THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports
in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.
All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report
showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record.
How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. Last winter, too, was exceptionally snowy and cold across the Eastern United States and Eurasia, as were seven of the previous nine winters.
For a more detailed explanation, we must turn our attention to the snow in Siberia.
Annual cycles like El Niño/Southern Oscillation, solar variability and global ocean currents cannot account for recent winter cooling. And though it is well documented that the earth’s frozen areas are in retreat, evidence of thinning Arctic sea ice does not explain why the world’s major cities are having colder winters.
But one phenomenon that may be significant is the way in which seasonal snow cover has continued to increase even as other frozen areas are shrinking. In the past two decades, snow cover has expanded across the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Siberia, just north of a series of exceptionally high mountain ranges, including the Himalayas, the Tien Shan and the Altai.
The high topography of Asia influences the atmosphere in profound ways. The jet stream, a river of fast-flowing air five to seven miles above sea level, bends around Asia’s mountains in a wavelike pattern, much as water in a stream flows around a rock or boulder. The energy from these atmospheric waves, like the energy from a sound wave, propagates both horizontally and vertically.
As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased.
The sun’s energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by.
The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth’s surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe.
That is why the Eastern United States, Northern Europe and East Asia have experienced extraordinarily snowy and cold winters since the turn of this century. Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier. They have ignored the snow in Siberia.
Last week, the British government asked its chief science adviser for an explanation. My advice to him is to look to the east.
It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change
but because of it.
Judah Cohen is the director of seasonal forecasting at an atmospheric and environmental research firm.
I love it. It's cold as Siberia because of ...are you ready for this? Because of Siberia. This makes more sense to me than anything I've read coming from the AGW crowd. Climate changes, we know that. Sea levels rise and fall over time. The world freezes and thaws. Man is resilient. Relax, whirled. Enjoy the ride!
Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier. They have ignored the snow in Siberia.ReplyDelete
The models have also tended to discount the increased solar activity throughout the 1990's. Some AGW proponents even claimed that the sun has no effect on climate. (Do your own Googling). Since the turn of the century, the sun has been relatively quiet and guess what? The winters are colder...duh!
Most global warming experts say, "don't confuse me with the facts, it is still all about global warming. We will all drown from the melt off."ReplyDelete
Very much more of the Global Warming, and we're all going to freeze to death.ReplyDelete
Meanwhile, Antarctic Ice Extent is at its highest level on record (yeah, there are Two hemispheres, you know. :)
It's been snowing down in Autralia (you know, that place where they're supposed to be having Summer?)ReplyDelete
See if you can follow this logic...ReplyDelete
The global alarmists are saying that Siberia is warming up during spring to new higher temps...
Proof? The permafrost / tundra is thawing out releasing methane gas from the peat bogs that lay there...
Now I question...
How did said peat bog become created in the 1st place.
In the NOT TO DISTANT PAST, Siberia was warmer, and had all kinds of vegetation that collected in acidic swamps. Hence they formed PEAT bogs, just like Ireland.
So if the world is warming up, is it not warming up to the temps it used to be?
And if it is going back closer to the normal temps why is that a BAD thing?
It's not a bad thing, WiO. It's merely the latest guise of the redistributionists.ReplyDelete
Obama sounds really professorial when he calls forReplyDelete
The Siberian Express is due in here on Thursday according to our local news - 10 degrees, maybe even lower.ReplyDelete
Time to go fly fishing.ReplyDelete
If the river isn't frozen.
Cold Weather Endangers StarfishReplyDelete
Just as long as there is still a supply of crabs.....
JERUSALEM – Israeli archaeologists said Monday they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man, and if so, it could upset theories of the origin of humans.ReplyDelete
A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said teeth found in the cave are about 400,000 years old and resemble those of other remains of modern man, known scientifically as Homo sapiens, found in Israel. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old.
"It's very exciting to come to this conclusion," said archaeologist Avi Gopher, whose team examined the teeth with X-rays and CT scans and dated them according to the layers of earth where they were found.
He stressed that further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."
The accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out of the continent. Gopher said if the remains are definitively linked to modern human's ancestors, it could mean that modern man in fact originated in what is now Israel.
Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, said the study is reputable, and the find is "important" because remains from that critical time period are scarce, but it is premature to say the remains are human.
"Based on the evidence they've sited, it's a very tenuous and frankly rather remote possibility," Mellars said. He said the remains are more likely related to modern man's ancient relatives, the Neanderthals.
According to today's accepted scientific theories, modern humans and Neanderthals stemmed from a common ancestor who lived in Africa about 700,000 years ago. One group of descendants migrated to Europe and developed into Neanderthals, later becoming extinct. Another group stayed in Africa and evolved into Homo sapiens — modern humans.
Teeth are often unreliable indicators of origin, and analyses of skull remains would more definitively identify the species found in the Israeli cave, Mellars said.
Gopher, the Israeli archaeologist, said he is confident his team will find skulls and bones as they continue their dig.
The prehistoric Qesem cave was discovered in 2000, and excavations began in 2004. Researchers Gopher, Ran Barkai and Israel Hershkowitz published their study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
And hell it's colder than a well diggers ass right now.ReplyDelete
Farmer Fucking Freezing Bob
What else is new?
Gopher, Coyote, Beaver and Quirk made the discovery.ReplyDelete
An odd object remarkably like a golf tee was found nearby.
Workplace enforcement down 70 percent.ReplyDelete
- Sen Lamar Smith