Claim: November 2013 is the ‘warmest ever’ – but will the real November 2013 temperature please stand up?

Lots of clima-hullaballo this week in the media thanks NOAA and this announcement in NOAA’s “State of the Climate” report seen here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

They state:

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was record highest for the 134-year period of record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F).

Much of the global “record highest” claim hinges on this one point about Russia:

SOTC_Russia_Nov2013

Note the +5C anomalies in that region in the map cited by NCDC:201311[1]

Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

But, according to satellite temperatures, the ranking claimed by NCDC isn’t anywhere near to “record warmest”. Dr. John Christy gives these values for the satellite data sources of global temperature and their ranks:

  • UAH Nov 2013 9th warmest Nov (0.20 C cooler than warmest Nov.)
  • RSS Nov 2013 16th warmest Nov (0.22 C cooler than warmest Nov.)

And, when we look at the UAH map of the world, while Russia was certainly warmer, it wasn’t as warm as NCDC makes it to be: 

UAH_November-2013-map

Source: http://nsstc.uah.edu/climate/

Other maps from GISS suggest the NCDC presentation might be stretching the November temperatures a bit in the SOTC report, possibly because of the NCDC choice of baseline period.

GISS says 0.40 in November for the 1981-2010 base period used by UAH:

GISS_LOTI_Nov2013

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?year_last=2013&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=11&year1=2013&year2=2013&base1=1981&base2=2010&radius=1200&pol=reg

….and just 0.38 in November for 1981-2010 base period if 250km smoothing used:

GISS_LOTI_Nov2013_250KM

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?year_last=2013&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=11&year1=2013&year2=2013&base1=1981&base2=2010&radius=250&pol=reg

Clearly, how you calculate and present global temperature anomalies makes a difference in the answer you get for November.

The difference here is that NCDC is using the “20th Century Average” where the other sources are using accepted 30 year climatology periods. Choosing that period can make a big difference in the outcome.

For example if I tweak the GISS parameters to use the 20th century, we get this, a value of 0.76C above normal, which is closer to NCDC’s value:

GISS_LOTI_Nov2013_250KM_1900-2000

Source:  http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?year_last=2013&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=11&year1=2013&year2=2013&base1=1901&base2=2000&radius=250&pol=reg

[Added: Also pointed out in comments NCDC has a lot of data gaps in Russia.

201311[1]

Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/map-land-sfc-mntp/201311.gif

When the data finally arrives (due to late reporting stations that trickle in), one wonders what the smoothing over Russia will look like and how much the global temperature value for November changes. NOAA/NCDC has to produce "State of the Climate" report each month, and they often do so before all the data is in, but we don't ever see any update of those values sent to the press. ]

Another source using the GHCN surface land data and surface ocean data in an NCEP analysis, WeatherBell, agrees that Russia was quite anomalously warm, but gives a global temperature anomaly of only 0.17C:

WeatherBell_ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_112013

The point I’m making is that global temperature can be significantly different, depending on how it is calculated and presented. Which way is the right way? More importantly, since monthly temperatures still fit into the scale of synoptic meteorology, i.e. affected by “weather”, does it even matter to the global warming debate?

Along the same lines, with year-end approching, we’ll soon see pushes from government and media sources to position 2013 in some rank of “warmest year ever”. With that in mind, here are some maps and temperature ranks to consider:

WeatherBell year to date shows only o.049c globally for the year, hardly alarming:

WeatherBell_ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_ytd

Source: http://models.weatherbell.com/climate/ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom_ytd.png

NCDC, using their century scale base period, says: “The globally-averaged temperature across land and ocean surfaces for the first eleven months of 2013 (January–November) was 0.62°C” Source: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/

NCDC_201301-201311

GISS says only 0.19C so far for 2013, and it will likely go down with the cold December Arctic outbreak which has been seen in the Northern Hemisphere:

GISS_LOTI_Jan-Nov2013

Source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/nmaps.cgi?year_last=2013&month_last=11&sat=4&sst=3&type=anoms&mean_gen=1212&year1=2013&year2=2013&base1=1981&base2=2010&radius=1200&pol=reg

Global temperature on monthly and yearly time scales varies greatly depending on how it is calculated, how it is presented, and who presents it.

Which one is the real global temperature?

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

Addendum: I have been wondering about that Russian red spot for 5 years. I’ve seen this red spot come and go in Russia, and I don’t know what the reason is.

I do know this: neither I nor NOAA has a good handle on the siting characteristics of Russian weather stations. I do know one thing though, the central heating schemes for many Russian cities puts a lot of waste heat into the air from steam pipes:

russia-pipes[1]

In the cities, it’s the municipality that supplies the hot water.  There’s a huge network of giant pipes that move the water all over the city.  It’s a closed circuit that eventually leads back to a steam plant – a huge factory that does nothing more than heat water and force it into the system.

The pipes enter practically every building within the city limits and the heat from uninsulated pipes (radiators) is what keeps everyone’s living space toasty warm throughout some extremely cold winters.  A side benefit is that they never have to wait for the water to warm up in their showers!

- See more at: http://blog.arlomidgett.com/2012/01/16/thoughts-on-russia/#sthash.1gu8As1U.dpuf

 Above – As we left Russia I wanted to capture these grand pipes that travel beside the streets. This is the way all the buildings and city residences are centrally heated – via steam

While the silver pipes in photos above have insulated cladding, the steam pipes seen below are un-insulated:

russian_heating_pipes1

The caption was telling: Smaller Russian era dwelling – blue is typical color. Pipes outside are for the steam heat that is distributed to all buildings.

Note the waste heat keeps the snow off the street  in Siberia:

Central_heating_russia

Above: Central heating, Novokuznetsk, Siberia, 1991 Photo by Bertien van Manen

See more about Russia at: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/15/giss-noaa-ghcn-and-the-odd-russian-temperature-anomaly-its-all-pipes/

(The addendum was edited for clarity)

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135 thoughts on “Claim: November 2013 is the ‘warmest ever’ – but will the real November 2013 temperature please stand up?

  1. Anybody stop to think that this anomaly might be something other than natural? It just so happens that there is a blob of heat the size of Russia centered on Russia? What are the odds of that?

    REPLY: I have been wondering the same thing for 5 years. I’ve seen this red spot come and go in Russia, and I don’t know what the reason is. I do know this: neither I nor NOAA has a good handle on the siting characteristics of Russian weather stations. I do know one thing though, the central heating schemes for many Russian cities puts a lot of waste heat into the air from un-insulated steam pipes See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/15/giss-noaa-ghcn-and-the-odd-russian-temperature-anomaly-its-all-pipes/

    I’ve updated the post to reflect this – Anthony

  2. I should clarify that I mean it could be caused by someone messing with the satellite data in some way, or Russian military equipment possible messing with the satellite data. As is, the very existence of an anomaly like that seems rather odd to me.

  3. Bad timing for this news release, if the main stream press does their usual thing. The warming news will fall on deaf cold ears

  4. Anthony, as I commented on Bob Tisdale’s recent thread on global temperatures, something funny is going on with the NOAA data: If you go to their site and choose to show only land data, then suddenly there’s extremely sparse coverage for November:

    Note that there’s absolutely no coverage in several tropical areas where WeatherBell reports cold anomalies (e.g. in Africa and the Amazonas).

    (Besides, a strong positive anomaly in that part of Russia means that temperatures were just above freezing in November. One degree milder in cool Russia means a smaller energy difference than 1 degree cooler in the tropics – global mean temperature is such a silly measure after all!)

  5. I don’t know where I read it, but the Russian data may depend on what period the base line was measured. Back in the days if the USSR, the amount of fuel you received for next year’s winter, depended on how cold it was this year. So, it was normal for places in Siberia to routinely report temperatures which were significantly colder than they actually were.

  6. I am simply not buying that it was really THAT hot over an area THAT big. Something is not right. Have we looked at the raw station data to make sure there isn’t anything stupid there?

  7. “The difference here is that NCDC is using the “20th Century Average” where the other sources are using accepted 30 year climatology periods. Choosing that period can make a big difference in the outcome.”

    There is nothing ‘accepted” about a 30 year base period. You can pick any base period you want. You dont want to go below 30, but picking a longer period will give you better statistics when it comes to measuring extrema.

    REPLY: Sorry Steve, you are wrong on that count…yes, there is an acceptance of a 30 year period, so says the World Meteorological Organization:

    Climate Normals

    Climate “normals” are reference points used by climatologists to compare current climatological trends to that of the past or what is considered “normal”. A Normal is defined as the arithmetic average of a climate element (e.g. temperature) over a 30-year period. A 30 year period is used, as it is long enough to filter out any interannual variation or anomalies, but also short enough to be able to show longer climatic trends. The current climate normal period is calculated from 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1990.

    Source: http://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/climate_data_and_products.php

    – Anthony

  8. NOAA’s map makes no sense for the UK, Ireland or for Spain – particularly for Spain, Ireland and Scotland which NOAA suggests all had warmer than average Novembers in 2013. If you look at the Spanish Government’s own web-site they confirm that November 2013 was cooler than average and in the ‘very cold’ category in the whole southwest half of the country. Equally in England it was a full 1C/2F cooler than the 1981-2010 period according to the UK met office and was also cooler than normal in Scotland. The Irish met service also confirms a cooler than average November. This illustrates that NOAA’s map bears no relation to reality in these particular countries. I suspect others looking at data in other countries would find something similar.

  9. WeatherBell year to date shows only o.049c globally for the year, hardly alarming:

    ###########

    Weatherbell is NOT OBSERVATIONS.
    Weatherbell uses NCEP
    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads.

  10. 12.9’C 20th century average? I thought it was 15’C, oh wait they revised it to 14’C, damn I’m confused. Maybe that is their diabolical plan.

  11. I replied to a lathered up global warming zealot waving around NCDC report as “proof” global warming was real and no “pause” existed, yesterday:

    Plenty of “highest on record” comments in the NCDC report. All carefully worded. So what is the period of “record” they are using? Its the last 134 years appx 1900 to present. Which is pretty meaningless in terms of “climate cycle” context. And then notice the several different base periods for various of their claims. Manipulating the period you are comparing against is a simple way to manipulate the result.

    As to their key point:

    “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013 was record highest for the 134-year period of record, at 0.78°C (1.40°F) above the 20th century average …”

    How terrible. Combined global land and sea temps combined for NOVEMBER was 0.78 degree C above the 20th century average. Sounds reasonably accurate to me – most skeptics agree temps have increased over the last 134 years.

    Of course if we read a little further we get a far more useful data point from them:

    “The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the YEAR-TO-DATE (January–November) was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average” …. so the AVERAGE YEAR TO DATE global mean combined land and sea temps are just 0.62 degree C above the 20th century average. Using the total, year to date data, the global mean combined land and sea temp of just 0.62 deg C over the last 134 years.

    Which shows the HADCRUT, HADSST, and RSS MSU data, and other data largely matches the NCDC GCHN data and conclusions.

    The NCDC climate “report” carefully crafted its talking points to provide maximum scaremongering value. It also carefully ignores the inconvenient pause.And they bury the graphs they do, quite clearly, show the pause.

    I’ll help them out – you can see their graph below. It is clear there has been no appreciable change – no warming – in the combined global mean land and sea temp data, since at least 2000 … and likely earlier.

    Note that NOAA has largely “disappeared” the large warm spike in 1998. Which also eliminates the warmists claim that the “pause” is only discernible if one cherry picks and includes the unusually warm 1998 as the start point.

    This simply is not true. You can ignore the rapid oscillations of the 1997-1999 period that include the warm spike in 1998, and use 2000 as a start point and you’ll get 14 years with no warming.

    The data shows that there has been no increase in global mean temp for at least 14 years …none if by land, none if by air, none if by sea, and as this NCDC report shows, none if by land and sea combined.

    Add the NCDC’s GHCN combined land and sea data set to the HADCRUT, HADSST and RSS MSU global mean land, sea and lower troposphere air temps respectively, which all show the “pause” – that we have seen NO warming since at least 2000 or earlier.

    Buried at the end of the report NOAA’s 2013 year to date graph from the “State of the Climate” article is included below. As with the HADCRUT, HADSST, RSS US and other data sets, a simple “eyeball” view shows pretty clearly that there has been no warming for 14 years or more:

  12. Thanks for the reply, Anthony. Those steam pipes alone, uninsulated… The urban heat island effect is already bad enough. A factory just for producing steam and then pumping that steam all over a city? That HAS to have an affect!

    The make a point on other possibilities, I was once told about (though this is unconfirmed) a military base in Manitoba (Canada) that uses radar jamming to hide the base. The problem is that weather satellites see the jamming as rain! I wonder if something in Russia is doing something similar to the temperature satellites, if such a thing is possible.

  13. So the cooked data shows “hottest ever” and the uncooked data does not.

    Uhuh. NOAA, GISS, etc are not measured temperatures. It is value added, adjusted, homogenised, etc. Or spliced and diced as they do at BEST.

    That .6 degree is all in the adjustments.

  14. If we can credit the climate cause with anything worthy of note, it’s the truly breathtaking array of reds they have run through and embellished our maps with, oft without perspective or scale. Every one of them now looks like we wrapped up the teenaged extras from Carrie in them. Lucky for Russia, they’ve moved beyond ‘blood red’ to ‘tonight we chacha with Lucifer red’. Congrats!

  15. Jim Cripwell says:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    I don’t know where I read it, but the Russian data may depend on what period the base line was measured. Back in the days if the USSR, the amount of fuel you received for next year’s winter, depended on how cold it was this year. So, it was normal for places in Siberia to routinely report temperatures which were significantly colder than they actually were.

    Let’s suppose the situation were reversed for some reason. For instance, let’s say that air conditioning electricity was priced lower if the preceding year had been hotter in some huge and imaginary rich tropical country, and reported temperatures had been elevated in the past as a result.

    Instantly, an IPOCC team would be dispatched to interrogate knowledgeable persons there to verify if this had happened, with a view to “getting rid” of that warm anomaly by subsequently adjusting its temperatures down.

    Three guesses why such an investigation and adjustment won’t occur wrt Russia.

  16. “Anybody stop to think that this anomaly might be something other than natural? It just so happens that there is a blob of heat the size of Russia centered on Russia? What are the odds of that?”

    This particular area of the world is known for having the highest seasonal range. The difference between coldest and warmest month is huge. The blob is bigger than Russia and is not uniform over Russia. In general on a month to month basis there will always be hot zones and cool zones. Its quite silly to focus on Russia being hot or the US being cold, but folks on both sides will do this. Also with less ice in the arctic we can expect just this sort of thing

    REPLY: Note also that the Russian data is full of holes:

    It will be interesting to see what happens when late CLIMAT reports come in. One of the problems with NCDC is deadline pressure in issuing such reports, they don’t wait for all the data to show up.

    -Anthony

  17. And here I thought an oscillation involved some areas being down while others are up. The Arctic oscillation rotated from Siberia to the U.S. and then Europe and the Middle East. That pattern was predicted by private forecast groups for commodity traders but missed by government forecasters. It appears that the focus on all things warming and evil takes time and talent away from other competencies. Just ask EPA and their CIA workforce.

  18. Temperature varies from place to place…from hour to hour…from season to season…the whole concept of a ‘global average temperature’…is nonsense

  19. I wonder if recent Russian high temperatures have anything to do with vodka rationing.
    The end of the 1980s saw a huge Russian budget deficit and sky-high inflation. Severe shortages of basic food supplies led to the reintroduction of the war-time system of rationing – including vodka.
    Apparently, food and especially vodka rations were based on low temperatures of each district or town and communities competed for food and vodka allocation. Temperature records were often exaggerated on the low side to make sure rations were high. Clearly this would produce an artificially low bias on temperature records during that period and make current temperatures seem high.

  20. Steve,
    But now there is more ice in the Arctic……but your point is well taken. Large land locked areas, far from moderating influence of sea or ocean, will have larger swings in temps. The listing of metrics by their place in the record book seems to be very misleading. A lot of the data runs the ‘records’ are based on are quite limited. But the ranking itself seems to be potentially very misleading. Your take on this would very much appreciated.

  21. The BOM in Australia is already getting ready to say that Sydney has had its hottest year ever, and that station’s records go back to 1959 or thereabouts. However, I had a look at the station near where I live in Western Sydney, and it’s been quite an average year. The record only goes back to 1995, but nevertheless, there have been hotter years previously.

  22. I don’t think urban heat losses, however substantial, can explain all of this anomaly. Russia is neither densely nor uniformly populated, and on a map like this all towns combined will hardly fill a pixel.

    It is true that towns leak a lot of heat due to central heating, although recently many central heating systems were dismantled or upgraded to use local regulators, so many people today can turn their heat down instead of opening the window. In the old days, we lived with windows open all year round; the only difference between seasons was in how widely open they were. I say, that was a much healthier lifestyle. Permanently fresh air at somebody else’s expense.

    But even then, the effects were localised. I remember seeing CIA-sourced winter-time infrared images of parts of Moscow and of my home town showing multiple intense hot spots. The resolution was so good I could see my car parked near the building where I lived. The story was that the authors of those images were puzzled, theorising about the kinds of activities that could create such a weird infrared signature. They did not see that anywhere else in the world and could not believe it was simply due to central heating and open windows. But in the big picture of things, those hot spots looked like sparsely located point sources. Spaces between buildings appeared just as cold as the empty field out of town.

  23. These temp anomaly maps would be great to see presented on a map of just the Northern Hemisphere (centered on the North Pole). I imagine that the Arctic would look quite ridiculous (unbelievable perhaps) with below average temperatures in the Western Hemisphere right next to greatly above average temperatures in the Eastern Hemisphere.

  24. Anthony (and Mosher):
    The WMO disagrees with both of you. The WMO states that climate (except precipitation) can use 5 to 10 years as the base period.

    http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/ccl/documents/WMO_100_en.pdf

    Section 4.8.1

    In general, the most recent 5- to 10-year period of record has as much predictive value as a 30-year record. Shorter reference periods allow normals to be calculated for a much wider range of stations than is usually possible for a standard normals reference period. For elements that show a substantial underlying trend (such as mean temperature), predictive accuracy is improved by updating the averages and period averages frequently.

    My emphasis.

  25. The sea ice page has been showing extensive snow cover in that Russian hot spot area for quite some time … at least a month it’s been this way … eyeballing it, it is further south than 5 years ago.To me it seems like if was well warmer than normal there would be less snow cover.

  26. Plenty of cold in America and Global Sea Ice 7th highest in 35 years….yawn. Please drop your data sets of 20 years…134 years et al. You need to compare over thousands and millions of years. This is the hottest we have ever been?…Someone is having a laugh. So what if the trend is up since the Solar Minimum’s…..the overall temp graph for our Holocene clearly shows we are much cooler than 10,000 years ago so the overall trend line is down.

  27. When ever Russia has a significant warm anomaly in places it always skewers global temperatures by the awful lack of stations there that rely on 1200 km interpolating. Only reason why there is a huge massive area well above average. No other data when not limited, shows much smaller areas with a anomaly anywhere near that big. Illustrates how interpolating at least 250 km to 1200 km messes up the data and gives false readings. The satellite data is superior in this sense by far and a shame media hype such alarmism when only cherry picking one data set that has been crudely put together.

  28. Looking back at some GISS maps, its seems clear that Russia has massive temperature swings. Gotta be the geography. But go look at some plots. One month they’ll be large sections 3-5C below normal, the next month the same area is 3-5C above normal. It looks like the “average” there is an average of extremes which NEVER happens. Huge fluctuations seem to be completely normal.

  29. It is not beyond president Putin‘s regime to make Russian met stations ramp up temps a bit, just to con the West and keep the ball rolling. They profit tremendously on self inflicted decommissioning of western industry. As the Soviet Union met its fate, the KGB survived intact, it owns the country.

  30. REPLY: Sorry Steve, you are wrong on that count…yes, there is an acceptance of a 30 year period, so says the World Meteorological Organization:

    Climate Normals

    Climate “normals” are reference points used by climatologists to compare current climatological trends to that of the past or what is considered “normal”. A Normal is defined as the arithmetic average of a climate element (e.g. temperature) over a 30-year period. A 30 year period is used, as it is long enough to filter out any interannual variation or anomalies, but also short enough to be able to show longer climatic trends. The current climate normal period is calculated from 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1990.

    Source: http://www.wmo.int/pages/themes/climate/climate_data_and_products.php

    – Anthony

    *********************************************************************************************************

    So to summarize there is a standardized 30 year reference period spanning 1961-1990 which is apparently not used in any of the graphics? Got to love standards – there’s so many to choose from . . .

  31. I thought cherry picking season hasn’t yet started! OK, let me start my cherry picking then. Almost 1 year ago to the very day it was reported:

    LiveScience
    Why Russia’s Cold Snap Is So Deadly
    December 20, 2012
    If any nation on Earth is accustomed to dealing with a harsh winter, it would be Russia. But from the farthest reaches of Siberia to downtown Moscow, the Russian people are being pummeled by a winter so brutal it’s shattering cold-weather records across the continent — and it’s only December.

    As temperatures plunge as low as –minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius) in some areas, the Pravda news site reports that 45 people have died of causes related to the subfreezing weather; 21 people froze to death in just one day. Hundreds more have been hospitalized with frostbite and other conditions.

    This winter is the coldest on record since 1938,….

    http://www.livescience.com/25737-russia-cold-snap.html

    There are many examples of cold WEATHER records around the world as well as odd snow in places like the Amazon and the Mediterranean. Need I go on? Have I made may point?

    For regular updates on the sure signs of a new ICE AGE see below.

    http://iceagenow.info/

  32. Steven Mosher says:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    WeatherBell year to date shows only o.049c globally for the year, hardly alarming:

    ###########

    Weatherbell is NOT OBSERVATIONS.
    Weatherbell uses NCEP
    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads.

    So, even Weatherbell is too warm. Interesting.

  33. In January of this year Russia saw more SURE signs of GLOBAL COOLING. I like this weather is now the climate game. ;) We must act now! As you can see I can go on and on about cold WEATHER records making my case for an upcoming ice age. ;)

    Record Cold Continues in Siberia
    I R K U T S K, Russia, Jan. 22
    …….
    Winter in Siberia is usually spectacular and always very cold.

    But this winter has been relentless. Week after week, temperatures have been dipping to 50 below zero. Siberians are accustomed to the cold, but they were completely unprepared for temperatures this low…….

    Not surprisingly, the hospital in the city of Irkutsk is overwhelmed. In just one week, the cold killed 17 people, and doctors amputated the limbs of at least 70 others who suffered severe frostbite. Pausing for just a short period of time could prove extremely dangerous — one man who stopped to fix his car had to have both his hands and feet amputated because of frostbite……

  34. Duster says:
    December 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Steven Mosher says:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    WeatherBell year to date shows only o.049c globally for the year, hardly alarming:

    ###########

    Weatherbell is NOT OBSERVATIONS.
    Weatherbell uses NCEP
    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads.

    So, even Weatherbell is too warm. Interesting.

    Mosher has just hoisted himself on his own petard and argues like a sceptic without knowing it.

  35. On a different note, I spent time in Ukraine in the mid-90s. The distinguishing characteristic of the – barely – post-Soviet infrastructure was that it was mostly falling apart. For instance they don’t have trees of significant size in Russia so the middle and lower range electrical transmission lines, that we – in the US – suspend on wooden poles, are instead on reinforced concrete poles. The scary part is that the concrete doesn’t handle cold all that well – or theirs doesn’t – and the lower meter or two of the poles often consisted of nothing but exposed steel reinforcing rod.

    Poor and badly conditioned power supplies are a fact of life. In our project we needed clean power for or computers which were switchable but couldn’t handle the filthy power supply at any voltage. The line supply, nominally 240 volts, was measured oscillating from about 150 to over 300 volts within less than a minute. Electrical motors frequently failed in spectacular fashion. Our surge protectors, we carried a case of 12 in with us, all died within two weeks. I don’t think of them lasted longer than two and a half days. Happily, we had, despite insistence from Russian colleagues that it was unnecessary, brought in a small US built transformer that stepped the power down and produced clean, steady output. The Russian electrician became a convert to the idea of immigrating to the west after watching the input and output meters for 15 minutes and shaking his head. He expressed the opinion that there might be a market there.

  36. With respect to November 2013 being the hottest November. Clearly this was an isolated event that mostly happened in Russia and Asia due to an extra high positive AO. For Contiguous United States ,November was the 49 th warmest and most of North America was below normal temperatures.

  37. Most of ordinary people are concerned about and judge global warming by events in their area; in Central England both maximum and minimum daily temperatures this November were lower than in 2012

  38. No, It really IS warmer in Russia,

    http://siberiantimes.com/ecology/casestudy/features/no-snow-in-siberia-locals-marvel-and-worry-at-the-snow-shortage/

    As in many areas of Siberia this winter, the thermometer is reluctant to plummet to customary bone-chilling temperatures. Last night when we checked outside, it was a mere minus 3C. Day time temperatures lately have been warmer. As mother-of-two Anastasia said from Krasnoyarsk: ‘I’m reading a book to my children and I hear the tapping of the rain in my ear. Rain? Rain??? Rain in the middle of December? In Siberia?’

  39. Justin Hoffer says December 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm
    ..
    The make a point on other possibilities, I was once told about (though this is unconfirmed) a military base in Manitoba (Canada) that uses radar jamming to hide the base. The problem is that weather satellites see the jamming as rain!

    Rumor, not (and probably very far from) fact; these ‘things’ are also verifiable with little effort today, too.

    BTW, how do weather satellites ‘see’ rain? RADAR? Not likely, from a geostationary orbit … don’t fall ‘victim’ to the widely used term by the TeeVee mets who refer to the composite “satellite RADAR” image. That is a software creation developed in their ‘weather’ station computer for use in on-air broadcasts to the public …

    .

  40. Russia is a republican democracy. How hard would it be to validate their sites?
    WUWT reaches far and wide. Surface stations dot org could probably cover the nation in a matter of months. Well those months when it is possible to travel.

  41. RE: Scott says:
    December 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I noticed the increased snow cover over all of Russia as well, Scott. It started quite early, as I remember, and was well above average for November. I suppose milder temperatures might have given them more snow, but what then was created was a vast white area of fresh snow cover, much bigger than Greenland’s icecap, which was constantly creating cold air. Quite often I noticed this cold air didn’t hang around and get colder, but was swiftly exported north, via cross-polar flow, and once across the Pole it headed south into Canada. It messed up the plans of a lot of people attempting the Northwest Passage as the re-freeze began early, and is also a reason it has been colder than normal over much of the USA all autumn.

    Once you get into November the northern coast of Siberia starts to see 24-hour darkness, and five degrees above “normal” starts to be the difference between a “balmy” minus-twenty and a “normal” minus twenty-five.

    Right now there are parts of central Siberia way above normal, but still below zero, while parts of Eastern Siberia are at minus-forty. In no way, shape or form is Russia a place where any sort of warming occurs in December. Rather it is a vast, white land that loses huge amounts of warmth to outer space.

  42. Google giant Tesla coils found in Russia . Once found you will ask what the ****? What are they used for? I don’t think their water slides lol.

  43. It appears NOAA has a cohort of warmists – true believers – who manufacture creative graphs that can be used to push irrational policy. The following which is attached to Joe’s ‘Night Before Christmas’ poem, at icecape is a summary of the NCDC adjustment to the global anomaly temperatures.

    There needs to be an investigation and house cleaning. The warmists have corrupted the scientific process. Reality does not change if it is ignored. Policy needs to be based on reality rather than manufactured creative graphs. It is good thing not a bad thing that there is no extreme AGW problem to solve. We do not need to spend money on green scams to fight a problem that is not a problem.

    There is an extraordinarily long list of items this President and every President (applies to all countries) would like to spend more money on. Mission accomplished there is no extreme AGW problem to solve.

  44. jmorpuss says December 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Google giant Tesla coils found in Russia .

    BS from jm. Shouldn’t you be out looking for snipes or Big Foot right about now?

  45. Gene Selkov’s posting (above) says:
    “But even then, the effects were localised. I remember seeing CIA-sourced winter-time infrared images of parts of Moscow and of my home town showing multiple intense hot spots. The resolution was so good I could see my car parked near the building where I lived. The story was that the authors of those images were puzzled, theorising about the kinds of activities that could create such a weird infrared signature.”

    Make me wonder about the credibility of not only the CIA, but all of the government agencies.

    With all their money and resources, they didn’t think to send somebody out to take a look? Or ask a Russian?

    Even worse, how does Gene Selkov, a Russian, know all about what the CIA were thinking, and see their photos? Obviously, the Russians are a lot better at this spying business than we are.

  46. If the conspicuous and suspicious temperature anomaly over Russia was a cold anomaly, mainstream science would have corrected it. There is enough information in this post and others on here over the years for any reasonable individual to see the data is suspect and has been for years. Yet, it is accepted without question by warmists.

  47. And don’t forget that NOAA states each month:

    “Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed.”

    here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/11

    I believe we’ve noted before that that “may change” is more often than not “will change” and in almost all cases the “complete data” reflects a slightly cooler number than the preliminary data shows.

  48. Duster says:
    December 19, 2013 at 3:21 pm
    …Happily, we had, despite insistence from Russian colleagues that it was unnecessary, brought in a small US built transformer that stepped the power down and produced clean, steady output. The Russian electrician became a convert to the idea of immigrating to the west after watching the input and output meters for 15 minutes and shaking his head. He expressed the opinion that there might be a market there.

    Was this actually a ferroresonant transformer, or some kind of line interactive UPS? A straight transformer would merely have reflected the junk on the primary side to the secondary side. A ferroresonant can tolerate some ferocious swings, usually at the expense of some efficiency.

  49. re: many Russian cities puts a lot of waste heat into the air from un-insulated steam pipes

    and accompanying image: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/russia-pipes1.jpg?w=640&h=438

    Close examination of this image shows the silvery covering to be cladding or an outside sheathing to cover over whatever resides inside (which may be some amount of insulation *plus* the actual water or whatever working fluid carrying pipe.)

    It would make sense to provide a weather-resistant outside sheath to protect an insulating layer wound around or packed/sprayed onto an interior liquid/working fluid carrying pipe. Over time the ravages of wind and rain and even the rays of the sun take their toll on materials not designed to withstand outside exposure.

    It comes to mind, given the ‘look’ of that first, large silvery-looking pipe, that looks more like ‘duct-work’ than actual pipe, therefore, the conclusion would be this is cladding over a (perhaps) insulated pipe.

    A closer look at the supports seem to show that they bear the weight of something within the cladding, since the supports seem to ‘intrude’ into the cladding or sheathing.

    Just my $0.02 …

    .

  50. “The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2013….”
    =============
    Months, or even decades are just an easily determined period for programmers, the variations in the weather/climate run right through the endpoints.
    I suppose we could extend out to centuries, but then the data becomes suspect.

    How did “we” ever let them get this far ?
    Don’t matter now, does it.
    Just gotta turn it around.

  51. Here is a large high res temperature anomaly map of Land temperatures from the Modis satellites in November 2013 (versus 2001 to 2010 base period). Note: ALL the land is covered here

    Yes, Russia was warm but this is just weather synoptics. Parts have cooled off into December.

  52. Jarryd Beck says:
    December 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    The BOM in Australia is already getting ready to say that Sydney has had its hottest year ever, and that station’s records go back to 1959 or thereabouts. However, I had a look at the station near where I live in Western Sydney, and it’s been quite an average year. The record only goes back to 1995, but nevertheless, there have been hotter years previously.
    ————————————————————————————
    Bullshite baffles brains.

  53. @ Jim Is that all you got All I see is the truth must hurt your simple mind . I know were I’d like to stick my big foot.

  54. D.J. Hawkins says December 19, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Was this actually a ferroresonant transformer, or some kind of line interactive UPS? A straight transformer …

    There was desktop, commercial product available not too many years back that that would ‘step’ up or down the mains voltage allowing equipment to ride through line sags and high line conditions even .. in the early 1990’s I was parked in front of a PC one day when the lights blinked briefly at work and noted the series of LEDs on the device to my left traverse down then up to indicate the ‘status’ of the incoming line voltage in real time …

    We had our own substation, too, so it may have been something on the premises at the TI Expressway site (the NE corner of LBJ Freeway and US-75) which had faulted, drawing down the mains momentarily until protective equipment (breaker etc) acted.

    Something along the lines of a “line Conditioner” as shown here:

    http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/model.cfm?txtSeriesID=838&txtModelID=208

    These are what seem to have preceded the modern ‘UPS’ in common use nowadays.

    .

  55. re: jmorpuss says December 19, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    John, we’ve discussed this before; either you’re only 10 or an ID 10T.

    If you’re ten, come back in about 10 years and join us, if you’re just an ID 10T,well, go find Big Foot …

    .

  56. Hmmmm… Just a thought, about the Russian penchant for centralized supply and distribution of hot water for heating and bathing. It seems to me that turning off the hot water supply at the central heating plant becomes a very effective way to ‘domesticate’ unruly populations, especially during -30C weather.

  57. “normals”

    These are recalculated every 10 years so the most recent “climatology” is for 1981 to 2010. The definition also includes that the period end in year with a zero ending.

    The example given upstream is just that, an example. Perhaps that WMO page needs to be updated.

  58. _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm
    re: many Russian cities puts a lot of waste heat into the air from un-insulated steam pipes and accompanying image: http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/russia-pipes1.jpg?w=640&h=438
    Close examination of this image shows the silvery covering to be cladding or an outside sheathing to cover over whatever resides inside (which may be some amount of insulation *plus* the actual water or whatever working fluid carrying pipe.)

    _Jim,

    I had the same impression, as I was reading the article and looking at the photos. Looked like a smaller diameter pipe jacketed with a larger diameter outer shield.

    • Mac the Knife and Jim_ observe:

      Looked like a smaller diameter pipe jacketed with a larger diameter outer shield.

      Here’s what it is:

      http://www.msknn.ru/site.aspx?IID=1906571&SECTIONID=1890081

      Russians are crazy, but not that crazy. They do insulate.

      What we did see many years back was that in places where those pipes were on the surface and in somebody’s way, people would walk on them, destroying the insulation.

  59. _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm
    “Shouldn’t you be out looking for snipes . . .

    I wonder how many folks haven’t a clue about that?

    These are cute birds with a long bill that some hunt with a shotgun.
    If you are asked to use a pillow case – that’s a scam.
    Look it up.

  60. @ _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    You are almost certainly correct. Any chemical engineer with chemical plant or refinery experience would instantly recognize this installation. Insulation is usually quite fragile, and the covering is intended to provide some mechanical protection. Unfortunately too often the insulation is fiberglass which is cheap and effective but also a sponge. Anywhere that the protective covering is breached allows rain to saturate the insulation and now that section of pipe becomes a more effective radiator than if it were naked to the air. In the absence of additional water intrusion it will dry out only very slowly. Better is to use a calcium silicate based solid insulation product that had very low water absorption and suitable to 1,200F. Or you could use a closed-cell isocyanurate as long as you stay below 300F.

  61. jai mitchell –

    3 June: RT: Snow in June: Russia’s Siberian town in absolute anomaly (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
    A layer of snow on the second day of summer has put the citizens of the Russian city of Kemerovo completely out of humor.
    Meteorologists say the anomaly occurred because a cyclone brought cold Arctic air from Kara Sea region into Siberia dropping, temperature to lows typical for summer north of the Arctic Circle.
    Bloggers were at a loss when commenting the issue…
    The city in South Siberia is situated on 55°22’17.58″ north latitude but even for that region -2 Celsius on June 2 morning is over the top…
    This spring has been sort of cold in the Kemerovo Region, which witnessed snow in early May and an emergency extension of the heating season. No wonder that people have been waiting for warm summer days just like for manna from heaven, but instead got snowflakes…

    http://rt.com/news/siberia-june-snow-kemerovo-130/

    26 Oct: Bloomberg: If New York Freezes in January Blame Siberian Snow Now
    Snow falling over Siberia is raising the prospect for frigid temperatures in New York come January…
    In September, 2.36 million square kilometers (911,000 square miles) of northern Europe and Asia were covered by snow, according to the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab. That compared with the 1981-2010 mean of 1.5 million…
    “It’s running well above normal,” said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC, a commercial forecaster in Bethesda, Maryland. “Through the last week of September, it’s the highest snow total in Eurasia since 1977.” …

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-24/if-new-york-freezes-in-january-blame-siberian-snow-now.html

    2 Dec: Coloradoan: Tuesday forecast: Siberian freeze to bring snow, bitter cold
    A weather nosedive in Fort Collins this week could pull temperatures from the 60s to 10 degrees below zero as a Siberian system blows into Colorado.
    “It’s basically from the coldest spot on the Earth right now,” said Don Day, meteorologist with DayWeather in Cheyenne. “All the stars are lining up to direct very cold air right out of Siberia just north of Alaska, straight down into the south.”…

    http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20131202/NEWS01/312020015/Tuesday-forecast-Siberian-freeze-bring-snow-bitter-cold?nclick_check=1

  62. _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm
    —————————————
    You are entirely correct. The pipes in the picture are insulated with cladding and run above ground – likely because the ground is permafrost. I have worked with exactly that type of insulation for external steam lines and you can see the same sort of piping at many places in northern Canada and Alaska as well. http://watersewerchallenge.alaska.gov/images/ArcticPipeCross.jpg

  63. Not sure about Russia’s “high temperatures” but if there it’s the warm snow.
    This is nuts, for nuts only.

  64. I drive in and out of my local UHI on a daily basis. The UHI can be up to 10 F higher than the surrounding area. Emphasis on the ISLAND designation. UHI is just that, an island of air subverted by our activity, but does not migrate from its core. As areas grow, the UHI area grows and intensifies, thus warming appears to be taking place, which is of course bogus. I can’t figure out why weather people are so married to these UHI stations. They have no bearing or relative measure of the general area beyond their specific location. Airport stations are there so pilots can take off and land safely within the aircraft performance specifications.

  65. From the original above (by Watts):

    ” I do know one thing though, the central heating schemes for many Russian cities puts a lot of waste heat into the air from un-insulated steam pipes “

    Mike Tremblay says:
    December 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm (replying to)

    _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    —————————————
    You are entirely correct. The pipes in the picture are insulated with cladding and run above ground – likely because the ground is permafrost. I have worked with exactly that type of insulation for external steam lines and you can see the same sort of piping at many places in northern Canada and Alaska as well.

    D.J. Hawkins says:
    December 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm (also replying to)

    @ _Jim says:
    December 19, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    You are almost certainly correct. Any chemical engineer with chemical plant or refinery experience would instantly recognize this installation. Insulation is usually quite fragile, and the covering is intended to provide some mechanical protection. Unfortunately too often the insulation is fiberglass which is cheap and effective but also a sponge. Anywhere that the protective covering is breached allows rain to saturate the insulation and now that section of pipe becomes a more effective radiator than if it were naked to the air.

    I too would strongly recommend the first phrase in the story above be at least corrected to “poorly installed, poorly insulated, poorly maintained and rapidly deteriorating central steam and condensate water pipes” But, with a central power station, centrally administered in a don’t pay” = “don’t care” = “don’t fix” economy, that sends steam and hot water everywhere to all users, the losses and “waste” are even more exaggerated: Too hot? Open the window a bit. Ignore poorly closing doors or poor fitting windows or deteriorating door and window seals. Leave the front door open for a few seconds longer as you step outside.

    All these losses add up to increased UHI.

  66. So Russia is slightly warmer this Nov?
    Thats nice for those in the siberian regions, but this is a hail mary headline as the cold bites in the heavily populated regions of the northern hemisphere.
    As the team desperation increases I suspect the rumoured heat waves will grow where the weather stations don’t go.
    Just like Trenberth’s amazing hotspot,as it may only exist in the minds of the alarmed, it is fair to say it is probably in the same place they have their heads inserted.
    Of course I am still open to some empirical evidence of manmade global warming, after all these years, all that money, surely the team can produce something better than obsessing over 0.8C increase since 1850, when the quality of the measurement reading for most of that time is +/-1 degree, with a similar instrument error. I love the logic, we have a 2degree error range at best, anything less than that is noise.
    I can glean more meaningful information by looking for Jesus in the white noise of a TV .
    Climatology is less accurate than the soothsayers of old.
    what is the stated error bar? This week?
    0.8C +/- 4C ? Adjusted by?

  67. I would like to take the opportunity as I gavel this meeting to order to welcome all the attendees present to the first annual Engineers and Pedants Society meeting …

    /fun and ‘funning’

    .

  68. At first, I had my doubts. But I downloaded the GISS homogenized data, and station list and selected all stations >= 45 North and >= 35 East. I calculated the 1951-1980 normals and departures for those stations. There were a whole slew of +5 to +8 anomalies. Tobol’sk even had +9.4. I took a closer look at it. The GISS data indicated a normal of -9.6 and a November value of -0.2. The site http://rp5.ru/Weather_archive_in_Tobolsk served as independant confirmation of the November 2013 monthly value of -0.2.

  69. at jai mitchell’s Siberian Times’ link, there are pics of siberians from Tomsk in swim-suits to illustrate how warm it is, however, russians are a hardy lot:

    19 Feb 2013: UK Daily Mail: Aren’t you worried about frostbite, ladies? Bikini snowboarders of Siberia take to slopes in SWIMWEAR despite -40C temperatures in crazy new fad
    COMMENT by justme:
    I grew up in Alaska, and I can remember ladies there skiing in bikinis when I was 7 or 8 years old. (No snowboarding back then.) I’m 57 now, so we’re talking 5 decades ago! Nothing new under the sun, I’m afraid!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280396/Bikini-snowboarders-Siberia-slopes-SWIMWEAR-despite-40C-temperatures.html

  70. I sometimes wish the word “anomaly” were never used again in climate science. The good guys lost about three-quarters of the PR battle when the other guys sneaked “anomalies” in as a means of understanding Earth’s non-global, non-mean non-temperature.

  71. The Arctic sea ice along the Russian suggests that temperatures were near average or even cooler than normal

    East Siberian Sea had ice slightly above normal http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.9.jpg

    Latpev Sea ice was bounced between average and slightly below average http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.8.jpg

    and although the Kara Sea ice was still below average there was about 175% more ice than November 2012 http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/recent365.anom.region.7.jpg

  72. Anthony, those pipes are clearly insulated. What you see on the outside is the galvanized steel outer shell that protects the insulation, fiberglass or asbestos, from the weather. Ask any union asbestos worker for a more clear explanation.

    REPLY: Yes, the silver ones are, the ones from the photo with the blue house are not. I’ll clarify. – Anthony

  73. Mosher: ” Its quite silly to focus on Russia being hot or the US being cold, but folks on both sides will do this.”

    Almost as silly as the concept of a global temperature, global average temperature, global mean temperature, and anomalies thereof.

  74. It appears that there is a lot of cherry picking going on.. 20 year trend ?? Then missing areas of cool areas in the NOAA GISS data sets…?? Looks like some people are trying to create the emergency again.. They must have taken the Ethics Class at Penn State from MM…

  75. In America, you have browser to open tabs. In Soviet Russia, browser keeps tabs on you.

    In America, you catch cold. In Soviet Russia, cold catches you.

    In America, you warm thermometer. In Soviet Russia…

  76. The frigid, record cold in the US earlier this month and cold pattern for well over a month in North America and record warmth in Russia are very much related.

    Some of the coldest air masses in the Northern Hemisphere frequently form over Siberia and vicinity during the Winter months. At these high latitudes, there is very little daylight at this time of year and in fact in Northern parts of Siberia, the sun sets and it stays dark for many weeks.

    In the absence of milder air being transported in from distant locations, this massive land mass is able to radiate heat out for almost 24 hours a day(depending on cloud cover) and get colder and colder and colder.

    At times during a typical Winter, weather systems with strong winds will dislodge large chunks of this frigid air and transport it bodily in the direction of the steering currents/jet stream.
    This obviously causes bone chilling cold that developed in Siberia to effect places thousands of miles away.

    This year, we’ve had a blocking pattern with one of the anchors being a huge/anomalous Northeast Pacific upper level high that has persisted for over 6 weeks(if my memory is correct).

    Downstream from this high has been an upper level trough in Central/Eastern Canada.
    The flow/steering currents between these systems has been such that it has been transporting huge air masses, bodily from Siberia that move across the Arctic and into northern portions of North America/Canada.

    There has been an almost constant supply of these air masses, some of which continue south thru Canada into the US. Canada is normally very cold at this time of year but these air masses are even colder than what is average for Canada.

    This Arctic air, while traveling south thru mostly snow covered terrain and the long nights in Canada has not been modified a great deal by the time it crossed the US border.

    At the same time, when these frigid air masses move out of Siberia/Russia, they are replaced by milder(relative to average) air masses from places that are not as cold.
    This typically happens a few times every Winter and helps Siberia to warm a bit,temporarily, then resume getting colder and colder and colder again……..until the sun starts climbing in the sky later in Winter.

    Unlike most Winters, over the last 7 weeks or so, including much of Novembert, the movement of air out of Siberia, aimed in the direction of Canada, then sometimes continuing into the US, has been relentless. This has meant an almost constant flow of milder air from milder regions into Siberia/Russia, while a number of days later, North America is in the deep freeze.

    In recent cold Winters, a key factor has been a very negative AO. That atmospheric set up comes from an upper level/blocking Greenland high and below it, farther south into the Eastern US is an upper level trough. This year, the AO has been strongly positive most of the time during these cold outbreaks.

  77. Steven Mosher says:

    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads.

    Thanks, Mosh. This is undoubtedly the funniest thing I have read on this site.

    Mosh railing on Models, who would have thunk it.

  78. “A side benefit is that they never have to wait for the water to warm up in their showers!”
    Not a side effect, it is intentional: normal “cold shower” water would freeze and burst any pipes.
    Any technical Russian can tell you that.

  79. Surface temperature and satellite-measured lower troposphere temperature often correlate poorly in Arctic areas in/near wintertime, and also at other times of the year over water or ice. This is because the air is stable due to low (sometimes negative at some altitudes) lapse rate. If the surface is unusually warm but convection to 2-3 kilometers above the surface does not occur, then the satellite-measured regional lower tropospheric temperature can fail to fully show an uptick in surface temperature.

  80. So it’s not greenhouse warming, but rather, all those hot water pipes running through those vast Russian cities that’s causing global warming? The logic is bullet-proof.

  81. Gene Selkov says:
    December 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    “I don’t think urban heat losses, however substantial, can explain all of this anomaly. Russia is neither densely nor uniformly populated, and on a map like this all towns combined will hardly fill a pixel.”

    Your comment shows that you do not understand how localized heating from man’s activities can theoretically effect the thermometer records. If the recording thermometers are located in the tiny “pixel” along with the habitation, your thermometer readings will differ from those taken in a truly pristine area away from man’s activities. And most recording thermometers are naturally located near populated areas. Note that I am not claiming that UHI is responsible for this particular anomalous hot spot that is being discussed.

    • Robert Austin says:

      Your comment shows that you do not understand how localized heating from man’s activities can theoretically effect the thermometer records. If the recording thermometers are located in the tiny “pixel” along with the habitation, your thermometer readings will differ from those taken in a truly pristine area away from man’s activities.

      I did not have thermometers or their siting in mind when I made that comment. I understand that satellite observations also show the anomaly (the UAH map above), and in my opinion, such a large and widespread anomaly cannot be caused by humans, whatever they do and however reckless they are with their heating.

      I have just found a data point that will allow you to estimate the total contribution from space heating in Russia. It is going to be a WAG, but anyway. In the town where I used to live (current population 21,000), all heat comes from one boiler station, whose design capacity is 220 Gcal/h.

      http://www.pushchino-tvk.ru/index/kharakteristiki_predprijatija/0-7

      It was built according to state-wide norms, so it makes sense to presume that other central heaters in Russia have a similar output per unit population. There certainly are geographic and climatic variations, but most people live in average climatic conditions, and this town is as close to average as it can be (it is 100 km south of Moscow). So, assuming the boilers work at capacity (sometimes they do, in winter), we get 12 kW per person (that includes useful heat as well as losses, because we are calculating the boiler output). Add to that electrical losses of about 2 kW per person (this estimate exceeds the typical capacity of a Russian residential electrical feed). Make it 15 kW/person. There are industries, and I don’t know how to estimate their heat, but what we’ve got here includes all residential + offices + public buildings, &c. — a major heat source, all together. Make it 30 kW/person, to account for industries and transportation. With the current population of Russia of 140,000,000, we get 4.2 TW. The total electricity generation in Russia is about 0.1TW (according to IEA), so this is a very generous estimate for peak total heat. It translates to about 0.2 W/m2. It is the level of heat you get from a candle burning in a room.

  82. Steven Mosher says:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Weatherbell is NOT OBSERVATIONS.
    Weatherbell uses NCEP
    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads.

    I’m confused. Why is NCEP modeling thermometers on rooftops?

    Do the ones on roads fail after being run over by model trucks?

  83. Ric Werme;
    Do the ones on roads fail after being run over by model trucks?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Only the early model trucks. In the late model trucks the thermometer is inside the cab.

  84. I have personally been close to the weather station in Adler/Sochi, Rusia, near the Black Sea. I can say that this weather station in particular looked to me very, very well sited. I don’t have photos but as I am returning there in January I’ll see if I can take some. However I know nothing about the quality of the placement of the stations in the rest of Rusia.

  85. You guys are focusing too much on the warm anomalies they are capturing and not enough on what they are *missing*. Look at the coverage gaps in that data and notice how they coincide with places that appear to be relatively cool in the atmospheric measures or the reanalysis. *That* is the primary source for the difference in ranks.

    As for the Siberian winter hotspot, this is a very interesting pattern: there is a strong correspondence between dry, anticyclonic air masses, and the strongest cold season trends in the last 50-60 years. One underappreciated feature of the late twentieth century warming was just how much of it was warming of damn cold air. The warm air not so much.

    Of course, obviously I have concerns about the effects of communism on weather reporting there 50 years ago, but it is interesting nonetheless.

  86. It WAS mild, in Moscow anyhow. After snowing early. Reports were of fewer deaths of drunken Moscuvites – 95% down in last year. 130 are alive because they passed out on the pavement instead of snow. But please, tell us more about Swedes dying when the temp passes 25 in Stockholm.

  87. The Russian anomaly assumes the following are true:

    1. Current measurements are accurate and cover the entire region.
    2. Throughout the 20th century, the recorded data was similarly accurate and comprehensive.

    Percipient bloggers in this comment section suggest that there may be cogent socioeconomic reasons to suspect that point two may not be correct……..

  88. < The city in South Siberia is situated on 55°22’17.58″ north latitude
    Accurate to 30 centimeters…?

  89. A couple of posters have pointed to snow cover in Russia to try to refute the numbers given. It is a red herring. And is argued from temperate-climate-centric point of view.

    The snow cover is only relevant if the usual temperatures are marginal for snow. For instance in Southern England a raise of this magnitude will certainly affect snow cover. The ground temperature would hardly get low enough for snow to accumulate, even if it could form and fall. The area we are talking about is way, way colder than required for snow formation even if it is .78C warmer than ‘normal’.

    If anything the increased convection makes it more likely that snow will form.

    That’s not to say the numbers aren’t suspect…but arguing they are suspect because there is a lot of snow cover is specious.

  90. Steven Mosher says:
    December 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Weatherbell is NOT OBSERVATIONS.
    Weatherbell uses NCEP
    NCEP is a MODEL not observations
    NCEP uses datasources that are highly suspect. for example thermometers on rooftops. thermometers on roads
    ————————————————————————————————————————-
    Thermometers on rooftops? Thermometers on roads?

    Utterly shocking!

    Thermometers of record only belong in car parks, and only if absolutely no car parks are available anywhere close, near an air-conditioner outlet. Everybody knows this!

    What on earth were NCEP thinking?!

  91. Mike Maguire says:
    December 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm
    The frigid, record cold in the US earlier this month and cold pattern for well over a month in North America and record warmth in Russia are very much related.

    I like your explanation. I live in the northern part of Canada and we observe this a lot of the time.
    The jet-stream pulls the cold Siberian air right down on us on its way south.
    Naturally it is being replaced with warmer air. [-34C yesterday morn]
    Also, faulty data seems to be a likely suspect for the extra “warmth”.
    And, how about more info or comment on the magnetic north pole movement???

  92. It’s more likely evidence of biased temperature reporting:

    Russian burocrats adding on average 0.5 of a degree centigrade by rounding off upwards when reporting temperatures, i.p. in winter. To show the bosses in Moscow how good they care for for their minions.

  93. NOAA is up to its old tricks. The red Siberian Hot Spot gives the layman the idea that Siberia is basking in in tropical temperatures. Most lay people don’t know that NOAA is depicting anomalies. If people want to know where the cold Siberian air masses are, they should look no further than North America. The atmosphere is dynamic, after-all.

  94. Here in Germany it is currently much warmer than in the past 4 years at this time of year. And via eastern wind in winter we are influenced by weather from Russia; at least Berlin and the Northern German plains where no mountains stop wind from the east. So at least part of the “hot spot” in Russia must be real it seems to me.

  95. According to Climate for You, Siberia develops semi permanent high pressure in winter due to extreme radiant cooling characteristic of the continental location and lack of sunlight. The northern hemispheres most extreme lows develop in valleys where inversion develops and temperatures are measured. In the summer and fall low pressure cyclones move across Siberia. The early Siberia snow cover in November would likely be associated with convection and latent heat release similar to spikes often seen in the tropics on satellite data. In addition inversions would not develop and temperatures would reflect the true atmospheric state as measured by satellite. Of course I only believe the Satellite data which is not as influenced by inversions siting and tampering issues.

  96. Alberta,
    Living in Northern Canada, you get to live in an environment/place that us meteorologists greatly enjoy observing on weather maps and sometimes following especially close, like with this recent pattern(where the source region for some of our air masses is up there).

    Out of curiosity, approx. what is your latitude and what time does the sun rise and set today, December 20?

  97. It just so happens that there is a blob of heat the size of Russia centered on Russia? What are the odds of that?

    REPLY: I have been wondering the same thing for 5 years. I’ve seen this red spot come and go in Russia, and I don’t know what the reason is.

    Most of people may consider it irrelevant but following may be worth noting :
    Central Siberia in 1995 took over from the North Canada the North Hemisphere’s location of the magnetic ‘pole’, as you can see from the NOAA’s geomagnetic maps.

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/pdf/F_map_mf_2010.pdf

    it is evident that currently the geo-magnetic dipole has strong East Hemisphere bias (the SH – Australian side had also experienced what is claimed to be ‘unprecedented’ heat-wave.)
    I did some research into GMF variability at the fulcrum of the magnetic field changes (at both hemispheres) and to my surprise found good correlation with the sunspot cycle long term changes.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/N-S-gmf.htm

    Not much can be concluded from the above but in a way of a possible link to the temperatures variability this comment may have some relevance.

  98. John Andrews says:
    December 19, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Anthony, those pipes are clearly insulated. What you see on the outside is the galvanized steel outer shell that protects the insulation, fiberglass or asbestos, from the weather. Ask any union asbestos worker for a more clear explanation.

    REPLY: Yes, the silver ones are, the ones from the photo with the blue house are not. I’ll clarify. – Anthony
    ——————————————————

    Anthony, the lines that you identify as uninsulated look like they are not even connected. Regardless of that, uninsulated lines carrying cold water, hot water, or steam, in an environment where the temperatures regularly go below -10C will either freeze and possibly burst, or, in the case of steam, cause the steam to condense into water resulting in water hammer which will destroy a pipe in a very short time frame. Uninsulated lines will not last through a winter. P.S. Hot water lines do freeze – sometimes it seems they freeze faster than the cold water lines.

  99. Mike Maguire says:
    December 20, 2013 at 8:26 am
    Alberta, ….
    Out of curiosity, approx. what is your latitude and what time does the sun rise and set today, December 20?

    Hello Mike, just in case you do not hear back from “Alberta”, here in Edmonton, Alberta, the latitude is 53.5 N and the sun rise is 8:48 A.M. and the sun set is 4:15 P.M.

  100. I know that this is just one month, but let me make a few observations on the UAH data.
    The Arctic is supposed to have the most rapid warming. This November it is running colder than normal, especially in Northern Greenland. Much of Russia is significantly warmer than average, which means the onset of those terrible winters is slower than normal.
    In Antarctica, the most rapid warming in the recent past is Antarctic Peninsula, which is at, or slightly below norm. Parts of East Antarctica have the highest global anomaly in November, but virtually no warming in the last 30 years. Slightly higher temperatures than normal extend into the eastern ice flows. It remains to be seen whether this will have an impact on the minimum ice extent in March.
    Overall, the picture looks strange, but in a positive way for life on earth.

  101. Regarding record temperatures, here’s a thought that just occurred to me:

    If the temperature turns down as sharply as some here believe, including me, we’ll soon have a “hot” new talking point: “The last year was the coolest in nn years.”

  102. So they leave out a cold month which will increase the average temp of the rest of the 11 months in comparison to the last whatever number of years baseline you choose because those data sets include all 12 months.
    Leave out July in a 12 month set and I bet it will be a cold year.

  103. vukcevic says:

    December 20, 2013 at 8:51 am

    It just so happens that there is a blob of heat the size of Russia centered on Russia? What are the odds of that?

    REPLY: I have been wondering the same thing for 5 years. I’ve seen this red spot come and go in Russia, and I don’t know what the reason is.

    Most of people may consider it irrelevant but following may be worth noting :
    Central Siberia in 1995 took over from the North Canada the North Hemisphere’s location of the magnetic ‘pole’, as you can see from the NOAA’s geomagnetic maps.

    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/pdf/F_map_mf_2010.pdf

    it is evident that currently the geo-magnetic dipole has strong East Hemisphere bias…
    ——-

    Good one Vuk’s. Around 1992 is when they say that solar dipole ‘began,’ its slide down to its present low value, as well.

  104. In the UAH Lower Tropopause temp anomaly database (current version 5.6), 8 of the Novembers since 1999 had global average temp anomaly values equal to or higher to than the Nov 2013 value of 0.19 deg C. When are we going to rise up and demand our government employees stop spouting propaganda and get back to the science we are supposedly paying them for?

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