Global warming produces cold weather extremes

Right-wing thick heads like to joke that global warming is good because it makes the weather nicer. Or they insist that a cold spell means global warming has been made up by socialistic environmentalists who hate capitalism and want to make your energy bill go up.

Either way they rely on a lack of understanding about the nature of the problem to score a punchline and promote anti-science views.

To help clarify how global warming has impacted winter weather on parts of the Earth, here are some snippets from

The overall warming of Earth's northern half could result in cold winters, new research shows. The shrinking of sea-ice in the eastern Arctic causes some regional heating of the lower levels of air -- which may lead to strong anomalies in atmospheric airstreams, triggering an overall cooling of the northern continents, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

How is it possible that as the Earth's temperature goes up, people actually experience colder temperatures? First, we have to understand this a global phenomenon, not one confined to our neighborhood or region.

Second, higher temperatures caused ice to melt in Arctic region, which in turn changed the temperature of the sea water itself. Using computer simulations to project the impact of further loss of ice, scientists believe they can predict harsher cold winter extremes.

"Our simulations reveal a rather pronounced nonlinear response of air temperatures and winds to the changes of sea-ice cover," Petoukhov, a physicist [one of the researchers who produced the report], says. "It ranges from warming to cooling to warming again, as sea ice decreases." An abrupt transition between different regimes of the atmospheric circulation in the sub-polar and polar regions may be very likely. Warming of the air over the Barents-Kara Sea seems to bring cold winter winds to Europe. "This is not what one would expect," Petoukhov says. "Whoever thinks that the shrinking of some far away sea-ice won't bother him could be wrong. There are complex teleconnections in the climate system, and in the Barents-Kara Sea we might have discovered a powerful feedback mechanism."


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  • Lance:
    I think the effect you are referring to is called Global Dimming, and there's an article about it here:

    Otherwise you have no idea what you are talking about. Volcanoes and animals may also emit greenhouse gasses, but that doesn't subtract from the amount that humans produce, nor does water vapor. I think you understand that it's the extra amount of greenhouse gasses from pollution that cause global warming.

    Posted by Mick, 11/29/2010 2:25am (8 years ago)

  • CO2 absorbs all of the IR radiation within the first 10 - 30 feet from the ground, so increases in CO2 will not cause warming of the planet.

    Furthermore, water vapor is 95% of the the green house gasses.

    You are an idiot and a liar.

    Posted by Lance, 11/22/2010 9:00pm (8 years ago)

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