The Washington Post & The “Super Hot” Arctic
By Paul Homewood
Daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel, as a function of the day of year.
There has been much excitement about much of the Arctic being warmer than usual at the moment.
The Washington Post describes it as “insane”. (The 36 degrees is Fahrenheit, by the way).
Chris Mooney is well known for biased and misleading reporting where climate change is concerned, but it is always sad to see otherwise respectable meteorologists such as Jason Samenow, one of the Capital Weather Gang, roped in as well, something that has become more frequent in recent years.
The simple reality, as Samenow should know, is that such departures above “normal” are not unusual during the colder months in the Arctic.
DMI have records back to 1954 for Arctic temperatures, and a quick trawl uncovers several similar instances, for instance 1972, 1974 and 1976:
The only difference was that these occurrences took place in January/February, rather than November. We should bear in mind that the 1970s were a time of expanding Arctic ice.
The Washington Post article actually explains what has been going on:
The Arctic is super-hot, even as a vast area of cold polar air has been displaced over Siberia…..
It’s about 20C [36 degrees Fahrenheit] warmer than normal over most of the Arctic Ocean, along with cold anomalies of about the same magnitude over north-central Asia,” Jennifer Francis, an Arctic specialist at Rutgers University, said by email Wednesday.
“The Arctic warmth is the result of a combination of record-low sea-ice extent for this time of year, probably very thin ice, and plenty of warm/moist air from lower latitudes being driven northward by a very wavy jet stream.”
The key is the comment about warm/moist air. Because of latent heat, when that moist air turns back to water, heat is given off, thus warming the atmosphere disproportionately.
Jennifer Francis has long claimed that the “wavy jetstream” is caused by melting Arctic ice. Yet HH Lamb found the same phenomenon in the 1960s and 70s, and believed it was caused by a colder Arctic!
Indeed, if we check out the GISS global temperature maps for the three years I have highlighted above, 1972, 1974 and 1976, we find very similar weather patterns, with very cold polar air displaced over Siberia and North America, along with warm air invading the Arctic.
The truth is that there is nothing unusual or unprecedented going on here. It is simply weather.