United States Climatic History in Graphs

Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) - 1979 to Present Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

We are pleased to introduce the new WUWT US Climatic History Reference Page

The graphs within offer a reasonable overview of climatic conditions in the United States during our brief historical record. I don’t see any indications of catastrophically rapid and dangerously accelerating climatic indicators. Does any one else?

For those who may argue that the United States is small portion of the world’s total landmass and thus not necessarily representative of world-wide trends, you are correct. Please be assured that the WUWT Global Climatic History Page is under development and will go live in the next couple weeks.

The US and Global Climatic History Reference Pages, will join the recently introduced WUWT US Weather History Reference Page;

and a growing number of valuable WUWT Reference Pages;

including the Sea Ice, Solar, Ocean, ENSO, Geomagnetism and Atmosphere pages.

If you have have any suggested additions or improvements to any of the Reference Pages, or recommendations for new reference pages, please let us know in comments below.

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54 Responses to United States Climatic History in Graphs

  1. crosspatch says:

    The trend line in that graph shown is a study in selecting start/end points. If you start the trend in 1998 it goes down, not up.

  2. Jim K says:

    A great site even better. My favorite site Thank You

  3. Ralph says:

    Don’t suppose you could graph the growth of urban areas into the surrounding areas and correlate the rise in temps (or lack thereof) with the growth. Might be an interesting relation there. Might also help show your relating of the temp measurements as the boxes were surrounded and nail that down…

  4. Tom T says:

    But since the US is blamed for contributing the most CO2 wouldn’t it hbe logical that if CO2 was causing warming the US would have warmed more or at least sooner than other places.

  5. Ted says:

    Whats not to like, clear irrefutable facts, data and information with reference pages and links without spin. Anybody coming here can only be impressed. Keep up the good work.

  6. Scott says:

    Tom T says:
    April 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    But since the US is blamed for contributing the most CO2 wouldn’t it hbe logical that if CO2 was causing warming the US would have warmed more or at least sooner than other places.

    I think the mixing is rapid enough relative to the purported warming that localized effects like that are not observed (even if everything the alarmists say is true).

    -Scott

  7. Scott says:

    I’m actually surprised the trend is that large and even positive at all. “Eyeballing” the data surely didn’t give that impression initially. On a second look, it appears that the majority or even all of that trend is due to the time of ~1983-2007.

    -Scott

  8. Holbrook says:

    I have no scientific background and looking at the graph am puzzled as to why the graph is showing an upward trend.

  9. James Sexton says:

    crosspatch says:
    April 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The trend line in that graph shown is a study in selecting start/end points. If you start the trend in 1998 it goes down, not up.
    ===========================================

    Yes, it does go down. 13 1/2 years of global cooling. In fact, you can start the trend line in 1997! (I think Oct.)
    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/rss-going-negative/

    As long as La Nina sticks with it, its going to be awful hard for the warmistas to continue crying about a warming globe. Its not, and it hasn’t for quite some time.

  10. Steve from Rockwood says:

    James Sexton, is that an R-squared of 0.0093? Isn’t that pretty high for climate data?

  11. Theo Goodwin says:

    Isn’t .169 K per decade too high? Of course, 1980 is a very bad starting point because 1979 might have been the coldest year in the second half of the century. However, even given that starting point, isn’t .169 too high? What would the trend from 1977 to 1998 be: .24 per decade?

  12. Bob Tisdale says:

    justthefacts: Another job well done. Thanks.

    Note, though, that the first graph (TLT) isn’t showing up for me, and I’ve tried refreshing. The link works.

  13. Werner Brozek says:

    I agree that the last 10 to 13 years have shown no change or even cooling, however let us assume for argument sake:
    1. The trend has been consistently up since 1979 at the rate of 0.169 K/decade. (That comes to 1.69 K/century.)
    2. The global temperature has gone up by 0.8 K since the industrial revolution.
    3. All of this increase was due to man-made CO2.
    4. We are reaching some danger zone if the temperature goes up 2 degrees K since the industrial revolution.
    Then according to my calculations, it will be another 71 years before we reach the increase of 2 degrees K. I would like to think the politicians have more urgent things to think about.

    Personally, I agree with #2 above but not with the other 3 points. But even for those who want to argue for all 4 points, I see no impending disaster that calls for drastic action as was called for in 1989 as shown below.

    See the following at:
    http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=MH&s_site=miami&p_multi=MH&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB33CF66D507218&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM

    Miami Herald – July 5, 1989 – 2E SCIENCE

    GREENHOUSE WARMING NATIONS MAY VANISH, U.N. SAYS
    A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the…

  14. In terms of the validity of the trend line in the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) graph, this is the source Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) Home Page

    but I have not been unable to find the corresponding data on their Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) page;

    or their FTP site.

  15. OssQss says:

    Excellent! Thanks again to all involved! Keep up the momentum ;’)

  16. dscott says:

    For those who may argue that the United States is small portion of the world’s total landmass and thus not necessarily representative of world-wide trends, you are correct.

    I most strenously disagree, for it to be global it must be ALL over the Earth not just in the Northeastern (Europe & Asia) land dominated Hemisphere. There is no warming in the Southern Hemisphere AT ALL. The hoax of AGW is based upon the clever manipulation of the math. Any first year statistics major knows the use of averages can be deceiving when you deliberately mix a set with a steady average with an equal set of data points that has a increasing or decreasing trend, the end result will always be to show the trend between two sets of balanced numbers.

    Nor can you claim since the Southern Hemisphere is water dominated that it swamps CO2 since the ENTIRE AGW agrument is based on CO2 being the driver of water vapor. You can’t have it both ways. IF the difference between the Southern and Northern Hemispheric temperature anomalies is land mass versus water mass then clearly CO2 is NOT the driving factor but land mass is. We already know that the proximity of land to water causes temperatures to moderate, hence land mass (land use) is the only viable explanation for temperature anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere unless the water mass significantly changes, cools or heats, i.e. the PDO, AMO & AO.

    AGW is nothing more than a series of carefully constructed contradictory arguments that pretends each preceding argument doesn’t exist when making the next argument. It’s called Cognitive Dissonance.

  17. Bob Tisdale says: April 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    “Note, though, that the first graph (TLT) isn’t showing up for me, and I’ve tried refreshing. The link works.”

    Interesting. Can you see the version of the graph that I just added at the very bottom of the new page after the Source Guide?

    Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

  18. steven mosher says:

    1.
    crosspatch says:
    April 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    The trend line in that graph shown is a study in selecting start/end points. If you start the trend in 1998 it goes down, not up.

    ######

    actually its the entire data record, so selecting a sub sample of that as you do would be the cherry pick.

  19. Phil's Dad says:

    I know, Werner Brozek(April 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm), that the list you give is not one in which you have a lot of faith but I would even question your point 1.

    1. The trend has been consistently up since 1979 at the rate of 0.169 K/decade. (That comes to 1.69 K/century.)

    (If you accept the published numbers) the warming trend starting at 1979, went on for just twenty years (I would have gone back a bit further to the early seventies and made it thirty years preceded by a thirty year cooling trend). The present cooling trend has lasted 13 1/2 years so far and has yet to reach bottom. So the long term trend is likely to be even lower than the 1.69K/c you cite.

    I agree that politicians have more urgent tasks on hand and that the predictions of the 80′s that “the-end-is-nigh” have come to nought but (there’s always a but) they did say: “… if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” It has been reversed. Just not by a reduction in CO2.

  20. Robert Austin says:

    Holbrook says:
    April 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    PDO flips conveniently at start of satellite record.

    For those who assert that US record covers too small a portion of the earth’s surface to make any conclusions about global temperatures, what portion of the earth’s surface is sufficient to make conclusions about the earth’s climate? I have never seen this specifically addressed. Are total land surface reconstructions with sparse, extrapolated and unreliable data better than a good record (subject to surfacestation.org analysis) over a small but significant land area?

  21. Phil's Dad says:

    justthefactswuwt says: April 16, 2011 at 5:38 pm “… Is anyone else experiencing this problem?”

    Me too I’m afraid. It works fine on the home page but not on this one.
    (I’m using IE 8.0.6001.18702 on XP 5.1.2600 SP3 if that helps)

  22. Theo Goodwin says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    April 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm
    “Isn’t .169 K per decade too high?”

    I have a new question and in asking it I do not mean to question the WUWT team. The question is for other commenters. Where is the heat? It is not where I live or where my daily contacts live. My area runs from Miami to DC to St. Louis to Dallas to New Orleans and back to Miami, with lots of places in between. This area hasn’t seen any warming. In fact, Muller in his now famous Youtube video says that the Southeastern US has not seen warming. So, could someone tell me where the warming in the US has taken place?

  23. In 1989 NOAA said there was no significant warming in the US. Most of the US still has no significant warming.
    See: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/US_NoWarming.htm

    And the phenomenon is not global.
    See: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_NotGlobal.htm

    And the CRU emails said “Even with the instrumental record, the early and late 20th century warming periods are only significant locally at between 10-20% of grid boxes”.
    See: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/SeekingWarming.htm

  24. RockyRoad says:

    I seriously doubt mother nature appreciates forcing her climate trend into a straight line. The visual appeal is admitedly what we humans appreciate, but we’re one of the few creatures that require such a strict interpretation. I’d rather see a moving average, or just the data points; my eyeball does a fair job of applying a best fit curve, and it certainly doesn’t follow that of atmospheric CO2 very well at all.

    Still, kudos on a nice addition to the site!

  25. dscott says: April 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    What exactly do you “most strenously disagree,” with in my statement that, “For those who may argue that the United States is small portion of the world’s total landmass and thus not necessarily representative of world-wide trends, you are correct.”?

    My statement seems factual and non-controversial, why the strenuousness?

  26. Bill Illis says:

    You can use these charts if you like going back to 1895 and out to March 2011.

    The monthly anomaly from the NCDC in degrees F (using an 11 month moving average).

    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1314/usmonthlyanomfmar11.png

    The monthly anomaly in degrees C.

    http://img577.imageshack.us/img577/8144/usmonthlyanomcmar11.png

    One has to use an 11 month moving average because the actual month-by-month anomaly looks like this (in degrees F). [As one moves down to selected regional climate zones, the anomalies always look like this - random noise/spaghetti ].

    http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/348/usmonthlyanomnomvavgmar.png

    Don’t forget that the NCDC has adjusted the trend upward by +0.425C so it looks more like this in the Raw temperature versus the NCDC-Adjusted.

    http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/241/usmonthlyanomrawandadju.png

  27. AlanG says:

    Like others, I take issue with linear trend lines. They not only uninformative, they’re positively misleading. The R2 must be lousy and the regression line is swamped by noise. A polynomial curve would be better. Completely fails the eyeball test. Ok, it’s 1.0 and thanks for the effort.

  28. ferd berple says:

    1980 was the start of the current warming. Why not start back at 1934?

  29. ferd berple says:

    “Don’t forget that the NCDC has adjusted the trend upward by +0.425C so it looks more like this in the Raw temperature versus the NCDC-Adjusted.”

    http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/241/usmonthlyanomrawandadju.png

    Why is it that the older US temperatures are adjusted downwards? That makes no sense. If anything the modern records should be adjusted downwards due to UHI.

  30. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert Austin says:
    April 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    “For those who assert that US record covers too small a portion of the earth’s surface to make any conclusions about global temperatures, what portion of the earth’s surface is sufficient to make conclusions about the earth’s climate?”

    The AGW crowd refuses to address this question. The reason is that they worship the idea that manmade CO2 is what drives warming and the idea that manmade CO2 is found fully mixed throughout the atmosphere. So, on their assumptions, the only real warming has to be global warming. They bully us with these untested assumptions. One person who has led the charge against this view of warming is Roger Pielke, Sr., who identifies several factors that are regional or local, such as changes in land use. My intuitions tell me that all warming is local but our government and the UN are in the thrall of the Hansens, so we will never get government investment in studies of regional or local warming. And all the government and UN propaganda support the AGW assumptions.

  31. RockyRoad says:

    Bill Illis says:
    April 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

    Don’t forget that the NCDC has adjusted the trend upward by +0.425C so it looks more like this in the Raw temperature versus the NCDC-Adjusted.

    http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/241/usmonthlyanomrawandadju.png

    Well, sure, but without that early fudging, the NCDC wouldn’t have much of a trend to worry about right? Oh, wait, did I just say that? (Do you suppose they simply got the UHI adjustment backwards?)

  32. AlanG says: April 16, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    Like others, I take issue with linear trend lines. They not only uninformative, they’re positively misleading. The R2 must be lousy and the regression line is swamped by noise. A polynomial curve would be better. Completely fails the eyeball test. Ok, it’s 1.0 and thanks for the effort.

    You need to direct your critique to the source of the graph, i.e. Remote Sensing Systems

    According to their website:

    “Data and images on this website are produced by Remote Sensing Systems under the sponsorship of:

    NASA Earth Science REASoN DISCOVER Project
    (SSM/I, TMI, AMSR-E, QuikScat, SeaWinds, NSCAT, SST)

    NASA AMSR-E Science Team (AMSR-E)

    NASA Ocean Vector Winds Science Team
    (QuikScat, SeaWinds, NSCAT)

    NASA Earth Science Physical Oceanography Program (SST)

    NOAA Climate and Global Change Program (MSU)”

    WUWT Reference Pages are just compilations of information from various sources, we do not create or alter it in any way. As such we are not responsible for trendlines. If you have a reputable source of the data graphed without a trendline and with a url that’s automatically updated on a monthly basis, please post links and we’ll consider them for inclusion.

  33. Bob Tisdale says: April 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm
    Phil’s Dad says: April 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Can you see this version?:

  34. HenryP says:

    No, I cannot see the graph, unless I click on it.
    (the link works)

    what is also missing on the graph is a good title
    I am assuming this is the daily mean temperature?
    The mean temperature is the average temperature of all measurements of temperature taken during the 24 hour day at a specific place.
    Do we have any standard as to how many measurements make up for the daily mean?
    (I am assuming it is measured continuously, but is that once per minute or once per second or more times?)

    What would also be interesting to see for me is the maxima and minima.

    So far I checked the data from 4 different weather stations on earth and an interesting aspect of the results reported would be to think about what we see is actually happening: the mean temps at all 4 stations (that I personally checked) have stayed unchanged over the past 35 years. Assuming we can take this globally, it means that heat content on earth has stayed the same.
    Maxima were found rising and minima declining, but not always rising and declining at exactly the same (opposite) rate.
    Somehow, you get the feeling that more heat is getting into the system, unequally divided, from the sun. This extra heat came in naturally, due to sun cycle activity, or, due to cosmic reasons, perhaps earth simply coming in a position slightly nearer to the sun. Whatever the reason, what I find is that this extra heat is simply being absorbed or consumed by earth leading to lower minima.
    This is consistent with the general observation that earth has got greener in the past 4 decades and obviously this extra life is simply consuming the extra heat that came in.
    I mean, for forests to grow more it just needs more warmth (and more carbon dioxide, perhaps).

  35. Werner Brozek says:

    “steven mosher says:
    April 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    actually its the entire data record, so selecting a sub sample of that as you do would be the cherry pick.”

    “RockyRoad says:
    April 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I seriously doubt mother nature appreciates forcing her climate trend into a straight line. …my eyeball does a fair job of applying a best fit curve,”

    Perhaps the above two thoughts need to be combined. We should NOT cherry pick and we should NOT force a curve into a straight line. What should have been done by the RSS folks is to make a curve over the whole satellite time period and then it would have been obvious that the CURVE trends downward at the end.

  36. Michael Ells says:

    I would be interested in graphs of climate proxies, especially stalagmite samples. I would also like to see historical graphs of the various oceanic multi-decadal oscillations.

  37. Cementafriend says:

    Anthony, how about a reference page for AGW papers that are grossly in error and the papers showing the errors.
    I have a possible one but it needs someone to check it out I the K&T 1997 paper on Global Budget & also in their T-F%K paper they have an atmospheric window of 40W/m2 but in Van Andel’s Sept 2010 presentation here http://climategate.nl/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/KNMI_voordracht_VanAndel.pdf in slide 26 he states that Trenberth knows it is 66 W/m2. Does that not discredit Trenberth who is a leading member of the team. There are of course the discredit of one of Phil Jones papers about UHI, Mann’s hockey stick, Steig wrong paper about warming in the Antarctic etc.

  38. sversu says:

    Robert Austin,
    what portion of the earth’s surface is sufficient to make conclusions about the earth’s climate?

    Simple, from an correct statistical point of view:
    The complete surface of the earth! Nothing else …

    A (deliberate) fault like this, would have generated a negative response from any of my teachers, during my school period in the 1980s.

  39. Bill Illis says:

    I think the charts do not show up immediately (without clicking on them and getting them into each individual’s browser cache) is because they are coming from an “ftp://” site.

    To have them show up each month when a new version comes out, they will need to be hosted on WUWT or moved to an “http://” link.

  40. Jack Linard says:

    “If you have have any suggested additions or improvements to any of the Reference Pages, or recommendations for new reference pages, please let us know in comments below.”

    Anthony – I was recently asked asked by a friend if I could recommend some reading matter from the skeptic’s viewpoint. I have read some and know of others (eg, Svensmark, Plimer, etc.).

    However, what would be useful would be a general bibliography of books and other literature with summaries and comments so that lists can be printed and we can remain informed.

    Thanks.

  41. JaneHM says:

    What IS the first graph on the US Climate History page “Surface Temperature – 1895 to Present”? What regions does it cover and what is the original data set? It differs significantly from the NASA GISS and USHCN graphs for the continental United States, especially for 1920 – 1960.

  42. sky says:

    Looking at graphs is fine, but for those of us who actually analyze data providing a link to the underlying time-series would be very helpful.

    I find the NOAA graph of USA Tempertaures totally incredible. For starters, it shows an average temperature below freezing. And the trend is as much a product of adjustments and UHI influences. There is no way that 1934 shows temperatures below those of 1998 and even 1953 in vetted small-town records that haven’t been “homogenized” to suit the AGW mantra.

  43. sky says: April 17, 2011 at 3:56 pm
    Jack Linard says: April 17, 2011 at 10:12 am (Edit)

    This is the source data for the NOAA NCDC graph;
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cirs/drd964x.tmpst.txt

    it’s the USHCN Version 2 Serial Monthly Dataset, background available here:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

    The graph in question can be generated by going to this page;
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

    and hitting Submit at the bottom. Note that we can change the base period, remove the trend line, etc. on the NOAA NCDC graph.

  44. John Campbell says:

    Discussing AGW with a politician recently, I was asked to provide a one-page summary of the sceptic position. Such a brief would be very useful for anyone wanting to communicate the sceptical position to someone who has time for only a one-pager. Has anyone got such a document? I tried to produce it myself, but it was going on to three pages when I gave up (the references, web links and quotes took up about two-thirds of it!!). If no-one has such a thing, I guess I’ll have to try again….sometime….

  45. Bryan A says:

    If you place a trend line from 1980 to today it would likely look flat

  46. Werner Brozek says:

    “John Campbell says:
    April 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    ..a one-page summary of the sceptic position…Has anyone got such a document?”

    See just page 3 of the 16 pages of the following:
    http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/the_skeptics_handbook_2-3_lq.pdf

  47. woodNfish says:

    The trend line in the graph is incorrect. A straight horizontal line at the zero point is well within all the graph and is the only true “trend line”.

  48. Phil's Dad says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    April 16, 2011 at 8:32 pm
    Bob Tisdale says: April 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm
    Phil’s Dad says: April 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Can you see this version?:

    I’m probably too late to respond now but – Nope – sorry.

  49. dscott says:

    My statement seems factual and non-controversial, why the strenuousness?

    Because precisely it is not factual or non-controversial. It is the one of the many false assertions that undergirds the AGW hoax. It is a false assertion to claim that just because there is no discernable AGW signal in the US that it is not as Popper showed us a sign of falsification. By ignoring or dismissing the signs of falsification you fail to force the defenders of the AGW hypothesis to explain themselves adequately much less get them to clearly articulate the mechanism of this supposed exception. They have not. In denying the opportunity to object by via the paper thin dismissal you at the same time oh so conveniently smother the contraversy. The denial to examine the falsification of AGW in the US land mass then is the spring board to deny the examination of the Southern Hemisphere with equally lazy anaylsis. Hand waving is not scientific anaylsis.

    The question which has been studiously avoided is by what mechanism does AGW not present itself in the US IF CO2 being a planetary phenomina is supposed to behave in the same manner uniformly over the whole of the earth. Yes, we expect a different DEGREE of EFFECT at various latitudes but NOT geographic areas OF THE SAME LATITUDE. CO2 can not defy the laws of physics in the US and then behave according to the laws of physics in Europe and Asia. Thus I STRENOUSLY OBJECT to such a controversial assertion.

  50. sky says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    April 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for the links. The graph in question turns out to be the January average temperatures. WUWT’s Climatic History Reference Page would be much clearer if that were indicated in the caption.

  51. Phil’s Dad says: April 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I’m probably too late to respond now but – Nope – sorry.

    Are you using Internet Explorer? If so, do you know which version?

  52. dscott says: April 18, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    ? Read the words “not necessarily representative of world-wide trends”. Might be, might not be, but it’s irrelevant, because, as I said, “WUWT Global Climatic History Page is under development and will go live in the next couple weeks”…

  53. sky says: April 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    “The graph in question turns out to be the January average temperatures. WUWT’s Climatic History Reference Page would be much clearer if that were indicated in the caption.”

    I assume you mean the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) Surface Temperature – 1895 to Present graph, which is a monthly graph, thus I’ve added “Monthy” to its title. However, it should be updating automatically, i.e. it should be March, not January. Why do you say January?

  54. sky says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    April 20, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    “Why do you say January?”

    Because the first chart that came up on WUWT’s reference page a few days ago proved to be identical to that generated for January by: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html
    Just now, however, the reference page failed to produce any chart.

Comments are closed.