What’s Driving the Polar Vortex?

Pic: Etamme (CC)

Pic: Etamme (CC)

Robert Hunziker writes at CounterPunch:

Climate change is not hot weather, and it is not cold weather. Those conditions have been around for eons.

Climate change is extreme anomalous weather conditions, like 100-year floods every few years rather than once every 100 years, e.g., Eastern Europe in 2013, or torrential downpours equivalent to annual rainfall levels but within one week, like Colorado in 2013, or embedded droughts that last for months, like Russia in 2010 when grain exports were halted, or subzero temperatures throughout North America in January 2014 because of anomalous jet streams, i.e. climate change conditions.

All of these extreme weather conditions that in years past happened on the odd occasion are now happening with increasing frequency, ferocity, and longevity.  These conditions are becoming the norm and turn nasty by embedding for long duration because of climate change conditions.

As such, the saying “a 100-year flood” has become passé.

Severe anomalous weather occurrences can be, and are, measured by scientists. Thus, one can measure and know for certain whether climate change or regular ole weather patterns are happening. Here are some examples of climate change.

Droughts are a normal, recurring feature of the climate throughout the world. However, the normal, recurring feature, as of the past few decades, is turning quite abnormal or anomalous. To wit: According to Aiguo Dai, et al, Global Dataset of Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1870-2002: Relationship with Soil Moisture and Effects of Surface Warming, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, 2004: “The global very dry areas… have more than doubled since the 1970s, with a large jump in the early 1980s… with surface warming as the primary cause after the mid-1980s. These results provide observational evidence for the increasing risk of droughts as anthropogenic global warming progresses and produces both increased temperatures and increased drying.”

As well, the World Meteorological Organization claims the planet experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes in the ten years from 2001 to 2010, the warmest decade since the start of modern measurements in 1850, The Global Climate 2001-2010: A Decade of Climate Extremes – Summary Report, World Meteorological Organization, published by WMO, 2013.

The warmest year ever recorded was 2010.

According to Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General: “A decade is the minimum possible timeframe for meaningful assessments of climate change.”

Furthermore, the WMO report shows that global warming accelerated in the four decades of 1971 to 2010 and the decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Global warming causes climate change, which, as the result of disruption of the jet streams above Alaska, in turn, causes bitter cold to hit the U.S.

The Year 2013 was all about Climate Change

Last year (2013) was all about anomalous weather as a result of climate change. Here are a few examples as explained in A Year’s Wild Weather – in two Minutes, BBC News, January 8, 2014:

  • Australia- hottest summer on record books
  • UK’s coldest spring in 50 years.
  • A 17-mile wide tornado hit Oklahoma
  • Canadian flooding – costliest in history
  • India had worst monsoon in 80 years
  • UK longest heat wave in 7 years

That is climate change.

Read more here.

, , , , ,

  • doodahman

    Whoah. What nonsense. Even the most politically committed alarmists at the IPCC find LOW CONFIDENCE that there is any link between extreme weather conditions and “global warming” (which has essentially paused for 17 years). If monetary damages have increased, it’s because we’ve over built more and more expensively on marginal lands (often due to the recent availability of taxpayer subsidized insurance). Cherry picking alarmist conclusions and referencing extreme weather events in isolation does nothing to present a clear picture on CLIMATE vs. WEATHER. This is insultingly inept analysis.

    • Calypso_1

      Bullshit.
      Extreme weather events have always been an outcome of models. Can you directly coorelate single events or small clusters- only w/ ‘low confidence’ that is how any probability works. Of course sample size over variable is a factor & no researcher claims otherwise. But the way things are trending have been predicted. Rossby Waves and Artic enhancement have been part of climate change models for a long time.

    • Heath

      “OBAMA! “

    • godozo

      Don’t confuse 1999 temperatures as the norm, they were the deviation. Remove that year, and you have a steady rise until 2010 – about the time China’s coal habit overcame its carbon footprint, IMHO.

    • Reasor

      Repeating the “global warming pause” meme as if it were true is as succinct a way as any of disclosing that you have no idea how to trace reporting back to its source.

  • BuzzCoastin

    the last 500k of climate change visualized

    • Juan

      That graphic is not at all clear and nearly impossible to read.

      • BuzzCoastin

        oh well
        all the ice core data shows the same thing
        100k of very cold
        punctuated by brief periods of warm
        which reach above our present global temperatures
        then plunges into another 100k of cold

        • godozo

          While I agree with the graph (with its time range and its implication that we SHOULD be entering an ice age right now), I’m not sure how that applies to the last 100 years or so. Deviation due to industrially-burnt CO2, last hurrah before the final temperature plunge, or just static?

          • LunaS34

            Because…(bah-bum-bum-baah! Welcome to my grand, utterly un-scientific, “channeled” theory)…

            Humans are part of the eco-system just like everything else and we keep “fucking things up” (arguably, it’s all part of the design that we continue to make this mistake) and sending the earth into another Ice Age and re-starting civilization whenever we’re damn-near over-populating…it’s a very neat system, really.

            No proof whatsoever. It just makes me feel better.

            (p.s. Keep recycling.)

          • Calypso_1

            Anecdotal ecological correlation:
            The Southeast has recently been plagued by the invasive stinky-flesheating Kudzu bug which some moron thought would help control the invasive plant.
            The only thing to save next years government subsidized cotton crop?
            Thank you Polar Vortex.

          • Rhoid Rager

            I get it. The final effect of the now-defunct(?) HAARP was to push a polar air mass south this winter by stimulating electromagnetic polar storms in the artic, so the textile industrial complex lobby in DC could be placated. It is an election year after all.

          • Calypso_1

            Now you are beginning to see the big picture. Like just after the 2011 mega tornado complex destroyed a certain states poultry industry and they then passed the strictest ‘self-deportation’ laws in the country. The chicken-immigration complex has it’s hands all up in this shit too.

          • BuzzCoastin

            the climate is always changing
            a volcano in the 15thish century
            jumpstarted a mini ice age
            wee have made a contribution
            but we’re
            not as important as wee think

          • Andrew

            My opinion is that deforestation is a bigger cause than air pollution.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I feel pretty confident that if I said the same thing, I would get 5 downvotes.

  • echar

    I read recently that there is only one scientist that is against man made climate change that has released peer reviewed papers. Maybe two if you count the one whose his name shared in a recent post. That’s maybe two, unless it’s the same scientist. I don’t know, I didn’t click the link.

    • Kevin Leonard

      That says more about what studies are getting published in journals, and by extenstion, which scientific endeavors are getting funded, more than anything else.

      • echar

        That’s one way to be in denial of facts.

        • Kevin Leonard

          You may search for a document online titled, “Federal Climate Change Funding from FY2008 to FY2014″ which contains the following statement, “The new Climate Action Plan and a recent OMB report required by Congress on federal funding for climate change activities outline four main components of the strategy: • Climate and Global Change Research and Education • Reducing Emissions through Clean Energy Investments and Standards • International Leadership • Climate Change Adaptation”

          Nowhere does it indicate that money is being granted to study causes.

        • Kevin Leonard

          I’ll go ahead and drop this one again, which is a peer-reviewed study indicating what scientists really think.

          Paper titled “Science or Science Fiction? Professionals’ Discursive Construction of Climate Change” available online.

          Here’s a summary of the conclusions:
          36% “express the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause”

          24% “believe that changes to the climate are natural, normal cycles of the Earth”

          10% “underscore that the ‘real’ cause of climate change is unknown as nature is forever changing and uncontrollable”

          17% “diagnose climate change as both human- and naturally caused. ‘Fatalists’ consider climate change to be a smaller public risk with little impact on their personal life. They are sceptical that the scientific debate is settled regarding the IPCC modeling”

          Clearly I am in denial of facts.

          • ÿ

            “Fact” is sometimes a matter of perspective.

            And sometimes not.

            Global weather patterns are becoming increasingly unstable and destructive. Ocean pH levels are becoming increasingly hostile to life as it exists presently. Humans are polluting and destroying every corner of the biosphere. Humans are hunting and fishing wildlife to extinction. Humans are spreading invasive species to every environment. All facts, regardless of perspective.

            How you choose to read these facts, of course, remains up to the reader.

          • Kevin Leonard

            Where did you study English?

          • ÿ

            England.

          • Kevin Leonard

            I just looked in the Oxford UK dictionary. Nope. Didn’t see anything about a fact being a matter of perspective.

            The point of the rest of your post was?

          • ÿ

            Keep looking. I suggest reading it cover to cover, then reporting back.

            It’s for science.

          • Kevin Leonard

            It reads to me like an uninformed hasty generalization of my character and position on the environment.

            Was I close?

          • ÿ

            I didn’t fall out of the tree yesterday. So, no, not really.

            Please keep trying, though! :D

          • Kevin Leonard

            Projection, then!
            or please provide clarification and evidence to the contrary.

          • ÿ

            Do you know how to step outside, away from your computer? Try that.

          • ÿ

            Or, google works if you can’t break away…

          • Kevin Leonard

            It is you, ampersandhastagtwofiftyfive, who is making shit up in your head.

          • ÿ

            You forgot the semi-colon, bitch!

          • echar

            Do I have to sit between you two?

  • Rhoid Rager

    What’s really worth paying attention to is not climate change, but the resources you use to warm yourself. If you can’t cut, split and stack them, yourself, you’re vulnerable.

    • echar

      Wood heats you twice.

      • Rhoid Rager

        So said Thoreau, was it?

        • echar

          I am not sure, a woman I worked with once explained it to me.

          I found this just now after doing a search.

          Chop your own firewood and it will warm you twice.

          – African Proverb
          http://www.woodheat.org/view-quotes.html

      • Calypso_1

        …daily caloric intake for a lumberjack: 8-10,000 cal.

21