Ten Causes of Warming: The Layperson’s Checklist


Guest post by Jim Steele

What’s Natural?

All temperatures are not created equally. Rising temperatures have many causes. Good science demands we explore alternative hypotheses before reaching any conclusions. Below is a list of common causes of warming trends and heat events that everyone should consider in addition to any possible increased greenhouse effect.

1. Heat trapping surfaces: Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer, increasing temperatures at weather stations situated near buildings and near asphalt. More asphalt, more warming, more record temperatures.

2. Loss of Vegetation: During the summer the temperature of a dry dirt road can be 60°F higher at noon, than ground shaded by trees. That’s why our pets instinctively seek the shade. Plants also bring moisture from below the ground that cools the air by evaporative cooling. Increasing deforestation or lost vegetation due to landscape changes cause regional warming trends.

3. Transport of heat: Natural climate oscillations alter air and ocean circulation patterns that can drive more heat from the tropics towards the poles. Europe’s recent heat wave was largely caused by air heated over the baking Sahara Desert and then driven into Europe. Similarly, the latest research finds variations in Arctic sea ice has been dominated by transport of warm Atlantic water heated in the tropics and transported northward via the Gulf Stream.

4. Less cloud cover: Recent research suggests a trend of less cloud cover resulted in increased solar heating of land and oceans. The added solar energy normally reflected by clouds was 2 times greater than what’s believed to be added by increasing carbon dioxide. Two decades of declining cloud cover was similarly shown to cause Greenland’s rapid ice melt between 1995 and 2012.

5. Less Cooling: Windy conditions cool the oceans. The unusually warm ocean conditions that occurred in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, known as the Blob, were caused by decreased winds that reduced normal cooling.

6. Suppressed Convection: Surface temperatures are cooled by rising convection currents that carry away the heat. Roll up the windows of your car and immediately the temperature rises simply because convection is prevented. Suppressed convection is the reason temperatures are warmer inside agricultural greenhouses. Weather-people predict a heat wave when they see a looming dome of high pressure that will suppress cooling convection.

7. Drier conditions: It takes 5 times more energy to heat water 1 degree than it does to heat sand. Furthermore, it takes 500 times more energy to evaporate water than it does to raise water one degree. Without evaporation to consume the heat, most extreme temperature events are associated with dry conditions. The trend in lost wetlands increases temperatures.


8. Ventilating stored heat: Oceanographers from Harvard and MIT have suggested heat stored in the deep oceans thousands of years ago, when temperatures were warmer than today, is still ventilating. Likewise, El Niños ventilate previously stored heat. Similarly, Arctic temperatures rose after a change in wind direction blew thick insulating ice out of the Arctic allowing subsurface heat to ventilate.

9. Descending winds: For every 1000 feet of elevation that an air mass descends, its temperature rises over 5°F. California’s hot Santa Anna and Diablo winds can raise downslope temperatures 25°F in a matter of minutes. Descending air in a high-pressure dome suppresses convection causing heat waves. Despite temperatures far below freezing, bouts of descending winds from Antarctic’s peaks rapidly heat the ice and generate melt ponds.

10. Misleading Averaging: The average temperature is calculated by adding the maximum and minimum daily temperatures and dividing by 2. Due to heat trapping surfaces, higher minimum temperatures cause the average temperature to rise even when maximum temperatures have not increased or sometimes cooled.

Good stewards of the environment should never mindlessly blame rising CO2 concentrations for a heat wave or a warming trend unless all the other warming dynamics are considered. Restoring a wetland or planting trees might be the best option to lower regional temperatures.

Jim Steele is director emeritus of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, SFSU and authored Landscapes and Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism. He writes regular column for Battle Born Media newspapers — the Pacifica Tribune, the Novato Advance, the Sausalito Marin Scope, the Mill Valley Herald, the Twin Cities (Larkspur and Corte Madera) Times, the San Rafael News Pointer and the Ross Valley Herald.

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Andrew Burnette
August 8, 2019 10:26 am

I would an item…
11. Changing the historical record to make the past seem cooler than it was.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Andrew Burnette
August 8, 2019 3:44 pm

“Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer, increasing temperatures at weather stations situated near buildings and near asphalt”

“those materials hold the heat longer” This is simply really bad basic science. As these surfaces heat up faster, they get hotter and it takes them longer to cool down once the energy source is removed. The material DOES NOT hold the heat longer. Wow.

If we are to really understand these processes, we have to look very closely at our assumptions all the time. The material heats up quickly under an intense energy source and then only has radiative processes for cooling down.

Reply to  Charles Higley
August 8, 2019 5:26 pm

“Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer, increasing temperatures at weather stations situated near buildings and near asphalt”

“those materials hold the heat longer” This is simply really bad basic science. As these surfaces heat up faster, they get hotter and it takes them longer to cool down once the energy source is removed. The material DOES NOT hold the heat longer.

I’m missing something here….. how are these two statements different? Help me out without getting too pedantic.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  markl
August 8, 2019 10:50 pm

I guess I’m getting too old, but as an aging structural engineer I don’t want my profession to become the newest/latest one to be bastardised by ignorance! CEMENT is what is manufactured to produce CONCRETE (once the well known chemical reactions have taken place,) the hard stuff that hurts a tad when you fall on it! Cement in & of itself isn’t that hard, at least the Romans new the difference! Apart from that, what did they ever do for us? (Go on, go for it, it is Friday after all! 😉 ) AtB

TIm Groves
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 9, 2019 1:01 am

What, apart from the roads, the sanitation, and the Roman Warm Period with all those grapes growing on the south side of Hadrian’s wall? 😉

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 9, 2019 8:58 am

I noted the error of referring to concrete as cement, but let it go.
It is a colloquialism.
Everyone knows what is meant.
Just sayin’.

Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 9, 2019 10:21 am

Shoot, Alan the Brit, they gave us Latin. What more could one ask for?

And, of course, they civilized the British Isles, or, at least, parts thereof.

(Compelled to take 7 years of Latin – couldn’t understand why. Later in life, I’ve found that education to be valuable.)

Reply to  markl
August 9, 2019 4:10 am

I agree, to me those two statements seem interchangeable, if I spend ( lose) money more slowly I am by definition holding on to it for longer!

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  markl
August 9, 2019 7:38 am

Quoting the author, Jim Steele:

“Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer, increasing temperatures at weather stations situated near buildings and near asphalt”

The above statemen t is absolutely, positively correct.

Asphalt and cement (concrete) absorbs the solar energy ….. far more quicker than the natural habitat does,

And if asphalt and cement (concrete) absorbs the solar energy far more quicker …. then they will become far more hotter (stored thermal energy) than the natural habitat does.

And if asphalt and cement (concrete) become far more hotter (stored thermal energy) than the natural habitat does, …. then they will retain their stored thermal energy far longer than the natural habitat does.

Thus, after the incoming solar energy ceases, ……. the asphalt and cement (concrete) …. and all the other ”Heat Island infrastructure” items will still be radiating thermal energy long after the natural habitat has cooled down.

Reply to  Charles Higley
August 8, 2019 6:43 pm

So Charles, there is no such thing as a materials “thermal conductivity” and the laws of Thermodynamics don’t apply to a materials ability to gain, hold or dissipate heat??


Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  ColA
August 9, 2019 4:26 am

Yes, John Christy wrote some papers on that effect. Irrigation of crops in the Central Valley of California resulted in cooler days, thanks to plant transpiration, and warmer nights thanks to water in its three phases reducing heat loss at night. The net effect was an overall warming.


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 11, 2019 12:42 pm

In another place the effect would likely be a net cooling.
Water moderates temps, on the high and low end, so the overall effect varies from place to place, time of year, as well as on the diurnal cycle.

Alan D. McIntire
Reply to  ColA
August 9, 2019 4:28 am

Charles Higley was pointing out the fact that items with lower specific heat, like concrete or sand, as opposed to moist ground, both heat faster in the daytime and cool faster at night.

Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 9, 2019 5:21 am

But that’s not what he said, Alan, is it?

He criticised Steele for saying “Asphalt and cement not only heat up much faster than natural habitat during the day, those materials hold the heat longer” (which I have always believed to be the case) and then says, “As these surfaces heat up faster, they get hotter and it takes them longer to cool down once the energy source is removed.”

Like markl I don’t see a difference other than in semantics

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 9, 2019 8:05 am

@ Alan D. McIntire

Getta clue, Alan, …… moist ground does not heat up fast due to “water evaporation”, …… and not SHC.

Density and volume is far more important when it comes to absorption/radiation of thermal (heat) energy.

Five (5) square feet of “steel wool” that is subjected to direct Sunlight …… will not get as hot as a 1” square chunk of solid steel that is subjected to direct Sunlight.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 11, 2019 4:34 pm

The ground does not cool faster at night.
Go outside on any clear night right at sunset, and see which surfaces cool to the dew point first.
If one is talking about moist bare tightly packed dirt, well okay, maybe…but that condition rarely exists, and if so not for long. Moist soil will become covered with vegetation.
Also, both the specific heat and the thermal conductivity of soil, whether dry or moist, is highly variable…so without qualifying the statement with a type of soil & a time of year and whether there is vegetation, it is impossible to dispute or to prove.
Soil can be anything from peat to calcined clay. It can be granular or it can be cohesive. How wet is wet? Damp? Moist? Saturated? Each of these have separate values and they vary hugely, even before considering the density of each.
And sand…dry sand has the same specific heat as dry standard fill soil, type undefined. Slightly higher in fact: Quartz sand 830 vs dry soil 800 J/kg°C.
Soil has the most highly varying values for both thermal conductivity and for specific heat of anything one can look up. Most materials have a single value for these parameters, but soil being anything from dense clay to light fluffy peat, varies hugely in values given for specific heat.
And concrete also has several values listed for these parameters: High strength and high density concrete have a far higher specific heat and are far denser than lightweight and/or air entrained concrete.
The value given for specific heat of normal concrete (which can vary in density from 140 to 175 pcf, so giving one value is dubious) is 880 J/kg°C.

Soil s.h. can be anywhere from 800-1480 J/kg°C, as given by standard engineering handbook, but in fact this does not account for the full range of soil types. Also these are weight based measures, not values per unit area or unit volume. Peat is light and fluffy, but has a specific heat of 1900J.kg°C.
Higher than dense clay soil.
But that is by unit of weight, which is meaningless when comparing the amount of heat absorbed or stored in given area of land surface. For that one needs to at the very least account for the difference in density.
Silty organic soil, colloidal clay, or organic clayey soil has half the density, and therefore half the thermal mass, of a well graded mixture of silt, sand, clay and gravel…which is not terribly uncommon. Values from 71 to over 150 pcf, as collected from undisturbed sites. An average value seems to be about 120 pcf (1922 kg per cubic foot.) But Engineering handbook lists “dry dirt” as only 1041 kg/ft³.
Sand density spans the range from about 1200 to over 2000 kg/m³. Dry sand is given as 1281 kg/m³
Concrete density varies from as low as 240 to as high over 2800 kg/m³ .
Therefore, correcting for density, the situation can change completely, regarding the absolute values as well as the comparative values.

It turns out that by the time the correction for density is made, there is generally not as large a difference between concrete, sand (wet or dry), soil (wet or dry).
Medium soil type with medium moisture content has about 2.14 x 10^6 J/m³°C
Specific heat and density are both highly dependent on moisture content for all of these substances, because has far higher S.H. than any of them, and makes each more dense since it fills pore space rather than increasing volume.
So dry soil is the least dense of any of them and has the least amount of thermal mass, at 8.32 x 10^5J/m³°C
And wet not damp soil of a high density well sorted and mixed composition comes in very high at 4.14 J/M³°C.

Concrete, ordinary type median values for density and S.H. is 2.05 J/m³°C
Range for concrete (I was not able to find a value for SH for anything but regular concrete, but some kinds, like that used for roads and structures, is typically not the stuff they use to make a sidewalk…it is far denser and likely has a higher SH. It also typically contains rebars.
But in any case, the values for regular concrete, not high strength, and accounting only for density difference is 2.01 to 2.11 J/m³°C
And sand, which varies hugely in density between fine sand and course, and also in water retention and capacity, has for dry sand medium density of 1600, value volume-wise is 1.3 x10^6
Range though is 1.0 to 1.66 for dry sand.
Wet sand winds up being about 2.2 J/m³°C though.
It makes sense that these values are not entirely dis-similar, because sand makes up a large fraction of both soil and concrete.
But these differences are overshadowed by the fact that wet soil cools by evaporation even if it is bare, and is shaded and undergoes evaporation if it is not.
This is why soil, dry or wet, always feels cool to the touch.
And then the really big difference, thermal conductivity. A material with high conductivity, warmed strongly at the surface, will conduct a lot of this energy downwards.
One with low conductivity will heat up and get very hot in a thin layer and tend to dissipate far more and perhaps most of the heat while the Sun is still shining, rather than being able to warm to depth in the course of a day.
Thermal conductivity of moist soil has a wide range of values…from very low to quite high.
Values are 1.1 for clay soil, 0.15-2.0 for organic soil, and 0.6 to 4.0 for wet soil.
Experience tells us that soil does not warm deeply, at least not very quickly. Go outside anywhere during the day and dig down a foot. You are very unlikely to find the soil is anything but quite cool on your hands.
Dew forms near soil surface almost by sunset in many cases, especially if mowed grass or such.
Concrete has no value as low as we see for sand and soil…it is 1.0 to 1.8 for the types used for roads and buildings. And it is dense. If you grew up in the city, or live in one now, you know after a hot sunny day, even many hours after sunset, that concrete is still noticeably warm.
Falling snow when the temp is marginally freezing (common in Philly where I grew up) will begin to accumulate on cars first, then grassy surfaces, then roads, and lastly sidewalks.
Sand has conductivity that ranges fairly widely, w/ wet at 0.25 to 2.0 and dry from 0.15-2.5.
It is obvious from these numbers than sweeping generalizations are unlikely to be true except very broadly, unless we specify some particulars.
Soil may have large thermal mass, and fair to high conductivity, but only when moist to wet which also keeps it from warming due to evaporation and means it is usually covered with vegetation.
Concrete, unless some special lightweight kind, is very dense and has large thermal mass and has medium to high thermal conductivity.
Experience bears this out. It has to be a hot sunny day before concrete becomes too hot to walk on, and it has to stay hot for more than a little while as well…but it can hold a lot of heat and it radiates it away quickly but not incredibly quickly.
Asphalt was not mentioned, but I will here: SH 920, density 2242, and thermal conductance 0.75
It is typically underlain by concrete or else it is a thicker layer with crushed and or powdered stone under it. But it is not very strong in tension so it usually sits on concrete to prevent buckling and settling and such.
Sand on the beach tends to be dry on the surface very soon after it gets wet.
Soil tends to hold moisture and wick well and holds a lot of it.
Asphalt and concrete are dry, unless it is actually raining.
Here in Florida it can rain an inch and be dry five minutes after it stops raining.
Asphalt gets so hot it is not unusual for it to be literally steaming when it starts to rain in summer here. If it only rains a little it will steam until it is dried back up.
Concrete can as well, but more rarely. It conducts far more readily so heat is not accumulating at the surface like sand and asphalt and bare dry soil tend to.
There is no doubt concrete holds heat…it creates microclimates than can allow tropical plants to grow in places like Upstate New York.
I have had plants sitting on concrete be undamaged while those an inch away were burned by frost (steep learning curve when city boys move to Florida and find out the hard way it gets cold here too, and frost can form at 38° and is highly damaging to some species. I never once saw frost in Philadelphia, except one time on the inside of a window back in 1977 in one of those blizzards.)
That October day in 1984 when we were just getting started in the business, we had thousands of dollars in small starter plants in what are called cell packs, trays of little plants, and they were arranged on some concrete slabs but we ran out of room and some were on the ground on grass. It had been about 85-95° every single day for the six months prior to this one night, when the first cold front of the season passed by.
It was a shock to find out all that hot weather did not mean crap regarding frost prevention on bare ground or grass. Those plants died.
Some cell packs had half of the cells alive, and others were undamaged…like nothing at all happened. They were on two inch thick slabs of sakrete poured into slabs to give us someplace dry to stand while we worked.
Some places were bare ground, but the only plants that were not burned to the roots were those on concrete and the ones under trees.
It was not the only time stuff like that happened. I did that nursery thing for ten years, and on hundreds of nights a year I was outside all night long, walking around checking thermometers which I had dozens of, and checking irrigation, etc.
Cold pockets exist in rural agricultural areas, even as far south as 30 miles north of Tampa.
In those pockets, which are rarely mentioned outside of agricultural weather forecasts, we were routinely down to the dew point and as cold as official temps 250 miles north…but only if it was clear sky and low humidity.
If it was not a radiational cooling night…light wind, low dew point, clear sky…we were the same temp as Tampa airport 30 miles south.
I was studying all of this stuff during those early years, and was only the builder of the place, which I did in my spare time, meaning every weekend and Holiday I was there.
So I know exactly how various surface behave in hot weather and on cold nights. Spend a few thousands nights staying outside checking thermometers over 17 acres of microclimates as if your livelihood depending on how well you are paying attention, and anyone else will too.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 11, 2019 5:34 pm

Sorry…first sentence should be with a question mark, like so:
“The ground does not cool faster at night.”
Sorry…it makes the rest of it confusing if it seems like I am saying that is true…I am disputing it.
Bare ground or grass most certainly cools faster at night than paved surfaces of most building materials.
An exception is sheet metal, like cars.
That cools the fastest, and the roof of a car is very often the first place frost will form on a cold night, and the first place to get dew.
And cars will often get ?gallons? (I do not know, never measured it, but it is a lot and pours off the whole car all night sometimes) of dew on them over a whole night, here in FLA

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 11, 2019 5:50 pm

Those values for joules per cubic meter x degrees Celsius should have exponent ten to the sixth power after the decimal three digit value I gave. Sorry…I was getting tired of writing that comment for the second time.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alan D. McIntire
August 11, 2019 6:18 pm

Here are links to the sources I used for these values given, in case anyone wants to check my numbers or look more closely.
Specific heat of materials:

Density of materials:

Soil and water retention, esp. sand:

Aaaand…thermal conductivity:

I think I used and closed a few other links to find additional info on that last parameter…but not much success IIRC.
Concrete changes it’s composition and how it behaves and how strong it is over time…it continues to absorb CO2 from the air, for some types of cement in the mix, and will continue to absorb water and hydrate the water into the mineral matrix and also get stronger for other types.
This process of absorption and strengthening for concrete goes on for a very long time…slowing but continuing for decades, hundreds of years, probably forever.
Many examples of concretes poured by the Romans, both above ground and under sea water and fresh water, are still as string or stronger than the day they were cured, thousands of years ago.
This is only now being rediscovered…they used stuff like volcanic ash in the mix. Many materials can be used to make the cement in concrete and/or be used as an aggregate. The chemical reactions are complex and not fully understood in detail even for the most common types of cement and concrete. Look up pozzolana to learn more about the amazing Roman concrete…which for a long time was not even recognized for what it is.
The Forum in Rome, sea walls, aqueducts, all sorts of things that survive in some form, many intact and as new almost, to this day:

“Pozzolanas such as Santorin earth were used in the Eastern Mediterranean since 500–400 BC. Although pioneered by the ancient Greeks, it was the Romans that eventually fully developed the potential of lime-pozzolan pastes as binder phase in Roman concrete used for buildings and underwater construction. Vitruvius speaks of four types of pozzolana: black, white, grey, and red, all of which can be found in the volcanic areas of Italy, such as Naples. Typically it was very thoroughly mixed two-to-one with lime just prior to mixing with water. The Roman port at Cosa was built of pozzolana-lime concrete that was poured underwater, apparently using a long tube to carefully lay it up without allowing sea water to mix with it. The three piers are still visible today, with the underwater portions in generally excellent condition even after more than 2100 years.”


“The strength and longevity of Roman marine concrete is understood to benefit from a reaction of seawater with a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime to create a rare crystal called tobermorite, which may resist fracturing. As seawater percolated within the tiny cracks in the Roman concrete, it reacted with phillipsite naturally found in the volcanic rock and created aluminous tobermorite crystals. The result is a candidate for “the most durable building material in human history”. In contrast, modern concrete exposed to saltwater deteriorates within decades”

“Recent scientific breakthroughs examining Roman concrete have been gathering media and industry attention.[16][17] Because of its unusual durability, longevity and lessened environmental footprint, corporations and municipalities are starting to explore the use of Roman-style concrete in North America, substituting the coal fly ash with volcanic ash that has similar properties. Proponents claim that concrete made with volcanic ash can cost up to 60% less because it requires less cement, and that it has a smaller environmental footprint due to its lower cooking temperature and much longer lifespan.[18] Usable examples of Roman concrete exposed to harsh marine environments have been found to be 2000 years old with little or no wear.”

Those guys built entire huge structures in places with earthquakes, that are still standing strong and looking good as new thousands of years later.

Look at this bridge:
comment image

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ColA
August 11, 2019 12:39 pm

I had written a long post regarding the specific heat of materials, and as well the thermal conductance of the same materials, complete with easily obtainable engineering reference lists of these parameters, and how numerous factors all add together to create the urban heat island effect, which also operates on the microclimate scale.
But I did it on my Kindle, which reset itself before I could post it. I think it was too long and overloaded the small memory of the device.
But you are absolutely correct ColA.
And this is readily observable, measurable, and repeatable…as well as being easy to describe and explain.
This thread is jammed up with people making incorrect declarations.

Reply to  Andrew Burnette
August 8, 2019 4:18 pm

I would add another one as well, which always seems to be forgotten by the ‘so called’ experts. That’s a little thing called “Underwater Volcanic Activity”. For every above sea level volcano eruption there is no telling how many under the sea are also blasting out heat into the ocean. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ratio was well over 100:1. And where does all that heat go? It rises to the top, and enters the atmosphere.

Right now the planet is going through the opening stages of a Grand Solar Minimum, where tectonic plates and magma are going bonkers. And its almost certainly due to all the galactic cosmic rays entering the atmosphere. Its past time that we all start educating ourselves on all this, instead of stumbling around in the dark, not understanding the whys and hows of all this.

James Beaver
Reply to  John L Kelly
August 8, 2019 8:12 pm

What mechanism attributable to galactic cosmic rays is influencing the tectonic plates and the magma? [ perhaps rhetorical ]

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  James Beaver
August 9, 2019 8:09 am

Iffen we knew that then it wouldn’t be ….. “past time that we all start educating ourselves on all this,

James Beaver
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
August 9, 2019 11:27 am

Ah. I presumed John L. Kelly was already educated on this, and would illuminate us all with his erudite exposition, or perhaps a link should we want to know more. 😉

Reply to  James Beaver
August 10, 2019 11:33 am

There are loads of information out there on the process of how solar flux, caused by sunspots and coronal mass ejections, surround the earth’s magnetic field, deflecting galactic cosmic rays, which affect this planet. These cosmic rays affect the viscosity of magma flow, and geological plates, allowing them to slip(earthquakes). This is why new Grand Solar Minimums are accompanied by a more tranquil sun than usual, and we are in the process of entering another GSM.

If you want to see how active/inactive our sun is, then visit http://www.spaceweather.com, where there is a host of information about present and past solar activity. As of now, 67% of this year has been sunspot free. The further we enter this GSM the less sunspots appear. By the end of this year, the number of days without sunspots should be around 75%, and next year even less. At a minimum, this lack of activity resembles a Dalton Minimum, with a Maunder Minimum type more likely. In other words, we are in the opening stage of another ‘so called “Little Ice Age” Its going to get colder than usual.
Here’s two articles that should help in understanding the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of all this.

-Cosmic-solar radiation as the cause of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions: https://watchers.news/2015/06/09/cosmic-solar-radiation-as-the-cause-of-earthquakes-and-volcanic-eruptions/
-A Shifting Shield Provides Protection Against Cosmic Rays: https://aasnova.org/2017/12/01/a-shifting-shield-provides-protection-against-cosmic-rays/

Reply to  Andrew Burnette
August 9, 2019 4:12 am

The Ajustocene.

Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 10:39 am

“2019 Atlantic hurricane season now favors ‘above-normal’ activity, with 10-17 named storms, NOAA says”


Gary Pearse
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 11:46 am

They are runn8ng late!!

Dan Cody
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 8, 2019 12:13 pm

Indeed,this season is a little late thus far. But remember,the hurricane season ends on November 30th after peaking around September 10.There’s still plenty of time for an active season.The dry air in the Atlantic off of Africa that’s been inhibiting tropical waves from forming is about to leave soon.Also,wind shear will be weakening resulting in a sudden surge of tropical waves-storms and some hurricanes.We can’t let our guard down and people shouldn’t become complacent being that it’s been relatively quiet thus far.It only takes one devastating hurricane to make it a ‘bad’hurricane season.Recall hurricane Andrew in August of 1992,one of only 4 land falling cat 5 hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. in recorded history.Andrew killed 39 people after hitting Florida and LA.causing $25 billion in damage. – Dan Cody (A.K.A. The weather geek).

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 9, 2019 5:58 am

We are always prepared here, but so far this season has been a nothing burger.

Dan Cody
Reply to  JS
August 9, 2019 6:06 am

That nothing burger is about to be an everything burger and God willing,not a heart attack on a bun.I just saw on the weather channel that the el nino has stopped.That means less wind shear in the western Atlantic and Caribbean and a greatly increased chance of tropical development in the coming weeks.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  JS
August 9, 2019 8:28 am

El Nino is not a binary phenomenon.
The index that is used just passed below a rather arbitrary line that has been deemed to represent when there is an El Nino.
Large numbers of storms are correlated, and rather roughly, with La Nina events.
Having the water temp is the Tropical Pacific go from just above to just below a cutoff point that is arbitrarily assigned does not mean wind shear in the Atlantic basin went from “no hurricanes” to “many hurricanes”.
Nothing like that is true.
This forecast is pure guesswork, and this guess appears to have been made by someone who does not understand the nuances, but instead relies on some rule of thumb they heard somewhere.
Besides, there is far more to storm formation that wind shear or lack of it.
There must be warm water, and very humid air in a deep layer with dry air above it.
Then you need low pressure at the surface with high pressure in the upper atmosphere.
There are several very good reasons why the peak of the season is such a sharply pointed one, and why it is long after the hottest part of the Summer, and why some years have few storms and some years have a great many.
At this point the ENSO index is still positive…it has not even reached “neutral yet.
And the correlation, while a strong one, is only a correlation, not a cause and effect thing, and not predictive or causative.
BTW…there is an ENSO meter graphic on this page, on the right hand margin up a few scrolls.
It is obvious to anyone following it that it is little changed from the values it has had for many months…it is slowly declining.
It may decline more rapidly, or be forecast to do so, but this index measures something with a spotty forecasting record.
Some of the busiest tropical seasons on record occurred during El Nino years (2004 for one), and some of the slowest ones during neutral or La Nina years.
ENSO is not a hurricane meter.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 2:19 pm

Average number in the Atlantic basin is just over ten. 17 is an extraordinarily large number of named storms.
Having 16 would put the year in the top ten most active seasons of all time.

Here is a link to a list of the 10 (it says ten but list more…15) most active seasons since 1851:


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 2:52 pm

An excellent case can be made for why the statistics generated in recent years, and the ones that will be gathered for this year, are not comparable to previous decades.
Nowadays, people with an agenda are quick to slap a name on any swirl of clouds, and are given to unsupportable reportage regarding the strength of any storm that comes near land.
IOW…they are just making crap up, and shamelessly at that.
Michael last year is a prime example.
The strength of a hurricane used to be based on rigorous science, but now it is based on chicanery and bullshit.
It is well understood that the barometric pressure of a hurricane is a direct measurement of intensity and can be correlated to wind speed with some level of certainty, but the winds ascribed during and even worse revised after the fact to Michael show no correlation between measured pressures and ascribed wind speeds.
If I had more time I could give one example after another in recent years, of storms that were called hurricanes but when they raked a coastline did almost no damage.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 9, 2019 4:03 am

In 2014 the UK and Eireann Met Offices started naming ‘storms’. They gave several reasons for this but as a cynic…Anyway, they did admit that the classification system they would use, “May result in names being allocated to events that are below the traditional Beaufort Scale definition of a storm.” They can call them whatever they like but I still call it what I did as a kid; crap weather.

Reply to  Augy
August 9, 2019 5:49 am

A satirical newspaper in the north-west of Scotland showed this fiasco up for what it was with the headline “Storm Abigail now upgraded to ‘normal Hebridean weather’.

Really does “say it all”. The only effect of naming Atlantic winter storms is to spread alarm which I don’t believe is what the Met Office was established for.

Jim in Atlanta
Reply to  Augy
August 9, 2019 8:38 am

Abraham Lincoln said, “How many legs would a dog have if you call a tail a leg? … Four. Just because you call a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

By analogy, if you call a storm a hurricane, it might not be a hurricane.

Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 3:37 pm

[Excuse the off topic tangent please, I really hate it when people do that on my fresh posts.]

Heck, I’ll just be quick.


“We continue to predict a near-normal 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.” Prediction – 14 total named storms, normal is 12.1.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ric Werme
August 8, 2019 6:37 pm

I saw that other number Ric, after I posted.
That (12.1 named storms per year on average) is the 30 year average I think.
The longer term overall average in the historical record is closer to 10, or so I believe, and that was the stat I quoted.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ric Werme
August 10, 2019 2:51 am

If 15 storms puts a season in the top ten over the past 170 years, I am wondering how it is they say 14 is “near normal”?
Right now we have one of the slowest starts ever, and the forecast for the next week and probably two is for no tropical development.
Things can change quickly, but there is below normal water temp and a huge area of very dry air, and no sign of waves passing off the coast of Africa.
And ENSO is still close to borderline so nino.
14 storms would take 12 more.
If there are none for the next two weeks, it would one every week after that, right up to near Thanksgiving, to result in 12 more.
I would bet money they are way off on this forecast.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 10, 2019 6:59 am

They count them now regardless of size & power as long as they have a name.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  A C Osborn
August 11, 2019 12:33 pm

Yup. Almost every year, or maybe so far it is every single year, some small swirl way out in open ocean that pops up and is gone without ever effecting anyone, is named and added to the list.
In the past, even after but especially prior to the satellite era, this was generally not done, and the area may not even have been taken notice of.
Predictable what people who have their paychecks and reputations on the line, not to mention their political views and research grants perhaps hanging in the balance.
IFAIAC, these people, some of them, have amply proven themselves to be utterly untrustworthy and dishonest. Not scientists at all. Disinterested in objective reality.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 10, 2019 4:44 am

According to eminent weather forecaste Joe Bastardi the first two storms were borderline– Andrea a TD, and Barry a H. NOAA can’t justify its existence without fudging the dialogue. Dust and southerly winds from the Sahara which accounted for the recent brief European “heat wave”. Now gone and cold with prevail, including the extensive cold gripping Eastern Russia!!! How come no mention of that???
That same Sahara Airborne Dust has been blocking the normal African conveyor in the Caribbean and it continues to date.
Until last week the Eastern Pacific had only one cyclone which was unusually quiet. No mention of that but with three new storms developing the CAGW diatribe will certainly start anew.

August 8, 2019 10:45 am

you are wrong about vegetation.
more vegetation traps heat, e.g. Las Vegas (USA), from desert to oasis: Tmin increased by 5K over the past 40 years.
less vegetation causes cooling: e.g. Tandil (ARG), they chopped all the trees: Tmin decreased by 2K over the past 40 years.

A C Osborn
Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 11:05 am

The increase of Vegitation increases moisture content.
Therefore if Tmin increases Tmax should decrease, isnt dryness the very reason Deserts have such a large Diurnal Swing?

Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 11:22 am

Vegetation can reduce Tmax and increase Tmin. My observation is the average temp is greater with vegetation, whereas record Tmax and Tmin are set in areas of no vegetation. I cannot venture to guess whether these observations would hold in all environments.

So if you are discussing average temps, you would be correct. If he is addressing those who point to record highs as proof of warming, he is.

Reply to  jtom
August 8, 2019 1:03 pm

@ A C Osborn, jtom

in the case of Tandil, where they chopped the trees, maxima rose, whilst minima dropped.
in the case of Las Vegas maxima rose as well but not as dramatic as minima.
here you can see my results

[look at the regressions for the longest time periods, use the key buttons on the key board to scroll down]

Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 4:00 pm

Fewer trees mean less cooling during the day via evaporation from leaves, hence the higher maxima.
Likewise, less evaporation during the day means less humidity in the air so that heat escapes more readily at night, hence the lower minima.

Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 12:17 pm

My well treed back yard is a wonderfully cool place to be when the temperature on the street is scorching.

Reply to  commieBob
August 8, 2019 3:42 pm

Similarly, my “well hayed” garden has a 6″ think layer of square baled coastal all across the top of it to keep the soil below cool and moist and prevent the need for hoeing.

I don’t have to water near as much as when the garden soil is naked to the heat of the sun.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 2:17 pm

Vegas has far more concrete and asphalt than vegetation.
What did less trees do to the Tmax at the surface at Tandril?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 2:41 pm

You want to use Las Vegas to “prove” the conjecture that more vegetation results in higher average temps than when there is less vegetation?
Think about it: Is the fact that there are now more plants and trees within the city than the same area had before anything was built there, the only change that has occurred?
Besides for that, where is the thermometer?
And where was it then?
Thermometers do not give a reading of the average temp of a city or a desert area…they measure one spot at one specific time.

Someone who wanted to take the time could find a any number of counter examples to disprove your point, Henry, but it would be a waste of time, because using thermometer readings in places where land use changes has occurred over a long period of time, is not evidence of anything, unless all variables are accounted for.
Go stand in paved parking lot next to a glass walled high-rise at noon in Summer anywhere in the world, and then walk to a grassy area, and then to a tree covered area. Measure the temp at each place.
Then tell yourself that the grassy and forested areas are hotter than the parking lot.

Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 3:58 pm

It’s the increased water vapor due to all those lawns and swamp coolers that have been increasing the temperatures in Vegas.

Around here, driving past a heavily wooded area drops temperatures by as much as 5 degrees compared to the subdivisions on either side.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
August 8, 2019 6:59 pm

There is a massive area of paved surfaces, large high rise glass walled buildings, many of them, and everyone in the city is blasting an air conditioner, in addition to all the other energy being used.
There may be areas of irrigated grass, and planted trees in spots, but there is also a lot of concrete and asphalt and many of all kinds of buildings.
But the one factor that may be outweighing the rest is the location of the temperature station.
Is it at the airport?
Has the airport become larger with more paving and buildings and jets blasting hot air around than was the case in the past?
Airports are not typically noted for having lots of trees.
They may keep grass to a minimum as well to prevent wildlife and birds and such from congregating.
Here, I checked…this 2800 acre airport is not exactly what I would call and “oasis” of greenery.
It is massive and paved over and nary a grassy plot or tree in sight.
It is 100% paved with concrete, which is very thick and holds a massive amount of thermal energy which does not cool down quickly at night.
It is the eight busiest airport in the entire US, ahead of places like Orlando, Miami, Philadelphia, Houston, Newark, Boston, Charlotte…
And I also checked and the official Las Vegas temp is indeed taken at the log term climate station at McCarren airport.

comment image

Robert of Texas
Reply to  henryp
August 9, 2019 11:06 am

I think the local environment and vegetation has something to say about the effect. Add a bunch of desert cactus (successfully) to a desert and it likely affects the highs and lows differently then adding redwoods to a coastal valley.

If you intercede more light and covert it into sugars, you have taken energy away from heating the environment. If you evaporate more water, you potentially carry away more heat (assuming the moisture is not trapped in an inversion layer). Destroy a forest and the thin subsoil layer it has built up, you likely will increase light striking the ground and available ground moisture to carry off heat.

So…it depends.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 9, 2019 12:52 pm

No. If you cut away the trees it is going to get cooler in the night. The effect is so pronounced that it might effect average T. An increase in vegetation traps heat. Photosynthesis. Stores heat. But you need moisture for that as well. Somebody is watering the gardens and crops.
Now there is your man made warming.
Somebody must stop that…

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  henryp
August 10, 2019 3:12 am

This line of argumentation is simplistic nonsense.
There is no conversion to heat during photosynthesis.
EM radiation is converted to chemical energy directly.
Heat and energy are not interchangeable terms.
In fact this stored energy is specifically not heat…it is diverted and may never result in release of heat, or it may do so far away in time and space.
And evaporated water stores latent heat, which is likewise not sensible heat, nor is it trapped, but typically wisked far away and often quickly, and often to the edge of the troposphere, then radiated away to space.
The word heat in this context has a specific and narrow meaning.
Conflating all energy with thermal energy is completely unscientific.

August 8, 2019 10:46 am

On cause 2. Loss of Vegetation: Forests have less albedo than deserts, so, loss of vegetation cools the planet… (I think this point is specially complex and hard to study –as clouds–)

Reply to  Armando Páez
August 8, 2019 1:48 pm


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Armando Páez
August 8, 2019 7:10 pm

Pure bunkum.
If the only factor in determining temperature was albedo, do you think anyone would have noticed that?
It is simply inane to think that forests are warmer than the same area would be if it was denuded to bare ground.
You ought to get outside every now and then.

John Tillman
August 8, 2019 10:54 am

Cleaner air from less air pollution means clearer skies, hence warmer surface temperatures.

While North America and Europe have reduced pollution since the 1970s, air over China and India has gotten dirtier. But still, the net gain for the Northern Hemisphere is less sunshine-blocking haze than before the warming which started in the late 1970s.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation also switched to warm mode in 1977. Before that, from the end of WWII 32 years previously, Earth had cooled dramatically, despite steadily rising CO2.

Reply to  John Tillman
August 8, 2019 1:45 pm

I remember reading some thirty or forty years ago, that the cleaner air in the UK from the reduction of burning coal and wood for heating resulted in less fog, which in turned gave rise to greater maximum and lower minimum temperatures.

I guess it was really CO2 that was responsible (snark).

John Tillman
Reply to  jtom
August 8, 2019 6:26 pm

And yet cleaner skies is just one of many non-CO2 factors ignored in the GIGO computer games used to justify dismantling the industrial economy needed to support eight billion human lives.

John Tillman
Reply to  Burl Henry
August 9, 2019 9:28 am

Still higher than in the 1970s. Plus, China produces lots of soot and other particulates.

A C Osborn
August 8, 2019 11:01 am

Maybe add Moisture Content as well as clouds?
UV content of Sunlight?

August 8, 2019 11:17 am

I would add radiation from the sky, mainly from water vapour molecules.

To get a heatwave record you probably need several ingredients, obviously sunshine, but also dry soil and a warm moist atmosphere.

August 8, 2019 11:24 am

And there is whatever factor or combination of factors that produced the Medieval , Roman, or Minoan Warm periods, and whatever caused warming since 1850 other than CO2. The post named several, but what caused the Little Ice Age?
Volcanism just doesn’t quite seem adequate, and the proxies for solar activity only correlate well with temperature for more recent cycles, and fail farther back.
Sometimes, knowing you don’t know is learning.

Burl Henry
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 9, 2019 10:32 am

Tom Halla:

“Volcanism just doesn’t quite seem adequate”

Actually, it appears that volcanism actually does explain the differences between the MWP and the LIA, for example:

During the ~300 years of the Medieval Warming Period, there were only 30 VEI4 or larger volcanic eruptions reported (10 per century), 9 of which were VEI5 or larger

During the ~600 years of the Little Ice Age (circa 1250-1850) , there were 144 eruptions reported (24 per century), of which 41 of which were VEI5 or larger.

(Strato-volcano eruptions, per “Volcanoes of the World, third edition)”.

The more frequent eruptions, and the greater instances of VEI5 eruptions during the LIA HAD to have resulted in lower planetary temperatures than those of the MWP..

Reply to  Burl Henry
August 9, 2019 10:50 am

Different ages. Poorer reporting the furthet back in time you go.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Burl Henry
August 11, 2019 5:27 pm

We know that volcanoes will cool the entire planet and do so for a number of years if it is a big one, and depending: What material is blasted how high and in what amount?
El Chichon was a relatively small eruption but injected a huge amount of SO2 into the upper atmosphere, where it colored sunsets all over the world for long time.
The effect of aerosols in the upper atmosphere has a larger effect than one might guess, and we have only seen a few of them in the modern era, and no really huge ones, and none where one eruption that caused cooling was followed quickly by another while it was still cooler than it otherwise would have been.
Those sunsets are redder because there is far more scatter in certain wavelengths and especially where the rays shine through a thicker layer of the stuff…like at the edges of illuminated portion of the planet.
If there are large eruptions during a period where the Sun is already giving out less energy, whether or not it is in any way related (at this point no one knows but there are multiple possibilities for how and why this might be, including magnetic field changes and/or electric currents) the effect may be more than simply additive if albedo changes dramatically and snow cover at lower latitudes persists for a longer period of time.
Electric currents might sound far fetched if you never heard it before, but in fact there are electric currents swirling around and through the Earth, there is something called piezoelectric effect, and who knows what else.
How up on the latest research on lightning is everyone commenting on this?
We now know that thunderstorms can and do produce flashes of gamma radiation.
We only relatively recently discovered the whole collection of upwards directed lightning in and plasma discharges from thunderstorms, and now that people are looking they are seen fairly often and all over the Earth. How did no one notice them, including pilots and astronauts, and the people with satellites looking down on Earth?
Guess what everyone said to the first people who saw them and told everyone, but before there were photos?
Does it sound plausible that these things exist?
It did not, at all…and no one who had not seen them believed it, and least of all the people that study lightning! How come we did not predict them?
Because they are transient and hidden from view most of the time, and do not occur with every storm. And people have a track record of zero when it comes to predicting emergent behavior ahead of time.
Someone who was never on a planet but saw clouds forming and inferred that they were condensed water…would anyone even intuitively know that there would be something called lightning?
We have seen it our whole lives, but we still know very little about it, and missed entire classes and types of high energy discharges going on right over our heads and above clouds.
People claim there are earthquake lights and sounds. Not always. But lots of things are not always but are sometimes present.
I can tell you that the brightest fireball I saw during that meteor storm during the Leonids in November 1999…the thing was on the edge of space perhaps ten thousand miles away, but I heard a clear and crisp electric *ZING* as it got brighter than faded.
I did not think much of it at the time, but later I realized…that is impossible.
So I looked it up…many people have reported hearing bright meteors…and in real time, no delay.
Some say it is impossible, but I heard it, and know they are wrong.
It may be some sort of electric discharge causing nearby wires to make a noise…that would explain it, although Center City has buried power lines, it does have overhead phone lines hidden in the back alleys. And there are aluminum street lamps than are 40-50′ high.
Who knows?
They one thing I can feel certain of…we have not yet discovered the last extremely surprising thing we ever will discover.
My guess is textbooks in 200 years may be as different from the ones today as ours are from two hundred year ago ones.
The section on mass hysteria in the encyclopedias will be vastly thicker.

Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 11:26 am

It’s so bloody hot,I had to delete the pics in where I was wearing sweaters.

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 1:00 pm

Oh look, our juvenile attention-seeker is back.
Once again, with nothing to offer.
Is it true that you are so uninformed that you cannot create a useful comment no mater what the topic here?

Dan Cody
Reply to  TonyL
August 8, 2019 3:04 pm

Oh,look,our nasty obnoxious Tony with Bologna is back.You know Tony,I’ve been pretty reserved with my replies to your arrogant comments.But Now the gloves are off. You’ve proved yourself to be nothing but an arrogant jerk.You have no sense of what it means to be a decent guy.All you do is criticize others with a nasty attitude.Why can’t you be nice to others? Why can’t you lighten up and stop taking things so seriously? Try to have some fun and loosen up a little.Life is a short journey thru time and your wasting it by being mean to others.You seriously have some soul searching to do.I hope you change for the better and stop thinking of yourself first since you have no regard whatsoever for the feelings of others around you.All you like to do is look down on others.You really need to lighten up with your arrogant attitude and try to enjoy the moment with others.Feel better Tony.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 7:25 pm

Dan Cody
I’m afraid that I have to concur with TonyL. You are contributing very little to the topics. You are using bandwidth to draw attention to yourself without the redeeming virtue of actually making positive contributions. Your remarks are of the caliber one expects from Yahoo commenters. This website isn’t about having fun, nor making others feel good!

“The essence of immaturity is the inability to recognize it.”

Dan Cody
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2019 7:41 pm

Wrong Clyde.The fact that you have an overly serious attitude and no flexibility on how people should conduct themselves shows how uptight of a person you are who doesn’t know the meaning of the word fun.Your the one who is being immature because of your rigid demeanor.Lighten up Clyde and try to enjoy life a little without always feeling bound by the so called ‘rules of the game’.There’s no rules here.I’m free to comment the way I want just as you are.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2019 11:25 pm

“There’s no rules here.I’m free to comment the way I want just as you are.”
Wrong Dan.
This site has a long list of policies and such that the host asks people to respect.
It is also lightly moderated, which is why the fact none of the moderators have said anything does not mean you are not off base.
Among the ones that you are either over the line or close to it on:

-Respect is given to those with manners, those without manners that insult others or begin starting flame wars may find their posts deleted.

-Some off topic comments may get deleted, don’t take it personally, it happens. Commenters that routinely lead threads astray in areas that are not relevant or are of personal interest only to them may find these posts deleted.

-Trolls, flame-bait, personal attacks, thread-jacking, sockpuppetry, name-calling such as “denialist,” “denier,” and other detritus that add nothing to further the discussion may get deleted; also posts repeatedly linking to a particular blog, or attempting to dominate a thread by excessive postings may get deleted. Take that personally if you wish, but all deletions/snips are final. Grousing about it won’t help since deleted posts can’t be recovered. Rather than trying to deal with each comment, bulk moderation may be employed to save time.

-The idea of the blog is to learn, discuss, and enjoy the interaction. Please try to keep that in mind when making comments.

So clearly there are rules, and if you bothered to think about it, or check, you would know this.
There are threads that deal with topics that are silly or ridiculous, and some that are purposely and purely for amusement.
Working humor into comments is also something no one will object to.
Using threads as your personal joke boards with no sign of any sort of internal filter, Is IMO distracting and at a certain point intolerable.
If a bunch of people showed up and got away with making dumb jokes or any other sort of non sequitur and off topic comments, the comment boards could easily become unreadable.
I have no way to know, but I cannot rule out the possibility that you are engaged in a new warmista trolling method, and are in reality one of the people who want this site to go away and for the information disseminated on these threads to go unseen and unnoticed.
If this is not the case, show some class, maturity and at least a modicum of respect.
For yourself if not for anyone else.
Of course, it takes a lot more work, and thought, and smarts to make intelligent and cogent comments while also working some humor in.
Is that beyond your ken?

Dan Cody
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 9, 2019 3:19 am

Wrong Nicholas.You don’t make the rules and you’re in no position to tell others what to do,I’m free to comment the way I want just as you are.You are too caught up in your overly serious attitude on this subject.It’s time for you to let go and move on.If you had a sense of humor,you wouldn’t be complaining so much.Your complaining is far far worse than my light hearted jesting on my part.Nicholas,you sound like you need a vacation.If you had one already,then you need a vac.from your vac.You need to lighten up and think out of the box instead of being constrained by rules that you make a big deal of.It’s time for you to break the shackles off that bind you from enjoying life because of your rigid,uptight attitude and too serious demeanor.Try to have a little fun in life with a flexible outlook instead of trying to play lawyer in your pointless technicalities regarding how people should act.As I said,people are free to do as they please just as you are and without someone like yourself who’ wrongly likes to dictate to others in how they should conduct themselves.Loosen up Nicholas and try to enjoy your weekend.Take Care.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 8, 2019 11:33 pm

Oh, forgot…here is a link to the policy page. There are others that explain what the purpose of the site is…and using the comment boards for anyone who feels like it to tell jokes that were too dumb for 5th grade aint on it.
As I have said, this is not my site, but you are annoying people and going out of your way to be antagonistic at this point.



Dan Cody
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 9, 2019 3:27 am

There you go again Nicholas.It’s time for you to stop playing lawyer about the rules and pull your head out of your ass.You’re too pre-occupied with all this and it prevents you from focusing on other things that you enjoy talking about.You need to stop being stubborn and let go and move on instead of getting caught up in all this.If you don’t like my comments,ignore them and move on.why should you care? You keep coming at me with your ‘lawyer ‘mindset about the rules.It’s tiring to me and others that you keep carrying on about all this.Let go Nicholas and you’ll feel better.Move on and let go.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 9, 2019 5:46 am

Agreed, Clyde & TonyL,
Dan Cody is subtracting from the progress of WUWT.
Please be more on-topic if you feel you must post, DC. Geoff S

Dan Cody
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 9, 2019 6:01 am

It’s time for you guys to wake up and smell the coffee.I just recently posted some serious comments on various topics on the universe.If you guys were paying attention,you wouldn’t be complaining so much which is certainly a lot more annoying than my joking once in a while just for a change of pace.Guys,you need to lighten up and stop belly aching and enjoy the moment instead of you’re overly serious mindset attitude.You can’t enjoy life that way.Relax.Take a deep breath and smile a little.Go for a short walk or whatever turns you on.You’ll feel better.But please stop all your bickering.It’s not good for the others on the website who are not interested in your complaining that’s just goes on and on. I’ve been telling you this in previous replies and you guys still don’t get it because your so obstinate.Let it all go and move on to bigger and better things instead of letting things get to you.Feel better guys.Please understand that I only mean well and have good intentions.Don’t wrongly take things personally.Try to loosen up and be more open minded.Let your hair down and live a little instead of letting yourself get upset by complaining over trivial things.Have a good day guys.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 9, 2019 8:50 am

You are new here Dan, which is only one of the reasons you have no idea what you are talking about.
If you were not new here, you would know how off base you are regarding pretty much everything you have said.
I am guessing you are in High School.
16 or 17?
Your sophomoric commentary regarding the solar cycle reveals the depth of your ignorance, superficial knowledge of these issues, and how behind the curve you are regarding topics discussed here at great length, in great detail, and over a long period of time.
Search for solar cycle on this page, and read a few recent articles and the comment threads to start to catch up.
FYI…if you think you are being spoken to harshly, or unfairly, this is another instance of your being completely wrong.
You have been treated with gentle hands wearing kid gloves…so far.

Dan Cody
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 9, 2019 9:10 am

Your way off as usual Nicholas in your assumptions. whether i’m new here or not is pointless and doesn’t concern you.Your way off base.Try to focus on the issues instead of being so defensive and at the same time,condescending because in your selfishness,your inflating your ego to make yourself feel good by always criticizing others.You have this ‘I think I know it all’ attitude and mindset.Grow up Nicholas and try to understand other points of views of others instead of being wrapped up in your egoism.Feel better Nicholas.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 11, 2019 7:55 pm

I feel fine Dan. How do you feel?
What do you hope to accomplish showing up on a forum where some people spend a lot of time reading and sharing their thoughts, by antagonizing the people who are on the same side of the CAGW argument as you?
Your comment is mostly about yourself, it has nothing to do with me, because I said nothing to you for several days and only said something when you became offensive and then started getting all up in peoples faces and telling them how they feel.
“Feel Better”?
After the way you talk to nearly everyone here, it is obvious you have no desire to wish anyone well.
No one started out saying much of anything to you, and when a few people gently suggested you stay on topic, you made your standard boilerplate childish rant. You started, then escalated, so please spare me your crocodile tears and platitudes and cartoon patronizing psychology advice.
I cannot for a minute understand the mentality of someone who starts crap with a whole crowd of people you never spoke to before, but are the ones on the same side of the biggest and most important issue on Earth, literally.
Come find me on Twitter and I will tell you what I really think.
I will try to never speak to you here directly, except to set the record straight when you get matters of science wrong.

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 1:42 pm

Is English your second language, or just poor typing?

Delete away. You still have no cogent comment, but the sweaters may explain a lot about your commenting….

Dan Cody
Reply to  Sheri
August 8, 2019 3:11 pm

is being nice to others just a failing hobby of yours or are you always this arrogant to others?

August 8, 2019 11:36 am

Those are good proximate causes.

In general our lack of knowledge of the ocean is a huge problem. You mention what might be stored heat. A more likely heat source is venting from the massive number of fissures being detected now with satellites. Venting from fissures clearly increases as the earth is placed under gravitational stress as shown by proximity of releases and earthquakes during tidal coincidences.

There is also great variability in the suns output and how it interacts with everything on earth, including the ocean.

There is also the problem of what you mean by warmer. Do you mean warmer in the winter, warmer nights, warmer at the poles, warmer in the high atmosphere, warmer over the surface of the ocean, warmer in the ocean. Warmer in terms of its impact on living things, i.e. drier or wetter warmth, high winds or low wind warmth.

Each of these can be different. If all the warmth was in the winter during the night or was concentrated in certain levels of the atmosphere or mainly in certain regions its effect on life and the planet would be different.

Swiftly Tilting Planet
August 8, 2019 11:40 am

There is no heat island effect in the middle of oceans. Nor is there vegetation loss there. Last year, NOAA measured the warmest temperatures in the global oceans in recorded history.

Reply to  Swiftly Tilting Planet
August 8, 2019 4:41 pm

Isn’t somewhere going to have a record nearly every year? Oceans big, record keeping not that long, someplace quite a wide available selection set ?

John Tillman
Reply to  Swiftly Tilting Planet
August 8, 2019 6:33 pm

NOAA’s oceanic “data” are shameless packs of lies.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Swiftly Tilting Planet
August 8, 2019 7:06 pm

That is a bunch of crap and you just made that up.
Besides for the fact it is not true, exactly how long is the recorded history of comprehensive global ocean temperature readings?
You know, the ones that are not made with buckets or at ship intakes?
Why, that would be when the Argos project reached full deployment, about ten years ago.
And just for the record, the Argos units recorded a cooling ocean, until they “corrected” the numbers to say what they \thought they ought to say.

As told here:

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Swiftly Tilting Planet
August 9, 2019 7:08 am

‘NOAA measured”

That’s the problem.

Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 11:47 am

Why do all Eco-friendly environmentalists love T&A? Because they think it stands for Trees and Air quality.

Reply to  Dan Cody
August 8, 2019 1:01 pm

Multiple off-topic comments.


Tim Davis
Reply to  TonyL
August 8, 2019 2:15 pm

Multiple whinges about some gentle humour – what is your problem ?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tim Davis
August 8, 2019 7:37 pm

I do not know what one wants to call a problem, but Dan has taken to making a large number of comments that are off topic, distracting, and kind of dumb.
But hey it is not my blog site.
Just sayin’…since you asked.

Richard R.Forberg
August 8, 2019 12:03 pm


Though it is a great and worthwhile list based on physics and long standing meteorological foundations and observations…..

The alarmists can simply say those pesky CO2 molecules, even at just 0.040% of the atmosphere (vs. 0.035% during the lovely, but difficult and chilly pre-industrial 1850’s) contribute to much higher temperatures under all 10 scenarios you list.

They have some supporting physics too, at the molecular level, to lend credibility to their exaggerated claims and alarmist tactics, but still lack the empirical observations needed for a clear headed scientist (in physics and chemistry) like me to believe their claimed impacts on the global climate system. What else would explain all the temperature adjustment nonsense and model prediction failures than a lack of a single, understandable, well-documented and publicly vetted model ?? Should I also and “simple” or at least “simpler” ?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Richard R.Forberg
August 8, 2019 2:29 pm

Earth has a long and varied history and we have data on temp and CO2, at least approximations thereof, for periods of time on various scales up to hundreds of millions of years.
There has never been shown to be a cause and effect relationship between CO2 and temp at any time on any scale.
That is why no empirical observations have been made to verify the notion.
Simply put, it is a false premise, and no such verification will ever be found because it does not exist.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 9, 2019 3:57 am

And the truth shall set you free!

CO2’s supposed effect on temperature is, has always been, and will forever be nothing more than hypothetical bullshit.

Reply to  Richard R.Forberg
August 8, 2019 3:50 pm

Here’s what it looks like to me. Trace gas argument. And water vapor is how many ppm?
At 1% of the atmosphere, that’s 10,000 ppm.
GHG effect = 33C
CO2 ppm / Water vapor ppm = 3%
3% X 33C = 1C
Trace gas effect = 1C

Are we going to say water vapor doesn’t warm the atmosphere? Why not? I think it would be nice if people stopped say, It’s a trace gas.

Plants don’t take in CO2 because it’s a trace gas and they get carbon some other way. The basis of our food chain, trace gas argument, is a fraud.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ragnaar
August 8, 2019 7:26 pm

Are you saying that CO2 is not the base of the food chain?
That the entire biosphere is not made out of CO2 as the basic raw material?
Plants get carbon what other way?
CO2 is not 1% of the atmosphere, it is 4 one hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere.
Rounded to the nearest 1/10th of 1%, there is 0.0% of CO2 in our air.
I did not see anyone talking about how CO2 is a trace gas, but the fact is, it is very much a trace gas, and right now the amount in the air is the lowest it has been in the history of the planet, with the exception of the period of time immediately prior to when we started burning FF.
The biosphere may have come very close to being wiped out by CO2 starvation at the last glacial maximum.
If that does not worry you, you have to be brain dead.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ragnaar
August 8, 2019 7:34 pm

BTW…the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere of the Earth is far more than 1%.
The average is closer to 3%.
But the actual amount is highly variable, with very little in cold places like Antarctica, and a whole lot in the tropics…close to 4% or so is not unusual.

Besides for all of that, the radiative and other properties of H2O and CO2 are completely different.
WV absorbs and emits over a huge range of wavelengths, far more than CO2 by a huge factor.
And water has among the highest specific heat of any gas, and also exists in all three phases near the surface of the Earth, and consequently it transports gigantic amounts of energy around the atmosphere, horizontally and vertically.

This is not the sort of site, nor a topic, that one can just make up simplistic nonsense and spew it around as if it has anything to do with science or reality.

August 8, 2019 12:21 pm


Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 12:25 pm

“How climate change is already contributing to bumpier North Atlantic flights”



Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 8, 2019 3:30 pm

Wait a minute: Is this “study” over a year old?
I am wondering if it is the same one used by a writer over a year ago. That study was mostly based on MODELLING, not real measurements.

Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 9, 2019 10:48 am

My wife and I returned to LAX from LHR just over a week ago, and it was a much bumpier ride then “normal”. So, it must be true – or, at least, there is another, anecdotal, data point.

However, the eastbound trip a few weeks earlier wasn’t at all bumpy. So, is it just westbound flights that are experiencing more turbulence?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
August 10, 2019 3:31 am

The climate changed!

August 8, 2019 12:57 pm

Point 4 is wrong in two instances.

1. There is no real indication of a decreasing cloud cover. In fact there are a lot of data suggesting the opposite.
2. Clouds are not at all cooling Earth. Rather their heating outweighs their albedo effect, so that a decreasing cloud cover would rather cause global cooling.

Of course it is well understood in theory how clouds must warm Earth (rather than GHGs), but I guess it is nicer to point to the empiric evidence.

comment image

Reply to  Leitwolf
August 8, 2019 1:26 pm


depends on where.
solar radiation is much higher around the equator…

a day here [south-africa] is much cooler with clouds

at night it becomes somewhat warmer with but not comparable with the cooling due to clouds at day time

A C Osborn
Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 2:41 pm

Yes, it is cloud cover in the Tropics 15N – 15S that is the key.
Remember the graph posted on here last year.

Reply to  Leitwolf
August 8, 2019 1:58 pm

I would bet the six-pack of your choice, thst virtually every record of maximum temperature came on cloudless or near-cloudless days.

As is often the case, there are other factors to consider, specifically, are you talking about maximum daytime temperatures, nighttime temperatures, or the average? And what if the climate of a location favored cloudy days but clear nights, or vice versa? The latter would likely have a warmer climate that the former. Clouds cool by day, warm by night, in general.

Reply to  jtom
August 8, 2019 3:28 pm

Of course it is about average temperatures. Any biases due to location, season and daytime have been checked. This is the result.

The only bias I can not put into numbers and thus has been added schematically is that of rain chill.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Leitwolf
August 11, 2019 8:08 pm

No, it is not only about the average, and no, clouds are not understood to warm the planet.
That is an assertion, and one most people here would disagree with, and back up with reasons and data and logic.
Climate modelers will agree with you, but their models are always wrong and getting wronger.
As for the average…if it gets less hot during hot summer days, and less cold during the winter and at night an in the Arctic, that is a completely difference situation that what alarmist scream about at us all day long.
Warmer when it is cold and less hot when it is hot is global milding, and no one is gonna fry and how the hell is that in any way a crisis?
Our planet is too cold…we are in an ice age!
Large parts of the surface are deadly cold, perpetually.
And another even larger portion is seasonally so cold a person will die quickly without all sorts of preparations, like specialized head to toe clothing, shelter, stored food and plenty of it, some sort of fuel, etc.
There is no place on Earth where the weather is hot enough to kill a naked human being, as long as that person has sufficient water.
No place.
Heat is life.
Cold is death.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Leitwolf
August 8, 2019 2:16 pm

It depends on the type of clouds. Low clouds have a cooling effect. Low clouds would be those that would increase , according to Svensmark’s theory, during a lull of solar activity, allowing more cosmic rays into the atmosphere.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
August 8, 2019 3:25 pm

Right, I forgot to mention this. The data above refer not just to a tropical sample, but also to low clouds (up to 12.000ft)!

So, no, your suggestion does not work. It may well be true that higher clouds would have an even stronger warming effect, but I have no data to validate this.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Leitwolf
August 10, 2019 6:58 am

Leitwolf, you misunderstand. The heat goes in to the Oceans and NOT the atmosphere, which sheds practically all of it overnight.
With the Oceans it is a slow build up over decades which is distributed and then released, especially during Le Nino events.

August 8, 2019 12:58 pm

Add: increasing human occupation of extreme climate environments. There’s a reason we don’t have long climate records from places with extreme climates. People didn’t think about living there.

August 8, 2019 1:05 pm

@ A C Osborn, jtom

in the case of Tandil, where they chopped the trees, maxima rose, whilst minima dropped.
in the case of Las Vegas maxima rose as well but not as dramatic as minima.
here you can see my results

[look at the regressions for the longest time periods, use the key buttons on the key board to scroll down]

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  henryp
August 8, 2019 7:16 pm

In the case of Las Vegas they are recording the temp at an airport that has grown to be one of the busiest and largest in the world, and is devoid of vegetation, and is made of concrete that is mostly over a foot thick.
70 years ago it was a dirt strip.
Nowadays it is a combined military and civilian megacomplex.

Michael F
August 8, 2019 1:07 pm

Please send this to all the Greens politicians worldwide. They seem to be fixated on just one cause of any change in temperature and we all know what that is.

August 8, 2019 1:51 pm

Excellent article, pointing out all the additional sources of heating besides so-called “AGW”.

Stephen W
August 8, 2019 2:29 pm

Great post!

Too often I hear in the news
“The year/month was the hottest on record! It was also the driest”

Their intention is to make the viewer connect the dots and convince them that the record heat is causing the drought.

In reality, record heat is exactly what you would expect from record dry weather.

August 8, 2019 2:30 pm

2. Loss of Vegetation

But I thought globally the world was getting greener, due to all that CO2 fertilizer.

Reply to  Bellman
August 8, 2019 3:38 pm

Local heating, global average, thus “global warming”. And, of course, nine other points that influence “climate change”, and determine the “normal” range.

Reply to  n.n
August 9, 2019 4:30 am

The other nine points are dubious as well, I just like to focus on a single contradiction.

Dan Cody
Reply to  Bellman
August 9, 2019 4:50 am

Climate change is linked to the sunspot cycles affecting solar output as well as slight deviations from the norm in the orbit or the revolving of the earth around the sun.Some scientists are saying we’re entering the grand solar minimum,an elongated period of no sunspots on the sun meaning significant reduction in solar energy thereby leading to a significant reduction in global temps leading to colder,harsher winters and cooler summers overall.Some are saying we may even have a little ice age by 2030.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bellman
August 11, 2019 8:43 pm

You understand that the Earth on the whole is greening, as seen from space, but individual locations can at the same time undergo changes that remove plant cover and/or forests, no?

At this point we are being assailed by claims of climate catastrophe because in the Summer, some place on Earth was really hot for a couple of days, even though nearby it was really colds on those same days.
The media has people brainwashed by only bringing up the weather when it is hot somewhere, and then exaggerating it, pretending it is happening all over and every day, etc.
It is a big planet…there is always some place that is warmer than normal, colder than normal, wetter than normal, dryer than normal, having a severe weather event that is completely normal but spoken of as though when you drove to work last week you caused it to happen.
Spoken of this way, gallingly, by rich people with multiple huge mansion, who fly around the world on private jets or get around on mega yachts with a couple of people on them, telling regular people to stop eating meat and driving their car and using air conditioning and insisting they pay more taxes.
Meanwhile, in the real world, nothing is happening that is in any way even slightly unusual or outside of the historical norms.

Ron Long
August 8, 2019 2:50 pm

Good post, Jim Steele. Here in Argentina we have the same down-wind down-slope winds like Chinook (Denver) and Washoe Zephyr (Reno), and here there are called Zonda. I would add to your point 9. Descending Winds the heating due to compression. This effect is greater than simple adiabatic lapse rate due to up-slope more humid air and down-slope drier air, there is a sort of “continental high” developed in the mountains and when the winds race down-slope they are dramatically hot. The air in a compressor would be an example, although not a well-isolated event.

Gerald Machnee
August 8, 2019 3:24 pm

Re #7:
Drier – I thought that the AGW’s said the moisture is increasing with temperatures. That should give more cloud.

Stephen W
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
August 8, 2019 5:05 pm

If you were to use alarmist logic, you could say reduced moisture is due to the global cooling, which results in higher temperatures.

And say higher temperatures are exactly what is predicted for a cooling planet.

Gunga Din
August 8, 2019 4:01 pm

10. Misleading Averaging: The average temperature is calculated by adding the maximum and minimum daily temperatures and dividing by 2. Due to heat trapping surfaces, higher minimum temperatures cause the average temperature to rise even when maximum temperatures have not increased or sometimes cooled.

Mr Layman here.
Perhaps add the “average” and ” normal” are only based on a 30 year span? 60 years would be more accurate?
Correct me I’m wrong.

August 8, 2019 4:16 pm

As Richard, August 8thy says .

We don’t want hard to understand “”Facts”” Keep it simple stupid””

Its that dreadful stuff CO2, don’t try to confuse me with science.


August 8, 2019 4:42 pm

It sounds so dramatic “in recorded history”. Just how long is recorded history? The modern thermometer was invented in 1714. Global records are still pretty sketchy over most of the world ( if we are talking ground level measurements).

James A. Schrumpf
August 8, 2019 4:43 pm

Kinda sorta off topic, but does any one know how the NOAA GHNC Daily data set can have the TAVG for July, but not TMAX and TMIN?

August 8, 2019 6:34 pm

Some comments mix the term heat and temperature. There is a difference. While an asphalt surface gets hot (temperature) it does not mean it has a lot of heat. A grassy meadow may feel cool by comparison, but it contains far more heat. Vulture can “hover” over meadows endlessly but drop like a rock above paved “hot” surface in the same general area.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  jake
August 8, 2019 7:12 pm

Is this “make up stuff and post it on WUWT day”?
This comment is simply idiotic.

James Schrumpf
August 8, 2019 8:00 pm

“Are we really warming?” is a very good question. Looking at the “global average”, it’s obvious that we are warming — but it seems to be a bit difficult to find where placesare actually warming.

Take France: a raging July heat wave and the highest temperature ever recorded. If you look at NOAAs temperatures for the month, there’s nothing that stands out.

According to NOAA, the GCOS Surface Network (GSN) is “a baseline network comprising a subset of about 1000 stations chosen mainly to give a fairly uniform spatial coverage from places where there is a good length and quality of data record.”

There are six GSN stations inside France, marked on the Google Maps snapshot below:


The distribution is a bit biased toward the South of France, but the other three are distributed across the North, so surely in so hot a month as July, those Saharan temps will be well-represented in the record.

I started working on the charts using the TMAX data, but I saw that NOAA wasn’t providing the July daily TMAX and TMIN, but only TAVG. I wondered how TAVG could be calculated without TMAX and TMIN, but I’m sure NOAA has its reasons and we’ll see the TMAX and TMIN in due time.

Below are charts of the monthly anomalies for each French GSN station, baselined against the 1981-2010 average. All but one are plotted with a vertical range of +/- 10.0 deg, except for one at +/- 5.0.

If there’s a global warming crisis, or even an especially hot July in that data, it’s hiding better than the extra heat in the deep ocean.







James Schrumpf
Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 8, 2019 8:31 pm

Looks like I got 7650 pasted in there twice. Here’s the correct image for 7560:



August 8, 2019 11:37 pm

“All temperatures are not created equally.”

I’m not sure that this is true. I suspect that some temperatures are created equally.

However, I am pretty sure that not all temperatures are created equally.

August 9, 2019 1:03 am

I saw some fair comments on my mentioning the situation in Las Vegas. Most certainly there is some UHI effect there which would have contributed to 5K rise in Tmin. But not all of it? Both people named Mark seem to understand what is happening. Here is my checklist on the two main causes for the warming:
Looking at the speed of warming of a good balanced sample of weather stations from all over the world, I was amazed to always find a high correlation for a curve for the acceleration / deceleration of warming during the last 40 years or so, i.e ca. half of the last GB cycle.
(investigation done in 2015, includes all results from 2014.)
But even putting that aside – some commenters found this procedure of mine of looking at varying speeds from different time periods somewhat dubious and I am looking at this again – therefore let us just look at my global results for MEANS for the longest time:
SH = 0.0017K/annum
NH= 0.0234K/annum
Giving me a global average of 0.012K /annum.
The latter result correlates strongly with the observed warming of 0.012K/annum or 0.12K/decade by the satellites and the ocean temperatures….amazing is it not?

You will understand that my results beg the question: How can this be? If there were any man made warming due to a change in green house gasses it must be – more or less – the same everywhere we measure?
{the result in Arctic’s Svalbard is +4K]
IMHO one good explanation for my observations could be a change in earth’s inner core which re-aligned with that of the sun – a magnetic stirrer effect? Hence the change in position of the magnetic north pole which seems to have accelerated in the past 100 years or so. So in the NH there is a change in the heat from the bottom up. OTOH, most land of earth is situated in the NH. Another explanation for the warming in the NH could be the greening of earth, which seems to trap heat.
I mean everybody wants trees, lawns and crops….

Doug Huffman
August 9, 2019 4:21 am

10. Misleading Averaging is my favorite bugaboo. It should be time weighted. It must be noted to be microscopic only to the precise location source of the data.

Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 9, 2019 7:59 am

Of course, averaging is misleading. The problem is that those who use statistics to calculate average temperatures, including the “global average temperature”, usually neglect the basic rule of statistics: any average value has an error.
For example, for one by chance selected day in New York (Tmax + Tmin)/2 = 61.5 F, and Tavg calculated from hourly data is 61.1 (standard deviation is 3.7). The standard deviations are much larger when the average daily temperatures are averaged to find the average monthly temperature, as well as when calculating the average annual temperature in a given place. When the average global temperature is calculated, additional problems arise related to the uneven distribution of weather stations.
We can say that all arguments that use the average temperature, rest on a very unsteady foundation.

James Schrumpf
Reply to  aleks
August 9, 2019 12:17 pm

In this case, wouldn’t you really be talking about uncertainty, rather than error? I think they get used interchangeably a lot, but I also think that they aren’t so, really. In this scenario, “error” would be measurement or instrument error, while “uncertainty” would mean “How close to the true mean is that calculation, anyway?”

The standard error, or error in the mean, for a TAVG calculation using (TMAX+TMIN)/2 might be 2.2. That doesn’t mean that the TAVG of 61.1F is within 2.2 of the true mean for the day; it means that if you had taken a TMAX and TMIN with another thermometer and calculated TAVG from that, it would have a 70% probability of being within 2.2 F of the first TAVG.

If TMAX and TMIN had been taken by 10 thermometers that day, and TAVG was still 61.1 and the standard deviation was still 3.7, the standard error would be 3.7/sqrt(10) = 1.2 F.

As explained by a “measurement and uncertainty” physics department web page at the Southeastern Louisiana University, calculating the error in the mean means “You can be reasonably sure (about 70% sure) that if you do the entire experiment again with the same number of repetitions, the average value from the new experiment will be less than one standard error away from the average value from this experiment.”

I believe that does not mean that the TAVG you get is that close to the “true” TAVG; I believe it means that your calculated TAVG is that close to the “true” TAVG as measured by those thermometers. If they all had a systemic error of 1 F, you wouldn’t be very close to the actual TAVG, but if they were consistent, you’d be within one SE of the TMEAN as calculated using those thermometers.

Is that a correct interpretation for this case?

Gordon Dressler
August 9, 2019 8:02 am

The article missed the “elephant-in-the-room-that-nobody-talks-about”: waste heat from mankind’s use of energy around the globe.

This is perhaps the only INDISPUTABLE anthropomorphic cause of global warming.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 9, 2019 9:29 am

the “elephant-in-the-room-that-nobody-talks-about”:

is that not the one that causes all the sweat on your face when you go down in a [gold] mine here for 1 km or so?

Robert of Texas
August 9, 2019 11:17 am

I think everyone that reads comments here agrees with the statement “The climate is changing”. I think everyone agrees with “The climate is rarely if ever stable for long periods of time” (there appear to be some exceptions, but I expect had we been measuring then we would have still seen small constant changes).

The question is “Why does the climate change?”. The AGW crowd have discovered their Holy Grail (CO2) and have moved on to controlling nature through sacrifice. I however am still curious as to exactly what controls the climate. It is easy to say heat transport warms up the Arctic, but why did the heat transport suddenly change? Or cloud cover has been reduced…but why?

It is the “why” that keeps this topic fascinating. Man-made warming from building and land-use change are rather obvious (except to the AGW worshipers). Soot on glaciers – obvious.

Not so obvious is why does cloud cover change? (Solar activity? Earth’s magnetic field? Completely random or chaotic behavior?) Why did ocean heat transport change? (Cycles? Chaotic behavior?)

It is a shame that many (maybe most) people have just given up on the why and moved on to either “I don’t care, its too hard to think about” or “CO2 is magic”. I think climate change is one of the most fascinating problems in modern history (to explain, not to control).

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 9, 2019 12:28 pm

On the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where the famous Hatteras Light lives, the island makes a sudden right turn leaving a nose of a sand spit called Cape Point sticking out into the North Atlantic. In 2017, for reasons still not completely explained, a sand bar began forming off the Point, and grew until Shelly Island, as it became known, was a rather large island off the Point.

comment image

By February 2018, Shelly Island was mostly gone:

comment image

The cause of its disappearance is more straightforward, as erosion is a constant in the Outer Banks. However, the reasons for its appearance are highly speculative, and amount to “weather conditions were just right in 2017.”

Maybe the weather is “just right”, right now, for the climate to change. A little.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
August 9, 2019 12:55 pm

No. If you cut away the trees it is going to get cooler in the night. The effect is so pronounced that it might effect average T. An increase in vegetation traps heat. Photosynthesis. Stores heat. But you need moisture for that as well. Somebody is watering the gardens and crops.
Now there is your man made warming.
Somebody must stop that…

Jim Steele
Reply to  henryp
August 9, 2019 8:22 pm

Henry I have measured microclimates for many years. Cut the trees and the bare grounds warms much more than normal and the ground holds the heat 10F higher than ambient air

Sattlite data, as studies I linked to in the article, show lands vegetated by trees are far cooler than habitat without

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 10, 2019 12:28 am

Sorry, Jim.
Here we disagree. It is important for me because I think it is one of the most important factors causing man made warming….More vegetation traps heat. That explains my results where I find Tmin is rising in the NH. In the SH Tmin is going down.
Here is the conclusion of the report that Alan M referred to and confirms my own results:
‘Our results indicate that the central San Joaquin Valley has
experienced a significant rise of minimum temperatures
(3°C in JJA and SON), a rise that is not detectable in
the adjacent Sierra Nevada. Our working hypothesis is
that the rapid valley warming is caused by the massive
growth in irrigated agriculture. Such human engineering of the environment has changed a high-albedo desert into a darker, moister, vegetated plain, thus altering
the surface energy balance in a way we suggest has
created the results found in this study. Additionally, if
these results are confirmed, the lack of long-term
warming in the generally undeveloped Sierra Nevada
(annual mean trend, 1910–2003, 0.02° 0.1°C decade–1
) coupled with significant, nighttime-only warming in the valley, suggests a regional inconsistency compared with twentieth-century simulations of climate
forced by human influences other than land use changes.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  HenryP
August 10, 2019 4:06 am

Sorry Henry,
You are projecting a rise in minimum temp that occurred when a desert was irrigated and transformed into a moist and lushly vegetated agricultural area, to mean that more vegetation means hotter and less vegetation means cooler?
This is downright inane.
Everyone knows that deserts are cold at night due to lack of humidity. Water, whether in the air or in the soil strongly buffers temperature.
Almost as a rule, air will only cool to the dew point at night. Raise the dewpoint, and it will not get as cold.
Limewise, by day humid air has a far higher specific heat, so it takes far more energy to warm it. Plus, moist ground with vegetation cools the surface by evapotranspiration.
This situation cannot be generalized to conclude that the effect is due to the change in vegetative cover, and hence less plants and trees will mean the area will be cooler.
You just do not know what you are talking about, and seemed to have have confused a poorly supported hypothesis with a law of nature or a general fact.
Science is the process where ideas are put to a specific sort of testing method, but you want to not only oversimplify an interaction with many factors, but skip the testing part of the process altogether.
Jim is telling you he has specific data that falsified your idea.
But even the reference you cite says that the increased temp is at night only, and lists the irrigation as the primary reason for the changes in San Joaquin Valley.
Chopping down trees in a humid area will not make it into a desert, the same way irritating a desert will make it not a desert anymore.
It is pretty amazing you can argue that a forest area will get cooler when you cut down the trees, because irritating a desert keeps it from getting as cold at night.
How much time have you spent outside verifying this outlandish notion?

August 10, 2019 12:29 am

Sorry, Jim.
Here we disagree. It is important for me because I think it is one of the most important factors causing man made warming….More vegetation traps heat. That explains my results where I find Tmin is rising in the NH. In the SH Tmin is going down.
Here is the conclusion of the report that Alan M referred to and confirms my own results:
‘Our results indicate that the central San Joaquin Valley has
experienced a significant rise of minimum temperatures
(3°C in JJA and SON), a rise that is not detectable in
the adjacent Sierra Nevada. Our working hypothesis is
that the rapid valley warming is caused by the massive
growth in irrigated agriculture. Such human engineering of the environment has changed a high-albedo desert into a darker, moister, vegetated plain, thus altering
the surface energy balance in a way we suggest has
created the results found in this study. Additionally, if
these results are confirmed, the lack of long-term
warming in the generally undeveloped Sierra Nevada
(annual mean trend, 1910–2003, 0.02° 0.1°C decade–1
) coupled with significant, nighttime-only warming in the valley, suggests a regional inconsistency compared with twentieth-century simulations of climate
forced by human influences other than land use changes.

Reply to  HenryP
August 10, 2019 3:41 am

Vegetation is strongly reflective in the near infra-red region of the spectrum. This would imply that deforestation and urbanisation are two major factors in daytime heating of the Earth’s surface, since plants are better reflectors of incoming solar radiation than most man-made construction materials.
Drying of the air would be a secondary effect of removing plant life; drying will lead to lower night-time temperatures since water vapour is certainly strongly IR absorbing, particularly at longer wavelengths. This would be a local effect and of course crop irrigation will enhance that too.

Reply to  IanD
August 10, 2019 7:25 am

IanD says

Vegetation is strongly reflective in the near infra-red region of the spectrum. This would imply that deforestation and urbanisation are two major factors in daytime heating of the Earth’s surface,

Henry says

Never mind the IR, its energy is nothing compared to incoming UV.
It is UV being used [and sequestered] in photosynthesis? Don’t you get it? My results are showing that warming is happening where they change a desert into an oasis and that cooling is happening where they cut all the trees. I cannot change my results because you guys want that or believe that?

@ Nicholas
Here is the report that Alan D. MacIntire mentioned that confirmed my results.

Study it. Indeed, I cannot help you much further. You have to do it yourself. I am a retired chemist/ statistician; I have no means to do further investigations?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  HenryP
August 11, 2019 12:24 pm

I appreciate your inability to help me, so please allow me to try and help you.
I do not dispute the data or the conclusion regarding the central valley in CA.
I am trying to be very emphatic about that.
It is the generalization from that result to a broader conclusion about the effect of vegetation in other climactic and ecological circumstances where you are going astray.
Water is the great moderator of the surface and the atmosphere.
Adding water to the air where it is extremely dry will not have the same effect as adding the same amount where there is already plenty of moisture in the air and in the ground.
Likewise, vegetating a desert will not have a simple inverse effect as chopping down a forest.
Forests generally exist where there is at least a certain amount of water, typically that for at least some of the year, there is more rainfall than can evaporate and/or transpire. In physically geography, which is one of the areas I have studied intensively, this referred to as a place where precipitation exceeds potential evapotranspiration (PET). The equivalence line for this relationship is broadly defined as the transition line from humid to arid climate and zones.
Of course, there are areas where it is humid for part of the year and arid for another part.
Deserts are places that are arid in every month of the year, climatologically speaking.
These are definitions, and are based on what is actually seen and measured.

Because climates vary from place to place, making a similar sort of land use change in one area may have a drastically different effect than the same change in another area with a different climate regime.
Additionally, making a change in one small area, like clearcutting a patch in a forest or irrigating a small island in the middle of a desert, may and likely does have a different effect than making the same change over a far wider area.
And as well, the short term effect may not be the same as the medium and longer term results.
Having an oasis spring up in the Sahara desert will not cause more rain in the desert, but irrigating the whole desert and planting trees over it all certainly would.
Once established by a rainy climactic period, a forest in what once was a desert region can become self sustaining to at least some degree, even after the amount of rain begins to decline again.
Periodically burning zones that were once forested and are transition zones between humid to arid climates has produced savannahs in various large regions of the world. A savannah being a place where the tree cover does not form a closed canopy and sunlight can reach the ground, allowing for an understory of flora, typically but not necessarily grasses.

The moderating effect of water on the climate regimes of a particular place means that where water makes one place cooler, the same body of water or amount of rainfall will make another place warmer. This moderating effect may be mostly in one part of the diurnal cycle, or the whole of it. It might cool daytime and warm nighttime. It may produce a different change in one season than in another. In fact, we can find places in the world where each of these things is true, measurably and verifiably.
Finding specific examples is easy.
But one must be open to the full range of factors that influence the Earth, and the full diversity of landforms and climate zones.
Overgeneralizing will often lead one from a valid observation to an incorrect conclusion, and not only regarding matters of climate related issues.
Complicated things cannot be described by simplistic generalizations…not if one is interested in being correct in a broad sense.
One such oversimplification and the result of too many people accepting that one factor is so predictable and controlling in it’s effect is exactly why we have the CAGW imbroglio, which threatens our very ability to maintain an industrial society.
Getting it wrong a different way will not help.
I also have a chemistry degree, but I studied the whole range of scientific disciplines during by time at a university, and also did so long before I got there and long after I left.
I have done all sorts of different things in my life, and many of them involved being outside all day, and many times all night as well, in all sorts of different places and making all sorts of real world observations.
It is very easy to understand that the world is a big place with all sorts of things going on, all sorts of wildly different conditions that change from place to place and time to time in all sorts of ways, some common and some quite unusual.
I took an interdisciplinary approach to life and to my education and to the work I have done because I recognized that, although we subdivide the world and sciences and fields of discipline in all sort of ways in various categories, these are not analogous to the natural world, where everything is happening at once and all factors interact in many ways.
Some who knows everything there is to know about physics, but nothing else, or a person who knows everything about the flora and fauna of the planet, but nothing else, will both have different ideas about how they think the Earth behaves, but neither will ever likely be correct.
Because there is no way to understand a complex system by focusing on and giving too much weight to one factor, while ignoring other ones.

The moderating effects of water and water vapor are a critical part of understanding our planet and the living things that inhabit our planet.
Water in any of it’s three phases can and does cool, and can and does warm, depending on where and when and in what amount the ice, snow, water vapor, clouds, rain, lake, ocean, or river exist.

Snow across a wide extent of the US early in the winter, that persists for an extended period of time, will have the effect of making areas that are snow covered, as well as adjacent areas, colder for the whole season. But snow in one particular place, as opposed to no snow cover, will insulate the ground and lessen the depth to which the ground will freeze in Winter.
A bout of heavy rain in the middle of Winter can melt a huge extent of snow cover, and cause the nights to become less cold, but also the ground to become colder and freeze deeper than if the rain had not melted the snow.

Having an ocean nearby makes nearly anyplace, but not everyplace, on Earth be generally cooler by day in Summer, but warmer by day in Winter. But not if it freezes over.
Being near an ocean moderates temperatures, tending to make them less extreme than areas just inland. Right along the coastline the effect is strongest.
Being next to an ocean makes San Francisco far cooler than the areas a few tens of miles inland, but here in Florida, being on the south side of a lake will prevent many winter frosts and freezes and be the difference between a rich citrus farmer and the bankrupt one who bought and planted a mile north of the lake.
Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey get a small fraction of the snow than areas just a few more miles inland get. Part of the difference is due to elevation, but a large part of it is due to the marine influence.

Similar examples can be given for places that have a different climate regime due to the difference in humidity levels of the air, which directly effects what the temperature regime will be and what the dominant vegetation is.
So whatever one can say, and that is true, about the effect of irrigating and planting crops in the central valley of CA, becomes false when extrapolated to infer a general rule which is valid for the planet as a whole.
It is an extreme place, and the main reason why is the widely varying and typically insufficient amounts of moisture available, so adding more on a continuous and ongoing basis makes the place less extreme.
Irrigating a place in Illinois which is having a once in five or ten years drought will not have the same effect on the long term average temperature of the region.
Cutting down a forest in the Cascadia region of Washington state will not make it cooler due to the removal of “heat trapping” coverage by tall trees. It will get hotter at the level that temp is measured on every day that is sunny. Forests, plants in general, gather solar energy and transpire water. Tall trees also block outgoing IR from the ground by dint of the foliage cover.
So the ground level in a forest is shaded by day and thus cooler. The air above the forest is cooled by transpiration from the unbroken canopy of trees. Removing the trees will make it hotter in the day and probably cooler at night. The relative amount of each effect will vary depending on the length of the day vs night, cloud cover (on a cloudy day or night, it will be less different below the canopy than above it compared to sunny days or nights), and how much rain has fallen…how wet everything is.

Here in Florida, under a native live oak tree the daytimes are cooler by many degrees.
But the nights are warmer than a place two feet outside of the canopy of the trees. The effect is strong enough to make it easy to grow certain tropical plants under the oak trees in dappled sun, but impossible for them to survive year to year only a few feet away.
I have had entire crops lots, utterly destroyed, to frost in a single period of a few hours on one night of the year, and at the same time had a bunch of the same plants completely undamaged that were right next to them but under the canopy of a single oak tree. That was due to the inability of frost to form where radiative cooling is blocked, but the temp is above freezing (frost forms at 38°F under clear sky with no wind). A row of Ficus benjamina planted as a hedge was killed in a hard freeze (frost will cause defoliation by not kill wood on this species), right down to ground level, the same night as the space shuttle crashed due to the cold (our nursery was 17°F that night, measured out in the open, and is located 103 three miles nearly due West of the Cape)but the sections of the row beneath an oak tree were undamaged.

Consider this: What happens to the CA central valley if all irrigation were to cease, vs what will happen to the clear cut area in Cascadia, if the prevailing conditions are left to do what they will.
That desert will quickly become a desert again, because the row crops and nut and fruit trees will quickly dry up and die. The temperature regime will return to whatever it was prior to the interventions of people. Only the moisture is keeping it the way it is.
In Cascadia, the trees will grow back, faster or more gradually depending on several factors, it within a few decades it will be rapidly returning to exactly as it was. The climate will not have changed. Cascadia will remain a moist and mostly coolish place, and the San Joaquin valley will remain a desert. Just look how fast farmers lost trees that were decades old when their water allocations were cut.

In more marginal places, making drastic changes to the local flora can have longstanding results however, as when forested areas were converted to savannah by periodic burning by people, or when adding one one-hundredth of one percent more of CO2 is causing vast cumulative areas to spontaneously increase aerial plant coverage all over the world, including places like the Sahel zone in Africa.
And much of the rain that falls on continental areas comes from water vapor that was transpired by trees on the continent and often in that same area, so adding or removing large areas of vegetation can have wider and longer term climate effects. This same fact is why drought often begets more drought. Although since nearly every drought ends in a flood (it takes a flood to erase a long term drought), obviously other factors eventually overwhelm this local one.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 11, 2019 1:45 pm

Interesting comment. I’ll give you an answer but not now. It is bedtime here. Let me get back to you on this tomorrow. Rgrds. H

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 12, 2019 4:14 am


I hear what you are saying and, indeed, I know there is no subject more difficult than discussing the climate. The length of your arguments says it all. Possibly we have differing opinions because we have different experiences? There was an interesting analogy that I picked up between Las Vegas and Johannesburg. Johannesburg was the only city here [out of the ten that I analysed in South Africa} where I picked up some warming. In the other 9 cities here the temperature actually stayed the same over the past 50 years or so. In the past, Johannesburg is or was actually semi desert or savannah-like. Just like Las Vegas, it has no river. People were simply attracted to LV because of the gambling and to Jhb. because of the gold. Because people streamed to these places, to get in on its business opportunities, water was simply diverted to the cities from elsewhere and hence it was possible to plant trees and lawns and and even plant crops. In both cases, arid and dry land was converted, impressively. The Christy paper [that I only became aware of on this blog post] more or less just confirmed my findings: if you irrigate and cultivate land, you change its properties an subsequently also its climate. It starts with increases in the Tmin.

Similarly, I noticed that where they massively cut down the trees, e.g. Tandil (ARG), Tminus fell quite dramatically, also dragging the average temperature down.

This cannot all be co-incidence? I think I also know why this happens…

August 10, 2019 1:25 am

Sorry, Jim.
Here we disagree. It is important for me because I think it is one of the most important factors causing man made warming….More vegetation traps heat. That explains my results where I find Tmin is rising in the NH. In the SH Tmin is going down.
Here is the conclusion of the report that Alan M referred to and confirms my own results:
‘Our results indicate that the central San Joaquin Valley has
experienced a significant rise of minimum temperatures
(3°C in JJA and SON), a rise that is not detectable in
the adjacent Sierra Nevada. Our working hypothesis is
that the rapid valley warming is caused by the massive
growth in irrigated agriculture. Such human engineering of the environment has changed a high-albedo desert into a darker, moister, vegetated plain, thus altering
the surface energy balance in a way we suggest has
created the results found in this study. Additionally, if
these results are confirmed, the lack of long-term
warming in the generally undeveloped Sierra Nevada
(annual mean trend, 1910–2003, 0.02° 0.1°C decade–1
) coupled with significant, nighttime-only warming in the valley, suggests a regional inconsistency compared with twentieth-century simulations of climate
forced by human influences other than land use changes.

August 10, 2019 2:40 am

I wonder what happened to my last comment here?

Reply to  HenryP
August 10, 2019 3:14 am

Ok. Thx. Fixed now. Maybe you can erase the extra comment.

August 10, 2019 5:16 am

Nicholas says

It is simply inane to think that forests are warmer than the same area would be if it was denuded to bare ground.

Henry said/says

you and Jim are simply wrong on this assertion. In Tandil, where they chopped the trees, Tmin and Tmean fell by more than 2K over the past 40 years or so
I cannot tell you by exactly what process this is so, but the results do not lie.

Anyway, why react to on an older comment when the newer comment is here;


I must say that I am somewhat puzzled as I cannot find the report anymore that Alan M mentioned but I do remember from reading the report that Christie and them were also puzzled and could not yet figure out a precise reason for their findings….

August 10, 2019 5:21 am

D. MacIntire

Can you just quote the report again that saw an increase in Tmin due to cultivation [in California]

I cannot find your comment on that here anymore.

August 10, 2019 8:24 am
Jim Steele
August 10, 2019 9:12 am

Heny you are conflating vegetation dynamics and moisture dynamics

The Christy paper concluded that the data supported his 3rd hypothesis which read:

“Enhanced nighttime sensible heat flux from the surface due to the increased heat capacity of the vegetation
and moist soil, both of which more readily absorb and store solar energy due to lower albedo,
relative to the original desert surface, and a larger heat storage capacity due to existing water mass.”

I agree that the increased heat capacity of moist soil will allow minimum temperatures to stay warmer. But the effect of vegetation and albedo is debatable.

I have unpublished data where I measured surface temperatures during the afternoon and then a dawn Bare ground held the temperature 10F above vegetated areas. I measure the surface of the vegetation and it is cooler than dirt roads and asphalt. As you argue, the data does not lie.

Satellite data published in Mildrexler papers, one of which is linked to in the article above, clearly shows surface temperatures are cooler in a forest but increases over grass and scrublands to hottest temperatures over bare ground and deserts.

Regional analyses of desert lands that are artificially vegetated, could cause minimum temperatures to rise relative to the desert but again I think that is more a function if increased water vapor that would slow the nighttime cooling. But that dynamic doesn’t mean that conversely if you denude a forest surface temperatures will cool. IN addition added vegetation to a desert landscape likely adds a daytime cooling effect

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 10, 2019 9:29 am

Jim. You say: But the effect of vegetation and albedo is debatable.

There is no debate here. I am too old for that. The amount of UV coming in, is many times more important than the outgoing IR. It varies, as it depends on the amount of the most energetic particles being released from the sun, which in its turn depends on the sun’s magnetic force fields. The amount of UV that does come through the atmosphere has two options:
1) it changes water into vapor (oceans)
2) it changes CO2 into sugars

In both cases, the earth is warming….there is no other way?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  HenryP
August 11, 2019 6:51 pm

UV at the surface is a nearly insignificant part of photosynthesis.
It is less than 2% of incoming light at sea level, although when the Sun is at zenith it is as much as 3% of incoming solar radiation.
The weighting factor of UV absorption and utilization for photosynthesis falls to zero in the near UV at around 350nm.
Although in space, UV comprises ~10% of the Sun’s EM output, the vast majority of the incoming solar radiation that makes it to the surface is in the visible and IR portions of the UV spectrum.
Visible is generally considered to be from 400-to 700 nm, and is about 44% of ISR.
Although some people can reportedly see near UV between 310 and 400 nm.
Plants and people utilize the radiation that has energy squarely in the visible spectrum, with a little bit of biologically useful light in the UV and IR bands.

This is exactly why it is what we can see, and what plants have evolved to use…it is where the most energy is, so it is the most useful for vision and the most propitious for capturing energy.
The Sun does vary in the output of UV, but mostly in the bands that are absorbed by matter in the thermosphere high above the surface.
Generally speaking, UV is ionizing radiation at the more energetic end of the UV part of the EM spectrum, meaning it has a net destructive effect on living things and complex molecules in general.
Example: One photon in the far UV spectrum has enough energy to eject an electron from an atom or a molecule, and while so doing impart enough energy to make that ejected electron a beta particle, which can in turn ionize many other nearby atoms.
Visible light, not.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jim Steele
August 11, 2019 7:32 pm

Looking over the paper by Christy et al, I had several thoughts regarding things that he does not seem to have taken into account or did not consider important, for whatever reason.
One is that many of the valley temps appeared to be measured in places with significantly increased urbanization. I am not familiar with those places by looking over the list, but certainly having “Downtown Fresno” as one of the places in the valley means that nighttime warming may be due to more than just the fact that there was a lot of irrigation in outlying farm areas.
California had people, a lot of them, in 1903. But was it anything like 100 years later, now that California has more people than many countries, such as Canada?
In 1904 California has about 1.4 million people.
Today Fresno has over 550,000, although many of those came after this study was done.
Just reading about how the study was done, without looking at the whole thing, I surmised that rural stations in irrigated areas were where the measurements were taken. Apparently not.
The pattern of changes broadly matches the changes over the past 100+ years for the US as a whole…not as hot during the day as in years past, and warmer at night overall and specifically in cerain places.
Some places run counter to this trend, but the continental US as a whole has had change in the same direction over the same period.
Also, I am wondering why the mountains were used as a control?
We can see from satellite data that the troposphere often does not show the same temperature trends and relative values, year over year, as surface readings do.
There are plenty of ways mountains are different than a valley, and one of them is that hardly anyone lives up there compared to the valley, so any UHI effects would be far less or entirely absent perhaps.
I would have liked to see the individual counties broken out, as it appears one of them is far less irrigated then the others.
Or compare the change in CA central valley to some other similar climate and landform area than has not been irrigated.
I can imagine several ways it could change, or not change as the case is here, in the mountains while it did change in a low intermontane valley region, regarding wind flow, ocean temps, maybe even CO2 if it does have some small effect, that effect might show up at altitudes. IDK…maybe there is nothing else here but what the paper describes.
But…mountain vs valley.
Urbanization in the largest and fastest growing population in the US.
Overall changes over the entire continent over the same period of time.
And what about the difference in rainfall over that period?
In any case, I do not see how this says anything about other climate zones undergoing changes related only to vegetative cover.
The gist of this is that what was a large desert in summer is now a verdant irrigated growing region.
It does not break out percentage differences in areal foliage cover, nor does it give humidity data, which was most likely available.
I do not like to be critical of work by someone I have great respect for, but that is what we do here and in science in general.
I would be happy to have someone explain or show why the things I mention are not applicable or not confounding to the conclusions reached.
In any case, the actual conclusions were rather mildly stated. I saw no sweeping statements regarding changes to aerial coverage of plants outside of the study areas.
But I only read through it once so far, but I did so slowly and carefully.
Maybe I missed a few things with my continuous partial attention thing going on.

donald penman
August 11, 2019 2:12 am

Heat trapping surfaces at higher latitudes during summer tend not to cool down because there are more hours of day and less hours of night also the intensity of solar radiation increases in summer. Some just want to ignore seasonal changes but exactly the opposite occurs in winter when the shorter days/longer nights don’t warm up the surfaces with the reduced solar intensity. The surface of the Earth has a seasonal minimum which is much lower than the rest of the year at higher latitudes.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  donald penman
August 11, 2019 12:27 pm

Prevailing conditions prior to a land use or land coverage change, makes the effects of such changes impossible to boil down to a single sentence or a single graph for the world in general.
Numerous factors interact in complex ways to determine what happens when some condition or input is changed.

August 12, 2019 6:11 am

I am thinking somewhat differently about what actually is warming our planet. IMHO, obviously the CO2 and trapping of IR by GH gasses are all red herrings. [ask me more if you do not understand that the re-radiated light from the CO2 cannot possibly heat the oceans?] It is the oceans that are getting warmer and this is also warming the planet, on average.
So I am asking myself: what heats the water? Visible light actually cannot heat water, by much. Water does have absorption in the UV and the IR, so here you will have that type of light being re-radiated and sequestered to heat. In the case of IR, it warms the water a bit, but it does not really bring it to a boiling point? Try it and let me know. It is the UV that hits on the water that immediately brings the top layer of molecules to evaporation. And this is where our weather cycle begins (clouds). So, really, everything in our lives depends on how much UV is getting through the atmosphere….

August 12, 2019 11:47 am

Must say: I don’t remember my biology now. Wonder if somebody here can help me?
It is about photo synthesis.

I know that photosynthesis can be represented using a chemical equation.

6CO2 + 6H2O + UV ——> C6H12O6 + 6O2

Where: CO2 = carbon dioxide
H2O = water
C6H12O6 = glucose
O2 = oxygen

Now, this chemical equation obviously means that more water and more CO2 present will stimulate growth.
Also, everything we eat and drink depends on more CO2. But wasn’t it a fact that there were two half reactions, namely one during the day, which was endothermic (using UV) and one during the night that was exothermic? Is it not during the night that plants are growing?

I cannot find the details of the reactions happening during the day and night in Wikipedia….

Jim Steele
Reply to  henryp
August 12, 2019 12:31 pm

UV doesn’t belong in your equation UV is characterized by wavelengths from 10 to 400 nm. Photosynthesis utilizes visible wavelengths over 99% above 400 nm as seen in the spectrum linked below

comment image

I suggest Henry you learn more and until then write less

Reply to  Jim Steele
August 12, 2019 12:44 pm


As I said. Biology is not my strong point. Thx for setting me straight. But that was not the question I asked….?

August 14, 2019 6:49 am

Just to round it off here:

Well, taking the word of a good Dutch biologist, I found out that in the night our photosynthesis reaction reverses and the (extra) sugars made during the day are used in the reverse reaction for the plant/tree to grow. The effect is apparently so strong that the satellites can pick up increased CO2 above forests during the evening and night…. Indeed, as I suspected, that reverse reaction is exothermic. That largely explains my observations that de-forestation leads to a sharp decline in Tmin whereas increased vegetation and increased forestation leads to a sharp increase of Tmin. I saw the Christie paper for the first time on this blog but it confirmed my observations.

Essentially, IMHO, Jim’s point two of his post is incorrect, as is the study that was linked to it.
Here was my take on it:

But, hey, that is my opinion.

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