RSS Satellite data for Jan08: 2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years

UPDATEsee new graph of global ∆T for the past year below. There has been a global drop in temperature of 0.63 degrees Centigrade in the past 12 months.

Of course we already have had a heads up from all the wire reports around the world talking about the significant winter weather events that have occurred worldwide in the last month, but until now, there hasn’t been a measure of how the planet was doing for the winter of 2007/2008.

Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa just posted the latest MSU (Microwave Sounder Unit) data.

January posted a -.08°C near global anomaly between -70S and 82.5N latitude (the viewshed of the satellite sounder). That makes it the coldest month since January 2000, and the 2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years. Both northern and southern hemispheres posted negative anomalies of -.120°C and -.038°C respectively, happening for the first time since January 2000.

The United States posted a -.557°C anomaly for January 2008 and a -0.196°C anomaly for December 2007.

Here is the raw anomaly data for January 2008

Year Month -70.0/  82.5 -20.0/  20.0 20.0/  82.5 -70.0/  -20.0   60.0/  82.5   -70.0/  -60.0  CONUS 0.0/  82.5 -70.0/  0.0
2008   1 -0.080 -0.188 -0.063 0.025 0.288 -0.833 -0.557 -0.120 -0.038

Which can be viewed in its entirety here (.txt data, RSS Data Version 3.1)

Here is my plot of the raw, unedited Global anomaly data (-70S to 82.5N) supplied by RSS per month. Note that the anomaly trend between late 2007 and early 2008 is quite steep and that the period leading  up to 2008 is relatively flat.

rss-msu-monthly-anom520.png
click for a larger image Note: RSS Data Version 3.1

UPDATE:

I decided to plot a magnified graph to show the global change in temperature over the last year from January 2007 to January 2008, the ∆T of -0.629°C is quite significant for a 12 month period, rivaled in the last 10 years only by the 1998 El Nino warming peak.

rss-msu-2007-2008-delta520.png
Click for a larger image Note: RSS Data Version 3.1

Probable cause- [Una] Niña muy grande. It looks like we may have a PDO shift as well. But as some say, trying to correlate such things is a “fools errand”. But, judge for yourself.

lanina02-2008.png
click for a larger image

We live in interesting times.
(h/t MattN)

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129 thoughts on “RSS Satellite data for Jan08: 2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years

  1. Pingback: Jan '08 second coldest in 15 years - PriusChat Forums

  2. One month of exceptionally cool temperatures does not say anything at all about climate change.

    Looking at the graph it seems pretty clear that most rapid and exceptional changes in the temperature in either direction over the last thirty years have been quickly reversed. Is there any reason why that should not happen this time? Climate warming sceptics could be embarrassed if after trumpeting this cool month we have record warm months soon.

    The hypothesis that global temperatures are still rising at getting on for 0.2 K a decade is well supported by the data, and it would take years rather than months of cooler temperatures to disprove it.

    REPLY: I agree and point out to you that no where in the story does it say anything about it being significant to climate change, in fact the one connection made was to current weather events that have happened around the globe in the past month. The other biggest significance is it’s link to La Nina. Thats why the title above the La Nina SST anomaly picture says “Probable cause – Much Grande La Nina”.

    I think you read something into the article that wasn’t there.

  3. Wow. Info I provided started a new thread. I’m honored.

    I would also like to point out that since Jan 07, the planet has cooled .63C. That is astounding. That is equivalent to the entire warming of the 20th century. Yes/No????

    REPLY: Another good point, I think I’ll add that using a magnified graph.

  4. Connecting the Spots?

    What about the current solar minimum? Many scientist recognize the connection between the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice age, but I haven’t seen much mention about a possible connection between the recent cooling trend and the fact that we have seen prolonged periods of zero sunspots since about April 07. We are long overdue for the start of Solar Cycle 24, and could there be a connection between what is happening on the Sun and what is happening with the climate on Earth?

  5. I realize that one year, or even one decade, do not a trend make, but I’ve got to ask the obvious question from a layman’s viewpoint: If global temperatures do indeed begin to trend downward while atmospheric concentrations of CO2 continue to increase — then what? At what point does the climate science community say, “hey, maybe we missed something.”

    I realize that back in the 70’s there was not nearly the scientific “consensus” (geez, I hate that word) about cooling that there is now for warming. Nevertheless, there were actually scientists who suggested blanketing the Arctic with soot to increase melting of the ice cap. Probably a good thing that that idea never got any traction.

  6. Though the data in the table are fine, do you care that your text is missing a decimal place: “-012°C” ?

    REPLY: Yes I do, and it is fixed now, thanks for pointing it out.

  7. If one looks at the chart which only goes back to 1979 and look at the temperature change by normalizing a line in it, we have only seen about .2C at MOST. Why then, all the alarmism? The problem is temperature data is presented in a fashion that makes average global temperatures look much greater than they are. If one plots them, you see they oscillate around 59 degrees for the most part and not varying more than 1 degree either way since 1850. It’s all about the scale of the chart being shown and the gullibility of those who want to believe something catastrophic is occurring. What this January data shows is not a trend to be sure but that the alarmists know less about how the climate works than they claim.

  8. “Probably a good thing that that idea never got any traction.”

    Ah, that brilliant idea wouldn’t have outlasted the first snow!

    One of the big advantages of the current “yellow snow” issue (cf “brown cloud”), is that once the UDCs finally D, we’ll have clean air and the dirty snow will get covered up by the pristine version, and that will increase albedo.

    (P.S., this suggestive message may get stuck in the Spam Filter. “Low $$$, No perscription necessary.”)

  9. Hi,

    From the temperature map it appears that the PDO is negative and the positive AMO is weakening. We maybe are in for a few very cold winters. Especially considering that the sun continues to show weak activity levels.

  10. Normally I look at Satellite data published by the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Titled “MONTHLY MEANS OF LOWER TROPOSPHERE LT5.2″

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    Your data is similar but not identical. I charted them against each other and the correlation was very good. Are they from different satellites? Is it different methodology or is it something else.

    Sorry if I’m showing my ignorance.

    REPLY: Different Methods. You aren’t ignorant, but inquisitive. Never be afraid to ask questions.

  11. “It is straight out of the book of climate. The pattern is so much like the 1949-1950 La Nina, which was signaling the start of the reversal of the warming of the earth’s climate in the 1930s, ‘40s and early 50s. Only someone choosing to ignore it, or not wanting to see it, would not be cognizant of it. But because such a pattern leads to warmer than normal conditions in areas where the greatest centers of human induced global warming information comes out of, western Europe and the eastern part of North America, no attention is being called to the fact that the winter this year does have outstandingly large areas of colder than normal temperatures and in areas, the vast expanses of the tropical Pacific, and the vast expanse of the air above us.” — Joe Bastardi, Meteorologist

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/JB_Climate_Change.pdf

    Anthony, thanks for proving Joe wrong that “no attention is being called to the fact that the winter this year does have outstandingly large areas of colder than normal temperatures”

    John M Reynolds

  12. Very steep drop. Biggest since 1992.

    Also, what graph is this? The whole troposphere? Lower trop? Trep+upper strat?

    REPLY: Description right above it, essentially Global -70S to 82.5N

  13. Bastardi at Accuweather pointed out in Dec. and has reprised that analysis at Icecap the other day that this is a very unusal La Nina, coming during late winter into early spring. Moreover, it is a very strong move at the very time a regime change is expected to negative PDO. Combined with other factors: the lowest Solar output in 2 centuries (with continued low output); crashing terrestrial albedo; and declining geomagnetic field we can expect more clouds, less solar flux, etc.
    On top of that vulcanism is somewhat correlated with declining solar and geomagnetic field strength and the AMO would normally shift negative in about a decade.
    Biofuels are a very bad bet just now. A mink farm might do better.

    REPLY: I read the Bastardi artcile then and thought he was spot on, looks like he is being vindicated though some called his prediction “ridiculous”.

  14. The questions I have is when does Hansen’s GISS come out, and will it continue on it’s own “unique” direction, or will it finally start coming in line now that China has seen record cold across the board?

    I also found this funny:

    “One month of exceptionally cool temperatures does not say anything at all about climate change.” – I read it in one of the previous posts.

    It made me nostalgic for 1998 when the massive short term warming was in the news everyday and I too stated the above fact. Well at least the media is listening now and completely ignoring this “short term” cooling trend.

    /riddled with sarcasm

  15. Pingback: Oli viimase 15 aasta külmuselt teine jaanuar « Keskkonnaabi

  16. We here in Estonia, Europe are facing one of the warmest winters after so many years. There has been no snow and almost all the time positive temperatures throughout January. This is why Your conclusions are most fascinating. Is it so that during this ‘cold period’ Gulf Stream is anomalously keeping Europe warm? Is there any logic in it? Also, comparing the graphs from Your previous post regarding Northern Hemisphere ice cover Feb 2 1980/2008, the Baltic Sea has no ice cover this year… We are feeling warm here but confused and your polar bear information + global temperatures has loosened our fears in front of global warming, as we care about the World. However, on the overall scale, it is understood that Estonia has more to win from global warming than to loose. Ridiculous, isn’t it?

    Erik Puura, director, Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, ESTONIA

  17. “Very steep drop. Biggest since 1992.”

    The drop in 1992 was Pinatubo, correct?

    “One month of exceptionally cool temperatures does not say anything at all about climate change.”

    You’re right, but that’s really not the point. The way I see it, the planet has cooled, we know exactly why it cooled, and we know exactly how much it cooled. If the ocean can cause a .6C drop of planet-wide temperature in 13 months, than it most assuredly can also cause a .6C rise over an entire century. And it has not one thing at all to do with CO2.

    Remember: Natural variation cannot explain the unprecedented warming of the 20th century. Right…?

  18. sorry, but in spanish it is “[Una] Niña muy grande” or (less common) “[Una] muy grande Niña”, mucho could be in: “mucho frío” (too much cold). but don’t worry is a mistake “muy” common in a english speaking person. good work, and i always read with placer your blog.

    RESPUESTA: Gracias Jorge. He corregido el error. Los saludos, Anthony Watts

  19. Pingback: Behind R4NT » Blog Archive » It’s Cold for Most of the People

  20. Let’s not forget that it’s still +0.16 Kelvin from when the satellite measurements began in 1979! In January 1979, the global anomaly was -0.24 Kelvin. It’s only below normal relative to the 28+ year sample, which is probably biased warm due to the 1998 El Nino, which was a significant outlier. You can’t even call the recent cooldown an outlier because there’s been other cooldowns of similar magnitude (e.g. around 60, 120, and 170 months from 1979). Plus, it’s going to take more than a few months of cooling temperatures to draw any conclusions. If I were to fit a trendline to the data, it would probably run from about -0.2 Kelvin to +0.5 Kelvin, or an increase of about +0.7 Kelvin over 29 years. Seems like global warming is still occurring to me. Plus, we should probably wait until GISS, UKMET, and UAH estimates come out to see if they concur. RSS seems to be the coldest and GISS the warmest usually.

    REPLY: The biggest problem is that we have no satellite data prior to 1979, and there was a PDO flip that occurred in 1977. There is speculation that there would be a strong negative anomaly prior to that. The UAH data will be interesting.

  21. Hi,

    Evan you know what is kinda funny. If these trends continue and we start global cooling. We can say that Tamino is a global cooling denier, LOL. Just the thought of that was be priceless.

  22. “Is there a point to this post?”

    Was there a point to that post? (La Sombra sabe! )

    To be clear, is that graph surface temperature or tropospheric?

    And the result is that for the last few years before this current drop, we’ve been doing roughly 0.4 above the 1979 – date average with little change (“jig-jag flat”?).

  23. Hi,

    Don’t get me wrong but I like warm weather. If we go into a Dalton type minimum we could see a little ice age. Our society and the world is not prepared for such an event. For 20 years we have been told to prepare for the Great Warming and if we instead go into a little ice age well, then its like going to a fire and finding a flood.

  24. Of course the big emphasis Mr. Watts has placed in his report is on the recent 0.629 C drop since Jan 2007. However looking at the same plot for the past 350 months back to 1979 shows three other temperature drops that were even larger:

    1) month 50 to month 70 with a temperature drop of 0.75C
    2) month 106(?) to month 120(?) with another temperature drop of 0.75C
    3) month 150 to month 162(?) with a 0.65C temperature drop

    The point is over this period there have been larger temperature drops than the most recent one (0.629C) being emphasized and the fact is the overall temperature plot is still ascending. Placing a trendline along the minimums from month 70 to month 162 to the present (which by the fits the trendline perfectly) shows an increase of 0.18C/decade that has not been broken.

    REPLY: All true, except the “big emphasis” part, that came second and is not the headline. But is what is also true is that since 1977, the PDO has been in a warm phase, so of course you’d expect a positive trend, but there are indications that it is shifting to cool phase. If that PDO shift holds, we may very well see a reversal.

  25. You said : “One month of exceptionally cool temperatures does not say anything at all about climate change.”

    But isn’t that what these scientists are doing, how long have we been monitoring temperatures and how many supposed billions years old is the planet?

  26. erik puura: Anthony can correct me where I’m wrong but the warmth in Western Europe is expected with PDO negative and AMO positive. I believe D’Aleo and others had papers on this a month or so ago.
    Tsonis had a paper in 2007 describing chaotic synchronies between the major oscillations (via teleconnections) that might help as well.
    Your luck will very much change when the AMO goes negative in a decade or so and PDO is still negative.

  27. Somebody really needs to come and spend a little time in Ghana. Normally I’m not disturbed by the heat at this time of the year, but this year I am. Of course, I haven’t looked at any temperature data to see if it actually *is* hotter than usual, or if it’s just feels like it.

  28. Pingback: Es Mucho Frio Porque Muy Grande La Nina (And The post Is In English!) « Time to Choose Again

  29. Something else for poor Tamino to blow his top over.

    REPLY: Tamino gets upset if the wind changes direction and somebody points it out in a graph. He also deletes a lot of comments like RC does, according to people that have related that to me. He deleted a comment I posted citing a solar paper for example.

    He recently made a big row about the PDO correlation that Joe D’Aleo wrote up trying to use white noise as a demonstration of correlation (or lack of) but it’s like saying you can see pictures in the clouds. The point is, the kind of running average smoothing that has been done by Joe (11 year) is done by others (some passing peer review) as well, and nobody makes (except Tamino) a stink about it. I don’t have much respect for the guy because he hides behind a pseudonym like “Lagomorph Boy” does. I don’t get that. If you are a scientist, act like one instead of this hiding behind rocks and taking potshots.

    Here’s a paper on PDO and Tree rings from Brazil, citing correlation, they use a 10 year running average.

    A STUDY OF SOLAR-ENSO CORRELATION WITH SOUTHERN BRAZIL TREE RING INDEX
    N. R. Rigozo, D. J. R. Nordemann, L. E. A. Vieira and E. Echer
    Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais

    They claim a 76% correlation of the variance in tree ring index was explained by solar activity and ENSO.

  30. And you continue to impress me, Evan. Most self-described Liberals I know buy into the static view of the economy hook, line & sinker. As you have so astutely noted in several recent posts, one of the primary solutions to many of mankind’s problems is the rapid accumulation of wealth by as many people as possible. Assuming, of course, that they then have the wisdom to use that wealth in a responsible way, as opposed to, say, lottery tickets, heh.

  31. Help!

    I am new at this (blog stuff) and don’t know where to start. I am trying to make sense of the Global Warming – CO2 controversy. I have seen graphs of transmission/absorption of the atmosphere and the combination of water vapor and CO2 absorption seems to be about 100% (Wikipedia Global Warming article, for instance). If absorption of infra-red quanta in the CO2 “window” (absorption band) is about 100% already, how does adding more CO2 have any warming effect at all? Am I missing something or am I simply totally ignorant and naive?

    I would appreciate any help I can get.

    John Danielson

  32. Erikpurra:

    I will tell you the exact same thing I tell the others: Look beyond your back yard. See the big picture.

    European ski resorts had the earliest opening and the most snow in decades. Brutal, and I mean BRUTAL cold in Siberia and Canada. Coldest winter in 100 years in China. Snow fell last month in Israel, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Freakin’ Arabia! Oh, and it snowed, again, last month in South America (middle of summer there).

    Big. Picture.

  33. Posters over at dotearth are alredy citing this

    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandler s/index.cfm?ID=6557&method=full

    paper as proof that the current situation was predicted via GCM.

    I didn’t read the paper that way; to me what it looked like was a shakedown cruise of a new GC model and they were tweaking data inputs to see if they could get it to hindcast better than their control. I’ll leave it to you folks who are brighter than me to decide if I read this right, but this doesn’t seem significant to me.

    REPLY: the link doesn’t work that you provided

  34. John Danielson, apparently becuase of complex atmospheric physics, which I don’t pretend to understand, the bands never quite reach saturation. At least, that’s what I heard. At any rate, most of the predicted increase in temperatures doesn’t come from the CO2 itself, but from feedbacks. As an example, if it warms up a little, there will be more evaporation, and thus more water vapor, which, as a greenhouse gas, alters the earth’s emmissivity and thus increases the temperature more. On the other hand, more water vapor probably also means more clouds, which alter the earth’s albedo, lessening warming, and its emmisivity, magnifying it. To my knowledge, no one has given a precise explanation of all the feedbacks that could or do exist and how they hypothetically could/do add up. My intuition (and I confess, little else) lead me to suspect the mostly cancel out, but presently the mainstream, “Consensus” veiw point is that they combine to a highly postive number. No one seems to have a engineering quality derivation of the response of the climate to increased CO2. Most explanations require handwaving, speculation, appeals to models etc. And without reliable proxies of past temperatures to test the estimated responses, and without precise knowledge of the earth’s past and present radiative energy budget, there’s still a lot of wiggle room.

  35. Try this time

    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?ID=6557&method=full

    There was a space between r and s (making it “objecthandler_s”) that looks to be an artifact of how the copy/paste works. hopefully this works?

    REPLY: Thanks for fixing that. It’s the CYA forecast model for the Hadley Centre, nothing new. Hadley blew 2007, and adjusted mid year. They missed the emerging La Nina (but originally forecasted a record year based on El Nino and “anthropogenic” factors) Originally they forecasted 2007 to be the warmest year on record, it turned out fifth with a hurricane season quietest since 1977 and 3rd quiet since 1958.

    Hadley is even more out of touch with the surface record problems than GISS is.

  36. Hello Timetochooseagain,

    Very well said!

    May I suggest that you’ve concisely and best summarized the take-home lesson of these very informative posts/threads of the last few days. Anyone with certainty at this point in time is jumping the gun, as far as this hombre can see at least.

    I have sympathy for Policy-Makers.

    Jd

  37. “Anyone with certainty at this point in time is jumping the gun”

    JD thats the first time I’ve seen you admit to uncertainty related to anthropgenic forcings. I’ll expect backup next time I write a letter to the editor.

    :-)

  38. That’s strange. NY’s January was balmy, even…

    I’ll confirm that. I kept hearing about snow in odd places, but I think the’s been more snow in Saudi Arabia than in The City.

  39. timetochooseagain: Good concatenation. One must consider that conditions have varied considerably (most of the time it’s a LOT cooler thx to Axial and orbital eccentricity), yet temps never spun out of control. Not a lot of people talk homeostasis. Lot of homeophobia goin’ on out there, I think!

    “I have sympathy for Policy-Makers.”

    Yes, it’s the amateurs who must decide. they are the jurors. The scientists are, in the end, merely the expert witnesses. I do wish they would realize that and stop talking down to us.

    I study history. But I don’t go calling people who don’t know the subject idiots. I try to teach a piece of it to them and steer them where they can learn more if they choose. Too many genuinely talented scientists have a tendency to treat the interested amateur like something they scape off their shoes.

  40. This data is encouraging however, a similar drop did occur in 1988 during a solar minimum+la nina. If history is repeating itself we should see temps recover by about 0.4 deg by the end of the year.

    If temps stay low or go lower then we are entering new territory. One thing to note: we are talking anomolies and not absolute temps so a cool summer could have a large anomoly even if it is hotter than now.

    If the solar/enso hypothesis have any merit we should see that evidence show up in the next 12 months. A recovery similar to 1988 would tend to support the AGW view that such variations are random blibs in a long term trend.

  41. Anthony,

    I’m the first to admit uncertainty; being a trained biologist I’m forced to. I hope my contributions to the AGW threads reflect that; if not, my mistake, I’ll try harder.
    Keep up the good work!
    Jd

  42. I’m glad to see my comments get such positive feedback (Oh! a horrible “pun”). Perhaps Jd is implying (correctly?) that “wiggle room” does go both ways. It could be better, it could be worse. I’d put money on “better” personally (I’m climate “optimist” when I’m not a “Climate Copernican”, ie someone who doesn’t think it makes sense to call the present climate “ideal” and any change “bad”.)

    I’m also timetochooseagain, in case you just got confused! ;)

  43. Again Andrew (TTCA), well said on the summary; regarind complex natural systems, uncertainty still rules the day. Although based on your last note I think I’m still a little more “agnostic”. Evan, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Some of my most esteemed collegues are mostly self-educated. And as a scientist working with Policy Makers…I’ve felt their pain.
    Best regards,
    Jd

  44. John Danielson – You might want to check out http://www.climateaudit.org/phpBB3/

    under Physics issues and in particular Basic Quantum Mechanics and the Green house Effect There is lot of other interesting stuff being discussed there.

    Also a good link here

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    which looks at GHG and in particular CO2 from a empirical point of view. I don’t know for sure but this guy sounds like an experimental researcher. On this web page he makes the statement:

    “What about secondary effects, such as ice melting, changes in albedo, and so forth? Doesn’t this increase the predicted temperature beyond the 1.39 to 1.76 degree estimate?

    In short, no. Because these calculations are based on observed measurements, they automatically take into account all of the earth’s responses. Whatever way the climate adapted to past CO2 increases, whether through melting, changes in albedo, or other effects, is already reflected in the measured temperature, and therefore it will also be reflected in the prediction. This is because the prediction is based on an extrapolation of past measurements that were taken after the earth adapted to the CO2 increase.”

    A very good point to remember.

    Why not let the climate system make all the fancy calculations – it is the real super computer.

  45. “This data is encouraging however”

    I am not so sure. Global cooling would probably be quite a bad thing. I assume you’ve looked at the longtern geological record. According to that, we are right at the end of the current longtern warming period. The orbit and axis tilt/wobble could catch up with us any time. I only hope mankind is advanced and wealthy enough to cope.

    I suppose that’s yet another reason I’m on about this “get rich quick” thing for the world. (That. plus I want it to happen in time for our cells to be regenerated! It could happen. If it does, I’m FOR it!)

  46. I like the story about the inductivist turkey who made observations, that is fed 3 pm every day – when it was raining, snowing, extreme sunshine… It was quite a surprise to end up on the Christmas table.

    The second story I like is about a group of scientists who were contracted to optimize milk production in the farm. When the farmer opened the report and read ‘Let’s imagine that your cows are spherical’, he shut it immediately.

    What I believe is that uncertainties in the models are anyway too large to make accurate predictions. On the other hand, there are so many predictions that someone will have the close one anyway. However, that one could be based on the completely wrong assumptions…

  47. See the surface data set at University of East Anglia at webpage:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt

    This dataset is the global average delta versus the 1961..1990 normals. They won’t have Jan2008 for another couple of weeks, but Jan2007 through Dec2007 look similar to the satellite data.

    A couple of interesting items…

    1) Dec2007, delta +0.211 is the lowest delta of any month this century, heck, make that this millenium. (Nitpick; December 2000 was the previous century/millenium).

    2) 2007 was the 3rd coolest year of the past 10 (1998..2007)

  48. Essentially the Earth cools itself by transporting heat accumulated at the tropics toward the poles. And essentially this causes what we call weather, and of course determines the temperature at ex-tropical latitudes.

    An El Nino is where heat transport from the Tropics increases, and a La Nina is where heat transport decreases.

    So, a La Nina means either less heat is being transported from the tropics and hence more heat is being accumulated (bad = more GW) , or there is less heat to be transported and hence it’s consequence and not a cause, ie the Earth is cooling (really bad in IMHO).

  49. John Danielson, Timetochooseagain: I also have looked around for good justification. Lately they just quit with Beer’s Law, i.e., signal attenuation then a ‘wave of the hands’. Thus derivation leaves off with the IPCC accepted forcing function (Hansen 1988). But regarding absorption and ‘back-radiation’, I have seen the attempt to use wrongly Kirchoff’s relation for plane solids: E = (1 – A), i.e., the emissivity where all vibrational energy either becomes heat or is re-emitted. But with the gases at STP the values of E and A can only be estimated experimentally and are quite small. Therefore, Schwartz’s attempt to estimate sensitivity to CO2 doubling from recovery following CO2 pulse todate is one of the few feasible approaches I’ve seen; otherwise the effect is unmeasurable.

  50. 2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years

    i hope this title was supposed to be a joke?!?

    REPLY: Well being a Brit, you should know.

  51. “That’s strange. NY’s January was balmy, even”

    I live in CT on the NY border (literally) and from what I measured beginning with just after Thanksgiving through right around January 20th the temperature was running at or slightly below normal. You are correct in that our snowfall has been (thankfully) unimpressive, but from a temperature standpoint its been about as average as average can be. Granted, I only refer to a slice of Westchester, Dutchess, and Putnam counties.

  52. Anthony, one thing that has been puzzling me and this thread might be a good place to ask. The alarmist position is that the global average temperature is going to rise and then they behave as though the maximum temperature perceived during the day is going to rise by that amount, thereby giving rise to all sorts of disaster. But as I seem to see it, the average will rise largely due to a rise in the minimum temperatures found, rather than a rise in the maximums. Surely this, if true, should mean that even if the two to three degree rise in average does occur, it still won’t mean that we are all going to fry, just that we won’t need so many blankets.

  53. John Danielson: My first piece of advice to you would be stop going to Wikipedia for information on this subject. If you have a free month of spare time, check out climateaudit like someone suggested. Then you can really start to see how much wool is being pulled over our eyes.

    Evan: I share the same concern. A cooling to what we had in the 1950s-1970s likely wouldn’t be much of a problem. Cooling back to the 1800s will devestate crops and condemn millions, if not billions, to starvation. Can we possibly feed 7 billion people if global temperatures drop 1C+ longterm?

  54. Hi,

    Raven, It it not the drop so much as we seem to be entering a PDO shift and a period of low solar activity. This may combine to make temperatures drop even more than expected.

  55. “What I believe is that uncertainties in the models are anyway too large to make accurate predictions. On the other hand, there are so many predictions that someone will have the close one anyway. However, that one could be based on the completely wrong assumptions…”

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

  56. “Surely this, if true, should mean that even if the two to three degree rise in average does occur, it still won’t mean that we are all going to fry, just that we won’t need so many blankets.”

    How about that? Point. Especially since more than one AGW advocate I’ve seen tend to point to T-Min “first, last, and always”.

    I often wonder if waht comes out of the adjustment cauldron weights the two equally. Does anyone around here know this? I seem to recall the Rev saying that it was a finction of T-Max, T-Min and T-OBS, though I don’t remember him ever using the term “average” or “mean”.

  57. Raven: “This data is encouraging however, a similar drop did occur in 1988 during a solar minimum+la nina.”

    Just to clarify, solar minimum was in 1986, not 1988. We were well into Cycle #22 by 1988.

  58. MattN
    “Just to clarify, solar minimum was in 1986, not 1988. We were well into Cycle #22 by 1988.”
    That is good to know. We will see.

    I have been looking for benchmarks to watch for that I can use to determine whether the warmers managed to get something right despite all of the issues with the methodology and dubious claims of certainty when there is none. The temperature recovery after this La Nina ends will be one to watch.

  59. Is there anywhere a discussion about the role of media influencing science? Science should be something that is ‘true, pure and honest’. However, one of the most relevant criteria in research financing is actuality of the proposal. Something is actual when there is a large attention of the media. Nobody is interested in the news of something not changing or not dramatically changing. So, for satisfying the criteria of actuality, the research proposals are written with hypotheses and assumptions that consider a system in a dramatic change. Mainly only these research proposals get financed. The executor of the project feels the responsibility to prove what has been written in the proposal, being interested in financing of the next proposal. So there is a pre-selection of research proposals and those proposing dramatic changes are favoured… Or am I missing something?

  60. REPLY: Well being a Brit, you should know.

    thanks for this Anthony, i ll take it as a compliment. (actually i am german, but quite a fan of the brits…)

    I often wonder if what comes out of the adjustment cauldron weights the two equally. Does anyone around here know this? I seem to recall the Rev saying that it was a finction of T-Max, T-Min and T-OBS, though I don’t remember him ever using the term “average” or “mean”.

    the method used to calculate a “average” or “daily mean” temperature seem to vary over the world.

    i am rather sure that the US is using a min-max average while German for example was using a weighted mean of 3 temperatures measured at specific hours.

    REPLY: Good point, but I’m not sure if that applies to the way global datasets are calculated such as at HadCRU or GISS. I’ll run it up the food chain to see what can be learned. I don’t believe T-OBS ever figures into such average or mean calculations, although it is recorded on the observer form. It might be used as a quality check point of some kind to forward/reverse calculate a likely trend to see if the Tmax/Tmin falls outside of reason.

  61. Thanks for the background and links. I shall attempt to further educate myself and I appreciate all the suggestions.

  62. sod: “i hope this title was supposed to be a joke?!?”

    The NOAA headline that Jan 07 was “the warmest January on record” was not a joke. Why would this one be less deserving?

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander….

  63. It looks like we had a false alarm for the start of solar cycle 24 as we continue with minimal sunspots and no new reverse polarity sunspots. Nobody seems to know what this means and what the implications are for the climate, but the prolonged solar minimum and abrupt cooling may not be a coincidence.

  64. Average temperature is computed from min/max for historical reasons. Min/Max thermometers have been around for about 150 years (wikipedia will give you the details) and prior to electronics were the only reliable 24 hour measurements.

  65. “So there is a pre-selection of research proposals and those proposing dramatic changes are favoured… Or am I missing something?”

    To put it very bluntly:

    There are two main factors at work.

    1.) Newspapers are in the business of selling themselves and making a profit. Sometimes a newspaper caters to a particular constuency and, in order to remain in business, endorse the views of that constituency. Even the owner may disagree with this viewpoint, by acceeds to the editors who are responsible for making the call.

    The Village Voce springs to mind. They are a far-left paper owned by a political conservative who does not interfere with its workings, though he could if he chose to. (The Voice is handed out for free–its profits come from advertising alone.)

    2.) And sometimes a newspaper is owned and run by an owner who loses money but is willing to pay that price in in order to spread a point of view that is agreeable to him.

    The government cannot prevent what goes in a newspaper except in the rare exception of classified secrets. While they can (sometimes) prevent some of what goes in a paper, they cannot force the paper to say anying. The government can refuse to be interviewed by a newspaper and may “trade” in information, but that is the extent of its power.

    Such is freedom of the press.

    All of the issues you raise are valid. But those issues are all filtered through one or both of the two points I make above. 1.) Profit, 2.) What the owner wants to say (for whatever reason). All else is real, but secondary, including the buffeting of “reality” and scientific endeavor.

  66. I am rather sure that the US is using a min-max average

    Argh. Oh, great. Thanks for the info, though.

    Well, Rev, I guess that makes your “paint bias” a pretty dang big deal, to what extent it exists! (Seeing as how the differences seem to manifest themselves almost exclusively at T-Max and T-Min.

    And would someone please tell me how to end a tag-mark? I can make a quote bold, but I can unbold afterwards. It’s like the “Bird Man of Alcatraz” cartoon in the old New Yorker: “I can turn you into a bird. But you must remain a bird.” (In the uneven battle between me and tags, I can use all the help I can get.)

  67. The NOAA headline that Jan 07 was “the warmest January on record” was not a joke. Why would this one be less deserving?

    sorry, but let us play “can you spot the difference” between

    “the warmest January on record”

    and

    2nd coldest January for the planet in 15 years

    i spot two MAJOR differences. do you?

    REPLY: Lets not get into a war over semantics, or sentence structure. Hold those comments please because I don’t have the time today to moderate all of it.

    The point being made is that the warm events get a lot more press than the cold events. The cold events get mentioned as news items when they cause trouble, such as China’s snow and cold, but they don’t get touted the same way or connected with climate change like the warm events do.

  68. sorry Anthony, but the difference between “warmest in 150 years” and “2nd coldest in 15 years” is far beyond semantics.

    while i personally don t think that this “warmest” month/year make lots of sense, it obviously is more easy to understand than an abstract “global temperature is increasing by 0.1°C per decade” phrase.

    so i understand that you want part of the publicity.

    but the difference between the two things is huge and real!

    REPLY: The title was from the person who originally brought the dataset to my attention, notice the hat tip (h/t) to MattN at the bottom of the post. In deference to thanking the person who made the phrase, I used the same words he did. So please don’t accuse me of “publicity seeking” because I paid attention to a member of the online community here. If a person brings something forward of value (like you did with the max/min issue) I think they should be rewarded with recognition

    It wouldn’t matter what sort of title I used, it would be criticized be someone. I had considered making it “Coldest year in a bakers dozen”. You wouldn’t like that either. So, tough noogies as they say.

    Enough on the title issue, no further posts accepted in that regard. I don’t have the time to waste responding.

  69. The UAH numbers show rapid cooling for NH, SH, tropical mid-latitude and polar oceans and by similar amounts. It was questionable if the late 20th century warming was a truly global phenomena, but this cooling is global.

  70. From a religious point of view, I am impressed that Edgar (“The Sleeping Prophet”) Cayce made a correct prediction (he died in 1945) that 1998 would be the end of a 40 year Time of troubles, apparently a coinciding of different solar cycles which started in 1958. Can this date, 1998, just be a fantastic coincidence? If you look at your graph, you’ll see that the year of most change, the high point, is … 1998!
    Something worth thinking about.

  71. From a religious point of view, I am impressed that Edgar (”The Sleeping Prophet”) Cayce made a correct prediction (he died in 1945) that 1998 would be the end of a 40 year Time of troubles, apparently a coinciding of different solar cycles which started in 1958. Can this date, 1998, just be a fantastic coincidence? If you look at your graph, you’ll see that the year of most change, the high point, is … 1998!
    Something worth thinking about.

    You’re not serious, are you? Let’s not practice Nostradumbass Science…

  72. These predictions were all publicised before 1998, so this seems to be a successful prediction. Is this an inconvenient truth for you? Cayce did predict a pole shift starting in 2001, but I read it, and he said- “This will be a gradual change as man judges time.”
    I would have thought you’d be interested in the possibility that there are more Solar cycles than we have found, and that Global Warming is a natural event.

  73. “One month of exceptionally cool temperatures does not say anything at all about climate change.”

    When the polar bears were short of ice, it was proof the end is nigh. Now that their testicles are freezing off, it proves nothing.

    To ascertain whether the sun is driving solar activity, we need a large sustained change in solar activity. Looks like we now be getting it. Remember all those people pointing out that solar activity had maxed, and yet the poor poor polar bears are getting short of ice?

    Of course we are only going to know the truth after twenty years or so of substantially reduced solar activity, but I recall lots of people who were mighty eager to confidently draw decisive conclusions after five years of very slightly reduced solar activity.

  74. FACE THE FACTS. The hottest year in recent records was 10 years ago(1998).. we have added according to Al Gore 700 million tons of co2 based on his 70million tons a year. into the air.. Why have we been cooling? This year we had record fast ice growth in the arctic. China has had a Winter like none remember, snow in Iraq, snow in saudi arabia, 80 million without power in china due to snow and a 100,000 or more stranded because cold has shut down trafic. We have learned that the melting ice wasn’t caused by global warming, We have learned that the glaciers in Greenland are melting due to heat from the earths crust. We have learned that melted ice is being replaced by new ice. Wake up.. Were cooling..

    1970 global cooling was going to distroy us all and government didn’t react to science wanting to add ash to the arctic ice to melt it. and they wanted to add another layer of polution to the upper air to warm the earth. What if government had reacted.

    1980 We started global warming. Of couses government was slow to react again..and once again no one could debate these facts..

    1990 We discovered that we were wrong in the 80s and someone came up with the idea that global warming could cause global cooling and government was acting too slow. Once again.. These facts were not open to any debate. And now they had all their bases covered.

    2000 Well the models of the 1990s didn’t prove out and they changed the name from global warming to what they now call “climate change” and once again..you can’t debate this. Once again government didn’t act fast enough. Once again anyone that disagreed was labled as working for oil companies.

    Well going into 2010 and the earth seems to be cooling now.. 2008 is projected to be the coolest year in 15 years.
    And that may be revised cooler. Arctic is freezing back, The northern passage looks to have closed up. I think we will find that Glaciers are growing at record pace this winter.

    Look for the attention to turn from the north pole to the south pole now.
    1

  75. In Al Gores movie he described an Inconvient truth when Science is getting paid to get one answer. And finds another. If they report that their funding drys up. Well now the Inconvient truth is the money is coming from government. Any Scientist that dare speak out loses all funding. That is the inconvient truth of today.

  76. We have not experienced this radical of a drop since the 1980s. I have a nagging worry. There are 6 Billion plus who need to be fed. Our ability to tolerate another 1940 – 1979 type period is questionable. I do not want to contemplate anything worse than that.

  77. Note – of course the drop from the 1997 – 1998 peak was of a greater magnitude. I am specifically referring to a a wave shape that consists of a drop down, from a “noisy” longer term trend. That is what one needs to worry about.

  78. 1948 to 1998 are the best years in the history of the planet for practically everybody–except for what has happened since. We are on a Good Times trend. Maybe we’ll wake up one fine day and have an “erikpuura’s Turkey” moment. History is funny that way. But those years cannot be characterized in any way as a Time of Troubles, not when compared with anything else. (The end of nearly all worldwide hunger, anyone?) There are troubles of some sort or other in any 50-year stretch.

    It’s easy to fit the present into predictions from the past, if you control the conditions. Give me general predictions and I can probably come up with fulfillments that fit.

  79. I am more interested to know what is happening in the Southern Hemisphere right now. It’s summer down there and are they experiencing cooler than normal temperatures? The down-under folks experienced winter in ’07 the likes of which they had not seen in a hundred years. If their summer is weak, we can fully expect the same for the Northern Hemisphere. The Chinese are worrying about crop failures this year due to the cold, and rumors out of North Korea is that things have gone from worse to intolerable. Pajama Boy is supposedly busy moving assets out of country, looking like he know his gig is about to end. Meanwhile, the Russian weather guys are saying, “Ummmm, guys, we’re heading into a long term cooling trend.” Seems the GW crowd is going to have some explaining to do.

  80. Yes, us Austrians here in the deep-deep south are going through a rough patch- lots of rain, etc. I blame it on some of our previous Prime Ministers, who wanted to align us with Asia so much, they changed the weather! We now have winter at the same time as you do, it seems!
    And welcome to the new year of the Rat! you can expect Stock Markets to be easily rat-tled, but you can still make enor-mouse profits!

  81. Sod, perhaps you could explain why if global warming is accepted with the debate over headlines such as “Warmest January on Record” are any more newsworthy than “Dog Bites Man.” Surely we should expect each month on average to be warmer than previous ones.

    Imagine yourself in a taxi on a journey in an unfamiliar region. If the driver proudly announces after an hour that “You are now the nearest you have ever been to the destination,” you will not be too impressed. On the other hand if you find out half an hour later that you are now as near to your starting point as you were at the beginning of the journey and that no net progress had been made then you would be well within your rights to ask what was going on.

  82. If a person brings something forward of value (like you did with the max/min issue) I think they should be rewarded with recognition

    well, of course i will accept your wish.

    if you are interested in other “daily mean” calculations, you should google “Mannheimer Stunden”.

    they were introduced by Johann Jakob Hemmer in the late 18th century, when he was trying to build a “global” network of climate stations.

    in short, temperature is measured at 7am, 2pm and 9pm with the evening temperature weighted twice in the daily mean. other countries used other times and different weights.
    (Germany switched to a daily mean calculated from the temperature at every full hour in 2001)

    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagesmitteltemperatur

    i don t know whether climate research today is using a standardized min/max temperature, but with historic data i think we are forced to take what we have got…

    REPLY: Thanks for this resource

  83. Sod:

    I’ll tell you the difference. Highly accurate satellite data CONFIRMS that Jan 08 is indeed the 2nd coldest January in 15 years. No debate. This same highly accurate satellite data DEBUNKED the notion that Jan 07 was the warmest ever. Check the RSS data. No debate.

    The statement is exactly identical to what an alarmist would say. It is straight out of the Book of Gore, chapter 13 verse 1, but with the word “coldest” substituted for “warmest”. And you took the bait hook, line, and sinker, just like I imagined. Outstanding.

    What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

    That is all….

    REPLY: NO more comments on title, please. I’ll delete.

  84. Pingback: NOAA/NCDC: Jan08 Colder than 20th century average « Watts Up With That?

  85. “2008 is projected to be the coolest year in 15 years.”

    You mean, DANGER! DANGER! 2008 projected to be 20th HOTTEST in the last 100 years!

    Do get with the program.

  86. “they were introduced by Johann Jakob Hemmer in the late 18th century, when he was trying to build a “global” network of climate stations.

    “in short, temperature is measured at 7am, 2pm and 9pm with the evening temperature weighted twice in the daily mean. ”

    I.e., if there was a severe T-Min bias (a la LaDochy), that would probably be magnified.

    “(Germany switched to a daily mean calculated from the temperature at every full hour in 2001)”

    That sounds a heck of a lot more rational. But why isn’t there a constant, running mean, considering the temp can now be tracked continually and transmitted automatically by the more advanced machines?

    Thx for the info.

  87. BTW, heat sink bias nails you at T-Max and esp. at T-Min. That’s how US temperatures are calculated.

    Then so what if the CRN biases don’t exist for the other 99% of the time?

  88. In Australia the south and east has been unusually wet this summer, while the north and west has been unusually dry. As most people live in the south and east, the media reports it as a wet summer, but overall its probably been drier than normal. See Rainfall anomaly map.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/rain_maps.cgi?map=contours&variable=anomaly&area=aus&period=cmonth&region=aus&time=latest

    January 2008 was the warmest January on record. This probably reflects the unusually dry north. Wet days are much cooler than dry sunny days in the Australian summer.

    Cyclone activity has been very low. This year could well be a record low. Still a fews weeks to go in the season.

  89. Thank you for this post. It has been educational to read the discussion as well. I still think that you are missing the most important effect of all: The Nobel Reversal. This is the almost immediate phenomenon that follows awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize: total and abject reversal. Notables such as Kissinger, Arafat, Carter and Anan had their “causes” completely demolished shortly after their Nobels were awarded for their efforts. Winners for 2007: Al Gore and the IPCC. Will history repeat?

    /severe sarcasm/

  90. Pingback: BobKrumm.com » Politicizing a tragedy

  91. Pingback: Borg Blog » Blog Archive » Think January Was Cold?

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  94. Al Gore was right! See what all the attention to global warming has done. We’ve managed to cut the temp. by this much in such a short time. Now we have to decide what the appropriate world temperature is so if it gets too cold, we can warm things up. Let’s turn the project over to the UN.

    MODERATOR REPLY: “We’ve managed to cut the temp. by this much in such a short time.” I’d point out that “We” haven’t done anything. The driver of the cooling are natural processes.

  95. The “La Nina” continues to strengthen. I think it is becoming safe to say, this is more than a La Nina. Longer period oscillations are also exerting cooling, superimposed on La Nina. As noted on the newer thread, how low will we go?

    For this reason, combined with macro economic and geopolitical ones, for the remainder of this calendar year I shall be topping off my preps. YMMV.

  96. This information needs to be sent to the editorial staff of the New York Times and Washington Post to educate them in the areas of science and analytical thinking.

  97. Pingback: William M. Briggs, Statistician » How to look at the RSS satellite-derived temperature data

  98. Pingback: GISS Land-Ocean Index dives in Jan08, matches trends for UAH and RSS satellite data « Watts Up With That?

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  100. I have noticed from viewing Noaa Ice growth this winter is greater than last winter.

    And reports said last winter Arctic Ice grew 100,000 sq miles larger than the year before. This winter the Arctic looks to have 100,000s of thousands of square miles more than last year. You can see for yourself if you compare these two sites side by side on your monitor.

    NOAA Satelite And Information service http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/SNOW/

    Feb, 13, 2008 arctic ice. http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/SNOW/DATA/cursnow_alaska.gif

    Feb, 13, 2007 arctic ice http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/SNOW/DATA/cursnow_alaska.gif

    Arctic ice growth http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070404162259.htm
    While this storys Headline is a shocker. If you read the amount of ice growth in 2007 was 100,000 more last year than 2006

  101. Pingback: Jan '08 second coldest in 15 years - Page 4 - PriusChat Forums

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  104. If you look for references of supporting data of An Inconvienient Truth” you will not find them in the book, only 2 pages of acknowlegements. When I look at the references for”The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming” by Christopher C. Horner I find 35 pages. This is an inconvienient fact which speaks volumes about which book is most factual.

  105. Pingback: Climate in Jan/Feb 2008: Wait a minute at Nebraska Engineer

  106. Pingback: Another Global Temp Index Dives in Jan08, this time HadCRUT « Watts Up With That?

  107. Pingback: Carl’s Corner » Blog Archive » Global Temperatures Nosedive!

  108. Global warming stopped in 2008? Someone used the exact same `method’ — drawing a straight line through 2 points and calling it a `trend’ — and `showed’ that global warming stopped in 1998! I guess that didn’t happen after all, otherwise our denialist (um, `skeptic’) brethren wouldn’t have to adjust the `end date’.

    Which, of course, goes to show just how totally, absolutitiously reliable this particular `method’ is.

    REPLY: FYI The website you reference with your post URL http://globaldumbing.tk/ won’t load.

  109. More proof our earth goes through cycles. You morons spending billions of dollars on something that doesn’t exist. I say we start studying global cooling. If you belive in global warming you can go stand outside for 1 hour butt naked in antartica.

  110. Never mind the warming vs. cooling debate…let’s get to the real question.

    “If there is Global Warming money to be made via Carbon Offsets/Hybrid Cars/Energy Star Appliances/Compact Flourecent Lights/etc, what is the value stream associated with Global Cooling?”

  111. 2007, colder than 2006! (but co2 increased in atmosphere…). Kyoto is one of the biggest lies of the History. U.N. promoves the GLOBAL ECOSUBMISSION / ECOBORREGUISMO. Thanks. 05/04/08

  112. I don’t believe that a century even constitutes a trend. Look at the Medieval warm period and little ice age. They lasted 300+ years. When you see the graphs of the Vostok core data they neglect to tell you that the samples are 3-6000 years apart. How many warm and cold periods could there have been within those missing samples? Now we’re concerned with a 100 year trend?

    Even the temps during the little ice age and Medieval warm period are derived from proxy data. Any data that is measured directly from modern instruments should never be graphed against proxy data to begin with. What is the margin of error for proxy data?

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