In the Times yesterday, we read the following:

The jet stream — the powerful transatlantic wind that dominates British weather — is being shrunk by climate change, scientists say.

Climate change shrinks many things: the US economy, fisheries, fish, chips, Salamanders, wasps, tropical moths, plankton (could they get much smaller?), mountain goats, the Winter snowpack, the Sahara Desert, oyster habitat in California, the ranges of Adelie Penguins and bumble bees and Sweden’s tallest mountain. In fact, probably the only thing which climate change doesn’t shrink is hurricanes, which are  becoming ginormous and threatening to gobble up huge areas of the US. Note also how climate change obligingly shrinks mountain goats and mountains – meaning the poor dimininutive critters won’t feel so overwhelmed by their environment because as they shrink, it shrinks also. How sweet. I guess that’s what you call #ClimateJustice for small(er) furries. But anyway, we can now add the Jet Stream to that long list above, courtesy of research scientist Tim Woollings:

Tim Woollings, associate professor of atmospheric physics at Oxford University, who has published a new book, Jet Stream, said: “The planet is warming rapidly due to humanity’s greenhouse gases. It means the whole of the Earth’s tropical belt is likely to expand, pushing the jet stream north so it shrinks in size and accelerates.”

The warning comes as greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere hit a new high, keeping Earth on track for global temperature rises of 4C-5C by 2100. This weekend CO2 levels reached 410 parts per million (ppm) at one global reference laboratory in Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and 414ppm at another in Alaska. Such figures are a huge rise on the 350ppm seen in 1990.

Apparently, this “means that Britain is at growing risk of more violent storms in winter and searing heatwaves in summer”.

Woollings suggests that, as the world warms, the jet stream will spend more of the winter across the British Isles and go further into Europe, letting storms keep their power as they reach the UK.

In summer it is likely to shift further to the north than now, opening Britain to hot air from the tropics.

Scientists have long been reluctant to link weather events to climate change but, said Woollings, the number of extremes means connections can be made. He cited the stormy winter of 2013-14 as the first evidence that the jet stream was altering.

Reluctant? Who is he kidding? They’re falling over themselves to attribute extreme weather to climate change. They can’t get in there quick enough!

Now this is all very well but what the Times doesn’t tell you in its eagerness to convince readers that heatwaves in summer and storms in winter are heading their way is that this is just another hypothesis about what might happen to the jet stream due to GHG warming and it is a hypothesis which relies upon a predicted consequence of GHG warming which has not been observed, despite the best efforts of scientists to torture the data in order to claim that it has been observed. The predicted consequence is accelerated warming in the tropical troposphere, the so called tropospheric tropical ‘hot spot’, which has remained annoyingly elusive.

Woolings explains his hypothesis in more detail at the Nonversation:

Scientists are however increasingly confident that important changes are afoot in the tropics. Driven by the vast quantities of energy pouring in from the Sun directly overhead, these are the great powerhouses of Earth’s climate.

Over the past few years, it has become apparent that at high altitudes, the Earth’s tropical regions are heating up more quickly than the rest of the world. At least partly because of this, the tropical regions of the atmosphere have been widening, expanding ever so slightly away from the equator, and impinging more on the jet stream.

Woolings’ link which he uses to justify his claim that the tropical atmosphere is heating faster than the rest of the world goes to a 2013 paper entitled ‘Revisiting the controversial issue of tropical tropospheric temperature trends‘ by four authors including Stott of the Met. He gets around does Peter Stott. Popping up here, there and everywhere in scientific defence of the climate worrier culture. The abstract says:

Controversy remains over a discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical upper tropospheric temperature trends. This discrepancy is reassessed using simulations from the Coupled Climate Model Inter‐comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP 5) together with radiosonde and surface observations that provide multiple realizations of possible “observed” temperatures given various methods of homogenizing the data. Over the 1979–2008 period, tropical temperature trends are not consistent with observations throughout the depth of the troposphere, and this primarily stems from a poor simulation of the surface temperature trends. This discrepancy is substantially reduced when (1) atmosphere‐only simulations are examined or (2) the trends are considered as an amplification of the surface temperature trend with height. Using these approaches, it is shown that within observational uncertainty, the 5–95 percentile range of temperature trends from both coupled‐ocean and atmosphere‐only models are consistent with the analyzed observations at all but the upper most tropospheric level (150 hPa), and models with ultra‐high horizontal resolution (≤ 0.5° × 0.5°) perform particularly well. Other than model resolution, it is hypothesized that this remaining discrepancy could be due to a poor representation of stratospheric ozone or remaining observational uncertainty.

They tortured the data. Alas, the discrepancy between observed tropospheric warming vs. that predicted by models is still apparent as shown by Christy and by McKitrick and Vogelsang. This means that Woolings’ idea is an interesting hypothesis not currently backed up by data. Indeed, not only this, but the fact that the jet stream, in contrast to becoming more powerful and straighter (zonal) has apparently given rise to an increase in extreme weather events in the 21st century precisely because it has tended to be weaker and more meridional. This has been much remarked upon by climate activists, scientists and the alarmist press and presented as evidence for the correctness of Jennifer Francis’ hypothesis that Arctic warming has weakened the jet stream. Woolings is not convinced by this alternative hypothesis.

Some have suggested that the rapidly warming Arctic is weakening the jet, by reducing the temperature contrast between the tropical and polar air to either side of it. As a result, the jet meanders more to the north and south, and these meanders can remain fixed over one location for longer – as happened when the “Beast from the East” placed much of Northern Europe under a bitter chill.

There are certainly some interesting ideas here, but many still do not find the logic compelling, and more convincing evidence from observations and computer models will be needed for these theories to become widely accepted.

Personally, I’m not convinced by either. There certainly is a battle for the jet stream but it’s not raging overhead, as suggested by Woolings at the Con, it’s raging in climate alarmist world to see who can ‘prove’ first that global warming is altering the jet stream ‘dangerously’ to give us more frequent and severe extreme weather, in both winter and summer.


  1. The great climate disaster for the climate scientist is always, like the return of our Lord for a televangelist, just around the corner.
    And please send more money ASAP. Your sincere climate scientist/ televangelist has a new Gulfstream jet picked out and a climate conference/ revival to put on.


  2. ‘Climate change shrinks many things: the US economy, fisheries, fish, chips,…’ Yeah it’s bad alright! ‘ …

    Twas brillig and the slithy toads
    Did gyre and gimble in the cee-
    Oh-two. Upon the shore the Walrus
    Said to Doctor Cheung who stood
    Bare-footed on the burning shale,
    ‘Come gaze upon this fishy thing
    That swims within my pail. It looks
    To be a cod-fish but once it was a whale.’
    ‘Tis mimsy, ‘ said the Doctor, ‘it’s enough
    To make one quail, I’ll write a weighty
    Paper on’t with a porpoise to my tale
    Of borogroves and mome raths out-grabibg,
    Oh my god!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The jet stream moves around a bit
    .. They look at a few cherry picked years and say “see it’s moved north”
    … then we know that the next thing will be a few years where the pattern seems a bit more southerly on average.


  4. Is it not a healthy sign when climateers have more than one competing hypothesis that is used to explain variations they perceive occurring in the pathways of jet streams? If indeed such changes are responsible for differing weather patterns, then we have no climate change consensus.

    BTW surely a more meandering jet stream is a longer jet stream. “Honey, my jet stream has got ever so big”.


  5. @Alan

    I don’t think the science is settled. Only today we have the new hype of a UNEP report saying we need to lose 7.5% of emissions per year, now, or we’re all doomed. So it’s not only worse than we thought, the previous hype was also wrong.

    I think this kind of thing suits sceptics quite nicely. If you have to delete six Britains a year from the globe to save it you might as well just throw up your hands and say it is impossible.

    Too, there may be alarm fatigue. The UNEP report was the second promoted article on the beeb – but it hardly troubled the top ten most read. People were far more interested in Katie Price’s bankruptcy. My conclusion is that most people don’t believe the hype any more. It’s a shame they aren’t pushing back against the alarmists.


  6. Jit. When claims of “the science is settled” are made, isn’t it good to be able to point to at least one point of disagreement? That’s all I was alluding to.


  7. If only such claims were high talk… “the science is settled” is a polite way of telling the sceptic to shut up. If the scientists believed the science was settled, they would probably move on to work on something else… wouldn’t they?

    “The science is settled” is the reason there are no sceptical voices on the beeb.

    PM tonight: someone came on and said, unchallenged: “2 degrees means that coral reefs will be wiped out.” (I probably paraphrase slightly). But ’tis obviously wrong, since coral is limited to warm waters. It is found in the Red Sea, far warmer than the water at the Great Barrier Reef. There are vast areas it cannot colonise owing to the temperature of the sea in those places being too cold. Therefore, it is obvious that its distribution would shift, if not expand, with +2 degrees.

    “The science is settled” seems to have bred out inquisitiveness and critical thinking in the beeb’s presenters, when they seem to have it in abundance re: other subjects.


  8. Not makes a tremendous point matched only by smack-on-the-forehead obvious sense:
    Coral is not limited by hot water but by cold.
    There is no way at all that Coral reefs will be wiped out by the consensus predicted warming.
    In fact since Coral atolls are growing not shrinking we can mark down as “reactionary fear mongering” the relentless mantra about Coral doom.


  9. Hunterson7. Most shallow reefs (the most colourful and species-diverse, those most commonly shown on TV) have grown up to mean sea-level and thus have run out of living room. Rising sea-levels provide extra growing space.
    There have been reports that widespread reef die-offs are linked to sustained episodes of low water, not high sea temperatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The National River Flow Archive publishes monthly summaries. The October monthly summary states:

    October was a cool and very wet month for most, with a succession of frontal systems delivering persistent heavy rainfall across England and Wales. Although October rainfall for the UK was only marginally above average, there were substantial regional variations; the majority of England and Wales was characterised by notably wet weather, exceptionally so in parts of eastern England. This concluded an exceptionally wet summer and autumn so far (June‑October) in northern, central and eastern England; for the Severn‑Trent region, it was the wettest June‑October on record (in a series from 1910).

    Adopting an anomalously southern track, the jet stream propelled a series of cyclonic systems across the UK throughout much of October, with the associated wet weather across England and Wales only briefly relenting towards month‑end.

    Then we got the flooding in Fishlake in early November.

    So it would seem that the jet stream in October did the very opposite of what it was supposed to do – it moved south, giving rise to very unsettled and wet weather.


  11. Here is Ross McKitrick (35 min onwards) talking about the overestimation of warming in the tropical troposphere by the models (in conversation with Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre and Mark Steyn):


  12. O/T Harra’s latest BBC piece is quoting Friends of the Earth
    saying the Tories are worst for enviro

    His tweet got 27 likes in a country of 60 million people
    Matt Ridley called him out on impartiality
    “BBC acting as mouthpiece for Friends of the Earth.”
    Ridley got 55 likes

    Harra hits back … 19 likes
    Ward, and Doug Parr from Greenpeace turn up to back him
    BTW Chris Stark @ChiefExecCCC retweeted Harra’s first post and then Harra retweeted that endorsement


  13. The BBC’s “Friends of the Earth says” correspondent:


  14. NONE of the main parties in the UK have ANY policies which would seriously address the ‘problem’ of climate change, even assuming that it is a real and urgent problem created by emissions of GHGs. UK contributes 1% and falling to global GHG emissions. India, China, Middle Eastern and other Asian ‘tiger’ economies who have not committed to reducing their emissions before 2030 contribute more than half of total emissions and almost 100% of the growth in global emissions. If UK was to go zero carbon next week, it would not make ANY difference whatsoever to climate change and those other countries not currently obliged to reduce emissions are very unlikely to follow our example. Many European countries won’t go as crazy as the UK. America certainly will not. The Greens are liars, the LibLabCons are liars and the BBC promotes their lies as fact. #NetZero is not about “tackling climate change”, it’s about drastically altering British society, draining the collective wealth and imposing top-down control on every single aspect of our miserable existences.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Absolutely spot on Jaime. These are official figures at 2017
    % of global
    emissions 1988 1997 2009 2017
    Asia 25.42 32.0 43.68 48.70
    China 10.90 14.51 25.37 28.32
    US 22.67 24.23 17.96 15.17
    UK 2.65 2.39 1.62 1.11

    1988-2017 increase
    Global 61%
    Asia 209%
    China 319%
    India 150%
    Japan 130%
    S Korea 177%
    Indonesia 266%
    Thailand 402%
    Taiwan 143%
    Malaysia 507%
    Vietnam 765%
    Pakistan 243%
    Phillipines 237%
    Bangladesh 529%

    UK -32%

    Asian emissions, especially China and India, will continue their upward climb, as will their use of coal, see (take the slider to the end to see the future expansion).

    These figures show the futility of UK energy policy. The Conservative Party Conference stated: ‘Our first priority is to lead the world in tackling climate change’. We are leading no-one, we are self-flagellating so that politicians can grandstand on the world stage.

    We get such nonsense from MP’s, this committee had Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas as members:–MPs-urge/

    “The letter recommends that the Government sets a 2030 net-zero target for its operations and estate, bolstered by mandatory carbon literacy training for all staff and the alignment with all procurement decisions with net-zero emissions.”

    Perhaps they could start by having some literacy training themselves and stop speaking about “carbon”.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for putting the flesh on the bones Dennis with actual figures. Makes the claims of these fanatics even more starkly false and exposes their empty assertions to the harsh light of day. But of course facts and reality don’t matter to them – it’s propaganda all the way now.


  17. Jaime: “it’s propaganda all the way now.” And has been for a long time, going back, in my mind, to Tony Blair and the Exeter Conference on Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, 2005, which was “commissioned” by him. It has just escalated since then and the recent Climate Crisis surge, orchestrated to push for the “legalisation” of the Paris Agreement in Glasgow next year, has become quite nauseating.

    For more propaganda examples see:

    Liked by 2 people

  18. “Climate change shrinks many things”.

    Our feathered friends are the latest victims of CO2 induced diminutive response syndrome (CIDRS). They must be pretty pissed off by now. First they were immense stature dinosaurs who ruled the earh for millions of years until a pesky meteor came along and wrecked the climate, allowing mice to take over, who eventually became men, forcing dinosaurs to evolve into birds. Then, to add insult to injury, those same humans who evolved from mice changed the climate again and now they’re being made to shrink some more!


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