Some 15 years ago we were told that snow and ice in the wintertime would be things of the past.
Then Europe and North America experienced a series of harsh winters and climate scientists, turning on a dime, suddenly declared them the result of global warming.
Now that claim too is turning out to be a farce as well.
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning und Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt
(German text translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Do you recall how the experts wanted to tell us that cold winters were linked to global warming? For example Spiegel Online wrote on 27 October 2014:
Weather bridge: Ice melt in the Arctic cooling winters in Europe
Climate scientists have discovered a meteorological remote link: When the sea ice melts in the Arctic, atmospheric currents get shifted – winters in Europe and Asia get cooler.
According to a study, ice melt over the past decades has led to especially harsh winters in Europe and Asia. Observations show that the cold winters could be linked with the retreat in Arctic sea ice, which has been happening over the past decades. Scientists led by Masato Mori of the Japanense University of Tokyo have discovered that the retreat of sea ice in the Arctic Barents-Kara Sea favor atmospheric currents that lend to cold in Europe and Asia. These atmospheric patterns that are called ‘blocking situations’ that serve to convey cold air to Europe and Asia and cause harsh winters there, reported the scientists in the journal “Nature Geoscience”.
A regrettable scientific knee-jerk reaction – as it would be exposed just half a year and half later.
A team of scientists of the University of Colorado Boulder and the NOAA led by Lantao Sun examined the mechanism more closely on 25 May 2016 in a new study in the Geophysical Research Letters. They were unable to confirm the relationship between sea ice melt and cold continental winters. The cold winters were neither explainable by the shrinking Arctic sea ice, nor by anthropogenic factors, the scientists found. A pronounced and underestimated natural climate variability is much more at play here.
The abstract for this important paper follows:
What caused the recent “Warm Arctic, Cold Continents” trend pattern in winter temperatures?
The emergence of rapid Arctic warming in recent decades has coincided with unusually cold winters over Northern Hemisphere continents. It has been speculated that this “Warm Arctic, Cold Continents” trend pattern is due to sea ice loss. Here we use multiple models to examine whether such a pattern is indeed forced by sea ice loss specifically and by anthropogenic forcing in general. While we show much of Arctic amplification in surface warming to result from sea ice loss, we find that neither sea ice loss nor anthropogenic forcing overall yield trends toward colder continental temperatures. An alternate explanation of the cooling is that it represents a strong articulation of internal atmospheric variability, evidence for which is derived from model data, and physical considerations. Sea ice loss impact on weather variability over the high-latitude continents is found, however, to be characterized by reduced daily temperature variability and fewer cold extremes.
This is a nice example of how we should not immediately believe everything our experts say and why critique and skepticism are completely justified.