Climate Change: Arctic Amplification Phenomenon Leads To Fewer Cold Weather Extremes
    By News Staff | June 15th 2014 02:21 PM | 5 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments

    Though mainstream journalism likes to link every bit of weather, even a deep freeze last winter, to global warming, the "Arctic amplification phenomenon" is unlikely to lead to more days of extreme cold, new research has shown.

    The Arctic amplification phenomenon refers to the faster rate of warming in the Arctic compared to places further south. It is this phenomenon that has been linked to a spike in the number of severe cold spells experienced in recent years over Europe and North America.

    New research by University of Exeter expert Dr James Screen has shown that Arctic amplification has actually reduced the risk of cold extremes across large swathes of the Northern Hemisphere.

    The study questions claims that parts of Europe and North America will experience a greater number, or more severe, extreme cold days over the course of the next century.

    Screen, a Mathematics Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, said, "Autumn and winter days are becoming warmer on average, and less variable from day-to-day. Both factors reduce the chance of extremely cold days."

    The idea that there was a link between Arctic amplification and extreme weather conditions became prevalent during the severe winter weather that plagued large areas of the United States in January 2014, leading to major transport disruption, power cuts and crop damage.

    In his study, Dr Screen examined detailed climate records to show that autumn and winter temperature variability has significantly decreased over the mid-to-high latitude Northern Hemisphere in recent decades.

    He found that this has occurred mainly because northerly winds and associated cold days are warming more rapidly than southerly winds and warm days.

    Dr Screen said: "Cold days tend to occur when the wind is blowing from the north, bringing Arctic air south into the mid-latitudes. Because the Arctic air is warming so rapidly these cold days are now less cold than they were in the past."

    Using the latest mathematical climate modelling, Dr Screen has also been able to show that these changes will continue in to the future, with projected future decreases in temperature variability in all seasons, except summer.

    Article: 'Arctic amplification decreases temperature variance in northern mid-to-high-latitudes', Nature Climate Change, June 15, 2014. Source: University of Exeter


    It was very cold in parts of the USA last winter but Alaska, Siberia and Greenland were very warm. I like Jenniffer Francis's explanation of the Arctic ice loss affecting the jet stream but its not proven yet. The fact is that has happened and we will see it it becomes a common occurrence. Its a bit late it it is.

    This evidence supports other published papers that found the Francis paper to contain errors. Gavin Schmidt the newlt promoted head of GISS climate science sees no validity in the Francis theory. Holdren and the White House are left twisting in the wind on their belief and silly video claiming that Arctic Warming caused the cold winter.

    As usual the media are misunderstanding and conflating two seperate lines of research to suit their ideological agendas. Whats new.
    For a start no-one has claimed there will be more cold spells in the future throughout the northern hemisphere.
    Francis' hypothesis is that the change in temperature diffential between the poles and the temperature regions (which is an undisputed measureable fact) is causing the Jet Stream to meander further south allowing colder Arctic air to follow it,. Again, this isn't conjecture, this is something that anyone can observe in real time, The Resiliant Ridge, which has been anchored in the north east Pacific for over a year now, helped to direct the Jet stream south leading to a cold (but not record cole) winter in the eastern US and drought in the south west.
    This was projected to happen back in 2007 when the Arctic ice cover reached a critical low extent which duly occurred in 2012, The projected phenomenem has been pretty much the 'new normal' ever since. Since it has only been observed for a dcouple of years it makes no sense to try to project future results based on decads of previous statistics.
    The bottom lne is that we basicaly just don't know what is in store for us as CO2 levels and global temperatures are rapidly approaching levels never before experienced by the human species.
    But the general conclusion of the latest paper seems to be "Winters will get warmer as the Globe continues to heat up" which is exactly the same conclusion as Francis and almost every other climate scientist has already reached.

    As usual the media are misunderstanding and conflating two seperate lines of research to suit their ideological agendas.
    It's difficult to tell from your comment; is it a vast liberal conspiracy or a vast conservative one?
    Here's a chart of the averages for NCDC's GSoD surface measurements for the Tropics from here.

    Second, the Jet Stream changed when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation switched state. The Atlantic is going to be changing state, and according to historical records it should be soon. Each state lasts 30-40 years. Much of the modern warming will be traced back the the ocean states and an active Sun, and all 3 are turning cold.
    Never is a long time.