back to article Climate watch: 2012 figures confirm global warming still stalled

The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest. The tenth-hottest result …

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Nasa scientist says this decade warmer than last

and that was warmer than the one before and that was warmer than the one before but Lewis says its not.

Phew not a scorcher then!

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Re: Nasa scientist says this decade warmer than last

There's this quote:

"The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing."

Which comes in a paper from the well known climate change denier James Hansen, so which NASA scientist were you thinking of?

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Well here in NZ...

NIWA (our very green-slanting climate botherers) crowed that the 2000-2009 decade was hotter than the 1990-1999 decade. Read past he headlines and it was up by a whole hundredth of a degree.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt (ie. that they used an apples-for-apples comparison), one hundredth of a degree over ten years is a difference of 30 degree days. One cold front would have changed the result.

Statistical significance and science left the building a long time ago. There are only ideologists left.

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Holmes

Wow... some amazing denial there. The things you can do with a clever headline.

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Anonymous Coward

One of these is false

"However one slices it, the world has not warmed up noticeably since 1998 or so"

"What matters is this decade is warmer than the last decade, and that decade was warmer than the decade before."

I know both sides of the debate love to cherry pick, selectively quote and misrepresent the other. For example 1998 is frequently chosen as a data point, even though it was an exceptional year. And data that contradicts the belief system is routinely ignored

Is it even possible to find a rational voice amidst the doom mongers and the "la-la-la fingers in the ears" bunch ?

Not sure The Register is the best place to ask that question though.

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FAIL

Re: One of these is false

I should imagine Lewis is more worried by the fact that there's been less than 20 comments in an hour and a half.

Clearly not being inflammatory enough ;)

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Re: One of these is false

Is it even possible to find a rational voice amidst the doom mongers and the "la-la-la fingers in the ears" bunch ?

Possible, yes, but how would you pick out the rational voice with real, unbiased research from the mountain of quotes from studies crafted to meet one predetermined finding or the other?

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@Anon 16:48 - Cherry picking 1998

It is true that deniers like to compare to 1998, which as you say was an exceptional year. But the warmists seem to have had no trouble cranking the alarm bells up to 11 when the stats for 1998 came in, with their claims that warming was accelerating exponentially. That turns out to be have been decidedly not the case.

The warmists have pointed to the USA's exceptional 2012 as "further proof" of global warming. If the deniers can't use exceptional years, why can the warmists?

I particularly enjoyed how warmists used the wet 2012 in the UK and the drought in the US simultaneously as proof. On the news last night I heard someone in the UK arguing how warm air holds more water and that was why it was so wet in the UK. Just last week someone in the US was arguing that the drought was exactly the type of "extreme weather event" that global warming causes.

This again is the big problem with global warming. EVERY weather event and trend, short of a multidecadal temperature decline, can be linked to it. If it can't be falsified, it is not worthy of being called a theory.

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Boffin

Re: One of these is false

The whole "since 1998" thing is a problem because that's only a short period, whereas climate change (if real) would be a long term thing. So, instead of cherry-picking "since 1998" let's look at a much longer time period.

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Re: One of these is false

a much longer time period

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of these is false

Dumb article, check byline, yep, they still employ Lewis Page and haven't sacked him yet.

Maybe he should try writing a well researched, logically consistent article, I'm sure the number of people commenting on how hell had frozen over would do the trick.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of these is false

"Dumb article, check byline, yep, they still employ Lewis Page and haven't sacked him yet. Maybe he should try writing a well researched, logically consistent article, I'm sure the number of people commenting on how hell had frozen over would do the trick."

Indeed. Maybe you would now be so gracious as to provide both your author and article critique by way of a well researched, logically consistent riposte?

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Re: @Anon 16:48 - Cherry picking 1998

I think the difference is that the UK is an island and the US is a continent. Warm air coming over the UK has usuall travelled over the Atlantic first, so has had the chance to pick up more water and then drop it all over the country. In the US, warm air that's picked up water from the Pacific has already ditched it's moisture on the Sierra Nevada before reaching the nasty dry bits in the middle.

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Happy

Re: One of these is false

Aw, man, you cherry-picked a year 11,286 years ago to make your point.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of these is false

Why "la-la-la fingers in the ears" bunch ?

I am probably in what you call that bunch and I am desperately seeking (that is looking with ears wide open) actual data that shows a warming tend. Has anyone ever shown any graphs of actual temperature? You think you have seen these graphs, but no you haven't. Look at the Y axis. Nobody shows graphs of actual temperatures.

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Re: @Anon 16:48 - Cherry picking 1998

It takes 17-years of data to statistically prove the existence of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), because natural variability has a larger effect than AGW in the short term (<10 years).

"Global land temperatures have increased by 1.5 degrees C over the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years." - the Berkeley Earth team.

Therefore, in the last 10 years there should have been 0.09 degrees C increase in temperature due to Human activities, but a very small -0.09 degrees C variation in global climate due to natural variability would easily hide this long term warming trend.

No climate scientist would ever point to single or local event as evidence for or against AGW, it is only noticed when looking at the long term trend.

Santer, B.D., et al., 2011. Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale. Journal of Geophysical Research 116(D22), D22105.

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Here's a thought

Perhaps the warming of the two decades prior to 1998 was just natural variation and we all got carried away, incidentally has anyone taken a critical look at the record breaking temperature claims what they are based on and if the record temperature remains the same from year to year in the records?

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Alien

Re: Here's a thought

"Perhaps the warming of the two decades prior to 1998 was just natural variation "

Perhaps, but in that case wouldn't we have reverted to the (colder) mean after the natural variation prior to 1998? Clearly there is something else going on here. More research required.

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Re: Here's a thought

"Perhaps the warming of the two decades prior to 1998 was just natural variation"

Perhaps. How might this "natural variation" have occurred? And what has meant that it has not reversed?

I'm all for alternative suggestions but just shrugging and going "well, nature did it" doesn't seem like enough.

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Re: Here's a thought

It may help to note that the oceans are still warming just as much as they have been in recent times. Funny that wasn't mentioned here.

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Re: Here's a thought

Well Chapster, this is the register. When other news outlets can find reports confirming warnming, they manage to find reports that say it isnt.

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Mushroom

Re: Here's a thought

Really?

http://www.climate4you.com/images/NCDC%20SST%20GlobalMonthlyTempSince1979%20With37monthRunningAverage.gif

or

http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/heat_content55-07.png

They look pretty flat for the last decade or more to me.

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Re: Here's a thought

I know the source is not liked by a lot of folk but this post suggests with evidence that NOAA's State of the Climate reports (STOC) that publish claims of "hottest day/year/month" on record are later adjusted down after being reported. It's easy to keep having records if you keep adjusting the previous "record" down.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/06/does-noaas-national-climatic-data-center-ncdc-keep-two-separate-sets-of-climate-books-for-the-usa/#more-76965

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Re: Here's a thought

It's wrong. As usual wuwt have just made a stupid mistake.

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Re: Here's a thought

well 30 years of warming are not exceptional in a thousand year span.

the little ice age and the mediaeval warm periods were hundreds of years long - well over a hundred certainly.

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FAIL

Re: Here's a thought

About as much as I can find to back up your claim is this:

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/01/10/hottest-year-ever-skeptics-question-revisions-to-climate-data/

Not really a solid rebuttle at all, perhaps you could provide a better source.

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Anonymous Coward

I reckon it's all linked to nuclear fusion

because that's been just a "few years" off. Since 1945.

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Re: I reckon it's all linked to nuclear fusion

You are most certainly right but since the nuclear fusion happens in the sun it's only 8 minutes off. The trick is to control the delay and that has proved a bit tricky in the lab.

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Re: I reckon it's all linked to nuclear fusion

We'd be months away from the first feasible working fusion power plant today had Bussard gotten the funding he needed instead of all the money being shunted into the war in Iraq. He knew how to do it, had the data to back it up, and couldn't get any funding because waging a war on the other side of the planet was more important.

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Meh

Re: I reckon it's all linked to nuclear fusion

Nah, its all linked to discussion of global warming. It is a feed back loop, an article saying not hotter/hotter/whatever and the hot air, interpersed with occasional intelligence, bursts forth.

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Anonymous Coward

"The globally-averaged temperature for 2012 marked the 10th warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 36th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last below-average annual temperature was 1976. Including 2012, all 12 years to date in the 21st century (2001–2012) rank among the 14 warmest in the 133-year period of record. Only one year during the 20st century—1998—was warmer than 2012."

From the NOAA article you link to. The mood is in stark contrast to the article that links to it. As are the facts.

If you don't think a source is trustworthy, either explain why - or just ignore them. But don't take the bits that you agree with, ignore the rest and assume your readers are too stupid/lazy to click a link and read for themselves.

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Quite.

But I think the original mistake is you or I expecting any kind of rational, fact-based approach from a Lewis Page article. Some days I think he's just trolling us.

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Anonymous Coward

Trust the satellite data

I trust this graph, because ...

The physicists who designed the satellite instrumentation don't have a political axe to grind, and the devices in all likelihood give the ONLY accurate global picture, as they actually sample the entire earth constantly.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_2012_v5.51.png

Draw your own conclusions using the Mk. I eyeball.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quite.

It's depressing and out of character with the rest of the site.

Reasoned debate on most subjects, but when it comes to anything with an environmental slant it descends to the levels of the Guardian or the Mail when they are pushing one of their pet agendas.

The annoying thing is that orthodoxies should be challenged. There is not "right way" that we should all follow without thinking. But please do it in an open and honest manner.

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Long-Term Global Warming Trend Continues

I suppose your link, AC 17:18 is this:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=80167

Nice graph too.

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Re: Trust the satellite data

@AC 17:38 - I note a few interesting things on that graph. I really wish I had more data to put it into perspective though. Taken on its own the graph holds little meaning. Yes, the world's hotter than it was 20 years ago, but we all know that already. The question that needs answered is not 'is it true' but 'why'.

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Re: Trust the satellite data

Interesting you link to a version on Roy Spencer's site as he does have an axe to grind, he may be a physicist but he is also a creationist and very much against the AGW theory.

But go on use that Mk1 eyeball..notice how before 1998 most of the graph sits below the mean, and after 1998 above the mean? Particularly since the mean includes the above average period since 1998 (i.e. the mean is higher and thus the anomaly lower because of the inclusion of period of raised temperatures). Anyone still think nothing has happened since 1998?

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Trollface

Re: Trust the satellite data

if you trust machines implicitly, in hostile environments Do you follow your GPS religiously too ?

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Anonymous Coward

No wonder we're baffled

"The last below-average annual temperature was 1976." Seeing as how -- though without benefit of a single graph or scientific quote but merely using memory alone -- I remember the long summer of 1976 in the UK as the absolutely sweltering hottest since the ditto long hot summer of 1959 (also remembered) it's no wonder so many of us are so confused.

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You don't appear to have read the article

The lengthy quote you chose does not in any way contradict what Lewis wrote - perhaps you need to read it again. Yes, the last 20 years have had most of the hottest years on record - Lewis's article repeats that quite explicitly. However, Lewis's article is about the fact that temperatures have stopped rising over the last 15-20 years. The fact that they DID rise BEFORE that is completely irrelevant to the point of the article. Note that a rise in temperatures to a record high 20 years ago followed by a 15-20 year plateau is totally consistent with your NOAA quote about the distribution of hot years in the record.

What Lewis didn't spell out explicitly, but perhaps should have done given the reading comprehension on display here, is that all the climate change / global warming theory and models predict that temperatures should have continued to rise, because CO2 emissions have continued to rise and the theories don't (yet) include any non-CO2 forcings that can account for the observed temperatures. Observation does not agree with the theory, and that is a problem for the theory, not for the observations, and not for Lewis.

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Re: Trust the satellite data

"Draw your own conclusions using the Mk. I eyeball."

Please do.

http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/mean:13/from:1972/plot/uah/from:1972/trend

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Re: You don't appear to have read the linked research

@Chris Long

Read it, *also* read a portion of the linked research. For instance, this bit

> 2012 marks the 36th consecutive year (since 1976) that the annual

> temperature was above the long-term average.

from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/13, under Global Temperatures

So that's 36 consecutive years above the "long term average", which appears to be from 1880 to 2012. That is a rising trend. If Lewis has chosen to go back only 20, perhaps he's chosen that period to fit a pre-deternined view. Try running the numbers for 25, 30, and 40 years -- what do they look like?

Take a look at this year's temperatures across the continental US:

> In 2012, the contiguous United States (CONUS) average annual temperature

> of 55.3°F was 3.2°F above the 20th century average, and was the warmest

> year in the 1895-2012 period of record for the nation. The 2012 annual

> temperature was 1.0°F warmer than the previous record warm year of 1998.

from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2012/13

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Re: You don't appear to have read the linked research

@Alan_Peery

Between @1760 and @1840 we had something called the industrial revolution. This involved the move to steam power, Machine manufacturing (rather than by hand) and from using wood to using coal for burning.

This resulted in heavy pollution. 1956 the UK introduced the first Clean Air Act to combat the problem of heavy smog that was covering much of the country. This smog obscured natural light, and affected ground temperatures, resulting in more coal being burned to heat up houses as it was rather cold, wet and miserable in the cities due to the smog.

Since 1956 there have been various acts to effect a cleaning up of air pollutants, the result of which has been a massive improvement of air quality. Cleaner, crisper, fresher air. Even the exhausts from cars doesn't come close to how bad things were back in 1954 (the year of smog that brought about the 1956 clean air act in the UK).

Now, that's just the UK. The US also introduced a clean air act to combat pollutants, and other countries have followed suite. This means that globally it was recognized there was a problem with air pollution and action was taken to fix this.

Changing the quality of the air will impact the climate. It will impact global temperatures. Why? Because we have removed particulates from the atmosphere that obstruct light, and hence heat, from reaching the planet surface from the sun. This is what French Scientists reported some years back. This is supposed to be a good thing as it means the planet is able to normalise: Reach the correct temperature for it's current cycle rather than an artificially low temperature as caused by the heavy pollution that has occurred since 1760.

What this suggests is that much of the global warming that caused panic amongst alarmist was not due to CO2, but due to the improving air quality. This does not deny climate change, nor does it deny the theories about CO2 being bad for the environment. However, air quality is not included in any of the models used to predict climate change / global warming, yet clearly it should: It's a variable, not a constant, and it has changed yet is not accounted for.

So I am not surprised that global warming has flattened out. It suggests that either we have normalised to the cleaner air, or that pollution levels have risen again and are starting to cool the planet once more. Either way, it needs to be incorporated into the climate models, and it needs to be monitored. Then, perhaps, we might have a better idea as to what is actually going on and so predict what is to come much more accurately.

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Re: You don't appear to have read the linked research

@Alan Peery

You're still attacking a straw man. Neither Lewis nor I claimed that there has been no rise in global temps since 1880, nor did he or I claim that there has been no net rise over the last 25, 30 or 40 years. The article is about the FACT that there has been no net rise over the last 20 years, and the implications for the current theories explaining the rise since 1880 which do not explain how or why this plateau could have occurred.

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Re: You don't appear to have read the linked research

@PatientOne The cleanup factor you've mentioned is not one I've come across before. Thanks for mentioning it, I'll have to add it the the reading topics around the climate change models. I'll be interested to see how the research accounts for high-altitude absorbtion (which is where some of the missing sunshine will have gone) versus a higher level of reflection of the solar input.

If you happen to remember any pointer to where you ran across the reference I'd appreciate a pointer.

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Re: No wonder we're baffled

"the long summer of 1976 in the UK as the absolutely sweltering hottest"

And that makes the global average temperature of that year... what exactly?

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Re: No wonder we're baffled

@Nickjx Global average approximately 0.02 degrees C above norm for the periond 1880 to 2012, per http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/enso-global-temp-anom/201213.png, in the context of http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2012/13.

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Pint

«If you don't think a source is trustworthy, either explain why -

or just ignore them. But don't take the bits that you agree with, ignore the rest and assume your readers are too stupid/lazy to click a link and read for themselves.» AC, what are you trying to do - ruin Mr Page's business model ?...

Henri

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You miss the point. It takes time for the earth to heat and cool. Therefore the fact that its still warm having spent 30 years heating up a bit is no surprise.

What is the surprise (if you are an HONEST warmist) is that this is in total contradiction to the models that predict that it should be, if anything warming at an accelerating pace.

In short the data makes mincemeat of the model.

The whole warmista thing is looking a bit like Lehman brothers..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Trust the satellite data

I am completely confident in the GPS triangulation. The co-ordinates I receive are completely within the error bands that make them acceptable as a source for navigation.

The route planning software in my GPS navigation system installed in the car by a famous German manufacturer, on the other hand, relies on incomplete partial mathematical solutions to the routing problem, weighted according to the settings I provide.

In case you didn't understand, the GPS satellites are fine, the route finder math (for many good and provable reasons) less reliable.

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