Monday, January 6, 2014

Man it's cold! What happened to global warming?

Climate Science "skeptics" have been having great fun with this past week's cold wave that has many US states basking in record Arctic low temperatures.  Thus it's been hardy laughs all around the blogosphere for those who refuse to take climate science seriously.  It's a shame they don't dare look past their neighborhoods to examine the global picture.

What these folks hide from themselves and their audience is that our planet is a huge global heat distribution engine.  

The equator get's most of the sun's heat, this in turn get's moved out of the tropics and into northern latitudes through currents, both in the troposphere and the oceans and through weather patterns and storm systems.  Here are a few links to more information on how that works:

Chapter 4: Global Energy Transfer, Atmosphere and Ocean Circulation, Climate

The Ocean-Atmosphere System

General Circulation and Climate Zones

Global Ocean Current Visualization


When suffering from extreme cold the thing to remember is that this cold is coming from the Arctic for a reason.  Take a look at this satellite image from January 1st

Posted: January 2, 2014 - 12:13am

This NOAA satellite image taken Wednesday, January 01, 2014 at 02:00 AM EST shows a series of storm systems over the open Pacific. These storms systems are moving into the Alaska area and riding a ridge of high pressure.Underneath the ridge is mostly clear skies and fair weather effecting the West coast. (AP PHOTO/WEATHER UNDERGROUND)

While this warmer air mass shoves it's way into Alaska, the Arctic air mass must go somewhere.  In the following images notice that the cold Arctic air mass has been displaced by warmer air from the south.  Here is Christopher Burt from explaining a similar, though less severe, event that occurred last month:

"Record Cold in Western U.S., Record Warmth in Alaska’s Arctic

"While a cold wave has gripped much of the contiguous U.S., including at least one all-time record in Oregon, unusual warmth has affected far northern Alaska. The topsy-turvy temperature regime is the result of a pronounced ridge and trough over western North America. Here is a summary of the temperatures.

As Jeff Masters noted in his blog today an unusually pronounced kink in the jet stream has allowed frigid air to pour into the western U.S. while at the same time drawing warm air well to the north over Alaska.

Arctic Alaska Warmth
Although the cold temperatures in the central and western contiguous U.S. have been remarkable this past week, the coldest since December 1990 for portions of California and Oregon, they are not as anomalous as the amazing warmth that briefly affected the Arctic region of Alaska. At around 9 p.m. local time on December 7th the temperature reached 39°F with rain falling at Deadhorse, the airport that serves Prudhoe Bay on the shore of the Arctic Ocean. This was the warmest December temperature ever measured at the site since it was established in 1968 …"

500 mb level height and temperature anomaly for 12z on December 8th (about 3 a.m. in Alaska and 4 a.m. PT).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

For a review of this past week's events, I've quoted from two recent articles by Andrew Freedman at
I encourage you to visit his website for the complete articles and many more informative articles by one of the best climate science writers out there:

Bundle Up for New Year as Door to Arctic Is Wide Open

Published: December 31st, 2013 , Last Updated: December 31st, 2013

"Bundle up for the new year, because the door to the Arctic is wide open.

Brutally cold air is spilling into the U.S., with few signs of warming during the next two weeks for large portions of the continental U.S. That polar air mass, which has caused temperatures to dip as low as minus 43°F in northern Minnesota, is likely to set records late this week from Chicago to Maine, and southward to the big cities of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

If recent computer model projections are right, that frigid cold may also be reinforced by an even icier push of Arctic air next week, especially if the jet stream contorts into what meteorologists refer to as a trough of low pressure over the Southeast. "

Computer model projection from the European model for Monday night, Jan. 7, 
showing a pocket of unusually cold air parked over the eastern U.S. (indicated by arrow).
Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Arctic Outbreak: When the North Pole Came to Ohio

Published: January 2nd, 2014 , Last Updated: January 2nd, 2014

"Frigid air is marching southward from the Canadian Arctic and is poised to bring the coldest temperatures in at least 20 years to a huge swath of the U.S. The Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic are forecast to be the most severely impacted, but even parts of the South may see unusually cold temperatures between January 6-9.
At the peak of the Arctic outbreak, temperatures may be between 20°F and 40°F below average in large parts of the continental U.S., ..."

"By comparison, temperatures across Greenland and much of the Arctic will be above average for this time of year, albeit still frigid. ..."

"The cause of the Arctic outbreak can be traced to northeastern Canada and Greenland, where an area of high pressure and relatively mild temperatures is set to block the eastward progression of weather systems, like an offensive lineman protecting the quarterback from the other team.

The atmospheric blocking is forcing a section of the polar vortex to break off and move south, into the U.S. The polar vortex is an area of cold low pressure that typically circulates around the Arctic during the winter, spreading tentacles of cold southward into Europe, Asia, and North America at times. ..."

Computer model projection for Jan. 6, 
showing a large area of much below average temperatures (in blue and purple) across the lower 48 states. 
The cold air spreads east Monday night.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

One more map, this one looking down on the 
North Pole

Coldest Air in Decades Clearing Customs, Entering U.S.

Map of projected near-surface temperature departures from average at 7 p.m. on Monday evening, eastern time. The cold snap, shown as purple and blues and pointed to by the arrow, stands out as the most unusually cold air in the entire hemisphere.
Credit: WeatherBELL Analytics.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ has another excellent article with yet more information 

Polar Vortex in U.S. May be Example of Global Warming

Visualization of winds at the jet stream level on January 6, 
showing a deep dip or trough in the jet stream above the U.S., transporting Arctic air southward.
Credit: Earth/Cameron Beccario.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Unfortunately, in the politicized global warming debate - the "skeptical" contingent has shown over and over that they cannot be trusted to represent scientists accurately - so you won't find this information coming out of Republican ThinkTanks or the likes of Anthony Watts or Steven McIntyre who continue to weave their science in a vacuum misrepresentations - regardless of what climatologists are actually discovering.  

But the information is out there for those who want to learn.

Here are two more timely articles that go into some detail explaining what climate scientists actually understand about this increasingly crazy weather we are witnessing.

Earth Winter 2013-2014: Sea Ice Loss Locks Jet Stream into Severe Winter Storm Pattern For Most of US

Robert M. Fannéy

Earth's New Normal: Wild Weather 2014
Broadcaster, Conservation Biologist, Educator

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Also it's tough for me to mention our 
"Global Heat Distribution Engine"
without also wanting to share this fascinating global tour NASA scientists put together.


citizenschallenge said...

Anonymous at 12:41 PM

Show your calculations,
including your assumptions
and I'll post your claim.

citizenschallenge said...

Regarding calculating the build up of heat within our planet's climate system - From:

"The slope of the global heat accumulation graph tells us how rapidly the Earth's climate is building up heat.
Over the past decade, the rate is 8 x 10(to the)21(power) Joules per year, or 2.5 x 10(to the)14(power) Joules per second.

The yield of the Hiroshima atomic bomb was 6.3 x 10(to the)13(power) Joules, hence the rate of global heat accumulation is equivalent to about 4 Hiroshima bomb detonations per second.

That's nearly 2 billion atomic bomb detonations worth of heat accumulating in the Earth's climate system since 1998, when we're told global warming supposedly 'paused'.

The data used in Nuccitelli et al. (2012) are now available for download so you can check it out for yourself. "