NOAA/NCDC: Jan08 Colder than 20th century average

January Monthly Temperature Trends 1895-2008Let us give NOAA credit for making this release:

“The average temperature in January 2008 was 30.5 F. This was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average, the 49th coolest January in 114 years. The temperature trend for the period of record (1895 to present) is 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit per decade.”

For those that have been harping about my “2nd coldest in 15 years” headline, it appears that NCDC has that one beat with “the 49th coolest January in 114 years”. ;-)

Of course, we’ve had several prior years where the monthly average dipped below the 1901-2000 average, so this is nothing of real value, but I thought it was interesting to point out NCDC’s choice of assigning a rank to the month.

This graph is using the USHCN2 data set, the graph was generated by NCDC from the engine at this link. The long term trend is unchanged. It would take several years of below average temperatures for the 1901-2000 trend to start dropping, but since Joe Bastardi points out that he sees a “regime change“, that may be a possibility, at least for USHCN (United States) data.

Trends in January TemperaturesTrends in January TemperaturesTrends in January Temperatures 1895-2008
Above: January Temperature Trends 1895-2008

One wonders if the value might be a bit lower if we didn’t have weather stations in the network like this one:

Tucson1.jpg
Click picture to see image gallery at surfacestations.org Photo: Warren Meyer

But that’s what I hope to find out by surveying the USHCN network with the help of volunteers at www.surfacestations.org By the way I need help in Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, and much of the great plains.

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “NOAA/NCDC: Jan08 Colder than 20th century average

  1. Anthony, that just means it’s the 65th warmest January ever recorded. I’m waiting for CRU to “confirm the warming trend”.

    I laugh….

  2. BTW, just for clarity, this is USA-only data, not global. Any idea when gloabal numbers will be issued by NOAA?

    REPLY: GHCN data is usually slow in coming. HadCRU usually gets the honor.

  3. “One wonders if the value might be a bit lower if we didn’t have weather stations in the network like this one:”

    And I feel
    Like I’ve been here before
    Feel
    Like I’ve been here before
    And you know
    It makes me wonder

  4. I’d just like to point out that NCDC publishes this information every month regardless of warming or cooling compared to the mean.

    For those interested in the stations used to compute this information:
    Map: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/city.html
    List: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/stations.html

    I believe global numbers are available on their monthly reports (Jan. is not available yet):
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/monitoring.html

    REPLY: Josiah, you are absolutely correct, and I’m aware that they do. My point in posting this was more to demonstrate that even NCDC creates labels such as “49th coolest January in 114 years” for comparison for the people whom criticized the label used here of “2nd coldest January in 15 years”.

    In that spirit, I’d like to point out that the “2nd coldest January in 15 years” thread is the 3rd most visited thread on this blog since Britney Spears was admitted into rehab for the 2nd time. Just so you can get perspective. ;-)

    Today I got an email from a TV news organization that talks about choosing the best headlines and sound bites…and I think I’ll share that in an upcoming post.

    Thanks for the links.

  5. Is the data in the graph “corrected” for TOBS, instrument changes, station moves, UHI, etc?

    REPLY: It doesn’t explicitly say, but the assumption is yes.

  6. Rev,

    Does tis mean that the datathat NCDC provides for the individual stations is metadata? How would this reflect on the surfacestation project? Those graphs that go with the sites.

    I know this doesn’t matter to the extent that microsite error is not factored out. But what about gridding? Does it mean that the missing records of station A are filled in by an average of nearby B, C, and D, which may (or may not) have microsite or UHI issues of their own?

  7. alright. so thereal comparison of headlines is between:

    january 07 was the warmest one on record”

    and

    “january 08 was the 49th coldest on record. “

    sounds slightly less dramatic, eh?

    and sorry Anthony, but until you start providing some evidence showing the opposit, i will safely assume that those stations have close to ZERO effect on the temperature.

    REPLY: “sounds slightly less dramatic, eh?” Sorry “sod” you missed it then and miss it now. Science isn’t about drama. Unfortunately, science reporting lately seems to be more about drama than facts.

    Also, the surfacestations project isn’t complete yet. You have to finish any job you start for it to be considered acceptable. I find it hilarious (and revealing) that you want proof prior to having a representative data set. If I had made a claim of proof at 33% surveyed (as one person did) or a claim now at 40%, it would be dismissed as being based on incomplete data, and rightly so.

    Assume whatever you wish, opinions won’t change the mission or the schedule, or the outcome for that matter. The completeness of the data determines when it is time to start analysis, and the data determines the outcome. Right now that data seems to point to a problem. In the meantime, I’ll continue to provide updates and interesting examples as I have been doing.

  8. I DID try to tell you-all over at tamino that the Rev wasn’t making any grandiose claims or presupposing results. Quite the contrary. As for the accusations of cherry picking, well I think that is answered as well!

    REPLY: Evan is referring to the claims of cherry picking made about the project when it had a few dozen stations. No proof one way or another was claimed then either, only that there seems to be a number of stations out of compliance. But the point that many people miss is that this project is not funded by a grant. It’s on my own dime and with the help of volunteers. Getting over 300 people to volunteer (as has been the case) requires some motivation. The “how not to” series of station photographs showing interesting stations provides that motivation to get involved.

    Those in the public sector that feed at the public trough just miss that because they’ve never had to do on project on zero budget. They don’t know how to motivate people to help on a project like this nor understand how it could be of any value without “proper funding” etc.

    So now that we have nearly 500 stations, nobody can say “cherry picking” anymore, unless of course I take “sods” advice and make a claim of proof one way or another now with large holes in the midwest. Then the claim would be “regional cherry picking”.

    But I’m sure I’ll hear the “USA is only 6% of world landmass” cherry picking argument when USHCN is done. Fine by me. GHCN next.

  9. Now, you want to see corny titles that distort science?

    Turn your wayback machines to 1997 and watch how PR at Goddard changes.

    http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/topstory/archives2000.html

    look at 1997-1999. See anything?
    After 1999 the approach changes:

    2000
    NASA SCIENTIST PREDICTS LESS CLIMATE COOLING FROM CLOUDS
    UNPRECEDENTED FIRE SEASON IN SOUTHERN AFRICA AIDS AIR QUALITY, CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH
    NEW VIEWS ON THE CULPRITS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
    (Note language of crime)
    2001
    SATELLITE DATA HELP RESEARCHERS TRACK CARBON IN NORTHERN HEMISPHERE FORESTS
    METHANE EXPLOSION WARMED THE PREHISTORIC EARTH, POSSIBLE AGAIN
    COTTON DOESN’T SHRINK FROM CLIMATE CHANGE
    RED ALERT! “RECYCLED” OZONE ADDS TO HEALTH HAZARDS IN ZAMBIA
    THE SUN’S CHILLY IMPACT ON EARTH
    Ocean Circulation Shut Down by Melting Glaciers After Last Ice Age
    ( read the title, then read the text)
    EARTH’S BECOMING A GREENER GREENHOUSE
    GREATER SOLAR ACTIVITY MAY BRING U.S. MORE GRAY DAYS
    NASA DEMONSTRATES HOW EARTH’S GLOBAL HEAT ENGINE DRIVES PLANT GROWTH
    NASA IMAGE REVEALS GIANT CHIP OFF THE ANTARCTIC ICE BLOCK
    CRACKS IN THE ICE – NEW INSIGHTS INTO ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET FAILURES

    Go look at the rest. then explain.

  10. Is there any chance you might have time to put together a pair of reports based on climate data gathered from the well-placed, well-maintained stations and the not-so-well-placed stations?

    It would be a great tool in the argument against climate alarmism if we could directly point to the fact that the stations on concrete or pavement or near the outflow vents of industrial air conditioners are significantly above average in reporting temperature increases and, thus, skewing the data when compared to data collected at stations that haven’t seen significant development nearby.

    REPLY: When the project is complete, yes. Until then I will resist such calls for preliminary conclusions.

  11. Sod, and others. I have sent Anthony a bunch of preliminary results “indicating” so issues with non compliant siting. To his credit, his answer is always the same. When the census is complete or near complete he’ll look at the data, but until then the focus is documenting the network.

    I have to respect that. Early on people criticized his effort for being “regional”
    Rememeber when they argued he would not stray far from home to survey a station? I also argued with him on CA to do a random sampling approach.
    His answer: no moshpit, I’m going to finish the survey.

    The other thing that befudles me is why the pro AGW crowd isnt out there proving the quality of the network by taking pictures? Strange.

  12. The other thing that befudles me is why the pro AGW crowd isnt out there proving the quality of the network by taking pictures?

    Steve, are you really surprised, or is that a rhetorical question?

Comments are closed.