Monday, February 4, 2019

A Climate Scientist Tries to Explain How the Recent Arctic Cold Across Much of the US is About Global Warming

By Robert Wenzel

Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center and a visiting professor in the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University. is out with an essay trying to pin the recent arctic blast on global warming.

It should be noted that according to Capital Research, Woods Hole "regularly circulates alarmist statements, op-eds and open letters."

John Holdren, who served as the senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology and was the director of Woods Hole, has even co-authored a textbook and several alarmist papers with Paul Ehrlich.

Yes, the Paul Ehrlich who became well known for his nutty 1968 book The Population Bomb, which argued that the size of the world's human population back then was about to cause mass starvation.

From the book:
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. The famines of the 1970s are upon us- and hundreds of millions of more people are going to starve to death before this decade is out. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate, although many lives could be saved through dramatic crash programs to 'stretch' the carrying capacity of the earth by increasing food production. But these programs will only provide a stay of execution unless they are accompanied by determining successful efforts at population control. Population control is conscious regulation of number human beings to meet the needs, not just of individual families. but society as a whole.
When Ehrlich's book was published in 1971, the world population was 3.76 billion. At present. it is over 7.5 billion.

So with Francis associated with WHRC, it is not surprising that she writes from the perspective that manmade global warming is settled science. She writes: "Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have warmed the globe by about 1.8°F (1°C) over the past 50 years."

But let's get to the facts of the recent cold spell and the science as presented by Francis, without getting into whether there is manmade global warming going on:
This cold is nothing to sneeze at. The National Weather Service is warning of brutal, life-threatening conditions. Frostbite will strike fast on any exposed skin...At the same time, the North Pole is facing a heat wave with temperatures approaching the freezing point – about 25°F (14°C) above normal.

What is causing this topsy-turvy pattern? You guessed it: the polar vortex...Way above the jet stream, around 30 miles (48 kilometres) above the Earth, is the stratospheric polar vortex. This river of wind also rings the North Pole, but only forms during winter, and is usually fairly circular...

Amplified Arctic warming is due mainly to dramatic melting of ice and snow in recent decades, which exposes darker ocean and land surfaces that absorb a lot more of the sun's heat.

Because of rapid Arctic warming, the north/south temperature difference has diminished. This reduces pressure differences between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, weakening jet stream winds. And just as slow-moving rivers typically take a winding route, a slower-flowing jet stream tends to meander.

Large north/south undulations in the jet stream generate wave energy in the atmosphere. If they are wavy and persistent enough, the energy can travel upward and disrupt the stratospheric polar vortex.

Sometimes this upper vortex becomes so distorted that it splits into two or more swirling eddies.

These "daughter" vortices tend to wander southward, bringing their very cold air with them and leaving behind a warmer-than-normal Arctic. One of these eddies will sit over North America this week, delivering bone-chilling temperatures to much of the nation.
But then just like a surprise polar eddie making its way south, Francis, in paragraph 20(!) of her article, throws seriously cold air on her theme that global warming caused this cold weather. You see, these downdrafts occur naturally (that is they are a part of climate that occurs even without manmade global warming). She knows it and admits it and thus her only link to this cold freeze being caused by manmade global warming is that they, might, maybe, who knows, occur more often in the future (my bold):
Splits in the stratospheric polar vortex do happen naturally, but should we expect to see them more often thanks to climate change and rapid Arctic warming? It is possible that these cold intrusions could become a more regular winter story.
This is a hot research topic and is by no means settled...
So what she seems to be saying in an article titled, "Here's The Real Connection Between The Brutal Polar Vortex And Global Warming," is that this single polar eddie visit might mean nothing and have no connection to global warming. They occur occasionally anyway.

Robert Wenzel is Editor & Publisher of


  1. This weather pattern has been around since at least I started paying attention to the weather as a child. It hasn't changed. The alarmism behind it has. I remember when it was global cooling that was the cause. The big news of Chicago's record cold being challenged I was meh to. Why? I lived through that back in the early 80s. So it will be a little colder and last not nearly as long. Whatever. Just another Chicago winter.

    This is a priest class we are hearing from and their explanations are no better than those of thousands of years ago and for the same purpose.

  2. The Google ad on this page while I was reading it was an ad from Columbia University Earth Institite saying I can earn a 12 month Master of Arts degree in "Climate and Society".

  3. I remember in the early 80's that South Texas was under a cold spell by our standards of daily temps into only the mid teens for a week in late December. The shallower bays had ice in them and caused a fish kill The summers were hot where temps lasted into the late 90's into a summer evening. Yet, no one told us we needed to pay $10 a gallon for gasoline to alleviate this alleged problem.

    For those who believe in the AGW nonsense, I always wonder what size home they live in and how much their carbon footprint is to those they want to scold.

  4. The current solar minimum and migration of of the polar caps has anything to do with this inconvenient vortex truth

  5. Many livelihoods depend on man made global warming being true ... even if it's not.

  6. "Because of rapid Arctic warming, the north/south temperature difference has diminished. " But this will mean fewer and less severe hurricanes. And milder weather overall. Even if what she says is true, there are trade offs that we would likely welcome.

  7. check out :This year NASA has measured46 days (74% ) without solar sunspot activity. February was entirely w/o sunspot activity.

    “We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

    The atmosphere is getting colder. The earth is getting colder. Spring may be delayed this year.