Coldest winter in a decade coming?

posted at 12:55 pm on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The East Coast should brace for its coldest winter in a decade, and oil commodities traders for sharply higher prices, says a forecaster who serves the commodity markets.  This comes as two people on the East Coast introduce a bill designed to combat global warming by imposing emissions controls on the energy industry — which will also make prices go higher, but for much longer and much less reason:

The U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade because of a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group.

“Weak El Ninos are notorious for cold and snowy weather on the Eastern seaboard,” Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview from Washington. “About 70 percent to 75 percent of the time a weak El Nino will deliver the goods in terms of above-normal heating demand and cold weather. It’s pretty good odds.”

As a result, the oil traders have stockpiled heating oil to levels not seen in 27 years.  Even with the huge inventory, prices have still risen, and hedge funds have kept betting on long positions for oil.  They’re expecting a long, cold winter with plenty of demand for heating oil.

On the other hand, we have noted meteorologists John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, insisting that the world is growing warmer:

Ending some nine months of closed-door deliberations, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) will release global warming legislation Wednesday that they hope will be the vehicle for broader Senate negotiations and an eventual conference with the House.

The bill’s authors said last week that they expect to start hearings early next month on the bill, with a markup in Boxer’s Environment and Public Works Committee to follow soon thereafter. They also acknowledged that their legislation is just a “starting point” in a bid to win over moderate and conservative Democrats, as well as Republicans. …

Kerry last week sought to change the vernacular surrounding the climate bill and sell its concepts more broadly, insisting it is not a “cap and trade” proposal but a “pollution reduction” bill. “I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means. I don’t think the average American does,” Kerry said. “This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it’s a pollution reduction bill” (E&E Daily, Sept. 25).

But a leading GOP opponent to the Senate climate effort quickly pushed back on the Democrat’s strategy.

“No matter the semantic games employed, or the extent to which Democrats wish to hide the truth from the American people, cap and trade will mean more job losses, more pain at the pump, and higher food and electricity prices for consumers,” said EPW Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.).”

Jules Crittenden wonders why no one will explain why the El Nino didn’t get stronger rather than weaker, considering the global-warming activists insist that we’re on an inexorable path to Saunaville:

I’m confused about this bit, though. El Nino is a periodic warming in the eastern Pacific. The article doesn’t explain why it isn’t warming as much as it usually does, which is odd. I thought everything is getting warmer. El Nino is a somewhat mysterious and poorly understood phenomenon, like much of the often subtle underpinnings of weather. In fact, the article, focused mainly on what great news a cold winter is for energy traders, doesn’t mention the bigger “warming” picture at all.

Global warming, that is, which this Nobel Laureate in Economics … speaking of poorly understood, mystery-shrouded, in fact notoriously inexact sciences … insists is beyond questioning.

Related, senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer are getting ready to lead the charge on the big climate change bill in the Senate. NYT. I take this as good news. Rank partisans in charge of a rank partisan bill, in the wake of the rankly partisan health-care debacle, should go nowhere. Correction: Inept rank partisans …

Global-warming activists insist that we can’t take an assumption from a single year.  However, if the CWS forecast turns out to be correct, we will have gone eleven years without any warming at all — eleven years in which carbon emissions did not decline in any significant manner.  How does one begin to explain that?  And how will Kerry and Boxer and the rest of their Democratic colleagues try to sell cap-and-trade as a scientific necessity while people spend a fortune heating their homes in the coldest winter in a decade?

Great timing, Senators!

Addendum: It looks like a colder and longer winter for us in Minnesota, too, and that follows the 2008-9 winter, one of the coldest and longest in the last 15 years.  The temperatures have dropped 15 degrees since last week.  We got snow in October last year, and we may see that this year again, although it will have to drop down quite a bit farther for that.  This follows a summer in which we never saw a 90-degree day.  Global warming?  Not so much in the upper Midwest.

Update: Is the “hockey stick” dead?  Using a wider collection of data seems to eliminate the warming spike shown to argue for global warming.

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Here it is fixed:

I’m coming in way late to the discussion, but this is one of my favorite subjects… and I get sooo aggravated by the Global Warming crowd. Many believe what they have been told, so not them as much. But some are lying to gain power and that really ticks me.

As has been pointed out repeatedly already… it’s the Sun! Gee, how could that happen? CO2 continues to rise (although not nearly the rate the Global Warming models claimed they would) but temperatures have been cooling for nearly 8 years now. Here is a SWEET pdf from the Science and Public Policy Institute. This is their July report and there is great stuff in here.

Also, we have a very quiet Sun at the same time that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has flipped to a cold phase. (about 3 years ago) That’s why glaciers grew in Alaska 2 Winters ago and why (I believe) that El Nino didn’t take hold this time around. When the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is in a cold phase, North America has cold Winters. Remember the 70’s? (not just the polyester suits :-)

One last ingredient on the way. The Atlantic Decadal Oscillation is fixin’ ta flip to cold phase in say 10 years or less. Pacific Decadal Oscillation in cold phase plus quiet Sun plus Atlantic Decadal Oscillation in cold phase = long range forecast of cold and getting colder. This was the gist of last years Old Farmer’s Almanac article on a possible mini ice age coming.

Buy stock in Snuggies!!!

Ordinary1 on September 29, 2009 at 8:06 PM

How much dry land ice (Antarctic-South Pole region) needs to melt to raise the ocean (2/3s of the global surface) sea level, say 6 inches ?

jerseyman on September 29, 2009 at 2:15 PM

75% of 5.1 × 10^8 km² * .00015 km = 5.7 × 10^4 cubic killometers.
Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:22 PM

If all the ice in the world melted, it would raise the ocean levels more than 100 feet.

MarkTheGreat on September 29, 2009 at 2:24 PM

These two posts are poles apart on their data; I tend towards believing the first one. How much of the earth’s ice is floating and how much is on dry land?

mad scientist on September 29, 2009 at 8:06 PM

“Coldest Winter in 10 Years” could be what we hear next year too (and the year after that).
Y’all come on down to Texas, it’s pretty warm here.

mad scientist on September 29, 2009 at 8:11 PM

Don’t know if anyone linked this yet. Farmers Almanac is predicting colder winter than in just the last 10 years. Try, “numbing cold from the Rocky’s to the Appalachians”

Ordinary1 on September 29, 2009 at 8:14 PM

How much of the Earth’s oceans are being displaced by the current ice at the poles?

None of the ice that is floating on water affects the ocean level. A floating object displaces its own mass in water, and the rest of the space it occupies displaces air.

Only the ice supported by land rather than floating can melt and contribute to sea levels, and at the poles, that simply can’t happen. The air temperatures over the Antarctic land ice, and most of Greenland’s, never get anywhere near 32°F/0°C. Ice that is floating in water or an ice shelf off the coast of Antarctica proper can get water currents under it that are warm enough to melt the ice.

The idea that these massive ice packs will melt into the oceans is absurd. Global temperatures would have to rise by an insane amount for that to happen.

The Monster on September 29, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Environomentalists have yet to explain to us how, even if we humor them on their rising ocean level theory, how that would be bad for the earth? You know, nature. Why would nature be harmed by the oceans rising few feet? Does nature not liker water?

It might inconvenience those rich folk who have beach houses. But since when do environmentalists care about the getaways of rich people, or for people in general? Environmentalism is about protecting nature from man, not protecting man from nature. Yet here they are, warning us of nature causing harm to man’s real estate holdings.

Something doesn’t add up. And we all know what it is.

keep the change on September 29, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Hell, you can count the number of times it got over 100 degrees this summer here in Omaha, Nebraska with one hand and have fingers to spare I think and that’s including the “heat index” factor. There have been summers where counting with both hands and feet wasn’t enough but this summer was without a doubt very cool and I’m banking on a brutal winter which sucks because I HATE winter and get the winter blues really bad (seasonal depression disaorder or whater it’s called).

It’s called sunspots, or lack of them. You know, that big glowing ball of fire in the sky. The Sun. Sheesh, give it time and politicians will come up with a way to tax that too.

Yakko77 on September 29, 2009 at 8:55 PM

Where are are all the hurricanes? Just plain silliness

CWforFreedom on September 29, 2009 at 9:03 PM

The ‘hockey stick’: dead.

Have to love the analysis that points out that those pushing the stickiness had the coldest year of the previous millenia smack dab in the middle of the Medieval Warm Period! Something was out of whack with that.

The Argos Buoy system sees a slow but steady decline of temps at the -20m range. Surface temps vary, widely, but 20m down? That should be all global-warmingness and yet its cooler.

Our magnetic field is at its weakest point in recorded history, thus letting more radiation… hard radiation… get lower into the atmosphere. That usually goes with a slightly chilly period when the magnetic poles take their time to flip-flop.

Sun spots heading into a Maunder Minimum cycle, which is bad news as it was associated with The Little Ice Age. Not good, that.

The best part has been watching ‘Deadliest Catch’ and each year during the winter crab season the ice packs have gone further and futher south. This last winter the captains were saying that they have never seen the ice as far south and their fathers hadn’t ever told about it that far south… while the AGW folks were fretting about lack of ice, there it was: ice in abundance further south than in recorded times coming from the North Pole.

Plus we have this huge continental mass at the south pole which acts as a huge heat sink for the planet. The continent under the ice keeps the ice at a relatively constant temperature, and precipitation has been increasing at the South Pole.

Put another log on the fire.

The climate is ALWAYS CHANGING.

We are between glacial periods, that is what the climate does in such eras: change quickly up and down and all around until it suddenly goes down for a few tens of thousands of years. We really do have to stop the continents from running around so quickly and riding so high at their current speeds so we can get those lovely shallow oceans over continental interiors once more. For nice, kilometer deep warm seas to move those temps up to where they normally are for the planet. Give it a few million years or more and then we will miss these temperate times and the Earth will continue doing what it does best: ignore us.

ajacksonian on September 29, 2009 at 9:30 PM

ajacksonian on September 29, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Stop making sense.

It scares the liberals.

They might think your racist against nature or something.

Yakko77 on September 29, 2009 at 9:58 PM

When mankind learns how to control solar flares and sunspots, volcanic eruptions, and weather patterns, and the jet stream, then you dems can start talking about controlling the weather. Good luck with that.

tbear44 on September 29, 2009 at 11:58 PM

At the end of the last ice age about 12,000 years ago, scientists figure the earth warmed up over 10 degrees in 2 or 3 years. I’ll bet it wasn’t man made CO2 that did that.

starboardhelm on September 29, 2009 at 7:28 PM

Orbital Eccentricity explains it. No known solar phenomenon creats a 100,000 year Ice Age and ends it abruptly.

Holger on September 30, 2009 at 12:49 AM

A more crazed than usual Pelosi has introduced legislation banning winter and an equally freakish Barbara Boxer has demanded that Mother Nature call her “senator.”

viking01 on September 30, 2009 at 1:03 AM

When mankind learns how to control solar flares and sunspots, volcanic eruptions, and weather patterns, and the jet stream, then you dems can start talking about controlling the weather. Good luck with that.

tbear44 on September 29, 2009 at 11:58 PM

Does this mean we need a Solar Flare Czar?

Geochelone on September 30, 2009 at 1:25 AM

As a Californian, I’m afraid I must apologize to the northeast for the brutal winter that is headed their way. You see, as you may have heard, we’re having some difficult economic times here, and we couldn’t afford a strong El Nino this year, so a $.01 sales tax increase was enacted in order to buy a weak El Nino. This, of course, is what is going to cause the northeast to suffer under blankets of snow and ice.

Our bad.

Left Coast Right Mind on September 30, 2009 at 1:30 AM

The John F. Kerry Rule: An issue is completely spent as a political or moral force the moment John F. Kerry takes it on as his most important priority.

Haiku Guy on September 30, 2009 at 5:47 AM

Aw, c’mon…Man-made Global Warming is settled science…AlGore said so…who are we to question the wisdom of the Goracle?

“Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight,
Red is gray and yellow white,
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion?
Pinprick holes in a colourless sky,
Let insipid figures of light pass by,
The mighty light of ten thousand suns,
Challenges infinity and is soon gone.
Night time, to some a brief interlude,
To others the fear of solitude.
Brave Helios wake up your steeds,
Bring the warmth the countryside needs.”

Next thing ya know, the climate change brigade will try to get a multi-trillion dollar program going to snuff out the sun…all those gamma ray bursts and stuff cause cancer, and too much exposure to the sun certainly can’t be healthy.


coldwarrior on September 30, 2009 at 7:47 AM

Man-made climate change (formerly global warming) is complete BS. Solar activity heats our planet to varying degrees based on SOLAR factors.

Age of planet: approximately 4.5 billion years
Mankind has existed: 1 million years
Industrialized world: 100 years

We’ve been here for a little over 2/100ths of one percent of the time.

We’ve been industrialized for 2/1,000,000ths of one percent of the time.

In the words of a famous AccuWeather forecaster that laughed about “global warming”…. after stating that he wasn’t a politician but only a meterologist and climatologist, during the present climate period (measured by the smallest amount we measure the climate variance), the state of Wisconsin has been everything from a rain forest to glacier covered.

Who thinks mankind will exist on the planet for another million years? I used to believe that mankind couldn’t have an impact on the climate. After watching the governmet involvement in social security, welfare, medicare/medicaid, (add the government programs of your choice to the list), I am convinced that if the government gets involved in “saving the planet”, we are doomed even quicker.

Swine flu? What ever happened to Bird flu? The coming Ice Age from “global cooling”? I am growing tired of the government manufacturing crisis after crisis as a mean of creating more and more government control.


CapedConservative on September 30, 2009 at 8:19 AM

While here in Michigan, I’m predicting I’ll be shoveling another 81/2+ feet of snow this winter. ‘Global Warming my a$$.

ZeeMI on September 30, 2009 at 9:13 AM

Kerry to Obama….Err Ahh, Barack, what do we do now chief? Maybe you could get some of your SEIU and ACORN friends to wear shorts this winter to prove our position on Global Warming?

Herb on September 30, 2009 at 9:15 AM

As the Goracle once proclaimed in answering why the current global temps were decreasing:

“Cooler temperatures are an indication of global warming.”

I want a pony.

BobMbx on September 30, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Is it ok to openly laugh at the climate control folks?

daesleeper on September 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

Is it ok to openly laugh at the climate control folks?

daesleeper on September 30, 2009 at 11:04 AM

not sure they’re worth a full laugh anymore. maybe a snort of dismissal. They deserved a laugh when the situation looked like they were just misinterpreting data. Now it turns out that a significant portion of AGW is manipulation (Hockey stick, antarctic temps, ground station errors, etc.)

Fighton03 on September 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Mann made global warming is in remission. The hocky stick inverted.
The tree ring circus is covered by Anthony Watts.

seven on September 30, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Global warming my rear!! It snowed here in Baghdad in Dec 2007 on my last deployment first time in over 100 years…what was the saying about when hell freezes over…??

g2825m on September 30, 2009 at 7:18 PM

It gets warm when the big ball of fire is in the sky, and cools off when it’s not. Happens all the time. I think there’s a relation there. Google it.

theCork on October 1, 2009 at 1:45 AM

Woot! Cosmic Rays hit Space Age High!

“In 2009, cosmic ray intensities have increased 19% beyond anything we’ve seen in the past 50 years,” says Richard Mewaldt of Caltech. “The increase is significant, and it could mean we need to re-think how much radiation shielding astronauts take with them on deep-space missions.”

“We’re experiencing the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” says Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center, “so it is no surprise that cosmic rays are at record levels for the Space Age.”

Cosmic rays help in cloud formation.. More cloud cover equals cooling. Cooling equals lower temps. Expect cooler summers and colder winters.

If it keeps up long enough say 50 years which is concievable, then we may very well see CO2 emissions plateau or grow well below predicted rates despite human activity as C02 is sequestered in ice, the ground and water bodies.

Mother Nature may very well show the warmists and their political allies for the frauds that they are.

While it is a good thing to show the Warmists as the liars they are, a cooling trend will be bad! It will impact farming resulting in fewer crops and higher prices, famines may happen world wide. Heating costs will increase. Coupled with stupid energy policies and it may very well be the case of people freezing to death in the most industrialized and prosperous nation on the Earth, and not just the homeless. Middle class folk.

The Last Time this happened at such a time in human history, the Roman Empire fell.

Holger on October 1, 2009 at 4:58 PM