By Die kalte Sonne
(German text translated/edited in the English by P Gosselin)
“Climate communicators” always have the same “right” interpretation for every weather event: It’s climate change! A warm, especially dry summer in Germany? Climate change! We reported on this just recently.
Polar vortex frequency declining
Now comes a cold air blast from the Arctic deep into the south of the USA, and that’s climate change too. Here one TV station quoted a press agency report of the German DPA. Professor Stefan Rahmstorf provided an explanation. Who could be better at it? To check up on it, we first looked at the NOAA, which maybe should know the best. They report the polar vortex often weakens during the winter and the term “vortex” was in fact used in the USA back in 1853. But Rahmstorf now claims this is happening more and more often:
“ …this has happened multiple times more often over the past decade, according to a data evaluation by the PIK.“
We wanted to check up on this, and came across a statistic from Roy Spencer and John Christy of the University of Huntsville in Alabama:
Fig. 1: The frequency of “vortex” events in the USA. Source.
No increase, and also no significant decrease. The linear trend in Fig. 1 is rather an expression of randomness. We find no confirmation of the “PIK data evaluation”.
January, 2019 Arctic not warm
What does Rahmstorf explain to us further?
Several studies suggest that this has to do with the dwindling sea ice cover on the Arctic Ocean, especially on the Barents-Kara Sea.”
Rahmstorf is not changing the scene unnoticed: What he means is a suspected phenomenon: a warmer Arctic with less ice in winter produces colder temperatures over the northern continents.
But that was certainly not the case in January 2019:
Fig. 2: Temperatures at the core of the Arctic north above 80°N for January, 2019 (red) and the long-term mean (green). Completely normal! Source here.
Another evaluation for the entire Arctic in the period in question finds: Temperature deviation for 66-90°N is 0.0. So it turns out Rahmstorf has no reliable climate explanation for the event between 20 and 29 January 2019. What he has to offer us are controversial studies that detect a change in circulation due to a warmer Arctic with less ice, with the result that it tends to become cooler over the continents in winter. There are papers that suspect this, and there are papers that reject it and which go unmentioned by Rahmstorf, of course.
“Made up” explanation
Under no circumstances is the state of research suitable for attributing the current “vortex” in the USA, or anywhere else, to climate change. It has always happened, and it isn’t becoming more frequent. That’s weather. Aa a result one meteorologist reacted rather harshly:
Thus the PIK has definitely gone off base among the scientific community and is only cherry picking. Freely made up that there would be an increase in frequency of weak polar vortices. This has always happened almost every winter.”
Prominent Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann is quite annoyed by the nonsense. So are we. And we ask ourselves why is so much unproven and controversial material used to explain every current event in the world? Are real arguments like global warming at a rate of about 0.125 ° C / decade since 1950 (as to Cowtan & Way) too weak?
Huge PR campaign can’t sell it
Is climate change something that requires a high advertising effort to sell?
These PR campaigns, however, turn out to be baseless: every advertisement that runs too often only ends up annoying the consumer. The background is not science, as the consumer is supposed to believe. Instead, political ambitions are playing the main role. This is truly thin ice!