I am offering my provisional outlook for Spring 2016 for the United Kingdom. In some ways the spring and summer are harder to forecast from a month or more out than winter because the Circumpolar Vortex weakens in spring; this makes it prone to sudden flips and higher latitude blocking-patterns which can cause remarkable changes in prevailing weather patterns in the space of a few days. That said, there are enough of the pan-regional temperature and circulation anomalies to gain some insight into the processes likely to affect the weather in coming months.
Firstly El Nino: This is still in a positive phase with very warm water stretching to coastal Peru and Ecuador. This means the ITCZ remains strong and that will maintain strength in the NE Trade Winds in the tropical North Pacific. This implies a need for stronger Westerlies at higher latitudes to satisfy conservation of angular momentum laws.
Secondly there is now a sizeable pool of really cold water in the mid NW Atlantic (this water gets really cold by February anyway but it is colder than normal by up to 3C) but the NE Atlantic is warmer than the seasonal norm (but not by a lot). Arctic Ice extent is less than normal in the Eurasian Arctic but extending a bit further south than normal around Newfoundland and of course Greenland and NE Canada are very cold indeed at present.
Third, the QBO high over the Equator remains in Westerly Mode and we are still in active phase of the current Sunspot Cycle (Schwabe Cycle number 24, I do believe). We can now put the pieces together to arrive at a prediction:
Hello folks and Happy New Year to you all. I just want to throw something up which might be very interesting because I have just read a book called "Dark Winter" written by John Casey. John Casey heads up the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) in the USA, he has done extensive work studying Sunspot Cycles. We are all familiar with the 11-year Sunspot Cycle (known as the Schwabe Sunspot Cycles), but there is also a 206-year cycle and a 1200-year cycle. It is Dr Casey`s conclusions that these cycles conspire to produce a 30-year spell stating after 2015 when the Sun will be very, very quiet, that the proportion of the short-wave energy from the Sun that reaches the surface and lower atmosphere will fall by 1% compared to recent years as a result. As a consequence there will be global cooling caused by changes in the Sun`s output and we will have conditions in Britain as cold as they were in the early 1800s when Frost Fairs were held on the Thames.
Dr Casey, and a number of respected scientists working independantly from around the World, concur with this prediction that the energy reaching the Earth`s surface is about to drop leading to a global cooling of 1 to 1.5C. Neither Dr Casey nor the scientists whose work he cites believe that the global climate is as sensitive to increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere that either the IPCC or other scientists who are government-unded would have us believe. As for myself, what matters is independant scientific opinion and findings built up through the rigorous application of science, and then taking all the parameters into consideration before cpmong to conclusions about the future direction of our climate.
Six years ago I started writing a thesis (almost finished- but other things cme along and I have not actually completed it): This thesis analysed the effect of a 2C global warming from the mean global temperatures in the 1970s on the climate in different parts of the World, my contention was that as the Arctic ice continued to shrink and the oceans warm that the main weather belts (subtropical high, Westerlies and subpolar depression tracks) would shift poleward a few degrees and that the Westerlies strengthen slightly- leading to warm and dry summers in southern Britain but wetter, milder and stormier winters across the countrz and wetter, warmer summers in Scotland. This certainly ties in with the weather-patterns of late 2013 and 2014 and (earlier) most of the 1990s and 2000s. In recent years I have read plenty of material (I have read Christopher Booker- he of the Sunday Telegraph- his book "The Real Global Warming Disaster") and now this book written by John Casey of SSRC. He has also written a book called "Cold Sun" though i do not have and have not read it. Meanwhile the BBC and those at the Met Office and (of course) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climatic Change (IPCC) who in their fifth report maintain that the serious threat in the future is from manmade Global Warming (AGW it is referred to). All these organisations maintain unless stronger concerted action is taken to stem rising CO2 levels the World will reach a "tipping point" by mid-century. With these conflicting accounts of the future climate globally (and regionally) it is best to go back to science and do theresearch and maths from everything that we can find.
As a meteorologist you will (probably) have come across the book "Atmosphere, Weather and Climate" (Barry and Chorley, latest Ed. 2003). I have used this a lot to try and make sense of where we are going and to make regional\seasonal predictions. It is very thorough and covers the global circulation, treatment of the Sun, cloud and local microlclimates: All of the content is rigorous and well-researched and it has stood the test of time. The first edition came out in the 1960s. There is a dedicated chapter on Climatic Change and reference is made to the likely effect of a doubling of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere compared to pre-industrial times. There is the consensus in the scientific comunity that doubling CO2 levels would cause a 3.5C warming of the global climate (compared to pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm). That means that when the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere reaches about 550 ppm by volume the World would get 3.5C warmer than it would with CO2 level at 280 ppm. This is according to the Global Circulation Models that already take into account feedback effects (and I must emphasise this point). The publication just referred to also makes detailed references to the initial "forcing" effect of doubling CO2 levels from pre-inductrial levels being about 6 to 8 Watts per aquare metre of extra heat being trapped in the radiation emitted to space by the Earth`s surface. Using Stefan`s Law on radiation, given the effective black-body temperature of the Earth being about -18C, this would lead to a global temperature rise of just 2C (and can I emphasise that the feedbacks will only come into play to push the Earth up to 3.5C warmer if this is the only forcing influence on the global climate- it is not!).
So, we are reasonably confident that the melt season is beginning and there may be trouble ahead (there's a song in there somewhere). There is talk that we could see the northern polar ice reduce to virtually nothing. There is also talk of a slow melt season. There is also talk of satellites causing cold weather.......
As always, I'll keep open the freeze season thread for a few days so any conclusions can be added.
Keep it clean and wear a gum shield to avoid injury......
Greenland is part of the potential problem of a rise in sea level. What are the problems facing the planet's largest island? Are there real dangers or are we being a little hasty with conclusions?
It's that time of year when we start to watch how the Arctic creates it's new winter coat. 2011 sees us close to the record minimum achieved in 2007. At some point over the next couple of weeks there should be the call of extent minima. Currently we are seeing a few tentative signs of growth but will we see further reductions before we know for sure the the refreeze has commenced?
I will be leaving the melt season thread open until we are sure the freeze has started so please finish any discussion about melt in that thread. --> http://forum.netweather.tv/topic/69107-arctic-ice-discussion/
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