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Meteorologist Trashes Jennifer Francis’ Extreme Weather Theory

March 5, 2016

By Paul Homewood 

 

image

http://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/meteorology/a-warming-arctic-would-not-cause-increased-severe-weather-or-temperature-extremes/

 

We are all familiar with claims that global warming/”melting Arctic ice” is leading to more extreme weather. This is the theory, postulated amongst others by Dr Jennifer Francis, that a warmer Arctic acts to slow down the jet stream and create a meridional jet stream flow and weather blocking.

Meteorologist, Chuck Wiese, not only destroys this theory but also asks some very searching questions that go the heart of much of the junk science produced by climate scientists.

Below is his post on Dr Ed Berry’s blog. (Dr. Edwin X Berry is a physicist and Certified Consulting Meteorologist (#180) for the American Meteorological Society. His consulting expertise is in physics, atmospheric physics, meteorology, climatology, and numerical models.)

 

 

This paper is a critique Francis and Vavrus (2012), hereinafter FV (2012), by atmospheric scientists Jennifer Francis from Rutgers University and Steve Vavrus of the University of Wisconsin. Their paper can be downloaded here:

http://marine.rutgers.edu/~francis/pres/Francis_Vavrus_2012GL051000_pub.pdf

and an updated version here:

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/10/1/014005/pdf

FV (2012) claims a measured decrease in the zonal or west to east wind component due to “arctic amplification” (AA) would increase jet stream meandering, increase the amplitude or “waviness” of the flow, and increase persistent long wave blocking patterns around the northern hemisphere. This, in turn, would increase severe weather, droughts, floods and temperature extremes.

To quote the authors directly:

“Two effects are identified that each contribute to a slower eastward progression of Rossby waves in the upper-level flow: 1) weakened zonal winds, and 2) increased wave amplitude. These effects are particularly evident in autumn and winter consistent with sea-ice loss, but are also apparent in summer, possibly related to earlier snow melt on high-latitude land. Slower progression of upper-level waves would cause associated weather patterns in mid-latitudes to be more persistent, which may lead to an increased probability of extreme weather events that result from prolonged conditions, such as drought, flooding, cold spells, and heat waves.”

To quote the authors again, the effects described above are the result of arctic amplification, a term defined by the authors as:

“Arctic amplification (AA) – the observed enhanced warming in high northern latitudes relative to the northern hemisphere”

This definition seems to fit the claims made by NASA GISS and NOAA that temperature measurements of the arctic are warming at a much greater rate than anywhere else in the northern hemisphere.

To examine these claims by the authors, I will use an application of dynamic meteorology from atmospheric science and introduce the physics of Rossby waves, invoked by the authors as applicable to validating their claims as well as a few of the governing laws of motion that describe the behavior of these waves and how they would interact with a warming arctic.

 

Chuck Wiese then lays down a lot of very detailed physics, but everything we really need to know is in his conclusion, which is an utterly damning one:

 

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

FV (2012) cited in the introduction of this article is fatally flawed, incorrect and should be withdrawn by the authors. As shown here, there is no theoretical basis in which to ground FV (2012). Using the proper Rossby wave physics as illustrated here, these atmospheric waves (or commonly called planetary atmospheric waves that generate low and high pressure systems that create our weather, severe and otherwise) behave in the opposite fashion as claimed in FV (2012).

A warming Arctic that is supposed to be weakening the westerly wind belt across the northern hemisphere would create an entirely different effect on the earth’s weather as FV (2012) claims. If FV (2012) claims were true, the physics governing these waves would require them to flatten in amplitude and migrate to a higher latitude, causing a much weakened effect on the Northern Hemisphere’s weather patterns.

If FV (2012) claims were true, precipitation systems would weaken and migrate northward with the migrating jet stream. Storms, severe and otherwise would become far less common than today and would be replaced with problematic drought and much higher surface absolute and relative humidities. This increased low level moisture would lead to sporadic showers and thunderstorms in an ever expanding maritime tropical airmass environment, but not enough precipitation to forestall severe droughts.

By severe droughts, I don’t mean regional droughts such as those experienced recently in California. But rather, droughts that would expand into a worldwide regime. Present-day droughts are nothing more than cyclical changes in the earth’s climate system that have very definitive and repetitive cycles.

What is particularly disturbing about FV (2012) is not only is it incorrect and flawed, but it passed peer review. Now, after publication, FV (2012) has been lapped up by media, touted and referenced in their severe weather stories that report on hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, heat, cold, drought and any other weather calamity as “proof” their paper is correct. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reader needs to understand that anytime we experience severe weather, it is proof that adequate COLD in the high latitudes and Arctic has been generated by the normal radiational cooling process by the earth that creates the adequate potential energy across the latitude lines to cause amplification of the jet stream waves and speeds that pushes this colder air southward to warmer latitudes that then creates the necessary temperature gradients to liberate that energy, creating storms as well as high pressure systems.

If the occurrence of severe weather is increasing worldwide, it is not a sign of a warming earth. It is the opposite of what climate hysteria claims, and an indication of a cooling, not warming earth.

The continued misuse, abuse and general trashing of important principles founded with atmospheric science remains as deplorable as ever by the groups promoting global warming from human CO2 emissions or by these same groups promoting climate hysteria by re-labeling this term “climate change”.

Now that the flawed FV (2012) passed peer review, it allows media to blame any severe weather on “climate change.” FV (2012) allows media to claim a wavier jet stream dips and meanders because the Arctic is supposedly getting warmer. All this is sheer nonsense and all demonstrably wrong.

I believe this flawed FV (2012) also shows how the quality of the scientific peer review process has been lowered in “climate science”.

http://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/meteorology/a-warming-arctic-would-not-cause-increased-severe-weather-or-temperature-extremes/

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2016 7:38 pm

    Quite right, as I’ve already said on various blogs. The jet stream variations now being observed began around 2000 which was decades after Arctic ice began to reduce so in no way was the jet stream variability due to reducing Arctic ice.

    Fits well with declining solar activity though.

    This is a far better hypothesis:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

  2. Don B permalink
    March 5, 2016 7:58 pm

    From Judith Curry’s Climate, Etc., August, 2013:

    “But a new study finds little evidence to support the idea that the plummeting Arctic sea ice has meaningfully changed our weather patterns. The research, published today in Geophysical Research Letters, says links between declining Arctic sea ice and extreme weather are “an artifact of the methodology” and not real.

    “But the new research by Colorado State professor Elizabeth Barnes, which examined the waviness of the jet stream over the period 1980-2011, found no changes in its speed and no signs of increased blocking.

    ““We conclude that the mechanism put forth by previous studies … that amplified polar warming has lead to the increased occurrence of slow-moving weather patterns and blocking episodes, is unsupported by the observations,” Barnes writes.”

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/21/arctic-sea-ice-and-weather/

  3. March 5, 2016 7:59 pm

    Re this paragraph: ‘The reader needs to understand that anytime we experience severe weather, it is proof that adequate COLD in the high latitudes and Arctic has been generated by the normal radiational cooling process by the earth that creates the adequate potential energy across the latitude lines to cause amplification of the jet stream waves and speeds that pushes this colder air southward to warmer latitudes that then creates the necessary temperature gradients to liberate that energy, creating storms as well as high pressure systems.’

    This interpretation ignores the ‘Arctic Oscillation’ also known as the Northern Annular Mode whereby there is a change in atmospheric pressure in high versus the mid latitudes. Air travels from high pressure zones of dense air to low pressure zones of less dense air. Gordon Dobson who designed and build his ‘Dobsonmeters’ to measure total column ozone in the 1920s found that high pressure cells have 20% less ozone on their perimeter than in their cores. Low pressure cells have the greatest levels of total column ozone and they are generated in high latitudes, on average at 50-70° of latitude.A belt of low pressure cells surrounds the Antarctic continent at these latitudes all year round. In the Northern hemisphere low pressure cells that exhibit high total column ozone occur primarily over the Pacific and Atlantic oceans generating uplift that extends to the limits of the stratosphere.

    The density and level of activity of these low pressure cells (Polar Cyclones) is a response to warming above the 300 hPa level generated by the natural greenhouse gas ozone. Ozone levels fluctuate on all time scales, and particularly from year to year producing extreme variations in surface temperature in January (the Arctic) and July (The Antarctic).

    If and when stratospheric ozone levels fall, surface pressure rises in high latitudes and more cold air that descends in high pressure cells from the mesosphere, that provides a taste of the frigidity of space, finds its way to the surface. High surface pressure in high latitudes results in a stronger flow of cold air to mid latitudes within the ambit of the jet stream that defines the Polar Front. The strongest flows of very cold air are normally experienced in the region of lake Baikal. However, Europe is not exempt. Change in the configuration of high and low pressure cells is constant. Look to the stratosphere.

    Re this paragraph: “these atmospheric waves (or commonly called planetary atmospheric waves that generate low and high pressure systems that create our weather, severe and otherwise) behave in the opposite fashion as claimed in FV (2012)”

    So called ‘Planetary Waves and Rossby Waves’ represent the surface manifestation of the Polar front defined by the Jet stream. Another term used for the same phenomenon is the Polar Vortex. Their origin is in that part of the atmosphere heated by ozone. These waves are effect rather than cause.

    Neither groups of authors, the originator and the critic appear to have a firm grasp of the physical reality. Neither are in a position to describe cause and effect.

    More at https://reality348.wordpress.com/

    • March 5, 2016 9:40 pm

      As I have said before, you are welcome to do a guest post.

      If OK,let me know and I will email you

      • March 5, 2016 9:45 pm

        Thanks for the offer. You run a great blog. Please email me and lets organize it.

  4. March 5, 2016 8:27 pm

    errata: high pressure cells have 20% less ozone in their CORES than on their perimeter

  5. Paul2 permalink
    March 5, 2016 10:00 pm

    Peak climate/feminazia. We all deserve to die:

    http://phg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/08/0309132515623368.long

    • March 5, 2016 10:38 pm

      Paul2 that is the weirdest paper I’ve ever seen!

      Ice is not just ice. The dominant way Western societies understand it through the science of glaciology is not a neutral representation of nature. The feminist glaciology framework draws attention to those who dominate and frame the production of glaciological knowledge, the gendered discourses of science and knowledge, and the ways in which colonial, military, and geopolitical domination co-constitute glaciological knowledge. Even in a globalized age where the place of women and indigenous people has improved markedly in some parts of the world, masculinist discourses continue to dominate, in subtle and determinative ways. Feminist glaciology advocates for a shift of preoccupations in research, policy, and public perceptions from the physical and seemingly natural, to a broader consideration of ‘cryoscapes’, the human, and the insights and potentials of alternative ice narratives and folk glaciologies.

      • Mick J permalink
        March 6, 2016 12:40 pm

        GWPF links to an article at Powerline which also includes this:\

        Well why not? I notice the recent Paris Agreement on climate change has, among other nonsense, this paragraph:

        Acknowledging that climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.

        http://www.thegwpf.com/feminist-glaciology-the-politically-correct-paris-agreement/

      • 00Le_Gin00 permalink
        March 7, 2016 8:26 pm

        Reply to Mick J…

        …for some reason, John Cleese popped in to my head when I read that extract you included in your post

        “So, apart from…respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity, roads, sanitation, aquaducts, the wine, medicine…what else has the fight against climate change ever done for us…”

        It would be a good ad for the GWPF to do🙂

        What has the fight against global warming ever given us, eh!

    • March 6, 2016 12:01 am

      Is it something to do with frigid women ??

  6. March 5, 2016 10:39 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  7. March 5, 2016 10:51 pm

    Oh yes, you can have Arctic amplification causing extreme weather no problem so long as you shift your preoccupation from “the physical and seemingly natural” to “folk glaciologies”!

  8. March 6, 2016 8:27 am

    Here’s a site where people try to find explanations on the warming in the 20th century. I guess you’ll find it interesting in this context, especially since it uses many maps and graphics: http://www.arctic-warming.com/.

  9. March 6, 2016 9:35 am

    Isn’t the theory supposed to be that a reduced temperature gradient between the Arctic and the equator should lead to fewer weather extremes, as there’s less ‘adjustment’ needed?

    ‘On a global and annual basis, the dynamics of the atmosphere (and the oceans) can be understood as attempting to reduce the large difference of temperature between the poles and the equator by redistributing warm and cold air and water, known as Earth’s heat engine.’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_gradient#Climatology

    • March 6, 2016 10:58 am

      Oldbrew, if the agent of change is in the Arctic the temperature gradient between the Arctic and the Equator is varying on all time scales. Manifestly, the biggest variations are in winter and if you look at metrics like air temperature at elevation and geopotential height, itself a product of atmospheric heating processes, the greatest variations by far are in the ozonosphere. In winter the sun is not directly involved because the pole is in darkness. That’s where a good detective starts his work..

      CO2 is uniformly distributed in the atmosphere and does not know summer from winter.

      • Jack Broughton permalink
        March 6, 2016 7:48 pm

        Question for Erl: is CO2 actually uniform? It is always claimed to be so, but applying Henry’s law the summer value in the southern hemisphere, atmospheric CO2 should increase substantially as the oceans warm and it should re-dissolve in the winter. The southern hemisphere has much more water than the northern so is there such an effect ?

      • March 6, 2016 10:07 pm

        Hi Jack, Concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is about 400 ppm and varies by a few PPM across the seasons and across the planet depending on where you are. Look here: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/keelingcurve/2013/05/07/why-are-seasonal-co2-fluctuations-strongest-in-northern-latitudes/

        They report: Seasonal swings in CO2 are therefore most pronounced in the Northern Hemisphere, where the seasonal changes in temperature result in very large differences in plant photosynthesis from summer to winter.

        Earth is closest to the sun in January when solar radiation is 6% more intense. Earth is warmest in July when the vast land masses of the northern hemisphere heat the atmosphere inducing a massive loss of cloud cover. More solar radiation reaches the surface in July despite its reduced availability.Hence the much greater range of temperature in the northern hemisphere. Photosynthesis thrives at 25°C and is very limited at temperatures below 15°C.

        I read that what CO2 goes into the ocean tends to stay there. As a raw material for photosynthesis its in short supply in the ocean as in the atmosphere. I imagine it produces the same strong response in terms of growth of CO2 using organisms as it does on land.

        So far as surface temperature is concerned, the notion that is forced by CO2 does not stack up. If the atmosphere were static…perhaps.But, its anything but static. Pull the insulation out of the walls and ceiling of your house and see how you fare. Then take off your clothes. Then step outdoors.

        You then observe that surface temperature relates to where the wind is coming from, the amount of cloud in the sky and the angle of the sun. We don’t have to scavenge around for evidence that these factors are important. We are still looking for evidence that the ‘greenhouse effect’ is anything more than a figment of the imagination.

  10. April 8, 2016 12:52 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    Excellent post as well as comment thread.

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