Still warmin’ after all these years (Prat watch #5.6)


Courtesy of Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon, a very nice graphical demonstration of why “warming” hasn’t stopped in the last decade (or two). Nielsen-Gammon took the GISS global temperature series, classified years as El Niño dominated, neutral, or La Niña, excluded the influence of the Pinatubo-cooled years in the early 90s, and then calculated the trends for each set. The graph really says it all, but his blog post provides all the analysis. The next El Niño looks as though it’s going to be interesting

[The author, composing.]

The unfettered rage of dismal denial

I knew that climate scientists were on the receiving end of some nasty emails, but it was still a shock to read James Hansen’s recent communication, in the course of which he gives a sample of the emails that he’d had in just the one week. They’re a dismal example of the unfettered rage which marks at least some sectors of the denialist world. Imagine receiving this sort of thing in your mail not just on the odd occasion but regularly:

  • You rework your temperature data sets every time Mother nature proves you wrong, in an effort to force Her to agree with your ill conceived ideas about energy and nature. You, in fact, are the one committing crimes against humanity by lying, conniving, and concealing the truth about climate change on our world.
  • What a pile of nonsense, Hansen. You take money and junkets hand over fist from people who pay you to mouth off trash like that. You aren’t exactly “forthcoming” about the “sources and amounts” of your graft – I mean, “gifts.” You ought to be ashamed of yourself,
  • You sir are a walking crime against humanity and you know exactly why. You lie constantly about man-made global warming.
  • You are not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. You are a global warming shill and a con-artist.
  •  Are you some kind of lunatic??

And those are just my extracts from his selection from a week’s haul.

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2011: a hot cold year


The NASA numbers are in, and 2011 was the ninth warmest year since 1880 — 0.51ºC above the 1951-80 global mean. Nine of the ten warmest years in the long term record have occurred in this century. According to the analysis released by James Hansen and his team at GISS, a combination of low solar activity and the continuing cool phase (La Niña) of the El Niño Southern Oscillation kept global temperatures down — but as this map from the Earth Observatory shows, many parts of the world still managed to experience a very warm year, especially over the Arctic and Russia:


NOAA’s overview of last year puts 2011 in eleventh place in their long term series, and confirms that the USA experienced a record 14 extreme weather events that caused more than $1 billion in damage — up two from their previous estimate.

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McLean’s folly 2: the reckoning

Ten months ago, Aussie “sceptic” John McLean predicted that 2011 would be “the coolest year since 1956”. I pointed out at the time that this was nonsense, and so it has proven to be. I’ve taken the GISS global temperature figure for Jan – Nov 2011 (+0.51ºC compared to the 1951-80 average) and added it to the graph I created to illustrate the full extent of McLean’s folly:


Last year was warmer than 1956 by a whopping 0.68ºC — about three standard deviations, in statistical terms — making McLean’s forecast an abysmal failure. Yes, 2011 was cooler than 2010 or 2009, but still one of the top ten warm years.

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Predicting the bleeding obvious (and getting it wrong)

A couple of days ago one of the leading figures in the New Zealand climate crank pantheon, the Climate “Science” Coalition’s very own Bryan Leyland, popped in to Hot Topic and left a comment drawing attention to his new favourite game — “predicting” global temperatures by projecting the southern oscillation index forward seven months. He bases this on the “work” of John McLean, last mentioned here a couple of months ago when I looked at his prediction (happily promoted by the NZ C”S”C) that 2011 will be the “coolest year globally since 1956 or even earlier”. Suffice to say, it won’t be.

Leyland first notes the infamous McLean, De Freitas and Carter paper of 2009, then his own “prediction” that this year’s La Niña would bring a cooling in global temperatures, and then says:

What is remarkable about this is that a retired engineer with access to the Internet has been able to make accurate predictions of future climate. Yet, to my knowledge, no computer-based climate model nor any mainstream “climate scientist” predicted this cooling. To me, this is truly remarkable.

What’s really remarkable is that Leyland is actually only showing his ignorance of some pretty basic climate relationships.

Continue reading “Predicting the bleeding obvious (and getting it wrong)”