Global Temperature Trend Update—January 2010

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Every month University of Alabama at Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer report the latest global temperature trends from satellite data. Below are the newest data updated through December, 2009.

Latest Global Temperatures

The UAH press release notes:

An El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event kept global temperatures warmer
than seasonal norms through December, with temperatures in the tropics a
full 0.50 C (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms, according
to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the
Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in
Huntsville.

Powered by the El Nino, temperatures throughout 2009 were warmer than
seasonal norms, making it the seventh warmest year in the 31-year
satellite-based temperature record.

   Year  Temp Anomaly
 1. 1998  +0.512 C
 2. 2005  +0.338 C
 3. 2002  +0.311 C
 4. 2007  +0.282 C
 5. 2003  +0.275 C
 6. 2006  +0.260 C
 7. 2009  +0.259 C
 8. 2001  +0.198 C
 9. 2004  +0.193 C
10. 1991  +0.117 C

The data for the chart can be found here. The northern hemisphere is warming at +0.19 C degrees per decade and the southern hemisphere is warming at +0.07 C degrees per decade. Interestingly, the satellites show that the north polar region is warming at +0.40 C degrees per decade and the south polar region is cooling at -0.06 C degrees per decade. The U.S. is warming at about +0.23 C degrees per decade.

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  1. Wow, it’s most screwed up H&R post ever! You’ve got a bunch of Javascript visible in the middle there.

    1. And you just fixed it. Never mind!

      1. Drat! My pithy comment wasted: “Love the mad coding action Ron Bailey!”

  2. I still don’t understand how the Earth can have one temperature (given the range of climates spread across the globe). Further even if it could be done, the temperature variance is so small (tenths of a degree, which can change from the center of a town out to its edges). And that given these variances, that anyone can claim with any scientific accuracy (i.e. confidence intervals >95%) such changes are occurring without being considered statistical noise. Am I missing something?

    1. Am I missing something?

      “The Planet has a Fever.”
      – Al Gore

      1. And the only cure, is more cowbell!

        Sorry I had to…

    2. I think you’re correct, and that it’s a much bigger problem than climatologists want to admit. What’s the average temperature in your house? It varies by night and day. In summer it’s warmer in the attic and by the windows on the south side. In the winter it’s warmer near the furnace in the basement. At any given time it’s probably warmer near the ceiling than the floor. Sure, you can average everything to a fraction of a degree according to some formula, but to then take that number as some sort of irrefutable “fact” and compare it with other fraction-of-a-degree averages does seem to be quite a stretch.

      1. The problem you are describing is the scope of average. Where does one stop taking data for the average? In your house example, does it stop at the inside of the walls or the exterior of the walls? To the end of the concrete sidewalk? Do we stop at the plumbing penetrations or continue on with the plumbing to the edge of the property?

        In the earth analog, where does the average data sampling end? Troposphere? Ionosphere? Mantle? Core?

        Much like the Voltairean statement of ‘show me your premises’, one has to know the scope of averages.

        1. The title of the plot says “lower atmosphere” (troposphere), so there’s your scope. The other regions you mention are irrelevant to the question of global warming, since nothing lives in those regions.

          1. Except that “lower atmosphere” doesn’t really narrow it down much, does it? You still have to take into account oceans, mountains, deserts, swamps, forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, cities, highways, and who knows what else, all of which will respond to temperature differently and influence the local temperature differently. So they take all that data, adjust it in various ways to compensate for various factors, average it all, and come up with numbers that seem surprisingly (if not suspiciously) precise.

    3. No one is saying that the earth has one temperature. What is being plotted here is the mean of the temperatures at various points around the globe.

      The variance of the mean of N independent measurements is equal to the mean of the individual variances divided by N. So the statistical noise is reduced by the fact that you’re averaging over a lot of measurements, the errors in which are going to cancel out.

      1. Actually, global warmists are saying exactly that. Or as Al G stated: “The Earth is warming.”

        Further the problem still resides in whether we can ever have sufficient numbers (i.e. measurements) whether right now, or over a span of time, to accurately predict a change in global temperatures involving hundredths to tenths of a degree. This change of hundredths to tenths is present everyday across extremely small geographic regions (i.e. from town to town (and smaller)). And that assumes everyone uses the same instruments, calibrated accurately, and on and on. Impossible to show with any precise scientific measurement.

        1. We’re talking about satellite measurements, not some bureaucrat looking at a wall thermometer every day. They are very accurate, and able to measure a truly representative sample of points on the planet (ie, not just in cities, or on land, etc). As I stated above, any small errors that do occur are just as likely to underestimate as overestimate the temperature, so they tend to cancel out as the number of measurements increase.

          The fact that temperatures are different at nearby locations is irrelevant. Those locations aren’t part of the sample, and the whole of statistics is based on the fact that — so long as we properly choose the sample — we don’t need to look at objects outside the sample to be able to make inferences about those objects.

          1. Who says the sample size is significant and statistically accurate? This is precisely my point. (Just using satellite data, for example, the sample size is only a limited number across the entire Earth, for an extremely limited time relative to the length of human history, itself a microcosm of Earth’s climatological history.) I understand statistics, the problem is its limitations given the tiny sample size.

            (Also – How accurate are they? Are they checked every day at the same time? In the same location as before (as you note temps vary in even small distances by tenths of a degree from minute to minute, hour to hour).

    4. Am I missing something?

      Yeah.

  3. the north polar region is warming at +0.40 C degrees per decade and the south polar region is cooling at -0.06 C degrees per decade. The U.S. is warming at about +0.23 C degrees per decade.

    Is it just me or does that seem incredibly stable?

  4. We must go and tell the King, “the sky the globe is falling down warming up.

    1. Nobody in the world can tell me with certainty what the weather will be like tomorrow or next week…yet they know the weather for the next 100 years. B to the S!

  5. Looks like less warming than the last El Nino, for what that’s worth.

  6. I have a thought experiment: If we had true weather control (given to us by a benevolent alien super race next week), what target temperature would we set for the Earth as a whole?

    1. 140 or medium rare. That’s the prefered temperature in the manual “To Serve Man.”

      1. I said “benevolent” not “hungry.” My thought experiment, my parameters. Or I can just take my thought experiment and go home!

        1. The correct answer is “We would need to give Al Gore billions of dollars to negotiate a temperature with the aliens.”

          1. Only if the aliens negotiate a la Bruce Willis.

        2. 73 degrees is the perfect median temperature. Variance of 3-4 degrees wouldn’t be bad.

          1. I bet the battles over the mean temperature would result in war.

          2. You must hate the polar bears.

            1. I love polar bears…on skewers.

              1. Don’t eat the liver. Do not… eat the liver!

                1. Wow the other person on the planet who thinks to himself at least once a week “do not eat polar bear liver, you’ll get vitamin A poisoning”

    2. Apparently warmer than now, because more people die in the winter.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/201…..er-months/

    3. Sunny 75 dipping to 50 in the evenings, so The Jacket doesn’t get too hot.

      No wind after 7am or before 9pm, and it gently rains for half an hour at 4am every day.

      I also want the moon to appear bigger in the night sky by about 150%.

    4. Whatever the temperature was, the kids would come out and move it up, because they don’t want to put on sweaters, and then World Dad would be all… “who moved the thermostat? dammit!!”

    5. If all of Earth had the same temperature there would be no wind and no precipitation cycles. Within a few years there would be no fresh water left.

      1. Well, I meant target average, not one temperature for the whole planet.

    6. I think it is perfect just the way it is.

      1. Stasisist!

    7. A Mile deep ice shelf as far south as Oregon would be pretty cool to see…

  7. What is a 20-year temperature record supposed to tell us, really?

    1. Er, 30.

      First person to say, “the temperature over the last 30 years,” gets a rapin’.

    2. Although the scale on the vertical axis is calibrated against the first 20. But 20 years of temperature data are not as valuable as measuring the same mass 20 times in terms of statistical validity of calibration. So, yeah. Little information delivered, data summarized in strange way.

  8. Gay Marriage and Global Warming threads. TGIF

    1. You don’t see the obvious connection kinnath?

    2. Obviously a conspiracy.

  9. Warty: The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report notes:

    Most of the observed increase in globally-averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations. It is likely there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent (except Antarctica).

    Thirty years is a good chunk of that period.

    1. 30 years or 50 years, it’s just not enough data to warrant a conclusion.

    2. “It is likely there has been significant anthropogenic warming over the past 50 years averaged over each continent”

      [citation needed]

      1. Hey Sir Idiot, it is cited. And the source cited is full of cited studies in support of its claim…

        1. So why the word “likely”?

          1. Er, because they are trying to make a conservative, cautious statement?

            1. Why would they want to do that if they are 100% certain?

              1. Because they aren’t 100%. They didn’t say they were 100% certain. What they have concluded,and said, is that it is likely so.

                This might be another one of your Zen riddles in life dude…

    3. Obviously, Antarctica needs more heavy industries.

      1. My sister’s at McMurdo, which seems to be a Raytheon operation. I’ll see if I can get her to build a factory.

        I hear penguin labor is pricy, though.

        1. “Greetings, Econauts. I’m Free Waterfall Sr., founder of Penguins Unlimited… Whoa! No, no! No applause. Every time you clap your hands you kill thousands of spores that’ll some day form a nutritious fungus. Just show your approval with a mold-friendly thumbs up… Please hold your thumbs until the end.”

    4. Over each continent? Shouldn’t there be vast differences between the Northern and Southern hemispheres given the population densities and economic development in each? If you conclude that Africa has as much warming (driven at least partly by local conditions) as North America – I think the theory has a problem.

  10. Syndicating the world’s lamest horoscope column is very Drink!

  11. So Ron, please inform us as to your position on “global warming” at this point, considering the scandals, Copenhagen, etc. I’m sure we’d all like to know.

    1. Episiarch: Buy the March 2010 issue and find out! 🙂

      1. G-d I hate shills for Big Reason.

        1. Shills or disciples?

        2. What Ron Bailey DOESN’T tell you is that he gets PAID by Reason!

            1. Oh, there’s more! Ron Bailey is a declared LIBERTARIAN and guess what political affiliation Reason Magazine has also declared?

              1. Wait, journalists have ethical obligation to disclose their ideological biases now? Awesome.

              2. He’s actually said he’s not a libertarian in the past. Don’t know if he’s converted yet.

                1. “Don’t know if he’s converted yet.” You are right Tulpa. He’s what you call a little bit pregnant

          1. lol.

            +1 for the troll

          2. MNG, congrats. that was the first thing I’ve seen you write that I actually liked.

  12. “Globally-averaged temperatures” = Impossible to identify with any precision. In other words, bullshit.

    1. And when and how are those satellites calibrated?

      Just asking.

      1. http://www.drroyspencer.com/la…..peratures/

        Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of eleven instruments flying on eleven different satellites over the years. As of the end of 2009, our most stable instrument for this monitoring is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

        The graph above represents the latest update; updates are usually made within the first week of every month. Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer record of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.

        1. Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer record of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.

          IOW, they’re not calibrated after launch.

          1. They would still be just as likely to underestimate temperatures as overestimate them.

        2. So radiation is a 1 over d squared relationship. If the orbit is decaying or getting larger by a few feet a year you would see a difference in the emissions. How is that calibrated or adjusted for is a good question.

      2. That doesn’t make any sense.

  13. How much money are we wasting with these reports? How many people are making a living studying meaningless subjects like temperature trends?

    1. It is not a “meaningless subject”!

    2. James Ard, Supreme Arbiter of Meaningfulness!

    3. So studying the climate is meaningless? There is no significance or value to understanding or paying attention to the climate of the planet we live on?
      I tend to agree that we are wasting money on a lot of these reports, but the type of research they are doing is very valuable and worthwhile.

  14. If a Reason writer were reporting on unemployment figures, agricultural subsidies, military expenditures, anti-terrorism policies, or just about anything else, there would be some analysis to put things in context. With respect to global warming, nothing…

    Arcane economical analysis, arcane political analysis, even arcane references to Warty’s personal life—I’ve seen it all at Reason. But a scientific reference stands alone, unencumbered by any analysis, arcane or otherwise. What’s up wid dat Ron?

    1. The Man: Just the facts!

      Actually, I’ve been posting this UHA temperature info as a service to Reason readers for a while now since it doesn’t get widely reported elsewhere. I do note that the UAH trend is at the low end of the computer climate model predictions.

      With regard to my views on man-made global warming, here’s a short summation:
      (1) The globe has been warming for several decades.
      (2) That warming is consistent with man-made forcing, e.g., rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.

      Outstanding questions:
      (1) How likely is it to be catastrophic? See Wagging the “Fat Tail” of Climate Catastrophe.

      (2) Assuming possibly dangerous man-made global warming. what policies might be appropriate? See What’s the Best Way to Handle Future Climate Change?

      (3) What about the Climategaters? See The Scientific Tragedy of Climategate.

      For more views on post-Copenhagen collapse see March 2010 issue.

      1. I do note that the UAH trend is at the low end of the computer climate model predictions.

        Depends how old the model is. Hansen A from 1988 is way, way off.

        The models will continue to be reasonably compliant with the real .1/deg trend for another decade or two, because the big warming is mostly further out in the future.

        The trick is as the big rise in temps don’t materialize (because of course CO2 doesn’t drive temps), we’ll get new models pushing the big warming out further. It’s the crisis that never quite happens.

      2. “(2) That warming is consistent with man-made forcing, e.g., rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.”

        Corrolation is not causation, Mr. Bailey, which render your 3 outstanding questions meaningless.

        One could make the same claim regarding cable TV channels vis-a-vis global warming. Did you know that over the last 30 years there also has been a dramatic increase in man-made cable channels. I’m going with cable TV as the cause and am certain the only way we can reduce the warming of the globe is by going back to 1979 levels.

        1. “Corrolation is not causation”

          It’s a good thing RB doesn’t base that statement on the correlation alone then, isn’t it?

        2. “That warming is consistent with…”

          That does not imply causation. In fact, it implies *correlation*.

          1. Thank you. You know for a PhD, that MNG is one dumb fucker.

            1. Saying that it is consistent doesn’t necessarily mean correlation alone, it can easily imply that it’s consistent with what we know about the effects of CO2, our co2 output, etc. Since I’ve read RB for years on this subject I know that’s probably what he was getting at.

              1. And further, I wasn’t the one who said RB implied causation my aptly named friend.

                1. Wow! I aptly named myself! That’a a fucking Zen riddle.

                  1. I imagine a great deal of things in this world appear as Zen riddles to you…

            2. No, a LOT of PhD’s are like that.

        3. Re: Very Interesting . . .

          Corr[e]lation is not causation, Mr. Bailey, which render your 3 outstanding questions meaningless.

          Well, don’t be so hard on Ron, VI. There could be another cause – certainly, the expelling of man made Hot Air from environmentalists and their political brethren has increased in these past decades . . . There’s a good correlation there!

        4. Seriously. No one cited this? Somali pirates are the problem, not CO2

      3. I find too much of scientific reporting is either hysterically overwrought or completely context-free. The addition of some of this material adds some needed context. I don’t expect you to recapitulate everything you’ve ever written on the topic (the article length would grow without limit).

        BTW, although the instrumental record for that last few decades is certainly suggestive of global warming, the question of CO2 forcings is, IMO, based on fairly simplistic GCM models that (although computationally complex) lack a clear physical basis for many issues and are to some extent phenomenological models. These “issues” are then turned into parametric forcings whose values are selected to obtain a good fit with observation. This is not *evil*, but models, so derived, require cautious assessment with the understanding that they are leaving out some important physical processes.

        1. “I find too much of scientific reporting is either hysterically overwrought or completely context-free.”

          Not unlike sports reporting, really?

      4. Actually, I’ve been posting this UHA temperature info as a service to Reason readers for a while now since it doesn’t get widely reported elsewhere.

        ummm more poeple read “Watts Up with That” then read Reason Hit and Run.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/

        1. Yes. But surely not all Reason readers head over to that notorious “denialist” website? 😉

      5. The question, to return to the scientific method I learned, should be “Is current warming inconsistent with natural variation?” since natural variation (globally) is the foundation of the null hypothesis in this case. Since current warming has NOT been shown to be inconsistent with natural variation, any other possible mechanisms consistent or not don’t much matter.

        1. “Natural variation” does not exist.

          There is always a cause. What cause do you have that explains the data besides AGW?

          1. If natural variation does not exist, how do explain the ice age? Your comment is really strange. Not even the ice ages come and go at regular intervals.

  15. As long as we’re wasting our time with short-term trends:

    What do the global warming models say about the plateau starting in 2002, and the cooling trend starting in 2006?

    Could we get this graph (or even just the moving average) overlaid with atmospheric CO2, both total and anthro?

    1. What do the global warming models say about the plateau starting in 2002, and the cooling trend starting in 2006?

      Before 2002 they said nothing about it and knew nothing about it…after 2007 they said they predicted it in 1999.

      By the way you know Hitler? I totally knew that was going to happen like in 1927.

    2. The CO2 trend has been steadily upwards, even over the last decade of stasis/cooling. Which does call the “more CO2 = more warming” idea into question.

      1. Which does call the “more CO2 = more warming” idea into question.

        Call into question? Doesn’t it explicitly refute it? I haven’t heard any “explanations” for the failure of the temperature to increase as CO2 increases. Remember, we increase the amount of CO2 every minute, so temperatures can never go down. Unless something else affects climate.

        1. Yes, I was being a bit dry there.

        2. God, are you really that stupid. Is it beyond the comprehension of your little mind that more than one thing can vary at the same time?

          You argument is akin to “the population has always been going up, and since more people make for a bigger economy, the economy will never do anything but go up as well”.

    3. What do they say about a three year cooling trend? The same thing they say about the many other three year “trends”. Nothing. Are you STILL confused by the distinction between weather and climate after all these years. You are too smart for that, so it must be deliberate dishonesty.

  16. So here’s what I don’t get: Why is anyone worried about the average temperature increasing by 0-5* C over the next 50-100 years, when even one reasonable sized volcanic eruption will cool it right down again? Or a good sized forest fire?

    Are we not likely to have any weather altering natural events in the next century?

    1. The predictions of doom seem to be based on computer models that assume various positive feedback effects. Of course, in real life, positive feedback effects are rather rare.

      1. Which of the positive feedbacks is false?

        Do you believe, in defiance of freshman chemistry, that water vapor pressure does not increase with temperature?

        Do you believe that higher temperatures will not melt ice, or that ice does not have a higher albedo than dirt and open water?

        1. The Earth’s climate is a hugely complex system that appears to be, within a certain range, homeostatic. It hasn’t turned into Venus or an ball of ice, which suggests that positive feedback effects aren’t controlling factors. More skepticism here and here (esp. point #2).

          1. No, it hasn’t become a Venus, but is HAS been a “ball of ice”. It was also so hot at points that giant lizards were running around what is now Siberia.

            It is homeostatic on geological time scales, which is why the temperature has remained roughly constant despite the sun being some 30% brighter than it was a few billion years ago. The thermostat: CO2.

            Here is an excellent lecture on the topic. It really is worth an hour of your time.

            http://www.agu.org/meetings/fm…..A23A.shtml

          2. Your crackpot links were rather bizarre. I find the use of the words “dominated by positive feedback” to be a strawman. What the hell does that even mean?

            If the planet’s temperature rises, you WILL evaporate water and you WILL melt ice. This is true as sunshine and rain. Obviously, there is only so much ice to melt, and because you both saturate the IR bands from CO2 and water, and because of the steep temp^4 power relationship with respect to blackbody radiation, the feedbacks do not spiral out of control. They simply amplify by a factor of three or so. This is confirmed by both the geological records and models at all levels.

            1. I would have thought the charts in the first link would have made that clear. CO2 amplifying by a factor of three doesn’t seem to fit the last 150 years of observations.

  17. British woman ‘arrested in Dubai after being raped’

    Sharia law at its finest.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new…..raped.html

    1. Coming to a European neighborhood near you!

    2. Coming to a European neighborhood near you!

      1. You can say that again! And again, and again . . . and again. 😛

      2. The power of stupid, squared.

    3. The message is:

      Don’t Go To Dubai.

      They don’t want your money.

  18. The upshot of all this… the world will be ONE DEGREE warmer in 2109.

    1. I saw a pice that the way to protect one’s self from global warming is to relocate northward about 2 miles every year.

      In a somewhat similar fashion, it worked for the buffalo.

      1. So my plan for a vineyard in Wyoming isn’t as crazy as everyone said – give a take a few decades.

        1. So my plan for a vineyard in Wyoming isn’t as crazy as everyone said – give a take a few decades.

          Or you can just buy a vineyard in Washington state today which is further north then Wyoming.

  19. The northern hemisphere is warming at +0.19 C degrees per decade and the southern hemisphere is warming at +0.07 C degrees per decade. Interestingly, the satellites show that the north polar region is warming at +0.40 C degrees per decade and the south polar region is cooling at -0.06 C degrees per decade. The U.S. is warming at about +0.23 C degrees per decade.

    Per decade for how long? That graph you have looks like the change in temp was pretty much hovering around the zero line up until the El Nino of the late 90s, with most of the data points below it. Which brings up another point: where did the zero line come from? How far back did they go to get this average zero line? How do we know that is optimal?

    1. The zero line is the 79-86 average.

      1. Actually it’s the 79-98 avg, but thanks, I just saw that. That just further goes to my point that it is not a stastically significant amount of time to base conclusions or forecasts on.

        1. I stand corrected, thanks.

  20. “Sharia law at its finest.”

    LOL! She was arrested for drinking too much, not for being raped.

    I’d guess that even here in the US, if a women were raped after killing a cop, she’d still get tazed, bro.

    1. “LOL! She was arrested for drinking too much, not for being raped.”

      No. Both.

      1. “Despite approaching police about the attack, she was arrested after admitting to “illegal drinking” outside licensed premises as well as having sexual intercourse outside marriage. Her fianc? was also charged with the same offences.”

        1. They have 0 respect for women and barely tolerate foreign nationals. Hotels allow alcohol but it is forbidden to citizens. You can imagine what a nightmare a flight out of there becomes when they announce we are out of their airspace.

          1. Why would any sane person ever go to Dubai?

            A place full of small-minded, small-dicked savages.

            1. You seem to be what Rand called a “tribalist” JB.

            2. The elitist types who think they’re much smarter than they really are apparently believed that Dubai was going to become the new Las Vegas or something.

              Why in the world they would believe such a thing, I have absolutely no idea.

            3. JB, “Why would any sane person ever go to Dubai?” It’s called business.

          2. Barely tolerate foreign nationals? Are you fucking serious? Is that why foreign nationals make up upwards of 80% of the population?

            And one can buy a liquor-purchasing license there. I’m pretty sure that’s restricted to the foreign nationals that they apparently don’t tolerate.

            One can also purchase pork there (more of that foreign national intolerance).

            These things are possible in Abu Dhabi, which is slightly more traditional than Dubai.

            Is it a perfect place? HELL no. Is it some nightmare of awfulness? No. There be some mighty fine European and Aussie women in bikinis running around the beaches there at the height of tourist season.

            1. Timon,ever been there?

  21. Chaos systems (such as the weather) are not random, but they do behave in much the same way. We cannot make a reliable prediction about 2010’s weather based on the chart above. There simply isn’t enough data there to make a statistically meaningful conclusion.

    It looks like we’re getting ever so slightly warmer, but you could have said the same thing in 1987. Thirty years is far too short of a data set conclusively prove a global warming trend, let along assert that it is man made.

    1. Re: Brandybuck,

      We cannot make a reliable prediction about 2010’s weather based on the chart above.

      You know, I went yeasterday to see Sherlock Holmes, and one of the things Sherlock tells Watson is that “There are theories and there is data. If not enough data exists, then one will be tempted to conform the data with the theory and delude oneself into thinking the theory is sound.”

      And I yelled to my wife – “Thus, Climate Change!”

      1. I went yesterday to see Sherlock Holmes

        And I yelled to my wife

        This is why I don’t go see movies in the theater any longer.

        1. Hell, that’s why I do go to movies and this website. Old Mexican is entertaining.

          1. “Old Mexican is entertaining.”

            Well, this is true of most retarded people.

            1. Re: MNG,

              Well, this is true of most retarded people.

              Sourpuss.

            2. Asshole much?

            3. MNG, the resident retarded troll, would know.

            4. MNG|1.8.10 @ 1:46PM|#

              “Old Mexican is entertaining.”

              Well, this is true of most retarded people.

              And as one of the least you are not… entertaining that is.

              1. It’s nice to know you got so much wisdom from an action movie.

          2. Hey, let’s compare schedules so that we don’t meet! I certainly would not want you to stop going to the movies!

            1. Oh, I was just ribbin’ ya.

              My wife is fanatic about people talking in the morning. She hates having people near her. We always get to the theater super-early and she hacks and coughs like a consumptive whore in a Dickens novel whenever anyone tries to sit near us.

              1. Not morning, movies. But she hates to get up early as well.

              2. Some people might find this appealing.

        2. SugarFree|1.8.10 @ 1:27PM|#

          I went yesterday to see Sherlock Holmes

          And I yelled to my wife

          Evidence that either: a) the incidence of wife yelling is increased by going to movies

          or b) Sherlock concludes that not enough data exists so deluded theories are driving AGW

          or c) SF and OM live in the same neighborhood

      2. Sherlock, Shylock – what the fuck ever. Send me my money and the earth won’t burn up. The debate is over. Get some dough from your wife too. Everyone needs carbon credits.

        That’s the solution, Ron – carbon credits! The debate is over.

      3. Er, this post is about supplying data…I saw the film, Holmes was talking about the foolishness of theorizing without any facts. When he had facts he didn’t say “hey, still not enough, I need x amount before any theory can be formed.” What Holmes excelled in was making theories soon after some of the facts were known.

        1. Re: MNG,

          What Holmes excelled in was making theories soon after some of the facts were known.

          Totally agree! He certainly did that – which would have barred him from publishing in “peer-reviewed” cliamte journals, but fortunately, he was a detective, not a flim-flam artist. I love that guy.

          1. There are lots of known facts upon which AGW is based OM. The posting by RB involves a collection of them.

            1. Re: MNG,

              There are lots of known facts upon which AGW is based OM. The posting by RB involves a collection of them.

              Absolutely! Totally agree – it is not like there are contradicting facts being ignored or anything like that, no! It is not like the proxy data was based on too-small samples! Nah. We’re good to go – full speed ahead!

              1. Have you read the IPCC report OM? It’s full of facts. Temperature readings gathered from stations across the globe and from satellites, sea level measurement, ice drills, core drills, glacier measurement, etc, etc.

                Do you have some idea of the optimal level of facts that must accrue before theorizing would be justified? A number target?

                1. Besided, the data presented above are certainly not from AGW proponents. Are you saying their work is suspect? Is it based on proxy data based on too small samples?

                  1. Re: MNG,

                    Besided, the data presented above are certainly not from AGW proponents. Are you saying their work is suspect? Is it based on proxy data based on too small samples?

                    All work from the D-E-N-I-E-R-S should be treated as suspect! So said our Pope, Al Gore I.

                    Look, MNG. The data above is interesting. It is also quite meaningless – the world warmed up during the medieval Warming Period and then went cold during the Little Ice Age, and none of those can be explained by the utterly simplistic, childish notion that men are going to be punished for their sins (or their spweing of CO2.)

                2. Re: MNG,

                  Have you read the IPCC report OM? It’s full of facts.

                  No, I totally agree, MNG! The IPCC is full of facts! So is the Bible, and just as trustworthy!

                  Temperature readings gathered from stations across the globe and from satellites, sea level measurement, ice drills, core drills, glacier measurement, etc, etc.

                  Yes, understood! All of this is true! You have said it! It is not like the scientists could only come up with a simplistic theory of one-cause/one-effect despite the diversity of data! Right?

                  Do you have some idea of the optimal level of facts that must accrue before theorizing would be justified? A number target?

                  The answer is: 42!

                  How about a theory that explains the medieval Warming Period, which for some reason Mann and his band of roving liars have completely taken out of their childish “Hockey Schtick”?

                  1. “It is not like the scientists could only come up with a simplistic theory of one-cause/one-effect despite the diversity of data! Right?”

                    I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at here. It’s certainly not illogical or unheard of to to have a theory of something causing many various effects. If the climate is changing then we would expect to see a wide variety of things such as glaciers receding, ice melting, sea levels rising, temperatures rising, etc.

                    It’s also consistent with what we know about how the atmosphere works and how CO2 works in the atmosphere to theorize that a rise in CO2 could have this kind of effect on the climate.

                    Your medieval period claim involves a fact that you think the theory cannot account for. I don’t know what AGW proponents say in response to that, though I do assume they can account for it better than you can. However, whatever is involved there, it does not indicate a lack of facts on the part of AGW proponents.

                    1. Re: MNG,

                      It’s certainly not illogical or unheard of to to have a theory of something causing many various effects.

                      Something unheard of in the corridors of the IPCC, it seems, where CO2 is the sole boogey man.

                      If the climate is changing then we would expect to see a wide variety of things such as glaciers receding, ice melting, sea levels rising, temperatures rising, etc.

                      But the climate DOES change. The question is – does it change because we’re here spewing CO2, which would mean that a SINGLE source can totally make a massive, complex system like the climate change towards ONE direction (rising temps)? Or does it ALWAYS change, as has been for millions of years? Which is the easiest explanation?

                      It’s also consistent with what we know about how the atmosphere works and how CO2 works in the atmosphere to theorize that a rise in CO2 could have this kind of effect on the climate.

                      The contention is that scientists do NOT know the effects of CO2 in the atmopsphere, they are rather assuming that what the lab tells them is replicated in the complex soup that is AIR.

                      Your medieval period claim involves a fact that you think the theory cannot account for. I don’t know what AGW proponents say in response to that, though I do assume they can account for it better than you can.

                      The fact that they have literaly ignored the medieval warming from the Hockey Stick indicates that they have not even tried to explain it, as McIntyre and McKitrick have found.

                      However, whatever is involved there, it does not indicate a lack of facts on the part of AGW proponents.

                      Not a lack of facts – just invented ones.

                    2. Something unheard of in the corridors of the IPCC, it seems, where CO2 is the sole boogey man.

                      You clearly have never read the report.

                      Either that, or you are a bald-faced liar.

                      Which is it?

                    3. Certain AGW alarmist scientists simply DENY that the Medeival Warm Period ever existed. Same with Little Ice Age. They tried to “account for it” with hockey schtick graphs made from a few bristlecone pines and Mr. Biffra’s famous tree. And a little help from a computer algorithm which was hard-coded to magnify any recent data 29 times the earlier data. THAT is how they account for the MWP.

                      Whatever the theory, if warming is simply repeating past cycles, then it is natural and not manmade. If it is less than 1 or 2 degrees F per century, then it is not catastrophic. In either case an upending of society is unwarranted and foolish.

                    4. Certain AGW alarmist scientists simply DENY that the Medeival Warm Period ever existed

                      Citation, please.

                    5. A second-hand one-sentence quote from a denier? Sorry, please try again.

                      In any case, how can someone “get rid” of something that you claimed that the person denies the existence of?

                    6. So sworn Congressional testimony isn’t good enough for you? And you’re just playing word games now. The alarmists try to dismiss the evidence of the MWP because it messes up their AGW hockey stick graphs. So they deny its existence as a global-scale event to “get rid of it.” Successive IPCC reports minimized it.

        2. you guys know that Holmes is a fictional character right

          1. yet another dave, STFU. I hate when adults tell kids about Santa or when intelligent people tell libertarians about Startrek,Kuato,Professor X…

            1. kirk hasn’t been born – yet – but will be… there’s a difference

      4. When he loaded the dishwasher…And he yelled:- “Thus, Climate Change!”

        When he dropped the kids off at school…And he yelled:- “Thus, Climate Change!”

        Last night in bed…And he yelled:- “Thus, Climate Change!”

    2. Let’s spend trillions of dollars anyway.

      1. Only trillions? Cheapskate.

    3. I can’t predict with any certainty what the high temperature in Kalamazoo is going to be on July 17. I can however predict what the average temperature in Kalamazoo is going to be in July.

      so yes, chaotic systems make predictions about the exact state of a system at a certain time impossible, but long-term averages are still accessible. Assuming global warming is true, you’re still going to have cold winters and cool summers happening, and indeed you wouldn’t notice the fact that the earth has warmed a couple of degrees on average just by walking around outside. But even a single degree of warming, occurring at every point on the planet for 10 years, would represent an awful lot of extra heat present in the atmosphere that can produce extremely negative effects.

    4. Dr. Spencer pointed out that the 25 month average of these satellite results show NO net warming in 11 years or so.

  22. The U.S. is warming at about +0.23 C degrees per decade.

    At that rate, the US will become a cinder block by 2100, just like Europe was during the medieval Warm Period – I mean, how did those guys survived all those hurricanes and storms and droughts and clouds of locusts and falling frogs!

    See, that’s why the Vikings used those strage helmets – to protect themselves from the falling frogs that the Climate Change of that era was bringing to them . . .

    1. Not to protect at all – the horns were there to catch the falling frogs. Them Vikings’ loved them frog-legs.

  23. I still don’t understand how the Earth can have one temperature (given the range of climates spread across the globe).

    The Earth doesn’t have a single temperature. They’re not even credible in their efforts to come up with a global mean temperature. But somehow in the necessity to have some context into which to put AGW we’ve all ludicrously agreed to the asinine notion of a global temperature.

    Next rant: The idiotic acceptance of the extrapolation to past and/or future temperature trends as fact.

    1. I don’t know who the heck would still actually believe the lying decline hiders at a time when most of the world is already having its coldest and snowiest winter in 25 years or more. It’s beyond ludicrous; there’s no limit to the contempt these con artists have for us.

      1. Hey genius, the two researchers who produced this, Spencer and Christy, are pretty vocal critics of the AGW consensus…

        1. Anybody got a fly swatter handy?

          1. Or better yet, a hockey stick?

            1. Well, it’s just very telling to see deniers go into their “decline hiders” mode without knowing anything about the people they are trying to smear. Your smearing your own side doofus.

              What’s interesting is that such carelessness goes hand in hand with the arrogance of thinking THEY know the science…

              1. I believe you misread. I didnt see anyone “smearing” Drs. Christy or Spencer or their satellite work.

            2. everyone knows with a curved hockey stick you flip the frozen horse turd higher

              1. MNG, friendly word of advice: you better keep your pants on when they mention fly swatter or hockey stick.

  24. Re: Ron Bailey,

    With regard to my views on man-made global warming, here’s a short summation:
    (1) The globe has been warming very slowly for several decades.

    There – that’s more accurate.

    (2) That warming is consistent with man-made forcing, e.g., rising concentrations of greenhouse gases.

    Especially when compared to the much vaunted historical data coming from the flim-flam factory, the CRU and Mr. Mann himself. Right?

    Right.

  25. “The northern hemisphere is warming at +0.19 C degrees per decade and the southern hemisphere is warming at +0.07 C degrees per decade. Interestingly, the satellites show that the north polar region is warming at +0.40 C degrees per decade and the south polar region is cooling at -0.06 C degrees per decade. The U.S. is warming at about +0.23 C degrees per decade.”
    Are these the trends for the entire 30 year span?

  26. Ron, your 1st belief that the globe has warmed for the past several decades is based on a false premise (i.e. that we can 1. identify one global temperature (or geographical area temperature), 2. with statistically significant accuracy, and 3. The variance is of any significance (or just noise).) People really need to track back to the beginning of the debate and not accept as true a faulty premise. To give in to this first faulty premise allows the Gore group to jump an almost insurmountable hurdle.

    1. “a false premise (i.e. that we can 1. identify one global temperature…”

      Ever heard of this thing called averaging? It’s what scientists do when they want to compare large amounts of data over time…

      1. Averaging is one thing, the “homogenisation” process that was applied to historical data is something else altogether.

        1. Yes, yes, it’s all a conspiracy. All the scientists faked the data ? la The Fugitive.

          1. Not a conspiracy, but a rather strange technique to say the least. I doubt you’ve read anything about it all.

          2. Heller la and the are the same word but then I notice you used yes twice too. Do you stutter? How cute.

            1. You stuttered with my member in your throat.

  27. Is this a plot of raw satellite data or corrected i.e. BS data? Remember that one of the issues with Climategate was the use of “corrected” data with zero information on how large the corrections were or why they were applied.

    1. The “raw” data is a number of photon counts. It is processed and corrected before it is ever sent to earth.

      I find it funny that conservatives seem to think “raw” data is more “reliable” than data that has been corrected for known errors. How dumb can you be?

      1. The problem is where errors are assumed (as opposed to known) and a “correction” applied, as is common in “homogenisation” of temperature records. Real error correction is not nearly as simple as applying assumptions and surrogates.

      2. The concern comes from “corrections” that look like cooking the data, e.g. the Mann “corrections” that erase the MWP.

      3. If the raw data is not available, then you cannot backcheck the corrected data and see if the methodology of the correction was valid.

      4. Yes Chad, raw data is more reliable. If it wasn’t, then the corrected data would not be reliable either. If the raw data is not reliable, then it is worthless and so would the corrected data. Secondly, they aren’t the only ones who know how to make corrections to data from photon counters.

  28. ….The title of the plot says “lower atmosphere” (troposphere), so there’s your scope. The other regions you mention are irrelevant to the question of global warming, since nothing lives in those regions.

    But what about the 2nd law of thermodynamics – entropy. Is there no connect with them? Are they warming or cooling in step, contrariwise, or steady state? Whatever they do would impact on the troposphere surely?

    1. What you’re describing is not entropy and has nothing to do with the Second Law. Addressing your point anyway, there would be many other effects apparent if the mantle were heating up enough to affect the troposphere temperature.

  29. But even a single degree of warming, occurring at every point on the planet for 10 years, would represent an awful lot of extra heat present in the atmosphere that can produce extremely negative effects…

    Oh Yes awful, like the previous warming periods when grapes were grown in Greenland and there were lakes and trees in present-day desert regions.

  30. Back in the eighties, my econometrics professor said that using the same data to test different models was a breach of scientific protocol (he called it “data mining”, a term which has since taken a new meaning.) He acknowledged that in the non lab sciences, it was unavoidable, but that economists should be more open about using overworked data. It seems to me that this is an issue in climate science as well, but the issue doesn’t get much play.

    Do any of y’all scientists on this board know of an accessible treatment of this issue?

    1. I think you are talking about data dredging. Also see here.

      1. Yes. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

  31. RE: MNG,

    Because they aren’t 100%. They didn’t say they were 100% certain. What they have concluded,and said, is that it is likely so.

    They are not 100% certain. They are several billion dollars in grants and market participation in the Cap and Rape Market certain. That is a level of certainty THEY can live with.

  32. Man, this thread is one argument from personal incredulity after another.

    1. Yes, better watch out or you will be outed as well…

  33. Man Made Global Warming is true! The IPCC is right! Al Gore is not full of shit! The e-mails are a fabrication!

    1. Look, emails! The denialism is settled!

      1. The polar bears are dropping from the sky! The science is settled!

  34. Sadly, Tony happens to be right.

  35. So, last night I was thinking about Lomborg and his cost-benefit analyses that he loves so much.

    Imagine this: Scientists confirm that AGW is real, but that its costs and benefits will be almost perfectly balanced until the year 3000, when AGW will cause the entire universe to collapse into a black hole, killing every human being. Imagine that they also confirm that we can prevent this catastrophe for a ONE CENT investmet today.

    Would it pass cost-benefit analysis?

    Nope. The value of every human being in 3000, discounted at 5% for the next 990 years, is indeed just a bit less than a penny.

    If this isn’t a convincing argument as to why cost-benefit analysis is an epic fail over long time periods, I don’t know what is.

    PS:) You can quibble with my numbers and assumptions about the future population or the value of a human, but all that would do is change the 3000 to 3050 or 3100 or whatever. Each order of magnitude my estimates are off changes the answer by about 50 years. I assumed ten billion people and ten million 2010 dollars per head.

    1. …when AGW will cause the entire universe to collapse into a black hole, killing every human being.

      I guess that 20 feet of sea level increase just wasn’t scary enough – churd ups the ante just a little.

      1. Only to illustrate the absurdity of discounted cost-benefit analysis applied to long time frames.

        1. Let alone the long term probability of catastrophic events. I mean, hell, eventually the heat-death of the universe will kill us for sure.

    2. That is one wacky form of cost-benefit analysis you’ve got there. Clearly the straw man variety.

      1. Why is a straw-man?

        I simply took Lomborgs’s methodology and applied it to a hypothetical situation where it catastrophically fails, which demonstrates that the methodology is flawed and illustrates clearly WHY it is flawed.

        It is not a “straw man” to apply someone else’s logic in a different circumstance.

        1. Lomborg discounts the value of human beings at 5% for the next 990 years?

          1. He discounts everything at 5%, for as long as his analysis lasts. The result of this is that costs and benefits in the future are essentially ignored. What then remains is “costs now”, and therefore, to no one’s surprise, he concludes that the costs outweigh the benefits.

            Discounting makes sense when talking about individuals. It rapidly turns to nonsense when talking about many generations of people.

            1. That doesn’t make your example a good argument. Fine, granted, future human lives are worth more than a penny. What does that prove? That we should spend trillions of dollars over decades to make sure that CO2 levels stay at some predefined percentage? All because some questionable computer models say the world will be a few degrees warmer on average, late in this century?

              The cost-benefit analysis that’s worth making is: Is it worth trillions of dollars to make the future a few degrees cooler (maybe)? If you’re worried about poor people in the tropics dying in floods or whatever, what if spending a tiny fraction of that sum would save more lives, simply through ensuring clean water supplies and basic vaccines? That’s the cost-benefit analysis Lomborg makes AFAIK, and that makes perfect sense to me. I have yet to see convincing evidence that spending enormous sums to combat AGW in the Kyoto Accords style is a worthwhile expenditure.

              1. What it proves is that cost-benefit analysis is an inappropriate tool to determine what we should do, as it leads to absurd and obviously incorrect conclusions when extrapolated into the distant future.

                We have to think about it from different points of view.

                1. The real problem is that you assume a catastrophic future event. If the planet gets warmer (or colder for that matter) it is a matter of adaptation, not resistance to change that will be important for human survival.

  36. A significant omisson from global temps is the use of geostatistics. Temps are ‘regionalised’ variables and the result of simple averaging is not informed by location and weighting – kriging. GIGO

  37. It seems to me, that perhaps it’s not the best idea to keep changing the composition of the atmosphere. Especially when the rate of increase of the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is itself increasing.

    At some point the air is going to get a bit stuffy.

  38. Why is the baseline defined from ’79 to ’98 rather than ’79 to present?

    1. Because it is the first 20 years of data that was when someone took the satellite data and established the baseline for future comparisons. That way all comparisons after 98 can be made with a baseline number that doesn’t change every year.

  39. Naming the top ten warmest years in a 31 year period is not very useful information. People misquote this and think it is the warmest years ever, when the 1930’s were warmer. We can take fancy measurements now but the time we’ve had them is too small to be of use, when observing climate trends.

  40. “30 years or 50 years, it’s just not enough data to warrant a conclusion.”

    Correct, this is why we need to reduce greenhouse gases until we know they are not having a significant effect.

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