By Paul Homewood
The climate morons have hit new levels of hysteria about a day’s weather in the Arctic:
From the Guardian:
An alarming heatwave in the sunless winter Arctic is causing blizzards in Europe and forcing scientists to reconsider even their most pessimistic forecasts of climate change.
Although it could yet prove to be a freak event, the primary concern is that global warming is eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once insulated the frozen north.
The north pole gets no sunlight until March, but an influx of warm air has pushed temperatures in Siberia up by as much as 35C above historical averages this month. Greenland has already experienced 61 hours above freezing in 2018 – more than three times as many hours as in any previous year.
Seasoned observers have described what is happening as “crazy,” “weird,” and “simply shocking”.
“This is an anomaly among anomalies. It is far enough outside the historical range that it is worrying – it is a suggestion that there are further surprises in store as we continue to poke the angry beast that is our climate,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “The Arctic has always been regarded as a bellwether because of the vicious circle that amplify human-caused warming in that particular region. And it is sending out a clear warning.”
Although most of the media headlines in recent days have focused on Europe’s unusually cold weather in a jolly tone, the concern is that this is not so much a reassuring return to winters as normal, but rather a displacement of what ought to be happening farther north.
At the world’s most northerly land weather station – Cape Morris Jesup at the northern tip of Greenland – recent temperatures have been, at times, warmer than London and Zurich, which are thousands of miles to the south. Although the recent peak of 6.1C on Sunday was not quite a record, but on the previous two occasions (2011 and 2017) the highs lasted just a few hours before returning closer to the historical average. Last week there were 10 days above freezing for at least part of the day at this weather station, just 440 miles from the north pole.
“Spikes in temperature are part of the normal weather patterns – what has been unusual about this event is that it has persisted for so long and that it has been so warm,” said Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute. “Going back to the late 1950s at least we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic.”
The cause and significance of this sharp uptick are now under scrutiny. Temperatures often fluctuate in the Arctic due to the strength or weakness of the polar vortex, the circle of winds – including the jetstream – that help to deflect warmer air masses and keep the region cool. As this natural force field fluctuates, there have been many previous temperature spikes, which make historical charts of Arctic winter weather resemble an electrocardiogram.
But the heat peaks are becoming more frequent and lasting longer – never more so than this year. “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter,” said Robert Rohde, lead scientist of Berkeley Earth, a non-profit organisation dedicated to climate science.
The question now is whether this signals a weakening or collapse of the polar vortex, the circle of strong winds that keep the Arctic cold by deflecting other air masses. The vortex depends on the temperature difference between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, but that gap is shrinking because the pole is warming faster than anywhere on Earth. While average temperatures have increased by about 1C, the warming at the pole – closer to 3C – is melting the ice mass. According to Nasa, Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.2% per decade, leaving more open water and higher temperatures.
Some scientists speak of a hypothesis known as “warm Arctic, cold continents” as the polar vortex becomes less stable – sucking in more warm air and expelling more cold fronts, such as those currently being experienced in the UK and northern Europe. Rohde notes that this theory remains controversial and is not evident in all climate models, but this year’s temperature patterns have been consistent with that forecast.
Longer term, Rohde expects more variation. “As we rapidly warm the Arctic, we can expect that future years will bring us even more examples of unprecedented weather.”
Etc etc etc!!
As DMI show, the spike did not last long.
And where did that “heat” go? Straight into space. Anyone who has slept out in the desert at night will appreciate how quickly temperatures plummet when the atmosphere is so dry.
As we also know, this spike is due to the recent Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW), which has disrupted the jet stream. As the Met Office explain, this is a perfectly natural weather event.
In fact, the SSW has been known about since 1952, when Richard Scherhag observed one for the first time. It no doubt has been occurring since time immemorial.
As for claims that this spike was somehow unprecedented, we know that there was a very similar event in March 1976.
It is claimed:
The heat peaks are becoming more frequent and lasting longer – never more so than this year. “In 50 years of Arctic reconstructions, the current warming event is both the most intense and one of the longest-lived warming events ever observed during winter.
It is certainly true that warm anomalies in the Arctic winter have been more common in recent years. (Though significantly summers have remained close to average – eg last year)
The DMI data goes back to 1954, but the world did not start then.
What about beforehand?
Bo Vinther, the experienced climatologist with Copenhagen University, has compiled the SW Greenland temperature series, with some data going back as far as pre 1800, and finishing in 2006.
We see the familiar pattern of annual temperatures, which were as high is the 1930s and 40s as now.
But looking at seasonality, while summer temperatures have been pretty stable, there is considerable volatility in winter and spring:
During the 1930s and 40s, and in earlier parts of the cycle, winters and spring were much warmer than, for instance, the 1960s and 70s. And, again, we see that those warmer decades were just as warm as recently.
It is these two seasons that have largely driven the annual changes.
In other words, the warmer winters we now commonly see in the Arctic are nothing new at all. They only appear unusual because we have started looking at data since 1954.
There is also an inconsistency about the logic used by Rohde and others. They claim that warmer Arctic temperatures are having an effect on the polar vortex.
In fact, they are putting the horse before the cart. It is the SSW/polar vortex which affects the jet stream, thus pulling in warmer air from lower latitudes.
The Guardian does at least quote Zeke, who points out that these events are almost certainly mostly due to natural variability, and that climate models predict the opposite, that Arctic winters will be less variable.
I have one final comment.
The Guardian quotes near record temperatures at Cape Morris Jesup, which is at the northern tip of Greenland.
The DMI’s Ruth Mottram, who has been caught out before disseminating misleading information. says this about Cape Morris Jesup:
Spikes in temperature are part of the normal weather patterns – what has been unusual about this event is that it has persisted for so long and that it has been so warm. Going back to the late 1950s at least we have never seen such high temperatures in the high Arctic.
I’m not sure where she gets “late 1950s from”!
Although there is no official temperature published for that site, (not that I can find anyway), we do know some of the history about the place:
During a 1900 attempt to become the first person to reach the North Pole Robert Peary traversed the north coast of Greenland before starting north across the sea ice. This brought him to Cape Morris Jesup which he proclaimed the northernmost point of land in the world, and for the next sixty-nine years it was an accepted fact that Cape Morris Jesup was the northern edge of the world.
Between 1900 and 1969 several expeditions visited Cape Morris Jesup all believing that it was indeed the world’s most northern extent of land. Most significant of these perhaps was that of Lauge Koch and his Danish Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition in 1921. Koch thus became the first Dane to reach Cape Morris Jesup. In 1953 two Swiss scientists became the next persons to reach the Cape, and the first to reach it overland from the south. In 1960 an American team from the U. S. Geological Survey became the first persons to fly to Cape Morris Jesup, reaching it by helicopter. In 1965 the Danish Sledge Patrol Sirius first reached the Cape, the first to do so by dog sledge since Koch in 1921.
In 1968 the Humphrey’s Arctic Expedition attempted to fly to Cape Morris Jesup after an aborted attempt to reach the North Pole. The flight landed some twenty miles beyond Cape Morris Jesup at another cape. The confusion created by Humphrey’s misidentification of his location and the follow up expeditions that attempted answer the map ambiguities became the inspiration for my book which is a history of mapping and exploration in northern Greenland.
Cape Morris was never more than a spot on the map for much of the time, only ever visited by a handful of Arctic expeditions. The idea that scientists have been collecting winter daily temperatures there since the 1950s is the sort of dishonest twaddle that only gullible Guardian readers could fall for.
But apparently it’s good enough for climate scientists.
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
February 28, 2018 at 07:24AM