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A Scientific Assessment

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Deepwater-Horizon oil spill impact on
winter weather in Europe 2010/11
and elsewhere – possible?

Posted 20 January 2015

A number of cold weather records were observed in Europe in late 2010, due to a “blocking” of weather”, whereby the movement of migratory cyclones was interrupted. The blocking source is closely related to general North Atlantic conditions at that time, which we summarized in the section below: FACTS – Reports- Analysis Autumn/Winter 2010/11.






Click image to enlarge

Only six month earlier the most sincere marine environmental disaster took place a few thousand nautical miles away in the Caribbean.  The largest oil spill ever occurred on 20th April 2010 in about 1’500 meter depths in a semi-enclosed sea in the Gulf of Mexico about 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana. 10 years later the responsible company has spent more than $28 billion on cleanup costs and damage claims, and may eventually be liable for at least another $18 billion in damages. The case had an extraordinary dramatic, and is presumably now one of the best investigated case ever, if one aspect had not been ignored, namely whether a significant part of the oil has passed the about 500-700 meter depths waters around Florida, and changed North Atlantic condition along the Gulf Current and subsequently the weather pattern in Europe and in the wider Northern Hemisphere during autumn and winter 2010/11.

If for example the December in Great Britain is the second coldest during a period of  352 years, than it is inacceptable not to ask why. Any oil floating at any level of depth may have a multiple impact on internal ocean condition, making the sea surface warmer or colder. The weather excesses require an explanation. “‘Nothing happens in this world expect  as allowed by the laws of physics.’ explained Andrew A. Lacis, recently (NYT,17. Feb.2010) The oceans are no exception. The matter raise a number of question, respectively requires an answer.

The chance to establish a link between the Deepwater Horizon and weather extremes in the Northern Hemisphere over the next nine months is at best 50:50 percent. But even if the oil spill in the Caribbean contributed only 1% to the cold November and December 2010 in Europe , it should be known, explained and communicated.  Anything less would be irresponsible for a multi-billion climate research industry. A comprehensive reappraisal of the oil-spill event on 20th April 2010 is still pending.  

Kindly take note of the list of FACTS (below), to consider whether more investigations should be undertaken without further delay to understand the reasons for the weather deviations in Northern Europe and elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere during the nine months following the Deepwater Horizon

FACTS – Reports- Analysis Autumn/Winter 2010/11 (selection):

General Remarks:

__Atlantic Hurricane Seasons: 2010 is Third Most Active on Record, while 2005 Tops the List.

__ January-November 2010 surface temperature anomalies ….is the warmest January-November in the GISS analysis, which covers 131 years. See graphic

June/ July /August 2010:
___A heat wave hit Eastern Europe as exceptionally strong jet stream winds blew in from the Sahara across the Balkan and into both Poland and Ukraine on June 10. ___ In mid-June, a strong blocking pattern settled over western Russia, bringing an unprecedented two-month long heat wave to the area. ( )
___The Russian heat wave contributed to several hundred wildfires that broke out across Russia, primarily in the west in summer 2010. They started burning in late July and lasted until early September 2010.

October 2010:
___30 October 2010, D’Aleo at Icecap: The degree and location of blocking high pressure in the Atlantic will determine how much cold and snow in Europe and Asia.



November 2010:
__11/13. December; James Hansen et al., “2010 — Global Temperature and Europe's Frigid Air”:  The cold anomaly in Northern Europe in November has continued and strengthened in the first half of December. Northern Europe had negative anomalies of more than 4°C. (11.Jan.2011):  “On the eastern side of the Greenland High block, extreme cold had begun in November across much of Northern Europe. The first week of December was abnormally cold for much of Europe and parts of the United States.” 

 A blocking high is defined as an anticyclone (a cell of high surface pressure) that remains stationary or nearly so and blocks the normal movement of migratory cyclones across the latitudes.

___15. November 2010 at NoTricksZone: Joe Bastardi predicts a cold snap   coming soon: “…blocking is developing and a major early season outbreak of cold looks to be shaping up as we wind the clock toward December”.





December 2010:

___05 January, Met Office, – “December 2010 has become the coldest December across the UK since the national series began in 1910. ….”.    
         --The mean temperature for the UK has been -1.0 °C, well below the long term average
           of 4.2 °C. The previous coldest December in the series was 0.1 °C, in 1981.
          --In the last 100 years, the UK has experienced five colder months - January 1940,
        February 1947, January 1963, February 1963 and February 1986.

__ In Ireland December has been the coldest month ever since records began 130 years ago; at Ireland’s Armagh Observatory the second coldest since 1795.

__Central England Temperature record is one of the longest (since 1659).  December 2010 was the coldest December in 120 years with an average of -0.7C just short of the record of -0.8C recorded in December 1890 and the Second Coldest December Temperature in the entire record (352 years).
__ According to the Swedish meteorological agency SMHI, several parts of Sweden,

including the southern region Gotaland and eastern Svealand, experienced the coldest December in at least 110 years.”

__ In several parts of Sweden, including the Gotaland and eastern Svealand, experienced the coldest December in at least 110 years.
___ Germany has experienced the coldest December in more than 40 years.


                 Joe D’Aleo at ICECAP, 6th January 2011;    

___Snow record in Potsdam/Berlin (41 cm), double of previous (December record) of 23 cm in 1913;

  ___USA: 539 new snowfall records were also set.

___Daily Mail (28. Dec. ): “Why is it so cold? Simple… it’s the North Atlantic Oscillation – and it’s got a bit stuck”–North-Atlantic-Oscillation–got-bit-stuck.html



January 2011:
“After a sudden stratospheric warming, among other things the differences in pressure between the Icelandic Low and the Azores High are reduced. This pressure difference determines the prevailing wind direction for Central Europe and thus determines whether the European winter turns cold or warm. Thus, for example, the 2009/2010 winter was characterized by a highly disturbed polar vortex, and in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere there was a severe and snowy winter.” Last paragraph from text at: “Meteorologists at Freie Universität Identify Cause of Cold and Warm Periods during Winter” ;

February 2011:
___15. February; Ryan Maue at WUWT:  Russian Winter: severe cold to invade Moscow and Eastern Europe.
___22. February, at: Moscow Shivering In “Coldest Winter In 100 Years”


___01. March, van Oldenborgh, at - (A winter of extremes):” The cold weather in northern Europe in winter 2010 was …….caused by a very strong negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation, a pressure pattern that disrupts the usual flow patterns on the northern hemisphere. The Arctic Oscillation Index had its lowest value since the beginning of the observations in 1900.”




Further Reading:

(1) Published about June 2010

(2) , about November 2010

(3) Deepwater Horizon oil spill / about December 2010

(4); Record Sea Ice conditions for the Baltic Sea region ahead?žabout 31. December 2010




xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxOlder Contribution xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

D-Day in June 1944 followed by worst summer storm,
which m
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First posted : , April 2010 
Revised and posted here: 17. June 2013 (co_7-4)

Continue reading→→→


Cold spring 2013 in NW-Europe will last through May.
The Atlantic & North Sea factor. 
Posted: 2. May 2013 (co_8-4):  
Continue reading  →→→  

'Urgent' need to see if Arctic affects UK extreme cold? No!
MetOffice should investigate the impact of human activities in the North- and Baltic Sea !

Posted: 11. April 2013 (co 9-4)  
Continue reading →→→  

The cold March 2013 and any anthropogenic contribution
needs to be investigated and explained!
 Further posts at: Home (see below)
Material on winter 2012/13 and discussion




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