A Stunning Chart (2012 Temps)

Via Bill McKibben:

h/t:  Rodger Payne at the Duck of Minerva.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Quick Takes, Science & Technology, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    I thought Grist came up with a pretty good way to say it here:

    If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month

    Incredible, and yet …

  2. @john personna: An incredible fact, indeed.

  3. Brett says:

    That’s incredible.

    I suspect we’ll see more of that, too. On top of climate change, the El Nino-La Nina cycle has shifted again, to the kind where it boosts temperatures in the western Hemisphere.

  4. Mikey says:

    Pretty interesting. The coldest months have been much warmer than average, the warmest months not as divergent.

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    @Mikey: That’s consistent with the models, that Anthropogenic Global Warming would warm winters faster than summers, nights faster than days. It’s one of the key indicators of CO2 forcing rather than solar.

  6. mattb says:

    Bah… that chart is a hoax perpetrated by Nate Silver and a cabal of elite scientists and the UN.

    My gut tells me that the earth is actually cooling! And that feeling is backed up by my Vet, who joined with other Scientists and Doctors in signing a petition that Global Warming is a fake.

    FFFF-RRRR-EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-DDDD-UUUU-MMMM!!!!!!

  7. John Burgess says:

    @john personna: And yet, it’s not true!

    Here’re the January temperatures for Sarasota, FL for the last 60 years. You’ll see that 2010 was indeed colder than mean, as was 2003.

    http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_MyakkaRiverStPk_Sarasota_FL_January.html

  8. @John Burgess: The metric in question is global, not location specific. From NOAA:

    The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces during October was 14.63°C (58.23°F). This is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average and ties with 2008 as the fifth warmest October on record. The record warmest October occurred in 2003 and the record coldest October occurred in 1912. This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. The last below-average month was February 1985.

  9. john personna says:

    @John Burgess:

    I will credit you that you have delivered a tongue in check answer, understanding that global temperature is the superposition of many, many, variant local outcomes.

  10. john personna says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Ha! He got you.

  11. @mattb: You caught me!

  12. @john personna: Indeed.

  13. john personna says:

    As an aside, I worked in a dot-com where people tended to be Orange County Republican. They asked me (because I was a known science sympathizer, and a suspected progressive) about global warming. I said “well, first we have to say what we mean by ‘temperature'” at that point they laughed. I soldiered on with a patient explanation of thermoclines and etc., but I knew that it was futile.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    That’s not a legitimate chart.

  15. Ozarkhillbilly says:

    Global warming is a hoax. I heard it on FOX.

  16. @Steven L. Taylor:

    @John Burgess: The metric in question is global, not location specific. From NOAA:

    I realize the US has an obesity problem, but I doubt it’s reached the extent where “a person younger than 27” no longer qualifies as a specific location. It’s not Burgess’s fault the reporter chose to sensationalize a correct statement (“This is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature”) to the point of no longer being true.

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    I’m glad that I am old and have no grandchildren.

  18. I am somewhat curious what the explanation for the discontinuities between the december readings and the january readings is. Given that the Decemeber/January boundary has no physical significance, it’s not clear to me what you’re see a huge jump between the two, particularly when all the other month to month variations are relatively gradual.

  19. stonetools says:

    Obviously, that chart is skewed. Where’s the un-skewed chart? Mr. Chambers, do your stuff.

  20. JoshB says:

    Slightly off topic but germane to the idea of right-wing denialism: http://conservativefactcheck.com. Be prepared to be amazed.

  21. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    When I see the statistics, I find myself wondering what is the point of noting the data? The time from Kyoto has shown us that industrialized nations are either unwilling or unable to reduce their carbon footprint to any significant degree (and before you all launch into “yes, but what about place X…” remember the old saw about the plural of anecdote). With the increases in industrialization in the developing world, the AGW cycle seems pretty set to not be reversed–as in ever–without a dramatic change in what we use to produce the power that fuels our society.

  22. Dan Pangburn says:

    Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some politicians and many others stubbornly continue to proclaim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was the primary cause of global warming.

    Measurements demonstrate that they are wrong.

    The atmospheric carbon dioxide level has now increased since 2001 by 23.2 ppmv (an amount equal to 25.9% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; October, 2012, 394.32 ppmv).

    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat.

    That is the observation. No amount of spin can rationalize that the temperature increase to 2001 was caused by a CO2 increase of 89.5 ppmv but that 23.2 ppmv additional CO2 increase had no effect on the average global temperature trend after 2001.

    Without human caused global warming there can be no human caused climate change.

    Analyses that can be reached at the link (highlighted in red) given at http://www.switched.com/profile/2996642/ include an equation based on rational physics that, without considering any influence from CO2 whatsoever and using only one independent variable, has calculated average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 88% (R2 = 0.88, correlation coefficient = 0.938). Including the influence of CO2 (a second independent variable) increased the accuracy to 88.5%.

  23. John Burgess says:

    @john personna: The statement “If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month” is to what I referred.

    As there is no global sub-27-year-old, I have to go with a real one. Those living in Sarasota have indeed experienced colder-than-average months.

  24. john personna says:
  25. john personna says:

    (I owe Steven an apology, you really wete going for a willfully stupid argument, tailored to an uneducated rube without access to the weather channel.)

  26. john personna says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It is an odd chart. The way I interpret it, each point show cumulative values. The January datum is for January alone. The February point accumulates January and February, and so on. Thus months later in the year are inherently smoothed, closer to the mean.

    It seems most useful “the track of the year,” a somewhat cultural concept.

    A set of previous “years” stacked on most recent datum, for example “years” ending Oct 31st, would be better but harder to communicate.

  27. john personna says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    Haha … who picked 2001?

    Standard ploy, examine the record, seeking artifacts.

  28. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat. [And that given there has been increasing CO2, this demonstrates that either (a) there is no climate change or (b) climate change is not linked to CO2]

    This is

    incorrect

    . There has been a measurable warming trend since both 2001 and the mythic 1998. And it’s been shown across multiple measuring systems and even remains when you control for various weather cycles like El Nino and La Nina.

    To claim otherwise is to choose to remain ignorant or argue for bad science.

    For one of the better write ups, including links to all the pertinant reseach, I’d suggest visiting:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

  29. mattb says:

    For a more recent and indepth rebuttal of the idea that there has been no warming since 1998 or 2012, I’d also suggest reading:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/misleading-daily-mail-prebunked-nuccitelli-et-al-2012.html

  30. mattb says:

    @john personna:

    Haha … who picked 2001?

    Standard ploy, examine the record, seeking artifacts.

    Fair point. Additionally, even if no warming occurred — and again, a significant amount of data points to global warming — it’s problematic to suggest that an ~11 year period is a large enough sample set to say anything significant about global trends.

    In fact, prior to the arrival of the 1998/2001 argument, most climate “skeptics” argued that the existing warming data (counting only land and air) which showed a warming trend beginning in the mid 70’s and continuing to at least 1998 was to *brief* a time period to tell us anything useful.

  31. Mikey says:

    @mattb:

    it’s problematic to suggest that an ~11 year period is a large enough sample set to say anything significant about global trends.

    Playing the Devil’s advocate: The earth is over 4 billion years old and we have reliable temperature measurements for the most recent 120 years. I say it’s also problematic to suggest that a 120 year period is a large enough sample set to say anything significant.

  32. bill says:

    awesome, i like heat- ride my bike year ’round!

  33. Chris says:

    Hey Guys –

    I freely admit I am a climatologist neophyte. That being said, I am able to read and comprehend and the post-secondary level. As I understand it, the increase in earth’s temperatures – if you ascribe to this science/theory – will result in an increase of both frequency and intensity of storm systems – please enlighten if I have misunderstood this precept.

  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    As I understand it, the increase in earth’s temperatures – if you ascribe to this science/theory – will result in an increase of both frequency and intensity of storm systems –

    Intensity, but not necessarily frequency.

  35. Franklin says:

    @Dan Pangburn: The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat.

    False.

    Not to mention, the statistical noise would make it impossible to confirm such an overly precise statement. Yes, I’m talking about the same “statistics” that tripped up Republicans in the recent election. They don’t understand statistics, so they assume it’s nonsense.

  36. C. Clavin says:

    Luckily this global warming thing is a hoax…otherwise we’d be f’ed.

  37. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    The trick is that 120 years isn’t specially chosen. It’s just the full data set.

    I saw a little animation once, on how skeptics pick their data. It worked forward, with years of data added, and periodically the skeptics choosing a 10 or 15 year segment to identify as “cooling.” The thing was, at the end of the animation they did a best fit on the whole thing and got clear warming.

    More generally, note that skeptics used to say “what if models are wrong?”

    Notice that it isn’t models anymore? Now they have to say what if history is wrong. What if that 27 years of global temperatures above mean isn’t important? Well, that’s kind of a stupid question at this point.

  38. john personna says:

    @Chris:

    NASA thinks so, more here:

    NASA scientist links climate change, extreme weather

    Related to my comment above about models vs history:

    “This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened,” he wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece meant to accompany the study.

  39. john personna says:

    @this:

    Ah cool, I found that animation.

  40. Tsar Nicholas says:

    In the 1980’s Acid Rain and the hole in the Ozone Layer were de rigueur. And Styrofoam cups made academe-based liberals angry and depressed. Seriously.

    Starting with the 1990’s, of course, it’s been all about Global Warming.

    From the looks and sounds of things it appears the liberal academe at this stage is all in. Which is understandable. If the political left didn’t have boogeymen over which to obsess and to project their issues then they would have to look internally, and that would be way too ugly for them to countenance.

    But here’s the amazing irony with all of this: It’s irrelevant. The left is not going to get their way. No matter how many papers are written, no matter how many symposiums, no matter how many junkets, no matter how many books, no matter how many young students and their professors baying at the moon on the Internet, nothing of consequence will happen.

    China and India are hell bent to grow into 1st world economies and they don’t give a rat’s ass what liberals on college campuses say or do. Europe now has much bigger fish to fry.

    Even here in the good old US of A, where liberals have grossly disproportionate political power when compared to their raw numbers, not much of anything special will be done to mollify the Global Warming crowd. Sure, of course, GM will continue pissing away taxpayer dollars on the Volt. Millions of consumers will have to pay higher monthly utilities bills because of the Obama admin.’s war on coal. But ultimately the left will be consigned to tilting at windmills. That’s because over the long haul, when applied nationwide, in a contest between economic realities and academic-based theories and hysteria the economic realities will prevail, every single time.

  41. mattb says:

    @Mikey:

    Playing the Devil’s advocate: The earth is over 4 billion years old and we have reliable temperature measurements for the most recent 120 years. I say it’s also problematic to suggest that a 120 year period is a large enough sample set to say anything significant.

    Generally speaking, if this is the best the devil’s got (as opposed to what you believe), it’s further proof that God hearts science.

    Doing the lords work… There are lots of scientific methods for calculating past temperatures — this is the work of geologists and climatologists among others. Additionally, there are other ways of back projecting climate patterns via other evidence (hence all the drilling in sea ice).

    Beyond all of that, one of the most alarming aspects of climate change is not so much that it’s taking place — as many point out the climate has changed in the past — but rather the accelerated rate at which it is taking place. Based on all of that past historical evidence, when this sort of change happened, it occurred over centuries. Now we’re seeing it occur over decades.

  42. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    The trick is that 120 years isn’t specially chosen. It’s just the full data set.

    I know, but the response to that is usually “even the full data set is vanishingly insignificant compared to the age of the Earth. We have accurate temperature measurements for only the most recent 120 years out of 4.5 billion. You’re doing the same cherry-picking of which you accuse me.”

  43. Mikey says:

    @mattb:

    Beyond all of that, one of the most alarming aspects of climate change is not so much that it’s taking place — as many point out the climate has changed in the past — but rather the accelerated rate at which it is taking place. Based on all of that past historical evidence, when this sort of change happened, it occurred over centuries. Now we’re seeing it occur over decades.

    Thanks, that’s what I was trying to get. I’ve been in discussions where people throw the “insignificant sample size” thing at me and I didn’t have a good response.

    I knew we can infer temperature trends from ice cores and tree samples, etc. but if someone’s skeptical to start with those sometimes don’t go very far. But showing how much faster warming occurs now is a good point.

  44. mattb says:

    @Chris:

    s I understand it, the increase in earth’s temperatures – if you ascribe to this science/theory – will result in an increase of both frequency and intensity of storm systems – please enlighten if I have misunderstood this precept.

    The argument (and effects) are more nuanced… Take Hurricanes:

    The current theory is that the climate does not have a significant effect on initial hurricane formation. In other words, the rising global temperature (and related local climate changes) is not making more hurricanes. If anything, we may see a decrease in the number of hurricanes.

    But, the intensity of the hurricanes that are forming appears to be increasing. But even here, part of this revolves around what you mean by “intensity.”

    Traditionally the measure of intensity for hurricanes (Category #) is wind speed. Some in the climate related sciences are predicting an uptick in overall wind speed. Others are not.

    However, the climate science community is pretty much united on the fact that increased ocean and air temperatures mean that there will be increases in the amount of water absorbed into the storms, increasing geographic size and total rainfall.

    Net result, even if wind speeds stay the same, is greater rainfall, which combined with rising sea levels, leads to increased damage from flooding as we’ve seen in recent large hurricanes like Irene and Sandy. Which also means larger economic damage and recovery issues even though these are not high cat (wind speed) hurricanes (relatively speaking).

    So, to your original question – (a) is climate change increasing the frequency of storm systems? The jury is out, but signs are pointing to no or rather no significant change. (b) is climate change increasing the intensity of storms? The answer appears to be yes, but not necessarily in the way we traditionally expect or measure intensity.

    For a good introduction to the nuance of this topic, I’d suggest:
    http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/hurricane-sandy-climate-change-coasts-0345.html

  45. mattb says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Luckily this global warming thing is a hoax…otherwise we’d be f’ed.

    Actually, the “we” who post on this board are most likely not f’ed no matter what. The people who are f’ed are those who live in lower lying areas and flood plains. And even in the US, they’re not super f’ed. Karen and Katrina were both terrible, but, generally speaking the areas are still enhabitable and will be for quite some time.

    The ones who are going to be the most immediately f’ed are folks in South East Asia. And what’s important to understand is that it’s not just the people who live seaside who are in trouble. It’s also the neighboring areas that are going to have to deal with the mass migrations and related food, shelter and health issues.

    Of course, the shifts in micro climates may also cause (or rather increase) farming issues around the globe and help destabilize areas with already low levels of food security. But that’s still something that’s trying to be understood.

  46. mattb says:

    @Mikey:
    Your welcome. If you’re ever looking for well constructed responses to those sorts of climate questions in the future, I really recommend http://www.skepticalscience.com/ — those guys have done a great job in presenting the material and trying to continue to analyze things from a true skeptic’s pov (versus the sort of vulgar skepticism that usually accompanies climate denial).

    @john personna:
    Thanks for that animation… that’s going in the bookmark file.

  47. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    Obviously our lives are short compared to climate change. We could say “screw it,” and count on future generations to forgive us (as much as we forgive the people shot all the buffalo).

    But you know, it isn’t exactly “cherry picking” to look at the century of industrialization in which we live.

    What are you going to do, look at the 17th century instead, and talk about alternate policy for North American settlement?

  48. C. Clavin says:

    @ mattb…
    FYI..my comment was snark.
    We need to move beyond the discussion of whether it exists (pun intended) to what we are going to do about it. Personally, my current thinking leans towards “…how I learned to stop worrying and love AGW…” but I’m not closed off to alternative views.
    A house I used to own in Atlantic City (and my ex still owns…rassinfrassinbrassin) survived Sandy with hardly any damage because it is elevated on pilings. The point being that if ignoramouses and economics are going to prevent us doing anything…adaptation is certainly a viable option. As an A&E professional…that’s money in my pocket. Win-win baby.

  49. Rob in CT says:

    In the 1980′s Acid Rain

    was a problem. And it was addressed, via cap & trade legislation.

    How about that.

  50. Franklin says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: You’re sounding unusually pessimistic today. I actually think you’re sort of correct, in that nothing much will get done in the foreseeable future. But at some point it will become so bad that even countries like China and India will actually be forced to do something. The question is how bad? China and many other countries historically have a pretty good tolerance of people dying, so it might get pretty bad.

    But anyway, acid rain and the Ozone hole were and are real problems. Comparatively, styrofoam cups (by themselves) aren’t as much of one.

  51. mattb says:

    @C. Clavin:
    I saw the snark and appreciated it.

    My response, as with most on this topic, is designed to try and add grounded nuance to the discussion. The right has a problem with climate denial.

    On the left, the issue is not understanding what climate change means. And too often the effects are over sensationalized or misrepresented.

    Additionally, I think it’s important to understand that part of the problem is that Westerners will be — at least initially — insulated from the most profound effects of climate change. Which is part of the reason — along with the current economic climate — that there’s little interest in addressing any of these issues.

  52. Drew says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    The, ahem, “science” is dubious at best. But the real point is the one you make about India and China…..and let’s add Brazil…..

    They are laughing all the way to economic superiority while navel gazers here argue over questionable data and statistical analysis.

    Circa 2030…….. The US has destroyed its economy, China and India rule the roost, the seas have not flooded NYC…..and John Personna masturbates to his political and faux intellectual victory with 15% US unemployment.

    Cool.

  53. john personna says:

    @Drew:

    So, you’d be the same Drew who assured us Mitt had the election in the bag?

    I assume you see no connection to data driven analysis whatsoever …

  54. john personna says:

    BTW, for anyone who is grappling with this the first time, note how Drew makes GW about me, and not about NASA.

    Another simple tell.

  55. mattb says:

    @Drew:

    The, ahem, “science” is dubious at best.

    Bull. Prove it.

    And for the record, the way to disprove science is WITH SCENCE… So I look forward to actual scientific critiques of Global Warming…

  56. john personna says:

    I’ve long thought that a certain sort of smart wingnut will make an “argument for stupid people” just because that is the coin of their realm. They’ll say “it isn’t global warming if you live in Sarasota, FL” not because they think it makes sense, that Sarasota negates the globe, but just because it’s annoying. They’ll say “not if you start in 2001” not because 2001 was the dawn of the industrial revolution and a baseline for CO production, but just because picking it produces a peculiar short term trend.

    Now I’m not so sure. The innumeracy might be rooted so deep now that they’ve lost sight of when they are just pretending to be stupid, and when they really are.

  57. C. Clavin says:

    “…The, ahem, “science” is dubious at best…”

    The science is agreed to by 100% of the qualified scientists. In addition the only collection of people in the world that doubt the science are Republicans…a group whose relationship to facts is tenuous at best.
    I do not think that word…dubious…means what you think it means.

  58. stonetools says:

    I’m wondering what it would take for the conservatives to agree that global warming is happening.
    Would it take for the Arctic to become ice-free in summer ?
    Would it take mass flooding in Bangladesh and Indonesia?
    Florida to become an archipelago?
    New Orleans to disappear beneath the waves?
    The Great Plains turning into desert? ( We almost did that in the 1930s but tapping the Ogallala Aquifer saved our a$$-at least till it runs out.)
    Alligators and Burmese pythons in the Potomac?

    I have a feeling that if all that happens, conservatives will still be saying “the science is dubious”.

  59. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    Alligators and Burmese pythons in the Potomac?

    Alligators have already been found in the Potomac, in 2005.

    2nd gator found in Potomac River

  60. bill says:

    was listening to a show on npr , forget the name but they found that the more educated you are the more you believe it’s real or a hoax. it all comes down to who you hang with/talk to about it that guides you to think one way or the other. in essence, nobody wants to be the odd man/woman out.
    or as my favorite “de-motivator” phrase goes – “none of us is as dumb as all of us”.

  61. Dan Pangburn says:

    @john personna:
    The prediction is primarily based on the equation that calculates average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 88%. 2001 is when it became obvious in the measurements that warming had stopped. The equation puts the peak at 2005. The trend since then has been down.

  62. Dan Pangburn says:

    @mattb: Average GLOBAL temperature anomalies are reported on the web by NOAA, GISS, Hadley, RSS, and UAH, all of which are government agencies. The first three all draw from the same data base of surface measurement data. The last two draw from the data base of satellite measurements. Each agency processes the data slightly differently from the others. Each believes that their way is most accurate. To avoid bias, I average all five. The averages in Celsius degrees are listed here.

    2001 0.3473
    2002 0.4278
    2003 0.4245
    2004 0.3641
    2005 0.4663
    2006 0.3930
    2007 0.4030
    2008 0.2598
    2009 0.4022
    2010 0.5261
    2011 0.3277

    A straight line (trend line) fit to these data has no slope. That means that, for over a decade, average global temperature has not changed. If the average thru October, 2012 (0.3691 °C) is included, the slope is down.

  63. Dan Pangburn says:

    @Franklin: see response to mattb above.

  64. john personna says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    A long answer to the 2001 claim is here

    I note that they use the animation I linked to above, but really the best answer to your data mining is that “eight of the top ten warmest years have occurred in the last decade”.

    Should we really, preposterously, think that’s the end of it? Ta-da?

  65. john personna says:

    I really wonder if people like Dan really think that they can “capture” the peak temperature “at 2005” or if they are consciously misdirecting.

    I mean, I was with Mike above that the earth is old, climate is long .. but let’s “capture a peak” within a year or two? Seriously?

  66. C. Clavin says:

    “…it all comes down to who you hang with/talk to about it that guides you to think one way or the other…”

    Yeah…exactly…do you prefer to listen to Scientists, or Fox News?
    Again…Republicans are the only group on the planet that does not believe the science.

  67. Franklin says:

    @Dan Pangburn: Look at ANY graph of the recorded temperatures since the 1800s. If you can tell me you can spot any sort of trend based on a few years, I’m going to tell you you’re full of it. It wobbles back and forth over spans of 5-15 years over the entire history, but eventually a pattern is discerned. Even this graph of 2012 really doesn’t tell us much, unless it’s part of a larger pattern (which it appears to be, a.k.a. global warming/climate change).

  68. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:
    There are a number of problems with your simple average model. Most are addressed on at the original link I provided ( http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm ), others are addressed here ( http://www.skepticalscience.com/happer-spencer-global-warming-continues.html ). Condensing some of the points at these links which problematize your method and assumption:

    (1) Directly from the pages “global surface temperature trends are rarely if ever statistically significant (at a 95% confidence level) over periods as short as a decade, even in the presence of an underlying long-term warming trend, because of the natural variability and noise in the climate system.”

    (1a) Further, simply looking at these numbers fails to account/control for any weather anomalies (cyclical cooling/heating, the El Niño Southern Oscillation, volcanoes, and solar activity) that may force one year’s numbers up or down.

    (2) Decadal periods of flat temperatures during an overall long-term warming trend are predicted by climate models (Easterling & Wehner 2009 – link to reference found at above pages).

    (3) This fails to examine ocean temperatures, which have been consistently rising over the same period. Very little of the global energy imbalance actually goes into heating the surface and atmosphere.

    I know this sounds pedantic, but if you are a serious skeptic — i.e. someone who is questioning ALL assumptions (including one’s own) and turning for answer to the most objective data and analysis they can find — you need to spend some time reading through all of that expert material.

  69. mattb says:

    @bill:

    it all comes down to who you hang with/talk to about it that guides you to think one way or the other.

    Right, just like believing whether or not Nate Sliver/poll meta analysis was largely “based on who you hung out with.” And a lot of people who predicted he was wrong did it based on “belief” versus understanding statistics. And those people who believed that Nate Silver was wrong were *SHOCKED* when Romney lost.

    Those of us who understood statistics and polling, on the other hand, were not particularly surprised when reality proved Nate Silver correct.

    I started out as a Climate Change (true) skeptic. But after actually reading into the science and the facts, I have become a believer. That said, if better information comes to light, my opinions might change.

    Here’s the thing Bill — since it looks like you are a denier (versus a skeptic) — where is the data you’re using to form your opinion? Because, if you’re not using data, then like those who said Nate Silver was wrong, you’re basing your opinion on belief and bias.

    And that approach is ultimately the road of bullshit.

  70. Dan Pangburn says:

    @john personna:

    The assertion that it is warmer at the end of a warming period is, to be charitable, not very profound.

  71. Dan Pangburn says:

    @john personna: The peak of the trend, as calculated by the equation that has calculated average global temperatures with 88% accuracy since 1895, is in 2005. The peak is fairly obvious on the graph on page 6 of the pdf made public 10/24/12 that can be reached through the link given in my first post above.

  72. Dan Pangburn says:

    @C. Clavin: I listen to everyone. . . but do my own research. As a result, I discovered what actually caused the temperature run-up of the planet last century and why the temperature run-up has stopped. You may not be aware that no one, I repeat, no one has done anywhere as well.

  73. Dan Pangburn says:

    @Franklin: Apparently there is something about “an equation based on rational physics that, without considering any influence from CO2 whatsoever and using only one independent variable, has calculated average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 88%” that isn’t getting through.

  74. Dan Pangburn says:

    @mattb:
    The Warmer’s web site at Skeptical Science is neither skeptical nor science.

    (1) Exactly. Reported average global temperatures show rapid fluctuations about the trend. A thermodynamics analysis reveals that the effective thermal capacitance of the oceans is about 30 times everything else. This huge effective thermal capacitance of the oceans absolutely prohibits such rapid fluctuation in actual average global temperature. A simple statistical analysis of the fluctuations reveals a random uncertainty of the annual reported values with a standard deviation of about +/- 0.1C°. The equation uses the 116 reported values since 1895 to reduce the uncertainty of the trend that it calculates to about 0.01C°.

    (1a) All of that, the fluctuations in the measurements and all other influences both known and unknown must fit within the unexplained 12%.

    (2) With measurements that have a standard deviation of about +/-0.1C and trend slopes of about 0.01C per year that is hardly a revelation.

    I described some of the things that are wrong with the climate models over two years ago in a pdf made public 8/11/10 at the site that can be reached through the link given in my first post.

    (3) See (1)

    I made no assumptions. I started with the first law of thermodynamics, the conservation of energy. I looked at graphs of sunspots and average global temperature (agt) and noticed that fewer sunspots were associated with lower global temperatures. I made the hypothesis that sunspots are a proxy for heat retained by the planet. I realized that a low but long solar cycle may have the same influence on agt as a high short one. The time-integral of sunspot numbers (area under the curve) accounts for both magnitude and time. I combined all this and the logarithmic decline in the influence of added carbon dioxide in the equation that can be found through the link in my first post here.

    That I got it right is demonstrated by accurate calculation and prediction including the flat temperature trend since 2001. Results are shown in graphs at the link. The equation predicts an average global temperature downtrend for at least two decades.

  75. Franklin says:

    @Dan Pangburn: I dunno, I’m looking at your graphs now and still don’t agree you can truly discern a pattern from a single decade. If I was psychologically invested in a particular prediction, perhaps I would agree.

    Anyway, I should really keep a copy of your predictions and I’ll get back to you in 2020 (of course we don’t know what the sunspot situation will be yet).

  76. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    The Warmer’s web site at Skeptical Science is neither skeptical nor science.

    Ok Dan, It’s pretty clear I’m not going to get through to you — given the amount I’ve now researched on you via google — but for the sake of other readers, let’s get some facts straight.

    (1) While you claim that Skeptical Science “is not science” I have a hard time seeing your PDF as “science.” Internet publishing is not science. Science is submitting your work for review and publication through a third party source. The data at Skeptical Science has all been vetted and gone through the scientific publishing process. Your data was published for you via a blog that, at best, one would call “skeptical” and more accurately “denialist.”

    You may be onto something, but if that’s the case, submit it to a Journal. Don’t troll internet sites playing “scientist.” Get into the game. Start to present at conferences or publish at a legitimate source rather than guest posts at sites with audiences that are sympathetic to your argument.

    Until then, your essentially no different that a conspiracy theorist who has “proved” that we staged the moon landing and has a fool proof theory about the magic bullet thanks to evidence that only he has found and no one else recognizes.

    (2) When people with professional Climate Science Experience* have vetted your material, numerous issues were found that suggest you might be missing things (example 1 and example 2).

    * – note I say professional climate science experience because it appears that your professional experience is as a Mechanical Engineer and that your highest degree is a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. I’m not writing this to diminish your accomplishment — there’s no way I could even get a BS in ME — but to point out the fact that you are involved in Climate Science as a passionate amateur. As far as I can tell, it isn’t your job.

  77. john personna says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    The assertion that it is warmer at the end of a warming period is, to be charitable, not very profound.

    Let’s remember your astounding claim. We know the earth is billions of years old. We know that weather trends routinely run in millennia. We know that “short” patterns run in centuries.

    Your claim is that you can spot a peak 7 years ago.

    You can’t be serious. But, this is a good illustration of the depths “skeptics” will plumb to make a case, any case, to ward off sensibility.

  78. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    As a result, I discovered what actually caused the temperature run-up of the planet last century and why the temperature run-up has stopped. You may not be aware that no one, I repeat, no one has done anywhere as well.

    [mb: emphasis mine]

    So basically, you are claiming you’ve “solved it all” Q.E.D. and yet, you don’t have a single legitimate scientific publication of this proof.

    Or is one currently going through actual review? I suspect not.

    Nor, as far as I can tell, do you have any conference presentations or publications of your research.

    Color me surprised.

    But then again, I’m guessing that the entire climate science regime is out to get you. Just like the government is out to get the people with “proof” that the moon landing never happened or that the CIA was behind the JFK assassination. Or the folks who claim the pharmaceutical industry is after them because they can cure everything through homeopathy. Or that guy who says he’s developed a water based car engine.

    Again, as I suggested above, what you are doing IS NOT SCIENCE. And the fact that you’re so sure that you’ve “solved it all” and found something that no one else has is a great example of that.

    BTW, please don’t go to either the Galileo or the Einstein defense about your lack of publishing. Galileo operated in a significantly different age than ours in terms of publishing and circulation of ideas. And Einstein actually did publish and had his material reviewed by the scientific community of his day.

  79. john personna says:

    (Basically Dan made a mistake, and made his argument self-refuting. I have no doubt that he can go on, waving hands forever, but it’s done.)

  80. Dan Pangburn says:

    @Franklin: Why did you chose to ignore the graph for well over a century?

  81. Dan Pangburn says:

    @mattb:
    It might not be realized by some, but average global temperature actually has little to do with meteorology so the wrong experts have been trying to figure it out. The so-called Global Climate Models (aka General Circulation Models) are actually weather models and they do a pretty good job of predicting weather for a few days. Their predicting ability dissolves into computational noise within days. It is profoundly naive to perceive that a weather model can be turned into a climate model by running it longer.

    It is more correctly understood as a problem in radiation heat transfer, and a fairly simple one at that (or at least simple for a Mechanical Engineer with 9 units of post graduate thermodynamics). It consists of only average surface temperature and effective surface emissivity and average cloud altitude (temperature) and average effective cloud emissivity. An increase in average cloud altitude of less than 200 meters (and thus reduction in average cloud temperature and reduction of energy radiated to space) would account for all of the average global temperature increase of the 20th century.

    The usual journals, Nature, etc. are hopelessly biased on articles regarding climate. They would need to admit that they have been wrong about AGW for many years. They won’t even publish articles by a renowned Climate Scientist like Dr. Roy Spenser so what chance does a lowly engineer have?

  82. Dan Pangburn says:

    @john personna:Look at the graph that goes from 1880 to 2040 which is Figure 4 in the pdf made public 10/24/12 at the website that can be reached through the link in my first post. It shows actuals (the average of reported average global temperatures from GISS, NOAA and HadCrut3) which exhibit impossibly rapid fluctuation and the trends calculated by the equation. The calculated values show minimums in 1909 and 1973 and maximums in 1941 and 2005.

  83. Franklin says:

    @Dan Pangburn: You realize your own smoothed lines are wrong for a full decade in a couple of spots, right? I’m looking at the same graph as you and seeing something different. Too much noise within a decade to make a prediction, period.

  84. Dan Pangburn says:

    @john personna: All of my analyses, methods and data sources have been made public in detail. The equation is verifiable. No one else has identified a mistake. Please, identify exactly where you see a mistake so I can correct it.

    I described what I did and have made public the results of that process. It is not an argument. If you can see an error in the process, point it out.

    Humanity has wasted over 100 billion (with a B) dollars in failed attempts using super computers to demonstrate that added atmospheric CO2 is a primary cause of global warming and in misguided activities to try to do something about it.

    You are apparently unable to fathom that an unfunded engineer, using a desk top computer, some science and a little engineering, could figure out what the ‘consensus’ has failed to do. My equation calculates average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide with an accuracy of over 88%. When calibrated to measurements thru 1965 and using actual sunspot numbers, it predicted the average global temperature trend value in 2005 within 0.054°C. When calibrated thru 1995 and using actual sunspot numbers, it predicted the average global temperature trend value in 2011 within 0.002°C. The ‘consensus’ would be ecstatic to do anywhere near this well.

  85. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    The usual journals, Nature, etc. are hopelessly biased on articles regarding climate. They would need to admit that they have been wrong about AGW for many years. They won’t even publish articles by a renowned Climate Scientist like Dr. Roy Spenser so what chance does a lowly engineer have?

    Dodge. Even though Nature might not publish Dr. Spenser’s climate work, he has been published in a number of peer reviewed journals. And he continues to submit that work. So don’t play that particular card.

    All of my analyses, methods and data sources have been made public in detail. The equation is verifiable. No one else has identified a mistake. Please, identify exactly where you see a mistake so I can correct it.

    Publishing it on obscure anti-warming websites and trolling comment sections ISN’T SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING. So please don’t claim that your material has been peer reviewed or put to any substantial test.

    You are apparently unable to fathom that an unfunded engineer, using a desk top computer, some science and a little engineering, could figure out what the ‘consensus’ has failed to do.

    We are not saying it’s impossible. We’re saying it is highly unlikely. Just like a person developing a water based auto engine. And the fact that you are unwilling to submit your work to real scrutiny (ie. submit it for expert review) suggests that you are not particularly confident of it either.

    A true scientist is willing to undergo that process of review. I’ll take you and your work seriously when you stop making excuses (the world is biased against me an my ideas) actually throw your hat in the ring and step up to the big kids table. Until then you’re just another big fish in a very small and friendly pond.

  86. Dan Pangburn says:

    @mattb:
    So, you make an assertion that I made a mistake but are incapable of identifying any mistake that I made.

    You continue with the false assumption that I am trying to prove something. Again I say that I reported exactly what I did and what resulted when I did it.

    The equation is verifiable. Verification is done by calibrating it to measurements prior to a date and then using it to predict average global temperatures after that date. This it has done very accurately when using actual sunspot numbers. This accuracy in itself verifies as valid the equation and method of applying it and that atmospheric carbon dioxide has, at most, only a minor role.

    Future predictability depends on the oceans continuing to do what they have been doing since anybody has been paying attention (more than a century) and for the sunspot numbers to do what the solar experts predict that they will do. According to the solar experts, the further we are into a solar cycle the better the prediction for the overall cycle. We are well into cycle 24 so the overall cycle is pretty well defined.

    This combination of driving parameters results in high confidence that the prediction of the average global temperature anomaly downtrend through 2020 will occur as I have made public. After 2020 depends on what happens with the sunspot numbers. The solar experts expect further decline in sunspot numbers which would result in a continuation of the decline trend through about 2037.

    I am satisfied to have discovered what drives the climate and may just watch as the rest of the world becomes aware of it. However, with the existing threat of carbon tax destroying prosperity for humanity, I have some motivation to do the tedious process of getting an article published in one of the ‘name’ journals. I did that a couple of years ago in a ‘fringe’ journal and have substantially refined the analysis since then.

  87. mattb says:

    @Dan Pangburn:

    So, you make an assertion that I made a mistake but are incapable of identifying any mistake that I made.

    No, I did not make the assertion that you made a mistake. I cited examples of at least one person pushing back on issues with your assumptions and formulations.

    Frankly, I don’t have the skill or knowledge to evaluate your claims. Nor do most people who populate the blogs you seem to post at. That’s the entire reason that science is based on PEER review.

    It’s easy for you to show up on a political blog and make it appear that you’re a climate expert or you’ve make a break through in this field. It’s a lot harder to go to the people in the field, who know the science and do the same thing. That’s why getting the ideas out via the major channels (publications and presentations) is so important.

    Time may prove you right. But for the moment, I’m still sticking with the consensus as I, and the majority of scientific papers, understand it.

    I did that a couple of years ago in a ‘fringe’ journal and have substantially refined the analysis since then.

    Was it:
    Viewpoints and Technical Communications: Climate Prediction Based On Past Measurements
    D Pangburn – Energy & environment, 2010 – Multi-Science

    If so, then congratulations on the publication, it’s great you’re putting your ideas out there. I encourage you to do more of that. And I hope you are able to get a real dialog and review going around your theory.