Fools rush in…

At the Heartland climate crank conference in Chicago a speaker predicts global cooling, and immediately becomes headline news for Morano and the denial echo machine. At the very same time, NOAA releases its global climate report for April, and notes that not only is April the warmest in the long term record, but that January to April is also the warmest start to any year. If you were gambling on 2010 becoming the undisputed warmest year ever, the odds just shortened considerably. As Joe Romm noted yesterday, the last 12 months is already warmer than any other 12 month period…

On the other hand, this is what Don Easterbrook thinks will happen:


Interesting graph. It might need some work, given that he seems to start all his blue lines almost 0.5ºC below where 2010 is likely to end up. I’ll bet it got warm applause from the crank crowd…

Meanwhile, Jeff Masters notes the continuing high sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic: “an eye-opening 1.46°C above average during April.” Not good news for the hurricane season…

Hat tip to Andy Revkin, first to note the delicious irony.

[Ricky Nelson]

43 thoughts on “Fools rush in…”

  1. So the last twelve months are the warmest on record. Amazing.

    Yet has anywhere experienced unusual warmth? Sorry if I am being ignorant here, I completely accept it if I am so please don’t reply with insults and anger, but what obvious examples are therefore this extraordinary warmth? What are some of the counties that have also recorded warmest ever days and months, and years?

    Sitting where I am it feels like a normal year, and I haven’t seen any reports of heat waves and hurricanes.

    1. Read the item under the NOAA link, and follow that to the full NOAA report. They list them. To see where it's been warm (and cold) click on the little image at the top of the post.

    2. It's nice and warm here in Finland… up to 27C, unusual for the time of year. Already for a week, another promised.

      No, it means absolutely nothing for climate…

      1. Indeed, it's weather. Here in Holland -a few 100 kilometer southwest of Finland- we have the coldest May so far since 1982 with an average of 8.2 degrees C.

        1. Further to Finland / Holland as above heres the large version of the NOAA chart, showing the interesting northern-Hemisphere high-latitude warmer, lower-lats cooler phenomenon for much of Europa and Asia, and even the US (remember the record snowstorms?)

          And, no, not much happening either way in NZ. So, all personal experiences present and accounted for.

          So, C3PO, do you accept that stats win out over individual experiences?

          Yet again, if you wish to find examples of extreme weather of late you're as capable of using Google as any of the rest of us!

          I did, and quickly found this fascinating item (so thanks!): 'Changes in the climate of the Alaskan North Slope and the ice concentration of the adjacent Beaufort Sea ' and yet I have little doubt there have been many balmy Tuesdays, icy Novembers, and mildly warm Mays, while all this has been going on.

          1. "So, C3PO, do you accept that stats win out over individual experiences?"

            Haha nice try to strawman me. Of course individual experiences are nowhere near as robust as robust stats. However if an ad for a sports drink claimed, "research has shown a 20% increase in performance" and after using the drink I noticed no change I would become sceptical of that research. I would look for other research. Once I had found new research I wouldn’t believe the research that agreed with my individual experience, I would look at how that research was done and try to explain the difference in results.

            A similar approach can be taken to reports of record temperatures. If research does not feel right one should look other sources and note differences. For example what do the satellite records show? This article has taken one method only (ground based measurement) and not critically evaluated this method against others. How does the satellite record compare against the GISS record for the last 12 months? If that also says the last 12 months are the warmest since 1979 then I will be a lot more convinced.

            1. Ooh – 'strawman' is a verb now! I await the past-participle with considerable interest…

              One might always go straight to Romm's blog in such matters – he's very keen on the temp records.

              NASA appear to believe 2010 is strongly likely to set the new record (as reported here by the WaPo which, while on-the-way-to-disastrous, will at least mean we won't have to hear about an ice age for another 5 years or so (by which time the world will have doubtlessly been cooling since 2010, or 11, or 12…)

      1. 1.46ºC above or below a monthly average is a lot. August 2009 was the warmest August in NZ since records began – but it was "only" about 2degC above the long term average.

      2. I don't have any special knowledge, but I would imagine it would depend on the anomaly for the previous year. More movement, more likely to notice.

    1. Reference please? The Eruptions blog at Sciblogs is pretty reliable, and if what you say is true it would be reported there — in the comments at least.

      It's unlikely that any Icelandic volcano could produce enough ash/sulfates to cool the globe (see my earlier post for why), but it could certainly disrupt European weather in a big way — not to mention air transport…

      1. The Year Without a Summer (also known as the Poverty Year, Year There Was No Summer and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death[1]) was 1816, in which severe summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in Northern Europe, the Northeastern United States and eastern Canada.[2][3] Average global temperatures decreased about 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F),[4] enough to cause significant agricultural problems around the globe.

        Historian John D. Post has called this "the last great subsistence crisis in the Western world".[5]

        Most consider the climate anomaly to have been caused by a combination of a historic low in solar activity with a volcanic winter event; the latter caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped off by the Mount Tambora eruption of 1815, the largest known eruption in over 1,600 years.

          1. "When Katla went off in the 1700s, the USA suffered a very cold winter," says Gary Hufford, a scientist with the Alaska Region of the National Weather Service. "To the point, the Mississippi River froze just north of New Orleans and the East Coast, especially New England, had an extremely cold winter.

            "Depending on a new eruption, Katla could cause some serious weather changes."

            1. At what point did I claim that Katla would cool the Globe?

              I said "we" could be in for some cold weather, meaning mankind in general, HH in particular.

              Regardless of geographical location, Katla, combined with the collapse of the Euro, and the blackout of Britain, would have a fairly profound effect on our lives, I suspect.

            2. Katla — and you have yet to provide a reference justifying your original comment — would not have a global impact. The collapse of the Euro might. A blackout of Britain might upset a few friends and family, but would go more or less unnoticed by most of the world.

            3. I'm not very good at passing along links but try looking for:
              Voktun Eyjafjalla-og
              If you manage to find the site, click 'English' at the top right corner and that will give a map of Iceland showing recent earthquakes.
              About 24 hours ago Katla had a small quake.
              Just one, nothing more so far.

            4. Before you click the English link, the page has a large banner saying:

              Katla is NOT erupting and there are NO indications that Katla is about to erupt.

              I wonder where you get your information, from James…

            5. At what point did I say Katla was erupting?
              I said it was getting excited – i.e seismic activity, which often preceeds eruptions.

              Please stop misquoting me

            6. "If that one pops, we really will be in for a very long spell of cool weather." – James

              So "pop" is James euphemism for erupt?. James stop trying to weasel out of your previous comments, you tried to imply Katla was about to erupt and would cool the climate.
              It's not about to erupt and even if it did, as Gareth pointed out, it's effects would be localized not global, due to it's latitude.

            7. It MAY erupt, and it MAY cool MY climate.

              Which part of that do you have a problem with?

            8. I am very sorry for any misunderstanding.
              What I meant to say was:

              Katla MAY erupt (based on historic connection between the volcanoes and the recent seismic activity) and it MAY cool MY climate.

              (Also, based on historical evidence that Icelandic volcanoes have cooled the NH, where I am from)

              I hope that clarifies my position.

  2. C3PO reminds me of The Australian's bold challenge to the notion that the oceans were rising; a handful of sun-bronzed old blokes from Bondi who didn't notice anything different! (And we even get some pre-emptive tone-trolling, so everyone be on their best behaviour…)

    I mean, would you notice. By the time you do we're all really in trouble…

    Yet again, I'm struck that with the denialati, although there's always a rush to point out that the majority opinion (overwhelming) of actual climatologists does not really PROVE anything, 100%, cross-our-hearts-and-hope-to-die, beyond-
    -reasonable-doubt (and-all-common-sense!) on the other hand, well, it's a case of a cheerful universal acceptance that One Crank an Ice Age Doth Make…

    Oh, and the Roman legions wore skirts, therefore Britain was warmer for Jesus (or something!) Must inform the Scots…

    1. On a historical note, prior to the celts etc, in Scotland, there were the picts, I was always told that they ran around naked and were painted blue. I always suspected that if you ran around my homeland naked you would turn blue without the need of paint. or woad, or whatever it was.

  3. So, to summarise James: If a certain volcano erupts, even though there is no evidence it is going to erupt any time soon, it may have some unspecified regional effects on weather for some people for an unspecified amount of time.

    Well, I'm glad that's cleared up, then.

  4. Well, the US National Academy of Sciences has just announced –

    "Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems."

    I'll observe again, the denialati will now spend their time cheerfully nitpicking yet another thoroughly investigated credible scientific finding supported by multiple streams of evidence – heck, the Academy even say themselves that science is 'never settled' *; aha! NASgate looms! – but one outlier paper at Crankfest 2010 will doubtlessly be sufficient proof for squadrons of self-styled 'skeptics' that the opposite is occurring!

    Or perhaps a late-20th Century influx of cosmic rays is causing mercury to expand at a molecular level and that's why all the thermometers are wrong? The oceans are rising due to the combined displacement of unprecedented numbers of giant cargo vessels? Al Gore controls a 'spoiler' satellite that interferes with NASA's station readings? (George Soros paid for it!) Mutant star-goats? (for those of us old enough to remember the Hitchhiker's Guide!)…

    And they'll have the audacity to accuse others of purblind groupthink!

    *Which is a pretty reasonable indicator of being grown-ups, and adds to their credibility (if not their tactical nous!), don't you think?

  5. After literally minutes of exhaustive investigative research, I have finally uncovered the conspiracy. Turns out Wrathall was right all along.

    Remember that satellite NASA was going to put up to monitor CO2, only it "crashed" on launch? Well, here's what I have found – there was no satellite on the rocket! It was just an empty rocket, launched to cover up the fact they had already spent the money – several billions of your tax dollars.

    What did they spend the money on? Well, they had to prove global warming somehow, and they decided the best way would be to make it look as though the Arctic ice was melting. So, they spent some of the money on faking 9/11. All the people that supposedly died were actually spirited away to NASA's secret slave camp in Ogallala, Nebraska. From there, they were shipped up to the Arctic circle, where for the last few years they have spent every summer breaking up the ice – with HOCKEY STICKS!!!.

    And that's the real reason why the ice looks like it's melting.

    It's true. Just ask Wrathall.

    1. Now you're just being silly; everyone knows NASA's secret slave camp is set up between Carrizozo and Roswell, New Mexico, where the internees are forced to mine dilthium crystals to power the captured alien spacecraft…

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