Hans von Storch: “Fact That The Explanation Came Afterwards…Is Just More Reason For Doubt”

At his klimazwiebel.blog here, Professor Hans von Storch posted an interview conducted with German Weather Service (DWD) press spokesman Gerhard Lux that had appeared earlier in the Offenbacher Post.


Arctic, public domain photo – NASA.

The interview focused on the new hypothesis put out by some scientists now claiming that the cold winters are caused by global warming, i.e. a warm Arctic is disrupting northern hemispheric weather patterns and thus causing cold winters in Europe and elsewhere.

Here’s what von Storch had to say about that hypothesis:

An interesting aspect that demonstrates the difficulty in which climate science now finds itself is that here a hypothesis was formulated (Arctic ice deficit, subsequent winter anomaly) that ends up being a possible explanation in a model experiment. But here it cannot be concluded that this is the only or even the dominant explanation. What’s next is falsification of the suggestion using forthcoming observations to see whether the explanation is robust, or whether maybe indeed other explanations are more effective (e.g.: stochastic climate fluctuations). This is actually a normal process in science, and the fact that the explanation came afterwards, and was not searched and found before the occurrence of the phenomenon, is just more reason for doubt.”

Other experts also doubt (or outright dismiss) the hypothesis:

1. Veteran meteorologist Klaus-Eckard Puls:

This is an embarrassing calamity for German climate alarmists, who 2 years ago began concocting a meteorologically adventurous hypothesis in an attempt to save face. […] The climate models had predicted nothing of the sort.

Proof that winter weather in one region can be derived from the earlier summertime weather of another region has yet to be found by the generations of meteorology! If it were the case, the problems of longer-term seasonal forecasts would finally be solved.

To this day there is no correlation whatsoever between NAO with CO2.

Our winter weather is still always made in the winter, and there is absolutely no evidence for claims to the contrary!

This completely contradicts meteorological and textbook knowledge: High pressure systems are not created above warm water – low pressure systems are.”

2. Gerhard Müller-Westermeier of the German Weather Service (DWS) in January 2010 found the British claim (warming Arctic leading to reduced pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores) to be “very adventurous”:

We’ve had mainly mild winters in  which single cold months have been widely scattered, like 2009. This winter [2010] is an cold outlier that doesn’t change anything in the overall picture. In general it’s going to get warmer, also in the winter.”

This appears to be about an earlier variant of the theory.

3. Prof. Jochem Marotzke, Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (Jan 2010) on the above variant:

They got caught in a classic trap. They are only looking at one factor from the many that determine our climate. For higher air layers, at about 8 km in altitude, we expect that the atmosphere over the tropics will warm more quickly than over the Arctic. That would increase the temperature difference. Moreover the greenhouse effect will overlap the changes in air pressure difference.”

Notice all the contradictions popping up already.

4. Veteran meteorologist Thomas Globig:

I’ve been hearing from some media that it’s all because of the ice melt in the Arctic. That is when the Arctic gets warmer, here it gets colder. Naturally that’s all nonsense! Back then [in 1853] there was no large summer ice melt in the Arctic. Therefore the whole thing has nothing to do with a trend. It is simply just plain weather!”

5. Andreas Friedrich, German Weather Service DWD says in the daily NZ of 8 April 2013, p.7, that there’s no seasonal relationship to be found in weather:

Meteorologists are arguing over the supposed relationship between March cold and July heat. […]  A cold spring is no sign for a hot summer. There’s no relationship; the weather does not have a memory. […] That a cold March – and Match 2013 in Germany was much too cold – allows us to draw the conclusion of a hot summer is refuted by the data of the past years. […] There’s no relationship; it’s all completely coincidental.”

Here Friedrich is talking about spring dictating summer – reminding us that one season’s weather does not dictate the weather of the following season, let alone the season after that!

6. German Weather Service (DWD) press release, 12 April 2013:

Also according to the estimation of the National Weather Service it cannot be conclusively judged whether these research results indeed will be true. The Earth’s climate is a complex system of feedbacks and an exact forecast of its behavior is possible only with great difficulty.

Notice how the German Weather Service press release ignored von Storch’s comments I quoted above. They just left them out.

7. Thomas Stocker, IPCC lead scientist. Weltwoche, No. 15.13, p. 36-40, on the Arctic warming/cold winter explanation:

That’s the statement of one or two publications, but still no scientific consensus. Building a consensus is a tough job. At the IPCC we simply just cannot take in every single study from all the institutes worldwide. It’s possible there will be a statement on this in the coming report, i.e. how the Arctic ice cover influences the statistics of high pressure regions. But for now we are still working on it.”

We wish Stocker lots of luck getting a consensus on that one. (Models aren’t going to cut it).

8. Even Gerstengarbe, one of the study’s authors, expresses doubt!

The studies of this development are ongoing, and so at the moment no conclusions can be made on whether or not Central Europe will have the ‘pleasure’ of cold easterly winds more frequently.”

The media just forgot to mention Gerstengarbe’s little disclaimer clause.

To sum up, the “warm-causes-cold” scientists remind me of the alcoholic who claims his hangovers are due to his leather allergy: Every time he wakes up with his shoes on, he has a big headache!

But the warm Arctic theory is far worse because there’s a correlation only for a couple of years. We can see that the IPCC scientists are setting themselves up to look like complete asses once more.


5 responses to “Hans von Storch: “Fact That The Explanation Came Afterwards…Is Just More Reason For Doubt””

  1. DirkH

    It should be noted that Marotzke is a 100% alarmist when he thinks he can get away with it or profit from it; he was all over the radio in the run up to COP15 in 2009. Predominantly a sea level rise alarmist.

    Maybe slowly checking out the exit door now.

  2. Juergen Uhlemann

    I think the 1st of April never ends.

    “Is the UK heading for ANOTHER Arctic winter?” 11 April 2013

    “Dr Julia Slingo at the Met Office calling a meeting of world climate experts
    She is concerned melting Arctic ice is causing Britain’s climate to change
    Comes after lowest April temperature for nearly 100 years was recorded”

    Unfortunately, I could not find anything about it on the Met Office website.

    Look at grafic at “The Sun” newspaper:

  3. Manfred

    “At the IPCC we simply just cannot take in every single study from all the institutes worldwide. It’s possible there will be a statement on this in the coming report, i.e. how the Arctic ice cover influences the statistics of high pressure regions.”


    Yes that’s what we expect from the IPCC and totally ignoring the solar link published in dozens if not hundreds of peer reviewed papers for decades. Just a few recent examples:

    Nature Geoscience 2010
    Solar activity may be to blame for unusually cold winters
    “There is a lot of different factors that affect our winter climate. However, the solar cycle would probably have been acting in a way that gave us those cold winters,” said Sarah Ineson, a climate scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre near Exeter.”

    Environmental Research Letters 2011
    “Over the next 50 years, the researchers show that the probability of the Sun returning to Maunder minimum conditions is about 10 per cent, raising the chances that the average winter temperature will fall below 2.5 oC to around 1 in 7, assuming all other factors, including man-made effects and El Niño, remain constant.”

    AGU.org 2012
    Link found between cold European winters and solar activity
    “The freezing of the Rhine is very important on historical timescales.
    By comparing these freezing records to the eleven year cycle of solar activity, it was found that ten of the fourteen freezes occurred during solar minimum, i.e. when there were the least amount of sunspots for that cycle. Sirocko and colleagues found that there is a 99 per cent chance that the freezing is connected to the solar cycle.”

  4. Juergen Uhlemann

    I found something better. 2 YouTube videos. Just listen.

    2nd video on the page.
    Dr Julia Slingo talks about. Ok, she says that “it’s not proven, yet”, but more research is required. WHY?

    Dr Jennifer Francis as well.

    They have a title, but did they lost the brain in the process? Just asking.

    Ask Piers Corbyn: “Warm Weather Not Causing Cold”

  5. Ulrich Elkmann

    The Met Office admits that last month’s cold was NOT caused by arctic warmth:

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