nature. The rise of cities and agriculture began the rupture with the environment, “disenchanting” nature and reducing it to mere resources to be exploited for profit. In the early 19thcentury, the growth of science that led to the industrial revolution inspired the Romantic movement to contrast industrialism’s “Satanic mills” and the “shades of the prison-house,” with a superior natural world and its “beauteous forms.” In an increasingly secular age, nature now became the Garden of Eden, and technology and science the signs of the fall that has banished us from the paradise enjoyed by humanity before civilization.

The untouched nature glorified by romantic environmentalism, then, is not our home. Ever since the cave men, humans have altered nature to make it more conducive to human survival and flourishing. After the retreat of the ice sheets changed the environment and animal species on which people had depended for food, humans in at least four different regions of the world independently invented agriculture to better manage the food supply. Nor did the American Indians, for example, live “lightly on the land” in a pristine “forest primeval.” They used fire to shape their environment for their own benefit. They burned forests to clear land for cultivation, to create pathways to control the migration of bison and other game, and to promote the growth of trees more useful for them.

Remaining trees and vegetation on the forest floor are more vigorous after removal of small trees for fuels reduction.

And today we continue to improve cultivation techniques and foods to make them more reliable, abundant, and nutritious, not to mention more various and safe. We have been so successful at managing our food supply that today one person out of ten provides food that used to require nine out of ten, obesity has become the plague of poverty, and famines result from political dysfunction rather than nature.

That’s why untouched nature, the wild forests filled with predators, has not been our home. The cultivated nature improved by our creative minds has. True environmentalism is not nature love, but nature management: applying skill and technique to make nature more useful for humans, at the same time conserving resources so that those who come after us will be able to survive. Managing resources and exploiting them for our benefit without destroying them is how we should approach the natural world. We should not squander resources or degrade them, not because of nature, but because when we do so, we are endangering the well-being of ourselves and future generations.

Conclusion

The annual burnt area from wildfires has declined over the past ninety years both in the U.S. and globally. Even this year’s wildfires are unlikely to come close to the average burn extent of the 1930s. The large wildfires this year are due to a combination of decades of poor forest management along with a weather pattern that has trapped warm, dry air over the West. The contention that global warming has played a causal role in the pattern is balderdash, but apparently that explanation seems plausible to the uninformed, and it is typical of the propaganda put forward by climate change interests.

Sources: 

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/271044/junk-science-and-leftist-folklore-have-set-bruce-thornton

https://www.4baseball.com/westernjournal.com/after-libs-blame-west-coast-fires-on-global-warming-forester-speaks-out/

https://sacredcowchips.net/tag/bob-zybach/

https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/10/13/ecological-imbalance-wildfires-us-rangelands/

http://dailycaller.com/2018/08/08/mismanagement-forests-time-bombs/

Footnote:  So how do you want your forest fires, some small ones now or mega fires later?

Hurricane Hype (Again)

James Taylor explains at climaterealism Miami Herald Misleads Readers About Reassuring NOAA Hurricane Study.  A study finding calmer recent storm seasons was flipped into alarms about global warming/climate change.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Among the top Google News search results this morning for “climate change,” the Miami Herald published an article asserting a new study shows global warming is causing more Atlantic hurricanes. In reality, the new study shows there is a declining trend in hurricanes in many parts of the world and concludes there will likely be a declining trend globally during the 21st century. Moreover, objective data show the number of Atlantic hurricanes is declining, just like the forecast global trend.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study referenced by the Herald reports, “our climate models project decreases in the number of global TCs [tropical cyclones] toward the end of the 21st century due to the dominant effect of greenhouse gases on decreasing TC occurrence in most of the tropics, consistent with many previous studies.”

The NOAA study reported a trend of “substantial decreases” in Indian Ocean and North Pacific hurricanes is already detected in the record. The study asserts there has been an increase in Atlantic hurricanes since 1980, which “anthropogenic aerosols could have also influenced.”

The major takeaway from the NOAA study is there will be fewer hurricanes as the world continues its modest warming. That is good news. Rather than reporting good climate news, however, the Herald goes to great lengths to try to pull some bad news from a good-news study.

The only reason the authors of the NOAA study could report an increase in Atlantic hurricanes since 1980 is because the decade ending in 1980 was an abnormally low year, with the fewest number of Atlantic hurricanes on record. So, any trend line starting at the record-low point of 1980 will show more frequent hurricanes. However, a more complete and representative record shows a long-term and ongoing decline in Atlantic hurricanes. The graph below illustrates that point.

Located in Florida, the Miami Herald surprisingly did not mention two very important facts about hurricanes and Florida. As documented in Climate at a Glance: Hurricanes, Florida recently concluded an 11-year period (2005 through 2016) without a landfalling hurricane of any size—the longest such period in recorded history. The Gulf of Mexico also recently benefited from its longest hurricane-free period in recorded history (2013 through 2016).

For completely misleading its readers about the recent NOAA study, and for asserting the exact opposite of the truth regarding hurricane frequency and Atlantic hurricane frequency, the Miami Herald earns a gigantic Pinocchio award.

Footnote:  The 2020 consensus forecast for the coming hurricane season is for an active season (H/T trackthetropics)

GWO’s prediction calls for 16 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 to 4 major hurricanes. They note the United States can expect 5 named storms to make landfall, with 2 or 3 hurricane landfalls – one of which will likely be a major category 3 hurricane. Professor David Dilley – senior research scientist for GWO, says several favorable meteorological and climatological factors are in place to produce another above average hurricane season this year. Some of the factors include a 72-year ClimatePulse Hurricane Landfall Enhancement Cycle – coupled with the continuance of above normal warm Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico water temperatures – and the lack of either a moderate or strong El Niño to subdue the hurricane seasons. Entire forecast: https://www.globalweatheroscillations.com/

Of course, any storm making US landfall is big weather news, and the media is ready.

Blaiming Hurricanes on Global Warming Denies the Facts

James Piereson writes at New Criterion An overblown hypothesis. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

We are well into hurricane season with a dangerous storm lurking off the coast of Florida and now poised to make a run up the east coast of the United States. As happens every year at this time, the appearance of hurricanes provokes speculation about the role of climate change in the formation of these destructive storms.

Climate change theorists assert that warming ocean temperatures are increasing the number and strength of hurricanes that form and make landfall in the United States. As David Leonhardt writes this week in the New York Times, “The frequency of severe hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean has roughly doubled over the last two decades, and climate change appears to be the reason.” He cites some statistics to support this conclusion, though his review of the facts is far from thorough.

As he notes, the underlying science holds that hurricanes develop in warm ocean waters in late summer, so that over time rising ocean temperatures will generate rising numbers of hurricanes, and stronger ones as well. According to scientists, average ocean temperatures have increased by about one degree Fahrenheit over the past one hundred to a hundred and fifty years, a finding that provides a foundation for the “hurricane hypothesis.” Thus, we hear the refrain that global warming is causing more storms with higher wind speeds, and that these storms last longer, are more destructive, and make landfall more often than in the past.

It is a plausible hypothesis and, unlike many claims in this area, is capable of being tested against the facts. The evidence for it turns out to be quite thin—at least in relation to the certainty with which it is usually expressed.

Looking at the historical data, one does not find a startling increase in hurricane activity in recent decades, and only modest evidence to suggest that hurricanes in the Atlantic basin are increasing either in number or severity.

The National Hurricane Center, a division of the National Weather Service, has compiled reliable information on hurricanes going back to the middle of the nineteenth century—though the information the nhc collects has grown much more reliable in recent decades with the development of satellite imagery and ever-more sensitive instruments with which to measure the strength and windspeeds of hurricanes. There is no shortage of information to test the claims about increasing hurricane activity.

1. Are hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean increasing in frequency with the passage of time?

The modern era of hurricane tracking and measurement got underway about 1950. From 1950 through 2018, the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) tells us that on average 6.3 named hurricanes formed per year, with a high of fifteen storms in 2005 (the year of Katrina) and a low of two in 1982 and 2013. A named hurricane is one strong enough to be classified between 1 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. Again, these are storms that formed in the Atlantic, but not all of them made landfall. Broken down decade by decade, the averages look like this:

1950-59: 6.9 per year
1960-69: 6.1 per year
1970-79: 5.0 per year
1980-89: 5.2 per year
1990-99: 6.4 per year
2000-09: 7.4 per year
2010-18: 7.0 per year

Conclusion: There has been a modest increase in the number of hurricanes formed per year since 2000, but these rates are not significantly higher than the long-term average and are very close to the rates experienced in the 1950s.

2. Are more hurricanes making landfall in the United States with the passage of time?

The HRD maintains an accurate list of hurricanes making landfall in the United States going back to 1851 and running through 2018. On average over this hundred-seventy-year period, between one and two hurricanes made landfall per year in the United States. The busiest years for hurricanes since 1950 were 1985, 2004, and 2005, as six named storms made landfall in each of these years. The busiest decade going back to 1850 was the 1940s, when twenty-six hurricanes made landfall; more recently, the busiest decade was between 2000 and 2009, when nineteen hurricanes made landfall.

Average by decade, 1950 to 2018: 15
Average by decade, 1990-2018: 15
Average by decade, 1950-1989: 15

Conclusion: There has been no long-term increase in the number of named hurricanes making landfall in the United States.

3, Are Atlantic hurricanes growing more powerful with the passage of time?

Over the hundred-seventy-year period, just four Category 5 hurricanes (the most powerful of all storms) have made landfall in the United States: The Labor Day hurricane that hit the Florida Keys in 1935; Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf coast in 1969; Hurricane Andrew, which hit south Florida in 1992; and Hurricane Michael, which hit Florida and Georgia in 2018. These events appear unrelated to changes in ocean temperatures.

The two most destructive storms to hit the USA occurred in 1900 (Galvaston) and 1926 (Miami), long before the era of rising ocean temperatures.

From 1950 to 2018, an average of 2.7 major hurricanes have formed per year in the Atlantic basin, with highs of eight major hurricanes in 1950 and seven in 2005. There were several years in the period, most recently in 2013 and 1994, when there were no major hurricanes in the Atlantic. (The HRD defines a major hurricane as a storm classified as 3, 4, or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.)

A total of twelve Category 4 and 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States since 1950, following no particular historical pattern or trend.

Conclusion: There has been a slight increase in the frequency of powerful hurricanes since 1990, but mostly in relation to the numbers of such storms from 1970 to 1989, a quiet period for hurricane formation. The frequency of powerful hurricanes from 2000 to 2018 (3.3 per year) mirrors the rates experienced from 1950 to 1969 (also 3.3 per year). Moreover, there is no pattern or trend in the frequency of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes making landfall over the 1950-2018 period.

How, then, in view of these data, should we assess the claims that Atlantic hurricanes are increasing in numbers and strength in recent decades in response to rising atmospheric and ocean temperatures, and are also making landfall at increasing rates?

There has been a modest increase in the frequency of Atlantic hurricanes in recent decades along with a slight increase in their strength from year to year, but no increase in the number of hurricanes making landfall in the United States and no increase since 1950 in the number of the most powerful hurricanes (Category 4 and 5 storms) to hit the U.S. mainland. Moreover, any trend that we find in the frequency and strength of hurricanes in the past few decades is mostly washed out when we compare those rates to the ones experienced in the 1950s and 1960s. This suggests that the frequency and strength, though perhaps increasing of late, are but loosely related to recent measured increases in Atlantic Ocean temperatures.

Climate Out of Control

Coors Baseball Field, Denver, Colorado, April 29, 2019

Frank Miele writes at Real Clear Politics Climate Is Unpredictable, Weather You Like It or Not!
Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

They say all politics is local; so is all weather.

So on behalf of my fellow Westerners, I have to ask: What’s up with all this cold weather? It may not be a crisis yet, but in the two weeks leading up to Memorial Day — the traditional start of summer activities — much of the country has been donning sweaters and turning up the heat.

I know, I know. Weather is not climate, and you can’t generalize from anecdotal evidence of localized weather conditions to a unified theory of thermal dynamics, but isn’t that exactly what the climate alarmists have done, on a larger scale, for the past 25 years?

Getting Coors Field ready for Colorado Rockies to play baseball.

Haven’t we been brainwashed by political scientists (oops! I mean climate scientists!) to believe that the Earth is on the verge of turning into “Venus: The Sequel.” You know, catastrophic overheating from greenhouse gases, rising oceans, death and mayhem — oh, yeah, and the world ending in 12 years if we don’t ban carbon or something.

But despite the best fake climate data and the scariest computer simulations, Mother Nature doesn’t seem to be cooperating with the global-warming scare scenario. Sure, there is warm weather in other parts of the country, but here in Montana we have been desperately seeking spring. Instead of enjoying our beautiful outdoors, we are stuck in perennial chill mode, shivering under our blankets and wondering if it will snow in late May.

Cars pile up in the snow, Denver, May 21, 2019

In Denver, they didn’t have to wonder. Last Tuesday that area got more than three inches of the white stuff, the most at this late date since 1975. They also matched the record low of 31 degrees. Snow also hit Minnesota, Arizona and California. Yosemite had as much as two feet of snow fall.

Should we start to panic? Roll out computer models to explain why our tootsie toes are turning blue? Maybe we could get rich by promoting the end of the world — even if it’s by ice instead of fire. But let’s face it, intelligent people already know that climate changes on a regular basis and that mankind deals with it just as other species do — by adapting. Technically, we are currently between ice ages, so if it gets a little cold, here’s some advice — get used to it! And if it gets a little warmer? Be grateful! Ice ages are much more deadly than any old heat wave.

Fact of the matter is that for the past few years, real scientists have been warning us that sunspot activity is currently at an unusually low level. In February, there was not even one sunspot recorded, and history tells us that fewer sunspots means colder weather. That’s why current predictions call for cooling weather for the next 20-30 years till the sunspot cycle ticks upward again.

OK, the climate terrorists tell us, you may be right about the next 30 years but that doesn’t mean global warming won’t resume a few years after that. Well, no, but what they won’t tell you is that during the period of increased warming in the late 20th century, sunspot activity was at an 8,000-year high. That was the conclusion of a study in 2004 led by Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

So let me get this straight. When sunspot activity is at millennially high levels, Earth gets warmer. When sunspot activity drops to negligible levels, Earth gets cooler. Sounds like a pattern, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds like something that would interest real scientists.

So why don’t climate scientists just admit that humans don’t control climate, and get on with the business of recording data and analyzing it? That’s easy to explain. Because you can’t mandate massive changes in human behavior if the sun dictates terrestrial temperature variations. The sun doesn’t care what Democratic propagandists say, and all the carbon in the world won’t put one little ol’ sunspot on the surface of our nearest star, so you can expect the sun to be dismissed as irrelevant. Carbon is king.

After all, who ya gonna believe? Al Gore or your own lying thermometer?

 

2019 Springtime in America: No Collusion, No Warming

Brian C. Joondeph writes at American Thinker Global Warming Going the way of Russia Collusion Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The last thing we expect mid-spring is snow. Yet that’s just what we have. As the Weather Channel reports, “It may be late April, but Winter Storm Xyler will make you forget that it is spring in the Midwest this weekend as it is expected to bring some unusually heavy late season snowfall.”

Snow is heading to New York as well, despite the state’s all-out effort to combat global warming by attempting to ban plastic straws and now hot dogs. From the New York Post, “Upstate NY may get up to 3 inches of snow this weekend.”

Across the country in Denver, the weather won’t be much different, as The Denver Channel reports, “Mild through the weekend, cold, rain and snow next week!” What’s going on? I thought the planet was heating up, with melting icecaps, rising sea levels, and less than 12 years before the earth burns to a crisp?

We have been hearing this song and dance for several decades now. The global warming chicken littles keep telling us that snow is a thing of the past and we had better get used to it, along with a warming planet.

In 2000, British newspaper The Independent ran this headline, “Snowfalls are just a thing of the past.” In 2014, The New York Times ran a sequel headline, “The end of snow?”

Yet here we are, at the end of April, planting our gardens and facing snow in much of the country. If this is evidence of global warming, then Bernie Sanders’s popularity is evidence that the Democrat Party has shifted to the right. Good luck selling that.

One important factor always neglected by the climate warriors is the Sun, a ball of fire a million times larger than the Earth, the source of life on Earth, as well as destruction if the fires ever were extinguished, or expanded. If we were a few million miles closer to or further from the Sun, life on Earth would cease to exist. Just look at Venus and Mars, neighboring planets either too hot or too cold, respectively, for life as we know it.

Even the Earth’s tilt toward or away from the Sun is enough to cause our seasons, with large temperature variations and the difference between food production or not. Yet climate warriors ignore the Sun, instead focusing on human activity, driving SUV’s, flying in airplanes, and running our air conditioners.

Sunspots, according to the National Weather Service, “Are areas where the magnetic field is about 2,500 times stronger than Earth’s, much higher than anywhere else on the Sun.” Sunspots are quite large, about the size of the Earth, and are several thousand degrees cooler than the surrounding Sun surface.

Sunspots lead to solar flares, surface explosions which “release as much energy as a billion megatons of TNT.” These flares emit x-rays and magnetic fields which blast the Earth as geomagnetic storms, disrupting power grids and satellites, and warming the Earth.

Sunspots are not random but instead follow an 11-year cycle, from a minimum to a maximum. Sometimes the cycles last longer, for unknown reasons, with a 70-year period of near zero sunspot activity from 1645 to 1715, called the Maunder Minimum, or Little Ice Age. Enough of science class, how is this relevant now?

As reported by the Express, we are now entering one of these 11 year cycles as the Sun enters a solar minimum. As they report,

During a solar maximum, the Sun gives off more heat and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in magnetic waves.

Fewer magnetic waves equates to the Sun being slightly cooler, and experts are expecting the solar minimum to deepen even further before it gets warmer.

With less magnetic waves coming from the Sun, cosmic rays find it easier to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere and are more noticeable to scientists.

While cosmic rays have little effect on our planet, one of the reasons scientists monitor them is to see when the Sun has entered a solar minimum.

Now, with cosmic rays at an all-time high, scientists know the Sun is about to enter a prolonged cooling period.

The bottom line is that decreasing sunspot activity translates to a cooling planet, contrary to the doomsday non-scientific pronouncements of Al Gore and Alexandria Occasional-Cortex. Sunspot activity typically follows an 11-year cycle, but as noted above, there may be other perhaps longer cycles as occurred in the 1600s leading to a 70-year mini ice age.

Then there are even longer climatic cycles, with real ice ages occurring every 100,000 years. These glaciations end with a 10,000 year inter-glacial warming period, the current such warming period soon ending, as distinguished scientist S. Fred Singer wrote in American Thinker.

Clearly there are factors at play in climate cycles that we barely understand and certainly cannot control. Some play out in shorter time spans, which we as humans can observe directly. Others are on a far longer and grander scale than human existence, much less our individual life spans, which are merely the blink of an eye by comparison.

Aside from solar activity and sunspots, there are volcanic eruptions emitting more greenhouse gas per eruption than years of worldwide human activity. What other forces are at play? That’s for scientists to discover. Our solar system is a mere speck in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is another speck in the vast universe.

It’s the ultimate in hubris to believe climate revolves solely around human activity. Yet politicians, rather admitting the obvious, that we don’t know far more than we do know, blame an ever-changing climate on everything from flatulent cows to processed meats.

Much like the Russian collusion hoax, the left creates a narrative to fit their agenda, putting conclusions before research and discovery. Instead they would be better served by applying the scientific method of observing, formulating a hypothesis, testing it against observations, modifying and refining the hypothesis, until after extensive testing it accurately predicts future events.

Otherwise it’s just more blather and fear mongering, just as we heard for over two years with Russian collusion fantasies that turned out to be nothing. Just as late April snow, in the eyes of the left, is further evidence of a warming planet.

See The Warmist Who Came in from the Cold

See also The cosmoclimatology theory

 

The Warmist Who Came in from the Cold

Deroy Murdock writes in The American Spectator This Opinion Just In… Baby It’s Cold Outside Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.

I might be slightly less hostile to the Green New Deal, had I not walked home the other Sunday in a hail storm. Even before the BB-sized bits of ice came shooting down from the heavens that morning, this winter has been brutal, from Gotham to the Golden Gate.

Our Lady of Perpetual Limelight, Saint Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, demands that America battle so-called “deadly, manmade global warming” as if it were Nazi Germany. Ten-year cost: $93 trillion. But this supposed threat somehow seems less menacing than Adolf Hitler and the Wehrmacht.

A cyclist rides through the falling snow in the Financial District, January 30th, 2019, in New York City (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Any given winter does not equal “climate.” Still, if mounting concentrations of carbon dioxide are the broth in which we homo sapiens are poaching ourselves like so many salmon cutlets, then we should not be enduring the entirely contrary scenarios that have unfolded so vividly from coast to coast:

A “bomb cyclone” last week slammed the Rockies and Midwest with hurricane-speed winds and abundant snowfall. As 97-MPH gusts struck Colorado Springs, marooned passengers huddled in horror inside a shuttered Denver International Airport.

• At this point in 2017, Lake Superior was just 7.3 percent covered in ice; 2018’s figure: 49 percent. Lake Superior was 94 percent iced over on March 8. This was the first time in four years that the largest Great Lake’s ice coverage exceeded 90 percent, the Detroit Free Press reported. Not so far away, Lake Erie was 20 percent ice a year ago. Today: 94.1 percent. Overall, the Great Lakes have gone from 27.8 percent ice in 2018 to 74.6 percent in 2019.

Ice builds up along the shore of Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped to lows around -20 degrees on January 31st, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Businesses and schools closed, Amtrak suspended service into the city, more than a thousand flights were canceled, and mail delivery was suspended as the city coped with record-setting low temperatures. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Lake Erie recently experienced a sort of frozen tsunami, as huge chunks of wind-blown ice washed onto the shore at Hamburg,New York. Footage of this phenomenon is fascinating and terrifying, especially as the solid water violates homes, marinas, and other structures in and around the lake.

• Several polar vortexes pumped Arctic air into the Midwest and parked it there for days. This drove air temperatures to 22 degrees below zero in Chicago and minus-28 Fahrenheit in Minneapolis on January 30.

Snow hit Las Vegas on February 17 and 19, with some 5.5 inches of the white stuff fluffing the peaks of Sin City’s western suburbs. Some 100 flights were canceled at McCarran Airport on only the second day in two decades that it received measurable snow.

Drew Johnson, a transplant from Tennessee to Vegas’s western hills, told me: “I moved to Las Vegas specifically to avoid long, dark, cold winters with snow and freezing temperatures. I thought global warming was supposed to mean shorter, warmer winters. Man, have I been ripped off. Instead, we’re getting regular snowstorms in Vegas.” He blames, in part, his former neighbor in Nashville. “It’s tough to take the Al Gores of the world seriously when schools are closed for snow in Las Vegas, and kids are sledding and building snowmen.”

The State of California has been more white than golden lately. “For the first time in at least 132 years, the temperature didn’t hit 70 degrees in downtown Los Angeles in February,” the Wall Street Journal editorialized on March 4. “Snow powdered the hills of West Hollywood and Malibu,” the Journal added. Last month, downtown Los Angeles saw snow for the first time since January 1962. Santa Barbara Airport logged its all-time record low of 33 degrees.

USPS Suspended Service in 11 States Due to Record Low Temperatures.

• The Sierra Nevadas repeatedly have seen avalanches swamp mountain roads. Last year’s early-March snowpack was just 19 percent of normal levels. On Tuesday, the Central Sierra snowpack reached 164 percent of normal.

“Open for skiing through July 7,” Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley USA/Alpine Meadows resort announced last week, after February became its snowiest month on record. “Thanks to nearly 600” [50 feet] of snowfall, we are once again going to have Tahoe’s longest spring season. In fact, we’ll be skiing right into July this year. Make your spring and summer skiing plans today.”

Summer skiing? How, exactly, does so-called “global warming” trigger summer skiing?

Temperature gauges aboard space-based satellites have recorded average global temperatures on Earth that peaked in 1997 and then slid or flat-lined from there. A quick, El Niño warming spike broke this “pause” in 2015-2016, followed by declining average readings. This virtual absence of observed warming led Greenpeace’s Steven Guilbeault to explain: “Global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Perhaps suspecting that such authentic frontier gibberish was not — as the Greens say — sustainable, the government-control-hungry Left ditched their “global warming!” battle cry and instead screamed, “Climate change! Climate CHANGE! CLIMATE CHANGE!” This nebulous phrase is magically self-confirming. The absence of global warming disproves global warming. However, the absence of climate change is nothing that should worry the alarmists since the climate always changes. It has done so since the dinosaurs ran this place. So, warming equals climate change. Cooling equals climate change. Droughts equal climate change. Floods equal climate change.

How convenient!

Meanwhile, the giant, deadly Camp Fire that killed some 86 people in and around Paradise, California, last fall “proved” that so-called “global warming” is fueling fatal fires in the West. Um, well, except that downed power lines ignited Camp and other big blazes, so much so that Pacific Gas & Electric filed for bankruptcy protection amid mounting lawsuits.

Did dry conditions fuel these blazes? Surely. California was in a drought. And now that’s over, thanks to the state’s snow-choked mountains. Apparently, these conditions can correct themselves, which refutes the Left’s narrative of a steady, speedy, ski run into doom. Anyway, if not for the electric cables dangling from old towers, many of these fires would not have started. And clearing excess brush and some of California’s 129 million dead trees makes much more sense than waiting for President Ocasio-Cortez to install high-speed trains from San Francisco to Honolulu, after she bans jumbo jets in 2025.

But wait. Before Americans surrender our Boeing 787s, New York Strip steaks, national prosperity, and sacred honor, wouldn’t it be nice if some serious scientists determined whether we will boil over or freeze to death?

Fortunately, President Donald J. Trump will decide soon whether or not to proceed with the Presidential Commission on Climate Science. The PCCS’s goal is to take a sober, scientific look at the warmists’ claims. In January, Saint Alexandria prophesied that “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” Catchy slogan, but does science confirm her hypothesis? Why not find out?

Many on the warming-alarmist Left oppose such intellectual inquiry. They attack the PCCS since “the science is settled.” Of course, it’s not settled. Like a lioness in heat, this debate roars on.

Indeed, the PCCS is the ideal venue for the final showdown between the Alarmists and the Deniers. Here is the chance for scientists who are 97 percent confident of Earth’s imminent meltdown to make fools, once and for all, of Sallie Baliunas, John Christy, Paul Driessen, John Droz, James Inhofe, Bjorn Lomborg, Pat Michaels, Lord Monckton of Brenchley, Marc Morano, Fred Singer, Roy Spencer, Mark Steyn, and all the other scientists and policy experts who deny that cataclysm is just around the corner. And yet the Alarmists spurn such a confrontation. Methinks they doth protest too much.

Instead, the Green New Dealers are pushing Trump to ditch the PCCS and embrace “the climate consensus” — complete with swelling subsidies, sweeping regulations, slower growth, and slumping prosperity for (nearly) all, and a stunning bonanza for the fortunate few in the solar and wind sectors.

If this sounds like a raw deal, please call the White House comment line at 202-456-1111 and say so. Send President Trump a message by clicking here. Ask him to preserve and staff the Presidential Commission on Climate Science and order it to decipher this frigid warming.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor at National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Michael Malarkey furnished research for this opinion piece.

See Also: Cold Waves and CO2

No, Cold Doesn’t Disprove Warming, Nothing Can

Stop Fake Science. Approve the PCCS!

 

 

Weather is Not Climate (again): Marine Heat Waves

Currently, the fashion is to prove global warming/climate change by pointing to “extreme” weather events. This week we have a new candidate for alarms: Marine Heat Waves. For example:

Suffering in the heat—the rise in marine heatwaves is harming ocean species Phys.org08:40

Marine heat waves threaten fish, corals SBS00:28

Ocean heat waves remake Pacific and Caribbean habitats Ars Technica06:56

Study: More Marine Heat Waves Threaten Fish, Corals Voice of America20:55 Mon, 04 Mar

More marine heatwaves threaten fish and corals — study Gulf Times16:55 Mon, 04 Mar

Ocean Heat Waves Are Threatening Marine Life The New York Times13:55 Mon, 04 Mar

Background

Variation in sea surface temperatures is not new. Cliff Mass of U. Washington, Seattle, educated us some years ago regarding a persistent patch of N. Pacific warm water he named: “The BLOB.” A series of posts at his blog covered this event starting in Autumn 2013, waxing and waning until finally disappearing in 2018. Most informative is The Blob Strengthens Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The original BLOB, named by Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond, formed the previous winter (2013-2014). The BLOB was defined as a persistent region of anomalously warm water in the northeast Pacific. With the air reaching the Northwest generally passing over the BLOB, the result was warmer than normal temperatures.

And by the first week of this month, the BLOB seems to have returned, and with it, its evil twin, El Nino, indicated by the warm waters in the eastern tropical Pacific. Now we have a problem. Note that the temperatures in the BLOB are 2-3 C (roughly 4-5F) above normal.

The effects of the BLOB have become more than a little evident to everyone living in our region. Temperatures are way above normal because of the warming effects of the ocean…it is hard for our minimum temperatures to fall much below the ocean temperatures this time of the year. Want to see evidence of this? Here are the surface air temperatures at Seattle Tacoma Airport for the last 4 weeks, with the average highs and lows shown. We have been warmer than normal, with minimum temperatures consistently 3-4F above normal.

The BLOB itself is not an independent player. It has been forced by an anomalous atmospheric circulation, including anomalous high pressure (ridging) centered north of our region (see map showing the height (pressure) anomalies (difference from normal) at 500 hPa (about 18,000ft) for the last 30 days. Yellow indicates higher heights than normal.

An article from that time (2016) at Climate Central took mainly the alarmist view, but also quoted a reasonable statement from Cliff Mass. California Drought, Marine Heat More Likely With Warming

“The atmospheric variability that forced the warm blob is the same that forced the drought,” said Emanuele Di Lorenzo, an ocean and climate dynamics professor at Georgia Tech who coauthored the analysis, published in Nature Climate Change. “This atmospheric variability is increasing under greenhouse gases.”

The new findings could help scientists predict when similar marine heatwaves and droughts will strike in the future. They also suggest such heatwaves will become more common and intense, which could mean greater drought risks in the West. (By increasing evaporation and reducing snowfall, warmer temperatures are already making Western droughts worse.)

“This could potentially provide predictability,” said Cliff Mass, a University of Washington atmospheric sciences professor who wasn’t involved with the research. “This is natural variability that we’re dealing with.”

What Are “Marine Heat Waves?” (From Marine Heat Waves.org)

We use a recently developed definition of marine heatwaves (Hobday et al. 2016). A marine heatwave is defined a when seawater temperatures exceed a seasonally-varying threshold (usually the 90th percentile) for at least 5 consecutive days. Successive heatwaves with gaps of 2 days or less are considered part of the same event.

Marine heatwaves can be caused by a whole range of factors, and not all factors are important for each event. The most common drivers of marine heatwaves include ocean currents which can build up areas of warm water and air-sea heat flux, or warming through the ocean surface from the atmosphere. Winds can enhance or suppress the warming in a marine heatwave, and climate modes like El Niño can change the likelihood of events occurring in certain regions.

[Note: the phrase about the atmosphere warming the ocean is misleading. The ocean has 1000 times the heat capacity of the air, and the heat transfer is upward. From Columbia U. on the Ocean/Atmosphere Heat Flux:

Solar heating of the ocean on a global average is 168 watts per square meter

Net infrared radiation cools the ocean, on a global average by 66 watts per square meter.

On global average the oceanic heat loss by conduction is only 24 watts per square meter. (If the ocean were colder than the atmosphere (which of course happens) the air in contact with the ocean cools, becoming denser and hence more stable, more stratified. As such the conduction process does a poor job of carrying the atmosphere heat into the cool ocean.)

On global average the heat loss by evaporation is 78 watts per square meter. (The largest heat loss for the ocean is due to evaporation, which links heat exchange with hydrological cycle.) ]

The trigger for the current concern is Marine heatwaves threaten global biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services published March 4, 2019 at Nature Climate Change. Dan A. Smale is lead author with 17 co-authors. The media were quick to misinterpret the study and claim a link to burning of fossil fuels.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Abstract: The global ocean has warmed substantially over the past century, with far-reaching implications for marine ecosystems. Concurrent with long-term persistent warming, discrete periods of extreme regional ocean warming (marine heatwaves, MHWs) have increased in frequency. Here we quantify trends and attributes of MHWs across all ocean basins and examine their biological impacts from species to ecosystems. Multiple regions in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans are particularly vulnerable to MHW intensification, due to the co-existence of high levels of biodiversity, a prevalence of species found at their warm range edges or concurrent non-climatic human impacts. The physical attributes of prominent MHWs varied considerably, but all had deleterious impacts across a range of biological processes and taxa, including critical foundation species (corals, seagrasses and kelps). MHWs, which will probably intensify with anthropogenic climate change, are rapidly emerging as forceful agents of disturbance with the capacity to restructure entire ecosystems and disrupt the provision of ecological goods and services in coming decades.

My Comments

The authors managed to produce an hockey stick graph by means of attaching an high-resolution instrumental record to low-resolution proxy estimates of the past. The method is described in the paper:

Global time series and regional trends in total MHW days were derived using a combination of satellite-based, remotely sensed SSTs and in situ-based seawater temperatures. First, total MHW days were calculated globally over 1982–2015 at 1/4° resolution from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Optimum Interpolation SST V2 high-resolution data. Then, proxies for total MHW days globally over 1900–2016 were developed on the basis of five monthly gridded SST datasets (HadISST v.1.1, ERSST v.5, COBE 2, CERA-20C and SODA si.3). A final proxy time series was calculated by averaging across the five datasets. The five monthly datasets were used since no global daily SST observations are available before 1982.

The three peaks in the modern record are clearly the result of the major El Ninos 1997, 2009 and 2015. And it is likely that mining the daily satellite records since 1982 identified marine heat waves that would not show up in the proxy monthly datasets.

Conclusion

This is another example of a natural process that threatens our livelihoods but which we struggle to predict and to adapt. As with other short-term weather events, humankind has a great stake in better understanding in order to forecast, prepare and manage adapations as required. There have always been major variations in warming and cooling sea surface temperatures. And yet the Global average anomalies vary by a few tenths of a degree celsius, with significant difference in the two hemispheres. This implies both that marine heat waves are offset by cold waves elsewhere, and that the well-mixed CO2 molecules are not to blame.

See Also: On Climate “Signal” and Weather “Noise”

Empirical Evidence: Oceans Make Climate

Cold Waves and CO2

To put this year’s winter cold into perspective, there is an informative article by Jon Erdman at weather.com America’s Coldest Outbreaks January 17 2018 Excerpts with my bolds and showing CO2 concentrations at the referenced dates. Note  that temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit.

The Clear Number 1  February 1899: Atmospheric CO2 295 ppm.
The cold wave during the first two weeks of February 1899 is by far and away the gold standard for cold outbreaks in U.S. history.

What made this outbreak worthy of its lofty status was the magnitude, areal coverage and longevity of the cold.

For the first and only time on record, every state in the Union (recall, there were only 45 states at the time) dipped below zero. Subzero cold invaded parts of south-central Texas, the Gulf Coast beaches and northwest Florida.

Tallahassee, Florida, dipped to -2 degrees on Feb. 13, 1899, the only subzero low in the city’s history. This remains the all-time record low for the Sunshine State.

All-time record lows were set in a dozen states, from the Plains to the Ohio Valley, Southeast and District of Columbia. In addition to Florida, state record lows in Louisiana (-16 in Minden), Nebraska (-47 in Camp Clarke) and Ohio (-39 in Milligan) still stand today.

Dozens of cities still hold onto their all-time record low from this cold wave, including Atlanta (-9), Grand Rapids, Michigan (-24), and Wichita, Kansas (-22). Temperatures as frigid as -61 degrees (Montana), -59 degrees (Minnesota) and -50 degrees (Wisconsin) were recorded.

The Mississippi River froze solid north of Cairo, Illinois, and ice not only clogged the river in New Orleans, but also flowed into the Gulf of Mexico a few days after the heart of the cold outbreak.

Ice jams triggered floods along parts of the Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and James Rivers. Ice skating was the activity of choice as the San Antonio River froze.

Lacking snow cover, the ground froze to a depth of 5 feet in Chicago, damaging water, gas and other pipes.

New York City engineers found trusses on the Brooklyn Bridge had contracted 14 feet due to the cold, according to Extreme American Weather, by Tim Vasquez. Due to frozen aqueducts from Catskills reservoirs, the city of Newark was forced to draw water from other rivers and bays.

Adding insult to injury, a massive snowstorm punctuated the cold outbreak from the Gulf Coast to New England Feb. 11-14.

Cape May, New Jersey, picked up 34 inches of snow, the nation’s capital was buried by 21 inches and 15.5 inches fell in New York City, overwhelming city crews and isolating suburbs.

In Florida, snow fell in Fort Myers, Tampa saw measurable snow for one of only two times in its history, and Jacksonville picked up 1.9 inches of snow. New Orleans was blanketed by 3 inches of snow.

Here are some other notable cold outbreaks since the massive 1899 outbreak.

Winter 2013-2014 Atmospheric CO2 399 ppm

Ice builds up along Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped well below zero on January 6, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago hit a record low of -16 degree Fahrenheit as an arctic air mass brought the coldest temperatures in about two decades into the city.
(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

– December 2013 – February 2014 was among the top 10 coldest such periods on record in seven Midwest states.

– An early January 2014 outbreak brought the coldest temperatures of the 21st century, to date, for some cities.

– The winter was among the top five snowiest on record in at least 10 major cities.

Late January-Early February 1996 Atmospheric CO2 363 ppm

– Minnesota state record: -60 degrees near Tower on Feb. 2, 1996. WCCO radio’s Mike Lynch broadcasted live from Tower that morning, during which he blew soap bubbles which then froze on the ground as a crowd watched.

– All Minnesota public schools shut down.

– Fears of natural gas shortage in northern Illinois prompted requests to reduce consumption.

Mid-Late January 1994 Atmospheric CO2 359 ppm
– 14 cities set all-time record lows, including Indianapolis (-27), Cleveland (-20) and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (-22). Pittsburgh (-22) beat its previous all-time record set during the February 1899 outbreak.

– Both Pittsburgh (52 hours) and Cleveland (56 hours) set their record stretch of subzero cold.

– Indiana state record low set: -36 degrees at New Whiteland on Jan. 19

– 35 counties in Ohio plunged to -30 degrees or colder on Jan. 19.

– Worcester, Massachusetts, had seven straight days with subzero lows, a record stretch.

– Crown Point, New York, dipped to -48 degrees on Jan. 27.

– Coldest month on record in Caribou, Maine, with an average temperature of -0.7 degrees.

December 1990 Atmospheric CO2 356 ppm
– Most destructive freeze in California since 1949. Fifty percent of California’s citrus crop damaged.

– Record 18-day freeze streak in Salt Lake City

– 2,000 children stranded in Seattle schools due to heavy snow on Dec. 18

– Randolph, Utah, bottomed out at -45 degrees on Dec. 22.

December 1989 Atmospheric CO2 354 ppm
– All-time record lows in Kansas City (-23), Topeka, Kansas (-26), Lake Charles, Louisiana (-4), and Wilmington, North Carolina (0).

– First Christmas Day snow (trace) on record in Tallahassee. Miami had a rare freeze while Key West dipped to 44 degrees.

– 14 inches of snow fall at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Christmas Eve.

– At the time, it was the fourth coldest December on record for the entire U.S.

President Reagan Inauguration – Jan. 1985 Atmospheric CO2 346 ppm
Due to the cold, President Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office for his second term as President in the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 21, 1985.

– 13.2 inches of snow in San Antonio, Texas (Jan. 12), crushed the previous 24-hour snow record, there. Austin and Houston (3 inches each) also were blanketed by this snowstorm.

– All-time record lows were set in Chicago (-27), Jacksonville, Florida (7), and Macon, Georgia (-6)

– State record lows were set in Virginia (-30 at Mountain Lake) and North Carolina (-34 atop Mt. Mitchell).

– $1.2 billion in damage to Florida’s citrus crop

– Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration was the coldest Inauguration Day on record (7 degrees). The ceremony was moved indoors and parade cancelled.

Late December 1983 Atmospheric CO2 343 ppm
– $2 billion damage to agriculture, mainly due to freezing temperatures in central and northern Florida.

– As measured using the old formula, wind chills reached 100 degrees below zero over much of North Dakota on Dec. 22.

– Williston, North Dakota tied its all-time record low (-50) on Dec. 23. (Check out the hourly observations from that day.)

– Sioux Falls, South Dakota, remained below zero from the morning of Dec. 16 until Christmas Day afternoon.

– Over 125 daily low-temperature records were broken on Christmas Day. Tampa’s Christmas Day high was only 38 degrees.

Remembering the “Freezer Bowl AFC Championship game in Cincinnati, Ohio on Jan. 10, 1982.

January 1982 Atmospheric CO2 341 ppm
– 85 deaths were attributed to the cold wave, according to the National Climatic Data Center.

– Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports set all-time record lows (-26).

– Milwaukee, Wisconsin, plunged to -26 degrees on Jan. 17, their coldest temperature in 111 years.

– Montgomery, Alabama (-2), Jackson, Mississippi (-5), and Atlanta (-5) each plunged below zero.

– Snow at rush hour on Jan. 11 slickened streets, stranding motorists in Atlanta.

– Natural gas lines froze, and up to 7 million experienced brownouts, according to Tim Vasquez.

– The second coldest game in National Football League history, the “Freezer Bowl”, was played in Cincinnati, where a kickoff temperature of -9 degrees greeted the warm-weather San Diego Chargers.

– Hundreds of cases of frostbite were treated at the stadium, including Bengals quarterback Kenny Anderson’s frosbitten ear.

Tonawanda, New York – Post Blizzard of 1977
Photo of a house almost completely buried in snow in the aftermath of the “Blizzard of ’77” in Tonawanda, New York.  (Jeff Wurstner/Wikipedia)

January 1977 Atmospheric CO2 334 ppm
– 69 first-order weather stations shivered through their record coldest month, according to Weather Underground’s Christopher Burt.

– South Carolina state record set: -20 degrees near Long Creek

– Temperatures did not rise above freezing the entire month in a swath from eastern Iowa to western Pennsylvania northward, according to Burt.

– Snow fell as far south as Miami and Homestead, Florida, the farthest south occurrence of snow in the U.S. Two inches of snow fell in Winter Haven, Florida.

– 35 percent of Florida’s citrus crop was damaged; rolling blackouts were needed in Florida due to heavy power demand.

– President Jimmy Carter walked 1.5 miles in the Inauguration Parade with temperatures just below freezing on Jan. 20.

– The “Buffalo Blizzard of ’77” added a foot of snow to the 33 inches of snow on the ground, accompanied by wind gusts to 75 mph, producing snow drifts up to 30 feet high, paralyzing the city.

January 1949 Atmospheric CO2 311 ppm
Coldest month on record in Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington.

– Coldest winter at virtually every weather station in California, Nevada, Idaho and Oregon, according to Burt.

– A series of blizzards in the Great Basin and Plains claimed 150,000 sheep and cattle, isolating ranches from Wyoming to South Dakota.

– The Army airlifted supplies to snowbound ranchers.

– Snow fell in San Diego. One of only three measurable snowfalls on record in Downtown Los Angeles, as well.

– All-time record low set in San Antonio, Texas (0 degrees).

Winter of 1935-1936 Atmospheric CO2 310 ppm
– Coldest Plains winter of record.

– Low temperatures dropped below -50 degrees on four separate days in Malta, Montana.

– Parshall, North Dakota, plunged to -60 degrees on Feb. 15, still the state record low today.

– Langdon, North Dakota, remained below zero for an incredible 41 straight days, the longest stretch on record in the Lower 48 states, according to Burt.

Winter of 2019 Atmospheric CO2 409 ppm


Ice builds up along the shore of Lake Michigan as temperatures dipped to lows around -20 degrees on January 31st, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. Businesses and schools closed, Amtrak suspended service into the city, more than a thousand flights were canceled, and mail delivery was suspended as the city coped with record-setting low temperatures.  (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


A cyclist rides through the falling snow in the Financial District, January 30th, 2019, in New York City
(Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Frost forms on the back of Galloway cows on February 1st, 2019, in Crainlarich in Scotland. Temperatures plummeted to -15 degrees Celsius on the coldest night of the year. (Photo: Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Summary

Clearly CO2 neither causes nor prevents outbreaks of arctic cold invading North America. Concerning ourselves with GHGs is no substitute for ensuring reliable, affordable energy and robust infrastructure.

Jonathan Erdman is a senior meteorologist at weather.com and has been an incurable weather geek since a tornado narrowly missed his childhood home in Wisconsin at age 7.

edc2b929c8ec9c162f76f86c1df59ec3

Polar Vortex Update Jan. 23

Figure i. Animation of observed 10 mb geopotential heights (contours) and geopotential height anomalies (m; shading) for 15 December 2018 – 18 January 2019. Source: Dr. Judah Cohen

Excerpts from AER Arctic Oscillation blog by Judah Cohen, January 21, 2019 in italics with my bolds.

There is increasing confidence that the stratosphere and troposphere are going to couple by any accepted metric. The GFS forecast clearly shows downward propagation of positive polar cap geopotential height anomalies from the stratosphere to the troposphere, the surface AO is predicted to turn decisively negative and high latitude blocking is the norm rather than exception over the next two weeks. Also, warm temperatures are predicted across the North American Arctic including Alaska and Greenland. Therefore, relatively cold temperatures are expected to be widespread across the Northern Hemisphere (NH) including Northern Asia, Northern Europe and Eastern North America. Relatively warm temperatures are also expected in the Barents-Kara seas, the region of the Arctic with the greatest negative sea ice extent anomalies. I would expect the relatively cold pattern to last at a minimum of four weeks and up to eight weeks.

There is some question based on the latest model runs how long the relatively cold pattern will persist. Of course, there is the possibility that after a relatively cold couple of weeks the pattern turns overall milder pattern for the remainder of the winter. But as I have discussed many times the coupling from the stratosphere to the troposphere is described as “dripping paint.” That is because the downward propagation or coupling doesn’t come at once but in pieces. Therefore, the turn to colder and possibly snowier conditions are often episodic and not continuous. So, if there is a transition to milder weather it would be a relaxation of the overall colder pattern and not a complete reversal. I would just add that this has been an extreme event in the stratosphere and sometimes an extreme event in the stratosphere does not translate into an extreme event in the troposphere and that could be true for this event as well.

With the help of my colleague Karl Pfeiffer I created an animation of the ongoing PV disruption from mid -December through last Friday shown in Figure i. Some readers have stated in the past that they enjoy the animations and here is an extended version. Maybe they are not much more than bubble game for the brain, but I am always fascinated by PV splits.

The predicted NH temperature pattern is classic negative AO with cold temperature widespread across northern Eurasia including Europe and eastern North America. And unlike recent winters, temperatures are not relatively mild across the pan-Arctic but locally in Alaska and Greenland, again classic mild locations during negative AO regimes. I do think that the warm Arctic/cold continents pattern is distinct from the negative AO pattern as argued in Cohen et al. 2018. In my opinion the upcoming predicted NH temperature pattern projects more strongly onto the negative AO than the warm Arctic/cold continents pattern. One distinction in my mind is the continuous stripe of cold temperatures along the Eurasian north slope or the land areas adjacent to the Arctic ocean, they are solidly below normal in the negative AO pattern but mild in the warm Arctic/cold continents pattern. Also, as I argued in an earlier blog the timing of the troposphere-stratosphere coupling nicely matches the timing expected based on extensive October Siberian snow cover extent. Waiting for the remainder of the winter before passing judgement but so far this winter the relationship is strong.

Currently the stratospheric PV remains split into two pieces or daughter vortices. The major daughter vortex is now centered over Hudson Bay and a minor daughter vortex is centered over the Urals with ridging centered near the North Pole (Figure 12). The daughter vortex over the Urals is predicted to drift west across Siberia and fill with time while the other daughter vortex over Hudson Bay remains nearly stationary. However, the anomalous warmth in the polar stratosphere is gone and is a sign that the stratospheric PV is recovering. The cold temperatures in the stratosphere are focused in Siberia and western North America and could be a sign where the coldest temperatures at the surface may be focused as well during the month of February, something to watch.

Niagara Falls January 21, 2019 h/t Mike Clegg

Niagara Falls January 21, 2019 h/t yorkeryan