Right Opinion

First It Was No Snow and Cold. Now It's More Snow and Cold?

Joe Bastardi · Nov. 1, 2016

I will keep this short. The climate change (a.k.a. global warming) alarmists are now understanding that blocking over the North Pole is the inevitable result of long-term oceanic and solar fluctuations (or at least I hope they are). However, in an effort to again push their missive (fear of a cold, snowy winter), they are pre-blaming the shift in the polar vortex on their ideas. This is rich because, in the winters of the 1970s, when it got very warm relative to average over the poles, we had people warning that an ice age was coming (of course they want you to forget that).

Here was the 500mb pattern during the winters of ‘76-'77 and '77-'78.

The yellow and orange areas are warm. Look where they are.

The fact is that this has been happening forever. It’s cyclical in nature. Take, for example, the blowtorch winters of 2001-2002 and 2011-2012. The temperature anomalies were reversed. When cold congregates at the pole, the U.S. warms.

Notice how the warm areas are where it was cold in the 1970s example.

In the decadol sense, we are close to the late 1950s and 1960s with a similar SST configuration:

Guess what went on in those winters and is likely again this winter?

It’s true the globe is warmer now and that is where the real debate should focus, not taking what is natural and making it something it is not. But it’s also true there were articles claiming less snow and less cold were on the way. The fact is the entire system is designed for conflict and conflict is oftentimes resolved through extreme swings. We can observe it now and argue over the cause or what has the greatest influence (in the non-Climate Ambulance Chaser community the arguments always rage between solar and oceans), but I guess here is the question one must ask alarmists:

Given the record of statements back and forth on this matter, just what answer is not yours? Is anything that happens a sign you are right? If so, why is anyone paying you since no matter what happens there is just one answer?

You can see clear links, in this case to the past. If it’s happened before, it’ll happen again. Sure, there are variations, sometimes warmer and sometimes colder, but it seems to me that a lot of the things that come out rely on the general public not being aware of history. In fact, that happens in a lot of things nowadays.

Now ponder this cyclical climate change theory: If it is colder and snowier further south, would that not in turn over the long run start to cool the Arctic? After all, with more cold over the continent hanging around later in the spring and then starting earlier in the fall, as we have seen in the last several Eurasian winters, would that not begin to take its toll? And what happens when the oceans, which have been in the warm cycles in tandem, flip cold? Questions, questions, questions, not one involving CO2, though as an open-minded observer I cannot eliminate it having some effect. But how much? Apparently to many pushing this, it’s now the climate control knob.

Let me see if you can make sense out of this. Is it going to snow in Detroit this winter? Your answer would be yes, right? Why? Because it snows every winter in Detroit. Now suppose I said to you, “No, that’s not the reason. The reason is because of something different.” Would you believe that? Of course not. Why? Because it snows every winter in Detroit.

The earth is warming now. It has warmed and cooled before. It always has. So why is it that CO2 is now causing it when every other time before it was not?

There is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps it’s just that you are actually observing it.


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

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