Special to Climate Depot
Dr. Patrick Michaels
Director, Center for the Study of Science at Cato Institute
“Horse sh*t,” declared Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels in respond to claims made by some scientists that ‘Arctic Ice Melt Could Mean More Extreme Winters For U.S. And Europe.” (September 13, 2012 article in Huffington Post.)
Michaels response is direct: “Horse sh*t.”
Michaels explained: “U.S. winter severity is largely perceived as a combination of snow and cold. Warming the arctic, warms the source region for extreme cold outbreaks; indeed this is probably one reason that the target zones for the worst cold–the upper Midwest/Great Plains–have seen a striking reduction in the frequency and severity of cold outbreaks in recent decades. For what it is worth, the trend in winter (December-February) temperatures averaged over North Dakota since 1895 is a remarkable 5.1 degree F. — I hear little complaining.
With regard to snow, the northeastern quarter of the country (including the Mid-Atlantic) tends to receive the most publicized storms. The limiting factor for these is not moisture, it is cold.
For Washington-New York, there are about 10-20 storms each winter that would be capable of producing significant snow except for the fact that they lack cold air. In reality, these regions average around one (Washington) to maybe three (New York) major snowstorms each winter–which shows how limiting cold air is.
If you believe that warming causes cold, you’re like my neighbors back in Virginia who believed that putting hot water in the ice cube tray results in faster freezing.
Like I said, Horse sh*t.”