Frozen in Time
Dec 27, 2014
After a brutal November, December was mild but January will rival January 2014!

Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Update:

The month to date:

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The typhoon Mekkhala is nearing the Philippines and about to recurve north. An old empirical rule is that a recurving typhoon leads to major trough amplification in the central and eastern United States about 10 days later.

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The models suggest January ends bitter cold with anomalies near 40F below normal (pink). This January will rivakl 2014 for US cold.

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It was a November to Remember for winter lovers. It was the 16th coldest in the record back to 1895 with 18 states in the east and south in the top ten coldest. California was the exception with continued warmth. It was more like December than November. Natural gas prices soared 50%.

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The lake effect machine was busy with oveer 6 feet of snow in places.

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There was a rare Thanksgiving snowstorm with 50% snow cover extent at the peak, higher than Christmas on an average year. For North America, the snow extent was the highest in the record.

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Then in December the cold gradually faded as westerly winds around a strengthening polar vortex in high latitudes ushered milder Pacific air into Canada and the United States. This helped bring rains and mountain snow to drought striken California but not much snow east and temperatures more like we might expect in November. With the mild temperature natural gas prices gave back all the gains from November.

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Here is the vortex in the high atmosphere (stratosphere) which usually means maritime air dominates instead of polar.

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In the most similar years to this one, this vortex broke down in late December and January and cold evolved. And indeed models suggest that happnes the next 10 days with an increased invasion of polar even Siberian air.

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The lower atmosphere adjusts accordingly with the vortex coming south.

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Look at the departures from normal of -36F in the east in this model. Please note the models are having great difficulty adjusting to the changes and are highly variable model to model and run to run.

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We have a high confidence this change will occur but lower confidence on the details and timing. Once the arctic patterns readjust to the changes and the pattern stabilize, we would expect cold and storminess to prevail for an extended period. We cover this daily on Weatherbell.com which also has the highest resolution modeliing available even at the hobbyiest level.

Dec 18, 2014
(Plant) Food for Thought

Allan MacRae

Letter from Allan MacRae

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David Socrates asks on December 16, 2014 at 7:57 am
“Will all the folks saying that ∆CO2 follows ∆T ([temperature]. explain why in the past 15/16/17 years, ∆T = zero and ∆CO2 is 30-34 ppm?”

Already answered in my posts on this page David:

“I suggest that at a practical level, atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

In the modern data record, the rate of change dCO2/dt varies ~contemporaneously with temperature and CO2 lags temperature by about 9 months.

For verification, please see my 2008 paper.

CO2 also lags temperature by about 800 years in the ice core record on a longer time scale.

Therefore, CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales. CO2 does not drive temperature; temperature (among other factors) drives CO2.

It appears that CO2 lags T at all measured time scales. This still allows for other significant drivers of atmospheric CO2, such as fossil fuel combustion, land-use changes such as deforestation, ocean outgassing, etc.”

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The details of this issue have been ably argued on wattsup and other sites between Ferdinand Engelbeen and Richard S Courtney - one can search under “mass balance argument”.

The issue is one of magnitudes - how can we fully explain the current rise in atmospheric CO2 - your “∆CO2 is 30-34 ppm” - when the ∆CO2 magnitudes observed in both the modern data record and the ice core record in response to ∆T are allegedly too small to solely account for this 30-34 ppm CO2 - some parties allege that other drivers of this ∆CO2 such as fossil fuel combustion must also exist (and they may be right or wrong).

Many pages have been written and it is an interesting argument, which is of great scientific importance. However, for policy discussions I suggest all we really need to know is that global temperature T is clearly insensitive to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and the IPCC alarmists’ fear of catastrophic humanmade global warming is without scientific merit, and is highly counterproductive, wasteful and foolish.

As we clearly stated in our 2002 APEGA paper:

“Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming - the alleged warming crisis does not exist.” Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae

Furthermore, increased atmospheric CO2 from whatever cause is clearly beneficial to humanity and the environment. Earth’s atmosphere is clearly CO2 deficient and continues to decline over geological time. In fact, atmospheric CO2 at this time is too low, dangerously low for the longer term survival of carbon-based life on Earth.

More Ice Ages, which are inevitable unless geo-engineering can prevent them, will cause atmospheric CO2 concentrations on Earth to decline to the point where photosynthesis slows and ultimately ceases. This would devastate the descendants of most current life on Earth, which is carbon-based and to which, I suggest, we have a significant moral obligation.

Atmospheric and dissolved oceanic CO2 is the feedstock for all carbon-based life on Earth. More CO2 is better. Within reasonable limits, a lot more CO2 is a lot better.

As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on Earth, I feel it is my duty to advocate on our behalf. To be clear, I am not prejudiced against non-carbon-based life forms, but I really do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. They could be very nice. grin

Best, Allan

Icecap comment. This season beat out 2004 and 2009 for US crop yields with a global glut of produce. Ideal weather conditions combined with higher CO2 has improved productivity. CO2 is plant food. Even in drought ridden California, CO2 helped to limit losses by enhancing growth and reducing water needs. The losses would have been much greater with lower CO2 levels.

Dec 17, 2014
How Obama and His Environmental Base Are Planning to Eradicate the Oil and Gas Industry

http://dailysignal.com/2014/12/12/obama-environmental-base-planning-eradicate-oil-gas-industry/

Why does the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war against hydraulic fracturing look like the Natural Resources Defense Council’s 2007 agenda for eliminating domestic oil and natural gas development?

Because it is.

President Obama is coordinating with far-left environmental activists to wage an all-out assault on American oil and natural gas.

The NRDC’s unjustifiable access to such anti-fracking regulatory power and the diversion of $8.4 million in taxpayer dollars to its coffers is highlighted in an October report from the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority staff titled, “Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution.”

The 111-page committee report opens by citing the enormously positive impacts of America’s oil and natural gas renaissance, which has:

Created and sustained millions of jobs and revitalized our manufacturing sector; Provided greater energy security and geopolitical strength while reducing our trade deficit; Lowered domestic energy prices both in our homes and at the gasoline pump.

But the emphasis is on those who would obliterate that renaissance. The message to the public is a warning: President Obama is coordinating with far-left environmental activists such as the aggressive NRDC and the Sierra Club, along with their millionaire board members, their Hollywood celebrity boosters and their “philanthropic” funders, such as the rabidly anti-fracking Park Foundation, to wage an all-out assault to shut down domestic production of American oil and natural gas.

The report notes that “the price of energy is no object to them; they can afford to pay their energy bills at virtually any price.” They can dump hundreds of millions of dollars into a coordinated campaign against affordable energy, decrease the standard of living for middle-class America and devastate the poor without a qualm.

Specifically, NRDC and other groups are “initiating legal challenges to force regulatory action with sue-and-settle arrangements” the Sierra Club has received more than $19 million and the NRDC $252,004 in EPA-friendly settlements.

An anti-fracking agenda

The most insidious attack is “blurring the scientific literature with spurious studies.”

Since 1997, EPA regulation of oil and natural gas extraction grew by more than 145%.

The foremost example is a 2011 Cornell University report by two biologists and an engineer who “falsely concluded that the life-cycle emissions from natural gas development emit more greenhouse gases than coal,” which was touted by The New York Times as “settled science” useful to silence defenders of fracking. But it was, in fact, science made for hire.

Lead author Robert W. Howarth “was approached by the Park Foundation in 2010 and asked to write an academic article that would make a case that shale gas was a dangerous, polluting fuel. That same year, Park Foundation gave Cornell University $135,000 for Howarth’s study,” the report said.

Howarth’s “outdated and manipulated data” were so wrong that his study was refuted by his own Cornell colleagues, state regulators, some environmental groups and even Obama’s White House.

The Park Foundation’s IRS Form 990PF reports from recent years reveal anti-fracking grants totaling more than $3 million to media outlets, including the American Prospect, Earth Talk, Grist, Mother Jones, the Nation and Yes! Magazine, along with activist groups including Earthworks, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Media Matters for America and a network of about 50 others.

“This strategically organized alliance,” says the report, “has gone to great lengths to misconstrue facts, falsify science, and manufacture risks in order to vilify hydraulic fracturing” while ignoring the numerous failed “green” stimulus projects, including Solyndra.

Government regulation

The committee report was particularly concerned about Obama’s rhetoric that masks his intent, citing remarks that he gave to Northwestern University in October. According to the report, Obama bragged that “our 100-year supply of natural gas is a big factor in drawing jobs back to our shores. Many are in manufacturing, which produce the quintessential middle-class job.”

But at the same time, the report said, “over one dozen federal agencies [are] attempting to justify the federal usurpation of states’ rights to regulate hydraulic fracturing.”

Since 1997, EPA regulation of oil and natural gas extraction grew by more than 145 percent, and 13 federal agencies are trying to regulate fracking out of existence.

The overall picture of the president’s allies is one of heirs, investors and entrepreneurs who became vastly rich in the capitalist system and thus envision themselves as the best directors of everybody else’s life. They became a new ruling class, crony capitalists out to mold the public destiny by destroying all competing visions, using power purchased from politicians, activists and media shills.

The committee report connects some crony capitalist dots: John Bryson was a co-founder of NRDC in 1970 and later became the chairman and CEO of Edison International, “which obtained exclusive power purchase agreements for four solar projects that received [Department of Energy loans].”

In May 2011, Bryson was appointed to be Obama’s Secretary of Commerce and resigned in 2012 for health reasons. NRDC has numerous doorways to the corridors of power.

Conservatives puzzle over the socialist direction of Big Green’s crony capitalists. Anti-fracking activist Bill McKibben’s 350.org bluntly positioned itself as socialist when director Naomi Klein published her 2014 book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” which sets the anti-fracking, anti-fossil fuel task as, “shredding free market capitalism.” Does her gang mean to shred America’s private enterprise by nationalization?

Crony capitalism

Why bother? If your crony capitalist money can buy the government regulations you want and reroute the federal treasury into your anti-fossil fuel agenda, you get to keep your taxpayer-fed crony capitalism and anybody who survives gets the socialist shreds.

We all owe a debt of thanks to Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, for having the courage and diligence to spearhead such investigations as this fracking report documents.

Looking beyond the waning days of the lame-duck session, he told The Daily Signal, “With a Republican majority in the Senate, committee reports which are based on honest research will have a more significant presence in terms of creating awareness and setting policy.

“These reports are crucial to understanding how aggressive the EPA and Obama administration are in broadening the scope of their authority to issue regulations that affect small businesses and individual families across the country. Plus, they could lead to oversight hearings and perhaps legislative reforms.”

Ron Arnold is a free-enterprise activist, author and commentator. He pioneered investigative methods to expose money and power links of the American left in nine books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. He is a veteran consultant for non-profit organizations and businesses faced with crisis situations and governmental abuses.

Dec 08, 2014
Wet California as storms offshore ease the claimed ‘1200 year’ Drought

Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

Note Icecap has reached two milestones - 8700 posts and 60,500,000 page hits. Thank you!

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The California drought made the news in Live Science this week:

The drought now plaguing California is the worst to parch the central and southern parts of the state in the last 1,200 years, a new study finds. The 2012 to 2014 drought’s lack of rain isn’t remarkable on its own, according to tree-ring records reported in the study. There have been three-year periods when less rain and snow fell. But the current drought comes at a time of extreme heat. Record-high temperatures exacerbated the drought, creating the driest soil conditions since the 9th century, according to the study, published Dec. 3 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Based on precipitation alone, the tree-ring records confirmed the researchers’ gut instincts: There were past droughts that saw less rainfall. However, in terms of PDSI soil moisture, both 2014 alone and the cumulative three-year drought are the worst in 1,200 years, the study found.

California’s climate history is marked by much longer droughts, including megadroughts lasting 100 years, and several decades-long droughts. There were also 66 short-term dry periods that lasted between three and nine years during the 1,200 year study period, which makes the current drought just one of many minor dry spells, if only the lack of rain is considered.

There can be no doubting the drought has been statewide and serious.

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But as noted the last year was not as bad as 1923/24 or the two years 1975/76 -1976/77.

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Palmer Hyrological Drought Index 36 months ending October.

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In the Sierra, water year (October to September) precipitation in 2013/14 ranked behind 1923/24, 1976/77, 1938/39, 1930/31, 1975/76, 1986/87 and 1928/29 and in a virtual tie with 1993/94.

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You can see last year ranked well above 1923/24 and 1976/77. This year is running near normal.

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The 60 month temperature fell just behind the 2002-2004 peak. Recall the west coast had a cool summer and year a few years back when the water off the cost was very cold but now reflects the unusual warmth. Note the California trend reflects the urbanization no longer corrected for after USHCN v1 transitioned to USHCN v2 in 2008.

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The last 10 days has seen very wet weather in most of California but focused most the northern third.

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The 7 day forecast has more of the same again focused SFO north.

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It has been warm to date this month in the southwest.

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The constructed analog has it biased warm this winter in California. Ocean temperature anomalies support that.

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NOAA also reported yesterday:

Natural conditions, not human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases, are the driving force behind California’s three-year dry spell, scientists on a federal task force concluded Monday. But the report came under fire from some experts who said it downplayed other factors that have humanity’s fingerprints on them.

The evidence suggests a naturally induced “warm patch” of water in the western Pacific helped to create a high-pressure ridge that blocked precipitation from entering California, the experts said at a news conference to release the report.

“We have been able to identify this as a mode of ocean forcing of atmospheric circulation that causes West Coast drought,” said Richard Seager, a climate model specialist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The study notes that this ridge - which has resulted in decreased rain and snowfall since 2011 - is almost opposite to what computer models predict would result from human-caused climate change.

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Stories like this and timely stories about weather and climate forecasts are done daily by Joe Bastardi and I on Weatherbell.com. Ryan Maue and Tom Downs also post and help us produce the daily forecasts for enthusiasts and industry. Ryan has developed the most complete model page available inlcuding highest resolution EC at unbeatable price. Consider a subscription to Weatherbell as a Christmas present to a weather lover or yourself.

Alternatively please help us pay the bills which come monthly to maintain securely the ICECAP site. We don’t seek money from industry but rely on your generosity. The support comes from my pocket many months. We have reached the 60 million mark in terms of visitors this month. We work very hard to try and bring the truth to the public that the mainstream media refuses to report on because they are linked to the radical environmental agenda which wants to decarbonize, deindustrialize and even depopulate the planet and endorse measures that will hurt the poor and middle class they claim to speak for.

We give talks to the public, to state and federal committees, have provided scientific support for written briefs for the courts including SCOTUS. We do interviews, cable shows, newspaper columns. I have published peer reviewed papers. All of these efforts are pro bono. Rest assured those that write the alarmist papers and are spokesmen/women for the ‘cause’ are paid for their advocacy efforts. This is a case of David versus Goliath in the climate world. Of course Icecap is not alone or the largest but we may be one of the oldest and biggest. Thank you sincerely for your help.

Nov 29, 2014
Andrew Cuomo Slams National Weather Service Over His Own Ignorance

Dennis Mersereau

Four months ago, Andrew Cuomo falsely stated that New York just recently started seeing tornadoes. On Saturday, the governor gave a press conference where he slammed meteorologists for their largely accurate Buffalo snow forecasts. As usual, Andrew Cuomo is clueless.

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Gov. Cuomo Talks About Tornadoes, Knows Nothing About Tornadoes

After touring damage in central New York left behind by yesterday’s strong tornado that killed ...
Read more

Buffalo’s WGRZ quotes Cuomo as saying that “no one had an idea” that the snow would be so heavy over the Southtowns and that the National Weather Service “was off” on their forecasts. The Governor goes on to say that the federal agency’s performance during the snowstorm (which was excellent!) is among the reasons that the State of New York is developing its own weather forecasting system.

Cuomo further asserted that “when the weather detection system is off, you don’t know a storm is coming, you don’t have a chance to prepare.”

If Cuomo had stopped his comments at “no one had an idea” that the snow would be so heavy, he might have gotten away with it, but true to his profession, he had to keep running his mouth. His accusing the National Weather Service of missing the storm so hard that residents didn’t know a storm was coming is just one more bullet point on a list of stupid comments from a sub-par politician venturing into a topic he knows little about.

When a single band of lake effect snow forms, the band usually drifts north and drifts south until it dissipates. Such an intense band doesn’t usually park itself over one area and create whiteout conditions for an entire day. That’s why lake effect snow events are usually two or three-foot storms that barely make the news. Residents take pictures, clean up, and move on.

Lake Effect Snow: How Nature’s Greatest Snow Machine Works

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The above photo, taken from a plane above Buffalo yesterday by photographer Jeff Suhr, shows the...Read more

The two intense bands that affected western New York last week didn’t move, and that’s why they were such a big deal. While it’s not unprecedented in the Great Lakes region, 88 inches of snow in five days is an extremely unusual event for communities outside of mountainous areas. Cuomo is partially right in that we didn’t have an indication ahead of time that residents would see near-record amounts of snow across the area.

However, that’s where the credit to his knowledge ends. The governor is dead wrong when he says that residents had no warning that a storm was coming.

The Friday before the snow began, the NWS office in Buffalo mentioned the possibility of “feet of snow” south of the city as a result of persistent lake eff snow bands.

[Update 6:51 PM: Josh Timlin points out to me on Twitter that as early as Monday, November 17, NWS Buffalo pointed out that the following week’s pattern “has all the makings of a historic or at least well remembered lake effect event...”

On Sunday night, the office issued the first lake effect snow warning for the eastern shores of Lake Erie in anticipation of “localized amounts around two feet in the most persistent bands Monday evening through Wednesday.”

As the bands began to set up and it became clear that they were parking themselves over the Southtowns, forecasters had to up the totals far beyond what usually occurs in lake effect snow events. By 12:30 AM on Tuesday, the NWS bumped up snow total forecasts to two to three feet; by 6:52 AM, the totals were three to four feet; by 9:39 AM, they had updated the snowfall totals to five to six feet across the most heavily-affected areas. The largest snowfall total from the first band was 65 inches (five feet, five inches) south of Cheektowaga.

The second band of snow that occurred between Wednesday night and Thursday was very well forecast, with the NWS immediately calling for three to four feet of snow in the Southtowns when they issued the second lake effect snow warning at 3:33 PM on Tuesday. The highest snowfall total from the two events was 88 inches in Cowlesville, about 20 miles east-southeast of Buffalo.

Again, residents had plenty of warning that it would be a hefty lake effect snow event, even if they didn’t know ahead of time that it would crank out more than seven feet of snow.

Don Paul, chief meteorologist for Buffalo’s CBS affiliate, said it best on his Facebook page:

Governor Cuomo’s attempt to scapegoat the National Weather Service for an inaccurate forecast in advance is not only completely in error - the NWS did an outstanding job - but is a disservice to the public and to the hard-working staff of this federal agency. No forecast of such an historical disaster is going to be absolutely perfect, but no one who lives here can say this event was not well forecast in advance, or that the warning headlines of its impact to come were not well explained in advance...his statement is disinformation, purposeful or ill-informed.

I’m willing to go one step further and point out that Andrew Cuomo’s attempt to trash the National Weather Service for this unusual lake effect snow event is nothing but a cheap and sleazy attempt on his part to garner public support for a weather forecasting system he wants to implement in his state.

Cuomo has proven time and time again that he is neither qualified nor informed enough to talk about the weather on even a conversational level. The governor needs to leave the weather to the professionals and stick to what he does best acting like a stereotypical, shady New York politician.

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