U.S. cold snap was a freak of nature, quick analysis finds

Fishing trawlers sit on the frozen harbor of Lake Montauk surrounded by thin sheets of ice on Jan. 7 in Montauk, N.Y. A quick study of the brutal American cold snap found that the Arctic blast really was a freak of nature.

WASHINGTON — Consider this cold comfort: A quick study of the brutal American cold snap found that the Arctic blast really wasn’t global warming but a freak of nature.

Frigid weather like the two-week cold spell that began around Christmas is 15 times rarer than it was a century ago, according to a team of international scientists who does real-time analyses to see if extreme weather events are natural or more likely to happen because of climate change.

The cold snap that gripped the East Coast and Midwest region was a rarity that bucks the warming trend, said researcher Claudia Tebaldi of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the private organization Climate Central.

The same team had connected several weather events last year to man-made global warming including Hurricane Harvey that battered the U.S. and Caribbean and the French floods.

“It was very definitely strange, especially now,” said study co-author Gabriel Vecchi of Princeton University. A century ago “it wouldn’t have been that strange. Things like this are becoming stranger.”

The study by the World Weather Attribution analyzed weather records dating back to 1880 and found the cold weather that hit a swath of the U.S. from Maine to Minnesota tends to happen once every 250 years. In the early 1900s, it happened about once every 17 years. Climate change has made such cold spells less common and less intense, the group said.

That finding agrees with earlier studies, said University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd, who wasn’t part of the study.

“I think the public frenzy over the recent cold snap illustrated that we are less acclimated to such events,” he said in an email.

The study, based on observations and statistics, did not find evidence for a popular scientific theory that links melting Arctic sea ice to blasts of cold air escaping the top of the world.

The theory, which is still debated by scientists but gaining credence among many, is based on pressure changes and other factors that cause the jet stream to plunge and weather systems to get stuck. But the latest analysis didn’t find such evidence.

(24) comments

Joe King

The planet has had the hottest 4 years in recorded history.....still the uniformed and gop deny it is even happening....reaction will be too late....we need prevention now...the entire world agrees, except drumpf and the gop

bettermethanyou

Link please, Joe.

Joe King

turn off fox entertainment and google it..this has made national news...

Average Joe

Temperature cycles have happened throughout earths history. To think that us mere mortals can do anything to change it is pure arrogance. We can't affect a drought, monsoon, tornado or hurricane. Global Warming is just another scheme to tax people and corporations and has nothing to do with climate change.

RickVerde

Amen Average Joe, and so true !

Joe King

your confusing weather with climate....of course we can't change the weather....and yes, the earth has gone through periods of ice ages....but it happens slowly and over thousands of years.....the last time we had this much carbon in the air, florida was underwater...Science has told us what chemicals are harming the planet...we just need to listen...like back in the 70's and 80's and the ozone and cfc's.....be banned them, and low and befold, the ozone starting healing....coincidence? nope....science......got polio? No? thank a scientist....

strtdude

And then folks after joe king, a conservative will come on with yeah but this and blah blah this. It is just plain silly. And further more why no mention from liberals of stratospheric injection of aerosols to reflect back outwards, some of the solar radiation? If they are taking those measures of solar radiation management, wouldn't that be kinda proof that something is real wrong here at ground level?

strtdude

The corporate overlords tell their liberal scientist to say it is man made and occurring and the corporate overlords tell their conservative scientists to say it is not man made and may not even be occurring. Hey folks, both sides are told what to say by the very same corporate overlords. We just aint catchin on are we? It's the 80 percent rule.

RickVerde

Al Gore and his global warming buffons have pretty much been laughed into oblivion at this point. Scientists with an agenda have been exposed over and over. Only a fool would believe the BS they are spreading!!

Joe King

"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom." Isacc Asimov

RickVerde

And you prove that point over and over again !

bettermethanyou

It never ceases to amaze me how the liberals can ignore facts and call themselves "intelligent", all in the name of ideology. Gore predicted the demise of the Polar ice cap by 2013, it still hasn't happened. Antarctica has so much ice the penguin chicks are starving to death because their parents have to travel longer distances to find open water for food. Lake Superior froze over a couple of winters ago for the first time since 1979. All of this which undoubtedly proves that temps are warming.

Louise Baker

Amen, Joe King!!

Jonas

Silly little "Chicken Littles" of the world. 50 years ago, in geology class we discussed this thing called earth wobbling. No, the "sky is NOT falling" and the end isn't coming due to a build up of excesses of gasses given off by coal and wood burning fires. This craze, or phenomena is a naturally occurring event has been measured in geology as something that take approximately 15000-20000 years to complete. People--Al Gore was NEVER considered to be a stellar academic. He is making millions on you easily led puppets who buy his scare tactics. Now, will some of you who can read take the time to do some research, You need to stop watching so much television and start spending some time in the library!

strtdude

Folks, arguing about climate change is like arguing about what is in a locked steel vault. Imagine how silly two people standing in front of that locked steel vault would look when trying to debate what is in it. Pathetic isn't it ? Now look at what is offered across the political dial. Pathetic isn't it ? We do not know anything other than what we are “allowed” to know. That this has come down to liberal versus conservative is sure proof that the discussion is meant to take grown adults into la la land so as to distract them from the true real world fascist control of the planets resources and political systems. Oh Gee there I go sounding crazy now. Think so? Who do you think controls the governments of this planet? Politicians ? Now that even sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Who is left ? That is correct, it aint complicated. International corporations have got it all locked up. So we can go left right liberal conservative till our brains fall out and what is done with climate change good or bad or in between will be determined by the owners of this planet in the corporate board rooms. Folks, enjoy what it is that the corporate imperialist are allowing us to take part in because planet warming is a far second concern to using the natural resources of the planet at the rate that we are. Any discussion of resource scarcity? Get it ? This aint gonna last much longer. No need to spend your last generations bickering over what we peasants have absolutely no control. Consume and be merry.

Joe King

Don't confuse climate change with weather......what is happening outside your door now is not reflective of the entire planet. Science just simply doesn't back your claims...or I should say repeated claims from the faux (fox) propaganda news and rush the drug user limbaugh....scientist throughout the world agree the climate is warming....

bettermethanyou

Joe, earlier this week I found an article earlier where a NOAA official testified to Congress that NOAA has been doctoring the numbers that indicate a continual increase in temperatures over the last 20 years. It was his testimony that "global warming" ceased to exist beginning in the mid-'90's. Funny how faux news organization like NBC or MSNBC never reported this.

https://science.house.gov/news/press-releases/former-noaa-scientist-confirms-colleagues-manipulated-climate-records

I also heard a NASA researcher say exactly the same thing in a presentation he gave locally last summer.

global hoosier

That NOAA expert, Bates, agrees about gw, so you misrepresent what he said to those House flatlanders

concerned citizen

Maybe the maybe the real news did not report it because it was nonsense and did not fall for it like you did

Jonas

Joe, I took climatology AND meteorology and I certainly do know the difference between them. If you want lessons on the subjects just let me know. I will tell you that we have known for years that the Earth was just in a natural cycle. Remember the last ice age reached into Northern Indiana and the fruit hills of Bristol are soil, rock, and other debris that were dropped off as the ice began to recede back during this AWFUL EARTH WARMING. These moraines (that is what soil and rocks dropped from the glaciers are called) have been a part of Northern Indiana for many thousands of years now. Furthermore, another ice-age will happen in several thousands of years and the "chicken-littles" of the world will probably blame the Republicans on that phenomena as well!

Jonas

Joe, actually you should stick to talking about something you know about--that would be nothing!!!

biker1

Sounds like propaganda being distributed by the wackos on the left who insist the earth is going simply ignite in the near future due to "global warming."

Average Joe

Err...this goes against our narrative. We better come up with some kind of story to maybe explain this or we won’t get funding next year. Hey, where’s my coat?

bettermethanyou

I had a friend last week who passionately argued that global warming was the cause of the record cold last week.

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