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back to article Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

Georgia Tech has lobbed a small grenade into the climate change debate, with a study suggesting a correlation between melting Arctic pack ice and snowy winters in the Northern Hemisphere. The study, announced February 27, notes that above-average snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere has been measured each year since 2007 (when …

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Meh

Weather vs Climate

We're inferring a simple inverse link between Arctic Ice and UK snow from 6 data points?

SURELY "more data required" ?

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Re: Weather vs Climate

"We're inferring a simple inverse link between Arctic Ice and UK snow from 6 data points?"

You may be - they're not. I'd recommend at least reading the Georgia Tech Research News page. The article is available from here

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/17/1114910109.abstract?sid=add90ac2-b7b6-41b8-a292-4b804cab0601

if you have PNAS access, or happen to know someone who has. The abstract and supporting material (graphs and charts) are free to view - the full article isn't.

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Meh

Re: Re: Weather vs Climate

From the supporting material, it looks like just 4 data points to me - 2007/8, 2008/9, 2009/10 and 2010/11.

Ok ok I'm being glib that 1 solid year of observations is 1 data point. But seriously, a climate study taking in just 4 winters? Color me unconvinced.

Does anyone know if this can this be used to generate snow forecasts (and hindcasts)?

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Anonymous Coward

The big problem -> misquotes & media

With forecasting weather, *including* global climate change (which after all, is weather), is how the media take *predictions* at face value, foist them on the unsuspecting public with grand headlines and suddenly everyone is an expert.

It's all about quoting out of context, so a scientist may be discussing the *model* of how things *could* pan out, rather than the actual real world scenario.

The media - whether innocent or otherwise - have fuelled the debate on climate change to such a degree, it's become a 'black or white' 'yes or no' issue, galvanising people to sides of a debate they don't even understand.

But how can you explain this massively complex topic?

How do you tell Daily Mail readers that an overall rise in global temperatures can result in colder weather in some areas?

I guess you just don't bother.

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Flame

"How do you tell Daily Mail readers that an...?"

Something along the lines of "Fire bad, tree pretty*" ?

* With apologies to Joss Wheedon.

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Mat
FAIL

Correlation

Oh - Correlation has now become causation....

Bad science!

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Re: Correlation

"Oh - Correlation has now become causation...."

Nope - I take it you've not read the GT press release and/or abstract, or not understood them.

"Bad science!"

What - you mean jumping to conclusions ? Who'd do a thing like that....

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Boffin

This just leaves one small question.

Now that snow has fallen where does it *go*?

It's an excellent source of fresh water but in reality it'll likely go down storm drains and (eventually) dump to the sea.

So will there *still* be an overall sea level rise?

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Re: This just leaves one small question.

"So will there *still* be an overall sea level rise?"

Err , not. It came from evaporation from the sea so its not going to cause a rise when it goes back in. Now if the antarctic ice sheet melted thats a whole other story...

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Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

Errr... Antarctic ice is increasing.

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Re: Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

"Errr... Antarctic ice is increasing."

No it isn't. There increased snowfall inland due to more evaporation from the sea but on the continents shoreline the ice is braking away and the edge is retreating.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

Errr... no it's not. Check out the IPCC's own data: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/improved-sea-ice-videos/

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Re: Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

...and here's the graph showing the relative decrease in Arctic Sea Ice compared to Antarctic Sea Ice: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/sea-ice-2012/

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Re: Re: Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

Here are two statements that are completely agreed on by the IPCC. It is crucial to be aware of their implications:

1. A doubling of CO2, by itself, contributes only about 1C to greenhouse warming. All models project more warming, because, within models, there are positive feedbacks from water vapor and clouds, and these feedbacks are considered by the IPCC to be uncertain.

2. If one assumes all warming over the past century is due to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing, then the derived sensitivity of the climate to a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. The higher sensitivity of existing models is made consistent with observed warming by invoking unknown additional negative forcings from aerosols and solar variability as arbitrary adjustments.

Given the above, the notion that alarming warming is ‘settled science’ should be offensive to any sentient individual, though to be sure, the above is hardly emphasized by the IPCC.

Taken from:

Reconsidering the Climate Change Act Global Warming: How to approach the science.

Richard S. Lindzen

Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Seminar at the House of Commons Committee Rooms

Westminster, London

22nd February 2012

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/rsl-houseofcommons-2012.pdf

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Bronze badge
Facepalm

who would have though that?

Nature has built-in negative feedback loop to restore climate balance? Must be bad science, it will never do!

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Re: who would have though that?

Don't confuse global with local or regional.

You can have local downward trends in temperature but still have an increase in global mean temperature... unless you're a Daily Mail reader who operate in a parallel universe with different laws of physics, logic and statistics that work by choosing a answer you like and then creating laws to give you the right result.

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Boffin

Nobody

Where is the loop?

What this article shows is that Anthropogenic Global Climate Change causes more Global Climate Change.

According to people who know about this sort of thing there are negative feedback mechanisms but we have gone beyond what they can deal with and we are now into positive feedback time,

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Alert

negative and positive feedbacks

Nature has both as does climate. A negative climate feedback is that a warmer earth radiates more energy out to space which cools things down. A positive climate feedback is that warming resulting in melting of ice leaving more light and heat absorbent land or water surfaces decreases reflectivity, which increases warming. The effect of having both is complex and regions (times/places) of stability and chaos.

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Finally an article with actual science, explaining real phenomenon. If I hear one more simpleton say cold winters mean global warming doesn't exist I'm going to scream.

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Silver badge

it was a very cold winter though

should that be possible under global warming?

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Trollface

sorry i forgot the icon

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Come on!

I know right! Jones himself said earlier this year that there had not been any statistically significant warming since 1998. The most prominent climate scientist on the planet says... it's stopped for now.

That barely made the news.

Yet if you listen to all the media reports, the Earth is about to start boiling and every little natural event is immediately blamed on gasoline. I even saw an article yesterday claiming that even earthquakes and volcano eruptions should be blamed on Global Warming. Seriously!?

I mean... come on!... There's probably more money being poured into trying to prove Global Warming and linking it to every single possible event than there is in trying to find alternate sources of energy! How about they take the billions of dollars spent on spewing their bovine excrements, and spend it on actual things like.. alternate fuels, algae biodiesel, "safe" nuke (if al all possible) etc etc etc.

You know... for a "settled science", with incontrovertible and overwhelming evidence, there's still a surprisingly high number of people trying to prove it's real instead of finding practical solution that do not force man back into the stone ages.

Ever heard of Peter and the Wolfe, anyone?

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Re: Come on!

"I know right! Jones himself said earlier this year that there had not been any statistically significant warming since 1998."

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Phil-Jones-says-no-global-warming-since-1995.htm

"The most prominent climate scientist on the planet says... it's stopped for now."

No, he didn't.

"Yet if you listen to all the media reports, the Earth is about to start boiling and every little natural event is immediately blamed on gasoline."

Journalists in hyperbole shocker. The media has quite a lot to answer for, and not just in this matter, however that doesn't change what the actual science was saying - you should try it sometime.

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Re: Out of date and wrong

Global warming is statistically significant, you know it is as well as I posted this link to you on another thread. You ignore any proof or evidence you're presented and just keep trotting out lies. Classic climate denial comment troll. Wrong, doesn't care. Get paid per comment perhaps?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13719510

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Out of date and wrong

@Tads

That would be a zombee argument - You killed it, but the argument comes back (from the same person, no less) as if it hadn't been harmed at all. This is how the non-scientific work, it's a classic, use the argument in one discussion, have it debunked, but use it again next time, when you think you've got a different audience.

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Re: Re: Out of date and wrong

Oh yes, I forgot, even though Warmist budget is about 1000 times greater than all "denialist" budgets combined, every single comment you think is in denial MUST be bought and paid for...

Idiot.

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Re: Re: Re: Out of date and wrong

if you aren't even getting paid for such ridiculous comments that's like stupid squared

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Mushroom

Correlation... over four years!?

Kill it with fire. This is not a scientific paper, it is bullshit.

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Joke

Do you remember those two terrible Winters we had?

Mike and Bernie.

[nicked from Frank Carson. RIP]

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Re: Do you remember those two terrible Winters we had?

It was the way he told 'em.

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Bah!

Not a denier, but: What snowy winter?

My beloved winter implement o' fun, Troll the Snowblower of Supreme Spiffiness has sat gathering dust owing to a distinct lack of the usual couple of feet of white stuff this year. What little fell was swept away with a broom by my kid.

Those bloody Canadians stole my winter, and I want it back!

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It's all very clear

The Arctic ice is melting but it isn't. Winters in the northern hemisphere are getting colder except where they're not. It's all caused by mankind but it's not and we're all going to die but....... oh, wait.

There. Climate change theory explained.

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Anonymous Coward

So British...

The Register prints a nice picture of a girl's bottom and all you want to do is talk about the weather.

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What would be more convincing

Is a series of formal climate forecasts. Maybe some figures for snowfall in particular places, or frequency of winds above a certain strength, or annual rainfall, or temperatures, or whatever - over a good number of years (let's say at least 10 but ideally much longer). After the appropriate number of years have elapsed, a proper analysis could then be performed to see if any agreement with observations is statistically significant.

To really convince, you would need to make predictions that can't be made simply by extrapolating recent trends. They would have to involve detailed climate modelling in situations where this predicts something we haven't yet seen. And, of course, since there are multiple climate models available, a *consensus* on the forecast would need to be reached before the observations are made (because choosing your model afterwards is cheating).

These are the standards to which proper science is held. Explaining past events is all very well, and obviously necessary, but making successful predictions is what really convinces. I'd be interested to hear details if anyone thinks climate science has already passed this test.

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Re: What would be more convincing

Surely if you ask this from the climate change scientists, you're prepared to ask the same from the climate denial scientists. When they can prove that what they're saying is correct with the same accuracy, predictions before observations etc, people ive their opinions credence and not before.

Science for one, science for all, right.

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Boffin

Let's see if we can agree on a few things?

The weather is a complex system. Climate is the weather *changing* over long periods of time (where *long* is more likely centuries and Milena than decades or years).

The system has *both* positive and negative feedbacks in it.

Each negative and positive feedback loop operates at different *scales*, regional up to global.

The way an areas climate changes *could* be viewed as a moving over an n-dimensional surface. Moves are driven by +ve feedback loops (IE "uphill") while -ve feedback loops set the "gradient" or "friction" of the path moving away from a local "minimum" but the *overall* direction is set by summing up *all* the different loops effects.

IOW it's all about the *relative* sizes of the loops and weather they are +ve or -ve. Which *suggests* that *local* areas could be cooler (on a short term basis) while the *overall* trend is upward.

Please let me know which of those statements makes no sense and why.

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