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Then and now, Europe, US to see snowy, cold winters: expert

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Then and now, Europe, US to see snowy, cold winters: expert

By charles the moderator

From the "No matter what happens we can attribute it to Anthropogenic Climate Change" Department.

Big Ben in Snow


In a story in James Overland of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, makes a few claims which will give some of our readers pause.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, warmer Arctic climes caused by influence air pressure at the North Pole, shifting wind patterns in such a way as to boost cooling over adjacent swathes of the planet.

"Cold and snowy winters will be the rule rather than the exception," said James Overland of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Continued rapid loss of ice will be an important driver of major change in the world's climate system in the coming years, he said at an Olso meeting of scientists reviewing research from the two-year International Polar Year 2007-2008.

The exceptionally chilly winter of 2009-2010 in temperate zones of the were connected to unique physical processes in the Arctic, he said.

"The emerging impact of greenhouse gases in an important factor in the changing Arctic," he explained in a statement.

"What was not fully recognized until now is that a combination of an unusual warm period due to natural variability, loss of sea ice reflectivity, ocean heat storage, and changing wind patterns all working together to disrupt the memory and stability of the Arctic climate system," he said.

The region is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.

Resulting ice loss is significantly greater than earlier predicted.

The shrank to its smallest surface since records have been kept in 2007, and early data suggests it could become even smaller this summer.

Source here. Bolding mine.

Now just over a year ago, NOAA put this out, again quoting Overland.

"The Arctic is changing faster than anticipated," said James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and co-author of the study, which will appear April 3 in Geophysical Research Letters. "It's a combination of natural variability, along with warmer air and sea conditions caused by increased greenhouse gases."

Overland and his co-author, Muyin Wang, a University of Washington research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle, analyzed projections from six computer models, including three with sophisticated sea ice physics capabilities. That data was then combined with observations of summer sea ice loss in 2007 and 2008.

Arctic sea ice visualization.

Data visualization: Arctic sea ice.

Visualization (Credit: NOAA)

The area covered by summer sea ice is expected to decline from its current 4.6 million square kilometers (about 1.8 million square miles) to about 1 million square kilometers (about 390,000 square miles) – a loss approximately two-fifths the size of the continental U.S. Much of the sea ice would remain in the area north of Canada and Greenland and decrease between Alaska and Russia in the Pacific Arctic.

"The Arctic is often called the ‘Earth's refrigerator' because the sea ice helps cool the planet by reflecting the sun's radiation back into space," said Wang. "With less ice, the sun's warmth is instead absorbed by the open water, contributing to warmer temperatures in the water and the air."

Bolding mine.  Source again here. So… while this is not a direct contradiction, it is sort of a morphing of ideas.  To paraphrase the what was not fully recognized.

We used to think that a warming Arctic with melting ice would be part of a warming trend, but instead, we got a lot of snow and cold weather, so the warming Arctic kinda messed with all those, you know, patterns and stuff like that we expected like. So that snow and rain and cold and other stuff we didn't predict or expect… you know what I'm sayin'?  It was caused by, you know, the crazy mixed up stuff caused by all that melting and warming and stuff, yeah…that's it.

or to phrase it another way:

AGW moves in mysterious ways.

But the money shot is here from the article.

It is unlikely that the can return to its previous condition, Overland said.  The changes are irreversible.

It is likely someone will remind Dr. Overland of that statement in a few years.

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