UAH is out, like RSS it is down a bit

Although the webserver file for the UAH dataset has not been updated yet, the man who is “in the know” because he’s a major part of the process has released the December UAH global lower troposphere temperature anomaly value. It is 0.18°C down from .254°C the previous month.

2008 10 0.166

2008 11 0.254

2008 12 0.180

Here is what Dr. Spencer had to say on his website today:

uah-dec-2008

Latest Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures

Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of eleven instruments flying on eleven different satellites over the years. As of 2008, our most stable instrument for this monitoring is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

The graph above represents the latest update; updates are usually made within the first week of every month. The smooth curve in the graph is a fourth-order polynomial fit to the data, which smooths out the large amount of monthly variability in the data and helps reveal the underlying ‘trends’. (There is no claim that this curve has any predictive power for the coming months or years.)

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73 thoughts on “UAH is out, like RSS it is down a bit

  1. We are having a wicked Chinook along the Front Range today, with 60MPH winds and a massive fire in Boulder which has forced the evacuation of 11,000 homes. The fire started when a power transformer blew over.

  2. Record high temperatures and rain today in Spokane. All that rain is going to make a supreme mess out of all that snow that had accumulated. Seattle is calling for floods until Friday. They set a record for most rain on this date.

  3. We are over our Chinooks. For now. Twisted my satellite dish all to hell! Several country roads are still closed because entire wheat fields emptied their snow cover onto roads in big drifts. Now we are just trying to keep our feet dry while the rivers overflow. Who knows what January will bring yet. This is some strange stuff! Been watching the jet stream and wind patterns. The models give a pretty good idea of where it will blow next along with cold and warm fronts. This kind of weather sets us up for one storm after another seesawing between frozen snow and warm rain with high pressure/low pressure blows in-between them. With all the rain coming after HEAVY snow, the snow pack water equivalent is a higher over-percentage (yep it is plus 100 %) of normal than the snow pack is in nearly every snow basin that feeds into or is in Oregon. The little river that flows through Pendleton is flooding for godsake. Now that is a once in a lifetime event.

  4. Who ever heard of a little pissant river that flows through high desert flooding in January?!?!?!?!?

  5. A thought about the last month of weather. While you’all up north were having frigid temps we were having above normal temps down my way. Almost as if the southern jet moving across the south had bottled up the cold air in place, compacting it amplifing the effects. Now that the southern jet has moved south past my location, it seems that the trapped cold air is spreading out which allows it to warm, hence your modifying temps up their.
    Just on observation.

  6. Oh I am feeling my oats tonight! Just waiting for some nice young environmentally conscious man to sooth my fretted brow because flooding is to be expected in global warming.

  7. correction on last word, “there”. Yes I know the difference, mind is wandering abit as this is the first night that Florida has PowerBall plus thinking about the big game tomorrow against the Sooners. Go Gators. FWIW, I do think Utah should get the National Championship at 13-0!

  8. OT.
    (please help I’m curious).
    Could someone please point me to a viable description of the following points.
    1. The component of the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.
    2. The component of the current atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.
    Thanks.

  9. Patrick Henry (18:22:21) Hope things settle down for you guys, I have a son in Longmont. The high pressure system that gave you the wind, at 6600 ft gave me a foot of snow in the Roaring Fork Valley. The strangest thing to get so much snow without a low pressure system, the north side of the high pushed the moisture stream from the north against the mountains, and it dumped. The valley is 140% of normal for snow pack, with a range of 133-158%. I’ll be interested to see what March and April bring when it really snows.

  10. I think that number is a bit premature. On his website Dr. Spencer has the data truncated (not rounded off) to two decimal points compared to the source I use http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2 that includes three digits. I think this is your usual source as well. So I expect it to be between +0.18 and +0.189.
    Regardless it makes 2008 a very average year not one of the hottest ever.

  11. You look at that graph and realize all this hysteria is over a 0.2-0.3 C rise in temps over 30 years.

  12. Can’t wait to see what the January numbers look like. The way the jet stream’s been setting up, I was getting a feeling that it was going to get mighty cold here in the lower 48 soon. Looks like my hunch was right. Just heard from the local weather forecast tonight that the forecast for next week is for some of the coldest temps of the winter; might even see highs in the single digits {Western NY}. Even looking at possible series of storms riding the jet stream, setting up a string of lake effect events. Looks like the Arctic air conditioner is working just fine.

  13. Has anyone ever looked at the satellite data pre and post the 1998 El Nino by “area” or transit or whatever? Just for fun I looked at the data from the start to and including Nov 1997 and from including Nov 1998 to present. These were arbitrary points that seemed to me to perhaps be the approx start and finish of the El Nino as indicated by the satellite data. (not cherry picking to make a point)
    Couple of things that seemed interesting;
    RSS Post El Nino – All “areas” are still showing an increasing trend except -70/-20 and the Continental USA which showed a whopping -4.56 Deg C / century!!
    60/82.5 showed what everyone knows a +5.4 Deg C / century and
    -70/-60 showed a +1.54 Deg C /Century although it was a -0.24 Deg C/Cent Pre the El Nino
    UAH Post El Nino shows all “areas” with a positive trend post El Nino except for the USA 48 which was a -3.6 Deg C/Cent. UAH NoPol was +4.44 Post El Nino and 1.56 Pre (4.44 overall !!)
    UAH southern “areas” were all negative pre El Nino.
    Hmmmm

  14. I posted these questions on the RSS thread, and no one posited an answer. I think they are valid here as well, so I brought them over.
    This is an anomaly chart, so what is the temperature used as the base line 0? Also, as this is a thirty year period of temperature measurement, what is the average median temperature that is available from this total data set? Could not this average median temperature now be used as the zero line to determine the anomaly listing for the chart? If the zero is reset to the average median for this thirty year period, where do we currently lie temperature-wise, above or below average?

  15. I have a question related to the UAH lower troposphere data. When I look at the far right column I believe that’s the number of days in the yearly average. How come those numbers are always 365 – shouldn’t it currently be 366 since we’re in a leap year?

  16. Hot air in Texas? Oh Mark I could say something but I will control my feistier side for AGW debate.

  17. mark wagner (20:24:38) :
    Dude, you’ve had two ice storms already and will likely have another hard freeze on Saturday (watch those pipes)! Maybe that’s normal for Dallas…
    Snow here in Houston and icy bridges in December isn’t normal. It’s artic system, pacific system, artic system, pacific system with a smattering of warm up from the gulf. Lots of clouds – no sun (‘cept today/tomorrow finally). Enjoy it while u can.

  18. Pamela Gray (19:17:09) :
    ‘Oh I am feeling my oats tonight! Just waiting for some nice young environmentally conscious man to sooth my fretted brow because flooding is to be expected in global warming.’
    Darn, that leaves me out, I’m 60.

  19. Now that was clearly articulated. I imagine the Arctic has some cause and effect here as well as :>).

  20. Pamela Gray (21:07:02) :
    Hot air in Texas? Oh Mark I could say something but I will control my feistier side for AGW debate.

    As well you should. My current zip code ,77339, is for Humble, TX.

  21. The 4th order polynomial is a troublesome line. I just don’t like it, as pure data mining and especially with some conditional knowledge. What I see is a cyclic (sinusoidal) pattern with a frequency that varies from 3.5 to 4.5 years and with an amplitude of about 0.6 degrees C. The El Nino year 1998 is an anomaly. Otherwise the trend for 30 years has been upward at about 0.1 degrees per decade. Of course, during all that time we have been in a positive PDO. In roughly 2007 the PDO shifted to negative. It’s difficult to see it in the graph, but I suspect we doglegged about then, and the trend will be downward for the next 30 years. I can’t tell if the 3.5 to 4.5 year cycle disappeared or not; it certainly seems less pronounced this century.
    This particular record does support the case that marginal warming has occurred over the last 30 years, up until 2007. The skeptic refrain that the globe has cooled over the last ten years is not strictly true, especially if 1998 is considered anomalous. This year should be very telling. If the patterns of the previous 30 years hold, 2009 should be warmer, with departures approaching +0.4 and above. If, on the other hand, 2009 departures drop to the 0.0 or even +0.1 level, that would indicate a major shift away from previous trends.
    btw, if I had any say in the matter, I would choose the globe to be warmer, because I like warmer better. I suspect I am going to be disappointed in that.

  22. Graeme Rodaughan (20:17:18) : OT – Could someone please point me to a viable description of the following points.
    1. The component of the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.
    2. The component of the current atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.

    Hi Graeme, it’s an area that I got interested in. Have a look at my web pages here and here, and at the Forum discussions with Ferdinand Engelbeen and others here and elsewhere. We know that the yearly increase is about half the human emissions. But I don’t think we know for sure how much of the increase is due to us, how much is due to, say, slow ongoing ocean warming recovery from the LIA, and how efficiently the biosphere can sink the CO2 (which I rate highly). What I’m certain of is that the IPCC have been playing fast and loose with the science, that the oceans have a HUGE power to outgas and sink CO2, and that we forget the marine homeostasis involving free Ca radicals ever-ready to turn CO2 into CaCO3 (acidification – humph!).
    Anyone interested, don’t go further OT here but post on our forum please!

  23. Keith: The base years for the AHU MSU data are 1979 to 1998, I believe.
    The average for the above AHU TLT over the entire term of the data is approx 0.66 deg C, so the present values are not below the average for the past 30 years.

  24. “I have a strange feeling that the 2009 temps will be higher than 2008…”-Alex
    Perhaps they will, but I doubt it.

  25. Per UAH, I’ve got 2008 with a +.048 anomaly, putting it 17th out of the last 30, also the coolest year this decade, and suprisingly cooler than 1980 (+.0878) and 1981 (+.053).

  26. Steve Hempell: I posted a video on my website a few weeks ago that illustrates the reason for the post 1997/98 El Nino warming.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/lingering-effects-of-199798-el-nino.html
    I borrowed a couple of the graphs from the video to help illustrate what I’m discussing in the following.
    El Nino events that aren’t impacted by volcanic eruptions create significant step changes in East Indian Ocean and West Pacific Ocean SST anomalies.
    http://i44.tinypic.com/flf42v.jpg
    The East Indian and West Pacific Oceans don’t react significantly to the La Nina that follows.
    http://i42.tinypic.com/zmidg3.jpg
    They slowly lose that extra heat as some of it accumulates in the Pacific Warm Pool (to depths of approximately 300 meters), which removes it from the surface temperature record. The East Indian Ocean and West Pacific Ocean also lose heat through mixing with the other oceans.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/6til42.jpg
    The mixing raises the SST anomalies of the East Pacific, Atlantic, and West Indian Oceans, so that there is an overall rise in global SST anomalies that takes a few years to show up. If the next El Nino event occurs before all of the heat from the prior El Nino has dissipated, the process starts again but at the higher global SST. And if global SST anomalies have risen, global LST anomalies rise as well.
    http://i43.tinypic.com/14n1mo8.jpg
    I guess I need to clarify those points in a follow-up post. It also shows up in the data for the 1986/87/88 El Nino. Refer to the last graph above. And going back a few years, it should also appear after the 1976/77/78 El Nino. This and the two significant volcanic eruptions should then explain why there are the three upward steps in global temperature anomalies since 1975.
    Good, now I’ve got a task for the next few days.

  27. My projection was as follows:
    UAH: +0.25°C (actual: 0.180)
    RSS: +0.28°C (actual: 0.174 )
    GISS: +0.51°C
    HadCRU: +0.47°C
    NCDC: +0.57°C
    (0.2°C simply added to Tom Woods’ ).
    And I expect my GISS and HadCrut numbers to be too low.

  28. Heard on the Bloomberg today that the airports in Milan were closed for snow. They only report this kind of thing if it is unusual…
    Anyone know what the normal snow is for Milan?

  29. Graeme Rodaughan (20:17:18) :
    1. The component of the yearly increase of atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.
    2. The component of the current atmospheric CO2 that can reliably be attributed to man made emissions.

    This is being batted about toward the bottom of
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/03/4000-year-o18-histories-of-new-zealands-north-and-south-islands/
    Though my response is still in the moderators queue. FWIW, I don’t think it is possible to make such an attribution to MM vs nature. There are too many unknowns.
    It’s all based on a presumed C12:C13 ratio in plants vs the air (and the assumption that fossil fuels are ancient plants). This fails on several counts not the least of which is that the ratio in various coals, oils, and natural gas all vary and that bacterial source ratios vary. With everything moving and lots of unknowns (What is the ratio in smokers on the ocean floor?) it looks to me like any attribution will be more arm waving than fact.
    See: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070611/cockburn
    He also points out the large number of plant sources that are not from fossil fuels and could be getting into the air, like, oh, soils. And I’d ask does anyone really know how much clathrate out gasses on the ocean floor? How much natural gas is eaten by bacteria? etc.
    I’m sure folks can make up numbers that sound good, but I’m also sure there is no way they can be shown to be right.

  30. What, no hat tip to Steve Berry?
    REPLY: Hi Steve, I’m truly sorry if you felt slighted. When some new info becomes available, I often get notice from many different channels; here in comments, emails, sometimes phone calls. In this case I had such a flurry of notices all within an hour and picking the h/t winner was tough since I lost track of who/when by the time I left my office and went home, where I wrote the post.
    So to everybody who contributed the tip, “thank you”.
    But please, keep up letting me know. When I can clearly pick a hat tip winner be assured I’ll always make a note here. – Anthony

  31. Mark, Alex
    I agree with both of you. My gut feeling is that 2009 will be warmer than 2008. I think the current ENSO shift to La Nina will be short lived, and ENSO will return too neutral by late Spring and we will see a weak, short lived El Nino beginning in the autumn of 2009. One thing that could work against an Pacific El Nino is a shift in the AMO. Despite fairly warm Atlantic waters, Northwest Europe has suffered through bouts of cold wet weather in 2 of the last 3 years. This could be an indication of a return to an NAO driven climate pattern for Northwest Europe. The positive AMO has driven much of the very warm climate Europe has seen since 1995.
    Overall, I think 2009 will be slightly warmer than 2008, but a cold PDO will continue to slowly drive NH temps downward over time.

  32. Any chance of getting all four main temperatures shown with a trend line for the past ten years? A lot of people made a big deal out of 1998 being included last year so I’ll like to see the trends based on a start date of 1999.

  33. The update of RSS, GISS gives present length of stagnation in temperatures:
    GISS: 8 years 0 mth (since jan 2001)
    RSS: 11 year 11 mth (Since feb 1997)
    Graphic:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/temp08.gif
    SOLAR CYCLE 24 – Hathaway, new interesting correction, sorry if others has mentioned it:
    Hathaways predicted max, oct 2008: 137
    Hathaways predicted max, jan 2009: 104
    – A decrease in expectaion for solar cycle 24 of 30 % ! By the scientist who most of all scientist expected rather powerful solar cycle 24.
    Graphic:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/attachments/s24correction.gif

  34. Keith (21:04:41) :
    There’s no one temperature that represents the 0 line. Every month has its own mean for calculating the anomaly. As it stands, the base 1979-1998 (20 years). It would be nice if they would change it now to a 30 year base, now that 30 years of data are available, since that the climatological norm.

  35. Basil (06:58:32) “There’s no one temperature that represents the 0 line.”
    But Basil, there has to be a base temperature. That 0 line represents 0.00 degrees difference from the baseline, as this is an anomaly graph. If they are recalculating the baseline average each month, don’t even worry about putting a zero line there, just give us the raw data number. Somewhere, there is a baseline average that is being used. I’m asking if it is now time to recompute that baseline based upon 30 years of available data compiled using the same metric? Also, with a recomputed baseline, are we currently warmer or colder than average?

  36. Lucy Skywalker,
    I don’t find it very plausible that half of our emissions end up inte atmospere. All our emissions end up in the atmosphere and the biosphere takes up an amount that is currently half of our emissions. There is an important difference: the take-up rate seems to be fairly well proportional to the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. Hence, if we would cut down emissions in a few decades – which is very likely as alternatives fuel becomes economically viable – the more than half of our emissions will be eaten up by the biosphere.

  37. Johnnyb (02:43:47) :
    “I have a strange feeling that the 2009 temps will be higher than 2008…”-Alex
    Perhaps they will, but I doubt it.

    One of these guys is spot on. 🙂
    My prediction (FWIW) is that temps will fall until may, then recover a bit, then fall again from september. Sharply.

  38. Pete (05:31:37) :
    Any chance of getting all four main temperatures shown with a trend line for the past ten years? A lot of people made a big deal out of 1998 being included last year so I’ll like to see the trends based on a start date of 1999.

    Here you go.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1999/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1999/plot/uah/from:1999/plot/rss/from:1999/plot/wti/from:1999/trend
    Including the hansen/Jones effect, looks like a rise of ~0.065C over the dacade.

  39. Global temperatures were a lot colder this time last year
    RSS 2007 2008
    Nov. 0.131 0.216
    Dec. 0.096 0.174
    Unless this downward trend established in December continues for several months it looks like 2009 will be warmer than 2008. It is difficult to believe with no sunspots and the negative PDO

  40. You also need to take into account the almighty rebound downwards following the big ’98 spike. The negative forcing was probably mostly cloud related albedo change, though others will want to weigh in on that I would think.

  41. Alex (01:44:04) :
    I have a strange feeling that the 2009 temps will be higher than 2008…

    I have a feeling that they will be higher or lower or the same. And I predict that “global mean temperature” will still be a meaningless metric.

  42. Keith,
    They are not recomputing the baseline every month. But every month has its own baseline.
    Does that make sense?
    For example, for calculating the anomaly for January, it has a baseline that is a twenty year average — 1979-1998 — for January. Similarly, the baseline for July will be a twenty year average for July. Now the actual average represented by the zero line for July is going to be higher than what the zero line represents for January. Do you follow?
    But as to your primary interest in knowing where we are now with respect to a baseline that includes the last ten years — and HadCRUT, GISS, and UAH/RSS all use some baseline ending in 2000 or earlier — your best bet is to follow the data at
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/
    The particular series I look at daily is “ch 5” (14,000 ft/4.4km/600 mb):
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+002
    Using the default plotting options, you see a 20 year average (which I take to be the most recent 20 years, not a baseline like 1979-1998), a plot for last year, and then this year. You’ll see that for last year, temperature tended to fluctuate around the 20 year average through August, and then stayed above the 20 year average for much of the rest of the year.
    Is that the kind of information you are looking for?

  43. Oh Mark I could say something but I will control my feistier side for AGW debate.
    I’ll just say….”thanks.”
    Dude, you’ve had two ice storms already and will likely have another hard freeze on Saturday (watch those pipes)! Maybe that’s normal for Dallas…
    Yes, we have had an unusually early start to winter this year. But that’s just weather, no? Question is: How much “weather” does it take to make a “trend?”
    Much more interested in where we’re all headed over the next 10 years. Warm, wet and well-fed is much preferred to cold, dark and hungry.

  44. Mike McMillan (21:47:35) :
    Pamela Gray (21:07:02) :
    Hot air in Texas? Oh Mark I could say something but I will control my feistier side for AGW debate.
    As well you should. My current zip code ,77339, is for Humble, TX.

    Wait a minute! Humble? In Texas?!

  45. Betting on global cooling?
    Now you can!
    What is the odds that the serving British prime minister during 2009 states in the Commons the there is no such thing as Global Warming?
    I personally believe that the politicians will be the last, with the exception of the eco fundamentalists, to realize there is no global warming long after that the MSM has flip flopped and made it a joke.

  46. I’m not sure, but I may have beat you to this one-not that it matters when your blog has such a huge readership compared to mine.I’m extremely jealous! Keep up the getting noticed, Anthony. Everyone should hear what you have to say.

  47. My bet is cooler in 2009. Nino 2,3, and 4 negative, and Nino 1 barely positive. Upper ocean heat content cold and getting colder. A quiet period in undersea geothermal activity?

  48. Lucy Skywalker (02:05:32) :
    Anyone interested, don’t go further OT here but post on our forum please!

    Thanks Lucy, much appreciated. Cheers G.

  49. E.M.Smith (04:32:57) :
    I’m sure folks can make up numbers that sound good, but I’m also sure there is no way they can be shown to be right.

    Thanks E.M, much appreciated.
    If anyone else answers my question (above), and doesn’t get a public thanks – thanks in advance. Cheers G.

  50. “Hence, if we would cut down emissions in a few decades – which is very likely as alternatives fuel becomes economically viable”
    There is currently no “alternative” fuel that I am aware of that would cut CO2 emissions. The only fuel that would cut CO2 emissions that I see available is nuclear generated electricity.
    But one must wonder why we even need to cut CO2 emissions. Warming is better than cooling. A warmer planet would make for a more diverse biosphere. Current IPCC predictions of environmental response to CO2 increase has been shown to be greatly exaggerated. If we doubled the CO2 in the atmosphere from pre-industrial levels, we would get less warming than we had from natural causes in the 18th century. It would get lost in the noise of natural variability. I see no reason to worry greatly about CO2 emissions.
    What is important is that things such as mineral petroleum is too valuable a resource to simply burn up. When we run out of oil, we run out of plastic, paint, fertilizer, computers, televisions, and fibers for clothing. Conserving our petroleum resources will become an important issue but not because of CO2 emissions. It will be important because of all the other things aside from fuel that it is used for. The same applies for coal.
    Nuclear energy with recycled fuel is our most environmentally friendly way to provide an inexpensive, large scale energy source that can power a global economy for centuries to come and still leave enough of our mineral petroleum resources to make the other materials we need in a modern society.

  51. Betting on global cooling?
    Now you can!
    What is the odds that the serving British prime minister during 2009 states in the Commons the there is no such thing as Global Warming?

    Piers Corbyn has actually placed a £100 bet on this happening. This does bring Corbyn’s judgement into question since, whatever happens to global temps in 2009, the global warming (climate change) issue isn’t going to go away any time soon. It’ll be at least 5 years – and probably nearer 10 – before there’s any shift in government thinking.
    If Corbyn wants a more sensible bet why doesn’t he approach James Annan or George Monbiot. If he’s just looking for publicity he’ll get it with Monbiot.

  52. Have no idea where to post this but I found it very odd.
    http://www.eponline.com/articles/70183/
    NASA did a 5 year study and came to the conclusion that clouds associated with severe storms are increasing do to global warming.
    Two things I found odd about the conclusion
    #1 – How come a 5 year study is okay if it backs up their claim, but an 11 year study of lowering temperatures is not long enough
    #2 – Temps have decreased in the last 5 years not increased so if their study found more clouds associated with severe storms wouldn’t that mean they are increasing do to global cooling and not warming

  53. “There is currently no “alternative” fuel that I am aware of that would cut CO2 emissions”
    Actually, Crosspatch, there is a very viable alternative that would immediately cut CO2 emmissions. It’s called a worldwide economic recession.
    But you are correct in pointing out the other benefits of fossil fuels. Occaisonally, when I’m feeling mean, when I come across a really strident AGW proponent I tell said person that if they are really interested in lowering thier carbon footprint they should advocate the boycotting of the Internet. The Internet itself is very, very ungreen. Besides the plastics, poisonous materials used to manufacture microchips, PCB boards, transformers, and LCD screens, the Internet is a huge drain on our power supplies. I point out the KW usage of a typical Google data center (I currently work in IT), not to mention data centers hosted by AT&T, Time Warner, Yahoo, and any number of Fortune 500 companies.
    I tell my AGW proponents that they could do more by boycotting the Internet than any other activity. Of course, most of these AGW types live online and would the Internet would be the last thing they give up. Well, maybe not the last thing; they also love thier $4.5 Starbucks lattes.

  54. Jared (04:28:03) :
    Have no idea where to post this but I found it very odd.
    http://www.eponline.com/articles/70183/

    Jared,
    The key detail in that is that the study looked at correlation between seasonal variation in clouds SST’s and clouds, and then went on to extrapolate a secular rise storms based on a presumed “present rate of global warming of 0.13 degrees Celsius.” That’s pretty close to the number we get from a simple linear fit through the UAH satellite temps, but as we all know the actual rise has been nowhere near that for some years now.
    I haven’t looked at the underlying research, and am not a meteorologist or climatologist, but I might question whether the atmospheric-ocean dynamics that give rise to seasonal (annual) variations necessarily hold true for secular (longer term) changes in SST’s occasioned by other factors (regardless of what they are).

  55. “and am not a meteorologist or climatologist”
    Neither is Hansen, he is an astrophysics major. Don’t let it stop you just because you have no schooling in that field. It doesn’t stop the champions of global warming!

  56. @MikeD
    The 4th order polynomial is a troublesome line. I just don’t like it, as pure data mining and especially with some conditional knowledge. What I see is a cyclic (sinusoidal) pattern with a frequency that varies from 3.5 to 4.5 years and with an amplitude of about 0.6 degrees C.
    Whenever I look at any site, pro or anti Global Warming, I always get given a trend picked with some different start date to illustrate a point. One can make good cases for current temperatures trending up or down…
    When I look at the data, I don’t see trend lines at all. I see step functions. Ignoring known perturbations, I see temperatures from 1979-2001 as flat, with a small dip in 1985. Then climbing from 2001-2003. Then flat from 2003-2007, then dipping from 2007-2009. So that’s 20 years of flat with a 5 year elevated spot.
    My prediction, which is worth nothing at all, is that we’ll now get 20 more years of flat (that is, variation between +0.2 and -0.2), with a small dip somewhere….

  57. ..(that is, variation between +02. and -0.2)..
    Whoops, sorry! Should be “variation between +0.2 and -0.2”
    Moderator, correct if possible?

  58. JP
    “Occaisonally, when I’m feeling mean, when I come across a really strident AGW proponent I tell said person that if they are really interested in lowering thier carbon footprint they should advocate the boycotting of the Internet.”
    I always recommend they kill themselves and save the rest of us from have to slowly roast in the CO2 they exhale.

  59. crosspatch (22:48:58) :
    “Hence, if we would cut down emissions in a few decades – which is very likely as alternatives fuel becomes economically viable”
    There is currently no “alternative” fuel that I am aware of that would cut CO2 emissions. The only fuel that would cut CO2 emissions that I see available is nuclear generated electricity.

    Substantially true. Especially given the quantities involved. The tonnage of coal and oil burned each year makes any talk of an alternative fuel a bit laughable. You would need to find one heck of a lot of something to make it from.
    With that preamble, there are in fact contenders. But you said ‘currently’ and that means sooner than a half decade or two from now…
    The best quasi-non nuclear option is coal derived fuels using nuclear process heat (as worked on by VW engineers in the ’70s) where about 3/4 of the energy comes from nuke, transported in methanol from coal as the carbon source. One could use trash, trees, etc instead of coal, if desired.
    The major contenders for fuel are algae & cellulose. There are startup stage companies working in those area, but not much production. VRNM Verenium and Poet (private) are doing cellulosic ethanol Real Soon Now and both Origin Oil (OOIL) and PSUD (Petrosun Energy?) are doing algae. PSUD has started contracting for ponds in Texas, so is closest to “production”. There are a couple of others, too. But the ramp up to ‘size’ will take years and years even after shown to work commercially.
    If you want just energy and not fuel then you can look at things like electricity (but that gets into “fleet change” and a decade+ lag, so isn’t current either…). Hydrogen is just a chemical battery of sorts, not an energy source and just about everything you can use to make hydrogen is better used directly as a fuel or to make electricity.
    What is important is that things such as mineral petroleum is too valuable a resource to simply burn up. When we run out of oil, we run out of plastic, paint, fertilizer, computers, televisions, and fibers for clothing. Conserving our petroleum resources will become an important issue but not because of CO2 emissions. It will be important because of all the other things aside from fuel that it is used for. The same applies for coal.
    Um, not really… While this is often said and widely believed, the realitiy is that any carbon feedstock can be used. It’s an economic decision, not a technical one. Coal and plants were the original ‘petro’chemical feed stock and they are starting to be again. Examples?
    Eastman Chemical EMN makes “petro”chemicals from coal today (they never bothered to swap from coal in the first place a gob of decades ago… coal was used long before petroleum…) Most U.S. chemical companies (like DOW and DD Dupont) use natural gas feed stock and have since the Arab Oil Embargo of the ’70s. Rentech RTK has demonstrated making fertilizer and other chemicals from coal or trash via gasification to “producer gas”. The biggest chemical, plastic and resin maker in South America, Braskem BAK uses sugar cane and sugar cane alcohol to make plastics and resins. Oh, and there is a company in the midwest making plastics from corn… Natureworks? Yes: http://www.natureworksllc.com/
    http://jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2005-03-15/russell-cornplastic
    Corn plastic became big business in 1997, when Dow Chemical, the plastics giant, and Cargill, an agricultural company, formed a new company, Cargill Dow, to develop the material. Cargill bought out Dow’s interest in the joint venture in January and renamed the company Natureworks LLC.
    Oh, and Sasol SSL in S.Africa use coal for their “petro”chemicals. And there are undoubtedly others too. Heck, I’ve made nitro-cellulose from cotton (as was used in early billiard balls and photographic films ‘nitrate stock’) and rayon is also made from cellulose. The first president of Israel was a chemist who developed a system using a bacteria to make several alcohols and acetone prior to cheap oil:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clostridium_acetobutylicum
    There is much active work today to use bugs to get chemicals… and fuels. British Petroleum BP is building Butanol factories for fuel production from plants, though I’m not sure what method they use. Once you have an alcohol you can make it into anything organic… (Butanol is nice because you can drop it into a gasoline tank and just drive away… no conversion needed. See: http://www.butanol.com where the guy uses a different bug/process.)
    And with this, I’m going to stop. If I didn’t this would get waaaay too long. (Alternatives for fuels and plastics is one of my tech hot buttons… I’ve only spent about 40 years fascinated by it…) Suffice it to say there is never going to be a shortage of plastics, fertilizers, chemicals, polymers, resins, etc. due to feed stock depletion.

  60. Oh I can’t resist… One more…
    Almost all plastic and organic chemical synthesis starts (or can start) with ‘synthesis gas’ CO + H2. (Guess why it’s called synthesis gas…) If you have CO2, you can make syngas via a hydrogen from water. Just add water and a lot of heat to CO2 and you can get synthesis gas. (Some added C helps but there are ways around that).
    What this means is that as long as there is CO2 and energy there is chemical feed stock… Think about it… Now realize that we have tons of CO2 produced from rocks when we make cement and other products. Even if we didn’t use plants, we can still get CO2 from dirt, especially limestones.
    This is ‘part 2’ of my no limits to growth mantra. Part 1 is there is no energy shortage and never will be. Then, as long as you have energy there is no shortage of syngas, which implies no shortage of non-metal materials. Since we can get metals from sea water and rocks with energy, you end with no shortages of stuff. Ever. The key is unlimited energy from nuclear and the sun. Since with energy and materials we can make lots of greenhouses and desalinizers food and water are not limiting either.
    This is why I say:
    We run out of energy when we run out of planet. AND
    We run out of materials and plastics when we run out of planet. AND
    We run out of food when we run out of planet.
    It isn’t a question of technology development, only price. And that is why I’m generally positive about our future prospects. The only shortage is of imagination and will.

  61. “Anyone know what the normal snow is for Milan?”
    I’m not a meteorologist and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but it’s really cold here in Europe. It snowed 6″ in Marseille this week. It never snows in Marseille. Never, as in never ever.
    Global warming? Not so much.

  62. Crosspatch:
    “It would get lost in the noise of natural variability. I see no reason to worry greatly about CO2 emissions.”
    They want to kill off all the plants that turn CO2 into the Oxygen that we breathe.

  63. E.M.Smith said,
    “We run out of energy when we run out of planet. AND
    We run out of materials and plastics when we run out of planet. AND
    We run out of food when we run out of planet.
    It isn’t a question of technology development, only price. And that is why I’m generally positive about our future prospects. The only shortage is of imagination and will.”
    Wow EM, those are definitely words to live by… thanks.

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