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back to article Last month ties for WARMEST September on RECORD

If you found last month to be a mite toasty, the data is now in: you were right. "The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 15.6°C (60.1°F)," reports the National Climatic Data Center ( …

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Boffin

Oh, I guess US temperatures.... then say so, because it looks like crazy news otherwise.

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Devil

Not just US temperatures

Southern Europe (and especially Balkans) were insanely warm for most of September. In fact they still are. September temperatures were ~ 30C and it was ~ 20C during the first 2 weeks of October.

So it is not just USA.

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Boffin

I think it's GLOBAL temperature not US

although it's not specifically highlighted I read the article to mean global temperature... otherwise the global heat maps are just confusing and misleading.

I DO have a quibble with this paragraph though: "temperature monitoring and assessment techniques have indeed come a long way since ... we'll trust the NCDC to have made the appropriate adjustments."

I simply do not believe that a proper global temperature record for 1880 can be in the least valid (and possibly not even if it's just US). Firstly, the accuracy of instruments might not have been so good. Secondly, the calibration of instruments relative to each other around the whole globe would not have been consistent enough. Thirdly, if we're talking about GLOBAL temperature average, the sparsity of weather stations around the globe means that no record can be correct. Temperatures can vary significantly within 100-200 km, so extrapolating data between weather stations 500+ km apart will not be accurate enough. When combining all these factors, the combined margin of error will be higher than the 1 degree Celcius 'difference from the average' being observed.

The only accurate and reliable global temperature average we have is satellite, from about 1970 onwards

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debatable...

the map in the atricle looked like a map of the world to me, but to a merkin? who knows, praps god is telling him its merca??? i really have no handle on the workings of the mind of the infinite, or his batshit crazy imaginers

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Re: I think it's GLOBAL temperature not US

"The only accurate and reliable global temperature average we have is satellite, from about 1970 onwards"

this, of course presupposes that nasa know where, and when their satellites are, which they rather famously didnt. - this was version 4 or 5 of the refuters 'never changing' reasons for challenging CC - unlike us believers who have stuck to the good old 'is it getting hot in here?, or is it just me?' for a few decades now

also I think a little study of the kinds of lengths 19th centrury scientific folk were prepared to go to might cause a little more respect for their work - eg everests measurements in india, with a chain that went uncalibrated for 25 YEARS - and gave rise to an error of 4 inches over a distance of 41,000 feet.

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Re: I think it's GLOBAL temperature not US

" Temperatures can vary significantly within 100-200 km, so extrapolating data between weather stations 500+ km apart will not be accurate enough. When combining all these factors, the combined margin of error will be higher than the 1 degree Celcius 'difference from the average' being observed."

Scientists have statistically tested the extrapolations and find the technique is far more accurate than you imagine, even over the large distances you mention. By removing known data and seeing how well the removed data can be predicted by the remaining data they can gauge the error bars of such an approach. They find the range of error for a particular annual value to be less than 0.1C

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Was going to say...... I'd like them to come to Scotland and tell us that.....

This year in the Borders, we have only had one month (July) with a low temperature above 3 (3.6) every other month has recorded a low of below 3 - and even August recorded 0.9'c!

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Scotland...

The map shows the borders as 'near average' for Sept. A few miles south and it moves to 'warmer than average'.

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Trollface

Some how I knew..

Even before I clicked on the link, I assumed this wasn't an article by Lewis.

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Coat

Color me dubious, color me green...

greenbacks, that is.

So, 1000+ scientists at $5K apiece per report. And there's only one of him... so he gets $5M per "... I don't believe 'em"? I believe *that*.

"Here's your coat, Mr. Rep. I hope it's not too heavy."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Color me dubious, color me green...

Oh dear, that old "97% of scientists..." PNAS meme.

Anyone who hasn't fact checked how they got to this figure should do so.

It will tell you a lot about Climate Change (tm) and the rigorous science upon which the scare is based.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Color me dubious, color me green...

So if you have a postdoc researcher on $45K/year, publishing 3 papers a year, that makes 15K./paper just for doing the job anyway. Of course an extra 5K for publishing some disinformation might be nice, but probably isn't really going to help your career much - you'd be better off spending the effort on some real science (even if your average was then just a paltry 11K/paper). Profs, of course, get paid more.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Color me dubious, color me green...

"...So if you have a postdoc researcher on $45K/year, ..."

That would be good, but I know a load of postdoc researchers and they don't get anything like this amount of money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: postdoc researchers dont get $45K?

It's not an implausible figure for the UK - $45K is approx. £30K. Even if you take the bottom of the UK scale (typically just above £20K), I'm not that sure it changes the overall assessment much - such recently graduated PhD researchers are hardly the most useful proponents for a disinformation campaign.

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Re: Color me dubious, color me green...

Heh heh.

That's all you've got isn't it? YOiu have absoulutely no answer to the simple fact that three major peer-reviewed studies involving THOUSANDS of climate scientists ALL show that climate scientists are near unanimous in their findings that AGW is happening.

All you have in reply is to try to imply that there was something wrong witht he studies methodology.

Desperate and pathetic lies. I've even seen "it was only a survey of 72 scientists!" (I kid you not)

The actual numbers were over 3400 for one of them and around 1400 for another.

There are around 130,000 peer-reviewed studies in the archives and not one of them - NOT A SINGLE ONE of them - shows any evidence whatsoever that AGW is not occurring.

Endlessly parroting - "They are all rigged! just reveals you have no answer and in fact just makes you look stupid.

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Boffin

Nice graph, however...

Before people start to scream "see it's AGW all the way" may I point out that that graph has a very interesting downward trend at a time that most of western europe and the US was running on coal and peat, and produced at least as much air polution, including soot, methane, and other stuff, than we do nowadays. Yet there's no sign of the so-much-touted exponential curve we've been slapped with over and over again.

In fact, the graph (which I assume is corrected for the usual anomalies) shows a nice pendulum trend wich progresses rather regularly, despite several noticeable developments in the industrialisation of the world, including two world wars during the times span involved. Given that we're at the peak of that trend, it's simply too early to say whether it will curve down again, or keep going up. Even then, your local mileage may vary, as local temperatures do not equate to climate.

In all, it's a very interesting graph, but what it does *not* prove is the so-much-touted AGW. The best it shows is that at the moment we're on the top of a sinoïd trend. If this graph is correct, and you follow the trend, we're actually in for a trend of global *cooling* for the next century or so. To consistently prove AGW as a major influence the graph should flatten out or even rise over the next 50 years or so. At the moment it's simply too early to tell either way.

There's no denying that humankind does have an influence on the total earth ecosystem, we've reached the point that we and our activities have become the dominant monoculture/ecosystem on this planet in large parts of the globe, and there's also no denying that ill-advised or simply greedy mal-management of oft-overpopulated areas have mayor and often detrimental results on vast areas of this globe. And a bit of effort and common sense can reduce that impact on our surroundings to no mean extent.

But this graph actually strengthens the argument of AGW *sceptics*, because it clearly shows that there's at least one, rather regular, major factor contributing to the current trend of global warming, which does not coincide with the development of human activity and industrialisation of the globe.

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Coat

Re: Nice graph, however...

I wonder if you take into account how much less people "polluted" then. Newer mind though.

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Mushroom

Re: Nice graph, however...

"I wonder if you take into account how much less people "polluted" then. Newer mind though.

Cows were still farting though.

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Facepalm

Re: Nice graph, however... @ Lars

Yes, Lars, I actually did.. And the "non-polluting lifestyle" people tout about the medieval and later periods is a Myth based on romantic notions of pastoral romanticism.

The easiest to prove my point is the fact that the most long-lasting buildings in european towns and cities are the cathedrals and churches, and there is an impressive amount of documentation of the things being cleaned of soot *while still under construction*. And we're not talking travellers' reports, but surviving financial accounts and deeds towards this very purpose.

In the towns and cities where the original buildings have survived two world wars you can still see the *18-19th C.* patina of soot on the faces that are not in public view ( those were most often whitewashed regularly). Since those buildings are quite often monuments, it's easy to dig up a modern cleaning bill or two, with the archeological/technical documentation that goes with it if you do a bit of legwork.

This sooting up of major urban areas only stopped after most households switched to oil/kerosene stoked heating or gas, which happened around the 1920's onwards. Given that these gas and oil stoked devices were more efficient as well, you could actually argue that during that time at least the impact of domestic pollution reduced, at least on a local level, although for densely populated western europe "local" is a rather relative term, if you account for the fact that the urban centers were already crowding in on each other (the Ruhr area, western Netherlands, the belgian cities) and/or growing to the humongous size you see nowadays (the major british and french cities).

So yes, maybe I've taken a thing or two into account in my original post.

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Re: Nice graph, however...

There are natural cycles superimposed on top of the warming that we are causing - however we should also remember that a lot of the air pollution that we were pumping out in the early half of the 20th century formed a hazy layer of aerosol particles which actually had a cooling effect. The clean air laws introduced in the middle of the 20th century did a lot to reduce mortality from lung diseases, but as an unintended consequence they skewed the anthropogenic influence more strongly towards heating the atmosphere.

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Re: Nice graph, however...

no-one said it proved the "much-touted AGW". It doesn't show a "sinoid trend". It doesn't show a "pendulum trend". I'm not aware of a "so-much-touted exponential curve". The graph certainly does not show that "we're at the peak of that trend", or "we're on top of a sinoid trend". Do you even know what a "trend" is? Are you seriously suggesting that you have discerned a "trend", and you, uniquely, can discern that "we're actually in for a trend of global *cooling* for the next century or so"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice graph, however...

> how much less people "polluted" then.

Do you really mean how much less people polluted, or are you trying to say how many fewer people were doing the polluting?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice graph, however...

Coal + Peat = smog. Smog = blocked sunlight. Blocked sunlight = cooler temperatures.

Full picture = better image. Better image = less assumptions. Less assumptions = less mistakes in comments.

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Mushroom

Re: Nice graph, however...

As I get weary of saying to other climate-sceptic friends and family, unless you have the requisite PhD in climate science and related areas and have adequately published etc etc, then your views are just ignorant musings. The overwhelming opinion (i.e.97%) of properly qualified and published climate scientists is that climate change trends are real, and are human-caused.

By denying this you are in effect denying the weight of scientific opinion - the opinion of 97% of appropriately qualified scientists. You are therefore denying science and the scientific method, and on that basis you should be doubting every other scientific conclusion out there, not just the inconvenient ones like human-caused climate change. Why should you for example have total faith in your doctor or surgeon to diagnose and treat you based on totally scientific principles, yet doubt the conclusions of equally qualified climate scientists?

Next.....

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Facepalm

Re: Nice graph, however...

".... unless you have the requisite PhD in climate science..."

Did such a thing even exist before the AGW agenda came into existence?

Self-serving science anyone?

Next.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice graph, however...

"...Cows were still farting though...."

Far, far fewer cows were still farting.

(And, it's belching, but that's besides the point...)

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Re: Nice graph, however... @ Lars

Myth based on romantic notions of pastoral romanticism.

speak for yourself, i based my beliefs on the lack of chevy V8's in the middle ages.

and the relative lack of people too.

and the not relative lack of trees 'n stuff.

and the overwhelming majority of the worlds gas, coal and oil still being underground.

and as for building maintainance... cologne cathedral to over 600 years to get built! you think anyone was describing that as the new cathedral when they were putting the last bit of roof on?

i am under no illusions about some bygone pastoral idyl, but i am aware that there were relatively few people back then, and they were nothing like as good at 'taking their shit and throwing it into the sky' as we are.

and that graph/? pendulum bollocks!

it shows an average line, where almost all the small numbers are on the left and almsot all the big ones are on the right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice graph, however...

Well said. So lets reduce the number of valid opinions to people with an appropriate level of qualification (PhD) because they will be able to produce results that can be retested (I hope you feel a thud about now). Then we need to filter this to only the those qualified in a relevant field. Hmm. Thats a lot of people across a huge spectrum of physics, biology and chemistry at least, assuming the health and economic factors are ignored.

But you want to remove the space people because MMCC cant stand if solar effects could be argued as a cause. And remove those pesky historical types who like to look at data before the very selective start date and the accuracy of data globally. And absolutely shun anyone who comments on the selection of data from different parts of the world. But you must accept the off the cuff comments to the WWF as absolute fact and publish as such (how many scientists do the IPCC claim check their facts?).

There are also heretics who question and want data to reproduce results, these can be shoved out by avoiding FOI requests and deleting important information and withholding grant money from dissenters. However you cannot remove the windfarm/solar people who support the cult (sorry science) because while they have been shown to provide no benefits, only economic ruin leading to deaths, they are fighting your corner.

And then ask a small number of scientists who agree with your cults theory and you have proved that creationism is a fact. Oh wait... that MMCC is fact.

I can only assume you believe in a god? If you do then you are not qualified to talk about the facts in life. If you dont then you are a marginal heretic who shouldnt be listened to.

Or you could be a grown up and accept that there is so much propaganda from both sides with misinformation ruling the day that we are all being conned but we are all trying to peace together the facts in this mess of lies. The facts should rule the day and the only conclusive facts we have is that we dont know. But ruining the economy or ruining the reputation of science is only a step backward.

There is plenty real pollution with real and measurable effects which can be tackled without huge economic damage. There is a recession harming people worldwide. And if the facts come to light then we can deal with them, and they will come to light if it truely becomes a problem.

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FAIL

Re: Nice graph, however... @ Lars

Soot is not a GHG.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice graph, however...

@AC 13:18 - Just because it happens in your mind, doesn't mean it's true. Although, I have to admit, it's a pretty good collection of Straw Men and Ad-hominims.

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Re: Nice graph, however...

No-one predicted an 'exponential curve'. That's just a tired old strawman from the denial industry.

Stop making stuff up.

There have been around a dozen periods during the last century when climate forcings have appeared to slow down warming. In the 40's and 50's sulphur emssions slowed it down for THIRTY YEARS before it reverted to trend again. What you are looking at is noise in the system and even then most of the heat is going into the oceans and into melting Arctic sea ice. Even the Antarctic is now being affected by extra snow and rain - as the increasing Antarctic sea ice extent as the surface becmomes less saline clearly shows.

It's just amazing that there are still some people ignorant and gullible enough to fall for such blatant propaganda from vested interests. Unfortunately recent events show that no matter how obvious AGW becomes the ignorati will still refuse to accept the simple reality that is happening right in front of the noses.

Tragic.

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According to the UK Met office,

who are well known as one of the main offenders in the AGW panic mongering stakes, global warming stopped 16 years ago

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Re: According to the UK Met office,

Oh dear, with such an impeccable source of impartial news and rigorous scientific method as The Daily Mail, how could one possibly question such an assertion?

Perhaps with some *ahem* other reporting sources, such as the NOAA <http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/9> ?

From an AP article on phys.org, "According to NOAA, all of the top 10 warmest years on record have occurred after 1997, when skeptics claimed global warming stopped." Oh, and "This is the 331st consecutive month with global temperatures above the 20th century average."

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Re: According to the UK Met office,

That fits in fairly well with the graph we see here... 16(ish) years of increase, then steady...maybe we will see 16 years of cold, I know last winter was bloody cold and who said it was a warm september? it was bloody cold here!

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Re: According to the UK Met office,

According to the met office, there's been a 0.03 increase in temps over the period. Which, as they admit, is *not* a statistically significant increase in temperatures. So, either you accept that HadCrut4 provides an acceptable record of global temperatures or you don't.

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Show me the records

There's a little "Record temperature" patch off the Western Australian coast. I'm hunching there is no data for this region that predates satellite recording.

The map would be a lot more accurate it it had "no info available" for a large % of the map.

Then of course the techniques change:

Remember folks that the longest records are often at airports. It is pointless comparing historical records for air ports. Just look at SFO 1n1927 when it was just a cow pasture with the cows moved off: http://www.flysfo.com/web/page/about/organization/history/index.html

Any comparison of temperatures taken under those conditions to the SFO of today are not science. They are fraud.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Show me the records

...Any comparison of temperatures taken under those conditions to the SFO of today are not science. They are fraud...."

Or maybe the people doing the work - the postdoc researchers - know a little more about the subject than you and have developed techniques for dealing with data of varying quality.

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Five Grand?

Actually it's far more likely that it's the *sceptic* journalists who get £5000 per article - from the Koch brothers.

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Re: Five Grand?

"Late last year, when a reporter pointed out to Hall that 97 per cent of the 1,372 climate researchers polled by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences agreed that human activities contribute to global warming"

Sadly the author seems to have confused two studies to come up with the 97% figure. Originally that was from an opinion survey published by Doran et al which found after whittling down responses-

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/that_97_solution_again/

Once all these cuts were made, 75 out of 77 scientists of unknown qualifications were left endorsing the global warming orthodoxy. The two researchers were then satisfied with their findings. Are you?

The PNAS paper by Anderegg et al didn't bother to poll researchers, just-

Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field

attempt to analyse publications using Google Scholar. After excluding any they disagreed with. More on that one here-

http://www.pnas.org/content/107/52/E188

The study by Anderegg et al. (1) employed suspect methodology that treated publication metrics as a surrogate for expertise.

which is fairly normal for climate science.

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FAIL

Re: Five Grand?

And the millions that Climate scientists get from government funding has no say in what results they produce?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Five Grand?

@The Axe: No, it doesn't because it's peer reviewed and then published. If there were bias it would be noticed and dealt with. Paying for articles which agree with your publicly stated point of view is rather dubious at best.

As an aside: Every climate scientist would love to be able to write a peer reviewed paper which conclusively proves that climate change is not happening, because this is career defining stuff. If you manage to prove that all of your chosen area of science was wrong about something - and this would be Nobel territory - you don't need to worry about where the next research work is coming from.

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Re: Five Grand? - aside aside...

..As an aside: Every climate scientist would love to be able to write a peer reviewed paper which conclusively proves that climate change is not happening, because this is career defining stuff. If you manage to prove that all of your chosen area of science was wrong about something ..

I know at least one climate scientist who wouldn't love to show it wasn't happening.

Phil Jones is on record as saying "Why should I make my data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?". Doesn't sound as if he would be happy to see climate change disproven. If it were, he and Michael Mann would certainly be having difficulty with their next grant cheque....

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Anonymous Coward

0.67??? That's it??? We've been burning for 130 years and 0.67 degrees is all?? Are you f*cking kidding me? Bring back Lewis. Now!

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Ah yes, but wait 'til all the positive feedback effects kick in.

You know, those positive feedback effects that cause the climate to run out of control when nudged a bit. Of course, if there were a tendancy toward the status quo then the rabid doom-mongers would all be talking complete bollocks. Fortunately for them there is no historical evidence whatsoever of the climate tending to stabilise after an event causes excessive warming or cooling.........oh.........wait......

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Science denier

> "I don't think we can control what God controls."

It sounds like the best way to convince this guy is to dump all the evidence-based research, the climate modelling and most developments in physics. Instead we just need a deity to whisper in his ear and his opinions will duly follow.

I have no doubt that some sufficiently advanced technology that follows Clarke's third law could therefore have him voting billions for pretty much any cause the tech-owners wished for.

Isn't theology technology wonderful?

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Holmes

Accurate measurements

So we have a 0.67 K variation from the mean, very significant day-to-day fluctuations, a warming trend of something less than 2K/100yr, bucket/engine room variations at sea, UHI impacts on land due to massive population and land use changes - is this a big scary trend we see with a monthly maximum? No, not really.

What we can deduce from this rather muted trend is that the magic 'climate sensitivity' is much more likely to be at the low end of the guestimates, even if the models are assumed to be complete. The big claims of more extreme weather events have already fallen flat. We are rapidly reaching the point where 3 K by 2100 seems unlikely, let alone 5 K.

Things change. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Interesting bit of psychology on the graph

C on the left and F on the right. Looks like only -0.5 on the left, but +2.0 on the right. OMG it's accelerating! Deliberate, I wonder?

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Alert

Trust

"but we'll trust the NCDC to have made the appropriate adjustments."

Why would we do that?

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Anonymous Coward

Confused in the UK

IIRC the BBC said September was the coolest on record since 1994.

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My my my. Scary trendline

That slope is awfully steep. Look like we're going to become barren like Mars in no time at all.

But hang on, that slope gets steeper and steeper every time these updates are issued. Which is odd when there's been no change in global temperature since the last report was produced... and the report before that... and the report before that. Yet the trendlines get worse and worse.

It couldn't be an Orwellian revision of history, could it? Surely not.

That would involve the keepers of these records to revise the older temperatures downwards, while leaving current temperatures untouched. I suppose that would increase the slope. But how easy would it be to adjust those older records? They're of course going to need some kind of adjustment anyway, so who's to say where reasonable-type adjustments stop and activis-type adjustments start? I wouldn't want to to cast doubt on those who work in this field. They surely wouldn't have thought to tap this as an ingenious way of producing ever-scarier trendlines with all the media coverage that goes with it, regardless of whether the climate misbehaves and temperatures stay the same for over a decade.

I mean, it's not like CRU already do this.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/image80.png

GISS certainly wouldn't do it.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/image81.png

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