UAH Global temperature, up in April

UAH Global Temperature Update for April 2012: +0.30°C

By Dr. Roy Spencer

The global average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly increased again in April, 2012, to +0.30°C., with warming in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres, but slightly cool conditions persisting in the tropics (click on the image for the full-size version):

The corresponding April anomaly from RSS, using a common baseline period of 1981-2010, is considerably cooler at +0.21°C.

The 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

Here are the monthly stats:

YR MON GLOBAL NH SH TROPICS
2011 01 -0.010 -0.055 +0.036 -0.372
2011 02 -0.020 -0.042 +0.002 -0.348
2011 03 -0.101 -0.073 -0.128 -0.342
2011 04 +0.117 +0.195 +0.039 -0.229
2011 05 +0.133 +0.145 +0.121 -0.043
2011 06 +0.315 +0.379 +0.250 +0.233
2011 07 +0.374 +0.344 +0.404 +0.204
2011 08 +0.327 +0.321 +0.332 +0.155
2011 09 +0.289 +0.304 +0.274 +0.178
2011 10 +0.116 +0.169 +0.062 -0.054
2011 11 +0.123 +0.075 +0.170 +0.024
2011 12 +0.126 +0.197 +0.055 +0.041
2012 01 -0.090 -0.057 -0.123 -0.138
2012 02 -0.112 -0.013 -0.212 -0.277
2012 03 +0.110 +0.129 +0.092 -0.108
2012 04 +0.295 +0.411 +0.179 -0.120

As a reminder, the most common reason for large month-to-month swings in global average temperature is small fluctuations in the rate of convective overturning of the troposphere, discussed here.

101 thoughts on “UAH Global temperature, up in April

  1. One thing I’ve learnt since watching global temperatures, is that whenever you see a pattern, whenever you think you can predict what is going to happen …. you find you can’t.

    So here’s my prediction:

    Because we’ve seen warming which must be natural … it must go down.
    On the other hand, there’s an underlying amount of warming that should happen due to increasing CO2 … so it will warm.
    But statistically its random, so there’s as much chance of it going up as down … so it will be flat

    … but since the law of global warming prediction is that as soon as one thinks one knows what its all about, one is proven wrong …. my prediction that it is unpredictable will be proven wrong and it will (appear) predictable.

    And they wonder why the ancients used to think the (weather) gods played with them!

  2. Edim,

    With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?

  3. Where are the are the error bars?

    What is the size of the statistical error on each data point?
    How is it determined given that one is averaging over different spatial positions?

    A great deal of data processing goes into producing this plot, in terms of taking various systematic effects into account, so what is the size of the total systematic error on each data point?
    In other words, the total uncertainty in the systematic corrections to the data.

    Or do the authors claim to know the global temperature to within +/- 0.01C as the plot appears to imply?

    While I’m at it, the competing NASA/GISS/Hansen global temperature plot:

    How can any claim to know to within +/- 0.1C what the global temperature was back in 1880?
    The hypothesis of global warming appears to depend entirely on this claim.

  4. Will it go higher in May?

    Where has the global cooling gone?

    Can it be the sun?

    Perhaps its those cosmic rays?

    Maybe it is CO2 as background warming after all.

  5. Correction re NASA/GISS/Hansen global temperature plot:

    Those grey bars are not error bars but “5 year means”.

    So again, where are the error bars?

    How can any claim to know to within +/- 0.1C what the global temperature was back in 1880?

    The hypothesis of global warming appears to depend entirely on this claim.

    Climate science – the only field of science wherein error analysis is apparently optional.

  6. I dont believe it, The average max was 5.8°C COLDER this April here than it was last April.

  7. DWR54 says:

    May 10, 2012 at 12:40 am
    Edim,

    With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?

    This El Niño has been struggling to form for some months. In a PDO neg situation it could just fade very suddenly and drop back to a La Niña. On verra.

  8. I missed that earlier post which Roy links to concerning the effects of changes in the rate of convective overturning.

    Those changes are the Earth’s thermostat in operation and over shorter timescales constitute the normal system reaction to variability in the rate of energy release by the oceans.

    Over the longer term there are similar air circulation changes in response to ANY forcings which affect the energy content of the atmosphere. That includes any effects from more CO2.

    So, as others above have pointed out, more GHGs will allow the air to hold more energy but due to the dominance of water on the surface of our planet any extra energy in the air gets immediately converted to latent heat of evaporation and is transported upwards for earlier radiation to space than would otherwise have occurred.

    In effect an increase in the size or speed of the water cycle raises the effective radiating height without the system energy content needing to increase at all. Thus no change in surface temperature. The S-B equation should not be used to back calculate the surface temperature from a point within an atmosphere.

    That is what stabilises the Earth’s equilibrium temperature whatever disruptive forces are thrown at it.

    The cost of that stability is changes in the air circulation pattern and cyclical shifts in the permanent climate zones.

    So, in theory, more CO2 would have an effect on the air circulation but given the huge scale of similar effects from short term oceanic and long term solar variability the effect of CO2 can be safely ignored.

    Willis Eschenbach’s thermostat hypothesis was almost right but he failed to extend it to the entire globe and link it to latitudinal air circulation shifts.

    Bob Tisdale is right about ENSO as an energy redistribution process but fails to extend it to the entire globe and across centuries thereby linking ENSO to long term latitudinal air circulation shifts.

    Svensmark is right about the potential for GCRs to provide more condensation nuclei but fails to show how that could influence latitudinal air circulation shifts.

    Roy’s variable month to month data is proof of the system operating effectively.

  9. Typhoon says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:50 am
    Perhaps you can hear the sound of celestial harps and Terpsichore instructing myriads of Cherubim and Seraphim in joyful dance, performed to the tune of “give me that old time religion”, on a severely restricted, rounded, metallic floor.
    Who needs error bars when you have conviction?

  10. DWR54 says: “With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?”

    Except the warm water that fuels an El Nino comes from the western tropical Pacific, not the east. The pocket of warm water in the east could upset the trade winds, though, which would then lead to an El Nino.

  11. Stephen Wilde says: “Bob Tisdale is right about ENSO as an energy redistribution process but fails to extend it to the entire globe and across centuries thereby linking ENSO to long term latitudinal air circulation shifts.”

    Your claim that my research fails at something does not sit well with me, Stephen. That wasn’t something I wanted to read while having my first cup of coffee this morning.

    First, for more than three years, I have been illustrating the effects of ENSO on global surface temperatures. You’ve commented on those threads, so you know those posts exist. Second, as you’re aware, I use satellite-based sea surface temperatures for that. And as you are also aware, sea surface temperature data before the satellite era is riddled with problems because the source data is so sparse. So there is no means for anyone to show the impacts of ENSO on global surface temperature as I do during the century before the satellite era, let alone centuries (plural) that interests you since there is NO observations-based data prior to the mid 19th century. Third, I present the effects of ENSO on surface temperatures because that is the metric most people understand and rely on. It is only you, Stephen, who has interest in “long term latitudinal air circulation shifts.” I certainly do not.

    We’ve been through this before, Stephen, and each time I have suggested to you that YOU do your own research. I’m not going to do it for you. Your complaint that my research has failed to illustrate what you would like me to present confirms for all that you have not bothered to fully research the topics that interest you or it illustrates to them that you aren’t capable of doing so.

    Now I’ll finish that cup of coffee and start the day over.

  12. Typhoon says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Where are the are the error bars?

    What is the size of the statistical error on each data point?
    How is it determined given that one is averaging over different spatial positions?
    ____________________________
    Go ask Dr. Spencer or just start reading at: http://www.drroyspencer.com/

  13. Typhoon says:
    What is the size of the statistical error on each data point?
    How is it determined given that one is averaging over different spatial positions?
    …How can any claim to know to within +/- 0.1C what the global temperature was back in 1880?[as per GISS]

    blackswhitewash.com says:
    May 10, 2012 at 1:22 am
    So the basic point is that the global temp anomaly, a cranky idea in itself, is basically zero.

    Dunno about the error on each data point, but my favourite image of what the data points might look like on these sorts of graphs is this one by Grotch after Lindzen:

    http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/global-temperature-graphs/slgrotchafterlindzen/

    (I can’t verify becasue I cant find an original published source)

  14. “Your claim that my research fails at something does not sit well with me, Stephen. ”

    Sorry Bob. I just meant that in the sense that your research doesn’t extend to the areas I mentioned. I did not mean to imply that you had been unsuccessful at anything.

    You have made it clear to me that you choose not to extend your research because of the inadequacy of the available data which is a perfectly respectable choice on your part but not one that I feel obliged to follow.

    The data coming in is fitting very well with my propositions so far.

    I only mentioned it in order to clearly distinguish my work from yours. Likewise my references to Svensmark and Eschenbach.

    No personal or professional criticism of any of you was intended.

  15. Of more interest is an exercise where a standard sheet of graph paper is used where each square represents a degree C. WIth temperatures over the Earth varying from say – 50degC to +50degC the 0deg C line is along the center of the page. Now using a fine pencil plot the average temperature adjusted by the anomalies in the average as in the graph above. Now add error lines above and below the temperature line.

    Now show the plot to an average person and try to get them excited about the variation in ‘global temperatures’.

  16. Gail Combs says:

    May 10, 2012 at 4:01 am

    Got it now from Edim’s post Gail Thanks.

  17. blackswhitewash.com says:
    May 10, 2012 at 1:22 am

    So the basic point is that the global temp anomaly, a cranky idea in itself, is basically zero.
    ___________________________
    Yes The whole flap is about counting how many angels can dance on the head of a pin yet we are going to completely wreck our economies and revamp our entire world political system ( Agenda 21 ) to “protect Mother Earth from those nasty humans”

    The “Calculated” change in “Global” temperature is less than 1C and based on badly sited thermometers in the US (Anthony’s Surface Stations Project ) and shoddy, inaccurate Australian temperature records (joannenova.com is down for maintanance) as well as bias temperature adjustments.

    The whole blasted mess has been political from the start. From Oil mogul/World Bank advisor Maurice Strong who chaired the UN’s First Earth Summit in 1972 (he chaired Rio too thanks to Bush) to Shell and BP initial funding of CRU to World Bank employee Robert Watson as IPCC chair from 1997 to 2002. Watson is currently the Chief Scientist/ Senior Adviser to the World Bank for Sustainable Development (Agenda 21.) A lesser know figure is Ged Davis former VP of Shell who was facilitator of the last IPCC emissions scenarios. (found in Climategate e-mails)

    You do not have to know a darn thing about science to see the scam, all you have to do is follow the politics and see who is reaping large bennies from the scare. Dr Evans sums it up nicely in Climate Coup – The Politics.

  18. Ian W says:

    May 10, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Of more interest is an exercise where a standard sheet of graph paper is used where each square represents a degree C. WIth temperatures over the Earth varying from say – 50degC to +50degC the 0deg C line is along the center of the page. Now using a fine pencil plot the average temperature adjusted by the anomalies in the average as in the graph above. Now add error lines above and below the temperature line.

    Now show the plot to an average person and try to get them excited about the variation in ‘global temperatures’.

    I was told by a statistician once that any graph that does not show the zero axis is biassed.

  19. Eli has asked Dr. Roy before. Crickets at 12. but it’s nice to know there are bunnies in this patch. Lazy ones, but bunnies none the less. Typhoon raises an interesting point, but not the one Eli thinks he is asking. Assuming a set of measurements (the actual returns from the satellites or the readings at various stations) how do you determine the ability to determine a mean and a statistical error and the variability. Not so simple.

    One approach is to hold out a subset and compare the subset values to the values of the rest of the set (see rural station subset in GISS), or to add additional stations (see BEST) and compare. Another might be to compare satellite and surface sets. All approaches yield the same answer wrt mean values and variability and there are discussions of the annual and spatial variability in the literature. Wood for Trees, or Nick Stokes JAVA plotter are your answer.

    REPLY: Perhaps if you asked using your real name, and your university affiliation, rather than the fake name and lagomorphic affiliations you go by all the time, Dr. Spencer might consider your request on the up and up, rather than your usual snark baiting cowardice – Anthony

  20. Bob Tisdale says:

    “DWR54 says: “With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?”

    Except the warm water that fuels an El Nino comes from the western tropical Pacific, not the east. The pocket of warm water in the east could upset the trade winds, though, which would then lead to an El Nino.”

    Thank you. I was referring to the view that pooling of warm water in the west coast of Central/South America resulting from Kelvin waves flowing from the east is often regarded as the early stage of El Niño conditions.

    The SST map posted earlier indicated that warm water was beginning to accumulate in that region. Is that the case, to your knowledge?

  21. Will the temperature go up in May and June as well????
    Then it will make 2012 another very warm year indeed. One for the record books again.

  22. Typhoon says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:57 am

    > Correction re NASA/GISS/Hansen global temperature plot:

    > http://s18.postimage.org/m38q251lz/global_temperature_NASA_GISS.png

    Hmm, that took me to a “real” web page http://postimage.org/image/bt6b2wbqd/ but it appears just to display the .png file – clicking on “download data” is part of the image, not the HTML.

    Why did you make a copy of GISS’s image? Are you collecting them over time? If so, do you have an image or data from 5-10 years ago? I’m curious if GISS’s downward adjustment of past data shows up in the graph.

  23. So here we are, ENSO-neutral and coming out of a prolonged La Niña, with solar activity at a very low level, and yet the UAH global temperature is at a higher level than it reached at any time from the start of the record in 1979 to the super-El Niño in 1998. Can anyone explain this?

  24. Kelvin Vaughan:
    “I was told by a statistician once that any graph that does not show the zero axis is biassed.”
    ——-
    Perhaps you were told that once, but if so, you probably shouldn’t take advice from this person in the future. Particularly in the context of temperatures, this comment makes no sense: why zero C and not zero F or zero K? (Similarly, one has to wonder why Ian W doesn’t simply go all-out and display the temperatures on a scale from absolute zero to the temperature of the surface of the sun if he really wants to make his point. Though honestly I think his comment mostly makes the point that any data set can be presented in a way that intentionally obscures what’s interesting about it; people who are interested in understanding how things work use temperature anomolies for a reason.)

  25. roger says:
    May 10, 2012 at 2:12 am
    Typhoon says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:50 am
    Perhaps you can hear the sound of celestial harps and Terpsichore instructing myriads of Cherubim and Seraphim in joyful dance, performed to the tune of “give me that old time religion”, on a severely restricted, rounded, metallic floor.
    Who needs error bars when you have conviction.

    Indeed.

    No uncertainty in post-modern science.

  26. Scottish Sceptic says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:24 am
    “One thing I’ve learnt since watching global temperatures, is that whenever you see a pattern, whenever you think you can predict what is going to happen …. you find you can’t.
    So here’s my prediction: …. my prediction that it is unpredictable will be proven wrong and it will (appear) predictable.

    You win!.

    It is always a pleasure to me, month by month, to see the global average lower tropospheric temperature follow indeed slavish twice the Big band sound of 11 synodic frequencies of the planets. Its getting some colder on Earth next decades.

    V.

  27. Robbie says: May 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Will the temperature go up in May and June as well????
    Then it will make 2012 another very warm year indeed. One for the record books again.

    With the average catastrophic anthropogenic warming as measured by UAH for 2012 with 30+ years of unmitigated warming now averaging at .055°C, another unprecedented heat record!
    /sarc

  28. Stephen Wilde: Thanks for the reply. Since you are a wordsmith by trade (a lawyer) you understand the significance of the word “fails” in a sentence, so I responded to that.

    Regards

  29. Henry@Roy
    Hi Roy. I have gone through a considerable excercise to check the surface weather stations

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    These 44 stations added all together tell me that earth has started cooling from 1994
    which confirm Orssengo’s predictions as well

    What puzzles me is that your UAH graph going by the black line seems to suggest it is the other way. (from 1994) . That cannot be right? I am afraid I am going to have to go with my own instinct which means I am not going to trust the satelites anymore. How do they calibrate their equipment? Exactly on what is your zero line based on?

  30. At the risk of seeming to complain about too much transparent data, these monthly updates might be more reader friendly if the long raw data listing was a link that opened the data listing in a new window/tab for those who wanted to scrape it out for home use. Listing it in the blog entry in current form is informative for the average reader (one can’t visually understand the data from the listing).

  31. “So here we are, ENSO-neutral and coming out of a prolonged La Niña, with solar activity at a very low level, and yet the UAH global temperature is at a higher level than it reached at any time from the start of the record in 1979 to the super-El Niño in 1998. Can anyone explain this?”

    The climate system is ‘getting ready’ for the deep drop, the thermal inertia is delaying the decline, sea temperatures need some time, ice need a bit of recovery, which is already beginning. Have patience!

  32. “With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?”

    Maybe, I was thinking something like neutral to slightly positive for a while (few weeks/months) and then La Nina, maybe super La-Nina? After ~2015, we will experience La Nina dominant period (after the sc24 plateau), surely.

  33. “Since you are a wordsmith by trade (a lawyer) you understand the significance of the word “fails” in a sentence, so I responded to that.”

    Bob, I find that I use words in a very technical and cold fashion and do not always anticipate an emotional impact. To my lawyerly mind the phrase ‘fails to’ is almost synonymous with ‘doesn’t ‘ and so an emotional impact was not actually intended but I will try harder in future to avoid potentially loaded words.

  34. DWR54 says: “The SST map posted earlier indicated that warm water was beginning to accumulate in that region. Is that the case, to your knowledge?”

    Yup. In fact I mentioned it in a sea surface temperature update a couple of months ago:

    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/february-2012-sea-surface-temperature-sst-anomaly-update/

    And it still appears in the map in April’s update:

    Keep in mind, though, that two unusual warming spikes in the Southeastern tropical Pacific (40S-20S, 90W-70W) preceded the 2009/10 El Niño, but the bigger spike in 2008 preceded a La Niña.

    Regards

  35. Edim: the statement that “The climate system is ‘getting ready’ for the deep drop” without any provided justification seems the most bizarre assertion … unless you said that tongue in cheek? I for one would be very interested in a reasoned response to the question posed by Nigel Harris.

  36. For those of us playing the home version of the climate game (at woodfortrees) why is it that the flat temps over the last fifteen years go unreported:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:180/plot/uah/last:180/plot/rss/last:180/plot/gistemp/last:180/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:180/trend/plot/uah/last:180/trend/plot/rss/last:180/trend/plot/gistemp/last:180/trend

    Instead we see apocalyptic (his word choice) articles from the likes of Jim Hansen in yesterday’s NYTimes, and folks who should know better doing backflips to make his lousy predictions over yesteryear look good. Is this simply Chicken Little journalism? Why is it so hard for people to say “we don’t actually know”.

  37. With the UAH anomaly for April at 0.295, the average for the first third of the year is (-0.09 -0.112 + 0.108 + 0.295)/4 = 0.05025. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 12th. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.153 to rank it 9th for that year.

    In comparison, with the RSS anomaly for April at 0.333, the average for the first third of the year is (-0.058 -0.12 + 0.074 + 0.333)/4 = 0.05725. If the average stayed this way for the rest of the year, its ranking would be 21st. This compares with the anomaly of 2011 at 0.147 to rank it 12th for that year.

    On all data sets, the different times for a slope as close to 0 as possible range from 10 years and 7 months to 15 years and 6 months. Following is the longest period of time (above10 years) where each of the data sets is flat for all practical purposes. (For any positive slope, the exponent is no larger than 10^-5, except UAH which was 0.00055083 per year.)

    1. RSS: since November 1996 or 15 years, 6 months (includes April)
    2. HadCrut3: since January 1997 or 15 years, 3months
    3. GISS: since April 2001 or 11 years even
    4. UAH: since October 2001 or 10 years, 7 months (includes April)
    5. Combination of the above 4: since October 2000 or 11 years, 6 months
    6. Sea surface temperatures: since January 1997 or 15 years, 3 months
    7. Hadcrut4: since December 2000 or 11 years, 4 months

    See the graph below to show it all for #1 to #6.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2001.25/trend/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/wti/from:2000.75/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997/trend/plot/uah/from:2001.75/trend

    For #7: Hadcrut4 only goes to December 2010 so what I did was get the slope of Hadcrut3 from December 2000 to the end of December 2010. Then I got the slope of Hadcrut3 from December 2000 to the present. The DIFFERENCE in slope was that the slope was 0.0055 lower for the total period. The positive slope for Hadcrut4 was 0.0041 from December 2000. So IF Hadcrut4 were totally up to date, I conclude it would show no slope for at least 11 years and 4 months going back to December 2000. (By the way, doing the same thing with GISS gives the same conclusion.) See:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000/to/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2000.9/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000.9/to:2011/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000.9/trend

  38. lookupitseasy says:
    May 10, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Kelvin Vaughan:
    “I was told by a statistician once that any graph that does not show the zero axis is biassed.”
    ——-
    Perhaps you were told that once, but if so, you probably shouldn’t take advice from this person in the future. Particularly in the context of temperatures, this comment makes no sense: why zero C and not zero F or zero K? (Similarly, one has to wonder why Ian W doesn’t simply go all-out and display the temperatures on a scale from absolute zero to the temperature of the surface of the sun if he really wants to make his point. Though honestly I think his comment mostly makes the point that any data set can be presented in a way that intentionally obscures what’s interesting about it; people who are interested in understanding how things work use temperature anomolies for a reason.)

    People who want to obscure what is actually going on use averaged atmospheric temperature for a reason.

    1. Atmospheric temperature tells you nothing atbout atmospheric heat content. The reason the ‘temperature’ went up with the last measurment could easily be a drop in humidity. WIthout knowledge of the atmospheric humidity and therefore its enthalpy measuring temperature is totally and completely meaningless. As everyone is concerned about heat content then the metric used should be Kilo Joules per Kilogram. In those terms a humid misty morning in Louisiana at 75F has twice the heat content in Kj/Kg than a 100F dry day in Arizona. But all the lemmings will be saying “Isn’t Arizona Hot – it’s global warming!”.

    2. For the reason at (1) averaging temperature between ultra dry antarctic and extremely humid tropics just displays ignorance and generates an even more meaningless figure. (Quote:”it’s as useful as an average phone number.”) A one degree rise in atmospheric temperature in the dry antarctic requires hugely less energy than a one degree rise at the equator. But who cares right? After all it’s only climate ‘science’.

    3. This is then compounded by using anomalies rather than actual figures meaning differences between meaningless averages all on elastic scales. But as its anomalies the actual temperatures don’t have to be shown so that allows 4

    4. As even using anomalies does not come up with sufficient big numbers to worry the ignorant the scales on the displays are compressed in time and extended in degrees of ‘anomaly’ to make minor noise variations that are well within the extreme error bars look as if something important was happening.

    So have a look at Atmospheric Enthalpy – go on Lookupitseasy

  39. @Ian W – Your post about atmospheric heat content hit me like a pie in the face. Hasn’t atmospheric humidity been declining for some time now? I thought there was something recently posted about that. So is the recent “warming” attributable to that fact alone? Makes one wonder…

  40. Werner Brozek says

    http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwattsupwiththat.com%2F2012%2F05%2F10%2Fuah-global-temperature-up-in-april%2F%23comment-981295

    Henry says
    Hi Werner, do you perhaps know how they calibrate those instruments on board of the satelites?

    In any case, although the average temps are interesting, they do not tell you the real story that is busy developing because of the weather. If you really want to see what is happening you must plot the maxima, see

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    which nobody but me (I think) is doing….

  41. @Kelvin Vaughan: “I was told by a statistician once that any graph that does not show the zero axis is biassed.”

    The statistician was right. Of course, any graph that does show the zero is also biased.

    You must determine what bias there is and whether you are being played with visual trickery.

  42. HenryP says:
    May 10, 2012 at 8:19 am
    Hi Werner, do you perhaps know how they calibrate those instruments on board of the satelites?
    If you really want to see what is happening you must plot the maxima

    As for the first question, sorry, you will have to ask Dr. Spencer.
    As for plotting the maxima, you may be right. However I think a much more important thing is humidity as Ian W pointed out above. There is much talk about polar amplification and that Hadcrut4 shows 2010 was warmer than 1998. If this was arrived at by more cold and dry polar air warming up and being averaged with the rest of the globe, then the 2010 record is really not that meaningful.

  43. Henry@Werner

    I think Ian has it got it the wrong way around:
    it is the drop in temperatures that causes the drop in humidity
    as reported by me and others,ca. -0.02 to -0.01 %RH/ annum since 1975

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    In fact, it is an accelerator for cooling, since the more humidity drops out of the atmosphere as water (liquid), the more it enhances the cooling process.
    (water vapor truly is a GHG, about the CO2 being a true GHG I am not so sure -http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok )

    In hindsight, I should re-do my analyses of humidity in the light of my latest findings,
    and look at it before and after global cooling started
    (1994)

  44. I long to see the day when a giant asterisk is attached to every use of the word “global” in climate science. Beneath (actually, foremost) should be the lengthy disclaimer admitting the subjectivity – and sheer advocacy – of generalizations about “global” anything. Taken from a different perspective, a different elevation, a different point in time, temperatures are vastly different. It’s a magical conclusion to imagine that two successive readings of a satellite are even remotely comparable after an intervening revolution of the planet. But accuracy out to hundredths of a degree C?!

    Seeing the best “skeptical” climatologists use “global” without intent to satirize the overweening presumptiveness of people like Hanson makes me cringe and want to revert to third person avatars like Rabbet. Perhaps a hamster. It gets Bill’s fur up… Nah, too creepy.

    At the very least, couldn’t Spencer use quotation marks: “Global Temperature” For April. There. Doesn’t that look better?

  45. HenryP says:
    May 10, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Henry@Werner

    I think Ian has it got it the wrong way around:
    it is the drop in temperatures that causes the drop in humidity
    as reported by me and others,ca. -0.02 to -0.01 %RH/ annum since 1975

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    In fact, it is an accelerator for cooling, since the more humidity drops out of the atmosphere as water (liquid), the more it enhances the cooling process.
    (water vapor truly is a GHG, about the CO2 being a true GHG I am not so sure -http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/more-carbon-dioxide-is-ok-ok )

    In hindsight, I should re-do my analyses of humidity in the light of my latest findings,
    and look at it before and after global cooling started
    (1994)

    it is the drop in temperatures that causes the drop in humidity
    Atmospheric humidity will increase as temperature drops until it reaches 100% and condenses out onto cloud condenstation nuclei releasing latent heat of condensation. Seen in all clouds and radiation fog etc etc. and in the wet adiabatic lapse rate. The hotter the air the greater the amount of water vapor that it can hold. It is this increase in water vapor with temperature that is claimed to be the positive feedback driving AGW. It hasn’t happened – but that is what was claimed.

  46. Speaking of enthalpy, this is the most recent global RH% chart I can find. I have seen this graph a few times over the years, I do not know the source.

  47. Nigel Harris says:
    May 10, 2012 at 6:14 am
    So here we are, ENSO-neutral and coming out of a prolonged La Niña, with solar activity at a very low level, and yet the UAH global temperature is at a higher level than it reached at any time from the start of the record in 1979 to the super-El Niño in 1998. Can anyone explain this?

    Well, it shows that solar activity is not a relevant factor. ENSO is not a heat source in Watts.

    A comparison of polynomials gives input. The polynomial of (11) synodic solar functions in a greater scope shows the basic function with a maximum in 1997. The ENSO impedances and the shorter scope of UAH data confuses the basic function, which is now on the same level as 1986.

    Looking to the monthly values and the linear fit, temperature function is on the way down.
    Don’t care it is only a temporary up:

    V.

  48. Nigel Harris says:
    May 10, 2012 at 6:14 am

    So here we are, ENSO-neutral and coming out of a prolonged La Niña, with solar activity at a very low level, and yet the UAH global temperature is at a higher level than it reached at any time from the start of the record in 1979 to the super-El Niño in 1998. Can anyone explain this?
    _____________________________
    It is called “Adjustments”…..

    USA Raw data vs Adjusted http://i26.tinypic.com/2bux35.jpg
    Blink graph of raw vs Adjusted: http://www.climate-movie.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/temperature_adjustments1.gif
    USA Raw vs urban: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/epubs/ndp/ushcn/rawurban3.5_pg.gif

    graph of 3 different changes to USA temp data: http://i31.tinypic.com/2149sg0.gif

    Adjustment to GISS data: http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/an-adjustment-like-alice/

    The Day the thermometers died: “Bye Bye Miss American Pie, Drove my GIStemp to the Levy But the Levy was Dry; and them Good Ol’ Boys was Drinking Whiskey and Rye, and Singin’ ‘This Will Be The Day That I Die!, This Will Be The Day, That I Die’

    Zombie Thermometers – Return of The Un-Dead

  49. Steve Keohane says:
    May 10, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Robbie says: May 10, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Will the temperature go up in May and June as well????
    Then it will make 2012 another very warm year indeed. One for the record books again.
    With the average catastrophic anthropogenic warming as measured by UAH for 2012 with 30+ years of unmitigated warming now averaging at .055°C, another unprecedented heat record!
    /sarc
    _____________________________
    Better a .05C warming in global temperatures (and how you can actually measure that when the temperatures were rounded of to the nearest zero in some data as late as 1972 I could never figure out)

    Just think if we have a 1C COOLING (Little Ice age temps) we are back into famines and revolutions.

    Warmth + CO2 = MORE food

    But the supermarket predators can never seem to figure that out. I guess that is why there has been a concerted effort to kick people of the land since 1945. and an even bigger move to kick them off now

  50. IanW says:
    The hotter the air the greater the amount of water vapor that it can hold

    Henry says:
    So the opposite is:
    the lower the temps. the lesser the amount of water vapor it can hold/

    which is what I was saying.

    Problem is that you all wishfully think that it is still getting warmer
    because you keep looking at the wrong figures.

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    I cannot help you unless you decide to move away from a variable that is so strongly dependent on weather and current patterns that it might take years and years before you actually see any cooling there…and then it might be too late.

    Henry@Steve Koahane

    Where did you get to measure those figures? Must be very high up?
    Most people (and weather stations with continuous humidity monitoring devices) live at around 1000 mbars.

  51. Nigel Harris 6:14 am:

    Yup. Easy. It’s anthropogenic greenhouse gases. I’ve been outside the Village and there are people who use something called the ‘Laws of Physics’ (things we don’t have here) to explain this warming.

    I know, I know – it goes against the articles of faith here – that the world is actually cooling, cosmic rays will darken the sun, evil scientists are trying to take over the world and stuff.

    Keep this between you and me, even the Village Idiot can get a turn on the ducking stool just for mentioning such witchcraft.

  52. Ian is 100% right about enthalpy being THE significant variable,
    so if the alarmists were smart they would be shrieking about
    THE ENTHALPY CRISIS !!!!!
    (You heard it here first.)

    WUWT could talk all day about how there’s no such thing,
    but nobody has even heard of enthalphy,
    let alone being capable of understanding it.
    Most people would find the very word scary in and of itself,
    going very well before the word ‘crisis’.

    Global enthalpy could plummet and
    the Warmistas would call that a crisis and blame CO2.
    No matter what happens they’ll have their bullhorns ready.

  53. Village Idiot,

    Don’t be an idio… oops. Sorry, wasn’t thinking.

    The fact is that scientific skeptics have known for decades that the globe is warming [naturally], and has been warming since the LIA. Only an idiot would misrepresent the skeptical position: the planet is warming, but there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement. Therefore, although emissions may add a little to the natural warming, at this point AGW is an untested and untestable conjecture.

  54. lookupitseasy says:

    May 10, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Perhaps you were told that once, but if so, you probably shouldn’t take advice from this person in the future. Particularly in the context of temperatures,

    He works on the IPCC now!

  55. Ian W, if you don’t think global temperature is a meaningful concept, why do you bother spending your time thinking of misleading ways to display it graphically?

  56. fredb says:

    “Edim: the statement that “The climate system is ‘getting ready’ for the deep drop” without any provided justification seems the most bizarre assertion …”

    Fred, climate change at the timescale in question is caused predominantly by solar activity (whatever physical mechanism). That is my conclusion. My favorite index is solar cycle length or frequency (~11/22 y beat). It’s simple (min-min), the absolute sunspot counts are not that important… Even without any smoothing it correlates nicely with some global temperature indices (AMO for instance, other global temperature indices too). It needs to start dropping soon though to keep the correlation, maybe we have to wait when sc24 starts declining. By 2020 will know for sure.

  57. The fact is that scientific skeptics have known for decades that the globe is warming [naturally], and has been warming since the LIA. Only an idiot would misrepresent the skeptical position: the planet is warming, but there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement. Therefore, although emissions may add a little to the natural warming, at this point AGW is an untested and untestable conjecture.

    O Self-appointed Inquisitor Smokey,

    I beg your forgiveness. It’s so hard for an Idiot to learn the incoherent and contradictary creed of the Village.Now I’m having trouble again.

    “… there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement.”

    Now that’s only if the figures show warming, right?

    Brother Dr. Don J. wrote on the church niticeboard:

    “1999 to 2010 global cooling. No global warming has occurred above the 1998 level and temperatures have declined slightly.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/28/2010%e2%80%94where-does-it-fit-in-the-warmest-year-list/

    Help me believe, Smokey. Are we warming or cooling, can we measure it or not? I feel our creed is falling apart at the seams!

    Is that why the Masters attacks on the evil enemy have had to become increasingly violent??

  58. At no time in the last 30 year UAH record has temperature oscillated down, up, down and then up again by an amplitude of 0.5-0.6 degrees, in the course of just over a single year. Curious…

  59. DWR54 says:
    May 10, 2012 at 5:09 am
    Bob Tisdale says:

    “DWR54 says: “With warm water pooling off the coast of Central America, it looks more likely to be leaning towards El Niño rather than La Niña conditions, surely?”

    And yet, looking at this animation, it seems that incipient Peruvian coast upwelling might be just starting to choke off this warm pool off central America,which has shrunk in the last month.

    This will be interesting to watch…

  60. Village idiot says

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/10/uah-global-temperature-up-in-april/#comment-982095

    Henry says

    I am going from the principle that you are not a fool and that in your heart you really want an intelligent conversation.
    First of all, I set out to determine what caused the warming over the past 37 years (from which we have reasonably reliable records)
    I had a sample of about 22 weather stations and the results are reported here:

    http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

    You will note with me that the rates of increase of temperatures on earth i.e. maxima, means (=average temperatures) and minima have risen at a ratio of about 6:3:1. Remember: these are the summaries of actual measured results from a number of weather stations all around the world….No junk science. No hypothesis. Every black figure on the tables is coming from a separate file of figures. Obviously I am able to provide these files of every black figure on the table.

    I think anyone – even a Village idiot – must be able to understand that it was the rise of maximum temperatures (that occur during the day) that caused the average temperature and minima on earth to rise? This implies clearly that the observed warming over past 4 decades was largely due to natural causes. Either the sun shone a bit brighter or there were less clouds. Or there was less ozone, shielding us. There are various theories. If it had been minima pushing up the average temps. I would have to agree with you that it was the increase in GHG’s that is doing it.

    Next< I went a bit further, looking at 44 surface weather stations, coming essentially to the same conclusion as reported above:

    http://www.letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    However, now I went a bit further, classifying the results into certain time periods.
    The (black) figures you are looking at in the 3 tables (allow some time to load up), represent the average change in degrees Centigrade (or Kelvin) per annum, from the average temperatures measured during the period indicated. These are the slopes of the “trendlines” for the periods indicated, as calculated.

    Again we note that the variable:" maxima" gives us the better information as to what is really happening whereas the means and minnima are reacting very sluggish and slow. This is because, as I said before, a lot of warmth on earth is stored in the oceans and in vegetation and in "weather cycles" so average temps and minima won't be affected immediately as the maximum warmth coming from the sun starts dropping.. ..

    Based on my correlation coefficient found at 0.994 between the actual drop in maxima and time, I can calculate and tell you that we can be 99% sure that global warming turned into global cooling somewhere in 1994.

    My findings will stand no matter how many village idiots will try to dispute it. In science we don't need "consensus". You only need one man to be right.

  61. Typhoon says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Where are the are the error bars?

    What is the size of the statistical error on each data point?
    How is it determined given that one is averaging over different spatial positions?

    A great deal of data processing goes into producing this plot, in terms of taking various systematic effects into account, so what is the size of the total systematic error on each data point?
    In other words, the total uncertainty in the systematic corrections to the data.

    I fear you’re conflating/combining two different things in your expectations for an answer.

    An error bar is a result (a prediction if you will) of the errors in measurement or calculation of a specific expected result from a determined and predictable event. An error bar might result from a dice if the paint had worn off of a smooth dice, and you could not tell if a 1 or 3 were rolled. An error bar would result from a thermometer being read daily, but the instrument were thought to randomly go +1/2 to -3/4 of a degree each reading. Additional error bars would come a bad clock telling you what time to take a reading each day. Etc. An error bar would also come from a processing error of how you wrote the temperatures or calculated a conversion … Not a good example for simple temperatures, but I hope you get the idea. If you were sawing a piece of wood, an error bar would reflect how accurately you cut the board compared to a “perfectly straight cut” drawn with a perfectly straight ruler with a infinitely thin point on a perfectly held pen.

    Yes, error bars might be appropriate for the satellite temperatures for the upper atmosphere.

    But what is really important in climate studies is that we have vivid proof of just how much random changes occur on earth – as a whole – every month from month to month. Here, there is NO “error bar” but actual unpredictable and very large changes in the actual data from month to month!

    So what is an “error bar” on a list of dice rolls? How do properly describe a randomly varying quantity when that quantity itself is varying? How to plot or summarize a randomly varying value when the way you plot (smoothing over various sample intervals, averaging over different lengths, or “plotting everything”) the graph changes the results you are looking for by affecting the plot itself?

    So, EVERY proxy chart and EVERY comment made by ANY person in the climate debate when they extrapolate yearly or monthly or decadal temperatures MUST be interpreted in the knowledge and proof that month-to-month worldwide average temperatures vary every month by +1/3 of one degree to -1/3 of a degree EVERY month.

    So any climate description of the temperature 3 or 4 years ago, 10 or 20 years ago, 30 or 40 years ago or 300 to 1300 years ago must either be limited to a specific month in a specific year; or be recognized that the individual temperature proxy or reading or result (glaciers increasing, decreasing, snowfall, dinosaur poop levels, methane hydrates per cubic meter, or depth of diatoms in the seawater muck …. EVERY climate proxy can be no more accurate than 1/3 of one degree.

    Because we SEE visually every temperature on earth swing by that much from month to month now.

    Equally, how important is the late 20th century temperature increase of 1/2 of one degree in 25 years?

    Zero point zero.

    Why?

    Because the world’s climate IS CHANGING that much every month now. And nothing globally has changed because of those changes. No animal had died out, over, or sideways due to “climate change” …. Etc.

  62. mfo says:
    May 10, 2012 at 2:23 pm
    Speaking from a position of total ignorance on this subject I do find it curious that sea surface temperature sometimes seems to correspond with submarine volcanoes.

    It may be there is a common denominator – the heat of the Sun.

    The global temperature (UAH, land, sea) is impressed by the impedances of the terrestrial continents and tropic physics.

    This complex impression is minor on the oceans, so the ocean temperatures are follow the heat load of the Sun, more directly and time coherent to some solar functions, which is to be seen from the variations of the sea level. in this graph.

    Because it is a global effect, coming from the Sun, it may impress also the vulcanos ?

    My 2cnt.

    V.

  63. So, HenryP, I guess then you disagree with the claim (as Smokey put it) that “there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement [of global temperature]”?

  64. lookupitseasy
    So, HenryP, I guess then you disagree with the claim (as Smokey put it) that “there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement [of global temperature]“?

    Henry says
    Interesting you should ask. The net sum of all of my tables tell me basically that earth dropped by about 0.2 degrees K since the turn of century (12 x 0.017). . .. Can you feel it? No…it is still an awfully small amount. In fact I doubt if the thermometers in the satellites are that sensitive (which is why I was asking Roy about this) and how often they are calibrated?
    So your question also depends on an answer to that question, as well. If we go my results only, – and I do think that my method depends a lot less on calibration – consider:
    I think my sample was well balanced by latitude and 30/70 in-land/on sea. (Longitude does not matter as earth turns every 24 hours). However, the continent not represented was Antarctica. For some strange reason I cannot get access to the raw data coming from Antarctica. I suspect it is already getting cooler there and somebody is just trying to hide that. (Then they rather want to blame warm(er) sea currents for the disintegration of the ice there – I have to laugh).
    Nevertheless, without those raw data coming from Antarctica I would not put my head under the block for that 0.2 degrees C/K
    So in this respect I have to agree with Smokey.

    If you were to change your statement to:

    that “there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a judgement whether earth has entered a warming or a cooling phase, ”

    then I would disagree with that statement. I think it is possible to determine whether earth is in a general warming or in a general cooling phase. As stated before, the signal is very clear that we entered a general cooling phase and you can repeat it by simply repeating my work (preferably using 44 other weather stations – mind the balancing acts though).

    Personally I think the climate is on this curve:

    Study this curve carefully and you will see that around 1994 temps went down (negative/decline) as correctly predicted by me whereas the green line from the IPCC still wants us to believe that it goes the other way (positive/incline). If the Orssengo curve is correct we will drop a total of about 0.3 or 0.4 degrees C before things turn up again beyond 2030.

  65. lookupitseasy says:
    May 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Ian W, if you don’t think global temperature is a meaningful concept, why do you bother spending your time thinking of misleading ways to display it graphically?

    The point I was making was that you are shrieking about changes that are actually not alarming if shown in a normal scale on a chart.

    And I believe that getting everyone talking about atmospheric temperatures rather than atmospheric (or global) heat content, has been the warmists’ greatest PR coup. Many of them will not realize that of course as like you, they have absolutely no idea what atmospheric enthalpy is or means. However, the real scientists that keep on and on about atmospheric temperature to the hundredth of a degree must be being deliberately misleading.

  66. Village Idiot says:
    May 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm
    Are we warming or cooling

    That is an excellent question and the answer depends to a large extent on the time period you have in mind and the data set being used. The graph below illustrates this point well.

    RSS has a straight line since November 1996 or 15 years, 6 months. UAH has a straight line since October 2001 or 10 years, 7 months. And from where RSS is straight, UAH shows a rise. And from where UAH is straight, RSS shows a drop. See

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/rss/from:2001.75/trend/plot/uah/from:1995/plot/uah/from:1996.83/trend/plot/uah/from:2001.75/trend

    The bottom line for me is that there is nothing too alarming happening now and we should wait a few years to see what develops before spending huge amounts of money.

    According to the two satellite records.
    RSS
    1 {1998, 0.55},
    2 {2010, 0.476},
    3 {2005, 0.334}.

    UAH
    1 {1998, 0.428},
    2 {2010, 0.414},
    3 {2005, 0.253}.

  67. Werner Brozek says
    ….has a straight line ….

    Henry says
    what happens is that our equipment is too insensitive to see what is really happening – which is what makes you see a straight line – but generally speaking the sun-earth duo is in some symbiotic sine or co-sine relationship (eventually) causing either warming or cooling. A straight line is not possible, theoretically, unless for a very brief period when we are at the top or the bottom of the curve…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/10/uah-global-temperature-up-in-april/#comment-982383

  68. Village Idiot says:
    May 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm
    The fact is that scientific skeptics have known for decades that the globe is warming [naturally], and has been warming since the LIA. Only an idiot would misrepresent the skeptical position: the planet is warming, but there is no testable, empirical evidence that can provide a measurement.

    That the global temperatures today are higher then in LIA can be a personal knowledge from many indicators known in science. It is not a fact, because if one have this personal knowledge he cannot give prove of it. Skeptics is not a valid method in science, because it never has shown any knowledge on anything. A personal knowledge is not equal to a shown relation in science. Every personal claim on ‘there is Nothing’ is scientificly worthless, because it is never able to give a prove on ‘Nothing’. For this, this claim have no existence. Moreover, the personal claim suggest that the claim is an valid scientific argument, but it is not; it is a personal statement without any scientific value. Science, or the methods of science still argue on things which ARE, and not on No_things. Your example does show this, because you argue on ‘no … measurement’.

    Therefore, although emissions may add a little to the natural warming, at this point AGW is an untested and untestable conjecture.

    The AGW is an idea. It must not be true, that the idea is untestable, because it is not out of the question that the natural warming can be understood as a physical process of nature in the solar system.

    Are we warming or cooling, can we measure it or not?

    Dr. R. Spencer can.

    There is great evidence that the global warming with its warming and cooling follow synodic cycles centred on the Sun. The warming and cooling of the global oceans changes the volume of the upper ocean and modulates the increasing sea level (blue curve) , and is time coherent with the function of three synodic cycles (orange). Taking 11 synodic cycles (thick lightgray) it correlates with the measured global UAH temperatures (thick black) by. Dr Roy Spencer:

    This result suggest the idea that there is no need to add AGW to the plot. There are other facts that the increasing CO2 level is superimposed by time coherent modulated measured temperatures. This means that one can see that the oscillating CO2 follows the temperature.

    The most important tool in climate science is not a thermometer, it is logic.

    V.

  69. Stephen Wilde says:
    May 10, 2012 at 2:06 am
    In effect an increase in the size or speed of the water cycle raises the effective radiating height without the system energy content needing to increase at all. Thus no change in surface temperature.

    But if the ‘effective radiating height’ is raised and the lapse rate remains the same then the surface temperature must increase!

  70. Village Idiot says:
    May 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    …. Are we warming or cooling, can we measure it or not? I feel our creed is falling apart at the seams!

    Is that why the Masters attacks on the evil enemy have had to become increasingly violent??
    ____________________

    It depends on your prepective. from Green World Trust org.:

  71. HenryP says:
    May 11, 2012 at 11:35 am
    A straight line is not possible, theoretically, unless for a very brief period when we are at the top or the bottom of the curve

    On the other hand, if we were equal distances on either side of the peak or trough of a true sine wave, then a line of zero slope could be drawn. But any real data over the last 10 or 15 years looks nothing like a sine curve.

    Dr. Spencer sees:
    “The 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.”

    The above is of course like a sine wave over a short interval.

    But Bob Tisdale sees a step change due to the El Nino for the same data.

  72. Ian W, since I haven’t said anything whatsoever about enthalpy, it seems rather presumptous of you to declare I don’t know anything about it. (The use of the word “shreiking” is also quite rude — my understanding was that skeptic blogs tended to pride themselves on their levels of civility, but perhaps I was wrong about this; I’ve only recently started hanging out in comments sections here.) A better guess would be that I’m more interested in my own hobby-horses than in yours, and so (as long as I’m interacting with you) I will tend to ignore it when you try to change the subject.

    In that spirit, I’m fascinated by your claim that -50C to 50C is “a normal scale” for average global temperature (regardless of whether you think “average global temperature” is an interesting or meaningful metric). A traditional approach to choosing a “normal scale” for a time-series would be to use a scale that includes the range of the data over some reasonable time-period, and not too much else. Has average global temperature ever been -50C? When was the last time it was 50C?

    Let me make my point directly, not just via rhetorical questions: this exercise in choosing an abnormally large scale for your axes to make data look flat is silly and misleading. Any data set can be made to look flat by choosing the range too large in this way, and it doesn’t reveal anything at all to do so. If you don’t think average global temperature is interesting or important, that’s your business (you’ll notice again that I’m not arguing with you about this), but you’d be much better off making that point with honest arguments.

  73. HenryP, that was interesting, but I’m afraid I don’t understand from it what the answer to my question is :(. My perception is that there are groups of commenters on this blog who believe the following things:
    1) average global temperature (henceforth AGT) is not a well-defined concept
    2) AGT is a well-defined concept, but it’s not important
    3) AGT is a well-defined concept, but it’s impossible to measure well enough to say anything about it
    4) AGT is a well-defined concept, and it’s changing in some particular way
    For example, Ian W I think believes 2, but might also believe 3 or might instead believe 1. Smokey asserted 3. I am confused from your comment what the status of your belief re: points 3 and 4 is.

  74. phlogiston says:
    May 10, 2012 at 11:10 pm
    At no time in the last 30 year UAH record has temperature oscillated down, up, down and then up again by an amplitude of 0.5-0.6 degrees, in the course of just over a single year. Curious…

    On the subject of amplitude of fluctuation, it is known that, on a larger, glacial-interglacial time scale, the ice core record shows that global temperature shows more fluctuation and instability during periods of falling temperatures, than rising temperatures.

    If the climate system has some nonlinear and fractal character then pattern observed on large scale will be seen also at small scales also (think fern leaf). So these fast and wide temperature swings could possibly signify instability characteristic of falling temperatures.

    Thus it may be too soon to write off Archibald’s predictions of global temperature fall.

    The temperature rise over March and April were helped, at least slightly, by strong warming on the Indian continent. However May will being the monsoon.

  75. lookupitseasy says:
    May 11, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Ian W, since I haven’t said anything whatsoever about enthalpy, it seems rather presumptous of you to declare I don’t know anything about it. (The use of the word “shreiking” is also quite rude — my understanding was that skeptic blogs tended to pride themselves on their levels of civility, but perhaps I was wrong about this; I’ve only recently started hanging out in comments sections here.) A better guess would be that I’m more interested in my own hobby-horses than in yours, and so (as long as I’m interacting with you) I will tend to ignore it when you try to change the subject.

    In that spirit, I’m fascinated by your claim that -50C to 50C is “a normal scale” for average global temperature (regardless of whether you think “average global temperature” is an interesting or meaningful metric). A traditional approach to choosing a “normal scale” for a time-series would be to use a scale that includes the range of the data over some reasonable time-period, and not too much else. Has average global temperature ever been -50C? When was the last time it was 50C?

    Let me make my point directly, not just via rhetorical questions: this exercise in choosing an abnormally large scale for your axes to make data look flat is silly and misleading. Any data set can be made to look flat by choosing the range too large in this way, and it doesn’t reveal anything at all to do so. If you don’t think average global temperature is interesting or important, that’s your business (you’ll notice again that I’m not arguing with you about this), but you’d be much better off making that point with honest arguments.

    I agree – you have not said anything about enthalpy or heat content – yet the debate is about ‘heat being trapped’ – it is not about temperature being trapped. If you want to measure the heat being trapped then you must know the enthalpy of the atmosphere. As you are so concerned about the average of a meaningless metric and then displaying it in a way that hides its error bars expands its scale you will understand that you will be taken as someone who either doesn’t understand or someone trolling.
    If you want to lookupitseasy to know about enthalpy you can go to http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/enthalpy-moist-air-d_683.html

    Atmospheric heat content cannot be measured by temperature alone it is the wrong metric. Arguing about hundredths of a degree C of this wrong metric when that is unmeasurable, and based on averaged values over a set of random land based polygons with a bias to developed areas and values obtained at time of day for the reading or maximum and minimum regardless of how long particular values were observed; this is just so totally unscientific – it is pure climate ‘science’.

    As an example – a day starts out misty at dawn with radiation fog and say 60C the sun comes up and the fog ‘burns off” the humidity drops and by mid-afternoon the atmospheric temperature peaks at a dry 95C. The air will have had more heat content in the humid misty morning than in the hot dry afternoon. Atmospheric heat content can drop as temperature goes up.. You have to know the enthalpy of the atmosphere to know its heat content.

    But you believe it is useful to display on an expanded scale the variance (anomalies) of averaged atmospheric temperatures from long term averaged atmospheric temperatures with a precision of hundredths of a degree?

  76. rossbrisbane says:
    May 10, 2012 at 12:55 am
    Will it go higher in May?
    Where has the global cooling gone?
    Can it be the sun?
    Perhaps its those cosmic rays?
    Maybe it is CO2 as background warming after all.

    Will it go brighter am nine?

    Where the night has gone?

    Can it be the Earth?

    Perhaps it’s those IPCC?

    Maybe it is the starlight background after all.

    See the seasons not the month.

    Know the pattern of the years.

    Know the pattern of the days.

    See the cooling of the years.

    It’s not Sony, it’s science.

    V.

  77. Volker Doormann says:
    May 12, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Interesting predictions – the next few years – even few months, will provide confirmation or otherwise. You are courageous to make such a detailed forecast.

    Never quite understood the problem people have with the idea of a solar system and solar system gravitation affecting climate.

  78. Henry@Volker – Phlogiston

    true. Not bad for figuring out that one.
    I also say that we might be cooling by as much as 0.1 degree C or K already per annum if we go by the maxima – which takes quite some time to work its way through to the means.
    Volker is from Germany?
    By what mechanism is gravitation causing less sunshine (or warmth) reaching earth?

    Henry@ IanW

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/10/a-blast-from-the-past-james-hansen-on-the-global-warming-debate-from-13-years-ago/#comment-983094

    & further discussion there.

  79. Phil said:

    “But if the ‘effective radiating height’ is raised and the lapse rate remains the same then the surface temperature must increase!”

    The lapse rate doesn’t stay the same.

    Humidity and convection alter the lapse rate.

    That is the whole point.

  80. Stephen Wilde says:
    May 12, 2012 at 7:19 am
    Phil said:

    “But if the ‘effective radiating height’ is raised and the lapse rate remains the same then the surface temperature must increase!”

    The lapse rate doesn’t stay the same.

    Humidity and convection alter the lapse rate.

    That is the whole point.

    OK explain how that works, you have more height over which the lapse rate applies and you’re saying that the combination of the saturated and dry lapse rates are changed by humidity in such a way as to cancel out that change. Let’s see an explanation on how that works with numbers rather that hand waving?

  81. Ian W:
    “But you believe it is useful to display on an expanded scale the variance (anomalies) of averaged atmospheric temperatures from long term averaged atmospheric temperatures with a precision of hundredths of a degree?”

    Hum, well, I suppose there’s no point in carrying on this conversation if you find yourself unable to read what I’ve written. Just to recap: you asserted that it is sensible to display global average temperature on a scale with axes going from -50C to 50C. I pointed out that this is obviously a misleading way to present data, and that (if you don’t like average global temperature as a metric) you should stick to honest arguments. Since then, you have repeatedly refused to justify your original assertion, and instead repeatedly change the subject to discuss a different metric (about which I have yet to offer any opinions) or to spend time musing about what I know or believe (as in the bizarre paragraph quoted above). Frankly, I’m not surprised that you haven’t tried to justify your original assertion on its own terms, because what I’ve said about it is correct: it’s a stupid, misleading trick to present data on a misleading scale in order to make it appear flat. And this is true regardless of the nature of the data in question! Your sin here, as far as I am concerned, has nothing to do with the nature or details of the metric being discussed.

    If you want to have a discussion with someone about the importance of enthalpy versus temperature, that’s fine by me (though I’m not interested in being your counter-party). But when having that discussion, you should stick to honest methods of data presentation and argument. This is not a difficult point, and I hope that maybe now that I’ve repeated it three times you’ll finally acknowledge it.

  82. HenryP says:
    May 12, 2012 at 7:14 am
    Henry@Volker – Phlogiston
    true. Not bad for figuring out that one.
    I also say that we might be cooling by as much as 0.1 degree C or K already per annum if we go by the maxima – which takes quite some time to work its way through to the means.
    Volker is from Germany?[/i>
    @Henry – Phlogiston

    Hi Henry, yes I’m from Germany. Have done a lot in physics.

    By what mechanism is gravitation causing less sunshine (or warmth) reaching earth?

    Looking to the synodic functions resp. to twice the frequency of the relevant synodic functions, it becomes clear that Sir Newtons force of gravitation is not involved, simple because the (best fitted) strength of the single synodic functions do not fit with the inverse square distance of the couples.

    It seems that either a great eccentricity (like Mercury) or maybe the great density of the objects of couples are involved. The nature of the mechanism is unknown to me, but despite of this problem, there is no doubt, that the geometry of the synodic functions of about 11 couples results by simple adding the functions to a sum, which is very similar compared to the measured temperatures or reconstructed temperatures like A. Moberg et al. of two millennia. Because the frequency resolution is lower, it needs only 6 synodic couples to verify the temperatures, instead of 11.

    Although it seems, that the double frequency of the synodic functions suggest a tide effect on the Sun, this must not be the case; maybe there are unknown energy transfers from nonlinear motions because of big eccentricities of the bodies like Mercury.

    Because these astronomical geometric relations can be shown in general 5000 years back, there is no reason why this pattern in not continued for the next 1000 years, for we know precise the astronomical ephemerides.

    V.

  83. Hi Volker!
    I’m from South Africa, my son lives in Germany (near Frankfurt)
    so, eventually we might also be around there a bit, enjoying our pension days
    (I am semi-retired and still have a Dutch passport)
    …..not during winter though, which I hear was a bit cold this year….!!!

    I am an idiot with physics… I know a little bit about chemistry and statistics
    so I have some difficulty following your arguments.

    I had hoped for a simple answer like Mercury/ Venus/ etc being in the path of the sun’s rays on their way to earth, or something like that, but I am sure it is not as easy as that.

    Personally I think we are on this curve:

    which came from here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/25/predictions-of-global-mean-temperatures-ipcc-projections/

    One of Orssengo’s predictions is that global cooling and warming phases alternate with each other and that we are now in a cooling phase. …
    Currently my own investigations

    http://letterdash.com/henryp/global-cooling-is-here

    for the period indicated by him, actually confirm this.

    What do you think about that?

  84. HenryP says:
    May 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm
    Hi Volker!
    I’m from South Africa, my son lives in Germany (near Frankfurt)
    so, eventually we might also be around there a bit, enjoying our pension days
    (I am semi-retired and still have a Dutch passport)
    …..not during winter though, which I hear was a bit cold this year….!!!

    Hi HenryP,
    best month in Germany are Mai to September. Here in Hamburg it’s near the Northern sea with fresh winds (BTW. We will have two weeks vacation there now).

    I am an idiot with physics… I know a little bit about chemistry and statistics
    so I have some difficulty following your arguments.

    No problem (It needs only logic). I think some things in physics are not really solved by the authorities like resonance of celestial bodies, especially the transfer of energy by gravitational forces. It is not clear whether there is a delayed transfer of gravitation because of the velocity c or a field without any delay. It comes to theoretical problems in the path of planets if there is a time delay of gravitation.

    I had hoped for a simple answer like Mercury/ Venus/ etc being in the path of the sun’s rays on their way to earth, or something like that, but I am sure it is not as easy as that.
    Personally I think we are on this curve: … which came from here: …
    One of Orssengo’s predictions is that global cooling and warming phases alternate with each other and that we are now in a cooling phase. …
    Currently my own investigations … What do you think about that?

    As I have written the mechanism is not known yet, but the geometry is well known for the synodic functions and the strengths is a fitting job using the known temperature proxies.

    There is a life work from Prof. Patzelt in Austria, who have analysed the trees under the melting glaciers. He has reconstructed the summer temperatures in the Alps in Austria for some 8000 years back in time. The up and downs are fitting well (slightly time scaled) with only two geometric synodic functions of three slowly running objects, there are no high frequent anomalies in temeprature.

    Also visible in the graph (left) the decrease in temperature until -2040 (or 2040 AD).

    This can easy be upgraded to about 11 couples until the double synodic frequency of Mercury/Earth of 6.3 cycles per year shown in my graphs more above.

    A main point in the functions is the non sinusoid profile, it is nonlinear because it is in the function like a tide function where there is no difference in niptide from spring tide. But if there are big eccentricities in the synodic path the function gets some curious.

    Sorry, there are no true sine functions in climate nature and there are no relations to a true geometry in nature. It is similar to the math ‘gymnastic’ in N. Scafetta’s papers.

    However, if it tells the correct direction in the future, you win. :)

    Best

    V.

  85. HenryP says: May 10, 2012 at 12:40 pm
    Henry@Steve Koahane
    Where did you get to measure those figures? Must be very high up?
    Most people (and weather stations with continuous humidity monitoring devices) live at around 1000 mbars.

    Henry, I do not know the source of that graph, I have an older version I thought was from the US government. I linked to the one above because it is more recent than the one I have on file, here:

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