“As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased.
“The sun’s energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by.
“The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth’s surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe…
“It’s all a snow job by nature. The reality is, we’re freezing not in spite of climate change but because of it.”
“Of course, it’s important to remember that weather isn’t the same as climate — a single storm, or even a single cold winter, can tell us little about the overall climate. Anomalies do happen, and sometimes they dump 20 inches (50 cm) of snow on Central Park. The systems that govern weather on this planet are incredibly complex, and our ability to understand why individual events occur — and to forecast them for the future — is still imperfect.
“That more than anything is what drives — and distorts — so much of the stubborn debate over climate change. Just because climate models predict that the planet will continue to heat up in the future as we continue to pour greenhouse-gas emissions into the atmosphere doesn’t mean that warming will be a steady, even process. Far from it — and as parts of the planet warm far faster than others, extreme events, including winter ones, may become more common. New Yorkers cursing Al Gore as they dig out their cars should recall this past July — the second hottest month on record in the city.
“Unfortunately, that unpredictability is going to make adapting to a warmer world even tougher. As climate change appears to trigger harsher winter events in parts of the world, that’s not an effect that will last forever. As the world warms, even cold air from the Arctic or Siberia may not be enough to offset the greenhouse effect, and major snowstorms like the one the Northeast just experienced could be a thing of the past. That might make for less snow shoveling — but on the whole, it won’t be a very pleasant planet to live on.”
“Barry Hunt, an honorary research fellow at the CSIRO’s Marine and Atmospheric Research unit, says global temperatures will continue to rise even if there is another cold snap…
“‘I found that even up to 2040 and 2050, you can still get cold snaps under greenhouse warming.
“‘These last two or three months, you get them over Eurasia, or North America, and you can get temperatures 10 to 15 degrees below present temperatures, and that’s just natural variability, pulsing back briefly, overwhelming the greenhouse warming.
“‘The climate deniers think that unless you’ve got constant warming, every year, that greenhouse warming has gone away. And they forget about the natural variability.'”
“Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C., told TheDC that global warming proponents wrongly try to justify numerous weather patterns as being the result of global warming.
“‘Global warming scientists say it will be warmer, colder, snowier, and less snowy all at the same time, which is impossible. Anyone who follows global warming knows the theory is rife with exaggeration,” Michaels said. “What’s disturbing is to see The New York Times put a really fringe idea on their editorial page. Obviously they’re panicking about people’s distrust of the political nature of global warming science. It struck me as desperation pass, knowing the people are abandoning global warming as a signature issue.’…
“‘When it doesn’t snow, global warming proponents blame global warming, and when winters are cold, they blame global warming, etc. This is what you call unfalsifiable science,’ Michaels said. ‘It’s not science because it can’t be falsified.'”