Study: model in good agreement with satellite temperature data – suggest cooling


Craig Loehle

National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc.

Reprint available from NCASI (PDF)


Global satellite data is analyzed for temperature trends for the period January 1979 through June 2009.  Beginning and ending segments show a cooling trend, while the middle segment evinces a warming trend.  The past 12 to 13 years show cooling using both satellite  data sets, with lower confidence limits that do not exclude a negative trend until 16 to 22 years.  It is shown that several published studies have predicted cooling in this time frame.  One of these models is extrapolated from its 2000 calibration end date and shows a good match to the satellite data, with a projection of continued cooling for several more decades.

Figure 6.     Linear plus period model from Klyashtorin and Lyubushin (2003) overlaid on satellite data after intercept shift.  Dotted line is model extrapolation post-2000 calibration period end. a) UAH.  b) RSS.

a - UAH data plus model

Figure 6a - UAH data plus model

b - RSS data plus model

Figure 6b - RSS data plus model


Analysis of the satellite data shows a statistically significant cooling trend for the past 12 to 13 years, with it not being possible to reject a flat trend (0 slope) for between 16 and 23 years. This is a length of time at which disagreement with climate models can no longer be attributed to simple LTP. On the other hand, studies cited herein have documented a 50–70 year cycle of climate oscillations overlaid on a simple linear warming trend since the mid-1800s and have used this model to forecast cooling beginning between 2001 and 2010, a prediction that seems to be upheld by the satellite and ocean heat content data. Other studies made this same prediction of transition to cooling based on solar activity indices or from ocean circulation regime changes. In contrast, the climate models predict the recent flat to cooling trend only as a rare stochastic event. The linear warming trend in these models that is obtained by subtracting the 60–70 yr cycle, while unexplained at present, is clearly inconsistent with climate model predictions because it begins too soon (before greenhouse gases were elevated) and does not accelerate as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate. This model and the empirical evidence for recent cooling thus provide a challenge to

climate model accuracy.


Craig Loehle reports a correction to the post of his analysis of satellite data. This demonstrates how review on the ‘net can be useful.

While working with both surface and lower troposphere data, he inadvertently loaded the lt data for analysis.  Alert reader Andrew at Climate Audit noticed the mistake.  This has now been corrected and will be correct in the printed edition and online at E&E.  The only thing different about the abstract is that the lower confidence limits do not exclude a negative trend until 16 years instead of “16 to 22 years”.
The corrected ms is located at the same link:

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Steve M.

Obviously a study funded by Big Oil /sarc

This should “QED” the whole subject of AGW… But it won’t.


What does “evinces” mean?


Very nice paper.
It is good to see peer reviewed articles published in this area, and I suspect we are going to see an avalanche of such articles, in which recent observations are shown not to square up with climate models.
The climate models are going to become ever more divergent from observations – we have all seen it and now peer review articles are beginning to document this.
Clearly natural climate variation encompasses both the medieval warming period (when it was a little warmer than present) and the little ice age (when it was a little cooler than present) – so I have never understood how so many scientists were convinced the warming period we had from 1979 to around 2000 couldn’t fall within normal climate variation – and had to be caused by man and CO2 emissions.
This paper shows that observations made with satellite data are consistent with either flat or cooling temperatures, and even project potential cooling for years to come.
I wonder what will happen if and when we have a 30 year trend of flat or cooling temperatures – will RealClimate ever admit their models are to dependent on CO2 and are clearly not correctly modeling the climate?
Thanks again.


The model extrapolation reminds me of NASA trying to predict the sunspot cycle!!!!

Jari (10:06:25) :
“What does ‘evinces’ mean?”
It means to reveal the presence of something.


Wow! Dig the new mobile version of the site – I must have missed the announcement somewhere.
All we need now are more frequent open threads so off-topic posts don’t clutter up the discussions.

Without the volcanic events in 1983 and 1991, which lower the first portion of the record, the overall trend would be almost flat.

Douglas DC

Say are Russian Scientists in the article also on record as saying we are heading for a cooling-bigtime?-don’t have time to google now-meetings…


Another great paper!!


Jari (10:06:25) : Try google. It will answer most trivial questions like this.


“I wonder what will happen if and when we have a 30 year trend of flat or cooling temperatures”
I’ll tell you EXACTLY what will happen. They’ll start screaming “global cooling” again, just like they were 40 years ago.
See, this is the thing that upsets me most about this whole charade. We’ve had cooling for 11 years now, and the alarmists STILL won’t admit that global warming is hoax. How many years of cooling do we have to have before they’ll admit it? 20? 30? There’s no way we can go through 20 years of cooling without somebody screaming “global cooling”. And if they scream it loud enough (and they will) some government is going to throw some money at it to find “proof” not only that’s it’s occurring, but that mankind is causing it. And the alarmists (they don’t care what they’re alarmed about, as long as they’re alarmed about SOMETHING) will demand that we do something to stop catastrophic man-made global cooling.


Christopher Monckton on Glenn Beck radio show, Youtube videos.

James the Simple

I’d always heard that no models predicted the latest cooling trend, yet this article references Klyashtorin and Lyubushin (2003) and says that “several published studies have predicted cooling in this time frame.”
What’s up with that? (Pun intended!)

A very important study, “Evidence for a warmer period during the 12th and 13th centuries AD from chironomid assemblages in Southampton Island, Nunavut, Canada”, has been published in “Quaternary Research”.
It’s one more to sink the AGW theory, since it highlights that the Medieval Warm Period temperatures were in fact higher than today.
I believe that AGW supporters will start defending that higher temperatures at the time were also caused by man, by starting some fires… But then, CO2 was very low.

Paul (10:17:21) : “Wow! Dig the new mobile version of the site – I must have missed the announcement somewhere. All we need now are more frequent open threads so off-topic posts don’t clutter up the discussions.”
Uh, yeah. Right. Dream on, Paul, dream on.


I’m a bit confused with the meaning of this. In the abstract they are seeming to say that the recent cooling has been predicted by some models: “One of these models is extrapolated from its 2000 calibration end date and shows a good match to the satellite data, with a projection of continued cooling for several more decades.”
Yet in the conclusion they state that climate models have not predicted the cooling. Can anyone clarify this?


Slowly, but surely the AGW myth is being put to rest. Papers like this chip away at it brick by brick, eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) the whole edifice will collapse.
Still a way to go though. Sir David Attenborough was on BBC radio today talking about his latest tv series. He is quite sold on the myth and occupies a special place in the hearts of the British public. Once people like him begin to express doubts we will know the end is in sight.
(Love the new mobile interface btw)

Mike McMillan

…studies cited herein have documented a 50–70 year cycle of climate oscillations overlaid on a simple linear warming trend since the mid-1800s
That about sums it up – 30 years warm, 30 years cold. The only question is whether the warming trend is from the LIA or from the end of the last ice age. My guess if from the last ice age.
This interglacial is running on overtime, and the impending danger is not the warming, but when the warming quits.

Ron de Haan

Very good, very nice job.
Thank you very much.

Roger Knights

Here’s the google query to use:
define evinces


Yes Men Pull Off Chamber Of Commerce Hoax On Climate Change (VIDEO)
How sad.


So a computer model says it’s going to cool?
“And then the tide turned.”
Can we do a campaign against central banking next? Huh? Can we? Please?
Evan, I vaguely remember Pass Christian being mentioned in “The Puppet Masters”. Thanks for the memory jog.



Satellite data since 1978 are clearly nonstationary. The early and late periods show modest cooling trends, while the middle portion shows a strong warming trend. This could be an indication of the combination of a linear or other warming trend with one or more periodic climate cycles, as suggested by Chylek et al. (2009), Loehle (2004), Klyashtorin and Lyubushin (2003), Schlesinger and Ramankutty (1994), Soon (2005), and Zhen-Shan and Xian (2007), among others. Zhen-Shan and Xian (2007) and Klyashtorin and Lyubushin (2003) noted that the result of this combination of forcings could be to exaggerate the apparent warming (and therefore the apparent greenhouse forcing effect) of the last third of the 20th Century. Empirical identification of periodic or semi-periodic climate signals has a precedent in the identification of sunspot cycles and is thus worthy of consideration for longer periods, which is considered next in the context of forecasting future climates.

I also note in the paper that they suggest a 16 – 23 year cooling trend (with lower confidence) but the 12 -13 year trend is clear. Who will give me odds on the Mainstream Media not picking this story up?
Leif around? He knows a bit about sunspot cycles ;).

I had just watched the faux Chamber of Commerce video – it highlights a point that I’ve made before: there is a sad strain of consequentialism, whereby the ends justify the means, in the environmental movement. Lies and gimmicks are acceptable if the endstate (whatever that may be) is achieved.
The notion that there’s no such thing as bad publicity is wrong – just ask John Edwards. So, it was a puzzling stunt really. It only discredits whatever fringe group this was, and diminishes the validity of the greater environmental movement in the eyes of average people. Who knows, it may actually alienate those in the press corps who object to being considered “useful idiots.”

Adam from Kansas

Here’s the forecasts for both the AO and NAO for the near-future if this helps you figure out where the rest of October is headed.
Also putting up implications for the near future is what El Nino Modoki is doing
(note the distribution of heat is unlike a classic El Nino with positive anomalies concentrated in the center of the ENSO region)


So there we have. This confirms that the theory of CAGW is falsified.
Just need a few of the organs of free speech to carry the story and Copenhagen is toast.


Anyone want to bet that Noaa or Accuweather global warming site won’t come out with A report trying to show or adjust to show no cooling has taken place???????


The warm 1980s and 90s might have been the final “overshoot” presaging a very steep decline.

Steven Kopits

Well, there’s not too much new here. The satellite data is well known. It comes down to curve fitting. Here we have some sort of parabolic function instead of the usual linear one. But nature is not a curve fitter! The temp will be what it will be, regardless of which curve we fit to the data.

Careful now folks, extrapolating from such a limited dataset is, erm, fraught to put it mildly, eg:
Let’s not start doing the poor science we blame the alarmists for just because the most recent data fits our own opinions.

Alan S. Blue

Ecotretas, the significance of the MWP is primarily in the sensibility of the term “unprecedented.”
But the key piece isn’t actually proving that the MWP was warmer – but instead that there was a significant dip between then and now. That is: a serious LIA dip would provide an at-least-empirical explanation for this sentiment in Dr. Loehle’s paper: “The linear warming trend in these models that is obtained by subtracting the 60–70 yr cycle, while unexplained at present,”
The crucial piece of Mann’s work was actually in diminishing the historically-well-understood LIA to a “localized phenomenon.” Prior to 1998 a hefty portion of the debate was on ascribing precisely how much of the obvious warming was “LIA rebound” when compared to “anthropogenic global warming.”
The hockeystick made the apportionment “100% is AGW” seem reasonable.

Dr A Burns

Tenuc, I don’t think there’s any way Copenhagen will be “toast”. It’s a political gathering, not a scientific one. It’s decisions are based on another political body, a “Governmental Panel” headed by a railway engineer. Real science doesn’t get a look in.


figure 6b doesn’t look anything like the RSS LT data. It looks like MT:


Unmasked, the well-intentioned lie, is still a lie. How sad to have wasted all this time and money on so foolish a deception.
“Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said: “Today’s EU fiasco has made the chance of failure in Copenhagen very real.”

Ed Scott

Regarding a previous posting: Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty in Copenhagen
This discussion refers to the Federalist Papers as the source for understanding the meaning of the of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States.
Climate Change’ Treaty: The Supreme Law Of The Land? Or Lawless Usurpation?
6. Now, let us consider the proposed “climate change” treaty. There exists somewhere a 200 page draft agreement which, during December 2009, is to be hammered out, put into final form, and signed in Copenhagen. If signed by Obama and ratified by the Senate, would it become part of “the supreme Law of the Land”?
To answer that Question, we must first ask: Does The Constitution authorize Congress to make laws about the objects of the proposed “climate change” treaty? One wants to see the actual 200 page draft agreement, but it appears, from various web sites, that the gist of the scheme is for the governments of the “rich” nations to reduce the “greenhouse gas emissions” within their borders and to send money to the “poor” nations to bribe them to sign the treaty and to compensate them for our “past emissions”. There seem also to be provisions for entrepreneurs like AlGore to sell “carbon offset credits” or “emission reduction units” to those who emit more than “their share” of “greenhouse emissions”. [By the way, from where does AlGore get them to sell?]
And just what, pray, are “greenhouse emissions”? Primarily, carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor. Carbon dioxide: the gas which humans and other animals exhale, and which plants must have for photosynthesis [sounds like a good system to me]. Methane: The gas which animals belch. All very easy to control: Kill most of the people and most of the animals! Shut down our remaining industries. Stop the cars. Turn off the electricity. Cut off supplies of propane. Prohibit the burning of wood. And water vapor! Oh! We must stop poisoning the world with Water!
So! The Questions are these: Does The Constitution grant to Congress the power to make laws respecting the reduction of carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, etc. “emissions”? Is transferring wealth from Americans to “poor” nations to compensate them for our “past emissions”, one of the enumerated powers of Congress? Does The Constitution grant to the Executive Branch jurisdiction over carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor?
The answer is NO! Accordingly, if the Senate were to ratify the “climate change” treaty, the treaty would NOT become part of “the supreme Law of this Land”, because it would not have been made under the Authority of the United States. It would be a mere usurpation and would deserve to be treated as such. Do not forget: The federal government may not lawfully circumvent the U.S. Constitution by international treaties. It may NOT do by Treaty what it is not permitted to do by the U.S. Constitution.
7. While the statist-in-chief will surely sign a Treaty in Copenhagen, ratification requires two thirds of the Senators present (Art. II, Sec. 2, cl.2). Are we such a corrupt people that we elected 67 U.S. Senators who will vote to ratify the Treaty? But even if 67 faithless Senators vote to ratify it, then we may take heart from the words of James Madison in Federalist No. 44 (16th para):
… in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers…
and Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 33 (5th para):
…If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard [The Constitution] they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify….
Read again the foregoing passages! They can not enslave us without our acquiescence. For too long, we have blindly accepted whatever we hear others say. Someone on TV says, “If the Senate ratifies this treaty, it will become part of the supreme law of the land!” We are told that “The Rule of Law” requires us to obey every order, law, court opinion, or treaty coming out of the federal government. And not only do we believe such nonsense, we repeat it to others. And thus, we became part of the misinformation dissemination network. In order to restore our constitutional republic with its federal form of government, we must rediscover the lost art & science of Learning, Thinking and Analysis. And then, we must learn to say, “They don’t have authority under The Constitution to do that!” Pay attention to the words of our beloved James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. PH

Bill P

Somewhere in the last 29 years I missed the whole debate (assuming there ever was one) about the quality of satellite data. Since satellites started sending weather data, that data has been believed like the gospel from the mount.
Was it not satellite data which introduced the idea that the Earth was warming in the late 70’s?
Aren’t satellite callibrations and interpretations subject to every bit as much distortion and tinkering as tree ring data?


The AMO lives! Too bad we can’t say that about the brain cells of the AGW crowd.

Michael D Smith

Paul, Boudu, Do you have a link to the mobile interface you are talking about? I don’t see anything here, but everything except text is blocked where I am… Thanks.


@Bill P I am not sure what algorithm they are using to do the RSS retrievals these days, but they all come pretty close, They are by no means as subject to interpretation as tree ring data is. The observed channel brightness is basically the weighting function of the channel times the temperature at the altitude. I did work on the microwave spectrometers on Nimbus E and Nimbus F in the early 70s. You do not have a lot of latitude with a correctly functioning instrument. And yes, the global temperatures in the late 70s were indeed rising due to the AMO upswing.

Bill P

ShrNfr (13:01:49) :
What’s the mechanism for taking the temperature?

An Inquirer

It looks like the end point for Loehle’s input data was June of 2009. I wonder if results would be impacted by including data through September of 2009.


Bill P (12:49:26) :
…… “Aren’t satellite callibrations and interpretations subject to every bit as much distortion and tinkering as tree ring data?”
Dear Bill P, RSS and UAH are not subject to the same “distortion and tickering as tree ring data” because unlike Mann, Schmidt, Hansen’s GISS, Britain’s Met Hadley, et al these satellite services openly disclose their means and methods. That’s why skeptics take their data seriously and heavily discount Mann, Schmidt, GISS, and Met Hadley’s so-called data. If they won’t disclose how they ‘adjust’ data and how it was collected in the first place, you almost have to assume “distortion and tinkering” on their part. Cheers.

Craig, how did you take Pinatubo and El Chichon cooling into the equation?

Jari (10:06:25) :
What does “evinces” mean?

I know a few others have chimed in with advice (and the definition) for our dear and honorable friend “Jari”, but here’s, IMHO, an even better solution to simplify Jari’s search for answers…
KallOut is a free Firefox add-on that allows Jari, or any other WUWT readers to select text, right click, and go directly to Google results, Wikipedia entry, or, in Jari’s case, the definition! And the bonus to WUWT readers is he won’t be clogging up the message threads!
I use it A LOT!

Craig Loehle

To respond to some comments, my paper says nothing about the MWP or LIA. The models that predicted cooling are timeseries models fit to the historical data or are based on patterns of ocean circulation. The models that do NOT predict cooling are the general circulation models.

Craig Loehle

The paper is accessible via the link at the top of the post. You don’t have to guess what I did–you can read it.

When ever I hear the “funded by big oil” bit I counter with:
Are you funded by Al “I’m going to make billions off of carbon trading” Gore?
Which then brings the question back to facts and their interpretation.

F Rasmin

What I find bemusing is the inordinate attention given to articles and material emanating from the UK. The UK is now the sick man of Europe and is irrelevant to the affairs of the world. Its time has been and gone. A relatively greater weight should be placed on articles and material emanating from the South Malaccas!