Sanity check: 2008 & 2009 Were The Coolest Years Since 1998 in the USA

While the press is hyperventilating over NASA GISS recent announcement of the “Hottest Decade Ever“, it pays to keep in mind what happened the last two years of the past decade.

According to NCDC, 2009 temperatures in the US (53.13F) were the 33rd warmest and very close to the long term mean of 52.86F.

Generated from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

Since 1998, according to NCDC’s own figures,  temperatures in the US have been dropping at a rate of more than 10 degrees F per century.

Generated from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

For 2009, all regions of the US were normal or below normal except for the southwest and Florida.

NCDC Statewide Rankings

Temperatures in Alaska were also slightly below the long term mean.  Three of the last four years have seen below normal temperatures in Alaska.

A few fond memories from 2009 :

Americans suffer record cold as temperatures plunge to -40   16th January 2009

Jul 28, 2009   Chicago Sees Coldest July In 67 Years

Aug 31, 2009   August Ends With Near-Record Cold

Oct 14, 2009   October Cold Snap Sets 82-Year Record

And my personal favorite:

From: Kevin Trenberth <trenbert@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

To: Michael Mann <mann@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600

Cc: Stephen H Schneider <shs@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Myles Allen <allen@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, peter stott <peter.stott@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, “Philip D. Jones” <p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Benjamin Santer <santer1@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Tom Wigley <wigley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Thomas R Karl <Thomas.R.Karl@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Gavin Schmidt <gschmidt@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, James Hansen <jhansen@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>, Michael Oppenheimer <omichael@xxxxxxxxx.xxx>

Hi all

Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in

Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We

had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it

smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a

record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies

baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing

weather).

Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global

energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27,

doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained

from the author.)

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a

travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008

shows there should be even

h/t to Steve Goddard


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Is the first chart saying that the average year-round temperature for the US is 53 deg? Or is it just saying that the average of all temperature-monitoring posts for the year is 53 degrees?
Not important. I’m just curious.

Temperature trends at Northern Hemisphere, 23.5-90N:
CRU+HadSST
http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/icrutem3_hadsst2_0-360E_23.5-90N_n_2000:2009a.png
MSU
http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itlt_0-360E_23.5-90N_n_2000:2009a.png
Both datasets are heading down. You can run, but you will only die sweated, NASA guys.

Wouter

Bunk. If you look at the top chart, it seems to have 1998 as the highest temperature. So you arbitrarily take that as the starting point, and basically make a trend line on 10 data points? Not to mention the fact that the mean in the second graph of course is quite a bit higher than in the overall graph. As such, using the same black bar for this, and not putting the second graph into context of the first one is extremely misleading. A “trick”, if you will.

frederik wisse

in holland 2009 must have been also a cooler year , although statistics may tell a different story and therefor should be considered questionable , januari and december 2009 were both months with substantial lower temperatures than usual whilst the summer was a very cool one , with in the centre of holland only one day with temperatures above 30 degrees celsius , which became a very regular phenomenon in the last decade of the nineties ,counting 5 to 15 days each summer with temperatures over 30 degrees celsius . Is not the IPCC not warning for more extremes , whilst exactly the opposite is happening ?
Okay there may be excuse in this case , the mountains disappeared from Holland , so this must have been created by the missing fohn-winds and is it therefor not unrealistic to reduce the canadian northern territory stations to one point of measure famous for its fohn-winds ?
Nowadays the best example of the strong believers here is demonstrated by the lack of temperature-registrations for the United States on television here in Holland once the temperature is falling below . Then the temperature is reading 0. Why tell the truth , which in this case is so easy , when you are able to fool the public , showing the lack of respect and the dogmatic fanatism .

Since real climate is a function of things like altitude, latitude, and distance from the ocean (yes, check the definitions of things like ‘desert climate’ and ‘mediterranean climate’ and ‘temperate zone climate’…) that means that the “30 year average of weather” used by the AGW guys is no more climate than a “10 year average of weather”.
So I’m quite happy to say that there is a definite strong cooling trend underway. Heck, if they can ignore 60 year cycles like the PDO and 80 year and even 176 year cycles of solar output, and, for that matter, the 1500 year Bond Event Cycles, then so can I.
Filter with 30 years, you can not see a cycle longer than that. (Heck, even a 20 year cycle can look a lot like noise or a mistaken trend). So once you’ve decided to blow off all the really interesting long cycles of weather, what’s one more? In fact, the faster response is more useful for things like crop planning and ski trips…
So we’re headed down, and harder than we had been headed up. Give it another 20 years and this cooling 1/2 cycle ought to be taking a break (if it is PDO related… I don’t want to think about a Maunder event… and a Bond Event, well, we ARE just about due for one, but we don’t want to go there… that cycle leads to WW III from starvation… The last one was The Dark Ages and started about 530 – 540 AD. Add the nominal 1470 years of a Bond event and you get 2000 – 2010 AD. Gee, just about the time temperatures started falling… and the Sun went very very quiet… but the error band on that 1470 can add a decade or three… )
This posting:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/bond-event-zero/
has a couple of my comments but mostly just collected together some details from Wiki as the Wiki Langoliers started to erase the MWP, LIA, and everything else interesting… so I grabbed what I could still find and stuck it there. Needs cleanup, but does give you an idea about things like “The Iron Age Cold Period” and other “pessimums”…
I’m still holding out hope that all that ocean heat (currently driving our global Lava Lamp at extreme speeds moving all that ocean heat to the poles to dump at high rates) will keep the place warm for the rest of my lifetime. Toss in a short solar cycle recovery and we might just have a “normal” if cold winter for a decade or three.
Well, I can always hope…
FWIW, I think you can use a “loopy jet stream” vs a flat one as an indicator of how much heat differential there is between the tropical oceans and the cold poles. So we’re getting darned cold poles, and heat is being dumped big time, now you have a larger thermal gradient between equator and poles to drive interesting air flows for a while. Thus the frozen Canadian Express and Siberian Express dumping cold all over, yet more warmth running up the oceans to the poles to get frozen and return.
I’d give it a decade of that before we cool the oceans enough to start getting Real Cold… So just hope the last sunspots are a sign of things to come…
(And yes, I think the sun is the driver of our climate on a long term macro scale, with short term waffles caused by ‘ringing’ of misc fluid systems…)
Oh, and take a nice look at that chart. Notice that the GIStemp baseline is set at the bottom of that blue dip… 1950-1980

Paid weather commentators in New Zealand are dismayed that the summer there seems to have gone, when late Jan and most of Feb are usually the best months to enjoy outdoor stuff. Latest survey in NZ’s Herald newspaper says only 25% of respondents to the simple yes/no survey believe that the planet is warming.

gary gulrud

We have a new celebrity:
http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/climategate_cru_was_but_the_ti.html
Freezing rain finally cleared our roofs last night despite a January ‘thaw’. Freezing fog had kept us cooler for a week or more than the forecast and below freezing.
While like the 1970’s just a tad cooler.

John S

And yet, Jim Hansen over at RealClimate claims that for the world as a whole, 2009 is the second hottest year in 130 years. What’s up with that?
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/2009-temperatures-by-jim-hansen/

The earth is cooling. The next decade will be much colder than normal. All funding should be withheld from NASA until there is a full explanation of this fraud.

I have a link I keep bookmarked about NASA GISS.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/11/14/the-evolution-of-the-giss-temperature-product/
There is a reason why NASA GISS choose “hottest decade ever”, even though the previous link already shows they purposefully adjusted temperatures up meaning the hottest ever is likely a purposeful lie. With all the press about being too cold, this was to distract people and try to keep the agenda focused on cash cow that is global warming. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
To Wouter: There is a reason why we like to start with 1998. It is the same tactic the AGW crowd uses of taking a very low temperature as a starting point and saying “see it is getting warmer!” So two can play that game. “See it is getting cooler!” If you condemn this, you must also condemn when the AGW crowd does it as well.

Jim

**************
E.M.Smith (04:13:07) :
Since real climate is a function of things like altitude, latitude, and distance from the ocean (yes, check the definitions of things like ‘desert climate’ and ‘mediterranean climate’ and ‘temperate zone climate’…) that means that the “30 year average of weather” used by the AGW guys is no more climate than a “10 year average of weather”.
***************
And that’s exactly why I’ve been wondering lately why the focus on temperature? The heat capacity of air changes with humidity and the amount of heat (internal energy) in a unit volume of air varies with altitude. It is like a case of comparing an almost infinite variety of fruits with one another. The focus should be on the total energy and energy balance of the Earth system defined in some appropriate manner. The rest would take care of itself.

Willem van Oranje

Well, well, well. New study about the reliability of surface temperature trends over the conterminous U.S. (CONUS) in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that ““the bias is counterintuitive to photographic documentation of poor exposure because associated instrument changes have led to an artificial negative (“cool”) bias in maximum temperatures and only a slight positive (“warm”) bias in minimum temperatures.”
Oops: “artificial negative bias in maximum temperatures”.
Sanity check: “bwahahahaha”
Thanks for playing.
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf

Henry chance

Oh the expression climate change. Will the Sahara become a high altitude forrest? Or will it not change?
Global warming as a phrase didn’t work out. Climate change is not working. I notice a few alarmists are now hammering on pollution more aggressively. None have done anything about the 75% of the people in India and China that cook and heat on wood and coal. …or other trash and waste.

Wouter (03:45:45),
A ‘trick’? Then let’s forget 1998. We’ll start 5 years later: click
Or, let’s look at only December temperatures – going all the way back to 1928: click. Where’s that runaway global warming? It’s a travesty that we can’t find it.
I could provide twenty similar charts, but some folks have too much invested in their belief that CO2 will cause climate catastrophe to accept the fact that the planet is going through one of its normal, natural cycles – and neither CO2 nor human activity have much to do with it.
Here’s the hero of the alarmist contingent, making one of his hilarious predictions: click
The claim that CO2 will cause catastrophic AGW is being debunked by planet Earth. Who are you to say Gaia is wrong?

KSW

Here we have a weatherman providing a recap of weather incidents and pretending the the US is the whole world.

john pattinson

The author states –
“According to NCDC, 2009 temperatures in the US (53.13F) were the 33rd warmest and very close to the long term mean of 52.86F.”
So is this an extreme winter or an average winter? And if temperatures have to drop at 10 degees per century for 12 years to reach average why do so many commentators say “where is the warming?”

Josh

Wouter – try reading the title of the post before leaping to your conclusions.
The graphs made sense to me and seem perfectly readable.
I suspect your irritation is that the last decade has not warmed as much as was expected or indeed predicted.
Maybe you will like the report on possible reasons why on Science Daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119112050.htm

Henry chance

Hide the decline.
CO2 was at 400 ppm in 1942. It has also fallen since then.
400 ppm in a post on a warmist blog will be enough to get the post deleted.
http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/180_years_accurate_Co2_Chemical_Methods.pdf

Josh

Welcome to the warmists! It is great to see them posting stuff and hear their arguments.
KSW – like Wouter, why not read the title before posting? This post is about the USA and not the world – or have I read yours wrong?
Anyway keep it coming – it is really good to know what you think.

Patrick Davis

Well, the last two days it has been warm in Sydney, inner west. Yesterday (Friday) was fairly normal for summer, 36c, but reported as a “scorcher”. Today (Saturday) it was 43c where I am, it was hot OK, but dry with it, ~20% humidity. Now it is down to less than ~24c, but humidity at ~75%, sticky. It”ll be like this for a week. No fires of any significance.
Past midsummer now here in Australia and a cool one too, again, like last year.
Mind you, I still find it remarkable that some people accept that one thermometer, near an airfield, is OK to determine average tempeartre for the entire continent of Antarctica.

Neven

“While the press is hyperventilating over NASA GISS recent announcement of the “Hottest Decade Ever“, it pays to keep in mind what happened the last two years of the past decade.”
The opening of this article is misleading.
‘Hottest Decade Ever’ refers to global temperature anomaly. ‘What happened the last two years’ refers to the US.
The US is not the globe, my dear American friends.

ShrNfr

Department of Duh. It turns out that the Catlin expedition equipment failure was due to the battery. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/7053637/Pen-Hadow-admits-battery-was-the-problem-on-Arctic-climate-change-expedition.html
Somehow I will take a pass on trusting anything from the fruitcakes who cannot get even that right. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

michael e. forster

Speaking of appropriate (or inappropriate) terminology, e.g., global warming, etc., is it not time to consider re-labelling the so-called “instrumental” record? Factors like the extraordinary reductions in numbers of measuring stations (both domestic and global), retrospective changes in the historic record, bizarre location and instrument condition problems all tend to suggest that we are not actually working with the “instrumental” record anymore.
What we are being presented with each month by NCDC/NASA/GISS/HADCRUT has been so massaged, modified, fudged, factored, tweaked and transmogrified as to no longer represent anything which might be logically referred to as the “instrumental” record.
I think it would represent, and portray, a far more accurate picture if we all began to refer to it as the “computational” record, vs., e.g., the satelite record. In this bizarre battleground of science vs. ideology, which words we use mean a lot.

pete

why cant i find the figure released by giss for global average for 2009?
i thought i would find it here!

AlanG

Reading off the chart by eye, 37 years were warmer than 2008 and 2009

Richard Garnache

Wouter;
A point well taken but, Moving the line down doesn’t change the slope of the data or the conclusion that the earth has been cooling.

John from MN

It is a hoot that two enities can the same data and make it look extremely differnt. The alarmists have been masters at twisting the data and making charts to make it seem we are racing toward oblivion with GW. Sad how many fall for their hyperbole dung………the little bit of warming we have seen in 150 years falls easily into the natural swings…..Sincerely, John….

Fred from Canuckistan . . .

It doesn’t matter what is really happening, NASA/NOAA/GISS/EAU/CRU et al simply “adjust” the data to have happen what they want to happen.
Then the refuse to tell us how they “adjusted” the data, because they have PhD’s in “Trust Me” science.
Then they tell us there is a Climate Crisis, we are going to die, the End is Nigh, Repent you Carbon Sinners. They actually have sandwich boards made now so they can parade around on Sundays at public gatherings and save their voices.
Then they demand $trillions of taxpayer’s dollars to solve the faux crisis they created.
A beautiful Sting.

maz2

“Climate Science” is an oxymoron. What is the population of AGW’s “Climate Science”?
CS is well-populated; thus, it’s a science, no?
…-
“The Experimental Method and the Rise of Modern Science”
“The word “scientist” was not seriously used much before 1840, and not widely used until the twentieth century. “Man of science,” “thinker” or “scholar” should be considered preferred labels for those who worked with natural philosophy and what we call science prior to this. By the mid-eighteenth century, probably no more than 300 people in the world could be classified as scientists. By the year 1800 there were perhaps a thousand, by the mid-nineteenth century 10,000 and by 1900 maybe 100,000. The overwhelming majority of these were still Europeans or people of European origins. The European population itself grew rapidly at the same time, but the percentage of scientists grew even faster. Science during this period finally made the transition from being a gentleman’s hobby to being a well-populated profession.”
http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4285

Paul K2

Hmm, after a string of very hot US years, the temperature dropped in 2008 and early 2009 when La Nina effects kicked in. Not too surprising.
The unusual cold and the strong Arctic Oscillation in late 2009 is interesting; it would be informative if we could understood what caused such an extreme AO (the strongest since the 70s), but we really don’t know. It is always fun to speculate on short term regional trends in temperature.
But the big picture is being addressed over at Bob Tisdale’s post. Global temperatures, when adjusted for ENSO, volcanoes, and solar cycle, are trending up substantially. Bob has a model that shows step increases, and attempts to rule out a more regular rise, but others have found a regular increase in temperatures, after adjusting for known impacts.
The GISS data, adjusted for these effects, show 2009 global temperatures close to exceeding the 2005 record high global temperature.
And the UAH record is headed for what appears to be the highest January anomaly in the database, joining the November record high temperature, and the 2nd highest UAH global anomalies for September and July. Almost all the highest UAH monthly anomalies in the database are from the El Nino years of 1998 and 2005, so if the recent El Nino affects 2010 as expected, the UAH monthly anomalies should approach or break the record highs in the next nine months.
The big picture shows the hot time is a coming… stay tuned.

Alexej Buergin

What does UAH say about the new millenium?
According to Rob Vermeulen (whose mathematics remind me of our dear friend Flanagan) the anomalies are 0.2 in 2001, 0.31, 0.28, 0.19, 0.34, 0.26, 0.28, 0.05, and 0.26 in 2009.
Excel produces a linear trend of y = – 0.0078*x + 0.2803.
The minus sign means, of course, that the EARTH in the new millenium has been getting COOLER with 0.78 °C per century.

Steve Goddard

Someone asked why choose 1998 as the start point of the second graph? Because there was a big step upwards in in 1998, which has now been completely erased. Temperatures in the US and Alaska are back to where there have been most of the time since the 1920s.

geo

With 115 total, 57 would be median, right? Yet S. Dakota and Nebraska are sitting there at 21 and 19 and that doesn’t qualify as “much below”? Minnesota at 39 is “near normal”.
What are the ranges they are apply for these classifications?
So far as that goes, Cali and Arizona looks like a “much above” to me.

Josh

Neven…try reading the whole post, it isn’t very long!
Also read the sciencedaily article, linked above – gives some interesting pointers as to why the globe has not warmed as expected – something which is fairly widely accepted by all sides of the debate – some call it ‘cooling’ others call it ‘not as warm as predicted’.
The first para…
“According to current best estimates of climate sensitivity, the amount of CO2 and other heat-trapping gases added to Earth’s atmosphere since humanity began burning fossil fuels on a significant scale during the industrial period would be expected to result in a mean global temperature rise of 3.8°F — well more than the 1.4°F increase that has been observed for this time span.”

Paul K2

michael e. forster who wrote: “Factors like the extraordinary reductions in numbers of measuring stations (both domestic and global), retrospective changes in the historic record, bizarre location and instrument condition problems all tend to suggest that we are not actually working with the “instrumental” record anymore.”
Perhaps you show read this recent paper currently in press for the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, published by the American Geophysical Union.
The paper by Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams, Jr., and Michael A. Palecki of the NOAA/National Climatic Data Center addresses the claims in the Watts 2009 paper published by the Heartland Institute.
http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf
Have fun!

Peter Dunford

OT, but it might be worth a post about this paper just published:
http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/press/proved_no_climate_crisis.html
“Major paper shows CO2’s effect on temperature was overstated 500-2000%”

Deech56

Amazing – why pick 1998?

geo

Not counting the “record” catagories (which obviously are their own things), there are five catagories. If evenly distributed that means over a 115 year record you’d expect each to contain 23 years. So 19, 21, and 22 (Arkansas) should be “much below”, 39 “below” and 99 and 97 should be “much above”, right?
And *how in the world* is Arkansas a 22 and next door Texas is a 79? I mean, really? Are all the thermometers in Texas at Galveston or something? Actually, given what I’ve read about Cali thermometer sitings, I’m wondering about it too, given its length from north to south.

dekitchen

You are so right! ANYONE who has studied Climate Science will know that a two year record over a tiny fraction of the Earth’s surface (parts of the USA) means that the global trend is now set for cooling. All that nonsense we studied and learned about through published research is totally bogus and we should listen to what blogs say instead. It wasn’t unusually warm in parts of Alaska this winter! Lies! We all know peer reviewed research is unbelievable, and that all these thousands of scientists with IQs over 140 are biased and lying just to get to our money. We should all listen to the reassuring voices at FOX news because we know that is the true source of unbiased news and comment. We should all just live our lives, not ask questions, believe what the cooperation tells us, be thankful for how God has anointed us and live in the security that they know what is best for us all…. now I will just go and light up a smoke, ’cause all that stuff about cancer y”all told us about for year is bogus too… heck the companies had it right all along 🙂 Sweet dreams America……
All I can say is THANK GOD for Europe (my home) because you guys are losing your way and I guess we will eventually have to show you the way back.

geo

Not Texas, tho Texas is still next door and a 85. The 79 is next door LA. Still, you see my point.

Peter Plail

Wouter – don’t you get it. 1998 is now12 years ago and temperatures have been drooping since then.
1998 looks to most fair minded people as the peak of a temperature cycle (let’s face it there are very few factors in nature which act in a linear fashion) and it is in the nature of all cycles for there to be a decline after a peak.
Don’t worry, though, there will be a cyclic upswing again some time in the future, which sadly for runaway temperature theorists, will result in a further downswing sometime later.
And I’m prepared to concede that there will be a slight upward trend when viewed over centuries, but what there is no evidence of is uncontrolled thermal runaway except within the simplistic, and possibly rigged, climate models.

Deech56

Oh, and did someone do the stats on the regression before making a claim that it has been cooling in the US since 1998?

Paul K2

Richard Garnache (06:53:47) : Wouter;
A point well taken but, Moving the line down doesn’t change the slope of the data or the conclusion that the earth has been cooling.
My question: How do you get the conclusion that the earth has been cooling by looking at the US temperature record since the big El Nino in 1998? I hope you realize that this post is only about US temperatures? Furthermore, there weren’t any statistical tests of this temperature trend in the post?
How do you know what is statistically meaningful versus random variation?

Norman

The interesting thing is that the charts are showing the U.S. is cooling but they have temperatures that show the overall globe still warming.
The US has the bulk of the recording stations and shows cooling. The rest of the World has much fewer recording stations and a lot of the temperature data is not from direct measurement of the air but artful guesses of what a grid temp is based upon the closet actual measurement. The grids are fairly large and the distance between a known temp and an unmeasured grid is considerable.
The AGW crowd tells me the US only makes up 2% of the Global Surface, but the US does not exist in a vacuum. The masses of air that move over the US come from somewhere. I just find it odd that the actual meaured temperature is cooling (US) but the Global temps show increase and most the grids are not based on actual temperature readings but mathematical guesses of what the “real” temperature would be if you took a reading.

DirkH

“ShrNfr (06:39:47) :
Department of Duh. It turns out that the Catlin expedition equipment failure was due to the battery. […]”
The pokey end of the battery goes to the little cross symbol and the flat end goes to the minus symbol, didn’t they learn that?

Kasser

I first noticed the low 2008 & 2009 temps here a couple of weeks ago. (I think it’s a NCDC chart.)
http://www.c3headlines.com/2010/01/as-of-december-31-2009-12-year-cooling-trend-is-now-1103f-per-century.html

Jim Clarke

Wouter,
The 20th Century saw the most active sun in over 500 years, two warm phases of the PDO with only one cool phase and an increase in atmospheric CO2. While the CO2 ‘influence’ was at its greatest (mid-20th Century), the PDO was in its negative phase and the global temperature cooled, indicating that the ocean cycle has a much larger impact on global temperatures than increasing CO2.
(Please don’t wave the sulfate magic wand at this. Temperatures cooled in the Southern Hemisphere, where there were no sulfates, in lock step with the Northern Hemisphere. Claiming pixies caused the cooling is just as evidence based as claiming sulfates were responsible.)
So add it up. Nearly every thing that we think may have a significant influence on global temperature was in full positive mode during the 20th Century: the sun, ocean cycles and greenhouse gases.
So what lies ahead for the 21st Century? We will have 2 cool phases of the PDO and only one warm one. The sun, apparently, is settling down and may be headed to a minimum. CO2 will continue to increase, but due to its logarithmic influence on climate, the increase will have less and less impact. The net result will be global cooling. Any other conclusion simply ignores the facts!
So why choose 1998 as the starting point? Because that is likely when all the warming influences in the 20th Century peaked. We choose 1998 because a prediction was made that temperatures would begin to cool in the early 21st century and the data is supporting that theory of climate change. It supports the theory of stronger natural variability and a weaker human influence. the data does not support the opposite. We choose 1998 because it is scientifically important in recognizing the natural cycles.
We lingered near the top of the curve for several years and are now going down. In the past, El Ninos where step jumps in a gradually increasing slope of global temperatures. The current El Nino is manifesting as a temporary slowing of the cooling trend. Big difference.

Steve Goddard

The Alaskan Arctic has been experiencing very cold temperatures this winter – much below normal.
http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/PABR/2010/1/23/MonthlyHistory.html
Same for central Alaska:
http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/PAFA/2010/1/23/MonthlyHistory.html
Siberia has also been extremely cold:
http://www.wunderground.com/history/station/24688/2010/1/24/MonthlyHistory.html
There is no question that the US has been cooling since 1998. It has cooled dramatically, as seen in the NCDC data. Not to mention record snows the last few winters, the second coldest NFL game in history, and the first Major League playoff game to get snowed out.

paullm

OT: FOX NEWS CHANNNEL Cashin’ In (11:35am – Noon ET) to address “Scientists” getting paid to push global warming before noon (sat).

Herman L

Well, if indeed the temperature across the United States is cooling a little, it may in part be due to a cooling bias found in an analysis of the USHCN stations. The authors of the study “On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record” conclude “a small overall residual negative (‘cool’) bias appears to remain in the adjusted maximum temperature series” and “we find no evidence that the CONUS temperature trends are inflated due to poor station siting.”
And who shares part of the credit for this finding? The authors write: “The authors wish to thank Anthony Watts and the many volunteers at surfacestations.org for their considerable efforts in documenting the current site characteristics of USHCN stations.”
(Source: http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf)
Meanwhile, if you look beyond the 2% of the Earth that is your own backyard, you find: 2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows.
(Source: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/)