Is the Current Heat wave Caused by Global Cooling?

Back in 2010 Judah Cohen, director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a private consulting firm helping businesses manage weather and climate-related risk, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times arguing that the unusually nasty winter we experienced in North America was a result of Global Warming.

Cohen made the following argument:

"As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased.

The sun's energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by.

The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth's surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe."

In short, cold winter weather is attributable to global warming, at least according to Cohen.

I begged to differ at the time.

But Cohen's ideas gained much traction in the mainstream media and among the climate change crowd, and his views still inform the alarmists.

The Gang Green, those Environment Űber Alles types, have been trumpeting the unusually hot weather we have suffered in North America as evidence of thermogeddon. The New York Times thinks so, of course they are taking their cue from a recent IPCC report which suggested  as much.

The Huffington Post had headlines fairly screaming the accusation:

"Climate Change: U.S. Heat Waves, Wildfires And Flooding Are 'What Global Warming Looks Like'"

And a host of others have jumped on the bandwagon, a bandwagon strangely empty when we faced cold winter weather and were told (quite correctly) "weather is not climate." Agreed, but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, and now that we are enduring a little heat the gander wants the goose slathered in gravy..

This year is not even that unusual, as Randall Hoven has pointed out; due to unseasonably cool weather in Asia this is only the 10th warmest on record.

A thought occurred to me; if global warming leads to cold weather, can it not be argued global cooling leads to warm weather?

Apparently it can!

According to Dr. Tim Ball:

"The dome of cold air over polar regions is expanding as the world has cooled since 1998. Rossby Waves in the Circumpolar Vortex that circles from west to east in the middle latitudes switched from Zonal to Meridional flow creating different weather patterns in the middle and high latitudes.

Rossby Waves migrate from west to east on a 4 to 6 week basis. However, when the Meridional Wave amplitude gets deep, with cold air pushing toward the Equator and warm air toward the Poles the system blocks. Now the weather pattern migration becomes 8 to 10 weeks and people become nervous. That is what is happening in North America now, but all we hear about is the warm weather across the eastern half of the continent, with little mention of the cold and wet conditions in the west."

So, a dome of cold air locked in the Arctic is changing planetary weather patterns and pulling the hot air up from the tropics.

And the Arctic has shivered through an unusually cool summer and is poised for an early freeze-up.

There has been no statistically significant warming of the planet since 1995, and many researchers argue that we are entering a period of global cooling .If so, will we see more volatile weather events, more extreme heat waves, more unsettled climatic patterns? Perhaps we need to throw another log on the fire, belch out more carbon dioxide to keep the planet warm, lest we all melt in this terrible summer heat!  Maybe it's time to stoke the coal furnaces! We need an international agreement to compel increased exhaust of greenhouse gases!

If they can make that case, why can't we?

Timothy Birdnow is a St. Louis based writer. His website is