Guest Post by Steven Goddard
As reported by Anthony, RSS satellite temperature data is out for March. And as the Catlin adventurers have discovered, it has been “stupidly cold” in the Arctic. March was the second consecutive month of below normal Arctic temperatures, and the continuation of a four year cooling trend – as seen below. Google’s linest() function shows that since the beginning of 2005, Arctic temperatures have been cooling at a rate of 1.8 degrees C per decade, or 18C per century ( see comments). Also note that Arctic monthly temperature anomaly now is about three degrees lower than in January, 1981.
That short term trend isn’t meaningful, except in the context of the Catlin Expedition and the cold they are experiencing.
Note in the graph below, the huge drop in temperatures since the Catlin expedition started two months ago. Is this another example of The Gore Effect? Or, perhaps it is the “observer effect‘? Humor aside, the graph below tells the story of the cold the Catlin Expedition must be experiencing.
This cooling is reflected in increasing amounts of winter ice since 2005. Not surprisingly, as the temperature gets colder, the amount of ice increases.
Below is a longer term view of Arctic temperatures, as measured by Dr. Hansen’s GISS at Godthab, Greenland. The warmest years were the 1920s through 1940s.
How long before we start seeing stories like this one from Time Magazine again?
Another Ice Age?
Monday, Jun. 24, 1974
In Africa, drought continues for the sixth consecutive year, adding terribly to the toll of famine victims. During 1972 record rains in parts of the U.S., Pakistan and Japan caused some of the worst flooding in centuries. In Canada’s wheat belt, a particularly chilly and rainy spring has delayed planting and may well bring a disappointingly small harvest. Rainy Britain, on the other hand, has suffered from uncharacteristic dry spells the past few springs. A series of unusually cold winters has gripped the American Far West, while New England and northern Europe have recently experienced the mildest winters within anyone’s recollection.
As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.
There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it’s only a hundred billion. It’s less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.
– Richard Feynman
UPDATE: In response to questions in comments, Steve Goddard located this graph from the Danish Meteorological Institute.
Calculation of the Arctic Mean Temperature
The daily mean temperature of the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is estimated from the average of the 00z and 12z analysis for all model grid points inside that area. The ERA40 reanalysis data set from ECMWF, has been applied to calculate daily mean temperatures for the period from 1958 to 2002, from 2002 to 2006 data from the global NWP model T511 is used and from 2006 to present the T799 model data are used.
The ERA40 reanalysis data, has been applied to calculation of daily climate values that are plotted along with the daily analysis values in all plots. The data used to determine climate values is the full ERA40 data set, from 1958 to 2002.
So it is a model, not an observation.