Snow? Climate change and blizzards – yes, there is a connection

For those who think extreme snow fall and precipitation events somehow disprove climate change, I’d direct them to the following graph

Looking like a trend…

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

Rising ocean surface temperatures already have increased the temperature and moisture content of the air passing over the United States, setting the stage for heavier snow and rain storms. Global warming has increased the risk of dumping heavier precipitation — as rain or snow — over most land regions that experience storms.

In the U.S., the region that has experienced the highest increase in heaviest precipitation is the Northeast over the last half century. According to NOAA, the Northeast saw a 74 percent increase in the amount of precipitation that fell during the heaviest rain and snow events between 1958 and 2011.

Yes, you read correctly: a 74% increase in the “the amount of precipitation that fell during the heaviest rain and snow events between 1958 and 2011.”

The science isn’t really that hard to understand: increased moisture in the atmosphere and changes to the climate will lead to an increased number of extreme – if not record-breaking – precipitation events.

Or in English, blizzards and rainfall that comes with an increased frequency and intensity.

Think of a kettle on the stove: as the water begins to boil, steam pours from the spout. Now what if the kettle is sitting inside a hutch or locked cabinet? The steam will hit the roof, condense and fall back down.

Now translate these well understood physics to the climate system: as temperatures rise over time, more moisture content is present in the air. It has nowhere else to go, except down…

And when it comes down on major cities or heavily populated areas it causes black outs, transport chaos and devastation.

Or – we could pretend it is not happening.

Just like climate change denier US Sen. Jim Inhofe we could force our grandchildren to build an igloo in order to mock the claims of climate scientists:

Climate change denial prompts it’s own form of child labour

Who’s laughing now?

[Hat tip Dianne S for this]


105 thoughts on “Snow? Climate change and blizzards – yes, there is a connection

  1. zoot says:

    Eric will be along any minute to explain that you’re wrong because global temperatures haven’t risen for 16 years.

  2. I don’t know why people find it so I do understand that extra heat (energy) leads to more intense rainfall and snow.

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Agreed Blair. Hence the “kettle analogy” as an attempt to convey this impact of global warming in simple terms. Give me your thoughts if it hits the mark or not.

  3. Skeptikal says:

    Yes, you read correctly: a 74% increase in precipitation that fell between 1958 and 2011.

    No Mike, you read it incorrectly. It says a 74 percent increase in the amount of precipitation that fell during the heaviest rain and snow events between 1958 and 2011. They are not talking about total precipitation, only precipitation during the heaviest rain and snow events. There’s a big difference.

    Read the fine print and you’ll find that it is only for the Northeast US, it is only for 1 day precipitation events, it is only for winter…. and…. they choose to define winter as October to March.

    Can anyone see a cherry, or have they all been picked?

  4. Eric Worrall says:

    I see – during the Little Ice Age, extreme blizzards and freezing conditions meant the world was abnormally cold, but as we add CO2 to the atmosphere, extreme blizzards and freezing conditions are evidence the world is warming?

    A difficult sell – but thankfully the Climategate scientists found a solution.

    I think the notion of telling the public to prepare for both global
    >warming and an ice age at the same creates a real public relations
    >problem for us.

    in my experience, global warming freezing is already a bit of a public
    relations problem with the media, which can become public perception.

    I think this is a real problem, and I agree with Nick that climate change
    might be a better labelling than global warming.

    A simple change of label, and now any weather anomaly can be blamed on our sinful ways, without the embarrassment of people pointing out that really cold weather contradicts the suggestion that the world is warming.

    • Not all Conservative ideas are daft. “Climate change” was a phrase invented for Bush II by Fred Luntz, Credit where credit is due.

    • Nick says:

      Eric,beyond anecdote,there is little documented about weather during the little ice age,certainly not at a global scale,so claims about ‘extreme blizzards’ are conjecture. We cannot meaningfully compare thin anecdotal evidence with the last centuries quality observations.

      ‘Maggie Thatcher set up the Hadley Centre as a political weapon against the coal unions’ Some evidence for this claim would be useful as well…..

      You seem to be as nutso as ever. Evidence provided by your good self above.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Climategate Email 3759.txt

        Here is the Oroko Swamp RCS chronology plot in an attached Word 98 file and
        actual data values below. It certainly looks pretty spooky to me with
        strong “Medieval Warm Period” and “Little Ice Age” signals in it. It’s
        based on substantially more replication than the series in the paper you
        have to review (hint, hint!).

        Oroko Swamp is in New Zealand, about as far as you can get from Northern Europe without leaving the planet. This email was sent in 2000 to Keith Briffa of the CRU.

        Alarmists were clearly aware at least as far back as 2000 that there was strong evidence the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period were global climate events.

      • Nine times you lost Climategate. Nine times. And you still cherry pick the quote mining. How sad are you? How about bringing the thieves to justice, hmm?

      • Nick says:

        Eric,you cannot substantiate your lazy assertions re Thatcher and weather in the LIA ,and thus resort to diversion.

        Your diversion is a decontextualised exerpt and who knows why it is significant to you! Putting weight on off-the-cuff comments without a clue about background! And if ,and even if, these events were ‘worldwide’,they point to climate sensitivity to forcing change being HIGH!

    • sailrick says:

      “but as we add CO2 to the atmosphere, extreme blizzards and freezing conditions are evidence the world is warming?”

      The mean temperature for Boston in January is 29 F (-1.5 C). Just about right for snow. In other words, it is usually cold enough to snow this time of year, and almost always cold enough at night. Therefore temperature is not the critical factor of whether it snows or not in winter, in Boston, or most of the area effected by Nemo.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Water yields a tremendous amount of heat energy when it freezes . During some weather conditions, you can actually feel the air warm when snowfall first starts.

        So if the temperature during a heavy blizzard was the same as the temperature normally is when it isn’t snowing, then without the snow, the temperature would have been a lot colder.

    • Eric doesn’t acknowledge that the phrase “climate change” was a conservative invention – but attempts to shift attention when he’s caught out.

  5. john byatt says:

    Forget denialdepot, forget climatescum sheri’s blog is the new kid in town and it is pure gold
    mike at uknowispeaksense gives it a 7 on the worrall scale

    all your favorites will be there, Klem and skeptical ,

    I give you


    • Too, too wonderful. Recursive indeed.

      • john byatt says:

        Klem comments there

        klem says:
        February 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm
        I know that ‘watching the deniers’ site. I beleive it is an Australian blog site with strong socialist and climate alarmist leanings. I beleive there are only about 4 regular contributors and they are so regular that I think they all know one another outside of the blog site. I’ve always speculated that they all live together in their mom’s basement apartment.

        I’ve been a thorn in the side of the host for a couple of years now I think, and whenever I post a skeptic comment they usually respond with lots of Ad Homs, that’s about the depth of it. I will give the host some credit, unlike many alarmist sites they have never banned me.

        pack of commie bastards?

      • I note they criticise this blog for ad hominem attacks. Well, all I can say to the rest of you is “Mom says stop playing The International so damn loudly – she can hear it upstairs”.

        More recursion – it’s turtles all the way down.

      • Nick says:

        Sensible debate gets nuanced reply. Disingenuous idiots with fake outrage about ‘abuse’ deserve nothing. They should count themselves lucky they even get abuse. They have done nothing but damage debate,hinder discussion and comprehension and act insincerely for the last decade.

      • klem says:

        Wow, I can’t beleive you even remember me, its been a long time since I have commented on this site but you still remember me. I’m impressed that you quoted me, I’m even more impressed that you added the comment ‘pack of commie bastards’ at the end, like I had actually said that. Nice touch ladies.

        I wonder, is mom making you all supper tonight?



  6. However you put it, increasing snow events in place of rain is because it is getting colder more often in that locality.

    Then it turns out that in the past few years it is not just the USA but China, Siberia, Japan , India, South America, Middle East and so on (even Australia has experienced cooler weather in recent years) which does rather suggest that there is a worldwide cooling trend in winter.

    As for the recent snow in the USA (and the UK for which I can vouch for pretty good accuracy in the past 2 weeks) Piers Corbyn seemed to predict it rather well considering this was over a month in advance. Always difficult to get a full picture since his forecasts are proprietary but the Climate realists website seems to be a bit of a mouthpiece for his pronouncements.

    I now always plan my UK holidays around his predictions – and it works!

  7. john byatt says:

    looked at corbyn’s predictions years ago.

    If he predicts rain then any rain within 500kms is considered as an accurate forecast,

    Please, the man is a complete moron and not worthy of further consideration

    • john byatt says:

      someone told me that it was never going to snow or rain again and i believed them

      and then it did snow and rain,

      what a dill


  8. Schitzree says:

    Why do skeptics, and the public in general, have such a hard time accepting the Climate Change / Extreme Weather causes more snow meme? Probably because up till 2 or 3 years ago most of the alarmists were telling us that global warming would mean LESS snow. We were told that soon Kilimanjaro’s snowy top would be bare, that the glaciers were going to melt away in a few dozen years,that Australia and Texas had entered a permanent drought and that most of the world would soon follow, that children just wouldn’t know what snow was.
    It was only after the opposite started to happen that the Alarmists said “This is consistent with our understanding of Global Warming”.
    The claim that they had predicted this Extreme Weather is untrue. They predicted more and greater hurricanes and cyclones (which we haven’t gotten). they predicted more drought and heatwaves (which we haven’t gotten). they predicted massive sea level rise (which we haven’t gotten). They never predicted blizzards in Boston, or cold wet weather in England, or the coldest winter in Russia in decades. They’ve just claimed after the fact that it can be explained by .’Man-Made Climate Change’.

    Woops. gotta go. A Tornado just struck somewhere in Missassippi, and since that’s never happened before (I would assume, from the way CNN is reporting it) I need to go find out how it was caused by Climate ‘no longer global warming’ Change.

    • Nick says:

      Look at the long-term data,Schitzy, not the odd headline-grabbing US blizzard.. Claims about what climate change would bring are documented in many papers and reports. YOU HAVE OBVIOUSLY NOT READ THEM!

      Snow cover and duration is trending down around the world,with only small upticks for winter alone…that’s a sign that winters are warming enough to reach an optimum for snowfall during some winter blizzards while snow cover and glacier mass declines IN THE LONG TERM. You are choosing single events /data points to ignore the trend evident in ALL events/data points. LEARN TO USE VALID STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES,TOOLS & CONVENTIONS!

      Kilimanjaro’s summit ice is ablating away RAPIDLY, globally many glaciers HAVE melted away entirely while high nineties percent are shrinking to oblivion or a new higher equilibrium line. Irian Jaya’s ice WILL be gone in twenty years, snow cover trend in Australia’s mountains is in clear decline from sixty years data despite high annual variability misleading idiots into thinking they can ignore the full record..

      Winter runs for three months…when that time is through then we can decide how cold relative to other years this winter has REALLY been. Newsapaper reports are not adequate substitutes for analysis. If you have something to say use some actual f***king facts!!!

      • john byatt says:

        They never can give a citation except other nonsense claims
        they only read the bullshit fed to them, forget reading the science, lazy and ignorant,

    • Kevin MacDonald says:

      Schitzree says:
      February 11, 2013 at 12:26 am

      up till 2 or 3 years ago most of the alarmists were telling us that global warming would mean LESS snow.

      Not so much, no:

      IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 Precipitation

      “This results in a general increase in precipitation over most of the continent [North America] except the most south-westerly part (Figure 11.12). The ensemble mean of MMD models projects an increase in annual mean precipitation in the north reaching +20%, which is twice the inter-model spread, so likely significant; the projected increase reaches as much as +30% in winter.”

  9. Eric Worrall says:

    The only thing funnier than watching alarmists tying themselves into knots explaining away plummeting temperatures and increased snowfall as a symptom of global warming will be watching you explain away the impending recovery of Arctic summer ice extent.

    Obviously you will try to claim it is due to increased snowfall overwhelming the effect of global warming – but your efforts will be fun to watch, as your ability to rationalise away contradictions to your faith is tested to its limits, and beyond.

    • zoot says:

      And what do you predict the Arctic summer ice extent will be in 2013?

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Is that a prediction Eric? If so – and if you’re prepared to back view the climate is not changing – then give us a estimate.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Hey, unlike alarmists I don’t claim to have a crystal ball settled science computer model.

        I expect 2013 to be similar to this year – peak of the rather feeble cycle 24.

        After 2013, I expect a recovery in arctic ice. If the sunspot cycle keeps winding down to Maunder Minimum levels, we can expect some very chilly weather over the next few decades.

        Don’t forget, the flipflop happened once before – climate heroes like John Holdren (Obama’s science advisor) used to write books about anthropogenic global cooling, before it became obvious the world was warming, before shamelessly moving to the dangerous warming camp.

        Time will tell whether they have the chutzpah to shamelessly segue back to global cooling (still our fault of course).

      • zoot says:

        … before it became obvious the world was warming, …

        Wash your mouth out.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Past tense zootie 😉

    • Nick says:

      That’s as stupid a post as I’ve seen from you,Eric. I wish you would stop for your own sake,but you have no self-awareness.

      You’re the one in knots because you don’t understand the physics and meteorological mechanisms as explained by experts like Trenberth and Arctic
      specialists. There is no lack of material on the subject. Start with ‘arctic amplification’ and the physical set-up of the Arctic Ocean surrounded by land masses.

      You do not even have the ability to ‘rationalise away’ contradictions to your ‘faith’–
      as your irrational ‘prediction’ shows. You’re hopin’ and a wishin’,pure and simple. Or as you say yourself, “I am expecting…”

      Eric is ‘expecting’ his fervent hope of summer sea-ice extent increase to materialise in 2013…because he is ‘expecting’ it, not because he can personally present a mechanism or point to any researcher who can do so,but simply because he is ‘expectant’…

  10. zoot says:

    … climate heroes like John Holdren (Obama’s science advisor) used to write books about anthropogenic global cooling, …

    And which books would those be, Eric?

      • zoot says:

        Now be fair Eric, those books quoted in your link are not “about anthropogenic global cooling”.
        And the newest one mentioned is nearly thirty years old. There’s been a lot of data collected since then, and like any good scientist Holdren has modified his position in line with the data. You could take a leaf out of his book.

      • john byatt says:

        why not just quote from the coauthored book instead of a different book

        In their 1970s textbook, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources and Environment,” last revised in 1977, Holdren together with co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich argued on page 687 that “a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend.”

        Equivocating between whether human-caused global warming or global cooling were the more likely future trend, the authors concluded that, either way, any rapid climate change would produce an eco-disaster because any rapid change in climate, regardless whether toward global warming or global cooling, would produce hazardous effects upon agriculture and food production.


      • Eric Worrall says:

        Holdren’s theory of global climate disruption is something of an each way bet, don’t you think?

        And if modifying your position in line with the data is something you advocate, at what point do you modify your position? 16 years of data say the world is not warming significantly in response to increased atmospheric CO2 levels.

        The UK MET office seem to be revising their predictions down, at least in the short term, in response to the data.

      • zoot says:

        No Eric, your “sixteen years of data” merely show that the temperature last year was close to the temperature in 1996.
        You completely ignore all the other data such as Arctic summer ice extent, flora and fauna habitats moving towards the poles, permafrost melting, glaciers retreating, the first decade of the 21st century being the hottest on record etc, etc,etc.

      • john byatt says:

        how to do it

        just google the exact opposite of any crap that worrall quotes.

        so that is how holdren came up as not being invoived in the global colling hysteria

        now google met uk predicts more warming rather than worralls crap


        uk met predicts possible 2013 hottest year at 0,57C

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Hilarious – John now thinks the BBC report I quoted is part of the big oil funded climate denial conspiracy. Or are the MET simply producing different predictions on different days?

      • john byatt says:

        I will take that as an apology for both of your crap claims

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You mean I should apologies for exposing the way the MET sneaked their downward adjusted climate forecast out on Christmas Eve, to bury bad news?

      • It’s a conspiracy! Plateau! Climategate! Al Gore!

        How’s Abbott’s eugenics plan coming along?

      • I’m told Wing Nuts Daily passes as factual reporting in some universes – just not this one.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I like the vagueness about the reason for the drop – “changes in manufacturing”. The obvious “change in manufacturing” to reduce the impact of the carbon tax would be to shift more manufacturing offshore.

      Australia is already in a precarious position as a manufacturing economy. The resources and agriculture export business actually retards other sectors of the economy to some degree, by pumping up the value of the Australian dollar – making it cheaper to pay someone overseas to do the work, than to pay someone in Australia to do the work.

      The carbon tax just adds to this structural imbalance.

  11. john byatt says:

    bit of confusion about which book was co authored by holdren

    In 1977, Paul R. Ehrlich, Anne H. Ehrlich, and Holdren co-authored the textbook Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment;

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Whats your point exactly? Are you suggesting Erlich is a BS artist, or are you denying Holdren once believed the world faced an ice age?

      If anything Holdren is still getting splinters in his @rse over this issue – he is probably the main proponent of the theory of global climate disruption. Global Climate Disruption has a big advantage over the theory of Global Warming, in that it is harder to falsify – almost any major weather event can be tied to a theory like that. Only a prolonged period of static, abnormally quiet weather can falsify it.

      But political savvy like this is just what you would expect from a presidential science advisor.

  12. john byatt says:

    They like to cherry pick

    why not just quote from the coauthored book instead of a different book

    In their 1970s textbook, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources and Environment,” last revised in 1977, Holdren together with co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich argued on page 687 that “a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend.”

    Equivocating between whether human-caused global warming or global cooling were the more likely future trend, the authors concluded that, either way, any rapid climate change would produce an eco-disaster because any rapid change in climate, regardless whether toward global warming or global cooling, would produce hazardous effects upon agriculture and food production.

    • john byatt says:

      note “rapid”

      we know who the BS artist is,

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You guys are the eco-equivalent of fundamentalist Catholic Papists – just as fundamentalist Catholics believe in the infallibility of the Pope, so in your faith admitting your climate heroes get it wrong is a difficult step.

      • john byatt says:

        It is called research

        this bloke hates holdren

        note “while holdren did not have a hand in the global cooling scare “

      • john byatt says:

        That link only comes upo sometimes so

        Barack Obama — John Holdren – The Obama File Will recalls in his column today on the global warming scare: … While Holdren did not have a hand in the global cooling hysteria, in his 1986 book The

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Your denial of Holdren’s previous support for the global cooling scare is amusing.

      • john byatt says:

        I do not need to watch it eric as holdren had given the outcomes for both cooling and warming, just select which bit you prefer and put it up eh?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Like I said, clever and careful – no matter what happens, Holdren can claim he was right. His position can only be falsified by no change in climate. Given that the climate is at least partially chaotic, a bet that it will change somehow is a pretty safe wager.

      • john byatt says:

        Yes I did watch it and it seems that you now have hence the backpeddle

        what did i hear firstly some senator telling the denier that the great ice age scare was a myth, as it was then some goose reading a few words from page 76 and 77 which was actually part of the warming scare as holdren noted that exactly what is now happening that cold arctic air is spilling south,

        failure again as i believe you have just confirmed


      • john byatt says:

        ““some localities will probably become colder as the warmer atmosphere drives the climatic engine faster, causing streams of frigid air to move more rapidly away from the poles.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Next you’ll be suggesting “The Day After Tomorrow” is a sound prognosis of the climate catastrophe we face in the near future.

        You’ll kind of have to switch to that argument, when the cooling trend becomes more pronounced, so you might as well get used to it.

        Perhaps you could start by reciting a few simple mantras in front of the mirror. “Global warming leads to global cooling”. If you practice, you might even get over the initial discomfort.

      • Nick says:

        What ‘global cooling’ Eric? It’s no use being stubborn if you are transparently in error about basics.

  13. john byatt says:

    Just in an email from friend

    re 7 30 report

    ……………. just witnessed the scariest bit of quasi – religious – politicus clap trap on tonight’s show ! ! !

    A gentleman by the name of Daniel Nalliah (? spelling) – founder of catch the fire ministries had a campaign launch at the National Press Club – wants to run for the Senate. Who should give him a glowing recommendation – none other than Lord Monckton.

    The latter heaping praise on the former – and the former even claiming he had raised the dead; not once but thrice ?

  14. john byatt says:

    So Daniel believes

    1 in god
    2 that humans have been on earth 6000 years
    3 that extreme events are god”s punishment is for evil humans

    so how does strawman defend him?

    “I know its hard for eco-fundies like you to understand, but believing in God doesn’t necessarily mean someone is a moron.”

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Yeah, sorry, from the Wiki article Daniel Nalliah doesn’t IMO appear to qualify as one of those sensible balanced types who keep their faith separate from their temporal competence. I certainly won’t be voting for him.

      A link describing Monckton’s statements of support might be an interesting talking point – I’d like to see exactly what Monckton is alleged to have said.

      • Dr No says:

        Why does it matter what Chris said?
        He was happy to endorse the pastor.
        Guilt by association in my book. Case closed.

        No need to feel embarrassed, I know some atheists who endorse Chris.

  15. Eric Worrall says:

    Could it get any worse from Al Gore? After him making $100 million from big oil, it now turns out he was a tobacco baron – he made a lot of his original money from tobacco.

    At what point do you drop the crazed sex poodle? I know you like to diss Monckton, you regularly attack any skeptic who ever made money from big oil as being an industry whore, and you diss Heartland’s stance on sidestream smoke.

    So come on – double standards or what?

  16. john byatt says:

    Sheri at wtwwtd has been scouring the site,

    she has a rather pathetic little post giving what her understanding of the meaning of the science is settled actually means,

    she has a DK bruce the scientist there with about as much of a clue as eric.

    Sheri what is settlled is that the planet is warming and that it is due to humans.
    It would be a complete waste of time getting that through your thick numbskull.

    Your blog will last about a month before you realise just how far out of your depth you are.

    go back to your idiotic comments at Nova.

  17. john byatt says:

    What monckey bum face said about Daniel

    transcript included


  18. john byatt says:

    Eric, skeptical and the rest of the twits should go and give sheri a bit of a back up, she is making a complete fool of herself,

  19. john byatt says:

    Al sells out to big oil

    Al Jazeera, partly owned by the royal family of Qatar, and the primary export from that nation is oil. Qatar also has the 3rd highest “carbon footprint” of any nation

    had clive palmer purchased the tv station, the headline would have been

    “Al sells out to big coal”

    must be more examples, the list is endless,

    • zoot says:

      The story I saw said that Big Al owned 20% of the channel. As a minority shareholder he could hardly have overruled the others if they were determined to sell to Al Jazeera.
      Characterising it as “Al sells out to big oil” is just the tiniest bit cute, particularly as the Qatar Royals are only part owners of Al Jazeera. It smacks of political homeopathy.

  20. […] 2013/02/10: WtD: Snow? Climate change and blizzards — yes, there is a connection […]

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