Is Global Warming Causing More Snowstorms? No, It Isn’t

November 21st, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Lancaster, NY received 6 feet of snow in the recent storm. (AP - Gary Weipert)

Lancaster, NY received 6 feet of snow in the recent storm. (AP – Gary Weipert)

It has become axiomatic (and fashionable) that any change we see in nature is caused by global warming climate change.

Global warming was going to make snow a thing of the past. Until someone looked out the window and decided global warming causes more snow.

The epic Buffalo, NY storm this week was still in progress when that opportunistic organization Climate Central announced that more lake effect snow could be expected with global warming.


Except that the Great Lakes were unusually cold this year, after near record cold last winter. Then, an even more unusual cold blast of air that started over eastern Siberia made it’s way to the U.S. and the cooler lake waters were not enough to depress the lake effect snow machine: over 6 feet of snow has fallen south and east of downtown Buffalo this week.

So, in what universe does a cold winter, a cool summer, cold lake water, and an unusually cold fall air mass result from global warming?

Not in our universe.

The computerized climate models that provide the basis for climate change proclamations produce less snow with warming. Yes, a warmer world has more water vapor in the atmosphere to feed snowstorms, but you need atmospheric circulations driven by large-scale temperature contrasts to form low pressure systems. And since the equator-to-pole temperature contrast has decreased in recent decades, we should be seeing less storminess.

Yet, there are a few researchers (e.g. Jennifer Francis at Rutgers) who claim the reduced equator-to-pole temperature contrast is being accompanied by more storminess. But this does not make physical sense from a basic atmospheric energetics standpoint. You cannot have more storminess from a reduced temperature gradient. It’s like getting something from nothing, like a perpetual motion machine. The consensus on the idea is that it is wrong, even from pro-global warming researchers.

There has been no substantial trend in Northern Hemisphere wintertime snow cover since records began in the late 1960s, but spring snowcover has decreased, due to spring tending to arrive earlier in a slightly warmer world.

What DOES affect Northern Hemisphere weather patterns are known climate cycles: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which can change our average winter weather for about 30 years…before changing again. In recent years, we have entered the negative phase of the PDO, which could mean winters more typical of the 1960s and 1970s for the next 20+ years. But no one really knows.

On shorter time scales, El Nino and La Nina, as well as the Arctic Oscillation, can strongly impact individual winters.

But when people immediately point to ‘global warming’ anytime something unusual happens, it is (in my opinion) just intellectual laziness — or money-driven advocacy.

It’s just weather, folks.

83 Responses to “Is Global Warming Causing More Snowstorms? No, It Isn’t”

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  1. Gary says:

    Actually it looks more like intellectual laziness and money-driven advocacy are caused by global warming climate change.

    I was in Lancaster, NY last summer watching thunderstorms develop as the moist wind came off the lake and over the warm land. The effect is year round.

    • Phil Neel says:

      “So, in what universe does a COLD WINTER, a COOL SUMMER, COLD LAKE WATER and an unusually COLD FALL AIR mass result from global warming?

      Not in our universe.

      …and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), which can change our average winter weather for about 30 years…”

      You watched some thunderstorms develop last summer, therefore Roy is intellectually lazy and money-driven?

      Please. The lazy one is you. You didn’t even read the article. If you are going to debate, at least know what you are disagreeing with.

      • geran says:

        (Dr Roy, besides “intellectually lazy” and “money-driven”, Phil demonstrates that “cultish fanaticism” is also a player.)

      • Lewis says:


        Methinks you misread his meaning.

        Have another one, same as the other one.

        • Phil Neel says:

          No I didn’t. You must have. If Gary meant something else, why didn’t he clarify?

          Is it “cultish fanaticism” to quote an article? No. Ain’t no money in it for me. I simply value the truth. That makes attacks by the real “cultists” a player.

  2. Curious George says:

    It is just weather. Only warm events qualify as climate change.

    • Phil Neel says:

      If global warming doesn’t, then the argument is moot.

    • eric says:

      Bingo, Cold, is weather and hot is Global Warming/Climate Change.

      There are two ways to address research. Subjectively and objectively. IMO, Global Warming is the biggest SUBJECTIVE study in the history of mankind. The only thing found is that which supports the subjective.

  3. jimc says:

    The Arctic Oscillation is a new one on me (as much of this stuff is). There’s something in Wikipedia on it:
    It has random half cycle of from 1 to 7 years, and seems to be an atmospheric pressure thing – high (negative phase) is accompanied by a winding jet stream, low (positive phase) by a straighter one. It also has a longer period of phases. From the ‘70s to 2005 it was more positive (less Arctic intrusion into mid latitudes). Since then it has been neutral.
    That’s it. My lesson for the day.

  4. boris says:

    It’s sort of odd that winter in the northern hemisphere becoming increasingly cold hasn’t changed the “warmist” litany. After all these conditions are reflected all across Europe, Russia, and Asia. Dr. Spencer could you address what’s going on over at NOAA as they are reported to have released the latest “proof” that 2014 is the hottist year on record?

    • Boris, you have to take a closer look at the weather and temperatures world wide. Northern Hemisphere is a huge area. In my place the cold has disappeared the last 25 years, more or less. Some parts of Spitsbergen and Arctic has gone extremely mild. Some years 10-12 degees Celsius in winter. This is due to several factors, but Europe has gone through a significant change of weather. Unstable, more windy, very long periods of cloudiness, more episodes of intense rain. I am reluctant to call it climate change due to the relatively short time of periode (25 years). My point is that Europe weather pattern last 15-16 months contribute significantly to new records this year. Norway will set new annual temperature mean record for 2014.

  5. Jerry L Krause says:

    Hi Roy,

    On October 19th you posted: From Russia, With Cold. On October 20th you posted: Dr Roy’s Earth Today #12: Central Siberian Plateau.

    Should the current weather being experienced from North Dakota to the Atlantic be a surprise? Most of all northern Russia slopes toward the north and once its surface is covered by snow as seen in image #12, even less sunlight is absorbed by its surface. The atmosphere cooled by the cold surface continually drains to the north over the Arctic Ocean, where it continues to be cooled because a portion of its surface within the Arctic Circle intercepts no solar radiation and the other portion intercepts very little because the daylight period is short. Where can this cold air which drains off the north slope of Russia go? There are three ‘outlets’ of the Arctic Ocean. Two are over an sea surface. The third is over an sea surface into Hudson Bay and then up the Nelson River to Lake Winnipeg and then up the Red River of the North, which has a very shallow gradient to Lake Traverse to Lake Big Stone to the Minnesota River and its all downhill from there to the Gulf. And during most winters there are cold air masses which slowly move south over this path.

    Now, one might ask how is it that all the air super-cooled in the Arctic Circle does not drain through the two outlets which do not require it to flow uphill. I think most would agree that this super-cooled air is more dense than any other atmosphere, at this time, over the surface of the earth. This because of its cold temperature and because of cold temperature there is very little water vapor in it. Now, I seldom, if ever, have read about the influence of the centrifugal effect, which is the result of the rotation of the earth, upon this air mass which is more dense than any surrounding atmosphere. So, it seems to me, that once this extremely cold air flows into Hudson Bay, it is on its way to points south. And while it has to flow uphill, there are not significant mountain ranges it needs to climb over into the general region of the Great Lakes.

    But the story should not end here. Cold air from northern Russia will be continually draining into the Arctic Ocean and once the flow of cold air out of Hudson Bay to the south begins, a current of cold air should (might) be pulled into Hudson Bay from the Arctic Ocean to replace the atmosphere flowing southward.

    And as Roy emphasized in his posts. The snow in northern Russia arrived much earlier than seasonally expected. So if one wants to understand the weather that is occurring in northeastern USA a month later, one needs to try to understand why snow arrived in northern Russia much earlier than seasonally expected. For that is where, relative to current weather, it all started. But there might be an obvious explanation of why snow in northern Russia arrived much earlier than seasonally expected so maybe that is not where and when it all started.

    Have a good day,


  6. Nylo says:

    “And since the equator-to-pole temperature contrast has decreased in recent decades, we should be seeing less storminess”

    I keep seeing this claim, but those who make it never put the actual numbers.

    In NH winter, the temperature gradient between the equator and the north pole is in the order of 50 Kelvin. And this gradient has reduced, that’s true. But it has reduced, to what… 49K? How much more has the North Pole warmed wrt the equator? Not enough to make any measurable difference. During the time of the year in which the North Pole is quickly cooling/warming, it does so at about 1 Kelvin per week. This extra warming that the pole is experiencing vs the equator, at most, it can change the timing of certain weather conditions through the year by 1 week.

  7. chris says:

    I think xkcd put it best with regards to cimate change and the cold weather:

  8. Teddy G says:

    Dr Spencer makes the same error in statistical logic as he is accusing the
    climate scientists of making. He confuses weather with climate.

    “There has been no substantial trend in Northern Hemisphere wintertime snow cover since records began in the late 1960s”

    This is a statement about averages over both large spatial extents and large temporal ranges. It has
    nothing to do with whether there will be more extreme lake effect snow storms in Buffalo.

    If the climate is changing we should expect more extreme local weather events, both hot and cold, wet and dry.

    Suppose for the sake of argument that the climate was such that every day in every spot was exactly the same (clearly
    impossible, but bear with me). Then suddenly, the climate changes to a new state in which the average
    is 0.1 degree warmer, but the local variation in temperature now has a daily standard deviation of 1 degree.
    Suddenly, new record high and low temperatures would happen all the time. It might even get 5 degrees
    above or *below* the old record temperature on an extreme day even though there has been “global warming”.
    The same thought experiment can be done for rainfall or snowfall or whatever. The only way that locally
    extreme weather will not increase (if the climate changing) is if the climate is somehow changing
    in a magic way so that the variations in decrease everywhere. There is no evidence for
    that. And it makes no difference if the climate is changing due to man made causes or fairy farts.

    So in short, you can’t make arguments against extreme weather events based on averages. If the climate
    changes, expect more local (in space and time) extreme events.

    • Mike Maguire says:


      I don’t follow anything you stated. However, what Dr. Spencer stated is straight out of meteorology 101.

      Most of the global warming was at higher latitudes, especially during the Northern Hemisphere’s Winter. This decreased the meridional temperature gradient. This temperature contrast is what provides energy to fuel mid latitude cyclones, jet streams and is correlated strongly with violent storms and tornadoes.

      If you decrease the meridional temperature gradient, many measures of extreme weather decrease. Reduce the temp gradient and you reduce baroclinic instability which is the main generator of mid latitude storms.

      The uneven heating of our planet by the sun, which is the main reason for the temp gradient from south to north, creates pressure differences. These pressure differences cause the air to move(wind) from high pressure to low pressure. Of course the earth rotates(Coriolis effect), there is friction and effects from terrain that keep the air from traveling in a straight line from high pressure to low pressure.

      Regardless, the greater the temperature contrast is, the more energy and wind that can be generated. There are other factors but this one is……….elementary:

      Tropical cyclones are a different deal but we are talking mid latitudes here.

      Another item that you may not know is that most of the global warming has been the result of warmer night time temps(minimum temps) vs day time temps(maximum temps). So the diurnal variation is LESS extreme.

    • An Inquirer says:

      Despite headlines from shallow-researched articles and politically-motivated reports, we are not experiencing more local weather extremes. Tornadoes are down. Hurricane ACE is down. Most places are getting less 100 degree days. Although an occasional snowfall record may be broken, extreme rainfall events are not as extreme as the past. Yes, there will be records set — as you would expect with thousands of localities with a record of 100 years or so. But high snowfall in western New York in a context of cold water in the Great Lakes and cold artic air in the autumn does fit the CAGW narrative.

  9. My commentary which I will be limiting now and in the future.

    I agree that a -AO is needed (a more meridional jet stream ) to unlock the cold air near the poles and bring it to lower latitudes.

    Where I disagree strongly is the cause for this jet stream pattern which some attribute to lower Arctic Sea Ice (global warming), where as I see it due to prolonged minimum solar activity which changes the concentrations of ozone in the lower stratosphere in a horizontal and vertical sense which accounts for the meandering jet stream pattern.

    Another words this pattern is a prelude for overall N.H. cooling because with this type of pattern (yes the Arctic region itself may be warmer) but the overall N.H. should experience an increase in cloud cover, snow cover and area of sub- freezing temperatures thus a higher albedo.

    The temperature gradient from the equator to pole may be reduced but not the temperature gradient from the equator to say 70 N latitude which would be sufficient for storminess. The temperature gradient from 70 N -pole not being relevant for storminess while the actual warmer temperatures at and around the pole itself aiding in overall N.H. cooling not a warming regime.

    What matters in a global cooling scenario is the snow cover area and sub-freezing temperature area rather then the overall temperature deviation from the norm whether that deviation be above/below average.

    In summary this pattern is not indicative of global warming but rather of global cooling which AGW enthusiast HIJACKED to fit there needs because AGW theory initially called for a more zonal atmospheric circulation pattern(+AO) which is the opposite for what is now taking place. A +AO pattern would be the pattern indicative of global warming not the meandering jet stream pattern we have currently.

  10. Norman says:

    This article would indicate Lake Effect snows have increased. The graph displayed does show it is not a temperature related phenomena. Temperature was steady but snowfall increased by a considerable amount. I am wondering why?

  11. smithmp76 says:

    Dr. Roy Spencer,

    Thank you for creating a forum to discuss “Global Warming”.

    While Climate Central may be challenged to support its assertion that more lake effect snow could be expected with global warming, they and many others will continue to use weather events as a platform for advancing their anthropogenic global warming (climate change) narrative.

    What is the impetus for advancing this narrative and their associated policy recommendations to reduce CO2 emissions? Could the political drive to limit CO2 emissions be a veiled attempt by fossil fuel importing countries to agree to limit consumption thereby controlling the global supply and demand balance and therefore price of oil and gas? Who has the most to gain or lose?

    Daniel Gros, Director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), shared details of the geopolitical dimensions of fossil fuels at the 2014 World Economic Forum. As described in the, “The Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report”, he states that the European Union, which has fewer domestic sources of energy and raw materials than the US, now has to pay over USD$500 billion each year for its energy import bill, much more than the US. The shale gas revolution will accentuate this difference, as it is estimated that the US energy bill will essentially go to zero [on a current account balance of payments basis], whereas that of the EU might increase.

    Daniel Yergin shared his thoughts on this topic after participating in the 2014 World Economic Forum. He states that there is great concern in the industrial community of Europe on outlook for lost investment and jobs due to the falling US energy costs in juxtaposition to the rising energy costs from the Energy Strategy of Europe.


    “The Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report”

    Daniel Yergin on 2014 World Economic Forum

    Best Regards,


    • jimc says:

      “Could the political drive to limit CO2 emissions be a veiled attempt by fossil fuel importing countries to agree to limit consumption thereby controlling the global supply and demand balance and therefore price of oil and gas? Who has the most to gain or lose?”
      I think the “drive” is more political then economic. The progressive left, as personified by big government, wants more control, more ownership, more dictatorial powers, and more revenue for BG. Think the health care takeover, media, academia, education, courts, and culture; as well as all their efforts in the past 100 yrs or so. And it’s not just this country. It’s been bigger for longer in Europe. Who’s behind the CAGW push – the UN, European Union, leftist environmentalists, and BGs. They want to own it all.
      Just my opinion.

      • Carbonicus says:

        Purely political, not the least bit economic.

        If economic, major corporations would have been doing so absent regulation.

        The Eco-Socialists have figured out that they can achieve by means of controlling energy that which they cannot achieve through the polls in the Western world: control over industrialization, capitalism, free markets, and economic growth.

        That’s all this has ever been about and many of their Priests (from Maurice Strong to John Holdren and plenty in between) have said so in no uncertain terms.

  12. Norman says:

    I think the graph on this link might point the increase to lake effect snow to a warming planet (definately not this year but the longer trend seems to point in that direction).

    In the post above it shows that lake effect snow has been increasing. The NOAA graph shows a decline in ice coverage over the same time period. Having less ice coverage would seem to increase the potential for lake effect snows. The AGW crowd may very well be correct on this analysis.

    Global warming leading to less ice coverage of the Great Lakes in winter months could easily cause an increase in snowfall (in the long term trend only).

    • BBould says:

      From the article. “Why is the amount of winter ice cover on the Great Lakes important to the region?

      The amount of winter ice cover on the Great Lakes is important for several reasons, including:

      Ice cover can reduce the amount of evaporation from the lakes, contributing to higher water levels

      Stable ice cover is needed for ecosystem health, and is especially important for some fish species’ spawning and recruitment

      Reduced ice cover can contribute to increased lake effect snowfall

      Reduced ice cover can contribute to increased water temperature

      Reduced ice cover can lead to more coastal erosion

      Ice cover is important to the economy, impacting navigation and recreation”

      It appears they are basing their assessment on less ice and not more. Last year the ice was very heavy and the lakes much cooler. We can expect the same this year, so no I don’t buy your argument.

      • Norman says:


        My argument was not for one solo event (like the snow this year) but the long term trend. The long term trend is less lake ice not more (last year would be an anomaly for the long term trend, if you note the graph yearly values very to a large degree). My argument would still be valid as it is an evidenced based one.

        • BBould says:

          Perhaps if the chart included last year it wouldn’t show a downward trend but rather an upward trend? Not all the evidence is given, I don’t buy your argument.

  13. ren says:

    Arctic air will be move around the Great Lakes. Look at the blue area.

  14. GoFigure560 says:

    Since the two satellite readings do not always agree, but seem to otherwise still be considered more accurate than terrestrial stations, can we use those differences to determine a likely “noise” level in temperature readings?

  15. ren says:

    Such is the pressure distribution in the polar vortex in the lower stratosphere. You can see the compatibility with the distribution of ozone.

  16. One last point on my above commentary.

    This meridional jet stream pattern being associated with an EXPANDED POLAR VORTEX(although weak) which is in association with all of the climatic zones being displaced southward toward the equator and in the process causing overall lower 500mb heights( for example) for the globe as a whole.

    Lower heights of pressure in upper atmosphere associated with cold while high heights being associated with warmth.

  17. ren says:

    Buffalo are waiting area in the coming days rain freezing rain and snow.
    You should:
    to warn the people,
    as soon as possible to remove snow from roofs,
    do not underestimate the strong wind.

  18. Jennifer Francis cannot be right because the jets became progressively LESS wavy until around 2000 whilst CO2 amounts were increasing rapidly.

    CO2 amounts continue to increase but the jets are now behaving differently.

    A change which DOES correlate with the change in jet stream behaviour is the level of solar activity.

    I prefer my hypothesis here:

    as supported by this new paper here:

  19. Mike Maguire says:

    “Jennifer Francis cannot be right because the jets became progressively LESS wavy until around 2000 whilst CO2 amounts were increasing rapidly.”

    As a meteorologist, I’ve been forecasting/observing weather patterns for several decades……….globally for the past 20 years.

    You might be on to something. I have noted much more meridional flow for several years now in both hemispheres.

    During the couple of Winters, I’ve noticed warm anomalies at the poles(both hemispheres) and strong meridional flow. This reverses in the Summer, with cold anomalies at the poles/highest latitudes.

    Here’s and example in the Antarctic, approaching the solar max right now. This cold anomaly just sits there for weeks and weeks.

    In the Northern Hemipshere, just the opposite as we approach solar minimum:

    The only thing that completely has the opposite effect 6 months later and switches hemisphere is the sun.

    This has also resulted in some pretty negative AO’s since the Winter of 2009/10. The Winter of 20011/12 was the big exception.

    • Thanks Mike.

      The cause appears to be an opposite sign ozone response to solar variations in the mesosphere as compared to the response in the stratosphere.

      The mesosphere response then descends through the true polar vortex (not the circumpolar vortex)which is a column of descending air in the stratosphere above each pole which brings the mesosphere ozone response down into the stratosphere and alters tropopause heights above the poles.

      It is the fall in tropopause height above the poles when the sun is quiet that pushes polar air outweards in a negative AO and AAO to make the climate zones shift equatorward and cause more meridional jets.

      That in turn changes global cloudiness which affects the proportion of solar energy entering the oceans to drive the climate system.

  20. Carbonicus says:

    Might not be intellectual laziness or money-driven advocacy.

    Sometimes, it’s simply anti-capitalism, anti-industrialization, anti-population growth raw unadulterated Eco-Socialism. And Useful Idiots being drafted along behind it.

  21. Steve Martin says:

    The sky really IS falling. You’ll see!

    – Chicken Little

  22. ren says:

    Forecast polar vortex on 26 November at an altitude of about 27 km. Visible strong lock on the eastern Siberia.,92.92,481

  23. Geoff wood says:

    We are currently experiencing a minor vortex disruption (potential ‘sudden stratospheric warming’) as a planetary wave propagates poleward. These often starts near the Himalayas. This can be viewed here;

    At the time of writing a potential vortex splitting planetary wave is developing at 22/11/14 00UT which ‘could’ bring a long term disruption, long term negative AO anomaly, and ‘possibly’ the start of Europe’s winter. Interesting.

  24. Walt D. says:

    It seems that most of these claims are devoid of any data or verifiable/falsifiable predictions. Without data, you can claim anything after the fact. For example: Reason #67 for the pause in global warming. Wind farms and solar panels absorb energy that would otherwise be radiated back into the atmosphere. Makes about as much sense as claiming you can cool your house by opening the refrigerator door, but it is not any more preposterous than most of the other explanations for the pause.

  25. Lewis says:

    I must continue to disagree. What I’m reading is not an attack on Dr. Spencer et al, but on those who obtain money by advocating for AGW funding. Obviously he needs to clear it up, because you and I are disagreeing on what we perceive. Perhaps both of our perceptions are wrong.


  26. ren says:

    Can be discussed, but lock the stratosphere over the eastern Siberian will not disappear and facilitates the influx of arctic air on America, because of the shift of the polar vortex. It is the shift enables the flow of air straight from the Arctic over the Bering Strait.

  27. ren says:

    This can be keep abreast of the stratosphere and the effect on the current weather.,41.03,418

  28. Ross Warren says:

    I’m an engineer, not a scientist, however, I do read science articles and feel reasonably well that I have the math and physical understanding to follow them. Jennifer Francis at Rutgers now has a theory that the warming of the poles is more or less pushing the jet stream southward and to be more unstable. Warm air rises from the equator, and moves “downward in a gravity sense, toward the poles. But having warmer air there pushes whatever cold air is there outward, hence the colder temperatures we are seeing. At least that is her argument which is now being supported by about 5 other research papers according to an article in the left-leaning Washington Post. I would like to see more information on her theory and how it can best be categorized (as grasping at straws?) or even refuted based on hard science, or if indeed there is any merit to the idea. I thought the media kept saying that there was massive ice build up at the poles this past year, so how does that jive with the supposed increase in global warming? As laymen, even as educated laymen, we have to rely on the honesty, veracity, and intelligence of those scientists who devote their lives to studying these topics, so I want to know more, especially before letting our inept government put in place costly and perhaps needless energy regulations.

    • Geoff wood says:

      Hi Ross. Sorry, but honesty and diligence doesn’t compute in today’s economically driven scientific marketplace. You are right to be sceptical. Modern climatology has paid too little attention to Mother Nature (correct scientific methodology). It’s the Sun, through supported Earth system harmonics.

    • . Atmospheric Physicist.  says:

      Climate change is all natural and quite beyond mankind’s control. Carbon dioxide does not warm at all, but it does improve agricultural production.

      And warm air is not necessarily rising just because there is a temperature gradient. Do you see clouds continually rising with such air pushing them up? Why is there still a temperature gradient within the cloud?

      In his “Gold Standard of Climatology” book Principles of Planetary Climate Raymond Pierrehumbert quite specifically stated that, in the absence of all greenhouse gases, the troposphere would be isothermal. But an isothermal state would have unbalanced energy potentials with more gravitational potential energy at the top.

      Thus Pierrehumbert throws the Second Law of Thermodynamics out the window,

      Because of this fundamental error, the greenhouse conjecture is smashed.

      Who do you believe?

  29. I am in agreement with Stephen, when it comes to what drives the atmospheric circulation pattern which is changes in solar activity which modulate the ozone concentrations in the stratosphere which in turn effects the circulation pattern.



    • Yes.

      Salvatore and I have been aware of that since 2011.

      Time for the rest of you to catch up 🙂

      LOW SOLAR GIVING A WEAK (vertically) EXPANDED (horizontally) POLAR VORTEX.


      Nothing else fits the facts.

      And ozone amounts within the polar vortices are controlled by solar influences on the ozone creation / destruction balance so the Montreal Treaty was a waste of time, effort and money too.

  30. Jennifer Francis argument is bogus and can easily be proven to be wrong by looking at past climate analogs from the 1970’s which show a very similar atmospheric circulation pattern to today while Below Average Arctic Sea Ice which is the basis for her argument for this circulation pattern (due to global warming) was Above Average back then.

    Her argument is senseless, and is not supported by past data.

  31. ren says:

    November 25 frost will return to the north of the Great Lakes. You should expect all kinds of precipitation and blizzards.

  32. RossBrisbane says:

    Not the warming returns and the floods begin. The ICE age just ended and Global Warming has resumed.

  33. .atmospheric .physicist  says:


    When will you stop being so gullible as to be bluffed by the “fissics” of Hansen and Pierrehumbert from Climatology Carbonland? The electro-magnetic energy in radiation from a cooler troposphere to a warmer surface is not converted to thermal energy in that surface. Never was. Never will be.

    You can’t explain how a planet’s surface temperature is maintained at observed levels unless and until you can explain the necessary energy flows. It’s no use just arguing that the radiative altitude increases by 1 metre from 5,000m to 5,001m (when adding 0.04% carbon dioxide) because the temperature gradient can also change, as we know it does with increases in water vapour. None of this argument explains the energy flows. You cannot add back radiative flux to solar flux and use the total in Stefan Boltzmann calculations, and nor does the surface act like a black or grey body anyway, because it does not meet the definition of such.

    • jimc says:

      The surface is very insightful, knowing the relative temperature of the source of those arriving IR photons and rejecting those from something cooler than itself.

      • .Atmospheric physicist. says:

        Yes JimC that is in fact what it does do because the lower frequencies resonate, their Planck function being fully contained within the Planck function of the warmer surface. I explained the process in the first few sections of my paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” published on several websites back in March 2012 and easily found on Google. You need to catch up on your reading – both my paper and the cited reference.

        If you then read my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All” maybe you’ll agree with the two physicists who wrote positive 5 star reviews of the book on Amazon.

  34. michael says:

    and yet we are heading towards the hottest year the planet has recorded….weather is a fickle thing and is hard to explain with science….there are reasons, and in the future we may better understand them…but climate is recordable ,and things seem to be changing….and climate change is the enemy of agriculture as well as as the ecology…stop looking for conspiracies.

    • .atmospheric physicist says:

      All climate relates to the Sun and natural climate cycles on Earth are compellingly well correlated with the 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles in inverted plot of the computed scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. [See this plot at the foot of the first page at earth-climate dot com]

    • Fonzarelli says:

      “but climate is recordable, and things seem to be changing”

      I’ve got news for you, michael, as long as climate has been recorded THINGS HAVE SEEMED TO BE CHANGING…

    • saveenergy says:

      ( “and yet we are heading towards the hottest year the planet has recorded” )

      What a silly statement!!!

      try looking in the fossil record.

  35. Bart says:

    First it was “Global Warming”, then “Climate Change”. Soon they (liberals) will rename it yet again to “Extreme Weather” — or something akin to that. We all intrinsically know that all this errant hype is just political ideology mixed with eco-freak guilt.

    When one soberly and open-minded reviews the climate data of Mother Earth, the overwhelming conclusion is that climate changes constantly on a long-term cycle. The leftist media and government leaders world wide want the earth to heat up in order to extract taxes from everyone. It’s a ruse.

  36. Salvatore,

    Our 2011 conversation appears to have been validated by subsequent events does it not?

    We decided that to achieve more meridional jets and and / or an equatorward shift in climate zones we needed the stratosphere above the poles to warm up relative to the stratosphere above the equator at a time of less active sun.

    That seems to be exactly what is happening with the observed recovery in ozone amounts at both poles in recent years.

    Not only do I have a plausible hypothesis for natural solar induced climate variatins but additionally it trashes the fears about the effects of human produced CFCs as well.

    Interesting times 🙂

    • ..D o u g..C  says:

      But Stephen you can’t explain with your hypothesis how on Uranus the required thermal gets from where it is absorbed in the methane layer near TOA (at 60K) down 350Km to the base of the nominal troposphere where it’s 320K – hotter than Earth, but there’s no solar radiation or surface down there. That’s the difference between invalid concepts and the valid physics that I have explained in my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All.”

      • Doug,

        Conduction from any sun warmed molecules moves both up and down.

        The temperature at any given level is then determined by the density at that level.

        If there are more conductively warmed molecules within a given volume as compared to the number of molecules in another volume at the same height then the former will be warmer than the latter because there is more total energy in the former.

        It doesn’t matter whether the energy in the molecules is conducted to those molecules from a surface below or from other molecules within the atmosphere. Gravity will still sort them along a lapse rate slope due to convection arising from density differentials.

  37. Terry K says:

    An off topic question here for Dr. Spencer.

    I am a simple HVAC mechanical engineer and use a psychrometric chart daily.

    If heat is defined as BTU/lb. dry air, and we only have historical data for Dry Bulb temperature (i.e. no long historical history of coincident wet bulb temperatures) how can one possible know that heat has increased/or decreased knowing only dry bulb temperature data?

    I am a guy who thinks in terms of air enthalpy.

    I would think a projection of 0.5 deg. Celcious (dry bulb temperature) without historical wet bulb data means we really do not know whether heat has increased or decreased over the past century.

    Thanks for you attention.

  38. Mervyn says:

    When science gets to the point where we have scientists trying to claim that global warming is causing global cooling, it shows the scientific community is losing its credibility.

    Heck, I guess climate change realists could argue cooling is causing warming! But they don’t because the idea is just ludicrous!

    What the IPCC and its alarmist warriors never explain is what caused the global warming and global cooling patterns of the past? For example:

    1. How do they explain the Roman Warm Period (RWP)?
    2. How do they explain the Dark Ages Cold Period (DACP) that followed the RWP?
    3. How do they explain the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that followed the DACP?
    4. How do they explain the Little Ice Age (LIA) that followed the MWP?
    5. And how do they explain the warming after the LIA, before we have industrialisation?

    If they cannot explain the above with their CO2 supposition, then they surely cannot explain their supposition on catastrophic man-made global warming they claim today. It is that simple.

    The trouble is, nobody is pointing out what I have just stated above … which is so bleeding obvious!

    • .Atmospheric physicist. says:

      These are all explained by the compelling correlation with the 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. [See foot of Home page of earth-climate dot com]

  39. richard says:

    A warmer world will cause more rain.

    “Strange as it may seem 8000 years ago when the cave paintings in Wadi Sora were made the Sahara was getting more sunlight than it is now. And that extra heat helped bring the monsoon rains to this desert. But how did the Sahara get more solar energy?

    Currently the earth tilts at an angle of 23.4 degrees. But over a 41,000 year period it changes, wobbling between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees. Back when the Sahara was green, the tilt was close to its largest possible angle, 24.2 degrees. Which meant that 8000 years ago the Sun shone more directly, more intensely over the Northern hemisphere”

    It was reckoned that at this time the arctic ice was completely void in the summertime.

    So there you have it , more heat- a greener continent.

    “But even as you read this the same orbital factors are slowly changing and at some point in the future they will align again and the monsoons should once again return to the Sahara” excellent news


    Good interesting video. I have followed him for years.

  41. Robert Clark says:

    I was reading this blog post by Dr. Jeff Masters of Weather Underground:

    New Lake Effect Snowstorm Pounding Buffalo With an Additional 2 – 3 Feet of Snow.
    By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:46 PM GMT on November 20, 2014

    He mentioned the extreme snow storm in Buffalo of January, 1977. As they say, context is everything. In regards to climate change, it is notable, this was during the period of the 70’s when extreme Winter temperatures led some, but not all, scientists to speculate about a coming ice age.

    I predicted earlier this year there would be another polar vortex this year like last year. I based this on the rebound of arctic ice the last two years. NOAA in contrast predicted no polar vortex:

    Feds: Don’t expect winter to be polar vortex redux.

    NOAA also predicted an El Nino this year, associated with warming temperatures, which is now also appearing increasingly unlikely. I suggest if climate scientists would consider the large rebound in the arctic ice rather than trying to ignore its existence they would be doing much better with their predictions.

    The “ice age” some predicted in the 70’s didn’t occur. Instead it was followed by a warming trend. But those extreme cold temperatures of the 70’s were part of an approx. 30 year cooling trend that began in the 40’s. Then the consecutive cold Winters we are seeing might be indicative of another cooling trend. I’d like to find out if there were also large arctic ice increases accompanying those years with extreme Winter temperatures during the 70’s.

    Bob Clark

    • “I predicted earlier this year there would be another polar vortex this year like last year. I based this on the rebound of arctic ice the last two years.”

      Woopie. You made a guess, the guess turned out right. You made up a mechanism, now you consider yourself an expert and want to lecture everyone on your wisdom.

  42. 4TimesAYear says:

    “spring snowcover has decreased, due to spring tending to arrive earlier in a slightly warmer world”
    I disagree. Here in Iowa, we’ve been going through a drought that caused less spring snow cover, and there has been only one remarkably early spring, while we’ve had many colder springs. This last spring was late and last year we even had a May snow storm (7″ and more). Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m also getting tired of June frosts, October snows (Iowa) and snow storms (South Dakota) – and oh, yeah; even Nebraska had snow in September this year.