Climate Misinformation and Contradictions Continue

Commentary, Climate, Frontier Centre


Extreme cold weather across the Northern Hemisphere drew attention away from the leaked files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) that showed how the entire work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was falsified. The cold simply isn’t supposed to happen. As Kevin Trenberth of the CRU gang said on 12 October 2009, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” It’s true only because they can’t hide the reality.

The cold triggered questions, cartoons and jokes about global warming. It also forced more denial. Those who claim the cold weather alters nothing provided the real laugh. Most ridiculous of these came from the United Kingdom Meteorological Office (UKMO). They were involved in the skullduggery at the CRU through the Hadley Centre.  UKMO is a major promoter of the IPCC and their former Director Sir John Houghton left to become a prime mover in the early formation of the IPCC.

UKMO is among the most useless weather bureaus in the world because of totally failed forecasts and blind adherence to false science. This was supposed to be a mild winter. Last summer was supposed to be a “barbecue summer”, and in the previous summer they were equally 100% wrong. 

Now they lecture us on the meaning of current conditions. “The UK Met Office climate change bureau has issued a stinging attack on the idea that recent falls in global temperature might mean that global warming is over or has been exaggerated.”

This parallels in stupidity the claim that the leaked emails of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU alter nothing. The statement shows how ignorant of weather and climate the UKMO people are and why they consistently fail.

Climate Change is Happening But Not What they Predicted.

Now the pattern of weather is changing and warmer conditions will replace the cold even possibly with some records. The clowns will appear and the mainstream media, which ignored Climategate and downplayed the cold weather, will scream again. 

A brief explanation helps understand what caused the cold and why the patterns change. Figure 1 shows a simple schematic of the major air divisions for the Northern Hemisphere.  It shows a dome of cold air over the North Pole. There is a similar dome over the South Pole with warm air in between.

Figure 1: A simple diagram of the major air masses of the atmosphere; Northern Hemisphere. Source: Briggson, Smith and Ball.

Under the dome there is negative energy balance because more energy leaves than enters making it an energy deficit region. This means temperatures are usually below freezing. Outside the dome more energy enters than leaves so there is an energy surplus and temperatures are above freezing. Where the two air masses meet is generally called the Polar Front. Temperature difference across the Front is significant and noticeable on a temperature map. Because of the temperature difference there is a pressure difference, which is most dramatic in the upper atmosphere. Pressure differences create winds so the strongest winds in the atmosphere occur above the surface and are identified as the Jet Stream in Figure 1. Technically it is called the Circumpolar Vortex. It is along the Polar Front, but because the Front is a slope they are not coincident when looked on from space.

In the Northern Hemisphere winter the dome expands as less energy from the sun enters but energy continues to leave. The Front moves toward the equator with the average winter position at approximately 38°N. In the summer the dome shrinks and the Front migrates away from the equator to an average summer position of about 65°N.  These are average positions and are affected by the difference of heating and cooling between land and water. This means the Front is further toward the equator over the land in winter and further away over the water in summer (Figure 2).


Figure 2: The effects of land/water on the average position of the Polar Front.

Because of deficit energy there are below freezing temperatures inside the dome and precipitation falls as snow. As a result the movement of the Front determines the snow cover area year round.

Another important feature in the Front and the Jet Stream are the development of large waves (Rossby Waves). These take two basic forms Zonal and Meridional as shown in Figure 3. 

Figure 3: Wave forms in the Circumpolar Vortex.


Movements of cold air masses exaggerate the meridional wave pattern, as the cold air is denser and heavier and pushes the warm air aside. The most dramatic of these were called continental Arctic (cA) but some now call them Mobile Polar Highs (MPH). They form when air sits over a very cold surface but move with the general circulation of the Circumpolar Vortex.

Increased Variability But A Net Cooling.

Because the world is cooling due to changes in the sun the dome is larger and the mean winter position of the Polar Front is closer to the equator and the cold air masses are more intense. This combination increases the amplitude of the Waves so we saw the cold pushing down into Florida.  It also means the severe storms that track along the Polar Front migrate much further south bringing snow to Texas and the Carolinas. The warm air it is pushing holds more moisture therefore record snowfall results. 

Two other consequences follow. The waves tend to slow down in their west to east movement so the cold remains around longer than normal – a process weather people call blocking. If you have cold air pushing toward the equator then you will have a compensation of warm air pushing further north elsewhere.

Over the next week or so we will see the cold air move east over the Atlantic and much warmer air will push in from the west even challenging some records. This will cause alarmists and numbskulls like the UKMO to claim warming has returned.