Update: Courtesy of Dr K.A. Rodgers of Aukland, satellite photos of the recent snows in New Zealand can be found here – http://rapidfire.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/imagery/subsets/?subset=NewZealand.2011228. The image is for August 16 2011. There are images for other days on this link also. Thanks Dr. Rodgers!
This morning, my son posted
As an example of what he is discussing, see the news reports by Michael Forbes from The Dominion Post titled
with the subheader
Polar blasts do not mean global warming isn’t happening
The article concludes that this extreme winter event (which is discussed in three of my recent posts; see, see and see) is the second most extreme in the historical record of New Zealand. It was only surpassed by the event in 1939.
Excerpts from the text show how even this event fits within the framework of the IPCC type predictions. For instance, the article states [highlight added]
Dr Renwick [who is principal climate scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research],says we need to remember that global warming does not necessarily mean every year will be warmer than the previous one. Rather, there will be an increasing frequency of warmer temperatures and a decreasing frequency of cooler ones. The extreme weather events at both ends of the spectrum will remain.
James Renwick further states
But the intensity of storms appears to be increasing as a result of greenhouse gases locking more solar energy into the atmosphere and oceans, he says.
In fact, while this week’s polar blast was a rare event for New Zealand, the formation of such weather systems in the southern hemisphere is nowhere near as uncommon.
“If the whole thing had happened a few degrees of longitude further east then we would know nothing about it.
“A storm like this – in terms of the southern hemisphere – is not a one-in-40-year event. It’s probably a one-in-several-months sort of event.”
His statement on the frequency of such extreme excursions in the Antarctic polar jet stream is in error. The polar jet in the southern hemisphere has more zonal flow, in general, than in the northern hemisphere where large continents facilitate frequent large latitudinal variations in the winter. He is seeking to dismiss how extreme this event was.
His next statement that [highlight added]
The intensity of the storm may be something this country has to learn to deal with. “There’s been an observed increase [in the intensity of storms] in the middle latitudes of both hemispheres in the last few decades and that is consistent with what you would expect from a warming climate.
The information provided by James Renwick is another example where any weather event is consistent with the IPCC-type perspective of change.
source of image – note this image is not from the most recent snowstorm; if any one has access to a MODIS or other satellite view of the snow cover from the recent storm, please let us know.