NOAA Claims: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest – Questionable

This just doesn’t seem to add up given what we’ve seen from anecdotal weather information and satellite data. For example the UAH global temperature for the lower troposphere shows that the temperature in 2008 doesn’t get anywhere close to this claim made by NOAA:

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was 0.85 degrees F (0.47 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C).

From my perspective as surveyor of the USHCN network, and knowing firsthand just how corrupted the data measuring system is, I have a lot of trouble believing this claim. The satellite data says otherwise.

UAH Satellite Derived Global Temperature for the Lower Troposphere - click image for full graph

Here is NOAA’s Press Release today:

Contact:          John Leslie                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

301-713-2087, ext. 174                                   Sept. 16, 2008

NOAA: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest

Tenth Warmest August Since Records Began

The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was the ninth warmest since records began in 1880, and this August was the tenth warmest, according to an analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

Summer (June – August) Highlights

  • The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for summer 2008 was 0.85 degrees F (0.47 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C).

  • Separately, the global land surface temperature for the summer was 1.12 degrees F (0.62 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 56.9 degrees F (13.8 degrees C).

  • The global ocean surface temperature for summer ranked ninth warmest on record and was 0.74 degrees F (0.41 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 61.5 degrees F (16.4 degrees C).

August Highlights

  • The August 2008 combined global land and ocean surface temperature was 0.79 degrees F (0.44 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C) and tied with 1995 for the tenth warmest August on record.

  • The global land surface temperature for August was 0.88 degrees F (0.49 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 56.9 degrees F (13.8 degrees C).

  • The global ocean surface temperature for August was 0.77 degrees F (0.43 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 61.4 degrees F (16.4 degrees C), which tied for seventh warmest August with 2001.

Other Highlights

  • El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions continued in August, and are expected to last through the end of 2008, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

  • Arctic sea ice extent at the end of August was at its second lowest extent on record according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Sea ice declined by a record rate in August, decreasing by 950,000 square miles (2.47 million square kilometers) between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3. The current extent is 800,000 square miles (2.08 million square kilometers) below the 1979-2000 average.

  • Tropical Storm Fay struck the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands between August 15 – 17, claiming 23 lives across the Caribbean. Hurricane Gustav affected the same countries August 24 – 31, claiming an estimated 95 lives in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Tropical Storm Kammuri struck southern China on August 6, bringing torrential rains to Hong Kong. Rain from Kammuri caused 120 deaths in northern Vietnam. On Aug. 20, Typhoon Nuri made landfall in the Philippines and killed seven people.

  • In southern India, heavy monsoon rains killed 99 people, while in northern India flash flooding claimed 74 lives and left about 50,000 people homeless. Varanasi, India received 11.5 inches (292.1 mm) of rain in just 24 hours. Torrential downpours claimed 27 lives in northwestern Pakistan during the first week of August. In Laos, heavy monsoon rains raised the Mekong River to its highest recorded level of 44.88 feet (13.68 m). Also in August, extensive flooding affected China, Japan, Mexico, and Great Britain.

  • On Aug. 17, Eyre in Western Australia registered a low temperature of -7.2 degrees C (19 degrees F), setting the record for the all-time lowest temperature for that Australian state, according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

  • Severe storms over northern France on Aug. 4 spawned a tornado that killed three people in the town of Hautmont. Another tornado hit Mykanów, Poland, on Aug. 15, killing three and injuring 37.

  • Moderate-to-severe drought impacted northern parts of China during August, according to the Beijing Climate Center. Below-average August rainfall over parts of eastern and southern Australia worsened drought conditions in those areas. Parts of southwest Australia experienced their lowest August rainfall since records began there in 1900.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center:

NCDC August 2008 analysis:

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Patrick Henry
September 16, 2008 8:15 am

NOAA maps shows the lower 48 close to average for the summer.
Alaska had their third coldest summer on record.
It was unusually cold in Antarctica, and NOAA probably has little coverage down there.
Antarctica has been officially disowned by the global warming community, because it is not behaving properly.

September 16, 2008 8:19 am

Crumbs! First comment!
Probably said before, but the lack of humility….
“NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.”

September 16, 2008 8:21 am

Whatever distortions may be taking place, and there may be many of them, time will reveal. It is difficult, though, to “give time time,” as a friend of mine used to say.
The farmers with low yields in the U.S. Upper Plains and Canadian Plains, ranchers in the Rockies, and plain folk in Alaska and Australia would probably all have a hard time believing how “warm” the past few months were where they live.
We were to have record lows in Austin overnight, but a blanket of clouds kept us warm. San Angelo, Texas, 220 clicks up the road, had a morning low of 47 degrees today, breaking the old record by 5 degrees. The upper atmosphere has been colder than usual all year and should allow winter cooling to get going in earnest forthwith.

L Nettles
September 16, 2008 8:22 am

This is not exactly on topic but here is the obituary of Ralph Plaisted
Mr. Plaisted was the first man with an undisputed claim to an overland journey to the North Pole. What I found interesting was this comment in the obit.
With a small crew that included the television journalist Charles Kuralt, Mr. Plaisted made his first attempt to reach the pole in 1967, but the trip had to be aborted far short of the goal, when unexpected warm weather in April caused the ice to begin breaking up. The next year, determined to avoid the same fate, he and a three-man crew — Gerald Pitzl, Jean-Luc Bombardier and Walter Pederson — started farther north, beginning their trek on March 7, at a speck on the Canadian map called Ward Hunt Island, 474 miles from the pole. The temperature was 60 below zero.
So in 1967 it was too “warm” to cross the ice to the North Pole in April! But that of course is before recorded history.

September 16, 2008 8:26 am

They keep the 12 hours of darkness warm and, thus, skew the averages.
When temperatures drop what happens? Precipitation. Clouds.
It has been raining all over the world recently. It is has been fairly cloudy all over the world recently.
And, of course, there is the legend to support.
(Latin, legenda, “things to be read”) is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. …

Mike Ramsey
September 16, 2008 8:26 am

Have there been any studies to directly calibrate the various temperature standards? Casting doubt on GISS’ land surface temperature collection is not, IMHO, the most effective way to stop this nonsense. A definitive and scientifically accepted (i.e. peer reviewed and published) study that calibrates and reconciles the competing temperature standards (i.e. GISS, UAH, RSS, and HadCRUT3) is the most direct way forward. Until then, each side will be content to only consider its own data and will feel justified in ignoring the other guy’s data. If we can’t agree on our facts than how can we ever agree on our conclusions?
–Mike Ramsey

Jacob King
September 16, 2008 8:30 am

Check out this article on the Mohonk Mountain House weather station:
It shows that only 7 years (out of the last 18) were the warmest in 112 years. Granted it’s one station in upper NY, and this year isn’t in yet, but it shows the surprising discrepancies between politically motivated claims by NOAA and the NWS’s cooperative station referenced in the link. One thing I’m taking away from all the thermometers out there is that we just can’t accurately predict global temperature.

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2008 8:41 am

0.85F above the “20th century mean”.
So what??? Summer is 50F above the Winter mean… The world doesn’t end.

Fred Nieuwenhuis
September 16, 2008 8:44 am

NOAA blended Land and SST is highly biased towards minimizing/eliminating cool spots. Comparing to there are many blue spots that are smaller or disappear altogether.
Actual August anomalies for Canada see:
Notice the negative anomaly in NW Canada that does not show up on the NOAA maps.
The NCDC/NOAA global temperature set is crap.

September 16, 2008 8:56 am

So hot that we must stop CO2 at any cost. Totally justifies a lack o U.S. energy policy other than save the planet. Do not worry about the people that cannot afford to get to work. Do not worry that they cannot pay their mortgages. Do not worry about the U.S. economy or the financial markets that are failing today. It is so hot NOAA has predicted and proved it.

September 16, 2008 9:03 am

NOAA August and Summer Numbers Again Not Jiving with Satellite Data
By Joseph D’Aleo
UPDATE: For the globe NOAA claimed 2008 was 0.79 degrees F (0.44 degrees C) above the 20th century mean of 60.1 degrees F (15.6 degrees C) and tied with 1995 for the tenth warmest August on record. The UAH MSU data showed the summer as the 11th coldest in the last 30 years with an anomaly of -0.024C (-0.04F). Again NOAA is an outlier with RSS and MSU. The global data lacks an adequate urban adjustment thanks to the intervention of Tom Peterson who uses a flawed paper to justify his claim that urbanization does not affect global trends. As we have shown in the pdf mentioned above it clearly does. In any case, don’t buy NOAA data. Tom Karl and Tom Peterson deserve to join their counterpart at NASA in retirement (if not in court). They have abused the public trust.

September 16, 2008 9:05 am

[…] Read More: Tags: 20th century, NOAA, temperature, temperature data, temperatures Related Posts […]

September 16, 2008 9:09 am

Jeff Alberts (08:41:05) :
0.85F above the “20th century mean”.
So what??? Summer is 50F above the Winter mean… The world doesn’t end.

it will. in 2015.

September 16, 2008 9:29 am

Thanks to you Anthony, we already know that NOAA is compromised, from your “Post mortem on the Mauna Loa CO2 data eruption” posted on August 6th. (
Dr. Pieter Tans: “…. We are very much aware that in a time
when carbon dioxide emissions will cost a lot of money, there has to be
an objective and fully credible way to quantify emissions. Without
that, carbon markets cannot function efficiently, and policies cannot be
measured relative to their objectives. We think that the atmosphere
itself can provide objective quantification.”
If that quote doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the questionable measurements and temperature claims, I don’t know what would.

Pierre Gosselin
September 16, 2008 9:33 am

Ice sheets could return to the US and the NOAA would still claim one of the warmest years on record. NOAA data calculation results have diverged from reality.

Mike McMillan
September 16, 2008 9:36 am

Ninth warmest in this century, certainly.

September 16, 2008 9:39 am

Let’s say NOAA is correct. The key here is “the 20th Century Mean”. We only have records of the 20th century to compare to, so we think these temps are typical. There’s abundant data from drillcores, historical records, etc., etc., showing otherwise. 100 years is nothing in the grand scheme of things, barely measurable at all compared to the geological record. Much ado about nothing.

September 16, 2008 9:40 am

The incredibly reliable temperature readings alluded to in the NYTimes article ( about Mohonk House in New York State show an annual average temperature below freezing just after the turn of the last century, circa 1902. I sent an e-mail to the GISS meteorologist quoted in the piece, Ben Cook, asking about that particular nugget. We shall see what he says, if anything.

September 16, 2008 9:42 am

IT seems to me that a great potion Canadian temperature data is missing from GISS and NOAA data quite regularily while Russian heat waves are reported monthly.
Environment Canada has a very robust database, is there some kind of barrier between these agencies?

Richard deSousa
September 16, 2008 9:43 am

NOAA and Hansen have lost their minds. They can keep feeding the news media junk science but it will eventually bite them in the ass when everyone will finally realize the truth. As Abe Lincoln was supposed to have said “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time.”

September 16, 2008 9:43 am

Sorry forgot to spell Check.
IT seems to me that a great portion of the Canadian temperature record is missing from GISS and NOAA data quite regularily while Russian heat waves are reported monthly.
Environment Canada has a very robust database, is there some kind of barrier between these agencies?

Dave Bilhaus
September 16, 2008 9:59 am

I would have an easier time believing a government agency that I would believeing a weatherman unable to deal with the obvious!
REPLY: Perhaps so, what then is your opinion of of government agencies when they report data and intelligence of the Iraq War? Do you fully support the government view there? How are you holding up down there in Houston after the storm?- Anthony

Thomas Weber
September 16, 2008 9:59 am

Hi Anthony,
if I look at the GISS temperatures, this is not too far off. I get at an ‘anomaly’ of + 0.39 C for this summer, that ranks 2008 behind 1998(0.67), 2005(0.57), 2007(0.54), 2006(0.51), 2003(0.50), 2002(0.49), 2001(0.47), 1991(0.45) and 1995(0.41) in tenth place.
Of course these GISS numbers are subject to change, or may have already changed.
Looking at UAH data however, I find several further years with warmer summers than 2008 (’88,’89,’90,’94,…).
So striking is i) the difference between UAH and GISS and ii) that NOAA gets even higher anomalies than GISS.
Still even GISS has a year-to-year decrease of 0.15C.

September 16, 2008 10:01 am

Fred Nieuwenhuis (08:44:42) :
Also notice that NOAA has large red dots over regions of Canada that are shown to be in the gray normal area on the Canadian site.
A few other weird happenings…
1. Pacific ocean. Let’s look at these maps.
Aug 4
Aug 7
Aug 11
Aug 14
Aug 18
Aug 21
Aug 25
Aug 28
Where’s the southern arm of the horseshoe pattern of cold anomalies in the South Pacific that’s apparent in every SST anomaly chart except for the NOAA monthly data?? In NOAA’s monthly report that region is all positive anomalies.
2. Indian Ocean.
There was large upwelling off the Indonesian Coast of 2-3C negative anomalies. Where’s that representation in the NOAA map? Why is the entire basin positive anomaly when most of the month large areas of negative anomalies existed?
These are large regions where temperatures seem to be misrepresented.

September 16, 2008 10:02 am

My cynic’s opinion is let NOAA keep talking. Stretched rubber bands snap back. The ultimate consequences will be for NOAA to acknowledge past errors and there’s no way any attempt to correct past biases won’t lower false highs and thus averages.

Fernando Mafili
September 16, 2008 10:20 am

[ snip adds nothing to this discussion, and is somewhat ad hom]

September 16, 2008 10:42 am

Sorry for the OT
I have lived in Kansas for 25 years and this is the coolest summer I can remember.
Had the family over for the 4th of July and we ate outside on the porch with a nice cool breeze.
I also noticed that we seemed to have a lot more cloud cover this year, during the day the clouds would block out the sun for long periods of time.
Now I will ask a stupid question, does cloud cover have anything to do with low sunspot activity?
Also is there a way to track the amount of clouds or cloud cover from year to year?
REPLY: Mark, have you ever heard of Svensmark’s Theory? This isn’t intended to embarrass you, just curious if up until this moment you’ve ever heard about it?. – Anthony

John Nicklin
September 16, 2008 10:47 am

Do they live on the same planet as the rest of us or are they residing inside a computer simulation?

Wondering Aloud
September 16, 2008 10:54 am

Bias affects almost all of us, the more complicated the issue the easier it is for bias to affect outcomes. Having said that I think the GISS data set is so corrupt it is meaningless to discuss change. That is my bias.

September 16, 2008 11:01 am

Another question, or observation, why does NOAA include casualty statistics from isolated weather events?
I grew up on a farm in Canada and I am well aware that weather is dangerous, is including these numbers simply to drive home a message of pending disaster at the hands of Climate Change?

M White
September 16, 2008 11:03 am

I wonder how they’ll spin this winter?

Fred Nieuwenhuis
September 16, 2008 11:15 am

Climate Heretic,
The is SIGNIFICANT CANADIAN DATA in the GHCN dataset which is the LST portion of the “raw” data. There is 5258 historical and current Canadian stations is the GHCN daily ( This is somehow compressed to 847 stations for the GHCN monthly dataset ( , which is further manipulated to a gridded dataset. Then Smith and Reynolds get their manipulative paws on it ( So I do not know how much of Canadian data makes it in the final product.

The engineer
September 16, 2008 11:16 am

Hi Anthony.
About Svensmarks cloud theory. I was wondering if cloud cover really has any effect on global temperatures, seeing that cloud has a cooling effect during sunlight hours – but a warming effect during the night. Don’t these cancel each other out – or is the 16/8 hour day/night big enough to make a difference.
REPLY: Day scales of effects don’t equate to long term climate. The bottom line is energy balance over time, if albedo is up globally, less energy input means a net cooling.- Anthony

September 16, 2008 11:34 am

Off topic
Hi everyone, I think I may have discovered a massive mistake in Greenhouse calculations that has led to the overestimation of CO2 forcing by 180 times.
The actual effect of doubling CO2 is less than 0.01 deg C!
What has gone wrong? simple, whoever calculated the greenhouse effect has confused “absorbance” with the absorption of energy (otherwise known as intensity, power or wattage). “Absorbance” is however the log of the change of intensity. You can check wiki under beer lambert law to verify.
This mistake has led people to believe that change in temperature stays the same for each doubling of CO2, however in reality the each doubling absorbs half or the remaining energy and will be half of the previous doubling.
Simple mistake, massive consequences.
REPLY: Rob, while I welcome the news, I’m skeptical about it. It seems too simple. Please cite some additional work and references if you can. – Thanks, Anthony Watts

T. Bywaters
September 16, 2008 11:44 am

My Mom lives in Montana. All the old timers there are saying it is going to be a cold winter. They had a wet summer. My fiance is from Indiana. Her dad has said that all the farmers are expecting a very cold winter there. They have been cool all summer. I live in Austin and I have a feeling it is going to be cold here too! However, our summer was pretty hot, 3rd most 100 degree days, last time we had as many was 1929 or there about. It is a nice 84 degrees here today with a nice breeze!
I have been a lurker here for 6 months or so. Thanks for all you do Anthony!

Steve Berry
September 16, 2008 11:59 am

HadCRUT nicely in line with GISTEMP for August!

September 16, 2008 12:10 pm

Hadcrut has this as the 10th warmest summer

September 16, 2008 12:15 pm

In the hundred billion dollar antrhropogenic global warming industry, its almost criminal that better ground instruments aren’t installed immediately. With the cost of energy and more importantly the cost of not getting more energy skyrocketing. Adding an accurate ground network would be tiny by comparison.
I wonder why the GISS guys aren’t pushing for better instruments.
I predict that Anthony is going to win this one eventually.

September 16, 2008 12:20 pm

Mike Ramsey,
As one who takes and analyzes measurements for a living, my first questions for any data are when was the measuring device/system last calibrated, what is the error uncertainty, is the environment conducive to the instrument(s) used and are the instruments suitable for the task (at one time it was a 10x factor). What would be the answer to those with respect to the near surface station network?
Satellites can be calibrated and the error quantified even if at a later date. FYI, RSS uses climate models in their calibration procedure.
In industry if NOAA/GISS were to present their data to an auditor or customer, they’d be laughed out of existence. Being a bloated government bureaucracy, they are not answerable to anyone and thus can make statements of conformity that have no resemblance to reality.
Those in charge at NOAA/GISS obviously have no background in Quality Engineering. The bull-in-the-China shop philosophy in climate “science” is breath taking.

Richard deSousa
September 16, 2008 1:18 pm

DR: Why should NOAA make any corrections or calibrate their instruments when the current temperatures being recorded by their instruments jibe with their global warming theory?

September 16, 2008 1:38 pm

REPLY: Mark, have you ever heard of Svensmark’s Theory? This isn’t intended to embarrass you, just curious if up until this moment you’ve ever heard about it?. – Anthony
As an amateur astronomer I am very much aware that the last 2 years have been extraordinarily cloudy where I am. The weather has always been unstable here, but now the periods of clear weather get shorter and fewer. Around 2001 or so I would have at least a couple of clear nights per month, but now it seems even much less.
The low clouds keep hanging there every day. Maybe it is an illusion, but it seems to me the low clouds have increased. To myself I refer to them as ‘Svensmark clouds’…..

james griffin
September 16, 2008 1:38 pm

I am just an ordinairy member of the public working as a salesman in the packaging industry.
I knew little or nothing about the AGW argument but once I looked into it I soon realised they were hyping it up.
Climate models that show cirrus clouds bouncing radiation back to earth but failing to show low cloud bouncing it away or factoring in precipitation tell their own story of just how desperate the “warmers” are.
So now we are to beleive this is the 9th warmest summer on record.
In the UK peoiple with severe mental problems who may harm themselves, or others are “Sectioned”.
It is a polite way of saying they are mad..even if it is only temporary.
9th warmest…yeh sure….have the men in white coats arrived to take the NOAA scientists away?

September 16, 2008 1:38 pm

I’ve posted similar on other sites, and also somewhat discussed this with Jeff Id…so here goes nothing…
Regardless of what Anthony (or Steve M, or any other individual for that matter) does to address the issues confronting climate change, none of them will have a lasting influence. This isn’t meant as an insult, but merely a factual observation.
For more than five years Steve M has systematically detailed the errors (whether they are innocent or nefarious is of no consequence) of Mann et al, and has shown that paleoclimate reconstruction as it resides today is of no value. Anthony, and all of the volunteers at have done a yeoman’s effort in establishing a documentary record of the temperature stations in the US and all of their faults. And those of us that believe in the scientific method follow these (and others) with great interest.
BUT…in the news, in the classroom, and even in the learned journals, the prevailing “consensus” has nothing to do with science. Millions of children in school will learn that AGW is incontrovertible; that we have in place, a system of accurately measuring temperature; and that “brilliant” climate scientists were able to accurately reconstruct past climate to show that this recent warming is caused by CO2 emissions, and that it will permanently alter the earth’s climate.
No one will be there to show them how Steve M was able to effectively ivalidate the claims of the IPCC AR4. No one will be there to tell them how surface temperatures can be affected by the location of the measurement device, or that there is even such a thing as Urban Heat Island. No one will be there to explain how the scientific method is supposed to work, and that these “brilliant” climate scientists have usurped that method in favor of their own egos (or whatever explanation you would like to provide).
Those of us that believe in science, and believe that being a heretic (as Freeman Dyson prefers) is a worthy cause to defend (based on the evidence of course), will never succeed unless we can find a way to educate the impressionable (aka the youth)! And unfortunately, I do not see the UN, the EU, the US (by virtue of GISS, NOAA, NCAR et al), or any other group allowing an alternative viewpoint to be allowed.
This is the real discussion…how do we get the word out to a larger audience, that there is a true, scientific alternative that has nothing do with big oil, etc.??
I will now return to lurking!! 🙂

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2008 1:42 pm

REPLY: Day scales of effects don’t equate to long term climate. The bottom line is energy balance over time, if albedo is up globally, less energy input means a net cooling.- Anthony

Anecdotally speaking, we had a lot more cloudy and cool days this spring and early summer in Western Washington than previous years, that’s for sure. On the cloudy days, it felt like late fall rather than May, June, or July.

September 16, 2008 1:50 pm

@ Anthony
I have heard the name mentioned here, if I remember correctly.
I am not familiar with his theory though, I guess I need to look that up.
This is the first year that this subject caught my eye concerning possible connections with the climate.
I was familiar with the sun spot terminology from when I worked with my dad some 30 years ago in his C.B. business being told that when the C.B. was nice and quiet the sunspot activity was low and when it was noisy the activity was high and that it ran in cycles of 10 – 11 years.

September 16, 2008 2:05 pm

I wonder why the GISS guys aren’t pushing for better instruments.
They don’t have any. They just take adjusted NOAA HCN adjusted data and juggle it further.

Ed Scott
September 16, 2008 2:08 pm

Nahle, N. (2006). Temperature and Solar Radiation. Biology Cabinet. New Braunfels, TX. Obtained on (month) (day), (year) from
NASA scientists elaborated a prediction about the next solar cycle of 11 years based on the observation of the past tendencies and on the direct influence that the previous cycles have had on the intensity of the following cycle. The intensity of the solar activity has been progressively increasing on every cycle.
The implementation of the Kyoto’s Protocol will not solve the phenomenon of global warming; in the first place, because it does not depend absolutely of the human activities, but from natural factors. In the second place, because the concentration of Heat-Forcing gases in the atmosphere are not thermodynamically capable of store the density of heat registered in the last century. The variability in the tropospheric temperature on Earth depends on cosmic factors, like the increase in the intensity of Solar Radiation and of Intergalactic Cosmic Rays.
The graph gives also a clear explanation about the global warming observed on other planets like Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and some satellites of giant planets.

Fred Nieuwenhuis
September 16, 2008 2:12 pm

I would beg to differ with your assessment on the effects of the efforts of Anthony et al. Anthony met with representatives of NOAA in order to improve the climate monitoring system. I have observed greater mainstream media coverage of skeptical scientists (Google Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post). The Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, had a very balanced approach to an Arctic climate exhibit. The reaction(desparation) of the RC crowd to Steve M. critiques show that he is having an affect. The level of traffic alone on WUWT and Ca shows that the word is getting out.
And finally, the weather itself is proving the AGW crowd wrong.

September 16, 2008 2:14 pm

Anthony, I think you should let everyone know that today NSIDC announced that they are pretty sure that the arctic melt season has ended because arctic ice has seen 5 consecutive days of growth….
Will you do an article on it please and thankyou! 🙂

September 16, 2008 2:23 pm

the statements they made regarding Australia just don’t add up
does this look like a country in a drought?
they are predicting a 20mil ton wheat crop this year – the average is 16mil and the highest 25 mil.

September 16, 2008 2:30 pm

BTW – earlier in the year they had a record sorhgum crop.

Ed Scott
September 16, 2008 2:34 pm

“NOAA Claims: Global Summer Temperature Was Ninth Warmest.” My observation: So what? Why should that be important? The reason: Global warming has been allowed to become synonymous with AGW through the [snip Propaganda] process. When global warming or warming or climate change is mentioned in the “news” we now understand that AGW is implied. A separation is required. AGW does not exist. Global warming/climate change is an ongoing process and is not amenable to human intervention.

September 16, 2008 2:43 pm

Hi Anthony, the proof you require is from two sources
First the the equation for “absorbance” for gasses
A = -ln ( I’ / I )
A = absorbance
ln = log base 2
I = intensity of light at start of path
I’ = intensity of light at end of path
This is common knowledge and can be clearly seen in wiki under the Beer lambert law.
As you can see absorbance is the log of the change in intensity.
The intensity is the power, the unit of power is watts.
IPCC have misinterpreted absorbance as the change intensity rather than the negative log of changes of intensity.
The measurable effect is demonstrated in this paper
The beer lambert law when expressed as concentration vs % absorption

September 16, 2008 2:48 pm

The cool cloudy summer in southern Ontario has pointed out a major flaw with my pool’s solar heater. When the sun doesn’t shine the solar heater won’t work. 🙂 Consequently I have had to use the gas heater more often. If it stays like this I will have to double the size of the solar panels or with Carbon Trading a much thinner wallet if I have to resort to the gas heater. Both the NOAA and the GISS are nuts if they think it was anywhere near warm this summer.

September 16, 2008 2:51 pm

FYI – looks like the CA server is knocked out again.
REPLY: Its our entire system, major cloud network outage here all the way to San Jose, CA uses my DNS server. -Anthony

Denis Hopkins
September 16, 2008 3:00 pm

My students know that I, and my Physics teaching colleague, are very sceptical about AGW, as is the Economics / Business Studies teacher. We have even put doubt into the minds of the geography department (I hope). The biofuel debacle shook a lot of faith in “simple solutions”.
We do assemblies on the topic. Even so, you always get the consensus argument thrown back at you. The IPCC has attained unimpeachable status (like the UN) because people believe it is impartial and trying to do the best with no bad motive. They believe the IPCC is a large group of the world’s best scientists seeking truth, and they believe that the media press releases are a true reflection of the reports in the IPCC documents and that this must be the definitive conclusion. They cannot believe that anyone would deliberately twist an argument.
Oddly enough there is a lot of bad feeling about sceptics as a consequence of this. Why would anyone question motives and consensus? They must have an ulterior motive… aka Big Business etc.
They are willing to ascribe ill will to sceptics in a way they never do towards the IPCC contributors / summarisers.
Schoolteachers in the UK are extremely prone to any “left” / “green” issue. I cannot see any way that the situation will change. There will be no change of approach in schools. Too much has been invested in terms of credibilty to start questioning now.

Gary Gulrud
September 16, 2008 3:21 pm

Whatever you’ve found, the use of Beer’s fails for other reasons as well. The law was developed to determine a signal’s attenuation passing thru a fluid, i.e., the fluid’s absorptance attenuated the signal. This has nothing to do with the absorptivity of a photon of given wavelength by a molecule–in the case of GHGs, at a given pressure and temperature.
The goal of Beer’s is to relate the percentage of the signal passed to the cross-sectional area of the absorbing fluid. This is seldom attempted, however, and a term ‘optical depth’ is used which for the depth of the atmosphere, e.g., giving an absorptance of about 0.7 for IR at 15um. In fact, at sea level, the signal is ‘absorbed’ within a few 100 meters. A small fraction of the signal is instantly re-emitted and, if the signal is continuous, a wavefront is maintained (think radiosonde). The logrithmic decay of the signal follows with increasing depth.
The real problem comes with the faulty application of Kirchoff’s law: For bodies in thermal equilibrium, the energy absorbed equals that emitted. But the atmosphere is never in thermal equilibrium, we know this because its temperature changes in the presence of OLR!
Most of the IR energy absorbed by GHGs, all but the small fraction instantly re-emitted, is shared with the molecule’s neighbors by collision. The excited GHG molecule immediately returns to its ‘base’ state, the average kinetic energy of the mixed gas in which it resides.
The energy absorbed by the GHG is therefore free to far exceed that emitted.
This, of course, is not the case with Kirchoff’s cavity, a plane-solid construction. There the solid’s lattice transmits the kinetic energy around the wafer-thin perimeter of the cavity at a substantial fraction of the speed of light. Any absorbed energy is balanced ‘instantly’ with a corresponding emission.
Only at high pressure and temperature, e.g., the sun’s surface, do we say the emission of a gas equals its absorption.

Scott Covert
September 16, 2008 3:28 pm

To LeeW
You paint a bleak picture. The fact is, all that training in the schools and media hype is just that. There is a certin percentage of the population that will always believe what they are told. There is also another section that will never believe what they are told. You run the gamut from sheep to hardcore conspiracy theorists. Everyone else falls into the middle.
If the general public was so impressionable, we would all be extinct. The scientific method is not filled with opinion. It is tainted with preconceptions and bias buy by a logical approach and peer revue science is able to weed out the facts in general. Those whom ignore the facts eventually fail.
I don’t think the whole thing is so hopeless. History shows you can feed people BS only so long as they can tolerate the taste. The higher the Pied Pipers of AGW fly, the harder that will land.

September 16, 2008 3:39 pm

It is quite definitely the warmest 2008 we’ve ever had.

Mike Bryant
September 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Global land and sea had the 9th warmest summer season on record, and August was the 10th warmest month.
The contiguous United States had the 22nd warmest summer season on record and August was the 39th warmest month.
The placement of the warmer areas seems to have become a sort of global shell game. Where people live and are paying attention, the temperatures at least must be close to reality. Where there are fewer observers, the temperatures can be bumped a little more. Fortunately, as satellites become more and more ubiquitous, the hiding places are becoming harder and harder to find.
Looking forward to the graphics coming from the AIRS team in a couple weeks.

September 16, 2008 3:43 pm

Could it be that there is some thing wrong with the algorithm?
Everybody knows that it never happened before.

September 16, 2008 3:56 pm

Richard North is correct. This is the warmest 2008 in the history of the entire world.

September 16, 2008 4:03 pm

Hopkins, LeeW etal…
Thinking back on my checkered history as a student – back when “duck and cover” was king and the continents didn’t move. The teachers I learned most from were passionate about their subject – and usually questioned set philosophy.
Math teachers were the worst, droning on about binomials and solving for X and such. Then in college I got an (bonehead math) instructor who was excited about math and its uses – Just one example.
The point is this. Keep at it and stay passionate because at some point those “average” kids who go along with everything because they don’t have enough information to swim against the tide will get it. Then they will join the crowd at Anthony’s site – always better late than never.

Alan Millar
September 16, 2008 4:21 pm

It is very strange that this record is so at odds with most peoples feelings about this years temperatures on the ‘ground’.
Obviously, like most people here, I have only limited direct experience of global temperatures in 2008. I have experience of two countries other than the UK this year. In all three countries the weather this year has been amongst the coldest and wettest in recent memory.
I read about more countries and areas on this site ( not completely unbiased I must admit but seem consistent) and wonder where are all these other countries and areas which have had a really hot year to produce this anomoly?

Graeme Rodaughan
September 16, 2008 4:41 pm

Real droughts in Australia result in wheat crops of approx 9 to 10 million tons.
20 million Tons, while not a bumper crop is still a reasonable crop.
Our wheat fields are spread across the southern states and have a wide variance of results.
Water moisture in the ground is still an issue – we have had a period of extended drought.
We have also had floods. In a country as big as Australia, you can have floods and droughts at the same time – just in different areas.

Robert Wood
September 16, 2008 4:51 pm

Richard North – and the wttest and cloudiest 2008 EVER!
Indeed the coldest 2008 this century.

September 16, 2008 5:19 pm

I was in Southern Ontario in July and Toronto was wet and cool (for TO) at 75 degrees F (24C) for the three days I was there. In Ottawa it was even cooler at about 65 to 70C and in Muskoka it was positively chilly.
This was during the last two weeks of July when Toronto is generally in range of 80 to 95F, with Ottawa about the same.
I live out west now and found the temps comparable to nice PNW summer where temperatures only exceed 80F for maybe 10 to 15 days per summer. How lucky for you.

September 16, 2008 5:21 pm

Robert Wood –

the coldest 2008 this century

How profound!

September 16, 2008 5:46 pm

An interesting link involving current events, Hansen, Gore

Jim Powell
September 16, 2008 5:53 pm

I track temperatures from Huntley Montana. The summer has been warm. Our average temperature for the summer ranks 61 out of 103 summers. The average monthly temperature for the year thru August ranks 43 out of 103 years and September is about 10 degrees below average. 2008 will definitely be below normal this year.

Pamela Gray
September 16, 2008 5:58 pm

s’cuse me???? With No Child Left Behind teachers are ENTIRELY focused on reading, writing and math. Science and Social Studies get shortened. Music has come to a dead end except for singing dittys. PE is shortened to 2 days a week. Art? What is that? Shop and Home Economics? Haven’t used the kitchen room in YEARS!
Reading and math fluency is King! The school day is divided up after 90 minutes of reading, writing, and math EACH are taken care of. You do the math. Trust me, no one, NO ONE, has time to talk about climate change. Federal dollars only care about reading and math scores. Nothing else. A state diploma depends on passing scores (generally at the 9th grade level or above), in reading, writing, and math. Federal, state, and district dollars don’t give a rat’s ass about science, art, music, or history.
Before you spout off about teachers, spend a month teaching. Otherwise you don’t have a clue.
REPLY: Having been a local school trustee and seeing this first hand, I’ll back up everything Pamela has written. – Anthony

Robert Wood
September 16, 2008 6:11 pm

As an anecdotal observation, this year has been the CLOUDIEST year in all my 27 years in Ottawa. Foreign particles, anyone?

Mike Bryant
September 16, 2008 6:13 pm

hyonmin (17:46:10) :
This is what will end the AGW parade. Money has a way of cutting through all the bullhockey(stick) and revealing the truth. Go ahead, invest in all the AGW schemes and watch your money disappear.

Robert Wood
September 16, 2008 6:14 pm

An interesting link involving current events, Hansen, Gore

So, the market melt-down was the result of global warming!
“Oh, almighty Gore, please forgive me for my credulous belief in Natural Cycles”

Robert Wood
September 16, 2008 6:31 pm

If you wish to view Richard North’s other work, visit EUreferndum.

Bill Illis
September 16, 2008 6:34 pm

Although this year’s temperature is down compared to recent years, the records show that the temperatures in recent years are higher than almost all the years in the record.
The 1990s and 2000s have been the warmest years recorded so while we are down right now, the temperatures ares still higher now than in the 1970s for example.
There are two additional points to be here.
First, Anthony’s trip to the NCDC earlier this year showed the current temperature adjustment algorithm being applied. By my reckoning, the temperature trend has been increased by 0.65C as a result of these adjustments (rather, the old historical temperatures have been adjusted DOWN by 0.65C going back to about 1900.)
If you don’t trust these adjustments, then maybe today’s temps are not in fact, higher than the temps of old.
Second, it is becoming more clear that GHGs do in fact result in additional global warming. The trends over the past 50 to 100 years points to a very low climate sensitivity figure 0f 1.0C to 1.5C per GHG doubling (an inconsequential amount really). So it is to be expected that even a cool year in 2008 would be on average warmer than previous years. But a few tenths of a degree warmer is nothing to worry about and certainly nothing to cause us to shut down our coal and oil industries.

Mike Ramsey
September 16, 2008 7:11 pm

If the following is correct,
“How do we know the Satellite Data are Correct?
In theory, one could argue that the computer models are accurate, and that the real measurements have some problem. However this is not the case. An incredible amount of work has been done to make sure that the satellite data are the best quality possible. Recent claims to the contrary by Hurrell and Trenberth have been shown to be false for a number of reasons, and are laid to rest in the September 25th edition of Nature (page 342). The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.”
Why is it that RSS and UAH disagree? What is it exactly that RSS is doing to the data? Surely it is possible to get a series of balloon-borne observations and compare them to RRS data to show the bias.
I know of the problems that GISS has.
What I wonder about is why GISS and NOAA haven’t been called to account via a peer reviewed paper published in, say, Nature. Science is about facts. To win this debate we have to establish the facts. Why is this so hard to do?
–Mike Ramsey

September 16, 2008 7:14 pm

My kids all have science classes. AGW is accepted fact in their classes. We live in TN.

September 16, 2008 7:22 pm

Statistically, what is the probability 2008 wouldn’t be in the top 10 or 20? Not very high. Let’s face it, many scientists and prognosticators have staked their reputations (and possibly careers) on AGW and will not go down easy.

September 16, 2008 7:39 pm

By my reckoning, the temperature trend has been increased by 0.65C as a result of these adjustments (rather, the old historical temperatures have been adjusted DOWN by 0.65C going back to about 1900.)
I thought the adjustment was more on the order of 0.42°C.
I know NOAA doesn’t have the guts to post the USHCN-2 adjustment graph the way they did for USHCN-1 (which is now one of the Most Cited Graphs by skeptics). And I haven’t seen where they ‘fessed up to their adjustment numbers.
How did you derive 0.65C? That’s over TWICE the USHCN-1 adjustment.

Brian D
September 16, 2008 7:47 pm

Here’s some evidence of the cool year it has been. This graph shows 29yrs of data for Jan-Aug average temps in the US. Black line represents the last century(1901-2000) average. Notice that we are very similar to 1980, 1983,1989,1996, and 1997.

Bill Illis
September 16, 2008 7:59 pm

evanjones – “How did you derive 0.65C? That’s over TWICE the USHCN-1 adjustment.”
Anthony posted a powerpoint presentation by the NCDC which outlined the adjustments (but I can’t find it now – perhaps Anthony can link to it.)
The powerpoint split the temp adjustments in to Maximum and Minimum temps but the average of the two was 0.65C. As you noted, they do not have the guts to show this to the public now (but it was in the powerpoint linked to by Anthony.)
We really need to have access to the raw data as well as the adjusted data.

September 16, 2008 8:01 pm

I think I have that pwp download. I’ll check it out. Thanks.

September 16, 2008 8:22 pm

My 13 year old daughter’s science teacher last year said A-CO2-GW was real in response to a comment my daughter made to another student. Luckily I had prepped her that this was a controversial position and being that she is at the top of her class, she was smart enough not to push the issue.

September 16, 2008 8:34 pm

Can’t seem to find it.
It has maps, but no comprehensive data.
It also has a comparison–I assume this is after adjustment (NOAA does not say which)–that well sited and badly sited stations have no differences at all.
However, I infer, however, that this is not because the bad stations have been adjusted to match to good stations, but the other way around. The NOAA presentation is scrupulous not to say . . .
Is this the right pwp?

Jeff Alberts
September 16, 2008 8:36 pm

If you don’t trust these adjustments, then maybe today’s temps are not in fact, higher than the temps of old.

I think the purported temperature measurements are so close to the margin of error as to make them practically meaningless. Coupled with the horrendous condition of the “high quality” network… No I don’t trust the measurements or the adjustments.

September 16, 2008 8:40 pm

Rev, do you have any insight re. the USHCN-2 overall adjustment for the 20th Century?

Ed Scott
September 16, 2008 10:11 pm

Bill Illis
“…showed the current temperature adjustment algorithm being applied.” Not being a meteorologist, I am curious about the need for a temperature adjustment algorithm. What is its purpose, if temperatures are read from a calibrated temperature sensor?
“…it is becoming more clear that GHGs do in fact result in additional global warming.” Where is the data supporting the clarification that GHGs are causing additional global warming? Are you saying that GHGs trap thermal energy and therefore an increase in one, or all, of the GHGs results in additional global warming? Is that necessarily true? To paraphrase a recent comment by a scientist: It may be true that there has been no global warming in the last decade and possibly a slight cooling, but AGW is being masked by other factors. That sort of reasoning sounds like there might a contradiction in his deductive assessment.
We deniers are not organized, the true-believers are organized. We are confronting a mindset: a set of assumptions, methods or notations held by one or more people or groups of people which is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools.
The true-believers are invested in the illusion of control: The tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly cannot.

September 16, 2008 11:00 pm

Ever think that our K-12 system has devolved into communist indoctrination rather than education?

September 16, 2008 11:18 pm

Sorry, folks, but it may not be the hottest 2008 on record. That would have to depend on which calendar system you are using.
Currently, the Chinese year is 4706, and the Jewish calendar stands at 5768, and I’m fairly certain there are others past 2008.

Mark Schauerberg
September 16, 2008 11:19 pm

3.1C this morning in Rhineland Pfalz, with five more days of summer to go. This has anecdotally been a cool summer for central Europe.

September 17, 2008 12:00 am

As a casual observer many of the postings here reinforce my opinion that people from a rural/farm background tend to be more skeptical of AGW than those who are from urban areas. Coming from a farming background myself whatever weather we have if i cannot then my father can recall and quote a year when it happened before. When i am at home i can look out to sea and see the weather for the next 12 hours, when i am in a city i am lucky if i can guess the weather for the next hour.

Roger Carr
September 17, 2008 12:15 am

Denis Hopkins (15:00:01) “My students know that I […] We do assemblies on the topic. Even so, you always get the consensus argument thrown back at you. The IPCC has attained unimpeachable status…
The manipulation of youth, Denis, is an obscenity. To use their “education” time for “indoctrination” is a measure of how low civilisation has sunk. A better world from brighter minds adding to accumulated knowledge is exactly what those of limited brain and large ego do not want and cannot tolerate. Such threatens “them”. “Their” selfish needs threaten the future.
People of goodwill and wisdom must continue, as you do, to resist.
Thank you for your further insight.

Neil Jones
September 17, 2008 1:07 am

Off Topic
Have you picked up on this?
AT 7:00 am BST it was on the “Front Page” of the web-site at 9:00 BST it was lost and had to be searched for.

September 17, 2008 1:59 am

[…] Watts Up With That?   (Comment from hyonmin) 16 September, […]

Mary Hinge
September 17, 2008 2:33 am

“Brian D (19:47:38) :
Here’s some evidence of the cool year it has been. This graph shows 29yrs of data for Jan-Aug average temps in the US. Black line represents the last century(1901-2000) average. Notice that we are very similar to 1980, 1983,1989,1996, and 1997.
Just so you are aware from this graph 1996 Lan Nina; 1989- La Nina
2007 La Nina…so the colder year is not unusual
The graph is useful as it shows the upward rise in temperatues and how defintate the trend is for warmer temperatures in the US.
“Mike Ramsey (08:26:31) :
…..Until then, each side will be content to only consider its own data and will feel justified in ignoring the other guy’s data. ”
It’s more accurate to say “ignoring the other guy’s anecdotes.” In essence this is what the argument is breaking up into, scientific data versus population biased anecdotes. Believe in whatever you want.

Wolfgang Flamme
September 17, 2008 3:28 am

For comparison here’s how well gistemp and hadcrut3gl have agreed so far about the the TOP n ranking of summer means (JJA means 1880-2007):
TOP 01 ) had: 1998 giss: 1998 agree: 1998
TOP 02 ) had: 2005 giss: 2005 agree: 2005
TOP 03 ) had: 2003 giss: 2007 agree: NO
TOP 04 ) had: 2001 giss: 2006 agree: NO
TOP 05 ) had: 2002 giss: 2003 agree: NO
TOP 06 ) had: 2006 giss: 2002 agree: NO
TOP 07 ) had: 1997 giss: 2001 agree: NO
TOP 08 ) had: 2007 giss: 1991 agree: NO
TOP 09 ) had: 2004 giss: 1995 agree: NO
TOP 10 ) had: 1995 giss: 1995 agree: 1995
TOP 11 ) had: 2000 giss: 2000 agree: 2000
TOP 12 ) had: 1991 giss: 1990 agree: NO
TOP 13 ) had: 1999 giss: 1981 agree: NO
TOP 14 ) had: 1990 giss: 1996 agree: NO
TOP 15 ) had: 1987 giss: 2004 agree: NO
TOP 16 ) had: 1944 giss: 1988 agree: NO
TOP 17 ) had: 1994 giss: 1997 agree: NO
TOP 18 ) had: 1988 giss: 1994 agree: NO
TOP 19 ) had: 1996 giss: 1987 agree: NO
TOP 20 ) had: 1941 giss: 1983 agree: NO

September 17, 2008 3:29 am

From the above post
“For example the UAH global temperature for the lower troposphere shows that the temperature in 2008 doesn’t get anywhere close to this claim made by NOAA”
In what way are the UAH readings and surface readings inconsistent?
AFAICT The UAH/MSU readings for the lowest part of troposphere (i.e. 3,300 ft) are still well above average. It’s only higher up in the troposphere that any significant cooling is observed.
Since the lower trop readings are closest to the surface I would expect them to be in closer in agreement. And they are!

Wolfgang Flamme
September 17, 2008 3:34 am

The ranking’s agreement about the coldest summers:
TOP 01 ) had: 1903 giss: 1891 agree: NO
TOP 02 ) had: 1911 giss: 1904 agree: NO
TOP 03 ) had: 1904 giss: 1882 agree: NO
TOP 04 ) had: 1908 giss: 1887 agree: NO
TOP 05 ) had: 1910 giss: 1912 agree: NO
TOP 06 ) had: 1909 giss: 1903 agree: NO
TOP 07 ) had: 1907 giss: 1884 agree: 1907
TOP 08 ) had: 1913 giss: 1884 agree: NO
TOP 09 ) had: 1892 giss: 1896 agree: NO
TOP 10 ) had: 1912 giss: 1918 agree: NO
TOP 11 ) had: 1916 giss: 1895 agree: NO
TOP 12 ) had: 1902 giss: 1913 agree: NO
TOP 13 ) had: 1890 giss: 1902 agree: NO
TOP 14 ) had: 1894 giss: 1881 agree: NO
TOP 15 ) had: 1923 giss: 1888 agree: NO
TOP 16 ) had: 1918 giss: 1894 agree: NO
TOP 17 ) had: 1885 giss: 1899 agree: NO
TOP 18 ) had: 1884 giss: 1923 agree: NO
TOP 19 ) had: 1891 giss: 1892 agree: NO
TOP 20 ) had: 1891 giss: 1929 agree: NO

September 17, 2008 3:53 am

Certainly the NOAA claim does not sit well for the southern hemisphere. Just looking at Sydney with data from 1890 to 2008 I ranked the data from the warmest to coldest.
Summer 2008 was 36th/77 groupings (equal years are grouped)
Winter 2008 was 21st/84
Summer average was 22.133 C versus data average of 22.052.
Winter average was 13.567 C versus data average of 13.036.
The warmest summer was 1991 at 24.65 bC and warmest winter 1988 at 14.567 C.
I also keep a plot of a 12 month moving avaerage by month to month from 1890. In 2008 the yearly average has fallen from 18.95 in Jan 08 to 18.3 C in Aug 08. This is, forgive me, “unprecedented” in the 188 years of data.
It is early yet but Sep looks like lowering it again by 0.1 C

September 17, 2008 5:39 am

“Have there been any studies to directly calibrate the various temperature standards? Casting doubt on GISS’ land surface temperature collection is not, IMHO, the most effective way to stop this nonsense. A definitive and scientifically accepted (i.e. peer reviewed and published) study that calibrates and reconciles the competing temperature standards (i.e. GISS, UAH, RSS, and HadCRUT3) is the most direct way forward.”
That would be an excerise in futility. Comparing GISS with UAH, RSS is like comparing apples and organges. Everyone (including Hansen) knows the limitations of surface based weather observations; with the exceptions of military and civil aviation weather stations, there are no standards in how stations are sited, personnel trained, or quality control applied. The global observation network that Hadley, NOAA and NASA uses has been reduced by 2/3rds since the early 1960s, and the raw data is put through a series of adjustments that render it useless from a scientific perspective. The people at NOAA and NASA are perfectly aware of this.
The amount of divergence between remote satellite soundings and GISS is so great that even Hadely recognizes that GISS represents a statistical outlier. This in and of itself disqualifies GISS statistically. NOAA isn’t much better. But, both goverment institutions have political functions to perform, and what they publish get into the “written word”. For them, that is all that counts. I don’t think these bureaucrats understand the damage they do to thier reputations. When I told my wife that according to NOAA, our part of the country had its 9th warmest summer in Histroy, she said “Tell that to the farmers who had predict low corn yields this year due to cold temperatures.”

September 17, 2008 5:56 am

Mike Ramsey,
RSS uses climate models in their calibration process IIRC. UAH uses known standards and is described somewhere in more detail.
A recent paper (Hermann?) described the error of RSS trends as being warm biased and that UAH is the more accurate assessment.
As for Hansen et al, since he believes and testified in court justifying the destruction of private property to protect earth from the evils of coal energy, is it a stretch to assume he would also justify manipulating climate data; the ends justify the means. I’m just saying……
If these “scientists” in charge of reporting climate data from the surface station network were objective and unbiased, there wouldn’t be all the alarmist propaganda on their taxpayer funded websites. Their job should be assuring accurate and precise data and reporting the results; nothing more.
I get audited no less than 6 times per year. When was the last time GISS/NOAA/Hadley was independently audited? It would be a circus. I recall Phil Jones at Hadley telling Steve McIntyre (paraphrased) “Why should I show you our data when all you’ll do is find fault with it”. Enough said.

September 17, 2008 6:23 am

Thanks for the graph, but I seem to recall a really big la Nina that lasted between 1999-2000 that was much longer and deeper than the brief La Nina that we experienced last winter and spring. Also, now that ENSO conditions have returned to normal, why are we not seeing a big spike in temperatures? It seems to me that global temperatures are currently declining, when if ENSO and Global Warming were the only things driving the climate, I would expect to see a return to a midpoint between now and 2007, which does not currently seem to be happening.
Time will tell, but it looks like we are going to see ENSO neutral conditions for the rest of the year, then a return to La Nina. My prediction is that 2009 will be no warmer than 2008 and could be cooler. I am basing this entirely on the fact that the PDO has shifted to its cool phase, which will make La Nina’s more common and deeper, and El Ninos less frequent, weaker, and shorter. Regardless, of the validity of the Svenmark Theory, shifts in the long term ocean oscillations should bring the global temperature average down.
Regardless, the next 5 years are going to be very telling about all sorts of global climate theories including CO2, solar cycles and various ocean oscillations. Now if we can just get our idiot politicians to take a wait and see approach rather than rushing in like fools, and our propaganda networks to start to provide real information to the non-nerd masses, then we will have something, yeah?

Brian H
September 17, 2008 6:39 am
Can anyone provide specifics on this? I have seen photos today of light snow cover in the mountains around Berchtesgaden ( at around 1800m), but heard nothing of any passes not opening or villages snowed in.

September 17, 2008 6:57 am

Yea the next 5 years could determine the state of the next 25!!!!
With climate instability and a financial crisis I definitely dont feel confident about anything 🙁
In other news, did you know Chuck Norris “developed” jeans?

September 17, 2008 7:10 am

The NYT article was a notch above the usual sky-is-falling report in that one of the scientists quoted crawled out on a limb and called this year’s melt to be the infamous “tipping point” we have all been waiting for. I am keeping a file of the most outrageous stories for future reference. Perhaps they can be served as a side dish with the crow that will need to be eaten in a few years.

Jeff Alberts
September 17, 2008 8:05 am
AT 7:00 am BST it was on the “Front Page” of the web-site at 9:00 BST it was lost and had to be searched for.

You mean wind and solar can’t take up the slack?? I’m shocked! Shocked I say!

September 17, 2008 8:22 am
According to AMSU-A TEMPERATURE data as per the above web page , the plot of 2008 summer temperatures compares very closely with the record 2005 summer temperatures at 3300 ft or 1 km height. The data shows that the Troposphere at this elevation is warmer in 2008 than the 20 year average.
September 15
YEAR 2005 30.11 [F]
YEAR 2008 29.91 [F]

September 17, 2008 8:54 am

Here’s the deal.
We are around 385 Growing Degree Days short of “avg” at this point in the season. There have been an awful lot of days this summer where we have been 20 degrees below average. Some days the high is just above the “average” low. In short, I’m not buyin it. This is in Central MO. I still want to see a graph of the highs, and the lows, along an average to know where this “avg” temperature comes from, and how the temps that matter to the real world (aka agriculture) are reflected.
Anybody got that??????
I can’t find it.

Mike Ramsey
September 17, 2008 9:20 am

NOAA and GISS are publicly funded institutions. They are subject to the Freedom of Information Act. A FOIA request for raw GISS and NOAA temperature data would be hard to beat down.
“Most of [Remote Sensing Systems] research is supported by the Earth Science Enterprise program at NASA.” Once again, a FOIA request seems in order.
These guys are spending our money. They need to be held accountable for how that money is spent. Congress seems unable or unwilling to perform that oversight. Perhaps private citizens or public interest groups need to get more involved.
One last point. Hansen has said that he uses “satellite-observed night lights to determine which stations in the United States are located in urban and peri-urban areas, the long-term trends of those stations being adjusted to agree with long-term trends of nearby rural stations.”
Note that the data is not discarded but adjusted. How is this data adjusted? Is the process open to outside review? Sounds like another FOIA request. The various efforts to investigate the condition of weather stations might better be focused on those stations being used to adjust the urban stations. If they are bad then the adjustments are bad.
–Mike Ramsey

September 17, 2008 9:32 am

How is this data adjusted?
Well, IIRC, from CA, around 40% is adjusted warmer. (Urban cool parks, you see.) Overall, I believe there is a minuscule cooling adjustment applied.
But then, NOAA adjusts SHAP warmer to account for site violations.
Is the process open to outside review?
CA has been trying to desconstruct the ASCII dump.

September 17, 2008 9:48 am

Mike Ramsey,
Both Anthony Watts and ClimateAudit have many posts on the ‘lights=0’ methodology of GISS discriminating between urban and rural. Where is the validation of this method?
It is not unlike arm waiving statements at NOAA et al that “urban heat island effects have been accounted for”. There are are numerous peer reviewed papers dispelling that assumption.
Further, micro site issues have also been documented at and in other peer reviewed articles.
I am viewing these matters from experience in my field of work, not merely as a skeptic. Seriously, if industrial standards applied to climate “science”, submitting data claiming to be within +/-.075 C with the problems highlighted with these surface stations would result in revoking said lab’s certification.

Chance Metz
September 17, 2008 10:11 am

Guess they leave out places that had a cool summer this year too.

Frederick Davies
September 17, 2008 11:38 am

“From my perspective as surveyor of the USHCN network, and knowing firsthand just how corrupted the data measuring system is, I have a lot of trouble believing this claim. The satellite data says otherwise.”
We, in the IT industry, have a more direct way of saying the above: GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.

September 17, 2008 1:55 pm

Well, heck! Thought I would post something that would be of enormoous importance, and just put this topic to bed…..but I just don’t have the mental capacity or …..where was I? 🙂
Anecdotally, I can pull up my electricity bill and compare kwh usage for each month/year that I’ve been a consumer. My summertime usage was 75% less than just last year, 50% less then the year before last. Of course, if I mnassage my data in an arcane and unknowable way, maybe I can convince you that in fact, my bill actually increased?
I find it amazing that there is no standard for temperature recording, or one that is followed. That our temperature record is continually adjusted, “in the dark”, so to speak. This should absolutely be completely open, open to review and debate (as needed) so that the real “picture” could more easily be revealed. To do otherwise speaks loudly of the fragility of the process, and opens the door to calls of fraud and deceit.

Derek D
September 17, 2008 2:18 pm

Big Whoop!
I mean isn’t this what we’ve been saying all along. The climate is subject to normal and random variations. Warmists go to such great lengths to stretch everything to fit the AGW dogma, but as reasonable scientifically grounded intellectuals, we must see that there is no point in trying to rebut their assertions point for point lest we should enlist to the same madness. So this August was hot. It was sure hot here in California. So! Guess what, August 1987 was hotter. I very clearly reacall the week I spent sleeping in a tent at summer camp, when daytime temperatures were in the 100s. It doesn’t mean anything except what Anthony has asserted for so long, it is what it is.
In any debate it is important not to compromise your position by attempting to convey your points in someone else’s context. A hot August in no way shape or form contradicts the “normal variation” position. And while this would seem to also score a point for the Warmists, the fact that the months preceding August were so irregularly cold, the heating in August still goes further towards validating normal variation than it does AGW. Also keep in mind that many reporting agencies were inexplicibly in a heated rush to call a minor speck on the sun a sunspot recently . Many took this as a rush to dispel some theories about the suns role (imagine that) in alleged global warming. However again, justaposing new sunspots and a warmer August create a more compelling case for the natural variation crowd, than for the Warmists. So the “mania” ends up contradicting itself, and providing a well constructed case for the more rational thinkers. Good things happen when you stand firm in your beliefs.
Have you all heard that this year saw the second lowest Arctic Sea ice levels in recorded history, after last year. Sure you could also say that Arctic Sea ice levels are UP 9% from last year, but who would that scare.

Mike Ramsey
September 17, 2008 4:33 pm

I have done a little research. Hansen’s 2001 paper can be found here:
Commenting on Hansen’s 2001 paper, Steve McIntyre had this to say,
“Indeed, a notable feature of the Hansen urban adjustment statistical method is that its efficacy is not actually demonstrated on a statistical data set of known properties, but is merely asserted and then implemented in an important practical setting – a practice that we’ve seen elsewhere in climate articles.” As you said, this is really bad science.
Positive and Negative Urban Adjustments
by Steve McIntyre on March 1st, 2008
Steve McIntyre did an audit of the 7364 stations in the GISS network. In this audit of the actual data Steve classified each station by the type of adjustmnet applied. The results are shown below.
… U.S. ROW Total
Negative 740 (39%) 1108 (20%) 1848 (25%)
Positive 1003 (52%) 1233 (23%) 2236 (30%)
“Bipolar” 324 (17%) 335 (6%) 659 (9%)
Adjusted 1419 (74%) 2006 (37%) 3425 (47%)
Not Adjusted 353 (18%) 2220 (41%) 2573 (35%)
Not Used 149 (8%) 1217 (22%) 1366 (19%)
Total 1921 (100%) 5443 (100%) 7364 (100%)
The NASA negative adjustments *increase* the urbanization effects. What possible justification can there be for this?
“There are many striking aspects to the adjustment inventory.
First, 74% of all U.S. stations are adjusted, while only 37% of ROW stations are adjusted. This is a statistically significant difference by any measure. Is this because the ROW stations are, on average, located in more rural settings than in the US? Or is it because of a difference in methodology (or metadata)? While no one to my knowledge has carried out the engineering-quality investigations necessary to resolve the matter, my impression is that the US has made a fairly concerted effort to maintain weather stations in rural settings (Orland, Miles City etc.) and that many ROW stations are in cities and small towns (especially airports). Using a consistent apples-and-apples population classification, I would be very surprised if this very large difference between U.S. and ROW classifications held up.
Second, negative urban adjustments are not an exotic situation. In the ROW, there are almost the same number of negative adjustments as positive adjustments. In the U.S., there are about 50% more positive adjustments as negative adjustments – again a noticeable difference to the ROW. Some commenters on my Peruvian post seemed to think that negative urban adjustments were an oddball and very anomalous situation. In fact, that’s not the case, negative adjustments are nearly as common as positive adjustments. As such, extreme cases (such as Puerto Maldonado) need to be analyzed and explained. ”
Why is this not out and out fraud and scientific misconduct? Who is standing behind these guys?
Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey
September 17, 2008 5:18 pm

Derek D.,
The global sea ice coverage (arctic plus antarctic combined) is only running 2 million square kilometers below normal. That is a drop in the bucket.
Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey
September 17, 2008 6:00 pm

Thank you for the pointer to the paper comparing UAH and RSS Microwave Sounding Unit Derived Tropospheric Temperature data.
“Results indicate the greatest discrepancies were over time periods where NOAA-11 through NOAA-15 adjustments were applied to the raw LT data over land. Discrepancies in the LT channel are shown to be dominated by differences in diurnal correction methods due to orbital drift; however, discrepancies from target parameter differences are also present.Comparison of MSU data with the a reduce RATPAC radiosonde dataset indicates that RSS’s method (use of climate model) of determining diurnal effects is likely overestimating the correction in the LT channel. Diurnal correction signatures still exist in the RSS LT time series and are likely affecting the long term trend with a warm bias.”
UAH data
is more accurate. Why hasn’t Remote Sensing Systems (Carl Mears) corrected its data?
Mike Ramsey

September 17, 2008 8:20 pm

So it’s even worse than I thought, then. My bad. So UHI is like SHAP. As Al Gore once put it, “Everything that is supposed to be UP is DOWN and everything that is supposed to be DOWN is UP.”
I guess my mind just refused to retain such nonsense.
Is this because the ROW stations are, on average, located in more rural settings than in the US?
At a guess, it’s because US cities are, on average, better lighted.
Which factor alone would make a complete hash of the “lights equal” methodology.

Mike Ramsey
September 18, 2008 8:43 am

Yes, this is not a pretty picture.
BTW, John Christy & David Douglass (citing the Randall & Herman paper) state the case for UAH MSU data being more accurate than the RSS MSU data and shows that the RSS MSU data contains a warming bias. See “Appendix A. Comparison of MSU and RSS” in
–Mike Jr

Mike Ramsey
September 18, 2008 9:17 am

Leif Svalgaard (00:23:05) :
Figure (A1) seems to be correlation plot of smoothed values. If so, the R2 values are much to high [i.e. nonsense] as adjacent data points are not independent. This would [should!] never have passed peer-review [certainly not if I were a reviewer].

Go back to the original data from
and look at
Mike Ramsey

September 22, 2008 6:52 am

2nd consecutive summer with zero heatwave alerts in Britain. Astonishing.

Roger Knights
December 6, 2008 8:21 am

Dan wrote: “I am keeping a file of the most outrageous stories for future reference. Perhaps they can be served as a side dish with the crow that will need to be eaten in a few years.”
This is a great idea, not just for vengeance’s sake, but to create a cautionary document to be cited the next time hotheads go on a crusade–and to demonstrate the fallibility and worse of Science-as-an-institution.

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