Dr. Ryan N. Maue
Watts Up With That? 
Feb 2, 2011
Time to build another igloo , this time in Oklahoma: Al Gore finally responds to a question about global warming fueled snowstorms, and who does he cite? Clarence Page at the Chicago Tribune, not a climate scientist but someone self-described as having a scientific education commensurate with the old “Watch Mr. Wizard” TV show and a subscription to “Popular Mechanics”. This is lame to say the least. The link on Gore’s blog goes back to a Clarence Page article  from February 14, 2010, on the heels of the two major snowstorms:
“A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.“
Compare with this with Dr. Michio Kaku’s explanation  from last week:
“…Of course, this means only that global warming is consistent with the monster storms hitting the Northeast, not that it is the only definitive factor.”
And as the Earth continues to heat, it means that there will be more moisture in the air to possibly drive more monster storms and hurricanes, simultaneously with droughts and hot spells. So we might expect more unusual, bizarre weather patterns in the future.”
Neither Clarence Page of Dr. Kaku cite a peer-reviewed paper that definitively shows a link between the posited increasing blizzard frequency or intensity due to human-caused global warming, but resort to a hand-wavy, thought-experiment that uses the phrase “completely consistent with” and “all sorts of havoc” causing warmcold and drywet. Why doesn’t Al Gore cite the vast body of scientific research over the past 20-years that has been warning of that global warming “could” make snowstorms more severe — specific scientific papers that have directly attributed the recent snowfall changes to AGW — not El Nino or La Nina or the PDO or the rest of the alphabet soup of climate oscillations?
Instead, you cut and paste from a liberal columnist and talk show pundit. For some reason, I doubt Bill O’Reilly is going to fall for that one. This is called “spinning” or a “snow-job”.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Just an open question to those that have a scientific IQ much higher than Al Gore and Clarence Page: are we even sure of the sign of the change in extratropical cyclone (including blizzards and other midlatitude storms) frequency or intensity? How many decades will it be before we can detect these changes and over what geographical area?
During Northern Hemisphere winter, the planet Earth is climatologically as cold as it gets in January and February due to the preponderance of land versus ocean coverage. The average global near-surface air temperature during the past 30-years on February 1st is 13C, compared to well over 16C during July and August. When averaged out during the entire annual cycle or calendar year, the temperature is about 14.4-14.6C depending on who you ask. The largest changes in winter temperatures have been with warmer night-time lows, for whatever reason.
When the air is super cold like in Havre Montana last night (-42F), it carries next to no water vapor. That’s the air mass that will follow behind the current blizzard — underneath a 1050 mb Arctic high pressure — which is causing the strong winds due to the pressure gradient with the storm. Ahead of the storm and the warm front, temperatures are in the 50s and 60s from Louisiana to Virginia and the Carolinas, which isn’t destroying any record highs . This blizzard could have a helluva lot worse in terms of atmospheric dynamics — and moisture since the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Pacific sea-surface temperatures (the source region for this so-called global warming moisture), are of course anomalously cold due to La Nina…
But just wait for next week as the entire Northern Hemisphere sinks further into the deep-freeze …