A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – "Extreme Weather" Update

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

Recently there have been increased efforts to link “Climate Change” and “Extreme Weather” e.g., NOAA links extreme weather to climate change CBS – July 10, 2012, “NASA scientist links climate change, extreme weather” CNN – August 6, 2012 and Get used to ‘extreme’ weather, it’s the new normal The Guardian – September 19, 2012.  Per the Guardian article, “Scientists have been warning us for years that a warmer planet would lead to more extreme weather, and now it’s arrived”. These “Extreme Weather” efforts have shifted into high gear with Sandy. Yesterday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “one of the lessons from Superstorm Sandy is the need for global action to deal with future climate shocks.” “He told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that it is difficult to attribute any single storm to climate change, but the world already knows that “extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.” U.N. leader: Sandy a lesson in climate change CBS – November 9, 2012

All of these claims and “extreme weather” rhetoric seems to be predicated on the assumption that “Earth’s Temperature” has increased recently, thus causing “extreme weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. However, does the observational data support this assumption? Let’s take a look…

Global Surface Temperatures:

Generally, when referring to Earth’s “climate” warming, proponents of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) narrative refer to Earth’s Surface Temperature, e.g. “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.” NASA Earth Observatory

As such, here’s NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly – 1996 to Present:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) – Click the pic to view at source

Looking across the last 16 years, Global Surface Temperature do not appear to have increased much at all.

For a longer term view, UK Met Office’s – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Annual Global Average Land Temperature Anomaly – 1850 to 2011;

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

and the UK Met Office – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Monthly Global Average Land Temperature – 1850 to 2011

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

Unless the arrival of “extreme weather” occurred in 1997-1998 with the well documented “very strong El Niño”, and the media is just realizing it, there does not seem to be a basis for the “extreme weather” claims in Earth’s recent Land and Surface Temperature record. There does not appear to be much recent change, and if anything the trend is down in the last few years. However, the surface temperature record is burdened with issues of questionable siting, changes in siting, changes in equipment, changes in the number of measurement locations, modeling to fill in gaps in measurement locations, corrections to account for missing, erroneous or biased measurements, and the urban heat island effect. Thus to see the big picture on the temperature “Earth’s Temperature”, it also helps to look up.

Atmospheric Temperatures:

Since 1979 Earth’s “temperature” has also been measured via satellite. “The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.” NASA

Here is RSS Global Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and this is the University of Alabama – Hunstville (UAH) Global Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present:

University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) – Dr. Roy Spencer – Click the pic to view at source

Note: Per John Christy, RSS and UAH anomalies are not comparable because they use different base periods, i.e., “RSS only uses 1979-1998 (20 years) while UAH uses the WMO standard of 1981-2010.”

The September UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomaly was .33 degrees C above the 30 year average and RSS Global Global Lower Troposphere shows a .133  degrees C increase per decade. “Earth’s Temperature” varies naturally by numerous degrees and has been significantly warmer than it is today:

NOAA – National Climate Data Center – Click the pic to view at source

Are we to believe that 3 or 4 tenths of a degree C warming over the last 30 years has brought us to the precipice of “extreme weather”? Seems implausible. Maybe there are significant regional variations that portended the arrival of “extreme weather”?

Looking at the RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

neither seem indicative of warming that would have caused “extreme weather” to arrive.

Furthermore, RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

is currently negative and shows a .013 K/C per decade decrease. Should we assume that Antarctica is experiencing less “extreme weather” at the moment?…

To this point we’ve only addressed the Lower Troposphere Temperatures, but one never knows where this “extreme weather” might be coming from, the following Temperature Anomaly plots from RSS will increase in altitude as is illustrated here:

Here is RSS Temperature Middle Troposphere (TMT)- Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

According to Remote Sensing Systems, “For Channel (TLT) (Lower Troposphere) and Channel (TMT) (Middle Troposphere), the anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow tropospheric warming. The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the most recent one being the largest.” RSS

Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to show slow warming overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including several comparatively large El Niño events. Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of a recent change in Earth’s Temperature that could cause “extreme weather” to become the “new normal.

Moving higher in the atmosphere, RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been flat since 1987, with a trend of just -.008 K/C per decade. Perhaps this is the “new normal”?…

The 1997-98 and 2009 – 10 El Niño events are still readily apparent in the Troposphere / Stratosphere plot above, as is a spike from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Note that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo is the opposite in the Lower and Middle Troposphere versus the Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS), i.e. “Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere; the gases convert into submicron particles (aerosol) with an e-folding time scale of about 1 year. The climate response to large eruptions (in historical times) lasts for several (2-3) years. The aerosol cloud causes cooling at the Earth’s surface, warming in stratosphere.”

Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

It is interesting that, incorporating the impact of three significant surface driven warming events, Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperatures (TTS) have been quite stable, however there is a bit of regional variation here, e.g.:

RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been increasing by .044 K/C per decade, whereas the RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been decreasing by -.061 K/C per decade. However, Southern Hemisphere Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperature does show a significant increase in 2012, perhaps it is this increase that caused “extreme weather” to arrive? Or maybe not…

Moving higher still in the atmosphere, the RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

“is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS

The eruptions of El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo are readily apparent in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation at Mauna Loa, Hawaii:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) – Click the pic to view at source

“The stratosphere” … “in contrast to the troposphere, is heated, as the result of near infrared absorption of solar energy at the top of the aerosol cloud, and increased infra-red absorption of long-wave radiation from the Earth’s surface.”

“The stratospheric warming in the region of the stratospheric cloud increases the latitudinal temperature gradient after an eruption at low latitudes, disturbing the stratospheric-troposphere circulation, increasing the difference in height of the troposphere between high and low latitudes, and increasing the strength of the jet stream (polar vortex, especially in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warming during the northern hemisphere winter following a tropical eruption, and this warming effect tends to be larger than the cooling effect described above.” Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

The Lower Stratosphere experienced “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo.” … “Here we provide observational analyses that yield new insight into three key aspects of recent stratospheric climate change. First, we provide evidence that the unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, we argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, we reveal the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer-Dobson circulation” David W. J. Thompson Colorado State University

Above the Stratosphere we have the Mesosphere and Thermosphere, neither of which have I identified current temperature time series for, but of note is that on “July 15, 2010” “A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” occurred when “high above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.”

“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.” NASA

In summary, Earth’s Lower and Middle Troposphere appear to have warmed slowly, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events, and tempered by the cooling effects of the eruption of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of changes that could be causing “extreme weather”. Tropospheric / Stratospheric temperatures appear to have been influenced by at least three significant surface driven warming events, the 1997-98 El Niño, and the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991, but have maintained a stable overall trajectory. Stratospheric temperatures appear to have experienced two “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).”, and “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years. Lastly, “during deep solar minimum of 2008-2009” “the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years” occurred and “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.” Unless someone can demonstrate a causative relationship between “Climate Change”, the collapse of the thermosphere and “Extreme Weather”, there does not seem to be any support with the atmospheric temperature records for “extreme weather” arrival and “new normal” rhetoric.

Ocean Temperatures:

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Bureau of Meteorology

As such, changes in Ocean Heat Content are important in understanding “Earth’s Temperature”. Here is NOAA’s NODC Global Ocean Heat Content from 0-700 Meters – 1955 to Present;

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) – Click the pic to view at source

and here is the same from Ole Humlum’s valuable climate data site Climate4you.com, NODC Global Ocean Heat Content – 0-700 Meters – 1979 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

It seems apparent from the plots above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, however Global Ocean Heat does not appear to show a recent increase that could lead to “extreme weather”. Furthermore, in his recent article Bob Tisdale demonstrated that “sea surface temperatures for Sandy’s path haven’t warmed in 70+ years” WUWT.

Sea Level:

“Global sea level is currently rising as a result of both ocean thermal expansion and glacier melt, with each accounting for about half of the observed sea level rise, and each caused by recent increases in global mean temperature. For the period 1961-2003, the observed sea level rise due to thermal expansion was 0.42 millimeters per year and 0.69 millimeters per year due to total glacier melt (small glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets) (IPCC 2007). Between 1993 and 2003, the contribution to sea level rise increased for both sources to 1.60 millimeters per year and 1.19 millimeters per year respectively (IPCC 2007).” Source NSIDC

Global Mean Sea Level Change – 1993 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Mean Sea Level Change Map with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” – 1993 to Present:

University of Colorado at Boulder – Click the pic to view at source

It seems doubtful that “extreme weather” arrived because of the 5.5 Centimeter increase in Sea Level since 1993. Sandy’s storm surge topped “out at 14 feet (4.3 meters)” Huffington Post, would Sandy have been less extreme if the surge had only been 4.245 meters?…

Snow and Ice:

A proxy often cited when measuring “Earth’s Temperature” is amount of Snow and Ice on Earth. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “The vast majority, almost 90 percent, of Earth’s ice mass is in Antarctica, while the Greenland ice cap contains 10 percent of the total global ice mass.” Source USGA

However, there is currently no generally accepted measure of ice volume, as Cryosat is still in validation and the accuracy of measurements from Grace are still being challenged. Sea Ice Area and Extent are cited as proxies for “Earth’s Temperature”, however there is significant evidence that the primary influences on Sea Ice Area and Extent are in fact wind and Atmospheric Oscillations. With this said, here are

Global, Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice Area from 1979 to Present;

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly – 1979 to Present:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Arctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to view at source

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or Greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – Click the pic to view at source

There appears to have been a negative trend in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent and a positive trend in Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, thus the resultant Global Sea Ice Area trend appears to be slightly negative.

In terms of land based data, here is 20 Year Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover with 1995 – 2009 Climatology from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Extent – 1967 to Present from Rutgers University;

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

 alt=

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

While none of the Snow plots offers a global perspective, when looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there appears to have been a slight increase in Snowcover and Winter Snow Extent, a decrease in Spring Snow Extent and no change in Fall Snow Extent over the historical record.

Based on the limited Global Ice and Snow measurements available, and noting the questionable value of Sea Ice Area and Extent as a proxy for temperature, not much inference can currently be drawn from Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements. However, there does not appear to be any evidence of change in Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements indicative of the arrival of “Extreme Weather”.

Conclusion:

There is no evidence of a recent increase in “Earth’s Temperature” due to “Climate Change,” which could have caused “Extreme Weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. Claims and rhetoric that recent “Extreme Weather” is caused by or associated with “Climate Change” are not supported by the observational data.

Additional information on “Earth’s Temperature” can be found in the WUWT Reference Pages, including the Global Temperature Page and Global Climatic History Page

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source by simply clicking on it.

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Bloke down the pub

The Earth being a pretty big place, the experts can always claim that some other part of the world is warmer, even while I’m sat here freezing my nuts off.

It strikes me, as a Scientist, that a cooling climate is more likely to be a violent climate than a warming one is.
An that’s just what we are seeing – climate shifts to a cooling climate.

RockyRoad

Now if we can somehow get all those unstable Climate Catastrophists to become regulars of WUWT, they’d have nothing to complain about. But since they like to complain, they most likely won’t come. It just doesn’t make sense.

JFB

Wrong graph in “Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:”.

R Barker

My understanding of the global warming concept is that the poles warm more than the tropics. It is also my understanding that more violent weather is associated in general with the differences in temperature among air masses in addition to pressure gradients and other factors. Since global warming would tend to reduce the temperature differences, it seems counterintuitive that global warming and extreme weather would go hand in hand.

Peter Miller

We act on behalf of the Global Warming Industry.
Our client advises that this article is defamatory to its members and threatens to derail their gravy train.
We demand this article is withdrawn and an immediate public apology published, including with it the statement that “only the interpretation of computer models by experts is relevant in climate science, while the use of actual facts and observations are a fallacious distraction and dangerously confusing to the general public.”
Yours truly
Philip Hansen-Mann
Sue, Grabbit and Runne – Litigators for the Climate Establishment

HaroldW

We must live in the best of all possible worlds, because in 1975 cooling was also anticipated to create more extreme weather.

The principal weather change likely to accompany the cooling trend is increased variability — alternating extremes of temperature and precipitation in any given area — which would almost certainly lower average crop yields. The cause of this increased variability can best be seen by examining upper atmosphere wind patterns that accompany cooler climate. During warm periods a “zonal circulation” predominates, in which the prevailing westerly winds of the temperate zones are swept over long distances by a few powerful high and low pressure centers. The result is a more evenly distributed pattern of weather, varying relatively little from month to month or season to season. During cooler climatic periods, however, the high-altitude winds are broken up into irregular cells by weaker and more plentiful pressure centers, causing formation of a “meridional circulation” pattern. These small, weak cells may stagnate over vast areas for many months, bringing unseasonably cold weather on one side and unseasonably warm weather on the other. Droughts and floods become more frequent and may alternate season to season, as they did last year in India. Thus, while the hemisphere as a whole is cooler, individual areas may alternately break temperature and precipitation records at both extremes.

There is no scientific definition of “extreme weather”. What are we talking about when nobody knows what we’re talking about?

Louis

“He told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that it is difficult to attribute any single storm to climate change, but the world already knows that “extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.”

If it’s so “difficult” to attribute any single storm to climate change, why are warmists so quick to do so? Are they promoting science or self-interest?

Caleb

The responce may well be, “Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts.”
However keep it up. The slow drip, drip, drip of facts, facts, facts is a sort of water torture, and eventually falsehood cracks.

D Böehm

omnologos says:
“There is no scientific definition of ‘extreme weather’. What are we talking about when nobody knows what we’re talking about?”
This is just an end run around the climate Null Hypothesis, which has never been falsified. Every current weather event has happened throughout the Holocene, andHolocene parameters are not being exceeded now.

Green Sand

“The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) requires the calculation of averages for consecutive periods of 30 years, with the latest covering the 1961–1990 period. However, many WMO members, including the UK, update their averages at the completion of each decade. Thirty years was chosen as a period long enough to eliminate year-to-year variations.”

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/
HadCRUT4 30 year trend peaked in December 2003, at 0.199c/decade since then it has been in a downward trend setting subsequent lower highs and lower lows and at September 2012 it now stands at 0.165c/decade a reduction of 17%.
By the Met Office’s own chosen metrics the rate by which this planet is warming is reducing significantly.
Without printing new absolute highs each month the 30 year WMO/Met Office “Gold Standard” rate can only continue to reduce.

John West

The IPCC says:
http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/518.htm

“Extreme weather event
An extreme weather event is an event that is rare within its statistical reference distribution at a particular place. Definitions of �rare� vary, but an extreme weather event would normally be as rare as or rarer than the 10th or 90th percentile. By definition, the characteristics of what is called extreme weather may vary from place to place.
An extreme climate event is an average of a number of weather events over a certain period of time, an average which is itself extreme (e.g. rainfall over a season).”

Dr. John Christy says:
“there will be numerous “extreme events” in every year”
…. ….. …..
“One could conclude, if they were so inclined, that the climate of the US is becoming less
extreme because the occurrence of state extremes of hot and cold has diminished
dramatically since 1955.”

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=66585975-a507-4d81-b750-def3ec74913d

Largely all this fuss relative to climatic conditions, warmer or cooler, are essentially within the normal range of long term variability. Then we geologists and most non politicized/dogmatized earth scientists understand time and history. Something few others in the society seem to have any clue about. On the other hand we could be, just not sacrificing a sufficient number of our children to the apprpoiate god(s).

john robertson

Heresy, facts we don’t need no stinking facts…After changing the meme from catastrophic anthropogenic global warming to climate change then global climatic disruption now extreme weather..they are running out of time and space, each change has been more banal than that that went before it.
Now we are back to huddling before the lightning praying to Zeus,Thor or the deity of your choice. And the crowd who see fear of the weather as a path to power are the same types who have always sought ways to live at the expense of the mob.
Divining the future from the intestines of small furry animals I tell you the end is nigh, give me a chunk of your catch and I will pay off the gods for you.
Maybe its time for human sacrifice again? Can’t find any virgins so we might have to substitute climate scientists/ scryers.

P. Solar

“He told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that it is difficult to attribute any single storm to climate change, but the world already knows that “extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.”
Well Kimbo, the world does not “know” that and just pretending that is the case will not make it so.
If you want us all to chip in to your $100 BILLION PER YEAR slush fund with not accountability, vetting and free from any legal controls, you’d better come up with a new scare story. This one has done its time.
(Not saying that the money could have coloured what you’re claiming of course).

Note the negative trend in stratospheric temperature (punctuated by upward spikes from volcanoes). That’s a good place to look for a GHG signal as it isn’t as confounded as the surface by our very heterogeneous earth, multiple oscillations driven by god-knows-what, and by land use changes, and it is very consistent with a GHG effect. The point on surface warming is not “whether” but “how much”, which increasingly appears to be “not much” despite the surety of Kevin Trenberth.
Solar-only proponents (and Dragon Slayers) have yet to explain the stratospheric cooling. I asked a prominent one (and one of the civil ones) about it and he admitted that he didn’t have an answer.

Mark and two Cats

If obama can be reelected, then climate lies will be believed.
I’m so depressed 🙁

Werner Brozek

Some more facts about RSS:
With the RSS anomaly for October at 0.294, the average for the first ten months of the year is (-0.059 -0.122 + 0.072 + 0.331 + 0.232 + 0.338 + 0.291 + 0.255 + 0.383 + 0.294)/10 = 0.202. This would rank 11th if it stayed this way. 1998 was the warmest at 0.55. The highest ever monthly anomaly of 0.857 was reached in April of 1998.
The slope of RSS is flat since January 1997 or 15 years, 10 months (goes to October)
RSS is 190/204 or 93.1% of the way to Santer’s 17 years.
See: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/plot/rss/from:1997/trend

D Böehm

micaelspj says:
“Solar-only proponents (and Dragon Slayers) have yet to explain the stratospheric cooling.”
I am neither of those. But if AGW exists — and it might — it’s effect is too minuscule to measure. There are no empirical measurements of AGW. There is global warming, which remains on the same long term trend line from the LIA. But since there has been no acceleration of warming despite a large increase in CO2, explain where the GHG signal is. Because there doesn’t seem to be one.

Merovign

If weather doesn’t benefit catastrophists, their gravy train, their desire for power and control, it’s not climate.
If it does, it is.
If a skeptic can be obliquely linked with an oil company, they are shills.
If a believer gets funds directly from an oil company, they’re a hero.
You know, if we had a press corps even half awake we would not have got this far. Not to mention the cliquish “identity scientists.”

Robert

“We act on behalf of the Global Warming Industry”
Very clever Peter. My favourite group of litigation lawyers is Hotch, Potch, and Balzup,
Robert

LazyTeenager

Well that’s a pretty good summary of the temperature records.
Let’s look at this “conclusion”:
Are we to believe that 3 or 4 tenths of a degree C warming over the last 30 years has brought us to the precipice of “extreme weather”?
If you need to prove/disprove that extreme weather is or is not associated with higher temperatures the obvious thing to do is look at the frequency of extreme weather events in the past and correlate that with the long term historical temperature record. Just the facts has not done that. His conclusion is just wind.
Recently some research has been published that looks at the frequency of storm surges as measured by tidal gauges. The historical record they cover is quite long. Ocean storms are one facet of extreme weather. Guess what the conclusions were!

TRBixler

It has been determined that CO2 is the pollutant causing global warming by the EPA. No amount of facts will stop the EPA from killing the U.S. by skyrocketing the costs of energy. The ride will continue to be very painful until the economy has been bludgeoned to death by the CO2 driven, green inspired, government agenda.

CRS, Dr.P.H.

Anthony, your post took quite a bit of work, thanks! As I read it, I kept coming up with questions that you eventually answered. You tied it all together very effectively. Happy Weekend, Charles the DrPH

D Böehm

As usual Lazy Teenager is a moron. Throughout the Holocene all current climate parameters have been repeatedly exceeded. Therefore, nothing unusual or unprecedented is happening now.
The Null Hypothesis has never been falsified. Lazy probably has no clue about what that means.

prjindigo

The temperature of the planet does NOT have to increase for weather to become exacerbated by increases of energy input. In actual fact, if the temperature DID increase, the weather would change little, as most weather is driven by the variance between low and high temperatures experienced in the areas of generation.
The truth is that the Earth’s atmosphere is NOT a closed system – the high temperature is regulated in the most part by gravity itself – and will expand with any actual global increase in heat input so as to maintain balance in the law of thermodynamics.
You cannot have “extreme weather” and “global warming” at the same time.
If the CO2 is indeed capturing more heat energy into the atmosphere, it will simply increase the aggression between high concentrations and low concentrations. Thus more speed to redistributing the CO2 to where it isn’t generated OR is consumed quicker.
The atmosphere itself, outside of inversion layers, does not tolerate localized sudden heat increases. I do wonder just how much insulation and over-heat such inversion layers have caused in the UHI issue beyond the simple UHI effect from population and power consumption.

RockyRoad

LazyTeenager says:
November 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Well that’s a pretty good summary of the temperature records.

His conclusion is just wind.

Please, don’t denigrate “wind”–wind is the common denominator of all weather phenomena.
Or had you forgotten?

davidmhoffer

prjindigo;
If the CO2 is indeed capturing more heat energy into the atmosphere, it will simply increase the aggression between high concentrations and low concentrations.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
There are two misunderstandings in the statement above.
1. CO2 does not capture more heat energy into the atmosphere, at least not by an amount worth arguing about. The equilibrium blackbody temperature of earth is exactly the same after CO2 doubling as it is before. The increase in CO2 perturbs the system, but once it reaches equilibrium, an observer from space would see an earth with precisely the same temperature before and after. Not even the IPCC disputes this. What does happen (in theory, to date nobody has been able to measure this) is that the temperature gradient is altered from earth surface to top of atmosphere.
2. Co2 capturing and re-radiating energy cannot increase the the differences between high and low concentrations. In fact, the most likely effect is to reduce the differences. There are multiple mechanisms to consider, but the most important is Stefan-Boltzmann law, which shows that the number of watts/m2 at equilibrium is equal to 5.67*10^-8*T^4. With T in degrees K being raised to the power of four, the temperature rise at high temps is less than the temp rise at low temps. For example, at -40C, an extra 3.7 w/m2 would raise temps by 1.3 degrees. But at plus 30C, that same 3.7 w/m2 would raise temps by only 0.6 degrees. In other words, colder regions would warm faster than hot regions, reducing the temperature difference between them.

Billy

Lazy;
The troll count is low today. Are you covering for the holiday?
Who’s on duty tomorrow?

Keith Minto

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Parliamentary Library
This brings up a page 404 error. I would like to know the source, thanks.

Pieter F.

I still have little regard for data sets and graphs that begin around 1975–1980 (low point for global temps of a cool period).

OssQss

Nice Job JTF’s.
I have often wondered if the extreme weather association with respect to GW should not be Global, no?
No worries, California is going to provide us all a precedent of perception real soon.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324894104578106941506837334.html
Reminds me of an LL Cool J song that many businesses are hearing right now…..

Bevan

Our climate scientists are telling us that global warming of the order of 1 or 2 degrees per century is causing extreme weather events. However at home here, every day, we experience temperature changes of the order of 10 or 15 degrees without any sign of extreme weather events. In fact it is a beautiful, warm sunny day with a few light clouds drifting overhead. Surely this reality makes a mockery of climate science predictions.
What has happened to science throughout the world that research institutes, universities, editors and reviewers produce papers and predictions that are on a par with that of any astrologer or tarot card reader? When are the taxpayers of the world going to wake up to the giant scam that is being perpetrated by the UN/IPCC to the great benefit of the associated bureaucrats who are using the same methods of pending doom to control the populace as did the high priests of ancient Egypt?

Jim Clarke

I think Lazy has a point. Anthony only looked at one side of the issue, namely that there hasn’t been any warming in about 15 years, which makes the “global warming is producing more extreme weather” meme a lie. But what about the extreme weather part. Are we having more extreme weather now than we have had in the past?
The peer reviewed research I have seen says ‘NO”! While damage amounts from severe weather have been increasing, this a function of having more stuff in harms way, not increasing events. The only thing trending up, as I recall, is a slight increase in heavy downpours.
Lazy mentions something about tide gauges and implies that a study of tide records indicates increasing severe weather events. That is like measuring rainfall by examining the degradation of cow patties, when there is a perfectly good record from a nearby rain gauge. The latter is a legitimate measurement of the element in question, the former is just butts#@t.
There has been no increase in temperature recently and there has been no increase in extreme weather events. The ‘new normal’ is just like the old normal. It is very normal.
The hype, spin and just plan lying, however, are (exponentially) going off the charts!

eyesonu

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”
==========
Thank you. Very interesting.

dp

I am holding in my hands a Natural History magazine from January of 1989 where on page 44 none other than Kevin E. Trenberth assures me that weather is not climate. It’s the ENSO, don’tcha know.

Bevan

justthefactswuwt at November 10, 2012 at 10:47 pm relates the study by the firm Munich Re about weather-related disasters. He fails to elaborate that Munich Re, as an insurance company, will experience a disaster when an event compromises their profits. This happens when personal and infrastructure damages are in excess of their predicted insurance claims and arises because there are now greater population numbers and man-made structures in the path of any weather event. By attributing the event to climate change they can try a weasel their way out of paying on claims via the old “act-of-God” clause.
That brings us to the crux of the matter, namely, that the rapidly increasing human population is unsustainable under current economic, industrial and political conditions irregardless of what happens to the climate.

Urederra

LazyTeenager says:
November 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm
If you need to prove/disprove that extreme weather is or is not associated with higher temperatures the obvious thing to do is look at the frequency of extreme weather events in the past and correlate that with the long term historical temperature record. Just the facts has not done that. His conclusion is just wind.

I am still wating to see proof of your assertion that rapid warming causes mass extinctions.
Some of us are tracking your activity at WUWT and we noticed that you stopped posting for a while when we told you that it was rapid cooling what caused mass extinctions. We noticed your absence when we asked you to prove your assertion. Do not think we forget so easily.
Anyway, it seems that you still do not understand that the ones who have to provide proof of a theory are the proponents of said theory, not the skeptics.
I give you an easy example: Suppose you say that pigs can fly by flapping their ears. You cannot pretend that your assertion is true unless we prove you wrong. You are the one who has to proof what you are claiming, not the ones who do not believe what you are saying. You are the one who:
a. Has to prove that pigs can fly.
b. That they do so by flapping their ears. (to prove causation).
The burden of the proof remains on the proponents of a theory, not on the skpetics.
So far the only thing CAGW proponents have done to prove their theory is to change hadcrut from version 3 to 4 so the warmest year on record does not fall on last century. And even with the unexplained adjustments, temperatures do not follow the CAWG theory during this century.

Urederra

Jim Clarke says:
November 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm
I think Lazy has a point. Anthony only looked at one side of the issue,..

It was not Anthony, it was “just the facts” (unless “just the facts” name is also Anthony.) :p

Peter Miller

Davidmhoffer says:
I did not know this – do you have any references? – as it blows a huge hole in CAGW theory.
1. CO2 does not capture more heat energy into the atmosphere, at least not by an amount worth arguing about. The equilibrium blackbody temperature of earth is exactly the same after CO2 doubling as it is before. The increase in CO2 perturbs the system, but once it reaches equilibrium, an observer from space would see an earth with precisely the same temperature before and after. Not even the IPCC disputes this. What does happen (in theory, to date nobody has been able to measure this) is that the temperature gradient is altered from earth surface to top of atmosphere.
2. Co2 capturing and re-radiating energy cannot increase the the differences between high and low concentrations. In fact, the most likely effect is to reduce the differences. There are multiple mechanisms to consider, but the most important is Stefan-Boltzmann law, which shows that the number of watts/m2 at equilibrium is equal to 5.67*10^-8*T^4. With T in degrees K being raised to the power of four, the temperature rise at high temps is less than the temp rise at low temps. For example, at -40C, an extra 3.7 w/m2 would raise temps by 1.3 degrees. But at plus 30C, that same 3.7 w/m2 would raise temps by only 0.6 degrees. In other words, colder regions would warm faster than hot regions, reducing the temperature difference between them.

Given history’s accounts of storms to consider Sandy the worst ever is very ignorant. Sandy failed the hurricane criteria at landfall and may not even be the storm with the largest area given our satellite data is only 33 years old. Your explanation is valid and thorough and shows no reason for the tabloid alarmism now being banded about.

David L

The idea that we’ve changed our climate is not new. Published in 1806, the book “The Climate of Great Britain: or Remarks on the Change it has Undergone, Particularly within the last Fifty Years.” John Williams, Esq., London ,1806.
http://books.google.com/books?id=HsoCAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+climate+of+great+britain&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ioifUIvfE9LW0gHQl4CAAw&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
Within the text is a quote ” Hence while this change has been observed, the greater part of the observers have attributed it to that outrageously impious act of our legislature in the year 1752; for to change the style with them, is to alter the seasons”
So there was a consensus that the climate changed over 50 years and it was due to an act of the legislature. Sound eerily familiar?

NaturalCyclist

In this comment I discuss reasons for the above-mentioned cooling since 1998.