Prat Watch #12: warmest winter makes Ring writhe (and other tales)

It’s time for another update on the antics of our favourite climate cranks — and this week’s star is New Zealand’s very own über crank, weather astrologer Ken Ring. He’s been reinventing NZ’s warmest-ever winter to make it fit with his forecasts. Here’s Ken, back in April, in a piece headlined “Severe winter ahead” [WebCite1]:

The closer the moon is to the earth, the more extreme is the weather, and this year’s closest perigee occurs in late June, which will set us up for a very cold July. […] Very cold temperatures may break records at or near both mid July and mid August.

Unfortunately for Ring, none of that happened. Instead, we got record warmth, and a marked absence in July and August of the frigid southerlies from polar oceans that bring NZ its coldest weather. He is so desperate to make this winter appear cold and to justify his forecast that he’s just published a barely coherent article titled White lies in winter [WebCite]. He thrashes around at a number of targets, but his aim is clear: we have to believe that this was not a record-breaking warm winter. Under a list of links to newspaper articles that don’t support his cold contention, he appeals to his reader’s innate weather measuring equipment:

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  1. Because Ken has a history of altering stuff after the fact to make himself look better. []

Cold wind to Valhalla: Arctic ice loss brings spring snow to UK and Europe

It’s been a cold and snowy end to winter in Britain and much of Europe. The worst March snowfall for 30 years (according to The Telegraph) caused significant disruption to much of the UK, and lead to heavy loss of sheep and lambs in Wales. The UK Met Office reports that March is likely to have been the coldest since 1962, with temperatures running 3ºC below average. The weather pattern that brought the cold outbreak from the east looks set to continue, with only a hint of a return to more normal westerlies and temperatures by the middle of April.

Over the last few years I’ve made more than a few references to the emerging relationship between warming in the Arctic and the loss of sea ice to changes in the patterns of Northern Hemisphere weather. Take a look at this map, plotted at NOAA’s ESRL site using NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data (click on the image to see the original plot):

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The Climate Show #31: Doha! Doha! Doha!

It’s the run up to Christmas, and the annual ritual repeats. Diplomats gather in Doha to discuss and debate action on climate change, so Glenn and Gareth talk to their correspondent on the spot, New Zealand climate media strategist Cindy Baxter to find out what’s happening in the oil kingdom’s echoing halls. At the Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco, NOAA has published its 2012 Arctic Report Card (grim reading, it has to be said). Plus Gareth talks about truffles as a bellwether for Europe’s changing climate, and the boys get all enthusiastic about nanophotonics and steampunk.

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High and dry

EOTasmanhigh

From NASA’s Earth Observatory: yesterday’s Image Of The Day (RSS feed) was this stunning picture of an intense high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight to the southwest of Tasmania, acquired by the MODIS sensor on the Aqua satellite on June 5th. In high pressure systems, dry descending air suppresses cloud formation, in this case punching an impressive “hole” through a layer of stratocumulus clouds. Central pressure at the time was 1040 hectoPascals. According to the NZ MetService 7 day forecast, over the next week the system will move east and set up camp to the southwest of the South Island.

Also from the Aqua satellite last week, a good picture of the midweek snowstorm that hit the South Island. Thursday morning chez nous was as pretty as several pictures.

The Climate Show #18: The Big Chill & The Big Fracking Issue

The big chill freezes New Zealand, Arctic sea ice in the balance, the US has a warm July, the world is getting mad about fracking and some more unusual uses for solar energy. While Gareth is lost in fields of sunflowers, The Climate Show returns with Glenn and John at the helm.

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