by Judith Curry
A discussion of Section 6.1 of Alan Longhurst’s book Doubt and Certainty in Climate Science.
In the original thread, numerous commenters were critical of Chapter 4 Can a global mean temperature be measured? Personally, I find Chapter 6 to be much more insightful: Chapter 6 Regional patterns of temperature change over land surfaces.
Here are excerpts from Section 6.1 Regional anomalies in the evolution of SAT during the 20th century. My excerpts focus on the U.S.; read the entire chapter for a broader perspective (and also the relevant figures).
A really extraordinary press release issued by NASA GISS in 2006 suggested that: “it must now be recognised that the USA is the sole region that did not warm progressively during the 20th century “.294 This was based on a paper authored by James Hansen who noted that “The U.S. mean temperature has now reached a level comparable to that of the 1930s, while the global temperature is now far above the levels earlier in the century. The successive periods of global warming (1900-‐1940), cooling (1940-‐1965), and warming (1965-‐2000) in the 20th century show distinctive patterns of temperature change suggestive of roles for both climate forcings and dynamical variability”. This statement had its origins in a reworking of the Goddard SAT data, corrected by satellite night lights for the urban effect) that came to conclusion that has since disappeared from view: during the 20th century the surface air temperature history of the contiguous United States differed very significantly from the rest of the world. The US data suggest that the end of the 20th century was no warmer than the warm 1940s, while the data representing the ‘rest of the world’ exhibit a pattern that closely resembles the iconic global pattern.
This analysis faces us with an absurd choice: either (i) to suppose that the radiative effect of CO2 in the atmosphere somehow selectively excludes the United States, or (ii) to suppose that the USA is the sole region for which a reasonable correction for the urban and other anthropogenic effects can be made. Of course, the choice is not hard to make.
Regional analysis with rural data alone is easily done in the conterminous USA which is a unique region in the high proportion of rural compared with urban locations: at a randomly-‐chosen position in Kansas, within a radius of 255 km there are 22 rural stations (with data mostly starting around 1905-‐1910 and continuing to the present), 5 small towns and one city of 550,000 inhabitants. Elsewhere, data for many regions include very few rural stations indeed: within 350 kms of Lyons in eastern France there are 3 cities of a million or more, and only 11 rural sites, of which 6 are at high altitude (Pic du Midi, and so on) while the other 4 are in Switzerland or on the north Italian plain. One ‘rural’ site is the little town in which the international airport of Milan is sited, directly adjacent to an aggregation of 1.3 million people! Data from these two groups of stations would match the difference between US and global data patterns.
Despite such problems, I have assembled several regional groups of rural 120 stations which show that there was no unique global pattern of temperature change during the 20th century over all land surfaces: rather, there are characteristic regional patterns that may be tentatively associated with characteristics of regional circulation patterns in the atmosphere and ocean; these patterns are not seen in the standard regional archives that are dominated by observations made in urban sites, or in regions where farming practices have changed during the 20th century, and where the natural vegetation has been progressively destroyed.
Progressively towards the northeastern USA, this symmetrical pattern changes so that stronger warming occurs at the end of the century, and this dominates rural data from regions north and northeast of the Great Lakes, as seen (below) in Canadian rural stations from the Quebec-‐Ontario borders.
This pattern, with stronger warming in the final decades of the 20th century than rural stations in the western and southern USA, is “very largely attributable to unforced natural causes”, according to a recent study.295 This conclusion is based on analyses that suggest that this pattern is closely associated with strong negative trend exhibited by the NAO during the last 30 years or so. Experiments using CMIP296 techniques with prescribed anthropogenic forcing alone fail to reproduce the circulation changes associated with NAO, nor yet the associated tropospheric warming.
Observations show that annual mean geopotential heights in the upper troposphere have increased in the arctic zone since about 1980, especially in the NE Canada-‐Greenland sector, an increase unlikely to be due to changes in surface temperature, but perhaps rather associated with negative values of the NAO, itself associated with the PDO signature in the North Pacific and with the wave-‐train pattern that links this region with positive trends in Canada and Greenland and also with circulation anomalies over the North Atlantic. This mechanism, it is suggested, accounts for half of the recent warming in this region – but, it should be noted, the ‘recent warming’ referred to here is what is indicated by instrumental data that have not been filtered for the urban effect.
The regional pattern that is characteristic of eastern Canada shown in the previous plot may usefully be termed the North Atlantic pattern, since it matches the pattern of the NAO and also is characteristic of stations around the coasts of that ocean; it also matches the pattern of the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation (AMO) that codes the relative temperatures of the North and the South Atlantic Ocean basins (p. NN).
Clearly, the regional pattern of warming at rural locations during the 20th century is complex and it is not easy to discern a single global pattern for this change. Of course, a single model is not what one should expect, given the shifting but repetitive pattern of atmospheric pressure systems (and hence of wind direction and the transport of heat) at global scale. But this informal survey does suggest that the mid-‐century warming, and the subsequent period of cooling, was prominent across much of the northern hemisphere from North America, east of the Sierra, to western Russia. It also suggests that the prime influence on climate pattern of this region is centered in the Atlantic Ocean -‐ as you would expect to be the case from the pattern of ocean currents in the North Atlantic. Alternation between the two extreme states of the NAO, with a characteristic frequency that matches the solar 60-‐80 year cycle, appears to control climate modes over his vast region.
It is also clear from these plots that the iconic temperature curve for the entire globe discussed at the beginning of this chapter conceals the existence of regional differences that are very significant. It should also be noted that the progression of warming in the surface temperature data in the GHCN departs significantly from the change in the troposphere, obtained from satellite MSU sensors and discussed in Chapter 4. Even though these data for the troposphere are available only since the 1970s, they must be the best indicator of the real radiative effect of CO2 in the atmosphere but, despite this, they are seldom discussed in analyses of changing global temperatures.
Despite the regional patterns discussed above, we have to deal with the fact that some version of the global plot of SAT data, with or without the inclusion of SST data for the oceans, has become the iconic pattern that defines anthropogenic global warming, and has been widely disseminated in simplified form; this has the very serious consequence that this is now the pattern to which modelling results must conform if they are intended to simulate the radiative effects of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
This brief and informal survey of rural station data appears to demonstrate conclusively that the global plot of SAT offered by Hansen and shown above cannot be considered as representative of the reaction of the lower atmosphere globally to the release of anthropogenic CO2 -‐ although that is how it is presented. This is a critical issue, because it is implausible that somehow the USA should be exempt from anthropogenic global warming; the only reasonable interpretation of the plots is that the difference is driven rather by the quality of the data than by the state of the planet: it will not be forgotten that the USA has far and away the best coverage of station data, predominantly from rural stations, and that it is better processed and curated than in most of the remainder of the globe.
For reference, I point to these previous posts:
I have long been a proponent of a regional focus on climate change, both to support scientific understanding and support policy making (see my talk from the climate adaptation workshop).
Read the rest of Chapter 6 also; there are some really good insights throughout the chapter.
Moderation note: I will treat this as a guest post: keep your comments relevant and civil. Alan is reading the comments, and will participate if the discussion is productive. Of course criticisms are expected and welcome, but please avoid ‘piling on’ and try to keep the discussion productive.
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Thanks, Professor Curry, for your continuing effort to quantify the basis for AGW concerns.
You don’t need a thermometer to tell which way the Earth cools.
“This analysis faces us with an absurd choice: either (i) to suppose that the radiative effect of CO2 in the atmosphere somehow selectively excludes the United States, or (ii)…”
You hear this stuff often from sceptics, but it is just dumb. There have been spatial and temporal fluctuations in climate since forever. Think of the US SW megadroughts. for example. They have many natural causes. Adding a persistent extra radiative flux from CO2 doesn’t make those variations go away. It just adds to them. There is no such “absurd choice”.
So, a question. What part of observed ~1965 to ~2000 warming is just ‘spatial and temporal variation’, and how much is AGW?
Warming of what?
Of the warmer places.
Can you reference papers showing the “adds to” effect that you mention?
More generally, can you reference any papers that allege to show that a uniform CO2 heating response has been derived for a number of adjacent regions, like those around the Atlantic Ocean?
It has always been a worry in my own reading that CO2 warming appeared to act regionally, with different patterns able to be resolved into different regions.
The AR$ has Sec 2.9.6 on the spatial patterns of radiative forcing. But the situation here is simple. Radiative forcing is small, 1-2 W/m2 typically quoted. But it persists, so heat accumulates in the earth, until a new balance of OLR is struck. The warming effect anywhere is the accumulation of decades. The mixing rate globally in the atmosphere is on a scale of days or weeks.
Stokes writes: “The warming effect anywhere is the accumulation of decades.”
There’s no warming effect in the continental United States which has both great coverage and compensation for urban heat. Sounds like decades of evidence contrary to CO2 warming.
Of course Stokes won’t agree and will offer some excuse why the best data in the world, over the country emitting the most CO2 until recently, isn’t applicable.
Here are some straws ||||||||||||||||||||||||||| feel free to reach for as many as you need, Nick.
AR$ I think I’ll use that.
I didn’t get the impression that the author was arguing that CO2 made natural variations go away, or add to them. I do see him saying that the addition of more CO2 into the atmosphere should create similar characteristics across the globe.
“addition of more CO2 into the atmosphere should create similar characteristics”
Why? It just adds a flux of heat. They will be no more similar than before.
You’re a farmer. Your income fluctuates from year to year. Then you inherit some shares with a dividend stream. You get richer, but the fluctuations don’t change. And you still have good and bad paddocks.
“You’re a farmer. Your income fluctuates from year to year. Then you inherit some shares with a dividend stream. You get richer, but the fluctuations don’t change. And you still have good and bad paddocks.”
Bubble cumulus, toil and turbulence.
-100, not because I disagree with the general argument but because it isn’t so profound as to deserve any points. I don’t want SM’s biases to go to your head. In the mean time ristvan asked a question that deserves a considered answer. I would think it deserves a considered answer by more than just you but by the entire climate science community. All the evidence of warming is perfectly compatible with a change in poleward ocean heat transport. How much of it was?
It may not be possible to attribute with complete accuracy. That doesn’t diminish the stupidity of the original “absurd choice” argument. If the enriched farmer has negative income one year, that doesn’t mean that the dividend stream isn’t there. It just means that it didn’t make up for bad crop conditions that year.
Yes you get richer. But the question is why you don’t get richer in the United States.
The whole point seems to elude both Stokes and Mosher i.e. there’s no temperature rise in the US.
Stokes’ argument is that the other argument is stupid. How cutting. I’m sure the author is devastated and a retraction is soon forthcoming.
” In the mean time ristvan asked a question that deserves a considered answer. ”
The author Alan made a dumb statement.
Nick called him out on it
Rud changes the topic
How about we finish the first discussion.
As for your answer read AR5, dip your toe
So how much of the warming of the warming places, and how much of the cooling of the cooling places is natural variation and how much of the wotwp, and how much of the cotcp is anthropogenic?
SM, I read enough about poleward ocean heat transport in AR5 before AR5 came out to decide it wasn’t worth reading. Show me you dipped your toe and tell me what it was I read.
As far as the argument by the author regarding the spatial pattern, it is important but doesn’t create an either or situation so I side with Nick on that part.
Mosher kissing ass to be accepted by the cool kids.
Being unable to give an adequate answer to a question doesn’t make the question dumb.
If you add heat and the fluctuations do not change then everyone’s average should go up.
Nick with the farmers
More or bable that in years of nil or negative income, the farmer will draw down from the reserves sometimes until it too is zero. Has analogy.
I used to have a friend who was a banker.
Actually, it wasn’t a “dumb statement.” It was a dumb interpretation, followed by a complete diversion from the author’s point. “Look! A squirrel!”
One of the most important points of the excerpt is that the Urban Heat Island effect hasn’t been properly accounted for anywhere but the continental US. Alright, “to suppose that the radiative effect of CO2 in the atmosphere somehow selectively excludes the United States” may not be as “absurd” as suggested, but that doesn’t prove the UHI has been properly accounted for. “Absurd” is a value judgement.
The argument about the UHI remains valid.
But you are adding heat to the individual fluctuations. Therefore the physics underlying the regional fluctuations, by definition, must change.
To adapt your analogy, the farmer bought new seed or new equipment frequently and yet the annual crop “fluctuations” remained the same over decades. That seems like an interesting situation to me.
Of course, in reality we know that the past few decades of CO2 increase have been beneficial to farmers everywhere. ;-)
If you add heat and the fluctuations do not change then everyone’s average should go up. …
It’s a complex system. You’re talking about a simple system.
It’s always been this way. Proxies indicate some regions were colder and some regions were warmer, and that this occurred alongside with a general trend in GMST. Reject science; reject reality; advocate for a defective temperature series. Adds up. If ACO2 is the control knob, and oceans have been masking it, what would you expect to happen when the oceans stopped masking it? You’re in it: a major heatwave; during which some regions will be warm and some will be cool, as always.
To pursue the farmer analog, the difference between the paddocks is the fluctuation. But what goes up is yield, not outside income. If the fluctuation does not change then every paddock’s yield has to increase the same amount. Otherwise the fluctuation has to change.
That there is no US warming is a real issue, not to be waived off.
JCH, I am not talking about a system. I am talking about mathematics, specifically statistics. Physics has nothing to do with it.
And a visual on internal variability – GISSTEMP for the satellite era ( since 1979 ):
“SM, I read enough about poleward ocean heat transport in AR5 before AR5 came out to decide it wasn’t worth reading. Show me you dipped your toe and tell me what it was I read.”
Too bad you decided that.
People with Pens and Phones decided otherwise.
guess you should have read harder.
Bottom line. There is no point in proving anything to you. Why?
you dont have a pen or a phone. you have no power.
The issue again is the unexamined skeptical belief that warming will happen uniformly.
“One of the most important points of the excerpt is that the Urban Heat Island effect hasn’t been properly accounted for anywhere but the continental US. ”
argument by assert
1. Read Zeke’s article on the US UHI
2. heck go back and look at the poster that Nick stokes, zeke, me and Menne did.
There is UHI in the US record. You can detect it an remove it largley.
Dont expect me to even comment on a series of Alan’s claims about 22 stations here or there.
code, data,, etc or STFU
I have a phone and a pen. I know how to get my congressman’s phone number and I know how to fill out a ballot. Your pen and phone argument is poor, you should dump it.
“I have a phone and a pen. I know how to get my congressman’s phone number and I know how to fill out a ballot. Your pen and phone argument is poor, you should dump it.”
China didnt listen to your congressman.
heck even your congressman didnt listen to you
pen and phone isnt an argument.
it’s a fact
Steven Mosher, you sure do ramble. Show me the actions taken by congress that proves my pen and phone impotent.
“One of the most important points of the excerpt is that the Urban Heat Island effect hasn’t been properly accounted for anywhere but the continental US. ”
huh? argument by assert
It pretty much follows. Only the US has such dense coverage of rural stations by which one may assess the UHI of urban stations.
Europe has a number of old stations, but mostly urban:
“You’re a farmer. Your income fluctuates from year to year. Then you inherit some shares with a dividend stream. You get richer, but the fluctuations don’t change.”
If you and your fellow farmers all have annual incomes that independently fluctuate from $5,000 to $15,000 and then you all inherited a dividend stream worth $10,000,000 per year, your income has gone from being quite sporadic and dissimilar to nearly identical.
If your annual incomes fluctuate between $5 and $15 million, and you all inherit a dividend stream worth $10,000 per year, then no it doesn’t make them much more similar to one another.
It sounds like your arguing that the natural climate fluctuations are very large and dwarf the athropogenic component. The “athropogenic signal” gets lost in the natural noise. If that’s the case, that is one of the strongest arguments against this global fixation on what amounts to a trivial portion of the climate.
It is not an either/or choice, but it is a coincidence that the place in the world with the most temperature data, good rural controls, and good data handling (compared to most places) is the one with the least warming. Kind of like the coincidence that Karl chose to adjust the Argo data using the older inlet port data.
The NASA Goddard press release says that every region other than the USA “warmed progressively during the 20th century”, and I must assume that Hansen, as director of the outfit, approved the release concerning his own paper. I agree you only have my word that it appeared. Since I take ‘warmed progressively’ to be code for anthropogenic warming in this context, then my “absurd choice” wording is appropriate. But I agree the paragraph could have been drafted better….especially because the paper itself does recognise regional differences, although if these stem from regional differences in Western Pacific SST.
[A] This analysis faces us with an absurd choice […]
[N] You hear this stuff often from sceptics […]
[A] But the press release.
The squirrel genre.
” Since I take ‘warmed progressively’ to be code for anthropogenic warming in this context, then my “absurd choice” wording is appropriate.”
When I take a term to mean X, that leads to an absurd choice.
dont make the mistake of taking a term to mean things that lead to absurdities.
One does not simply bait with words like “code” and “genre” and then play the purely scientist card, Alan.
Objectivity requires one sticks to the science and refrain from using “but press release” switches.
You can’t refute the fact.
“It’s a fascinating piece of work,” Bridges said. “Our view of Mars is changing, and we’ll be discussing this for a long time to come.”
What a wonderful way to make a good living asking yourself open ended questions. Spending billions on stuff that is trash once it arrives at its destination. What a world.
Which fact, Arch?
I thought we were talking code words and genres.
Cost Benefit Analysis since this…
Today it has become the cool photo op for rich tourists. You are unaware?
‘every region other than the USA “warmed progressively during the 20th century”’
I don’t know the context in the press release. But the 2001 Hansen paper that it quotes from is a thorough analysis of spatial and temporal variability of temperature, both within and beyond the USA. It makes the same point that Tamino is currently making – that the US has statistically different periods, of which the most recent is a long period of warming. There is nothing exceptional about that either; there is decadal variability as well as annual. You could look at any other decade and you’ll find other warm spots in the world. With decadal, there is a chance of finding explanations, which Hansen essays.
TE showed above a global map showing variation. Here is another, of the decade 1931-40.
It shows the warmth in the US, relative to the rest of world. The reason probably has little to do with CO2. But it is the reason for the relatively lower trends for the US in later 20th Cen.
“It makes the same point that Tamino is currently making – that the US has statistically different periods, of which the MOST RECENT is a long period of warming. ”
And then there is the admittedly short ( approx 16 years) US Climate Reference Network, which was created to answer this exact question. Stations with the best equipment, at the best sites, set up to offer the best view of US temperatures without any contamination from UHI. So how could you have this conversation without acknowledging it?
Oh wait a minute there is no warming and 2015 is relatively cool.
“And then there is the admittedly short ( approx 16 years) US Climate Reference Network”
Not 16 years, ten at best for regional average. And where it exists, it agrees very closely with the USHCN that Tamino analysed. Neither shows much trend during that decade, but Tamino is analysing statistically significant change points, and ten years won’t give you that.
The skeptic argument is not ‘there should not be any spatial and temporal fluctuations’. That is a misdirection.
The argument is such fluctuations can clearly overpower any CO2 effect. If cooling can be caused by natural variations, so can warming. Natural variability must be fully accounted for to separate causes of warmth. Yet that is not done in the most obvious places.
Heat ventilating from the Arctic ocean has skewed the global average, but has little to do with CO2. Lost thick multiyear ice was initiated by a change in directions from subfreezing winds, yet a warmer Arctic is incorrectly interpreted by advocates of a CO2-control-knob as an example of higher climate sensitivity to CO2 and Arctic Amplification, but the evidence does not support that interpretation.
The “background” average global temperature (when there are no El Nino or La Nina or large volcanic
events occurring) can be closely determined by using the Climate Sensitivity factor of approx. .02 deg. C of temp. rise for each net Megatonne of reduction in anthropogenic SO2 emissions. (This factor derived from the 1991 volcanic eruptions: 0.45 deg. C. temp. rise as 23 Megatonnes of sulfur dioxide aerosols settled out of the atmosphere).
2015 is an unusually hot year. To avoid even hotter temperatures, all Clean Air efforts need to be suspended until mitigation strategies can be developed and implemented.
Sulfur dioxide aerosol levels, and the natural events
noted above are the only recent drivers of climate change. CO2 proveably has no climatic effect.
All of the above is heretical, but true. Comments?
Engine management softwhere all over the world heaved a great sigh of relief. Whaddya think made that moon red?
I lived for while about 200 m from the smokestack of the Mt Morgan mine near Rockhampton. The wind would sometimes waft part of the plume through our home, rich in SO2 to make the eyes water. Colleagues mining elsewhere, like at Mt Isa or Sudbury had similar. In some cases like Mt Isa detailed weather records were kept for distances up to 600 km downwind of the stack. Has anyone that you know looked at these records and gained knowledge about SO2?
Smockstack emissions data can be difficult to interpret in regard to regional and global weather/climate impacts. Local pollution impacts have been dealt with largely by increasing smokestack height, together with technological controls on boilers, etc. By the way, I believe the big smokestack at Sudbury is the second tallest structure in Canada (after the CN Tower in Toronto).
Unless regional variability is understood, then cause of climate change will be obscured and sensitivity to CO2 misrepresnted. Most tree ring analyses suggest much less warming in natural habitat. It would be an absurd choice to suggest CO2 warming doesnt happen in natural habitats and equally absurd to suggest all those trees suddenly stopped working. The same cyclical temperature change seen in the USA were observed in Greenland while in east Antarctic CO2 hasnt caused warming. If there is a CO2 induced accumulation of heat then we should see maximum temperatures increasing, but there is a widespread lack of warming for maximum temperatures. In a 1997 paper by Easterly the authors noted ” Maximum temperatures in southern South America and in Southeast Asia (Fig. 1), two areas not previously analyzed, did not change significantly, although the data for Southeast Asia suggest that temperatures there decreased slightly.” In the Arctic Kahl (1993) observed air temperatures were cooling, the warming of the Arctic only happened after winds removed insulating ice and allowed heat to ventilate. The Arctic contribution to the recent high global average temperature is due to ventilating heat, not increased residency time of heat due to CO2. Unless regional climates are adequately analyzed the global average does more to obscure our understanding climate change.
“Unless regional variability is understood, then cause of climate change will be obscured and sensitivity to CO2 misrepresnted”
Argument by assertion.
Rebuttal by asswipe.
Mosher, if climate science spent more resources on the why questions instead of the what questions we might be making real progress.
Mosher, if climate science spent more resources on the why questions instead of the what questions we might be making real progress.”
LOL Everything is an argument by assertion. If it is an empty assertion then maybe you have a point, but the assertion is accompanied by supporting evidence. Furthermore as you should well know climate sensitivity to CO2 or any other factor is determined by an evaluation of changes in temperature associated with a variety of drivers. For example simple correlations with the rise in Arctic temperatures suggest to some that there is a high sensitivity to CO2. However the upper 700m of the Arctic Ocean has been cooling over the 20 years. That suggests the Arctic temperatures are sensitive to heat ventilating from the ocean as has been reported by Rigor 2002, etc In turn, because a great proportion of Arctic temperature anomalies, if not all, can be attributed to the ventilation of ocean heat not CO2, and because Arctic temperatures skew the global average, we can infer sensitivity to CO2 is lower.
What? The elephant has even more spots to grasp?
Kim, you were missed. So glad to see you back. Nobody exposes the absurdities better than you…
I meant to type Easterling not Easterly
In promoting a global temperature, the nuances of the regional temperatures that constitute it are lost. As Marcel Leroux commented ;there are many climates’
This study by myself and a colleague predated BEST;
Richard Muller, when asked by me, confirmed that approximately one third of the world was cooling over a statistically meaningful period.
I have asked Mosh about that several times and he puts forward numerous caveats that minimise to virtually nothing these cooling areas.
A paper from BET on local and regional trends where cooling can be identified would be an interesting addition to the canon and either demonstrate the hypothesis or disprove it.
Oceanic current changes and surface wind changes could go a long way to explaining why regional climates change as could human influence in the form of deforestation, large scale agriculture or building,
For example, it is notable that although I was taught at school that Britain has ‘warm wet westerly winds’ that shape our climate, it has become apparent that this rule is broken for decades at a time, during which our climate changes often from warmish to coldish or wet to dry as winds from another direction predominate.
Regional climate characteristics can not be ignored.
I had a mate who lived walking distance through the scrub. A hill separated us. When I got rain, he might not. The north side of that hill was a touch drier.
I have a track which flanks the forest: trees on one side, paddocks on the other. On a still night you can step into cool and warm pockets. A crafty siting might give you some higher or lower minima, if desired.
You record only what you record. If you record min/max at one spot, then you know about min/max at that spot, and min/max isn’t a lot to be knowing about temp. You don’t know about the “climate” of the region around that spot just from those numbers (especially min!). Even rainfall figures can deceive unless you know a bit about what actually went down on the day. It’s fair to make learned guesses about the region and time period and draw the odd conclusion from min/max and precip, but specificity becomes the enemy of knowing if you take it further than that.
Then there’s length of record. Climate being the longest game, it’s amazing what people are happy to conclude from three decades or so. The BoM has now relocated our main weather station to the airport, and our history is now fifteen years old unless you know where to look for the preceding century+ of quite interesting records. Instead of considering 1915 to be our hottest by mean max and 1902 our driest, the punters will glance at the most readily available record and assume 2003 was the bad boy.
Conversational English with a few relevant numbers would be far more scientific than intricate numbers derived from such skinny sources. But they keep hoping those sow’s ears will turn into silk purses, don’t they?
Globally what’s measured at the various stations, shows even when it gets warmer during the day, it cools more at night.
This is a chart of the annual average of day to day surface station change in min temp.
(Tmin day-1)-(Tmin d-0)=Daily Min Temp Anomaly= MnDiff = Difference
For charts with MxDiff it is equal = (Tmax day-1)-(Tmax d-0)=Daily Max Temp Anomaly= MxDiff
MnDiff is also the same as
(Tmax day-1) – (Tmin day-1) = Rising
(Tmax day-1) – (Tmin day-0) = Falling
Rising-Falling = MnDiff
Average daily rising temps
(Tmax day-1) – (Tmin day-1) = Rising
But there’s a lot of variance at the regional level
Regional annual averaged daily differences.
(Tmin day-1)-(Tmin d-0)=Daily Min Temp Anomaly= MnDiff
(Tmax day-1)-(Tmax d-0)=Daily Max Temp Anomaly= MxDiff
US +24.950 to +49.410 Lat: -67 to -124.8 Lon
Tropics -23.433 to +23.433 Lat
Southpole -66.562 to -90 Lat
Southern Hemisphere -23.433 to -66.562 Lat
South America -23.433 to -66.562 Lat: -30 to +180 Lon
Northpole +66.562 to +90 Lat
Northern Hemisphere +23.433 to +66.562 Lat
Eurasia +24.950 to +49.410 Lat: -08 to +180 Lon
Australia -23.433 to -66.562 Lat: -100 to -180 Lon
Africa -23.433 to -66.562 Lat: -100 to -30 Lon
and you continue to IGNORE the explanation I gave you.
A) pre homogenized records
B) for any given time period.
Regional is simply not interesting enough, especially when none of you believe in temperature data.
Thankfully, those who decide are not so nihilistic
Please ignore this comment if it risks derailing the conversation. But since we’re on the topic of regional effects:
Relative humidity is generally discounted because it is so variable/fractal/hard to model – ie not “well-mixed.” CO2 instead is well-mixed (so they say), and therefore it’s GHG effect is more consistent across regions, and nicely cumulative. But Water Vapor IR bands *mostly* overlap with CO2 bands. WV mops up and thermalizes most IR, leaving a little to CO2 to absorb, thermalize, re-radiate a residual amount of IR. But if that is the case, isn’t the GHG- functionality of CO2 dependent on the local, highly fractal variations of WV? Which would make CO2s presence and its contribution to warming just as difficult to model as its bigger cousin the WV?
“CO2 instead is well-mixed (so they say)”
Not according to the latest NASA Satellite readings, they are not well mixed at all.
Actually very well mixed. If you look at something like this:
…You may not think so, unless you look at the scale: all those striking color differences represent concentration changes between ~380 and ~390 PPMV. About 2.7%. Now consider that the greenhouse effect is logarithmic…
Is that video from the model or the actual OCO sat?
“But if that is the case, isn’t the GHG- functionality of CO2 dependent on the local, highly fractal variations of WV?”
Here is an animation of the radiative forcing imposed by a doubling of CO2 for one day each month of the year 2010:
There are some variations of RF from the variations of temperature,humidity, and high clouds in the profiles.
But in the mean, the global radiative forcing from doubling CO2 is roughly the same as what is calculated by the three profiles from the Myhre paper:
Thanks, … I think I got that…
OT but its good to see that Kim is back!
Non-pareil like the Scarlet Pimpernel.
Well, you do need a decoder ring.
Je suis Maigret.
‘Lacking confidence in this iconic and widely-‐
distributed plot, I thought that a final reality
check might be in order by examining a
group of the longest extant instrumental data
sets, those for several large European cities
whose cityscapes have changed relatively little
compared with many other places and where
one might hope that proper care had been
taken to obtain standard data. I have extracted
the data for Vienna and for two other cities in
central Europe where SAT measurement has a
very long history; these data have a very
interesting (and quite unexpected) common
pattern, because each follows a similar
trajectory over the entire 225 -‐year period,
although offset by a degree or two: this
long record demonstrates that the progressive
increase in temperature during the 20th century
in central Europe was no more than a return
to conditions that existed 200 years previously,
after an intervening cooler period’ Ch 6.
‘ Oh Vienna! ‘ H/t Ultra Vox.
I know I shouldn’t but it does show a snow scene
in Vienna, 1980’s.
Fear not, GISS has seen the error of their ways and are progressively altering their records to cool the early 20thC and warm the latter!
No, they are not.
The situation in Australia can be summarised a little by a search for truly regional stations at a time of hopefully more error-free readings. I have looked for trends on the last 40 years of 40 or so of the best ‘pristine’ sites. The main conclusion is that systematics that might be these are hopelessly buried in noise. Contrary to the theories of some, I found no signal that could be reliably attributed to large area quasi global warming.
That is a convincing refutation.
Why do you think the measurements in 1938 changed so dramatically 75 years after the fact? Those scientists back then could not read thermometers?
“no they are not”
Assertion w/o basis.
Well since no one has demonstrated the ability to read minds, no basis is really required.
Adam had really impugned the motives of GISS and for his statement to be true, both that GISS has seen the errors of their ways and that GISS has altered the record to cool the past and warm the present must be true. Both require mind reading to be true.
And what about 2015?
Also Adam must show the adjustments were made without merit, which is not true, they were made to remove bias.
Look it up, I’m not doing your homework for you.
I would also point out that a person who doesn’t know what the triple point of water is should not be used as a source for anything referenced to measuring temperature.
Bob would appear to be a lawyer, more interesting in the wording than than the main issue.
“So, Mr Bob, is the situation such that you agree ‘they’ have in fact adjusted these temperatures, but you simply dispute the motive for this said adjustment?”
No not a lawyer, though one stood up for me, and I have fornicated a few.
What I am saying is the motive for the adjustment provided by Adam is not in evidence, unless he is the Great Swamp Swami and able to read minds, cause I am sure that GISS has not published that they have adjusted the temperature reading to cool the past and warm the present.
Scott seems to think it was scientists measuring temperature, more likely the term is technician or maybe even farmer.
Just look up TOBS and see for yourself if the adjustments are valid, that is if you can follow the argument for the adjustment, or just continue to scream fraud.
And Adam really ought to cite his sources, even if they are from that unreliable source “steve.”
For Alan Longhurst,
Your section 6 uses several introductory graphed time series of temperatures. The Y axes are different for each one with one of them possibly inverted. Hard to compare. Possible improvement for next edition?
(My nit picking is not meant to devalue the book.)
Many thanks – will do.
providing the actual data sources (AS USED) and code (AS USED)
would actually make it science.
” the GHCN departs significantly from the change in the troposphere, obtained from satellite MSU sensors and discussed in Chapter 4. Even though these data for the troposphere are available only since the 1970s, they must be the best indicator of the real radiative effect of CO2 in the atmosphere but, despite this, they are seldom discussed in analyses of changing global temperatures.”
There you go, ignore the satellites and dither endlessly with hopelessly fornicated data from these little louvered boxes…
I absolutely did not set out to suggest that there is no radiative effect of CO2, it would be stupid to deny physics. But since surface data are used to assay the consequences of anthropogenic CO2, we had better understand what are the limitations of the information they contain. And thats the objective of this Chapter and of Chapter 4.
If we had to rely on satellite data alone, we would have serious problems understanding the relevance of what was being observed.
You state “I absolutely did not set out to suggest there is no radiative effect of CO2, it would be stupid to deny physics”
But there is no physical data that CO2 has ever caused any warming, just inferential and theoretical data.
You, along with countless others, are ignoring the proven fact that the removal of 25 or more Megatonnes of anthropogenic sulfur dioxide emissions will naturally cause greater insolation (as demonstrated by the Mount Pinatubo eruption). The climatic response to the removal of tropospheric SO2 aerosols is identical to that of stratospheric aerosols, as can be demonstrated.
If you substitute SO2 for CO2, then your paper has a lot of merit.
Wow, my question is why the surface data is used. Have you seen a map of the surface stations?
If the fact that historically these measurements were taken in little louvered boxes were the only objection, it would be merely humorous. The reality is that we didn’t, and in the case of the oceans, could not have placed louvered boxes over about 85% of the planet. Trying to interpolate this is a farce.We desperately need the satellites to interpret the relevance of the louvered boxes and the iron ship data with varying deck heights and varying amounts of payload stored on deck to avoid the Suez tax, and varying inebriation of the recording sailors…
Since the CO2 effect both warms the surface and cools the stratosphere, until the satellite measurements can remove the stratospheric effect on their measurements, they must be understood to underestimate the effect of CO2 on the atmosphere.
You want to understand the greenhouse effect, the UAH and RSS are not your go to guys.
Um, except that the measurements are separate.
It is true that the lower topospheric temperature or TLT is derived as a function of the mid-troposphere or TLS, but it is independent of the stratosphere.
You want to understand the greenhouse effect, you study saturation. Half of the potential radiative effect of CO2 is saturated. That does not mean it is not working any more. It means the effect is being brought closer to the louvered boxes. That 50% does not effect the stratosphere because it has been saturated since HITRAN measurements were taken in the sixties. No earth spectrum energy has reached the tropopause in the saturated bands since at least then.
so a big chunk of land mass in the NH
the chunk that has the way most and best data
that has an abundance of CO2 producing stuff
“did not warm progressively during the 20th century”
I want to understand the greenhouse effect but the effect seems to be well … missing
I keep seeing naked emperors and little dogs pulling back curtains
This is mostly due to the path the jet stream takes overhead.
Our weather is either tropical Gulf or Eastern Pacific air, or Canadian cool dry air, just a slight shift north as we get a 10-15F swing in temps.
This is a couple weeks in May, where it switched a couple times.
And in part the ocean cycle alter how the jetstream crosses the land masses, which will create a regional pattern over the continents, these changes if over a long enough period show up in the temperature record.
This is also a big reason I think interpolation and homogenization are not useful, temperature over the land masses isn’t linear.
> A really extraordinary press release issued by NASA GISS in 2006 suggested that: “it must now be recognised that the USA is the sole region that did not warm progressively during the 20th century“.
The citation for this is given in footnote 294:
So the citation for the “really extraordinary press release issued by NASA GISS in 2006” is “NASA press release”. That does not help much.
Worse, the addition of “and Hansen” confuses the provenance of the quote.
Here’s the only relevant citations for 2006 in Hansen’s publications page:
This paper should be identified as Shindell & al. The DOI “doi:10.1029/2005JD006348” leads to this permalink:
The page numbers “23947-23963” are of no help in that PDF. The string “it must now be” does not appear in that PDF. The string “mean temperature” does not appear either.
Is that the correct paper?
That “A. Lacis” name rings a bell.
When I search for ” J. Geophys. Res. 106, D20, 23947-23963,” here’s what I get:
The emphasized bit confirms that Alan is referring to H01, not S06.
Just imagine if the IPCC did this.
INTEGRITY ™ – Just Imagine
You might also like this sentence at the end of the chapter, just before the psychological epilogue:
This might explain the “but press release.” Unless there’s a gap between that pres release and the original paper, the psychological epilogue that follows might fall a bit short:
Just imagine if NASA appealed to psychological predicates like that.
This doesn’t rise to the ido-see of using proxies upside-down, but Willard found a problem. He gets 10 Obumbles points.
I regret I do not have a date for the press release that was posted on the Goddard web-site, and I have tried to track to down again myself several times because I would like to read again the rest of it; the quotation is, I think, accurate and was written when the release was available, some 2-3 years ago. I found it sufficiently remarkable that I copied part of it. The Hansen paper is, indeed, the one referred to above; I dont understand why you find the footnote confusing, but I will try to make it simpler by removing the reference to the press release which is really not needed anyway.
> I dont understand why you find the footnote confusing
The quote clearly comes from the paper, Alan. Your “press release” angle adds nothing but confusion:
more so if you can’t even produce that press release.
Also note that your “but press release” is not exactly like the “but news paper story” code you used in a previous chapter. Denizens ought to wonder why, like the Auditor is wont to ask. This does not seem to change the genre of your “it’s not science but it’s important” (H/T Lindzen, Curry & Koonin) genre. (Incidentally, the last footnotes of your chapter reinforces that impression.) However, it does indicate something.
Getting the year of H01 right might also have been less confusing, and inserting permanent URLs with your citations might be welcome by Denizens.
Predicting local climate is complex but predicting average global climate, i.e. a single average temperature trajectory for the entire planet, is simple.
Climate has always changed…naturally. The last change is it stopped warming.
CO2 (above about 150 ppmv which is required for life as we know it) doesn’t matter, never has and never will. The last 542 million years demonstrate this.
Determining that CO2 has no effect on climate and identification of the two factors that do cause reported average global temperature change (sunspot number is the only independent variable) are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com (new update with 5-year running-average smoothing of reported, measured average global temperature (AGT), results in a near-perfect explanation of AGT since before 1900; R^2 = 0.97+).
Why Steve Mosher has so much trouble understanding criticism of BEST, GISS, etc.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”…..Upton Sinclair
Sorry but I spent years critcicizing GISS, still do.
And I volunteered for BE for about a year before going to work for them.
As far as critics go… I’ve only seen one or two who actually know what they are talking about.
Regional differences obviously exist but I am not sure how you can judge which ones are real and which ones are a sampling or manipulation problem. This is just one more reason to stay with satellite temperatures and ignore the compromised ground-based data that have been altered by constant adjustments and falsifications. An example is the latter is suppression of the hiatus that existed in the eighties and nineties. I discovered its existence while doing research for my book “What Warming?” in 2008. I traced the source of the falsification to HadCRUT3 and even put a warning about it into the preface when the book came out. It was totally ignored. I kept bringing it up periodically until finally a week ago a reader unearthed a NASA document from 1997 proving that the hiatus really existed. What should be done is to invalidate the false temperature graph now in use and replace it with the correct temperature that we now know exists in the NASA files. But these guys have no organized error-correction section to whom you could turn. It may come to an absurdity like a lawsuit for spreading false information about global climate. Which is what they really wanted to do when they discovered that the apparent warming that started in late seventies came to a sputtering end in 1979. From 1979 to 1997 there was no warming at all but they invented and showed a fake warming that they named “late twentieth century warming.” That is still part of the official temperature curve today. It creates a smooth temperature rise for the end of the century that does not exist.
I seem to remember Mosher indicating in a previous set of comments that the temperature measurement was purely an index? Unless I am mistaken the same sort of index is now being discussed as an indicator of heat and warmth? Surely it can only be used in this way if the humidity at the measurement point is included?
Steven uses his new algorerhythm to fix the virtual sweat index(VSI). Nothing to it.
Yes its and index.
Jesus hansen explained this long ago.
Because of some issues with MAT jones and hansen decided to use
SST +SAT as an metric. Since you are combining air temps with water temps… you cant simply call it A temperature.. so its an index
You can also combine SAT and MAT that would an air temperature.
regardless of how you choose to look at things… planets getting warmer
I expect Hansen also discussed the idea of heat being stored in the ocean a long time ago too?
SAT, MAT and SST are interesting but do not give the local humidity associated with the respective temperature measurement.
In the absence of humidity measurements one could use Pressure to get a first estimate for the local humidity.
I have seen no criticism of the following Longhurst statement (pg 78):
“anomalies in SAT and in SST data may represent responses to two quite different forcing mechanisms, and may have two quite different consequences for the heat budget of the planet that really should not be confused – although no distinction is normally made between temperature change in the two environments.”
In my readings over the last years there have been no words that come close to this Longhurst statement. And, AFAIK, it contradicts the assumptions of almost all climatarians, and could be very significant in the debate. I might be wrong.
Its off subject, but see the further discussion of this point on p. 94 (or just after the discussion of El Nino effects if the page numbers have slipped in the copy in front of me). At its simplest – trade winds fail, upwelling of cold water along American coasts and along the equator ceases, SST becomes warmer, global index of SAT+SST warms strongly as in 1998 – with no assistance from radiative warming. I’m currently in correspondence with some physical oceanographer friends to try to quantiy this issue.
On scales less than NINO, wind-induced changes in vertical motion in the ocean must cause this process to occur all the time.
I’m out on a limb on this, because I have found no discussion of it in the literature. Anybody want to cut it off?
Personally, I suspect there’s a difference between “normal” fluctuations and those that end up producing an El Niño. (I don’t have anything I could point to in the literature without considerable reinterpretation, tho.)
The difference, IMO, involves the high-altitude Equatorial Westerly, and its relationship with the Andean Cordillera. In an El Niño, AFAIK, this westerly tends to blow at sea-level, picking up moisture that it sheds in up-slope flow in the Western Andes. As such, it produces a positive feed-back interacting with other factors that are always present.
The result is a sort of temporary heat engine that pulls warm water from the Eastern Pacific, maintaining the Equatorial Westerly in its surface configuration, driven primarily by transfer of heat from the warm waters of the Equatorial Counter-current, which also extends to South America, to the stratosphere over and polewards of the Andean Cordillera.
A very simplistic description of what I think happens, which itself is obviously a simplistic model of what might be going on with El Niño.
The statement “no assistance from radiative warming” is just weird. The mound of warm water that forms in the Western Pacific was not created by upwelling; it was not created by wind; it was not created by magic.
It was created by the sun, and then enhanced by downwelling radiation. Sunlight penetrates the water; ever increasing GHGs ever increasingly slow its exit.
JCH, it’s just like radiative warming doesn’t make your cup of coffee hot – it just keeps it hot for slightly longer.
The problem is there’s no evidence in the surface data that this happens.
Day to Day Temperature Difference
Surface data from NCDC’s Global Summary of Days data, this is ~72 million daily readings,
from all of the stations with >360 daily samples per year.
y = -0.0001x + 0.001
R² = 0.0572
This is a chart of the annual average of day to day surface station change in min temp.
(Tmin day-1)-(Tmin d-0)=Daily Min Temp Anomaly= MnDiff = Difference
For charts with MxDiff it is equal = (Tmax day-1)-(Tmax d-0)=Daily Max Temp Anomaly= MxDiff
MnDiff is also the same as
(Tmax day-1) – (Tmin day-1) = Rising
(Tmax day-1) – (Tmin day-0) = Falling
Rising-Falling = MnDiff
Day to Day Seasonal Slope Change
Throughout the year, especially in the extratropics, the length of time the Sunshines overhead changes.
Many have wished for some way to turn the Sun off for a while to see what surface temps do, well this happens daily.
You can see the balance of energy in the Earth system as the day becomes shorter, as well as see the length of day increase.
The surface temp responds to this with a change in temp, you can plot the rate of change for each station and look to see
if Co2 has altered the slope over the years.
If you plot daily MnDiff daily for a year, it’s a sine wave.
You can take the slope of the months leading up to and past the zero crossing,
both for summer (cooling) and winter (warming)
and plot thoses.
is flat, other than some large disturbances in the 70’s and 80’s, and then again 2003.
Northern Hemisphere has a slight curve. A disturbance in 1973 when surface stations were changed,
There are a number of regions with few stations, making some areas susceptible to large fluxuations,
or it could be a real disturbance in temps, they are timely to the transistions in the
Ocean cycles and the warm cycle and the start of the cooling cycle.
US Seasonal Slope
The US has the best surface station coverage in the world.
Eurasia Seasonal Slope
Northern Hemisphere w/trend line
Southern Hemisphere w/trend line
In neither the day, nor the year, is there any sign of a loss of nightly cooling, ie Co2 is not slowing heat from escaping to space based on the surface record.
I think what I have written explains that, and it is progressively extending the time that it stays warm, so OHC is progressively increasing as more energy from the sun arrives each day and stays longer. The SST varies, but the OHC of the oceans continues its upward march. OHC can go down after certain events, like a strong EL Nino or volcanic eruptions, but it quickly recovers. GHGs never quit, and they’re going up.
Don’t be obtuse.
We’re talking about anomalously warm pools, which have been formed at various times and places ever since the oceans first appeared.
The oceans never forget, but we are talking about the recent past, the present, and the foreseeable future… the era of ACO2.
And why there never could be a pause in the warming of the earth, and why the earth cannot, for the foreseeable future, KOOL.
ENSO’s been going on for thousands of years, since long before the end of the last ice age [Koutavas et al. (2002)]. The actual effect of increased GHG’s has had conflicting projections from various models [Sadekov et al. (2013)]:
Koutavas et al. (2002) El Niño-Like Pattern in Ice Age Tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperature by Athanasios Koutavas, Jean Lynch-Stieglitz, Thomas M. Marchitto Jr., Julian P. Sachs Science 12 July 2002: Vol. 297 no. 5579 pp. 226-230 DOI: 10.1126/science.1072376
Sadekov et al. (2013) Palaeoclimate reconstructions reveal a strong link between El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Tropical Pacific mean state Aleksey Yu Sadekov, Raja Ganeshram, Laetitia Pichevin, Rose Berdin, Erin McClymont, Henry Elderfield, and Alexander W. Tudhope Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2692 doi:10.1038/ncomms3692
The link for Sadekov et al. (2013) is http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laetitia_Pichevin/publication/258213730_Palaeoclimate_reconstructions_reveal_a_strong_link_between_El_Nio-Southern_Oscillation_and_Tropical_Pacific_mean_state/links/0f31753391cbe01680000000.pdf
JCH, what evidence do you have that the warm pool in question is any warmer or larger than its equivalent from a century ago?
At a guess, I would say none, nada, zero.
Upwelling of cold water along the coastline of South America is the default state – ENSO neutral. In both its neutral and La Nina states, ENSO should represent a cooling influence on the GMST.
Contrarians have wasted a mountain of krap on arguing GHGs do not warm the oceans. Well, the oceans are getting warmer – progressively, just as Minnett’s theory suggested they would, and it cannot stop.
Unlike on land, heat transfer from ocean to atmosphere is dominated by evaporation, which exceeds all other mechanisms combined. Minnett’s hypothesis is far from empirically validated theory and, given the multidecadal changes in cloudiness, wind speed and other factors of influence unequivocally observed, is unlikely to provide any definitive explanation of OHC variability.
@Richardswarthout in addition to what Longhurst points out about SST and SAT there is the fact that SST reflects the temperature at the surface of the sea at zero altitude and the SAT measures the temperature of the air 2 meters above whatever the altitude is of the ground it rests on. I remember many days, here in Maryland, with snow covering the ground and the air above it at 50 or 60F. If the temperature were measured at the land surface it would read 32F. Is equating SST with air temperature over the sea as absurd as this example makes it seem to me?
Actually SST is a pretty good predictor of MAT so it’s not bad.
The important t to recognize is this.
YOU are perfect free to look at
Changes in SAT ( they are rising)
Changes in MAT (they are rising— depsite the pesky UHI in the middle of the ocean–sarc)
Changes in SST (they are rising)
Changes in The global INDEX (SST +SAT) also rising
You can look at any or all of those metrics. They each have pluses and minuses.. each has quirks..
but they all support the contention that if you increase GHGs… over time
the warming from that will be distinguishable from natural oscilation.
What are the uncertainty ranges of pretty good and not so bad? There has to be a major discrepancy at the poles, or how else does the ocean manage to freeze?
“This conclusion is based on analyses that suggest that this pattern is closely associated with strong negative trend exhibited by the NAO during the last 30 years or so.”
In fact 20 years or so, since the AMO warmed strongly from the mid 1990’s, no doubt due the decline in solar plasma pressure/density/speed increasing negative NAO states.
Increased CO2 forcing should increase positive NAO, so if anything increased CO2 levels should have inhibited the AMO warming from 1995 compared to from 1925.
What is your response to my Sept. 28, 10:22 pm post? This issue urgently needs to be addressed.
That bit of text was intended to say that of course I dont question that the radiative activity of the individual CO2 molecule is as described by the physicists.
It was not intended to say anything about observable consequences of anthropogenic CO2.
I’m sorry, but I am not the person to answer your question concerning SO2.