‘This Is How Global Warming Will Play Out:’ 1931 Ocean Temp Record Broken By…0.2 Degrees?

By Mike Bastasch

Scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography recorded the warmest sea surface temperature taken in 102 years off the school’s pier in Southern California.

The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier As one of the world’s biggest research piers, it is used for boat launching and a variety of experiments. Data on ocean conditions and plankton taken from the pier since 1916 provide an unparalleled source of information on changes in the coastal Pacific Ocean. Image: Scripps

Scripps researchers recorded a high of 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday after a string of daily sea surface temperature records off the pier.

The researchers were quick to claim, “This is how global warming will play out,” according to a press release.

Wednesday’s sea surface temperature reading beat the previous record set on July 30, 1931, but only by 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit.

“It surpassed the previous record of 78.4°F (25.8°C) set on July 30, 1931, during an unusually warm period that year,” reads the Scripps release touting the new record temperature reading.

“Records related to heat and intense weather will become easier to break having been given a boost from anthropogenic climate change that has added about [one degree Celsius] to ocean temperatures over the past century,” scientists said, according to the release.

But while Scripps is trying to tie the record-high ocean reading to the broader wave of media coverage on global heat waves, there are a few caveats to note about what the scientists found.

First, these measurements are taken from a pier that’s near the shoreline, which would not necessarily make it representative of the entire Pacific Ocean, and therefore easily influenced by local weather events.

The “anomalously warm temperatures for the past week” that Scripps researchers observed at their pier somewhat mirror the temperature pattern in 1931, and indeed, the daily records broken in the past week have been very close to readings from 87 years ago.

There is an upward trend in temperature readings from Scripps’ pier, but the trend seems to also broadly coincide with the flipping of a natural ocean cycle, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, to its warm phase. That flip occurred around 1976.


Source: Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego

Also, the scientists themselves admit there’s lingering heat from the incredibly strong El Nino that peaked in 2016. Pacific Ocean temperatures don’t seem to have returned to normal in El Nino’s wake — in fact, forecasters say there’s a 65 percent of an El Nino forming this fall.

“It looks like we took a step up during 2014-2016 from which we have not completely recovered,” Scripps oceanographer Reinhard Flick said in a statement.

Scripps has been measuring sea surface temperatures and salinity off its pier since August 1916, and the school began gathering seafloor data in 1925.

Scripps still takes temperature measurements off its pier by hand, but in that time the technology used to log readings has changed dramatically.

Read more at Daily Caller


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Like I said.
GB cycle is 87 years.
2018 -87 = ???

Curious George

Link, please.

John F. Hultquist

Bob Tisdale has a post on the 1976 climate shift

a 1995 published paper:

By Arthur J. Miller, Daniel R. Cayan, Tim P. Barnett,
Nicholas E. Graham and Josef M. Oberhuber

OCEANOGRAPHY Vol. 7, No. 1, 1994

Can you – or I – reliably read a mercury in glass thermometer to plus/minus 0.2 F?

Whilst the observers there, I have no doubt, were trying to be accurate – as was I during my time as an Observer in Voluntary Observing Ships – that is a considerable (claimed) degree of accuracy – just for the reading.
I assume that it is likely that the 1931 and 2018 readings were performed by different people – better than eighty years apart, that looks a reasonable assumption.
[If the same person, likely now a centenarian, has the observer’s eyesight been checked recently? Just asking.]

Yes, other caveats have been entered too, I appreciate.

But the repeatability of the reading is certainly a caveat.


Walter Sobchak

If you see a measurement without error bars, you are seeing PR not science.


A good point. I used to work in the surface mining industry in the UK in the 70s and 80s. That industry was licensed by the State. They made it part of the contract to install a weather station and daily record the various readings at each site. These readings eventually found their way to the UK Met Office for analysis. I would imagine that there must have been around twenty to thirty of these sites in the UK at any one time during this period.
So far so good, only these temperature readings were taken on a mercury thermometer and the pressure readings from a pen and ink paper drum by the surveyor’s apprentice every morning. It was a nothing job and half the year it was cold, wet and windy so that’s why a 17yo apprentice got the job. His ability to accurately read anything was never put to the question. It was just figures on a piece of paper. But they were included in the statistics nonetheless.

Eamon Butler

I wonder if, in 1931, did the observer/s know their readings would be scrutinised to 1/10ths, 1/100dths … of a degree, with a whole package of an agenda attached?

Richard M

Recording essentially the same temperature as 87 years ago is just so scary. NOT!

What is not said is the oceans had been warming for 300 years prior to 1931 when man could have very little influence. It is much more likely that naturally warming oceans are the reason for a warmer atmosphere and not the other way around.

Steve Reddish

I concur that warming ocean = warming atmosphere. Warming oceans have no connection to human CO2 emissions. Interesting that PDO switch to warm phase in 1976 coincided with end of Global Cooling scare.

Sea surface temperatures along So. Cal. coast also follow coastal current variations. I wonder if persistent easterly winds blowing off-shore along the central California coast have pushed the California Current west of the Channel Islands. This could increase northerly eddy flow in the Southern California Bight. I imagine this may be the same weather patterns that produced the similar warming in the 1930’s.



Read about the dust bowl drought 1932- 1939 and try to understand why droughts do occur.


It seems to me that since oceans make up about 71% of Earth’s surface area and since the albedo of open oceans is .04, meaning that oceans absorb about 96% of the solar energy that reaches the surface, there is damned little that CO2 could do to contribute to the warming of the oceans. It is TSI wot dunnit.

Clyde Spencer

The reflectivity for “open oceans” is only 0.04 at solar noon, with the sun directly overhead, and for that location only.



There are a whole bunch of other considerations. It’s worth looking at the comments for that article. The actual value of the reflected energy is a quibble. It’s still quite small.

I think ThomasJK’s observation is well taken with regard to the energy that the oceans absorb. On the other hand, we can’t ignore the fact that the oceans also emit long wave infrared back to space.

Walter Sobchak

“On the other hand, we can’t ignore the fact that the oceans also emit long wave infrared back to space.”

Yes, but most of the movement of energy from the oceans into the atmosphere and beyond is by evaporation of warm water.

radiation is a bit player.


According to this:

Back radiation – 66 watts / square meter

Conduction – 24 watts / square meter

Evaporation – 78 watts / square meter

“Very Interesting” Wolfgang I admit I’m surprised by the numbers. Until I googled the above link I would have been inclined to agree with you.


The numbers I supplied are global.

Locally, the story is different. Our own Willis Eschenbach points out that the evaporation which causes tropical thunderstorms can remove 500 – 600 watts / square meter link


If temperatures continue to rise as they have for 300 years, the AGW side will claim success as each new temperaure record is made. Am I wrong in thinking skeptics are poised for failure because the Climate Change argument has been framed , as “if temperatures rise it is due to Global Warming, and skeptics believe the planet isn’t warming.” So if temperatures rise due to non-AGW natural causes, AGW team wins the argument.


Mark: that is exactly what has happened, is happening and will continue to happen.
Fighting to expose the alarmist nonsense is akin to manually pushing water up hill.

AGW might be in for a surprise.
I only started looking at carbon levels which I saw clearly, I can do that from numbers, the co2 amounts went up and down with temperature anomalies, and with solar cycles.
(.. I was trying to compare rates of acceleration… like co2 rates acceleration and temps accelerating with them…… they weren’t there… instead what I saw was peak to peak values in solar activity…. there was one anomaly was in 1962/63 with a difference in cosmic rays, to me it made sense that if co2 rates of production were increasing, and then we should see increasing temps, not just increasing but temps rising exponentially, because it takes ” hundreds of years” for co2 to wash out. So the increasing co2 should be having a major impact on temps. In light of this has AGW changed any of their narrative? )

No chance AGW is wrong is there?
If other people start looking at this, it will really be the end for AGW. I will keep hitting the stone till it cracks.
How many ppm/v does it take to raise the temp 1 C ?

I think AGW and the msm are hyping local events because the climate is changing, just not warmer. Remember where every major snow storm was just weather? The window of opportunity for them to seize control is closing. I fully expect AGW to become more vocal.

Ernest Bush

There aren’t many skeptics out there who deny that the globe is warming. The beef is about using data from models that are consistently way too hot when run against real temperatures.

Tom in Florida

78.6 F? I don’t go in the Gulf unless it’s at least 80F.


……ditto, but 85 is better

Sam C Cogar

1931 Ocean Temp Record Broken By…0.2 Degrees?

Well mercy mem …… t’werent no wonder the water was …0.2 Degrees warmer than in 1931, …….

There t’werent this many people playing in the water in 31’, ….. to wit:

comment image


I would have added +10 but it won’t let me…
This is one of the most blatant cherry picks I’ve seen…..there’s piers up and down the Calif coast….how many of them were way below normal


We will soon read that the giant diesel powered GREENPEACE Rainbow Warrior was tied up at the Scripps pier … engines, and bilges pumping …

Eamon Butler

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that there may have been somewhere else that was -.2C.


Has the pier been modified during those 80 years? If so, then where the temperature reading is being taken has likely changed. That close to shore, a few meters can make a big difference.


Sam C Cogar

From the legend beneath the shot of the impressive pier:

“The Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier As one of the world’s biggest research piers, it is used for boat launching and a variety of experiments. Data on ocean conditions and plankton taken from the pier since 1916 provide an unparalleled source of information on changes in the coastal Pacific Ocean.”

From a single pier.

Get effing real, it’s a spit in the ocean!

I don’t believe Brighton Pier and Hastings Pier in the UK are considered bell weathers of the North Sea never mind the Atlantic. They might contribute a tiny amount of data, but unparalleled sources of information on changes in the coastal North Sea/Atlantic Ocean? I really don’t think so.

I know everything’s bigger in America, but not that sodding big.


That’s a lot of 31C wee wee going into the water!

Rich Davis

37C isn’t it?


Ooops! I wonder if I could get at job at NASA revising their historical graphs…

Rich Davis

Yes, but is 6C enough? 🙂

Eamon Butler

That’s Pier review for ye. 😉


The water IS occasionally warmer surrounding my upper thighs … did Scripps just measure that phenomenon?


It’s cold there. That’s why the weather is more comfortable.




My thoughts exactly. It’s too damn cold to swim or surf in Santa Cruz. So the old surfers just wander the streets mumbling to themselves …


That’s not a swim, that’s a bath.

Mr GrimNasty

The error margin between the methods and instruments used then and now will be far greater than 0.2F, even greater still if they’ve faffed with the data to supposedly make it compatible!

And it’s not as if this year’s concerted propaganda campaign hasn’t produced similar laughable claims, a few days ago in July by a similar margin – old record was 41.0C

“Japan heatwave: Temperature hits new historic record 41.1C, says Japanese weather agency.”

DW Rice

Certainly 0.1C (0.2 F) would be within the margin of error. That doesn’t mean that the latest ‘best estimate’ somehow isn’t a new record. The old record was 25.8 +/- ? and the new record is 25.9 +/- ?

All they’re saying is that, given generally warmer ocean conditions at that location, the likelihood of new warmest temperatures being set during any particular warm spell has increased.

Yes, they believe that warmer temperatures are the result of ‘anthropogenic climate change’; but it doesn’t matter what caused the warmer temperatures. The fact that ocean temperatures are warmer for whatever reason means that the probability of continual new warmer temperature records being set has increased.

Mr GrimNasty

It is the highest measurement, there is no way of knowing if it is OR ISN’T an actual record.

DW Rice

Isn’t that just another way of saying it’s a new record high ‘best estimate’ temperature?


What WAS the margin of error for the thermometers that were in use in 1931? And then keep in mind that the readings were taken by someone, perhaps and older geezer who was adjusting his bifocals by hand to get an un-bleared reading, making and recording the readings. Did any of those who were keeping temperature records in the 1930s have any idea that 21st century climate science would be using their data as a reference? Or was it all about just yesterday, today and tomorrow to them and getting today’s reading made and recorded so they could get on with something important with no thought for longer periods of time?

DW Rice


Lay off us “older geezers” Thomas! There’s a lot of about….

I would refer you to the Scripps methods section: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/shorestations/methods/

Looks to me like they’ve been very fair and thorough.

william Johnston

Hey! Us “older geezers” tend to do things like adjusting our glasses in the same way every time. In other words, by habit. It helps keep us from forgetting things during our daily routine.

M__ S__

Let’s see if they can find another meaningless, isolated, and of questionable method temperature to report.

Worry not! They will, and with alacrity too!!!

Jeff Alberts

“Worry not! They will, and with alacrity too!!!”

And also with redundancy too, as well!



Nor with the slightest hint of shame.


0.2 degrees Fahrenheit…..in 102 years

well, obviously the heat is not hiding there

Curious George

Do they really use a Fahrenheit scale? I guess their reading was 0.1 degrees C higher, and, to make more splash, they converted it to Fahrenheit.

mark from the midwest

Do surface temps really matter? Lake Michigan is chewing up and spitting out a lot of tourists these days because the surface temps are in the upper 60’s, but 18 inches down water is cold enough to cause hypothermia in 6-7 minutes.


Probably not. Dr. Popsicle actually collects data on cold water effects. Even after falling through the ice it takes much longer than 6 or 7 minutes for hypothermia to occur, in most people.
Though I have no doubt Lake Michigan is colder than heck.



How cold is heck?


Nick Werner

‘This Is How Global Warming Will Play Out:’

Conditions that are practically indistinguishable from those observed 87 years ago?


Warm records set 2:1 over cold records. That is one way it is playing out already.


Maybe because 97% of the measurements are taken in cities …(UHI)


UHI has been proven to not change the known warming rate. Note that the rate of warming in rural areas is the same as the rate in urban areas. This experiment has been run, and run many times.



I saw this recently while working on trying to grow my tropical plants in less than tropical location.

USDA Zone Map for Plant Hardiness measures temperature zone for growing various plants:

Notice the huge percentage of cities on the edge of each zone that fall into the warmer zone dispite being physically located in the colder zone.
Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte, New Orleans, Baltmore, Hartford, Louisville, Flagstaff, Dallas, Pittsburg…many more.

If it is this obvious in a map, shouldn’t it be obvious in the hard data?



Finally, a denier shows up on WUWT!



I see you’re an adjustments “denier” (using your term.) I said the “rate” of warming is the same rural vs urban, and that is true. The rate is determined by adjusted values, not raw values.

Using raw values is not good science. Using adjusted values is good science, but you seem to reject adjustments. Adjustments actually make rural areas show slightly more warming that urban areas, but let’s pretend that adjustments do the opposite just so people can continue to be upset.

Again, ask a science organization to run the stations you are speaking of. I think you will be surprised at the results, and scientists will not be the least bit surprised.

Rich Davis

Alley, maybe it would be helpful to your credibility to tell us a bit about your background that allows you to make these assertions as if you have some kind of authority to declare what is “good science”. This is not intended to be a snarky comment. It really would be helpful to me to understand where you are coming from that you are so certain about your facts.


Using raw values is not good science. Using adjusted values is good science


Patrick MJD

I can’t believe someone actually believes that enough to actually post it in public! SMH!


I know. People who think raw data should be used need to go back and read some basic science.

As above, I’d love to see there faces when they realize that raw data shows an even greater warming trend. Only thing that would get them to start reading about why temps are adjusted.


How much do you get paid to make a fool out of yourself?

UHI effects are clear if you look at the data. http://appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/GW_Part3_UrbanHeat.htm


“Using raw values is not good science. Using adjusted values is good science


Exactly! There are people who want to use the temps taken in the morning, and pretend that they are to be treated the same as temps taken at noon or the afternoon. Adjustments are a huge part of doing this properly.

And how else deal with UHI effects? Seems there are people who want to use raw data, and they have no clue that the resulting temp trend is higher with raw data. I guess that’s what they need to see to stop speaking of adjustments as “fudging” the numbers.

Mr. Mosher has maintained this for some time. While interesting, what physical basis do you propose for rural areas warming at the same rate as urban. Are you suggesting a couple watts of global CO2 downwelling is so powerful that it renders urban thermal mass and CO2 concentration, as opposed to rural biomass and CO2 depletion inconsequential?


“While interesting, what physical basis do you propose for rural areas warming at the same rate as urban.”

Propose? Do people think that this has not been studied? It’s not that big of a stretch for a science organization that is already plotting temp trends to plot only rural station trends.

No proposal needed. Simple results are all we need. Adjustments, the “faking” of data does adjust properly, although maybe too much. Urban areas tend to show less of a warming trend after adjustments. Now people have to decide if they want to scream about those horrible adjustments which lower the overall global trend, or keep them and scream about the UHI.

Robert W Turner

Jeff Alberts

“Propose? Do people think that this has not been studied? It’s not that big of a stretch for a science organization that is already plotting temp trends to plot only rural station trends.”

Again, you can’t average different locations together. That’s just physically meaningless.

There are MANY individual locations that have not warmed over their entire record. There are some that have cooled, and others that have warmed. But you can’t average them together and have a meaningful result. Bad bad bad.


Like all of your facts, your claim that the rate of warming is the same in rural and urban stations is just not true.

Jeff Alberts

“Using raw values is not good science. ”

Neither is averaging intensive properties (temperature) from different stations. Yet EVERYONE does it.


It really is amazing to me how warmists really do believe that they are entitled to their own facts.


That makes sense…there’s at least twice as much UHI…and temps have been consistently increasing for over a century


Twice as much UHI? Go ahead, remove all urban stations. You get the same warming trend.

Why are people missing the obvious? You can say that UHI is an issue, but scientists looked at this possibility and concluded that looking at rural temps was good enough to stop this nonsense. Scientists were wrong: people continue to pretend that UHI is the driving force.


Do you really believe that the rate of warming since AD 1850 has been the same in Las Vegas as in rural Clark County, NV? In Phoenix as in rural AZ?


Adjusted or raw? Pick one so there can be a discussion where we’re on the same page.

Do I really “think” that UHI has contributed to the warming trend (urban or entire) for all results from major science organizations? No, of course not. No scientist thinks that UHI is the reason the trends show warming.

For example, use only urban areas. They show the same warming. no need to even bother with urban temps. Just forget about them, and if you really want to go crazy (and do something wrong) use raw data as long as they come from stations that have been reporting at the same TOD. The global trend is… warming of course.

richard verney

There is a large data reconstruction set called RUTI (Rural Unadjusted Temperature Index), and it shows a radically different amount of warming, less than half the other land based thermometer reconstructions.

Tony Heller has shown that as far as the US is concerned, there is no need for any TOB adjustment. He has examined the warming trend of all US stations in the USHCN series, and has broken these down to those where the readings were taken in the morning, and those where the readings were taken in the afternoon. The trend is exactly the same in both station sets and this establishes that those stations that had afternoon TOBS do not show an enhanced warming trend caused by notionally double counting warm days such that there is no need to make any TOB adjustment.

Tony Heller has shown that as far as the US is concerned, the only warming is the adjustments made to the data, and if unadjusted RAW data is used there is no warming, and the US has cooled since the 1930s. A view that was once held by Hansen.


“Tony Heller has shown that as far as the US is concerned, there is no need for any TOB adjustment.”

Heller has shown that he adds up temps and divides by the number of stations. He also does not adjust when all others do. See Curry.


So unless you apply the same adjustments as do the warmists, you aren’t doing science.
No attempt to defend the adjustments, they must be right because the adjusted data matches the models.


We assume that rural and urban warming rates are the same.
We then adjust the raw data until it shows what the models say they should show.
Then we proclaim that the models have been verified.

Dave Fair

Alley, you need to read Anthony Watts’ published work on comparing well-sited sampling locations with the larger body of NASA and NOAA’s network.

You also might want to question the practice of homogenizing pristine sites with poorly sited locations. Are those that do that the scientists to which you refer?


Dave, I already read it. You should read it, then follow up with the trends of rural sites only. Let us know when the “aha” moment arrives.

No need to homogenize anything. Like I keep on telling you, rural sites show warming indistinguishable from the total sites.

Lke I keep telling you, the best sites as rated by Watts and others show the same warming.

Why are you so afraid of looking at the trends of rural sites? Why shy from the trends of the most pristine sites? This work has been done, so all hand-waving about UHI is absurd.



I don’t think anyone’s claiming it’s the driving force, but it is a significant variable and one largely ignored until it was highlighted. Nor can the influence of air conditioning units, vehicles and other random irregularities be excluded from the equation.

Then there’s ‘recorded’ records from ill maintained Stephenson screens, if painted at all, done so with non conforming paints.

Of course the quality of the thermometers themselves must be considered as well, along with variables such as the height of the one taking the temperature reading and the precision of an eyeballed mercury thermometer.

There’s also the the question of the people who took the readings; tea boys sent out to read the data in the rain and snow, or when the on site ‘scientist’ was too drunk or lazy to bother himself because it wasn’t much more than a local exercise. Cabin boys who could barely write chucking buckets over the sides of ships for SST data when there was a typhoon to ride out. I’ll bet that was a popular use of his time amongst his shipmates.

The temperature of the UK has varied dramatically over the past week or so, some places recording almost 30°C, down to 18°C on the same day at the same time. Our little island barely extends more than 600 miles in length, peppered with temperature sensing technology. Now look at the vast areas of Russia, thousands of miles with nothing resembling a human never mind a temperature sensing station. Africa is worse and South America barely better.

So how in all this can we get down to 1/10th of a degree as a measurement of current global temperatures never mind historic global temperatures?

In any other sphere of science the variables would be considered far too random to draw the conclusion that we must devote trillions of $’s and £’s to the mitigation of a hypothesis that has never been empirically demonstrated, ever, that atmospheric CO2 causes global warming.

After 40 years of the best minds in the world desperately seeking to prove the hypothesis of CO2 derived global warming, I have found one single study that demonstrated it, and it was roundly discredited. There should be dozens, if not hundreds, but there are none.

The entire proposition is beyond scientific reason.

And I’ll make one final observation.

From the following data you will note that observed temperatures are barely warming and well below IPCC predictions.

Now, if you can calculate the warming associated with mankind, and subtract that from the observed temperatures in the illustration, I suspect you may find global temperatures are in fact falling. The earth is, and has been cooling, a far worse prospect than it warming.

So if the CO2 AGW hypothesis is true, mankind is doing a sterling job of ensuring temperatures aren’t far colder than they are now.

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Monckton graphs are always interesting. Did you know (probably not) that the IPCC models have done such a good job that the Monckton’s of the world had to scramble to find a “better” graph than the old Monckton graphs?


A Monckton graph?

Take a closer look mate. The legend states “JR Christy. Univ Alabama…..”. Is this an example of your observational qualities? Or is Christy stealing Monckton’s work and presenting it as his own now? That’s perhaps a quality of alarmist scientists you recognise, but not Christy.

Is this also a Monckton graph?

comment image

Or this?

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Or this?

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You might want to produce some evidence of your assertion that “Monckton’s of the world had to scramble to find a “better” graph than the old Monckton graphs?”

Or it another observational triumph of yours?


Even if that were true, so what? How does that prove the theory? At what scale of analysis? There are only three things the climate can do from any given point in time; stay the same, get colder, or get warmer. If it stays the same an excuse is made. If it gets colder an excuse is made. If it gets warmer, that ‘proves’ the theory.


I made a living modeling the stock markets and am amazed that the scientists have any credibility based on the performance of their climate change models to fit reality… It seems the only thing they have gotten right is the direction. The earth has been warming for 150 plus years.. if the earth warms more it proves nothing. If it cools it proves nothing… As a layman, I have a question for the scientist partcipants. What is actually driving the warming since the LIA? If we dont know the answer to that, how can we ever determine the affects of Co2.


It’ has been warming. Solar irradiation is low. Ice melting. Sea levels rising. Blooms earlier. Migrations towards the poles.

Earth is warming. We don’t need to hash that one out. Is it CO2? What else could it be?



Is it CO2? What else could it be?

The idea that, “it’s warming so it must be CO2” because some climate scientists have said so, is an oversimplification of what those scientists actually theorized. There are many things that could cause the earth to warm or cool it…this is self evident (re: the paleoclimate record).

What was specifically theorized regarding CO2 was a specific “fingerprint” of troposphere warming and stratosphere cooling. This “dipole” was the only method to see CO2 causing climate change…and, it should be noted, the only place it’s been observed is in computer models.

So, either educate yourself on what you’re talking about, or stop repeating silly nonsense about “it’s warming so it must be CO2”.





He can’t help himself, that’s the only evidence he has.

Take pity.

Ernest Bush

I’m sorry, but I would not call what he presented evidence. It is simply a statement with no evidence.


Thousands of other things.
Small changes in solar radiation doesn’t impact temperatures immediately, the earth has a lot of thermal lag.
There are all of the ocean cycles, many of which were unknown a few decades ago.

There’s also the fact that the earth has been warmer than it is today for about 95% of the last 10,000 years. Until you can explain why that was, you can’t simply declare that it must be CO2 merely because you can’t think of anything else.



He can’t think

Oh! almost forgot…… of anything else.

DW Rice

“Conditions that are practically indistinguishable from those observed 87 years ago?”

Not quite. The 0.2F figure refers to the ‘daily’ temperature record only. Conditions are much warmer at Scripps Peer today than they were in the 1930s according to the Scripps link in the article.

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Dave Fair

Christ, DW! You compare Super El Nino years with the past.

And look at the cooling from the 1930’s to the 1980’s. Other than the Super El Ninos, the graph doesn’t show anything unusual in a world warming up out of the Little Ice Age slightly.

DW Rice

It’s Scripps’s own data Dave. Temperatures are about a degree Celsius warmer at Scripps pier today than they were for most of the 20th century, irrespective of what caused it. It’s hardly controversial to suggest, as the scientists have done, that this will make new heat records more likely there.


Interesting how the 4th warmest year was followed by the 2nd coldest year. Also interesting how 3 and 4 years ago were colder than about half the years during the 30s and 40s.

The truth is that surface water temperature at Scripps is related to weather. This sumner there’s been high pressure over the deserts keeping winds over the ocean light and the marine layer thin. That provides more sunlight to warm the water and prevents upwelling from cooling it down. Since there are deep submarine canyons right off shore there’s plenty of very cold water available when wind and currents create upwelling.

Tom Abbott

A high pressure system is a good explanation for why the temperature is higher there at that pier.

Remember the “Hot Spot” in the ocean that was out off the coast of California a few years ago? It was connected to the high pressure system that was sitting over that location at the time, which was allowing the ocean to absorb large amounts of heat. The heat only went a few meters deep in the ocean which is why they ruled out underwater volcanoes as the cause.

Nick Werner

DWR… My comment was directly related to the context of Scripps’ press release… the breaking of a mid-summer temperature record somewhere by a rather unremarkable 0.2 F.
I’ll concede that pursuing one of any number of possible links and then torturing the data to present some other context can provide the basis for misleading counterarguments.

Clyde Spencer

It is an unstated assumption that the same body of water that is being measured. There is an old proverb about how one can never step into the same stream twice. The above graph could represent general oceanic warming, or it could represent a decrease in upwelling, or a shift in a warmer ocean current. Experiments only work if all parameters are held constant except the one of interest. As others have pointed out, the urbanization of Southern California has resulted in the constant dumping of waste water, year round, from an Urban Heat Island, when formerly much less water made it to the ocean in the Summer because of the Mediterranean Climate.

Warm records will naturally outnumber cold records …. it is acknowledged by all that the modern scientific era and the modern industrial era both begin at the end of the Little Ice Age. This means that dependable temperature records begin to be recorded just as the world begins to warm up again after a couple hundred years of unusually cold temperatures.
If it were the other way around, if we had begun accurate measurements of air temperature at the end of a Warm Period, we would be seeing more low temperature records as the world cooled off.


I wish there was a description of the techniques used, in the past and currently.
There has been good discussion on water temp measurements here that show much affect the water temp readings.

DW Rice

Scripps state their methods in the above link and here: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/shorestations/methods/

They appear to be continuing to use the original methods: Niskin bottles for tide gauge and near bottom measurements, and insulated sampling buckets for the surface. Glass mercury thermometers were used until the mid 1950s then engraved stem mercury immersion thermometers until 2008, when they went digital.


So to save me some reading time… in their methods, or anywhere, do they indicate the error range of each method of collection, and each method of measuring? Have they carefully and accurately recorded time of day? Does the method described reveal exactly the bucket(s) used, how deep it went, how they made sure it collected a sample from exactly the same depth each time, was the depth determined from the surface of the water or from the ocean floor beneath, how long from the time of collection until the temperature reading, how long each thermometer stayed immersed in the bucket before reading, what was the wind speed around the bucket the entire time it was above the surface of the ocean…? I know only a little about calculating margin of error, but so far I am easily seeing a realistic margin of error as +/- 4°F. (And as an aside, most calculated margins of error, generated from sampling, are a crock. +/- 3% points, when the sample was obtained from 1,000 (roughly) people who actually answered their phones and gave a response, and that’s supposed to represent the actual opinion of 300+ million people? Tell me another one!)

DW Rice

Honestly, there’s not a lot of reading to the synopsis they supply at the site.
There’s an extensive list of peer reviewed articles there that presumably go into greater detail, mostly pay-walled alas: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/programs/shorestations/methods/

J Mac

Let me guess: There was a boat docked and idling its engines right next to the sea surface temperature sensor at the Scripps pier?


Yet, I don’t think any scientist can explain how CO2 can warm the ocean. If they can, then perhaps they will accurately project changes in ENSO, the AMO, and NAO. If you cannot forecast changes in ENSO, you cannot project changes in our climate


Climate folks seem to like to distinguish (sometimes) between local conditions and global indicators. Out of curiosity I got the data from three Southern CA pier stations (Scripps Pier, Newport Pier, and Stearns Wharf, which roughly span San Diego, LA, and Santa Barbara) at

Then I calculated the mean of the three stations’ reported temperatures every 2 hours and the standard deviations. I hope the plot shows up, here is and attempt to paste it, for what its worth.

First try did not work. Here is a maybe working link
comment image


It doesn’t seem to show up. Can anyone tell me how to enter a graphic into a comment?

Thanks dmacleo. I got it now.


There is a good bit of difference between the time behavior of the various stations also. This plot compares Stearns Wharf with Scripps Pier. The Scripps data, particularly the past week or so has had large swings of about 10 deg C on a more frequent than daily basis, while Stearns variations are about 2 deg C over much longer times.

The plots are posted now.



UPDATE2: You can display an image (or YouTube video) within a comment, (see examples in the thread below) but you MUST use https rather than http. Just simply insert the image URL, no tags or HTML needed.

If you use http all you’ll get is a link, but no embedded image.

tinypic doesn’t use https


comment image



“…tinypic doesn’t use https…”

…which I think means you need to find another host other than tinypic. Would Dropbox work?


use this:


no sign up required, and you can resize images easily.
And they use https:

DW Rice

postimage is good IMO. Upload using 640×480 (for message boards) and select the ‘No expiration’ option if it doesn’t default.

DW Rice

Oh, and post using ‘Direct link’


Those are mighty big swings in the Scripps graph ? 10 degrees per day ?


I didn’t look in detail, but the period seems like it might be close to the tidal cycles. Possibly bringing cold water in and out and allowing water to be more efficiently irradiated near the pier. As I recall students at UC Santa Barbara used to complain about the shielding effect (on the waves) of the channel islands just off the coast. They may modify the currents in and around Santa Barbara.


“It surpassed the previous record of 78.4°F (25.8°C) set on July 30, 1931″…?
I didn’t know they had Digital Thermometers with that accuracy in 1931 !

DW Rice

The early glass mercury thermometers had 0.1C precision but since the mid 50s this has risen to 0.01C, same as the modern digital measurements. Despite the higher precision of modern instruments, measurements are always rounded to the nearest tenth of a degree Celsius, so it shouldn’t much difference. The old record was 25.8C and the new one is 25.9C.


It most certainly would if they were using F in the past and converted an already rounded amoumt qmd then rerounded.

DW Rice

They didn’t use F for the official records at any time according to their site. Page 1 of the written record is shown and it’s in C.

Clyde Spencer

“At Scripps Pier the earliest measurements were recorded in tenths of a degree Celsius (0.1°C), BUT NO INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND ON CALIBRATION TECHNIQUES.”

So, the precision may be comparable, but we don’t know anything about the accuracy of the historical measurements. It is an unsupportable claim.

DW Rice

There seems to be some clutching at straws here. It’s not a stretch to assume that, since temperatures were recorded to 0.1, they had thermometers capable of permitting this degree of precision. Why would they record it to that level of precision if they didn’t have a suitable instrument? The equipment they used then is basically the same mercury-in-glass thermometer still used in meteorology today.

James Schrumpf

When reading a thermometer marked in degrees, one reads between the lines to estimate the tenths. If a reading is between 20 and 21, one doesn’t record 20 if it looks to be less then halfway to 21, and 21 if it’s above that mark. One estimates the tenths, and then applies the error bar at +/- 0.5 deg.

I’ve never seen a liquid thermometer marked in tenths of a degree, but I’m sure they must exist. The question is, though, were these used either then or now, to get those measurements?

Richard Barraclough

A clinical thermometer which you stick in your mouth (or elsewhere) is normally marked in tenths of a degree


I would assume that the person clutching at straws is the one who assumes that there could not possibly be any errors in how the data was collected.
After all, these guys are scientists.


DW Rice

You’re avin a laugh intcha?

50 years ago people didn’t care about global weather. Temperature measurements were largely for local weather, not a means of frightening the earth’s population.

Tea boys were sent out in the snow to the Stephenson screen instead of the scientist, cabin boys chucked buckets over the side of a ship, assuming the weather allowed it. A tall guy would read a thermomoter differently from a short guy.

Imagining that 50 years ago, never mind longer, there were accurate temperature measurements is laughable. Scientists can’t even agree on temperatures now for Pete’s sake.

Clyde Spencer

DW Rice,

In the days of common use of MIG thermometers (i.e. 1931) laboratory thermometers were routinely calibrated at two points on the scale (0 & 100), and it was assumed that any mis-scribing of the scale was simply an offset or multiplier effect. That is, interpolation was assumed to be accurate based on the assumption that the hole the mercury moved through was of constant diameter, or varied so little that it didn’t affect the precision OR accuracy. The recorded temperatures were then adjusted in accuracy for the calibrated end-points. For the technology of the day, and typically only scribing to 0.2 degrees C, these were fairly safe assumptions, although rarely demonstrated to be valid assumptions. [Incidentally, the calibration procedure also assumes that the ice-water bath and the boiling water bath are well stirred. The most convenient stirring implement, particularly before magnetic stirrers, was the fragile thermometer. Thus, the calibration procedure is fraught with potential error and should probably be repeated several times.]

Now, here is the crux of the problem. MIG thermometers are, as noted, rather fragile and are broken frequently. I have never known a lab to calibrate thermometers before being placed on a stock room shelf. The practice is to calibrate before being put in use for purpose. So, one can easily imagine a situation where some stock room personnel, or perhaps a graduate student, is instructed to go take the daily temperatures at the end of the pier. A gust of wind, a high wave, or simply a careless moment, and the obligatory “Oh, schist!” and the person runs back to get another — uncalibrated — thermometer from the stock room. Whether the person, who might have been different at different times, remembered to calibrate the thermometer and subsequently correct the reading(s) is why the lack of information on calibration procedures, and an audit trail on the calibrations, makes the records problematic.

You demonstrate a lack of familiarity with laboratory procedures and instrumentation. Today’s MIG thermometers (when used) are superior to those used in the early-20th Century, largely because machine manufacturing has reduced errors from variations in dimensional tolerances. Yet, you naively claim that old temperatures are as trustworthy as modern temperatures. In summary, the proof for suitability of purpose is not in evidence. If the claimed difference is only 0.1 deg C, with no information provided on the accuracy of the 1931 thermometer, and the precision of the thermometer being either 0.1 or 0.2 deg C, a rounding-off judgment could well explain the difference. It is a typical alarmist action of trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill.


It was their finely calibrated bifocals wot dunnit.

Richard Wright

The Scripps Pier is also the location of a NOAA tide station. The most recent sea level measurements there are still lower than the peak measurements from the 1990s; approximately 6 inches lower than the peak El Nino year of 1998. The indicated long term sea level rise for this very credible tide station is only 2.17 mm per year, or 8.5 inches per 100 years.

Documented sea level decline since 1998. Guess this is how Global Warming will play out.


LAT’s – lead story in Sunday’s print edition, in the leading paragraph, quoted the Scripps Pier reading as 78.8 degrees (not 78.6), and failed to mention that it broke the 87 year-old record set in 1931 by only 0.20 F; proclaiming that this is proof of ‘man-made’ global warming.

LAT’s (print edition): “Record heat in California is no fluke, experts warn — Rising temperatures have fueled wildfire conditions and blunt talk from scientists about climate change” Here: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-california-july-hot-20180805-story.html

They shrill that “downtown L.A. recorded its hottest Thanksgiving Day on record at 92 degrees;”but fail to mention that the record high – still standing – for the month of November is 100 degrees, set on Nov 1, 1966 (would have been no to little AGW that far back).

In all of their shrill fear-mongering coverage this past month (and, it’s been every day) they decided not to share these still standing record heat waves for Los Angeles:

July 24, 1891 – 103
July 25, 1891 – 109 – Still standing as the all time record high for the month of July.
July 26, 1891 – 102

And, for Aug gets here, this one is still on the books:

Aug 17, 1885 – 104
Aug 18, 1885 – 102
Aug 19, 1885 – 106 – Still standing as the all time record high for the month of Aug.

All with no UHI effect.


Another one in the LAT’s fear mongering piece:

“We are seeing the impacts of climate change now,” said Nina Oakley, regional climatologist for the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno. “This is certainly it. It’s happening.”

The effects are felt far beyond the record books. When the mercury hit <b<113, Redding tied its temperature record for July 26 — the day the Carr fire raced out of control and began killing people.

It was one day among months of above-average temperatures that had dried out the brush to such a degree that it helped fuel the blaze’s ferocious spread.

And the lack of lower temperatures overnight has made fires harder to fight.

“You have greenhouse gases acting like a blanket and not letting things cool down as much — keeping things warmer,” Oakley said.

According to Intellicast, other still standing equal or higher record highs for Redding include:

July 3 – 115
July 4 – 114
July 10 – 115
July 11 – 114
July 12 – 115
July 14 – 114
July 17 – 113
July 18 – 114
July 19 – 116
July 20 – 118
July 23 – 114
July 24 – 113
July 28 – 113
July 29 – 116

Redding is a hot place in July.


“anthropogenic climate change that has added about [one degree Celsius] to ocean temperatures over the past century,”

I’m confused. If global warming has added about one degree Celsius to ocean temperatures over the past century then why was the record only broken by 0.2 degrees C?

DW Rice

Because that was a daily temperature only and is therefore much more likely to be affected by unusually warm weather conditions, which can occur pretty much any summer. If you look at the annual data, for example, which is much less affected by unusual weather conditions, you’ll see that a new warmest record has been set 3 times in recent years. Most recently 2017 beat the last record set in 2016. See the Scripps link above.


“anthropogenic climate change that has added about [one degree Celsius] to ocean temperatures over the past century,”

And to see how they determined that, all you have to do is subtract the raw data from the adjusted data. Yep, 1°C/century.

DW Rice

What adjustments have been made to the Scripps pier data?


I’m more confused by the “anthropogenic” part. How much of the temperature change is due to non-anthropogenic causes? It seems that 100% of it is due to SUVs, beef eating and plastic straws.


The temperature on the day 04.08.2018.
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woops, something ain’t right


Yep, up there where the fire is, there is a seriously cool anomaly.


Cold sea/warm land = No rain = Fire

Rich Davis

Here’s how I see it. Cold ocean surface temperatures (at or below 10C) lead to less evaporation; less evaporation, less rain in northern California; less rain, drought conditions; drought conditions, less evaporative cooling; less evaporative cooling, higher daytime air temperatures; dry hot air and desiccated underbrush, wildfires.

And what is causing unusually cold water off northern California? How do we blame that on human CO2 emissions? I got nothin’. Wait, wait, is it plastic straws from San Francisco sucking the heat away?

Steve Reddish

That top graph displays the Southern California Bight clearly has something different going on. Looks like lots of upwelling happening north of Point Conception, and none south and east of it. It looks like the California Current is flowing west of the Channel Islands, creating an eddy current which is drawing water northward from Mexico. I see La Jolla Point is in the middle of the warmest waters in that area. The Scripps pier is undoubtedly bathed in water discharged from the San Diego River and water discharged from the cities of San Diego and Tijuana, as waters to the south are actually cooler.

Looks like the warming is human caused, alright – lots more of them living nearby!



The troubling part of this release is ““Records related to heat and intense weather will become easier to break having been given a boost from anthropogenic climate change that has added about [one degree Celsius] to ocean temperatures over the past century,” scientists said, according to the release.”
I don’t think there is any valid data to support this statement. The very implication that ocean temperatures have changed more than atmospheric temps is not possible and that some ocean temps in certain areas have changed due to AGW is a stretch.
How do these things get by the reviewers or even the editors that print them?


the sky is falling….
the oceans are rising…
man when the 2 hit gonna make for an interesting day..

Robert W Turner

Sky falling is preventing the coastlines from flooding, so it’s actually worse than we thought!

Bruce Cobb

There the Climate Liars go again, confusing and conflating natural warming which is real, with “anthropogenic warming”, which may or may not exist, but if it does, is too small to measure. For the kabillionth time, yes, we know there has been some warming since the LIA, and damn good thing too. No, it doesn’t mean the warming will necessarily continue.

Of course, there is global warming – after the “Little ice age” ended some 140 years ago – by natural variability. I wonder, do the alarmists regret that the Little ice age no longer prevails?

Rich Lambert

A measurement of 78.6 implies a measurement accuracy of + or – .05 degrees. Is this even possible for these type measurements? I’m skeptical.

Clyde Spencer

Actually, it is +/-0.09 deg F because the original measurements were in degrees Celcius.

These are meaningless ocean temperature claims.

There were very few Southern Hemisphere
sea surface measurements
before 1940, and still not enough today.

The measurement methodology
has changed many times,
not to mention
changes in the locations
of the measurments:
– Wood buckets
– Canvas buckets
– Insulated canvas buckets
– Ship engine cooling water intake
– Disposable Bathythermograph
Sondes, and:
– ARGO Floating Buoys

As far as I know, there has never been a test
of all these six different measurement methodologies
in the same location, at the same time
to find out whether they all
provided the same temperature
measurement (of course they would not be the same,
and that’s why there will never be a test !)

I doubt if historical sea surface temperature
measurements margins of error could be
less than +/- 1 degree C., so a new record
by 0.2 degrees C. is meaningless.

It took 87 years to break the 1931 record
by 0.2 degrees C. ?
And is that supposed to scare people?

A “good” climate change article HAS to scare people,
or it is a waste of bandwidth — Leftists Rule 14b.

For example, and I am being serious here,
although I have not yet seen such an article yet,
I expect a future climate change article
to claim global warming is causing
man’s ‘favorite organ’ to shrink, at an
unprecedented rate
(the word unprecedented is mandatory
— Leftist Rule 16a).

My climate change blog:


My pool in southern Arizona is running above 90 F now for 2 weeks. warmest Late July early August pool temp I’ve had in the 5 years I’ve owned my house here.

But July wasn’t particularly above normal. Hot as usual, with afternoon highs around 105-107 F, but I think the way the night time cloud cover has played-out has kept the usual radiative cooling suppressed. An analysis of night time lows would confirm or refute this possibility. But it’s not that important to me. I like the warm pool becasue it still feels great at night for swims.

Billions of gallons of wastewater and runoff from ~23.8 million people finds its way into the ocean off the Southern California coast daily, some of which flows through hot concrete channels. Could that help account for a .2F increase at San Diego’s shoreline?


Being a wastewater type, I can tell you that the Point Loma WWTP discharges about 180 million gallons a day south of the pier at Scripps. The discharge is about 3.5 miles offshore. There is another 15 million gallons a day from the WWTP just south of San Diego. Both of these discharges are very warm relative to the ocean water (20+ degrees F). North of the pier at Los Angeles, the Hyperion WWTP discharges almost 500 million gallons a day, also warm, about 7 miles offshore. Tides and currents can carry this heat back to the coastline. This is just the wastewater; it doesn’t rain much in S California but when it does the rainwater sends even more heat load to the coastal waters.

This thermal pollution is recognized by the State and is of concern. The State government has developed a Thermal Plan titled: “Water Quality Control Plan for Control of Temperature in the Coastal and Interstate Waters and Enclosed Bays and Estuaries of California.” This suggests that thermal pollution is a problem along the coast.

nutso fasst

“Could that help account…”

When you consider the wastewater is highly enriched with frijolium, certainly.

Alan Tomalty

Evapotranspiration from water cycle gives 486000 km^3/year. WIKI gives 503000 and Babkin in a Russian study gave 577000 but we will use the lowest figure.

1 km^3 = 10^12 kg
Heat of vapourization of water at 20C = 2,450,000 Joules/kg
Number of seconds in a year = 3.1536 x 10^7
1 watt = 1 Joule /second
Surface area of earth = 5.1x 10^11 m^2

NASA graph gives evapotranspiration = 86.4W/m^2 Check their Earth’s energy budget graph on their website


The task is to convert the latent heat that is represented inside the water molecule from the water cycle upon evaporation to a W/m^2 equivalent of NASA’s figure of 86.4 W/m^2. I want to see if NASA’s figure has any basis in reality.

Solution : Total evapotranspiration = 486000 km^3/year * 10^12kg = 4.86 x 10^17 kg/year
Total number of Joules = 2,450,000 Joules/kg * 4.86 x 10^17 kg/year
= 1.1907 x 10 ^24 Joules/year
Number of Joules/second = 1.1907 x 10 ^24 Joules/year divided by 3.1536 x 10^7 sec/year

= 3.775684932 x 10^16 Joules /sec
= 3.775684932 x 10^16 Watts

W/m^2 from surface = (3.775684932 x 10^16 Watts) divided by 5.1x 10^11 m^2
= 7.403303788 x10^4 W/m^2

~ 74,033

divide by 4 because the earth is a sphere and is diurnal = ~18,508 W/m^2

which is 214.2 times the NASA figure. Where did I go wrong?

Bruce Strampe

I love how the alarmists cherry pick there statements and references in order to show a absolute truth that is used falsely for their point. All one has to do is simply google the high and low temperature records for each US state. With the exemption of the Wikipedia site, pick any posting of this particular record. I use this to show young people that maybe they need to look deeper to see what other lies they have been told.

Péter Tari

This link provide you with the live temperature data of Scripps Pier:

There is something which seems to me rather weird. How can the temperature of Pacific ocean raise 8 celsius during less than 60 minutes?

For example:
Time1: 08/01/2018 08:58:02 Temperature: 16.1844 celsius
Time2: 08/01/2018 09:54:02 Temperature: 24.1019 celsius

This rapid rise of temperature is observable every day.

Please, explain me.


At a guess it has to do with the sea-breeze starting up as the land warms. At night there is probably a land breeze that pushes the sun-heated surface water out to sea and replaces it with upwelling cold water. During the day this goes into reverse.


One thing is for certain : the highest temperature ever recorded in the world was in the US. Who said so? WUWT.

Rich Davis

Yes, more than 105 years ago at Death Valley, California (10 July 1913, 56.7C). It is not WUWT that says that, it is the World Meteorological Organisation.

What you forget though, mon cher François, is that only the future is certain, the past is always changing!

The record had been 58C at El Azizia, Libya until the measurement was disqualified by the bureaucrats in Genève. What we know for certain is that we will have record hot temperatures and rapidly rising seas. What we do not know yet is how much we will see the past temperatures drop in order to ensure that records are set. Nor do we know how much past sea level readings will need to be adjusted down in order to ensure that sea levels are rising.

Rich Davis

I would assume that there is a tidal effect. Maybe tide going out after being warmed on the hot sand?


Hi, Rich! I knew that, just like me, you would have a perfectly scientific argument on temperatures. The tides, of course, who would have thought about them? Then, again, only in the US.

Rich Davis

I don’t know if it is tides or sea breezes or sloppy measurement error. I was speculating.

So you have come back to taunt us a second time, eh?


Gary Ashe

Tides ……… incoming sea water cool…….. outgoing sea water warmed by sun baked sand it flowed over coming in.


Why would Scripps … intentionally … omit any and all SCIENTIFIC context for this ‘shocking’ and ‘horrifying’ measurement? As if anyone with a brain doesn’t already know the answer …

Gary Ashe

Isn’t it sophistry to call ocean energy heat.

wheres the process, ?.
You only have a state of energy, constantly changing, heat the process does the warming. then it stops.


So we have a 0.2 degree F difference in 87 years. In another 348 years it might get up to a whole 1 degree F. That’s almost as much as the temperature difference between my living room and bedroom. Time to start the panic now! We’re all gonna fry!

DW Rice

“So we have a 0.2 degree F difference in 87 years.”

Understandable, given the headline, that folks might think that. However, effectively this is just an new daily record high. As the article says, there has been a long term warming trend at Scripps peer and it is considerably higher than 0.2 F per 87 years!

The average monthly surface water temperature at Scripps peer averaged from 2001 to the present is consistently about a degree warmer than it was between both 1916-1950 and 1951-2000 across most months (image from Scripps site linked to in article).

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DW Rice

A degree Celsius that is ( about 1.8F).

Clyde Spencer

0.1 +/- 0.05 deg C = 0.2 +/- 0.1 deg F

Converting to Fahrenheit makes the temperatures look higher, but it also increases the error range. But, then who cares about the confidence interval? Certainly not AGW alarmists!

Jeff Alberts

Do you think that’s from the atmosphere heating the ocean?


It MUST be … because every summer, when I swim in Lake Tahoe … the very top layer of the water is somewhat tolerable … but is near freezing cold just a foot below the surface. So our sinful Co2 spewing MUST be heating the oceans … ohhhhhhh mammaaaaaaa … we’re ALL doomed.

DW Rice

I don’t know what caused it. That doesn’t mean it’s not there.


DW is your graph indisputable proof CAGW has begun post 2001?
Has the recording procedure/instrumentation/location/ encroachment changed from 2001?
Show us the provenance and the data.
Try redoing your graph with 0C at the origin and 25C in place of 20C.

DW Rice

“Try redoing your graph with 0C at the origin and 25C in place of 20C.”

Not my graph – Scripps’s graph. Try reading the links in the article for answers to your questions re recording, instrumentation, etc. They’re all there.

Dave Fair

Let’s get this straight: In a slightly warming world, one can pick the warming periods to show that an earlier 34 year period is equivalent to a following 49 year period, such that the ending 18 year period is slightly warmer than the two earlier periods.

Wadda joke! We have had both warming and cooling periods following the Little Ice Age, with a minor overall warming. In fact, we have had an overall cooling since the Holocene Optimum.

CO2 has not been shown to affect ocean temperatures. Show me the study!

You really need to remove “peer” from your spell checker. “Pier.”

DW Rice



With a “Grand Solar Maximum” during the latter half of last century, I’m rather surprised there hasn’t been more warming.


This is just common sense. If there were two earths, one globally warmer than the other by some measurable temp (let’s use 1.0°C or 1.8°F for the global difference between 1931 and today) then you would expect that more warm ground records would be set than cold √ and more warm ocean records to be set √ in the warmer earth. Both are happening.

Oceans are warmer, trend is still up. Land is warmer, trend up. Why is something as simple as “warm records will be broken at a faster pace than cold records” that difficult?

El Nino and La Nina still exist of course, and as long as the current are not disrupted by other factors that change with the warming earth, then the colder earth’s El Nino years will show, on average, 1°C colder temps. The colder earth’s La Nina years will show, on average, 1°C colder temps than the warmer earth (land and oceans together.

CO2 is the primary forcing, and the oceans are simply moving heat around. There is simply no “oceans are warming miraculously on their own, thus El Ninos are warmer.” But that seems to be what some are saying here.

Rich Davis

Alley, 43 years from now, when you’re in your 50s, you’ll see that 2019 was the start of a long cooling trend that walked back all the temperature rise of the past 43 years. Then you will understand that it is natural cycles of variation. Until then, I suppose you will continue to be deluded. And somewhere in the next 10 years or so, you’ll be firmly convinced that the cooling trend is caused by burning fossil fuels.


“you’ll see that 2019 was the start of a long cooling trend”

I can only hope to live into my 100s like many of my grandparents and their siblings!

How can natural cycles trend upward? You seem to have forgotten to explain how the earth is warming. How is it warming, since oceans are only moving the heat around?

Were you one of those people who, in the 80s when a consensus of global warming was very apparent, tell us that we were in a long cooling period, and to wait three decades?

Rich Davis

Are you seriously asking this Alley? How old is the earth? How long have humans existed? Ice ages came and went long before any humans existed. There were natural cycles trending upward and natural cycles trending downward. Repeatedly. They were not caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.

If there was once a great glacier over the northern hemisphere and long before humans had any significant impact on the environment, that glacier disappeared, then there has to have been a natural cycle that trended upward. In fact we are still in that trend. That is the reason for the slight upward trend in temperature, around which ocean oscillations produce medium-term warming and cooling periods.

You imagine that you have an explanation for recent warming that depends on a trace gas going from 0.028% to 0.041%, essentially from 0.0% to 0.0%. This supposed mechanism is claimed to be the master control knob of climate. Yet during the period of human-caused excess CO2 in the atmosphere, there have been periods where temperatures were in decline (from the 1940s to the 1970s), and as concentrations accelerated recently, temperatures were virtually flat (from around 2000 to 2015). Over geological periods, it is clear from proxy evidence that CO2 has not been a determinant of temperature. For the most part, temperature has been a driver of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, not the other way around.

That humans drive an excess of CO2 into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is not seriously contested. Neither is it necessary to quibble about whether CO2 can trap heat in the atmosphere. Most skeptics are willing to concede the point. The point of dispute is with respect to feedbacks, positive and negative. Alarmists insist that there are catastrophic positive feedbacks which however have not been observed. Skeptics insist that there are many negative feedbacks which will hold the equilibrium temperature rise due to a CO2 doubling to on the order of 1.2 degrees C or even lower. A change of that magnitude is harmless, even beneficial. It is certainly not a justification for destroying economies and condemning most of the world’s population to energy poverty.

You or the people you choose to believe, are convinced that you have an explanation for warming (even though it doesn’t explain periods of cooling). I don’t pretend to be able to explain the details of how the observed natural cycles warm and cool the earth. It is probably related to orbital mechanics in terms of the very long term cycles, but the shorter term is a very complex system. It is very much more complicated than a 0.013% increase in a trace gas.



I was around in the 70’s when the concencus was global cooling if that’s any help.


There was no “consensus” – just a nice sensational story the media got a hold of…..

“An enduring popular myth suggests that in the 1970s the climate science community was predicting “global cooling” and an “imminent” ice age, an observation frequently used by those who would undermine what climate scientists say today about the prospect of global warming.
A review of the literature suggests that, to the contrary, greenhouse warming even then dominated scientists’ thinking about the most important forces shaping Earth’s climate on human time scales. More importantly than showing the falsehood of the myth, this review shows the important way scientists of the time built the foundation on which the cohesive enterprise of modern climate science now rests.”

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That would be like the study undertaken to demonstrate the current 97% concencus would it?



Do the study yourself then, if you, like all naysayers, believe nothing that contradicts their “beliefs”.



I ‘believe’ things when there is sufficient credible evidence presented. It’s you that ‘believes’ in AGW, not me. I don’t share your belief because there hasn’t been one credible, empirical study undertaken which demonstrates CO2 causes global warming. There should be dozens if not hundreds over the last 40 years but there are none.

So just what is your ‘belief’ founded on?


Scientific training and not having conspiracy ideation primarily.
Yours is the belief here as there is deffo no evidence for it, just founded on the rejection of the evidence (observations fitting theory), which has reached a consensus amongst researchers.
Plenty of empirical science out there – you need to look though because you wont find it on here.
It’s a planet and cannot be put in a lab but the evidence of a direct increase in forcing from increasing anthro CO2 has been observed via spectroscopic analysis of down-welling LWR fron 2 separate sites over 2 years.
I wont hold my breath that you will either read it and least of all accept it, it being par for the course on here.



So why does the UN IPCC say there is no causal link between man and climate?

Any have so many jumped off the CAGW ship having realised they were hoodwinked?

Do you even know that there is no empirical evidence linking man made CO2 emissions to (natural) warming and the entire scam is founded on flawed computer models?

The planet is still coming out of the LIA, the slight warming is entirely normal.



How did I just know with 100% certainty you were going to produce that paper as evidence?

From David Middleton:

“What was observed? A ~20 ppmv increase in atmospheric CO2 correlated with a 0.2 W/m2 increase in radiative forcing at the Earth’s surface.

Total insolation at the Earth’s surface ranges from 40 to 340 W/m2 per year.

Assuming a linear relationship of .01 W/m2 per 1 ppmv CO2… A doubling of pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 from 280 to 560 ppmv will increase radiative forcing by 2.8 W/m2. This is about 2/3 of the IPCC’s estimate.

The total warming since 1850 has been about 0.7°C. Over the same period, CO2 increased by about 120 ppmv (~1.2 W/m2).

0.7°C ÷ 1.2 W/m2 = 0.6°C/W/m2
0.7°C ÷ 120 ppmv CO2 = 0.006°C/ppmv CO2

This means that a doubling of pre-industrial atmospheric CO2 can lead to a maximum warming of 1.68°C… less than half of the so-called consensus estimate.

Since my “back of the envelope” calculations assumed a linear, rather than logarithmic, relationship and that all of the warming since 1850 was GHG-driven, the actual climate sensitivity can be no more than half of my estimate… ~0.8°C per doubling of pre-industrial atmospheric CO2.

This essentially means that the human impact on climate change is insignificant.”


And over forty years of study by some of the most brilliant minds in science, it remains the only study. Like I said, there should be dozens if not hundreds over the last 40 years but there are none.

But let’s not stop there shall we? NASA tells us the plane has greened by 14% in the last 30 years or so, 70% of that growth directly attributed to increased atmospheric CO2. Two continents the size of mainland America worth of extra vegetation, as one of the authors described it. It remains the only empirical manifestation of increased atmospheric CO2 and it is hugely beneficial.

Then there’s global temperatures. Contrary to IPCC predictions, observed temperatures have not increased nearly as quickly as they anticipated. As you will note from the following illustration, if the theory than man’s CO2 emissions are causing global temperature rise is true then:

1. It seems they are not doing a very good job and;

2. If mankind’s CO2 emissions were zero, then the observed temperatures would almost certainly be heading downwards, in other words, there would likely be a significant and worrying cooling of the planet.

So, along with greening it would appear mankind is doing the planet a favour (assuming the AGW theory is correct) and that the paper you cite is both inconsequential and, as David Middleton observes, inaccurate anyway.

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YES! that would be similar to the several studies that found 97%.

I can’t believe there are still people who are duped by this. Nigel Lawson (philosopher) started GWPF to confuse the non-scientists. It’s working, apparently.



What, that Cook was found to have selected over 1,000 papers based on searches of their abstracts only, then pared them down to some 70 papers which suited his purpose, then claimed that 70 papers represented a 97% concencus from over 1,000 papers?

Is that they way science is done on the dark side?

Rich Davis

Oceania is at war with Eastasia. It has always been at war with Eastasia.

Robert W Turner

I started randomly choosing papers they claimed predicted warming. The first, Ramanathan, 1975, studied chlorofluorocarbons and predicted they would have a net + forcing on climate if their concentration increased over 2 ppb, but made no statement about overall global temperature trend. The second paper, Schneider and Mass, 1975, studied the correlation between sun spots, volcanic dust, and the temperature record from 1600-1970 and concluded that solar variability contributed to the shape of the temperature record (at the time ALL temperature reconstructions showed a very cool LIA gradually warming into the modern warm period), but again made no statements about global temperature trends into the future.

At this point I remembered that I have actual science to conduct and tearing climastrology to shreds is so easy that it should be undergraduate work. Just at a quick glance, this paper is exactly like the 97% consensus meme generator papers.

Robert W Turner

It should also be pointed out that not only are they mischaracterizing papers, just like Cookoo et al., but many of them also contradict the meme that the 1945-75 cooling period was due to man made aerosols.


HA HA!!! I was around in the 70s when the consensus was global warming. Were you on another planet? There have been studies on the peer reviewed science, and the consensus here on Earth was warming.

How could you have missed this?



Clearly, the MSM at the time made it up themselves according to you. Doubtless the same unscrupulous methods that produced the hockey stick and the 97% concencus were employed to establish the concencus of the 70’s was warming.



here we go again.

Consigned to moderation. Is it my end or yours?


You have to wait longer for El Niño
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It is not a degree C warmer now than in 1931. It’s probably not warmer at all, but the crooked gatekeepers have thoroughly cooked the books to a crisp, so we can’t know for sure.

It might be a K warmer now than in AD 1850, but I doubt even that.


Oh boy. A temperature denier.


“CO2 is the primary forcing, and the oceans are simply moving heat around. “

Please do provide evidence for CO2 forced ocean warming. How does a tiny CO2 fraction of the atmosphere warm the vast ocean to depth?

How did CO2 drive the approx 0.6C change in ocean temperature from 2009 to 2016?

Why in 2016 when the ocean temperature reached it’s maximum did the supposedly alarmingly high CO2 concentration not maintain the ocean or air temperature?

With all that heat & CO2 available why didn’t CO2 trap it per your theory?

Why? – because variable solar energy warms & cools the ocean, not CO2.


“Desperately Seeking a NSF Grant”.

“It’s All In The Error”!

Ha ha jajajajajajaja


So how was AGW to blame for 1930? If you’re going to compare something. Then make the accusations that the new reading is because of something. Makes the whole thing garbage. Cycles are never exactly on time like clockwork.

Julian Flood

Look at https://bobsaw.smugmug.com/Nature/Pacific-Ocean-1/i-2WjbhTd image 104.The texture on the ocean surface is caused by oil/surfactant pollution. These patches will have lower albedo and reduced evaporation, which will warm the surface.

Scripps, do the research.



I stand to be corrected on this but observe that sea surface temperatures rarely go much above 30C. OK sometimes in some places like the red sea it gets up to 35C ; but generally 30C seems to be the norm as the top end of the range.

I also observe that the Vapour Pressure of water equals the saturated Partial pressure at 30C. This may be a coincidence but I think NOT; for at and above this temperature the rate of evaporation equates to the level of energy input and thus provides a balance in temperature.

This may be checked in your kitchen; as when you turn up the heat under the kettle it just boils faster and the temperature remains the same.

I do wish that some of these scientists would extract their heads from their statistical computers go and put the kettle on and start thinking as they wait for the brew.
It would save us all a great deal of bother.

Overall sea surface temperatures down .2c since last year.


I detect the start of a hockey stick.

Donald Kasper

Sounds like budget justification for maintaining the pier. Otherwise, what is is good for?


Yes, it’s not like they even let the public use it…:^)

Komrade Kuma

“Scripps still takes temperature measurements off its pier by hand, but in that time the technology used to log readings has changed dramatically.”

Unfortunately the techniques for marketing snake oil have not changed at all.

And BTW, just what was the accuracy of the measurements ‘taken by hand’ back in 1916 or so? <0.2˚F?


What is the difference in coastal development and population in that region between 1930’s and now? I suspect it has changed. 😉


And the accuracy level for that 1931 thermometer reading is?

There are likely other concerns about their asssumptions:
A) Was it a student recording temperatures in 1931 and now?
B) A student that never drank or stayed up late cramming?
C) A temperature reading written in ink? Unchanged and unadjusted.

And how long was that 1931 pier?
At what depth was the pier location where the 1931 temperature taken and the same question for today’s temperature reading.

Given the school’s eagerness to trumpet their new record in the press, one must question whether activism is biasing their temperature readings?

Steve O

Get ready to start hoarding ice cubes, everybody!

John Schwartz

Love knowing we had a global ocean temperature monitoring system in 1931…


I have to say that water was nice. Spent a few hours on Saturday and Sunday near Oceanside pier and the water felt really warm (for southern California. Of course the water is usually warm in August.

Steven Mosher

“First, these measurements are taken from a pier that’s near the shoreline, which would not necessarily make it representative of the entire Pacific Ocean, and therefore easily influenced by local weather events.”

Nobody argued that it WAS representative of the ENTIRE Pacific ocean.

Here’s the simple fact. There was an LIA. IT has been warming since the LIA. As the world warms
past high records will fall. If it continues to warm they will continue to fall. NOT in a uniform fashion
because global warming theory ( REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE) predicts NON UNIFORM warming,
over short runs some places will warm more, other less, some may not warm for a long time.

Its warming. As it warms where we have measured temperature you can expect there to be new records.
At some point every location will have a new record. At some point new LOW records will cease.

The fact of new records should not surprise anyone. It is warming.

Comes the question. WHY is it warming. what is the physical cause.

1. Global warming theory holds that increased radiative forcing causes the earth to warm.
Radiative forcing ( + and -) include
A) Solar
C) Aerosols.
D) land change.
This adding warming ( or cooling if the sum of forcings is negtaive) Is added to a small natural
2. Skeptics have no explanation. They believe its Anything BUT C02.

Only one of these counts as an attempt at science. #1

Final Jeopardy: It’s the most likely cause of the millennial-scale Holocene climate cycle that gave rise to these phenomena…

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OK Alex… What are long-term ocean oscillations?

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James Schrumpf

I like your list, Steven. Very concise. It does raise the question, what caused the initial warming out of the LIA? From your list we’d have to subtract GHGs and land change, and aerosols cause cooling. That would leave solar.

Here’s my problem with the whole CO2 hypothesis. We know the Earth has swung between Hothouse Earth and Snowball Earth in the past; several times. The CO2 hypothesis goes like this: something caused CO2 to increase, which forced global warming. Since increased CO2 and only cause warming, something had to stop its rise, and actually reduce it, to allow the Earth’s temperature to not run away hot.

What caused CO2 to increase in the first place? Don’t know. What stopped, and then reduced it? Don’t know.

The Anything-But-CO2 hypothesis says something caused the Earth to warm, and the seas gave up CO2 as they warmed (a known phenomenon), and then something caused the Earth to cool, and the oceans took up the CO2 they’d released.

So, whatever warming we’re getting today might be slightly exacerbated by human-produced CO2, but it’s certainly not the main driver — whatever that might be — because any CO2-driven scenario has to result in runaway warming. Which the Earth has never experienced, and which means the CO2 hypothesis is wrong.


What caused the 5 warm periods of the last 5000 years?
Why has the earth been warmer than it is now for 95% of the last 10,000 years?


Skeptics have a number of explanations.
How typical of you to lie about that.

Clyde Spencer


What little credibility you have would be bolstered by responding to James Schrumpf and MarkW.

Occam’s Razor would suggest that whatever your answer to them is, would be sufficient to explain most of, if not all, the recent warming.

Robert W. Turner

Does Mosher just slither away and pretend that he made a point and no one answered his WHY question?

I’d like to answer his ridiculous question another way by saying e. You don’t understand much of how complex nonlinear systems work. It’s a silly exercise to point at a temperature trend over such a short time scale and attribute it to a single cause as:

1) All variables are actively responsible for the current system state.
2) The system is hysteretic, so the current system state is responsible for all variables past histories.

Since you obviously need a lesson on how these systems work, here is the basic concept and demonstration of how even a two variable system is unpredictable.


So you either believe that planetary heat budget is dominated by a few tenths ppt CO2, or you believe that all other variables -especially the non-noise variables- are responsible for the current state and will keep the system in the current attractor state until one of those non-noise variables change.

Clyde Spencer

It is my experience that Mosher typically engages in drive-by comments, not unlike a pizza delivery boy who has no interest in whether or not the customer enjoyed the pizza. He behaves like someone who thinks his comments are above defending.


What are the error bars on both readings? I suspect it’s a lot more than 0.2F.

PS: 0.2F in 87 years. At that rate it will take 435 years for the ocean to warm one whole degree Fahrenheit.


What is totally absent in this discussion is any recognition of a fatal flaw in the much-touted, century-long SIO-pier record of SST: until digital recording was adopted a decade ago, the manual sampling was done only ONCE A DAY! Thus the diurnal cycle there is ALIASED into zero frequency, i.e. the apparent mean level of the time series. To make matters worse, the nominal time of daily sampling (noon) was not stringently adhered to, as became evident to me when conducting flow-meter evaluations at the pier many decades ago.

The upshot of this ill-conceived manual sampling scheme (adopted well in advance of the derivation of the Shannon Theorem) is that the ultra-low frequency spectral content of the SST series is irretrievably corrupted. It provides no serious scientific basis for estimating even the local temporal trend of any duration. Nor is there any credible basis for claiming that the daily readings capture the daily maximum temperature. All we have is a record non-descript instantaneous reading–not record temperatures in any accepted sense of the term.