SOTU, 2014: Obama will use wintry weather as example of global warming

January 26th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

I predict that, despite the brutally cold weather in DC this Tuesday, Obama will preach on climate change in his State of the Union address. I predict he will even use the cold weather as evidence to support his case.

During his address it looks like there will be a wintry mix starting across the southern reaches of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, and the Florida panhandle. I wouldn’t be surprised if he uses the event as evidence of human-caused climate change.

Precip and cloud forecast for around midnight, Tuesday night.

Precip and cloud forecast for around midnight, Tuesday night.

For those of us old enough to remember, similar events happened back in the epic cold winters of the 1970s. Many instances of snow falling in Florida in the 1800s surely weren’t due to humans. Believe it or not, more snow tends to go with colder weather, not warmer. Go figure.

Snowball fight on the steps of the Florida capitol building, Feb. 10, 1899.

Snowball fight on the steps of the Florida capitol building, Feb. 10, 1899.

Has everyone forgotten that the global warming prophets predicted winters without snow?

And there is no credible evidence that climate change (induced by global warming) can produce colder than normal temperatures. There has been no long-term change in mid-latitude storminess. One climate model out of a hundred might produce colder weather over less than 1% of the Earth with global warming….those are damn long odds to hang your hat on.

But you know that if this winter was 20 deg. above normal rather than below normal, that would be used as evidence of global warming. Some people want to have it both ways. That sounds to me more like political spin than science.

Still, I’m sure the President can find a few scientists who will support him. So he’s covered.

Yes, we live in interesting times.

23 Responses to “SOTU, 2014: Obama will use wintry weather as example of global warming”

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  1. RW says:

    We live in irrational times…

  2. David South says:

    He might rely on what journalists at “Time” claim….

  3. Steve Case says:

    You’re sure the President can find a few scientists who will support him?

    His Science Advisor already said, “[W]hat we can expect as a result of global warming is to see more of this pattern of extreme cold …”

    YouTube ID# 5eDTzV6a9F4

    • David South says:

      Dr. John Holdren, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy says that “a growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern we can expect to see with increasing frequency, as global warming continues.” However, data from 1950 to 2001 [in the paper “Climatology of winter cold spells in relation to mountain pine beetle mortality in British Columbia, Canada”] do not support his claim. Are there any published papers (using historical data) to support his claim?

  4. Hops says:

    Is it true, or not true, that the polar vortex was shifted by an unusually warm mass of air pushing into the Arctic?

    When I look at a temperature map, the Alaska area is well above normal.

    It will be interesting to see the January data.

  5. Hot Potato says:

    Is it true, or not true, that the polar vortex was shifted by an unusually warm mass of air pushing into the Arctic and this observation is the result of man-made excess CO2 (whatever excess means)?

    Can you prove with certainty, let alone with any confidence, that this “unusual” polar vortex shift is caused by climate change induced predominantly by anthropogenic global warming?

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say you can’t.

  6. David South says:

    Is it true, or not true, that the polar vortex was shifted by the solar winds? Can anyone prove with any confidence, that this “unusual” polar vortex shift was NOT caused by solar winds as claimed by Piers Corbyn? {BTW scientists do not “prove” a null hypothesis)
    The following can be found on WUWT
    “A third potential factor in Polar Vortex behavior that has been proposed is that “geomagnetic activity (used as a measure of solar wind parameters)” plays a role in the “variability of large-scale climate patterns and on changes in the global temperature. We have found positive statistically significant correlations between global temperature and the distribution of surface temperature over Eurasia, the East and Equatorial Pacific and over the North Atlantic for the period 1966-2009 correspond to large-scale climate patterns defined by climate indices. We found very similar positive correlations between geomagnetic activity and the distribution of surface temperature in the mentioned regions.”

    Find more at…

  7. B Parsons says:

    be careful before you slander/libel real scientists, they might just sue you. Check this article out.

    • Chic Bowdrie says:

      Being somewhat hypocritical, aren’t you?

      • Chris says:

        If the story is reported correctly, Steyn should just apologise. Regardless of what one thinks of Mann’s contributions to climate science, the argument should be about the science, not pointless statements that make no contribution to the argument.

        By all accounts, Mann thinks his research is really profound, useful and accurate.

        Mann would also know that he will be eventually judged – as all climate scientists will be by what actually happens in the future.

        Lets hope he lives long enough to see some sort of resolution one way or the other.

        I think it is also unlikely that outcome of the legal case would contribute to the science in any way whatsoever.

  8. Steve Jones says:

    Does this article seriously say “less THAT” instead of “less THAN”? How incredibly American… idiots.

  9. AGW theory is NOT based on sound science. The latest lame reason they have come up with as to how global warming causes colder winters goes as follows:

    Global warming has caused Arctic Sea Ice to lessen, which in turn has caused the jet stream to ridge in the Arctic and trough in the lower latitudes giving a more meridional atmospheric circulation which accounts for all the cold outbreaks.

    This is of course utter nonsense in that if one goes back in past history to the 1970’s for example one will find record amounts of Arctic Sea Ice with the jet stream exhibiting the same pattern back then as now with the same temperature patterns back then as now, which was a warmish Arctic with many cold mid-latitude Arctic Outbreaks.

    Simply put lessening Arctic Sea Ice amounts(due to global warming which is also not true but is their argument)has nothing to do with the jet stream pattern being more meridional. NO CORRELATIONS AT ALL!!

    The real reasons for a more meridional jet stream of late are the continued overall low solar activity post 2005, and the warm pool of water in the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast of Canada and the U.S.A.

    It has nothing to do with Arctic Sea Ice, which in turn has nothing to do with global warming.

    The phase of the AMO correlates to Arctic Sea Ice amounts.

  10. Given that our global mean temperature is by definition ( expressed in an APL ) :

    ( +/ observations ) % # observations

    a cold ( lower than mean ) observation is evidence of cold . It’s not evidence of warm .

    This nonscience has perverted the most basic understanding of quantitative science .

  11. Jimbo says:

    Here are over 50 quotes from scientists about global warming leads to warmer winters, less winter snow and earlier springs [CLICK].

    Though Spring snow extent is down since 1967 but maybe THIS is why they changed their prediction from warmer winters to colder, more snowy winters. They indeed do seem to want it both ways.

  12. Santa Baby says:

    Well why do you think Social Democratic Norway gave him a Nobels Peace prize?

  13. David South says:

    In the SOTU, he stated AGW was “a fact” and it was responsible for certain weather events (such as droughts in the West and floods in the East)!!

  14. Gary says:

    Apparenlty, the subject is moot.

    “But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” Barack Hussein Obama

    BTW, if you have a top 10 or 20 quick response retorts to counter anthropogenic global warming, I’d love to put it on a 3 X 5 card to be pulled out every time I talk to someone who has had too much koolaid…

    • ClimatePete says:

      If you want to see the actual climate change contributing to this winter’s polar vortex then Nick Stokes has an excellent interactive chart. Click on the link then click on the winter buttone (DJF) – .

      It is apparent from the graph that there has been a winter warming in the Arctic, culminating in up to 3 degrees warmer at the North Pole compared to 16 years ago.

      But at latitudes 40 to 60 North the opposite has occurred and the average temperature has gone down by around a degree over 15 years.

      Bear in mind this winter graph is not this year’s temperatures, but the 15 year trend finishing at the end of 2012.

      It is interesting that the net effect of these two huge effects is close to zero for the global trend in winter – the net global warming all comes in the other seasons.