Australia’s white summer, Monbiot’s red fury

Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow

Snow and ice covering buildings and cars at Mount Hotham as snow fell in Australia

Excerpts from Physorg.com

Snow and ice covering buildings and cars on December 19, 2010 at Mount Hotham,Victoria, as snow fell in Australia. The usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas. Snow has fallen in parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria.

Snow fell in Australia on Monday, as the usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas.

Snow has fallen in parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria, leaving ski resorts — some of which are usually snow-free at this time of year — with dumps of up to 10 centimetres (four inches).

“It’s white, everything is white,” Michelle Lovius, the general manager of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel at Charlotte Pass told AFP.

Lovius said such an amount of snow was unusual for early December, normally the peak of the wildflower season in the New South Wales mountain region.

Further south in Victoria state, Mt Hotham had 10 centimetres of snow on Sunday and Mt Buller up to five centimetres, Victorian Snow Report spokeswoman Maureen Gearon said.

http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/gfx/news/hires/1-snowandiceco.jpg

Snow and ice covering buildings and ski lifts at Mount Hotham, Victoria, December 19, 2010 as snow fell in Australia.

The cold blasts carried through to Sydney, where the temperature fell to 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) early Monday, and dipped to 9.8 Celsius in the city’s west while winds of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) an hour are forecast for much of the state’s coastline.

It was a different story on Australia’s west coast, where the worst flooding in 50 years isolated the town of Carnarvon, 900 kilometres north of Perth.

===================================================

Here’s some data:

All that rain seen in the plot above happened before the December flooding mentioned above…and the temperature today? Hardly summerlike continent-wide:

Townsville in the Northeast was balmy (isn’t it always?) but the vast majority of the country was well below normal. Bear in mind, this isn’t just a few stations at a few cities. I got a healthy respect for the size of the continent when I gave my tour with David Archibald in June. This can help you visualize the size:

Image from Mr_P’s blog here

Meanwhile, George Monbiot with the help of the kids at the “Climate Rapid Response Team”, try to argue that the cold and snow in England is a localized event.

George helpfully provides a link to NASA GISS’s map generator along with this hotsy totsy prose:

Last month’s shows a deep blue splodge over Iceland, Spitsbergen, Scandanavia and the UK, and another over the western US and eastern Pacific. Temperatures in these regions were between 0.5C and 4C colder than the November average from 1951 and 1980. But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual. Nasa’s Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9.

Here’s that map, plotted with the defaults at GISS (same link as George provided), showing their world famous 1200km smoothed map, where data is “splodged” to places where there really isn’t any:

The reason there is “no data” is that there are no weather stations in the middle of the Arctic Ocean or Southern Ocean. This is fact, and GISS knows this. Watch carefully for the next image.

As proof of the “no data”issue, let’s plot GISS with 250 KM smoothing, by simply changing the GISSplotter pulldown menu:

Hey, that’s a lot of gray, note the caveat in yellow about missing data:


All the sudden, those “raging fires of orange, red and maroon” don’t look so big, do they George? There’s no reds, oranges or yellows over northern Greenland, or Iceland, or the East Siberian Sea, or most of Africa, and much of Antarctica’s coastline and the southern ocean.

In fact, a lot of those isolated red and maroon splotches in Greenland, Canada, and Russia are single data points. Yep, GISS takes data from these stations and smears the effect writ large on the 1200KM smoothing map. Journalists like yourself often don’t notice, they simply see the issue in shades of smeared red.

And guess what George? In those remote locations like Nuuk, Greenland, (see arrow, under a red splotch in SW Greenland) what have we there? Remote pockets of humanity. Humanity building little cities of warmth in the cold Arctic, growing cities:

With 15,469 inhabitants as of 2010, Nuuk is the fastest-growing town in Greenland, with migrants from the smaller towns and settlements reinforcing the trend. Together with Tasiilaq, it is the only town in the Sermersooq municipality exhibiting stable growth patterns over the last two decades. The population increased by over a quarter relative to the 1990 levels, and by nearly 16 percent relative to the 2000 levels.

Nuuk population dynamics

Nuuk population growth dynamics in the last two decades. Source: Statistics Greenland

Nuuk is not only a growing city, where UHI might now be a factor (but don’t take my word for it, see what NASA had to say about it at AGU this year), it is also a place where the official GHCN thermometers used by NASA are right next to human influences…like  turboprop jet exhaust, such as this one in Nuuk’s airport right on the tarmac:

 

Nuuk Airport looking Southwest Image: Panaramio via Google Earth

 

Nuuk Airport, Stevenson Screen. Image from Webshots – click to enlarge

Hmmm, I wonder what happened in Nuuk? The plot below is from NASA GISS (see it yourself here). No wonder George sees red dots on the map in Greenland. That “instant global warming” line seems out of character for natural variation in Nuuk. Note the data discontinuity. Often that suggests a station move.

And here’s the interesting thing. Nuuk is just one data point, one “raging red” anomaly in the sparsely spaced hands-on-human-measured NASA GISS surface temperature dataset for the Arctic. The patterns of warm pockets of humanity with airports and GHCN stations repeat themselves all over the Arctic, because as anyone who has visited the Arctic knows, aviation is the lifeline of these remote communities. And where do they measure the weather data? At the airport of course. Aviation doesn’t work otherwise.

See my complete report on the weird temperatures from Nuuk here. And while you are at it George, read my report about the weird temperatures from Svalbaard, another warm single data point from NASA GISS. Interestingly, at that station a local citizen did some science and proved the UHI effect at the airport.

Yes these are just two examples. But there is no denying these facts:

  • Remote communities in the Arctic are islands of anthropogenic warmth
  • These communities rely of aviation as a lifeline
  • The weather is measured at these airports, it is required for safety
  • Airports release huge amounts of waste heat, from exhaust, de-icing, terminal buildings, and even tarmac in the sun.
  • The majority of GHCN weather stations (used by NASA GISS) in the Arctic are at airports.

So, George,  when using NASA GISS to prove to your readers that warm pocket weather patterns elsewhere cause cold in England:

There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.

The global temperature maps published by Nasa present a striking picture.

But on either side of these cool blue pools are raging fires of orange, red and maroon: the temperatures in western Greenland, northern Canada and Siberia were between 2C and 10C higher than usual.

Remember Nuuk and Svalbarrd’s thermometers, and then ask Jim Hansen why NASA GISS, a “space studies agency”, doesn’t use satellite data but instead relies upon a surface record that another division of NASA says likely has significant UHI effects that NASA GISS doesn’t filter out sensibly (they only allow for 0.05°C downward adjustment).

Be careful of the colors, George.

Speaking of colors, George doesn’t dare link/show you this image of the monster La Niña though (or maybe he’s simply unaware), where there’s scads of actual satellite measured data:

Look at all that colder water surrounding Britain, look at the size of the Pacific La Niña and the swath in the Atlantic of cool water and compare it to the size of Britain. That splotch of red by Greenland may be partly due to a somewhat persistent blocking high, much like the one that caused the heat wave in Russia this year.

Since George argues with colors, how about this one from UNISYS? No “raging fires of orange, red and maroon” on this one, but there are some warm pockets south of Greenland. The Pacific Warm Pool north of Australia even seems anemic.

 

UNISYS Current Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Plot – click to enlarge

The oceans are the biggest heat sink on the planet, and there are no cities, no airports, no asphalt sea surfaces to bias the data. There’s no immediate human influence on the sea surface where the satellites look. The sea tells a different story that the human touched thermometers on land at airports, and the sea has no reason to boast its temperature.

The sea — this truth must be confessed — has no generosity. No display of manly qualities — courage, hardihood, endurance, faithfulness — has ever been known to touch its irresponsible consciousness of power. - Joesph Conrad

So George, I ask you: “hottest year ever” or “hottest year at the airport”?

For more on La Niña and its effects in our current year, have a look here, particularly the Nino3.4 graph.

I should add this: I’m not denying that we’ve had a warm year. In fact we started out 2010 with a strong El Niño and ended with a strong La Niña, as illustrated here:

In the space of a single year, we’ve had a complete reversal. The forecast is for it to go even lower:

So in cooler times ahead in the dip of La Niña, the question is this: will we still see those “raging fires of orange, red and maroon” in the Arctic? NASA GISS history during the peak of the 2008 La Niña suggests we very well might:

Addendum 12/22

I added this in comments, so I’ll add it here also:

And finally, can you really trust data from an organization that takes incoming data for that station and shifts it more than an entire degree C in the past, making a new trend? See the difference between “raw” (which really isn’t raw, it has a scads of adjustments already from NOAA) compared to the GISS final output in this chart:

The data is downloaded from GISS for the station, datasets 1 and 2 were used (raw-combined for this location and homogenized) which are available from the station selector via a link to data below the charts they make on the GISS website. The data is plotted up to the data continuity break, and again after. The trend lines are plotted to the data continuity break, and there’s no trend in the raw data for the last 100+ years.

The curious thing is that there’s no trend in the raw data at Nuuk until you do either (or both) of two things:

1. You use GISS homogenized data to plot the trend
2. You use the data after the discontinuity to plot the trend

I believe the data discontinuity represents a station move, one that exposed it to a warmer local environment. And clearly, by examining the GISS data for Nuuk, you can see that GISS adds adjustments that are not part of the measured reality. What justification could there possibly be to adjust the temperatures of the past downwards? What justification in a growing community (as shown by the population curve) could there be for doing an adjustment that is reverse of waste energy UHI?

Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow

December 20, 2010 Snow and ice covering buildings and cars at Mount Hotham as snow fell in AustraliaEnlarge

Snow and ice covering buildings and cars on December 19, 2010 at Mount Hotham,Victoria, as snow fell in Australia. The usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas. Snow has fallen in parts of east coast states New South Wales and Victoria.

Snow fell in Australia on Monday, as the usual hot and summery December weather was replaced in parts by icy gusts sweeping up from the Southern Ocean, giving the country a taste of a white Christmas.

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Snow has fallen in parts of east coast states and Victoria, leaving ski resorts — some of which are usually snow-free at this time of year — with dumps of up to 10 centimetres (four inches).

“It’s white, everything is white,” Michelle Lovius, the general manager of the Kosciuszko Chalet Hotel at Charlotte Pass told AFP.

“First thing this morning everything was just very still, very peaceful and every single thing was just blanketed in a thick cover of white.”

Lovius said such an amount of was unusual for early December, normally the peak of the wildflower season in the New South Wales mountain region.

“We’re hoping that it (the cold) stays in for five days and we get a white ,” she said.

Further south in Victoria state, Mt Hotham had 10 centimetres of snow on Sunday and Mt Buller up to five centimetres, Victorian Snow Report spokeswoman Maureen Gearon said.

“It is a blanket of white, which is beautiful at this time of year. People are out in their Santa hats taking photos in the snow,” Gearon told Australian news agency AAP.

Snow and ice covering buildings and ski lifts at Mount Hotham, Victoria
Enlarge

Snow and ice covering buildings and ski lifts at Mount Hotham, Victoria, December 19, 2010 as snow fell in Australia. The cold blasts carried through to Sydney, where the temperature fell to 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) early Monday, and dipped to 9.8 Celsius in the city’s west

The cold blasts carried through to Sydney, where the temperature fell to 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit) early Monday, and dipped to 9.8 Celsius in the city’s west while winds of up to 100 kilometres (62 miles) an hour are forecast for much of the state’s coastline.It was a different story on Australia’s west coast, where the worst flooding in 50 years isolated the town of Carnarvon, 900 kilometres north of Perth.

Weather experts said it was not unusual for to experience chilly weather in eastern states in early December, as cold winds from deep in the Southern Oceans sweep upwards.

“It’s not uncommon to get a dusting of snow along the higher peaks of New South Wales and Victoria every couple of years (at this time),” Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Grant Beard told AFP.

Gearon agreed, saying that in previous years, those on the Victorian snowfields had been “having cocktails in the sun one day and skiing the next”.

(c) 2010 AFP

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172 thoughts on “Australia’s white summer, Monbiot’s red fury

  1. “There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.”

    That sounds suspiciously close to being a refutation of one of the laws of thermodynamics.

  2. Talking about bad timing: in the abstract “The reduction in snow cover in the twenty-first century relative to the twentieth century …” LOL

    Alexander, Michael A., Robert Tomas, Clara Deser, David M. Lawrence, 2010: The Atmospheric Response to Projected Terrestrial Snow Changes in the Late Twenty-First Century. J. Climate, 23, 6430–6437.

    The Atmospheric Response to Projected Terrestrial Snow Changes in the Late Twenty-First Century

    Michael A. Alexander
    NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, * Boulder, Colorado

    Robert Tomas, Clara Deser, and David M. Lawrence
    National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

    Abstract

    Two atmospheric general circulation model experiments are conducted with specified terrestrial snow conditions representative of 1980–99 and 2080–99. The snow states are obtained from twentieth-century and twenty-first-century coupled climate model integrations under increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Sea surface temperatures, sea ice, and greenhouse gas concentrations are set to 1980–99 values in both atmospheric model experiments to isolate the effect of the snow changes. The reduction in snow cover in the twenty-first century relative to the twentieth century increases the solar radiation absorbed by the surface, and it enhances the upward longwave radiation and latent and sensible fluxes that warm the overlying atmosphere. The maximum twenty-first-century minus twentieth-century surface air temperature (SAT) differences are relatively small (<3°C) compared with those due to Arctic sea ice changes (10°C). However, they are continental in scale and are largest in fall and spring, when they make a significant contribution to the overall warming over Eurasia and North America in the twenty-first century. The circulation response to the snow changes, while of modest amplitude, involves multiple components, including a local low-level trough, remote Rossby wave trains, an annular pattern that is strongest in the stratosphere, and a hemispheric increase in geopotential height.

    Keywords: Snow cover, General circulation models, Atmospheric circulation, Climate models

    Received: June 18, 2010; Accepted: August 3, 2010

    Another fast acceptance…

  3. Andrew, a new smear campaign against global warming skeptics seems to have started here:

    http://globalwarmingsuperheroes.com/

    The domain was registered in the UK at:

    Registration Service Provider:
    Fasthosts Internet Limited, domains@fasthosts.co.uk
    +44.8708883600
    +44.8708883760 (fax)

    http://www.Fasthosts.co.uk

    Note the registration date: Record created on 14-Oct-2010
    ===

    You can try contacting the owners of globalwarmingsuperheroes.com here:

    https://rr-n1-tor.opensrs.net/wp_mailer/

    Just paste in globalwarmingsuperheroes.com, fill in the captcha, and you’ll get a form to contact the globalwarmingsuperheroes.com admin.

    ===
    globalwarmingsuperheroes.com
    Globalwarmingsuperheroes.com is a domain controlled by three name servers at livedns.co.uk. All three of them are on the same IP network. The primary name server is ns1.livedns.co.uk. Incoming mail for globalwarmingsuperheroes.com is handled by one mail server at globalwarmingsuperheroes.com themselves. globalwarmingsuperheroes.com has one IP number (213.171.218.7).
    More information
    You might also be interested in administrator.globalwarmingsuperheros.com.
    Search for globalwarmingsuperheroes.com.
    ===

    Any way for UK readers to find out who is behind this?

  4. we live outside sydney and I bought a new a/c unit two months ago to be ready for the hottest summer on record we are told every day ” because of global warming” and I have so far had the heating on only .????????? all we want is our gov,t to come out and tell us it was just one big FRAUD

  5. According to the UAH ocean data, the oceans this year have been plenty hot. While it has cooled a little in the last two months, the 12-month running average is still the 6th warmest out of the 372 sets of 12-month periods in the record. The 12-month period ending at the end of September was the second warmest such period in the record. So, this year has seen a pretty warm ocean.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

  6. Lew Skannen says on December 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    “There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.”

    That sounds suspiciously close to being a refutation of one of the laws of thermodynamics.

    Nah. They are simply trying to apply the law of conservation of energy. As in:

    If it’s f*cking cold here it must be f*cking hot somewhere else.

  7. Well, the record warm at Nuuk is blamed on UHI , but the sea surface temperatures near Greenland are also warm, and also the surface temperatures as measured by satellites:

    “Arctic Oscillation Chills US and Europe”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=47880

    Here it is said:

    “This image shows the temperature of the land surface for December 3-10, 2010, compared to the average temperature for the same period between 2002 and 2009. The measurements are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
    Clearly, 2010 was cooler than average in northern Europe and the eastern United States. Greenland and parts of northern Canada, however, were exceptionally warm. This temperature pattern was caused by the Arctic Oscillation.”

    So this “sea of red” is confirmed by satellites. Maybe there is some UHI at Nuuk, but very likely on top of a broad warm weather over Greenland (I said “very likely” and not “certain” because the GISTEMP map is from November, and the NASA OBSERVATORY map is from December).

    The SST anomaly map also show large areas of warm waters in the Tropical Atlantic, the West Pacific-East Indian Oceans and the sea between Greenland and Canada.

    And 2010 so far is a very warm year according to RSS and UAH lower troposphere temperatures measured by satellites. It is second warmest in RSS dataset and almost equal to the record warm year of 1998 in UAH dataset.

  8. The ‘Flaming Moonbat’ (<-snip if you must, but it is too damn funny) forgot to mention that the twin pools of red are the holy fire Iran is holding the West at bay with and the searing sea of fire that DPRK continues to threaten retaliation with. Funny how they disappear under scrutiny. These are also the areas where the cold are coming from, so there is that little tidbit.

  9. this sounded interesting….until I read the end of the article on PhysOrg. Makes it a little less clear just how much of anomaly this is. Maybe the anomaly is the scope of the anomalies continent-wide?:

    Weather experts said it was not unusual for Australia to experience chilly weather in eastern states in early December, as cold winds from deep in the Southern Oceans sweep upwards.

    “It’s not uncommon to get a dusting of snow along the higher peaks of New South Wales and Victoria every couple of years (at this time),” Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Grant Beard told AFP.

    Gearon agreed, saying that in previous years, those on the Victorian snowfields had been “having cocktails in the sun one day and skiing the next”.

  10. “Monbiot” and others like him must have been graduates from the “Baghdad Bob’s School of Ethics”…

  11. from mars said “It is second warmest in RSS dataset and almost equal to the record warm year of 1998 in UAH dataset.”

    —————
    from mars,
    For those of us that don’t speak martian, could you clarify what “almost equal to” means and what you would like us to infer from what you say?

  12. Wow, that Nuuk airport is SO BUSY it kept Hudson Bay ice-free well into December. Impressive.

    Sorry, polar bears, the reason you’re breaking through the ice and drowning is not anthropogenic climate change, but because of ARCTIC AIRPORTS. We know that knowledge will make you feel better, somehow.

    REPLY: Heh. Um, in case nobody has told you, polar bears car swim for miles in Arctic water. But don’t let that stop you from regurgitating a rant learned elsewhere. Feel free to provide a mortality report on the number of drowned polar bears to backup your claim though. – Anthony

  13. David Gould says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    “According to the UAH ocean data, the oceans this year have been plenty hot. While it has cooled a little in the last two months, the 12-month running average is still the 6th warmest out of the 372 sets of 12-month periods in the record. The 12-month period ending at the end of September was the second warmest such period in the record. So, this year has seen a pretty warm ocean.”

    Are you implying that we have a 372 year record or are you living in a cherry orchard? This cold weather is the pits.

  14. from mars says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    It is second warmest in RSS dataset and almost equal to the record warm year of 1998 in UAH dataset.

    Second place is the first loser. ‘Almost equal’ sounds like you are trying to say ‘military intelligence’ or ‘Microsoft Works’.

  15. Concerned…

    I really do not think that one should be looking at cartoons here -

    http://globalwarmingsuperheroes.com/

    - anonymous trolls, probably from greenpeace, attempting to vilify evidence, let alone existing data to suit their own warped ambitions.
    Once again, we see this mob in ‘attack mode’ because they can do little else.
    Utter garbage.

    REPLY: No more of this off topic discussion please – Anthony

  16. In Tasmania today its cool to cold with snow falling to 900 meters, which is a little unusual for this time of year, but there is precedence.

    When surgeon-general John White first saw the west coast of Tasmania in January 1788, ‘we were surprised to see, at this season of the year, some small patches of snow.’

  17. Since when have we been using 7-year averages? WUWT?

    Nasa’s Arctic oscillations map for 3-10 December shows that parts of Baffin Island and central Greenland were 15C warmer than the average for 2002-9.

  18. Crikey boomerang billabong vegemite!

    PS – Does anyone know where I can get an Australian-to-English dictionary so I can understand what those blokes are talking about?

  19. raging fires of orange, red and maroon

    The colors are (or ought to be) selected for good cartographic presentation. As they do seem to be selected to show “rage” we might conclude that good science has been given the heave-ho.

    Kate at 8:52 pm makes a good point also. I think these are not Mercator projections, but similar in area distortion. From the GISS page for the map, this one is called “regular” – that’s funny!
    These may be “Miller Cylindrical” centered on Africa.

    http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/MapProjections/projections.html

    Just as you have done with the outline of OZ on the US and Europe, you might trace the outline of Greenland on Australia. It is a shame that more classrooms do not have globes – they are costly – as these area relationships are difficult to grasp on the world maps used.

  20. ..from Australia

    “I’m dreaming of a white christmas..

    ..just like the one I’ve never known”

    Even if it snows at the MCG.. we will still beat the English.

  21. When we next hear of polar bears I trust the person will comment on

    the number of bears thought to have existed 40 years ago and the number now;
    Also, document historic hunting practices and how the following changed those practices:
    the modern hunting rifle;
    snow mobiles;
    small aircraft

  22. morgo says:
    we live outside sydney and I bought a new a/c unit two months ago to be ready for the hottest summer on record we are told every day ” because of global warming” and I have so far had the heating on only .????????? all we want is our gov,t to come out and tell us it was just one big FRAUD

    Heh. I work for an Air Conditioning company, and we’ve seen our sales crash well short of projections simply because of the lack of summer.

    I’ve been chatting with the owners, saying that maybe we should be promoting the dehumidifying features rather than the cooling features.

  23. When I was in Australia in 2008, the media their kept trumpeting AGW and drought. The rains were horrendous and the Murray River Basin was flooding to an extent not seen in 15 years. Yet the MSM was talking drought. These people are daft.

  24. One has to be a littel careful with average T graphs for Australia because the average temperature is closely related to amount of cloud cover which varies greatly between drought years and wet years. (As in Australia the saying is “it never rains but it pours”).

    The current drought in WA means very low cloud cover which naturally pushes average T up, and in the last 10 years until this one average T has been higher in Eastern States partly due to the long drought which naturally means lower cloud cover, and higher average T.

    This was acknowledged by criticisims of the CSIRO and others who inflated interpretations of average T without noting influence of cloud cover.

    Also, the Murray Darling Basin is experiencing record rains this year, just about the time bureaucrats want to steal water long term from farmers for “river health” (within the context of a natural and not unusally long drought), just because the last ~10 years have been very dry. Of course, its all climate change, and the linear drought is supposed to continue, but somebody forgot to tell mother nature this year, with the Murray Darling having record rains.

  25. @Henry (8:57 pm):
    “ …’It’s not uncommon to get a dusting of snow along the higher peaks of New South Wales and Victoria every couple of years (at this time),’ Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Grant Beard told AFP…..”

    That’s true, there have been instances of ill-equipped hikers perishing in the high country in December after being caught by sudden snow and freezing temperatures.

    However, below average temperatures have been the norm over most of the continent, for most of the year (click through the ‘period’ menu):

    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/temp/index.jsp?colour=colour&time=latest&step=0&map=maxanom&period=week&area=nat

    The anomaly maps show the departure from the long-term climate average calculated over the period 1971-2000 which has been acknowledged by the BOM to be a product of natural and UHI forcing:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6619

  26. Anthony, I think Engchamp may be a bot. I have seen bots rip words from other places and try to form cogent sentences like the one put together in that post. I could be wrong, though.

  27. Charles says:
    December 20, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Wow, that Nuuk airport is SO BUSY it kept Hudson Bay ice-free well into December. Impressive.

    That’s all you’ve got, isn’t it. Or maybe you’ll bring up Russia, or Philadelphia. A few of you will even bring up Dick Cheney (still don’t know why some of you do that).

    The warmth from Hudson Bay, in Canada, to Greenland is from left over warmth (mainly) from El Nino. That warmth is dissipating. At this time next year your global warming movement won’t even have the Hudson Bay to try to “prove” global warming with. At that point what will you do?

    What’s it going to take to make “global warming” believers stop believing??

  28. Oliver Ramsay says:
    December 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    “For those of us that don’t speak martian, could you clarify what “almost equal to” means and what you would like us to infer from what you say?”

    Dave F says:
    December 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    “Second place is the first loser. ‘Almost equal’ sounds like you are trying to say ‘military intelligence’ or ‘Microsoft Works’”

    Well, Roy Spencer should make it crystal clear:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/12/nov-2010-uah-global-temperature-update-0-38-deg-c/

    The figure clearly shows that 2010 and 1998 are almost equally warm. If you want numbers, Roy Spencer give them:

    “2010 is now in a dead heat with 1998 for warmest year, with the following averages through November:

    1998 +0.538
    2010 +0.526

    December will determine the outcome, but remember that the difference between the two years is not statistically significant”

    Now, 1998 warmth followed a Super El Niño (ONI =+2.5ºC), 2010 warmth followed just a moderate-to-strong El Niño (ONI=+1.8ºC). Obviously, there is a warming trend.

  29. Naw, that’s just more of the cold caused by the hot. Happens all the time…….in models that don’t reflect reality. (Has anyone seen one of those cold because hot predicting models?) It’s kinda like poley bears drowning because they are too buoyant. That happens right after they eat penguins!

  30. Using standard thermodynamic principles, exactly what is the mechanism for:

    “There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.”

    Are they saying that CO2 only warms the planet in certain places and that causes cooling in other places? Are they serious? What universe do these “scientists” live in? Obviously one that isn’t controlled by the physics that govern this one.

    By the way, there’s a serious problem with the data shown for Pennsylvania. Our temperatures all Dec. have been about 10-15 degrees F. below normal, yet the map shows orange. I guess that’s the average for the year but Moonbats comment makes it sound like the map is a snapshot for Dec.

  31. I gave up attempting to comment on articles by Monbiot, or anything else published at the Grauniad, after having had a number of comments censored. One particular piece of censorship was what provided the final discouragement of my efforts.

    What was it I had posted which was so inflammatory that it required removal by their censors? It was a comment containing nothing more than a single URL, pointing to an earlier article on their very own Web site which had the temerity to factually contradict the article they had just published.

    Anyone who won’t allow you to quote their own words back at them in debate really isn’t interested in debate at all. All they are doing is shouting from atop a soapbox.

  32. Last century it wasn’t unusual for the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to be disrupted by cold rainy conditions. Hasn’t happened much in the 21st yet. They are forecasting some chance of rain on Boxing Day and the 27th. If so, that will be highly scientific evidence of the commencement of the descent of world temperatures from their end of millenium peak. Let’s hope not though – we wouldn’t want the “South African Invitational XI” to be able to “hide the decline” that started in Perth.

  33. from mars says:
    December 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Now, 1998 warmth followed a Super El Niño (ONI =+2.5ºC), 2010 warmth followed just a moderate-to-strong El Niño (ONI=+1.8ºC). Obviously, there is a warming trend.

    Yeah. A warming trend. That leads to an ‘almost equal’ warmth. Had you said ‘statistically indifferent’ or some such thin, I’d have ignored it. Almost equal is like calling a woman a little pregnant. It doesn’t work. Of course, since you are on statistical significance, we will be at how many years with no statistically significant warming if this year proves to be .05 ahead of 1998?

  34. Colder in [insert your favourite European locale] means it’s getting hotter somewhere else… so say the armchair global temperature experts.

    Show me where all this heat has gone to, armchair experts. Not Australia. Not North America. Asia? Africa? Actual measured heat content please, not models or proxies.

    The capacity for humans to delude themselves never ceases to amaze.

  35. Dave F says:
    December 20, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Obviously, there is a warming trend.

    You mention statistical significance. Then you conclude by saying there is obvious warming. But there is no obvious warming since 1998. You haven’t taken the time to think that through. You cannot determine if there is warming or cooling at this point since 1998. That time which starts with an El Nino spike was immediately followed by a La Nina. That La Nina completed. And we are currently in a La Nina. But the La Nina has not completed. It may take a year, or more, to complete. It would only be fair to wait for its cooling effect to take its course before determining what has been happening with temperature since 1998. It seems to be wrong to include the 1999 La Nina but not the current one. The completed cooling from this current La Nina would make you change your conclusion of obvious warming.

    What could end up happening is that it may be 17 years of nothing statistically significant happening either way, warming or cooling. But I think I can say now you will not see obvious warming.

    Everything is relevant.

  36. David Gould says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    According to the UAH ocean data, the oceans this year have been plenty hot. While it has cooled a little in the last two months, the 12-month running average is still the 6th warmest out of the 372 sets of 12-month periods in the record. The 12-month period ending at the end of September was the second warmest such period in the record. So, this year has seen a pretty warm ocean.

    Which is to be expected given the strong sustained El Nino that dominated most of the year. It is a very different story now.

    Great article Anthony, I enjoyed the “stick it to George section”. He wont be the only one with egg on his face in the coming months.

  37. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    December 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    You haven’t taken the time to think that through.

    You haven’t taken the time to read that entire post and the one it was quoting. The devil is in the details, and the details are in the citations. I did not say what you are attributing to me. Be more careful next time please. Thank you.

  38. Well this is easily explained. You’ve all heard the phrase ‘too cold to snow’. Well normally in Decemeber in Australia it is too cold to snow so hence it must be warming.

  39. Anthony
    The last time I can remember it being so cold in Sydney just before Chrismas, was in the 1940′s, just at the end of the long drought then ending and the beginning of the wetter, cooler cycle. (Just like now in fact!)

    So, on the one hand there is nothing new in this very cold snap in what should be summer – just unusual but quite normal.

    On the other hand there is NOTHING NEW here.
    There is no evidence that Sydney has warmed up during the intervening 60 plus years.
    We have just gone through another 60 plus year cycle.

    I will come at that from a different angle (UHI) in a separate post.

  40. It is worth noting for the some readers that Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere and that in December it is Summer.

    Indeed, tomorrow is the Summer Solstice.

    Snow down to 1200 meters in Victoria is cold for the second week of December. We have been know to have days in past years over 100 deg F (about 42 deg C).

  41. Lew Skannen says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Indeed. If you conduct an experiment in a large room at 10C, heat a wood fire at a temperature for 1 hour and raise the ambient temperature to 17C, extinguish the fire, its likely that there will be slightly different temperatures throughout the room, the immediate vicinity being the warmest for the first 15 minutes. Several hours after the fire is out the source might be the coolest part and the temperature might recede back to its 10C starting point.

    It is impossible that anywhere in the room will freeze (dip below zeroC) however, due to the convectional currents of heat from the fire itself.

  42. Like another commenter above, I live in Tasmania. The Bureau of Meteorology tells us that Hobart has had its hottest year ever. Well, yes, we had one of our rare, beautiful hot summers at the beginning of the year. Winter was supposed to be warm too, but we ran through the firewood faster than ever before. There have been many nights the last couple of months where I’d have lit the fire if I hadn’t run out of wood, and tonight would be another one. I’m sure their thermometers must be accurate, but they don’t seem to reflect reality where I live, out of town, which certainly has no heat island effect. The last couple of months I’ve seen more clouds than I have seen for a long long time. Clouds stacked on clouds. Clouds hanging on hilltops. Cloud hanging in valleys. Clouds clouds clouds. Maybe those muons are doing something.

  43. Thanks for the maps, Anthony. Because Australia is so large, and surrounded by oceans to boot, talk of a national climate is pretty meaningless. There is always somewhere in drought, somewhere in flood, somewhere where it is hotter or colder than the ‘average’.

    As I and others have said over the last few days, snow in the high country in December is unusual, but far from unprecedented. This is the second time in the last 15 years or so that it has happened.

    Any English readers wishing to enjoy some cricket and above zero weather are most welcome – if you can get out of Heathrow!

  44. Anthony,
    more about the cold spell in Sydney and much of Australia and the very wet spell now covering almost of our quite large continent.

    The long term trend in maximum temperature at Sydney Observatory Hill was constant from 1866 to 1957 which is 90 odd years (save for the normaly zigzag fluctiations).

    Now you will remember from your visit that the thermometer is poorly sited, being sheltered by buildings from all directions bar the east.
    You may not know that for much of the year the prevailing wind comes from the west.
    In the summer months, the wind springs round to the east and bathes the theromometer with cooling ocean breezes.
    That however did not have and visable impact on the monthly data during that 90 odd year period.
    There was no visable temperature trend for any month in the year.

    You may remmeber that the theromoeter is in the middle of the Circluar Cut of the CAhill Expressway and is less than 10 metres from thhe traffic on the harbour bridge.
    THis circluar cut was opened for treaafic in March 1958 and from then on the temperature began to rise rapidly due to the ensuing UHI from the cars.
    From then on, there was a statistically significant difference in the rate of annual temperature increase – least increaser in summer months when the cool east winds blow and most in the depth of winter.

    So the cause, timing and magnitude of UHI can be clearly tabulated in Sydney.

    I have also definitely traced the onset of UHI in Adelaide to a change in location of the thermometer.
    I can document all this and more if you are interested.

    In short, there does no seem any evidence of any increase in temperature at a number of well scattered Australian locations, other than caused by UHI.

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  46. During the early 1960′s the family would spend Christmas holidays at Thredbo – an alpine village in the Snowy Mountains in southern NSW. We hiked up Mt Crackenback to Mt Kosciusko that still had a snow cap in early January. And it was cold. Imagine that, snow ball fights in the middle of summer.

    And then you could actually drive the automobile up to the summit at Mt Kos. Now it is forbidden by the enviro cops.

    But right now it’s 33 degrees Celsius in Perth, and I expect tonight to be another “quilt” night with the heater on.

    And it’s summer already?

  47. JurajV (11 37 pm):

    Salt is useless when it is this cold and grit is unnecessary. It is quite easy to drive on packed snow when it is below -10, since it is not at all slippery. Where I live in southern Sweden it was -19 Celsius this morning, and there hasn’t been this much snow this early in the season for at least 60 years.

  48. Mike D – You need “Let Stalk Strine” by Prof. Afebec Alauder (or was it Afebeca Lauder?) if it’s still in print.

  49. the reason australian papers do not report all the facts on global cooling or warming the labour gov,t gave them a very big tax break running into the millons to only report the labour gov,t line who are going to slap a carbon tax on just about everything in australia

  50. Mike D.
    At Amazon you can still buy a book called “Let Stalk Strine” by Prof. Afferbeck Lauder.
    Costs a lot now, though. I got one in Newcastle NSW in about 1965 – its still in the house somewhere.

  51. In Melbourne tonight it is cold. We’ve had the heater on the last couple of nights. Usually we have windows open and no heater for 6 months of the year, except when we shut those windows and put the cooling on. Granted we have had snow on the mountains in summer, but its not a frequent thing. And its nowhere near the hottest year here. It’s been a seriously cold winter, colder than the last 20 years based on my recollection and this summer just hasn’t happened yet. We’ve had maybe 2 days over 30 deg C, and normally we’d have had 10 at least by now. Our 15 year drought has been broken and we’ve got floods everywhere. It’s raining almost every day, and overcast most of the time. The weather HAS changed. It’s not a normal La Nina either. It’s way colder and wetter. We were saying, “its good for the dams”, but even after a 15 year drought, we’re now getting really bored with the rain!! Where’s the bl***dy global warming, when you want it?

  52. The warm waters shown both north and south, close to the poles can do two things that are totally against the globe getting warmer.

    They pump moisture into the atmosphere that will end up somewhere as snow because of the cold atmosphere. That it is heading south is not unexpected under the circumstances prevailing.

    That these warm pools are about the only ones left in the oceans and are dumping heat at such a rate, does not auger well for the global warming cause.

    These wayward warm pools are making a bunch of cloud, that together with a sun that seems to be resting after a couple of frenzied cycles, should soon put the kibosh on any further global warming.

  53. el gordo says:
    When surgeon-general John White first saw the west coast of Tasmania in January 1788, ‘we were surprised to see, at this season of the year, some small patches of snow.’

    Didn’t the Dalton Minimum start in 1790, a mere two years later? What was their weather like after Dr. White first saw it?

  54. Nice to see George Monbiot getting skewered by his use of dodgy graphics and even dodgier arguments for warming. The man is nothing more than a silly ranter, but a large number of Guardianistas seem to believe he can walk on water. There is no point in attempting rational debate on climate matters on the Guardian’s CiF as the number of shouty, potty-mouthed posters climb in demanding ‘peer reviewed’ evidence for the smallest and very obvious fact. Cif, in terms of climate discussion, has become a ridiculous parody of what it purports to be.

  55. So far everyone is reporting their local weather is colder than normal. Is there anyone reading this blog that can say right now, where they are, it’s warmer than usual?

  56. RE: David L says:
    December 21, 2010 at 1:46 am
    Is there anyone reading this blog that can say right now, where they are, it’s warmer than usual?

    I am in Tucson and we have had very moderate weather. It has been, given the natural cycles / oscillations in play expected.

    This afternoon I was out at a local park. Some images I took during today’s outing reflect our conditions ……

    http://forums.hannity.com/showpost.php?p=84300321&postcount=394

    http://forums.hannity.com/showpost.php?p=84300401&postcount=395

    http://forums.hannity.com/showpost.php?p=84300471&postcount=397

  57. Lesson 1 in Oz speak

    The name of our country is Austraya.

    One of the reasons Orstrayans talk funny is that many opted to have their teeth removed and replaced by dentures during the 1950′s and 1960′s due to bad dental hygene etc. We talk the way we do because talking using one’s jaw and mouth and precisely enunciating our words our causes the dentures to do embarassing things. Hence the need to talk with minimal mouth gymnastics.

    These days it’s pure laziness since our young people have excellent teeth – but terrible teachers.

  58. The problem with the Australia layover maps is that they don’t really show the relative weather comparisons vis-a-vis the Northern Hemisphere.

    Oz, is afterall, “upside down”, in latitude at least.

    So, for the USA example Darwin would be just south of Havana and Hobart would be just north of Edmonton. Not quite right due to slight off centre of the mapping, but I think my point is made.

    Snow in Mt Bulla Victoria in December is like snow in Denver, Colorada in June. Not impossible, but very rare.

  59. Monbiot is getting a lot of stick for his double standards. I highlighted his duplicity in the comments section and got banned. I got a lot of recommends before the banning. Here is a typical comment from the thread. Sceptics held his feet to the fire. ;o)
    ————–

    Monbiot.com – 14th February 2005
    It is now mid-February, and already I have sown eleven species of vegetable……Winter is no longer the great grey longing of my childhood. The freezes this country suffered in 1982 and 1963 are – unless the Gulf Stream stops – unlikely to recur. Our summers will be long and warm. Across most of the upper northern hemisphere, climate change, so far, has been kind to us.

    In the Guardian yesterday he used the weather argument to show why winter was so bad in the UK. Yet we have:

    Britain’s cold snap does not prove climate science wrong
    Climate sceptics are failing to understand the most basic meteorology – that weather is not the same as climate, and single events are not the same as trends”
    Guardian 6 January, 2010
    George Monbiot and Leo Hickman

    He just can’t see the problem. He has now resorted to desperate grasping at straws in the face of a crumbling theory.

  60. I have read this blog for a couple of years, I do struggle with many of the more technical articles, however, I thought I would post a comment which I hope makes sense.

    Living in Maastricht, the Netherlands for the last 10 years (I am Dutch) one thing that has struck me is the length of the winter period, when I moved here for the first 3 years we had 8 / 10 days of snow each winter, since 2005 the days when it has snowed has increased hugely up to last winters 43 days of snow, this winter we have had 18 days of snow already. We have also seen the days when the temp has not got above 0c rise from 2000′s 8 days up to last years 20 days, this year we have already experienced 12 days when the temp has failed to rise above 0c.

    I am no climate expert but I do start to wonder how long it takes for this continuous record of snow days and ice days increasing before this stops being weather and starts becoming climate?, I would love to hear someone with higher expertise explain this to me (please do so in simple language, my English is not great).

    Finally, I know that WUWT regularly exposed weather stations which are situated in so called ‘hot spots’ well in Maastricht we have a weather station which is positioned next to a set of traffic lights situated next to the A2 motorway, which is the main road for vehicles travelling from Brussels to Amsterdam or Germany. I imagine this also gives incorrect figures when it comes to measuring.

  61. “Australia swaps summer for Christmas snow”

    Isn’t that nice for our Aussie friends!
    Why should they not have a White Christmas, just as we seem to be getting this year – again! Never mind that it is summer down under – surely, everybody is entitled to a White Christmas, no?

    ;-))

  62. David L says:
    December 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

    So far everyone is reporting their local weather is colder than normal. Is there anyone reading this blog that can say right now, where they are, it’s warmer than usual?

    Yes David, here in Broome in NW AUST, it has been above average for the whole year, nothing unusual as half of all years are probably above average. this is due to above average sea temp in the Ocean between here and Indonesia.
    I hope it stays that way. Warmer, that is.

  63. Summer snow on the highlands of south eastern Australia is not in itself an unusual occurrence. But it comes during a year when spring rainfall over much of the continent has been above average and temperatures below average. I don’t suggest there is direct evidence that this is anything more than weather variability, nonetheless it is interesting to note that this weather is contemporaneous with record low temperatures and snow falls in the northern hemisphere.
    Whether the weather here is solely the result of the current La Nina (and the cold phase PDO?) or whether the recent low level of solar activity is beginning to manifest I can’t say. But one thing one thing we can be confident of is that the score or more of billion dollar plus (grants financed) GCMs predicted the exact opposite.

  64. Orkneygal says:
    December 21, 2010 at 2:34 am

    The problem with the Australia layover maps is that they don’t really show the relative weather comparisons vis-a-vis the Northern Hemisphere.

    Oz, is afterall, “upside down”, in latitude at least.
    __________________________________
    Orkneygal
    If I could find which country you come from, or where on this planet, I would sue you for prejudice.

    Australia, and more particularly Tasmania, sits on top of the world.

    You have a Northerncentric way of looking at the world.

    Go out to space and tell me what is North and what is South!

    Cheers
    Denis of Perth

  65. @ Kate McMillan:

    “All hail the power of mercator projections.”

    The main drawback of the Mercator projection is, of course, that it greatly exaggerates the size of countries that are relatively closer to the North or South Pole than to the Equator. The Peters Projection is an “equal area” projection so it represents the sizes of countries correctly but in doing so it distorts their shapes more than the Mercator projection does.

    The Mercator projection exaggerates the size of most wealthy countries and minimises the size of most of the poorer countries in the world. The Peters projection removes that bias and therefore tends to be popular with politically correct types.

    There is no logical reason why political views should affect your views on the causes of climate change, but many of the people who are strong supporters of the theory of AGW tend, like Monbiot, to be quite politically correct. Therefore they should consider using the Peters projection to display global warming but are unlikely to adopt it because that would have the effect of reducing the apparent sizes of the areas where the warming is supposedly taking place.

  66. Tim Nielson ”we wouldn’t want the “South African Invitational XI” to be able to “hide the decline” that started in Perth”

    come on now – what about Eion Morgan. he’s not of South African Origin ! :)

    Lets hope Aus warms up soon. There’s not many things that are more enjoyable than settling down on Christmas Day evening, with a cold turkey & stuffing sandwich, a handfull of ‘pigs in blankets’ & Pint of London Pride in your hand, whilst watching the cricket at the MCG.

    getting a warm feeling just thinking about it………

    Merry Christmas to all.

  67. Richard Sharpe says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    If it’s f*cking cold here it must be f*cking hot somewhere else.

    What’s this? Sharpes Fourth Law of Thermal Dynamics.

  68. Just got love George. Warm causes cold, climate and weather are one and the same (this month only of course). Satellites and ARGO are just tools of the denialist fossil fuel conspiracy and OAP’s just don’t freeze to death in “green” Utopia. Err… sure George.

    If anyone thought they just made s*** up to suit the prevailing wind…

  69. Joseph Sanderson says:
    December 21, 2010 at 2:37 am
    I am no climate expert but I do start to wonder how long it takes for this continuous record of snow days and ice days increasing before this stops being weather and starts becoming climate?,

    Joeseph, it is simple, 1940-1976, 36 years of cooling = weather, 1977-1998 21 years of warming = AGW/CC/CGW/GCD. 1999-2010, 11 years of cooling = weather. Got it now?

  70. Once again, China seems to be completely different than the giss map. nov says anomaly of up to +12 in the north of china, yet-

    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90882/7215264.html

    “The snow fell on the League’s county-level Horqin Right Front Banner at the China-Mongolia border 40 days earlier than is usual , and was the heaviest in 30 years. Snow has accumulated up to 30 cm deep in most part s of the region , and 50 cm in some areas, disrupting the lives of more than 47,600 people here.”

    some nice pics here-

    http://english.sina.com/china/p/2010/1216/352368.html

  71. I thought the IPCC model predicted 1/10th of one degree a year increase, on average. As someone said elsewhere, that would be like calculating the world’s average telephone number, and about as useful. The alarmists are like the Life of Brian crowd – forever looking for signs proving warming through the weather

    http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Life_of_Brian/18.htm

    The weather is their shoe. Unfortunately it won’t behave, its a chaotic system. It isn’t a sign.

  72. This is a Melbourne summer like the summers of the 1950′s … youthful memories… banks of cumulous clouds moving in from the west, (daily,) heavy rain, raincoats, (forget sandals and shorts.) On holiday at the beach, brisk walks along the shore, (very brisk.) If the sun should break through, the family enjoyed the sunshine behind a wind break, (no swimming until February.) So what will I pack this summer, … hmm, do I think it’s worth taking my bathers?

  73. Richard Sharpe says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:54 pm
    old44 says:
    December 21, 2010 at 3:33 am

    There are many similar laws in climate science. Here are a few:

    (1) if (temperature = hot) then (“It’s global warming!!!”) else (“It’s just weather…”)
    (2) if (US annual average temperature >> Historical baseline average) then (“It’s global warming!!!) else (“US is only 2% of the earth’s surface area, ignore the US annual average temperature…”)
    (3) Climate science funding = (Last year’s funding)*(2+political connections factor)+(panic propaganda and press releases)*(“Save the Earth!” enviro-fundrasing + big business “feel good” contributions) – WUWT

  74. I’m working in Atyrau in Kazakhstan and, in a country where it can get down to -40C in winter, it’s only just hovering around zero now. I’ve been told by local people though that this wide variation in December temperature does happen.

  75. >> Concerned

    Thank you for the link to the ‘comic strip’ GlobalSuperWhatevers’.
    I noted with interest this on their ‘Contact Us’ tab

    “We’re really, really busy trying to save humanity at the moment. So if you send us a message we might not reply (especially if you’re a bad guy). God guys might get a response but it does take a while to get these lycra suits on at short notice.”

    Not only is it in keeping with the vacuous thinking and superficial site content but clearly indicates that they are incapable of anything other than biased thinking and are not prepared to engage behind the scenes unless with like-”minded”* individuals.

    I’m sure their typo “God guys” is not an invitation to discourse extensively with persons of spiritual persuasions of many colours, although I am tempted to lay a few divine verses upon them just in the way of playfulness.

    I fail to see how this site will be given much attention by serious climate observers from any persuasion.

    Kindest regards
    N
    * I use the word ‘minded’ here in the kindest and most patronising manner possible given the subjects under discussion.

  76. Dear George,

    As a long time reader of your articles and books, I’m hoping you can clear up a bit of confusion for me.

    You see, I remember back in 1995 you wrote an article called “It’s Happening” in which you bemoaned the fact that people just didn’t seem to make the connection between hot weather and global warming:

    “We’ve all heard about global warming. Most of us are aware that the world has basked in nine of its ten warmest recorded years since the early 1980s, and everyone knows that our own summers have been exceptional. But these considerations don’t seem to connect in our heads. When two Englishmen meet, they talk about the weather, but somehow they seem to have missed the point.”

    You can remind yourself about what you said on your own blog here:

    http://www.monbiot.com/archives/1995/12/14/its-happening/

    So I don’t understand why you are now exasperated that people draw conclusions about climate change from the local weather – isn’t this exactly what your were calling for all those years ago?

    Here’s hoping you can answer my question.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kate.

    …and there’s something for all the New Scientist AGW fanatics out there:

    It’s the famous warning about the “impending ice age” from the New Scientist of 1974, which also gives a hat-tip to the infamous BBC program “The Weather Machine” -

    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=WRDPzewQDe4C&pg=PA643&dq=climate&hl=en&ei=6GsQTa-qF8Gecbnx2JoK&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=climate&f=false

    …Gives a whole new meaning to the expression “Getting your own back” doesn’t it?

  77. More Moonbattery!

    Global warming means that flying across the Atlantic is now as unacceptable as child abuse
    “A car is now more dangerous than a gun; flying across the Atlantic is as unacceptable, in terms of its impact on human well-being, as child abuse. ”
    Monbiot.com – 29 July 1999

    George Monbiot in the final extract from his new book – the only answer is to ground most of the aeroplanes flying today
    Guardian – 2006

    George Monbiot Canada Tour – 2006

    George Monbiot in Toronto

    Do as I say and don’t do as I do.

  78. All that rain in the normally-arid central parts of Australia has charged the vegetation & is now producing a significant cooling affect from increased transpiration. High temps will be lower and humidity higher as long as the moisture lasts.

    Same thing happens here in the US in summer.

  79. MODERATOR

    I believe that the “that” in “The sea tells a different story that the human touched thermometers on land at airports, and the sea has no reason to boast its temperature.” should be “than”. Very common mistyping. (And I would put a comma between “human” and “touched”.)
    Please delete this message after making the correction.

    IanM

  80. What Mr Monbiot forgets is that darned albedo feedback thing that was supposed to accellerate Global Warming and which is one of the foundations of the entire IPCC CAGW case.
    If it turns the other way around it simply must act as a feedback that dampens a large chunk of GW.
    Thermostat anyone?

  81. Blocking central’

    Professor Lockwood was keen to stress that “blocking” only affected a limited geographical region, and would not have a widespread impact on the global climate system.

    To illustrate the point, he said that while the CET record showed that this winter was the UK’s 14th coldest in 160 years, global figures listed it as the fifth warmest.

    He said that one of his colleagues at the University of Reading referred to Europe as “blocking central”.
    Picture of a Thames “forest fayre” in 1716 (Getty Images)
    “Frost fayres” were held on the Thames during the Maunder Minimum

    “The reason is largely because the jet stream has to come to us over the Atlantic Ocean and it is slowed down when it hits the land in Europe.

    “You don’t quite have the same combination of circumstances anywhere else in the world that gives you such strong blocking.”

    While the current decline in solar activity is expected to continue in the coming decades, he cautioned that more frequent “blocking” episodes would not result in Europe being plunged into sub-zero temperatures every winter.

    “If we look at the last period of very low solar activity at the end of the 17th Century, we find the coldest winter on record in 1684, but the very next year – when solar activity was still low – saw third warmest winter in the entire 350-year (CET) record.”

    Looks like that geographical region is the whole planet.

    So in 1685 it was the third warmest on record in the UK, who was taking the global temps at that time, great,great granddad etc Jones.

    [video src="http://s446.photobucket.com/albums/qq187/bobclive/?action=view&current=Lockwood-0.mp4" /]

  82. Amino Acids…:
    What’s it going to take to make “global warming” believers stop believing??

    I remember reading about a particular religious group – the leaders of this group predicted that Jesus would return in 1914. After that failed to happen, they then predicted that Abraham would return in 1925. That didn’t happen either. They then predicted Armageddon in 1975. We’re still here.

    Despite all these failed predictions, the believers continued to believe. If anything, their numbers have grown.

    Therein lies the difference between science and religion. With religion, belief comes first, and confirmation is unnecessary. It’s quite clear where AGW belief stands.

    There’s nothing that will change the mind of someone who WANTS to believe.

  83. from Concerneds links:
    on the about us page is this gem!
    Concerned says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Andrew, a new smear campaign against global warming skeptics seems to have started here:

    http://globalwarmingsuperheroes.com/

    ———-

    So that’s why the Global Warming Superheroes have decided to fightback. You could say we’re like the Incredible Hulk. Now there’s a hero we can relate to: a scientist turned green and angry by a near-fatal dose of gamma rays. We too have been exposed to near-fatal doses: doses of gas from idiots denying climate science. Now we can be green and angry too.

    We are, however, more patient than our monosyllabic friend. We don’t throw cars around, and our suits are still intact. Luckily our nemeses’ arguments are as wobbly as a hover-board, and one hit with the simple truth is enough to knock them back to earth.

    This blog will contain all the facts you need to convince yourself which side of the fight you’re on. Still, we’re happy to stand by Hulk’s timeless warning, which gains added bite when the future of an entire planet is at stake:

    “Don’t make us angry. You wouldn’t like us when we’re angry…

  84. Anthony,

    Any idea what is causing the huge red/brown area ( + 4 to 12.5 degrees) in Russia on the 250 km version of the GISS map? Is it really that unusually warm over that large an area?

    Thanks, Kip

  85. from mars says:
    December 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    “Now, 1998 warmth followed a Super El Niño (ONI =+2.5ºC), 2010 warmth followed just a moderate-to-strong El Niño (ONI=+1.8ºC). Obviously, there is a warming trend.”

    Let’s check your reasoning on planet Earth. Your reasoning is exactly parallel to the following: “I picked up the first babe in “one swinging bar” and the second babe in the library, but the second was almost as hot as the first; therefore, babes are getting hotter.” On planet Earth, this reasoning is considered fallacious.

  86. So in 30yrs of satellite data we are seeing another year close to the top of the curve….in 30 whole years?! Wow. I bet at year one of this data set everybody was real worried as not only was it the all time warmest that year, but the all time coldest as well. Now that’s something to worry about!

  87. oldseadog says:
    December 21, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Mike D.
    At Amazon you can still buy a book called “Let Stalk Strine” by Prof. Afferbeck Lauder.
    Costs a lot now, though. I got one in Newcastle NSW in about 1965 – its still in the house somewhere.
    ———-
    try alibris.com
    they sell to aus too unlike many amazon sellers. cheaper sometimes too!
    two books in fact -lets talk strine,
    and
    nose tone unturned :-)
    the writer Afferbeck Lauder.(psuedonym)
    is Strine for “Alphabetical order”
    so many seem to miss that:-)
    egg nisher is what we arent using here now.

  88. from mars says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm
    “Well, the record warm at Nuuk is blamed on UHI , but the sea surface temperatures near Greenland are also warm, and also the surface temperatures as measured by satellites:”

    “So this “sea of red” is confirmed by satellites. Maybe there is some UHI at Nuuk, but very likely on top of a broad warm weather over Greenland (I said “very likely” and not “certain” because the GISTEMP map is from November, and the NASA OBSERVATORY map is from December).”

    Well, not exactly. Your link does not show sea surface temperature and Anthony referred to a vast sea of red, not this much smaller area.

  89. amicus curiae says:
    You’re a joke:
    OOOO you mad?
    we are supermen kicking your pansy green ass
    we are laser-eyed wrecking machines
    we are not forgiving or forgetting
    we are winning
    dwright

  90. I have looked at these discontinuity in the northeast of Canada. I have selected the southern tip of Baffin island on GISSTEMP an looked at all the stations with a record going to 2010. I have tried to guesstimate the change of temperature over each discontinuity. I have mentally visualized a 5 years average to get those numbers.

    Frobisher Bay
    +2C after a discontinuity.

    Fort Chimo
    +2C after a discontinuity.

    Godthab Nuuk
    +3C after a discontinuity.

    Inukjuak, Que
    +2C after a discontinuity.

    Coral Harbour
    +1.5C after a discontinuity.

    Clyde,N.W.T.
    +1C after a first discontinuity.
    +1.5C after a second discontinuity.
    +2.5C in total.

    Egedesminde
    No discontinuity.

    Hall Beach,N.
    +1C after the first discontinuity.
    +2C after the second discontinuity.
    +3C total.

    Schefferville
    +1C after the first discontinuity.
    +1C after the second discontinuity.

    As you can see, most stations had a warming after a discontinuity. Only Egedesminde had no discontinuity and this year is around 5C warmer than normal and this might contain UHI. It is very possible that this hot spot might be half as warm in reality.

  91. Weather Climate Headlines Drudge Report provides proof cognitive dissonance Arnold Schwarzenegger:

    ‘Epic proportions’ of snow could fall in Colo. mountains…

    ‘Mini ice age coming’…

    Record rain in West…

    Dramatic satellite image shows huge storms heading toward L.A…

    Winter disruptions turn travel bitter and chaotic…

    Misery at Heathrow…

    BRITAIN CRAWLS TO A HALT…

    Line for trains stretches 1.2 miles!

    Schwarzenegger says he’d like a job working for Obama — combating global warming…

    http://www.drudgereport.com/

  92. Curiously, here in Boulder, Colorado, USA, we’ve so far had an unusually dry and rather warmish start to winter – the driest on record, apparently with just 3″ total in two weak events. Up in the high Rockies though, the snow won’t quit.

    By contrast, last winter in Boulder was the 4th snowiest on record, and we had several inches from one storm in the middle of May.

    To this layman, warmish oceans, mostly cool continents, and inactive sun doesn’t sound too promising.

  93. amicus curiae says:
    December 21, 2010 at 7:32 am

    This might be a good way to get a lot of visitors. However, the fact of a scientist promoting his/her scientific credentials by claiming that he/she resembles the Hulk strikes me as an example of rather poor judgement. On the other hand, the regulars at the Guardian’s Environment website have a well-earned reputation as Pit Bulls, but why don’t they just promote themselves as Pit Bulls?

  94. “There is now strong evidence to suggest that the unusually cold winters of the last two years in the UK are the result of heating elsewhere.”

    Warm globally, cool locally!

    GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?! The planet’s got a fever! And the only prescription in more cowbell!

  95. The blue splodge around Britain is no doubt the result on six weeks of cold northerly winds running down the Nort Sea, and cooling it off.

    .

  96. I hate mercator projections! Make a spark look like a forest fire at the high lattitudes. It’s a great map projection for alarmist — where least is known, effect is magnified.

  97. R. de Haan says on December 21, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Weather Climate Headlines Drudge Report provides proof cognitive dissonance Arnold Schwarzenegger:

    ‘Epic proportions’ of snow could fall in Colo. mountains…

    ‘Mini ice age coming’…

    Record rain in West…

    Dramatic satellite image shows huge storms heading toward L.A…

    Winter disruptions turn travel bitter and chaotic…

    Misery at Heathrow…

    BRITAIN CRAWLS TO A HALT…

    Line for trains stretches 1.2 miles!

    Schwarzenegger says he’d like a job working for Obama — combating global warming…

    That just shows he knows it’s an easy job. One within his capabilities.

  98. The GISS map above shows Greenland to be almost the same size as Australia (Australia is some 10x the size of Greenland). How extensive would the warm sections look with the correct projection?

  99. HADCRUT’s November anamoly is out. Only 0.43C (0.31C less than GISS).
    Just shows how the Arctic makes a difference (even though there are no w/s monitoring temps).

  100. Ian -
    I don’t disagree with your point about the projections, but:

    Greenland = 2,166,086 km^2
    Australia = 7,617,930 km^2

    That’s a difference of 3.5x, not 10x.

  101. A question for those who have ready access to the information. Exactly how many GISS reporting stations exist north of say 70 deg north and 80 deg north? It is obviously a small universe but it would be nice to know the actual number and where to find the documentation to prove it.

    Larry

  102. How on earth could someone declare that 2010 would turn out to be the hottest year ever even when it was only halfway ? What did Obama pay these prophets rendering him this lip-service ? As long as these US and UK governmental institutions do not wish to publish the exact details of their measurements and their smoothings plus other parameters used in their calculations , all their scientific computerruns may be a matter of garbage in = garbage out . It is for them to prove that they have been doing the right thing especially after climategate , otherwise everybody may feel free to be very skeptical about their publishes numbers . In 1980 i checked personally the records of us institutions for civil aviation and came to the conclusion that all their statistics were doctored , probably by self-elected scientists , reality was much more sober in order to boost the sales of aircrafts and aircraft equipment . I am now to old to do this sysiphus work of checking the numbers , but i am inviting young enthousiastic dedicated truth searchers to do the same with the us climate numbers ….. By the way there is 99% chance that december 2010 will prove to be the coldest month of december ever since official temperature measurements started in western europe . This is just chance ? Or do we need to freeze to death first before reality will sink in with your american president ?

  103. For all that do not understand my point when comparing UAH low troposphere temperatures for 1998 and 2010,consider that:

    1)El Niño years are warmer than ENSO-neutral ones, because El Niños liberate heat from the ocean to the atmosphere.

    2)The 1997-1998 event was a Super El Niño , with NINO 3.4 SST anomalies that peaked at +2.8 ºC and an ONI of +2.5ºC, so it is not surprising that is was the warmest year in the satellite lower troposphere temperature data.
    (for a nice graph from Bob Tisdale see here: http://i53.tinypic.com/33v0uxg.jpg
    and a nice table here: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf)

    3) The 2009-2010 event was just a moderate-to-strong El Niño, with NINO 3.4 SST anomalies that peaked at +1.9 ºC and an ONI of +1.8ºC. That is , a peak at 68% of the 1997-1998 NINO 3.4 SST Anomaly and 72% of the 1997-1998 ONI. Clearly the 2009-2010 El Niño was significantly weaker than the 1997-1998 one.

    BUT the UAH lower troposphere themperature anomaly are almost equal so far in the year.
    (if you prefer numbers, Roy Spencer states:“2010 is now in a dead heat with 1998 for warmest year, with the following averages through November:

    1998 +0.538
    2010 +0.526″)

    If there was no warming trend, 2010 should be significantly cooler than 1998, but that is not the case, the temperature anomalies are very similar, so something else has warmed in these years. Obviously 2010 warmth is the result of a moderate to strong El Niño on top of a warming trend. A warming trend that is obvious in all temperature datasets:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/mean:12/plot/uah/mean:12/plot/rss/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-0.15/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.24/trend/plot/uah/trend/plot/rss/trend

    If you doubt that the warming is antropogenic, that is a legitimate question. There is needed a lot of analysis to assess how much of the warming is natural and how much is a consecuence of greenhouse gas emissions.

    But doubting that the Earth is warming when ALL temperature datasets show that is just silly.

  104. How recursive can Anomallies be?

    Can an Anomally have an anomally within it, and if the Anomally – anomally bucks the Trend the Anomally is presented against, does the Anomally anomally prove the counterpoint, or disprove the Anomally?
    Bugger.
    All this Post Normal is denormalising my Normal understanding of Trends within Anomallous anomallies.
    Lucky for me I have Wikileaks to re-educate me on world politics and Wikipedia – (which sounds suspiciously like an immoral holiday in Thailand) to re-educate me on everything else.

  105. The unusually cold winters in the UK are part of a regularly repeating phenomenon of occasionally cold winters coming in a run.

    1979 -1987, 1962 – 1969, 1940 – 1947, others no doubt.

    I don’t fully understand the systemic changes through cycles, but I do recognise the pattern.

    Get over it. It’s normal.

  106. Since Monbiot and those who think like him maintain that current high temperatures in the Arctic (or rather those parts of the Arctic for which we have measurements) are a sign of global warming this article about a recently discovered mummified forest in the Canada Arctic ought to make them think again.

    Mummified Arctic forest could yield clues to global warming

    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/12/21/mummified-arctic-forest-could-yield-clues-to-global-warming/

    “A mummified ancient forest unearthed north of the Arctic Circle may give researchers clues about what to expect as climate change again affects the polar region. Joel Barker, a researcher at The Ohio State University, stumbled on the forest’s remnants while camping last year on Canada’s Ellesmere Island, just 500 miles from the North Pole. The forest stood more than 1,000 miles north of the northernmost trees of today.”

    “The trees and their branches, leaves, needles and roots were perfectly preserved from when they were buried in an avalanche 2 million to 8 million years ago, when the Arctic climate was getting colder, according to Canada’s CBC News.”

    Why was the climate so much warmer when that forest existed? Climate change in the past obviously had natural causes. When did those causes cease to operate?

  107. from mars says:
    December 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Gary says:
    December 21, 2010 at 9:32 am
    Anthony,

    “Where/when is the CFS forecast chart for Nino3.4 from ? The date/credit at the top does not appear legibly on my screen (…)”

    It is from Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM):

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/indices.shtml

    From Mars, You do not understand my question; it is not from the Australia BOM.

    Anthony included in the above post a chart showing the CFS forecast for Nino 3.4; it is a NOAA forecast, and it shows 3.4 dipping to -2.5F. This does not match the latest CFS forecast included in the CPC ENSO update from Monday 12/20 (the link I included in my post), which prognosticates that 3.4 has peaked at -1.5F and will begin warming early in the winter.

    I am asking Anthony if he could provide the exact source (link) for the chart/forecast he posted, and I would welcome any analysis or comment why there is a discrepancy. The date of the forecast is not legible on my terminal, and I am wondering if it is an older forecast, or if it was generated by a different division of NOAA – in which case, why such a difference between them ?

  108. From Mars,

    Perhaps I should add that the chart I am inquiring about immediately follows the one you thought I was referring to, which, of course, is from the BOM.

  109. from mars says:
    December 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm
    “For all that do not understand my point when comparing UAH low troposphere temperatures for 1998 and 2010,consider that:

    1)El Niño years are warmer than ENSO-neutral ones, because El Niños liberate heat from the ocean to the atmosphere.”

    Let’s begin with what Earthlings call a critical equivocation. When you say that El Nino years are warmer, you are referring to a “global average temperature,” right? But then you refer us to the data sets, right. But the data sets do not contain “global average temperatures;” rather, they contain actual measured temperatures. (Well, as close as climate scientists can get to an actual measured temperature – an average of day and night readings.) So, which is it? Are you going to make your argument in terms of “global average temperatures” or actual measured temperatures? My guess is that you will use “global average temperatures.” I do not believe that you can make your argument in terms of actual measured temperatures. My reason is that you would need a representative sample of temperatures from each of the years compared, but climate science has not had a clue on how to create an representative sample of actual measured temperatures. Instead, it resorts to the obvious contrivance of a “global average temperature.”

  110. Neil Cozens says:
    December 21, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Mmmmm. Fullers ESB was my preferred tipple but I’d be asleep before the end of the 1st innings.

    DaveE.

  111. Theo Goodwin says:

    “But the data sets do not contain “global average temperatures;” rather, they contain actual measured temperatures”

    What are you saying?

    The datasets obviously contain global average temperatures, if you were to access the “actual measured temperatures” you will have thousands of different values for each month, one for each place in the Earth where measurements were done.

    What the datasets show is the global average of the different “actual temperatures” measured over the planet.

    That should be a pretty obvious thing.

  112. It’s funny how we(the ordinary public) never heard much about the Arctic Oscillation until it became expedient for warmists to bring it out. If we had had the much-predicted warmer winter, the knowledge behind it would be something only meteorologists talked about.

  113. from mars says:
    December 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    “The datasets obviously contain global average temperatures, if you were to access the “actual measured temperatures” you will have thousands of different values for each month, one for each place in the Earth where measurements were done.”

    Excuse me. I assumed that climate scientists maintained some sort of connection to actual measured temperatures. I stand corrected.

  114. The Alaskan villages at risk due to manmade global warming story is mostly a scam. Here’s why: The terrain where the ground meets water on the North Slope and NW Alaska is pretty flat, and gets rearranged on a regular basis by storms, ice floes and blown ice heaves during the winter. The villages in question are located close to the Arctic and Bering because that is where the food is located (whales, seals, walrus). The closer the village is to the water, the less energy they spend having to drag the food or boats to storage.

    It is a similar situation to the US Gulf Coast where communities on barrier islands are regularly lawnmowed by hurricanes / tropical storms.

    On the other hand, we could use some manmade global warming up here, as it has been pretty cold for a few weeks – zero F to low teens F. When it gets that cold skiing is more work than fun. /whining

    Merry Christmas to one and all. Cheers -

  115. Anthony Watts wrote:
    “All the sudden, those “raging fires of orange, red and maroon” don’t look so big, do they George? There’s no reds, oranges or yellows over northern Greenland, or Iceland, or the East Siberian Sea, or most of Africa, and much of Antarctica’s coastline and the southern ocean.

    In fact, a lot of those isolated red and maroon splotches in Greenland, Canada, and Russia are single data points. Yep, GISS takes data from these stations and smears the effect writ large on the 1200KM smoothing map. Journalists like yourself often don’t notice, they simply see the issue in shades of smeared red.”

    The interpolation of data in the Arctic regions based on a few stations by GISS is based on valid statistical analysis published a long time ago in the peer reviewed literature. The relationship between the temperature measured by buoys to the nearest land stations was studied, and the correlation length used by GISS was validated in this region. Here is one example, and there are others.

    http://iabp.apl.washington.edu/AirT/RigorEtal-SAT.pdf

    If you have any peer reviewed literature that shows this to be in error, it would be enlightening.

    In fact the satellite tropospheric temperature data for November 2010 validates the map produced by GISS. The very same pattern of warmth over Greenland and Hudson’s bay, Central Europe and Siberia, surrounds the cold spot covering Northern Europe and England. The satellite data shows, that the idea that the urban heat islands at Nuuk and Svalbaard have deceived scientists into a belief in warming where none exists is wrong.

    http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/climatechange/news/42622/how-did-november-2010-rank-glo.asp

    REPLY:Sorry Eric, you must be color blind. The GISS plot shows surface anomaly values of maroon for 12.5C at Nuuk, while the RSS map value shows lower troposphere (14,000 feet) anomaly of 4-5C, and you say there’s no contribution of UHI at the surface? Quite a leap of faith for you for you don’t you think? At least I demonstrated bias at the actual source of the measurement, your argument is far removed. My issue is the magnitude of anomaly. I simply don’t believe it to be accurate for the surface data.

    I found this passage from Rigor et al interesting:

    Questionable observations from the land stations were checked against the observations at neighboring stations. If the observations reported by any station exhibited gross errors, that is, if more than 10% of its reports were questionable during any given year, that station’s data were removed from the database.

    Now why would they have to do that? Polluted surface station data perhaps? GISS doesn’t even take this step, they just throw it all into the big sausage grinder of homogenization and hope for the best.

    And regarding data interpolation, that article you cite is for interpolating buoy data with surface data, GHCN, used by GISS, has no buoy data. You can prove this to yourself by visiting this page at GISS: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/station_data/

    And clicking on the North Pole 90N 0W, which gives you this list:

    Note the closest station (Alert) is 834KM away, which doesn’t even provide data to GISS anymore, most are over 1000km away.

    But you can get Alert data right now, right here: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/WCYLT.html

    Seems pretty lame to me that GISS can’t even find up to date close-by data to interpolate, especially for such a “critical” area. If they were in fact using buoy data as the paper you cite shows a method for, we might have no argument for missing data. Sorry, but your arguments fail.

    - Anthony

  116. Richard G,

    No, of course I am not saying that we have 132 years of satellite records. However, we do have 132 *12-month periods*. These periods overlap. When looking at 12-month running averages, we are looking at those 132 12-month periods, and every month that passes adds another one. The ocean, without the UHI effect, has been remarkably warm over the last little while.

  117. Let’s get something straight from the start…
    I’m a fan of warmening! My old bones prefer warm!

    Let’s start from pre-history when everything was hunky dory and ice was at its optimum level. (Pre1979).

    Water in the tropics got warm, (as it does), then travelled towards the poles! (For the moment, let’s just look at the Arctic).

    OK so that water moves north & when it gets there has nothing better to do than melt ice. Bugger! That doesn’t help the energy balance!

    Move on a few years…

    Water in the tropics gets warm and moves polewards. Loses energy to the atmosphere and space but not enough to balance energy as still melting ice.

    Eventually…

    Water in the tropics gets warm and moves polewards. Loses energy to the atmosphere and space but now loses too much energy to melt the ice and has overshot the balance. Oceans cool, ice re-grows & cycle re-starts.

    DaveE.

  118. Theo Goodwin says:
    December 21, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    “Excuse me. I assumed that climate scientists maintained some sort of connection to actual measured temperatures. I stand corrected.”

    Excuse me. I assumed that you could understand what you read. It should be obvious that the averages are made with the actual measured temperatures. It is so difficult to understand?

  119. Of course it does snow in that region in December. I’ve been hiking there in summer, and there is usually plenty of snow about.

    However, the interesting aspect of the story is that 10 years ago the global warming alarmists were predicting that our (Australia’s) skiing industry would be gone in ten years.

  120. Let me understand this Monbiot assertion. . . he relies on the Hansen NASA data, that have been shown to be mostly fabricated sensor data, to assert that scorching hot air is hanging out over the oceans while the northern hemisphere land masses are in the deep freeze?

    Why hasn’t the Jet Stream blown that hot air onto the land masses? In the last 3 weeks of freezing cold, several weather fronts came off the Pacific onto western USA, across the plains and out to sea on the Atlantic, only to traverse that ocean and come ashore in Ireland, the UK and the EU.

    How did the weather fronts make that journey and the hot air stay stationary over the oceans? If the scorching hot air did move onshore, how did it NOT heat the cold land mass? What mechanism was involved in this 3 week and counting violation of thermodynamics?

    Perhaps the scorching hot air over the oceans is just a lot of “hot air.”

    Monbiot is a drooling idiot, but a well paid one, who scribbles his blather for many to read and laugh at. Old Monty Python clips make more scientific sense than Georgie.

  121. Anthony Watts wrote:

    “REPLY:Sorry Eric, you must be color blind. The GISS plot shows surface anomaly values of maroon for 12.5C at Nuuk, while the RSS map value shows lower troposphere (14,000 feet) anomaly of 4-5C, and you say there’s no contribution of UHI at the surface? Quite a leap of faith for you for you don’t you think? At least I demonstrated bias at the actual source of the measurement, your argument is far removed. My issue is the magnitude of anomaly. I simply don’t believe it to be accurate for the surface data.”

    Actually the GISS temperature map scale has maroon in the range of 4C to a maximum of 12.5. There is overlap between Giss data, based on the Nuuk station, and an anomaly of 4 to 5C from the satellite data.

    I don’t have the actual data for Nuuk for November 2010. The Arctic Report Card shows that it was a warm in all of Greenland during the first half of 2010, and glaciers were melting there at record rates. These phenomena are not the result of an UHI at Nuuk and have nothing to do with exhaust from jet engines.

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/ArcticReportCard_full_report.pdf

    REPLY: You keep arguing against an argument I’m not making. I’m not suggesting that there wasn’t warmth in the area, only that the temperature data is not accurate at Nuuk, and likely reads high, due to the placement of the weather station and the environment. You can’t exclude the conditions of the location, because the location is now documented. You are trapped in a positive feedback loop. The report uses weather station data, they say “wow, look how warm” sure, it was. But they rely on the same data from the same station you just cited also. Can you exclude jet exhaust. deicing, waste heat from APU’s to keep the planes operational, and placement on the tarmac simply because you don’t like the fact that it may make the weather station data unrepresentative? Can you snap your fingers and make those issue go away? No, you can’t.

    And, can you really trust a map where they take a data point and assign such wide ranges of values, 4c up to 12.5 then use that single data point to smear all over a map for areas within 1200km where they have no data? Its absurd.

    And finally, can you really trust data from an organization that takes incoming data for that station and shifts it more than an entire degree C in the past, making a new trend? See the difference between “raw” (which really isn’t raw, it has a scads of adjustments already from NOAA) compared to the GISS final output in this chart:

    The data is downloaded from GISS for the station, datasets 1 and 2 were used (raw-combined for this location and homogenized) which are available from the station selector via a link to data below the charts they make on the GISS website. The data is plotted up to the data continuity break, and again after. The trend lines are plotted to the data continuity break, and there’s no trend in the raw data for the last 100+ years.

    The curious thing is that there’s no trend in the raw data at Nuuk until you do either (or both) of two things:

    1. You use GISS homogenized data to plot the trend
    2. You use the data after the discontinuity to plot the trend

    I believe the data discontinuity represents a station move, one that exposed it to a warmer local environment. And clearly, by examining the GISS data for Nuuk, you can see that GISS adds adjustments that are not part of the measured reality. What justification could there possibly be to adjust the temperatures of the past downwards? What justification in a growing community (as shown by the population curve) could there be for doing an adjustment that is reverse of waste energy UHI?

    If you trust the GISS homogenized data, and the maps it makes, then your argument becomes one of acceptance of post facto data tampering to support a premise. Eric, you are backing the wrong horse. – Anthony

  122. In light of the ongoing “Climategate” and “AGW” scandals, I would suggest the coining of a new oxymoron to complement “military intelligence”; I suggest: “scientific integrity”

  123. How come politically correct dou#$bags can make a long post about something they obviously know nothing about?
    This is WUWT, real scientists are talking here, go back to the children’s table
    And Kate M, good to see you here, keep involved.
    I will buy my CRC helmet in a few years,
    I cherish SDA for giving me a home.

  124. Amicus Curiae @ 8:11

    I remember Afferbeck Lauder! We were given a copy when we first went to Oz and we did see the point straightaway and thought it very funny. I don’t know where it is now though…must have a look around.

    The temperatures were definitely rather low in Victoria when I was over recently, and it was very wet. The recent snow at Mt Hotham was a lot more than the snow I remember seeing at Falls Creek a week before Christmas in 1991. There was also snow on Christmas Day a few years ago, in the middle of the bushfires in the Alpine region of Vic.

  125. While I certainly am no Monbiot sympathizer and consider myself on the skeptic end of the climate debate spectrum, it is indeed abnormally warm in the eastern Canadian arctic right now. Now am I saying that this is proof of cAGW and we should all be pooping our pants? No, absolutely not.

    I work as an aviation weather briefer for the Canadian arctic, so while I don’t claim to be a meteorologist or climatologist I spend a lot of time weather watching (metars/tafs, surface analysis, upper air charts, ice charts etc.) and the weather is indeed high above normal for this time of year, take a look at this weekly forecast:

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/forecast/textforecast_e.html?Bulletin=fpcn56.cwnt

    It’s actually cooled off in the past couple days and for much of December daytime highs were routinely 2-3 deg C above freezing.

    As much as I respect the work Anthony has done to expose awful positioning of stevenson screens and as much as I’ve loved and learned from this blog, I think it’s disingenuous to invoke UHI in this instance.

  126. The development of the international climate data base has been well documented and the methods have been thoroughly described in the open literature. If the methods described in papers such as this one are wrong, I am curious about what is thought to be the problem. If there is an error in what has been done to adjust the data, specifically what is that is wrong with the procedure outlined in this paper which describes what has been done, and why.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0477%281997%29078%3C2837:AOOTGH%3E2.0.CO;2

    “Given the popularity of GHCN, researchers at
    NCDC, CDIAC, and Arizona State University have
    prepared an enhanced database to serve the everincreasing
    demand for these data. This archive, GHCN
    version 2, breaks considerable new ground in the field
    of global climate databases. Enhancements include
    1) data for additional stations to improve regionalscale
    analyses, particularly in previously data-sparse
    areas; 2) the addition of maximum–minimum temperature
    data to provide important climate information
    not available in mean temperature data alone (e.g.,
    Karl et al. 1993; Easterling et al. 1997); 3) detailed
    assessments of data quality to increase the confidence
    in research results; 4) rigorous and objective homogeneity
    adjustments to decrease the effect of nonclimatic
    factors on the time series; 5) detailed metadata
    (e.g., population, vegetation, topography) that allow
    more detailed analyses to be conducted; and 6) an infrastructure
    for updating the archive at regular intervals
    so that current climatic conditions can constantly
    be put into historical perspective. This paper describes
    these enhancements in detail.”

  127. re: Amino Acids :-

    What’s it going to take to make “global warming” believers stop believing??

    It took 3 hard blows between the eyes to stop the Millerites’ hysteria – and they at least admitted that their predictions were refuted …

    That’s one big difference – the present crop of enthusiasts hasn’t had to pay a price for being wrong. At least not yet …

  128. Anthony, since you posted this, as a Victorian resident, I can advise that we had 30cm (1 foot) of snow on Mt Buller – on the summer solstice – IN AUSTRALIA!!

    However, people need not be alarmed. That very highest point of world civilisation, the Boxing Day cricket test match at the MCG, will go ahead as planned, and to a record crowd. Whew!

  129. from mars says:
    December 20, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Good sensible post. The satellite data confirms that England and Northern Europe was an island of cold surrounded by warm areas of Southern Europe, Siberia, Eastern Canada and Greenland.

    Also there is no firm evidence given, that the anomaly graph of Nuuk was a result of the urban heat island or engine exhaust or anything else, and no estimate of the size of these effects has been provided. It is just conjecture on Anthony’s part. The satellite data does confirm at least a 4C anomaly for the month of Nov.

    The average temperature listed in the GISS data file for Nuuk for Nov 2010 is 1.2C. Looking back at the previous data for 1950-1980,

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/work/gistemp/STATIONS//tmp.431042500000.1.1/station.txt

    there are no temperatures for Nov anywhere near -11C which would be needed to create an anomaly of 12C. In fact, the calculated anomaly neglecting the missing data for Nov in the 1970′s is about 4.5C, which is in the range shown in the satellite data.

    There are other stations in Greenland that could be compared with Nuuk to determine whether the data is anomalous or not. That is the method used by Climatologists who study this type of thing to sort things out. Those types of studies are what resulted in the corrections to the raw data in the first place.

    Egedesminde, population about 3,000, which is the closest, that has data from 1950 to 2010 has a similar jump in temperature to Nuuk for the last year shown on the graph.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431042200000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    And so does Prins Christi:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043900003&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    There is no evidence that economic growth has swollen the population of these two little towns or created an UHI.

    REPLY: Gosh you are obstinate. You whisk away the idea of UHI, and at the same time, the adjustments done by GISS, with the wave of the hand, as if they can’t possibly be involved or contribute in the current high temperature plot. Maybe you need to read this story again.

    Local effects of siting on temperature are not conjecture, they have been empirically measured, for example:

    http://www.ejournal.unam.mx/atm/Vol21-2/ATM002100202.pdf

    And I show a weather station on a tarmac, in a place that must be kept snow free, and has waste heat blowing all over the place. And you claim it can’t possibly be a portion of the measured data?

    Even NOAA acknowledges siting issues, which is why we have the new Climate Reference Network. Siting is the key to these stations. If siting wasn’t important, this network would not exist. The make proper siting the #1 priority. Read the handbook here to see how painstakingly they selected sites and the criteria used, pioneered by Leroy.

    Reference for site ratings: NOAA’s Climate Reference Network Site Handbook Section 2.2.1

    http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/uscrn/documentation/program/X030FullDocumentD0.pdf

    Also, surface data, isn’t the same as satellite data, true as I’ve said there is a warm anomaly shown in UAH/RSS data, worst case 4C, but GISS sloppily tags their maroon data over Nuuk with a range of 4C to 12.5C, so you can’t even be sure what you are looking at. Pick a number between 4 and 12.5 and call it driven by global warming. Is that science?

    Bu most important, you neglect to even address the artificial adjustments done by GISS, simply saying its “in the peer reviewed literature”. True, but that doesn’t mean anything, especially when we have one NASA group now publishing a paper on UHI (at the link above I provided) showing values in the double digits of UHI effect for some cities, while NASA GISS, makes only a 0.05 degree adjustment for UHI, and no adjustment for siting effects in GHCN stations. GISS doesn’t even have the metadata right for GHCN, they can’t find many of the stations.

    But let’s just ignore all that like you do and say for the sake of argument that none of it matters, using your idea that it is all just conjecture, the data measurement is pristine and unpolluted. If we have perfect data, answer this, and this is a requirement for continued dialog since you ignored it before.

    Explain the rationale (and “its in the peer reviewed lit” doesn’t count as an answer) why it is OK to adjust data, post facto, to make the 1880′s well over a degree cooler in the data graph I plotted.

    Explain why GISS plots the resultant homogenized data as a single data point, then smears it either over 250 km or 1200 km, and creates data where there is none, then presents that to the world as being valid.

    I’ll get to the questions about the other two stations after some further research. There’s more than meets the eye about these stations.

    – Anthony

  130. Eadler writes:

    “There are other stations in Greenland that could be compared with Nuuk to determine whether the data is anomalous or not. That is the method used by Climatologists who study this type of thing to sort things out. Those types of studies are what resulted in the corrections to the raw data in the first place.”

    One of the most important points that I have learned over several year of following climate science is that climate scientists have no respect for the raw data, no respect for being on the ground, no respect for experience whatsoever. If there are to be corrections to the raw data, they should be the result of a new measurement regime that is satisfactory to climate scientists and to sceptics of global climate disruption.

  131. Surprising time in here; I forget to do my other activity because of your wonderful site. It doesn’t matter with me, because it is worthed and I will learn new knowledge, hope progressively I can meet with your speech. Linguists and educationalists (in my school) had conflicted and debated in several subject, I got the correction when I read the full article here. The positive effects of debatable discussion in my school are great brain for future time (for me and for my friends). Many subjects and topics with great confusing material in my school, but I have initiation step that your site has better correct conclusion. The above discussion in Linguists and educationalists is great. I’ve used several techniques for my research, for example online comparison. Would you mind if I make citation for my future project? (Of course I will tell you later, once I got the project plan in my hand). Thanks for your attention in reading my comments; you can shot me in my comment details to execute this project, so you can to be as a great part in my project.

  132. The reliance on temperature recording stations that have experienced buildup around them was asserted by C.E. Wallington in the early 90′s. He thought global warming was a scam then perpetrated by meteorologists seeking grants to “study” the trend. Heaven forbid that the fraud should ever be exposed, which explains why the proponents fight so viciously to perpetuate the crisis. How would all that research be justified if the doctoring and misuse of the data was acknowledged?

  133. Benedict Antinoro says:
    December 23, 2010 at 8:17 pm
    Surprising time in here; I forget to do my other activity because of your wonderful site.

    Thanks for your attention in reading my comments; you can shot me in my comment details to execute this project, so you can to be as a great part in my project.

    Mods: the above is SPAM. Mouseover the name-link and it goes to a marketing site. The clue is (often broken English) generic witless praise for the site. In this case, the total disconnect with the subject matter, as well.

  134. grizz;
    Hmph! Obviously the authors have succumbed to the “time’s arrow” fallacy, thinking that causality can only move forward. I’m sure the DCS (Damage Control Squad) will be on the case directly. SM? LS? RU there?

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