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Severe winter weather caused by global warming?

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Amanda Carey
Contributor

As Colorado braces for epic snowfall, Great Britain literally comes to a halt because of record blizzards, and the whole northern hemisphere enters what is predicted to be an especially harsh winter, some climate change experts are blaming the cold spell on global warming.

Earlier this month, the website reportingclimatescience.com reported that warmer temperatures in the Arctic actually cause colder temperatures everywhere else.

“The Atlantic pressure system that controls the gateway that allows cold northern air to flow south into Europe has been stuck in the same ‘open’ position for a record 14 months, while the Arctic pressure system is amplifying the effect by driving even more cold air south,” the website reported.

According to the theory, as cold air leaves the Arctic and the polar bears scramble to find the few remaining ice caps, that cold air hovers over Europe and the U.S. According to the report, the same phenomenon occurred in 1942, a phenomenon that, coincidentally, helped the Soviet Union repel the Nazi invasion.

The argument is relatively simple: The atmospheric pressure system at the top of the globe, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), is either positive or negative. When it is positive, the difference between the highness and lowness of the two pressure systems coming from the mid-Atlantic and Iceland is big, causing warmer weather. Colder weather occurs when the difference is smaller and NAO is negative.

Some call this phenomenon the Arctic Paradox: that as the Arctic gets warmer, the cold air doesn’t necessarily disappear, it just shifts south. In other words, there isn’t any weather, hot or cold, that can’t be explained with global warming theory. Unsurprisingly, some are not convinced.

“You can make up any analogy you want, but the fact is that computer models don’t show that change,” Pat Michaels, a climatologist and senior fellow at the Cato Institute told The Daily Caller. “If you can’t model it, you don’t have any evidence for it.”

It is, said Michaels, the “core problem of climatology:” “It is attempting to explain everything even when everything becomes contradictory.”

“They make this stuff up as they go along,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Center of Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “If this theory is true, a necessary consequence is that there will be less severe winter storms because arctic air masses will not be as cold.”

According to Ebell, if the Arctic was getting warmer, the air rushing south would also be warm. This would reduce the difference between the two meeting pressure systems, leading to less severe winter weather. This hasn’t happened.