Ireland has 30 year cold event, plus coldest September in 14 years

From the Press Association

Most of the country suffered the coldest September in 14 years, forecasters revealed.

In its monthly summary Met Eireann said the temperature never rose above 20 Celsius anywhere – the first such occurrence in more than 30 years.

Average monthly air temperatures were around half a degree below normal at some southern weather stations and it was the coolest September since 1994 almost everywhere. Forecasters said they were unable to predict the weather over the winter months but the Met Office in Britain claimed temperatures are likely to be above normal over much of Europe, although not as mild as last year.The summer washout seeped into the first half of September, with Dublin stations recording their usual monthly level of rainfall within the first six days.

This also brought the stations’ annual totals for 2008 above the amount normally recorded in a full year. Dublin Airport’s downpour of 43.5mm on the 5th was its highest level for September since the station opened in 1941, while torrential rain on September 9 and 10 caused widespread flooding, especially in the south and west.

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119 thoughts on “Ireland has 30 year cold event, plus coldest September in 14 years

  1. the Met Office in Britain claimed temperatures are likely to be above normal over much of Europe

    Pity they don’t define what they mean by “normal”. Didn’t they also claim the temperatures over the summer months where above normal by using a 150 year average instead of the usual 30 year one?

  2. Yes and in Switzerland September was even 1-2°C below average. This morning I can even see the first snow at altitudes as low as 1200m (3600feet)
    But this is only weather, not climate as we all are told over and over again

  3. As I live in Northern Ireland, I can vouch for this. We’ve had bad flooding on two occasions, with the first time resulting in a paramedic arriving at our house on a tractor (looking for another address, thankfully!).
    The summer was a complete washout. We had some warm weather in May and since then it’s been dismal. It rained most days and the temperature never really got high and summer just seemed to stall. This week it has started to get rather wintry too and we’ve had a few fires to keep warm.
    I heard the other day on the BBC weather forecast that this winter will be “mild”. I’m thinking it may end up rather bitter!

  4. @John Phillips:
    It is absolutely important to inspect any sites that contribute to a public claim like this. We might find they are on pavement and the actual temperature should be even lower.

  5. September Temperatures
    It’ll be interesting to see how the September temperatures come out
    – from the AMSU satellite info, it looks like September has been the warmest (relatively) month of the year so far, with anomaly of around 0.2C
    – still slightly colder than last year though
    It’ll be interesting to see how the temperature map out for the rest of the year…

  6. Here is a site that has recorded the building of an new summit station and restaurant on Mt Snowdon in North Wales.
    http://blog.snowdonia-active.com/
    There are some stunning photographs, but the main reason for the link can be found in this extract:
    “The redevelopment of Snowdon’s summit building has coincided with some of the worst summer weather Wales has experienced. According to the Met Office, the total mean rainfall for Wales during May-July 2007 of 502mm was twice the average and the highest since records began in 1914. And the figures for June/July this year are also well above normal with a rainfall figure of 141mm for Wales during July. Imagine what it’s like working in twice the normal amount of rain at the top of Snowdon where the topography means you can expect around 4000mm a year anyway!”
    Of course, the Met Office make no comment as to the reasons for such atrocious conditions, but what else would you expect from them?
    On 21st April 2008
    “Despite steadily rising temperatures snow has continued to prevent Snowdon Mountain Railway from taking workers to Snowdon’s summit. However, today the train couldn’t even reach the snow-line. It had to stop below Clogwyn owing to winds gusting up to 50 m.p.h. A few workmen set off walking to look at the condition of the snow with a view to possibly ‘tracking down’ a machine from the summit to dig out the line.
    For camera crews and reporters on a press trip organised by the National Park, the high winds meant they had to observe the snow and cloud covered summit from a distance. Addressing the media, Carillion’s Regional Director, Meirion Evans described the late snowfalls as “unbelievable” and said: “It’s been very frustrating for the workmen, getting up in the early hours and heading up the mountain but being unable to reach the top. I’ve huge admiration for them. There are 12 weeks of work left to do.”
    Snowdonia National Park Chief Executive, Aneurin Phillips, had some good news from the Welsh European Funding Office. They have extended the deadline to early Autumn for completing the building and drawing down the £4.2 million grant funds.
    Last Friday, winds were averaging 85 m.p.h. at Clogwyn gusting to 113 m.p.h. around lunchtime. On the Beaufort scale winds in the range 73-83 m.p.h. are described as Hurricane Force. But these figures are eclipsed by the 132 m.ph. gust recorded on February 25th this year; very likely the highest wind speed recorded at Clogwyn this decade.
    The “Elephant in the room”, look you boyo!

  7. John Philip(s)
    Can we trust the data?
    Probably not – are you volunteering to go to Ireland to document their stations for the SurfaceStations project?

  8. Didn’t they also claim the temperatures over the summer months where above normal by using a 150 year average instead of the usual 30 year one?””
    No.
    I’m no great fan of the UK met office, but their assessment of the summer temps was spot on. In the context of the last 30 years, 2008 was pretty much an average summer. If you look further back it was a warmer than average summer. For exampe only 2 years in the 1960s were warmer, i.e. 1967 and 1969.
    The trouble is people have become acclimatised to much warmer summers in the past decade or so and so an average summer seems cool.

  9. Re: John and Dee
    I jhave looked at the UK Met office site to see the locations of the weather stations that they sue for collating information. I could not see a reference to them so I have emailed asking where I could find that information. Will let you know if I get a reply.

  10. The UK data needs investigating. We’re one huge UHI. Also the CET recording stations have moved numerous times, and this is not very well detailed to the public. It takes a lot of investigation to find out what has been going on. Incidentally anyone wanting to track a good measure of UK temperatures in realtime can do so here http://www.climate-uk.com – this is run by the respected Philip Eden and updated daily most of the time.

  11. Not to mention seeing how the outliers fit with the trend … http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=621039760004&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1
    Here’s the full sentence from Irish Met Office “Mean monthly air temperatures were near normal generally, but were around half a degree below normal at some southern stations and it was the coolest September since 1994 almost everywhere. At no station did the temperature rise above 20°C during the month, the first such occurrence in September since 1974.”
    Which has me scratching my head – temperatures near-normal and coolest since 1994? Go figure.
    http://www.met.ie/climate/monthly-summary.asp
    PS I see Killkenny on February 13th reached 15.9C – the highest February value since records began there in 1957
    😉

  12. Western Europe has had in general a much cooler September when compared to previous years. But on the other hand, Eastern Europe has been noticeably warmer, so it all balances out. We have to take a look at the upcoming Sept. global temps. Clearly the 10-year trend is downward.
    But this will change in November as a new US government will skew the data to show a rapidly warming world, no matter what themometers may say and how much snow we’ll have to shovel.
    And, as I’ve said countless times, expect Gore to become the next Enviro-Czar.
    The next Admin is poised to seriously overreach.

  13. Terry S,
    Europe is quite big. If you factor in Eastern Europe, it might be a little milder than normal this winter (hut not MUCH warmer than normal, as predictions have previously claimed).

  14. September in Donegal has been good and well in keeping with my lifelong estimate of the month.
    It has certainly turned cold now – my subjective nose poked out the door last evening could detect frost though it never came to it.
    I am heartened that they admit they can’t forecast the winter – they have trouble enough on a day to day basis.

  15. So, the global temp seems to be getting back to high levels? I’m not really surprised since la nina (finally) faded away, but on the other hand I was expecting the aerosols and sulfates fom the volcano-somewhere-north (just can’t remember its name) to cool things quite a bit.

  16. This is the reply from the Met Office.
    Makes it rather difficukt to question any dat or weather station evidence as done in USA by Anthony’s team!
    Dear Denis
    Thank you for your email.
    As our station network is constantly changing and updating , so we do not keep a current station list under the public domain. If you wish to tell me your location and what data you require i will find the closest station to you.
    Kind Regards
    Sara-Jane

  17. re: clique2 It seems that those are just a sample.
    Frtom their site it says…
    “No allowances have been made for small site changes and developments in instrumentation. MAKES YOU WONDER WHAT QUALIFIES AS A SMALL SITE CHANGE.
    Station data are only updated after the full network and quality control has been carried out. This usually takes around four to six months.”
    Could all be perfectly legitimate. Perhaps I should ask them if they are aware of the problems exposed by Anthony’s surveys in America and if they are confident that such issues do not apply here.

  18. Oh no, Europe has lowered CO2 levels too far and bitter cold will freeze it over for years to come. Man has tinkered with earth’s normal balance and adjustments. It’s so cold now that the inner core of the earth is cooling at a rapid rate.
    It’s all too funny that man thinks he is in control of anything.

  19. @Phil M
    I think Sept. MSU data will spike upward due to the recent tropical activity, but October will begin the downward slide.
    The oceans have stored enormous amounts of heat the last 30 years. Fortunately this process is slow in both directions so surface temperatures will not plummet straight down. If the ocean heating mechanism whether it be from AGW (has anyone qualitatively demonstrated how?) or direct solar radiation (a novel idea) do not replenish the heat, there is nowhere for surface temperatures to go but down.
    The Arctic is 2-8 degrees below last year at this time which usually translates into eventually making it down to Michigan where I live.
    Is the sun responsible for what is occurring? Is AGW?

  20. “But this will change in November as a new US government will skew the data to show a rapidly warming world, no matter what themometers may say and how much snow we’ll have to shovel.”
    Mais le President nouveau n’assumera pas sa charge avant 21 janvier, 2009.

  21. Denis Hopkins (01:59:32) :
    Re: John and Dee
    I have looked at the UK Met office site to see the locations of the weather stations that they sue for collating information. I could not see a reference to them so I have emailed asking where I could find that information. Will let you know if I get a reply.

    Not sure if I’m the John you are referring to. But, although, I accept that UHI exists I’ m not convinced it’s had that much of an influence in the last 40 or 50 years. There may be some exceptions to this. I think that the very hot July 2006 temps were probably inflated by a significant retention of heat by buildings and roads, for example.
    One of the temperature observation sites often cited by sceptics is the Armagh Observatory (NI) because of it’s rural, unchanging location. But if you compare recent temperature trends at Armagh with those at Aldegrove airport (Belfast) there’s not much in it. In fact the Armagh trend is slightly higher (though probably not significantly). I’ve also noticed the same with local stations which are in locations that have remained broadly the same over the past 50-60 years. The trends are pretty much in line with the with general UK/CET trends.
    On an anecdotal note: It is quite definitely warmer nowadays (since the 80s) than it was in the 1960s.
    Phil M Re: MSU temps
    Unless La Nina makes a comeback, it’s likely there will be a gradual return to early/mid 2007 temperatures. If the Sun does have any effect it’s not going to be noticeable for some time yet. As for the change in PDO phase? Has it happened? How does anyone know? I find it hard to find concrete information about the PDO switch and I’m concerned that it may be a “warmist” plot, i.e. the PDO is in a cool phase but temps remain high so it must be CO2……

  22. With respect, all of this “coldest in 57 years, warmest this decade, 32nd warmest in 42 years, not in living memory” etc etc is just anecdotal chit chat. They could all be true and still there might be general warming/cooling or stasis. Why? Because they are not really scientific observations – they simply can’t bear the weight of conclusions which people seek to place upon them.
    Whether the temperature goes up for a few months/years or down, of itself proves nothing as to the cause (e.g. AGW or whatever).
    Since temperatures have been (much) higher and (much) lower than they now are, a bit of variation up or down doesn’t really tell you very much other than that the earth’s weather and climate are variable.
    The core of the argument has to be whether or not the present aspects of climate are so different from what has happened in the past as to require an explanation which goes beyond the usual (i.e. natural) causes of climate.
    It seems to me that we are not in such a circumstance and that therefor no special cause needs to be sought out.

  23. At the station of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium at Uccle, near Brussels, the mean temperature of September 2008 was 14.0 °C, while the “normal” for September is 14.6. (I don’t know to what 30-year period this normal refers). So September was slightly colder than normal; the eignht first months of this year were warmer than normal.

  24. This is just MORE proof of global warming! It causes weather extremes including cooling, warming, and no change at all. Droughts, floods and normal rainfall are all attributable to AGW.

  25. John Finn (01:54:26)
    “I’m no great fan of the UK met office, but their assessment of the summer temps was spot on. In the context of the last 30 years, 2008 was pretty much an average summer.”
    It was definitely not “pretty much an average summer.”
    The persistent cloud cover that kept the daytime highs cool also kept the nighttime lows warmer.
    Being “under the storm track” for virtually the entire summer – especially “awful August” is definitely not a pretty much average summer.

  26. In the US meanwhile, the seasonal Parade of Cold Fronts across the country is beginning.
    Looking at the weather charts for the next couple weeks, it seems the cold air wants to take the northwestern route into the US, coming out of western Canada and Alaska into Washington and Oregon, then eastward into the rest of the country from there, staying mostly across the “northern tier.”
    So episodes of heavy snow in the Cascades and northern Rockies over the next couple weeks.
    A couple of Deep upper-air closed lows over the southwest US, as some of the cold air “splits” and heads southward as it enters the country.
    Most of the eastern third of the country staying mild.
    If you use heating oil, this is good for you – no real cold weather in the northeast means it won’t be “evident” to traders that winter weather is beginning, and they won’t bid up the prices yet – still good bargains to be had.
    Personally, I use electric heat, and I’ve already filled up my garage and all my closets with all the electrons I can get my hands on.

  27. The Enterprise, Oregon private station recorded mostly higher day to day temps for September compared to the same site last year. The one drawback to that observation is that when the day’s average was lower it was REALLY lower, but when it was higher, it was only slightly higher. It is possible that the monthly average may come out below last year because of those few drastic drops, but overall, it didn’t feel like it was colder than last year. I try not to remember those nights that were colder than a witch’s teat and prefer to remember warm and fuzzy nights.

  28. Some here (especially Mary Hinge) may remember that I’ve been saying for some time that the temps recorded and shown as the Central England Temperature simply don’t match what we here in the UK feel.

  29. John Finn (05:39:18) :
    “I think that the very hot July 2006 temps were probably inflated by a significant retention of heat by buildings and roads, for example.”
    Presumably the same roads and buildings are there, if not more, so I can’t see where you are going with this. As this summer has shown the prevailing position of the jet stream and the NAO are the important factors in western European weather. In 2006 the Jet stream was much further south, you can see this nicely in this image from July 2006. It is represented by the blue band off the Canaries. http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.7.15.2006.gif
    “Unless La Nina makes a comeback, it’s likely there will be a gradual return to early/mid 2007 temperatures.”
    This seems unlikely now, a neutral state looks likely, compare the SST anomolies from last year http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.10.4.2007.gif
    to this year http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/data/anomnight.10.2.2008.gif
    “As for the change in PDO phase? Has it happened? How does anyone know? I find it hard to find concrete information about the PDO switch and I’m concerned that it may be a “warmist” plot, i.e. the PDO is in a cool phase but temps remain high so it must be CO2”
    Enough of this paranoia, there is no plot! The PDO is in cool phase at the moment, you can see this on this years and last years SST anomoloies above. However bear in mind that the Western Pacific is warmer than average so ‘Cool Phase’ and ‘Warm Phase’ are typical American arogance and should be +ive or -ive. We are currently in a -ive phase though this phase does seem to be weakening rapidly.
    “…so it must be CO2”
    You’ve hit it in a nutshell!

  30. For those that have read my previous posts will know I have a theory on the gas planets and sunspots. And we know that Neptune and Uranus have come together during the last major solar minimums….Dalton etc.
    Lets take it to the next level.
    The sunspot peaks alternate between Jupiter and Saturn coming together and Jupiter and Saturn being apposed (with a positive/negative time effect from Neptune/Uranus) see this graph http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/sunssbamcycles.jpg
    The top of the cycle (red square) is the conjunction of Jupiter & Saturn.
    The bottom of the cycle(blue square) is Jupiter/Saturn apposed.
    For the sake of argument lets call the upward slope a positive effect and the downward a negative. For billions of years the Suns dynamo has been working with this rhythm. At the peak of the conjunction the polarity of the dynamo changes to negative which starts the decline in sunspot activity (the planetary force also does a reversal) this goes on till the cycle has ended. The next cycle begins with a reverse polarity which now sends the sunspot activity up until it reaches the opposition which changes the dynamo polarity and starts the decline again. Perfectly in balance and everybody is happy.
    Then Neptune and Uranus come together and give and added bonus to both the conjuncture and the opposition which has a negative and positive effect on sunspot production because we now have a change in the normal cycle.
    Not terribly easy to explain on here but hope you get it…i will have to update my report.
    http://users.beagle.com.au/geoffsharp/gasgiants.pdf

  31. Personally, I use electric heat, and I’ve already filled up my garage and all my closets with all the electrons I can get my hands on.
    Careful! You’ll use up your electron credits and have to buy more. I’m sure some kind soul will trade you theirs for some of your CO2 credits…

  32. “The sunspot peaks alternate between Jupiter and Saturn coming together and Jupiter and Saturn being apposed.”
    This is nonsense. The mean synodic Jupiter-Saturn period is 19.86 years, the half of which is 9.93 years. Hence, the interval between Jupiter and Saturn coming together and being opposed, 9.93 years, is sensibly smaller than the mean length of the sunspot cycle.
    Just forget the planets!

  33. Denis Hopkins (01:59:32) :
    But, although, I accept that UHI exists I’ m not convinced it’s had that much of an influence in the last 40 or 50 years.

    I live in the UK and last winter a couple of the BBC’s weather forecasts had statements similar to this:
    Overnight temperatures will be as low as -4C in central England, 0C in towns and cities
    The forecast temperature difference between rural and urban was 4C which is, I think, significant.

  34. Regarding British weather records, for what it’s worth I’ve maintained my own weather station in my backyard on the outskirts of Dundee, Scotland, since summer 2003. Until I saw Anthony’s photos of some of the stations in the USA I figured my own station’s location wasn’t up to the high standards of ‘professional’ meteorologists. However, as it’s nowhere near the outlet of an air conditioner and isn’t obscured by an overhanging tree branch, maybe it’s not so bad…
    Anyway, if anyone is interested, data from station are posted every 15 minutes to my website here . There are daily archives going back to July 2003, and for the complete years 2004 – 2007 inclusive, I’ve detected zero change in the annual average temperature (to an accuracy of 0.1 C). 2008 so far is considerably cooler than the 2004-2007 average. No sign of global warming, anthropogenic or otherwise, here in Dundee.

  35. John Finn (05:39:18) :
    “although, I accept that UHI exists I’ m not convinced it’s had that much of an influence in the last 40 or 50 years. There may be some exceptions to this.”
    Here are statistics from a comprehensive study in California on trends in measured temperatures over 86 years:
    Counties with >1 million Population +4F
    Counties with >100,000 pop, but < 1 million pop +1F
    Counties with <100,000 +0F
    (I have the graphic but not the website handy.) Apparently, studying a large number of stations suggests that UHI does have a noticeable influence. If you would like anecdotal evidence for significant impact, look at http://www.surfacestations.org/. Take note of the two pictures at the bottom of the home page.
    **********************************************
    “On an anecdotal note: It is quite definitely warmer nowadays (since the 80s) than it was in the 1960s.”
    I do not think that you would find any serious opposition to that statement. Nor would there be objection to saying that the world is warmer now than 150 years ago.
    However, a number — but probably not a majority — of people would object to saying that rural areas are warmer now than in the 1930s. In the United States, the heat and drought of the 1930s not only led to large #s of animal deaths from heat exhaustion, but also the climate then caused numerous prairie lakes to dry up. Those lakes are now back and are vibrant. Nevertheless, these are US anecdotes, and those with the resources ($) say that the world as a whole is warmer now than the 30s.
    That being said, I believe that most knowledgeable people are shocked to find that peer-reviewed studies can get by with declarations that we are warmer now that in the MWP.

  36. Jean Meeus (08:08:36) :
    “The sunspot peaks alternate between Jupiter and Saturn coming together and Jupiter and Saturn being apposed.”
    This is nonsense. The mean synodic Jupiter-Saturn period is 19.86 years,
    Was waiting for you to comment on that Jean. If you read it correctly you will see I compensate for your argument by saying Neptune and Uranus can extend or shorten the TOTAL cycle as happens. Look at the graph I linked to and plot the sunspot peaks thru time…you will see they line up. Until you can give me a solid argument to the contrary I will pursue my theory.

  37. Mary Hinge (07:29:25) :
    John Finn (05:39:18) :
    ” “Unless La Nina makes a comeback, it’s likely there will be a gradual return to early/mid 2007 temperatures.”
    This seems unlikely now, a neutral state looks likely…”
    I’m not at all convinced of that.
    There’s a rather complex discussion of atmospheric and ocean patterns (written by an active NWS SOO (Science and Operations Officer) here
    http://weatherclimatelink.blogspot.com/
    and this is one of the conclusions:
    “…These are all characteristics of the global circulation trying to return to a La-Nina base state…”

  38. Mary Hinge (07:29:25) :
    Presumably the same roads and buildings are there, if not more, so I can’t see where you are going with this
    They weren’t always there. The point I’m making is that Urban Heat is only really a factor during weather extremes.
    Enough of this paranoia, there is no plot! The PDO is in cool phase at the moment, you can see this on this years and last years SST anomoloies above
    I think you’re looking at the short-term variation rather than the multi-decadal shifts such as those which took place in the early 1940s and mid 1970s. That’s a bit like looking at this years temps and deciding that warming has ended and cooling has now taken over.
    “…so it must be CO2″ <
    You’ve hit it in a nutshell!
    I’m not convinced CO2 is a major climate driver but I need a lot more time than I’ve got at the moment to explain why.
    John-x
    Uk temps were very much around average. it was a bit wetter than normal but this is a country which for many years was well used to getting regular summer soakings. It’s only in recent years that summer BBQs have become the rage.

  39. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/10/02/eafuel102.xml
    “Fuel poverty: 1m more households slip into category
    “…”The only long term solution to fuel poverty is a massive energy efficiency programme. This will heat homes, cut bills and help meet our targets for tackling climate change…”
    The ONLY solution? LONG TERM solution??
    This article is really something to read.
    There is not one mention of supply, only of “energy efficiency” (insulation, weather stripping), and of course, a “windfall profits tax.”
    Meanwhile, some in the UK (far too few apparently) realize that “The Energy Crunch Cometh”
    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Global_Warming_Politics/A_Hot_Topic_Blog/Entries/2008/10/2_The_Energy_Crunch_Cometh.html
    “Britain is now being once again described as the sick man of Europe, with the highest gas and electricity prices, the heaviest extra taxes and charges, the weakest gas storage facilities, a prospect of the most inadequate power generating infrastructure and the worst fuel poverty.” [From: the ‘Opening Remarks’ by The Rt. Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford…”
    Meanwhile, in the USA…
    “The U.S. Faces Serious Risks of Brownouts or Blackouts in 2009, Study Warns”
    http://www.nextgenenergy.org/Portals/NextGen/studies/Nextgen_Lights_Out_Study.pdf
    “…the single biggest threat to system reliability is opposition from well-funded environmental groups that oppose and file lawsuits against virtually every new electricity project proposed….”
    And who is this “NextGen Energy Council?”
    “… a non-profit collaborative of Western and Great Plains Governors, State and federal legislators, State and federal agency officials, business leaders, conservation groups and others committed to accelerating the development of next-generation advanced coal technologies, fossil-renewable hybrid systems and strategies for increasing the economic utilization of carbon dioxide.”
    They estimate we’ll need 120 GIGAWATTS of new generation, just between now and 2016, and it’s being fought tooth-and-nail by “well-funded environmental groups.”
    We could end up like Britain, where any new, serious generation is so off-limits that we’re only permitted to talk about insulation and weather stripping as an “energy plan.”
    “Green” is merely a feeling.
    It’s nothing at all compared to freezing, so I still hold out some hope for next year.

  40. John Meeus has a good theory with his planetary stuff. J. H Nelson wrote Cosmic Patterns and he had the flare cycle so sussed that he would turn his radio communicatons to a different channel before the flares disrupted the other channel. He knew when. Once again he hasn’t been discredited in reality although it can appear as such. We should synthesise this in our understanding.
    By the way an old way I heard through a farmer of telling the weather in Wales is through the honeysuckle growth. This year its saying its going to be a cold winter he said although how cold I don’t know.

  41. John-X (08:53:28) :
    “I’m not at all convinced of that………………“…These are all characteristics of the global circulation trying to return to a La-Nina base state…””
    First thanks for the link, very interesting discussion. I think the crucial word here is ‘trying’. Looking at the Pacific last year compared to this year shows a less defined system so I stand by the prediction of a neutral ENSO this winter.
    John Finn (09:34:14) :
    “They weren’t always there. The point I’m making is that Urban Heat is only really a factor during weather extremes. ”
    I see where you are going now but remember that in 1976 there were a lot less roads and buildings and it was a hotter summer in the UK than 2006.
    “I think you’re looking at the short-term variation rather than the multi-decadal shifts such as those which took place in the early 1940s and mid 1970s. That’s a bit like looking at this years temps and deciding that warming has ended and cooling has now taken over. ”
    I can’t see where you’re heading with this, the PDO is a multi-decadal shift, I was explaining the misnomer of ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ PDO.
    “I’m not convinced CO2 is a major climate driver but I need a lot more time than I’ve got at the moment to explain why.”
    Whenever you’re ready!

  42. MAKES YOU WONDER WHAT QUALIFIES AS A SMALL SITE CHANGE.
    That’s when you replace a Stevenson Screen with an MMTS and put it within 10′ of the house.

  43. Mary Hinge (11:14:03) :
    “I think the crucial word here is ‘trying’.”
    The crucial word here is ‘global.’
    “Looking at the Pacific last year compared to this year shows a less defined system so I stand by the prediction of a neutral ENSO this winter.”
    As the page’s author, Ed Berry (the NWS SOO) cautions,
    “…Overall, there are many similarities to the SST patterns compared to a year ago.
    “This in itself demonstrates the scientific incompleteness of just using Nino 3.4 to define not only ENSO, but the impacts of global tropical SSTs onto the atmospheric circulation…”

  44. Looking at the Pacific last year compared to this year shows a less defined system so I stand by the prediction of a neutral ENSO this winter.

    Do the GCMs predict the same?

  45. John-X (11:35:06) :
    Time will tell but the ‘similar patterns’ are very different in their intensities compared to last year.

  46. “John Finn:
    “I’m no great fan of the UK met office, but their assessment of the summer temps was spot on. In the context of the last 30 years, 2008 was pretty much an average summer. If you look further back it was a warmer than average summer. For example only 2 years in the 1960s were warmer, i.e. 1967 and 1969.”
    However, if you go EVEN further back, you will see that between 1931 and 1960, the following years had a warmer summer CET than 2008:
    1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1955, 1957 and 1959;
    and the following years had exactly the same summer CET as 2008:
    1930, 1936, 1939, 1953 and 1960
    Only 8 years were cooler, and 2 of those were cooler by just 0.1C
    If you take the 2007/8 average summer CET of 15.3, there was no pair of consecutive years at all between 1932 and 1945 which had such a low average, and this would have extended to 1953 were it not for 1945/6 (combined average 15.2)
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_mean.txt
    If you go WAY back, you will find that there have been 141 summers with a warmer CET than 2008, and 176 summers with a warmer CET than 2007.
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_mean_sort.txt
    We’ve now got a four-month period (and counting) that is cooler than the 1931-1960 average
    1931-60 Jun-Sep average: 15.13C
    2008 Jun-Sep average: 14.95C
    (Mar-Apr 08 was also cooler than the 1931-60 average; however, May was exceptionally warm……though not quite as warm as May 1947…….)
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/data/download.html
    …………….And that’s all before we start discussing the evolution of CET measurements, and urban heat effects………….

  47. Here in the Buffalo area, it seems we had a couple weeks of real summer the first half of June; thereafter, it’s been rather ‘normal’, which means it’s been pretty much around the average for the past 30 years or so. Which means, since there’s nothing special about it, they’ll compare it to the 120 year record in order to get some sort of warming report. Doubtless, no matter how cold the next few decades become, it’ll still be reported on as warming.

  48. RE: Paul Green (00:34:37) :
    Completely grim summer o’er yonder in Glasgow as well, and down in Liverpool, from what I’ve been told. Even down in the South, they have been complaining although they did get at least some “normal summer weather.” But up in the North, it was definitely a case of minimal to no summer, as you can attest.

  49. RE: Glenn Rowe (08:14:54) :
    A recently witnessed vanity license plate, in a suburb of San Francisco:
    “DNDUNTD”
    🙂
    Of course, the car also had the obligatory small Cross of St. Andrew bumper sticker as well. You Dundee folk have your agents deployed far and wide!

  50. Jeff Alberts (12:50:49) : “.. I stand by the prediction of a neutral ENSO this winter…Do the GCMs predict the same?”
    There’s a good ENSO summary, updated fortnightly, at http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
    “Given current conditions and trends in the equatorial Pacific there is now little potential for an El Niño event to occur in 2008. Historically, ENSO conditions tend to persist through spring, suggesting a switch to La Niña conditions is also unlikely. This is supported by climate model forecasts, which show neutral conditions are likely to remain until the end of the year. The positive Indian Ocean Dipole is following its normal cycle of decay in the spring and is expected to decline further and remain neutral over the coming months by most models.”
    There’s a lot more info on the page, and useful links.
    ——-
    Just a minor point re UHI which doesn’t seem to have been picked up in the discussion to date : I think the point about weather station siting isn’t so much that a weather station over-reads if it’s near a structure, because it will over-read by about the same amount each year thus not contribute to trend. I think the main point is that as structures get nearer to weather stations over time, as the ‘urbs’ are developed, that does add to trend.

  51. Chris (13:41:45) : produced a number of stats
    Chris
    Load the CET data into Excel (or similar). Calculate the JJA (June, July August) averages for the following periods; 1901-2000, 1951-2000 & 1971-2000.
    Note the averages for each period – then note the figures for 2008.
    In terms of temperature, 2008 was as near to average as you can get.
    If UHI was a major factor Aldegrove (Belfast airport) would show more warming than Armagh. It doesn’t.

  52. “I’m not convinced CO2 is a major climate driver but I need a lot more time than I’ve got at the moment to explain why.”
    Whenever you’re ready!
    I’m sure I’m going to regret this but here goes. Let’s start by finding some common ground. What do you think caused the warming between ~1915 and ~1945? Note that the warming, according to GISS, in this period was ~0.15 deg/decade, i.e. pretty similar to the posst ~1975 warming.

  53. Heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada this weekend
    “Winter Storm Warning
    “…STRONG EARLY SEASON WINTER STORM TO AFFECT THE SIERRA HIGH
    COUNTRY…
    “A STRONG EARLY SEASON PACIFIC FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL PUSH INTO
    CENTRAL CALIFORNIA LATE TONIGHT. THIS FRONT WILL BRING THE FIRST
    SNOW OF THE SEASON TO THE HIGH COUNTRY OF THE SIERRA WITH THE
    GREATEST THREAT OF HEAVY SNOW OCCURRING FROM KINGS CANYON TO
    YOSEMITE PARK.
    “TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS UP TO FOOT OVER THE HIGH
    COUNTRY ARE LIKELY BY SATURDAY EVENING…WITH WITH AROUND
    6 INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION AT THE 8000 FOOT LEVEL.
    ACCUMULATING SNOW COULD FALL AS LOW AS 7000 FEET ON SATURDAY.
    “…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE SIERRA NEVADA
    FROM YOSEMITE TO KINGS CANYON FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 PM PDT
    SATURDAY…”
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/hnx/

  54. In fact, there’s rather a lot of wintry weather around the west
    http://www.weather.gov/
    northern California, NE Nevada, a lot of Utah, western Colorado…
    and several frost advisories and freeze warnings farther east.
    Just sayin’ – so far – global warmin’ ain’t prevented the onset of seasonably cold conditions

  55. Pardon me, I said seasonable, National Weather Service says UNseasonable…
    ..PACIFIC STORM WILL AFFECT THE REGION THROUGH SATURDAY…
    AN UNSEASONABLY STRONG LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM SPREAD PRECIPITATION ACROSS THE INTERIOR OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ON FRIDAY…AND IT IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TONIGHT…AND THEN TURN SHOWERY ON SATURDAY.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sto
    SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAS VEGAS NV
    …A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN OUR WEATHER WILL OCCUR THIS WEEKEND…
    THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT STORM SYSTEM COMING INLAND FROM THE NORTHEAST PACIFIC WILL BRING A TEMPORARY END TO OUR DRY AND WARM FALL WEATHER THIS WEEKEND.
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/vef/

  56. Not sure how that’s unseasonable, since the “normal” weather for the PNW in the fall is wet and cool… The warm and mild weather has been unseasonable.

  57. Re: SteveSadlov (15:33:19) :
    Heh – good one. I have to confess however that although I’ve lived in Dundee for nearly 25 years, I’m actually a Canadian (from Vancouver originally). Even after 25 years I still have a Canadian accent and I still need subtitles to understand the locals…

  58. “John Finn (17:28:53) :
    Load the CET data into Excel (or similar). Calculate the JJA (June, July August) averages for the following periods; 1901-2000, 1951-2000 & 1971-2000.
    Note the averages for each period – then note the figures for 2008.
    In terms of temperature, 2008 was as near to average as you can get.”
    Yes, but what I’m disputing is the logic that goes along the lines of:
    summer 2008 may have been cold for the last few years, but it was average for the few decades, above the 1971-2000 average, well above the 1961-90 average, therefore even a “cold summer” is much warmer than half a century ago, therefore (unspoken implication) more evidence for global warming.
    So I guess if you’re saying summer 08 is average for the past century, we’re in agreement 🙂
    “If UHI was a major factor Aldegrove (Belfast airport) would show more warming than Armagh. It doesn’t.”
    I would second what Egrey says:
    “Just a minor point re UHI which doesn’t seem to have been picked up in the discussion to date : I think the point about weather station siting isn’t so much that a weather station over-reads if it’s near a structure, because it will over-read by about the same amount each year thus not contribute to trend. I think the main point is that as structures get nearer to weather stations over time, as the ‘urbs’ are developed, that does add to trend.”
    In my view, urban heat effects (I prefer not to call it UHI since you don’t need a large urban “island” to produce very significant micro effects) are too complicated to be reduced to anecdotes like the one you mention. There is no real dispute, as a far as I can see, as to whether Urban heat effects/UHI are real and significant. The dispute regards the extent to which they are allowed for in the overall records (and here, the CET in particular).
    If you look at Fig 6 of
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/ParkerHorton_CET_IJOC_2005.pdf
    (Tmax and Tmin anomalies for CET stations since 1960)
    you will see that the Tmax trend is flat for most of the stations, and the Tmin trend (the one likely to be affected most by UH effects) is of the order of +0.3C, except for Rothamsted (another complicated issue…..)
    But it’s quite a jump from that to the full 1C rise you see at
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/
    between the 1900-85 period and the past decade.
    Another thing which bothers me intuitively about the overall hadcet graph is how uniform the last few years have been. The decadal average has (apparently) been the best part of a degree warmer than the 1940s/1950s, yet the variation has been so minimal that only one year (2006) has significantly eclipsed the warmest years of the earlier period. I know the +ve AMO will have played a major role in this, but I’m sure UH effects play a role too. Unfortunately, it’s too complicated and I’m too lacking in time to get very far beyond my intuitions. I’ll just finish by saying that my local Birmingham station even shows a cooling from the 1940s to the present – unfortunately the graph isn’t available online as far as I can tell. (Might see what I can do on this front?)
    Btw I don’t want to get caught up in polarised implications of “no global warming” vs “global warming is already running away with itself”. For me the question is HOW MUCH increases in CO2 affect temperature (i.e. given that a doubling of CO2 ought to increase global temperature by 1C, other things being equal, how much do feedbacks from water vapour and clouds increase this figure – if at all?).
    This is where the accuracy of surface data is critical. If people are taking from the raw data a global temperature increase of 0.7C (say) since the 1940s when the real figure should be 0.3C (say), then this represents the difference between evidence of greenhouse gases already having a noticeable effect, and evidence that global temperatures are still within the bounds of natural variation (and CO2 with negative/neutral rather than positive feedbacks).

  59. Local effects, in both time and space, have no real weight behind them, so why the blog post ?
    Regards
    Andy

  60. Re comments and discussions on UHI effect (or lack thereoff at Aldergrove (Belfast International Airport) vs Armagh rural station, I wondered about the location of the sensors at the former.
    Aldergrove is a rural airport, although now busy and built up around it; it is also a few miles from the UK’s largest lake (Lough Neagh) which can affect local temperatures. This is just my personal curiosity – no criticism of the set up intended. The Met Office’s latitude and longitude (not reported to the nearest second) for the Aldergrove observations default to a building and the resolution of the aerial photo isn;t sufficient to look around for instrumentation:
    http://www.gorissen.info/Pierre/maps/googleMapLocation.php?lat=54.65&lon=-6.216667&setLatLon=Set (you will need to zoom in and switch to satellite view)
    Information on Armagh, including photos and information on the sensors can be found at: http://climate.arm.ac.uk/aws2/aws2.html
    Actually, on refection, UHI in Ireland is probably minimised by the fact we get so much windy weather. Extremes of hot or cold are generally only associated with settled weather under a strong anticyclone – generally rare and short-lived, even compared to England which is that bit closer to European continental air masses.
    Anthony, is wind something you have considered at surface stations? Interesting to see UHI effect (or lack of) in coastal vs inland stations, maritime vs continental, or perhaps you’ve covered that in the past. Would a subset of maritime stations be interesting? Fewer extremes?

  61. Chris (01:59:20) :
    Re UHI
    Chris
    UHI exists. I know from personal experience , as do many others, that UHI exists. In July 2006 we went to a country pub for a family meal. For most of the evening we sat outside. But round about 10 o’clock it was cool enough for some of the group to go back inside. When we returned home (back to a city in the CET region) – a distance of only about 5 miles – it was like a sauna.

  62. I didn’t get to finish that last comment before it was posted (must have hit something accidentally). Anyway to conclude:
    Although I accept the reality of UHI, I’m not convinced that it has had a significant influence on global trends over the last ~50 years. If UHI were a big factor there would be bigger discrepancies between satellite and surface trends. The satellite readings at the lower level of the atmosphere (900mb) are pretty consistent with the surface readings (or they were the last time I looked).
    Put it this way – the UH effect is not a show stopper for AGW

  63. It dropped to 32F here in the Catskill Mtns last night. So I’ll post to this blog one more of the numerous examples of “Local effects, in both time and space, have no real weight behind them” that span the globe and the past year.
    2009 is going to be fun to watch.

  64. AndyW,
    Anthony posts what interests him. At the top of this page you will see:
    “Watts Up With That?
    Commentary on puzzling things in life, nature, science, technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”.
    Does that answer your question?
    Mike Bryant

  65. Chris
    This is where the accuracy of surface data is critical. If people are taking from the raw data a global temperature increase of 0.7C (say) since the 1940s when the real figure should be 0.3C (say), then this represents the difference between evidence of greenhouse gases already having a noticeable effect, and evidence that global temperatures are still within the bounds of natural variation (and CO2 with negative/neutral rather than positive feedbacks).
    It’s the 1940s temps which convince me we’re still within the bounds of natural variability. Up to the early 1940s temps were rising quite sharply. I see no reason why they wouldn’t have carried on rising. For example, solar activity (if it is a factor) was higher in the second half of the 20th century than was in the first. It was only a shift in the PDO that interrupted the upward trend. Extrapolate the 1910-1945 trend up to 1980, say, and you’ve got most of the warming we’ve seen to date. There’s certainly not much left for CO2.

  66. Dee Norris (05:52:32) :
    @John Finn:
    How do you explain that if one excludes the urban monitoring stations, the warming trend decreases?
    Does it? I’ve not seen that demonstrated on a global scale.

  67. John Finn (05:39:44) :
    ” Put it this way – the UH effect is not a show stopper for AGW ”
    NOTHING is a “showstopper” for AGW, right?
    The show will go on, and on, and on, and on…

  68. Jeff Alberts (20:58:59) :
    ” Not sure how that’s unseasonable, since the “normal” weather for the PNW in the fall is wet and cool… The warm and mild weather has been unseasonable.”
    Warm and mild is not at all unseasonable in the Pacific Northwest (where I lived for 20+ years). It’s one of their better-kept secrets.
    Summer weather is notoriously unreliable through the 4th of July, but once it arrives, it’s magnificent, and often will persist through September.
    (Now that you know about their magnificent summers, DON’T tell anyone).
    NWS said “unseasonably strong low pressure system,” but strong and deep Pacific low pressure systems are not at all unknown in October.
    October 12, 1962 – the “Columbus Day Storm”…
    still legendary in the Pacific Northwest, still holds many of the high-wind records
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Day_Storm

  69. John
    It’s the 1940s temps which convince me we’re still within the bounds of natural variability. Up to the early 1940s temps were rising quite sharply. I see no reason why they wouldn’t have carried on rising. For example, solar activity (if it is a factor) was higher in the second half of the 20th century than was in the first. It was only a shift in the PDO that interrupted the upward trend. Extrapolate the 1910-1945 trend up to 1980, say, and you’ve got most of the warming we’ve seen to date. There’s certainly not much left for CO2.
    The “consensus” reason why temps didn’t keep rising after the 1940s is of course the effects of increased aerosols in the atmosphere. But I agree with you that the coincidence of the cooling after the mid-1940s with the transition to -ve PDO is very striking. (And I find the aerosols explanation inconclusive, to say the least.)
    Looking at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A4.lrg.gif
    it seems the world’s oceans have warmed 0.3C from the peak in the early 1940s to the recent peak in the last few years. [Note, though, the early 40s peak may be in danger of downward revision because of the “bucket correction” issue…..]
    So it’s the land data which appear to bring us into “unprecedented” territory with an increase of 0.7C since the 1940s peak.
    And thus it’s the way the land data has been put together that I think is particularly important. It’s noteworthy that the US (which ought to provide some of the most accurate measurements across the width of a continent) only shows a temperature rise of ~0.2C from the 1940s to the 2000s
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.lrg.gif
    and even in northern Siberia which is supposed to be the forefront of global warming, the five most northerly stations with records going back to the 1940s spectacularly fail to correlate with the global graph:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222202920005&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222214320004&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222206740006&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222216470000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=222208910006&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    The same can be seen in the only 2 stations in Greenland going far enough back i.e. capital on west coast and largest town on east coast:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431042500000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=431043600000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    Same goes for Iceland’s capital, and second largest urban area:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=620040300000&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=620040630003&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1
    None of this proves anything. But it does show that large swathes of the NH must have seen all the more warming in the last 70 years to make up for the lack of warming in the areas I’ve referred to, and I am yet to see a convincing explanation of how such consistent warmth circulating at high latitudes can have completely failed to have an impact on so many key locations.

  70. Oh dear my attempt at emulating John’s use of italics for a quote has failed abysmally! To clarify, in my last post the first paragraph is a quote from John, and the second paragraph onwards (The “consensus” reason………) is my words.
    Better go brush up on my html/tags/or whatever it is (i’m looking embarrassingly clueless here……)

  71. Re: the PDO it will be interesting to see what the index is for September 2008. For August, it was -1.70 and there have only been two Augusts since records began with a larger negative figure: 1955 (-2.25) and 1920 (-2.21)
    http://www.jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest.
    It seems to me that we may have been (and may still be) undergoing a triple whammy of cooling:
    (1) -ve PDO pushing warm SST anomalies polewards where heat loss to space may be more effective;
    (2) reduction in solar activity resulting in cooling of the upper atmosphere – I know it’s controversial, but what other explanation can there be for the exceptional coldness of the lower troposphere in recent months from middle levels upwards.
    See e.g. http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+003
    and check boxes for all previous years (then click “redraw graph”) to see how every month has been colder than previous years, including 1999 and 2000 when there was a longer and deeper La Nina than the recent one.
    This coldness could gradually propagate downwards via enhanced convection, precipation and cloudiness. (Like in Britain and Ireland over the summer?)
    (3) increased hurricane/tropical storm activity cooling the tropical oceans and removing heat to higher latitudes (as well as to the anomalously cold higher altitudes)
    Thus the “recovery” of global surface temperatures from La Nina over NH summer 08 may have been a red herring, as it may simply have represented a greater heat loss and thus a greater net cooling of the globe overall.
    The real test will be to see just how cold this NH winter turns out to be. I’m not going so far as to predict it will be colder than expected, as I’m open minded! I’ve just got my suspicions about the widely-held assumption that global warming will come roaring back following the 2007/8 La Nina.

  72. John Finn (05:39:44) : “If UHI were a big factor there would be bigger discrepancies between satellite and surface trends. The satellite readings at the lower level of the atmosphere (900mb) are pretty consistent with the surface readings (or they were the last time I looked).
    Put it this way – the UH effect is not a show stopper for AGW

    I did a simple least-squares linear regression on the UAH global lower troposphere temperatures 12/1978-8/2008 (using MS Excel TREND function), and the average temperature increase was 0.129 deg C p.a.
    Using the same function on Hadcrut3v global surface temperatures over the same period, the equivalent figure was 0.162 – 25% higher.
    Non-trivial, I think.
    I haven’t done the proper checks to make sure I haven’t made a mistake, but the data is public domain so please anyone here check that I have used the right data, and do the calcs for yourself.
    Hadcrut3v global surface temps:
    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/hadcrut3gl.txt
    UAH global LT temps:
    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2
    (column 3 “GLOBAL”)

  73. Chris
    The “consensus” reason why temps didn’t keep rising after the 1940s is of course the effects of increased aerosols in the atmosphere. But I agree with you that the coincidence of the cooling after the mid-1940s with the transition to -ve PDO is very striking. (And I find the aerosols explanation inconclusive, to say the least.)
    I think the aerosols explanation is nonsense and I suspect that a few AGW scientists do as well. Industrial aerosols (as opposed volcanic aerosols) are relatively short-lived ( a matter of days) so the majority of emissions remain close to the source location. Mann & Jones have produced a paper in which the uncertainty of the aerosol effect is discussed. They conclude that any aerosol effect is “regionally specific”. Similarly Levitus cites the local effect of aerosols as the cause for the lack of uniform warming in the oceans.
    In a nutshell: Any cooling due to industrial aerosols should be most evident at the very locations that produced the aerosols, i.e. in the industrialised regions of the world. In the post-war period this was the US and Europe.
    The following GISS dataset provides temperature data for different latitude bands (e.g. 0-24 deg, 24-44 deg , 44-64 deg, 64-90 deg)
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/ZonAnn.Ts+dSST.txt
    Looking at trends for the period 1945-1975 there is a clear pattern. The greatest cooling, by far, is in the Arctic (64-90) regions. The industrialised mid-latitude regons do show cooling but not markedly so. The least cooling occurs in the tropics. This pattern of cooling is almost a mirror image of the post-1975 warming whereby the Arctic experienced the greatest warming and the tropics the least.
    This suggests (to me at least) that cyclical process (ocean circulation) are responsible for the multi-decadal cool/warm phases and some other factor (possibly ghgs but more likely solar activity**) is responsible for the geneal upward trend.
    ** I say more likely solar (direct or indirect) because the upward trend began before there was any significant increase in ghgs above pre-industrial levels.

  74. I did a simple least-squares linear regression on the UAH global lower troposphere temperatures 12/1978-8/2008 (using MS Excel TREND function), and the average temperature increase was 0.129 deg C p.a.
    Using the same function on Hadcrut3v global surface temperatures over the same period, the equivalent figure was 0.162 – 25% higher.
    You didn’t read what I wrote. You have compared the mid/lower trop satellite data with the surface data. Using only the satellite readings from 1000km (900mb) level (i.e. the lowest and therefore the closest readings to the surface) the trends are much closer – or so I believe. Unfortunatley readings for each level of the atmosphere are not readily available.
    But I notice you used UAH data rather than RSS data – any reason for this?

  75. John Finn (17:43:35) “You didn’t read what I wrote” : Maybe there’s a difference between reading and understanding… 🙂 [seriously, though, see 2nd para below]
    I notice you used UAH data rather than RSS data – any reason for this?” : I did the work on the figures after reading Douglass and Christy’s paper “Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf
    [Energy and Environment Aug 2008]
    which said that they used UAH data because it was a bit better than RSS data, and gave reasons (best if you read the paper – see Appendix A).
    Unfortunatley readings for each level of the atmosphere are not readily available” : Quite. I used the best data I could find. I doubt it makes much difference to the argument if one takes data from further up the atmosphere, provided one doesn’t go above the level at which CO2 forcing takes place, if the ‘competition’ is essentially between the UHE (=UHI) and CO2 arguments/models. As I understand it, the CO2 signature should be that the troposphere warms up before and more than the surface, whereas the UHE signature would be the other way round.
    Could the data soon to become available from NASA’s AIRS project (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder)
    http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/
    possibly be of some use in this discussion??? If it shows how well CO2 is mixed at the various levels of the atmosphere, would that help in assessing how other things might vary between the different levels?? (NB. There’s an “if” in that sentence).
    PS. My last post should have read “per decade” not “p.a.”.(!)

  76. I posted a reply to John Finn and it disappeared (didn’t do that last time). If this appears OK, and the JF reply doesn’t, I’ll send the JF reply again but I didn’t have it all backed up (Grrrr).

  77. John Finn (17:43:35) “You didn’t read what I wrote” : Maybe there’s a difference between reading and understanding… 🙂 [seriously, see 2nd para below]
    I notice you used UAH data rather than RSS data – any reason for this?” : I did the work on the figures after reading Douglass and Christy’s paper “Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf
    [Energy and Environment Aug 2008]
    which said that they used UAH data because it was a bit better than RSS data, and gave reasons (best if you read the paper – see Appendix A).
    Unfortunatley readings for each level of the atmosphere are not readily available” : Quite. I used the best data I could find. I doubt it makes much difference to the argument if one takes data from further up the atmosphere, provided one doesn’t go above the level at which CO2 forcing takes place, if the ‘competition’ is essentially between the UHE (=UHI) and CO2 arguments/models. As I understand it, the CO2 signature should be that the troposphere warms up before and more than the surface, whereas the UHE signature would be the other way round.
    Could the soon-to-be available data from NASA’s AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) project possibly be useful in this discussion?? If (NB. if) it shows how well-mixed CO2 is at various levels of the atmosphere, it might give clues to how to treat other factors at different levels?????
    PS. My 4-10 16:42:43 post said “p.a.” where it should have said “per decade”.(!)

  78. Today on the 5th of October I woke with the first snowfall of the season, caused by a fast moving autumn storm.
    This is one month to early for the first snow and although it is wet snow it is staying in the ground! This is unusual.
    I live near sea level in Voss, west Norway not far from Bergen. I hate winters.

  79. egrey
    Like you, I had a bit of trouble posting last night (sat) but everything seems to have appeared this morning.
    Your comments on the UAH and surface data are valid.
    But my points (which I probably didn’t make clear) are that a) satellites and surface stations aren’t necessarily measuring the same thing; b) there is better agreement the nearer the satellite observations are to the surface; and c) considering the uncertainty with all methods (e.g. RSS v UAH) I don’t feel it’s possible state with any confidence that the surface record is significantly contaminated by UH.
    On your point about the CO2/warming troposphere link. Quite right – but that’s a separate issue.

  80. JF: “I don’t feel it’s possible state with any confidence that the surface record is significantly contaminated by UH.
    On your point about the CO2/warming troposphere link. Quite right – but that’s a separate issue.

    It’s a bit like detectives in a whodunnit trying to put together motive, method and opportunity. We have to look for theory, evidence, and exclusion of alternatives.
    Maybe it’s not possible yet to state with confidence that the surface record is seriously contaminated by UH, but the theory is clear, evidence is coming from more than one source – eg. weather station survey and surface vs troposphere temperatures – and importantly in the latter case CO2 can be excluded as an alternative because its signature is the opposite of what has been observed. I can also recommend this item from NASA, which does indicate that UH is real :
    http://climate.jpl.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=24
    Of increasing temperatures in S California it says “Most of the increase in heat days and length of heat waves … is due to a phenomenon called the “urban heat island effect.”
    Heat island-induced heat waves are a growing concern for urban and suburban dwellers worldwide. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, studies around the world have shown that this effect makes urban areas from 2 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 6 degrees Celsius) warmer than their surrounding rural areas. …this effect is steadily warming Southern California, though more modestly than some larger urban areas around the world.
    Dramatic urbanization has resulted in an extreme makeover for Southern California, with more homes, lawns, shopping centers, traffic, freeways and agriculture, all absorbing and retaining solar radiation, making our megalopolis warmer…

  81. John Finn (17:50:33) :
    The causes of the early 20th century warming are most probably due to heat transfer fluctuations through the North Atlantic and the North Pacific couple with increased radiative forcing from industrial emmisions. Models suggest that there was little or no impact from volcanic activity or solar activity during this time. Recent global temperatures from the late ’70’s on would have been similar, if not slightly less to the temperatures of the early 20th century, but they were much warmer. Only when you include the effects of increased CO2 into the models do they match recent observations.
    Steve Berry (01:41:16) :
    “John Finn. I bet my shares Mary Hinge doesn’t answer!”
    Too bad Steve! Your shares are probably worthless now anyway!! 😉

  82. Mary Hinge (07:34:15),
    I take it this
    pretty much captures your argument?
    The way I read plots a and b in my link is that the models underestimate the warming around 1940 by ~0.5C and underestimate the change between ~1915 and ~1945 by around 0.7C.
    Is “most probably” an IPCC definition?

  83. ” SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
    649 AM PDT SUN OCT 5 2008
    “…A STRONG PACIFIC STORM COULD BRING THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON TO THE OLYMPICS AND CASCADES ON TUESDAY…
    “…ANOTHER ROUND OF GUSTY WINDS IS POSSIBLE OVER THE AREA MONDAY NIGHT…
    “A VIGOROUS COLD FRONT WILL USHER IN A COLDER AIR MASS ACROSS THE AREA DURING THE DAY TUESDAY. BY LATE TUESDAY…THE SNOW LEVEL IS EXPECTED TO BE IN THE 3500 TO 4000 FOOT RANGE IN THE OLYMPICS AND CASCADES. PLUMMETING SNOW LEVELS COMBINED WITH STRONG…MOIST WESTERLY FLOW COULD RESULT IN 2 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW ABOVE 4000 FEET BY LATE TUESDAY AFTERNOON.”
    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/sew/

  84. John M (08:31:21) :
    “The way I read plots a and b in my link is that the models underestimate the warming around 1940 by ~0.5C and underestimate the change between ~1915 and ~1945 by around 0.7C.”
    They also overestimate the temperature in the ’50’s by a similar amount. From the ’60’s onwards the models are very accurate.
    “Is “most probably” an IPCC definition?”
    No, an accurate reflection on what we know at present. In science absolutes are not used for obvious reasons.

  85. Mary Hinge (09:10:04) :
    “They also overestimate the temperature in the ’50’s by a similar amount. From the ’60’s onwards the models are very accurate.”
    Well, yeah. For the same reason they get the early part of the century wrong. They assume they understand all the forcings, but just don’t have a very good handle on a lot of the natural phenomena, including perhaps the PDO.

  86. Mary Hinge (07:34:15) :
    J John Finn (17:50:33) :
    The causes of the early 20th century warming are most probably due to heat transfer fluctuations through the North Atlantic and the North Pacific couple with increased radiative forcing from industrial emmisions
    What increased radiative forcing? What emissions? CO2 or something else?
    What data do you have to support these increased emissions bearing in mind it’s not the emissions as such but the actual atmospheric concentrations which are most relevant.
    Models suggest that there was little or no impact from volcanic activity or solar activity during this time
    I don’t think they do. I believe the models rely on solar forcing and reduced volcanic activity to explain the 20th century temp record.
    Mary: I’ve read through your response and it looks very much as though it’s been been lifted from an article or an opinion piece. It might be best, therefore, if you provide a link since the extract you’ve provided doesn’t hang together all that well.

  87. John M (12:45:24) :
    “They assume they understand all the forcings, but just don’t have a very good handle on a lot of the natural phenomena, including perhaps the PDO.”
    On the contrary, they do have a ‘good handle’ on most of the natural phenomenon but there is always the minutiae, especially in a chaotic system such as climate, these you can allow for but will never be 100% accurate. With PDO’s this is shown in the most recent event, the warm and cool anomolies move around from their ‘text book’ position and this can affect how temperatures are read where temperature recording stations are sparce, such as would have been the case in the Pacific Ocean and North East Asia during the first half of the 20th century. Your argument doesn’t explain the accuracies of the models since the 1950’s, if there wasn’t understanding of “a lot of the natural phenomenon” then the models would not have the accuracy shown.
    John Finn (13:06:15) :
    “What increased radiative forcing? What emissions? CO2 or something else?
    What data do you have to support these increased emissions bearing in mind it’s not the emissions as such but the actual atmospheric concentrations which are most relevant.”
    Oh John, you seem to have forgotten your history so to explain, industrial activity has been going on since the British Industrial Revolution. This increased dramatically during and after the First World War, especially in the northern hemisphere. It accelerated again in the ’30’s as governments world wide used increased industrialisation and construction to work their way out of depression and then prepare for war at the end of the ’30’s.
    “I don’t think they do. I believe the models rely on solar forcing and reduced volcanic activity to explain the 20th century temp record.”
    Whilst these may have a small contribution they do not explain why the temperatures now are higher than they were then. This is the fundamental issue you haven’t attempted to explain.
    I can certainly provide a reference: Delworth T. and Knutson T. 2000. Simulation of Early 20th Century Global Warming. Science. vol. 287, pp. 2246-2250.
    This explains how one particlular model was a very close fit to observed temperatures without solar or volcanic forcing included. The conclusion would be that there is probably only a very small effect from these forcings.

  88. This just in…
    Alaska is Cold
    (the polar bears may have temporarily stopped eating each other)
    PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK
    145 AM AKDT MON OCT 6 2008
    …UNSEASONABLY COLD WEATHER CONTINUES AT FAIRBANKS…
    THE HIGH TEMPERATURE YESTERDAY AT THE FAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL
    AIRPORT WAS 31 DEGREES. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THIS FALL THAT THE HIGH TEMPERATURE FAILED TO REACH THE FREEZING MARK.
    ON AVERAGE THE DATE OF THE FIRST DAY WITH A HIGH TEMPERATURE BELOW FREEZING IS OCTOBER 11TH. SO FAR THIS MONTH THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE OF 38 DEGREES WAS OBSERVED ON THE 2ND.
    THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE SO FAR THIS MONTH OF 27.1 DEGREES IS 8.2 DEGREES BELOW THE 30-YEAR AVERAGE.
    IT HAS BEEN THE COLDEST FIRST 5 DAYS OF THE MONTH OF OCTOBER SINCE 1992.

  89. Mary Hinge (10:57:49) :
    ” Its just a result of the -ive PDO for that part of the Pacific coast. 1992 isn’t that long ago is it! ”
    Whenever someone attempts to “explain” something by saying, “it’s just,” I know there’s no interest in “explaining” anything at all.
    “It’s just” the “-ive” (are you texting to us on your cell phone?) PDO?
    I’m glad you’ve glanced at a SST anomaly chart and diagnosed “folly.”
    So far, I’m quite unimpressed. I do not believe you have succeeded in diagnosing the weather and climate in interior Alaska, the PDO, or anything else.
    Is 1992, “that long ago?” Yes it is. Oh, if only we could go back to the CO2 levels of 1992.
    While “it’s just” 16 years ago, whether politically, economically, culturally, or climatically, 1992 is significantly long ago.
    To believe otherwise just might be folly.

  90. Oh John, you seem to have forgotten your history so to explain, industrial activity has been going on since the British Industrial Revolution. This increased dramatically during and after the First World War, especially in the northern hemisphere. It accelerated again in the ’30’s as governments world wide used increased industrialisation and construction to work their way out of depression and then prepare for war at the end of the ’30’s
    Yes I know about the industrial revolution but you need to get things into perspective. In the early 20th century there were very few cars, almost no aircraft and industrialisation was limited to just a few regions of the world.
    But ignoring that for a moment I still ask what what emissions are you talking about, i.e. do you mean CO2 emissions or aerosol emissions ?

  91. Mary H
    Well it’s clear we’re talking past each other. It still seems to me that the models do a very poor job of matching the temperature record in the early half on the 20th century, and that’s even with assumptions about solar forcing that Leif Svalgaard finds inappropriate ( comment at 11:55:49 here ). Be that as it may, the real test will come when the models call for acceleration. Even the models in the graph we’re discussing show only about 0.75C/century warming. We’ll see if the feedbacks kick in.
    My guess is that we’ll know a lot more in 5-10 years. By then, we should either see accelerated warming (more than ~0.1C/decade) to validate the models and assumptions about positve feedbacks, or continued flatness, as one would expect if the cool-phase of the PDO has really kicked in.
    FWIW, it looks like we may be edging back into La Nina conditions .

  92. Mary Hinge
    I’ve had a quick look at your link .
    This is the abstract:
    The observed global warming of the past century occurred primarily in two distinct 20-year periods, from 1925 to 1944 and from 1978 to the present. Although the latter warming is often attributed to a human-induced increase of greenhouse gases, causes of the earlier warming are less clear because this period precedes the time of strongest increases in human-induced greenhouse gas (radiative) forcing. Results from a set of six integrations of a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model suggest that the warming of the early 20th century could have resulted from a combination of human-induced radiative forcing and an unusually large realization of internal multidecadal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system. This conclusion is dependent on the modelÕs climate sensitivity, internal variability, and the speciÞcation of the time-varying human-induced radiative forcing.
    Note the phrases “causes of the earlier warming are less clear” and “Results from a set of six integrations of a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model suggest that the warming of the early 20th century could have resulted from a combination of human-induced radiative forcing and an unusually large realization of internal multidecadal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system.
    In other words they have no idea. First thing to remember is that CO2 concentrations in ~1915 were only around 300 ppm. The forcing from this increase is negligible. Also remember there is supposed to be a lag of some 15-20 years before ‘most’ of the temp increase is evident. That, according to the scientists, is the reason we have more warming “in the pipeline”. This study has somehow managed to attribute ~0.5 deg warming to a tiny increase in ghg forcing + what looks to be a change ocean circulation (which is reasonable). Even in 1958 CO2 levels are only 315 ppm. But the thing that gets me about some of this nonsense is this:
    Increased industrialisation apparently causes warming during the early part of the century. But a further increase in industrialisation in the post war years then seems to cause cooling (via aerosols).
    Mary, even the most ardent warmers have to accept this cannot be the case and tend to accept that increases in ghgs had very little influence on the early 20th century warming. So I’ll ask again – what did cause the warming between 1915 and 1944?

  93. John Finn (16:03:42) :
    “Note the phrases “causes of the earlier warming are less clear” and “Results from a set of six integrations of a coupled ocean-atmosphere climate model suggest that the warming of the early 20th century could have resulted from a combination of human-induced radiative forcing and an unusually large realization of internal multidecadal variability of the coupled ocean-atmosphere system.
    In other words they have no idea.”
    For someone who seems intelligent you either misunderstand the English language or just want to deliberately mislead. There is a huge difference between ‘less clear’ and ‘they have no idea’.
    “Increased industrialisation apparently causes warming during the early part of the century. But a further increase in industrialisation in the post war years then seems to cause cooling (via aerosols). ”
    Again you show a fundamental error in your analysis, I suggest you read up on your 20th century history, concentrate on the Industrial development and then, just maybe you will see that different industrial processes produce different emissions. To help you on your way I’ll give you a starting point:
    What industry developed exponentially during the second world war due to the Japanese occupying the asian rubber plantations. I’ll give you a clue: Mr Dunlop…. unless of course you think that industrial emmisions are, have been, and always will be the same!
    I think like other deniers you just cant see the bigger picture and spend your time nit picking and cherry picking. The discussion is huge, I mean really huge. The sciences involved vary from meteorology (Mr Watts is an expert in this field), the solar sciences (good ol’ Leif), marine sciences, historians, paleantology, botany, zoology etc etc. Add to this your historians, archaeologists etcand you might just get a grasp on it.
    “Mary, even the most ardent warmers have to accept this cannot be the case and tend to accept that increases in ghgs had very little influence on the early 20th century warming. So I’ll ask again – what did cause the warming between 1915 and 1944?”
    I have already given the answer, you haven’t answered my question of why the global temperatures are now much warmer than they were between these points….maybe you have..you did mention that CO2 levels were lower then….

  94. John M (16:01:19) :
    “Well it’s clear we’re talking past each other.”
    Not at all, I’m talking to you, you just ain’t listening.
    “It still seems to me that the models do a very poor job of matching the temperature record in the early half on the 20th century,…”
    In what way does it ‘seem’ to be a very poor job? As explained above you have to take into account temperature recording and the nature of anomolies. If you look at it then you will se that it is an exceptionally good match, especially after that PDO event is over.
    “Be that as it may, the real test will come when the models call for acceleration. Even the models in the graph we’re discussing show only about 0.75C/century warming. We’ll see if the feedbacks kick in.”
    It’s these feedbacks which we should be worried about. Frankly I don’t care for an ‘Experiment Earth’ just to see what might happen.
    “My guess is that we’ll know a lot more in 5-10 years.”
    This is much more than a guess, you can say with certainty we will know a lot more in 5-10 years…but we will have a lot more questions!
    “FWIW, it looks like we may be edging back into La Nina conditions .”
    Certainly possible but if it does it won’t be anywhere near as strong as last years.

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  96. Again you show a fundamental error in your analysis, I suggest you read up on your 20th century history, concentrate on the Industrial development and then, just maybe you will see that different industrial processes produce different emissions. To help you on your way I’ll give you a starting point
    Mary
    You need to spell out exactly what point you are making. If you’re trying to suggest that some minor shift in the relative usage of various industrial processes is enough to not only halt a ~0.15 deg/decade warning trend but to actually reverse it by a similar amount over the next few years then I’m not sure we’re going to get very far. But let’s just consider how aerosols *might* affect the climate
    Industrial aerosols (as opposed to volcanic) are short-lived in the atmosphere. They last about 10 days at most before they’re either rained out or dispersed by gravity or other means. This means that their effect is purely regional, i.e. it’s limited to the industrialised regions that produce aerosols. Don’t take my word for it. Papers by Mann & Jones (both pro-AGW scientists) and Levitus et al confirm that the effects of aerosols are “regionally specific”.
    So, bearing that in mind, where did the maximum cooling occur between 1944-1975? In Western Europe, perhaps? or the USA? No. The maximum cooling, BY FAR, was in the Arctic. Again don’t take my word for it. Just download the GISS zonal data set and check the cooling trends for each latitude band.
    It’s unlikely, therefore, that Industrial aerosols were responsible for the 1944-75 cooling.
    In a previous post I stated that increases in CO2 were only a few ppm by the time the ~1915 warming began and it wasn’t that much higher in 1958 long after the warming had ceased. Try as they might, AGWers cannot pin the early 20th century warming on increases in CO2. There just wasn’t enough of an increase to cause the warming. So ….
    Increases in CO2 could not be responsible for the 1915-1944 warming.
    In other words we can’t really explain the climate with any certainty for the first 75 years of the 20th century. Any models which do claim to simulate the climate have simply tweaked input parameters to achieve the required fit. It’s easy enough to do – I’ve done it myself with various data. I also know of people who have achieved a good fit to the temperature record using just solar activity and ocean circulation. So whose model is right – if any?

  97. Mary H,
    I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but it appears that you are here to muddy the waters and throw arbitrary, nonsensical arguments around. I should have known from your moniker (is your cousin Michaelina Hunt, known to family and friends as Mike?).
    So the 1.6 C/century rate of heating from 1915-1945 was due to the synthetic rubber industry? I have no idea whether that’s what you were trying to say, but it’s a good as any other intepretation I guess.
    “It’s these feedbacks which we should be worried about. Frankly I don’t care for an ‘Experiment Earth’ just to see what might happen.”
    You are entitled to that opinion. And I don’t want to see another huge speculative experiment with the world economy to address a problem that may not be there.
    Since you seem so confident about the upcoming La Nina, maybe you can offer you brilliance to the climate modelers so that can eventually figure out how to get the PDO right.
    Feel freel to have the last word, since nobody else is reading this thread anymore anyway.

  98. John Finn (15:28:11) :
    ask you again….why are the global temperatures warmer now compared to the earlier parts of the last century?
    John M (15:43:59) :
    “Feel freel to have the last word, since nobody else is reading this thread anymore anyway.”
    OK!!

  99. ask you again….why are the global temperatures warmer now compared to the earlier parts of the last century?
    Depends what caused the warming in the early 20th century, since the post-1975 warming seems to be just a continuation of the 1915-1945 warming (note the similarity of the trends) before a cool PDO phase interrupted the warming.
    It can’t have been CO2 as we’ve already established, so what about solar activity. Solar activity began increasing in the early 1900s and continued to increase well into the second half of the 20th century. That’s my theory then.
    A combination of ocean circulation and solar activity with possibly a tiny contribution from ghgs.

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