Climate kerfluffle over global warming and the eastern severe winter

Most of us can easily understand the reasoning behind the bounty of media stories and pronouncements by some scientists/White House ones even,  describing how global warming has led to such severe winters over the past few years on various continents. It makes perfect sense that as it gets warmer, winters will be colder, more severe in some regions, while other areas, like the SW this year get a global warming face plant.

Furthermore, extreme regional temperature extremes like the ones we have seen in the US this winter have NEVER happened before since 1976-77, and, oh yeah, 1962-63…oops, I guess 1983 had a bad winter back East, too.  OK, maybe “NEVER” is too strong… Tree rings have some bad stuff in them, too, before the historical records begin.  Lets just say that the  “NEVER” above refers to the last 12 months maybe.

Well, as I posted last time, Mike et al (his friends) posted a letter to the uppity journal, Science, saying that attributing these kinds of extremes to global warming was based on evidence that was “not compelling” (i. e, in normal speak, BS, or likely BS1.)

But that’s not the way the Press is treating these claims.

Mike is kind of a complainer, well, actually, I never actually heard him complain about anything, professionally or otherwise whilst at the University of Washington, but anyway, continuing, he sent  to our weather e-mail list at that institution kind of a complaint.  He observed that his comment in Science questioning the evidence presented in support of the claim that global warming is causing the severe winter in the East, was not getting much play in the Press while the proponents of a not-a-compelling-theory were getting a lot.

Here’s what Mike sent out to us, FYI:

Here’s a new posting on Andy Revkin’s dot. earth following up on our letter that appeared in Science last Friday.  The clarification at the end of our posting is in response to statements in postings of Jennifer Francis and Charles Greene on, alleging that we had misrepresented the Francis and Vavrus article in our Science letter.

There’s an article about Jennifer Francis’ work on the NPR blog 2/16.

She appeared on CBS yesterday and her work was featured on the BBC News web site

In contrast, the press has shown very little interest in our Science letter. In a quick look on Google just now I found only one blog (besides Cliff’s and Judy Curry’s) that refers to it.

Kevin Trenberth and Jennifer Francis were interviewed yesterday on Chris Mooney’s program, which will be aired this Friday.

I will keep you posted.


The link leads to Wikipedia and other links there; Mike has gotten NUMEROUS awards for his work; none of those are from oil companies, at least that I know of.)

I emphasized “Mike’s” observation (not his real first name, BTW) about one-sided media coverage by using a larger and red font because, you see, Mike came down in yesterday’s rain.

By that I mean, he is an idealist, one that sincerely believes that the Press will cover a story evenly and will give both sides a fair hearing in the debate about global warming/climate change.  Mike, BTW,  is FULLY on board the global warming band wagon, as are his pals; they just wanted to point out that some claims are not well supported and are going too far; that’s all.

But we streetwise folk remember the words of Seattle’s Queensryche, 1989:

“I used to trust the media to tell me the truth, tell us the truth!  Revolution calling, revolution calling!2

Balanced media coverage on climate?  Telling the public in large fonts about the “puzzling hiatus” in global warming over the past 15 years or so, as it was termed in Science recently?

Not gonna happen in these polarized days of the shifting polar vortex, as the latter has always done from time to time.

Let’s look ahead in weather to see if any other extreme weather news sits before us in the models.  Then  imagine how it might be covered by the media.

Below, from our best model, and from late yesterday’s global data, something awesome has shown up and its been showing up for a few model runs of late, giving it enhanced credibility:

A GIGANTIC and terribly severe mass of cold air is foretold to extrude into most of the US from the Arctic in about 8-10 days. NOAA spaghetti plots VERY supportive of this very bad cold wave).  Below, the awesome and annotated in excitment sea level map from NOAA WRF-GFS based on the global data crunch at 5 PM AST yesterday:

Valid at 5 PM AST, February 28th.
Valid at 5 PM AST, February 28th, only nine days away!  Arizona still toasty. Word deliberately misspelled here to see if you’re paying attention, one of the many innovations here at cloud-maven.


So, how will another astounding round of cold air be treated by the media, and certain incautious scientists? Let us imagine newspaper headlines on March 1st, 2014:

“Globally-warmed polar vortex squeezed out of Arctic again onto International Falls, MN!

“Numerous low temperature records set yet again against the backdrop of a warming world!”

Later in the stories we might read:

“Demographic experts warn that If the earth warms anymore, and winters continue to be more and more severe in the US, illegal migration will be INTO Mexico, not out of it.”


“Citrus growers to move crops to southern Mexico and central America to escape the warmer world of more severe winters.”

———————–End of imagination module—————

What in the cards for Catalina weather in early March?

Still looks pretty good, better than 50-50 IMO,  for measurable rain here in Catalina during the first week in March.  See below:

Valid at 5 PM AST March 1st.  Green areas denote regions where the model thinks it has rained during the prior 12 h.  Cold wave in progress in eastern half of US.
Valid at 5 PM AST March 1st. Green areas denote regions where the model thinks it has rained during the prior 12 h. Really bad cold wave in progress in eastern half of US.  Will Lake Superior ice over?


The End.


1Shouldn’t be taken as fact, just an assertion at this time, a hypothesis waiting for confirmation.

2From the concept album about drug mind control, “Operation: Mindcrime”, released in 1989 when the writer was quite the lefty.   But then I heard that NPR interview with David Horowitz and Peter Collier, former editors of the rad lib Ramparts Mag in the 1960s and 70s and how they had come around over about a ten year period to be able to vote for Ronnie Reagan and I went, “Huh?”  “How is that possible?”  It would be like Bob Dylan singing songs about being “saved”  in the Christian sense.  Not even imaginable.