Claim Global Warming Causes Cold “An Absurd PIK Construct On The Verge Of Extinction”, German Scientists Say

Absurd PIK construct on the verge of extinction: North American cold spell in January 2014 was not the result of global warming
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
Translated, edited by P Gosselin

Earlier this year the USA was tested by unexpectedly cool temperatures. Die Welt summed up the situation on January 9, 2014:

According to the German Weather Service (DWD) the current cold wave in North America is the harshest in 2 decades. […] The peak of the cold snap was reached on January 6-7 when polar air dipped down to southern USA and Northern Mexico, said a published report by DWD expert Susanne Haeseler and Christina Lefebvre on Thursday. At night temperatures dropped to 30 below zero, and even down to 40 below in Central Canada. In Chicago the high temperature on January 6 was only -25.5°C.”

If it had been a heat wave, then a connection to the projected climate catastrophe would have been fabricated in short order. However, extreme cold snaps such as this recent one traditionally had been simply played down as “weather and not climate“. But over the last few years it appears a new strategy has been put to use by IPCC scientists: Not only heat waves are a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions, but now so are cold snaps. A double-pack is always better. And the German end-of-world believers at Klimaretter are always front and centre in this respect (excerpt from 8 January 2014):

Is the icy cold in North America a result of climate change? Indeed the weather pattern that is currently freezing Americans is very unusual. But whether or not this has something to do with global warming is still being controversially discussed by experts.”

Next Klimaretter explains that climate change nailed down the Jet Stream in the atmosphere and that in turn impacted low pressure system “Christina” so much that it was able to intensify over North America. Klimaretter adds:

This is how climate scientist Thomas Jung of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Ocean Research sees it. “It cannot be dismissed altogether that this situation has something to do with climate change. However, in my opinion the probable explanation is that this situation is a random variability of the atmosphere. It happens sometimes.” Other scientists like Dim Coumou of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research [PIK] see a connection to climate change. The extreme cold waves have become more frequent over the last winters, Coumou told news agency AFP. His explanation: The polar vortex feeds on the temperature difference between the Arctic and the middle latitudes. Because the Arctic is warming faster than average, this temperature difference is decreasing – and with it the strength of the polar vortex. As a result it can break out more easily, says Coumou. However, Thomas Jung of the Alfred Wegener Institute has some doubts: From our research we are able to confirm a connection between the retreat in Arctic sea ice and the colder winters in Europe. This impact however is relatively small and thus in my opinion cannot alone explain such extreme weather events.’ Works from climate scientist Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University indicate that the unusual stability of the Jet Stream can be linked to climate change. Also Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact research assumes the same. “The rare temperature pattern is connected to the wild jet stream”, the scientist twittered.”

Klimaretter does allow a few skeptic opinions, but mostly the alarmist blogsite provides an extensive platform for those proposing the Jet Stream blockade. That these are fringe opinions is not at all clear in the Klimaretter article. Most fellow scientists in the field view the ideas of Coumou, Rahmstorf and other PIK scientists with skepticism. There are even opposing, counter publications (see out blog article “Study from Colorado State University contradicts the PIK: retreat of Arctic sea ice does not lead to extreme weather“). Also Judith Curry thinks little of linking US cold snaps to climate change. At her blog Climate Etc. she wrote on January 7, 2014:

Is global warming causing the polar vortex? In a word, no. […] The media are mostly in stupid mode over this one. Cliff Mass provides a good overview, the punch lines:

The bottom line: the claims that greenhouse warming causes more cold waves like we have seen this week really seems to be without any basis in observational evidence or in theory. The media needs to stop pushing this unsupported argument. It is SO frustrating that every major weather event causes such claims and counterclaims to be aired, with many media outlets unable to do the minimal research that would allow them to give the public more dependable information. All this bogus reporting has done substantial damage, with many American’s believing that global warming is already causing our winter weather to become more extreme, while the observational evidence suggests no such thing. One day some sociologists will study this situation and the psychological elements that drove it.”

So is the Jet Stream today really flowing more slowly than it did in former times? A team from the University of Reading and the British Antarctic Survey lead by Tim Woolings published an analysis of the Jet Stream’s development in the North Atlantic over the past 140 years in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society in August 2013. The result was clear: The Jet Stream escapades today are no different then in the past. The current behavior is completely within the range of known natural variability. In the paper’s abstract Woolings and his colleagues write:

When viewed in this longer term context, the variations of recent decades do not appear unusual and recent values of jet latitude and speed are not unprecedented in the historical record.”

Also Italian meteorologist Guido Guidi was not able to discover any long-term trend in an analysis of data over the last 66 years. Moreover climate models are still unable to reproduce the polar vortex, so reported Horwitz et al. 2009. Interestingly Veretenenko and Ogurtsov (in print) have even found a relationship between the development of the polar vortex and fluctuations in solar activity. Curiously, in 1974, Time Magazine interpreted similar polar vortices as being the result of global cooling.

 

16 responses to “Claim Global Warming Causes Cold “An Absurd PIK Construct On The Verge Of Extinction”, German Scientists Say”

  1. DirkH

    It’s simple. You dial combinations on the 100 parameters in a normal GCM and run a simulation. You repeat this process until the simulation shows the korrekt jetstream configuration. Write paper, get it peer reviewed. Retroactive prediction, proving the power of the CO2AGW theory. These days, no journalist will call you out; cash in Nobel.

  2. Mindert Eiting

    If this cold snap confirms AGW, there must be a certain kind of weather that falsifies AGW. What is it?

  3. William Connolley

    > Claim Global Warming Causes Cold

    I’m a bit puzzled. I can see that Lüning & Vahrenholt are claiming that their opponents claim that “Global Warming Causes Cold”, but I can’t actually see their opponents making that claim in anything you quote.

    Indeed, you say “But whether or not this has something to do with global warming is still being controversially discussed by experts” which seems accurate. Coumou says “The reason why we see these strong meanderings is still not fully settled”. “There is no consensus,” said Francois Gourand.

    So who, other than Mindert Eiting, is saying “this cold snap confirms AGW”?

    1. Mindert Eiting

      I said ‘If this cold snap confirms AGW’. Because no single weather event can falsify AGW, no single event can confirm it.

      AGW is already falsified by 17 years of no warming (the model failures) and the missing hot spot. A false theory deserves a decent funeral. I know that in Great Britain the habit exists not to inform people personally about someone’s death. If you do not get a New Year’s card from someone, this is usually considered evidence that he is dead. Could you, William, inform your country men about AGW’s death, via Wikipedia, for example?

      1. William Connolley

        OK, so you didn’t say it either. That still leaves open the question of who *did* say it.

        > inform your country men about AGW’s death, via Wikipedia, for example?

        Wikipedia insists on reliable sources for its information. Blogs by non-experts are definitely non-reliable. What sources would you propose wiki use?

        1. Kurt in Switzerland

          William Connolley –

          Here’s someone on your side of the pond who made the claim:

          Dr. John Holdren, the Science and Technology Advisor to the occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eDTzV6a9F4

          Kurt in Switzerland

    2. John F. Hultquist

      Lots more where this came from – just use Google, . . ., or Bing.
      http://science.time.com/2014/01/06/climate-change-driving-cold-weather/

    3. Realist

      Please stop trolling this site and rather contiue playing your games with wikipedia. With basic reading comprehension you might have understood this part of the blog-text:

      “Other scientists like Dim Coumou of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research [PIK] see a connection to climate change. The extreme cold waves have become more frequent over the last winters, Coumou told news agency AFP. His explanation: The polar vortex feeds on the temperature difference between the Arctic and the middle latitudes. Because the Arctic is warming faster than average, this temperature difference is decreasing – and with it the strength of the polar vortex. As a result it can break out more easily, says Coumou”

  4. Stephen

    We must all be mad to belive in these warmists and there lies about Co2 and all the the outher theories. looks like the lies are starting to wear thin now as the ice is gaining ground, funny how the warmists never menioned the jet stream until only recently they probabaly had never heard of it.

  5. ArndB

    For weeks the ‘cold snaps’ in U.S. stand in correlation with high SST anomalies in the eastern N-Pacific, see today map (29.Jan/2014) http://ocean.dmi.dk/satellite/index.uk.php, (For record at: http://www.2007seatraining.de/Archiv/2014/short/0129_2014_Glob_Ano.jpg )

  6. Mike Restin

    They lose me real quick with the CO2 and extra heat stuff.
    CO2 is a well mixed gas and if it is heating up then it should be heating up everywhere in a well mixed fashion.

    1. DirkH

      Yes. And due to energetic constraints (SB Law) differences between cold and warm places should diminish. Cold places should warm up much faster; cold records should be much more unlikely than warm records in any given place.

      Therefore a cold record holds much more significance than a warm record when contrasted with current climate science.

  7. John F. Hultquist

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. ??

  8. Jimbo

    Yet in the past they insisted that global warming would cause warmer winters. They never told us to expect colder winters due to global warming.

  9. Svend Ferdinandsen

    It is funny how it is played. Any change whatsoever is linked to climate change, and it is impossible to refute it, because the climate allways changes.
    The only agument against that is that climate change meant global warming, and without global warming, how could we have climate change?
    Remember also that it is not the “climate” that changes the weather. It is the weather over some period of time that makes the climate. Climate change does not produce an other weather, it is an other weather that produces the climate.

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