Why 2017’s “Third Warmest Year on Record” is a Yawner

Guest essay by 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) press release headline January 18 was blunt: “NOAA: 2017 was 3rd warmest year on record for the globe.” The tagline that followed made the inference obligatory for all climate alarmists: “NOAA, NASA scientists confirm Earth’s long-term warming trend continues” (emphasis added).

The New York Times trumpeted, “2017 Was One of the Hottest Years on Record,” adding, “Scientists at NASA on Thursday ranked last year as the second-warmest year since reliable record-keeping began in 1880, trailing only 2016. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which uses a different analytical method, ranked it third, behind 2016 and 2015.”

The UK Guardian likewise proclaimed, “2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Niño, thanks to global warming.”

Similar headlines appeared around the world.

Even notorious “climate skeptics” Roy W. Spencer (a Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow) and John R. Christy, at the University of Alabama, who archive temperature data from satellites for NASA, reported, “2017 Third Warmest in the 39-Year Satellite Record.”

So, the debate over dangerous manmade global warming is over, and the alarmists have won.

At least, that’s what the alarmists want you to believe.

But that’s what they’ve been claiming for nearly 30 years, and the debate continues. One wonders whether the facts can really bear the weight alarmists put on them.

The first thing to note is that the differences in “global average temperature” are way too small to have any significant impact on any ecosystem, let alone the welfare of human beings, who are far better than most other life forms at adapting to their environment and—much more importantly—modifying it to suit their needs.

Take a good look at this graph of the UAH satellite monthly data from 1979–2017:

 

The blue circles represent the departure from the 1981–2010 global lower troposphere (largest part of the atmosphere and supposedly most susceptible to CO2-driven warming) average temperature for every month from December 1979–December 2017. The red line represents the running, centered 13-month average.

Take careful note of the scale on the vertical axis—running from -0.7˚C to +0.9˚C, a total span of 1.6˚C (~2.9˚F). Over the 39 years, the greatest negative departure from the 1981–2010 average was one month in 1985, at about 0.51˚C below, while the greatest positive departure was one month in 2016, at about 0.88˚C above, for a total spread of about 1.39˚C.

Now peer at that red line a bit—the one showing the running, centered 13-month average. The biggest difference is between one month in 1983, at about 0.35˚C below average, and one month in 2016, at about +0.5˚C above average—a spread of about 0.85˚C (about 1.1˚F).

The raw data behind that graph, which Spencer provided to me, show that 1985 was the coolest year, at 0.36˚C below the 1981–2010 average, while 2016 was the warmest, at 0.511˚C above it. That’s a total spread of 0.871˚C (~1.57˚F).

Now consider this graph, by retired atmospheric physicist and MIT Professor of Meteorology Richard Lindzen, showing actual low and high temperatures (in ˚F) for Boston, MA for each day from February 9 to March 11, 2013 (blue bars), the climatological range of temperatures for that date (dark gray bars), and the record low to record high temperatures for that date (light gray bars).

As you can see, the actual temperature spread in Boston on any given day in that period of 2013 ranged from perhaps 2˚ (February 27) to about 25˚ (February 11), and an eyeball-estimated average spread would seem to be around 10˚ to 15˚. For the last day shown, March 11, 2013, the record low was 9˚ (in 1939) and the record high 67˚ (in 1990). And the record low for the whole 31-day period over the past 175 years was about -18˚, while the record high was about 72˚.

What should immediately jump out at you is that the smallest low-to-high spread for a single day, about 2˚F (1.11˚C) is about one-fourth larger, and the average low-to-high spread for a single day (~5.6˚C to ~8.3˚C) is about 6 to 10 times larger, than the total spread between the warmest and coolest years for the globe (0.871˚C).

Oh, and what about that red line in Lindzen’s graph? Its thickness depicts the total increase in global average temperature over the past 175 years—roughly equal to the smallest one-day temperature differential in Boston from February 9–March 11, 2013, about one-fifth to one-eighth of the average one-day differential, and about one twenty-fifth of the largest.

Yet Bostonians survive.

But does the fact that, according to the UAH satellite data, 16 out of the 20 warmest years in the satellite record (which, remember, goes back only to 1979) have occurred in the last 17 years? Doesn’t that show that, as NOAA put it, “Earth’s long-term warming trend continues”?

Not at all. Look again at the red line in the UAH graph. It’s clear that there has been no significant warming trend since 1998. As Lindzen put it:

The emphasis on “warmest years on record” appears to have been a response to the observation that the warming episode from about 1978 to 1998 appeared to have ceased and temperatures have remained almost constant since 1998. Of course, if 1998 was the hottest year on record, all the subsequent years will also be among the hottest years on record, since the temperature leveled off at that year and continued into the subsequent years—all of which are now as hot as the record year of 1998. None of this contradicts the fact that the warming (i.e., the increase of temperature) has ceased.

Another thing: according to Christy (personal communication through Spencer), the margin of error for the estimates of annual global average temperature for the satellite estimates is 0.1˚C.

With that in mind, the difference between any given year and the next-warmest in the satellite record exceeded the margin of error in only one case: 1998 (second-warmest in the record) was 0.107˚C warmer than 2017 (third-warmest).

The difference between 2016 (the warmest year) and 1998 was only 0.028˚C, or about three-tenths of the margin of error. In other words, we don’t know whether 2016 or 1998 was warmer. The fourth- and fifth-warmest years (2010 and 2015) are also within the margin of error from each other.

One has to go from the sixth-warmest year (2002) to the twelfth-warmest (2001) to get a gap that exceeds the margin of error again; i.e., we don’t know which of 2002, 2005, 2003, 2014, 2007, 2013, or 2001 was actually the sixth—or the twelfth—warmest year, or anything in between.

All that makes it pretty clear that global temperature has plateaued over the last twenty years. We simply don’t know whether “Earth’s long-term warming trend” stopped in 1998, will resume sometime, or will reverse and turn into a cooling trend.

This isn’t even to broach the question of what caused the warming from 1880 the present—or, rather, as shown in this graph by NOAA of global land and ocean surface temperature anomalies (which, unlike satellite data, are subject to great doubt because of spatial distribution, measuring station dropouts, homogenization methods, and other problems), the cooling from about 1880–1910, the warming from about 1910–1945, the cooling from about 1945–1975, the warming from about 1975–1998, and the plateau from about 1998–2015. (We do have a pretty good idea what caused the warming of 2015–2016 and into 2017: an extraordinarily strong El Niño, similar to the one that made 1998 so warm.)

 

Climate alarmists routinely attribute the warming to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration, as suggested in this graph from Climate Central:

At first glance, the CO2/temperature anomaly fit seems pretty good. But closer examination, especially if you look back again to the UAH graph above, recognizes that CO2 was rising while temperature fell from about 1880–2010 1910 and from about 1945–1975 and rose even faster during the plateau from about 1998–2015. That suggests that CO2 is at least not the sole driver, and possibly not the main driver, of the net warming over the 137-year period.

And as it happens, research by John Christy, Joseph D’Aleo, and James Wallace found that solar, volcanic, and ocean current variations could explain all the observed global temperature variations, leaving none to attribute to CO2.

So don’t be frightened by the headlines. Look behind them, and you’ll see something quite different.

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95 thoughts on “Why 2017’s “Third Warmest Year on Record” is a Yawner

  1. I’m just thankful the global temperature isn’t falling. The warming over my lifetime has been beneficial and so has the increased CO2. I would hate to see climate actually threatening to freeze and starve much of humanity.

  2. “The difference between 2016 (the warmest year) and 1998 was only 0.028˚C”
    So, if we fixate only on just the ‘hottest’ years – as the Gang does – and pretend there is such a thing as a ‘Global Average Temperature’ and that these numbers are actually accurate, I see a 0.028 C rise over almost two decades, or about 0.015 C per decade during a period of relatively massive CO2 emissions.
    Pretty scary.
    “Now peer at that red line a bit”
    I did. Is that the same as the peer review that so much CAGW ‘science’ is based on?

    • The temperature also swings wildly between day and night during those same warmest ever years. The plants and animals wouldn’t even be able to detect that tiny change. Those areas that don’t have the daily swing will be the only real effect such as the poles. I think even the CAGW crowd have worked that out and that is why the message has changed to increases in extreme weather which is a much harder argument and lots of hiding place argument they can conjure up.

      • Right you are LdB. By the old standards most if not all measures of ‘extreme’ weather have declined. Most inconvenient. But of course they can now detect smaller tornados or storms far out in the ocean, etc. to fudge their statistics, so they do. Plus the dollar costs of storms – ignoring any and all new buildings, etc. in their path.
        Any day I’m expecting this headline: New Research Shows Climate Change Causes More Clouds Shaped Like Putin. Or something like that.
        I really can’t take any of this seriously anymore. But it is fun to laugh at.

      • It’s the extremes that kill, not the average. And increasing temperatures when it’s cold has to be a good thing.
        Averages drive natural selection.

    • “If it bleeds, it leads”. This was bad enough when there were only 3.5 American networks (counting PBS as .5). Outside of the US there were even fewer mass outlets.
      Now adjust for an exponential growth of non-MSM sources including social media, add clickbait for even the MS, and allow for the fact that every late night “comedy” show seems to have now gone full SJW and an entire generation get their “news” from them, add a dose of innumeracy that is staggeringly scary, and mix in an attention span of a confused gnat…
      There is no wonder nobody reads beyond the headline into the story that the media won’t even get half-right anyway.
      See: America uses 500 million straws per day (look it up, the number came from a 9 year old. I only wish I was making that up).

    • The author fails to point out that over half
      of the numbers included on any chart
      of surface temperatures are not data.
      They are wild guesses, called infilling,
      because the phrase “wild guesses”
      would not impress
      the general public.
      In fact it is possible
      that none of the numbers on charts
      of surface temperatures are real raw data —
      I believe what the charts actually show are:
      .
      (1)
      Majority of numbers
      are “adjusted” wild guesses, and
      .
      (2)
      Minority of numbers
      are “adjusted” raw data.
      “Majority” and “minority”
      may both be close to 50%.
      .
      Let’s assume 50% / 50% for now.
      .
      So the surface data are:
      (A)
      Half wild guesses for grids
      with no thermometers, and
      ,
      (B)
      The other half of the numbers
      are derived from measurements
      deemed to be not accurate,
      which is the only possible explanation
      they are repeatedly “adjusted”,
      not just once, but many times
      over the years, especially
      in recent decades …
      .
      … and the “adjustments”
      cool the past,
      and warm the present
      to create
      global warming
      out of thin air.
      And to the smarmy leftists,
      that is “climate science”,
      and they claim we skeptics
      are “climate deniers”?
      My climate blog for sensible people:
      http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

  3. If one climate data point is thirty years, then 1987 to 2017 is one climate data point. And according to the UAH graph the climate temperature of the globe has warmed approx. 0.25 degrees C during this time period. You would need a microscope to see that on my thermometer. Personally I think 30 years is WAY too short to determine permanent climate shifts. When it starts raining in Namibia during summer for 50 years straight then I might consider it real climate change. This is all just weather oscillations to me. All this talk of warmest year, coldest year is pretty meaningless and proves pretty much nothing. Eg; we had our wettest day for 15 years (or something) yesterday = big deal!
    Nice work though Calvin!

  4. And nearly all of that “record warmth” in 2017 was in the Arctic region in the middle of winter…
    While many places in the NH freeze their proverbial butts off. !!!
    How TERRIFYING………… everybody PANIC !!!
    (and send money)

    • “nearly all of that “record warmth” in 2017 was in the Arctic region in the middle of winter…”
      Where they have almost no actual data.
      There seems to be a correlation between higher temperatures and fewer thermometers – and it has, apparently, become warmer – I mean hotter – after the number of weather stations was reduced.
      Maybe more thermometers are needed to battle The Warming. Do it for the children.

    • The Arctic sea ice is tracking well below it’s normal levels for winter (it’s lowest ever recorded) so you could say the data is likely correct. I am surprised all the Griff there will be no Arctic sea ice lunatics haven’t come out yet.

      • “well below it’s normal levels for winter”
        NO, Its normal level for the Holocene is MUCH LOWER than now.
        Sure its tracking lower than the late 1970s and the similar extent of the LIA,
        …. but that is nothing but a beneficial recovery from the EXTREME HIGH LEVEL of 38 years ago..

      • No, Arctic sea ice is not “tracking well below it’s normal levels”. What is tracking below the mean is the Sea Ice Extent.
        Extent and Area (Extent minus voids) is down!
        But volume is actually within 2 standard deviations of the 1981 to 2000 mean.
        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/icethickness/thk.uk.php
        What this means is that there is not significantly less ice but that the ice is being compacted into a smaller area by wind and wave action and is thus thicker. It’s about ten feet thick in some places along the Russian coast right now shutting down even ice breakers from making the run.
        What it also means is there is a very good chance that we will see a spike in old sea ice in the future because thick sea ice is much tougher to break up and melt.
        And speaking of melting. Let’s look at Arctic temps:
        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
        By clicking on the dates to the left you can see past years. You will notice that winter air temperatures have been running above the mean significantly. But summer temperatures are running slightly below the mean. Even those warmer temps during the winter are far below freezing running about -25 deg. C on average. That isn’t going to melt the ice nor is insolation when there is no sunlight during those months. So what do you think caused that lower extent? Sublimation by warm water? Yes to a small extent. But the reality is that what causes the most dynamic changes in sea ice area and extent is wind and wave action. That is why one has to be very careful using sea ice extent as some kind of temperature proxy. One needs to look at the whole picture and not just the metric the warmists mention all the time because they, like the press, tend to lie by omission when it suits their purposes.

      • Sea ice extent is one of the most bogus metrics used in climate science. It is like homogenization, infilling and karlization that attribute to data higher quality than they actually have. The science itself becomes degraded as a result.

      • If my memory is correct, the satellites count a patch of the arctic ocean as having sea ice, if 15% of it is covered by ice.
        Imagine if you have 100 sq kilometers with a uniform 15% covering of ice.
        Now imagine the wind picks up, drives that ice towards shore, now we have 50 sq K with no ice, and 50 sq K with 30% ice.
        Has the amount of ice gone down? According to the satellites, it’s gone down by 50%.

      • And climate science attributes that 50% loss to melting even when the temp was actually below freezing and ice was forming, By itself, sea ice extent is a completely worthless and misleading metric.

  5. From the article: “Even notorious “climate skeptics” Roy W. Spencer (a Cornwall Alliance Senior Fellow) and John R. Christy, at the University of Alabama, who archive temperature data from satellites for NASA, reported, “2017 Third Warmest in the 39-Year Satellite Record.”
    NASA and NOAA claim 2015, 2016, and 2017 are the hottest three years. UAH shows 1998, 2016, 2017 as the hottest years.
    NASA and NOAA have disappeared the 1998 heat from the surface temperature charts right in front of our eyes, over the last few years, and turned 1998 into an unremarkable year.

      • “Satellites show NONE.”
        RSS TLT V4:
        Jan 1980-Dec 1997: 1.15°C/Century
        Jan 2001-Dec 2015: 0.673°C/Century
        UAH V5.6
        Jan 1980-Dec 1997: 0.394°C/Century
        Jan 2001-Dec 2015: 0.987°C/Century

      • ROFLAMO.. you will try every bit of disinformation you can muster won’t you Nick.
        UAH 6.0 is current
        1980-1998, no warming
        https://s19.postimg.org/iwoqwlg1f/UAH_before_El_nino.png
        2001-2015 no warming
        https://s19.postimg.org/b9yx58cxf/UAH_after_El_nino.png
        RSS V3.3 is the one UNMOLESTED by AGW ideology (poor Carl finally succumbed to anti-science pressure)
        1980-1997 no warming
        https://s19.postimg.org/y6om3sbjn/RSS_Before_El_Nino.jpg
        2001 -2015 no warming
        https://s19.postimg.org/im6e8dgxf/RSS_pre_2015.png

      • So you can get any result you like by picking versions. Hardly convincing that “Satellites show NONE.”. It seems they’ll show whatever you want them to show.

      • You never did answer, Nick.
        What do you get out of supporting this totalitarian socialist/fascist AGW farce ?
        Are you trying to protect a legacy of lies and statistical mumbo-jumbo while at CSIRO ?

      • Nick i think you really need to read Bob Tisdale’s and Judith curry’s work on how el nino’s are driving global climate.
        but i guess that would give you a ver inconvenient truth…

      • AndyG55,
        UAH 5.6 doesn’t adjust AMSU-satellites. They only use non-drifting satellites and drifting satellites during periods with little drift.
        Hence, UAH 5.6 is a gold standard reference series in the AMSU-era.
        RSS v4 agrees with the UAH 5.6 “reference” in the AMSU-era, UAH v6 doesn’t…
        UAH has discontinued v5.6. I understand them. It must be really embarrassing to have a reference product that disproves their new “flagship” product.
        The RSS team are honest scientists. They validated their new v4 diurnal drift corrections with non-drifting AMSU’s, the experimental series MIN_DRIFT and REF_SAT ( similar to UAH5.6).
        Read the paper and you’ll see..

      • Are you blind OR?
        Andy SHOWS the RSS temperature chart agreeing with UAH Chart of no warming between El-Nino periods.
        Notice that Nick ignore that central point Andy brings up?

      • Sunsettommy,
        No, you are blind. AndyG55 clearly suggests that the current RSSv4 has been molested, whereas the current UAHv6 is kind of “gold standard”.
        So I challenge you and Andy. Please present any evidence that UAHv6 is better than RSSv4 (or UAH5.6) in the AMSU-era (1998-now). You may use any kind of data with relevance, aloft or on the surface, ie radiosondes, reanalyses, other satellite channels, water vapor data, SAT, SST, etc.
        You will not find any support for UAHv6 ( or the discontinued proven faulty RSSv3.3).
        UAHv6 is simply a lone cold blue cherry supported by nothing (except for the personal beliefs and choices made by Spencer&Christy)..

      • “Notice that Nick ignore that central point Andy brings up?”
        What is that central point? I noted that during the named periods, both UAH and RSS produced versions that showed substantial rise in the named periods, agreeing with surface measurements. And each has produced one version that shows little rise.
        AndyG says, no, we must choose the new UAH V6.0 because it is current. And we must choose the old RSS V3.3 because it is UNMOLESTED.
        But wasn’t UAH V6.0 got by MOLESTING V5.6? And for that matter, RSS V3.3 got by MOLESTING V3.2?
        Sounds inconsistent to me.

  6. Since there hasn’t been ANY statistically significant global warming between June 1996 and June 2015 (UAH data–excluding for the 2015/16 Super El Nino spike), Leftists have been relegated to ranking years, to avoid discussing decreasing decadal warming trends:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah6-land/from:1996.6/to:2015.7/plot/uah6/from:1996.6/to:2015.7/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.6/to:2015.7/normalise/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.6/to:2015.7/normalise
    Two weak La Nina cycles have caused global temps to fall about 0.5C since the 2015/16 Super El Nino peak, but Leftists conveniently fail to mention this fact as it doesn’t fit their CAGW narrative.
    Ranking years without global trend data is a meaningless exercise. It would be like a 38 year-old village idiot ranking his height over the past 20 years. Yeah, he’s at his tallest height evaaaaaah, but he stopped growing when he was 18… How stupid can you get?….
    Unfortunately, the current La Nina was a very weak one and is about to end, so we’ll only get another 3 months or so of global cooling before global temp stabilize until the next El Nino occurs.
    At this stage, the ONLY thing that really matters is the gigantic disparity between CAGW’s global warming projections vs. reality:
    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/modsvsobs.png
    Within 5 years, the disparity between CAGW hypothetical projections vs. reality will exceed 2~3 standard deviations for 25 years, which will be sufficient duration and disparity to finally toss this CAGW sc@m on the trash heap of failed ideas.

      • Nick I am a climate AGW skeptic but you might want to point out to the skeptic crowd that the 1st graph is useless for showing any trends because it is graphing the difference between each year and the average of a time period that is contained within the same time period that it is purporting to show. On 2nd thought not only is the graph useless, it is a fraudulent way of depicting temperature differences. This post should never have been allowed by the Mods.

      • Nick is saying that the troposphere is warming SLOWER than the surface.
        OOPS…. Where is all this CO2, Nick.. on the surface , or in the troposphere.?
        Nick has foot in mouth, yet again.
        Its hard to keep the AGW misinformation straight, isn’t it Nick. 😉

      • Alan, the satellite data have only existed for 30 years. Not sure why graphing it that way is so bad if it is the only way to graph it and if one has described exactly what was done. I guess they could take a ten year period at the beginning and use that as the reference period. So the anomalies would be slightly larger. But the slope looks fairly constant over the 30 year period.

      • Nick-san:
        According the CAGW hypothesis, the lower troposphere should be warming at a faster pace than surface temperatures because that’s where the big bad CO2 downwelling LWIR was supposed to originate..buuuut, that’s not being observed…
        Moreover, there was supposed to be massive tropical lower-troposphere warming (aka the missing tropical “hot spot”—sounds so sexy), buuuuut, that’s not being observed either..
        So, yeah, Nick-san.. Things aren’t looking so good for CAGW.

      • If the surface is warming faster than the troposphere, wouldn’t that make the atmosphere more unstable, with the result being more thunderstorms?

      • In statistics you cannot take an average for a time period and then subtract data points for some interval from that average if the data points you are subtracting are contained within the time period that you calculated the original average from. That produces a meaningless result at best and a fraudulent way of looking at any trends at worst. This what Mark Twain meant when he was talking about statistics..
        [Submitted three times in three places. Make up your mind what you’re going to say, and write your charge in one place. .mod]

      • “According the CAGW hypothesis, the lower troposphere should be warming at a faster pace than surface temperatures”
        Often asserted, rarely with citation so that we can see who is saying that, and what exactly they said. To the extent it is inconsistent with the satellite obs, the possibilities are that the hypothesis is wrong, or the satellites are. Since the satellites show massive variation with version changes, I think they are dubious evidence.
        And yes, the hotspot has been observed.

    • So the problem is that el ninos are super but la ninas are weak? Naughty ENSO tricking the gullible alarmists.

    • That graph of models versus reality graph shows one model that appears remarkably accurate. Has anyone figured out why it fit so well? If not, why not?
      As for the average of the other models, it basically looks like the group just projected the rise of into the 1998 El Nino into the future desired hockey stick. I suppose they had to program sophisticated looking models and use dense statistics to look professional but they could have done it with a crayon.

      • it’s the russian model i read once an article about that model here.
        all i remember is that they used other parameters then all other models. it also showed possibilities of global cooling. it’s also a model that had the best guess at all natural variabilities as well
        it’s a pity that that model doesn’t get a lot of attention but it was labeled as outlier .

      • The russian model has a SAT trend of only 0.12 C/decade in the modern warming period (1970-2017), compared to observations (0.18 C/dec) and multimodel mean (0.21 C/dec)
        The russian model has also a TOA imbalance that is about 60% larger than that of observations and model mean, but it mystically disappears all this excess heat ( deep down in the oceans?) so that it doesn’t warm the surface..

    • Christy’s chart with ” mid-tropospheric temperature” is not mid- troposphere (eg at 500 mbar height). It is TMT, a satellite measured broad diffuse layer from the surface to 25 km height. It contains a fair share of stratosphere, and real world show much more stratospheric cooling than the models. The observed temperature trend in the lower troposphere is similar to that of models.
      TMT is meaningless since it has no vertical resolution and doesn’t follow any physically important boundaries.Christy is corrupting good data with vertical resolution ( radiosonde and reanalysis) by smearing it out to this TMT..

  7. “At first glance, the CO2/temperature anomaly fit seems pretty good. But closer examination, especially if you look back again to the UAH graph above, recognizes that CO2 was rising while temperature fell from about 1880–2010 (sic) and from about 1945–1975 and rose even faster during the plateau from about 1998–2015. That suggests that CO2 is at least not the sole driver, and possibly not the main driver, of the net warming over the 137-year period.”
    Nah- the temperature record and physics suggests it’s the main driver.

  8. Always like that graph from Climate Central. They know what the temperature was, globally, back in 1880. Yeah right!

  9. ” Its thickness depicts the total increase in global average temperature over the past 175 years—roughly equal to the smallest one-day temperature differential in Boston from February 9–March 11, 2013, about one-fifth to one-eighth of the average one-day differential, and about one twenty-fifth of the largest.
    Yet Bostonians survive.”

    And the change in average temperature between now and the midst of a glaciation is less than half of that average differential. But Bostonians would not survive that.They would be climate refugees.

    • Note that every Bostonian who was alive 175 tears ago is now dead. The cause must have been the massive climate change. I can’t think of any other reason it might have been.

    • You make a strong argument for global warming being necessary to prevent Bostonian refugees and deaths in the next glacial period, Nick. We agree on this.
      The potential glaciated area extends from Boston MA to Portland OR, however. Multiply those Bostonian refugees and deaths many times, for a more realistic hazard estimate.

      • Think of all the dee-NYE-ers who will die off during the next glaciation. Oh, wait a sec, with 400 ppm CO2, can we ever begin another glaciation?
        Nick, just to be clear, we are still in an ice age, aren’t we? Or have you pronounced an end to that? I suggest that we might look at the long ice core records, specifically at the points where interglacials are warmest, and turn downward toward the next cold period. And when temps begin to decline each time, don’t we see that CO2 still climbing and in fact reaching a peak 600 to 1000 years later? Why? Has a high CO2 peak ever kept the proxy temperatures from turning downward? Please explain.

      • “Has a high CO2 peak ever kept the proxy temperatures from turning downward? Please explain.”
        No. CO₂ was moving around passively, with no change in total amount. It couldn’t stop anything. It responded.
        It’s different now. We are massively adding to the amount of CO₂ in circulation.

      • “It’s different now.”
        Nope. The temperature can still go down [snip]
        Andrew
        [No insults, please. (Apologies for not getting to this one faster) – mod]

  10. “The first thing to note is that the differences in “global average temperature” are way too small to have any significant impact on any ecosystem, let alone the welfare of human beings, who are far better than most other life forms at adapting to their environment and—much more importantly—modifying it to suit their needs.
    Take a good look at this graph of the UAH satellite monthly data from 1979–2017:”

    Yes, of course. What else is there? But the lower troposphere temperature indeed won’t have any significant impact on any ecosystem. Not even birds. We aren’t there.

    • True, most of us live in cities and town with large UHI effects..
      Just like many thermometers around the world, right Nick. 😉
      Oh wait.
      You wouldn’t know would you.
      You don’t CARE about data quality
      TGI -TGO…… the Nick Stokes way.

    • Really? So if the lower troposphere were 10,000 degrees C, it “indeed won’t have any significant impact on any ecosystem. Not even birds.”
      See how easy it is to play your stupid semantic games?

      • The great unanswered question still is what caused the global temperature rise from the end of the LIA up to post-WW2, when humans finally began producing enough CO2 to begin the increase in atmospheric CO2.
        All that temperature rise that couldn’t have been caused by CO2, but now suddenly all of the global temperature increase is caused by CO2. If it wasn’t CO2 then, why is it CO2 now?

      • “If it wasn’t CO2 then, why is it CO2 now?”
        Ungood thought James. We were always at war with CO2.

      • Nick – When you say tropospheric temperatures have no effect on ecosystems because nothing lives there, isn’t that just a bit simplistic? After all, isn’t that where weather is created, and doesn’t that weather have massive effects on ecosystems?

  11. “New York Times trumpets”
    “The UK Guardian likewise proclaims”
    But “Roy W. Spencer and John R. Christy… report”
    …the same thing.
    No need to spin – it reduces credibility. At least some of us are moving toward the next stage: anger.

  12. “CO2 was rising while temperature fell from about 1880–2010” I think that should be 1880 – 1919

  13. All good facts that mean ‘nothing’ for they simply have no relevance to the objective. Which is scray headlines that hit the news to promote AGW.
    If you think offer facts will win you the war, then you will find your are on the wrong battlefield.

  14. But you do not understand. This just means we are getting to the famous tipping point of CO2 concentration and runaway temperatures a little slower. Remember the original hockey stick showed the tipping point in the early 2000s. We are supposed to be in the midst of runaway temperatures. When that did not happen the dates were just moved and moved again. That tipping point is just waiting to happen. Cue the tipping point. Come on calling the tipping point. 🙂

  15. Of 3 similar warming periods (Roman Medieval and the current post-cooling), we get some apparent correlation with CO2 once. I’d say we’re missing a lot of empirical explaining before concluding that man-made CO2 is doing something special.

  16. AndyG55,
    We have good data. Lights=0, UHI, poor siting (imaginary), H083 thermistors, TOBS……it all adds up to excellent metrological (NOT meteorological) methods traceable to NIST to +/- .01 degC precision. The 30’s heat waves are eliminated, the cooling of the 40’s to 70’s disappeared and current temperatures are sky rocketing year after year, adjustment after adjustment.
    http://www.surfacestations.org/odd_sites.htm
    It’s much harder to cheat with USCRN because it is supposed to be pristine and reported as raw, but the scammers still tamper by homogenizing with USCHN; they can’t help it.
    Nick Stokes, Zeke et al tell us the SAT record is excellent, but I’m trying to understand how the tropical troposphere is warming slower than the surface. Even with RSS’ 140% hockey stick adjustment it doesn’t support the AGW main tenet of the enhanced greenhouse effect.

  17. It is amazing to continually witness such a big effort to scrutinize such a little range of difference.
    My normal body temperature was the third highest on record yesterday, … by 0.3 degrees !! I’m gonna die !!

  18. Does NOAA or NASA disclose their margin of error for global average temps anywhere? Does anyone have a URL?
    Seems weird that this was not covered in the article.

  19. Climate Central “graphs” are the worst. They are either missing an X-axis, a Y-axis, or both, and are usually deliberately misleading.

  20. It cannot possibly be the 3rd warmest year on record. In Britain we used to grow grapes and make wine in London hundreds of years ago. It was much warmer then than now. Do they mean “warmest in the last 30 or 70 years” ? They should be more specific.

  21. https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/long-term-warming-trend-continued-in-2017-nasa-noaa

    Because weather station locations and measurement practices change over time, there are uncertainties in the interpretation of specific year-to-year global mean temperature differences. Taking this into account, NASA estimates that 2017’s global mean change is accurate to within 0.1 degree Fahrenheit, with a 95 percent certainty level.

    0.1 F ~ 0.05 C Should I be impressed or skeptical?

    • What a load of B.S.
      They are making it up since the KNOWN error range of the instruments themselves is greater than .1 F

  22. if the warming continues at the rate we have measured….then the record years of 1998 and 2016 give an indication of what it will be like in 2050. so what happened in those years….not much….record crops…..more greening…..nothing to really worry about….

  23. And as it happens, research by John Christy, Joseph D’Aleo, and James Wallace found that solar, volcanic, and ocean current variations could explain all the observed global temperature variations, leaving none to attribute to CO2.

    Man doesn’t control the Sun.
    Man doesn’t control volcanoes.
    Man doesn’t control ocean currents.
    Man doesn’t control CO2 in the atmosphere but he does add a tiny bit to it.
    Therefore it must be that tiny bit of Man’s CO2 causing all this normal … er … “cancerous” weather.
    (If not, what reason is left for exaggerating a snowy or rainy or hot or cold or (fill in the blank) event into an excuse to control Man?)

  24. “The first thing to note is that the differences in “global average temperature” are way too small to have any significant impact on any ecosystem, let alone the welfare of human beings.’
    Why throw this statement into the middle of an article about a whole different topic, as if it were a given? This shows how little you inform yourself of that side of the issue, and can therefore not make any reasonable judgment about global warming or what to do about it,
    “,… who are far better than most other life forms at adapting to their environment and—much more importantly—modifying it to suit their needs” Modifying the environment unwisely can turn it into a burden on humans, and we have done some very unwise things that have come back to haunt us. In pursuing our needs and wants, side effects can cause grave damage that becomes a human cost. We are now doing so on a global scope
    “What should immediately jump out at you is that the smallest low-to-high spread for a single day, about 2˚F (1.11˚C) is about one-fourth larger, and the average low-to-high spread for a single day (~5.6˚C to ~8.3˚C) is about 6 to 10 times larger, than the total spread between the warmest and coolest years for the globe (0.871˚C).” Wow. You’re right. So what?
    Your whole argument is meaningless. You are just talking about numbers as if they represent nothing. But they do, and that’s a very important thing to understand before anyone makes a decision about the importance of climate change: you must know what effects are possible, likely, or have already happened due to even a couple degrees. There is very little about that on this or other sites for “skeptics.”
    You found this worth quoting: “Of course, if 1998 was the hottest year on record, all the subsequent years will also be among the hottest years on record, since the temperature leveled off at that year and continued into the subsequent years—all of which are now as hot as the record year of 1998.”
    This is hilarious. 1998 represented an extreme change from previous years. It remained an outlier for several years after. Now we are up there again regularly. In what way does this represent a leveling out of temperature? Don’t you see that comparing everything to 1998 makes no sense because it was such an atypical year?
    Unless you talk about trends of at least 30 years, you aren’t talking about climate change. There’s too much natural variability to do otherwise. The media are awful about this.

  25. Looking at the 13 month centered average in the chart above the difference between 1980 and 2016 is about 0.5 C.
    A recent study of the effect of reducing sulfur emissions has determined that reduced aerosol particulates in the northern hemisphere has caused the polar regions to warm by 0.5 C since 1980.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/ngeo2673.epdf?referrer_access_token=NCZkuF59bcb6yfQubyRBnNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0Nw-_KoHkYWLP3FaeXWJaOIBkWI-lLiJtxWGViKJG1u7E2KZeWfnaFwh9JoUdOiSe3seu61exbqT1OoNrjhjyVBmamzX1oqt2R1yz4efrBp8YJOJNVlGbDhjT6V7-EnWHPKXtkSw3Kf8rDFiV_H3rIO
    If that is the case, there isn’t much warming left to blame on CO2.
    Could it be that the clean air regulations passed in the ’70s and in full effect by the ’80s is the real cause of most of the warming we are now supposed to be alarmed about. Wouldn’t it be ironic if our present day “crisis” was actually caused by previous measures to fix the earth.
    Actually being a little warmer is probably a good trade off for cleaner air and I don’t think the plants will mind a little more CO2.

    • “If that is the case, there isn’t much warming left to blame on CO2.”
      Your reasoning might be OK if the polar regions represented a large portion of the whole globe, but they are warming faster than the rest anyway, so your 0.5 degrees there still doesn’t account for all the increased temp.
      “Actually being a little warmer is probably a good trade off for cleaner air”
      A pervasive problem in the “skeptic” community is the abysmal lack of knowledge about what “a little warmer” means for the ecosystems and human population of the world.

  26. I’m unconvinced by your argument. I’m also unconvinced by the alarmists.
    It is warmer now than it was before. It’s likely that some of that warming is caused by humans.
    Is “the total spread between the warmest and coolest years for the globe (0.871˚C)” a cause to worry? We don’t know. Climatologist models are not working well, but there’s nothing more than conjecture on anybody’s part as to why. Maybe there’s no feedback loop. Maybe water vapor is a negative feedback loop. Maybe cosmic rays are the most important factor. Maybe maybe maybe, and nobody knows.
    At this point the no worries crowd is as tiresome as the alarmists. Neither of you know what the future will bring, but both of you claim to. I’m a little concerned because humans have definitely made significant changes to the earth, but I don’t see any need to panic.

    • One side makes the claim that we are doomed. Sceptics say that whatever small effect CO2 may have on temps is outweighed by the good which it does for plant life across the planet. Also, that there is no evidence to suggest that a warmer world would be a negative. It was warmer back in the Holocene Optimum, and mankind as did flora and fauna in most places.flourished.

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