A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – Quarterly Update

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

This format received a positive response in the previous article and apparently encouraged Skeptical Science to take A Big Picture Look at Global Warming, thus this article will be updated on a quarterly basis moving forward. In their article, Skeptical Science argued that “the planet is indeed warming rapidly” and this rate “is expected to increase”. Suggestions as to which data/graphics included below best demonstrate rapid warming are most welcome…

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source my simply clicking on it.

Update: John Christy points out via email that RSS and UAH anomalies are not comparable because they use different base periods, i.e., “RSS only uses 1979-1998 (20 years) while UAH uses the WMO standard of 1981-2010. So, March 2012 in RSS has an LT anomaly of -0.03 when based on the 1981-2010 mean annual cycle.”

Global Surface Temperatures:

Generally, when referring to Earth’s “climate” warming, proponents of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) narrative, refer to Earth’s Surface Temperature, e.g. “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.” NASA Earth Observatory

As such, here’s NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly – 1996 to Present;

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) - Click the pic to view at source

NOAA’s National Climate Data Center (NCDC) Annual Global Mean Temperature Anomaly Over Land & Sea – 1880 to Present;

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) - Click the pic to view at source

Note: The chart above hasn’t been updated with 2011 data for unknown reasons. The chart resides here and the data to update it is here. It appears that a significant decline in temperatures occurred during the last 15 months:

2010 1 0.6335
2010 2 0.6708
2010 3 0.7815
2010 4 0.7518
2010 5 0.7064
2010 6 0.6764
2010 7 0.6581
2010 8 0.5783
2010 9 0.4975
2010 10 0.5655
2010 11 0.7182
2010 12 0.4226
2011 1 0.3962
2011 2 0.4200
2011 3 0.5226
2011 4 0.5894
2011 5 0.5093
2011 6 0.5882
2011 7 0.5687
2011 8 0.5401
2011 9 0.5264
2011 10 0.5739
2011 11 0.4347
2011 12 0.4800
2012 1 0.3630
2012 2 0.3678
(Source: NOAA NCDC)

UK Met Office’s – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Annual Global Average Land Temperature Anomaly – 1850 to Present;

Met Office - Hadley Center - Click the pic to view at source

and the UK Met Office – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Monthly Global Average Land Temperature – 1850 to Present

Met Office - Hadley Center - Click the pic to view at source

Depending on the time frame, it certainly seems that Earth’s surface temperature has increased, though it does not appear to be “warming rapidly”. Furthermore, the surface temperature record is burdened with issues of questionable siting, changes in siting, changes in equipment, changes in the number of measurement locations, modeling to fill in gaps in measurement locations, corrections to account for missing, erroneous or biased measurements, and the urban heat island effect. Thus to see the big picture on the temperature Earth’s temperature, it helps to also look up.

Atmospheric Temperatures:

Since 1979 the temperature of Earth’s “climate” has also been measured via satellite. “The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.” NASA

The following are 4 Temperature Anomaly plots from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), each one increases in altitude as is illustrated here:

RSS Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

RSS Temperature Middle Troposphere (TMT)- Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) -Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present:

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

According to Remote Sensing Systems, “For Channel (TLT) (Lower Troposphere) and Channel (TMT) (Middle Troposphere), the anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow tropospheric warming. The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the most recent one being the largest.” RSS

Also, the 2009 – 10 El Niño event is also called out on this RSS Latitudinal Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly from 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

and the 1998 El Niño event, along with the tropospheric cooling attributed to the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinitubo, is called out on this University of Alabama – Hunstville (UAH) Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present:

University of Alabama - Huntsville (UAH) - Dr. Roy Spencer - Click the pic to view at source

Note that in March the UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomaly was 0.11 degrees C above the 30 year average, and the RSS Lower Troposphere Brightness Temperature was 0.075 degrees C above the 30 year average. Keep this mind the next time you see claims that recent weather was caused by Global Warming.

There are also regional variations in Lower Troposphere that contribute nuance to the picture. For example, RSS Northern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

shows a .334 K/C per decade increase, whereas the The RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

shows a .011 K/C per decade decrease. I am still not aware of a compelling explanation for the significant divergence in the Lower Troposphere temperature trends between the poles.

The satellite record seems to show slow warming of Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events. Lower Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of Earth “warming rapidly”.

Moving higher in the atmosphere, RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

has been incredibly flat since, with a trend of just -.010 K/C per decade. The 1997-98 and 2009 – 10 El Niño events are still readily apparent in the plot, as is a spike from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Note that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo is the opposite in the Lower and Middle Troposphere versus the Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS), i.e. “Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere; the gases convert into submicron particles (aerosol) with an e-folding time scale of about 1 year. The climate response to large eruptions (in historical times) lasts for several (2-3) years. The aerosol cloud causes cooling at the Earth’s surface, warming in stratosphere.”
Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

It is interesting that, incorporating the impact of three significant surface driven warming events, Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperatures (TTS) have been quite stable, however there is nuance to this as well.

RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

has been increasing by .046 K/C per decade, whereas the RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

has been decreasing by -.066 K/C per decade.

Moving higher still in the atmosphere, the RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) - Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) - Click the pic to view at source

“is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS

The eruptions of El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo are readily apparent in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation at Mauna Loa, Hawaii:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) - Click the pic to view at source

“The stratosphere” … “in contrast to the troposphere, is heated, as the result of near infrared absorption of solar energy at the top of the aerosol cloud, and increased infra-red absorption of long-wave radiation from the Earth’s surface.”

“The stratospheric warming in the region of the stratospheric cloud increases the latitudinal temperature gradient after an eruption at low latitudes, disturbing the stratospheric-troposphere circulation, increasing the difference in height of the troposphere between high and low latitudes, and increasing the strength of the jet stream (polar vortex, especially in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warming during the northern hemisphere winter following a tropical eruption, and this warming effect tends to be larger than the cooling effect described above.” Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

The Lower Stratosphere experienced “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo.” … “Here we provide observational analyses that yield new insight into three key aspects of recent stratospheric climate change. First, we provide evidence that the unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, we argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, we reveal the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer-Dobson circulation” David W. J. Thompson Colorado State University

Above the Stratosphere we have the Mesosphere and Thermosphere, neither of which have I identified current temperature time series for, but of note is that on “July 15, 2010″ “A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” occurred when “high above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.”

“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.” NASA

In summary, Earth’s Lower and Middle Troposphere appear to have warmed slowly, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events, and tempered by the cooling effects of the eruption of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of “warming rapidly”. Tropospheric / Stratospheric temperatures appear to have been influenced by at least three significant surface driven warming events, the 1997-98 El Niño, and the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991, but to have maintained a stable overall trajectory. Stratospheric temperatures appear to have experienced two “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).”, and “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years. Lastly, “during deep solar minimum of 2008-2009″ “the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years” occurred and “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.”

Ocean Temperatures:

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Parliamentary Library

As such, changes in Oceanic Oscillations, and Ocean Heat Content are critical to understanding “Earth’s Temperature”. Here is NOAA’s NODC Global Ocean Heat Content from 0-700 Meters – 1955 to Present;

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) - Click the pic to view at source

and here is the same from Ole Humlum’s valuable climate data site Climate4you.com, NODC Global Ocean Heat Content – 0-700 Meters – 1979 to Present:

climate4you.com - Ole Humlum - Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences - Click the pic to view at source

It seems apparent from the plots above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, however Global Ocean Heat doesn’t appear to be “warming rapidly”. Furthermore, there is no evidence or indication of an increasing or accelerating rate, deceleration would appear to be a more accurate label.

Sea Level:

“Global sea level is currently rising as a result of both ocean thermal expansion and glacier melt, with each accounting for about half of the observed sea level rise, and each caused by recent increases in global mean temperature. For the period 1961-2003, the observed sea level rise due to thermal expansion was 0.42 millimeters per year and 0.69 millimeters per year due to total glacier melt (small glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets) (IPCC 2007). Between 1993 and 2003, the contribution to sea level rise increased for both sources to 1.60 millimeters per year and 1.19 millimeters per year respectively (IPCC 2007).” Source NISDC

Global Mean Sea Level Change – 1993 to Present:

climate4you.com - Ole Humlum - Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences - Click the pic to view at source

Global Mean Sea Level Change Map with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” – 1993 to Present:

University of Colorado at Boulder - Click the pic to view at source

Snow and Ice:

A proxy often cited when measuring “Earth’s Temperature” is amount of Snow and Ice on Earth. According to the United States Geographical Survey (USGS), “The vast majority, almost 90 percent, of Earth’s ice mass is in Antarctica, while the Greenland ice cap contains 10 percent of the total global ice mass.” Source USGA However, there is currently there is no generally accepted measure of ice volume, as Cryosat is still in validation and the accuracy of measurements from Grace are still being challenged. Sea Ice Area and Extent are cited as proxies for “Earth’s Temperature” is Sea Ice Area, however there is significant evidence that the primary agents of change in Sea Ice Area and Extent are in fact wind and Atmospheric Oscillations. With this said, here are

Global, Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice Area from 1979 to Present;

climate4you.com - Ole Humlum - Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences - Click the pic to view at source

Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly – 1979 to Present:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois - Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois - Click the pic to view at source

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois - Click the pic to view at source

Arctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) - click to view at source

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or Greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) - Click the pic to view at source

There appears to have been a negative trend in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent and a positive trend in Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, thus the resultant Global Sea Ice Area trend appears to be slightly negative.

In terms of land based data, here is 20 Year Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover with 1995 – 2009 Climatology

Florida State University - Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science - Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present

Florida State University - Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science - Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University - Global Snow Lab (GSL) - Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

 alt=

Rutgers University - Global Snow Lab (GSL) - Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University - Global Snow Lab (GSL) - Click the pic to view at source

While neither Snow plot offers a global perspective, when looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there appears to have been a slight increase in Snowcover and Winter Snow Extent, a decrease in Spring Snow Extent and no change in Fall Snow Extent over the historical record.

Based on the limited Global Ice and Snow measurements available, and noting the questionable value of Sea Ice Area as a proxy for temperature, not much inference can currently be drawn from Earth’s Ice measurements. However, there does not appear to be any evidence in Earth’s Ice measurements of rapid warming.

Conclusion:

“Earth’s Temperature” appears to have increased during the last several decades, but there does not appear to be any evidence of “rapid warming”.

Additional information on “Earth’s Temperature” can be found in the WUWT Reference Pages, including the Global Temperature Page and Global Climatic History Page

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90 Responses to A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – Quarterly Update

  1. Doug Proctor says:

    The last 15 months suggest, to the untutored eye, that a peak in global temperatures has passed even in the GISS data. The update has been delayed in the hope/belief that this coming spring/summer will bring the trend back up to Hansen-Gore-CAGW levels.

    The history of adjusting temperatures up is biting NASA/Hansen et al. Like a public company that artificially boosts it stock value, the growth pattern dies if the real world doesn’t cooperate. Adjusting doesn’t work going forward, at least not when you don’t control all information.

    If the European and other areas go into a cool six months, the averages will be dragged down. The contiguous continental has had a “hot” winter, which looks good as a stand-alone, red splotch, but wasn’t enough to drive up the global averages. One region doesn’t a world make, despite Hansen’s best efforts. Over the next six months there will be some sharp pencils looking to delete “bad” data to maintain the storyline at NASA. The open letter by ex-NASA workers was embarrassing, but there will be greater embarrassment if the global temperatures show a decline in the next short while.

  2. John Blake says:

    Assuming unadjusted raw data of integrity remains available, confirmed by valid statistical sampling in 3-D atmospheric volume over minimum 15-year time-scales, at what point will climate botanists be willing to say: “Declining global temperatures indicate that Earth’s 125-year+ rebound from her 500-year Little Age Age is fading fast. Now entering on a 70-year ‘dead sun’ Maunder Minimum, we expect an overdue reversion to cyclical Pleistocene Ice Time by c. 2113 at the latest”?

    Of course, any major series of volcanic outbreaks could tip Gaia to a 102,000-year full-frost regime at any time. As for catastophic anthropogenic global warming, leave that to coulrophilic, coprophagic proctocranials expert in holding feet-to-fire.

  3. Alex the skeptic says:

    catastrophic global non-warming; catastrophic to the warmists who are seeing their theories melting like the greenlad ice would have if their wishes materialised.

  4. KR says:

    It’s also worth looking at the Spring Northern Hemisphere snow extent:

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=2

    That shows a significant decline, and is indicative of less total snow to be melted over the years.

  5. sophocles says:

    Note: The chart above hasn’t been updated with 2011 data for unknown reasons.
    ==================================================================
    Interesting. Could it be because the data is “obviously wrong”
    and the “lost heat” hasn’t been found yet?

    Is that a multitude of pencils, I hear, considering “adjustments” to fit the data to the
    curve … or should that be story?

  6. James Sexton says:

    It is a bit delicious that there is not global total ice content change. Thanks! I was looking for something to write about!

  7. Oldseadog says:

    “Something is going on that we do not understand”.
    Says it all, really.

  8. KR says: April 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    It’s also worth looking at the Spring Northern Hemisphere snow extent:

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=2

    Fair enough, I’ve added to the article:

    Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

     alt=

    Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

    Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

    Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

    That shows a significant decline, and is indicative of less total snow to be melted over the years.

    Why would “global warming” influence Spring Snow Extent, but not Fall or Winter Snow Extent?

  9. kbray in california says:

    KR says:
    April 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    It’s also worth looking at the Spring Northern Hemisphere snow extent:

    That shows a significant decline, and is indicative of less total snow to be melted over the years.
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    Hey, add 25 more horizontal lines to that chopped off chart and it looks more like normal variation to me….

  10. James Sexton says: April 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    It is a bit delicious that there is not global total ice content change.

    Yes, not exactly what one might expect to see during a supposed period of “rapid” global warming…

  11. George E. Smith says:

    Well I would have found the graphs more interesting, if they had not been corrupted by extraneous, and uninformative noise additions. Specifically those silly straight lines imposed on the graphs, confuse the eye into believing that they somehow relate to the (presumably) measured points; they clearly aren’t related in any way.
    And on the first picture, the inclusion of black and red points for presumably two different data sets, combine to create an optical illusion that the semblance of increase over time is amplified. The red has the effect of depressing the earlier data, while the black accentuates the later stationary data. And of course the short 16 year long interval isn’t long enough to show any real long term climate change; although it is (presumably) a good reflection of just those 16 years.

    The addition of those purely theoretical model (statistical) lines, adds no information that isn’t already shown in the actual plotted points; namely that any combination of just a few spatially separated random points conveys no information about the vast unsampled space that isn’t included in the samples.

    And is it possible for people to decide once and for all, whether these plots are just local anomaly values, or whether they are as is stated data on the earth’s mean surface TEMPERATURE. The earth surface, is a fairly definable location, generally a continuous phase boundary between gaseous components, and either liquid or solid components of the physical planet. How many of the plotted data locations are actually on this boundary ?

    Statistical mathematicians; who presumably are NOT climate scientists; should know that INFORMATION is lost, when applying statistical methods to raw observational data; and fictional pseudo data is created that can not be measured anywhere in the real world.

  12. KR says:

    justthefactswuwt“Why would “global warming” influence Spring Snow Extent, but not Fall or Winter Snow Extent?”

    The decline in spring extent indicates either (a) less total snow to be melted, (b) warmer spring temperatures causing the snowpack to melt faster, or (more likely) both. And looking at the snow cover report from that site (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/files/Robinson_snowdata2011.pdf):

    “Annual snow cover extent (SCE) over Northern Hemisphere (NH) lands averaged 24.7 million square kilometers in 2011. This is 0.3 million sq. km. less than the 42-year average and ranks 2011 as having the 17th least extensive cover on record (table 1).”

    …it looks like total yearly snowfall is indeed decreasing. That ties in with observed lower stream flows (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/reducedsnow_more.htm) as well.

  13. KR says:

    “It is a bit delicious that there is not global total ice content change.”

    That really doesn’t match the current data: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-036#2, also http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/pd/climate/factsheets/isamount.pdf

  14. Rob Dawg says:

    justthefactswuwt – “Why would “global warming” influence Spring Snow Extent, but not Fall or Winter Snow Extent?”

    Urbanization plus UHI plus snow plowing. Nothing like a few million lane miles of blacktop exposed to reduce snow cover.

  15. Pamela Gray says:

    Sounds like this global warming is not much to write home about. Kinda pales to people gettin lost in a snow storm and having to survive on…well…let’s just say whatever you can scrounge up along the Donner Party trail.

  16. Scarface says:

    Well, that’s it then. Anyone who can make a catastrophe out of this needs his head examined.

    I will try to get this post published in one of our national newspapers.
    A 0,039% chance that I will succeed, but it’s worth a try.

  17. Werner Brozek says:

    It appears that a significant decline in temperatures occurred during the last 15 months:

    This is true.

    Here are the stats for 4 different data sets over the last 15 months.

    RSS: 2011 was 12th warmest at 0.147. The first 3 months of 2012 so far are 26th warmest averaging -0.034.
    UAH: 2011 was 9th warmest at 0.153. The first 3 months of 2012 so far are 18th warmest averaging -0.031.
    GISS: 2011 was 9th warmest at 0.514. The first 3 months of 2012 so far are 14th warmest averaging 0.407.
    Hadcrut3: 2011 was 12th warmest at 0.340. The first 2 months of 2012 so far are 19th warmest averaging 0.204.

  18. Roger says:

    Eyeballing, I really find it hard to believe the TMT RSS shows ANY trend. Also the TLT data is showing it hard to have any trend with the current data

  19. Crispin in Johannesburg says:

    Lower stream flow is indicative of reduced precipitation, not higher temperatures causing less snow. Reduced precipitation can be caused by lower temperatures. Is the cold N Pacific reducing evaporation?

  20. Pamela Gray says:

    A blade of grass is only taller than the others if you are a golfer on the 18th hole or an ant walking along the green skyscraper sidewalks in your backyard green carpet. To the rest of us, there is scant different between this blade or that blade.

    From way out at the millennium view, these tiny temperature changes don’t even show up as vibrations, let alone a sharp rise or fall. Much ado about nothing, unless you are a golfer or an ant.

  21. MrX says:

    Part of me is somewhat satisfied to see data going against AGW, but really, I’m happy if the planet gets warmer. What I hate most about this war on warming is that humanity has been taken away the optimism of the future. Right now, we should be celebrating that we’re coming out of the LIA. It should be something to rejoice. But no, instead we get the pro AGW scared of a warmer planet, and skeptics showing data that shows a lack of warming. Realistically, everyone should want a warmer planet. It’s always been when humanity has had the most prosperity. If humans ever do get the technology to affect the climate, they will use it to make it warmer.

  22. Marcos says:

    how would those CRU anomaly charts look if 1961-1990 (which ran fairly cold) wasnt used as their ‘normal’ period?

  23. DirkH says:

    “Note: The chart above hasn’t been updated with 2011 data for unknown reasons. The chart resides here and the data to update it is here. It appears that a significant decline in temperatures occurred during the last 15 months:

    2010 1 0.6335
    [...]

    2012 2 0.3678″

  24. KR says: April 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    The decline in spring extent indicates either (a) less total snow to be melted, (b) warmer spring temperatures causing the snowpack to melt faster, or (more likely) both.

    But wouldn’t the increace in Winter Snow Extent seem to contridict the hypothsis that there’s “less total snow to be melted”? And what about the other potential variables, e.g. (c) Atmospheric Oscillations, (d) Oceanic Oscillations, (e) Other Anthroprognic influences including particulates, snow plowing/melting, UHI, Hat Tip (Rob Dawg says: April 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm etc.)?

    And looking at the snow cover report from that site (http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/files/Robinson_snowdata2011.pdf):

    “Annual snow cover extent (SCE) over Northern Hemisphere (NH) lands averaged 24.7 million square kilometers in 2011. This is 0.3 million sq. km. less than the 42-year average and ranks 2011 as having the 17th least extensive cover on record (table 1).”

    .3 million sq. km., against an average extent of 24.7 Million sq. km. represents a 1.2% anomaly, not indicative of anything rapid, if anything at all. Furthermore the article seems to indicate that variable (c) Atmospheric Oscillations, is a primary driver of Snow Cover Extent, i.e.:

    “The strongly negative Arctic Oscillation pattern of the 2010/2011 winter was associated with an expansive snow cover across the contiguous United States. Monthly SCEs from November 2010 through April 2011 ranked in the top 20%. Close to average May and June extents followed. So too was SCE average to start the winter 2011/2012. However the AO went strongly positive for much of late November and December, resulting in a lower quartile December ranking for US SCE.”

    …it looks like total yearly snowfall is indeed decreasing. That ties in with observed lower stream flows (http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/reducedsnow_more.htm) as well.

    The information in the article cited is dated and focused primarily on the state of Washington. I see no evidence that “total yearly snowfall is indeed decreasing” and, from my understanding, the current meme of the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming narrative is that global warming should lead to increasing snowfall:…

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9d092c98-4184-11e1-8c33-00144feab49a.html#axzz1s9K7DIn9

    http://phys.org/news/2011-03-global-snowstorms-scientists.html

  25. SØREN BUNDGAARD says:

    We need next generation of newclear power,
    witch’s is must safer 8:23 – James Hansen in Newsnight – Scotland, Tuesday 10 april 2012

  26. Zac says:

    It is cold this year in the UK, I’ve never had to carry full winter clothing on my push bike so late into April before or order a replenishment of coal for the bunker. Despite what the BBC says Bluebells are having a hard time of it.

  27. DocMartyn says:

    This is the change in sea level, 1992 to the start of 2012. Sea level increases are due to thermal expansion and melting of land based ice.
    The black line is the CUSUM of the detrended data; essentially the rate of change of sea level without data loss by averaging.

    Spring 2007 is the srat of the slowdown and the current slowing kicked in in 2010 big time.

  28. James Sexton says:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    April 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    KR says: April 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    The decline in spring extent indicates either (a) less total snow to be melted, (b) warmer spring temperatures causing the snowpack to melt faster, or (more likely) both.
    ===================================================
    I’m waiting until after May to update, but as of last year….. over the last 20 years (when the global warming is supposed to be at it’s worse), we see that the agregate snow coverage has a slight increase. http://suyts.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/the-rapidly-melting-snow-extent/

    Why? I don’t know.

  29. KR says:

    justthefactswuwt“But wouldn’t the increace in Winter Snow Extent seem to contridict the hypothsis that there’s “less total snow to be melted”?”

    Not necessarily. The slight increase in extent (not depth, mind you) may be due to higher amounts of weather activity, or shifts in precipitation patterns. But the decrease in spring extent (and the decrease in total yearly extent) indicates that the snow present just isn’t sticking around as long. That’s either less snow total – and/or warmer springs melting it faster.

  30. pat says:

    Forget global warming: Scientists discover glaciers in Asian mountain range are actually getting BIGGER

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2130184/Forget-global-warming-Scientists-discover-glaciers-Asia-getting-BIGGER.html#ixzz1s9X8iZLu

  31. LazyTeenager says:

    “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years.
    ———–
    I can read the graph and I don’t see this. I also think drawing a cause and effect relationship here is trying to be sneaky.

  32. LazyTeenager says:

    “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.”
    ———-
    The density of the thermosphere is very low. Which means its energy content is very low. Which means it has negligable heating effect on the lower atmosphere.

    In short its irrelevant. Smells like FUD to me.

  33. cui bono says:

    Thanks for all the info, Justthefacts and Anthony. Excellent idea to have it as a regular item

    A general question on ocean heat content. The article says: ‘It seems apparent from the plots
    above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, however Global Ocean Heat doesn’t appear to be “warming rapidly”.’

    Some (eg or possibly ie R. Gates) cite the 23 * 10^22 joules which have gone into the oceans as something which will come back and bite us in the a…in the atmosphere. If true, this is slightly disquieting.

    Can somebody point me to something which would challenge this alarmism (this is a sceptical blog, after all)? I get kerflummoxed when dealing with numbers larger than 6 * 10^17. :-)

  34. LazyTeenager says:

    however Global Ocean Heat doesn’t appear to be “warming rapidly”.
    ———
    Word games. A description such as “warming rapidly” is understood in terms of its context. Just the facts is trying to be shifty about the context by substituting his own

  35. LazyTeenager says:

    deceleration would appear to be a more accurate label
    ———
    Sorry, but I am accustomed to interpreting plots of noisy data. I don’t buy this.

  36. KR says: April 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Not necessarily. The slight increase in extent (not depth, mind you) may be due to higher amounts of weather activity, or shifts in precipitation patterns. But the decrease in spring extent (and the decrease in total yearly extent) indicates that the snow present just isn’t sticking around as long. That’s either less snow total – and/or warmer springs melting it faster.

    I am still far from convinced. I’ve added Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies to the article so that others can make up their own minds;

    Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present

    Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

    but I am still skeptical that;
    – Global warming would cause Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Cover to increace, but Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Cover to decline.
    – Global warming would cause Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Cover to increace, but Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Amount/Depth to decline.
    – The decreace in Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Cover can be attributed to Global Warming, versus to an array of other climate variables, especially Atmospheric Oscillations, which are known to have major influences on Sea Ice Area and Extent: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/02/hurricanes-and-global-warming-opinion-by-chris-landsea/#comment-816893.
    – Even if the above points were all true, the decreace in Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Cover represents compelling evidence of “rapid warming” of Earth.

  37. Alan Clark of Dirty Oil-berta says:

    So let me see if I have this straight. In the 52 years that I have been alive, the Earth’s temperature has risen 0.5°C and the oceans have risen 5 cm (2.5″)? I don’t think I’m quite ready to give all my Helly-Hansen undies to the Goodwill just yet and how much is it going to cost me to hem-up my pants? I can’t believe these people still enjoy any amount of credibility.

  38. michael hart says:

    KR: “The slight increase in extent (not depth, mind you) may be due to higher amounts of weather activity…”

    Ummm, could you explain what constitutes “higher amounts of weather activity” ?
    [I assume it's different from "higher amounts of climate activity..."]

  39. Goldie says:

    Hmm I find the hemispheric differences probably the most suggestive of a human signature. As far back as the 70s folks noted that there was a significant disparity in background ozone concentrations in the lower troposphere between the hemisphere’s and this was postulated to be the residual photochemical product of human activity. Now ozone is nothing like carbon dioxide in the sense that whilst being radiatively active, it nevertheless has a relatively short half life in the lower troposhere, whereas as CO2 hangs around for much longer. The disparity could be a natural product of the different land:sea ratios in the two hemisphere’s but given that even in the eightees there were plenty of credible trackings of transcontinental ozone plumes it would seem more likely that the disparity is indeed human in origin.
    Now whether this disparity carries over to CO2, whether CO2 differences are sufficient to cause the temperature disparity or the disparity is cuased by something else I would have to leave to other smarter people. However, some people have suggested that efforts to reduce photochemical precursors might explain some of the stalling in temperature increase we have seen in recent years.

  40. cui bono says: April 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Some (eg or possibly ie R. Gates) cite the 23 * 10^22 joules which have gone into the oceans as something which will come back and bite us in the a…in the atmosphere. If true, this is slightly disquieting.

    Can somebody point me to something which would challenge this alarmism (this is a sceptical blog, after all)? I get kerflummoxed when dealing with numbers larger than 6 * 10^17. :-)

    I am not sure of the basis of the “23 * 10^22 joules” cited, but previously R. Gates has stated that, “Trenberth has calculated that there seems to be about .9 wm2 “missing”, even though some recent studies have found at least a small portion of it in the deeper parts of the Pacific.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/18/tisdale-on-ocean-heat-content-anomalies/#comment-746599

    Willis Eschenbach addressed Trenberth’s missing heat calculations here;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/26/decimals-of-precision-trenberths-missing-heat/

    Bob Tisdale does a good job in analyzing Ocean Heat Content here;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/18/tisdale-on-ocean-heat-content-anomalies/

    and also addresses R. Gates assumption that there is missing heat/energy, within comments of that thread.

  41. michael hart says:

    cui bono says: April 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    “Some (eg or possibly ie R. Gates) cite the 23 * 10^22 joules which have gone into the oceans as something which will come back and bite us in the a…in the atmosphere. If true, this is slightly disquieting.”

    Alarming, even. An alternative view is that “Trenberth’s missing heat” isn’t there. That it has gone into deep-space, never to return. That’s why he can’t find it, and that’s why he described it as a “tragedy” in the climate-gate emails. So it may just be the size of the error in their calculations. Alarming indeed, but only to those who attach credibility to IPCC model “projections”.

  42. LazyTeenager says: April 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    however Global Ocean Heat doesn’t appear to be “warming rapidly”.
    ———
    Word games. A description such as “warming rapidly” is understood in terms of its context. Just the facts is trying to be shifty about the context by substituting his own

    “Shifty about the contex”? What does this mean? Would you prefer if it read “however Global Ocean Heat Content does not appear to indicate that the planet is “warming rapidly”.?

  43. LazyTeenager says: April 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Sorry, but I am accustomed to interpreting plots of noisy data. I don’t buy this.

    Not sure what it is you are or aren’t buying. Do you see an accellerating rate of warming in the Ocean Heat Content plots? If so can you provide a timeframe during which you believe this accelleration has occured? The data is available here if you’d like to plot it yourself:

    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/OC5/3M_HEAT/heatdata.pl?time_type=yearly700

  44. Goldie says: April 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Hmm I find the hemispheric differences probably the most suggestive of a human signature. As far back as the 70s folks noted that there was a significant disparity in background ozone concentrations in the lower troposphere between the hemisphere’s and this was postulated to be the residual photochemical product of human activity. Now ozone is nothing like carbon dioxide in the sense that whilst being radiatively active, it nevertheless has a relatively short half life in the lower troposhere, whereas as CO2 hangs around for much longer. The disparity could be a natural product of the different land:sea ratios in the two hemisphere’s but given that even in the eightees there were plenty of credible trackings of transcontinental ozone plumes it would seem more likely that the disparity is indeed human in origin.
    Now whether this disparity carries over to CO2, whether CO2 differences are sufficient to cause the temperature disparity or the disparity is cuased by something else I would have to leave to other smarter people. However, some people have suggested that efforts to reduce photochemical precursors might explain some of the stalling in temperature increase we have seen in recent years.

    I’m not even sure how to address this, it seems like pure specultion. Can you provide any empirical evidence in support of your supposition? Here is some literature on the subject, I find no attribution to or association with Ozone.

    In this paper “The central role of diminishing sea ice in recent Arctic temperature amplification” by James A. Screen & Ian Simmonds, 2010:

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/n7293/full/nature09051.html

    The abstract states that, “Increased concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases have driven Arctic and global average warming; however, the underlying causes of Arctic amplification remain uncertain. The roles of reductions in snow and sea ice cover and changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation cloud cover and water vapour are still matters of debate.” before claiming that, “Here we show that the Arctic warming is strongest at the surface during most of the year and is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover.”

    Here’s another paper, “Vertical structure of recent Arctic warming” by Rune G. Graversen, Thorsten Mauritsen1, Michael Tjernström, Erland Källén & Gunilla Svensson, Nature, 2008.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7174/abs/nature06502.html

    The abstract states that, “The underlying causes of this temperature amplification remain uncertain. The reduction in snow and ice cover that has occurred over recent decades may have played a role. Climate model experiments indicate that when global temperature rises, Arctic snow and ice cover retreats, causing excessive polar warming. Reduction of the snow and ice cover causes albedo changes, and increased refreezing of sea ice during the cold season and decreases in sea-ice thickness both increase heat flux from the ocean to the atmosphere. Changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation, as well as cloud cover, have also been proposed to cause Arctic temperature amplification. Here we examine the vertical structure of temperature change in the Arctic during the late twentieth century using reanalysis data. We find evidence for temperature amplification well above the surface. Snow and ice feedbacks cannot be the main cause of the warming aloft during the greater part of the year, because these feedbacks are expected to primarily affect temperatures in the lowermost part of the atmosphere, resulting in a pattern of warming that we only observe in spring. A significant proportion of the observed temperature amplification must therefore be explained by mechanisms that induce warming above the lowermost part of the atmosphere. We regress the Arctic temperature field on the atmospheric energy transport into the Arctic and find that, in the summer half-year, a significant proportion of the vertical structure of warming can be explained by changes in this variable. We conclude that changes in atmospheric heat transport may be an important cause of the recent Arctic temperature amplification.”

    Here’s another paper, Arctic air temperature change amplification and the Atlantic
    Multidecadal Oscillation, by Petr Chylek, Chris K. Folland, Glen Lesins, Manvendra K. Dubey, and Muyin Wang, Geophysical Research Letter, 2009:

    http://www.lanl.gov/source/orgs/ees/ees14/pdfs/09Chlylek.pdf

    It states that, “Analyzing temperature records of the Arctic meteorological stations we find that (a) the Arctic amplification (ratio of the Arctic to global temperature trends) is not a constant but varies in time on a multi-decadal time scale, (b) the Arctic warming from 1910–1940 proceeded at a significantly faster rate than the current 1970–2008 warming, and (c) the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.”

    In summary we have three papers from the last several years that state that, “Arctic warming” “is primarily consistent with reductions in sea ice cover.” or “A significant proportion of the observed temperature amplification must therefore be explained by mechanisms that induce warming above the lowermost part of the atmosphere.” or “the Arctic temperature changes are highly correlated with the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) suggesting the Atlantic Ocean thermohaline circulation is linked to the Arctic temperature variability on a multi-decadal time scale.”

    As Oldseadog says: April 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm notes:

    “Something is going on that we do not understand”.
    Says it all, really.

  45. Roger says:

    Recommend postees ALWAYS do a spell check. These guys (warmists) will hammer you to no end.

  46. Henry Clark says:

    I am still not aware of a compelling explanation for the significant divergence in the Lower Troposphere temperature trends between the poles.

    It supports cloud cover changes (e.g. via cosmic ray variation) as a major climate influence. In the northern hemisphere and over most of the rest of the total world’s surface, warming occurs when low-lying cloud cover decreases as albedo decreases then, but, over the expanse of Antarctic ice, the ice sheets there can be more white than the cloud tops. An April 11th “does CO2 correlate” WUWT article discusses that more. Of course, a comprehensive look would also include factors like the Antarctic Circumpolar Current’s effect.

    Incidentally, such as the Met Office graphs seen in this article have much historical revisionism. For instance, the fear of global cooling in the 1970s did not occur because previous temperatures had so next to nil decline from the late 1930s as the CRU graphs imply (even in the specifically Northern Hemisphere version of them like the CRU graph seen at http://hidethedecline.eu/media/Northern%20hemisphere%20temperatures/NHBROHANredSmall.jpg ).

    Rather, history was as illustrated in this image of the November 1976 National Geographic graph:

    … with the 1976 graph also fitting indirectly with

    A comparison is at:

    http://hidethedecline.eu/pages/posts/decline-temperature-decline-1940-78-the-cold-data-war-170.php

    There is so much more that forms the big picture.

    For instance, sea level rise rate was on average no more in the second half of the 20th century than the first half (in fact not more than the rise rate in the late 19th century in prolonged recovery from the Little Ice Age), as illustrated by this:

    which is from

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Holgate/sealevel_change_poster_holgate.pdf

    which notes:

    The first half of the century (1904-1953) had a slightly higher rate (1.91 +/- 0.14 mm/yr) in comparison with the second half of the century (1.42 +/- 0.14 mm/yr 1954-2003).

  47. KR says:

    michael hart – Regarding ~20×10^22 Joules, that number comes from http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ – the 0-2000 meter heat content. ~20×10^22 Joules since 1961.

    That’s ocean heat content, which represents ~92% or so of the available mass in the climate. If that energy went into the atmosphere it would have warmed by >40C, two Hiroshima bombs/second, enough energy (over the last 50 years) to boil Sydney Harbor completely dry – every 12 hours from full up (http://tinyurl.com/725v4zn).

    Granted, there’s some uncertainty in the earlier OHC numbers. But I don’t think it makes a huge difference if the average energy took 24 hours to boil Sydney Harbor dry or only 6… it’s still a fair bit of heat.

  48. eric1skeptic says:

    KR mentioned “higher amounts of weather activity”. Does that mean a faster water cycle? How much net global cooling will the faster water cycle cause?

  49. Smokey says:

    KR says:

    “If that energy went into the atmosphere it would have warmed by >40C, two Hiroshima bombs/second, enough energy (over the last 50 years) to boil Sydney Harbor completely dry – every 12 hours from full up”

    How much is that in Olympic sized swimming pools?

  50. KR says:

    eric1skeptic, michael hart – There doesn’t seem to be a significant trend from the data I’ve seen, but the increases in total water vapor (~4% since the ’70’s) and heat in the atmosphere _may possibly_ be resulting in more storm variations. But honestly, there’s not enough of a trend to be clear. However, given the rather small trend (I haven’t calculated whether it’s significant) in mid-winter extent, I would suspect simple changes in the weather patterns.

    Either way – the reductions in spring extent (10-15% over the time shown) indicate either/both a reduction in total snowfall or/and warmer/earlier springs melting the snow faster.

  51. KR says:

    Smokey“How much is that in Olympic sized swimming pools?”

    And how many rubber ducks could float in them?

  52. CRS, DrPH says:

    Thanks for displaying the Arctic Sea Ice Extent to present day, please see: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    The Arctic Ice seems to be doing quite well, actually! I’m looking forward to further data later on in this melt season.

    Please check out some of the temps in the Arctic here, there are still some COLD temps being reported! http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm

  53. Chuck Nolan says:

    wrt the chart for the “Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present”
    It seems to me the current trend is not much different than the late 1980’s thru the early 1990’s. Why not just use an average somewhere around 30.5 or so? Looks like everything would still be about +/- a few points. Although my guess is it’s not linear I don’t believe we have near enough data to even guess what’s happening. The slope of the 1990 chart must have been horrifying. And not to mention 1967 to 1968. Wonder what happened there?

  54. Goldie says:

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my earlier comment. I was responding to your comment that you couldn’t understand the difference between arctic and antarctic trends.
    There is plenty of evidence to show a hemispheric disparity in pollutants, my own monitoring indicates for example that in the 1990s the hemispheric background of ozone in the Northern Hemisphere was trending towards the high 30s ppb (not urban, but that blowing off the ocean), whilst the Southern Hemisphere shows a background of approximately 27 ppb. This is a disparity in background ozone concentration of approximately 10 ppb. see J.J.West et al., Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 34, 2007 for another discussion, which isn’t great because of all the modelling.
    The point is that background ozone is merely a marker of the presence (effect) of anthropogenic pollution (in the absence of other contributors). It also indicates that it takes a considerable time for the two hemispheres to mix.
    Given the disparity in ozone (and hence other anthropogenic pollutants) between the hemispheres, I am not surprised to find a disparity in hemispheric temperature trends between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.
    At this point I speculate that maybe there is some link between anthropogenic emissions and the differences in warming between the hemispheres, but as I note, proving this is way beyond my ability. I also note that there is a significant difference in Land:Sea Ratios.
    Has no-one found a difference in CO2 between the hemispheres?

  55. Allan Brodribb says:

    I followed your link to the SkS article and was thoroughly unimpressed with their account. The global temp graph where they claim that it is possible to cherry pick a flat decade over the entire warming period is hiliarious since the steps they pick get closer together as the warming slows
    towards the end of the graph.

    They try to claim that a good measure of “rapid warming” is to compare the 1C change over a millenia during an interglacial period which is 0.01C per decade, as they say, with the current 0.08C per decade over the last hundred years! This cherry is so big that they must have invented new equipment to pick it. Is it really OK to compare a trend over a millenium with a trend over a century now?

    They prattle on about snow extent, but don’t even bother to make a mention of the southern hemisphere whilst accusing skeptics of ignoring two months. What’s less relevant? Half the world or half the months, guess it’s whatever suits the narrative.

    Then of course there is sea ice. Where Antarctic Ice is increasing due to “complex reasons” which of course do not exist when looking at decreasing sea ice, ’cause that’s global warming obviously. As far as I knew we were coming off an unusual high arctic ice extent in historical terms. Or is this wrong?

    Lastly we get to heat content, which I confess I know little about, but seems to be an odd way of measuring actual warming, especially since as Willis has shown us with his posts on volcanoes, a change in thermal input doesn’t necessarily equate to a change in surface temperature. I would like to hear other people’s input on the relevance of heat content though and where it fits in the scheme of things.

    Allan

  56. Werner Brozek says:

    It appears that a significant decline in temperatures occurred during the last 15 months:

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words. See the graphs below for slopes for four data sets from the start of 2010 to date.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2010/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2010/trend/plot/rss/from:2010/plot/rss/from:2010/trend/plot/uah/from:2010/plot/uah/from:2010/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2010/plot/gistemp/from:2010/trend

  57. Brian H says:

    Darn. You mean it isn’t warming much? I was so hopeful that we’d head back to the halcyon days of the Holocene Optimum. I’m beginning to think all the excess CO2 I’m generating isn’t up to the job.

    Edit note:

    justthefactswuwt says:
    April 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm
    …increace, but Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Cover to decline.
    – Global warming would cause Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Cover to increace, but Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Amount/Depth to decline.
    – The decreace …

    Decrease your use of ‘c’, Increase your use of ‘s’, and cease misspelling ‘cease’ as ‘ceace’.
    >:(

  58. Brian H says:

    Correction: “cease misspelling ‘crease’ as ‘creace’.
    ;p

  59. wakeupmaggy says:

    We can’t even measure the earth’s temperature. I know that. That was the first thing I learned here and no one can convince me otherwise.
    I also know that all my fruit froze again in buds this year, and according to the nearest approved weather station in our small town, a mile away, it was impossible.

  60. Bill Hunter says:

    the fact these people told us more than a decade ago that AGW had overridden natural variation is prima facia evidence they are basically clueless about what is really going on. There can be no recovery for that claim now. The books are closed on it. They have been proven unreliable.

  61. Bill Tuttle says:

    Roger says:
    April 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm
    Recommend postees ALWAYS do a spell check. These guys (warmists) will hammer you to no end.

    One of ‘em took me to task last year for omitting a preposition in the middle of a rather large paragraph. He retreated after I put “[sic]” after each of *his* grammatical goofs.

  62. James Sexton says:

    Goldie says:
    April 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Has no-one found a difference in CO2 between the hemispheres?
    ================================================
    Yes, they have. But, it leaves one in the same discussion. Land vs water. Here’s some surface temps to play with….. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3nh/from:1987/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3sh/from:1987/mean:12/plot/hadsst2nh/from:1987/mean:12/plot/hadsst2sh/from:1987/mean:12

  63. Peter Miller says:

    I for one am glad I do not live in the Little Ice Age and have been lucky enough to live in a time when natural climate cycles have bounced the temperature back to the more ‘normal’ levels of the short (~10,000 years) Holocene Period.

    Just the Facts has demonstrated what most of us – alarmists excluded – knew already:

    1. The Earth has warmed a little over the last century and the global temperature now appears to be stabilising, or even declining.

    2. Taking the polar ice cap cover, no big deal here, just a little less than ‘normal’ in the Arctic and a little more than ‘normal’ in the Antarctic. I am a little puzzled by one thing here, WUWT’s charts show an abnormally warm 2011/12 winter for the Arctic, yet ice cover is now more extensive than in recent years.

    3. Any global temperature signature induced by the activities of man is almost not apparent. My own belief is that if man has affected global temperature, then agriculture and irrigation are as much to blame as CO2.

    4. Ocean levels continue to rise extremely slowly and the rate of increase is nearly constant, although some deceleration is increasingly apparent in recent years.

    So what does this all mean?

    Any reason for alarm on climate change? As climate change is part of the natural order of things, it is difficult to say “Yes” to that.

    Is the global warming industry a hoax perpetuated by self interest? Difficult to say “No” to that.

    Do we need to spend trillions of dollars on a non-problem to support the theories of those tainted by issues of self interest (comfortable lifestyles, fame, large salaries, huge grants, etc.)? Difficult to say “Yes” to that.

    So either the data is going to have to be seriously adjusted in the usual well-accepted ‘climate science’ way to increase the impression of imminent catastrophe, or the whole global warming industry is going to steadily wither and die.

  64. Why would “global warming” influence Spring Snow Extent, but not Fall or Winter Snow Extent?

    It wouldn’t. This is clearly an increased solar insolation effect.

  65. michael hart says:

    KR says:
    “If that energy went into the atmosphere it would have warmed by >40C, two Hiroshima bombs/second, enough energy (over the last 50 years) to boil Sydney Harbor completely dry – every 12 hours from full up”

    I guess “Trenberth’s missing heat” isn’t in Sydney Harbor, then.
    A lot of sensible people think it is now further away than Alpha Centauri.

  66. spangled drongo says:

    Someone left the cake out in the rain…and the bloody icing froze:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/15/karakoram-glaciers-grown-research

  67. Ammonite says:

    “Earth’s Temperature” appears to have increased during the last several decades, but there does not appear to be any evidence of “rapid warming”.

    What constitutes “rapid” and why? The question is perhaps worth some thought. Is rapid twice normal? Ten times? Is rapid less than 100 years to some critical threshold? Is it a rate beyond which key eco-systems may not be able to adapt? Does it imply adverse economic effects due to agricultural stress or infrastructure relocation within 50 years? Clearly, “rapid” will have different meanings depending on the criteria of interest.

    Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/foster-and-rahmstorf-measure-global-warming-signal.html) calculate the underlying global temperature trend (when known causes of short term volatility are backed out) to be between 0.14C/decade and 0.18C/decade since the beginning of the satellite era. If this were to persist, would any of the readership consider it “rapid”?

  68. Bill Tuttle says:

    Researchers are said to be shocked by a new study published in Nature that has found the world’s largest mountain chain, which stretches from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, has lost no ice over the past decade.

    Translation: “Researchers are said to be shocked that Nature would commit climate heresy by publishing a study which found that Himalayan glaciers have lost no ice over the past decade.”

  69. Kelvin Vaughan says:

    George E. Smith says:

    April 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Well I would have found the graphs more interesting, if they had not been corrupted by extraneous, and uninformative noise additions. Specifically those silly straight lines imposed on the graphs,

    Well said sir! Get ‘em off!

  70. Chuck Nolan says:

    Generally, when referring to Earth’s “climate” warming, proponents of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) narrative, refer to Earth’s Surface Temperature, e.g. “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.” NASA Earth Observatory
    —————————-
    NO!
    Global Warming (GW) is an increase in the earth’s temperature.
    Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is the temperature increase being CAUSED BY MAN.
    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is the increase being caused by man is causing catastrophic devastation upon our earth.

    I’d like to know what the people making these stupid decisions (our elected leaders) believe.

  71. Mike Lewis says:

    KR Says:
    Either way – the reductions in spring extent (10-15% over the time shown) indicate either/both a reduction in total snowfall or/and warmer/earlier springs melting the snow faster.

    It could also indicate a tighter circulation pattern which restricts the extent to more northern latitudes. Less extent doesn’t imply less volume.

  72. JohnWho says:

    Ammonite says:
    April 16, 2012 at 3:35 am
    “Earth’s Temperature” appears to have increased during the last several decades, but there does not appear to be any evidence of “rapid warming”.

    What constitutes “rapid” and why?

    You tell us – would the graduations be:

    slight warming

    gradual warming

    steady warming

    rapid warming

    or similar?

    Would “appears to have increased during the last several decades” be more in line with “slight warming”?

    In any event, what is happening sure doesn’t match what the CAGW by CO2 folks predicted/projected at all, especially during a time when the atmospheric CO2 levels are “steadily increasing”.

    :)

  73. highflight56433 says:

    I cannot buy into any run away warming. The reason is that if that claim is true, and warmer begets even warmer, then El Nino events would trigger even greater warming. Since the earth returns to a norm after El Nino, then there is no apparent run away mechanism in place to
    warrant a claim that there is going to be catestrophic global warming. It is clear the oceans are the ruler of global temps and where the oceans get there heat is the answer.

    I’ll be keeping my sheep skin coats, etc.

  74. Chuck Nolan says:

    From what I’ve see it looks like the average temp for the earth has been about 12.5C fro the last million years or so. I’d like it warmer, please.

  75. rgbatduke says:

    The really interesting thing in all of the above is in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation curve. One wonders if anyone has noticed the distinct downward secular trend in this curve? Using a piece of paper on my screen to fit the secular trend, it looks like transmission has dropped from 0.936 to 0.927 over the 30 year timescale of the curve. That is a 1% drop in transmittivity, and it is proceeding slowly but inexorably down!

    I don’t have any good feel for what they are measuring, but the observatories at Mauna Loa are where they are because they are above the clouds most of the time so that this number does not reflect the change in bond albedo that is surely linked to clouds well below its height.

    Again, that is 1% taken off the top of global warming! As is the case with an increased albedo, it directly reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the surface to warm it. We’re talking 1% here plus 2% from the albedo linked decrease or a total of 3% reduction in mean surface radiation. This in turn corresponds to a roughly 3 degree Kelvin expected decrease in Earth’s mean greybody temperature before the GHE kicks in.

    Holy Moly! That’s enough to kickstart a return to the ice age cold phase, not just another LIA! Seriously!

    I wonder if this is linked to the recently observed decrease in stratospheric moisture. I also wonder just where the missing sunlight is going! Is it warming the stratosphere (decreasing its relative humidity)? Mauna Loa is pretty far up there — losing 1% of the incoming sunlight before reaching it is a pretty big deal!

    rgb

  76. James Sexton says:

    Ammonite says:
    April 16, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 (http://www.skepticalscience.com/foster-and-rahmstorf-measure-global-warming-signal.html) calculate the underlying global temperature trend (when known causes of short term volatility are backed out) to be between 0.14C/decade and 0.18C/decade since the beginning of the satellite era. If this were to persist, would any of the readership consider it “rapid”?
    =======================================================================
    Lol, that depends. If it is the 0.18 C/decade like we’ve seen in the last decade or so….. no. If it was some real measurements, then maybe.
    So, I guess it would depend on what is persisting, the temp measurements or the imaginary temp trend of F&R.

  77. Mike says:

    Melting is not the only result of nonpermanent snow. Some of it sublimates. A lot of it sublimates actually. How ever much I don’t know exactly and I don’t think there is any measurement or modeling of this process. At least I have never come across it.

  78. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” rgbatduke says:

    April 16, 2012 at 7:47 am

    The really interesting thing in all of the above is in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation curve. One wonders if anyone has noticed the distinct downward secular trend in this curve? Using a piece of paper on my screen to fit the secular trend, it looks like transmission has dropped from 0.936 to 0.927 over the 30 year timescale of the curve. That is a 1% drop in transmittivity, and it is proceeding slowly but inexorably down!
    ……………………………

    Again, that is 1% taken off the top of global warming! As is the case with an increased albedo, it directly reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the surface to warm it. We’re talking 1% here plus 2% from the albedo linked decrease or a total of 3% reduction in mean surface radiation. This in turn corresponds to a roughly 3 degree Kelvin expected decrease in Earth’s mean greybody temperature before the GHE kicks in.

    ……………………….
    I wonder if this is linked to the recently observed decrease in stratospheric moisture. I also wonder just where the missing sunlight is going! Is it warming the stratosphere (decreasing its relative humidity)? Mauna Loa is pretty far up there — losing 1% of the incoming sunlight before reaching it is a pretty big deal!

    rgb “””””

    How do you normally do your radiation calculations ? A 3% reduction in gray or BB radiation corresponds to only a 3/4% reduction in Temperature, and taking 288K as the mean earth Temperature (claimed by expert peer reviewed publishing climate scientists; not ignorant physicists) that comes to only 2.16 deg C drop.

    As for a loss of 1% of “sunlight” before reaching ML top; let’s hear it for the ozone hole repair. Ozone peels off far more than 1% of the incoming solar spectrum energy. Remember that ozone is absorbing the highest energy solar photons; not the lowest like CO2 does.

    So if our new clean CFC free atmosphere is achieving what it is claimed it would do, then a 1% extra solar reduction due to more effective O3 UV blocking sounds quite reasonable to me.

  79. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Goldie says:

    April 15, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in my earlier comment. I was responding to your comment that you couldn’t understand the difference between arctic and antarctic trends.
    ………………………..
    Has no-one found a difference in CO2 between the hemispheres? “””””

    Well Goldie, NOAA/NASA has; but then they have hidden the result. As regards CO2, the two hemispheres aren’t even vaguely comparable. In fact the globe is completely assymmetrical as regards distribution of CO2.

    At the south pole (and for most of Antarctica) there is only about a 1 ppm annual cyclic change in atmospheric CO2 abundance; actually -1 ppm since it is opposite in phase from the CO2 annual variations in the northern hemisphere which varies about 18 ppm for the North Pole, and pretty much over the entire arctic. So the northern CO2 variation is 18 times as much as for the Antarctic; which pits the kibosh on claims that CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere.

    Just try swigging 18% alcohol beer, and comparing the result to swigging 1% alcohol (near) beer, if you think 18 times is not a significant difference. Compare to the milli-degree Temperature changes that people go ape about in a year, I would say the hemispheric difference in CO2 is somewhat non negligible.

  80. Werner Brozek says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    April 16, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Just try swigging 18% alcohol beer, and comparing the result to swigging 1% alcohol (near) beer, if you think 18 times is not a significant difference. Compare to the milli-degree Temperature changes that people go ape about in a year, I would say the hemispheric difference in CO2 is somewhat non negligible.

    I beg to differ. Beer is one thing. But CO2 is quite another.

    Over the last 15 years, the CO2 concentration went up about 25 ppm.

    Check out the graph below to see how much difference 25 ppm made over the last 15 years according to RSS.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.83/normalise

  81. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Werner Brozek says:

    April 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    April 16, 2012 at 11:37 am
    Just try swigging 18% alcohol beer, and comparing the result to swigging 1% alcohol (near) beer, if you think 18 times is not a significant difference. Compare to the milli-degree Temperature changes that people go ape about in a year, I would say the hemispheric difference in CO2 is somewhat non negligible.

    I beg to differ. Beer is one thing. But CO2 is quite another.

    Over the last 15 years, the CO2 concentration went up about 25 ppm. “””””

    The beer analog for anyone to whom it wasn’t plainly obvious, was to impress on the reader the significance of an eighteen to one difference in behaviour; between two well studied global regions when the party line is that the subject material is well mixed globally.

    And for 25 ppm change out of say 392 ppm, the log of the ratio is about 0.095, so one would expect about 0.3 deg C change for the IPCCs 3 deg C per doubling.

    And at the north pole, that 18 ppm excess CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in just five months, , so that’s less than a year and a half ro deal with your 25 ppm. So much for 200 year CO2 residence time.

  82. Eric Adler says:

    I am amazed at how off course the discussion here has become. Spencer has made it clear on his website, that it is his mission to debunk the idea of AGW. So now he comes up with some mysterious algorithm to show it hasn’t really been getting warmer.

    This claim is as ridiculous as it gets. His own UAH data set shows that the rate of warming on average since 1979 has been about 0.14C/decade:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temperature_record

    and the RSS satellite data shows a similar trend.

    The burden of proof is on Spencer to explain how why his analysis of station data deserves to be considered seriously. Wake up people!

    REPLY: I’m amazed you had the ‘nads to show up again, tread lightly, there’s a very low tolerance level for you. – Anthony

  83. Henry Clark says:

    The claim that temperatures have recently risen faster than at prior times only works on those who have never seen or deny the validity of graphs like the following from NASA showing temperatures in the location of greatest warming (the Arctic) merely recently rose at a fairly similar rate to how they did in the 1920s and 1930s up to the peak of the time:

    That period with the peak in the late 1930s can be in turn compared to this National Science Foundation graph showing from around 200 A.D. up to the mid-20th century, showing the 800s and 900s A.D. had as fast temperature rise rates (naturally) as the 1920s-1930s just mentioned:

    The above is the northern hemisphere but with that most relevant since there is far less net temperature change in the southern hemisphere.

    Roy Spencer’s April 13th article notes the USHCN claims 0.245 degrees Celsius per decade temperature rise.

    Proportionally, that would be like around 0.81 degrees Celsius over a 3.3 decade period like 1979-2012, which would be like the following 1979-2012 UAH graph going from its around -0.1 degrees Celsius anomaly in early years to averaging around +0.7 degrees Celsius in recent years … which is blatantly not the case to those capable of really reading graphs, as it rather averages around +0.15 to 0.2 degrees Celsius in the final most recent years in utter contrast to the USHCN:

  84. Henry Clark says:

    When writing fast, I don’t think I explicitly noted in the prior comment that USHCN is U.S. and UAH is global, but the point is how misleading a 0.245 degrees Celsius/decade claim is overall when global temperatures have risen in the past three decades at <=~ 0.1 degrees Celsius/decade (a rate like they have naturally in the past long before).

  85. Werner Brozek says:

    George E. Smith; says:
    April 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    And for 25 ppm change out of say 392 ppm, the log of the ratio is about 0.095, so one would expect about 0.3 deg C change for the IPCCs 3 deg C per doubling.

    And at the north pole, that 18 ppm excess CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in just five months,

    Of course this then means that the north pole does not permanently have either an excess or a deficiency of 18 ppm but rather a smooth transition. So then at the most, the average difference between the north pole and south pole is 9 ppm. And with regards to the IPCC 3 C per doubling, that assumes positive feedbacks that Spencer and others do not agree with. So if we assume negative feedback and perhaps 0.8 C per doubling and if we use 9 ppm instead of the 25 ppm as used above, then perhaps we have closer to 0.03 C difference. Right?

  86. Werner Brozek says:

    Eric Adler says:
    April 16, 2012 at 5:37 pm
    This claim is as ridiculous as it gets. His own UAH data set shows that the rate of warming on average since 1979 has been about 0.14C/decade: Wake up people!

    The 0.14/decade was globally, but was Dr. Spencer not discussing U.S. only here?

  87. David Douglass says:

    Douglass and Knox have recently published a paper on Ocean Heat content (OHC) showing that the recent warming rate is essentially zero.
    —————————————————————————–
    Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance. II. Relation to climate shifts
    (abstract)
    In an earlier study of ocean heat content (OHC) we showed that Earth’s empirically implied radiation imbalance has undergone abrupt changes. Other studies have identified additional such climate shifts since 1950. The shifts can be correlated with features in recently updated OHC data. The implied radiation imbalance may possibly alternate in sign at dates close to the climate shifts. The most recent shifts occurred during 2001–2002 and 2008–2009. The implied radiation imbalance between these dates,in the direction of ocean heat loss, was −0.03 ± 0.06 W/m2, with a possible systematic error of −0.00,+0.09] W/m2.
    ————————————————————————–
    The paper was published on line Feb 17, 2012 in Physics Letters A vol 376 p1226-1229.
    We also pointed out that there is no evidence for any “missing heat”.

    The paper may be downloaded at

    David Douglass

    Reply: I believe you meant to add this:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375960112001600

    JTF

  88. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” Werner Brozek says:

    April 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    George E. Smith; says:
    April 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    And for 25 ppm change out of say 392 ppm, the log of the ratio is about 0.095, so one would expect about 0.3 deg C change for the IPCCs 3 deg C per doubling.

    And at the north pole, that 18 ppm excess CO2 is removed from the atmosphere in just five months,

    Of course this then means that the north pole does not permanently have either an excess or a deficiency of 18 ppm but rather a smooth transition. So then at the most, the average difference between the north pole and south pole is 9 ppm. And with regards to the IPCC 3 C per doubling, that assumes positive feedbacks that Spencer and others do not agree with. So if we assume negative feedback and perhaps 0.8 C per doubling and if we use 9 ppm instead of the 25 ppm as used above, then perhaps we have closer to 0.03 C difference. Right? “””””

    Well Werner, to be completely open kimono about it, I used the IPCC number solely because that is (purportedly) the “consensus” value. Actually I place no credence in it. I also assume nothing about any feedbacks; which in my view, would affect the actual driving signal; which is the solar input. And If I believed in the concept, I would certainly take Dr Roy Spencer’s input, before any IPCC concensus.
    But I also don’t even believe in the concept of a fixed Global Temperature increase for any doubling of atmospheric CO2 abundance. I have an aversion to accepting any premise for which there is neither experimental observational supporting data; nor theoretical physical foundation for.

    I do have a degree in mathematics, so I do know what a logarithmic function is, and any purported linkage between mean global surface Temperature, and atmospheric CO2 abundance, is clearly not logarithmic; nor for that matter any other defined mathematical function (known to me).

    And since John Christy et al showed that oceanic near surface water Temperatures, and near surface oceanic air Temperatures, are not correlated, I don’t even believe the “data”, let alone the theory.

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