Where did the predictions of a bitter cold winter get started?


Where did the predictions of a bitter cold winter get started?

So we ask in this case, what is original source of this “super-winter forecast“? How did it all get started? The answer is a classic example of how normal, innocent speculation unintentionally can morph into a much huger story, eventually get accepted almost as a scientific fact, and then start to spread across the land.

Website CatNat.net here gives us good evidence of where the seed for the “100-year killer-winter” inadvertently got planted. CatNat writes:

…many European forecasters are predicting a cold one for 2013/2014. ‘Dominik Jung, German meteorologist, explains that next winter will be abnormally cold, and so does American Joe Bastardi, who works for weather giant AccuWeather, and who explains that ‘it’s going to be very cold’.”

Little of this is accurate, of course. Firstly, Joe stopped working for Accuweather a long time ago. Secondly I’m not aware of Joe ever saying: “It’s going to be a very cold winter.” I do recall him saying that NOAA was looking at the probability of a cold winter and that there were a couple of factors pointing to a cold winter. But he never predicted it to my knowledge.

Anyway, it seems that Joe’s Saturday Summary is gaining a good sized audience in Europe.

CatNat then explains that the cold winter prediction is “based on climatic indicators“ which indicate that “Arctic air will plunge into Europe. The abnormal cold are also influenced by the Arctic oscillation (variation in atmospheric pressures at sea level between 20°N and the pole), one of the principal factors of influence on winter temperatures in the northern Hemisphere.”

CatNet adds:

For Americain meteorologist Joe Bastardi, low solar activity is also in play. A similar cycle was observed during the 1950s, with cold waves extending until spring.”

Near the end, CatNat does add that seasonal forecasts are weak in reliability, and that seasonal forecasts are barely better than flipping a coin. Yet, it’s doubtful that most readers ever got that far.

And now it’s too late. All of Europe it seems is now convinced that the coming winter is going to be a real tough one – maybe even the worst in a 100 years! Not because Joe Bastardi and Dominik Jung predicted so, but because their original speculation somehow got miscommunicated and morphed into a dire prediction as it passed through the media grapevine.

The two recent French reports cited above are just the latest. A few days ago I saw the same stuff in Russian and Italian media. I expect to see more such reports – maybe even soon at the Beeb.

Makes you think that maybe the same type of runaway fantasy occurred in climate science. An increase in the atmospheric concentration of a trace gas exploding into a multi-trillion dollar global panic.

Bikini? wouldn't be seen dead in one! Up north us real men eat mince pies in our Mankinis whilst sitting in the snow searching for our bits to scratch

Not where we are! We didn't this far south to get the same weather as we had back in East Anglia.

Adult membership?? That alone could lead to trouble with google :)

But thank you for your concern and no, we are not!

That's just your view Jo, I will make up my own mind.

Aah yes, except the auto censor is just that - computer generated and nothing to do with Miss Higginson. Or Sir for that matter.

How's you? x

there we are then, it's the holly bush!

Not conflicting reports from scientists, only from people who write for the daily mail. And the Sun. I am from the Billy Connoly and Jasper Carrot school of politics. I have two solar panels and a tiny windmill.(all I can afford) All I need now, is a landlord that will let me put them in. any offers considered !

re the article author; Yes, it does seem to be a reasonable, but he's a wally and I thought you should know, because I like you better. :)

Hi, not sure how far into the programme this discussion about climate change sceptics and their ignorance of the difference between what is ill informed opinion and what is science, but it really sums up my point in a much better way than I could have hoped by myself...http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_four

basically, climate change scepticism is based on heresay and opinion and has no evidence in climate change science. Climate change science reflects actual evidence and research and currently states that global warming is a threat, a sad reality and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. There is no doubt in scientific circles, but there is always room for investigation into the ways we can measure it, and redress things, as there always should be with good science. Sceptics lead the investigations regarding challenging the figures, which makes the science all the more rigourous, but the results are still conclusive.

I expect some did live here, probably in Paris when France still had colonies in what is now the USA and Canada. Probably you would need to spend a fortune on DNA testing to try and find their descendants though as they are more than likely well integrated or have died out.

Those that are eligible will get it this year anyway. It's only a proposal at the moment. Lobby your MP on the subject.

Firstly, try to remember where in France the red indians lived.

Maybe the cold will be "patchy" - our hedge hasn't got 1/2 as many berries on as last year....

Perhaps we should send the UK Government all these predictions of a very cold winter and ask them to re-instate immediately 'cos we are going to need it.

I was taking the dog for a walk this morning and here there are a lot of red berries on the holly, that' supposed to predict a bad winter,

Meanwhile, back at the plot, so no one knows where this story originates and therefore do we give it any credence?

This seems to have wandered off the plot a bit and is getting restive like AngloInfo discussions can do. At the end of the day the major factor in all this is unsustainable population growth and the growth in infrastructure that goes to support it and hence more pollutants enter the worlds life cycle. In the end it will all collapse under its own weight.

No politicians, with the exception of in China, who happen to be one of the worst polluters, seem to want to acknowledge or do anything about this problem. It is my opinion that the world does try to self balance hence earthquakes, droughts, and floods leading to famine etc. but man interferes and upsets the balance even more.

When the oil runs out the next major factor to cause wars, ignoring religion of course, will be water or more to the point the lack of it especially in the middle east. Interestingly it appears the Himalayan glaciers are in retreat and when they vanish there will be no more water to feed the major rivers in India and Pakistan. What happens then? The uber rich no doubt will all be living on the Moon or Mars by then I expect leaving the rest of us to get on with it.

By the way I have noticed it has got colder, the lumberjack shirt is now on and the log fire will be lit in the very near future but in the meantime the grass keeps growing and the moles keep digging. Have a good evening and yes the lawn explosions and the Bordeaux idea seems good but a bit cold and wet to sit out to enjoy at present.

Daily mail, Cates favourite newspaper as I recollect!!

Try Brittany. Breizh" in Breton (pronounced "bray-tze"), often shortened to "bzh. Bzh is said to mean "bienvenue zone humide" to those in the know!!

I don't read the Mail but Joe's obvious hatred of it means it may be doing something right! The planet is massive and we inhabit only a small area and the burning of natural fuels can only account for a small amount of the extra CO2 introduced into the atmosphere. We get conflicting reports from scientist's who can't agree amongst themselves about what is happening but for us and our descendants it is surely wise for us to use the technologies available to us to reduce our impact on the Earth. The Earth is a dynamic organism and is changing all the time. One point, why pay the Germans for very expensive wind farms and the very expensive infrastructure they require to get the power they produce into the national grid when it would be far more economic to plaster every roof with solar panels-power produced on site.

P.S. scientists can be wrong.