The Polar Express is Leaving the Station

October 16th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

polar-express
I’ve been watching the 10-day GFS forecast for the U.S., and each run is reinforcing the previous one, with a major cold air outbreak for most of the U.S. late next week:
gfs_850_10d
I’m reminded of when I started the graduate program in meteorology at UW-Madison in the fall of 1978. We were getting an unusual string of cold fronts which all the professors were claiming could not last. Eventually, warmer Pacific air would come in from the west…it always does.

Except during winter ’78-’79…it didn’t. The cold air just kept coming.

I’m not making a winter forecast here…just reminiscing. But I will say that I’ve been watching the model forecasts nearly every day for decades (since I’m co-developer of WeatherStreet.com, and still a weather weenie at heart), and for many years the model forecast tendency has been to over-forecast these cold air outbreaks.

The model would predict a cold front coming through our neck of the woods (N. Alabama) 5-7 days in advance…but the front would almost never make it, or it would not plunge as far south (or be as cold) as originally forecast.

But this model error tendency seems to have changed in the last couple years, with that cold air not only making it, but reaching the Gulf coast and beyond. This has been a record cold summer in Alabama, and we had cool fronts pass through regularly all summer long. I don’t recall that ever happening in the 30 years we have lived here. The lawn stayed spring-green all summer, when usually we have to work to keep it alive.

Maybe my friend Joe Bastardi will chime in and say whether he has seen a similar change in the model error in recent years.

At least we can be thankful that when the cold air does arrive, it will be slightly warmer than it would have been without global warming. Ha-ha.


69 Responses to “The Polar Express is Leaving the Station”

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  1. ren says:

    This prediction stratosery shows exactly lock the Bering Strait flow of air from the north. By the way Jetstream collects clouds of the Pacific.
    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=stratosphere;sess=

  2. Tregonsee says:

    I was a grad student in physics at UW, 1975-80. (Saying UW-Madison became Politically Correct later.) I remember that brutal winter well.

  3. ren says:

    It is no coincidence, because a similar blockade of the stratosphere has been going on since the beginning of August on the southern polar circle.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t30_sh_f00.gif

  4. joe bastardi says:

    The model bias has been warm in the last 7 months or so.. by that I mean if we look at month 2-4 of the ECWMF, which is the varsity..US models are the JV ( stole that line from Dr Maue) have been warm, turning colder as we one gets closer

    This is actually running close to analogs that I have been talking about on our site for quite sometime. There was scuttlebutt about a September freeze back in August as most do not understand that the same drivers that result in one thing as the jet weakens and is weak ( spring and summer) do not produce the same thing when the jet starts to intensify. Most years with a modiki type warm event, as I think the ECWMF has this winter have warm Septembers in the nations midsection, cold comes into the west in October and pushes east and here in State college it likes to snow before October is over. I remember well trick or treating with the kids in snow in October and the winters that followed. However when it SNOWS IN NYC, that correlation does not work!. NYC snow in October ( 5 times) is not necessarily correlated with the coming nino. State College examples that stand out are 02,09,77. NYC for instance had snow in 2011, and like all other years when it snowed the winter was nothing. I dont know why, but the 5 samples are 5 for 5 there.

    I do think there are some very big things going, variables the models cant handle that are operating here. The low solar is correlated with blocking, as is the SST analog. The ECWMF has a very mild looking modiki, the CFSV2 has a raging nino all the way to 1.2 ( its all over the place, as big a mess as hurricane models which are routinely beat by the ECWMF global model) while the far east modeling is more of a 95-96 look ( another year it snowed here early in State College).

    I have not changed on the idea of colder than normal snowier than normal winter for much of the US plains east, but I am not sure how this will play out as far as the worst part. Right now, as in most modikis, I have it middle and late. But there are things bigger than me that are going on now. The hurricane season was astounding and ties into the climate debate as the drop in mixing ratios in the mid and upper troposphere globally and the sudden flip to colder waters around India, disrupting the monsoon and the wave train, I think are keys to what happen given what was a classic SST presentation in the atlantic and eastern tropical pacific for a big season.

    So I leave you with this, my dear friend and someone I look up too:

    Anything can happen and probably will..except a co2 driven climate catastrophe ( you didnt think I could write anything without adding that, did you)

    JB

    • Joe Bartelo says:

      How’s your friend DT doing? Is he still forecasting the Big Dog for the NYC area every time the temps drop near freezing? If it snowed as much as you and DT always predict we’d have 100 feet of snow over DC right now. Your forecasts of cold & snowy winters always make me laugh.

    • Don Elmore says:

      Joe,
      You are my FAVORITE climate guy! However, this gave one me a headache. I did laugh at the last paragraph though.
      Don

  5. Jim Clarke says:

    The 10-day ECMWF is in good agreement with the GFS, with below normal temperatures over the Eastern US. The Arctic temperatures have been dropping faster than average over the last 5-10 days, so there is a lot of cold air up there to draw from.

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/meanTarchive/meanT_2013.png

    If my Cardinals can eliminate the Dodgers by winning one of the next 3 games, This may be one of the coldest World Series on record!

  6. ren says:

    Cyclone up from Japan would soon be over Alaska and the jet stream will flow over the central-northern U.S. according to the jet stream. Another snowstorm.
    http://www.sat24.com/world.aspx
    This is evident at the height of 15 km in the stratosphere. The lock can last for several days.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z100_nh_f00.gif

  7. stevek says:

    If it is cold in Eastern Europe hundreds of people could die.

    The alarmists caused many countries not to invest in heating because of their unproven belief in global warming.

  8. Usually a cold plunge like that over the USA pushes warm air up into Europe.

    Will be interesting to see whether that still holds with the generally more equatorward / meridional jets of recent years.

  9. Mark Saito says:

    I was an undergraduate student in the meteorology program at UW-Madison in 1978-80 and recall brutally cold winters with so much snow the city had to use front-end loaders to clear the streets.

  10. Adam Gallon says:

    Germany’s had snow already, http://www.dw.de/unexpected-snowfall-brings-early-winter-chaos-to-bavaria/a-17152822
    One forecaster’s ruffled the Metoffice’s feathers, by predicting (Or should that be just a “scenario” ;) )a cold November in the UK.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/436170/Worst-winter-for-decades-Record-breaking-snow-predicted-for-November

  11. Will Delson says:

    This is not good news as I commute on a bicycle in Madison, AL year round. I’ll take all the reprieve from the cold temps I can get. Regardless of global warming or global cooling, life goes on and the tide is still going to roll in. Roll Tide, Roll!

  12. Nik says:

    This summer in Atlanta has been equally cool, as well as wet. Similarly, for the first time in 26 years, we still have a nice-looking lawn (fescue), instead of the usual baked dirt.

  13. gbaikie says:

    “At least we can be thankful that when the cold air does arrive, it will be slightly warmer than it would have been without global warming. Ha-ha.”

    It seems doubtful we will be getting as cold of winters as compared some of coldest year during LIA.

    But I don’t think this because we have slightly more CO2 in the atmosphere, rather warming air temperature is indicating
    the earth is getting slightly warmer, as compared to LIA.

    The most important element is warmer ocean. But we also have a warmer land. Though the frostline and/or treeline is not gone as poleward as it has been in Holocene, would say it’s almost immeasurably creeping poleward since 1800.
    So with more than century of warmer conditions, the ground on average slowly warms, and more importantly the ice melts. And for water to freeze and land to trend towards cooling this tends to cause the nights to be less cold.

    So:
    “The model would predict a cold front coming through our neck of the woods (N. Alabama) 5-7 days in advance…but the front would almost never make it, or it would not plunge as far south (or be as cold) as originally forecast.”

    So having slightly warmer ground and lack of ice would have
    small affect, but weather or cold front is also a small effect in comparison total joules of heat. And having weather travel over hundred of miles, this small effect is more significant.
    Or if the land was slightly cooler, the weather can come further southward.

    And it takes a long time to cool and long time to warm and would require decades of cooling [which we have not had] to change this.
    But such an effect does not cause “hotter” weather, unless one think the ground average could possible warm up by much- which it doesn’t. It’s going to have the biggest effect with cold air being considerable cooler than the ground and/or no liquid water to freeze. The greater the difference in temperature the greater the flow of heat- but it’s a slow flow, whether scorching summer or very frigid weather- one year of weather will not make much difference.

    You take a cubic meter of rock/dirt- and you are dealing tens of meters of depth. One cubic meter of granite has
    specific heat of 0.79 kilojoules per K per kg:
    http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/specific-heat-solids-d_154.html
    Density of granite: “2.65 and 2.75 g/cm”
    So cubic meter mass is 2650 kg and is 2093 kilojoules per 1 C change in temperature- and it will less than 1 C change in temperature.
    Dirt is more significant than granite, because dirt has water in it. Dry dirt may have about 10% water, wet dirt way have over 20% water in it. Though there is also moisture in rock.
    So anyhow, 100% water, in cubic meter, is 1000 kg
    and specific heat at:
    [Ice 32oF (0oC) 2.09 KJ per kg per K]

    Water at 5 C is 4.204. So cubic meter is 4204 kilojoules per 1 C change. And to change a cubic meter of water into ice requires heat loss of 334 kJ/kg. So
    334,000 kJ per cubic meter.
    So per cubic meter, granite rock is 2093 kilojoules, water
    4204 kilojoules, and making water into ice 334,000 kilojoules.
    So dirt with high water content holds much more energy than
    rock, and when the water freezes it’s difference of more 100 times.
    And unlike the oceans, on land [below 60 degree latitude] routinely freezes in winter, and if the land it already frozen, cold fronts flow further southward.

  14. steve says:

    So should I buy heating oil futures ???

  15. Bill Hunter says:

    check your antifreeze is up to snuff. I cracked a block in your area Roy in the 1960′s during an extended period of minus F temps.

  16. John Owens says:

    I still remember getting back from TDY in Phoenix, Arizona where the temperature was 100F and getting off the plane to a surprise of 3 inches of snow on the ground in Huntsville, Al. It was like Nov 1-2 in 1966 or 1967. The airport was still in it’s old location off of Memorial Pkwy.

  17. Rojigo says:

    Will have to make sure that the aircon is working – if there is somewhere cold up north of the equator, then the land down under generally compensates with warmth.

  18. gbaikie says:

    If Dr Evil bought 10 billion dollars worth of natural gas, and release it into the atmosphere, how much would it warm the world?

    No wait, 10 trillion dollar worth of natural gas- at say $2.50
    per 1000 cubic meters:
    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/hist/n9190us3a.htm

    So 4 trillion 1000 cubic meter- 4000 trillion cubic meters.
    So Methane has less density than air, say .8 kg
    3200 trillion kg, 3200 billion tonnes.
    Or about 100 times more CO2 which emitted by fossil fuels globally each year?

    So, the US is top producers of natural gas in the world
    and it makes 611,000,000,000 cubic meters per year:
    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=10&v=136
    So, it’s a bit difficult to buy 4,000,000,000,000,000 cubic
    meters when total US production is 611,000,000,000 cubic meters.
    But perhaps Dr evil could get it from the ocean.
    “The size of the oceanic methane clathrate reservoir is poorly known, and estimates of its size decreased by roughly an order of magnitude per decade since it was first recognized that clathrates could exist in the oceans during the 1960s and ’70s. The highest estimates (e.g. 3×10^18 m³)”

    So 4,000,000,000,000,000 is 4.0 x 10^15 m3 so it could be 1000 times more than needed.
    So instead of buying it. he spends somewhere 10 trillion dollar extracting it [releasing into the atmosphere- and doing all within a year period of time].

    So we get 100 times more than tonnes of CO2 released each
    year, so global mathane level going from around 1.8 ppm
    to around 400 ppm. And question is how much does this
    increase global temperature.
    Keep in mind such statements:
    “Methane in the Earth’s atmosphere is an important greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 25 over a 100-year period. This means that a methane emission will have 25 times the impact on temperature of a carbon dioxide emission of the same mass over the following 100 years”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atmospheric_methane
    The total amount won’t last 100 years, as:
    “The major removal mechanism of methane from the atmosphere involves radical chemistry; it reacts with the hydroxyl radical (·OH) in the troposphere or stratosphere to create the CH·3 radical and water vapor. In addition to being the largest known sink for atmospheric methane, this reaction is one of the most important sources of water vapor in the upper atmosphere.
    CH4 + ·OH → ·CH3 + H2O

    This reaction in the troposphere gives a methane lifetime of 9.6 years. ”
    So, basically interested in what affect it will have on temperatures, say within 10 year- or in few years following Dr Evil release of 4.0 x 10^15 m3 of methane, what will the effect be?

    • Kelvin Vaughan says:

      A big bang when lightning strikes!

      • gbaikie says:

        400 ppm is .04 %

        Methane lower level of explosion in 20 C 1 atm is:
        5% or 50,000 ppm

        In terms safety in regards ventilation it need to be
        25% of this level or 1.25% [12,500 ppm].
        http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/explosive-concentration-limits-d_423.html

        “Results from the indoor air quality evaluation performed in April, May and July 2003 indicate that
        the indoor air quality at Beverly Hills High School presents no unusual health risks to students,
        faculty and staff.” :
        “Maintenance Office 2 – 3
        Outdoor Basketball Courts (Upper Fi 2 – 3
        Boy’s Restroom (Bldg. K) 2 – 3
        Room 661 (Bldg. E) 2 – 3″
        ….
        (Percent of the Lower Explosive Limit)
        http://www.bhusd.org/ourpages/departments/SEC-EF/FinalIndoorAirReport11-04-03.pdf

        So 2% would be 250 ppm and 3% would be 375 ppm of methane.
        Or 4 times this amount if they meant 5%.

        In any case levels of methane which around 400 ppm
        normal safe levels found houses or building [indoor air].
        Just as high levels of CO2 is common in indoor air- and
        people fart.

        • gbaikie says:

          Anyhow, what do I think the effect of releasing 400 ppm
          of Methane in the atmosphere would do to global temperature?

          If believed the greenhouse theory was vaguely accurate and if I thought methane caused 25 times the warming of CO2.
          And if I thought CO2 caused at least 1 C of per doubling. Or
          believed “carbon dioxide, 9–26%” of 33 C warming due to
          Earth greenhouse effect:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

          Then I could assume CO2 probably at 280 ppm. [Though it could
          instead be 180 to 280 ppm or it could mean around 300 ppm.]
          I will assume 280 ppm CO2 causes 9–26% of 33 C of warming.
          Or these percentages of 33 C are 2.97 C to 8.58 C.
          Now one could stupidly assume this scientific theory would use K rather than C, as is normal in science. So 15 C is 288 K and would be 25.9 K [C] to 74.8 K [C]. But this is obviously not what they meant.

          So a 280 ppm is “exactly to cause* 2.97 C to 8.58 C of the 33 C of warming. According to the theory there no doubt or uncertainty about greenhouse gases being the sole cause of
          precisely adding 33 C to world which otherwise would be about -18 C. Despite this being absolutely crazy- any believer will argue that is not is what is meant, despite the theory say this without the greenhouse effect causing a -18 C world to be 15 C, Earth would have average average of -18 C. And the greenhouse effect being said to be caused solely by greenhouse gases.

          But to continue so for 280 ppm of Methane, one simply needs to times 25 by 2.97 C to 8.58 C. Or 280 ppm Methane would
          increase the global average temperature by 74.25 to 214.5.
          The lowest number being 15 plus 74.25 C which give average
          global temperature of 89.25.

          And I have included the other crazy stuff of runaway effects- increasing water vapor. And since world with average temperature 89.25 C could have boiling ocean- we assume there would be more water vapor.
          So, I will stop there before going to 400 ppm level as it’s
          beyond merely dumb.

          So what would guess the increase of global methane levels from 1.8 ppm to 400 ppm would do in terms of increasing
          global temperature?
          Roughly I would say, about 1 C, maybe.
          So instead of global temperatures being around 15 C, at 400 ppm of Methane in atmosphere, global temperatures would
          be about 16 C. And since we talking about less than decade
          of time, increase being over period of 10 years, it would be less 1 C.

          So, quite different than what greenhouse theory would predict. Or about same amount of warming of world with say
          1000 ppm of CO2.
          Though I think if Earth had 1000 ppm of CO2, it’s possible it would warm by as much as 2 C. Or I think more than 3 C
          is approaching the realm of impossible.
          Likewise with 400 ppm of methane- if given enough time, perhaps as high as 2 C increase. And if given enough time
          maybe 3 C. But since there is a lack of time, unlikely to warm by as much a 2 C, and approaching impossible to get a 3 C increase in global average temperature.

          So I would say I am a lukewarmer. Though I believe it’s possible that the current increase of CO2 from around 280 ppm to around 400 ppm has not caused any warming. And it’s a fact, that this increase in CO2, has not actually been measured.
          Also if seems unlikely global CO2 levels will increase to 800 ppm within a century. And think it’s “fairly mainstream belief” that global CO2 levels will probably not reach 800 ppm before 2100.

          • gbaikie says:

            There many reason why I think 400 ppm of methane would only
            cause at most 2 C of global average temperature.

            Let’s start from idea that higher levels of methane in Earth atmosphere would cause the average temperature of Earth to be 80 or 90 C.
            First humans don’t immediately die from such temperature.
            In US sauna aren’t designed to get to 100 C, but:

            “Ningxiang (CNS) — Finnish Timo Kaukonen stayed over 30 minutes in a sauna at a temperature of more than 100 degrees Celsius in central China’s Hunan Province, breaking his own world record of 16 minutes and 15 seconds, Thursday.

            He beat seven Chinese challengers to safeguard his championship. Kaukonen once survived a cruel contest in a sauna set at 110 degrees Celsius, when his unfortunate Russian opponent died after six minutes in this living hell, and he himself sustained burns over 70 percent of his body and sunk into a coma that lasted six weeks. The contest, then in its 12th year, was thus permanently canceled.”
            http://www.ecns.cn/cns-wire/2011/12-23/4872.shtml

            But certainly 80 or 90 C would difficult to live for any amount time [days]. If Earth had average temperature of
            80 C, would it have a uniform temperature of 80 C?

            I see no reason why Earth with enough methane [assume less 1% though 400 ppm is .04%] would not have a lapse rate and a lapse rate similar to our current lapse rate. So we could expect a difference in temperature due different elevations of mountains [6.5 C cooler per 1000 meters- though the high water content of the air could change this significantly].
            What about difference in temperature during the night and day?
            And what about difference between equatorial and polar temperatures?
            In other words for there to be a average of 80 C, one has to some uniformity of temperature. Which means in the day with clear sky at noon it’s not much warmer than during the night. Same goes for equator clear skies at noon and at poles in mid-winter.

            One thing you never get on Earth is higher air temperature
            than highest surface. Surfaces can get to 80 C on Earth and
            air temperature highest is well below this- 56.7 °C (134 °F).

            But you only get 80 C surface temperature when the sun within 45 degree of Zenith [or one is pointing something at the sun]. Or one needs about 1000 watts or more per square meter of sunlight.
            With Earth’s tilt of axis, in winter, the sun goes directly over the tropic of Capricorn [23° 26 latitude]. And at tropic of Cancer it’s about 23° 26 + 23° 26 degrees
            off Zenith at noon. So anything north of tropic of Cancer
            if already 80 C can not warm up from the sun. Because it does not during any part of day get anywhere near having 1000 watts per meter. Whereas if surface temperature was say 50 C, it could warm up during the daylight.

            High uniform temperature would cause earth to absorb less energy. Plus high uniform temperature does allow much energy
            to be transferred. If somehow imagined the tropic ocean could get to 80 C [near boiling] but it was uniformly at 80 C, the heat from Tropic would not move much to regions which are slightly cooler. So you have to imagine that regions without any warming occurring, will stay warm- for months. Trapping radiant heat for months.

            Now, one could warm lower elevation air at uniform temperature, and have difference in upper atmosphere air, so warmth from tropics, is being transferred via air currents in upper atmosphere. Which is what happens on Venus- high speed winds in upper atmosphere of Venus very large atmosphere, and never getting fast winds near Venus surface. But that’s *challenging idea* for 1 atm world.

            Now, we happen to have a world which more nitrogen atmosphere than Earth and large amount methane in it’s atmosphere. Saturn’s Titan. Granted, that Titan receives little solar energy from the Sun:
            “Titan’s surface temperature is about 94 K (−179.2 °C). At this temperature water ice has an extremely low vapor pressure, so the atmosphere is nearly free of water vapor. Titan receives just about 1% of the amount of sunlight that Earth gets.
            Atmospheric methane creates a greenhouse effect on Titan’s surface, without which Titan would be far colder.”

            So much colder than 94 K?
            How much is much.
            And continuing the quote:
            “Conversely, haze in Titan’s atmosphere contributes to an anti-greenhouse effect by reflecting sunlight back into space, cancelling a portion of the greenhouse effect warming and making its surface significantly colder than its upper atmosphere.”

            Anti-greenhouse effect. Amazing, and apparently only on Titan.
            What are the chance.
            Anyways, Titan
            Stratosphere:
            98.4% nitrogen (N2),
            1.4% methane (CH4);
            Lower troposphere:
            95% N2, 4.9% CH4
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_%28moon%29
            “Observations from the Voyager space probes have shown that the Titanian atmosphere is denser than Earth’s, with a surface pressure about 1.45 times that of Earth’s. Titan’s atmosphere is about 1.19 times as massive as Earth’s overall, or about 7.3 times more massive on a per surface area basis.”

            So Titan got far more nitrogen than Earth, but due to it’s weaker gravity this massive atmosphere, has only 1.45 times Earth’s pressure.
            So if take the 1.4% methane of upper atmosphere, that’s
            14,000 ppm methane. Not meeting the ventilation safety standard of Earth, and in lower atmosphere, with oxygen you get burning.
            But point is no matter the temperature and lack of sunlight,
            if you think that 400 ppm of Methane would give uniform temperature on Earth, one should get with a lot more methane on Titan, a uniform temperature on Titan.
            And do you get this?
            Not sure, but.
            “While the temperature difference – 1.5 kelvins – is smaller than what we’re used to on Earth, the finding still shows that Titan’s surface behaves in ways familiar to us earthlings,” Cottini said. “We now see how the long Titan day (about 16 Earth days) reveals itself through the clouds.”
            http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/02/seasons-of-saturns-titan-oddly-mirror-earths.html

            So other option, is for differential temperature on Earth.
            On Earth our tropics has about average temperature of about 24 C, which much warmer than the average global temperature of about 15 C.
            So with average global temperature of 80 C, you could have average tropical of say 90 C, cooler average temperatures in regions in rest of the world.
            Pick one or other.

        • gbaikie says:

          “And it’s a fact, that this increase in CO2, has not actually been measured.”

          I meant: And it’s a fact, that this increase in CO2, has not actually been measured in terms of a increase global temperature [no one can reasonably know how much the increase in average global temperature is due to increase of about 100 ppm of CO2- though they can and have made assumptions {which appear to be wrong}].

          • When it comes to the “Global Warming Science” (GWS) everything is assumptions based on estimates and measurements made by instruments based on the workings of the good old ‘Thermopile’.
            These instruments come in many varieties but nowadays these “Remote Temperature Sensors” have got various built in software that all work on different scientific laws and rules. – The user may think he/she is checking on emitted radiation (ER) from any object. Nothing could be, in most cases, further from the truth. For ex. in the case of radiation from any object here at the bottom of the atmosphere, it is (usually) blocked by the atmosphere. If it was not so, then there would be no smokers dying from lung cancer as they would have burnt their faces off just ‘lighting up’ and the rest of us would not be here at all because the cavemen and women would have burnt to death just trying to keep warm in front of their fires.

            Solar/star radiation is unique – it has a power behind it that we, us human surface dwellers, cannot reproduce. You may think an atom bomb explosion comes pretty close to it and maybe for a split second it does – but no, not for long enough.

            There again the behaviour of electricity can be used as a tool to explain how solar radiation works. Of course electricity only lasts as a bright flash if it is forced through the air (a small air gap), i.e. carbon arc lighting is one example. Arc welding is another, but when electricity flows through an electrical cable of adequate calibre it meets little resistance, just as sunrays do through the atmosphere and little or no heat is created until the power reaches, in the case of electrics, the resistor (bulb filament or heating element etc.) In the case of the sunrays, they meet their resistor in the form of the earth’s surface.

            Whatsoever the resistor is in either case, the absorbed power creates within it an increased molecular/atomic speed and friction.
            Increased friction always creates more heat. Heat is always contained in molecules (objects) gases or solids. For that reason, if my reasoning is correct, heat can only be removed from the object’s surface by conduction. Heat does, in my experience, never move at “the speed of light” which is a feature of radiation – or indeed of an electrical current through a cable. – - – And heat transfer is a big part of mechanical engineering (ME) – and ME happens to be my game.

            And further-more another reason why you are almost (95%) right is that the “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget” by Kiehl, J. T. and Trenberth, K. E. 1997 starts it’s explanation thus:

            “Abstract

            The purpose of this paper is to put forward a new estimate, in the context of previous assessments, of the annual global mean energy budget.” – End of copy,- you can read more in the original, freely available on your computer.

            All “warmists” love the K&T energy budget and it plays a big part of their calculations. Yet it clearly states that it is a “new estimate in the context of previous assessments”
            So, as you say: “ – - – - they can and have made assumptions {which appear to be wrong}].” They cannot be anything else – but wrong

          • gbaikie says:

            “Whatsoever the resistor is in either case, the absorbed power creates within it an increased molecular/atomic speed and friction.”

            In terms of this electrical analogy. Does gases which resist
            electrical flow, increase in terms of their kinetic velocities?

            I know a ion engine can increase the velocities of gases
            to high velocities. And high velocities they create causing this low thrust rocket engines, to have high efficiency.

            I know photons can transfer their momentum to a solar sail.

            And it seems to be the energized gas can heat solids or liquids, and that heated solids and liquids can accelerate the average velocities of gases [normal chemical rocket].

            But can gases which isolated to just include gases, have their kinetic energy increased [their average velocity increased] due to their resistance to electrical energy?

          • gbaikie says:

            Continuing:
            “Increased friction always creates more heat. Heat is always contained in molecules (objects) gases or solids. For that reason, if my reasoning is correct, heat can only be removed from the object’s surface by conduction. Heat does, in my experience, never move at “the speed of light” which is a feature of radiation – or indeed of an electrical current through a cable. – – – And heat transfer is a big part of mechanical engineering (ME) – and ME happens to be my game. ”

            All heat is removed in vacuum [and isolated object] is done at speed of light.
            So with Sun, other than it’s magnetic energy, all energy is transferred by electromagnetic raditation charaterized as in spectrum of it’s blackbody temperature [mostly visible light and near-infrared light].
            Oh, you also have enormous flow of neutrinos which don’t seem to interact much with things. One also has the solar wind, solar flares, high speed particles/ionied particles [not to be confused with cosmic rays [or GCR] which are higher speed particles occurring from more energetic objects than our Sun [as in, supernovas].

            But for “common uses” on earth, heat radiant is not very significant compared to to such things as latent heat [pouring water on hot frying pan or red hot steel], conduction, and convection of heat thru gases/liquids.
            Far instance radiant heat as little to do with controlling
            how warm or cold you are. It’s largely evaporation and conduction with warm or cold surface, and convection heat with atmosphere.

          • glenncz says:

            It’s a fact, sort of. CO2 was 350 ppm and now it’s 400ppm. So 1 in 20,000 parts of air changed from “something” to CO2.
            It’s a fact that most of the planet scientists believe that 1 in 20,000 parts change in the atmosphere is more important than ocean cycles which can change the global temp 1C in a matter of a few months, or more important than cloud cover, changes in water vapor which is about 200 parts per 20,000, or changes in the sun, cosmic rays?, or planetary orbit.
            It’s a fact that the world has wasted immeasurable time and gigantic amts of money on complete silliness and thievery!

    • gbaikie says:

      One thing I forgot mention.
      If what is considered dangerous levels of Methane are released into the atmosphere.
      What is sort of ignored, is the waste of trillions of dollars
      worth of methane.
      So 10 trillion dollars worth CH4 is globally 10 trillion dollars “wasted”.
      And considering that 10 trillion dollars of any energy generates significant amount of wealth- it’s more than 10 trillion dollars “wasted”. So I don’t know, say 50 trillion dollars of global wealth “disappears”.
      With only possible benefit providing food to methane eating “bugs”, and bit more CO2 in atmosphere.
      And as said, I don’t think there is much benefit, assuming you wanted the world warming.

      So instead worried losing methane to cause global warming, we should be more worried about the lost of useful resource.
      So if we might to lose it within decades, mining first should be a global priority.

  19. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Get ready for cold winters. The “stadium wave” hypothesis (Wyatt & Curry, 2013) is predicting the pause in global warming to persist until 2030s. While solar physicists are predicting global cooling.

    “Analyzing global temperature curves for periodic oscillations Scafetta (2010) concludes that the climate is forced by astronomical oscillations related to the Sun, and at least 60% of the warming since 1970 can be related to astronomical oscillations.”

    “Based on these observations Ineson et al. (2011) have driven an ocean-climate model with UV irradiance. They demonstrate the existence of a solar climate signal that affects the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and produced the three last cold winters in Northern Europe and in the United States.”

    “de Jager & Duhau (2011) concludes that the solar activity is presently going through a brief transition period (2000-2014), which will be followed by a Grand Minimum of the Maunder type, most probably starting in the twenties of the present century. Another prediction, based on reduced solar irradiance due to reduced solar radius, is a series of lower solar activity cycles leading to a Maunder like minimum starting around 2040 (Abdussamatov, 2007).”

    “Our forecast indicates an annual average temperature drop of 0.9◦C in the Northern Hemisphere during solar cycle 24. For the measuring stations south of 75N, the temperature decline is of the order 1.0-1.8◦C and may already have already started. For Svalbard a temperature decline of 3.5◦C
    is forecasted in solar cycle 24 for the yearly average temperature. An even higher temperature drop is forecasted in the winter months (Solheim et al., 2012).”

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1202.1954v1.pdf

  20. ss says:

    Well, guess I won’t be buying snowtires anytime soon…the NW U.S. looks sunny and dry. Fine by me, though.

  21. Max Dupilka says:

    I do weather forecasting for the Northwest Territories in Canada, where all that cold air tends to originate from. For whatever reasons, in the past 2 years or so the GFS has become the most unreliable of the weather models in the development and movement of significant systems. It seems to greatly over-develop most low pressure systems and hence the associated gradients. We mostly rely on the Canadian Global model as it seems to give more reliable patterns. The Global model is also indicating a cold push into the eastern US in the 10 day period, but much tamer than the GFS.

  22. ren says:

    Tomorrow the wind will blow straight from the north.
    http://virga.sfsu.edu/gif/13101700_jetstream_h36.gif

  23. Eric Worrall says:

    When people realise how cold it will get in the next few decades, warm countries will be forced to close the door to new immigrants, to avoid being overwhelmed by the stampede.

    Thats why we got in early – I moved my family to Brisbane (Lat 27 degrees south), with the option of if necessary walking another 10 degrees closer to the equator.

    Even a full blown ice age cant hurt us here.

    • Joe Madrid says:

      If I had the means I would too. Imagine property prices if something did happen. I live at 37N but at 7500 feet (2300 meters) not good. It snowed 6 inches last night and broke tree branches because the leaves haven’t fallen yet.

      However I studied maps of the last ice age and this area is too dry for ice buildup plus I am 60.

      But for fun, what do you think would happen? The US and Russia armed to the teeth might not grab back the Congo etc??? rather than starve and freeze to death…..First thing to go would be our UN membership and all its constrictions when push comes to shove. I have a vivid imagination too.

      winter of 78…. I lived in Salt Lake City I honestly don’t remember the winter. Of course I had just moved there that summer from Laramie Wyoming which is much much colder so abnormally cold might have seemed normal to me.

      • Ian W says:

        “The US and Russia armed to the teeth might not grab back the Congo etc??”

        They both have to join the queue, China has already been buying crop land in Africa and in Australia. They know what is going to happen and have acted while they watch the ‘West’ build windmills and close base load power generation plants.

        In Europe, large numbers of people are already priced out of electricity – Germany has more than 600,000 families that cannot afford power, UK has death rates from cold and energy poverty in the region of 4000-5000 per winter month and is _closing_ base load power generation plants. The Eurocracy being convinced that it is going to be warmer because of CO2.

        If some of these longer term forecasts are correct things will not be pretty.

    • Joe Madrid says:

      If I had the means I might. Imagine property prices if something did happen. I live at 37N but at 7500 feet (2300 meters) not good. It snowed 6 inches last night and broke tree branches because the leaves haven’t fallen yet.

      However I studied maps of the last ice age and this area is too dry for ice buildup plus I am 60.

      But for fun, what do you think would happen? The US and Russia armed to the teeth might not grab back the Congo etc??? rather than starve and freeze to death…..First thing to go would be our UN membership and all its constrictions when push comes to shove. I have a vivid imagination too.

      winter of 78…. I lived in Salt Lake City I honestly don’t remember the winter. Of course I had just moved there that summer from Laramie Wyoming which is much much colder so abnormally cold might have seemed normal to me.

    • gbaikie says:

      “When people realise how cold it will get in the next few decades, warm countries will be forced to close the door to new immigrants, to avoid being overwhelmed by the stampede.”

      Do you mean we will get a stampede of Canadians?

      Earth will not get very warm nor very cold.

      The main problem with say Little Ice Age conditions or even cooler will mainly have to do with less growing season.
      And regions in say Canada where one can’t grow crops.

      Some humans currently live in regions where they can’t grow crops.

      So main effect of severe cooling will be less food globally, which means food prices increase dramatically. Which means farmers which can successful harvest their crops will become
      much richer.
      And place like Egypt which quite warm, but import most of their food, will have severe economic hardship.

      I should noted that Egypt already suffers from high level of poverty. And this is not due to weather conditions.
      Or at the moment the most serious effects upon the welfare
      of people in all of the world is bad government.

      So colder conditions plus the continuation of bad government will result in global poverty and starvation.
      But good governance and bitterly cold global temperature
      could result increase in prosperity and lack of people going without enough food.

      And if there was global reduction in food production, it’s possible that European government may permit importing of food grown in Africa. And possible Africa could see significant economic growth. If there is significant economic growth, then a lot more people may wish to live in
      Africa, at least, less will leave Africa.

      • gbaikie says:

        If we had 1 mile high ice caps in North America, and if somehow this glacial ice was profitably mined, there would
        be fears of Peak glacier ice.

        So endless fretting of not having enough glacial ice.
        And government will tax it as they tax everything, but they might want tax it more then most of the things which they tax.

  24. Milton Hathaway says:

    It’s all so unfair. Somebody needs to do something.

  25. Dr. Mark C says:

    Hi Roy, I was teaching in MI in 78-79 and that was one nasty winter in Dearborn/Detroit.
    While in Midwest and NE I always felt like a winter switch was thrown when the article cold swept over the area – was always abrupt. Spring came on same way suddenly. Sun and jet stream fun! Here in SoCal it’s so bland in the air, the earth is another matter.

  26. Indigo Red says:

    I was studying in Europe in ’78-’79. Over the Christmas break, I travelled from my home in Florence to Vienna. The intent was to go on to Paris, but France was already paralyzed by blizzards. I went to Istanbul instead where I was snowed in for almost a week as there were no planes, trains, automobiles, busses, or ships moving. It was the coldest and snowiest winter since 1944. During that two weeks, never did I think life on Earth was ending. It was just winter.

  27. Norman says:

    This article left me feeling cold! I think I will head over to Skeptical Science or Real Climate to warm up a bit.

  28. Jack says:

    What a horseshit site. Douchebag.

  29. Joe Madrid says:

    Wet cool summer in Alamosa.

    Got interested in AGW a few years ago and read a lot (how I found
    Dr. Spencer) whom I recommended to the Rush L. via listener email but I think he had already found him—

    Several things I read stood out. Greenland cores showed there can be very rapid onsets of cold and variability like a yo-yo attached to couple other yo-yos. It all made me a little nervous because any one with connected neurons in their brain fears cooling infinately more than warming.

    Milankovitch cycles match up nicely to sea cores (for ice ages) and we are about due gentlemen for an ice age.

    On the fringe of things planetary gravity is intriguing to me Jupiter does have an effect on the Earth—it may be laughably tiny at the distances involved—but another known unknown……imagine how much energy are in lunar solar tides,

    Poor little CO2 has a lot of competitors.

    I Dr. Spencer wants to make commentaries more manegeable edit and delete functions and recommend buttons make for better
    comments. For instance this one is way too long for any one to read. Most recommended etc…also manage things nicely.

  30. Mike says:

    Oh yes, the weather and climate so much talk with so much to learn. Thanks Dr. Roy for helping us make some sense of the Earth’s. climate and her cycles of variability.

  31. stevek says:

    I have serious question about solar chimney’s.

    If we built a huge solar chimney that did NOT have turbines. The heated air simply flowed upwards. Suppose this was really Tall chimney like above the highest clouds.

    Would the net effect of this chimney be to cool earth or heat earth or none of the above???

    • gbaikie says:

      “I have serious question about solar chimney’s.

      If we built a huge solar chimney that did NOT have turbines. The heated air simply flowed upwards. Suppose this was really Tall chimney like above the highest clouds.

      Would the net effect of this chimney be to cool earth or heat earth or none of the above???”

      Mostly none of above.

      If you used the turbine to push air upward, it would similar
      to solar chimney, other than solar chimney could use solar energy, rather than however you powered a turbine fan.

      But if you used solar chimney or powered fan, one is increasing the convection of air. If you could global significantly the convection of air, you would warm earth.

      Or the increased convection would cool the surface, the cooled surface would radiate less heat back into space, and the warmed surface would warming [adding more joules heat] to the air. Similar to blowing air over a heated surface would result warming more air in the room.

      But the earth already does a lot convection of heat, and if you did this globally [massive project] it would be slightly
      improving it’s “efficiency”. Or the effect would be generally small.
      I would think covering land with water [irrigation or ponds] would easier and more effective to warm region or Earth.

      But to be having any effect on global temperature [in terms of warming it] the turbine or solar chimney would have to be cooling the local region at the surface.
      Or probably a clear windy day would be generally be doing a “better job”.

      • stevek says:

        I’m thinking if warm moist air is pumped up to top of atmosphere it will take with it lots of heat. That’s my thought but I have no science background.

  32. Eliza says:

    Similar here in South America. When the antarctic cold air mass is directed vertically it is tending to reach further to the equator and we get freezing temps even at 22S. It happens every 7 years or so. I woonder if the increase in Antarctic ice extent will tend to exarcebate this. (Note ONLY occurrs if air mass is directed vertically towards SA.

  33. The cold weather is all down to Kiehl and Trenberth.

    Having the Sun shining down on us for 24 hours a day at only quarter of its strength means that the surface cannot possibly warm up.

  34. ren says:

    Worth seeing stratosphere forecast for 70 hPa, about 15 km, on October 28. You can see that the northern circulation is maintained.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z70_nh_f240.gif

    • Norman says:

      ren,

      I have been clicking on some of your links. Are you a trained meterologist or self-taught. Most of your links are currently above my level of understanding.

      • ren says:

        Norman’m self-taught, but tracking stratosphere is not that difficult. Differences in temperature in the stratosphere and the resulting pressure differences jet driven currents in different layers of the atmosphere. The currents in the stratosphere systems engender col and show the direction of air flow. Separate zones of cold and warm. It turns out that the circulation and temperature determines startosfera ozone are contrary to our expectations. I use a translator and I’m sorry if it makes trouble. Again, I’m sorry.

  35. ren says:

    Have you seen Buffalo Dance? The coming storm will be like a bison.

  36. ren says:

    Dr. Spencer note that the Jetstream, which is currently over Japan will be continued north a lot of clouds in emerging Pacific cyclones. These clouds will then dive from the north of Canada.

  37. ren says:

    As I wrote, with a stronger lock polar vortex can respond jumping cosmic rays, which cause a local increase in temperature within the stratosphere above the Arctic Circle.
    http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/webform/query.cgi?startday=21&startmonth=09&startyear=2013&starttime=00%3A00&endday=21&endmonth=10&endyear=2013&endtime=00%3A00&resolution=Automatic+choice&picture=on