UN/WMO hysteria over "unprecedented weather"

Blocking high over northern Europe, 1990

Weather isn’t climate – except when the UN or the WMO say it is. Tiny changes in global temperature over decades or centuries hardly get the juices flowing, but a good disaster or three, that’s more like it! If we can tie “global warming” to ominous sounding effects such as “changes in atmospheric currents” we can really scare the daylights out of people.

Mass hysteria surrounds the Pakistani floods, the Russian heatwave, the ice island and the landslides in China, and the fact that these four weather events have happened at roughly the same time has given the UN the perfect opportunity to blame global warming [surely “climate change”]. The UN is therefore desperately asking climate scientists to investigate:

Climate scientists must urgently look into changes in atmospheric currents linked to devastating floods in Pakistan and wildfires in Russia, UN climate and weather bodies said on Wednesday.

Ghassem Asrar, director of the World Climate Research Program, told AFP that changes, known as blocking episodes, can prevent humidity or hot weather dispersing.

That intensified heavy rain or heatwaves and locked them over an area, he explained, potentially with a growing impact on extreme weather events that scientists expect to happen more frequently with global warming.

Asrar said that European researchers had modelled the blocking pattern in atmospheric currents and resulting weather behind the Pakistani rains and Russian heatwave a few weeks in advance.

They “clearly flagged this formation and kept track of it”, said Asrar, whose program is partly linked to the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

“We know for sure that the two events in Pakistan and Russia are linked,” he added.

Asrar and the WMO underlined that the intense monsoon rain in Pakistan and heatwave in Russia, as well as rain-induced landslides in China and the split of a giant iceberg in Greenland in recent weeks were exceptional even by the standards of naturally-occurring climate extremes.

The WMO called the four “an unprecedented sequence of events” that “compare with, or exceed in intensity, duration or geographical extent, the previous largest historical events”. [Note that it says “compare with or exceed”, so I guess, like the ice island that was the “largest since, er, the last one”, and the last one had nothing to do with “global warming”, events like this have happened before for millions of years, mostly unobserved – Ed]

Now we have the great AGW cause, we can pin every disaster on it knowing we can never be proved wrong. By the way, growing up in the UK in the 70s and 80s, blocking patterns were a common event every summer (as they still are) – we actually looked forward to them. A big high pressure area would squat over northern europe forcing the jetstream to deviate north (see image), taking all the low pressure systems with it, and away from the UK. It would often give us several weeks of warm, settled weather. But the media report this stuff as if it’s something new and scary – because they have no understanding of weather, or climate, or more importantly, history.

Read it here.

See here for a description of anticyclones and blocking highs, which includes the following:

“Dry spells over Britain (such as the very pronounced drought of 1975–6 and the series of drought episodes during the period 1988–92) are usually the result of persistent blocking anticyclones close to the British Isles. Hot summers are often the result of slow-moving anticyclones situated either over Scandinavia or to the east or south-east of Britain, with very warm and dry continental air being advected across the country. Cool but relatively dry summers are caused by high pressure persistently reforming to the west of Ireland.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

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