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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/18/2010

2010 on track for warmest year on record

By Andrew Freedman

* Trending drier: CWG's Full Forecast | Severe storm photos *

Consistent with what NASA scientists projected earlier this year, 2010 is currently on track to be the warmest year since global instrumental records began in the late 1800s. According to recently released data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), April 2010 was the warmest April on record, beating out 1998 for the title, and the period from January to April was the warmest such period on record.

The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for April was 14.5 degrees Celsius (58.1 degrees F), which was .76 C (1.37 F) above the 20th century April average, NOAAs's preliminary climate records show. Separately, global ocean temperatures were the warmest on record for April while global land temperatures were the third warmest.

For the period January through April, NOAA found that the global combined land and ocean average surface temperature of 13.3 degrees C (56.0 F) was the warmest January through April on record, and was .69 degrees C (1.24 F) above the 20th century January-to-April average.

Do satellite temperature records tell a similar story? Keep reading...

In addition, the 12-month running average temperature set a new record high in April, a milestone highlighted by Joe Romm of the Climate Progress blog. Romm wrote:

The record temperatures we're seeing now are especially impressive because we've been in "the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century." It now appears to be over. It's just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, well, other than by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is.

NASA scientists have argued that the 12-month running mean provides a better indication of climate change than calendar year data.

The "dot map" of temperature anomalies below provides a view of where it was hot and where it was not. Note that there are a lot more red dots on the map, which denote warmer-than-average conditions, than blue ones, which indicate cold anomalies. Last month was warmer than average across most of the world's land areas and oceans, with the notable exceptions of China, Mongolia, parts of Europe, and Argentina.


Global land and ocean temperature departures from average, with red dots indicating warmer than average and blue dots colder than average. Source: NOAA/NCDC.

Interestingly, the month of April has been trending warmer in recent years, with April 2010 marking the 34th consecutive April with global land and ocean temperatures above the 20th century average, according to NOAA.

The warmth is evident if you look above the surface as well, with satellite data showing an amount of warming similar to that of land-based records, according to NOAA. Both the Remote Sensing Systems and University of Alabama in Huntsville satellite records show that April was the second hottest April on record, behind only 1998. As was the case in 1998, the warmth this year is likely associated in part with the presence of an El Niño event in the equatorial Pacific, which tends to boost atmospheric temperatures.

Lastly, following an unusually cold and snowy winter in much of the U.S., the extent of snow cover in North America was the smallest for any April since satellite records began in 1967. In fact, NOAA reported that April snow cover was "the largest negative anomaly to occur in the 521 months that satellite measurements are available," and indicated that the warm month contributed to rapid snowmelt in many areas. Snow cover in Eurasia, however, was near average, which marked a recovery of sorts after a few years of below-average springtime snow cover there.


Northern Hemisphere snow cover anomalies for Aprils 1967-2010. Source: NOAA/NCDC and Rutgers University.

The views expressed here are the author's alone and do not represent any position of the Washington Post, its news staff or the Capital Weather Gang.

By Andrew Freedman  | May 18, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, News & Notes, Science  
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Comments

I've covered this countless times and this is really and truly tiresome.

If you look at your top graphic, you will see that all the big, red dots appear precisely where we have the FEWEST land based temperature measurements. I have pointed this out repeatedly. And you repeatedly casually ignore it.

Take a look at northern Canada on your graphic, and then take a look at northern Canada on this graphic.

If you will notice at the top of the graphic that I linked to, the note reads, "Gray areas signify missing data." If indeed "Gray areas signify missing data" why is there so much red on your graphic precisely where the other graphic indicates missing data? Don't worry. It is rhetorical. You have never answered hard questions in the past and I don't expect an answer today. You will simply ignore it and go right on quoting the data that suits you.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | May 18, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Joe Romm is wrong in several respects. The solar minimum is not over, the sun is dead again after fitful start. Also the temperature anomalies don't always line up with the minimum since, for example, the Little Ice Age continued well after the Maunder minimum. The link from from solar minimums to temperature is a lot more complex than the red herring that Romm tosses around.

As for 2010 being the warmest year "ever" (i.e. since end of the LIA), that is possible since the atmosphere lags the El Nino which just abruptly ended. The red dots in arctic are misleading since NOAA uses long distance averaging for those ( see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/25/gisscapades/ ). The satellite record is more accurate but still shows a very warm spike in progress ( http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ )

Bottom line, 1998 is in jeopardy although not likely to be beaten since we didn't have a "super" El Nino.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Hey Q, just read your post after I posted. I think the red dots in this case are for dramatic effect since the Mercator projection distorts the Arctic and Antarctic. Some of the red dots are real but many are extrapolated from far away stations.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q says, "If you look at your top graphic, you will see that all the big, red dots appear precisely where we have the FEWEST land based temperature measurements."
Actually, Mr. Q should look just a little more closely. Fewest reporting stations? You mean, like the northeastern US? Or did you mean northern India? Mr. Q is so obviously wrong, it is little wonder that he feels ignored.
I was just in Anchorage, Alaska, last week, where I lived back in the mid 80's, and was very surprised to see how little snow the Chugach mountains had. It was warm and pleasant. Has Mr. Q been ignoring the retreating glaciers in Alaska? One doesn't need a thermometer to see that most of them are shrinking. The few that aren't are in areas of increased percipitation.

Posted by: genehawkridge | May 18, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

For the NOAA data, technical information on how it's calculated can be found here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.html. Many climate scientists have reported that Arctic warming is underrepresented in such datasets, not overrepresented. This means that it is quite possible there has been MORE warming than indicated, not less. NASA GISS uses a different method, with info found at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

Eric564: The lack of a very strong el nino this year (although it was a decent one) may make it less likely that the 1998 temp. record will be broken. But so far, the data is not trending that way, and continued increases in GHG concentrations would suggest that the 1998 record is in jeopardy sooner rather than later anyway, with or without an El Nino.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | May 18, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Mr Q,

You repeatedly show that your anti-science perspective dominates your way of life.

The darkest red seems to be localised between Alaska and the Eastern Atlantic seaboard.

We call that place the United States of America. In that country, there are more temperature measurements made on a minute by minute basis than any other region in the universe.

The only hard question you seem to ignore is where does all that poison go that you emit from the tailpipe of your automobile?

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

Here is a link about the recent solar activity, Far from "dead" as you wrote, rather, setting records last seen since 2006.

Because you type something doesn't actually mean it is true.

http://www.southgatearc.org/propagation/2010/k7ra/may_09.htm

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Read Mark Levin's "Liberty and Tyranny." He nicely debunks the whole global warming nonsense.

Posted by: RB1019 | May 18, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Hi Andrew, because the Arctic is underrepresented it is equally possible that it is colder than indicated unless you make a priori assumptions about warmth anomalies. The link I gave above shows the fallacy of extrapolating trends or anomalies (not just the temperatures themselves).

Mr Q, please ignore obvious flamebait like "poison" from tailpipes.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

ender3rd, here's a real time link to the sun with no spots: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/mdi_igr/1024/latest.html Also currently spotless according to http://www.solarcycle24.com/

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

RB1019,

The trillions of dollars spent by the US taxpayer to provide military cover for oil exploration in unstable oil producing regions isn't nonsense.

In a socialistic community, the group sacrifices for the good of the unit which is why we have not been in a free energy market since 1952 when we busted into Iran.

A country that invades and steals oil from 3rd world nations is truly a tyrant. Shock and Awe wasn't a TV drama, it qactually slaughtered women and children and now we extract oil through their decomposing bones.

I'm sure Levin discussed this tyranny in the book, right?

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

ender3rd:

Thought this was about global warming. Guess not.

Posted by: RB1019 | May 18, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The folks at realclimate wrote an interesting post on the significance of data gaps in the Arctic in 2008. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/mind-the-gap/.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | May 18, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This post: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/ and this: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/01/2009-temperatures-by-jim-hansen/ also shed some light on the significance of the Arctic data gaps. They are rather technical in nature, however.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | May 18, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

RB,

Liberty and Tyranny was the title of the book you entered into the discussion.

Eric,
The sun set last night. Does that mean it won't ever return again.

It's cold today in my area, does that mean it is cold across the planet?

NOAA spends a bit more time on weather and temperature than either of you two, so if you have some equally relevant measurements that prove something, please add the link.

What I see is a couple of guys who have believed something for so long they hold onto it without regard for the reality all around them.

Denialists are not scientific, they are religious.

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

While everyone is talking about carbon dioxide as the prime greenhouse gas, it's actually methane [CH4] which has a bigger effect, and apparently atmospheric methane is increasing. In fact there's a lot of methane escaping anong with the crude oil in that Gulf of Mexico blowout. Of course there's a lot of talk about cow burps and swamp gas as well.

Mr. Q's car is not the only ozone source. According to an article published by Science Daily, kudzu emits chemicals which combine in the atmosphere to produce ozone. There may be more kudzu-generated ozone than car-generated ozone in the air on a warm summer day in the Southeast. You can't blame Mr. Q--unless he's growing some kudzu in his back yard.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 18, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Bombo,

Ozone isn't good, but neither is methane or nitrous oxide. The poison from Mr. Q's tailpipe isn't CO2, it is carbon monoxide and other things.

But the gasoline isn't in the same state that it was when extracted.
You must first input the military plume, the drilling plume, the transportation plume, the rifining plume, and any other poisonous event that had to take place before Mr. Q burned the gas.
It is Mr. Q who is responsible for the oil plume in the gulf, not BP.

Don't blame the profit engine for feeding the needs of the addicted.

American ingenuity is 100% responsible for all the technology that has swept the planet. It is our use it then lose it mentality that has allowed us to continue to rape the planet for our luxurious lifestyle.

Now that tarballs are washing up on the beach of Key West, Miami is next. Then Washington DC, then Scotland.

All for the lazy fat American and his pathetic look-the-other-way-while-people-die mentality.

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, in your last link above, RC says "The rationale for this aspect of the GISS analysis is based on the fact that temperature anomaly patterns tend to be large scale. For example, if it is an unusually cold winter in New York, it is probably unusually cold in Philadelphia too."

That is misleading. NY and Philly are 106 miles apart by car. The Hansen paper suggests that temperature measurements 1200km apart (745 miles) are correlated (which I find to be a rather laughable conclusion). That's where a lot of the red dots you show came from. That conclusion means that a warm winter in Philly implies a warm winter in Atlanta and vice versa. That's not very supportable in theory or reality.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

hi eric,
well, didn't even realize this post was up. just got back from northern canada...and it sure was warm there...

anyway, here's the gist of what i was gonna post on that other thread. it's my understanding we "encourage" ($) companies to produce energy for us.
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/04/oil_subsidies.html

now i'll have to read all these posts...!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Hi Walter, thanks for the link. The Exxon tax rate according to your article is 10% lower than the rest of the world (e.g. 27% effective rate rather than 30%). That's not very large and doesn't tell us that much. Here's an article with a lot more comparisons: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/may2008/db2008051_596535.htm

Yes, you are right we encourage oil companies with tax breaks. But those "subsidies" are dwarfed by the fuel taxes and royalties we collect as I showed in the other thread. Taxes from Exxon in 2008 were $110B ( http://www.robertbryce.com/node/259 )while subsidies to all oil companies in 2008 were $4B.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Even if you ignore the possibly underrepresented Arctic, one cannot ignore the preponderance of red over most of the globe elsewhere. Also, the global average is weighted by the sine(latitude), which accounts for the polar regions on a true sphere (not Mercator projection) occupying much less area than tropical regions.

Why does Mr. Q avoid mentioning the confirming data of April warmth from satellites, including the U. Alabama?
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps

Of course, the question is rhetorical. Experience tells us that he’ll ignore it and go right on quoting ONLY the data that suits him and/or avoid answering by diverting attention by posing one of his own.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | May 18, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Steve, your link didn't work 4 me. This one does - http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ - and shows that April seems to be past the El Nino peak. The fact that it is the warmest April "ever" (meaning since the end of the LIA), is noteworthy, but what would be more noteworthy is if the moving average in the link above exceeds the peak from 1998. Until that happens we do not have a new record peak other than what GISS cobbles up with 1200 km extrapolation.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

eric

What I wanted to show is more revealing. This will get you there. Go to:
http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

On bottom click "draw graph"

Then, near bottom click all years beginning in 1998 and click "redraw". This will show how 2010 compares to all previous.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | May 18, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Steve, it looks like we are ahead, but only because the chart is missing the first half of 1998 which was ahead of where we are now.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

On the BP oil geyser...

One small mis-step for man, one giant leap towards extinction for all Mankind.

Posted by: ender3rd | May 18, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

eric,
nice even-handed perspective on your above posts. i'm not sure what ender3d is getting at with the sunspots...it think everyone agrees those have been low lately.

i sure would like to see that mostly-red-dotted map as a mercator projection. given that the arctic has been so warm it does exaggerate the effect visually.

as far as the assertion that the areas of "missing" data are shown warmer than they should be seems like grasping at straws. i believe noaa/nasa used several data sets to compile that dot-map

even mr.qs link http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2010&month_last=2&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=1203&year1=2010&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=250&pol=reg shows overall warming. now, it's possible that all the "underrepresented" areas are cold, but...sheesh...

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

oil spill:
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill_anima.html

i am actually shocked how little it has spread. i'd have thought it would have been all over the coast by now. who knows what's going on under water and where the stuff will spread to eventually. still hasn't gotten caught up in that "gulf loop current" (or something like that) yet.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

ender3rd:

By denialists, I take it you mean the thousands of scientists who don't buy into the whole man-made global warming thing. They are out there you know and a thorn in your side. In the 70's there was hysteria over the coming ICE age from your crowd.

Posted by: RB1019 | May 18, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Well I was point out Andrews many falsehoods and sloopy reporting but Mr. Q did that very well above. I'll just add that in addition to all the missing sensors and the blatant overlay of (falsely claimed) high temperatures in those areas (wow) that NASA is also cooking the books so it's no wonder they see things as hotter. For example the majority of NASA's data and models came out of Climategate Central the CRU as did the IPCC, & NOAA. But the childish buffoon writing this article also forgot to mention that even then NASA originally couldn't see ANY warming so over the last few years they've been "adjusting" and "improving" their sensors to better spot this imagined trend and now even after all that they still ahve to sub in manufactured evidence...amazing.

Oh and a special note to Mr. Q: Don't take it personally that Andrew lacks the courage to respond to you he's a coward and given the failure of his paper soon to be out of a job.

Posted by: spqr_us | May 18, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Well I was point out Andrews many falsehoods and sloopy reporting but Mr. Q did that very well above. I'll just add that in addition to all the missing sensors and the blatant overlay of (falsely claimed) high temperatures in those areas (wow) that NASA is also cooking the books so it's no wonder they see things as hotter. For example the majority of NASA's data and models came out of Climategate Central the CRU as did the IPCC, & NOAA. But the childish buffoon writing this article also forgot to mention that even then NASA originally couldn't see ANY warming so over the last few years they've been "adjusting" and "improving" their sensors to better spot this imagined trend and now even after all that they still ahve to sub in manufactured evidence...amazing.

Oh and a special note to Mr. Q: Don't take it personally that Andrew lacks the courage to respond to you he's a coward and given the failure of his paper soon to be out of a job.

Oh and to all those guys sniping at Q and claiming that the sensors in the US are relaible: recent documentaries and skeptical scientists have proven that global warming zealots have MOVED many US based stations into blactop parking lots, next to AC exhaust vents and the like. Nice try guys...

Hey I know why not talk to Saiint Al Gore in his $9,000,000 Beaach house...

Posted by: spqr_us | May 18, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Walter, picture on first link: AFAICT is is actuals, but using 1200km extrapolations to infill missing data. Here's the actuals for March captured by the clever Steve M at ClimateAudit before GISS fixed their error (circled in black here http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/ghcn_giss_hr2sst_250km_anom03_2010_2010_1971_2000.gif ). That picture uses 250km radii. I'm not sure how/why they look different, so I need to study that some more.

Also to be nitpick a bit, NOAA said "The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for April 2010 was the warmest on record". They should say the warmest April on record.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

eric,
what do you mean by "infill missing data"? the first link in my 3:15 post just shows blank spaces for parts i assume had no data. there are blank spaces in northern canada, africa, the amazon - seemingly areas of low population. what i'm saying is i doesn't look like the "infilled" any "missing data" here.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I should have said "gridding" or the process of taking the actual station measurements and converting the nearest ones for each rectangular section of the earth's surface. The method and extent of doing that will determine how much gets filled in, but the general idea is that 1200km will have more grid squares filled in than 250km. I would love a link if someone has a clear explanation.

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Here's a link to a paper thanks to a climateaudit poster. Hansen basically claims there's no real difference between the 1200 and 250km results. The nightlight stuff has some critiques that he left out, Anthony Watts has covered it among others saying their source is very limited. The data cleanup seems a bit poorly described. Nonetheless very much worth a read: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/paper/gistemp2010_draft0319.pdf

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

eric,
i get what you're saying about "gridding": and if the grids were really small, say just above the size of a weather station, we could show almost the whole globe as "unrepresented". ;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"By denialists, I take it you mean the thousands of scientists who don't buy into the whole man-made global warming thing. They are out there you know and a thorn in your side."

Inhofe could only come up with 700, and he had to cheat to do it.

"In the 70's there was hysteria over the coming ICE age from your crowd."

One NEWSWEEK article is not exactly hysteria.

Posted by: kevinwparker | May 18, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

kevin "last pile" parker,
there's a great creationist website called something like "arguments creationists shouldn't use anymore" with obsolete, disproved arguments like "there's not enough moon dust" and "the oceans aren't salty enough" and so forth. "skeptics" need a similar site for arguments like "in the 70s scientists predicted an ice age".

(i decided "last pile" is better, because while you reported in with a "tiny pile" at the end, it was its "last pile" status that made it special)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

eric,
that paper you linked to at 5:37 seems to make the GW case nicely.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

walter, http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php #8; "thousands of scientists" is #3 or #87.

Posted by: imback | May 18, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

Walter, I linked to the paper so you could see how GISS did their gridding, not to try to convince you that GW is real. But it is Hansen's paper and I would expect nothing less.

The paper explains how they put up their data on a site to check for flaws but not who checks it and how. Then delves into a utilitarian conclusion to try to justify the constant tweaking (e.g. 1934), errors and opaqueness (we must convince the public). The paper is not about sensitivity or CO2 models, nor does it analyze the positive contribution of positive PDO from 1977 into the 2000's. A reasonable read would conclude that GW is real or as good as the input data, but nothing about AGW, and nothing about catastrophic AGW or NGW.

This was a reactionary paper answering accusations of urban heat island bias, sloppy code, etc. It ends up begging more questions than it answers. For example, if negative AO explains the cold in the SE US because of warming in the Arctic, how does he explain the continued recovery in Arctic ice at the same time?

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

imback,
yeah, that's a great website. he's added a lot of arguments lately, i think.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

kevinwparker, there's national geographic (1976) http://hidethedecline.eu/media/Northern%20hemisphere%20temperatures/NHNatGeo76small.jpg hedging their bets on cooling and warming (both not "ok"). That reflected the science articles in the 70's about both warming and cooling. Some had both, most towards the end of 70's were warming, but the early and mid 70's had scary stories like this one: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/188/4188/535

Posted by: eric654 | May 18, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

eric,
about the temperature grids paper:
yes, i understand. i thought the paper did a good job of answering critics. he showed how the maps w/the 1200 and the 250 km grids looked pretty similar (fig 2)(at least still WAY more hot than cold). also showed how the "urban" or "nightlight" effect is pretty small (fig 4)

and, not to worry: other scientists HAVE checked on the effect of the PDO. why do you think it's been "from 1977 into the 2000's"?

it's the PDO (#50)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Pacific-Decadal-Oscillation.htm

arctic ice has recovered (#69)
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Has-Arctic-sea-ice-recovered.htm

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

meant to say,
"why do you think it's been POSITIVE "from 1977 into the 2000's"? "

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 18, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Walter, your chart shows PDO was positive from 1977 to the 2000's corresponding to the warming period. Positive is the same as warm. The argument from your website says that while PDO went up and down, the long term temperature is up. That's not much of a refutation, there is correlation between NH temperatures especially North America and positive PDO. That doesn't mean that PDO explains everything, just as CO2 doesn't explain the pauses in warming. Warming has always been and will always be partly natural and partly manmade.

There are lots of reasons that the chart at your "skepticalscience" website is wrong (the PIOMAS model). One is that the early years are made from proxy measurements with very few actual measurements (reverse of the temperature hockey stick). The main one is lack of predictive skill. Here's a paper that used that model to predict summer 2008 ice thickness and extent: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL033244.shtml Their ice thickness prediction was wrong whereas their prediction that the wind regime that caused the 2007 breakup would not be repeated was pretty much correct. The latter prediction was a weather prediction (i.e. had nothing to do with the PIOMAS model).

Posted by: eric654 | May 19, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I asked about the falsification of the PIOMAS model at the "skepticalscience" website. I'll also look for the author's explanation of why their model failed in early 2008.

Posted by: eric654 | May 19, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

eric, you said,
"Walter, your chart shows PDO was positive from 1977 to the 2000's corresponding to the warming period."

we must not be looking at the same chart. i'm looking at figure 1 on the "skepticalscience PDO page. it goes positive in the late 70s, but goes negative 3 times between then and 2000. now, i agree, it was mostly positive, but you made it sound like it's been all positive since the 70s. in fact figure 2 shows the PDO over the course of the 20th century and temps. PDO "averages" flat and temps keep going up. is there some other "roy spencer data" you're going by?

if i look closely, i probably can roughly correlate the two: upward and downward "bumps" in temp DO seem to correspond with upward and downward bumps in the pdo. this is against a background rising temps. so, scientists can't blame the PDO for warming. it must be something else.... hmmm.... what...could...it...be?

to paraphrase a famous ladies man: "it's the CO2, stupid...." ;-)

now, i'm not calling you stupid - obviously that's not the case. i'm just illustrating the hoops through which people jump to avoid the obvious.

as far as arctic sea ice: predictive value is important, but the FACT is arctic ice has been dropping in extent and volume since the 70s.

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

http://psc.apl.washington.edu/ArcticSeaiceVolume/IceVolume.php

btw, "ricardo" (not john cook, the site's host) has attempted to answer your question about the predictive value of piomas.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 19, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I don't disagree with "against a background of rising temps" as the AGW people incessantly point out, the 2000's were warmer than the 1990's and the 1990's were warmer than the 1980's. The only question is the amount of warming due to CO2 and the amount due to natural causes. Certainly some of the warming from the 80's to the 00's is natural and some of the natural is PDO and some is other natural causes. The switchover to negative PDO is given as roughly 2008. The dips before that are exceptions, not the rule.

And yes, the extent has of ice has been dropping since 1979. Before that it was rising rapidly. It dropped before that in the 40's although the data sources are not as good. The same level of certainty isn't possible with volume since actual measurements only exist for about five years. The model has estimated the prior periods using proxies. I'm still looking for a Zhang mea culpa paper.

Posted by: eric654 | May 19, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

btw, eric, i appreciate your "admission" that global warming is "partly manmade", but it seems like overreaching to say,

"Warming has always been and will always be partly natural and partly manmade."

i mean, there will probably be (or already have been) times when all natural forcings are "pointing" down, but temps don't go down. THEN what will skeptics do?! (ha! maybe they'll say, "the warming has stopped." - #7)

and, i enjoy our conversations and appreciate the relative civility.

btw, a few posts back you mentioned climate sensitivity:
that's refuted argument #29
http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-sensitivity.htm

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 19, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I only mentioned sensitivity (used the word once) to point out that the Hansen paper that I linked did not cover that topic, although other Hansen papers do. If one was to argue about catastrophic AGW then one would need a different paper to do so. This particular paper is really only about creating the GISS data set. I did not endorse or refute any sensitivity arguments above, that's a topic for another thread.

As for when the natural forcings will all point down? That's easy: never. Even if they did, we would have no way of knowing that since some are difficult or impossible to measure. Do we know, for example, the effect of the current 6% reduction in UV striking the upper atmosphere (compared to the last solar minimum)? Nope, just a few theories of how it might affect the weather.

Posted by: eric654 | May 19, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

eric,
let me know if john cook attempts to answer your piomas question.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 19, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Q and spqr won't be around to be proven wrong. We'll all be dead and gone when all this comes to a head in 50 to 100 years or so when all our grandkids' beach houses are under water.

Posted by: maymay1 | May 19, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

spqr_us, you said,
"recent documentaries and skeptical scientists have proven that global warming zealots have MOVED many US based stations into blactop parking lots, next to AC exhaust vents and the like. Nice try guys..."

(#64) http://www.skepticalscience.com/microsite-influences-on-global-temperature.htm

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 19, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Walter, the link you posted about microsite influences is a good counter to the skeptical talking point, but it is somewhat one-sided and definitely incomplete. For one thing Menne 2010 is only preliminary. He didn't have all of Watts data so it is just a start. Second the UHI influence is a lot more complicated than the link implies. One good example is Christy 2009 here http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2008JCLI2726.1 explaining that siting can influence the weather on a scale larger than merely a tree shading a thermometer or a vent exhausting on a thermometer.

On the response from Riccardo, I am still looking for where he got that chart from, but it doesn't answer the question of a followup to the presumably failed prediction of less ice in 2008 than in 2007 using PIOMAS. First he tried to say they didn't predict (they did), now he's trying to show a graph which is not a prediction, but a model of the past.

Posted by: eric654 | May 20, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Another view of the thermometer siting issue: http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/gistemp-a-human-view/

Posted by: eric654 | May 20, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

yup, we gotta be careful about where we put thermometers...

a certain skeptic i know made a casual assertion about "the continued recovery in Arctic ice".

http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_stddev_timeseries.png

oh well....there goes THAT talking point too...march/april were good times for that one... nonetheless, i'm sure spencer et. al. will keep a close eye on that and bring it up the next time it's close to some historical average.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 20, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Walter, I obviously can't slip anything by you! I should have said "last winter's recovery" of arctic ice not "continuing" because day-to-day it is melting. But I would point out that the downward slope in any given spring isn't always a good predictor of where it bottoms out. This is mainly because Hudson Bay and places like that can often melt rapidly, whereas the summer minimum like 2007 depends on winds, lack of clouds, and of course, warmth.

Posted by: eric654 | May 20, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

of course i know ice is melting day to day in may. it's just that this feb/mar/april we heard soooo much about how "arctic ice is back to its historical average". that was a major talking point this winter. it's sooo funny (in a purely childish, not-concerned-about-the-big-picture kind of way) to see it going back below its 2007 levels....

i can just see mr.q. (and my limbaugh/hannity et. al. worshipping in-laws) banging his head or crossing that of his list.... funny/tragic.

really, i'd put you on a different level than those guys. they seem to flit from talking point to talking point, and are probably being fed some new replacement points as i type.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 20, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Although I probably agree 99% with Rush from what I read online, I've listened to him about 20 minutes total in my life. The problem is the radio format only allows talking points, it is talk after all. TV is usually even worse. Some of my friends watch MSNBC a lot and I can say haven't learned much science watching over their shoulder. I got rid of my TV over 11 years ago.

I have "occasionally" given out a talking point, but I also realize that the answer to talking points is not other opposite talking points, but a balanced analysis of the issue with papers from multiple perspectives which unfortunately often means a large swath of material. For example in tree rings, one needs to understand weather, geography, biology, and especially, statistics.

Posted by: eric654 | May 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Regarding the mentioning of the ice extent earlier this march being back to historical average. I'd just like to weigh in. If you look at the geography of the Arctic, you'll notice that much of it is surrounded by land mass. The winter maximum is not limited so much by temperatures as it is by the fact that it just has no place else to grow. Typically, the only areas that have a large amount of variability are the Barents, Baffin Bay/Labrador, Okhotsk, and Bering seas, though the Bering and Okhotsk are limited by bathymetry and currents and typically only expand when strong northerly winds spread the pack out and the southern extent quickly melts.

The rapid decline this year could be an indicator of the effect of the growing ratio of younger, thinner ice being highly sensitive to warming spring temperatures compared to the older, thicker, multi-year ice.

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | May 20, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

wow, eric, you know out of that whole post, the thing that jumped out at me was "I got rid of my TV over 11 years ago."

where do you watch redskins games?!?!?

;-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | May 20, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Two days before I wrote on my Facebook (FB), ‘A great reason y v hv spiraling food prices over last decade is increasing meatification of our diet due 2 higher average income!!! r d carnivores human beings listening?’. The reply and the logic argued were more of avoidance than of genuine query about why we should go veg. The greatest logic that our carnivore fellows have is: ‘To keep eating non-vegetarian food and remain silent!’ And that is what most of them have done.

Now that the report released by NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) suggest, I am sure my friends who chose to reply on FB would also realize why April has literally become the cruelest month .

Well someone might say, ‘How does it impact global warming if one individual checks his/her eating habit?’ When I put the same question to Mike Pandey, the winner of Green Oscar last year during one of my environmental projects, he said, “Every single one of us has to take remedial action now. There is a need for collective effort that is missing. Individual participation alone can turn the tide. Laws are good, government can do its best but until we, citizens, every single one of us participates, no action plans, no Copenhagen will be successful. It is very important for every single one of us to start conservation. Whether it be shutting of the tap, using less energy, switching of the TV or mobile phone charger when not in use. Developing reverence for water, not wasting it. Using buckets. Not washing your cars with hose pipes. All these will make a difference. Believe me, every single drop of water, if it goes to the river…every single action can turn the tide…”


When we blame our government of irresponsibility for not checking environmental pollution, sadly we choose to ignore that we too have a responsibility.

Posted by: tilakjha | May 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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