Saturday, October 23, 2010

How Cold Was Last Winter?

Last winter was unusual.

Well, it was in some places. It wasn't where I live: the temperatures in Scappoose, OR were 2.1°F above baseline in the three months between 12/21/09 and 3/21/10.

But there was record-breaking snow in Washington, DC, which skewed the media coverage. It was also very cold and snowy in Europe -- as always, it's difficult to summarize how cold Europe was last winter, because Europe is a very large place. See this Wikipedia article.

But, of course, one season does not a climate make, and now a new GRL paper says it wasn't really so cold after all:
"Winter 2010 in Europe: A cold extreme in a warming climate,"
J. Cattiaux, R. Vautard, C. Cassou, P. Yiou, V. Masson‐Delmotte, and F. Codron
Geophysical Research Letters, VOL. 37, L20704, 2010.

They show that
(1) actually it wasn't that cold of a winter at all, compared to the last 6 decades, and
(2) not really that cold, when you look at the phase of the , which controls storm tracks across the north Atlantic.

Their conclusion: "The winter 2010 thus provides a consistent picture of a regional cold event mitigated by long‐term climate warming."

Caveat: Of course, all climate scientists are cheats, frauds, and liars and nothing they say, including the time of day, can ever be accepted (unless they are expressing doubts about past work). Also, all of their mother's were whores (not that it matters)(but they were).


rhhardin said...

Caveat: Most put it down to delusion, not cheating.

CapitalClimate said...

Winter 2009-10 was not particularly cold even for Washington, DC, despite the record snowfall. In fact, the conclusions of the GRL paper are borne out by the evidence that the super snows were accompanied by much less cold air than analogous past events.