Monthly Archives: December 2019

The West Burns and the East Drowns … so it averages out, right?

Willis Eschenbach is wrong on both counts when he announces at the WUWT blog that “… according to NOAA, there’s been no increase in either droughts or wet periods in the US since 1895 …”

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Silent Night



Australia has endured its hottest day ever recorded, as hundreds of violent bushfires continue to rage across the country.

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One class act to another

.@GretaThunberg, don’t let anyone dim your light. Like the girls I’ve met in Vietnam and all over the world, you have so much to offer us all. Ignore the doubters and know that millions of people are cheering you on.

— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) December 13, 2019

Second-Least-Cold Year

At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll repeat myself. Global temperature is a combination of trend and fluctuation.

The fluctuations make it jitter about from year to year (or month to month, or day to day, or whatever), but the trend of late has been steadily upward. It’s called global warming (although some might prefer “global un-cooling”). We even know some (but not all!) of the causes of the fluctuations; things like the el Niño southern oscillation (ENSO), massive volcanic eruptions, and variations in the output of the sun itself. But the fluctuations don’t last. The trend, however, continues upward unabated.

Earth’s hottest year on record remains 2016, when the warming from man-made climate change combined with extra heat from the strong el Niño of that year. But even without el Niño, this year is likely to come in a strong 2nd. Here are yearly averages since 1950 from NASA, with the 2019 value year-to-date (January through October):

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A Century and More of Sea Level Acceleration

We have several estimates of global sea level based on tide gauge data, and I’d like to compare four of them. First is the best-known and probably most trusted, from Church & White, which I’ll call CW. Next is one I’ve heavily criticized in the past, from Jevrejeva et al., I’ll call it Jev. We also have a recent new approach from Dangendorf et al. which I’ll refer to as Dang. Last (and least) is my own reconstruction (Fos) using my method to align station records and account for VLM (vertical land movement).

I aligned them all to have the same baseline (from 1993 to mid-2010 so I could also put satellite data on the same baseline). First I’ll graph for you their yearly averages, and we notice right away that Jev and Fos start way back in 1807, while CW delays until 1880 and Dang doesn’t begin until 1900:

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How Deniers Deny

Kip Hansen is so peeved at the New York Times for their recent article about global warming accelerating, that he posts at WUWT denying any and all acceleration claimed in the article. His “rebuttal” is riddled with mistakes and falsehoods, par for the course at WUWT.

One of the things accelerating which the Times article mentions and Kip Hansen denies, is sea level rise. Let’s look at his approach to sea level rise acceleration, in order to find out how this climate denier manages to deny the undeniable.

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Making “Adjustments” to Temperature Data

Anthony Watts seems proud of himself, having posted his presentation at the recent “anti-climate” conference of the “Heartland Institute.” He talks mainly about the fact that temperature data are often adjusted before including them in forming a global (or regional) average.

He says that the adjustments are the reason for the apparent rise in temperature that has people so worried. He often implies that un-adjusted data are “truth” and that any adjustment is a violation of its sanctity, together with the implication that those who do so are perpetrating a fraud. It’s standard climate denier talk.

Fortunately, people aren’t buying their brand of snake-oil any more. But the subject at hand — making adjustments to temperature data before including it in global/regional averages — deserves interest, mainly because it’s actually interesting.

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The Thermometer is Melting

Ice is one of nature’s thermometers, telling us whether or not the temperature of water is above or below 0°C (32°F). When things get hotter, it melts more and faster; when things cool down, water can freeze and ice accumulate. In general: more heat = less ice; less heat = more ice.

One of the places on Earth we find lots of ice is the sea surface in the Arctic, and when we graph its extent the first thing we notice is the seasonal pattern: in summer/fall there’s more heat, less ice; in winter/spring less heat, more ice.

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Winter is Here

The arrival of December marks the beginning of climatological winter (astronomical/calendrical winter begins Deceber 21st this year). We in the USA have seen some cold winters recently, especially in the northern midsection of the country.

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