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 ( …

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  1. Feliform
    Meh

    Well...

    This is not a paradox. This is irony.

  2. Andrew Jones 2
    FAIL

    Love the way they wait until AFTER we have had the snowy winters to decide that....

    Guess that means - since Winter in Scotland has not been as extreme snow wise as the last few years - the icecap isn't melting and therefore Global Warming must have stopped?

    1. mr.K
      Facepalm

      Observations

      It is always convenient when observations happen after the fact.

      1. Ross 7

        Re: Observations

        "It is always convenient when observations happen after the fact"

        Unless you're working on OPERA...

      2. Marty
        Headmaster

        Re: Observations

        well you cant exactly observe anything until it IS happening, therefore you cant publish your observations until after the event !!

        you can hypothesise your theory and then observe to see if your hypothesis is correct, or at least can't be disproved.

        and that is indeed how science works.....

      3. Tads

        Re: Observations

        So observations should happen before the fact now? Brilliant, you've disproved special relativity and should be out making millions and inventing time travel not plying the climate deniers trade on supposed science blogs.

        There is a method allowing climate observations to be proposed before the fact, they're called "climate models". You'd say they were junk as well I expect and get to whinge either way :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Junk climate models

          In 2005 Columbia University ran 9 climate models used by the IPCC. Every one of them predicted less winter snowfall.

          Magically, after 7 years of increasing snowfall, these models have a few of their parameters tweaked and now predict increasing snowfall.

          So yes, I would say the climate models are junk. They have no predictive ability and the parameters can be tweaked to show whatever you want. Whether it is rain, drought, high temperature, low temperature, more snow, less snow, just tweak them parameters and it fulfils your preconceived ideas.

        2. Andrew Jones 2
          FAIL

          Re: Observations

          My point was simple -

          we are constantly informed that the weather patterns of a few years are called WEATHER, the weather patterns over decades are called CLIMATE.

          But now - magically - a few years worth of bad winters and suddenly it's proof of climate change.

    2. pcsupport

      You must have been hibernating the previous two winters Andrew - only this one was pathetic, the other two seemed to last for months.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        In the mountains north of Madrid, there has been hardly any snow this winter, and certainly less than the last 8 years. I normally have to break out the snow chains a few times, and snowmen tend to hang around for longer than a month.

        Perhaps "Northern hemisphere" is rather a large area to generalise about weather? It seems to me that what's happened is that the UK got it all this year; and given the way that el niño and la niña tend to move precipitation around, maybe there is a cause and effect there. (However I think we still don't know the cause for el niño and la niña, so maybe fresh water injection into the ocean may play a part.)

      2. Andrew Jones 2

        Which is exactly what I said - this winter has been mild and therefore global warming must of stopped. In the Borders the 4 winters preceding this one have been the worst we have seen for a long time.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so is the world getting warmer...

    or is the cool just moving around?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: so is the world getting warmer...

      Both, it's getting warmer and moving around. While Europe got buried in snow it's been rather scarce in many parts of Canada for years now.

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Re: so is the world getting warmer...

      It’s a common misperception that global warming will mean that you will be able to grow pineapples in the Outer Hebrides, however initially the big difference will be more extreme weather as where will be more energy in the weather systems .

  4. Nanners
    Holmes

    Oh Jesus

    How long have you been told this is coming? It's easy really...you melt the ice...it changes the ocean's currents, a new ice age begins. Not hard. I have been telling you guys that the u.k. was going to be first for at least 3 years now. The only reason that island is habitable is becaus of the heat the oceans bring it. This isn't a surprise. Read a book already.

    1. Ian McNee
      Stop

      Nurse! Nurse!!

      He's stopped taking the tablets and he's shagging the vacuum cleaner again!

    2. TheRealRoland

      or, watch the movie

      'The day after tomorrow' - bilbo baggins was right all along ;-)

      But, I agree - let's no longer call it global warming, let's call it global climate change...

      1. dervheid

        let's call it global climate change...

        the 'global climate change' that's been an ongoing, ever-changing, natural process ever since the dirtball first acquired a 'climate'?

        Sure.

      2. David Gale

        Re: or, watch the movie

        Oh no, it's not even climate change anymore. It's 'moving to a low carbon economy'. Do keep up!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh Darwin...

      you get my thumbs up Nanners....except for the "oh Jesus" in the heading.

      As its a scientific matter under discussion then we are best leaving religion out of it as science and religion are mutually exclusive.

      I therefore propose that the exclamation of "oh Jesus" should be replace with "oh Darwin" as it was he that really stuck it to the bible bashers in the best way possible !

      and without a Darwin Icon, i will remain AC

  5. Goat Jam
    Holmes

    What Am I Missing?

    According to the article, Arctic ice loss was at its highest level in 2007.

    Which is another way of saying that Arctic ice levels have been <i>increasing</i> since 2007.

    Now we find that Northern Hemisphere winters have been becoming more severe during that same period but somehow we manage to conclude that the severe winters we see now are due to low Arctic ice levels 5 years ago?

    Would it not be better to assume that the same thing that is currently increasing the Arctic ice levels is also responsible for the increasing severity of winters?

    Or, to put it simply for the window lickers in the back row, <b>It is currently getting colder in the Northern hemisphere which causes Arctic ice to grow and winters to be more severe</b>

    1. Kanhef
      Boffin

      Re: What Am I Missing?

      The article states that Arctic sea ice reached a minimum in 2007; this does not say anything about what has happened since then other than that it has not gotten as low again yet. You've assumed it's been continuously increasing for the last five years, which is not the case. The years with the lowest minimum sea ice extent are, in order: 2007, 2011, 2008, 2010, 2009, 2005, 2006, 2002, 2004, 1995. While 2007 was the absolute minimum, every year since then has still been lower than the previous record (2005).

      (Data: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/archives/index.html)

    2. Tim Parker

      Re: What Am I Missing?

      Pretty much everything i'd say.... There are clues as to the analysis of cause and effect in some of the quotes from Georgia Tech et al such as

      “Our study demonstrates that the decrease in Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation,” said Judith Curry [..]. “The circulation changes result in more frequent episodes of atmospheric blocking patterns, which lead to increased cold surges and snow over large parts of the northern continents.”

      or

      "The researchers analyzed observational data collected between 1979 and 2010 and found that a decrease in autumn Arctic sea ice of 1 million square kilometers [..] corresponded to significantly above-normal winter snow cover in large parts of the northern United States, [NW] and central Europe, and northern and central China.

      The analysis revealed two major factors that could be contributing to the unusually large snowfall in recent winters [..] which are both linked to diminishing Arctic sea ice. Strong warming in the Arctic through the late summer and autumn appears to be enhancing the melting of sea ice."

      or

      “We think the recent snowy winters could be caused by the retreating Arctic ice altering atmospheric circulation patterns by weakening westerly winds, increasing the amplitude of the jet stream and increasing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere,” explained Jiping Liu [..] “These pattern changes enhance blocking patterns that favor more frequent movement of cold air masses to middle and lower latitudes, leading to increased heavy snowfall in Europe and [..] the United States.”

      or

      "The simulations showed that diminishing Arctic sea ice induced a significant surface warming in the Arctic Ocean and Greenland/northeastern Canada, and cooling over northern North America, Europe, Siberia and eastern Asia. The models also showed above-normal winter snowfall in large parts of the northern United States, central Europe, and [N] and central China."

    3. Tads

      Q: What Am I Missing? A: A brain apparently

      "According to the article, Arctic ice loss was at its highest level in 2007.

      Which is another way of saying that Arctic ice levels have been <i>increasing</i> since 2007."

      No. For starters, the amount of loss has to depend on how much there is to lose - how much ice was lain down in winter. Less ice created in winter due to warming leaves less ice to melt. Overall the amount of sea ice has been in steady decline summer or winter. It's only the rate of loss that changes, not the loss overall.

    4. tgm
      Thumb Down

      Re: What Am I Missing?

      "Which is another way of saying that Arctic ice levels have been <i>increasing</i> since 2007."

      Err, no.

      If I place three bets and I lose on all of them, if the first loss was the biggest, it doesn't mean the rest of my losses since then are somehow magically turned into winnings, does it?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. csmac3144
    Facepalm

    Let's just keep making shit up after the fact to explain anything that doesn't fit our "theory".

    Ain't "science" grand?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For the record you're only allowed to finger quotes "science" and "theory" when referring specifically to Creationism , as there is very little of either in it.

    2. dkjd

      that is scientific theory

      You have just described almost exactly how science works, as opposed to un-science which is "just keep googling shit until we find stuff on the internet that fits your preconceived world-view"

      1. Adam Nealis

        Re: that is scientific theory

        Ah, the Andrew Orlowski approach.

        1. Steve Crook

          Re: Re: that is scientific theory

          There appears to be an assumption that the decreasing ice cover in the Arctic is all the result of the warming that has occurred, and not at least in part due to natural variation.. Historical records from ship voyages would indicate that there have been periods where summer Arctic ice cover has been at least as low as it is currently.

          For the last decade or more we've been told that cold winters were a thing of the past. But now we're told they're a consequence of warming. Well, if the predictions of the consequences of warming are *this* good, how can we rely on anything else we're told about what might happen as temperatures rise.

          Remember, the basic physics says that without feedback effects, a doubling of CO2 should give ~1c rise in global temperature. The rest of the IPCC predicted rise is FEEDBACK. We are a some way from being able to *accurately* estimate the actual rise in global temps we'll see from a doubling of CO2, and even further away from providing predictions of what that means in terms of the weather we'll get.

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. cybervigilante

      Re: Oh dear.

      It's too complex an idea to present to the hateradio crew, but global warming can cause temporary cooling in different areas. When you pump more energy into a chaotic system, as in global warming, you get more Extremes, which includes extreme cold, snow, and storms. That doesn't mean it's getting colder all over. Just that you tend to notice extremes a lot more. It's also a matter of PR. If the cold takes place in the civilized West we hear a lot about it. It if gets extremely hot in some godforsaken third world area, we don't. They could be dying like flies of 140 degree weather in some part of Africa and all we'd hear about is a cold winter in Massachussetts.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        @cybervigilante

        "If the cold takes place in the civilized West we hear a lot about it. It if gets extremely hot in some godforsaken third world area, we don't. They could be dying like flies of 140 degree weather in some part of Africa and all we'd hear about is a cold winter in Massachussetts."

        You might also go with snow in Algiers and Kabal.

        While Afghanistan is noted for its wide temperature ranges this is a bit less common in the capital of Algeria.

    2. Dave Rickmers
      Linux

      Re: Oh dear.

      The Paradox is that Global Warming makes it colder some places. Carry on.

      1. Tads

        Re: Re: Oh dear.

        It's not a paradox, that word has only been used because the author of the Reg article is easily confused. Overall the planet warms. That leads to ice melting where ice is, and those cold flows disrupt the weather in geographically proximate locations (like the USA and Europe) causing extreme winters. Not rocket science kids. In fact it sounds suspiciously like logic.

    3. Steve Crook
      WTF?

      Re: Oh dear.

      If you're going to claim that Curry is a denier, then I think you really ought to get up off your arse and show one thing she's posted that shows her denying that climate change/global warming is happening. Or provide a clear definition of what you actually mean by denier...

    4. Muncher23
      FAIL

      Re: Oh dear.

      Quick tell the IPCC Curry has been an editor on the last couple of assessment reprots and is a reviewer on the upcoming one

  9. Arctic fox
    Happy

    Well that seems all a little strange.

    Didn't we read recently reports claiming that the Arctic ice is not vanishing as fast as had been alleged? Or am I simply confused by all the conflicting reports/arguments? On a personal note I live in a town well north of the Arctic circle on a island just off the Norwegian mainland well known for being the nation's largest "snow hole" (to translate the local nickname literally) and I cannot say that we have noticed any increase over the last decade and a half or so (though God knows we get enough anyway - perhaps its about time the rest of you guys had your share :-P).

    1. EWI

      Re: Well that seems all a little strange.

      "Didn't we read recently reports claiming that the Arctic ice is not vanishing as fast as had been alleged? Or am I simply confused by all the conflicting reports/arguments?"

      I think you're referring to this:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/antarctica-gaining-ice.htm

  10. Kanhef
    Headmaster

    Pedantry

    "The moisture lost to the Arctic in the form of melting sea ice has to end up somewhere" - that would be the Arctic Ocean. More exposed ocean water does mean more evaporation and eventually precipitation, but there isn't necessarily any relationship between the quantity of sea ice lost and the increased quantity of precipitation.

    1. Richard Andrew Jefferies

      Re: Pedantry

      It is not just the quantities and balance if evaporation and perceiptitation but also the changes in temperature gradients in different seasons. If the Artic ice melts due to an increase in mean temperature in the region then both ocean currents, likew the Gulf Stream and major air currents, like the jet streams, may change in both velocity and direction. Hence areas such as the UK and north west Eurpoe will find that an increase in global mean temperature can easily result in a decrease in local mean winter temperature. No paradox, no inconsistency, just the application of knowledge and current scientific models.

  11. cybervigilante

    another topic for hateradio

    Oh well, something more for corporate-paid Hateradio blatherers and the climate-denier morons who repeat its memes, to jump on. Science is now determined not by truth or experiment, but by politics

  12. cybervigilante

    everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it

    While everyone is arguing about global warming - largely for political, nonscientific reasons, nothing is done. I have a feeling our descendants will be cursing us, saying "Those a**holes!"

    1. CD001

      Don't breed then - no descendants to be cursing you then ;)

    2. Scott 1

      Re: another topic for hateradio

      "Science is now determined not by truth or experiment, but by politics"

      Funny, that's what the right has been saying for at least the past two decades...

  13. Old Tom
    WTF?

    Snowy winters?

    We had much more snow than this when I was a boy.

    1. AceRimmer
      Big Brother

      Re: Snowy winters?

      Please report to room 101 for re-education

    2. Fading Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Snowy winters?

      You were shorter then.

    3. Quantum Leaper

      Re: Snowy winters?

      I agree but now we get large snow falls and then it melts in a week or two. When I was a kid, the snow wouldn't melt until spring. So we had more snow on the ground but less snow fall over all. Last year my city was shut down because of a blizzard which hasn't happened since 1979, which was more about blowing snow, than snow fall like last year.

  14. Barely registers
    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" ?

    1. Tim Parker

      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.

      1. Barely registers
        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)?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Ian Stephenson Silver badge
      Flame

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

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

      * With apologies to Joss Wheedon.

  16. Mat
    FAIL

    Correlation

    Oh - Correlation has now become causation....

    Bad science!

    1. Tim Parker

      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....

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    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?

    1. boltar Silver badge

      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...

      1. David Gale

        Re: Re: This just leaves one small question.

        Errr... Antarctic ice is increasing.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          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.

          1. David Gale

            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/

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. David Gale

            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/

          4. David Gale

            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

  18. Bronek Kozicki Silver 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!

    1. Richard Andrew Jefferies

      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.

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      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,

    3. PyLETS
      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.

  19. Tads

    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.

    1. NomNomNom

      it was a very cold winter though

      should that be possible under global warming?

      1. NomNomNom
        Trollface

        sorry i forgot the icon

  20. Pat 4

    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?

    1. Tim Parker

      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.

    2. Tads

      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

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. Pat 4

        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.

        1. NomNomNom

          Re: Re: Re: Out of date and wrong

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

  21. ratfox Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Correlation... over four years!?

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

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Do you remember those two terrible Winters we had?

    Mike and Bernie.

    [nicked from Frank Carson. RIP]

    1. Stevie Silver badge

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

      It was the way he told 'em.

  23. Stevie Silver badge

    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!

  24. John A Blackley

    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.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  26. Werner McGoole

    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.

    1. Tads

      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.

  27. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    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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