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Cold Spring Linked To Dramatic Sea Ice Loss 422

hrvatska writes "An article at Weather Underground reports that researchers have linked large snowstorms and cold spring weather across Britain and large parts of Europe and North America to the dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice. It is thought that the Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere, which shifts the position of the jet stream, allowing cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. Researchers expect that a warming Arctic ocean will drive more extreme weather in North America and Europe (abstract)."
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Cold Spring Linked To Dramatic Sea Ice Loss

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  • by cyrano.mac ( 916276 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @02:55PM (#43294795)
    Yep. Global warming is freezing our asses off...
    • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @02:58PM (#43294823) Journal

      Creation "science" has an explanation for all the related scientific data these days, and every time e.g. a geologist discovers something new and interesting, hey, no problem, they can change their story and explain that too.

      Actual science predicts unusual measurements. Junk science says "hey, no problem, our model can explain that too".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Science predicts. Definitely. Of course there is that other thing you need called a disprovable hypothesis.

        Just a thought. Why didn't any of the AGW models predict the last 5 years?
        I mean, if you want to laugh at faith-based belief systems, go ahead, but don't forget to include global warming in the mix. It's facts are as elusive as an creation theory.

        • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Sique ( 173459 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:32PM (#43295241) Homepage
          They actually did. The last five years were within their margins of error.
        • Re:Global warming (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:02AM (#43301067) Journal

          They did. Over ten years ago there were articles on how global warming could result in northern Europe getting colder.

      • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:17PM (#43295079) Homepage

        They've been predicting this for as long as I can remember, and I'm quite old.

        North-West Europe is warmer than it ought to be. The reason is warm water currents coming up from the Equator. It's called the Gulf Stream.

        Ref: []

        If anything disrupts the Gulf Stream, eg. extra ice melt at the North Pole, then Europe's climate will become what it ought to be for its latitude, ie. much colder..

        Science. It works.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:06PM (#43295743)

          FTFY :

          Science. It works.Bitches

      • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Insightful)

        by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:21PM (#43295113) Homepage
        Junk science says "hey, no problem, our model can explain that too".

        You mean like the way the AGW people suddenly realized that adding energy to the atmosphere meant more extreme weather, both hotter and colder, after we had some extra-cold winters? I can't say it's not reasonable, but I would have found it much more impressive if any of them had suggested this before it happened, rather than patching their theory to explain something that otherwise didn't fit.
        • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sique ( 173459 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:35PM (#43295275) Homepage
          It was actually predicted. Continuous global warming will weaken or stop the Gulf stream, and the Gulfstream is responsible for the quite mild European winters. It could be that now the Gulf stream shows the first sign of weakening, leading to a longer, colder winter in Europe.
          • European records of the Gulf Stream go back to about 1513 or so, during the Little Ice Age. Of course, we don't know how far north it went back then, so we don't know how much of an effect it did or didn't have on the climate. Not disagreeing with you, just making a comment you might find interesting.
          • TFA has nothing to do with the Gulf Stream. It's the JET STREAM, a completely different phenomenon.

        • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Informative)

          by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:41PM (#43295369) Homepage Journal

          Let's see, here []'s an academic paper mentioning cooler winters as an artifact of global warming, dated from before I was born. And I'm more than old enough to be having this debate with you. What exactly wasn't predicted?

        • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

          after we had some extra-cold winters

          Wait? What? If anything the winter was slightly less cool than the previous 5 years, compared to 3 years ago it was right down balmy.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gmclapp ( 2834681 )

        Actual science predicts unusual measurements. Junk science says "hey, no problem, our model can explain that too".

        This couldn't be more incorrect. Actual science is a method of observation and has no business in speculation. Either your scientific model describes the behavior of the natural world or you need to change your model to more accurately describe it. It's an ongoing process.

        • by Bongo ( 13261 )

          But you don't know if your model correctly describes, if it can't predict.

          Otherwise I can describe to you tomorrow's lottery numbers, the day after tomorrow, and call it science.

        • Actual science predicts unusual measurements. Junk science says "hey, no problem, our model can explain that too".

          This couldn't be more incorrect. Actual science is a method of observation and has no business in speculation. Either your scientific model describes the behavior of the natural world or you need to change your model to more accurately describe it. It's an ongoing process.

          Wrong. The entire point of science is speculation and prediction. We need to know when to plant our crops, how much water and fertilizer to give them. We need to know when a pain can be ignored, and when we need to have an operation. We need to know what drugs to take, and how many nails are needed to build a safe rafter All of science's myriad observations, theories, models, dissertations, and experiments have but one purpose: prediction.

        • Re:Global warming (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:45PM (#43296267) Journal

          This couldn't be more incorrect. Actual science is a method of observation and has no business in speculation. Either your scientific model describes the behavior of the natural world or you need to change your model to more accurately describe it. It's an ongoing process.

          Creation "science" describes the behavior of the natural world (at least at the shallow level I can be bothered to look at it). For any set of data, there are an unbounded set of hypotheses that describe that set of data. Merely being consistent with existing measurements is necessary, but not at all sufficient to be science, not storytelling.

          Science is about falsifiable predictions. Why is general relativity so certain? Because it predicted all sorts of crazy stuff, such as gravitation lensing, that wasn't known at the time it was published. Why is the Standard Model of particle physics still the standard, despite being so awkward and unloved? Because it keeps making accurate predictions, and more elegant theories don't.

          You can create a million different models to explain anything, but that's not very interesting, nor is such a model chosen at random likely to still be correct once more is known. But a model that accurately predicted new data? That's interesting.

          There are a million climate models now (well, a lot anyhow) - are any of them interesting? A model that made a specific, falsifiable prediction that none/few of the others did, and turned out to be right, that would be interesting indeed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Spy Handler ( 822350 )

      Publicly: The reason you're freezing your ass off is that unprecedented Arctic ice melting is shifting the cold air further south, all caused by man-made Climate Change.

      Privately: This cold weather is a travesty.

  • we are still in an ice age. Skiiers, snowboarders and global warming enthusiasts would prefer we remain in the ice age.

    • And anyone who lives on or has a business on the seashore. And millions of farmers and others that depend on rainfall patterns to continue to supply the water they need.
    • First: "Global warming enthusiast"? Really? Come on.

      Second: I don't think you're considering what a neo-tropical environment would actually be like.

  • But! But! Global warming is a scam!! Lord Monckton and the Murdoch press told me so!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by i kan reed ( 749298 )

      Look. Stop. When you're about to post in a climate thread, ask yourself "Does this debate need another flimsy strawman argument?" If you answered "yes", regardless of what you believe, you are part of the problem, and why there is still "debate".

      • If you considered this a "flimsy strawman argument" then your sarcasmometer needs a tune-up.

        • I think the sarcasm is an inherent part of what makes it a straw man. You're misrepresenting the reasons the anti-science crowd really latch onto for the defense of their opinions. If you're doing it for humor, it's really weak. Acting like a childish version of those you disagree with is itself really childish. It's what children in elementary school do when they disagree, and it's painfully unfunny for much the same reason.

  • It's obvious (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 )

    Where I live, it's cold right now. That means that annual global average temperature must be colder than it was last year.

    (Of course, this is silly "logic", but that's what most Americans in particular tend to be thinking)

    • Where I live, it's cold right now. That means that annual global average temperature must be colder than it was last year.

      I look forward to your posting in July berating people who think the hotter temperatures point to obvious effects from global warming.

    • by bdwebb ( 985489 )

      (Of course, this is silly "logic", but that's what most Americans in particular tend to be thinking)

      How did this become about Americans? I am pretty sure that Global Warming detractors worldwide hold this opinion and I'm pretty sure that proponents of Global Warming from many countries also try to tie ridiculous occurrences that counter their argument in any way possible to the support of Global Warming.

      Ultimately we need to discuss the REAL science, Climate Change, and we need informed opinions of educated people supported by facts on both sides to come to a consensus and create some real science wit

  • So what if the North Pole is ice free? Ice free poles have been the normal state for our planet for most of the time that primates have been around.

  • by Anti Cheat ( 1749344 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:50PM (#43295521)

    Last month the cold weather was because warm air from the south rose over the arctic cold air, thus forcing the colder arctic air down to the southern latitudes. So now it is because last summer there was less ice that froze over long before spring ever came. So how again did the ice covering all the arctic now has caused a colder spring? Did anyone tell these guys that the arctic is still frozen over as we speak? It's not open water. So why is the jet stream being affected? I'm just not clear on all this.
    I do know one thing. It's still cold outside and the sow is still on the ground. How is this different from any other Canadian winter or spring for that matter? I'm just lucky enough to remember the weather before all this global warming came along. So how is it different again? How is getting snow in the winter anything unusual? How is snow on the ground in March different? How is maple sugar season changed?

  • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @03:54PM (#43295567) Homepage

    ... but it's not unusually cold. This is what the weather is like in the UK. Spring is a fairly unpredictable time of year, in a part of the world where the weather is generally unpredictable.

    A couple of years ago we had weeks of -25ÂC weather during the winter, but in the last two it barely got below freezing. This winter, of course, it's going to be back to really cold, or maybe it's going to be back to really warm, or maybe just kind of middling with lots of rain.

  • Weather Scientists: This is further proof of Global Climate Change.
    Fundamentalist Christian: This is not the proof that you're look for...
    Weather Scientists: This is not the proof that we're looking for...
    Fundamentalist Christian: Move along....
    Weather Scientists: You're right this is not enough proof, we'll need to keep on looking...
  • by Chris Alemany ( 2877519 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:04PM (#43295723)
    This is just the latest in a series of published work finding that weakening ocean and land temperature contrasts between high and mid northern latitudes is having a profound effect on the Jet Stream. Search for jet stream and arctic on Google Scholar and they'll pop up. They all show that the poles live and die by the circumpolar winds that 'lock' the cold air in those high latitudes (Antarctica included by the way!). If those circumpolar winds diminish, then the cold can effectively 'escape'. In the Northern Hemisphere, it results in the jet stream becoming extremely contorted, sets up 'blocking' and we get these long periods of abnormal weather (extra cold in late winter/early spring, extra heat in late summer/early fall?) The weather channel has a great rundown of the jet stream *today*. Illustrates it perfectly. [] Lets just thank our lucky stars that Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean, and not an ocean surrounded by continents, like the Arctic. This fundamental difference means the southern circumpolar winds have a huge contrast to work from with the gigantic ice fields of the continent versus the far away lands of Southern America, Oceania, and Africa. Ironically, the ozone hole actually makes the Antarctic colder and the circumpolar winds stronger... so as it fixes itself as human CFC emissions dimish, those winds will start to weaken and warming will be able to creep in there as well. But at least that buys us time. Were the Arctic and Antarctic equal, global warming would have likely been much more immediate. Though who knows, maybe that would have spurred us to action before today (which is still never?) The world and science that attempts to explain it is wonderful and terrifying all at the same time. Lets hope we can get our acts together and change our course before we cause so much change to our atmosphere and oceans that we are unable to avoid the clear and present dangers now on tap.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:19PM (#43295909)

    I find it really bizarre that Slashdot, a website that usually has intelligent discussion, is filled with climate change naysayers.

    Is this real life?

    The 9 warmest years on record happened this century. The Earth is heating up, and rapidly.

    Who the fuck are you people?

    • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @06:46PM (#43297661) Journal

      I don't get it either. And it isn't just ignorance, it's outright stupidity. If you've been informed, and still don't understand, that's stupidity. And it's been explained over and over and over again.

      Weather is not climate and global warming is not climate change.

      One more time:

      1) Radiation in and out are the only methods of changing the average temperature of the earth.

      2) The sun emits radiation from the near-infrared range up through UV.

      3) When molecules absorb radiation, the reemit it in a random direction.

      4) Oxygen absorbs and reemits UV radiation, spitting most of it back out into space.

      5) Atmospheric gasses are transparent to visible light, so the visible light radiation is absorbed by the surface of the earth.

      6) the surface warms, and reemits lower energy thermal radiation (IR).

      7) So-called "greenhouses gasses" like CO2, water vapor, and methane which make up only small parts of the atmosphere are opaque to IR radiation. They absorb this radiation, gain energy, and physically collide with the other gasses in the atmosphere, heating them. Nearly all heating of the earth's atmosphere is from this interaction.

      8) The GHG's then emit an IR photon in a random direction, where it is reabsorbed by another molecule and reemitted on and on until it happens to ping pong out into space, radiating heat away from the earth.

      9) The higher the concentration of these trace gasses in the atmosphere, the longer it takes for a photon to leave earth, and the warmer the atmosphere is, on average.

      10) Man burns lots of long chains of carbohydrates which result in a forced higher concentration of CO2. This happens slowly over time.

      11) Plants do not gobble it all up, because plants don't live on CO2 alone. Some of it dissolves in the ocean, causing ocean acidification, which is a completely different problem. Regardless, enough of it stays in the atmosphere.

      12) The earth slowly warms because of CO2 forcing. Additionally, higher average temperatures result in more water vapor in the air, and water vapor is an even more effective green house gas than CO2. This leads to the "runaway" greenhouse gas effect.

      13) This process that produces higher average global temperatures from man-made activities is called anthropogenic global warming.

      14) While the global mean temperature is higher, local average temperatures will certainly vary. Some places will become warmer on average, some cooler, some wetter, some drier, on average, than before.

      15) These average changes at different points in the year change the overall climate of those places. This is called climate change. It is a product of global warming.

      16) A changed climate results in different weather patterns for an area than the weather patterns that existed before climate change.

      17) The weather, as influenced by a changing climate as a result of global warming, is not necessarily warmer in every region of at all times. It is simply different than it was.

      This should not be complicated for an educated audience to comprehend.

  • by mc6809e ( 214243 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:29PM (#43296077)

    According to the most recent SST anomaly map found here [], much of the Gulf Stream is anomalously warmer than expected.

  • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Wednesday March 27, 2013 @04:53PM (#43296371) Homepage


    weather = super hot = evidence of global warming

    weather = freezing cold = evidence of global warming

    weather = no snow = evidence of global warming

    weather = record snow = evidence of global warming

    Global Warming Skeptic exclaims "weather not correlating to global warming" = Global Warming Advocate "weather isn't an indicator of climate change" Weather hot, no snow, etc. And suddenly, Global Warming Advocates use weather as an indication of global warming. Which is it?

    Global Warming Advocacy argues ALL changes in weather point to, and are explained by global warming. The only proof we can possibly have against global warming, would be a decade long period in which zero change in average temp, percipitation, ice, or what not occurred. (And frankly, I'd laugh my butt off if that actually happened and we went through 10 years with zero climate change - I'd also say there'd be proof that there is a God and that he has a warped sense of humor.)

    But the reality is, that global warming advocates put forth a non-testable hypothesis that can explain everything. And has zero way of being countered per scientific method. And all of this is over a mere 1/2 to 1 1/2 degree variation in temperature. With questionable records at that. Furthermore, we know it was much warmer 150,000 years ago when much of the arctic ice was gone

    Just some comments per Wikipedia

    "NASA, found that the “rate of warming in the Arctic over the last 20 years is eight times the rate of warming over the last 100 years"
    [Okay, a 120 years geologically speaking is a blink in the record.]

    "In September 2012, sea ice reached its smallest size ever."
    [Really, history records it as having disappeared completely a number of times. Do we mean smallest in modern history? Cause scientific evidence has shown the ice cap has had significant melts several times over the last 2.8 millions years (which is still a short time span geologically speaking)]

May all your PUSHes be POPped.