Britain may be in the grip of the coldest winter for 30 years and grappling with up to a foot of snow in some places but the extreme weather is entirely consistent with global warming, claim scientists.
Snowbound Britain 2009
© unknown

Temperatures for December and January were consistently 1.8 F ( 1 C) lower than the average of 41 F (5 C)and 37 F (3C) respectively and more snow fell in London this week than since the 1960s.

But despite this extreme weather, scientists say that the current cold snap does not mean that climate change is going into reverse. In fact, the surprise with which we have greeted the extreme conditions only reinforces how our climate has changed over the years.

A study by the Met Office which went back 350 years shows that such extreme weather now only occurs every 20 years. Back in the pre-industrial days of Charles Dickens, it was a much more regular occurrence - hitting the country on average every five years or so. During that time global temperatures have risen by 1.7 F (0.8 C), studies have shown.

Comment: Pay careful attention here to the total snowjob that this article and these scientists are trying to pull off.

The horrible winter and cold weather does not mean anything other than we have gotten so used to warm balmy winters from all that man made global warming.
"It only reinforces how our climate has changed over the years."
That's quite the scientific analysis is it not? If the public only understood how simple it all is!

Back in the good ole days of Charles Dickens, now that's when things were really rough. Hmmm? Let's see, when did Charles Dickens live? Charles Dickens: February 7, 1812 to June 9, 1870.

Isn't that around the Dalton Minimum?
Maunder and Dalton minimums
© Wikimedia Commons

What a coincidence that they would choose a baseline comparison of a period that was known to be very cold due to low sunspot activity?

"Even though this is quite a cold winter by recent standards it is still perfectly consistent with predictions for global warming," said Dr Myles Allen, head of the Climate Dynamics group at Department of Physics, University of Oxford. "If it wasn't for global warming this cold snap would happen much more regularly. What is interesting is that we are now surprised by this kind of weather. I doubt we would have been in the 1950s because it was much more common.

"As for snowfall that could actually increase in the short term because of global warming. We have all heard the expression 'too cold to snow' and we have always expected precipitation to increase. "All the indicators still suggest that we are warming up in line with predictions."

This winter seems so bad precisely because it is now so unusual. In contrast the deep freezes of 1946-47 and 1962-63 were much colder - 5.3 F (2.97C) and 7.9 F (4.37C) cooler than the long-term norm. And with global warming we can expect another 1962-63 winter only once every 1,100 years, compared with every 183 years before 1850.

Dave Britton, a meteorologist and climate scientist at the Met Office, said: "Even with global warming you cannot rule out we will have a cold winter every so often. It sometimes rains in the Sahara but it is still a desert."

Scientists point out that the people must distinguish between climate and weather. Weather is what happens in the short term whereas climate is the long term trend. "Just as the wet summer of 2007 or recent heat waves cannot be attributed to global warming nor can this cold snap," said Bob Ward, spokesman for the Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change at London School of Economics. "What is important to do is look at the long term global trends and they are still up. What we experience in the short term in this country is not important. After all, Melbourne had a heat wave last week."

Comment: It seems the propaganda artists are moving into high gear. All this science and data is so confusing.

There are so many things wrong with this article as the foot in mouth disease continues. It is true that "people must distinguish between climate and weather". The problem is that this article and those providing the quotes and quips ignore and hide the data. Of course it was more common to have cold winters during the Dalton Minimum. It was even more common during the Maunder Minimum. And there is also evidence that cooling and warming cycles correlate to solar activity. Low sunspot activity has a correlation to cooler temperatures.

Regular readers of SOTT will be familiar with the dozens of articles reported here regarding the current activity of our sun and its lack of sunspots for about a year now. The Solar Geomagnetic Average Planetary Index is also at its lowest level in at least 75 years.

Let's take a look at what one of the usual promoters of global warming has to say about low sunspot activity, even though it flies in the face of their normal agenda.

From NASA's Earth Observatory website:
Chilly Temperatures During the Maunder Minimum

Maunder Minimum Temperatures
© Nasa

From 1650 to 1710, temperatures across much of the Northern Hemisphere plunged when the Sun entered a quiet phase now called the Maunder Minimum. During this period, very few sunspots appeared on the surface of the Sun, and the overall brightness of the Sun decreased slightly. Already in the midst of a colder-than-average period called the Little Ice Age, Europe and North America went into a deep freeze: alpine glaciers extended over valley farmland; sea ice crept south from the Arctic; and the famous canals in the Netherlands froze regularly - an event that is rare today.

The impact of the solar minimum is clear in this image, which shows the temperature difference between 1680, a year at the center of the Maunder Minimum, and 1780, a year of normal solar activity, as calculated by a general circulation model. Deep blue across eastern and central North America and northern Eurasia illustrates where the drop in temperature was the greatest. Nearly all other land areas were also cooler in 1680, as indicated by the varying shades of blue. The few regions that appear to have been warmer in 1680 are Alaska and the eastern Pacific Ocean (left), the North Atlantic Ocean south of Greenland (left of center), and north of Iceland (top center).

If energy from the Sun decreased only slightly, why did temperatures drop so severely in the Northern Hemisphere? Climate scientist Drew Shindell and colleagues at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies tackled that question by combining temperature records gleaned from tree rings, ice cores, corals, and the few measurements recorded in the historical record, with an advanced computer model of the Earth's climate. The group first calculated the amount of energy coming from the Sun during the Maunder Minimum and entered the information into a general circulation model. The model is a mathematical representation of the way various Earth systems - ocean surface temperatures, different layers of the atmosphere, energy reflected and absorbed from land, and so forth - interact to produce the climate.

When the model started with the decreased solar energy and returned temperatures that matched the paleoclimate record, Shindell and his colleagues knew that the model was showing how the Maunder Minimum could have caused the extreme drop in temperatures. The model showed that the drop in temperature was related to ozone in the stratosphere, the layer of the atmosphere that is between 10 and 50 kilometers from the Earth's surface. Ozone is created when high-energy ultraviolet light from the Sun interacts with oxygen. During the Maunder Minimum, the Sun emitted less strong ultraviolet light, and so less ozone formed. The decrease in ozone affected planetary waves, the giant wiggles in the jet stream that we are used to seeing on television weather reports.

The change to the planetary waves kicked the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) - the balance between a permanent low-pressure system near Greenland and a permanent high-pressure system to its south - into a negative phase. When the NAO is negative, both pressure systems are relatively weak. Under these conditions, winter storms crossing the Atlantic generally head eastward toward Europe, which experiences a more severe winter. (When the NAO is positive, winter storms track farther north, making winters in Europe milder.) The model results, shown above, illustrate that the NAO was more negative on average during the Maunder Minimum, and Europe remained unusually cold. These results matched the paleoclimate record.
As avid readers we might recall the huge ozone hole over Antarctica. We might wonder what would happen with the ozone layer during a solar cycle that is chronically low in sunspots as it is now? It seems NASA's model is here predicting something even more ominous on the horizon as far as planetary cooling is concerned:

Low sunspots >> less ultra-violet light >> less ozone >> jetstream altered >> North Atlantic Oscillation goes negative >> severe cold weather in Europe...

Who would have thought that NASA would be predicting global cooling?

Another quote from this article demonstrates the promotion of ignorance:
"it is still perfectly consistent with predictions for global warming." Except that the UK Met Hadley and NOAA and GISS and so many of the public institutions ignore all the data that is contrary to their agenda, they support falsified data and they make excuses left and right as to why ignoring the data is alright.

Ignoring Data

Oscillation Rules as the Pacific Cools

2008 Now Ranks #2 Since 1900 in Number of Sunspotless Days

Spotless Sun: Blankest Year of the Space Age

State of the Sun for 2008: ominously quiet - too quiet

Solar Geomagnetic Averaged Planetary Index at lowest point in its record

"Global Warming" Has Stopped

Global Warming? Global Cooling Forecast Backed By Real Science

Falsifying Data

Proof: Humans Cause Global Warming. Humans + Bad Science = Global Warming

West Antarctica warming data flawed and manipulated

Global Cooling Under-Reported, Says SPPI

Making Excuses

Ocean oscillations are not "masking" global warming: the cooling is real

Are Global Warmists Pulling a Cool Fast One?

What the Science Really Says About Global Warming

This article you are currently reading

As for the suggestion that the recent cold weather is due to a reversal of the warming Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift - otherwise known as the Thermohaline Circulation - this has been mostly ruled out by recent research. "It has a very low chance of happening and if it does occur it will be in centuries time," added Mr Ward. The North Atlantic Drift is an extension of the Gulf Stream which brings warm tropical water from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Europe, including Britain. Its effect is to bring up the average temperature.