Another paper confirms “the pause” in global warming – cites issues with methods of obtaining average temperature

Spatiotemporal Divergence of the Warming Hiatus over Land Based on Different Definitions of Mean Temperature

  • Chunlüe Zhou & Kaicun Wang


Existing studies of the recent warming hiatus over land are primarily based on the average of daily minimum and maximum temperatures (T2). This study compared regional warming rates of mean temperature based on T2 and T24 calculated from hourly observations available from 1998 to 2013. Both T2 and T24 show that the warming hiatus over land is apparent in the mid-latitudes of North America and Eurasia, especially in cold seasons, which is closely associated with the negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) and cold air propagation by the Arctic-original northerly wind anomaly into mid-latitudes. However, the warming rates of T2 and T24 are significantly different at regional and seasonal scales because T2 only samples air temperature twice daily and cannot accurately reflect land-atmosphere and incoming radiation variations in the temperature diurnal cycle. The trend has a standard deviation of 0.43 °C/decade for T2 and 0.41 °C/decade for T24, and 0.38 °C/decade for their trend difference in 5° × 5° grids. The use of T2 amplifies the regional contrasts of the warming rate, i.e., the trend underestimation in the US and overestimation at high latitudes by T2.


Land surface air temperature (Ta) is one of the fundamental variables in weather and climatic observations, modeling, and applications1,2. Despite the ongoing increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, the global mean surface temperature (GMST) has remained rather steady and has even decreased in the central and eastern Pacific since 19983. This cooling trend is referred to as the global “warming hiatus”4,5. Several explanations have been suggested for this trend, which can be categorized into natural variability, external variability and observational errors6,7,8. Natural variability includes the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and its decadal variability9,10, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO)3,11, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO)12and trans-basin transportation of mass and energy9,13,14,15. Atlantic-warming-induced easterly wind anomalies over the Indo-western Pacific and westerly wind anomalies over eastern Pacific16, thereby produce Indo-western Pacific warming and then enhance Walker circulation together by strengthening Pacific trade winds17,18,19, ocean-atmosphere dynamical interactions20, and ocean heat storage exchange over Indo-Pacific-Atlantic-Southern oceans9,13,14,15. External variability, mainly includes weakening solar activity21,22,23, increasing stratospheric aerosols24,25,26,27,28,29, decreasing stratospheric water vapor concentrations30, minor volcanic eruptions31 and diminishing sea ice extent32. These factors jointly result in a warming slowdown during the period 1998–2013. Furthermore, by analyzing the seasonal mean GMST trends, Cohen, et al.33 and Trenberth, et al.3 identified the seasonally asymmetric nature of the temperature trend with evident cooling in winter, which was suggested to be associated with sea surface temperature. However, after adjusting for sea surface temperature anomalies over the equatorial eastern Pacific in a coupled climate model, the GMST trend was reproduced, whereas the winter trend over Eurasia was not10.

Although the warming hiatus expressed by GMST has been attributed to the ocean to some extent, the regional components of the warming hiatus and their underlying mechanisms are not well constrained, especially over land. Recently, extreme cold events in winter occurred over the midwestern and southeastern United States (US) and Europe, with strong and cold winds. There are two current views to explain these events. One is that the Arctic warms and the polar vortex weakens as a result of the reduction in sea ice extent, allowing a high volume of cold air to rush into the mid-latitudes as a wave, thereby maintaining the mild temperature in the Arctic, known as “warm Arctic-cold continents”32,34,35,36,37. The other view is that the increase in summer Eurasian snow cover and the warming Arctic together induce a negative trend in the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which increases the frequency of Eurasian blocking and cools the mid-latitudes37,38,39,40,41,42. Because diminishing sea ice has an evident impact on mid-latitudes temperature variability on an annual timescale, whether and to what extent its spatial pattern may influence the surface warming trend in the most recent decade requires examination.

Most of the existing studies were based on global analyses of Ta, including those performed by several groups, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) with the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN)43,44,45, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS)46, and a joint effort between the Met Office Hadley Center and the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit with Temperature, version 4 (CRUTEM4)47,48. All of the global temperature analyses for climate detection and attribution over land performed by the aforementioned groups relied heavily on T249,50. However, existing studies have reported that observation time and temperature definition do bias daily mean temperature51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58. For examples, Ta is recorded from midnight to midnight as a day at first order National Weather Service stations, but the observation is usually taken at midmorning or late afternoon at cooperative stations for convenience. The different ‘day’ defined by the observation time leads to varying daily maximum and minimum temperature for a day, which would bias daily mean temperature54,59,60. Despite of a relative small bias for a majority of days, bias in daily mean temperature can be large and of either sign as a large difference in day-to-day temperature61. Another case, if close to summer or winter solstices, biases from the two sun-time changes could be included in the records when the observation time is not at midnight, which is verified by Vose, et al.58. Recent researches have noted that the trend of T2 has notable biases of 25% at a grid scale size of 5° × 5° 2, and the trend bias for the 1973–1997 period can partially explain the enhanced warming rates over the northern high latitudes and the “warming hole” over the central US62. Moreover, several studies7,63,64,65 have pointed out the underestimated effect of bias from data coverage on the recent warming trend. Therefore, the incomplete spatial sampling of data has a strong impact on the global or regional warming rate. However, whether the temporal sampling bias has an evident impact on the recent warming slowdown and its spatiotemporal pattern still remains unclear.

Daily maximum (Tmax) and minimum temperature (Tmin) have been operationally observed at weather stations globally since the middle of the 19th century66. Their average (T2 = (Tmax + Tmin)/2) has been taken as a standard definition of Ta1 and has been the backbone of current global analyses of Ta over land45,47,49. Usually, T2 is applied from 0:00 to 0:00 O’clock daily. Hourly temperature data have increasingly become available since the 1990s as the observing infrastructure has been automated1. Mean temperature can also be calculated from 24 hourly observations at local time , which has been regarded as the true mean temperature2,49. This would describe the underlying physical processes better but has rarely been used and evaluated in climate analyses.

Under clear sky conditions, Ta usually reaches Tmin in the early morning because of long-wave radiation cooling and reaches Tmax in the early afternoon because of solar short-wave radiation heating. However, because the significant diurnal cycle of temperature is easily affected by land-atmosphere states67, such as notable variations in incoming solar radiation, indirect/direct aerosol effects, precipitable water vapor68, soil moisture, cloud conditions69, large-scale circulation modes70 and vegetation cover, it is not linear or symmetrical2. Therefore, T2 may introduce bias in estimating the true monthly mean temperature. What is the magnitude of this bias and its effect on the warming hiatus for the 1998–2013 period? Does this bias and its effect on temperature trend vary by season and geographic location?

To answer the above questions, we conducted a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the temperature trend difference between T2 and T24 and its spatiotemporal features, to examine its effect on depicting the recent warming hiatus. T24was averaged from the continuous hourly Ta observations collected by the NCDC Integrated Surface Database (ISD-H)71, available at approximately 3400 globally distributed weather stations since 1998. Note that warm season is defined from May to October in Northern Hemisphere and from November to April in Southern Hemisphere, as opposite for cold season.


Warming Hiatus Contrast over Ocean and Land

Here, we comprehensively described the regionality and seasonality of recent warming hiatus, including contrast of ocean and land surface warming rates. Figure 1 shows the temperature trend for 1998–2013 over ocean and land based on data from the Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (version 3.5.3) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-MLOST), consisting of the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) over land45 and the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) analysis (version 3) over ocean72. It manifests the cooling eastern Pacific in the twenty-first century reported by Kosaka and Xie10 as an ENSO-like pattern (Fig. 1a–c) but also indicates much lower temperatures in cold seasons over North America and the mid-latitudes of Eurasia (Fig. 1b), resulting in a more evident hiatus during the period of 1998–2013 over land than ocean. Moreover, the western Pacific along the coast73 and some regions of the Atlantic Ocean exhibit cooling in both seasons (Fig. 1a–c). Accordingly, the global warming hiatus for 1998–2013 (0.045 °C/decade, Fig. 1d) mainly results from the ocean warming slowdown over the whole year (approximately 0.01 °C/decade, Fig. 1d,e,f) and the land cooling in cold seasons (−0.012 °C/decade, Fig. 1e).

The (a) annual, (b) cold, and (c) warm seasonal temperature trends (units: °C/decade) for 1998–2013 are shown from the Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (version 3.5.3) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-MLOST). Changes in the temperature anomalies at (d) annual, (e) cold and (f) warm seasonal timescales are shown over the globe, land and sea. The trends and statistical significance level (p) according to the t-test method are listed in each panel. This dataset is comprised of land surface temperature from the Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) and sea surface temperatures from the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) analysis version 3. It manifests a cooling of the eastern and western Pacific along the coast and some regions of the Atlantic Ocean but also a much cooler temperature change in cold seasons over North America and eastern and central Eurasia. Accordingly, the global warming hiatus (0.045 °C/decade) mainly results from the ocean warming slowdown (0.02 °C/decade) and the land cooling in cold seasons (−0.012 °C/decade). In addition, there is a larger divergence in seasonal trends over land than over ocean. This figure was produced by MATLAB version 7.13 (

Full paper, open access here

h/t to Dr. Roger Pielke Sr.


108 thoughts on “Another paper confirms “the pause” in global warming – cites issues with methods of obtaining average temperature

  1. But isn’t co2 still increasing? Looks like the global thermostat isn’t working as advertised.

    • I would be on the side of the science deniers if they could explain why 90% of all glaciers around the planet are retreating. The American Geological Survey, that’s my source, they are a reputable scientific Institution that has been around for more than 100 years, has data from around the world that the vast majority have lost around 40% of their mass over the last 50 years. So could someone explain why this is happening over such a short period, please provide source, I put it down to heat, that normally causes ice to melt. Look forward to the answers with lots of links to data, reports or any scientific institution that can be linked to. Please no personal abuse, that solves nothing.

      • Glaciers have been retreating for the last 15,000 years, with the retreat speeding up, slowing down, occasionally increasing over the millennia. not sure we’d want to see them increasing in size. Earths climate is always changing, maintaining the status quo is not natures way.

      • 1 reply so far. When making statements I did ask for data, published papers or links to scientific institutions that can be referred to. All I got was “this has always been happening, the earth climate is always changing” I gave a reputable source please supply just one when responding.

      • Steve, antartic and artic sea ice is increasing. If CO2 was the problem, shouldn’t all things ice be melting?

        See Steve, you lose crediability when you start name calling like ‘denier’. Not one person on this blog ‘denies’ the climate changes, rather it’s a question of the empirical evidence demonstrating that CO2 to be a benefit and if there is a problem, it’s yet to be seen.

        It’s ok Steve, come back to us when you have a valid point to make because most of us here on this blog are a little bit more enlightened about the science of climate change then you will appreciate.

      • Why only 90% Steve? Surely it should be 97%?

        I am being sarcastic, of course. The question should be ‘why are not 100% of glaciers in retreat?”

      • When you said “American Geological Survey” did you mean USGS? USGS is a large site; can you provide a link to the information you quoted. It seems you asked of others what you did not provide yourself. I am sure it was just an oversight.

      • Glacier retreat has accelerated since the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850. Assuming that warming since then has progressively increased, it makes sense that more of the glacier retreat would occur towards this end of the now 167-year period. There are plenty of references at this link for you to review:

        Retreat of glaciers since 1850

      • Putting up an entire wiki page is lazy linking. I am not going to pick through every link on that page to analyze the strength and weakness in every assertion. I would like to see the USGS link since that was the claim made by Steve. I am not trying to ridicule Steve, I would like to see what he is referring to so I can see the strengths and weaknesses of those assertions.

      • The system is always heading toward an equilibrium position, which is never attained because the equilibrium position is constantly moving. It is fairly easy in a dramatically non-equilibrium system for glaciers to melt while the overall system doesn’t warm. The overall global signal, with the best available averaging, is changing by a small percentage of the whole. Local changes dwarf global changes in many regions. By the way, local impacts are what actually effect people. We could say “All climate is local.” and move to Chicago. But on topic, in a non-equilibrium system you get non-equilibrium impacts. If it warmed enough 100 years ago to melt the glaciers, and hasn’t cooled since, they’ll still be melting.

      • The Link is like 5 paragraphs long, it could be read in 5 minutes. The important visual is the picture, North America was covered in miles of ice that disappeared before Man’s CO2 emissions, up until when the Pyramids were built. The continued melt is just the tail end of 15,000 years of warming. But there have been cooler periods in this time too when the glaciers got larger, only to start retreating again.

      • Glacier National Park in Montana is thought to be only as old as the Little Ice Age – since about 13th C. Its still here although the glaciers have shrunk. One Professor predicted that if the melting continued at the, then, current rate the Sperry glacier would be gone by 1958.
        There is still a quarter left.
        And the retreating Alaskan glaciers are revealing trees that grew during the medieval period.

      • Putting up an entire wiki page is lazy linking. I am not going to pick through every link on that page to analyze the strength and weakness in every assertion.

        Nor would I. My response was to Steve (not you), who requested of others what he himself did not provide.

      • Anyone who’s been around for 70 or so years, and has travelled to areas where there were/are glaciers, knows that glaciers have steadily retreated for at least 100 years.

        I was at the Columbia Icefields in the mid-1950’s and saw the charts there documenting the retreat of the last 50 years. In Glacier Park they had before and after pictures documenting the same thing. Same with Lake Louise.

        Glacial retreat in North America started long before any talk of agw. They’ve no doubt retreated more during the last 40 or so years because it has gotten warmer.

        “Glacial retreat” is one of the great truisms/cliches of the 20th and 21st centuries. Arguing that it’s a result of agw is a detour into the fatuous. Can we move on?

      • “I would be on the side of the science deniers if they could explain why 90% of all glaciers around the planet are retreating.”

        …and I would like to see you produce just one paper…that proves it’s not normal

      • “Glacial retreat” is one of the great truisms/cliches of the 20th and 21st centuries. Arguing that it’s a result of agw is a detour into the fatuous. Can we move on?

        We really should, but I’m certain that climate bots thumbing through their card file of weaponized CAGW sloganeering talking points have to achieve certain online posting metrics to justify their paycheck (or what other remuneration they might receive)

      • Steve, I’m interested in your question.

        However, before going further, you need to provide the precise link to your figures. It’s called a citation. That’s how things are done in science.

        A URL linking to the AGS paper that you obtained your data from is what I’m interested in having a look at.

        Failing that I don’t think you’re going to get much help.

      • Steve, the reason I ask for the citation is to see just how many glaciers the American Geological Survey based its analysis on.

        You may not be aware that the Randolf Glacier Inventory lists some 198,000 glaciers in its latest version (V 3.2).

        How many glaciers did the USGS reference in its paper?

      • Meanwhile, back in the real world, it’s normally the proposer of a particular
        hypothesis who is expected to provide the evidence…

        It’s more a function of precipitation – it’s like saying the icecap on a Kilimanjaro is

      • As has been explained to you many times,
        1) It’s a lie to claim that 90% of glaciers are retreating.
        2) Glaciers in general have been retreating since the bottom of the little ice age. I would love it if you could explain to me why whatever has causing this retreating for 350 years, stopped suddenly 50 years ago so that CO2 could take over.

      • Little Stevie posts in the middle of the night, then declares that a lack of replies proves him right

      • Steve is already on what he calls “the side of the science deni*rs”, as he proves in every one of his posts here.

      • craig, neither pole’s sea ice is increasing. in fact, global
        sie has been ranked lowest for most days
        this year, and is at present 2.6% below
        last year’s value.

      • And I would like you to explain how 4000 years ago, people crawled under those very same glaciers and are only found today after those glaciers are retreating. Get right on that, OK?

      • latitude — if the normal were 90% of glaciers retreating, then logically there would be no glaciers left, long long ago.

        Shirley you didn’t just say that?

      • Hi Steve,

        Let us see if this might help:

        A glacier is a system of ice, which is moving. Ice which does not move laterally is NOT a glacier; it’s just ice.

        As a mobile system of ice, it has several aspects to its existence. The “upper” portion of a glacier is almost always the ‘zone of accumulation’, i.e., snow tends to fall at the upper portion, become compacted into ice (all the while it is flowing in the ‘downhill’ direction), and then moves along with the rest of the glacier.

        On the bottom of the glacier, the ice is in contact with the bedrock, where it picks up loose rocks, and is often, at least in part, doing some melting, which can deposit small material into a ‘channel-like’ deposit (look up “esker” somewhere). As the glacier picks up this rock, and incorporates it into its structure, it is also grinding down into the bedrock, and re-shaping the landscape. A valley which had a glacier in it is “U” shaped, as opposed to an unglaciated valley, which is “V” shaped.

        At the “lower” end of glacier, the entrained material is deposited as the ice melts (look up “moraine”). This area of melting is called the ‘zone of ablation’. It is very unusual not to see some meltwater coming out from the toe of the glacier, even in mid-winter; the water at the base of the glacier is almost always very close to 0 degrees Celsius, so it freezes readily once liberated from the contact zone between the ice and the rock.

        Now, a glacier is a mass-balance system. There is a balance between what happens at the ‘zone of accumulation’ and the ‘zone of ablation’. If there is more accumulation than ablation, the glacier advances. If there is more ablation than accumulation, the glacier retreats. Contrary to popular misconception, temperature is only one parameter that glaciers respond to. Glaciers actually respond more to mass balance than they do temperature.

        I do not dispute that glacial ice may be ‘retreating’ and ‘retreating’ world-wide. I do not see that this as unusual. Point of fact, the presence of polar ice is unusual in Earth history; it is less than 2% of geological history that the poles (either pole) is frozen. The very first documented presence of polar ice is in the very early Proterozoic, and until the Cryogenian, there were only two additional episodes of definitive glaciation in some two billion years of geological history.

        We do not have a good handle on what causes glaciation, or de-glaciation, but, as with the global climate system itself, the system is complex, and it would be foolish to think that everything responds to a single input parameter. We live in an interglacial period called the Holocene Epoch. Whether we like it or not, we are still in the Pleistocene, and some day this warm climate is likely to end. We can’t change it; we are not causing it, and our best course of action should be to exploit what we can, and prepare for whatever might come next. Global climate changes all of the time; what is happening now is not unusual, and not outside of any natural variability.

        Please do have a great day, and expend your energy on enjoying the fruits of abundant, inexpensive, and available energy. Live your life to the fullest; most of us are making the most of what we have, knowing that whatever the global climate does is whatever the global climate does.

        Regards to you and yours,

        The Mostest Deplorablest Vlad the Impalerest, and a Big Bullyest and an even Bigger Bore-est, according to C.T. (at JoNova)

      • Hi Steve,

        Can you explain how ancient tree stumps got UNDER retreating glaciers?

        Glaciers have retreated and advanced over geologic time due to natural causes, long before humankind started to burn fossil fuels.

        Trees grew, glaciers advanced over the trees, and then the glaciers retreated, exposing the stumps. Sound reasonable?

        Or do you think some “climate denier” rounded up some ancient tree stumps, lifted up the glacier, and deposited the stumps under it, just to discredit your hypothesis?

      • what is causing this over such a short period of time, normally changes in the climate happen over thousands of years.

        First, this is incorrect. Second it’s the decadal ocean cycles redistribute where the warm pools in the ocean. This alters the jet stream path, that alters wind patterns, which changes where the warm water vapor blows inland to cool.

      • Steve, go away. You are hinging your scientific assumptions
        on an illogical argument, and I only have time in my day to ridicule you; and definately not the time or energy to validate your politics

      • Steve said …

        I would be on the side of the science deniers if …

        Then Steve parroted some talking points about ‘melting glaciers’ which he attributes to CAGW, then issued a snotty challenge to refute his hypothesis. He ended his little speech with …

        Please no personal abuse, that solves nothing.

        Question #1: If science deniers isn’t personal abuse, then what does he consider it?

        Question #2: What do glaciers have to do with this article about the pause?

        Question #3: When will Steve respond to the numerous detailed responses to his ‘challenge?’

      • Hi Steve,

        I would appreciate the opportunity to correct a mis-statement on your part. You said in your 4:01 PM post, “what (sic) is causing this over such a short period of time, (sic) normally changes in the climate happen over thousands of years.”

        As an undergrad in Geology in the early 1970’s, this was the prevailing idea on transitions into and out-of glacial conditions. By the mid 1990’s, it was becoming clear that this idea was wrong. From ice-core data and field data (much of it collected in Europe), the transition from glacial to inter-glacial, or inter-glacial to glacial conditions, was estimated to be taking place in a matter of decades, not centuries or millennia. These transitions are on the order of five (or more) Celsius degrees, and some are now arguing that the time frame may even be within or less than a decade.

        By comparison, the ‘average’ global temperature change over the past two centuries is on the order of about one Celsius degree. I do not see that there is a crisis in such a small change over such a long period of time.

        The main flaw in alarmist musings on global climate change is that they expect a single variable to be the controlling factor; in a coupled, non-linear dynamic system, this is impossible.



      • Well who are the “science deniers you refer to ?? Do you mean those people who deny that there hasn’t been any statistically significant warming for the last 18 years and maybe 10 months??

        Or is it those computer geeks who make up a couple of dozen computer models, no two of which agree with each other, and none of which agree with what the actual real thermometers have measured and recorded ?? Do you think it would help if those computer geeks actually modeled a planet that rotates on its axis once in about 24 hours, under a sun that shines 24 hours a day 365 days ayear.

        Perhaps in your request for lots of links to data or any scientific institution; maybe you have heard of the University of Alabama in Huntsville Alabama. Remember as Einstein put it you only need one example to disprove a notion. And your lots of links don’t necessarily prove anything.


      • Steve, do the 10% of glaciers that are not melting include the Himalayan glaciers that were going to disappear by 2035.

      • “While the glaciers that carved GNP’s majestic peaks were part of a glaciation that ended about 12,000 years ago, current glaciers are considered geologically new, having formed about ~7,000 thousand years ago. These glaciers grew substantially during the Little Ice Age (LIA) that began around 1400 A.D and reached their maximum size at the end of the LIA around A.D.1850.” – ‘Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park’, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, United States Geological Survey. 2010-04-13.

        So, the original glaciers were gone before new glaciers “grew substantially” and “reached their maximum size at the end of the LIA around 1850.” If they “grew substantially” during the most recent cold period is it not reasonable to expect they would melt, even substantially, during the current warm period?

        From State of the Planet, Earth Institute, Columbia University, an article called ‘Rhone Glacier Finely Tuned to Climate Changes’ by David Funkhouser, June 3, 2011.

        “A team of researchers led by two scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory have found a novel method to measure this crucial back-and-forth, by measuring isotopes in hunks of stone chipped out from recently exposed bedrock near the edge of the ice. They found that for most of the Holocene Epoch, dating from the end of the last ice age about 11,500 years ago to the present, the Rhone Glacier has been smaller than it is today.”

    • So in this hodge podge model they don’t even know how many thermometers they have. Maybe it’s 3400 (why so many) and maybe it isn’t 3400. Never mind, we can make adjustments later; well we’ve always done that, so we are good at that.

      The earth circumference is 40003.2 km or 21,600 nautical miles, and Hansen says you only need one thermometer each 1200 km, so that is 33.336 around the equator. Well actually you need 33 longitudinal steps and then 33.336 thermometers around each of those in the latitude direction so that is a total of 1111 thermometers. Well actually that’s twice as many latitudinal circles as you need since they go all the war round, so you only need half that many thermometers or 555 thermometers.

      But twice a day reading is only Nyquist valid if the diurnal temperature is strictly sinusoidal. If it isn’t but is still periodic, then it must have at least a second harmonic component, so you have signals at twice the Band limit frequency, so the aliasing noise folds all the way back to zero frequency. So you can’t even measure the average Daily Temperature with a twice a day non sinusoidal system.

      But climatists have never let sampled data system theory get in the way of an income stream that they live off.


  2. How funny. In another thread said Mosher said the differences between T2 and T24 were not significant based on a one station analysis he did for a three year period.

    Here we have a much more comprehensive analysis which proves him wrong. And it’s in peer-reviewed journal, so it must be true, right?

    • “it’s in peer-reviewed journal, so it must be true, right?”

      Reg, you and I both understand this is both sarcastic and ironic, but the bottom line answer to that question is still “No”. Peer review pre-publication doesn’t make anything in the paper “true”. All it tells us is the reviewers didn’t find any obvious errors and that the methods and findings presented aren’t completely out of bounds.

    • “Here we have a much more comprehensive analysis which proves him wrong.”
      I think you’re confusing me with Mosh. What is proved wrong, and how?

      • “I think you’re confusing me with Mosh.”

        It’s easily done. Have you and Mosh ever been seen in the same room at the same time ??

        Just kidding obviously. It should be clear to all that you’re both good guys, but come on – it’s time to pick up sticks and stop this flailing away at trying to defend the indefensible.

      • Well it isn’t necessarily possible to observe Nick and Mosh in the same room at the same time.

        Remember if you try to observe which slit the photon goes through, the fringes will simply disappear.

        So Nick and Mosh could be there together and you could never know it.


  3. OT, but our climate true believer friends are doubling up on their production of alarmist drivel.
    Enquired is out with an article to out apocalypse New York magazine’s anti science nonsense.
    LA Times, NYT and WaPo are running similar anti-science drool.
    The question is why now?

      • Not cornered yet but fearful of the light that DT’s Red Team, which is fast being assembled, will inevitably shine on the dark foundations of their indefencible theory.
        Here in the UK the BBC et al are ramping up the disaster scenarios and at the same time ditching those parts of their narrative that are untenable and have been proven to be wrong.
        By the time that the Red and Blue Teams are facing off, the global cooling/ warming/ climate changing scam will have morphed yet again as they attempt to last out a DT term of office of four years or even eight.

    • Stuff is happening off message.
      Trump wasn’t supposed to win.
      Britain wasn’t supposed to brexit.

      Popular imagination has been going off message. They aren’t believing what they are supposed to believe.
      Time for a massive regurgitation of the ‘On Message’ message.

      Project fear moves back into cruise mode.

  4. “Although the warming hiatus expressed by GMST has been attributed to the ocean to some extent”

    I believe a reference is needed here. To what extent? By whom? Using what methodology?

    • The Ocean had been “losing heat” until the data was Karlized and arbitrarily raised by .15C. At least that’s what the Argo Bouys were showing.

    • Cracker, you hit the nail on the head which is exactly why surface temps should not be used as a metric for global warming. Due to the heat sinking capacity of the oceans, we could actually see significant cooling at the surface while the ocean continues to warm. If that happens, AGW will be politically (if not scientifically) dead…

      • yes, ocean heat content is the best indicator
        of a global energy imbalance that’s causing
        global warming, but the ocean is nowhere near
        it’s heat capacity (ie, before boiling) which is why the surface
        is not cooling and isn’t expected to.

      • Well… Not exactly cracker. We’re at a pause in surface temps now in large part because of the heat sinking capacity of the oceans. So it isn’t a stretch to think that surface temps could start cooling at this point.

      • Cracker, puh-lease, enough of the nino spike hype, will you? (☺) By the way, thanks for the link, it’s a dandy. Would you believe Dr Svalgaard doesn’t think the oceans are warming? (he thinks that they equilibrate as fast as a glass thermometer; if the surface is warming, then the ocean is warming — if it ain’t, then no)…

        What you seem to be missing here is that as the surface temps rise, the faster it is that heat sinks into the ocean. So eventually, yes, we may hit peak warming. And, once we do hit peak warming, we’re just a stones throw away from surface cooling. Once surface temps get high enough above equilibrium state, it’s anybody’s guess as to where they go from there. And, as i said, if we do experience cooling at the surface, then the ocean will continue to warm “fasta than evah”. At that point, AGW will be a very tough sell…

  5. Interesting paper.
    I believe it is valid to question the temperature recording process and ask what are we really measuring.

    I particularly like the chart’s that Dr Ryan Maue produces _ 2m, NH, SH, global.

    There is a direct mirror effect between the NH and SH. The NH goes up and the SH goes down. Now that is interesting. Sometimes they are in sync. To understand what we are measuring, what is this mirror mechanism.

    Also if it can be proven that atmospheric flow from mid latitudes is flowing into the Arctic, and that volume can be measured, how should the warming records reflect or quantify the relocated heat. It is not source heat.

    The higher the proportion of new sensors installed in the relocated heat area, the greater the distortion.

    The main post is interesting.

  6. I’m very interested in how close T2 and T24 are. And why for climate, are we not averaging higher resolution data? The absolute temperature of key stations has billions of dollars resting on it and it is beyond belief we trust an average of two data points a day to give a representative average.
    Can anyone link Steven Moshers post for me please?

    • Great point!! Particularly in light of the recent articles on the Law of Averages.

      There have been many recent posts on Goddard’s site showing that in the U.S. raw temp data, we are seeing less “high” temps annually in recent years.

      If we have a station that records a low of 0 C and a high of 30 C on T2 data, it would average 15 C. Yet, if there were 20 readings of 0 C and four of 30 C the T24 would be 5 C.

      If the data shows lower highs and higher lows is the cause of the earth’s “fever”, I will anxiously await the alarmist articles stating “Dangerous temperature moderation may make earth uninhabitable!!”

      • That’s exactly right and the entire point of Kips article; an “average” always assumes the data come from a normal distribution. It’s only y presenting the other moments (mode, median) that we can easily detect an abnormal distribution, I believe that was another of Kip’s points but it wasn’t stressed.

        What was demonstrated however is that temperature data don’t come from a normal distribution on a 24 hour scale. It’s arguable they may come from a normal distribution by looking at the anomalies since those are intended to normalize the data around some population mean. From the graphs I’ve seen, it may be the anomalies are normally distributed, indicating that the averages (over time periods longer than 24 hours) do have meaning.

        It would be nice to see a percentiles plot of the anomaly data over 15 to 30 years. I’ve yet to see that done, but it’s very easy to do. I just don’t have access to the raw temperature data, or the free time to do it. t shouldn’t take more than a day or two for someone conversant with the data sets.

  7. The last few sentences of para 3, followed by para 4, were what resonated with me: recognition of the trend bias for the period 1973-1997 period and the effect of incomplete spacial sampling of data, and of the availability of data from the expanding automated observing infrastructure, which should be reducing reliance on synthesised data to fill the gaps, as well as improving the quality and reliability of analyses. (And should be making it harder to rely on cherry-picking sites to make a case, in either direction.)

  8. The world is obsessing over small trends in the GMTA and, in many cases, a trend which exists inside the error of measurement. Stop it. The lot of you. Take a step back and have a good think about what the anomaly actually represents, how it’s measured and what the natural climatic determinants of it are and how well those natural variables are understood. Dick Lindzen covers it very well, as does Ivar Giaever. Both have YouTube videos with cool diagrams and numbers which help us put the whole thing into perspective. Once all sides of the ‘debate’ sober up and view the GMTA in its proper context they’ll notice that there really isn’t anything to notice about our climate over the last twenty years, a time in which we humans have pumped out about a third of our CO2 emissions. Sure, the A in AGW can be expected to appear as a change in the anomaly, but has ‘the science’ really managed to isolate the expected signal from the noise of natural variability? The answer is “no”, and anyone pretending otherwise is either a bit simple or being dishonest. To paraphrase Lindzen: that the developed world went into hysterics over a change in average global temperature of a few tenths of a degree over a hundred years or so will astound future generations. For goodness sake, a change like the one we’ve observed since industrialisation can be had in the absence of any anthropogenic forcing.

    • Malcolm

      It’s more than 20 years.

      The best post on this site was Pat Frank’s post about calibration of temperature measuring assemblies and the inherent systematic error.

      The fact that this needed stated when anybody who has tried to place thermocouples on anything will tell you how difficult it is to resolve below 0.5 K is a testament to the theoretical approach to the field.

      Basically lots of theorists were given too much money and it all went to their head. And they think they can save the world from an imaginary disaster.

      I’ve said it before: it’s like forcing homes in New York or London to fit expensive anti slip tiles on the roof because of health and safety concerns for Santa Claus and his reindeer.

    • Malcolm – it’s the agenda behind global warming. “global climate change” is the scare which is being pushed as a front for an agenda. a study of Maurice Strong will enlighten you to the anti human ethos that underlies this whole charade.

  9. The plots suggest yet again to me that the rate of heating is inversely proportional to the density of thermometers.

  10. Er, what exactly is ” T24″ ? They say what T2 is but I could not find what they mean by T24.

  11. Anthony Watts
    Thanks for posting. Please correct the Abstract re 0.38C based on the reported Conclusions: “Compared with T24, the use of T2 has a significant error of 0.004 ± 0.38 °C/decade

  12. When one is attempting to predict the future, one needs basic calculus. To obtain equations that predict future results, boundary conditions are needed. E.g., Integration of velocity with respect to distance yields X= Xo+ (Vo x t), go 30 mph for one hour, predicts how far one can go t hours, however for actual location one needs a starting place (Xo). In determining boundary conditions it is nice that they are independent and unchanging. In predicting earth’s surface temperature one needs most and even all the following boundary condition. Many of these are dependent on each other, e.g., changing one changes the other. There are many unknowns here. Here is my list of unknown boundary conditions: Cloud/ice cover reflectivity, cloud/ice cover insulation, relative humidity, atmospheric pressures, latent heat of evaporations (oceans/forests), wind or turbulence, urban development related to weather collections, solar activities (sun spots), earth’s polar movements, earth’s position related to sun (changes related to Mars and Venus gravitational pull), sea densities, temperatures, and currents, plate tectonics, volcanic ash in atmosphere, comic radiations causing changes in atmospheric ionic conditions and atmospheric CO2. There is the inability of bias with data cherry picking or interpretation of such data via computer modeling. Error analysis and accuracy within each measurement device is not addressed. I predict none of these addresses a majority of the boundary conditions, instrument accuracies, or biases. The first cause of this global scare is politicians believing they can con the majority to tax carbon fuels for their social programs. The second cause of global scare is scientists who have sold their integrity for grant money. That it is easy to say, yes there is global warming, please support my research than not. If any say it’s not, no grants, no job, and no paycheck. The politicians have killed them, but worse many never will believe in science. These global warming scientists have sold their Integrity, now gone forever. Respectfully Submitted, Sgt Pete, Professional Engineer

    • I would say that the global scare was not just “politicians believing they can con the majority to tax carbon fuels for their social programs,” but also politicians working on behalf of the big banks to con the rest of us into carbon trading, wherein the banks and associated entities can make gadzillions.

      My point is that it’s not just a leftist plot. It’s a rightist plot, too. It’s an equal-opportunity deception.

    • peter — models are “spun up” from centuries ago into an initial state.
      yes, uncertainites are included.
      many of your variables are known and included, but many are also unnecessary to include. orbital factors, tectonic plates etc aren’t significant on century time scales. Nor are sunspots, and changes in solar intensity have only a small effect on climate relative to ghgs. volcanic ash falls out of the atmosphere after about a year. many of the atmospheric variables are known
      from reanalysis. energy imbalance is the prime determinant of future secular climate, and that’s an easier calculation that every wiggle and squiggle in monthly surface temperature. how much extra heat will there be? how much goes into the ocean? how much into the atmosphere? whether temps in 2100 are 2 C or 3 C or 4 C higher isn’t especially relevant — all are significant.

      • Crackers: “[Y]es, uncertainties are included.” What a relief! Others posting here have told us they are not included and prove it by showing that none of the models used by IPCC have error bars. You can really stick it to us by showing us the error bars on these models. Or are you just crackers?

    • Peter –

      Once again an engineer packages the issue in a nut shell

      Why do engineers have this ability? Because what they do MATTERS! The result often relates to life and death

      If only those that model and create policy could be held accountable (as are engineers) then oh how things would be different

  13. Seems to me that Asian scientists are not as prone to the politicization of science as western scientists. Another notable paper with a list of mostly Asian authors is Greening of the Earth. That one got precisely nil mainstream publicity, despite its astonishing findings with regard to the benefits of carbon. If only the scientists went back to producing science with strict adherence to the scientific method. Instead, we have to listen to people like Bill Nye.

  14. I found exactly this a year ago.

    show that the warming hiatus over land is apparent in the mid-latitudes of North America and Eurasia, especially in cold seasons, which is closely associated with the negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and Arctic Oscillation (AO) and cold air propagation by the Arctic-original northerly wind anomaly into mid-latitudes.

    Warming cycle, is from Oct to Mar, as the day to day change goes from the max daily negative temp change per day, to the max positive daily change. Units are Degree F/Whr/M^2 to get more common C/W/^2 divide by 13.3

  15. Interesting paper. I once looked at the difference between the median of T-min and T-max (what is referred to as “average”) and the arithmetic mean of the hourly temperatures from Ottawa (in Canada). There was a noticeable difference, but deciding if this was significant rests on what measure you use for significance.

    Ottawa quite often has weird daily trends (colder during the day because of air masses moving in) so it isn’t a great place to look for something relevant to a wider area – it looks like these people have done that so well done to them.

  16. There are two reasons this study does not impress me.

    1. With such a huge homogenized (aka pre-diddled) data set from a highly variable vastly wide ranging collection of measuring sites, one could possibly accept or reject any hypothesis one wishes to. And I surmise that would especially be true at the height of an interstadial period such as the one we are in now. Color me unimpressed.

    2. It’s all in your perspective. Current studies into climate warming or cooling are using temperature sensores that measure in fractions of a degree, which in terms of millenial changes, are mini-micro in size compared to the jagged fall to cold and the heady rise to warm seen in ice core proxies. But to us, being the tiny specks we are during this interstadial warm period peak, we see current changes like the ant sees changes in the height of the grass they crawl around in. A half of a degree is reason for a grant to study catastrophic consequences! But when measured using ice cores, such a fine scale is not available and unimportant.

    My suggestion for spending money on studies related to the current temperature change? Save your money and don’t buy the small stuff. Zoom out.

    • While there is much wisdom in what your are saying, Pamela, it is not the game we are playing. The whole AGW scare and the resulting policies have been based on inconsequential trends and, if it is to be scaled back in our lifetimes, it will be done so with more inconsequential trends. If you can get Hanson, Gore, Mann, and the Academies of Science to agree with you, than the rest of us will cease and desist. Otherwise, we have no choice but to play the hand that has been dealt (or succumb to a one-world energy despotism.)

    • Don’t you mean “post-diddled”? Plus the accuracy pre or post diddled is in question for a variety of reasons given mechanical, siting, sampling, etc. reliability of the measurments.

  17. Isn’t air temperature (and a GAT even more so) meaningless as an indicator of climate? – surely the
    only reasonable method is to look at energy balance. Temperature is not an extensive property. It’s
    enthalpy that’s relevant.

    • But it is temperature that people understand. If you want to scare the masses into compliance, you need to talk about dangerous temperature changes. Remember, this whole thing started as ‘global warming’, which implies increasing temperatures. The term ‘climate change’ was brought in because it wasn’t warming enough, not because it was scientifically more accurate. The words that are used with this topic are chosen for PR value, not scientific accuracy. You can’t threaten people with an ‘increasing energy balance’. It sounds like a good thing.

  18. Addendum. It should also be obvious that GAT and regional temperatures could
    remain fairly static whilst enthalpy increases hence ‘The Pause’ may not be

    • It is possible, hypothetically, that GAT could remain fairly static whilst enthalpy increases, but that would require some process that is very difficult to imagine. The whole process of AGW begins with a CO2 molecule absorbing energy that otherwise would have radiated into space. The result of this is increased kinetic energy (temperature) of the atmosphere. You cannot bypass this first step and simply say the energy is going elsewhere and increasing the enthalpy of the whole system, without providing a mechanism for the energy transfer to another part of the system.

      The most logical explanation is that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is not absorbing nearly as much radiation as the theory suggests and/or there are no strong positive feedbacks. Enthalpy of the whole Earth system may be increasing, but it is just too small to show up in the atmospheric temperature records, which are still dominated by natural climate variability.

      Finally, if you can manipulate the surface temperature data, how much easier would it be to manipulate the enthalpy data, which would contain many more variables with lesser known values?

      • Jclarke341,

        Consider that the absorption of energy by co2 is transferred to the water vapor in the atmosphere and precipitated out with rain/snow. Co2 is relatively well mixed in the atmosphere with little stratification from what I have read. This would allow for natural cooling of the atmosphere, given enough moisture at any given location which could be one of the natural processes which allows our temperatures to vary so little most of the time. When glaciation occurs, less moisture in the atmosphere as it is stored in the ice and that energy is trapped through the co2 greenhouse effect and perhaps leads, eventually to the interstadial/interglacial onset which has occured relatively rapidly in the past. This along with the fact that h2o is the real greenhouse gas and we have natural processes controling our climate and keeping it within the relatively narrow range observed. Of course, then we have the oceans, the real accumulator and distributor of energy over long periods of time which I believe is a very big player in the multivariate semi chaotic system we call climate. And warmer is better for most living things than is colder so it’s all kind of a mute point at this time, maybe not so much later when the glaciers come back.

      • “The most logical explanation is that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is not absorbing nearly as much radiation as the theory suggests and/or there are no strong positive feedbacks”

        Just going on natural systems we can observe all around us there are strong positive feedbacks but also negative feedbacks that become stronger the more they are challenged. Otherwise the world would have been cooked long ago

        We live within a robust thermostat. The concept of a “tipping point” is an expression of gross ignorance IMO

      • My point was simply that GAT doesn’t tell you very much at all – arguably it’s meaningless. In isolation, It can
        certainly tell you very little about the energy flux of the Earth.

      • In isolation, It can
        certainly tell you very little about the energy flux of the Earth.

        Why I started looking at how it changed daily.

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