RSS global temperature anomaly makes a significant jump in January

rss_jan_09-520

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RSS Data Source is here

The RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA) Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) lower troposphere global temperature anomaly data for January 2009 was published yesterday and has risen significantly. This is the new data version, 3.2  which changed in October.  The change from December with a value of 0.174°C to January’s 0.322°C is a (∆T) of  +0.148°C.

RSS

2008 1 -0.070

2008 2 -0.002

2008 3   0.079

2008 4   0.080

2008 5 -0.083

2008 6  0.035

2008 7  0.147

2008 8 0.146

2008 9 0.241 (V3.1)

2008 10 0.181 (V3.2)

2008 11 0.216 (V3.2)

2008 12 0.174 (V3.2)

2009 01 0.322 (V3.2)

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215 thoughts on “RSS global temperature anomaly makes a significant jump in January

  1. Good for the planet. However, I’d have been more than happy to accept a nice cooling this year in the hopes of staving off this administrations aggressive ‘climate change’ policies that are about to be imposed upon the U.S.
    The politicians only know one way to combat the’ problem’: Make coal, oil and gas so expensive that nobody can afford to use them.

  2. I’m sick to death of these “alarmist” tree huggers! Christopher Booker hits the nail on the head, as you do! Keep up the good work. For climate change, read NATURE!

  3. Wow, my energy usage for heat says this was way colder this year . . . I guess they must have averaged out my area.

  4. hm, I would not be surprised if the good people at RSS need to take another look at this. The tropics have a similar value to december, but extratropic NH is +0,3; SH +0,2 and USA a whopping +1,0. That does not compute with what I’ve read and experienced about temperatures in Europe and the US, though I realize the Northern hemisphere is bigger than that.
    At the same time, the ENSO index takes a dive. I know that there is a delayed reaction between Nino 3.4 region and the rest of the world, but I thought it was about 3 months. Back then the region had already stopped warming, as far as I know.
    On the other hand, RSS makes similar and bigger jumps between December and January in ’02/’03, ’04/’05 and ’06/’07, so it fits a pattern… though not a clue what could explain such a thing or if it’s just random. If it’s not a pattern, at least it’s not unusual.

  5. Not quite on topic, but I was wondering – if CO2 increases on a parts per million basis, what is it crowding out. Is it crowding out other greenhouse gasses?

  6. Perhaps AGW theory has some legs. This appears to be quite a jump.
    It must have been without any help from the UK, which has been cold as of late. Where in the world has all the warming occurred?

  7. I think these brief spikes are to be expected. Like the very brief one in Jan 2007. It’s a bit early to say, but overall, there’s the appearance of having passed the crest of a hill occurring in 2004-2005.

  8. Must be the Land TLTs because the TLT over the Oceans only increased by 0.017 deg C.
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    Yup, it was the land TLTs. They jumped by 0.429 deg C.
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_v03_2.txt
    For those interested, global SST anomalies (OI.v2 SST) decreased by 0.018 deg C.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/1js3kw.jpg
    The rest of the SST anomaly update (subdivided by hemispheres and oceans) is here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/january-2009-sst-anomaly-update.html
    Regards

  9. this is curious though in light of all of the extremely cold temps we experienced globally……call me a bit surprised. i was expecting a low month.

  10. Dave

    It must have been without any help from the UK, which has been cold as of late. Where in the world has all the warming occurred?

    Good question: click

  11. Without doing the stats, there appears to be a consistent shift in the data upward correlating with the version change… coincidence?

  12. For those watching available global summary data, this January number is not a surprise. UAH will have a similar report — see http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+002
    Of interest to me will the explanation of how so many land temperatures can be so cold / cool with such a divergence in global tropospheric temperatures. John Christy has been quoted that this phenomenon has happened before in the presence of abundant tropical rainfall. There seems to be some gap in the explanation, and I am looking forward to hearing more.

  13. That’s a little higher than I expected. I was targeting .25-.3 anomaly. There was a large stratospheric warming event over Greenland in Jan. No idea what it means, but it’s clearlt unusual.
    Still cooler than Jan 07 by a good bit.

  14. I’ve read (somewhere) that global temps follow the SOI by about 6-9 months. As it turns out, the SOI was at it’s most negative about 8 months ago, and has gotten steadily more positive ever since.
    I expect this to likely be the warmest month (anomaly wise) of the year, and it should be steadily cooler.

  15. mark (08:33:15) : this is curious though in light of all of the extremely cold temps we experienced globally……call me a bit surprised. i was expecting a low month.
    Note that we are talking +0.322 (around 0.5F) above January 29 years ago. That isn’t very much. Even if introduced suddenly, you probably wouldn’t notice it. When it comes to cold, does it really matter if it’s 10F vs. 10.5F?
    FWIW: The January temps in the DC area have been what can only be described as mild for January. We not only had a January thaw but Super Bowl weekend saw temperatures in the low 60’s. Hardly winter weather in these parts. How many more places with deltas of +20F or more would it take to raise the world average temperature by 0.5F? Does this answer your question?

  16. What am I missing here? How is this change “significant”? It’s only just a little more than 1 sd above the mean of the changes in RSS.

  17. How did we get in this lose-lose situation? Continuing downward temperatures can’t be good for mankind. However, any upward turns in temperature, no matter how short, may give the AGW alarmists the ammo they need to get their draconian and destructive energy policies enacted. Arrrrrgh, what should I cheer for?

  18. Dave (08:23:51) :
    “Perhaps AGW theory has some legs. This appears to be quite a jump.
    It must have been without any help from the UK, which has been cold as of late. Where in the world has all the warming occurred?”
    Dave,
    AGW theory has no legs.
    It’s a hoax.
    Read: Greenhouse Theory Disproved a Century Ago at http://www.icecap.us

  19. I hope everyone commenting will stop using weather and climate interchangeably. It only confuses the issues.

  20. Yes, the biggest change is in 60-82,5
    Well, the cold arctic air that moved towards in US and western Europe had to be replaced by mild air…
    Let’s see in June.
    Even if I did not really like Archibald’s forcasting method (in a paper posted on icecap few weeks ago), I also think 2009 will not be a global warming year.

  21. Well, if they say it is. It must be right then, being a satellite an’ all.
    Just seemed to me that Jan 08 was warmer than 09 in my neck of the woods, I’m in the SH tropics and it rained just about every day in January. Just suprised that it is th’ other way ’round everywhere else, is all.
    Jan08 Rainfall=399mm mean min 24.3C mean max 32.2C mean RH=71%
    Jan09 Rainfall+882mm mean min 24.1C mean max 30.9C mean RH+77%
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/dwo/200901/html/IDCJDW4024.200901.shtml
    Tricky stuff this climate.

  22. DAV,
    Which DC were you living in? I live near DC right outside the beltway in VA and Jan was about as cold overall as I’ve ever seen it since the 70s. True, Superbowl Sunday was warm (and was actually in February, but why quibble), but the entire month before was on average about 6-8 F BELOW the long term average of 44 for my zip code. In no way could I describe overall temps in January as ‘mild’, we had multiple days where the high temp did not breach 30 (14 degrees below ‘normal’).

  23. As mentioned earlier this does look a lot like january 2007. From that point temps crashed … yeah, that’s a few tenths ;).
    The southwestern US, where I’m at, has been quite warm for most of Jan. This is not atypical winter “weather” where a ridge builds up of the west and a trough over the east. That’s why the overall number is very close to average.
    It’s most likely going to be many years before anyone can say anything useful about how this years data fits into the overall picture.

  24. Looking over that graph, it’s rather hard not to notice what usually happens after a lone spike.
    Brace yourselves. This is going to be a bad one, and it’s not going to be tee shirts and flip-flop weather.

  25. So it went from incredibly dangerously cold to incredibly cold.
    Wow.
    Call Lovelock, and ask him for his suicide potion. It is time for humanity to call it a day.

  26. MIke:
    “Perhaps this is the result of the rather large SSW that occurred in Jan.??”
    I think so – here is a cross section of the atmosphere from 65 to 90 degrees North
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.ao.cdas.gif
    all the red on the right is the recent (record) SSW, the y scale is pressure (altitude)
    So heating over the pole for sure, but remember a SSW, particularly a Major one, causes the Artic Oscillation to turn negative which it has done recently
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/ao.shtml
    and when the Artic Oscillation turns negative – there are major cold outbreaks into the mid-latitudes – Western Europe and North America. Looks like Europe got their cold pretty quickly, and eastern North America has experiencing it currently (Artic air down into Florida).
    In a nutshell……weather is interesting

  27. Dave (08:23:51) :
    … Where in the world has all the warming occurred?
    This Japanese site maps anomalies on a weekly basis, giving a good idea of it. Select ‘Element – Temperature anomaly’, then select various weeks –
    http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/tcc/tcc/products/climate/synop.html
    You can see that there are many areas that have had notable positive anomalies for various periods during the month. It gives a nice illustration of the variability of one region against another!

  28. We have seen similar monthly moves in the past, both up and down in direction. Still better to keep an eye on longer term trends. The North American temperatures are not in the NCDC database yet, by the way.

  29. I too have my doubts, the USA being an average of +1.0 above normal for January? not above last year but above mean? According to NSP we averaged 11 degrees lower than last year and last year was below the last several. while that is not a huge area it is way to big for the average overall to be +1 unless the average in a very large area is > +10. Believe me I wish January was 1 degree above average I’d have a couple hundred extra bucks in my pocket.
    Of course the error one would expect from siting issues alone would be at least +1 in the US if we were talking about surface readings.

  30. i just keep watching the “GLARINGLY BLANK” orange circle on the right side of this page……hmmm….

  31. Leif,
    Actually it was do to the Bz spike to the south causing the aurora to spike in the high latitudes. LOL

  32. realitycheck, your SSW chart was very informative.
    Since this has been accurately accounted for in the GCMs … what? There’s nothing in the GCMs? It’s a phenomenon that no one understands fully? Settled sicence?

  33. Same animation as realitycheck linked to above for 10 hpa (lower stratosphere) except for this animation, it is the 200 ha (middle-top of the troposphere).
    This is just at the top of (maybe actually just above) where the RSS lower troposphere temps come from.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/z200anim.shtml
    Note that this Sudden Stratospheric Warming event is the biggest ever recorded. Temperatures from 65N to 90N have been the highest ever recorded (beating even the summer records) from 5 hpa down to at least 70 hpa.
    The effects of the event depend on whether the additional heat migrates downward to the surface or whether it just leaks out to space. And then it depends on whether it can migrate down to the middle latittudes where most of us live. Sometimes these events produce warming at the pole but very cold conditions in the middle latitudes 2 weeks to 8 weeks after the initial event.

  34. Globally, Jan and Fed are the warmest months of the year, presumably because the earth is closest to the sun then. These are UAH numbers for the average monthly anomaly from 1979 to now:
    Mon Anomaly
    1 0.095
    2 0.099
    3 0.080
    4 0.069
    5 0.037
    6 0.025
    7 0.038
    8 0.044
    9 0.068
    10 0.077
    11 0.082
    12 0.063

  35. the change isn t very relevant.
    but it might seem so, if one made (or somehow got stuck with people who did) the claim, that “100 years of warming have been erased in 12 months” some months ago.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/05/
    looks like those months brought the (erased) warming back…
    REPLY: You know “sod” that really disingenuous of you. I made no such claim, and if you weren’t so fixated on playing snark, you’ d note that I asked for a got corrections to statements attributed to me I never made. But what should I expect from someone who vehemently doubted the government plan in Iraq for the “surge” but takes global warming and climate change data from the same government without so much as a question.
    – Anthony

  36. If you’ll look over the graph you’ll find numerous examples of temperatures dropping, bottoming out and then around january (you have to think of it as a seasonal thing), spiking backup. It’s often the peak (or near it) until the next winter season spike. It even shows up during the infamous 1998 spike. Looking at past behavior I would expect it to drop off by .1C to .2C.

  37. Must be warm somewhere else in the world. I live in Southern PA, about 30 miles north of Baltimore. My January heating bill just arrived and the average temperature was listed as 27.3F vs 33.9F last January. That matches my perception that it has been pretty cold here this winter compared to last year.

  38. HORSE FEATHERS!!
    Where do they come up with that stuff, when the world is in the grip of record cold?
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25001064-954,00.html
    http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/story/1202357.html
    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/storms/winter/2009-02-02-ice-storm-recovery_N.htm
    I was studying with a friend in college, and in several places she had drawn a pair of pliers. I asked why she did that, and she said it was to indicate that the only place the prof could have come up with that was to pull it out of his @**. We need to draw a whole lot of pliers on whatever we get from the warmers.
    Natural variations, not AGW!
    http://in.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idINTRE5133EX20090204

  39. Richard:
    The GCMs struggle to even show something which resembles the Artic Oscillation (or any of the other modes of internal variability by that matter) never mind something like a SSW…
    I have a gripe here also about the tireless arguement of what is “weather” and what is “climate”
    Tell me – what physics in the atmosphere/ocean/soils tell them to act in one way at short time and spatial scales and in another way at long time and spatial scales? The idea is ridiculous. Its like classifying a falling apple as a “projectile” and an apple on the ground as “fruit” – its a freakin apple!!
    The climate system (solar, atmosphere, ocean and soils) is complex, is highly non-linear (chaotic) and does what it does. We are only scrapping the surface when attempting to understand and characterise this complex system.
    From a GCM point of view, the idea that you can simulate such a system by a set of physical thermodynamics equations and linear parameterizations and use a grid which starts at a resolution of several 10’s of km is just fooling ourselves.
    In such a system, a tornado tomorrow (weather) has as much importance, and as little importance as the movement of the ocean current over decades (climate).

  40. Re California’s water shortage and Dr. Chu….
    Perhaps he has been reading WUWT? I posted comments on this in the past couple of days…
    Interesting, though, that once again the pols’ solution is to spend money on reducing CO2, when what we need is desalination plants. Or a major water pipeline from the Mississippi over the continental divide into the Colorado river.
    HELLO! You do not create fresh water by reducing CO2! Is anybody in
    government listening?
    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California

  41. Bill Marsh (09:39:35) : Which DC were you living in? I live near DC right outside the beltway in VA and Jan was about as cold overall as I’ve ever seen it since the 70s. True, Superbowl Sunday was warm (and was actually in February, but why quibble), but the entire month before was on average about 6-8 F BELOW the long term average of 44 for my zip code. In no way could I describe overall temps in January as ‘mild’, we had multiple days where the high temp did not breach 30 (14 degrees below ‘normal’).
    I live in the one that had mostly rain instead of snow in January.The only significant snow (meaning I had to shovel) was last week and that turned to rain then freezing rain that night and pretty much melted away the next day.
    Yes there were a couple of nights in the 10’s but I only zipped up my jacket once. Christmas Day was around 50F (I even made a comment about it at CA). OK, Christmas was one week before January, but as you said, why quibble? My heating bills are nothing compared to this time last year despite a 72% price increase. Go figure.
    Guess I live on the hot side of down. I’ve heard stories that Virginians are colder than Marylanders (despite the world famous Maryland Crabs). Perhaps WX is the basis? 🙂

  42. Just an possible idea and or explanation for the record Jan 09 SSW?
    We know that the atmosphere has compacted due to lack of solar ion radation.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/16/earths-ionosphere-drops-to-a-new-low/
    We also know from laws of thermodynamics in Charles Law that as temp of a gas drops, then either the volume or pressure decrease.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles%27s_law
    Is it possible that combining the solar minimum and extreme cold temps in the far northern lattitudes this winter could have altered the atmospheric layers enough to cause a SSW.
    We know that some of the upper layers in the atmosphere are normally very hot.
    Could the compaction of the atmosphere from the lack of solar radiation, comibined with the extreme cold temps, which according to Charles’ law should compact the atmosphere even more, have actually dropped some of these hot layers to a significantly lower level, and thus affected the temps at specific altitudes as measured by the satellites? Is it possible that the layers of the atmosphere are lower than normal, and thus distorting what the temps normally are at that altitude?

  43. Our ionosphere has shrinked considerably in the past years because of reduced solar activity. I bet we can expect more of those impressive SSW in the future. We have to wonder if includingthe upper atmosphere temperature in the calculation of the global temperature is a good thing to do. That sudden heat will irradiate back in space quite fast actually.

  44. I’ve metioned this before but I might as well re-state the case. We had better hope there isn’t a pattern here because the one that matches most closely to what we see now, is end of 1997 into beginning ’98……….Yikes!!!!
    So, this in not necessarily a short term spike at all – it could go all the way to1998 and beyond. The trend after all is even steeper than that of early ’98.
    Ben

  45. Bill Marsh (09:39:35) :
    DAV,
    Which DC were you living in? I live near DC right outside the beltway in VA and Jan was about as cold overall as I’ve ever seen it since the 70s…
    Same here in Howard/Carroll counties in Maryland. My utility bill says 3 degees colder than last year and I thought it would have been more. I run in the morning 3-4 day’s per week and I can tell you I don’t remember as many days below 20 degrees since I started back in 1990.
    MikeEE

  46. ” Paddy (09:24:38) :
    I hope everyone commenting will stop using weather and climate interchangeably. It only confuses the issues.”
    Can we all agree on a definition of “Climate”? Please!
    From E. Brit.:
    “Condition of the atmosphere at a particular location over a long period of time (from one month to many millions of years, but generally 30 years). Climate is the sum of atmospheric elements (and their variations): solar radiation, temperature, humidity, clouds and precipitation (type, frequency, and amount), atmospheric pressure, and wind (speed and direction). To the nonspecialist, climate means expected or habitual weather at a particular place and time of year. To the specialist, climate also denotes the degree of variability of weather, and it includes not only the atmosphere but also the hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and such extraterrestrial factors as the sun. ”
    What about dirt (earth) temperature? Earth’s core temperature?
    So, it it 30 yr of weather or not? Well, is it? Are you feeling lucky today?

  47. Paddy (09:24:38) :
    I hope everyone commenting will stop using weather and climate interchangeably. It only confuses the issues
    Ok, what is the difference? Can the temperature of the whole planet fairly be described as weather? How much weather history do you need before you can call it climate? At what point do you distinguish the successive year-to-year changes in weather from changes in the climate?
    I think these are all artificial and subjective boundaries.
    MikeEE

  48. Well my power bill was more this jan than last and i’ve not made any changes to my home.I’ve got a strong feeling there are some errors on this page .

  49. If the oceans are not warming, Jan 09 is but an indicator the great heat sinks are releasing their heat into space and this is reflected on land as well as the atmosphere. Why would anyone think a general cooling requires a linear drop month after month?
    What else can warm the oceans deep other than direct sunlight? If there is a reduction in solar radiation reaching the surface, what mechanism limits it?
    Some have chosen to ignore and ridicule all research that conflicts with their stated views on the solar/climate connection which they say does not exist. They are not the only solar researchers on the planet. Piers Corbin seems to think the sun has a lot to do with weather and climate, and is willing to bet on it.
    Most are humble enough to acknowledge ignorance on such complex matters as the sun, but for someone to state there is no connection between the sun and climate events on Earth is hubris. It is rarely a good idea to think one has all the answers.
    Correlation is not causation, however causation must have correlation.

  50. This little spike is climate, the previous dip was weather. I don’t know why you idiots can’t comprehend it.
    Everybody knows that DC winters are usually famously cold. Compare to northern Maine, if you need a reference. Up until global warming, starting in 1980, ice fishing on the Patomic was a popular passtime.

  51. Still no upward trend since the 1998 super El Nino, which by this data appears as an event that kicked mean temp up about .3C from a flatline trend from 1979 to 1998 .
    January is the same temp as Hansen’s 1988, last year averages out around .2C lower than that, and his projection was for last year to be around .8C higher. It aint happening. Not even close. It ain’t happening at all.

  52. As I have theorized before, the reduction in solar energy speeds up the transfer of heat from the Tropical oceans toward the Poles. I didn’t expect the global satellite temperatures to increase so much this month and was hoping for something closer to last month, but there is a lot of heat in the Tropical oceans. I am waiting for UAH data that I use in my graphs here, but I expect the temperatures to be increasing in the mid-latitudes and near the Poles. The Tropical oceans should be dropping in temperature. Inactive sun means faster ocean currents toward the Poles.
    I expect that La Nina is a sign that heat transfer toward the Poles is occurring faster than solar input can heat the oceans in the Tropics, and El Nino is a sign that solar input is dominating over heat transfer toward the Poles. We should be moving into a series of cycles where La Nina is far more dominant than El Nino. The ocean Tropics should gradually loose heat, and the polar ice caps should expand. This should take some time because there is so much heat stored in the oceans, and the Tropics continue to receive solar energy albeit at a slightly reduced level.
    I can’t see how this is incorrect. Enlighten me.

  53. Mike:
    Re: Ed Berry – yep I’m familiar with that one, follow it regularly (thanks for posting though)
    A bit technical if you are a lay person, but he really speaks to the complexity of the system and how things like ENSO, MJO and Strato can combine to influence the…….complex system…….over intraseasonal (weekly to monthly) time periods.
    As for ionosphere related to SSW (Dell Hunt and others) – that is an interesting idea. I could certainly see that being a supportive factor. Time to read up on ionosphere and atmospheric chemistry…

  54. Dell Hunt, Jackson, Michigan (11:07:12) :
    Makes more sense than anything that’s come out of the Goracle’s orifice.

  55. OT, re sea levels, related to AGW, warmer oceans expanding, glaciers and ice caps melting, and all that jazz.
    As I remember both from personal experience and reading, when rivers flood there is a layer of silt or mud left on the low-lying lands. This silt helped to improve agriculture and slowly raised the height of the land. The slow rise of the sea was thereby mitigated, or cancelled out.
    Could it be that modern man’s distaste for floods, and a penchant for river flood prevention via levees is at least partially responsible for the perils of sea level rise? Are we bringing this on ourselves?
    Roger E. Sowell
    Marina del Rey, California
    Where we had cooling-degree days in January, highly unusual.

  56. Bill Illis (10:34:49) :
    …The effects of the event depend on whether the additional heat migrates downward to the surface or whether it just leaks out to space.
    There won’t be much heating downwards
    The heat capacity of gas at 10 hPa is 1/100 (I think) of that at 1 atm of the same gas at the same volume. At the same time if you add upp the number of molecules below the 10 hPa level there at 100 time more of them them above. A temperature of 100°C up there would result in a raising of 1°C down here if all heat is transported down.
    So the SSW is interesting to watch but not a sign of any dramatic warming.
    Imagine that air at 10 hPa over the arctic is saturated and suddenly all moisture condenses (guess how) ->a lot of heat must be released.

  57. January was one of the warmest I’ve seen since moving to Santa Rosa 9 years ago. Rain has been sparse and water rationing is just around the corner. However, I don’t see how one month of data for one station proves anything about climate change. To me it’s just a warm, dry winter compared to some cold, wet ones we’ve had over the last several years.

  58. All I can say with total confidence is, “It wasn’t me guv, I never touched it, honest!”
    Could be that SSW though.
    DaveE.

  59. Rick in Santa Rosa,
    La Nina conditions usually spell for dry/hot weather for the Far West (esp in the Autumn through Winter).

  60. Per the graph, temperature seemed to be constant (i.e. oscillated around 0 anomaly) until circa 1998 to 2002 when it “stepped up” to oscillate around 0.25 (visually). That net change was about 0.1deg/decade.
    A valuable analysis of glacier melt back just presented by “Open Mind” indicates a “step function” change in the rate of change of glacier mass. I think, Open Mind’s finding confirms a “step upward change” (circa 2002) in temperature (as opposed to a more continuous/steady change).
    Looking at the graph, if temperatures after this peak behave like previous ones in the 80s and early 90s, we may be in a “step down” of about 0.15 (to a new “equilibrium” of 0.1 anomaly). Giving a net temperature change over the satellite data period of about 0.1 in 30 years — 0.033deg/decade. Only time will tell.

  61. Simon Evans,
    Thanks for the link to the Japanese site, as you say “You can see that there are many areas that have had notable positive anomalies for various periods during the month. It gives a nice illustration of the variability of one region against another!”
    My question is this, the variability of one region against another is there all year round so how is it REALLY possible to derive a GMST without introducing compromises that jeopardise the fogure you are looking for?

  62. The ultimate example of selecting the data you like, and throwing out the data that doesn’t agree with it:
    TJA:

    This little spike is climate, the previous dip was weather.

  63. Some posters seem surprised by this month’s anomaly, to the extent of raising suspicion over the data (odd that satellite data is considered gold standard here when it lags surface data. Nobody want s to question UAH/RSS adjustments when they’re having a pop at Hansen!). Of course, if you’d been only a reader of this blog through the winter, with all its stories of how cold it has been here or there, then you might have missed the fact that it’s simultaneously been warm here, there and beyond. The US is not a good proxy for global temperature, far less particular parts of the US. Confirmation bias astounded by reality, I’d say.

  64. Sorry, this is OT, but may interest you. A BBC report on a study of a fossil snake outlines an interesting new approach to estimating ancient temperatures:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7868588.stm
    “Assuming the Earth today was not particularly unusual, the researchers calculated that a snake of Titanoboa’s size would have required an average annual temperature of 30C to 34C (86F to 93F) to survive.
    By comparison, the average yearly temperature of today’s Cartagena, a Colombian coastal city, is about 28C. “

  65. Re January temperatures relative to averages and extremes:
    There is an interesting graph (chart? visual aid?) from NOAA that shows this. There are also annual charts for the past couple of years. I cannot discover how to change the “station” to display other locations around the country.
    Chart is here.
    Roger E. Sowell

  66. Dave Andrews (13:01:54) :
    Simon Evans,
    Thanks for the link to the Japanese site, as you say “You can see that there are many areas that have had notable positive anomalies for various periods during the month. It gives a nice illustration of the variability of one region against another!”
    My question is this, the variability of one region against another is there all year round so how is it REALLY possible to derive a GMST without introducing compromises that jeopardise the fogure you are looking for?

    I’m not sure that I can answer the question to your satisfaction. My best approach would be to say that we should have less confidence in the ‘significance’ of immediate variation and look to the longer view. Speaking as a ‘warmist’, I’d say my concern is with what happens regionally far more than with the ‘average effect’ of a globally averaged temperature change. We know, of course, that many areas of the globe are subject to considerable weather variation, but it’s in those places where there is little climate headroom that the consequences of any further warming will be felt first and, potentially, felt most severely.
    I don’t think that either the surface or the satellite record is ‘perfect’, that’s obvious. I think trend is significant rather than absolute measurement. In other words, we could say that the records are biased either negatively or positively, but so long as they maintain that bias the trend is still meaningful. It might have been better for USHCN not to have corrected for bias, since it made precious little difference to the global record yet has provided endless fodder for criticism!

  67. Charlie B makes a good point. Not wishing to have a pop at our Colonial cousins, but the world is a lot bigger than the USA and when it’s winter there and you are freezing them off shoveling snow, it’s summer a lot of other places. Having said that, you can bet the AGW boys ‘n girls will latch onto the numbers as proof of their conjecture. They don’t have much else going for them, science-wise, after all.

  68. TJA was making a joke.
    Reply: and the moderators got it and let it through ~ charles the moderator

  69. I am sure it has but, has the 1998 jump been throughly vetted from multiply sources and they all correlate. And not just some “hot books” that can not be correlated other than the source said that is the numbers.

  70. Simon Evans (13:09:32) :
    Some posters seem surprised by this month’s anomaly,

    To be honest, as a sceptic, I’m not overly surprised. In my corner of the world, I felt that January was warm compared to December. I note in my diary having wanted it cooler a few time during the month, mainly because I trust Mother Nature will continue to prove the GCM’s to be a load…
    However, I’m only talking of my corner of the world being 30 square miles, which is tiny in comparison to the rest of the NH. Plus the last week of January to date has been exceptionally cold round here and predicted to continue for at least another week (again!), so I expect that February’s anomaly might be a little cooler. But it’s early days.

  71. Greenhouse Theory Disproved a Century Ago
    http://globalwarmingnot.blogtownhall.com/2009/02/03/greenhouse_theory_disproved_a_century_ago.thtml
    The claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) can increase air temperatures by “trapping” infrared radiation (IR) ignores the fact that in 1909 physicist R.W. Wood disproved the popular 19th Century thesis that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping IR. Unfortunately, many people who claim to be scientists are unaware of Wood’s experiment which was originally published in the Philosophical magazine , 1909, vol 17, p319-320. Wood was an expert on IR. His accomplishments included inventing both IR and UV (ultraviolet) photography.

  72. Before to get too cranky – on both, RSS and UAH,
    let’s simply wait for the Febuary values. They will be accompanied
    by changes to January values.
    The last 4 to five years, a majority of changes to the previous month
    were negative. (I do log every changes to older datas).
    KlausB

  73. There seems to be a large dip every eight-nine years (with a somewhat smaller one shifted 4 years from that one). Those two periods are very significant in a power spectrum of these data, meaning the thing should flatten around 0.4 C in the next 4 years, then dip a little rise again and then fall to slightly negative eight years from now.
    Overall no significant trend but simply a jump after 1998, with what looks like a periodic pattern in these ~30 years.

  74. Is John Finn somewhere around?
    Last year, November, on the Aussie blog, he did ask about temperatures from the entry into the Dalton Minimum.
    I did provide there some datas from 1806-1814 from German records.
    And a url for more data from Germany, Switzerland, Austria.
    I hope he’ll see them.

  75. The upward spike is what I would have expected to see given that the oceans have been neutral rather than negative for some time.
    Up to this point I had been surprised not to see it.
    The question is as to what is the current prevailing trend.
    In the UK the past two years have seen the warmer spells around average and the cooler spells trending downward.
    During the 1975 to 2000 warming spell we had cool spells around average and warm spells trending upward.
    Globally the neutral PDO has produced average temperatures overall but with warmth in some places and cold in others.
    The background warming bias has gone but we do not yet have a clear cooling bias with a neutral PDO.
    The factor that will dictate the future trend is the predominance of El Nino or La Nina in the months to come.
    If a cooling trend becomes established I would then expect to see a cooling bias even with a neutral PDO.
    The average (non seasonal) latitudinal position of the jet strerams is also important. If they start moving poleward I expect to see a resumption of warming but if they stay where they are then I see a consolidation of a cooling trend.
    Any contribution from human CO2 would appear to be trivial otherwise we would have a more powerful warming bias with the current neutral PDO (in my opopinion).

  76. It’s that time of month again, when the RSS & UAH data come out and I have to remind myself that this isn’t a measure of the temp at the ground but of the well mixed air well up from the surface {no burn barrels or barbeques no mess with}.
    When I look at the temps at the 1 & especially 4.4 km alt, it seems that the early month started pretty close to last year’s values (see: http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/ ) until the impact of the SSW hit. So far it looks like the lower tropo temps are recovering, so next month’s anomaly probably won’t be quite so strong.

  77. What’s the point in proofing it if you don’t proof it?!!
    Shud be “… to mess with}>”
    *sigh*

  78. Ed Scott (14:17:48) :
    Greenhouse Theory Disproved a Century Ago
    http://globalwarmingnot.blogtownhall.com/2009/02/03/greenhouse_theory_disproved_a_century_ago.thtml
    The claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) can increase air temperatures by “trapping” infrared radiation (IR) ignores the fact that in 1909 physicist R.W. Wood disproved the popular 19th Century thesis that greenhouses stayed warm by trapping IR. Unfortunately, many people who claim to be scientists are unaware of Wood’s experiment which was originally published in the Philosophical magazine , 1909, vol 17, p319-320. Wood was an expert on IR. His accomplishments included inventing both IR and UV (ultraviolet) photography.

    Ed, no scientist actually thinks the atmosphere acts like a glazed greenhouse. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is a very poor description of what is meant, but we’re stuck with it now. Please take it as a given that whenever anyone refers to ‘greenhouse’ in this context they don’t actually mean it’s like a greenhouse!

  79. Keep your panties on, looks like part of the occilation, the peaks are going down which shows whats going up. Besides, the solar cycle’s influence should take 5 years to show itself in full anyways…

  80. realitycheck (10:02:49) :
    For those interested in SSWs – there is a 30-day animation of the recent SSW here
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/intraseasonal/temp10anim.shtml
    This is an amazing thing to witness. If I am reading this correctly, we see a 10-15 C swing in temperatures for the entire arctic region in about 10 days. But even more so is that it appears that the rest of the world is cooling during the same period.
    Am I reading this correctly, and everything south of the arctic is cooling … like a counter balance ?. Is this common ?, and what is the mechanism ?.
    Bill Illis (10:34:49) :
    Sometimes these events produce warming at the pole but very cold conditions in the middle latitudes 2 weeks to 8 weeks after the initial event.
    Is there information on this available somewhere ?.
    Thanks in advance

  81. I have been watching the following site during January. I have to keep in mind that the anomalies are compared to a 1985 to 1996 climatology, but visually I just haven’t seen much of a positive anomaly, especially since most of Antarctica was extremely cold during the first 3 weeks of January. My guess is that GISS and HADCRUT will come in lower than the satellite data.
    http://web1.cdc.noaa.gov/map/ANIM/sfctmpmer_01a.fnl.30.gif

  82. I really want the AGW’ers to be correct with their estimate/hypothesis/prediction that the world, that directly affects me, will become warmer. The climate/weather status-quo has been pretty miserable in Scotland for the last couple of years – Positive temperature anomalies sound pretty darned good to me as I freeze my MacButt off in the draughty ancestral home!
    Assuming that an unchanging climate is delusional we have, temperature-wise, only two options- It get’s warmer- it get’s colder! A mere toss of the coin!
    As much as I admire the reasoned arguments as to why CO2 is/or isn’t the villain I always come back to the totally selfish argument that asks ‘Is your b*m warm enough yet?”

  83. Reason WUWT = credible. When it goes UP (temp) it is reported even highlighted
    Reason RC not credible. When it goes down = global warming (at least… ie antarctica until last week) LOL

  84. I was surprised that Icecap ran with this because I think we all agree that the greenhouse analogy is inadequte.
    I prefer my own Hot Water Bottle Effect and the concept of a delay in the transmission of energy through the air and oceans:
    http://co2sceptics.com/news.php?id=1487
    In my mind the issue is boiling down to the simple question as to whether a change in the composition of the air alone can have any effect on the whole system when the oceans are so much more substantial than the air.
    I think that the dominance of the oceans is such that energy budget changes in the air alone are just bounced out of the system by a change in the air circulation.
    We shall see.

  85. realitycheck – Great post on “weather” vs “climate”, and the apple analogy.
    Folks, don’t trash around so much based on one months data. Let the trends play out, and look at their fit with historical patterns. I don’t think many can find fault with RSS or UAH data. They are far more open on their processes than GISS is, and their systems are less susceptible to outside influences.
    BTW – I had changed my name to RichardM, from Mongo, now see another Richard M posting here. Guess I shouldn’t use anything resembling my real name? lol

  86. Simon Evans
    I am not sure where you derive the information that no scientist(s) believe the “greenhouse” effect while it is still being taught and perpetuated. Some teachers are qualified scientists. Would a scientist convey knowledge that is known to be incorrect? The proper nomenclature might be atmospheric effect and that effect seems to be poorly understood with respect to the trace atmospheric gases (TAG). We are not stuck with term the “greenhouse” just a reticence to go against the grain and correctly define it.
    ————————————————————-
    The Truth Is Out There (familiar X-File phrase) but the IPCC scientists cannot read, or read with understanding commensurate with their education.
    ————————————————————-
    Perpetual motion and repeal of the second law of thermodynamics have been achieved by the IPCC scientists and Gavin Schmidt of NASA.
    http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/FAQ.html
    If people are gullible enough to believe such a scenario, and apparently millions do, they deserve what’s coming down the road at them. Yet this is what even many climate skeptics call “the basic science.”
    Substitute glass for that layer of “greenhouse gases.” Like them, glass is also transparent to visible light but largely opaque to what’s called thermal infrared. Direct a radiant heater at a glass pane, then. According to greenhouse physics, you now have the equivalent of two radiant heaters because the glass will absorb, say, 500 W/sqm from the heater and emit that to the surroundings but also radiate 500 W/sqm in the other direction, back to the heater. 1000 Watts per square meter in all.
    This is what Schreuder means by counting energy twice. But in fact it’s more. Because remember that the radiant heater will be heated by its own re-directed energy and thereby emit even more energy — which the glass will absorb and double, which will heat the heater more… It’s a perpetual motion machine, just as he says.
    That such a childish fantasy threatens to destroy western civilization is incredible, but that’s exactly the case.
    “…the IPCC and other authorities commit the same error that most people do. Presupposing that space is incredibly cold, they surmise that the earth must be kept warm by an atmospheric blanket which inhibits the radiant energy emitted to space – an outmoded conjecture disproved by satellite observations. Despite evidence to the contrary, then, belief in “the greenhouse effect” persists, for people feel that earth needs to be isolated from the “coldness” of empty space.
    Yet the earth is actually enclosed in a perfect thermal insulator, the vacuum of space itself. Short of installing a gigantic mirror around our planet, nothing but space can preserve the earth’s temperature longer.
    Thus the value of understanding how a thermos works.
    “Really new trails are rarely blazed in the great academies.
    The confining walls of conformist dogma are too dominating.
    To think originally, you must go forth into the wilderness.”
    S. Warren Carey

  87. “Ed, no scientist actually thinks the atmosphere acts like a glazed greenhouse. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is a very poor description of what is meant, but we’re stuck with it now. Please take it as a given that whenever anyone refers to ‘greenhouse’ in this context they don’t actually mean it’s like a greenhouse!”
    Except warmers do.
    Trapping of IR is not a big contributor to warming.
    The main conveyor of surface heat loss is convection & they try to hide this.
    DaveE.

  88. “Please take it as a given that whenever anyone refers to ‘greenhouse’ in this context they don’t actually mean it’s like a greenhouse!”
    But IR is still trapped because there’s less leaving the earth than staying. So how can you say the atmosphere is not acting like a greenhouse even though you’re calling it a greenhouse and saying that CO2 is trapping heat.
    I mean, that’s the bottom line, no?

  89. OT, but related… So how about GISS anomalies? In looking into the GIStemp source code, I’ve reached STEP3 (roughly the 6th actual step…) and was doing a small ‘look ahead’ at STEP4_5 and though I was getting a bit of an echo… so I made a little ‘diff’erence script that I named ‘differ’:
    $ ./differ
    diff ./STEP3/annzon.f ./STEP4_5/annzon.f
    diff ./STEP3/trimSBBX ./STEP4_5/trimSBBX
    diff ./STEP3/trimSBBX.f ./STEP4_5/trimSBBX.f
    diff ./STEP3/zonav ./STEP4_5/zonav
    diff ./STEP3/zonav.f ./STEP4_5/zonav.f
    $
    For each ‘diff’ test, nothing is returned. There is no difference. The two copies are identical.
    So in addition to the other bad coding practices I’ve run into, we have identical sources (computer programs) in different directories. The good news it that I now have less to understand (more is redundant). The bad news is that step3, step4, and step5 seem to have the same ‘reference station’ averaging process run over the same data again, and again, and again… I’ll know more once i finish, but that’s what it smells like right now.

  90. DaveE (15:23:25) :
    “Ed, no scientist actually thinks the atmosphere acts like a glazed greenhouse. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is a very poor description of what is meant, but we’re stuck with it now. Please take it as a given that whenever anyone refers to ‘greenhouse’ in this context they don’t actually mean it’s like a greenhouse!”
    Except warmers do.
    Trapping of IR is not a big contributor to warming.
    The main conveyor of surface heat loss is convection & they try to hide this.

    What? Where has anyone tried “to hide this”? I genuinely don’t know what you’re talking about.
    It’s elementary that a ‘real’ greenhouse warms up primarily because of the prevention of convection. Hot air rises unless it’s prevented from doing so!
    I think maybe a separate thread, as suggested above, is a good idea – I don’t want to derail this thread either.

  91. Ed Scott (15:17:38) :
    Yet the earth is actually enclosed in a perfect thermal insulator, the vacuum of space itself. Short of installing a gigantic mirror around our planet, nothing but space can preserve the earth’s temperature longer.
    Thus the value of understanding how a thermos works.

    Might I suggest that you check out the distinction between conduction and radiation?

  92. Ed Scott (15:17:38) :
    Yet the earth is actually enclosed in a perfect thermal insulator, the vacuum of space itself.
    I read somewhere that “space” does not have a temperature because it is void.
    Am I right on this?

  93. I noticed the tiny legend in the top left corner. It appears that it excludes almost the entire continent of Antarctica. So if we have cooling in Antarctica and it is not factored in how can anyone say “global” temps have risen?

  94. Well, Ed Scott, anm itneresting question. I think the temperature of teh Universe is about 2-3 Kelvin; pretty much zero.

  95. DR (12:06:38) :
    Correlation is not causation, however causation must have correlation.
    Nice jingle. And, it is fair to say that many discoveries of causes started off as mere correlations. Observation of correlation leads to testing of alternative causal models, and hence new discoveries about what actually *does* or *does not* cause observed phenomenon are produced. The solar theorists will have the last laugh. I just finished Svensmark’s book — http://www.amazon.com/Chilling-Stars-Theory-Climate-Change/dp/1840468157.
    Well worth a read if anyone wants an alternative to AGW that has some substance to .

  96. Ed (a simple old carpenter) (16:17:57) :
    I read somewhere that “space” does not have a temperature because it is void.
    Am I right on this?

    That is correct (insofar as space is actually void). However, heat radiates through space – otherwise we would never get any heat from the sun! The idea that space is a a “perfect thermal insulator” is, I am afraid, complete nonsense.

  97. Space is a perfect THERMAL insulator, radiation is a different matter & I agree with Simon that there should be somewhere on the site this can be discussed.
    DaveE.

  98. Ed (a simple old carpenter)
    According to scientists, the void of space has a temperature of 2.7 degrees Kelvin. This is said to be due to the background radiation from the big bang.
    The temperature of space within the Sun’s atmosphere is naturally of interest to NASA. Here is a video clip that informs on the temperature and other space environment concerns within the Sun’s atmosphere.
    http://www.nasa.gov/mov/217387main_079_Space_Environment.mov

  99. I believe that the COBE satellite established that the lowest temperature in space is 2.7K. Astronauts during space walks are exposed to wide swings in temperature even though they are in mostly the vacuum of space.

  100. @Ed (a simple old carpenter) (16:17:57)
    No. That’s why the ground can frost or freeze on clear windless nights when the temperature is above 32degF. That’s due to heat loss at the surface due to radiation. (note that the atmospheric co2 has no effect on that heat loss, but moisture in the form of clouds, fog [and probably even high humidity?] do.) There is no convection in space, of course, because there is nothing to transfer heat to by contact.

  101. Simon Evans
    Might I suggest that you check out the distinction between conduction and radiation?
    ——————————————
    Humans, at normal body temperature, radiate most strongly in the infrared at a wavelength of about 10 nm. Radiation from Earth is centered at about 11 nm. Not too surprising, since the frequency of the radiation is dependent upon the body’s temperature.
    The vacuum bottle prevents heat transfer by conduction/convection.
    It should be noted that convection does not occur in a perfect vacuum due to the lack of media to transmit heat. This mode of heat transfer does not occur in space where there is no atmosphere in the surroundings of the system to be analyzed. It only occurs where gases are present.
    Everything above absolute zero radiates energy.

  102. Rob S (14:59:31) :
    Yes you are reading the magnitude correctly. Remember this is at 10 mb and as manse 42 posted – a 100C swing up there probably only generates a 1C move lower down in the much denser troposphere .
    At that altitude – you are correct – temperatures over the tropical sector are cooling as the SSW unfolds (remember the map projection here makes the Artic look bigger in area than it actually is). Think of it as conservation of energy and momentum – while an SSW event is characterised by a change in temperature it is also accompanied by the development of an upper-level ridge near the pole (technically a weaking of the polar vortex) – this means that instead of encountering the 10 mb surface at an altitude of say 50 km it might now be at an altitude of 70 km. That is, the thickness of the atmosphere over the pole is now thicker than “normal”.
    Think of this ridging in the upper atmosphere like a tidal force – if the atmosphere is thickened at the pole, it has to thin elsewhere (over the tropics in this case – which of course leds to a relative cooling (at 10 mb) in those areas.
    It is then that upper-level ridge which propagates down through the stratosphere into the troposphere to form the negative AO (essentially a strong ridge between about 500 mb and 1000 mb over the pole) – thats what you are seeing here.
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.ao.cdas.gif
    Intense surface high pressures are generated under that ridge and the ridge itself forces those “Artic Highs” southwards into the mid-latitudes. The polar regions at the surface are slightly warmer (probably by less than 1C), but the mid-latitudes experience strong cold shots (like the Siberian High that impacted Europe recently and the Artic High currently moving into the Southeast U.S.)
    As Bill Illis (10:34:49) notes there is a lag between the SSW and the cold outbreak – this is because it takes time for the upper-level ridge to propogate down, to form the negative AO and the strong surface highs and for those highs to then slide southwards.
    For published research in this area see any of these papers:
    http://www.nwra.com/resumes/baldwin/pubs/Thompsonetal_2002.pdf
    http://center.stelab.nagoya-u.ac.jp/cawses2005/PDF/yamazaki_koji.pdf
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~dennis/LimpasuvanetalVortexJC_04.pdf
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/q00184710773q322/
    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0442%282002%29015%3C0781%3ADPTAIT%3E2.0.CO%3B2
    Hope this helps

  103. Reed Coray (09:13:19) wrote: How did we get in this lose-lose situation?
    Well put, Reed, and fully endorsed… but that sentiment of mine has little value without a positive concept of how to change things; and I cannot come up with even the glimmer of an idea for doing that.
    Nevertheless, even your simply expressing it as you have is most certainly of value.

  104. Really hope this is not OT…
    South eastern Australia has been sweltering through a rather uncomfortable heat-wave for about 2 weeks now. Today it was announced that a new study has found that:
    “Australia’s severe drought is being driven by temperature fluctuations in the Indian Ocean”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/02/05/2482667.htm
    The conclusion to the article states:
    ‘The researchers have yet to determine whether the IOD trends are linked to climate change.
    But they say the severity of the most recent drought is partly due to higher temperatures.
    Dr England says the record-breaking heatwave experienced in recent weeks in south-east Australia is not in itself a sign of climate change, but due to a blocking high pressure system over the Tasman Sea, which is a natural meteorological event.
    “But obviously with the planet already about a degree [Celsius] warmer than its background state then any heat wave you get is then going to be that much worse in a warmer world,” he said.
    Good to see their admission of a natural meteorological event and not a fingerprint of global warming as our Climate Change Minister Penny Wong announced. However, as with most of these studies (I’m thinking of the recent study attempting to link the lack of coral growth rates in the Great Barrier Reef) to AGW, the authors seem determined to link their findings to AGW…
    …”Its background state”???

  105. I’m still looking for evidence that manmade co2 has the power to change climate. Warming in one month is the evidence? What about all the months when the temps go down? Where’s the evidence then? Looking at the graph I can see temps go up and down all the time. Yawn. 😉

  106. Somewhat OT, but … now the warmists have another argument against higher temperatures: Monster Snakes!
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,487885,00.html

    The researchers calculated that in order to support the slithering giant, its tropical habitat would have needed a temperature of about 86 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit (30 to 34 degrees Celsius).
    “Tropical ecosystems of South America were surprisingly different 60 million years ago,” said Jonathan Bloch, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, who worked with Head on the snake study. “It was a rainforest, like today, but it was even hotter and the cold-blooded reptiles were all substantially larger. The result was, among other things, the largest snakes the world has ever seen … and hopefully ever will.”

  107. This looks dodgy to me. Suppose I go out now and find my thermometer in the pond indicates 10C when there’s snow lying around. The first thing you should do with what looks like a discordant result is check your equipement. The second is to ask yourself the question: does this result make sense? If it doesn’t, and this one doesn’t, redo your experiment and be even more careful than you were before. Only publish when you have reproduced it once or twice, and even then you may find you were looking at a fluke. That’s how experimental data are. So lets see what they come up with for February and March, which ,looking outside, promise to be pretty cool as well in the Northern hemisphere.

  108. A data pedant writes (rather belatedly, timezones and snow have not helped):
    “DAV: Note that we are talking +0.322 (around 0.5F) above January 29 years ago.”
    Actually the anomaly for RSS is from the average of all January temperatures from 1979 to 1998 (20 years).
    For interest, here’s RSS with its overall trend:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/trend
    This last reading is an almost perfect return to trend (0.16K/decade). It was the downwards spike of the last couple of years that was off trend.

  109. Before to get too cranky – on both, RSS and UAH,
    let’s simply wait for the Febuary values.

    And if February doesn’t give us what we want we can always wait for March.

  110. As Ian pointed out above, Southern Australia has had extremely high temperatures during January. However the mean temperature anomaly (based on land surface observations) released by the Australian Met Bureau a few days ago has the anomaly for January at +0.36C. The warmth in the south of Autralia was offset by cold anomalies in the north of the country.
    That makes it the 23rd warmest January since 1950 (or the 38th coldest) and way down from last year’s (2008) January anomaly of +1.23C

  111. The january in France (and most western Europe) was exceptionnaly cold .
    The difference to the average 1971 – 2000 was around – 2°C .
    In Paris it has even been much worse , it was colder than the average january by 3°C (!)
    Minimum temperatures in the morning by – 9°C , snow and ice holding for several days is something that is extremely rare .
    So indeed there must be some places on the Earth that were significantly warmer than average .
    And this time it is sure , it is not Siberia because the exceptionnal cold in Europe was offered us courtesy a high pressure by Denmark that channeled the Siberian air right to the whole of western Europe .
    It might be that the warmer and wetter atlantic air went to northern Norvegia instead of western Europe but we’d need a norvegian here to say if january was very significantly warmer than average there .

  112. Stephen Thurston (20:08:06) :
    “When cold drops down from the north, what replaces it?”
    Hoards of starving polar bears
    sarc off
    Seriously: if the AO remains negative (which it probably will for a few weeks with this event) then Artic Highs will continue to be generated at the high latitudes (it will remain a little warmer than normal up there and those Highs will continue to be transported southwards. If the AO “neutralizes” this process will wind down. IF the AO then trends positive, then temperatures at the pole will get colder and we will warm up in the mid-latitudes.
    On this RSS data point for January, I am tired of the discussion on the significance of this here. This spike has as much signficance as the 10 year cooling trend before it or the 50 year warming trend before that. NONE
    A one-dimensional curve depicted global average temperature over the past (whatever that is) 30 years or so tells you as much about the “climate” as a an out-of-focus still photograph tells you about the dynamics of a Formula 1 race car.

  113. Tom Vonk:
    here in sweden, january was warmer than usual (which it usually is nowadays) especially in the northern parts. Its been quite a while since we saw a cold winter here. (Lots of snow in the north anyway but temperatures are mild.)
    Feb so far looking more “normal”.

  114. So indeed there must be some places on the Earth that were significantly warmer than average .
    And this time it is sure , it is not Siberia because the exceptionnal cold in Europe was offered us courtesy a high pressure by Denmark that channeled the Siberian air right to the whole of western Europe .

    I’n not sure of the logic behind this argument. Even if Siberia was anomalously it would still be a good deal colder than Western Europe, so any weather which comes from Siberia would produce very cold weather in the UK and France. In fact there is an argument that given the current atmospheric conditions the UK should be much colder than it is currently. And I have to say, compared with 1963 and other similar winters, it’s still not that cold.

  115. Funny how we all jump on monthly data points. Today’s data will be harped by side AGW, tomorrow’s by Side SKEPTIC.
    Can we bring it back to a worthy discussion. What about discussing the concept of temperature. If my thermo introduction is correct it is an indirect measure of heat content.
    OK, given that step back and look at big picture:
    Sun is source of heat.
    ICE Ages: they come and go.
    This means relative heat of earth goes up and down
    The only explanation for pre inductrial variation is what?
    DUH!!!

  116. realityCheck:
    On this RSS data point for January, I am tired of the discussion on the significance of this here. This spike has as much signficance as the 10 year cooling trend before it or the 50 year warming trend before that. NONE
    I was hoping the author of this post would explain why he thought the change was “significant” and now you’re tired of the discussion! I guess I’ll just go out and play in the snow.

  117. guys/gals climate is measured probably in 1000’s of year you will not see anything major in your lifetime.. sorry. this is whu AGW is wrong but so are sketpics who wanna see plummeting temps right now… LOL ask any meteorologist

  118. That’s really weird. Here in southeastern Michigan its been very cold this winter. January was about 5 degrees F colder than normal. From news reports it seems much of the rest of the country had similar cold weather.
    On a somewhat different topic our governor has announced that she wants a moratorium on construction of new coal fired power plants. She refers to coal as “imported”. The article later states the coal is imported from other states. That’s a bizarre use of the word imported. It’s like saying other states “import” their cars from Michigan. According to my dictionary “imported” means brought in from another country. My comment to the governor is that oil which powers the cars we build is mostly imported from other countries. Coal which powers our electricity generating plants is not imported. We have an abundance of it right here in the USA.
    The governor wants to build alternative energy plants using solar and wind. How well will solar work here in Michigan where we can go for a week at a time without seeing the sun? And how many windmill will be spoiling the scenic coast of Lake Michigan to take advantage of the winds there. And where will we get electricity when the wind is not blowing?
    During the last gubernatorial campaign the governor enthusiastically described how things would improve under her leadership. She said; “And in five years you are going to be blown away.” Well here we are… blown away!

  119. “‘We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California,’”
    Uh, Steve, California ag is H2O-limited. Remember the organic spinach recalls? Wasn’t migrants peeing in the fields but cryptosporidium from recycled waste water. Same infection in Milwaukee required addition of sub-micron filters as they ‘reuse’ lake water. We have aquifer problems all over the Great Lakes too.
    Cali, its time to spend some of your bounty on desalinization. Oh, run out of bounty?. Listen up, if you come around here with your buckets in hand, we’ll “blow your head clean off”.

  120. “There was some slowdown in these winds over the past three weeks but they are all well above normal now.”
    Whew, Gaia is being very, very good to me.

  121. Yesterday at 16:01:02 I wrote:
    This link should provide the RSS global TLT map for Jan 2009. Click on “Anomaly”.
    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_monthly.html
    The hot spot over the Northeast Pacific does not appear in SST data.
    Curious.
    #######
    Let me correct that. Using the apparent coordinates of the hotspot (30N-60N, 170W-120W), it does not appear in the SST data.
    http://i40.tinypic.com/jpd2kp.jpg
    Using the NOAA NOMADS system to zero in on the hotspot, it does appear.
    http://i39.tinypic.com/r06p8w.jpg
    Here’s a time-series graph of the coordinates of that hotspot (35N-45N, 166W-140W)
    http://i44.tinypic.com/2uihtaq.jpg
    I didn’t want anyone to think there was something wrong with the RSS TLT data after my earlier statement. The TLT depiction is different than SST.
    Regards

  122. “I read somewhere that “space” does not have a temperature because it is void. Am I right on this?”
    The space outside the Earth magnetosphere is not a void. The solar wind flows through there. The typical temperature of the solar wind around the Earth is 100,000 K. The thing is that particle density is so low that collisions between particles are not the way to reach thermal equilibrium. There’s also a much colder flow of neutral gas from the interstellar medium (and that one dominates the particle density after Jupiter’s orbit).

  123. I would be interested to see where exactly the warm anomalies lie. Not only did they offset significant cooling in places like the eastern half of North America, Western Europe, portions of the Middle East and Asia, but they also had to more than compensate for the current La Nina. I know portions of Austrailia have had record heat waves, but other portions of that continent did not. Perhaps Sibera and the Atlantic had record temps and SSTs. Or maybe the Indian Ocean.
    The UAH data earlier in January showed a likewise strong spike. Can’t wait to see GISS. Perhaps Jan 2009 will be recorded as the warmest Jan since 1850.

  124. I have noticed some scepticism about AGW on this site, and talk of a political agenda at the IPCC. Whilst to lay people it is unclear how miniscule changes in the composition of the atmosphere by a few molecules of C02 in 100,000 of atmosphere can cause catastrophic warming of our planet this is because we do not understand the maths behind radiative forcing and the ‘al gore ‘ithms’ behind the brilliant climate models, produced by some of the finest minds money can buy. This month’s increase in RSS is enough to convince me that AGW is real – we all have our tipping points. It is best to leave this stuff to the experts who really do understand the complexities of climate science and the maths behind RF before coming to their considered judgements – Al Gore, Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Sheryl Crow and the Black Eyed Peas.
    [/sarc]

  125. If looking at the weather underground’s heating degree days means anything, it looks like the eastern US was colder than normal and the western US has been warmer than normal since July. Kansas City seems to be about the boundary which runs nnw to the North and sse in the South. Just east of the Rockies it seems to be warmer, notably warmer. But the eastern US has been notably cooler. The one exception seems to be the northwest — Seattle/Portland area. That has been cooler as well.

  126. “the brilliant climate models, produced by some of the finest minds money can buy.”
    Indeed, their reflected luminence frequents WUWT in the beneficent personages of acolytes to their most sacred offices.

  127. Wow! I’m so confused. Why does the snow keep rising around the AWS when the Antarctic ice is melting… and now this:
    ews.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20090205%2fsea_levels_090205
    Nice to see that Kenn Borek who medivaced Dr Shemenski from the South Pole during the Antarctic winter 8 years ago is still providing great service in a difficult environment.

  128. Today in Toronto this morning it was -20C without the windchill. Don’t even ask what it felt like with the light breeze. I spoke with my dad today who is wintering in North Miami Beach and he said it had gone down to 38F. I hear that the jet stream has bent so far down that Florida is getting quite cold weather. On top of our ridiculously cold winter right across Canada and much of the USA is news this week of record breaking high temps in parts of Australia. Then we know that La Nina has been reborn and so what sort of a summer do we expect up here? Extremes are the norm?

  129. Ed Scott: I suspect you meant 10 micrometers. 10 nm is rather hard x-ray energy. Your point is still valid.
    Southern Colorado has had a warm January, almost no snow. Could even drive the ragtop in the down position. Feb is starting out warm as well. Which could change overnight. Yet we are told this is the climate of the future, while the very cold temps in December were just weather.
    As for greenhouses, of course the analogy is wrong. Still, every week I read some expert explaining that the evil CO2 molecule traps or reflects heat. Perhaps man-made CO2 is silver plated?
    The late Art Buchwald said it was hard to write good sarcasm as reality had gone so far off the rails.

  130. gary gulrud
    Cali, its time to spend some of your bounty on desalinization. Oh, run out of bounty?. Listen up, if you come around here with your buckets in hand, we’ll “blow your head clean off”.
    ————————————————————-
    I was gainfully employed and working in the San Diego area referred to as Point Loma during the construction and initial use of a Westinghouse flash distillation plant used as a government (federal) demonstration project. When the relatively pure water from the plant was introduced into the water system, it dissolved the years of mineral deposits in the pipes and leaks began appearing everywhere. They solved the problem by decreasing the purity of the water. The use of the plant for water in the San Diego area was cut short when Castro cut the water supply to Gitmo. In record time, the Navy packed up the plant and moved it to Gitmo.
    We lived in Santee, a community of 10,000 population at the time, east of San Diego, The water supply for Santee was water reclaimed from sewage. It sounds repulsive, but the water tested to be the purest in San Diego County.
    I have never heard of any follow-on projects to take advantage of the lessons learned in either of the above pilot projects. My conclusion is that, true to form, government does not reward success.
    We Californians will not come with buckets in hand, we will send the feds to do the dirty work. It’s the American way.

  131. Bill Illis (05:55:18) :
    La Nina has waned a little lately….

    To correct you Bill, there is no El Nina at present.

  132. “We Californians will not come with buckets in hand, we will send the feds to do the dirty work. It’s the American way.”
    I don’t expect to survive the exchange, but do find it a likely start to the hostilities.

  133. Ed Scott, re desalination
    There is a fairly big DS plant almost ready for construction near Carlsbad, owner is Poseidon, capacity to be 50 million gallons per day. It probably will not be operable soon enough to help the impending drought. Their technology is reverse osmosis, not flash distillation.

  134. David S (08:42:43) :
    “How well will solar work here in Michigan where we can go for a week at a time without seeing the sun?”
    FWIW, passive solar for heating and air conditioning in Michigan’s homes is very workable from the engineering point of view. Sunlight from a clear sky is unnecessary. Overcast skies still transmit enough energy to heat a home quite well. Snow on the ground actually improves the efficiency and can provide more energy than a home in the Southwest desert.
    Problems to be overcome are good design and construction, higher initial building costs, and higher property taxes. Larger homes produce more useful passive heating and air conditioning, while current poperty tax schemes penalize.
    Off-grid active solar power is technically feasible in Michigan; but it is still a very expensive souce of electricity, prohibitively so for most folks.

  135. “John in Lac du Bonnet “: could you please make a tuny url for the link you posted? I cannot get it to work
    Thanks
    Jack

  136. realitycheck (03:40:05) :

    Stephen Thurston (20:08:06) :
    “When cold drops down from the north, what replaces it?”


    Warm air from a) further south (jet stream to pole) or b) air from higher in the atmosphere (that itself comes from further south but has been modified along the way).
    A one-dimensional curve depicted global average temperature over the past (whatever that is) 30 years or so tells you as much about the “climate” as a an out-of-focus still photograph tells you about the dynamics of a Formula 1 race car.
    Oooo! I like it! (Though the way the data are processed it’s more like ‘the average of all the pixels of a movie of a Formula 1 race with many cars’…)
    And coming around the corner the pixel is exactly 2 bits cooler, now in the straightaway it is 1 bit warmer, heading into the back stretch, the pixel has been holding steady at Neutral Grey 18%: It’s a photo finish!

  137. “there is no El Nina at present.”
    Don’t ‘spose they habla where your at, but ‘La’, for ‘the’ baby(girl). As we trust you are aware “El Nino” refers to the usual Christmas arrival of flipside.

  138. Mary Hinge (13:52:36) :
    Bill Illis (05:55:18) :
    La Nina has waned a little lately….
    To correct you Bill, there is no El Nina at present.

    Nor will there ever be…
    “E with O and A with A” …

  139. DaveE (15:23:25) :
    “Ed, no scientist actually thinks the atmosphere acts like a glazed greenhouse. The ‘greenhouse effect’ is a very poor description of what is meant, but we’re stuck with it now. Please take it as a given that whenever anyone refers to ‘greenhouse’ in this context they don’t actually mean it’s like a greenhouse!”
    Except warmers do.
    Trapping of IR is not a big contributor to warming.

    Actually it’s the only contributor to warming!
    The main conveyor of surface heat loss is convection & they try to hide this.
    It’s actually a rather minor contributor to surface heat loss but does help to redistribute the heat.
    DaveE.

  140. La Niña
    El Niño
    Gonna see fewer of the latter than the former over the course of the negative PDO.
    No matter what you call it, we still had us the coldest day in four years here in WNY. And the over-the-hill hippies conducting a global warming teach-in {or whatever they’re calling that silly event} appeared on the local news to warn that such extreme events will be more common in the future as a result of global warming. Never mind that just as the climate has always been changing, so have there always been extreme weather events.

  141. Mary Hinge:
    I don’t like being boxed in by technical definitions. This is a La Nina and it has been since early December.
    Nino1+2 Nino3 Nino34 Nino4
    Week SST SSTA SST SSTA SST SSTA SST SSTA
    26NOV2008 21.2-0.9 24.6-0.4 26.1-0.4 27.9-0.4
    03DEC2008 21.4-0.9 24.8-0.3 26.0-0.5 27.9-0.4
    10DEC2008 22.1-0.4 24.6-0.4 25.8-0.7 27.7-0.5
    17DEC2008 22.6-0.3 24.6-0.5 25.8-0.7 27.7-0.6
    24DEC2008 22.8-0.5 24.5-0.7 25.6-0.9 27.5-0.7
    31DEC2008 23.3-0.3 24.4-0.9 25.4-1.1 27.5-0.7
    07JAN2009 23.4-0.6 24.5-0.9 25.4-1.1 27.4-0.8
    14JAN2009 24.0-0.3 24.8-0.8 25.4-1.1 27.4-0.7
    21JAN2009 25.3 0.5 25.5-0.2 25.8-0.8 27.4-0.7
    28JAN2009 25.3 0.2 25.5-0.4 25.7-0.9 27.3-0.8

  142. Retired Engineer says:

    As for greenhouses, of course the analogy is wrong. Still, every week I read some expert explaining that the evil CO2 molecule traps or reflects heat.

    I think it is probably more accurate to say the analogy is imperfect. Roughly speaking, the CO2 does trap heat that would otherwise be radiated back out into space. It doesn’t do this in the same way that a greenhouse does, since that mainly works by preventing convective losses, not radiative losses.
    Here, by the way, is a website of retired meteorologist who is a stickler for getting the pedagogy correct: http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadGreenhouse.html He doesn’t like the “trap heat” statement either and prefers his simple and elegant statement of how the greenhouse effect works (“The surface of the Earth is warmer than it would be in the absence of an atmosphere because it receives energy from two sources: the Sun and the atmosphere”), but he is wise enough to know that this is really just an issue of pedagogy and not a fundamental disagreement on the science.

  143. Bob Tisdale, I went to your web site that has all the temp data categorized by area. Regarding SST data, has anyone tried to see if there is a traveling wave of cold/warm current around the globe in this data? Meaning that if a spike either way shows up in one graph, it should show up in the next current-connected graph somewhat later.

  144. PDO Index, Year 2008 by month
    -1.00 -0.77 -0.71 -1.52 -1.37 -1.34 -1.67 -1.70 -1.55 -1.76 -1.25 -0.87
    2008 Year Average -1.29
    PDO Index, Yearly 1900 to 2008
    PDO 0.45 -0.13 0.77 0.16 -0.25 0.64 0.49 0.12 0.38 -0.12 -0.08 -0.16 0.15 0.57 0.16 0.18 -0.51 -0.43 -0.14 -0.10 -0.91 -0.10 -0.20 0.48 0.14 0.19 1.16 0.14 0.16 0.40 -0.10 0.74 -0.02 -0.68 1.18 0.80 1.73 0.32 0.16 0.07 1.77 1.99 0.47 0.11 -0.13 -0.19 -0.58 0.50 -0.87 -1.23 -1.81 -0.77 -0.87 -0.16 -0.29 -1.95 -1.80 0.23 0.64 -0.03 0.06 -0.82 -1.16 -0.69 -0.77 -0.31 -0.46 -0.73 -0.40 -0.10 -0.40 -1.29 -0.92 -0.80 -0.34 -1.10 0.01 0.23 0.24 0.34 0.60 0.92 0.11 1.65 0.84 0.45 1.24 1.82 0.53 -0.18 -0.36 -0.42 0.93 1.42 -0.15 0.64 0.64 1.46 0.25 -1.06 -0.59 -0.56 0.22 0.97 0.35 0.38 0.19 -0.20 -1.29
    Data Source, monthly PDO Index
    http://jisao.washington.edu/pdo/PDO.latest
    For more details, see:
    Zhang, Y., J.M. Wallace, D.S. Battisti, 1997:
    ENSO-like interdecadal variability: 1900-93. J. Climate, 10, 1004-1020.
    Mantua, N.J. and S.R. Hare, Y. Zhang, J.M. Wallace, and R.C. Francis,1997:
    A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon
    production. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78,
    pp. 1069-1079.
    (available via the internet at url:
    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/abst.PDO.html)
    Data sources for this index are:
    UKMO Historical SST data set for 1900-81;
    Reynold’s Optimally Interpolated SST (V1) for January 1982-Dec 2001)
    *** OI SST Version 2 (V2) beginning January 2002 –
    Note in the last 109 years, only 1950, 1955 and 1956 had lower average annual PDO Indices than 2008.
    Regards, Allan

  145. Bill Illis (16:43:44) :
    I don’t like being boxed in by technical definitions. This is a La Nina and it has been since early December.

    With all due respects your likes or dislikes are irrelevant. By any definition there has not been a La Nina this southern hemisphere summer, nor is there likely to be one. I suggest you refer to the discussion we had on this blog last month .
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/20/its-official-la-nina-is-back/

  146. The graph at the top of this page seems at odds with our experiences in a good part of the Northern hemisphere so can only assume the cold we are enduring is more than offset by high temperatures in the southern hemisphere.
    Is there a similar set of graphs available which which show the Northern and Southerrn Hemisphere anomalies separately?
    tonyB

  147. The graph at the top of this page seems at odds with our experiences in a good part of the Northern hemisphere so can only assume the cold we are enduring is more than offset by high temperatures in the southern hemisphere.
    No – there have been plenty of warmer than average regions in the NH, most of Russia and Asia , for example. These blogs give a distorted view because they are dominated by posters from the UK and the US.

  148. Roger Sowell (10:50:50) :
    HELLO! You do not create fresh water by reducing CO2! Is anybody in
    government listening?

    Hi Roger – they (politicians) do seem to be very well insulated from reality…

  149. Mary Hinge (01:58:15) :
    Bill Illis (16:43:44) :
    I don’t like being boxed in by technical definitions. This is a La Nina and it has been since early December.
    With all due respects your likes or dislikes are irrelevant. By any definition there has not been a La Nina this southern hemisphere summer, nor is there likely to be one.

    I actually agree with Mary on this one, a technical definition is entirely appropriate. Without effective and workable definitions – communication is impossible.
    By Definition we are not “actually” in a La Nina, however we do seem to be skating right next to one and for quite some time now.
    The PDO in a cool phase by itself produces some effects that are similar to, or like, La Nina effects.
    A cool PDO could be likened to a soft La Nina running for 30 years. Hence California had better do something about securing it’s water supply or risk running out.

  150. Why is it always “warmer than normal” in Siberia? Is this a surface thing? If it is, doesn’t it make you wonder about the baseline? Or is “global warming” localized there?
    I read somewhere that during the Soviet era, if they exaggerated the low temps, they got more diesel fuel. Does anybody remember this?

  151. John Finn
    Point taken. However Russia seems to have had a ‘warm’ December a cold January and extremely low temperatures for the coming period.
    TonyB

  152. Nigel Crew
    Many of the posters on this site are the “experts”, as far as I can tell very many of us at least have graduate degrees in related fields. If you think this is just wild speculating I believe you are mistaken.
    The idea that the IPCC or the even more extreme views of people like Al Gore or James Hanson are from the “experts who know” is a myth. Even the scientists involved in writting the science portion of the IPCC reports do not generally agree with the conclusions or policy recommendations of those reports. Lead authors of the last two IPCC reports at least have very publicly disagreed with the conclusions and recommendations.

  153. It is of course hard to argue with the broad scientific expertise of the Black Eyed Peas, I may have to reconsider.
    Mary Hinge, it appears that you are desperate on this one, I don’t really disagree with you but maybe you should complain to NOAA? They’re the ones calling it La Nina.
    I think we should investigate about Siberia TJA, I have heard that exaggerating the low temperatures was a Soviet era way to increase fuel allotments. (Yes I heard it here but I also heard that in Ulan Ude and various other places more than a decade ago.) With their horrible central heating systems and leaky crummy construction I suspest it was needed to survive.

  154. Pamela,
    Many of these warm/cold pools are just representations of much more complex sub-surface oceanic circulations. We can track Kelvin and Rossby waves on the surface -esp how they pertain to ENSO. But the real action is occuring below the surface, and unfortunately there is still much we don’t understand.
    What is quite fascinating about the Jan 2009 temp spike is that it occured during a weak La Nina, and during 2 prolonged periods of NH polar outbreaks. Where did the extra heat energy come from?

  155. “No – there have been plenty of warmer than average regions in the NH, most of Russia and Asia , for example”
    John,
    We are talking of anomalies here. The warm anomalies in Siberia, and East Asia had to be strong enough not only to offset NAmerican and NW Europe cooling, but obliterate them.

  156. John,
    We are talking of anomalies here. The warm anomalies in Siberia, and East Asia had to be strong enough not only to offset NAmerican and NW Europe cooling, but obliterate them.

    I know we’re talking about anomalies. That’s exactly the point. If the mean temperature for a region is -25 but the actual temperature is -15 it’s still cold but the anomaly is +10. Though I’m not sure it’s Siberia which has had the warmest anomalies, but I’ll look again when the UAH anomaly map is released.

  157. Expect to see an even bigger spike, temperatures right accross southern Australia, a vast area, have gone through the roof with weeks of 45 degrees and higher, given that the long term average temperature for this time of year is about 26 degrees you get to see the picture.

  158. Wondering Aloud
    I anticipated when you read my list of luminaries more carefully you would be won over. Leonardo DiCaprio also has an impressive CV in the ‘saving the planet’ [from C02 presumably] domain.
    To quote him eminence “It’s not about imposing a certain belief system or a way of life on people in any economic background. It’s about just being aware of this issue – that’s the most important thing – and really trying to say, ‘Next time I vote, next time I buy something, I’m just going to be aware of what’s really going on.’ ”
    That’s all pretty clear – I think he’s talking about radiative forcing. Quite a cogent argument I thought.

  159. Further to my recent post, the whole shooting match in Southern Australia has ignited into a conflagration with massive property and stock losses, 14 people have been confirmed dead and authorities say that number could go over 40, thousands of fire fighters are battling to save what they can as I type.

  160. realitycheck (19:05:15) 4-02-2009
    Thank you for the links to the papers fascinating reading.
    This seems to be a large SSW (potentially a record or near record?) – after reading Ed Berry’s comments – do you think this could be significant for temperatures in the NH over the next several weeks?

  161. @Tim (17:27:49) : just the facts
    I dunno. Temperature forecast for the next few days in the DC area
    56, 62, 49, 49, 59, 56. This is for the second week of February!
    Here are some photos taken in the past:
    DC 06 DEC 2003 The first week of December!
    DC 14 FEB 2007
    Don’t know about you but I call this winter mild.
    FYI: I’m going by the thermometer outside of my house and I’m comparing to recent years. Just the facts.

  162. @TIM(17:27:49) : just the facts
    Just for reference, here’s the NWS noon report 2009-02-07. Note that DC is reporting 44 degrees at National while the rest of the area is 50 or above. The thermometer outside my house reported 55. BTW: Quantico is reporting 65! Maybe that’s because of all the hot babes the FBI has been hiring if TV shows are any guide. Not in my snapshot but BWI is reporting 48.
    Just the facts.

  163. I think many on this blog have fallen into the same trap as the Alarmists. Getting excited about monthly or annual trends is not where it is at. The 30 year trend is up, but the 5 year trend is down to neutral. Even without La Nina, global temperatures pretty much slowed thier rapid rise despite continued increases in GHG concentrations.
    Here’s what we do know:
    After the intense 1997-2000 ENSO event, the Central Pacific remained El Ninoesque from 2001-2007. The 2006-2007 El Nino was weak and short lived. On its heels, ENSO went neutral, and in late 2008 a moderate La Nina formed, follwed by another one in Dec 2009. According to NOAA, the PDO went negative in early 2008. This appears to have broken a 30 year cycle of El Nino dominated climate.
    Since 1995, the AMO has been positive, and will probably remain so for at least another 5 years. The rapid increase in NH temps since 1988 can be correlated-at least on the surface- to a synchronization of the positive phases of the PDO and AMO. The Oceans cannot just exhaust 30 years of excessive heat energy in a year. El Ninos will continue to occur. The oceans can determine synopitc patterns in strange ways. La Ninas usually mean the formation of a stubborn winter time 4-Corners high pressure. This means way above winter time temps for the Far West with accompanying low precip. A cooling Pacific and a warm Atlantic usually spell trouble for the lower Mississippi Vallies and Southern Plains (dry, warm weather. For Europe one also has to take into account a combination of the NAO and AMO and not just ENSO. For Austrailia, the South IO (a large portion of the Walker Cell) determines much of thier precip patterns.
    One thing that cannot be ignored is the 30 year divergence of NH and SH temps. Is it the NH diverging from the SH, or the other way around. No one really knows. Perhaps the NH and SH normally diverge; perhaps one follows the other, as what occured in the late 40s when the SH first cooled followed by the SH later in the 50s. We really don’t know.
    The spike in January in a way doesn’t surprise me. An El Nino is expected to form by Autumn 2009. The Pacific still has plenty of excess heat energy as observed by continued Artic ice melt. And no, the warm Siberian anomalies do not mean that the tundra is thawing. As a few have posted already, a +8 deg C means that the median Siberian temperature is -25 deg C, not -33 deg C.
    One last note, it would be interesting to see the year-to-year change in the RSS/UAH temps. It could be surprising.

  164. woodfortrees (Paul Clark), the two down spikes in the mid 80s and early 90s were caused by major volcanic eruptions.
    The recent downspike has no volcanic cause and is therefore ‘without precedent’ in the satellite era.
    Also of interest, if you remove those volcanic down spikes from the record then the baseline from which the anomaly is calculated goes up and recent anomalies go down to the point we were recently around a zero anomaly.
    Note, both volcanic eruptions were NH. Which partly explains why the NH warming is much larger than the (very small) SH anomaly.
    In fact, the absence of very large volcanic eruptions in the 20th C may well explain the 20th C warming.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090105175356.htm

  165. temperatures right accross southern Australia, a vast area, have gone through the roof with weeks of 45 degrees
    It’s misleading to describe the affected area as ‘vast’. It’s just Victoria and part of South Australia.
    By way of comparison, Western Australia which is about 15 times larger than Victoria has had an average summer, and Queensland which is about 8 times larger than Victoria, has had an unusually cool summer.
    You can see in the January max temperature plot (annoyingly BoM doesn’t provide a mean temp anomaly plot) that the colder areas in the north are larger and relatively much cooler than warmer areas in the south (Victoria). Febuary to date has been more of the same.
    Overall, this is likely a cooler than average summer in Oz. Again, annoyingly the BoM doesn’t publish Australia wide average data.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/temp_maps.cgi?variable=maxanom&area=nat&period=month&time=latest

  166. One point of relevance to several posts here is that low humidity locations experience much greater temperature variation than high humidity places. So temperature variation in low humidity places like Siberia or southern Australia requires less heat gain or loss than in high humidity places like the Tropics or Western Europe. If we are interested in the heat gain (or loss) of the Earth system then we should weight temperatures by average humidity, which would make Siberia and South Australian temperatures less significant to the global average temperature than say the UK and the Eastern USA.

  167. “UAH Jan temperature anomaly ‘plunges’ to +0.31. I think global cooling might be over.”
    I readily admit to being baffled by this RSS average and La Nina weakness but I find your analyses only a little more reliable than those of Jimbo or Al. A stopped clock is correct twice daily.

  168. I readily admit to being baffled by this RSS average and La Nina weakness
    It’s not just RSS – it’s UAH as well. Why are you “baffled” there has been a steady increase in temperatures since Sept 2008. February is continuing this trend – despite the current La Nina conditions.
    but I find your analyses only a little more reliable than those of Jimbo or Al.
    I’d say my analysis has been pretty good thus far. I’ve made it clear that I think the 2008 dip in global temperatures was due solely to the La Nina. I’ve also said I think 2009 will be warmer than 2008 (so far so good) and I reckon there will be a more significant uptick in 2010/2011.
    Finally, I also think that solar activity, over the timescale of the next few decades, will have no measurable effect whatsoever.

  169. Title of this article = “Global RSS temperature makes a significant jump in January”, with a graph showing it come from a lower base shortly before.
    In other words, you’ve spotted “weather”. Keep waiting over the next 10-30 years and beyond and then you’ll see “climate”. As we already have seen warming over the past 30 years.
    Unfortunately too many of your amateur correspondents confuse “weather” with “climate”. Another batch of armchair experts confuse weather with climate in another way, as demonstrated by the following typical example “gee it’s cold here in Smalltown now, so therefore I don’t trust the global averaged temperature anomaly one bit”.
    Errors in logic both times. I’d suggest the “experts” go an do a bit of study on climatology first, rather than coming to a blog to demonstrate a type of mental vacuum-effect.

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