What the 'year of living dangerously' at nearly 400 ppm of CO2 in Earth's atmosphere looks like

Those that want to make today’s weather seem like the “worst ever” often make ludicrous claims trying to link weather to high CO2 levels. For example, that extra CO2 gives the weather “personality“, or even more extreme linkage, like this:

and this400PPM_FUD

Climate Depot has a headline from Goddard that touts all the weather (not climate) issues of 2013 in the context of the highest ever reported CO2 concentration in modern times. Unfortunately, the link contained no proof, only claims. I decided to provide the proof.

First, about that 400PPM of CO2:

399PPM_CO2

Unfortunately, they backed down from the claim later saying:

‘Carbon dioxide measurements in the Earth’s atmosphere did not break the symbolic milestone of 400 parts per million at a Hawaiian observatory last week, according to a revised reading from the nation’s climate observers.

The current level as of this writing is at: 395.50ppm and has actually gone down since the announcement of breaking the 400 ppm mark:

co2_weekly_mlo[1]

Source: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/weekly.html

Next: let’s take each of the claims below and provide the context for proof:

  • Coldest summer on record at the North Pole
  • Highest August Arctic ice extent since 2006
  • Record high August Antarctic ice extent
  • No major hurricane strikes for eight years
  • Slowest tornado season on record
  • No global warming for 17 years
  • Second slowest fire season on record
  • Four of the five snowiest northern hemisphere winters have occurred since 2008

Coldest summer on record at the North Pole:

Easy to prove, as we’ve covered this issue recently here. The DMI plot of Arctic temperature for 2013 (at the end pause of this animation) hasn’t gone above the climatic normals since this dataset began in 1958:

DMI_80NTemp_animation_1958-2013

Highest August Arctic ice extent since 2006:

Plausible, but is debatable, depending on what data you look at, for example, this plot from DMI:

icecover_current_new[1]

Source: http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/plots/icecover/icecover_current_new.png

Others on the WUWT sea ice page suggest it could go either way. What isn’t debatable though is that there has been a dramatic slowing of loss of Arctic ice extent in the past couple of weeks, as shown below, and that the current extent is well within the +/- 2 standard deviation.

ScreenHunter_74 Aug. 10 09.40

Source: arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/timeseries.anom.1979-2008

Record high August Antarctic ice extent:

That’s easy to show, at the end of July starting into August, as Paul Homewood demonstrates:

image

ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/south/daily/data/

Since then, Sunshine Hours puts it in context with other years:

After taking a small jog sideways and downwards, Antarctic Sea Extent is back to moving up.

Day 221 is in 2nd place. 2010 holds the daily record. Can 2013 catch the 2010 record pace again? Wait and see.

Antarctic_Sea_Ice_Extent_Zoomed_2013_Day_221_1981-2010

No major hurricane strikes for eight years:

As we pointed out at the beginning of the hurricane season on June 1st, Hurricane season begins with a new record hurricane drought for the USA

The graph above provides an update to data on the remarkable ongoing US “intense hurricane drought.” When the Atlantic hurricane season starts next June 1, it will have been 2,777 days since the last time an intense (that is a Category 3, 4 or 5) hurricane made landfall along the US coast (Wilma in 2005). Such a prolonged period without an intense hurricane landfall has not been observed since 1900. – Dr. Roger Pielke Jr

It is now at 2847 days since Hurricane Wilma (the last Cat3 hurricane to strike the USA)  on Oct 24th, 2005 as of August 10th, 2013.

Slowest tornado season on record:

Easy to prove, just look at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center Data, which shows we are near a record low for tornado activity in the USA:

torngraph-big[1]

torgraph-big[1]

Source: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/wcm/#data

No global warming for 17 years:

This statement gets a number of people riled up, but it is clear that global warming has slowed to a crawl. Even the New York Times has at last been constrained to admit this.

Last year we had this:

Rose _16yrs_HARDCRUT4

Now a year later:

17_years_RSS_LT

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1997/plot/rss/from:1997/trend

and

17_years_HadCRUT3

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997/trend

Slight cooling in the troposphere, slight warming at the surface, both virtually flat.

Of course after the latest HadCRUT4 “adjustments” are added in, some can claim it is actually warming.

17_years_HadCRUT4adjusted

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1997/trend

Second slowest fire season on record:

Actually, just for this record set. The National Fire Information Center says:

2013_fireseason

2013 is actually lowest in the last decade for the number of fires, and second lowest for acreage.

Four of the five snowiest northern hemisphere winters have occurred since 2008:

Rutgers snow lab shows this clearly.

nhland_season1[1]

1978 was tops, followed by 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2008.

Source: http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_seasonal.php?ui_set=nhland&ui_season=1

We live in interesting times of nearly 400ppm of Co2 concentration in our atmosphere.

1what_400_PPM_looks_like

It’s still not too late to get t-shirts:

I_survived_400PPM_tshirt

Order yours here on your favorite garment, mug, or bag here:

http://www.cafepress.com/WattsUpWithThat

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JY

If CO2 was at the same level as of 800,000 years ago, why are we cooler by 5-10 degrees and sea levels lower by 75-120 feet? This would indicate there’s no CO2/temp/sea level relationship.

Tommy Roche

Anthony, don’t know if it’s just my browser, but the two woodfortrees graphs under “No Global Warming for 14 years” are just torture on the eyes.

EW3

There used to be handful of 350.org lawn posters in our neighborhood.
Not any more. Perhaps the people that had them might be a bit embarassed.

DirkH

Go HadCRUT4! I like absurd humour.

Other_Andy

What are the “HadCRUT4 adjustments”?

Robert of Ottawa

I grow weary constantly rebutting the state propaganda; but that is, after all, the purpose of incessant state propaganda.
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
variously attributed to Lenin (I doubt) Goebels (possible) but the most unlikely is William James (1842-1910) The father of modern Psychology “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.”

I looked at the CO2 plot and thought, “Wow, that’s quite a change”. Then I looked at the temperature scale.

I think 1978 was the record year for snow extent. Just saying.
REPLY: yep, eyesight issue, fixed thanks. – Anthony

I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for putting it together. But even more importantly — thanks for that preview button! I just noticed it.

Robert of Ottawa

I searched Wikiquotes for William James and “nothing” and found nopthing relevant.
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_James

Kevin Schurig

The science is settled, the new preview button rocks. And there is more science in that statement than anything the Goreacle ever leaked from his insidious lips.

Robert of Ottawa

Wikiquotes says there are no reliable sources for it being a quote by Goebels. (But Wikianything is very political outside the hard sciences).
Personally, I think this is something ALL statesman inherently know. Like a tyrant’s old wive’s tale.
Seriously, I would love to nail this source down. Any ideas?

During the Eemian interglacial of 125,000 years ago, atmospheric CO2 was lower, yet sea level was almost 30 feet higher, and temperature was 3 to 4 degrees Celsius higher. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/08/new-paper-finds-sea-levels-rose.html
Remarkably, the higher temperatures were not related to CO2 levels, and there was no run-away warming. As always, observations trump hypotheses based on the outputs of computer models. You don’t have to look at your computer to know if it’s raining; just look out the window.
Similarly, recent studies of coastal English villages show sea level was 3 to 4 feet higher during the Medieval Warm Period a thousand years ago. That’s when vineyards flourished in England (where they don’t today).
Now we are just emerging from the Little Ice Age (1350 to 1850 AD), the coldest period since the end of the Ice Age. Of course it’s warming! Just like four other times in the past 12,000 years (the Holocene Climatic Optimum, Minoan, Roman, and Medieval Warming), only not warming as much as the earlier warming periods – or the even warmer Eemian interglacial.
With Nature’s handwriting everywhere you look – previous higher sea levels, tree lines higher and further north, warm weather crops grown where they don’t grow now, greater glacier retreat than now – it’s a shame that alarmists are blinded by their dogma and can’t look out their windows to see the history of natural climate change.
So I must label them what they are: natural climate change deniers.

Brian H

We believers in the Null (Natural Variation rulez) are having a great time.

Robert of Ottawa

OK I give up on internet resources; they are politicized on this subject.
Personally I opt for Goebels because he was logical and effective (unfortunately) … just the type to logically enunciate how statecraft works. Macchiavelli was a similar character, though on the right side of goodness. If anyone wants the directions to where Macchiavelli spent 20 years in internal exile in Florence, just ask me. There’s a good restaurant opposite.

Anthony, Kenji is remarkable. He always seems to have the right opinion!
PS: I like the new preview feature!!!!!

jlurtz

Being Sunny, it is difficult to wait for the cold, snow, horrid weather, as the Sun’s output plummets. What I mean is that Global cooling can/will be brutal. The Global temperatures dropped 2C between 1600 and 1650. Anyone who wants this to happen has a screw loose.
On the other hand Global Warming made available more crop land, cheaper food etc. The argument is whether people/industry warmed the Earth or not. It is too bad that the people we work for [governments] had to resort to deception instead of just increasing taxes [like usual].

Tiredoc

I wonder what the warmist parties are like nowadays. After getting a hugely expensive temperature measuring method funded and implemented, only to have to resort to more and more laughably transparent adjustments of other people’s prior work. There must be a lot of alcohol involved. Also, there must be a winnowing process as the IQ limbo slowly clips the more intelligent from the invite list. At some point, the amount of alcohol required to make the conversation lucid likely exceeds the level required to remain conscious. We can call it the Watts ratio, as in the blood alcohol level required to converse with a warmist divided by the blood alcohol level at which the average human passes out. We’ll know that the warmist position is finally dead when the ratio equals 1.

4TimesAYear

I’m already ready for climate change – finally broke down and purchased a snow thrower that should handle anything the coming colder winters will throw at us.

Robert of Ottawa

Tiredoc says: @ugust 10, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I wonder what the warmist parties are like nowadays

The warmistas do not give an eff. They use global warming as an excuse for socialist policies. It’s that simple. Yes, it is political and launched by the left. Lysenko anyone?

Retired Engineer

Got a “server error” when chasing the T-shirt. Link not quite ready?

Graham Clift

I can hear in my head the cagw crowd: record snowfall = climate change, record no of days without hurricanes = climate change, record number of years with no warming or cooling =climate change, record Antarctic ice…you get the drift. It is an argument you can never win with these guys! Maybe highlighting all the records not broken is the way to go. That should bore the crowd to death.

Athelstan.

Yer know what Anthony, at 400ppm – as the tree said to the birds, “it sure tastes better than it ever did!”

milodonharlani

Michael Combs says:
August 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm
Are you kin to Gail Combs? If so, perspicacity runs in the family.

We Combs are the largest closely related family in the US, with strong and ancient ties to Virginia and Kentucky (John Combs (or Combes) arrived in Jamestown on the 20th of May, 1619, on the good ship Marigold as an indentured servant). For years the biggest reunion in the US annually was the Combs getting together the first weekend of August in Hazard, Kentucky (featured in Life Magazine in the early 1960’s). That said, i hope I’m related to Gail because what she writes about natural climate change here on WUWT bestows great credit on the family name.

milodonharlani

4TimesAYear says:
August 10, 2013 at 4:54 pm
Congrats on beating the rush. I should invest in snow blower futures.

CRS, DrPH

Oh noes! The king crabs in Antarctica are now pillaging the exotic life-forms of the Antarctic seabed, all due to global warming!
Pass the melted butter…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVNTfpDlPzE

intrepid_wanders

Anthony, one more graph you might want to include:
http://cdiac.ornl.gov/images/preliminary_2009_2010_fossil_carbon_emissions.jpg

James Allison

Thank you so much for the reality check. Its comforting to know we are living within a period of stable climatic conditions. Its looking more like our children and grandchildren will do just fine despite the dire warnings of people who believe in CAGW.
As climate reality continues to sink into the mindset of the population I’m looking forward to watching the CAGWers scamper off into the mist while pointing their fingers at each other. Or stay where they are seen and be ridiculed for their collective stupidity.

Latitude

Thank you Steven….and thank you Anthony for expanding on it!

milodonharlani

CRS, DrPH says:
August 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm
I foresee a huge industry for Chile & Argentina when & if King Crabs take up permanent residence on the continental shelf.
Butter, lemon or both?

milodonharlani

majormike1 says:
August 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm
OK, I’ll bite. Just how closely related are the Kentucky Combses?
Sorry. Cheap shot, for which I apologize, but couldn’t resist.
My second year at Oxford U., UK, I lived in the village of Combe, which in Brittonic (combe or coomb/e) means a small deep valley. A swale or small deep valley south of Pendleton, Oregon (Coombs Canyon) by pure chance is named after your family.
I’m also a Jamestown descendant, among the “Red Bollings”, who inflicted tobacco upon the British as the original Red Man’s Revenge (but without that drug, rum & sugar there would be no USA). There are also White (not descended from Matoaka Powhatan, aka Pocahontas) & Blue (aristocratic) Bollings.

Smoking Frog

Robert of Ottawa August 10, 2013 at 4:10 pm
I grow weary constantly rebutting the state propaganda; but that is, after all, the purpose of incessant state propaganda.
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
variously attributed to Lenin (I doubt) Goebels (possible) but the most unlikely is William James (1842-1910) The father of modern Psychology “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.”
I don’t understand. The words attributed to James say that people won’t believe anything, no matter how absurd it is, but even if I ignore this and assume, e.g., that you mistakenly substituted “will” for “won’t,” your point would seem to be that perhaps no famous person ever said “a lie told often enough …” or equivalent, which does not make sense coming from someone who has grown “weary constantly rebutting the state propaganda.”

Catcracking

Anthony,
This is a great post and effectively makes a strong case for skeptics.
I did some comparisons on the highs and lows before and after the adjustments for hadcrut and notice significant differences. Did they change the basis? Are they all tenths of a degree above or below 14C. It is noted that the warmest year was changed from 1997 to 2007.
Some noticeable differences both high and low below:
1997 Low -3 = 0.15 after adjustment -4=0.2
2002 high -3=0.6 after adjustment -4=0.67
2008 low -3=0.5 after adjustment -4=1.5
2012 high -3=0.57 after adjustment -4=0.65
2012 low -3=0.18 after adjustment -4=0.25
I am just a novice at this. Can someone explain the significant adjustments upward?
Also the first temperature graph seems quite different than the Hadcrut

Gail Combs

Robert of Ottawa says: @ August 10, 2013 at 4:31 pm
OK I give up on internet resources; they are politicized on this subject.
Personally I opt for Goebels….
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I would opt for Willi Münzenberg

The ‘Innocents’ Clubs’: http://www.heretical.com/miscella/munzen.html
…..Trotsky chose well in Münzenberg. Following the rise to power of the Bolsheviks, he pioneered most of the manipulative political techniques which are a feature of life in Britain today. Ad hoc committees for endless causes, politicized arts festivals, mock trials, celebrity letterheads, disinformation stunts and protest marches all sprang from Münzenberg’s sheer genius for propaganda.
Stephen Koch, in his book Double Lives: Stalin, Willi Münzenberg and the Seduction of the Intellectuals, calls this “righteous politics.” Political issues are turned into a quasi-religion, which brooks no debate – witness the ‘no platform’ antics of left-wing students who can tolerate no outlook besides their own.

During the 1920’s and most of the 1930’s Münzenberg played a leading role in the Comintern, Lenin’s front for world-wide co-ordination of the left under Russian control. Under Münzenberg’s direction, hundreds of groups, committees and publications cynically used and manipulated the devout radicals of the West….Most of this army of workers in what Münzenberg called ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ had no idea they were working for Stalin. They were led to believe that they were advancing the cause of a sort of socialist humanism. The descendents of the ‘Innocents’ Clubs’ are still hard at work in our universities and colleges. Every year a new cohort of impressionable students join groups like the Anti-Nazi League believing them to be benign opponents of oppression…

Sure sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Also check out the book The Red Millionaire: A Political Biography of Willy Münzenberg, Moscow’s Secret Propaganda Tsar in the West, 1917-1940 The free look see has some interesting stuff about Münzenberg. Stuff most of us never saw in history class.

DirkH

Robert of Ottawa says:
August 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm
“Wikiquotes says there are no reliable sources for it being a quote by Goebels. (But Wikianything is very political outside the hard sciences).
Personally, I think this is something ALL statesman inherently know. Like a tyrant’s old wive’s tale.
Seriously, I would love to nail this source down. Any ideas?”
Goebbels’ rulebook was the 1928 book Propaganda by Eddie bernays, and Eddie, nephew of Siggi Freud, had already become rich and famous for his mastery of mass manipulation at that time. He was the advisor to Woodrow Wilson who presented Wilson as the bringer of democracy to WW I-destroyed Europe during the Treaty Of Versailles negotiations. Book is online
http://aaa-books.blogspot.de/2007/06/edward-bernays-propaganda-1928.html

KevinM

You know, one of these coming years we ARE going to set a new hurricane, wildfire or sharknado record.

Gary Pearse

Michael Combs says:
August 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm
“previous higher sea levels, tree lines higher and further north, warm weather crops grown where they don’t grow now”
I’ve observed in Dominican Republic a horizontal “bench” cut in an old coral coast line that is about 1.0 to 1.5 metres above present sea level. This is a former higher sea level marker that may be from the MWP. Moreover, the entire coast is made up of coral that rises above this bench about another 6 metres or so. This coral therefore grew in a sea that was probably more than 10 metres higher than present – probably the Holocene Optimum. The coral rock is fresh and unfolded and you could probably use the bench for a survey datum it’s is so uniform.

AndyG55

@Catcracking
“It is noted that the warmest year was changed from 1997 to 2007.”
The warmest day used to be somewhere around 1940, but that has been adjusted down (relatively) by some 0.6C or more.
HadCrud is a FARCE ……. A massive, trend creating, FARCE !!!

Theo Goodwin

Robert of Ottawa says:
August 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm
Among philosophers, the accepted wisdom/lore is that the idea originates in full flower with Friedrich Nietzsche. He held that there is a need to create a “counter myth” from time to time. He viewed his doctrine of the “eternal return” as a counter myth to Christianity. You will not find a simple quotation that refers to something along the lines of repeating a lie enough times. Someone like Lenin or Goebbels might very well have made such a statement about lying.

Gail Combs

majormike1 says: @ August 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm
We Combs are the largest closely related family….
>>>>>>>>>>
Actually it is my married name, so I married into the family.

Actually it is my married name, so I married into the family.
*****************************
Your husband, as is characteristic of we Combs males, also has great perspicacity, and recognized this admirable quality in you..

DR

Excuse me, but why is the surface warming faster than the troposphere? Shouldn’t the troposphere be warming at a much higher rate?

george e. smith

Well the first two graphs of CO2 at Mauna Loa, demonstrate the falsity of a common claim of the CO2 warming alarmists; that CO2 remains in the atmosphere for 200 years.
The second detailed data plot, shows that the annual CO2 “cycle” amplitude (at ML) has an amplitude of 9 ppm p-p. It takes 8 months for that 9 ppm increase to occur, but all that excess CO2 is removed in just 3 1/2 months.
If we place the total excess CO2 at 120 ppm (400-280) over the supposed “equilibrium” level of 280 ppm, then all of that would be removed in 120 / 3.5 months , if the CO2 contributory mechanisms, were all shut down. That is 34.3 months, which would be the time constant of a simple exponential decay process, which fits many physical processes.
so if all sources were shut down, 99% of the CO2 excess, would be removed in five time constants, or 14.3 years.
So BS on any 200 year residence time.
As a practical matter, CO2 is a permanent component of the atmosphere so the residence time is basically infinite; same as it is for H2O which is also a permanent component of earth’s atmosphere.
It doesn’t matter which CO2 or H2O molecule is in the atmosphere, any one is as good as any other.
But the idea that a CO2 molecule from your burning cigarette will still be in the air after 200 years is plain nonsense. Of course it doesn’t matter to you; because as a smoker, you won’t be around in 200 years.

OssQss

Nice, concise, and to the heart of the matter.
Share “Links like this one” accordingly. Somebody has too……
Thanks for sharing again Anthony!
It means much to many who wondered,,,,,,but could not substantiate such.
Just The Facts said it best,,, and Please correct me if I am off,
“You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”
😉

george e. smith

“”””””…….DR says:
August 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Excuse me, but why is the surface warming faster than the troposphere? Shouldn’t the troposphere be warming at a much higher rate?…….”””””””
Simple, the surface is the source of the “heat” energy, which it makes out of the incident EM radiation energy. The troposphere (upper) is on the way to outer space, where the energy is escaping to, and by virtue of the second law of thermodynamics, the “heat” energy is flowing from hot to cold.
Wake us all, if the upper troposphere does start warming faster than the surface.

RACookPE1978

majormike1 says:
August 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm
(replying to Combs’ “Actually it is my married name, so I married into the family.”

Your husband, as is characteristic of we Combs males, also has great perspicacity, and recognized this admirable quality in you..

Oh. Shucks. Does this mean I have to stand in line?

Henry Clark

“Highest August Arctic ice extent since 2006:
Plausible, but is debatable”

Indeed, although interesting, short timeframe observations are limited, in the midst of weather. However, increase in arctic ice extent can be expected later this decade.
.
In fact, looked at as an average of more than a single month and more than the summer alone, 2011-2012 had greater average arctic ice extent than some years of the early 1990s did, as in the reference displayed within the link at the end of this post. Common arctic ice history plots use one of two tricks: (1) either showing the lowest-extent minimum/season alone over the decades, or (2) nominally showing all months but only while switching to showing several years alone. (The plots in http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/ from common propaganda sources like Cryosphere Today vary in which one of the two tricks they use).
.
A rare exception revealing arctic ice history without using either trick (and, of course, deleted, but not before webcitation internet archiving preserved it) is within the following, also showing some other parts of the grand picture of climate (dominated by albedo change via cloud cover on the short term and via ice extent on the long term):
http://s23.postimg.org/qldgno07f/edited4.gif

Restless 1

I have to wonder. Is Hawaii the best place for global CO2 measurements?

I’m not trying to be sarcastic or anything, these are honest questions. What about all the roads being shut down in California last year due to extreme fires and the tornadoes in the midwest-ish area that were all over the news at their relative times? Is this just the news industry hyping things up? Or are these just not out of the ordinary?

DirkH

DR says:
August 10, 2013 at 8:04 pm
“Excuse me, but why is the surface warming faster than the troposphere? Shouldn’t the troposphere be warming at a much higher rate?”
Only if CO2 magically violated Kirchhoff’s Law; and indeed “trapped heat” (decided to thermalize more frequently than to dethermalize).