Climate scientists who have been claiming Texas is warming are totally wrong.

Story submitted by Forrest Mims III, originally published for the San Antonio Express-News

In the early days of this column, concerned readers sent many questions about the earth’s ozone layer, which I began measuring in 1990. Today, public interest in the ozone layer has been replaced by concern about global warming.

Answering questions about global warming requires considerably more space than this 437-word column. So let’s focus in on the temperature history of Texas for now.

The 2011 Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895 during June, July and August. Several prominent climate scientists have blamed these record highs on global warming. These claims are puzzling because, in spite of the 2011 record highs, Texas records going back more than a century show slightly more cooling than warming. So I visited the National Climatic Data Center website to review Texas temperature records. The NCDC provides monthly temperature records for 10 Texas regions going back to 1895.

It also provides the average temperature for the entire state.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/time-series/index.php?parameter=tmp&month=12&year=2011&filter=ytd&state=41&div=0

I retrieved all 12 months of data for each year since 1895 and plotted the average annual temperatures on a chart along with their trend. As shown in the chart, the average temperature of Texas barely changed between 1895 and 2011.

image

The total warming during those 116 years was a statistically insignificant 0.046 degree Fahrenheit. If the record highs of 2011 are omitted, Texas cooled 0.055 degree from 1895 to 2010.

The NCDC temperature data do not fully account for the enhanced warming of weather stations that have become surrounded by buildings and pavement. This is the heat island effect. Dr. Daniel Boice of the Southwest Research Foundation studied the temperature at New Braunfels and San Antonio from 1946 to 1990. www.swri.org/3pubs/ttoday/fall97/heat.htm

He found that San Antonio has warmed when compared with its smaller neighbor. San Antonio might be several degrees cooler today than in 1885 if no new buildings and roads had been constructed. Why do some scientists insist that Texas is warming when the data show a negligible increase? I don’t know. But I do know that a National Science Foundation program officer told me that applications for atmospheric science grants that do not include a global warming theme stand little chance of acceptance.

Climate scientists are right to be concerned about droughts, especially since no Texas drought since precipitation records were begun around 1870 matches the megadroughts revealed in the rings of bald cypress trees. Those droughts occurred hundreds of years before SUVs and power plants began pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a process blamed for global warming that has not yet arrived in Texas.

===========================

Forrest Mims III, an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was named one of the 50 Best Brains in Science by Discover Magazine. His science is featured at www.forrestmims.org. Email him at forrest.mims@ieee.org.

Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/article/Research-shows-Texas-is-not-warming-3498409.php#ixzz1se48xusC

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Harold Ambler

I worked outdoors in Texas last summer. How much Gatorade did I make disappear?
A lot.

Harold Ambler

Funnily enough, during the 18 months I worked outdoors in Austin, the airport had more than two dozen record low temperatures, and I also froze my behind off a fair amount of the time. I would tell people during the course of my day that there had been a record low that morning (or three mornings in a row or what have you) and they looked at me like I was crazy. The AGW brain-washing of Austinites is a sight to behold!

Ian W

Perhaps this exercise should be carried out for all 50 States. The result will probably be similar. Better rush before the State records are ‘corrected’ though.

When did facts ever matter to a warmist?

Jenn Oates

C’mon…it’s only climate when it’s hot. If it’s anything else it’s just weather.
🙂

Kelvin Vaughan

“Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895.”
Taken a long while to break the record. The same thing happened in Scotland, a long standing record was broken this year, but not at the same weather station as in the 1800s. Records seem to be broken in a different weather station from the last record.

Go figure. This has always bothered me how so much fuss is made over a FRACTION OF A DEGREE, something that cannot be detected by the bizarre creature doing the detecting. It’s back to the ‘scientific rigor’ implied by decimal places….except that instrumental error, UHI, Hansen-diddling, and outright fantasy erase any meaningful ‘change’ in temperatures, resulting in ‘rigor mortis’. And how does one “average” the temperature? it’s back to the idea of the Olympic-sized swimming pool discussed recently at WUWT. Sure, you can measure a temperature at some point, but does that represent every point? To see ‘prominent climate scientists’ (read ‘look at me’ climate scientists) clamouring to be the first to blame a gnat fart on ‘climate change’ is just plain disgusting. No point in going AdHom over it, although it is sorely tempting.
I suppose in some way it is comforting to know that the Lone Star State is climatically more or less the same as it has been for hundreds of years, but in the absence of a benchmark for ‘normal’ (another of my pet peeves about climate science), this be basically meaningless, Wyatt. It’s been both hotter and colder, wetter and drier, oilier and gassier in Texas, and so it will be.
/rant

edcaryl

“But I do know that a National Science Foundation program officer told me that applications for atmospheric science grants that do not include a global warming theme stand little chance of acceptance.”
That is all I needed to know.

Take a look at Arkansas …
http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-warming-hole-arkansas-noaa/
1) The warmest year from this century was 2006, 99 out of 117th. 18 years were warmer.
2) 1896 was tied with 1934 for 110th out of 117.
3) 1897 was tied with 2011.
4) CO2 is one wimpy GHG in Arkansas

Run forrest Run! (For office)

Doug Proctor

The alarm is all in gathered data that has been “carefully” adjusted to take account of various errors. All other sciences see in the small what they see in the big, natural local variation considered. Yet a global situation that doesn’t show up in regional changes distributed globally, is not a global, but a regional situation.
The difference between GISTemp and HadCruT is significant and rooted in how GISTemp handles the poorly measured Arctic region. How many (and which) other regions would need to be removed from the record to show that the world is not warming to any significance at all?
When an area like the Arctic (or other) warms anomalously, there are two possible solutions. The first you would make (Occam’s Razor) is that it is a regional situation, perhaps a change in wind or water currents. The second is that the situation is global, with the effects showing up the specific region. This is the IPCC/Hansen position, with computer modelling to provide the (directed) backup. (The third option, that there is a mix of reasons, fatally weakens the CO2 narrative, and so falls into the region-as-responsible category for the purposes of this debate.) Any region can therefore be dismissed if contrary to the global view, even many such groups.
When you already have the perpetrator in mind, all investigations into him tend to find what they are looking for. Prison records and evening CSI programs demonstrate this. So it is with global warming/CAGW: you get studied that which you expect to prove the Bad Guy, CO2 here, guilty.
You don’t do the defense’s job when you are the prosecutor.

Jeff Norman

“The 2011 Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895 during June, July and August. Several prominent climate scientists have blamed these record highs on global warming.”
It would have been better if Mims had actually identified these “prominent climate scientists” and provided links to their pronouncements. Without these, this article is something of a strawman.

I’m not smart enough to deconstruct the Texas state climatologist’s latest:
http://climatecrocks.com/2012/04/24/the-lack-of-recent-warming-canard-no-cigar-but-thanks-for-playing/#more-10677
Why don’t some of you sharpies tackle it? –AGF

The Texas state climatologist thinks he’s got the goods on us:
http://climatecrocks.com/2012/04/24/the-lack-of-recent-warming-canard-no-cigar-but-thanks-for-playing/#more-10677
Anyone care to deconstruct him? –AGF
[Moderator’s Note: Don’t you think three links to the same site are about enough? -REP]

Brewster

This brings up a point that really bugs me. Over at the Weather Underground, Dr. Jeff Masters can’t resist a blog about any record high temp showing up somewhere. His latest report mentions all these record highs at various airports with record data going back 100 years.
I do wonder how many of those airports with their concrete and asphalt influenced weather stations existed 100 years ago. I could agree with a statement to the effect of “record temperature at this station with records going back 10 years”, but certainly not the alarmist statements that he is making now.

Ed Scott

Here Come the Green Police! DHS Launches ‘Environmental Justice’ Units
HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT VOWS TO FIGHT ‘CLIMATE CHANGE’ AND ‘MELTING ARCTIC ICE’
http://constitutionclub.org/2012/04/18/here-come-the-green-police-dhs-launches-environmental-justice-units/

wayne

Hey neighbor! Oklahoma here. I just ran the 1895-December 2011 yearly data on Oklahoma from your link to NOAA climatology page and the annual linear is y = 0.002x + 32.755 °F. That’s +two thousandths of a degree Fahrenheit per year for the last 116 years. You can’t call that perfectly level, but, visually the linear trend line looks perfectly flat.
These “climatologists” are just full of ..it as we all now know, factually, and their hypothesis has been proved false over and over again. As Dr. Feynman expounded… if the data doesn’t agree with the theory, it’s wrong… period. It is ‘they’ who are cherry-picking. Global surface energy cannot just ignore the thousands of sites across this globe showing zero or negative temperature trends. Physics just doesn’t work that way. Check on spontaneous energy transfers across differentials or the principle of least action.
I guess our states are just showing no ‘action’ at all!

Nerd

I went to Mims’ website to check his stuff out. The controversy behind Mims’ firing from Scientific American was interesting.

Jeff Norman says April 27, 2012 at 9:54 am
“The 2011 Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895 during June, July and August. Several prominent climate scientists have blamed these record highs on global warming.”
It would have been better if Mims had actually identified these “prominent climate scientists” and provided links to their pronouncements. Without these, this article is something of a strawman.

By the time August arrived much of the vegetation had already succumbed (e.g. trees de-leafing due to stress); this was ‘helped’ by tight watering restrictions across the area(s) too providing for reduced evaporative cooling.
Much of our low-level winds were from the SW as well rather than the south as it normally is during the summer months; winds from the SW arrive much drier (and warmer!) to start with. I lost a couple Maple trees (I know; they are/were bad choice for this area, but I also lost a native Persimmon tree too) owing to the long, hot, dry summer last year.
.

John West

@Forrest Mims III
Obviously, you’re not a real climate scientist. If you were a real climate scientist then you’d know that temperature data must be adjusted to reveal the truth of AGW. If you’ll simply subtract tree ring aquired “adjustment” values from 1955 back you’d have a proper chart showing temperatures in the early 1900’s of about 63 degrees as we all know they were and steady warming until about 1970 and then a sharp increase in warming as we all know is what actually happened. /sarc
Good work! Texas “fire storm” (Oh my!) due to AGW assertion debunked.

wikeroy

Here is one that found the same;

noaaprogrammer

Texas temps were relatively high during the mid 1950s whereas for the northwestern states the temps were relatively low. Stationary high pressure domes can park themselves over a region for a summer, contributing to long periods of high temps. How would one account for this? I mean if the warmistas can diddle at will with temps, why can’t we?

Brian Adams

Brewster,
And how many stories are ever written about cold temperature records being broken? The most insidious form of news bias is in the selection of which events and stories are reported, and which are ignored.

Nerd

_Jim says:
April 27, 2012 at 10:15 am
I lost a couple Maple trees (I know; they are/were bad choice for this area, but I also lost a native Persimmon tree too) owing to the long, hot, dry summer last year.
===========
Which maple? Up here in Ft. Worth at Metro Maples, they had Shantung maples surviving last summer without any water in sandy soil. Maybe that’s why they were designated as Texas Superstar plants…. http://metromaples.com/perfect_anti_storm.htm

daved46

“These “climatologists” are just full of ..it as we all now know, factually, and their hypothesis has been proved false over and over again.”
I sometimes go to PJTV to watch what’s new. Their daily update today has the following:
“Love of theory is the root of all evil.” According to Bill Whittle, this is the greatest sentence ever. From communism to global warming, the love of theory trumps real-world evidence.”
Explains a lot!

tadchem

I looked at the more advanced statistics for the Texas temperatures. The slope (sometimes mis-named the ‘trend’) is 0.0443 degrees per century, but the standard error of that value is 0.2655 degrees per century. The slope could be as high as 0.575 degrees per century, or as low as -0.487 degrees per century (+/- 2 sigma = 95% confidence limits).
In other words the trend is statistically insignificant.

beesaman

Too late folks as usual, the Warmist lies have run around the World while the truth was still getting its boots on…

Sorry, moderators, but sometimes nothing happens to let me know my attempt to post actually worked. Usually there is an instant response indicating the post took. When there is none, I have no clue whether it took or not. It seems I have to log in with a different browser to know for sure.
Feel free to delete the superfluous posts–and this one. –AGF
[REPLY: Not sure what you are seeing, but some times it takes a little while to approve all the comments, and some times comments end up in the spam filter and need a little more time to be retrieved. -REP]

polistra

Hey! I’d wondered what happened to Forrest Mims.
I owe a large part of my career to learning digital electronics from Forrest’s ‘Cookbooks’.
Thanks hugely, Forrest!
Not surprised to find you working on the factual side of this particular subject, but glad you’re still going strong.

Tennessee anyone?
The NOAA says Tennessee has been cooling since 1895 by -.03F / decade. Which is the same as Arkansas.
http://sunshinehours.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/the-warming-hole-tennessee-noaa/

Daryl

@AGF What would the hockey stick look like if you coloured each individual temperature record and proxy differently, so you could “compare apples to apples”? There’s a lot done already to deconstruct the hockey stick, all that’s needed is to present it graphically in similar fashion.

gnomish

lancaster did the cookbooks. mims did the notebooks.
one of the most fun guys a kid could grow up reading – i remember the o-scope the size of a matchbox out of 2 chips.

NetDr

I lived in Dallas around the late 70’s and it was a lot hotter then.
Days of 110 F wre common , as many as 21 of them in a row.
That hasn’t happened since then.

agfosterjr says:
April 27, 2012 at 10:00 am
The Texas state climatologist thinks he’s got the goods on us:
Anyone care to deconstruct him? –AGF
[Moderator’s Note: Don’t you think three links to the same site are about enough? -REP]
=====================================================
Indeed REP…… okay AGF, I’ll bite. It’s a fallacious argument. It is essentially the same as Foster and Rahmsdorf’s. Just do a search here for much discussion on that bit of idiocy proclaiming that ‘it would be getting warmer if not for it not getting warmer’. It’s fascinating to see them blame it on La Nina, but when El Nino rears it’s head, it’s all about CAGW. It’s a duplicitous argument. If not for volcanoes….. blah, blah…. those naturally occurring events haven’t happened in a grand manner for quite some time. But, again, it’s fallacious to consider them separate from the earth’s temps. Further, a sharp observer would notice that Nielsen-Gammon found a creative way to eliminate the El Nino of 2009-2010 from his graphics. Very nice ploy. He gets creativity points. I’m not sure that’s what we’re looking for in our scientists, but look at him go! As the ad says, “But wait! There’s more!!!”
He continues in his laughable creativity by displaying a graph from 1951-2011. Then he states, “To dig deeper, I’ll zoom in on the period since Agung. This isolates the period of nearly steady warming since 1970 and lets us focus a bit more on what has happened since 1998 or so. Here’s the chart:”,
But, again we see that’s nothing of the sort. He presents the same graphic except from 1967 to present. There is no focus on what “happened since 1998 or so.” He continues with his lunacy by stating, “Somehow, it no longer appears that global temperatures have leveled off in the past decade.” But, in the next para….. “Stare hard enough, though, and you see that they have leveled off. The last ten data points have little or no trend.” Odd, he never really shows the trend. Here’s the last ten years showing the same GISS data he’s using….. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2002/trend/plot/gistemp/from:2002 (expect corrections as the data moves further away from the present. The temps will retroactively drop.)
You see AGF, to continue this facade, we must get creative. We must come up with skull piercing, mind numbing, abject stupidity to state that ‘if things were different, they’d be different’. I’d go into more detail, but they’re pretending ENSO is a force of it’s own like a volcano, which for some reason only counts when they serve to advance the CAGW argument, but when they don’t, they play a juvenile game of calling “no counts!” There are a couple of very learned people here who can explain ENSO in much greater detail than I, and the mysteries of it’s mechanisms, but considering intellectual vacuums such as what Nielsen-Gammon has presented only serves to makes us dumber. Already I’m preparing to purchase some malt beverages to cleanse my brain cells of the ones infected by exposure to this sophomoric idiocy.
AGF, I want to thank you. I’ve been on the road and while the accommodations were supposedly high-end, I couldn’t get them to understand that some of their access points weren’t functioning properly so I didn’t have a chance to participate much in the climate discussion. So, this was building up a bit. Thanks again!
James

jaschrumpf

All these significant digits… what kind of thermometers were being used back in 1985-mid-20th C. that went out to three significant digits? If your thermometer is calibrated in degrees, then your observational error is going to be +/- 0.5 deg no matter how many thermometers you use. One would get a more accurate reading by using a bunch more thermometers, but they’ll all still have that +/- 0.5 deg error bar, and no amount of statistics can make that go away.

_Jim says:
April 27, 2012 at 10:15 am
I lost a couple Maple trees (I know; they are/were bad choice for this area, but I also lost a native Persimmon tree too) owing to the long, hot, dry summer last year.
===========
Nerd says:
April 27, 2012 at 10:27 am
Which maple? Up here in Ft. Worth at Metro Maples, they had Shantung maples surviving last summer without any water in sandy soil. Maybe that’s why they were designated as Texas Superstar plants…. http://metromaples.com/perfect_anti_storm.htm
Unknown Maple sub-species. But last spring a frost seemed to have ‘done in’ a couple trees in the front yard (which had leafed out when the freeze, not just a frost, occurred) and by the end of summer the remaining living trees had shed a lot of leaves despite regular (although restricted per city ordinance) ‘lawn waterings’.
During subsequent removal I noticed bores in the Maples and the Persimmon tree. I don’t know the species of these maples; several were planted before I moved in and a couple I raised from seedlings from seedlings that sprang up. I also lost several cherry trees by the time summer was over. I think between the weather and insects the trees succumbed …
The large Maple in the front yard was struck by lightning s few years back too; the upper growth supports that plus I was on the front porch when the bolt struck (no delay between what looked like a nearby lightning strike and thunder ‘report’ plus one can actually hear what I will describe as a high frequency ‘hiss’ that accompanied the strike ostensibly as the air ‘breaks down’ and forms the conducting plasm path to earth and or objects to earth.)
Funnily, the fruitless Bradford Pear tree out by the street has survived all this (freeze and last summer) and looks good this year.
.

Mike

Texas has been warming since the 1970’s. I don’t know if it is AGW. But there was some mid centery cooling in NA due mainly to aerosol pollutants.

mwhite

We have a drought in the UK at the moment
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/26/drought-hit-england-floods?newsfeed=true
“However, the environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, said the rain would not avert the drought and water companies were right to impose a hosepipe ban”
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17867522
“The UK has seen a dramatic change in the weather in the past few days, changing from drought warnings to flood alerts”

mwhite

Met Office 3-month Outlook
Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/p/i/A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf
“The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drierthanaverage
conditions for AprilMayJune
as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the
driest of the 3 months.”

LMAO! AGF, I really need to thank you again! You caused me to look in a place where I had refused to earlier. So, ENSO accounts for the slight decreasing temp trend of recent years? Okay, let’s graph the ENSO values of 1970-1998, where the most dramatic temp increases occurred…….
http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/does-enso-alter-our-global-temps-omglmao/
Uhmm……… ok, I’ll take ENSO caused the global warming for $200, Jack. It’s going to be difficult to state ENSO caused the flattening/cooling and then state that it didn’t cause the warming as well.

u.k.(us)

_Jim says:
April 27, 2012 at 11:25 am
============
The trees don’t die on the spot, they fail to thrive.

LamontT

“Jeff Norman says:
April 27, 2012 at 9:54 am
“The 2011 Texas drought was exacerbated by the highest temperatures since 1895 during June, July and August. Several prominent climate scientists have blamed these record highs on global warming.”
It would have been better if Mims had actually identified these “prominent climate scientists” and provided links to their pronouncements. Without these, this article is something of a strawman.”
==========================================================================
Google is your friend in cases like this. It isn’t a strawman if I can find the answer in under 10 seconds with google.
Keyword search was — record texas highs climate change.
second article on the list was this: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/environment/article/Droughts-water-woes-expected-to-intensify-3381513.php Which perusing of reveals 2 named climate scientists. Some person I’m sure no one has ever heard of. James Hansen of NASA and the Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon are both quoted in the article.
Amusingly this quote by Hansen has since been proven wrong in several areas.
“We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were ‘caused’ by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming,” he wrote in the paper that is still undergoing peer review. “We can say with a high degree of confidence that these extreme anomalies were a consequence of global warming.”
The fourth link returned was this one with climatologist Katharine Hayhoe http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2012/03/30/climate-change-and-the-drought-an-interview-with-katharine-hayhoe/ Found on NPR.
Do you want me to continue looking up climatologists attributing this to AGW?

Just to get this straight.
The record that nobody trusts says that it hasnt been warming in Texas.
The record that nobody trusts shows a UHI in Tmin of ~.3C per decade in san antonio.
where the record nobody trusts in san antonio was compared to three surrounding temperatures
which nobody trusts. Funny how they didnt compare the Tmax measure that nobody trusts as well
And these results from temperatures that nobody trusts are reported to 1/100ths of a degree F.
And when GCR studies show that increased GCR leads to increased clouds and lower temps,
its a record that you dont trust that provides the evidence. And when Scefetta produces a projection based on solar activity and record you dont trust, that projection is what? GIGO?
And when sea level increases from 1900 to today, that must be due to
1. warming that isnt happening
2. meltwater from landed ice, that isnt actually melting.
And when you say that we are recovering from the LIA, what is really meant is that it is no warmer today than it was when washington crossed the delaware or frost fairs were held in london.
Its not warming in texas. its not warming anywhere. Glaciers are not melting. Sea level is the same as it always was, and frost fairs are scheduled for next year in London.
/sarc off

Mosher: “The record that nobody trusts says that it hasnt been warming in Texas.”
Or Arkansas. Or Tennessee ….
You trust it. And we are mocking you with the data you trust.

u.k.(us) says:
April 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm
The trees don’t die on the spot, they fail to thrive.

Does not compute; assertion would seem to be at odds with (does not match) field observation.
Loss of bark (literally: bark is coming/hanging off the trees), failure to bring forth ‘spring bloom’ of leaves and helicopter seeds: death was pronounced and deconstruction (by chainsaw) has commenced …
.

Ethically Civil

Is anyone else seeing 120 year period sinusoid in that graph?

Richard M

James Sexton says:
April 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Uhmm……… ok, I’ll take ENSO caused the global warming for $200, Jack. It’s going to be difficult to state ENSO caused the flattening/cooling and then state that it didn’t cause the warming as well.

I looked at their graphs and it didn’t make any sense to me. Everything I’ve seen (particularly from Tisdale) show we’ve had more El Niños. Their graph showed the opposite. How did they come up with that? Typical warmist adjusting? Make it up? Who knows.

Steven Mosher says:
April 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

/sarc off

Is not the “/” the logical not operator?
Therefore your “/sarc off” may be re-written thusly: //sarc and double-not being simply: “sarc”.
The “/” operator is not an ‘Esc’ (escape) character used to access some alternate character set (like back in the teletype days) n is it to indicate an ‘escaped’ sequence of characters that may mimic control characters suc as in bit-oriented protocols like HDLC where the ‘flag’ sequence when appearing in binary data would be ‘escaped’ with a specific, dedicated, preceding and indicating ‘byte’ …
.

Nick Stokes

When there is a post saying “Climate scientists who have been claiming Texas is warming are totally wrong”, why can’t we be told who those scientists are, and what they said? After all, they can read the NCDC site too. In fact, the site was compiled by climate scientists and meteorologists. Are they totally wrong as well?