On The Blog Post “Hiatuses in the rise of temperature” at ClimateLabBook

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that some persons believe I ridiculed Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. in this post. That was not my intent and, on rereading this post, is far from the truth. I have the utmost respect for both climate scientists. I simply used Dr. van Oldenborgh’s blog post as a springboard for this one. Geert Jan has since written a follow-up post about lower troposphere temperature data. See Is there a pause in the temperature of the lower troposphere? And I referred to Dr. Pielke in this post for two reasons. First, he is known to skeptics, and, second, he agrees with Dr. van Oldenborgh about the importance of ocean warming. I simply put ocean warming into terms that are more familiar with most readers…deg C, instead of 10^22 Joules.

My apologies to Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and Roger Pielke Sr. if they believed I was ridiculing them. I was not.

# # #

The blog ClimateLabBook is hosted by Ed Hawkins of NCAS-Climate at the University of Reading. A guest post Hiatuses in the rise of temperature by Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) has gained some attention in the past few days. Many of you will remember Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh as the scientist at KNMI who created and maintains the KNMI Climate Explorer. It is a marvelous tool that provides public access to numerous climate-related datasets, to the outputs of climate models stored in the CMIP3 and CMIP5 archives and to statistical analysis tools. I will once again thank Dr. van Oldenborgh for the Climate Explorer.

Please take a few minutes to read Dr. van Oldenborgh’s post Hiatuses in the rise of temperature. In it, he prefaces the discussion:

The old argument that the world is no longer warming was that the global mean temperature has ceased to increase after 1998.

He then provides a couple of interpretations of the hiatus.

The first is that there has been no warmer year than 1998.

He then goes on to discuss that surface temperatures have exceeded the 1998 value a couple of times in the 21st Century, so that definition of hiatus no longer works. Then Dr. van Oldenborgh adds:

The second, better, interpretation of the argument that the earth is no longer warming would be that a trend line starting in 1998 would be zero or negative.

Both are very strict definitions of “hiatuses in the rise of temperature”. I’m sure you can think of many others, including:

  • the continued divergence between modeled and observed global surface temperatures, or
  • a trend line starting in 1998 that shows a statistically insignificant trend, not necessarily a zero trend.

Dr. van Oldenborgh notes that a trend line of global land+sea surface temperatures starting in 1998 is positive so it does not comply with his second definition for the hiatus. He then states:

The new argument therefore is that the temperature has not risen over the last 10 years. This is indeed correct, both the GISTEMP series and the HadCRUT4 dataset in which missing areas have been interpolated by Cowtan & Way show a trend of 0.00 K/decade over 2005–2014. To investigate further why the trend has been zero since 2005 it is useful to consider the land and ocean separately.

Much of the remainder of Dr. van Oldenborgh blog post presents the problems associated with discussions of surface warming over that short a time period (2005 to 2014). His maps of surface temperature trends with starting years of 2003 and 2004, and his discussions of them under the heading of “Patterns” are very informative.

The first thing that struck me as I was reading the blog post was, there’s a dataset missing from the analysis—a dataset that is commonly used to represent global temperatures. That dataset, of course, is satellite-based Lower Troposphere Temperature, aka TLT, which is the temperature of the atmosphere from zero to about 12,500 meters (about 41,000 feet) above sea level, but dominated by samples at less than 3,000 meters (about 9,800 feet). Of the three satellite-based atmospheric temperature datasets, the lower troposphere data are nearest to the surface.

Figure 1 is a time series graph of the annual (November to October) lower troposphere temperature anomalies for the periods ending in 1980 to 2014. The two suppliers, RSS and UAH, are compared. The anomaly for the year ending in October 2010 was the same as 1998 with the UAH data but cooler with the RSS data, so both would pass the “no warmer than 1998” test.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2 compares the linear trends of the two lower troposphere temperature anomaly datasets starting with the year ending October 1998. The UAH data failed the “trend line starting in 1998 would be zero or negative” test while the RSS data passed. For the sake of argument, someone might want to average the two datasets. Because the UAH warming rate is comparable to the RSS cooling rate, the trend line for the average would basically be zero.

Figure 2

Figure 2

NOTE: I used the period of 1981 to 2010 as the reference years for anomalies in Figures 1 and 2, because the two suppliers use different base periods. [End note.]

Then Dr. van Oldenborgh moves on to deep ocean warming, presenting and discussing NODC ocean heat content data for the depths of 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters. In doing so, however, Dr. van Oldenborgh changed topics of discussion from temperature to ocean heat content in term of Joules times 10^22. Ocean heat content is a useful metric if you’re a climate scientist looking for the missing heat—the ocean heat predicted by climate models that has not been found in observations. Along with Dr. van Oldenborgh, Roger Pielke Sr. has been an advocate of using ocean heat content as the primary metric of global warming for a number of years.

But while ocean temperature data (and salinity data) are used to calculate ocean heat content, ocean heat content is not a temperature dataset, and the topic of Dr. van Oldenborgh’s post is “Hiatuses in the rise of temperature”.

The NODC does have subsurface ocean temperature datasets at depths of 0-100 meters, 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters. They have recently been added to the KNMI Climate Explorer, on their Monthly observations webpage. Figure 3 presents the vertically averaged temperature anomalies to depths of 0-2000 meters for the global oceans. The NODC depth averaged temperature data for the depths of 0-2000 meters starts in 2005 at the Climate Explorer, which is precisely the time period we’re looking for. Even the IPCC acknowledges there are so few measurements of the temperatures at depth in the oceans prior to the ARGO era that the datasets from 1955 to the early 2000s cannot be used for global warming attribution studies. See the post AMAZING: The IPCC May Have Provided Realistic Presentations of Ocean Heat Content Source Data.

Figure 3

Figure 3

As we can see, yes, the oceans to depths of 2000 meters (about 1.25 miles) have warmed according to the NODC data, but note the warming rate. It is only +0.03 deg C/decade. That’s read 3 one-hundredths of a deg C per decade, which is a very tiny warming rate. It would be even tinier if we had data for the oceans from the surface to the ocean floor.

The oceans are deeper than the 2000 meters reached by the ARGO floats. So we have to look elsewhere to see if the deep oceans below 2000 meters have warmed. The title of Llovel et al. (2014) explains the findings of the paper Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade. “Not detectable” says it all. Phrased differently, there has been no detectable warming of the deep ocean (below 2000 meters) from January 2005 to December 2013, the time period covered by Llovel et al. (2014), which happily coincides to the period we’re discussing.

From the NOAA OceanToday webpage Deep ARGO, we learn that the depths of 0-2000 meters include only about one-half of the volume of the global oceans.

Based on those findings, we can assume the trend in the temperature of the oceans, from surface to ocean floor, from 2005 to present, is one-half the +0.03 deg C/decade trend calculated for the depths of 0-2000 meters, or a warming rate of +0.015 deg C/decade. That’s read 15 one-thousandths of a deg C per decade.

That minuscule warming rate of the oceans serves only as the background for the surface warming. It can’t magically come back to haunt us. That warming rate is trivial compared to the unrealized surface warming predicted by climate models. See Figure 4, which presents the temperature anomaly difference between the GISS global land-ocean temperature index data and the simulations of global surface air temperatures based on the multi-model mean of the climate models used by the IPCC for their 5th Assessment Report. That graph is discussed in more detail at the beginning of the October 2014 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly & Model-Data Difference Update.

Figure 4 model-data-difference

Figure 4

CLOSING

Global surface temperatures in 2014 are very likely to be at record high levels in 2014. We are going to see that framed in many ways in months to come. However, we understand the reason for those record high levels to be the unusual warming of the eastern North Pacific. See the June sea surface temperature update and the post On The Recent Record-High Global Sea Surface Temperatures – The Wheres and Whys.

The climate science community has also acknowledged that the weather-related unusual warming of the eastern extratropical North Pacific was the reason for the record high global surface temperatures this year. See the post Axel Timmermann and Kevin Trenberth Highlight the Importance of Natural Variability in Global Warming…

On the other hand, as illustrated in this post, it is very likely that 2014 will not be at record high levels with another of the global temperature datasets, Lower Troposphere Temperature. Those are shown in Figures 1 and 2 above.

Ocean heat content during the ARGO era is a useful dataset, but when discussing global temperatures, the vertically averaged temperature data for the oceans is more appropriate. While the oceans continue to warm, based on the NODC data, in terms of temperature, that warming is trivial.

And as illustrated in the final graph, the record high surface temperatures this year hardly put a dent in the difference between the observed and modeled surface warming.

# # #

PS: Dr. van Oldenborgh’s discussions of the short-term surface warming (or lack thereof) from 2005 to 2014 will make a lot more sense to the average person than some statistical analysis.

The blog ClimateLabBook is hosted by Ed Hawkins of NCAS-Climate at the University of Reading. A guest post Hiatuses in the rise of temperature by Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) has gained some attention in the past few days. Many of you will remember Dr. Geert Jan van Oldenborgh as the scientist at KNMI who created and maintains the KNMI Climate Explorer. It is a marvelous tool that provides public access to numerous climate-related datasets, to the outputs of climate models stored in the CMIP3 and CMIP5 archives and to statistical analysis tools. I will once again thank Dr. van Oldenborgh for the Climate Explorer.

Please take a few minutes to read Dr. van Oldenborgh’s post Hiatuses in the rise of temperature. In it, he prefaces the discussion:

The old argument that the world is no longer warming was that the global mean temperature has ceased to increase after 1998.

He then provides a couple of interpretations of the hiatus.

The first is that there has been no warmer year than 1998.

He then goes on to discuss that surface temperatures have exceeded the 1998 value a couple of times in the 21st Century, so that definition of hiatus no longer works. Then Dr. van Oldenborgh adds:

The second, better, interpretation of the argument that the earth is no longer warming would be that a trend line starting in 1998 would be zero or negative.

Both are very strict definitions of “hiatuses in the rise of temperature”. I’m sure you can think of many others, including:

  • the continued divergence between modeled and observed global surface temperatures, or
  • a trend line starting in 1998 that shows a statistically insignificant trend, not necessarily a zero trend.

Dr. van Oldenborgh notes that a trend line of global land+sea surface temperatures starting in 1998 is positive so it does not comply with his second definition for the hiatus. He then states:

The new argument therefore is that the temperature has not risen over the last 10 years. This is indeed correct, both the GISTEMP series and the HadCRUT4 dataset in which missing areas have been interpolated by Cowtan & Way show a trend of 0.00 K/decade over 2005–2014. To investigate further why the trend has been zero since 2005 it is useful to consider the land and ocean separately.

Much of the remainder of Dr. van Oldenborgh blog post presents the problems associated with discussions of surface warming over that short a time period (2005 to 2014). His maps of surface temperature trends with starting years of 2003 and 2004, and his discussions of them under the heading of “Patterns” are very informative.

The first thing that struck me as I was reading the blog post was, there’s a dataset missing from the analysis—a dataset that is commonly used to represent global temperatures. That dataset, of course, is satellite-based Lower Troposphere Temperature, aka TLT, which is the temperature of the atmosphere from zero to about 12,500 meters (about 41,000 feet) above sea level, but dominated by samples at less than 3,000 meters (about 9,800 feet). Of the three satellite-based atmospheric temperature datasets, the lower troposphere data are nearest to the surface.

Figure 1 is a time series graph of the annual (November to October) lower troposphere temperature anomalies for the periods ending in 1980 to 2014. The two suppliers, RSS and UAH, are compared. The anomaly for the year ending in October 2010 was the same as 1998 with the UAH data but cooler with the RSS data, so both would pass the “no warmer than 1998” test.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Figure 2 compares the linear trends of the two lower troposphere temperature anomaly datasets starting with the year ending October 1998. The UAH data failed the “trend line starting in 1998 would be zero or negative” test while the RSS data passed. For the sake of argument, someone might want to average the two datasets. Because the UAH warming rate is comparable to the RSS cooling rate, the trend line for the average would basically be zero.

Figure 2

Figure 2

NOTE: I used the period of 1981 to 2010 as the reference years for anomalies in Figures 1 and 2, because the two suppliers use different base periods. [End note.]

Then Dr. van Oldenborgh moves on to deep ocean warming, presenting and discussing NODC ocean heat content data for the depths of 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters. In doing so, however, Dr. van Oldenborgh changed topics of discussion from temperature to ocean heat content in term of Joules times 10^22. Ocean heat content is a useful metric if you’re a climate scientist looking for the missing heat—the ocean heat predicted by climate models that has not been found in observations. Along with Dr. van Oldenborgh, Roger Pielke Sr. has been an advocate of using ocean heat content as the primary metric of global warming for a number of years.

But while ocean temperature data (and salinity data) are used to calculate ocean heat content, ocean heat content is not a temperature dataset, and the topic of Dr. van Oldenborgh’s post is “Hiatuses in the rise of temperature”.

The NODC does have subsurface ocean temperature datasets at depths of 0-100 meters, 0-700 meters and 0-2000 meters. They have recently been added to the KNMI Climate Explorer, on their Monthly observations webpage. Figure 3 presents the vertically averaged temperature anomalies to depths of 0-2000 meters for the global oceans. The NODC depth averaged temperature data for the depths of 0-2000 meters starts in 2005 at the Climate Explorer, which is precisely the time period we’re looking for. Even the IPCC acknowledges there are so few measurements of the temperatures at depth in the oceans prior to the ARGO era that the datasets from 1955 to the early 2000s cannot be used for global warming attribution studies. See the post AMAZING: The IPCC May Have Provided Realistic Presentations of Ocean Heat Content Source Data.

Figure 3

Figure 3

As we can see, yes, the oceans to depths of 2000 meters (about 1.25 miles) have warmed according to the NODC data, but note the warming rate. It is only +0.03 deg C/decade. That’s read 3 one-hundredths of a deg C per decade, which is a very tiny warming rate. It would be even tinier if we had data for the oceans from the surface to the ocean floor.

The oceans are deeper than the 2000 meters reached by the ARGO floats. So we have to look elsewhere to see if the deep oceans below 2000 meters have warmed. The title of Llovel et al. (2014) explains the findings of the paper Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade. “Not detectable” says it all. Phrased differently, there has been no detectable warming of the deep ocean (below 2000 meters) from January 2005 to December 2013, the time period covered by Llovel et al. (2014), which happily coincides to the period we’re discussing.

From the NOAA OceanToday webpage Deep ARGO, we learn that the depths of 0-2000 meters include only about one-half of the volume of the global oceans.

Based on those findings, we can assume the trend in the temperature of the oceans, from surface to ocean floor, from 2005 to present, is one-half the +0.03 deg C/decade trend calculated for the depths of 0-2000 meters, or a warming rate of +0.015 deg C/decade. That’s read 15 one-thousandths of a deg C per decade.

That minuscule warming rate of the oceans serves only as the background for the surface warming. It can’t magically come back to haunt us. That warming rate is trivial compared to the unrealized surface warming predicted by climate models. See Figure 4, which presents the temperature anomaly difference between the GISS global land-ocean temperature index data and the simulations of global surface air temperatures based on the multi-model mean of the climate models used by the IPCC for their 5th Assessment Report. That graph is discussed in more detail at the beginning of the October 2014 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly & Model-Data Difference Update.

Figure 4 model-data-difference

Figure 4

CLOSING

Global surface temperatures in 2014 are very likely to be at record high levels in 2014. We are going to see that framed in many ways in months to come. However, we understand the reason for those record high levels to be the unusual warming of the eastern North Pacific. See the June sea surface temperature update and the post On The Recent Record-High Global Sea Surface Temperatures – The Wheres and Whys.

The climate science community has also acknowledged that the weather-related unusual warming of the eastern extratropical North Pacific was the reason for the record high global surface temperatures this year. See the post Axel Timmermann and Kevin Trenberth Highlight the Importance of Natural Variability in Global Warming…

On the other hand, as illustrated in this post, it is very likely that 2014 will not be at record high levels with another of the global temperature datasets, Lower Troposphere Temperature. Those are shown in Figures 1 and 2 above.

Ocean heat content during the ARGO era is a useful dataset, but when discussing global temperatures, the vertically averaged temperature data for the oceans is more appropriate. While the oceans continue to warm, based on the NODC data, in terms of temperature, that warming is trivial.

And as illustrated in the final graph, the record high surface temperatures this year hardly put a dent in the difference between the observed and modeled surface warming.

# # #

PS: Dr. van Oldenborgh’s discussions of the short-term surface warming (or lack thereof) from 2005 to 2014 will make a lot more sense to the average person than some statistical analysis.

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103 thoughts on “On The Blog Post “Hiatuses in the rise of temperature” at ClimateLabBook

  1. Thank you Bob. Informative as always.
    The essential message from this post is (quite correctly) that we have absolutely nothing to worry about, the ocean ‘warming’ is virtually undetectable, and the models have been useless.
    They’ll be annoyed over at Hot Whopper.

  2. Can I vote we discourage the pretentious Latin term ‘hiatus’. It ‘s not a gap in the warming, it’s a slowing and stopping, which might be a pause.

      • Or a puke, as in when they saw that the data didn’t match their agenda they puked and well it got on the data and now it’s not readable, so well just make up numbers to fit our mandate to show rising temperatures.
        I’m beyond fed up with what passes for data and research. I saw on accuweather today they posted the article on small volcanos causing the pause in global temperatures.
        Faulty, adjusted and cherry picked data for research seem to be the norm these days. They either profit from grants and/or keeping their jobs depend on following the CAGW mandate.

    • The term “hiatus” has only meaning in the context of predictions by climate models and because those are fundamentally flawed the term is meaningless.
      Suppose we never had heard the phrase “global warming” and did not have any model predictions, then just looking at the data would lead us to think that the temperature has reached a plateau and we would just take that at face value and observe that that’s what the climate system does.

    • It is unscientific to use the term Hiatus or Pause. Both imply that we know for certain that warming will resume. No one knows this. The IPCC has admitted that the models cannot predict the future. That is why they use the term “projections”.
      The scientifically correct term is cessation or halt or reduction in warming. However, the chicken little of the world cannot bring themselves to use correct terminology as it would reveal the sky is no longer falling.

  3. For the benefit of those of us who are allergic to statistics, could someone explain in simple terms what “statistically insignificant” means in “a trend line starting in 1998 that shows a statistically insignificant trend” means? A layman might be forgiven for expecting it to mean that, based on some assumption, the probability of a trend that exceeds the observed trend is greater than, say, 5%.
    If that’s the meaning, what is the assumption on which the >5% probability is based? If not, what does that expression mean? I assume that most readers here know, since that expression almost never attracts attention on this site despite is very common use.

    • It has to do with the variability in the data measurements versus the amount of observed change. Any time someone generates a trend line, they should also provide a probability or p-value for that line (not to mention an r2 term). P-values less than or equal to 0.05 are typically considered statistically significant, while p-values greater than 0.05 are not statistically significant. http://blog.minitab.com/blog/adventures-in-statistics/how-to-interpret-regression-analysis-results-p-values-and-coefficients
      The primary assumption here is that the Y and X data have some relationship that can be described using linear regression. The better the data conforms to this assumption, the smaller the p-value.

      • Thanks a lot–and pardon me for posting in the midst of a brain cramp. Of course the term was intended to mean nothing more than what you explained..
        That is, the assumption was that the data are produced by a random process whose standard deviation is the one the data exhibit. Significance is determined by whether the probability, based on that assumption, of a trend greater that the observed trend exceeds 5%.
        I had for some reason been looking for a more-meaningful criterion, such as the probability of such the observed trend if the sensitivity to carbon-dioxide concentration were as great as what has been claimed.
        Thank you again for indulging the dumb question.

      • CAUTION: p= 0.05 is 5%; this is generally considered “significant” by “observation” so-called sciences (psychology, economics, sociology); physicists use a much more rigorous standard of 5 sigma, or roughly 1 in 3,000,000 (0 .00003%).
        Adherence to the 5-sigma standard essentially explains of why physicists don’t publish a lot of bogus crap. Observational “scientists” generally are not mathematically trained statisticians and haven’t a clue why they use the 5% threshold. That, and poorly designed experiments, goes long way to explain why their work is frequently disputed.

    • The layman’s description would be that a ‘statistically insignificant’ trend might arise just from some minor random noise in the data. Samples taken without perfect coverage. Samples taken with less then ideal perfection instruments. Samples that are only covering part of the needed time period. Or just too few samples. In those cases, the error can be larger (sometimes much larger) than the “trend” found. It isn’t possible to know if the “trend” is real, or just an artifact of some error terms.
      A “statistically significant’ trend comes from a large enough data set ( I learned it as 1200 samples, but I’ve noticed some newer fancier techniques claim that less, even 900 or so, is enough) with sufficient coverage and good enough instruments the the error term ought to be much smaller than the discovered trend. It is typically put at the 95% “confidence level”; meaning that 95 out of 100 times you do that data collection and calculation, the result will be accurate enough to show that trend as real (and only 5% of the time will a random range of the error terms cause the result to be spurious … i.e. wrong.) Yes, you got that right. Even a statistically significant trend can be wrong. Just not very often… Such is the nature of statistics as “proof”. They are not proof, only evidence. Sometimes better than others.
      By convention, we all just agree to accept that 5 out of 100 times wrong is good enough… For most things. Sometimes other bounds are used when the need to be more certainly right is stronger or weaker.

    • One misunderstanding in your question is the idea that 5% means “the probability of a trend that exceeds the observed trend is greater than, say, 5%.” Under “normal” assumptions (as in, the divergences from the trend line have a normal probability distribution) there is a 50% probability that the real trend is above the observed trend, and a 50% probability that it is below the observed trend.
      Statistically significant at the 5% level means there is less than a 5% probability that the real trend could be zero (or less). In other words, once the variations in the observed data are considered, the slope of the observed trend line must be large enough that we are 95% certain that the real trend cannot be zero.

  4. Thanks, Bob. An excellent post.
    To me. a horizontal average line in a temperature graph is all it takes for a hiatus in a context of global warming expectations and forecasts and failed climate models.
    Global warming stopped after the 1998 El Niño.

  5. It is a change, a change from warming to ‘no change’ in temp that has three possible future trends, to start warming again, to stay even, or to start cooling. Until it is known why it warmed in the first place (and was cooling before that), no-one knows which of the three futures it’s gonna be. The only thing I’m personally sure of is that the ‘why’ has nothing to do with CO2

  6. Lucia had a blog on the pause or hiatus early this month.
    I suggested a simple definition of a pause was “that it defines a period where the baseline is absolutely flat. There is no warming more slowly or quickly or freezing more slowly or quickly. There is no trend, no increase or decrease or it would be no hiatus.”
    Apropos this discussion a statistically insignificant trend would not be a hiatus as it still has a trend, it is not zero.
    Also the continued divergence between modelled and observed global temperatures would not be a pause because you cannot have a pause when you have a positive or negative trend.
    There was a lot of, in my opinion, semantic argument about the dictionary meanings of the word pause, which would allow this second comparison to be wrongly called a pause.
    I feel the definition above is obvious, correct and simple and avoids warmists using short cherry picked intervals of positive trend which slow down to be described as a pause.
    This only confuses the idea of a pause and allows them to argue that there is no real pause or that the pause is cherry picked.
    Hence I would appreciate Bob not using any definition of a pause as having a positive or negative trend whether it is Van Oldenburgh’s second definition or Bob’s two suggestions as it opens a door that should be left closed.
    Note, please nobody use a dictionary definition as an argument as I am tone deaf and music, not temperature, is the only place a pause can have a different meaning to what I have ascribed.

  7. Yes, a mere 7,000 years ago which was just 2,000 years before the warmest era, the Minoan Warm Period, happened!
    Yes, we still had glaciers in North America and parts of Europe back then. We are always one year away from another Ice Age. When this will happen and there is a 100% chance this will happen in the future, when the next Ice Age hits we will have little warning. It will simply begin with the snow not melting one year.

  8. When you’re reduced to using hundredths of a degree to illustrate “deep ocean” heat you’re grasping at straws. The rate of global warming has obviously slowed; and now the Alarmists are changing the goal posts yet again

  9. Whenever someone claims that the slowdown is insignificant in the long term, I try to point out that the same holds true for the late C20th rise.

  10. The issue is all these AGW pundits start with the founding premise that there is such a thing as Global warming (or Global Cooling) with the root cause being human activity.
    From this point onwards, they can examine the entrails of the beast in as many ways or perspectives as the ever expanding datasets and their individual and group-think imagination allows.
    Like fractal images or the kaleidoscope, the image and results keep changing the more they run their models then produce graphs and papers ad infinitum.
    The well-funded AGW bandwagon rolls on, and on and on..
    Like Newton trying to “crack” the mystery of the Philosophers Stone, their basic credo will simply result in reams of wasted paper, ink and years of their precious time.
    Do they actually ask the question, “is AGW real?” every time they get an inconclusive result?
    I think not, that brick wall has a lot of human forehead tissue on its surface.

  11. 3 one-hundredths of a deg C per decade does seem infinitesimal when measuring a body as large as oceans and I do have to wonder the margin of error in those fractions of a degree.
    Whats most interesting the graph in the article shows a marked increase, if you were not paying attention to how the X axis was set would think the oceans were about to reach the boiling point in a matter of decades. Bob was being informative as always with the graph, but in less scrupulous hands is used to frighten the public.

  12. The surface station datasets are infested with poor data quality, homogenizations, unaccounted-for UHI, station dropouts and at best dubious corrections. The resulting error bars should disqualify them at this point from consideration as a reliable data source.

  13. Assuming the temperature peaked 10 years ago and has been flat since, it makes sense that every year will be one of the top ten years. It might give the warmists a talking point, but otherwise is a big “so what”.

  14. Looks like he took the 101 course in Cherry-Picking, Straw Manning, Torturing the data, and Spin, and passed with flying colours. Good job.

      • Well, for starters, HadCRUT4 was implemented because 1998 was the warmest year on record acording to the previous hadCRUT3. So they modified the way global temperatures were calculated and, voilá, now 2005 and 2010 are slightly warmer.
        But the main point is that this article is just another smokescreen. Temperatures do not follow CO2 levels during these last 15 years the way the used to follow during the previous 15 years. The foregone conclusion is that CO2 levels and temperatures are not correlated. (if they were, then what is the correlation constant?)

      • urederra, I like that – that should be used much more often. In fact, I think those that argue on climate forums (I don’t) should use that again and again. They don’t like it up ’em.

      • unrederra has the kernel of the nut. The hypothesis that carbon dioxide could increase global temperature was only plausible while temperatures were rising as carbon dioxide was rising. (that would be the c-pick) Once any evidence of coupling stopped, where temperature data no longer showed a rise but carbon dioxide concentration data continued to show an increase, the hypothetical relationship is no longer plausible. End of supposed relationship. The trajectory of global temperature data is not predictable using carbon dioxide concentration data. This too has been proven since the modeling, that utilized whatever mystery math, has not predicted the observed temperature data at the current carbon dioxide concentration. You can wish for whatever but from where I sit you have to conclude the changes observed in carbon dioxide concentration since 1950 has no effect on global temperature. I don’t care if we all fry or freeze tomorrow, carbon dioxide won’t be the cause.

  15. I think I’ve found the missing heat: it’s in my mother-in-law’s apartment.
    Since 1998 (possibly earlier) she has steadily but imperceptibly raised her thermostat such that her home is now sweltering, not only to me but as reviewed by my peers. While I recognize that she is but a single cherry-picked data point, the consensus among 97% of son/daughter-in-laws is that this man made phenomenon is universal. This can thus be extrapolated to billions of homes – a number that increases as the population ages.
    I am seeking funds to populate a Billion-Residences-Of-In-Laws (BROIL) database to establish the magnitude and trend of this important effect.

  16. According to NOAA by their land based thermometers 2014 is headed towards being the warmest year on record. But according to satellite measurements 2014 is nothing special in regards to temperature:
    Why 2014 Won’t Be the Warmest Year on Record.
    October 21st, 2014
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Yearly-global-LT-UAH-RSS-thru-Sept-2014.png
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/10/why-2014-wont-be-the-warmest-year-on-record/
    That is a very serious discrepancy, yet there has been no great desire among climate scientists to resolve it. It would be like physicists simply accepting two divergent methods for measuring lengths, and different groups of physicists using which measured length they like.
    In such a scenario don’t you think there would great skepticism in calling physics an “exact” science?
    Bob Clark

    • “That is a very serious discrepancy, yet there has been no great desire among climate scientists to resolve it.”
      There is no problem resolving it. They are measuring different places. SST is warming faster than the troposphere.

      • Science certainly is easy for you, isn’t it Nick. For you, there is always an obvious explanation, and viola! It always happens to confirm the conclusion you wanted to reach in the first place!
        So as the years pass and the surface record, composed of millions of highly adjusted and massaged data points, diverges ever further from the satellite record as the adjusters warm the present and cool the past, you will just choose to ignore the satellite data. Perfect! Problem solved!

      • Nick Stokes: So there IS a discrepancy, but different vast areas of earth means they must be different? Or must they? Why must they be different? Climate Scientists sure are an incurious lot.

      • “SST is warming faster than the troposphere.”
        Except climate models predict exactly the opposite trends. Whenever I see a Nick Stokes post appear in the comment section I always have an image of a weasel forming in my head.

  17. For me, it looks like a classical inflection point in a slow cycle. In stock markets (and some other places) you tend to get a spike, sometimes in a pair, at the inflection point. Stock traders call this a ‘blow off top’. The cycle rises into it, make a spike, falls, sometimes tries a second spike that is lower or at most equal to the first, then the long decline side of the cycle begins.
    For stock prices, I can explain it (based on human nature and the desire to see a trend continue, while ‘smart money’ swaps sides), but for climate cycles I can’t. (Best I could do is rabid speculation that, for example, some lunar tidal process has a reversal then and you get ‘sloshing’ in the oceans / tides). Yet the effect is often seen.
    So I’d call this a ‘temperature inflection’ in the natural temperature cycles.
    Also, the use of an average of temperatures as a proxy for heat content is just Soooo broken. To do proper calorimetry you simply MUST account for mass, specific heats, phase changes, heats of fusion and vaporization, and such. Oh, and you are supposed to NEVER screw around with the thermometers as changing the instruments makes it neigh on impossible to detangle the now dirtied temperature series and effects of location in the calorimeter where you take the temperatures. “Climate Science” violates all those rules. Not to mention that the average of a bunch of temperatures is NOT a temperature. It is a largely meaningless statistic (in terms of real world meaning). You simply can not average an intrinsic property and get a meaningful result.
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/intrinsic-extrinsic-intensive-extensive/
    I see no reason to trust science done by ‘scientists’ who can’t even get the fundamentals right.

    • Take the yearly trend from each stations max and min temperatures, separately. Average the lot, grid, and/or weight this. You can remove any outliers (>2.6XSD assuming 1 year in 100 is completely stuffed due to change in measuring temp) and hope all other measurement errors even out. This is then an index of global (land) temperature change. At least do this and compare with the homogenised/adjusted data.

  18. The CLOSING
    Global surface temperatures in 2014 are very likely to be at record high levels in 2014. We are going to see that framed in many ways in months
    This statement is NOT correct. I will send data that suggest this is indeed the case.

  19.  State College, PA
    Joe Bastardi @BigJoeBastardi
    · Nov 15
    NCEP CFSR/CFSV2, IMO, most accurate sat era temps, has globe plus .11C since 1981. Not near warmest on record
    My reply
    I AGREE WITH THIS 100%.

  20. @Joe Born November 29, 2014 at 5:24 am
    For the benefit of those of us who are allergic to statistics, could someone explain in simple terms what “statistically insignificant” means in “a trend line starting in 1998 that shows a statistically insignificant trend” means?
    Rule #1 if you need to use statistics to ‘prove’ or ‘show’ a show aspect of data in a real world measurement such as temperature, then you can be sure you are looking at the wrong thing.
    If you can not draw a curve through the data and immediately ‘see’ the trend, then it does not exist.
    Referring to your original point, if you are trying to ‘prove’ that your data is showing you a very small value, and it is not obvious, you use a variety of statistical methods to indicate how ‘good’ your answer is.
    If your answers ‘goodness value’ is very poor, it means your answer (2 degrees/decade etc) is useless.
    See point one above, if you need to use stats to ‘prove’ a point then you are already on a very ‘sticky wicket’.
    If ‘Bob T’ put error bars on Fig 3, of perhaps +/- 0.5 degree then the trend becomes ‘insignificant’.

  21. I see this as something a bit unique: A 20 year “Stable” point with very little average temperature change.
    It would be a “Pause” only if temperatures do rise afterwards, but we don’t know that. That would be the same for “Hiatus” or similar points. Counter to that with a “Plateau” or related, with temperatures dropping.
    We can’t properly label this period until we find out what happens here when the temperature changes, wither up or down. 😛
    A 20 year ‘Stable’ or ‘Still’ period is of it’s own existence very interesting. Following a peak ‘spike’ year (1998) there has been neither much warming or cooling, and there is not much showing that there will be either warming or cooling after this point.
    Interesting point – as if the world realized we are watching and decided to screw with the arguments on both side. 🙂

  22. I was curious to know if ARGO equipment could measure temperatures accurately enough to detect 3 hundredths of a degree over a decade. Apparently, they claim that temperatures in the Argo profiles are accurate to ± 0.002°C. If that is true, then a temperature increase of 0.003°C per year (± 0.002°C) falls within a range of 0.001°C to 0.005°C per year. But I have to wonder if they can maintain that degree of accuracy in real world conditions.
    Just for fun, let’s assume that the oceans continue to warm at an average rate of 0.03°C per decade. If the average temperature of the ocean surface waters is about 17 degrees Celsius, then it should only take about 29,000 years for the oceans to begin to boil. Too bad Hansen won’t be around to gloat.

    • You can get an average which is precise from data less granular.
      The average European woman has 1.59 children over her lifetime. There is some inaccuracy in that average, of course, but that does not arrive from the fact that woman can only have whole numbers of children. You cannot legitimately argue that woman can only have one or two children, so the average cannot be 1.59.
      Arguments over the precision and accuracy of the temperature measurements need a great deal more sophistication than arguing the average cannot be more precise than the measuring instrument. There is a great deal of shonkiness in the climate field, but they aren’t that amateur.

      • Nice try but not true.
        The results of calculating of an average cannot meaningfully have more significant digits than the underlying data. The error in your example is that women have exactly an integer number of children (an integer followed by any number of zeroes). Your example of 1.59 average children/woman may be mathematically correct, but it is definitely not an example of the average being more granular than the data.

  23. Please correct me if wrong, but IMO linear regression shows no statistically significant warming sine 1996, not since the super Nino year of 1998.
    Warming lasted from c. 1977-96, so the no warming interval is nearing the duration of the late 20th century warming. Give it two more years.
    But as Bob shows, in RSS, the current trend is actually statistically significant cooling.

  24. Bob,
    You wrote: “That warming rate is trivial compared to the unrealized surface warming predicted by climate models.” I disagree. The fundamental quantity here is energy, not temperature. Changing the concentration of CO2 causes an imbalance between energy into the planet and energy out. The energy needed to warm the oceans by 0.015 deg/decade is sufficient to warm the atmosphere by 15 deg/decade. That is far from trivial. Small changes in the heat flow into the ocean can have a big effect on the atmosphere.
    Of course, that means that variations in the oceans can easily produce significant variations in climate. The embarrassment the modellers are experiencing due to the hiatus is a result of their past minimization of that possibility. Now they are being forced to recognize natural variability; maybe some of them will even start to admit that a large chunk of what happened in the late 20th century was natural climate change.
    You are correct that the heat in the ocean “can’t magically come back to haunt us.” What could happen is that heat transport into the deep ocean could once again slow, causing temperatures to once again rise.
    Mike M.

    • Mike M. says: “You wrote: ‘That warming rate is trivial compared to the unrealized surface warming predicted by climate models.’ I disagree. The fundamental quantity here is energy, not temperature.”
      You’re more that welcome to disagree, Mike, but this is a discussion of temperature, not energy. The role of the oceans in the theory of hypothetical human-induced global warming is to temper that warming. If 90+% of the heat from man’s emissions of greenhouse gases can only warm the global oceans (from surface to sea floor) at a rate of 0.015 deg C/decade, then the oceans are doing their job.
      Mike M. says: “You are correct that the heat in the ocean ‘can’t magically come back to haunt us.’ What could happen is that heat transport into the deep ocean could once again slow, causing temperatures to once again rise.”
      There’s no doubt that coupled ocean-atmosphere processes can either enhance global warming or suppress it, but (big but) according to Trenberth ENSO is a sunlight-fueled process.
      Cheers.

      • Which should help Trenberth realize that the climate system is largely sunlight-fueled (modulated by orbital mechanics, plus solar magnetism), but it hasn’t.

      • Bob says: “The role of the oceans in the theory of hypothetical human-induced global warming is to temper that warming … the oceans are doing their job.”
        True, but no one disputes that. Oceans tempering warming is the reason that transient climate response is much less than equilibrium climate sensitivity. And the very slow rate of increase in ocean temperature is the reason that it will take a millennium or more to fully realize the warming.
        You can not ignore energy just because you are discussing temperature. The temperature increase is a result of the energy increase.
        Mike M.

      • I’m not surprised at higher SSTs this year. We’ve seen solar F10.7cm flux at an average daily value for 2014 of 145 sfu/day, 22 sfu/day higher than last year (18% more), 25 sfu/day higher than 2012 (21% more), and 43 sfu/day higher than the daily average F10.7 flux for all of SC24 (42% more). Source: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/indices/quar_DSD.txt
        The major arctic blast we saw in the US several weeks ago was literally melted away by higher solar flux. The first half of Nov we saw the daily flux average 139; the seconf half of Nov it averaged 172 sfu/day, and for the whole month the average was 155.
        The Sun always finds a way to teach us more lessons. We are still experiencing the solar maximum! The last three years of the Modern Maximum in solar activity had daily solar fluxes of 180, 181, and 180 sfu/day for the years 2000-2002, the solar max years of SC23.
        This all can be seen here too: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SolarCycle/f10.gif
        Warming of the oceans ====>>>> SUNLIGHT fueled!

    • Mike M
      I’d appreciate hearing how you explain the thermodynamics of cold ocean water passing heat to warmer ocean water.
      For the moment, we’ll skip the discussion of how heat magically passed all the sensors to go hide in the ocean depths.

      • “I’d appreciate hearing how you explain the thermodynamics of cold ocean water passing heat to warmer ocean water.
        For the moment, we’ll skip the discussion of how heat magically passed all the sensors to go hide in the ocean depths.”
        I have no idea why anyone would believe such rubbish.
        Mike M.

  25. •the continued divergence between modeled and observed global surface temperatures

    In terms of demonstrating an understanding of the climate this is the only one that matters.
    And if you don’t understand why the temperature rose in the 20thC you can’t say if it will rise in the 21stC.
    And you can’t say what to do about it anyway.
    Even if you’re right, if you’re right for the wrong reason, you’re as good as being wrong.

  26. Bob – I don’t like your figures 1 and 2. That is because the true shape of the temperature curve is distorted by your choice of sampling interval. You should do three things to improve this:
    1. Use at least a monthly sampling interval. Go back all the way to 1979.
    2. Instead of drawing a line to show the trend, use a transparent red marker and do it by hand.
    3. The peaks on the left are all El Ninos. The valleys in between are all La Ninas. Put a yellow dot in the middle of every line connecting an El Nino peak with its neighboring La Nina valley. Those dots mark global mean temperatures. You should now be able to draw or fit a straight horizontal line through these dots. It marks a hidden hiatus that goes from `1979 to the beginning of the super El Nino, about 18 years. It is hidden because all ground based temperature sources cooperate to hide it and give it an upward slope. It amounts to a temperature rise of 0.1 degrees for the period in question. They used to call this temperature segment the “late twentieth century warming.” The middle one of these five El Ninos is the one what Hansen said was the highest observed temperature in 1988.

  27. All these single values of so-called “global temperature” are physically meaningless. It’s really too bad that all these people with letters after their names can’t come to terms with that.

  28. Posted to Climate Lab Book
    ferdberple says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 30, 2014 at 1:51 am
    I agree with Mike on this one. “The Pause” is only being discussed here because the models predicted continued warming.
    Had the models predicted that there would be no warming, “The Pause, Hiatus, whatever” would not exist as a topic.
    Since no one knows for sure if warming will resume – perhaps we are at the end of the Interglacial – no one can say for sure – to call the deviation from model predictions A Pause of Hiatus is a matter of speculation not observation.
    Until warming resumes the “Hiatus in the rise in temperature” is not an observation, it is a speculation. You are speculating that what comes next will be more warming.

  29. rogerknights November 29, 2014 at 8:40 am
    “It’s not quite exact, since there are substantial “jitters” from one year to the next”.
    _________________________________________
    Roger Knight’s one word descriptive “Jitters” sums up the whole current and probably the complete global temperature behaviour in both the very brief few days temperature excursions below and above the temperature base line right through to the century’s and millennium long climate “jitter” periods if you have the broadness of imagination to wrap your mind round such a concept.
    An unpredictable, constantly changing, never going on excessive excursions beyond the recovery point before reversing it’s latest “jitter” or excursion to pass back through the central and average of all those
    “jitters” trend lines. is the 4.5 billion long history of Planet’s climate and it’s temperatures,
    The climate temperature “jitters” and everything else that either it creates or is a result of the fast excursions of temperatures, the climate “jittering” and all other climate related phenomena can be high frequency, at least from the human life perspective, to the decades and centuries and aeons and geological ages long large scale “jitters” of a world that is 4.5 billion years old.
    “Jittering” is a very apt description to describe the global climate phenomena excursions that are centered around the incredibly stable climate that has maintained an extraordinary tight range of global temperatures within a few, at worst, tens of degrees excursions for all of those 4.5 billion years of the Earth’s existence.
    The “jittering” of the global climate, the excursions to and from the average very long term planetary base line temperature regime has ALWAYS returned the planet’s temperatures back to that incredibly stable, incredibly narrow atmospheric water vapour controlled temperature range,. A temperature range that has been maintained between and below the boiling point of water and the complete freezing point of water for all of the 3.7 billion years that we believe life has existed on this planet.
    And a water controlled temperature range which has enabled life can continue to exist and indeed to flourish until it has reached the current but arguably not the last by a long way, development in intelligence.
    And that is “Man”. .
    There is a constant moaning and howling in the Dark by the alarmists whose ability to comprehend that for all of our Earth’s existence the planet temperatures have NEVER fallen down close to absolute Zero,
    minus 273 C, as some planets have done .
     Nor has our planet’s temperature EVER reached the temperatures of Venus with it’s lead melting temperatures or ever come even close to those extremes.
    For at least 3.7 billion years the planetary temperatures have been maintained within that exceedingly narrow range of the freezing and boiling points of water. and as such that has allowed life to exist and to flourish since it’s beginnings some 3.7 billion years ago.
    Maybe the term “Jittering” has been used elsewhere to describe the current global temperature hiatus but certainly Roger Knight’s “Jitter” description is a far better and far more accurate and descriptive term to describe the way our global temperatures and our global climate is behaving right now, in the geological past past and no doubt long, long into the future when our species will just be dust upon the Earth.

  30. can someone plot change in temp. vs. co2 in atmosphere. This is all that matters since trillions are spent on co2 mitigation when in atctuality co2 does not matter and the present models do not predict reality.

  31. The ancient philosophers and mathematicians had worked it all out while wandering around in the desert of lies, damned lies and statistics. It was immediately apparent to them that there existed the dromedary camel hump within the desert but in their incessant wanderings and musings they also became aware of the double humped camel-
    http://www.desertusa.com/animals/camel.html
    Ever since it has been most advisable that statisticians and modellers are not talking out their camelus bactrianuses and that we’re actually over their hump/s.

  32. Whatever it’s called, I think it’s worth repeating, the models never saw it coming. Regardless of what happens next.

  33. Obituary for a passing theory:
    CAGW passed away at his home on the weekend, of a previously undiagnosed condition, he was found in his lounge laying on a recycled hemp rug. It appears he was, or had been clutching a limited edition Naomi Oreskes climate action figure doll, still in its biodegradable cellophane wrapper, when his heart failed him.
    Close colleagues remarked, that despite the serious set backs he’d encountered, setting up his green business, he was in a remarkably positive mood.
    One remarked, that his general attitude was between 4 and 6 points, trending upwards. Others in his office disputed this, saying that 6 was at the lower end of ‘Feel Good’, and that had he lived, it would of reached 10 points before the days end. Although, that rate was unsustainable, and in the future he might have to settle for a reduced ‘OK-ness’ factor of 2.5.
    A funeral in a biodegradable, recycled cardboard coffin, is scheduled for Monday, beneath his beloved hand cultivated Proxy Tree.
    Donations to his favorite charity, can be made c\o the EPA, he is survived by his fourteen children, all unwed Models.

  34. From The Australian today (Dec 1st) spot the pea and thimble trick from the BOM-
    “AUSTRALIA has had its hottest spring and its hottest November on record.
    BUREAU of Meteorology climate monitoring manager Karl Braganza says 2014 was the latest in a long line of hot springs in the past decade.
    The previous record was set only last year, he said.
    “Really, it was only 2010 that had a cool spring in the past 10 years or so. Nine out of the warmest springs on record have occurred since 2002,” Dr Braganza told AAP.
    Australia’s average seasonal temperature is derived by averaging the temperature data from weather stations, where records go back to 1910.
    The figure is then compared with the long-term average temperature, which measures the period from 1961 to 1990.
    The average spring 2014 temperature of 24.17C exceeded the mean by 1.67C, Dr Braganza said.”

  35. Hopefully the “average person” will read Dr. van Oldenborgh’s conclusions:
    The ‘hiatus’ in the global mean temperature rise of the earth over the last 10 years is not a very sensible way to study global warming. Trends over such a short period are influenced heavily by (winter) weather over North America and Siberia, and by El Niño and La Niña. Over land the trend has not gone down to zero and 10-year trends are compatible with the long-term trend within the large uncertainty margins. Over sea there is also strong persistence from year to year, making the probability to obtain 10-year trends that are very different from the long-term trend very large. The best measure of whether global warming continues is the ocean heat content below the surface. This measure shows a very consistent rise, which is also expressed in sea level rise.
    On top of the rising trend of the land temperature, much of Europe had warm weather for large periods this year. These two factors together, the long-term trend and a short positive fluctuation, caused the record-high temperatures that are expected this year.

  36. The planet has warmed (with oscillations above and below the long-term trend) from the depths of the LIA until approximately 2001. The trend has been flat since before 2001. Claiming that it is warmest at the end of a warming period is not very profound.

  37. Quote:
    “As we can see, yes, the oceans to depths of 2000 meters (about 1.25 miles) have warmed according to the NODC data, but note the warming rate. It is only +0.03 deg C/decade. That’s read 3 one-hundredths of a deg C per decade, which is a very tiny warming rate. It would be even tinier if we had data for the oceans from the surface to the ocean floor.”
    Mr Tisdale.
    Your are aware of the physics of heat capacity?
    That the oceans have a mass ~1000x that of the atmosphere.
    That the specific heat of water is 4x that of air.
    Yes?
    So Assuming the heat enteing the oceans by means of Solar SW (largely) is mixed evenly ( a large assumption granted).
    Then we need to multiply your 0.03 deg C figure by 4000 to arrive at a figure comparable with *heat* added to the atmosphere.
    That happens to be +120C.
    IOW: comaparing temps in water to temps in air is as apples to oranges.

  38. I did a study of the CRN top rated US surface stations. Most remarkable about them is the extensive local climate diversity that appears when station sites are relatively free of urban heat sources. 35% (8 of 23) of the stations reported cooling over the century. Indeed, if we remove the 8 warmest records, the rate flips from +0.16°C to -0.14°C. –
    In order to respect the intrinsic quality of temperatures, I calculated monthly slopes for each station, and combined them for station trends.
    See more at:
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/08/20/analysis-of-23-top-qualty-us-surface-stations-shows-insignificant-warming-only-0-16c-rise-per-century/#sthash.NqWG4SbF.dpuf

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