Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes

Aug 11, 2014
The number of planetary wave resonance events is shown as grey bars for each 4-year interval. While there used to be one or two events in a 4-year period, 2004-2007 saw three such events and 2008-2011 even five events. For comparison the red curve shows the change in Arctic temperature relative to that in the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere. Since 2000, the Arctic has warmed much faster than other latitudes. Credit: PIK

Weather extremes in the summer—such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012—have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Man-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained.

It has been linked to a recently discovered mechanism: the trapping of in the atmosphere. A new data analysis now shows that such wave-trapping events are indeed on the rise.

"The large number of recent high-impact has struck and puzzled us," says Dim Coumou, lead author of the study conducted by a team of scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "Of course we are warming our atmosphere by emitting CO2 from fossil fuels, but the increase in devastating heat waves in regions like Europe or the US seems disproportionate." One reason could be changes in circulation patterns in the atmosphere. By analysing large sets of global weather data, the researchers found an intriguing connection.

Rossby Waves: meandering airstreams

An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes normally takes the form of waves wandering around the globe, called Rossby Waves. When they swing north, they suck warm air from the tropics to Europe, Russia, or the US; and when they swing south, they do the same thing with cold air from the Arctic. However, the study shows that in periods with extreme weather, some of these waves become virtually stalled and greatly amplified. While a few warm days have little impact, effects on people and ecosystems can be severe when these periods are prolonged.

"Behind this, there is a subtle resonance mechanism that traps waves in the mid-latitudes and amplifies them strongly," says Stefan Rahmstorf, co-author of the study to be published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Using advanced data analysis, the new study shows that when certain resonance conditions are fulfilled, the atmosphere tends to develop anomalously slowly propagating waves with large amplitudes, typically associated with on the ground. An important finding is that this phenomenon is occurring more often: After the year 2000, it has been almost twice as frequent as before. "Evidence for actual changes in planetary wave activity was so far not clear. But by knowing what patterns to look for, we have now found strong evidence for an increase in these resonance events."

The Arctic factor: warming twice as fast as most other regions

Why would these events be on the rise? Both theory and the new data suggest a link to processes in the Arctic. Since the year 2000, the Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the rest of the globe. One reason for this is that because the white sea ice is rapidly shrinking, less sunlight gets reflected back into space, while the open ocean is dark and hence warms more. "This melting of ice and snow is actually due to our lifestyle of churning out unprecedented amounts of greenhouse gases from ," says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, co-author of the study and director of PIK. As the Arctic warms more rapidly, the temperature difference to other regions decreases. Yet temperature differences are a major driver of the atmospheric circulation patterns that in turn rule our weather.

"The planetary topic illustrates how delicately interlinked components in the Earth system are." Schellnhuber concludes: "And it shows how disproportionately the system might react to our perturbations."

Explore further: Regional weather extremes linked to atmospheric variations

More information: Coumou, D., Petoukhov, V., Rahmstorf, S., Petri, S., Schellnhuber, H.J. (2014): Quasi-resonant circulation regimes and hemispheric synchronization of extreme weather in boreal summer. Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1412797111

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MR166
1.6 / 5 (9) Aug 11, 2014
If Physics is whole grains and meat, climate science is Coca Cola and Twinkies with a little white bread thrown in for good measure.
Solon
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 11, 2014
I was just thinking of Monty Pythons Spam skit, and replacing Spam with Climate Change.

Climate Change, egg, Climate Change, Climate Change, bacon and Climate Change

And statistically, it seems the warming part of climate change rises in lock-step with the increase in the number of pigs (and other livestock) being raised.
Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes anyone?

adam_russell_9615
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
Ive noticed that the weather these last few summers has been exceptionally mean.
:-0)
KDK
2 / 5 (8) Aug 11, 2014
Sure, are you climate scientists saying you have better models for weather than for climate? Or is this a total Agenda 21-driven fraud as well?
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Aug 11, 2014
Ive noticed that the weather these last few summers has been exceptionally mean.
:-0)

Interesting... I've noticed OURS has been rather - blah....
antigoracle
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 12, 2014
Mild winter, cool summer, if this is global warming, then I say bring it on.
runrig
5 / 5 (4) Aug 12, 2014
Mild winter, cool summer, if this is global warming, then I say bring it on.


Yes, because you are selfish and are only bothered about your little self and your "tax dollars".
I happen to think that selfishness is an abomination. If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.
Try thinking about it.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
Mild winter, cool summer, if this is global warming, then I say bring it on.


Yes, because you are selfish and are only bothered about your little self and your "tax dollars".
I happen to think that selfishness is an abomination. If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.
Try thinking about it.


Run: Thank you for this view. I consider this statement to be great insight into the present plight of mankind.
Bill Dee
1 / 5 (8) Aug 12, 2014
Yes, the problem is being created, or at the very least greatly exacerbated, by man-made SUB-Stratospheric Aerosol GeoEngineering spraying (SSAGtrails, aka "chemtrails"). See http://www.ChicoSkyWatch.org/
MR166
1 / 5 (7) Aug 12, 2014
"Yes, because you are selfish and are only bothered about your little self and your "tax dollars".
I happen to think that selfishness is an abomination. If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.
Try thinking about it."

"Run: Thank you for this view. I consider this statement to be great insight into the present plight of mankind."

Thermo and Run you have finally distilled the argument to it's ultimate level, taxes and government controls. Your answer is more of each and mine is less of each. There are a few things that government does well and is needed for but much of what the government gets involved in is counter productive due to the law of unintended consequences and greed. Yes greed, the main objective of government today is to increase it's own power and sustain itself.
MR166
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 12, 2014
" Since the year 2000, the Arctic is warming about twice as fast as the rest of the globe. One reason for this is that because the white sea ice is rapidly shrinking, less sunlight gets reflected back into space, while the open ocean is dark and hence warms more. "This melting of ice and snow is actually due to our lifestyle of churning out unprecedented amounts of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels," says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, co-author of the study and director of PIK."

So if the earth gets cooler for 14 years is is considered weather but if polar ice melts for 14 years (debatable, the last few have seen increases) it is considered man made climate change.

This is propaganda not science.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Aug 12, 2014
Mild winter, cool summer, if this is global warming, then I say bring it on

Did you read the article at all? It says the exact opposite.

And no: You really don't want mild winters unless
- you favor drops in agricultural yield (seed germinates early when the chance of still one more night of frost killing it off is higher)
- you want to be swamped by swarms of insects the next spring.

antigoracle
1.1 / 5 (8) Aug 12, 2014
antialias, mine was in response to other comments on local weather, which of course is very subjective.
In my case the severity of winter is based on what I can immediately recall, which is, how many nights I needed to plug in my car.
As far as I know, no seeds were harmed nor insects profited from my comment.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (9) Aug 12, 2014
Yes, because you are selfish and are only bothered about your little self and your "tax dollars".
I happen to think that selfishness is an abomination. If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.
Try thinking about it.
-- runrig
Replace "selfish" with "ignorant" and that would be you and the rest of your AGW Cult's peanut gallery. Don't think about it, as you'll burn out that lone neuron you share.
runrig
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
.............

So if the earth gets cooler for 14 years is is considered weather but if polar ice melts for 14 years (debatable, the last few have seen increases) it is considered man made climate change.

This is propaganda not science.


There you go again mr goldfish.
The EARTH has not got cooler. SO the Pause is now cooling eh? Evidence please.
Increases ... FFS - still 2sd's below a falling trend line.

It is of course bollocks because the bit I assume you are referring to is the ~7% of "Earth". Try looking at what the 93% is doing.
runrig
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
Yes, because you are selfish and are only bothered about your little self and your "tax dollars".
I happen to think that selfishness is an abomination. If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.
Try thinking about it.
-- runrig
Replace "selfish" with "ignorant" and that would be you and the rest of your AGW Cult's peanut gallery. Don't think about it, as you'll burn out that lone neuron you share.

Anti:
I would be interested to learn in what universe it is that those that are knowledgeable of the science are "ignorant", and such as you, who are indeed ignorant of it, become the informed.

It's not the Universe I live in my friend.
Do you step out of the Continuum and post on here then go back again?
Really it's a serious question because you again turn common sense and logic on it's head .. whereas it's your head that is at fault, to those that live here full-time.
runrig
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
"Run: Thank you for this view. I consider this statement to be great insight into the present plight of mankind."

Thermo and Run you have finally distilled the argument to it's ultimate level, taxes and government controls. Your answer is more of each and mine is less of each. There are a few things that government does well and is needed for but much of what the government gets involved in is counter productive due to the law of unintended consequences and greed. Yes greed, the main objective of government today is to increase it's own power and sustain itself.

MR:
I'm all for minimum taxes ... but some things have to be funded by taxes (here in the UK FI one is for the NHS - and no, not a cue for socialist policies ryggy).
Another is to take on an existential threat. And yes that's what I said and what I meant to say.
I can think of nothing more fitting for my taxes. Yes, some will be wasted - it's the nature of the beast - like charities eating up funds in admin fees or corruption in Africa disappearing aid. I'd still give whatever.
You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. At least the unselfish don't.
supamark23
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
Hey deniers, your ignorance is showing (again)! It's both amusing and pathetic when those with little/no scientific understanding go on websites and proclaim that global warming is a fraud because they were told to by Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and their ilk. Deniers, unable to form intelligent thoughts on their own since the mid 90's. It's like Michelle Bachmann trying to speak on any topic, amusing and sad at the same time.
antigoracle
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 12, 2014
Yes runrig, only those of you in the AGW Cult are "knowledgeable" of the "science", and us heretics are selfish and ignorant. Just as the Church did for centuries, your cult has brainwashed you into believing you are the "righteous", while behind closed doors, for decades, they abused children and got away with it.
http://www.histor...1500.htm
MR166
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 12, 2014
Run all of the climate models predicted warming over the last 17 years. Climate science based their dire predictions on these models and the politicians based their policy on these dire predictions. So now, all of a sudden, the models don't matter but the predictions live on. I know B.S. when I see it.
Vietvet
5 / 5 (4) Aug 12, 2014
Run all of the climate models predicted warming over the last 17 years. Climate science based their dire predictions on these models and the politicians based their policy on these dire predictions. So now, all of a sudden, the models don't matter but the predictions live on. I know B.S. when I see it.


Only when you're looking in a mirror.
MR166
1 / 5 (6) Aug 12, 2014
Vietvet "Everything that we have fought for we have lost. Everything that we have fought against we have become."

As a veteran how do you feel about that?
supamark23
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
Run all of the climate models predicted warming over the last 17 years. Climate science based their dire predictions on these models and the politicians based their policy on these dire predictions. So now, all of a sudden, the models don't matter but the predictions live on. I know B.S. when I see it.


You do realise that the last 15 years have been the warmest on record, right? How do *you* explain that? Couldn't have *anything* to do with pumping all those GHG's into the atmosphere could it?
MR166
1 / 5 (8) Aug 12, 2014
"the warmest on record" What a convenient phrase. No they are not. As a matter of fact they are cooler than the models predict. After all it is the models that are the cause for concern.
supamark23
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
"the warmest on record" What a convenient phrase. No they are not. As a matter of fact they are cooler than the models predict. After all it is the models that are the cause for concern.


You are entitled to your own opinions but not facts - the last 15 years have in fact been the warmest recorded. It doesn't matter what the models say (or don't say), what does matter is reality: and that is getting warmer. The hottest decades were #1 2000 - 2009, #2 1990 - 1999, #3 1980 - 1989, #4 (in a surprise) 1940 - 1949, #5 1970 - 1979. Notice a trend? That each decade has been hotter than the last? interesting, no?
runrig
5 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2014
Run all of the climate models predicted warming over the last 17 years. Climate science based their dire predictions on these models and the politicians based their policy on these dire predictions. So now, all of a sudden, the models don't matter but the predictions live on. I know B.S. when I see it.

Mr Goldfish ... another circuit of the bowl I see, and forgot again eh?
Models don't/can't and are not meant to predict climate cycles of unknown duration, hence the error bounds..... which they are still within.
But thanks for letting me point this out to you again.
There will be more times I'm sure.
TegiriNenashi
1 / 5 (7) Aug 12, 2014
...the last 15 years have in fact been the warmest recorded. It doesn't matter what the models say (or don't say), what does matter is reality: and that is getting warmer. The hottest decades were #1 2000 - 2009, #2 1990 - 1999, #3 1980 - 1989, #4 (in a surprise) 1940 - 1949, #5 1970 - 1979. Notice a trend? That each decade has been hotter than the last?...


So, how many trillions of $ is it worth in your opinion to avert 0.01K/decade temperature increase?

supamark23
5 / 5 (4) Aug 12, 2014
...the last 15 years have in fact been the warmest recorded. It doesn't matter what the models say (or don't say), what does matter is reality: and that is getting warmer. The hottest decades were #1 2000 - 2009, #2 1990 - 1999, #3 1980 - 1989, #4 (in a surprise) 1940 - 1949, #5 1970 - 1979. Notice a trend? That each decade has been hotter than the last?...


So, how many trillions of $ is it worth in your opinion to avert 0.01K/decade temperature increase?



It doesn't take "$trillions/year" to reduce our output of CO2 and other GHG's. Then again, when the seas rise 10 feet $trillions to "fix it" will look like a bargain. A big part of you lot's problem is that you don't see or think about the long game - you don't give a shit about future generations because all you care about is greed and getting all you can, the lives of others be damned. A rather evil mindset you deniers have...
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) Aug 12, 2014
If humanity was selfish in it's entirety we would not exist as a complex society.

The selfish ones are the socialists who plunder wealth.
What has prompted the rapid human population growth is not selfishness. It is the result of billions of individuals have the opportunity, for the first time in human history, to act in their self-interest and not for the selfish interest of lords, kings and dictators.
AGWites advocate a return to the selfish control by dictators (EPA, IPCC). And they use the same rhetoric to justify their selfishness, "to save humanity".
antigoracle
1 / 5 (5) Aug 13, 2014
Then again, when the seas rise 10 feet $trillions to "fix it" will look like a bargain

So, tell us, if we do everything the AGW Cult wants to cut CO2, would that stop the icecaps from melting?
runrig
5 / 5 (3) Aug 14, 2014
Then again, when the seas rise 10 feet $trillions to "fix it" will look like a bargain

So, tell us, if we do everything the AGW Cult wants to cut CO2, would that stop the icecaps from melting?


That's like saying ... now look I'm going to die in the end anyway - so I'll just keep poisoning myself with ( insert your poison). No point stopping.

In other words no argument at all.

FFS
antigoracle
1 / 5 (3) Aug 18, 2014
No runrig, it's saying that after you've bankrupted yourself on the AGW Cult's CO2 lies, what are you going to do should the seas roll in. That's something that you and the rest of your cult can't ponder because it's beyond your mental capacity.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Aug 18, 2014
"Trapped atmospheric waves triggered more weather extremes"

Yes dis is like ripples on a pond which are the same thing as ripples underneath, only different. Because the water is only infinitely dense you see. Hail slobovia.

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