New Video: Climate, Ice and Weather Whiplash

June 3, 2013

New video for my “This is Not Cool” series thru the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media.

Last year I spoke to Dr. Jeff Masters and Dr. Jennifer Francis about the emerging research linking “weather whiplash” events, back to back extremes of all  types that seem to have become our new normal, and the disappearance of arctic ice.

This year, the extremes continue. I’ve revisited Dr. Francis on the issue, to talk about what last year’s “July in March” spring has in common with this year’s cold and sluggish roll into  summer here in North America.

Dr. Francis has become a bit of a rockstar on the Meteorology wonk circuit in the last year, as she makes a compelling case that the loss of arctic sea ice, and more broadly, polar amplification of climate change, and its effect on the jet stream, has been an important driver of the changes we have seen.  It appears that this may be an emergent property of atmospheric circulation that has not been well modeled or foreseen.

But it’s not pound-on-the-table-we’re-done science yet. I also talked to Dr. Kevin Trenberth,  who is not quite ready to go along with Francis’ model.  I’ll be posting his remarks,  Francis’ responses, and a synthesis by Dr. Masters, in a future video.

For now, an update on current observations.

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9 Responses to “New Video: Climate, Ice and Weather Whiplash”


  1. […] Peter Sinclair: Last year I spoke to Dr. Jeff Masters and Dr. Jennifer Francis about the emerging research linking “weather whiplash” events, back to back extremes of all  types that seem to have become our new normal, and the disappearance of arctic ice. This year, the extremes continue. I’ve revisited Dr. Francis on the issue, to talk about what last year’s “July in March” spring has in common with this year’s cold and sluggish roll into  summer here in North America. […]


  2. […] Last year I spoke to Dr. Jeff Masters and Dr. Jennifer Francis about the emerging research linking "weather whiplash" events, back to back extremes of all types that seem to have become our new no…  […]

  3. NevenA Says:

    Awesome video, Peter. I’ll repost it on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog on Wednesday.

    In the pas week there was a cyclone in the Arctic that churned the ice pack somewhat, which was interesting in itself, but even more interesting is that the cyclone remained stable and remained stuck in one position for almost a week. Maybe I didn’t pay attention, but I haven’t seen that in the Arctic often (except for last year in August of course, with that huge cyclone). I suspect it has to do with the same atmospheric blocking that is causing cold temps and flooding in Europe.

    • junkdrawer88 Says:

      How about this analogy:

      Easier fora top to spin in place on a flat table than on top of bowling ball.


  4. […] Sinclair of Climate Denial Crock of the Week, famous for his videos, in a post on Weather Whiplash, has produced a video that covers some of this very […]

  5. rayduray Says:

    “Here comes the rain again, falling on my head like a memory…” –Eurythmics

    Flooded Central Europe expecting more rain:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22752544

    Flooded Central U.S. expecting more rain:

    http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lsx&gage=eadm7

  6. junkdrawer88 Says:

    Interesting discussion of Weather Whiplash’s effects on agriculture starting here:

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=317.0

    For now, it’s a mechanical problem: Can’t plant when the soil is too wet or too dry. Effects on the Birds and the Bees still unknown. Fruit trees starting to feel the effects.

    As for soil, chemical farmers probably less impacted than organic farmers (didn’t Peter do something on this last year?)

    Keep an eye on this one.

  7. NevenA Says:

    Awesome video, Peter. I’ll repost it on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog on Wednesday.

    Make that Tuesday (today), because PIOMAS might be coming with an update tomorrow or the day after that.


  8. […] of the comments I had on my most recent Yale Video was, “after Bob Schieffer’s opening, I wanted to hear more from that gentleman he was […]


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