Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

Note: This is my analysis of a new paper by Joe D’Aleo, I’ve tried to simplify and explain certain terms where possible so that  it can reach the broadest audience of readers. You can read the entire paper here.

Joe D’Aleo, an AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and who operates the website ICECAP took it upon himself to do an analysis of the newly released USHCN2 surface temperature data set and compare it against measured trends of CO2, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Solar Irradiance. to see which one matched better.

It’s a simple experiment; compare the trends by running an R2 correlation on the different data sets. The result is a coefficient of determination that tells you how well the trend curves match. When the correlation is 1.0, you have a perfect match between two curves. The lower the number, the lower the trend correlation.

Understanding R2 correlation

R2 Coefficient Match between data trends
1.0 Perfect
.90 Good
.50 Fair
.25 Poor
 0 or negative no match at all

If CO2 is the main driver of climate change this last century, it stands to reason that the trend of surface temperatures would follow the trend of CO2, and thus the R2 correlation between the two trends would be high. Since NCDC has recently released the new USHCN2 data set for surface temperatures, which promises improved detection and removal of false trends introduced by change points in the data, such as station moves, it seemed like an opportune time to test the correlation.

At the same time,  R2 correlation tests were run on other possible drivers of climate; Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), and Total Solar Irradiance (TSI).

First lets look at the surface temperature record. Here we see the familiar plot of temperature over the last century as it has been plotted by NASA GISS:


The temperature trend is unmistakeably upwards, and the change over the last century is about +0.8°C. 

Now lets look at the familiar carbon dioxide graph, known as the Keeling Curve, which plots atmospheric CO2 concentration measure at the Mauna Loa Observatory:


CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center – Oak Ridge National Lab) also has a data set for this that includes CO2 data back to the last century (1895) extracted from ice core samples.  That CO2 data set was plotted against the new USHCN2 surface temperature data as shown below:
A comparison of the 11year running mean of the USHCN version 2 annual mean temperatures with the running mean of CO2 from CDIAC. An r-squared of 0.44 was found.

The results were striking to say the least. An R2 correlation of only 0.44 was determined, placing it between fair and poor in the fit between the two data sets.

Now lets look at other potential drivers of climate,  TSI and PDO.

Scafetta and West (2007) have suggested that the total solar irradiance (TSI) is a good proxy for the total solar effect which may be responsible for at least 50% of the warming since 1900. To test it, again the same R2 correlation was run on the two data sets.


In this case, the correlation of TSI to the surface temperature record is better than with CO2, producing an R2 correlation of 0.57 which is between fair and good.

Finally. Joe ran the R2 correlation test on PDO, the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation. He writes:

We know both the Pacific and Atlantic undergo multidecadal cycles the order of 50 to 70 years. In the Pacific this cycle is called the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. A warm Pacific (positive PDO Index) as we found from 1922 to 1947 and again 1977 to 1997 has been found to be accompanied by more El Ninos, while a cool Pacific more La Ninas (in both cases a frequency difference of close to a factor of 2). Since El Ninos have been shown to lead to global warming and La Ninas global cooling, this should have an affect on annual mean temperature trends in North America.

This PDO and TSI to surface temperature connection has also been pointed out in previous post I made here, for former California State Climatologist, Jim Goodridge. PDO affects the USA more than the Atlantic cycle (AMO) because we have prevailing westerly wind flow.

Here is how Joe did the data correlation:

Since the warm modes of the PDO and AMO both favor warming and their cold modes cooling, I though the sum of the two may provide a useful index of ocean induced warming for the hemisphere (and US). I standardized the two data bases and summed them and correlated with the USHCN data, again using a 11 point smoothing as with the CO2 and TSI.

This was the jackpot correlation with the highest value of r-squared (0.83!!!).


An R2 correlation of 0.83 would be considered “good”. This indicates that PDO and our surface temperature is more closely tied together than Co2 to surface temperature by almost a factor of 2.

But he didn’t stop there. He also looked at the last decade where it has been commonly opined that the Top 11 Warmest Years On Record Have All Been In Last 13 Years to see how well the correlation was in the last decade:

Since temperatures have stabilized in the last decade, we looked at the correlation of the CO2 with HCSN data. Greenhouse theory and models predict an accelerated warming with the increasing carbon dioxide.

Instead, a negative correlation between USHCN and CO2 was found in the last decade with an R or Pearson Coefficient of -0.14, yielding an r-squared of 0.02.


According to CO2 theory, we should see long term rise of mean temperatures, and while there may be yearly patterns of weather that diminish the effect of the short term, one would expect to see some sort of correlation over a decade. But it appears that with an R2 correlation of only 0.02, there isn’t any match over the past ten years.

As another test, this analysis was also done on Britain’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (CRU) data and MSU’s (John Christy) satellite temperature data:

To ensure that was not just an artifact of the United States data, we did a similar correlation of the CO2 with the CRU global and MSU lower tropospheric monthlies over the same period. We found a similar non existent correlation of just 0.02 for CRU and 0.01 for the MSU over troposphere.


 So with R2 correlations of .01 and .02 what this shows is that the rising CO2 trend does not match the satellite data either.

Here are the different test correlations in a summary table:


And his conclusion:

Clearly the US annual temperatures over the last century have correlated far better with cycles in the sun and oceans than carbon dioxide. The correlation with carbon dioxide seems to have vanished or even reversed in the last decade.

Given the recent cooling of the Pacific and Atlantic and rapid decline in solar activity, we might anticipate given these correlations, temperatures to accelerate downwards shortly.

While this isn’t a “smoking gun” it is as close as anything I’ve seen. Time will give us the qualified answer as we have expectations of a lower Solar Cycle 24 and changes in the Pacific now happening.


US Temperatures and Climate Factors since 1895 , Joeseph D’Aleo, 2008

Persistence in California Weather Patterns,  Jim Goodridge, 2007

Phenomenological reconstructions of the solar signature in the Northern Hemisphere surface temperature records since 1600  Scafetta and West, 2007

The USHCN Version 2 Serial Monthly Dataset, National Climatic Data Center, 2007


97 thoughts on “Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2

  1. Many thanks!
    This is most interesting, and I look forward to reading the entire paper.
    While normally, my inclination is to throw out any r-squared under .90, I have to admit that the PDO-AMO vs USHCN2 plot is breathtaking.
    BTW, Anthony, I am in the middle of a “Vista Experience” you wouldn’t believe. If I ever resolve it, I’ll write it up.

  2. Well.
    I am not getting the PDO correlation. Is that a problem on the other end? I need to see that graph. Especially from 1980 to present. Because it leads to the next question that is strongly hinted by the Solar graph.
    Note how the solar indication dips under the recent temperatures a bit right near the end.
    Consider, Rev, how this delineates the contradiction of recent microsite violations and the official record. Is it the same with the PDO ADO map? If the recent temps were lower woulf it all correlate even better?
    What if your being right and their being right makes the perfect fit?
    Enquiring Minds want to know!
    REPLY: I don’t understand what you don’t get about it. Are you saying you can’t see the graphics or that you don’t understand what you are seeing?

  3. The former. I’m getting an X and a white square.
    REPLY: well try refresh,clear cache, or different browser, they are all there

  4. Okay. Netscape to the rescue.
    Two observations:
    1.) When you look at the solar coordination, you see a dip at the end where Solar goes under the most recent readings.
    2.) When you look at the ADO/PDO correlation you see a slight dip where ADO/PDO goes under.
    But (big BUT) you see the ADO/PDO ‘way over the temp. mark in the 30’s! So why is the temp lower in the 30s in relation to post-1990? Shouldn’t there be the same separation in the 30s as the post-90s?
    I.e., what would the righthand scale on the ADO/PDO look like if it were physically lowered by a .25 notch? To bring the 30s in line, but BELOW the current temp measurements. See my drift?
    So my previous question applies: Does this imply that the match may be even closer than it seems IF THE RECENT TEMPERATURES WERE ADJUSTED DOWNWARDS TO ACCOUNT FOR RECENT MICROSITE VIOLATIONS?
    If so, this would seem to be an analogous confirmation of the hypothesis that recent temperatures have been exaggerated in relation to recent times.
    Any thoughts on this from the Rev or the others?

  5. “recent temperatures have been exaggerated in relation to recent times.”
    I mean: “recent temperatures have been exaggerated in relation to LESS recent times.”

  6. Evan thats a very valid question. The assembly line of TOBS, FILNET, and other USHCN1/USHCN2 adjustments to raw data does tend to create such offsets.
    This would be a perfect test case for removal of questionable sites from the data set too.

  7. Anthony,
    This is one of the most significant (and interesting) posts you’ve had since I started reading your blog last June.

  8. And be sure to run them numbers incorporating the preliminary “Watts Adjustment” for site violations averaging, oh, around -0.02C per year since 1980! (To be on the conservative side.)
    Perhaps starting around -0.015C (1980) and winding up at -0.025C (2000) . . .

  9. Pingback: Double Whammy Friday: Roy Spencer on how Oceans are Driving CO2 « Watts Up With That?

  10. Evan, might I suggest that you can test that somewhat with the satellite data from the lower forty eight? RSS:
    (as a warning, I haven’t checked whether the recent corrections made to RSS have effected these images)
    On the right. The satellite data of course indicate less warming in the US since 1979. I had a post on my blog, so I have an image here:
    And another from the last nine years:
    A quick look seems to confirm this suspicion.

  11. My goodness, Anthony, don’t confuse people with facts. The Warmists will respond to these new findings by saying that CO2 is driving the temp changes in the oceans (while ignoring the cooling phases).
    Religion depends on faith and these pesky cool cycles will be explained away.

  12. Anthony, I, like many, believe natural Pacific Ocean oscillations–ENSO and PDO/IPO–affect global climate, temperature, and temperature records more than climatologists are willing to accept. I’ve graphed PDO and ENSO against global temperature data numerous ways and my results agree with Mr. D’Alea’s for the most part. And I’ve included the AMO in many of these investigations as well. The PDO is responsible for most of the dip in global temperature during the mid 20th century, leading one to question why aerosols are used to duplicate that temperature drop in GCMs. It doesn’t help GCM credibility.
    I do, however, have a problem I can’t resolve. Possibly you can help, Anthony. I cannot duplicate Mr. D’Aleo’s graph of the PDO and AMO on Page 6 of the linked ICECAP report, which is your graph above with the title “PDO+AMO vs USHCN2”. As a reference, a graph of PDO data is here: http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/ Note how the PDO dips drastically in the late 1980s. This drop to negative values is not reflected in the D’Aleo graph. Adding AMO data doesn’t help. Refer to the AMO graph here. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/d2m_shift/inline_fig.jpg Note the temperature scale of the AMO—tenths of a degree. Compare it to the scale of the PDO—degrees. Since the global area covered by both indices is approximately the same, adding the AMO to the PDO doesn’t raise the sum enough to make the drop in the PDO disappear. Smoothing it with an 11-year running average filter doesn’t make it go away either. For my own investigations, I would love to be able to make that drop in the PDO disappear, but I can’t.
    REPLY: Replication is important. I’ll pass this on to Joe so he can provide reference steps.

  13. Anthony,
    What is the R2 correlation between the PDO+AMO and TSI? Given that have similar curves, how far out of phase is the PDO+AMO to TSI???? If you were to remove that phase difference by shifting over the curves, what would be the R2 correlation then??? My guess is that due to the thermal mass of the ocean, the PDO should lag the TSI change.
    Furthermore, what is the R2 correlation between PDO and AMO? Any phase difference? If PDO and AMO are highly correlated it might suggest that both have the same driver. What is the R2 correlation between the PDO and TSI and same for AMO and TSI? Given the Pacific Ocean is sizably bigger than the Atlantic, I would expect the thermal mass of the Pacific to lag that of the smaller Atlantic. Two different thermal masses will have two different lag times. The interaction of those lag times will cause regional temperature differences.
    More importantly do the Southern Hemispheric oceans have their own oscillation frequencies separate to that of the NH?
    REPLY: Spot on. I’d suggested the phase lag problem to Joe earlier today, and he’s going to run some checks on that and other suggestions, I’ll put up more when I have it from him.

  14. I think I just might hunt up some more dead trees to use for heating in the next few years. Looks like there might be a climate change on the way!!!!!
    Nice Job Anthony and Joe.

  15. Here is Joe’s answer:
    Anthony and Bob
    I could not agree with you more. Replication is key to science and if what i did can’t be replicated, I need to know now before I go further.
    I downloaded the PDO Mantua data and the AMO unsmoothed Long Term data extended back to 1900 from the CDC sites below. The AMO went back even further than the PDO but I ignored it since Mantua PDO started in 1900. CDC linked to Mantua’s page for the PDO.
    I standardized the two sets and then did a 11 point (year) smoothing and then added the two.
    I have attached the excel file used. The math and addition was done on the PDO page.
    Download the Excel file here
    The final sum was taken into another excel file with HCSN and TSI and CO2 similarly smoothed data for graphing.
    Let me know please if you find an error. I have checked this numerous times to be sure.
    The difference is that the PDO values are standardized by Mantua which exaggerates the small basin wide values and the AMO values from CDC are unstandardized (raw, unsmoothed so smaller).
    By standardizing AMO, I get a similar apples to apples data set to compare. This allows the AMO to offset the PDO dip in the late 1980s.
    Standardizing the PDO was not really necessary and as should be the case produced very little change.

  16. Joe: Thanks for the clarification. My problem was assuming the PDO was calculated like the AMO. I ran a quick comparison graph of the raw and standardized AMO data to check the effect of standardizing. It does, in fact, exaggerate the data. That took care of my concerns.
    Thanks again.

  17. Thank you for a very interesting article.
    The truism that “a correlation does not prove a cause” raises some questions with me. Is it not true that there is a proven causal relationship between CO2 and global warming (even if the size of factor etc is a matter of debate)? As I understand it most of the more reputable sceptics acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG – but argue about the scale. Would it be possible to put in various realistic estimates for the amount of global warming caused by the increase of CO2 which the science really does tell us should happen – and then see how other possible factors might be involved.

  18. Looking at the XL data for PDO Mantua, it appears that the last four months of 2004 are in disagreement with the jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest webpage. Also, the Dec 2007 data point is there now.
    Bill N

  19. Interesting discussion here. Re. PDO, suggest a look at some of the proxy PDOs from tree rings; e.g. Franco Biondi et at. They, I, and others find a problem with Mantua’s PDO in 1920s-30s. Might be some of the 1936 peak would change if you looked at those proxies. Trees do pretty pretty well as weather stations, if their response can be understood. Have a look at Hamilton 2005 Polar Geography.

  20. OT I have been reading some articles by the Space and Science Research Center. They agree with this article and if I remember correctly reference it.
    My Question before I put to much confidence in their conclusions, They being a newly formed organization with limited funding is this. Do they have any degree of reliability? I know that sometimes it is hard to make judgements but I would like to know.
    Thanks for your answer

  21. Martin, very true, Correlation doesn’t prove causation, but tell that to Al Gore! Causation requires to other things: A mechanism demonstrated by experiment or observation (like the Greenhouse Effect) and it also requires changes in one to precede the other. Okay, in this case the connection would be that changes in the ocean influence over-sea weather patterns, which are carried over to the US etc. by wind patterns. The specifics, you may have more difficulty with.
    Additionally, “As I understand it most of the more reputable sceptics acknowledge that CO2 is a GHG – but argue about the scale.” Exactly, my friend. The issue really comes down to how the feedbacks add up, or what, if any, effects of GW would slow down or speed up the process. Evidence would seem to suggest that the catastrophe that comes from feedbacks that sum to large positive numbers doesn’t make sense. Given that there are many factors at work in climate, it is important for us to figure out the value of “Climate Sensitivity”, or the response of the climate to doubling CO2. If some of recent warming is natural, then that necessarily pushes down the value of Climate Sensitivity. Even if it isn’t natural at all, you’d need to argue that aerosols, which are not so well understood compared to GHG’s, are substantially cooling the Earth in order to get higher sensitivities than about 1.2 C. Looking at this chart:
    I see two things: The first is a “low” level of scientific understanding for most forcings, the second is that there are ways to add them up to negative totals. The aerosol uncertainty is troubling. Additionally, aerosols are concentrated in the NH which has seen more warming, not less. Also troubling. The Oceans, I’ve heard, are supposed to warm more slowly, and SH has more Ocean, I think, but this isn’t why either becuase oceanic trends in the SH are also less than those in the Northern Hemisphere. For these reasons, I find it hard to justify the range of climate sensitivities used in the models, that is from about 2 to 5 C (note that this is not the same as the range that the IPCC thinks the sensitivity falls in, which is 1.5 to 4 C. How odd.)

  22. Pingback: Warming Trend: PDO And Solar Correlate Better Than CO2 | seeblog

  23. A correlation may be a cause. Or it may be a result. Or may be neither. Perhaps both elements are slaved to a third cause. Or there is some sort of mutual dependency or positive reinforcement.
    We see this in history all the time, as well as in science.
    HOWEVER, a good correlation sure as heck is a starting point.
    And a–lack–of correlation speaks somewhat louder, does it not?
    And I am not speaking of simply removing the adjustments and using raw data (though that should be eyeballed as well). I very strongly suspect that raw data has been compromised by site violation.
    I am talking about ADDING an adjustment.
    The “Watts Adjustment” .
    Factor in the “Watts Adjustment”!

  24. “Would it be possible to put in various realistic estimates for the amount of global warming caused by the increase of CO2 which the science really does tell us should happen – and then see how other possible factors might be involved.”
    That, too.

  25. timetochooseagain
    It depends a lot on what “counts”. Trop only? Or does the lower strat get admitted to the club? In the former case, we get modest warming. In the latter, it’s PDF (pretty darn flat). We have some upper trop warming, but not the “bubble” consistent with CO2 theory. But then there are all these dang adjustments. Hard to say . . .
    But the surface stations are something even a layman can get one’s teeth into. And they ain’t been adjusted for.

  26. Evan, RE The “Watts Adjustment”.
    The surfacestations.org project is still in flux, thus the possibility remains that the result may or may not be a significant adjustment to the surface temperature record. Or it could be large or miniscule. The point is I can’t tell you which it will be until I and the volunteers get a majority of stations surveyed, and then run an analysis to find out.
    So I think it is way too early to start naming things after me, but thank you just the same.
    As I said before, I really need some help in the midwest. Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Dakotas all need volunteers.

  27. So why wasn’t a multiple linear regression made between the 3 factors and temperature instead of the rather “high school” statistical analysis of adding up the variables?

  28. Wow!
    The proximate hydrological drivers of internal variability correlate with the measure of internal variability. (For US temps[?] over centennial scales and global temps over the last decade.)
    I’m so impressed. Not!

  29. luminous beauty, I’m not sure I understand your lack of impressed-ness (a word?). Do you mean to say that you think, “Well Duh-uh!” because I think it certainly isn’t obvious to some people who seem to think that temperatures as a function of time can be reproduced only via functions into which anthropogenic variables are input. Or do you mean to suggest that the result is well known and unimportant? Not following here…
    Evan, everything is important, of course. Interesting, on the other hand, is a different matter. Trends in the mid-troposphere don’t interest people who live in the lower troposphere. Unless they happen to be scientists or “dangerously curious” laymen. 😉

  30. wayne, its got nothing to do with degrees of freedom. This unfortunately, is beyond doubt, the worst thing about climate science. The lack of good understanding of statistics. Almost all people in the climate science area are not statisticians yet continually decide to analyse data themselves in their own “high school” maths methods, believing that their analysis is perfectly fine.

  31. JL: Sad to do so, but I must agree. I am not properly educated in stats (although I am a wargame designer and thus have a crude, limited, but hands-on experience).
    Stats are vital in my own field (history), though, and increasingly so. I may have to buckle down and crack the texts I should have back a-when. Especially since I spend lots of time fiddling with demographics. (Besides, is getting frustrating–and old– having to begging to my pals for a basic polynomial formula.)
    As I’m sure you know, St. Mac of hockeystick-sundering fame is a statistician, and he’s told the tale of how Mann (IIRC) boasted proudly about not being one–as he was about to defend his soon-to-be busted stats!
    We’ll need to get Our Friend the Lower Strat a homepage, then eh? The beastly trop seems to be stealing all his thunder. And he’sbeen getting the cold shoulder.
    But I do find the data series that timetochooseagain posted to be most interesting. I am assuming It’s trop sans lower strat. The worldwide measure seems to indicate maybe a mere 0.4C bump since 1979, or less than half of the measurted increase. If it’s lower trop only, that makes it more interesting, still, but that would be too much to hope for! (It’s also in text, in nice neat rows, all ready to be pasted into Excel and graphed.)
    Thx again, ttca

  32. You can run through my blog post here (see point j) to see how the solar argument falls apart rather quickly.
    If someone wants to quantify a radiative forcing, rather than look at lines going up and down (and not even being honest enough to compare with global temperatures, but U.S. temperatures), then we can discuss. I can make lines to, make the Y axis scale how I want, not to bother to discuss how temperature is not expected to go up proportional to CO2 concentration (but to the logarithm), not consider mid-century aerosols, earlier century solar variability, not include thermal intertia in the climate system, and run a nice R^2 value…or I can just tell you that the radiative forcing from delta TSI relative to 1750 is around a quarter that of CO2 when you run the calculations. If someone wants to find an academic journal which supports 1-2 W/m^2 RF from solar since pre-industrial time, then we can discuss. Stop confusing people with lines…
    MODERATORS REPLY: “…then we can discuss…..” Chris this is not a blog where people dictate terms to others for discussion, if you want to discuss something, please do so, if not don’t, but please don’t expect others to perform on your terms.

  33. Chris, if you are going to focus only on CO2 and complain about other variables, then it is only fair to point out that the “Greenhouse” effect is a two way street. Just as a Greenhouse gets hotter inside than the ambient outside during the day, it conversely gets colder inside than the ambient outside during the night for exactly the same reason – radiation. The true effect of a Greenhouse is both raditation and a lack of convective heat transfer due to an enclosed space. In a true Greenhouse we expect to higher than ambient temps during the day and lower than ambient temps at night. Is this reflected by the observed data????

  34. DScott- What is predicted is warmer nights, and this is what has been observed. The Earth is not quite the same as a “true” greenhouse.
    As for Luminous Beauty’s comment, I think what they mean is that you’ve just noticed what everyone else knew ages ago, that there are certain things which cause the year to year variation, whilst the CO2 and other forcings keep on pushing the temp up.

  35. You can’t claim greenhouse effect if the observations don’t support the theory. CO2 doesn’t change it’s physical properties at night time. If they are hanging their hat on the radiative qualities of CO2 to influence the temperature then it must be consistent otherwise the theory is in conflict with the observations. So that’s strike two on CO2 theory in conflict with the observations. 1. Negative GAT temperature trend since 1998 despite increasing CO2 levels and 2. Warmer not cooler nights as required by the theory. Quite frankly, CO2 as a driver flies in the face of the known chemical and physical properties of the atmosphere. The claim 380 ppm CO2 can greatly influence temperature is ludicris.
    Water Vapor is the major physical variable in the atmosphere, changing from latitude, height and seasonally. The temperature response is dramatically different with different levels of water vapor content in the air. Anyone who knows (meteorologists and engineers) the psychrometric chart sees through the fallacy of claiming temperature as the true indicator of whether the earth is warming or not. http://www.truetex.com/psychrometric_chart.htm Temperature is only a partial measure of the heat content of the air. Enthalpy is the only true means to determine heat/energy content. Anyone who claims 80F in Tampa, Fl is the same as 80F in LA is a total idiot, the difference is in the water vapor content.
    Anthony, I’m curious, is there a data base from NOAA with the humidity recorded with these temperature readings? Has someone done their homework to run a Enthalpy series of a site? You might find the series fairly flat if you compare annually over several years.
    REPLY: There are a small handfull of sites that had strip hyrgrothermometers, but thats down to a small handfull now. As far as I know, humidity is not recorded with NCDC climate records. The ASOS stations are another matter, they have both temp and humdity/dewpoint but the HO83 thermometer makes some of the 80’s/90’s records biased. So it is hard to say if we have an accurate record there either.

  36. “Anyone who claims 80F in Tampa, Fl is the same as 80F in LA is a total idiot, the difference is in the water vapor content. ”
    It’s not the heat–it’s the humidity. #B^1

  37. And, I suppose, air density in response to pressure. (In regardss to altitude and atmospheric layers.)
    So it comes down to joules, in the end?

  38. Guess I’d include myself in the ‘highschool’ category here in many respects, because I’m working on developing proxies for retrieving paleo-wind information. As there seem to be some problems getting Milankovitch and CO2 to work well together in modeling SST and continental temperature data, I’d like to propose another temperature driver with which they might participate more usefully. This may be ‘old hat’.
    Since the 70s I’ve been puzzled by the evidence for large meridional temperature gradient being associated both with 1. last late glacial maximum modeled ice extent and 2. global warming associated with interglacial rise in CO2. What is known about condtions associated with intervals of lower meridional heat transport in early Holocene and even perhaps during full glacial?
    In other words, should we be looking more at the kinetic structure as a candidate for the big driver?

  39. Yes, it comes down to energy since if people are going to make a big deal out of radiative forcing, then the tranference of energy is the be all and end all of the issue. Radiating to what and where? Law of Conservation of Energy states: Energy can not be created or destroyed only transferred. Any discussing that ignores the transfer of energy of either sensible and latent heat is going to come to the wrong conclusion. Dry air rises in temperature faster than wet air, the psychrometric chart shows the physical proof of this. If you need help reading the chart I can explain how to read it and give examples.
    Evan, in any event I think Steve has this CO2 problem licked, read the thread comments 96 and 195. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2645#comment-205001

  40. Pingback: Article on CO2 and Temp correlations « Joules for Fools

  41. dscott, you are fairly well confused
    A RF does not suggest a “destruction of energy” but a change in down minus up irradiance at the tropopause, and reduction of the OLR as the effective radiating level moves up to higher levels, lower pressures in the atmosphere where it is sufficiently cold. The ability to alter the radiative balance (And hence temperature) is not a controversy. See http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/basic-radiative-modelsearths-climate-system-analysis-pt-2/
    Secondly, the ‘greenhouse’ analogy is a rather poor one, so this won’t go too far. In fact the diurnal temperature change is expected to decrease with more greenhouse gases, but this also depends on many things like aerosols, water-vapor feedbacks, surface evaporative effects, cloud cover, aviation, land use changes and urban heat islands, etc
    Your points in McIntrye’s blog are nothing but false, and you have obviously not done temperature data runs or seen the data yourself, but bought absurd ideas like ‘it stopped in 1998’ which have no scientific basis. I strongly suggest you turn to other references like the NAS or IPCC if you have a dispassionate consideration of the issues

  42. Wayne Hamilton, this reference may be informative
    Pierrehumbert RT 2002: The Hydrologic Cycle in Deep Time Climate Problems. Nature 419,191-198
    And a recent one which is interesting
    Hogg, A. M. (2008), Glacial cycles and carbon dioxide: A conceptual model, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L01701, doi:10.1029/2007GL032071

  43. [i]Your points in McIntrye’s blog are nothing but false, and you have obviously not done temperature data runs or seen the data yourself, but bought absurd ideas like ‘it stopped in 1998′ which have no scientific basis. I strongly suggest you turn to other references like the NAS or IPCC if you have a dispassionate consideration of the issues[/i]
    Are you claiming 1998 was not the hottest year in the last 100 years??????
    If 1998 was the hottest year, then logic tell us that any subsequent year must be colder. It’s now been ten years since 1998, the temperature trend is negative, in order to be positive, i.e. warming, some year past 1998 must be warmer. You can play all the rhetorical games you want, the cold hard facts are plain to see.
    As to the McIntyre Thread, I see you don’t like the implications of Hansen C. Sorry Chris, but it was Hansen himself who made the prediction, as Steve pointed out, CFCs according to Hansen’s math, not CO2 would explain the leveling off after 1998. The reason why Hansen A way over shot the prediction was he projected a scenerio where the increase in CFCs would push up temperature if the Montreal Protocol wasn’t enacted. So unless you are willing to say Hansen had it completely wrong when he ran the scenerios, you are faced with two very distasteful options, 1. Hansen knew what he was talking about back in the 80s thus CFCs were your boogeyman or 2. Hansen didn’t know squat to the point that any prediction or advocacy by him is totally ill informed.

  44. actually 2005 and 2007 could be said to have beaten out 1998 (from GISS), but that is hardly the point, nor is it relevant. It is not true that any one year needs to be warmer to see a continued trend, that CFC’s are/were causing the warming, or that Hansen’s projections (like scenario B) were outside the reasonable errors; his paper is publicly available at http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1988/1988_Hansen_etal.pdf . In fact even if you had a perfect model, you wouldn’t be able to say it was better, given the economic spread and temperature consistency within what actually happened in the real world.
    Really, rather than spending time on McIntrye’s blog, or talking to me, an introductory textbook on the subject would be a good start, or at least spending a bit less time on wingnut sites. Just about everything you keep saying is wrong, and I really haven’t time the time for claims which don’t show up in the peer-reviewed literature, or are quite obviously false as anyone who knows how to look at data will support (ex. a trend is not Year 1 – Year 2).

  45. Oh, and Chris, you won’t win many friends (and apparently you don’t intend to) by calling them “wingnuts”.

  46. Dear chriscolose, many thanks for the references. I’ll have a look. I’ve gotten two or three good leads now from this blog.

  47. By the way Chris, if your actually interested in looking at ALL the data of trends from January 1998 to December 2007, Although I can’t be bothered to do GISS right now (And I’m sure it is your favorite and all the others are “wrong” somehow:
    Well, there are no negative trends but RSS shows a pretty insignificant one, and the others (Except NCDC) pretty small ones.

  48. As a nuclear engineer and published astronomer I was asked to look at this global warming issue. My conclusion was a doubling of CO2 would merely halve the atmospheric depth required for CO2 to “do its dirty work”. So 15 feet of atmosphere needed for aborption rather than 30 feet…big deal.
    Sea level rise is nearly perfectly related to simple V sub f (density change) for the highly touted 0.6 deg C ocean temperature increase. So no added water to speak of from ice melt.
    Your website has made me feel vindicated.

  49. ahh noisy, noisy. de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est. two points for anyone who can show the problem with looking at this “trendline” from 1998 in Andrew’s analysis.

  50. Oh, I know, its cherry picked! Do I win a prize? Or how about, its weather! Now do I win?
    Heard it. I don’t care what the significances of the trends are, I only wish people wouldn’t lie about them.

  51. good…then run the data through excel, and the “lack of trend” disappears. Then actually look at trends, maybe try linear regression, instead of taking big El Nino year minus some random year around 2005-2007 and concluding “global warming stopped.” No lies needed, GW hasn’t slowed down.

  52. “actually 2005 and 2007 could be said to have beaten out 1998 (from GISS)”
    Isn’t that because they “adjust out” El Nino? (Which is understandable, but at the same time” not the real temperature”.
    Andrew/timetochooseagain: Aha.
    RB: So it’s thermal expansion only? (This coincides with what grumpy old “Axe” Moerner has to say.)

  53. “No lies needed, GW hasn’t slowed down.”
    It has compared with the 1979-2000 trend. The slope is much more from 1979-2000 than from 2001 on when I run the datasets I clipped off the NASA site (2 ERSSTs and a HadCRU). Of course it’s hard to get much of a trend from so short a stretch.
    Besides, that’s the measurement. What this site is mainly about is how the surface stations have been incresingly compromised from c. 1980 to date. The masurements may be dead wrong. Satellites show much more mild warming.

  54. …and for the part I didn’t answer, 1998 was anomalously warm because of the strong El Nino; 2005 didn’t get that boost, and as for 2007, the equatorial Pacific Ocean is in the cool phase of the El Niño-La Niña cycle, and also at solar minimum. No one is ignoring these factors.

  55. “Then actually look at trends, maybe try linear regression, instead of taking big El Nino year minus some random year around 2005-2007 and concluding “global warming stopped.””
    What makes you think 1. That I “subtracted” any random years? That’s the actual monthly anomalies from each data set from December 1998 to January 2007. Yes, big El Nino year. You seemed to me to be claiming that if you drew a trend line from then to now, it would have a big positive slope. Well, you tell me, looking at the data. Is there? 2. The linear regression is already done. Apparently you are blind and can’t look at data! 3. That I reached any such conclusion? I said the trends were small, or, in RSS’s case, insignificant. Look again. 4. Yes, drawing a trend line from solar max and El Nino to Solar Min and La Nina produces unimpressive trends. But yes, it would appear that, quite literally, whether it portends anything or not, these data sets have not warmed over these periods as rapidly as in the past. What does this mean? I don’t know, maybe I don’t care. But that’s whats going on. The Solar Max/Min El Nino/La Nina is a good explanation, I think, and this does require one.

  56. de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est.

    Oh yeaH?!? Well take this buddy! “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam.”

  57. good…then run the data through excel, and the “lack of trend” disappears. Then actually look at trends, maybe try linear regression, instead of taking big El Nino year minus some random year around 2005-2007 and concluding “global warming stopped.” No lies needed, GW hasn’t slowed down.

    Because it’s mostly an artifact of bad data and scientific practicies…

  58. Interesting, but it didn’t really have much to offer. As (I think) I mentioned, you’ be be much better off reading the various NAS reports on the subject, the IPCC, or a basic climatology textbook…or maybe e-mailing some of the people at GISS, or other data sets instead of the non-scientific opinions and other hogwash that sites such as surfacestations is likely to spew out. Taking photographs is cute (not really how one can assess the credibility of the data) at an extremely limited number of stations, and you can also ignore sea level rise, ocean heat content, ice loss and glacier retreat, species response, satellites, etc.
    I think you’d be much better off reviewing the evidence for AGW like radiative physics, paleoclimatic analogs, etc as well as the unequivocal data showing a warming signal of roughly 0.7 K than spending too much time on climate denial blogs, which have nothing but conspiracy theories (like Jeff’s comment above), and blatent manipulation of evidence (See the swindle video), and in general just a lot of sloppy work. If you are getting much information from people who are associated with the political end of things, and show up everywhere like ExxonSecrets and SourceWatch, and have not published in the mainstream literature (Pielke is an exception, though I would not qualify him as a climate skeptic by his own admission), and are only known for their reputation of lying and/or poorly presenting evidence, then you are probably not off to a good start.
    If anyone else has something productive to add, rather than how the scientific community is all frauds (which only applies to climate science, and actually that only applies to climate change, or rather that just applies to every major scientific organization and thousands of scientists who accept AGW), then there would be something to discuss. I’ll give it a few posts, I thought that one more blog might have something good to stay, but this will probably be a short visit.

  59. MODERATORS REPLY: My goodness Chris! Perhaps then you shouldn’t frequent here. We certainly wouldn’t want any of that “hogwash” to stain your purity of thought.
    Oh BTW the “extremely limited number of stations” is up to 482 now. at http://www.surfacestations.org and closing now on half of the entire 1221 USHCN set. We’ll get the majority of those. On second thought, given your comments, did you not know that http://www.surfacestations.org and this blog are run by the same person, or were you purposely insulting? Your tone of addressing people and their work certainly doesn’t reflect well upon you or gain friends here.
    It seems your mind is closed to the possiblity that there could be any measurement or microsite bias in the surface temperature records. I don’t know that to be true or false yet, but I’m taking the steps to find out.
    If you have a better way to determine the quality of the measurement environment of each station, then please, lets hear it.

  60. Anthony, could you or Joe superimpose the TSI over the PDO+AMO and display the graphic showing the R^2? I think it would instructive for people to visually see the “possible” relationship between the two.
    Disclaimer: Correlation is not Causation.
    REPLY: I’ll see what I can do.

  61. Taking photographs is cute (not really how one can assess the credibility of the data) at an extremely limited number of stations, and you can also ignore sea level rise, ocean heat content, ice loss and glacier retreat, species response, satellites, etc.

    And your belittling of legitimate questions is typical of someone who is afraid they might be wrong.
    And let’s look at some of these things. Sea level rise. It’s been pretty constant for the last several thousand years, as best we know. Show me where it has increased appreciably due to CO2? Do you think Tuvalu and the Maldives are being overwhelmed by CO2-induced warming of the oceans? Or due to local mismanagement of the protective reefs, using beach sand for construction (therefore greatly exacerbating natural erosion), or tectonic subsidence?
    Glacier retreat. Gosh, I don’t know about you, but I’m sure glad those glaciers retreated, otherwise I wouldn’t have a place to live. And if you’ve actually looked, the majority of glacial retreat this century occurred before 1950, before the majority increase in CO2, at least for those glaciers scientists have kept tabs on. And of course some glaciers are advancing. You can’t lump them all in together and you can’t blame ambient air temperature for glacial retreat.
    Species response. Again, I’m sure glad species respond to changes in their ever-changing environment. Otherwise they would have died off long ago, like every time winter rolled around. I suppose you’re one of those who believes that 40,000 species go extinct every year, but can’t name them.
    You can continue to spew out the same old tired rhetoric, but unless you can show us something truly unprecedented and catastrophic is or even CAN happen because of a couple of tenths of a degree of temp change in SOME places, then STFU.

  62. Oh, and as for Exxonsecrets.org, they’re pretty selective in who they want to spill the beans about. And sometimes they put people on there with no mention of why they are there, except that they don’t agree with the AFW consensus. For example, Dr. Tim Ball: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1164
    Show me where on that page it says he’s funded by big oil or any other energy company. Why is he there?
    And why isn’t David Suzuki there? After all, he gets monetary support from oil and natural gas companies:

    Notice under “Our Supporters” that the following have made donations to his foundation:
    Encana: One of North America’s largest Natural Gas suppliers and oilsands developers. http://www.encana.com/
    ATCO Gas: Large gas supplier, based in Alberta. http://www.atcogas.com/
    OPG Pension Fund (OGP = Ontario Power Generation): One of the largest suppliers of electricity on the planet. Including heavily investing in nuclear power. http://www.opg.com/index.asp

    And of course there’s no factsheet on Al Gore and his imtimiate relationship with Occidental Oil, still ongoing to this day.
    Sorry, anything presented by Greenpeace is pretty much a big load of garbage, especially when they have people at grocery stores telling consumers that eating GM foods can cause you to grow an extra arm or a third eye. Not only is it complete BS, it’s not even good science fiction.

  63. Anthony, I was doing a rather unscientific comparison of the PDO+AMO to TSI by taking your two graphs and stretching them to get the time and degree scales to be the same. Just on a very rough comparison, the PDO+AMO looks to LEAD the TSI by about 5 years. This suggests to me that something else is driving PDO+AMO or that the time lag of the PDO+AMO response is really long on the order of decades. This leads me to believe that the cloud response to cosmic rays may be a better fit as to the “cause” of the PDO+AMO shift. As we have recently found out, cloud cover increases as cosmic rays increase due to the waning solar cycle not deflecting them away from the solar system. Since clouds affect albedo in a significant manner, thus the amount of energy hitting the earth’s surface, it could be that as cloud cover increases, the PDO+AMO response will be more apparent?
    Could you or Joe run a R^2 on the cosmic ray count. The data is here: http://cosmicrays.oulu.fi/
    REPLY: “PDO+AMO looks to LEAD the TSI by about 5 years.” I think thats an artifact of the stretching you did. Note that one graph starts at 1900 and the other at 1905 due to differences in data sets.

  64. 1900 & 1905, I accounted for that on my stretching. Like I said, it was an unscientific comparison, however, it did serve a purpose, it raised important questions. Answering those questions brings us closer to a better understanding of climate. I’m not going to use the word “Truth” since we clearly don’t have all the facts.
    REPLY: Just pointing out an easy possible error. And I agree, it brings important questions forward. I’ll pass on to Joe.

  65. Chris your work is certainly not developed from first principles, what’s the point then? My elementary text is “Thermal Physics”, Kittel and Kroemer, 2nd. edition, what do you suggest?
    In any case the emmissivity of CO2 at STP is 9*10^-4, the radiative fluence directed earthward is next to nothing.

  66. “It’s a simple experiment; compare the trends by running an R2 correlation on the different data sets. The result is a coefficient of determination that tells you how well the trend curves match. When the correlation is 1.0, you have a perfect match between two curves. The lower the number, the lower the trend correlation.”
    Except you didn’t do this, you calculated the correlation of 11 yr running means which introduces a spurious correlation so your results are meaningless, maybe you should take the ASA’s advice and hire a statistician!
    REPLY: Thank you for your comment. The “results aren’t meaningless” as you assert, though the R2 may be enhanced by the filtering. If unsmoothed data is used there will still be some correlation. If you look through other peer reviewed literature, you’ll find examples where this sort of running average analysis technique has been used successfully. In this case, there’s an emotionally charged reaction to the idea, which is to be expected.

  67. Gary,
    some of these may be helpful
    I would suggest a book on atmospheric thermodynamics such as
    and a book on physical climatology, such as
    Best bet, for quick and handy tools, is a students guide to global warming
    the NAS and IPCC reports are always there.

  68. So the R^2 you produced aren’t the correct values so what meaning do they have? If someone else doesn’t do it right it does it justify your error? No emotional reaction at all, why not do it properly?
    Also to make any sense at all you should correlate with ln(CO2)
    REPLY: You might want to read the post a little closer before making strong claims. I didn’t produce the plots or corrwlations, I just wrote blog commentary to help others understand it. Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP did the plots and the paper. An update is forthcoming from him with a CO2 correlation as you and others have suggested. You can see the paper here

  69. Note following Mr. D’Aleo’s update to the paper. Your work is some of the most cogent and accessible on the web.
    I’m just thinking that in the comparison of PDO/AMO + CO2 +TSI, TSI doesn’t really belong; there’s a time lag and implicit dependence between it and the others . What about earth albedo, or geomagnetic field strength? What do those polynomials look like. When you have time, naturally.

  70. “This would be a perfect test case for removal of questionable sites from the data set too.”
    Yes. I completely agree.

  71. BINGO! Anthony, I believe we have our match. Check out this paper and pay particular attention to the last few pages! http://www.scostep.ucar.edu/archives/scostep11_lectures/Pap.pdf
    TSI leads the F10.7 magnetic Flux, if you will remember another recent discovery of energy transfer via magnetic knots in the sun’s magnetic lines. Run the R^2 against the F10.7 flux, I believe you will get your .90+ value with the expected phase relationship you’re looking for against the PDO+AMO.

  72. Pingback: Another Global Temp Index Dives in Jan08, this time HadCRUT « Watts Up With That?

  73. The hypothesis that the correlation between earth temperature and solar irradiance is far better than the correlation to between temperature and CO2 could very well be the case, but doesn’t mean we’re off the hook with respect to CO2. Solar irradiance is the main driver of climate and does have a more immediate effect. Long term subtle influences, however, are still possible.
    As an analogy consider an airplane on a certain compass course. The fluctations in its course correlate very closely to the pilot’s actions on the stick. More subtle and less detectable, though, there’s a gentle but persistent South Westerly breeze. The correlation between course and this breeze don’t correlate nearly as well as do the pilot’s actions and course. Nonetheless, you ignore that breeze, you could end up miles and miles off course from where you thought you’d be.
    That human activity could affect climate is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary validation. At the same time, however, the claim that huamns can dump 22 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year and this has no effect is even more extraordinary a claim.

  74. Hi Charles,
    You say: “That human activity could affect climate is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary validation”
    I think it’s plausible in terms of human perception. There is an interesting post about that in Donner’s Maribo, about the earth as man’s domain vs the sky as god’s domain:
    OTOH science cares only about measurable inputs: GHG emissions from fossil fuels (btw there is an erratum in your figure, the 22 billions tonnes are CO2 and correspond to 6 GT of carbon), land use change, livestock,…, and that makes the claim less extraordinary, but only in science and, if the “extraordinary claim” feeling is pervasive, that can lead to some cognitive dissonance even among scientists and other “educated” people.

  75. This is a fascinating site and the information is amazing. I have a great interest in the GW argument and GCC in general. I am not a scientist but have a good grasp of the theories. If someone could take the time, I would be interested in the following. If man has such an impact on climate at this point in history, what was the factor that caused the earth to be warmer from 300 to 800 AD than it is today? The evidence for this is partly supported by excavations in greenland showing an agricultural exhistance during that period prior to a cooling phase which drove the inhabitants out. Also the types of crops including Grapes that were able to be cultivated in northern europe and england.
    I have to mention I play poker with a former governor who was touting the Carbon exchange as the greatest economic institution we will found. This scared the hell out of me and makes me ask who benefits. Who collects the juice? His claim is a ten degree increase in global temps and flooding displacing 10m people. Again, how much have the worlds oceans receded since the 3rd century. Obviously by his logic there should have been substantially more landmass.
    Again not a scientist, just curious about the debate.

  76. Michael, there is very shaky evidence for anytime warmer than the late 20th century at any point during the Holocene (globally, a lot of the evidence you cite is regional, and Europe was certainy comparable to today at least in medieval times), though the uncertanties in paleoclimate reconstructions are large enough that it could be possible– though you’d be comparing the peak of one warm period to the start of another.
    Not to knock the site I am posting on and that you enjoy reading, but I strongly encourage you to read more academic sources on the subject (reports from IPCC, NAS are good and introductory textbooks, perhaps from David Archer, or if you have a solid calculus/physics background, Ray Pierrehumberts), because there are a lot of mistakes in the analysis done here.

  77. I believe I now have the answer on the PDO + AMO leading TSI. http://www.lavoisier.com.au/papers/articles/IanwilsonForum2008.pdf
    What this guy is saying is essentially that LOD leads PDO by about 5 years and that TSI and LOD are driven by the same causes but neither TSI or LOD are interacting. Think of it as a bat hitting two balls at the same time, the balls correlate as in timing of movement but neither affects the other, they just have the same bat as the cause of the movement. Interesting hypothesis. What his claim is that LOD, i.e. the rotation speed of the earth is what influences the PDO via ocean currents if I understand it correctly. The site doesn’t directly say coriolis effect, however I believe that ocean currents are driven not only by winds and salinity but also by earth’s rotation like the wind patterns. http://abyss.uoregon.edu/~js/glossary/coriolis_effect.html
    Now taking this LOD and comparing to your graphs above you may get the high R^2 value you are looking to highly correlate. LOD in milliseconds certaintly doesn’t have enough cummulative effect as far as the amount of energy from daylight but it might have enough as far as ocean and air currents are concerned. Can you establish what the LOD has been since 2000?

  78. Dear Colleague,
    Would you, please, to send me e-mail to contact
    to you in more flexible way.
    In fact, I worked with the same data, but use
    more comprehensive stat.techniques.
    Best regards,
    Oleg Pokrovsky

  79. Is there a theory supporting the idea that PDO+AMO is driving the climate, and not that climate is driving these oscillations?

  80. Pingback: The Rush to Climate Change Laws | Hennessy's View

  81. Kipp Alpert:I see the game is to make the sun twice as hot as it is, to justify the warming that has increased. I have never seen so much junk science in my life.
    Don’t forget to bash Dr. Hansen and Al Gore.We need scapegoats. If you base your whole sceince on invalid assumptions, then it might look true. Someone said that the PDO leads ENSO? When you measure CO2 and Solar irradiance, you have it backwards.Or don’t you accept satellite data either. How do you know so much about the PDO, and it’s timeline, when no one really knows. They think it may be cold, or hot, due to deep ocean currents, Enso, and the warm pool. That is just to start the argument. Your charts look like a pre-school coloring book.

  82. Perhaps this posting might have made some sense if a global temperature chart was used instead of the US temperature chart. Typical of the shoddy and innacurate posts of late…has WUWT lost its Mojo?

  83. Pingback: New Paper Shows Lack of Correlation Between Temperature and CO2 « Anti Oligarch

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