Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach [see update at the end]
Over on Twitter, Michael Tobis made the claim that the 1979 Charney report entitled “Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment” was a “triumph of 20th century meteorological science”, in part for predicting “surface warming tending to be concentrated in polar regions”.
This got me to thinking and when I think, I think about actual observations. So I went and got the UAH MSU satellite data for the temperatures of the lower troposphere (the part of the atmosphere closest to the surface).
Using that data, I calculated the temperature trends by 1° latitude band for the area that the satellite covers (85 North to 85 South). Here is that result:
A “triumph of 20th-century meteorological science”?
Hardly … this result is totally unlike what Charney et al. predicted. Not just a little different. Not even in the same ballpark.
My very best regards to everyone on a sunny summer day … going outside now to get some work done.
[UPDATE] My thanks to Nick Stokes, who pointed out in the comments that Charney was talking about the surface and I’d graphed the lower troposphere. So I’ve rectified that below, where I show both the surface (white) and the lower troposphere (red) temperature trends. Lower troposphere temperatures are red as in Figure 1. Note the change in scale from Figure 1 necessary to encompass the surface temperature trends.
Hmmm … not sure what to say about that. The surface trends shown in white are not too far from a straight line from 85°North (top right) to about 60° South (bottom left). Also, much more of the surface is actually cooling (trend below zero) and the surface at ~ 60° South is cooling more than the lower troposphere trends.
I do love exploring the data, always more to learn.
[UPDATE 2] In the comments, esalis said:
We in Finland are on the white straight line of the graph between 60 and 70 lat. As far as I know we have not had such an increase in warming towards north. Could you plot as well along longitudes?
Thanks, esalis, for moving the discussion forwards. Here you go: