2nd Coldest U.S. Winter in 35 Years

March 3rd, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The primary winter months of December, January, and February averaged over the contiguous 48 United States were the 2rd coldest winter in the last 35 years. The average temperature of 32.2 deg. F was barely edged out by the slightly colder winter (32.0 deg. F) of 2009-2010 (click for large version):
DecJanFeb-USA48-temps-1973-2014

The analysis is based upon ~350 NOAA/NWS stations that measure temperatures every 6 hours (or more frequently), many located at airports. The data I use are adjusted for average spurious urban heat island (UHI) warming that increases with population density around the thermometer site. That relationship is shown at the end of this article.

The analysis starts in only 1973 since that is the first year with a large amount of quality-controlled 6-hourly temperature data archived at NOAA. The official NOAA temperature product (not yet announced) in contrast depends upon stations which generally don’t report hourly temperatures (mostly daily max/min temperatures), and which require large (and controversial) adjustments for varying time of observation.

Note also that 6 of the last 8 winters have been below the 41-year average.


66 Responses to “2nd Coldest U.S. Winter in 35 Years”

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  1. Ritchie Cunningham says:

    Would it be correct to say that the same winter was also the warmest on record globally?

    • Jake says:

      It might be, I’m sure we will be able to take a look at the data when Dr. Spencer releases the February information. Your question is moot, it’s not what this particular blog entry was evaluating.

      • Ritchie Cunningham says:

        I usually use 2010 as an example for others to point out the difference between u.s. and global temps. I live in New Orleans and temps were four degrees below average that winter…

    • Susie says:

      Couldn’t say it was the warmist winter on record globally because it was summer in the Southern hemisphere.

      • 4TimesAYear says:

        Amen to that – there’s no such thing as a “global winter”; the hemispheres have opposing seasons.

    • Fonzie says:

      Folks, winter is a period of time (whether it’s in the northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere) which has a global data set associated with it. Therefor it’s not incorrect to say ‘winter was also the warmest on record globally’…

      • Ritchie Cunningham says:

        Thank you, Fonz…

      • 4TimesAYear says:

        Not. While the northern hemisphere has winter, the southern hemisphere has summer. It’s an oxymoron to say “winter was the warmest on record globally.”

  2. It looks like Mann’s Hockey Stick needs some Viagra/Cialis. Cold will do that; contraction and shrinkage. Considering that, the real mystery is how the Eskimos are able to procreate.

  3. CoRev says:

    Dr Roy, shouldn’t that be 3rd and not 2nd? Otherwise you have a typo in that statement. Also, why discard the earlier records. Did I miss something?

    This is not a complaint just questions to clarify.

  4. BooS says:

    Your graph implies that it was the 5th coldest? Typo?

  5. O. Olson says:

    Wasn’t CO2 warming supposed to be most apparent during winter? Graph looks kinda flat to me…

    • barry says:

      Looks like a rising trend to me. It also looks doubtful that statistical significance would be achieved.

      Maybe Dr Spencer will crunch the numbers and end our speculation.

    • barry says:

      With UAH Lower 48 data from December 1978 and including the first two months of winter this year (Feb data not yet in), I get an overall linear rise of 0.9C for US winters. The warming trend over the last 36 US winters is 0.25C/decade.

  6. dorlomin says:

    America, they still thinks its is the synonymous with “the world”.

    • David Johnson says:

      What part of the title “2nd Coldest U.S. Winter in 35 Years” did you not understand!

  7. Carson says:

    Well I don’t know how Dr. Roy adjusts his data for UHI, but it was definitely the coldest winter at my house in 50 years. Global warming might be happening in the Arctic, but it is definitely not happening at my house.

    • barry says:

      I had a nice cocktail with ice last night, and it seems global warming isn’t happening in my drinks, either.

  8. Werner Brozek says:

    Ritchie Cunningham says:
    March 3, 2014 at 10:10 AM
    Would it be correct to say that the same winter was also the warmest on record globally?
    Of course the whole globe did not have winter since it was summer south of the equator during December, January and February. As well, we do not have the February numbers yet. However according to Hadcrut4, December was the 4th warmest December globally and January was the 7th warmest January globally. So there is no way that February can make up for that.

    • Werner, I believe Ritchie was referring to 2010. Correct me if I’m wrong, Ritchie.

      Nonetheless, good point about there being no global winter…not yet, at least, but in the next month or two, possibly even several weeks, that could change very quickly.

      • Ritchie Cunningham says:

        Yeah, CNH; I kind of goofed on that one. I should have been more specific… I was talking about 2010.

      • Fonzie says:

        By the way, hot potato, “Cunningham” is really me… (wink !)

      • barry says:

        Easily fixed: What was the average temperature of the Northern Hemispheric winter?

        Using UAH anomaly data, it is currently at 0.33C (Feb data not yet in), making it the 6th warmest in 35 years. If NH Feb turns out to be very cold, it could fall 7th to 10th warmest.

      • barry says:

        Forgot to count 2013/2014 in the rank – amending…

        So far this NH winter is 7th warmest on record, possibly falling from 8 to 10th depending on Feb data (and also possibly higher).

      • barry says:

        Bit more perspective:

        NH winters from December 1978 to February 2013 have warmed by 0.72C, which is a trend of 0.21C/decade.

        US winters over the same period have warmed by 0.95C, which is a trend of 0.27C/decade.

  9. Mark says:

    Hmmm…a cold winter every 30-40 years. Sounds about right. Sounds like climate has seasons just like the weather and will continue regardless of the amount of a TRACE element.

  10. TheHoneyBadger says:

    It was probably the third coldest winter since the Great Blizzards of the 1880s.

  11. wizard says:

    I fail to see what the problem is.

    Weather happens.

    Sometimes cold sometimes hot.

    You can not do any thing about it.

    So why the enormous amount of energy spent in postulating the flow.
    We live on a planet that spins at roughly 1000 mph and travels through space at approx 67,000 mph.If you live for 70 years you would have traveled roughly 41 billion miles, and your worried about weather it is going to be hot or cold.

    Simple rules of comfort.

    1.Hot, take clothing off
    2.Cold, put clothing on

    • NoFreeWind says:

      >I fail to see what the problem is.
      Some people want to take other peoples money, this is a very good excuse.

  12. Chic Bowdrie says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    In a Jan 24 post on US temperatures, you showed how computing daily average temperatures from four observations at 0, 6, 12, and 18 hours avoids time-of-observation problems associated with computing daily averages from maximum and minimum temperatures, as is done in the USHCN dataset. Has anyone compared the NOAA and/or your method with continuous measurements to see if any warm or cool bias results?

    Wouldn’t the scarcity of sites near the poles and over the oceans combined with failure to measure temperatures continuously amount to cumulative errors that confine average global measurements to within reasonable experimental error and, therefore, basically noise?

  13. James Strom says:

    We’ve been borrowing cold air from the Arctic, which in turn has been quite a bit warmer than usual, so it looks like this fiercely cold winter should be chalked up to weather. I recall similar episodes in the 80′s and 90′s, and, I suspect, the 70′s, so let’s not call any of this unprecedented.

  14. Yes, for those who have been watching this was suspected.
    Thanks for the confirmation, Dr. Spencer.

  15. barry says:

    Does a cold winter mean anything regarding global warming?

  16. Billy says:

    Dear Roy,

    It seems that you have gone low-profile since your 2011 paper with Christy. If you want to gain back your reputation on a science level, don’t put out information that makes it look like it is driven by the policy organization that you don’t acknowledge on your “about” page and place information back, clearly, as within the realm of the credentials that tell us that your input is purely from a scientific point.

    Sincerely,

    Billyboil

    P.S. I wouldn’t have looked so hard at your credibility except for resident denier action on a forum that brought your credibility up. So, really, you successfully have some fooled and I probably would not have looked past your credentials on your “about” page if not for those that saw your displayed credentials and apparently thought them pure.

    P.S.S. Posted by rightturnsonly because Billy Boil was too shy.

  17. David Johnson says:

    “If you want to gain back your reputation on a science level, don’t put out information that makes it look like it is driven by the policy organization that you don’t acknowledge on your “about” page and place information back, clearly, as within the realm of the credentials that tell us that your input is purely from a scientific point”.

    Billy, I would appreciate if you could re-write the above in plain English. My apologies if English is not your natural language.

    • Billyboil says:

      That note was posted by another person though I did give the permission to post that.

      The intent, however, was for it to be to Dr. Spencer regarding ommissions from his “about” page and specific reference to the last entry on his “Research Articles” page. That entry being the 2011 paper, with Christy, over which the editor-in-chief of “Remote Sensing” took a resignation.

      Although there are other omissions, I had focused on Dr. Spencer’s omission of the position as Director/Board member with George C. Marshall Institute with the person who posted my note. That institute is not only a public-policy group, but records show that it accepts funds from many including ExxonMobil.

      Since “rightturnsonly” posted my note under this random blog without regard to its context, it is no wonder that you couldn’t begin to understand it.

      That ability to understand it especially after noting how you were thrown by dorlomin’s post (above).

      How, ever, did you miss-understand dorlomin’s world=global connection when “Global Warming” is displayed in large letters (under the globe with Dr. Spencer’s name on it), or the four other incedents of the word “global” in the header?

      How, also, did you miss the text after the title which reduces the “US”, from the title, to the “contiguous 48 United States”? The world=global issue aside, is the US minus Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands, really the entire US?

  18. Ansgar John says:

    5th coldest winter in 40 years. Saying 2nd in 35 seems to be ‘cherry picking’. Just look at the facts, don’t try to spin them, that just makes it seem like ‘denying’ ;)

  19. barry says:

    “Note also that 6 of the last 8 winters have been below the 41-year average”

    Also note that the first 6 of 8 US winters below the 40-year average (centred on 1981) were cooler than the last 6.

    Is that meaningful?

  20. Wagathon says:

    Where it not for climate change we all might be speaking Quechua instead of English.

  21. John@EF says:

    Dr. Spencer, isn’t continually posting irrelevant nonsense like this beneath your standard of professionalism?

    You could just as easily post data about record high temperatures in other parts of the globe since X-number of years ago. That would be just as irrelevant.

  22. Mike Maguire says:

    Interesting that in the 1980′s and 1990′s, global warming was supposed to cause increasingly warmer Winters and less snow.

    Of course a cold Winter here and a snowy Winter there scattered in between the warmer and less snowy Winters should have been expected but the “science was settled”.

    Interesting how after the science was settled the pattern(not scattered) has been to observe MORE snow

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=4

    AFTER that happened, THEN we were told for the first time that global warming causes more snow and bigger blizzards because warmer air has more moisture…………as if saturated air at the freezing point can somehow gain more moisture or maybe the freezing point is magically increased to 35 degrees because of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

    This year, the scary Polar Vortex became the new buzz word as we saw a pattern of it dropping far south of the Arctic as if it was something never seen like this before……..even though it did so more times in other cold Winters.

    Let’s take the Winter of 1976/77 for example(which also, by no coincidence, was when California had a severe drought and CO2 levels were much lower and the humans were petrified because of a global cooling scare)

    Plug in a date of 1976-year 11-month 15-day

    and hit the + to advance by day thru December, January and February. See it yourself.

    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ncepreanal/

    Earlier this year we heard from Obama’s climate expert, Dr. John Holdren, about this very freaky occurrence for the first time and only after it has happened, that global warming will cause the Polar Vortex to become displaced more often, like it did this year and this will cause more record cold.

    Just like when we had that freaky drought for 1 year, 2012 after setting a record for most consecutive years(24) without a widespread severe drought in the US Midwest/Cornbelt.

    Like the the stories of the Dust Bowl years of the 1930′s are not relevant anymore. Neither is that once considered irrefutable law, that we used to call photosynthesis and the key role that CO2 plays…………. at least not since humans decided CO2 is really pollution.

    • barry says:

      “Interesting that in the 1980′s and 1990′s, global warming was supposed to cause increasingly warmer Winters and less snow.”

      US winters have warmed, acording to lower 48 UAH data, by 0.9C over the last 35 years. Or 0.25C/decade.

      There is less annual snow in the Northern Hemisphere. A little more in winter, much less in summer.

    • barry says:

      Earlier this year we heard from Obama’s climate expert, Dr. John Holdren, about this very freaky occurrence for the first time and only after it has happened, that global warming will cause the Polar Vortex to become displaced more often

      That hypothesis has been around for 13 years.

      http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?id=22082

      Plenty of subsequent research on the matter.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex#Climate_change

      • Mike Maguire says:

        “That hypothesis has been around for 13 years.”

        Barry,
        As an operational meteorologist for 32 years, I’m aware of that. My point was that we only heard about it from Dr. John Holdren AFTER we had record cold from the Polar Vortex moving south as it has many times before in cold Winters…….and with a unique spin that he put on it to connect the occurrence to global warming.

        So instead of record cold disproving global warming(which it doesn’t) the clear intent of his explanation was to offset peoples natural reaction to the intense cold, and plant the idea in their already brainwashed heads that global warming actually CAUSED the record cold and we should expect more of this sort of thing.

        • barry says:

          “…a unique spin that he put on it to connect the occurrence to global warming.”

          In summary, the observational analysis presented in this study provides evidence supporting two hypothesized mechanisms by which Arctic amplification – enhanced Arctic warming relative to that in mid-latitudes – may cause more persistent weather patterns in mid-latitudes that can lead to extreme weather. One effect is a reduced poleward gradient in 1000-500 hPa thicknesses, which weakens the zonal upper-level flow. According to Rossby wave theory, a weaker flow slows the eastward wave progression and tends to follow a higher amplitude trajectory, resulting in slower moving circulation systems. More prolonged weather conditions enhance the probability for extreme weather due to drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves….

          …it is expected that large-scale circulation patterns throughout the northern hemisphere will become increasingly influenced by Arctic Amplification. Gradual warming of the globe may not be noticed by most, but everyone – either directly or indirectly – will be affected to some degree by changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events as green-house gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.

          Evidence Linking Arctic Amplification to Extreme Weather
          in Mid-latitudes – Francis & Vavrus (2012)
          doi:10.1029/2012GL051000

          Our observational analysis reveals that the change in the winter atmospheric circulation and frequency of cold events in mid-latitudes in response to winter sea ice loss is larger and more extensive than the response to autumn ice loss, even though the fractional change in ice loss is larger in autumn.

          …If the association between Arctic sea ice and cold winter extremes demonstrated in this study is robust, we would expect to see a continuation and expansion of cold winter extremes as the sea ice cover continues to decline in response to ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases.

          Cold Winter Extremes in Northern Continents Linked to Arctic Sea Ice loss – Tang et al (2013)
          doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014036

          I was watching videos of this phenomenon being described last year.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nzwJg4Ebzo

          (The researcher in this video co-authored Tang et al 2103)

          Holdren’s view isn’t unique, he is reporting current understanding.

  23. Dr. Strangelove says:

    Roy,
    Why are you adjusting for UHI? Are we supposed to measure only natural warming? In that case you should also adjust for anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

    • Mike Maguire says:

      “Why are you adjusting for UHI?”

      I see your point Dr. Strangelove, however thermometers/instruments located in an area that is effected by UHI are intended to represent, not just that “hot” spot because of a poor location or a city that grew and the thermometer stayed in the same place but many, many miles outside where the UHI effect is taking place.

      It would be much different if we had 100 times the coverage which would give additional readings outside the UHI that would average down the UHI to what it truly represents.

      Not doing so would be like taking the temperature of your entire house with 5 thermometers and one of them located next to an oven thats on.

      Yes, it really is warmer by the oven but if it’s a 5,000 square foot house and each thermometer is supposed to represent 1,000 sq feet(using the numbers for simplicity) do you want one of them thats much warmer because its located a few feet from a heat source to represent the entire 1,000 square feet when the rest of that zone is cooler?

      • Dr. Strangelove says:

        I see your point Mike. But do you want the thermometer next to the oven to read as if the oven does not exist? The oven is 200 C hotter than the room but UHI is tenths of degree C warmer than surrounding area. Your bigger problem is the thermometer is not near enough the city to detect UHI.

  24. Mike Maguire says:

    “Interesting that in the 1980′s and 1990′s, global warming was supposed to cause increasingly warmer Winters and less snow.”

    US winters have warmed, acording to lower 48 UAH data, by 0.9C over the last 35 years. Or 0.25C/decade.

    There is less annual snow in the Northern Hemisphere. A little more in winter, much less in summer.

    Barry,
    I see that you agree with me but are spinning it to sound different.

    Winters DID warm in the 1980′s/1990′s as I stated. You went back 35 years and captured that period in your average for the entire period.
    When Winters stopped warming in the last decade, which has now featured some cold/snowy Winters, it does not entirely negate all the real warming of the 1980′s/90′s but that is not even my point, this is:

    Recent much colder and snowier Winters has morphed the global warming message into one that now says “more snow is also caused by global warming” and “record cold is also caused by global warming”

    When we were having less cold and less snow in the 80′s and 90′s, it was made crystal clear that this is what we should continue to see………….even no snow in our future according to a few sources.

    This would be like you being at home in your kitchen and turning the oven on. As an added heat source, you could tell your wife, sitting at the kitchen table that she feels warmer because the oven is adding heat and making it warmer.

    If your son, in his bedroom on the 2nd floor, directly above the kitchen, tells you its getting colder in his room, which has the window open and its below freezing outside, would you blame it on the oven by claiming the warm oven is causing the air to rise in the kitchen which is pulling much colder air from outside the kitchen and causing a circulation in the house that draws cold air into your sons room?

    While this explanation may fly using Holdren meteorology/climate science. One could easily prove that the real source of the cold is totally INDEPENDENT of the source of heat…….the oven.

    Think of the oven as CO2/greenhouse gas warming and the open window as the natural cooling cycle we are in right now(with a -PDO).

    If you turned on some powerful fans in the house example above to provide circulation and mixing you might imagine the greenhouse gas warming battling the natural cooling going on right now.

    What if you opened another window? This might represent the weakening solar cycle.
    What if you opened all the doors? This might represent a huge volcanic eruption.

    When all the windows and doors are shut again, then the warming from the oven can dominate.

    If the oven can only go to 500 degrees, then you have will reach a point where it will not warm anymore. The effect of CO2 on warming is logarithmic. This means the warming curve greatly flattens with increasing CO2………as CO2 is having less and less effect on temperature.

    This is scientific fact. However, the amount of the flattening in the curve is exactly what the debate is (or should be) about……….the sensitivity to CO2.
    Will doubling the amount from here cause 4C of warming(a problem) or will it cause an additional 1C of warming(mostly beneficial so far)?

    Obviously the atmosphere is thousands of times more complicated than the oven/open window analogy but am just trying to help you understand with simplicity.

    • Threepwood says:

      That touches on a couple of very important points- not only was less snow unambiguously predicted- the albedo effect was one of the principle feedbacks required and touted to multiply the tiny insignificant worthless direct forcing of CO2 into a box office smash hit disaster movie..

      Also the logarithmic reality is almost entirely unknown to believers- that much of the warming our CO2 could ever create is already in effect- while the great lakes approach a record total freeze and billions are lost due to cold and snow.

      It’s hard to imagine how much more wrong believers could possibly have been- but there is literally no null hypothesis or hypothetical falsification for ‘climate change’- which disqualifies it as a scientific theory from the get-go.

    • barry says:

      Threepwood, Mike,

      Recent much colder and snowier Winters has morphed the global warming message into one that now says “more snow is also caused by global warming” and “record cold is also caused by global warming”

      not only was less snow unambiguously predicted

      US projections:

      In some regions where winter precipitation is projected to increase, the increased snowfall can more than make up for the shorter snow season and yield increased snow accumulation.

      European projections:

      The overall warming is very likely to shorten the snow season in all of Europe. Snow depth is also likely to be reduced, at least in most areas, although increases in total winter precipitation may counteract the increased melting…

      AR4, Chapter 11 – Regional Projections

      I’ve not heard of anyone claiming that global warming would produce “record cold”. Do you have a specific comment to cite, Mike?

      US winters are projected to warm over the long term. 14 years (post 80s/90s) is not enough time/data to establish a climate trend, especially with the huge variance in the data for such a localised areas – 3% of the globe’s surface.

      Every year has record-breaking cold at some locations, but since at least 2002, there has always been more record-breaking hot temperatures than cool in cities and towns wordlwide. I would expect that some cold-weather records will have been broken at certain locations in the US ad UK this winter – is that what you mean?

      Summing: Global warming does not preclude cold weather, or record-breaking cold at sub-regional locations. IPCC predicted increases in winter snow in the US and EU owing to greater wintertime precipitation.

      As far as I can see, there is no post-fact spin going on, only more information coming out. Increased wintertime snow in Northern midlatitudes and the meandering of the jet stream owing to reduced equator-to-pole thermal gradient are not ‘spin’ to explain recent events. Predictions of these phenomena well predate Holdren’s (or anyone else’s) comments on the recent winter anomalies.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7EHvfaY8Zs

      (You tube video on the jet stream phenomenon Holdren described, dated June 2013. 3 experts concur – prior to his remarks. It was the best video I saw last year on the issue. 7 mins – check it out)

      • Mike Maguire says:

        “I’ve not heard of anyone claiming that global warming would produce “record cold”. Do you have a specific comment to cite, Mike?”

        How about this one from Dr. John Holdren earlier this year:

        “But 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 that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.”

        http://lybio.net/dr-john-holdren-the-polar-vortex-explained-in-2-minutes/science-technology/

        Anybody with any interest in this topic should have viewed that video and heard those words. Clearly, you are only hearing and seeing what you want to hear barry.

        I’ll be glad to help you understand better if that is your intent vs making silly comments like this one above.

        • barry says:

          Mike,

          Me:

          “I’ve not heard of anyone claiming that global warming would produce “record cold”. Do you have a specific comment to cite, Mike?”

          You:

          How about this one from Dr. John Holdren earlier this year:

          “But 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 that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.”

          That is not the same thing. I might say;

          “Clearly, you are only hearing and seeing what you want to hear…”

          You have also made claims about the weakening jet stream and winter snow, both of which were wrong. Holdren didn’t make up the science connecting these events to global warming, they predate his remarks. No comment on this from you – are you seeing only what you want to see?

          I saw the Holdren video when it first came out and some people were in a tizz over a graph. I’ve been looking at the literature on climate change affecting the jet stream, and Holdren is right – there is a growing body of research supporting the notion. As a meteorologist, have you spent any time becoming familiar with the scientific literature on this topic?

          • Mike Maguire says:

            “I’ve been looking at the literature on climate change affecting the jet stream, and Holdren is right – there is a growing body of research supporting the notion. As a meteorologist, have you spent any time becoming familiar with the scientific literature on this topic?”

            Looking at the literature on climate change, as you have been, explains alot.

            I’ve been studying the science, as well as reading the literature that includes all your points closely for over a decade. My degree is in atmospheric science from the University of Michigan in 1981.

            I see you have decided that Holdren is right.

            I also see that you have decided to not look at my evidence for why I think Holdren is probably wrong. The last time we were in thes part of the natural cycle, in the Winters of the 1970′s, this pattern occurred much more frequently and well before CO2 went up. It also didn’t happen as often when temperatures increased in the 1980′s/90′s and the Arctic warmed. Now, the warming stalled out and it happens again, like back in the 1970′s.

            I will give you another opportunity to see the indisputable evidence once again. You can reject it again because it contradicts what you are convinced you know, or you can be open minded and see it.

            From my earlier post:

            Let’s take the Winter of 1976/77 for example(which also, by no coincidence, was when California had a severe drought and CO2 levels were much lower and the humans were petrified because of a global cooling scare)

            Plug in a date of 1976-year 11-month 15-day

            and hit the + to advance by day thru December, January and February. See it yourself.

            http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/ncepreanal/

            Again, I’ve been an operational meteorologist since February 1982, forecasting global weather patterns for the energy and grain markets since 1993(prior to that on television). Most of my day is spent looking at and analyzing global weather patterns, that include reviewing historical weather patterns like the Winter of 76/77 that I provided you a link for.

            There is plenty I don’t know(climate is complex) but one of the many things that I do know, is when somebody takes a position on this topic based on speculation and bias. In those cases, I can ALWAYS show evidence suggesting that it is just that.

            You have decided that Holdren’s “theory” fits in nicely with your belief system. I have punched some huge holes in that “theory”.

            You can look at the actual evidence provided or continue to be somebody that only allows information that confirms what they want to believe into their heads.

          • barry says:

            I see you have decided that Holdren is right.

            Not at all. I’m just checking some claims made on this thread and finding that they don’t stack up, and the ones I’ve checked are not arcane, but straightforward assertions than anyone could look up.

            Did anyone say that the meandering of the jet stream this winter was unprecedented? That appears to be the basis of your rebuttal. From all I’ve read and heard, the phenomena was explained, and then Holdren (and the research he based his remarks on) posited that it was likely we would see more of this wintertime slow down of the jet stream owing to a shallower 0 – 90 lat temperature gradient. I’ve not seen or heard anyone saying this type of pattern is “unprecedented,” only that it may happen more often. From what I’ve read, it seems you have created another straw man.

            I am in no position to verify that proposal or otherwise. All I’ve done is acquaint myself with the literature. I’ve learned that the polar vortex weakens in summer, when the meridional temperature gradient becomes less. I’ve learned that when the globe dims from volcanic aerosos, the polar vortex contracts around the north pole. It is well observed that the speed of jet stream winds is linked to meridional temperature gradient. I’ve learned that there have been mixed and opposite results from research in the past, that Francis’s hypothesis on the jet stream has predecessors from 15 years ago, and that her hypothesis has been challenged by at least one study. Prior to the last few years the prevailing opinion was that the polar vortex would become stronger under global warming due to changing atmospheric dynamics re ozone, or GHGs, or contracting sea ice, or a combination of these factors.

            If I were to make your case, I would say that the science on this is not yet solid enough to make absolute predictions (not that Holdren did), and say that Holdren overplayed the confidence on it. However, I am not an expert, and can’t say that categorically. I can’t – and don’t – say anything categorical about the hypothesis, I’ve just pointed out some misapprehensions. Holdren did not make this theory up.

            Keeping an open but skeptical mind, the best I can say is that the current hypothesis makes sense, but there is too little data to be absolutely sure, and there are confounding factors (like ozone) Even so, there is more substance to the hypothesis than your rebuttal, which is basically, “it’s happened before.”

            And so it has, but that doesn’t rebut what is being said (“a growing body of evidence suggests that such jet stream excursions will happen more often”). More time spent explaining the mechanics of the jet stream under global warming might be more illuminating. What (non-political) issue do you take with the theory?

    • barry says:

      not only was less snow unambiguously predicted – the albedo effect was one of the principle feedbacks required and touted to multiply the tiny insignificant worthless direct forcing of CO2 into a box office smash hit disaster movie..

      Wintertime snow cover has increased in the US. Summertime snow cover has decreased by much more. Annual snow cover has decreased.

      As summertime insolation is greater than wintertime in the mid-latitudes, the overall feedback should be positive.

      there is literally no null hypothesis or hypothetical falsification for ‘climate change’

      The classic climate period is 30 years (criticism is based on a time-period half that).

      If the globe cools or flatlines for 30 years, and if no non-GHG forcing is responsible, then that would be a significant refutation of the theory of GHGs warming the Earth.

      (Mind you, I don’t know of any rational skeptic that disagrees with the basic physics of GHGs warming the planet)

  25. Nylo says:

    OK, so not the coldest winter in that dataset, for the contiguous states. But what about the East Coast in particular? I’ve seen claims being made that it was indeed the coldest winter for the East Coast, most likely a bogus claim, but it would be great to be able to answer it with data. Is it possible to show a similar graphic but for only the Eastern part of the USA?

  26. Mike Maguire says:

    Troll barry,
    You use Holdren as a source, then claim to not know of anybody that has stated that record cold can be caused by global warming. Then you claim that record cold and extreme cold are not the same thing. Then you state that he is right about a theory regarding the Polar vortex and in the next post in response, about that statement, you change it to not at all………just to name a few contradictions and inconsistencies.

    I thought I recognized you from trolling on another site much earlier and apologize to Dr. Spencer for engaging and encouraging barry the troll at your place for so long.

    • barry says:

      Record cold and extreme cold are not the same thing. ‘Colder’ is not the same as ‘coldest’. But perhaps you are less concerned with accuracy than I am.

      You introduced Holdren’s remarks to this thread, not me. I replied to your comments.

      The only time I commented on the veractiy of Holdren’s remarks was my last post. Otherwise I was criticizing your misinterpretation of them; primarily, that Holdren invented the connection between AGW and a meandering jet stream. Because you are combative, you took my criticism of your comments as endorsement of Holdren’s. Remove the mote from your eye.

      You are wrong on a number of points, and have declined to deal head-on with several of them, including the one just mentioned. I have presented some of the “growing body of evidence” Holdren referred to. You have studiously ignored that.

      You have been invited more than once to explain in detail your problem with the theory and you have not done so. The point devolves to the science, but you are stuck in the political.

      I would respect a meterologist’s considered take on the issue. Clearly, that is not forthcoming.

    • barry says:

      Parting gift – some of the body of evidence holdren was referring to.

      ——————————————————

      Winter Northern Hemisphere weather patterns remember summer
      Arctic sea-ice extent – Francis et al (2009)
      doi:10.1029/2009GL037274

      Large-scale atmospheric circulation changes are
      associated with the recent loss of Arctic sea ice – Overland & Wang (2010)
      doi:10.1111/j.1600-0870.2009.00421.x

      Warm Arctic–cold continents: climate impacts of the newly open Arctic Sea – Overland et al (2011)
      doi:10.3402/polar.v30i0.15787

      Impact of a Reduced Arctic Sea Ice Cover on Ocean and Atmospheric Properties – Sedlacek et al (2011)
      doi:10.1175/2011JCLI3904.1

      Impact of sea ice cover changes on the Northern Hemisphere atmospheric winter circulation – Jaiser et al (2012)
      doi:10.3402/tellusa.v64i0.11595

      The recent shift in early summer Arctic atmospheric circulation – Overland et al (2012)
      doi:10.1029/2012GL053268

      Evidence linking Arctic amplification to extreme weather in mid-latitudes – Francis & Vavrus (2012)
      doi:10.1029/2012GL051000

      The Atmospheric Response to Three Decades of Observed Arctic Sea Ice Loss – Screen et al (2013)
      doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00063.1

      Cold winter extremes in northern continents linked to Arctic sea ice loss – Tang et al (2013)
      doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/014036

      Warm Arctic, cold continents: A common pattern related to Arctic sea ice melt, snow advance, and extreme winter weather – Cohen et al (2013)
      doi:10.5670/oceanog.2013.70

      ———————————————–

      Is Holdren correct that there is a growing body of evidence? Yes. He did not invent a connection between Arctic amplification under greenhouse warming and a weakened, meandering jet stream.

      Is the theory solid? I don’t know. That’s a different matter to the one you raised when you said Holdren just made it up.

  27. ren says:

    Location polar vortex that makes currently arrives the ice between America and Greenland.

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