The worm quickly turns....quickly
Real Climate comments on the very warm winter in the US and Europe. About what you would expect....
Lets consider the latest such example. In an odd repeat of last year (the 'groundhog day' analogy growing ever more appropriate), we find ourselves well into the meteorological Northern Hemisphere winter (Dec-Feb) with little evidence over large parts of the country (most notably the eastern and central U.S.) that it ever really began. Unsurprisingly, numerous news stories have popped up asking whether global warming might be to blame. Almost as if on queue, representatives from NOAA's National Weather Service have been dispatched to tell us that the event e.g. "has absolutely nothing to do with global warming", but instead is entirely due to the impact of the current El Nino event.and, taking dictation was NBC nightly news. Today, Brian Williams (WARNING annoying add before the video starts that will cause you to beat your Blackberry with large carrots) lead into the story...
BW: Taking a look at the strange weather around the country we revisit a topic that we covered Friday night, that lit up interest and some protest from some of our viewers.......As RC said...
On Friday we looked into it. We invited a 30 year veteran weather forecaster onto the broadcast and asked about it. And here is how Dennis Feltgen of NOAA answered:
DF: It's NOT global warming at all Brian, it's El Nino, El Nino, El Nino........Brian drank the Kool Aide last Friday, tonight he was a mite more skeptical
BW: That was Dennis Feltgen of NOAA and now as they say, for the rest of the story. NBC New's chief science reporter Robert Bazell talked to experts who say there is a relationship between the strange El Nino winter and global warming and there will be a lot more where that came fromwhat's the story?
What’s global warming got to do with it?RC as you would expect, had pretty much the same story
The Earth’s warming pattern can magnify existing weather patterns
By Robert Bazell
Chief science and health correspondent
We're taking a look at the strange weather around the country lately and re-visiting a topic we covered Friday night that lit up interest and protest among some of our viewers.
From now on, scientists say, many extreme weather events will result from natural causes enhanced by global warming. That includes heat waves, droughts and hurricanes.
"We all know that humans don't make hurricanes," Schneider says. "Katrina was not produced by global warming, yet Katrina was a little stronger because it went over an ocean that was half a degree warmer than it would have been."
So, the unusual warmth in the Northeast could be partly the result of global warming. Indeed, even the heavy snow in the Rockies this year might be partly caused by global warming. El Niño brings the storms, but because the air is warmer than usual, it holds far more moisture, producing much more snow.
In reality, the individual roles of deterministic factors such as El Nino, anthropogenic climate change, and of purely random factors (i.e. "weather") in the pattern observed thus far this winter cannot even in principle be ascertained. What we do know, however, is that both anthropogenic climate change and El Nino favor, in a statistical sense, warmer winters over large parts of the U.S. When these factors act constructively, as is the case this winter, warmer temperatures are certainly more likely. Both factors in fact also favor warmer global mean surface temperatures (the latter factor amounting to one or two tenths of a degree C for a moderate to strong El Nino). It is precisely for this reason that some scientists are already concluding, with some justification, that 2007 stands a good chance of being the warmest year on record for the globe.Except, being scientists they failed Ms. Rabett's nude scientist exam adding caveats and a whole lot of other interesting things afterwards, burying their conclusion.
Reflect on what the story means for how climate change is going to be covered in the main stream media. Things are changing rapidly, not only the climate.