Joe Bastardi / Mar. 15, 2013

Is Global Warming Causing More Snow and Less Snow at the Same Time?

In the Woody Allen comedy classic, "Bananas," there is a scene where the CIA is sending US troops to fight on both sides of a revolution because they're afraid of being on the wrong side. While many of us laughed at such things then because of the absurdity of it, we find that the same kind of strategy is being used by AGW propagandists that seek to claim every idea they have as the correct one. So in this piece, I will examine a recent claim that climate change is causing extremes that rational people know is not a sign it's getting warmer (such as bigger *snow*storms -- snow is a sign it's cold). Irrational people are the ones that will claim the opposite answer of what they said before was right, because they will use any answer to justify their ideas.

In the Woody Allen comedy classic “Bananas," there is a scene where the CIA is sending U.S. troops to fight on both sides of a revolution because they’re afraid of being on the wrong side.

While many of us laughed at such things then because of the absurdity of it, we find that the same kind of strategy is being used by AGW propagandists who seek to claim every idea they have is the correct one.

In this piece I will examine a recent claim that climate change is causing extremes that rational people know is not a sign it’s getting warmer (such as bigger snowstorms – snow is a sign it’s cold). Irrational people are the ones who will claim the opposite answer of what they said before was right, because they will use any answer to justify their ideas.

In a second piece later on I will explain how a cooling situation in the tropical Pacific leads to drought and heat in the U.S. The downturn in global temperatures that has started with the cooling Pacific means it cools globally, but the initial result, like in the 1950s, is a warmer U.S. – opposite of the alarmist spin.

Now keep in mind, the Climate Ambulance Chaser argument when it’s not snowing is that it’s getting warmer. But their argument when it does snow is also that it’s getting warmer. So no matter what happens, Climate Ambulance Chasers blame a warming climate. Wouldn’t you love to have a class where no matter what answer you put down on a test, you get to say it’s correct?

My partner at Weatherbell.com, Joe D'Aleo, put it this way:

"Snow has a negative feedback on temperatures. It cools the air, lowers the thicknesses/heights, and often shifts the jet stream and storm track so as to favor more snow.”

Extrapolating the Climate Ambulance Chasers’ logic on more snow, one can see that if ice makes it into the Gulf of Mexico one of these winters, it will also be because it’s getting warmer.

But here is an inconvenient truth: It’s not getting warmer!

For the umpteenth time, here’s a graph of global temperatures vs. CO2:

With temperatures having leveled off, and even getting colder since the statements were made about it being warmer with less snow, the idea that warming is causing more snow is plainly wrong.

For the record, here in the U.S., winters have been getting colder:

Now, do you see me screaming about it getting colder, resulting in more snow? I could, but I don’t. But it’s certainly not getting warmer in the U.S. Data from the National Climatic Data Center plainly shows that winters have cooled across all of the U.S. over the last decade. The global temperature has leveled off or declined over the past several years. So, if it’s snowing more, it can’t be because it’s getting warmer – because it’s not.

There is a natural cap on what temperatures can do, and none of it has anything to do with man-made climate change. Man can only do what nature allows him to do.

Here are some links, which include declarations that it’s not going to snow anymore because of AGW:

  1. From a December 2000 article in the UK: “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.‘”

  2. And this beauty, as Snowmeggedon was ramping up: “RFK, Jr. 15 months ago: Global warming means no snow or cold in DC.” (RFK Jr. was lamenting the lack of snow, saying correctly it snowed more in the 1960s, but that was because of the climate cycle we were in, which we will go back into five to 10 years from now. Snowmeggedon came along to remind him it was lurking.)

  3. An article on sea ice and cold: “Increasing Winter Cold in Recent Years and the Arctic ice.”

  4. A piece on how extremes in the weather are natural: “Some Weather Extremes are Real but Causes are Natural.”

  5. And finally, for all the Dr. Zhivago fanatics out there (there are great snow scenes in the movie, by the way, which I found of more interest than Julie Christie – that’s how much I love snow): “Snowpocalypse Russia: 'Snow tsunami’ swallows streets, cars, buildings.”

The fact that my opponents in this matter said what they did a few years ago and when the opposite happens they try to use that as evidence speaks volumes as to their grasp of “the science.” Who was it that said, “There is a sucker born every minute”?

Perhaps that is who they are appealing to with their message, which, as near as I can tell, is: “No matter what happens, it’s because of what we say it is.”

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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