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NASA climate data indicates that the long-term global warming trend is continuing

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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New measurements by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies indicate that 2012 was the ninth warmest year since 1880, and that the past decade or so has seen some of the warmest years in the last 132 years.

One way to illustrate changes in global atmospheric temperatures is by looking at how far temperatures stray from “normal”, or a baseline. For the following map, NASA picked a baseline period using temperatures between 1951 and 1980, and compared temperature global temperature readings from 2012.

Temperature anomalies are displayed for 2012 (top), and over time (bottom) in this NASA graphic. The warming trend is apparent from the 1880s onward.

NASA’s Earth Observatory blog explains:

The average temperature in 2012 was about 14.6 degrees Celsius (58.3 degrees Fahrenheit), which is 0.55°C (1.0°F) warmer than the mid-20th century base period. The average global temperature has increased 0.8°C (1.4°F) since 1880, and most of that change has occurred in the past four decades.

The long-term trend is clearly represented by plotting temperature anomalies on the line graph, this time from 1880 onward. Again, from NASA:

The line plot above shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2011 as recorded by NASA GISS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom. All four institutions tally temperature data from stations around the world and make independent judgments about whether the year was warm or cool compared to other years.

Even with natural variations due to seasons and other events, we see that average atmospheric temperatures are increasing from decade to decade, which agrees with results from climate models and simulations. And as expected, temperatures have increased as greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide, methane, etc) emissions have increased from the U.S. Industrial Revolution in the late 19th Century onwards.

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? david.m.wogan@gmail.com Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. scepticalofsciam 11:25 pm 01/22/2013

    14.6C is 287.6 degrees Kelvin, 0.5K is an increase of 0.17% due to an increase of C02 levels of 0.02%. Noise?

    Link to this
  2. 2. thevillagegeek 11:43 pm 01/22/2013

    Twisting numbers to take things out of context is noise.

    Link to this
  3. 3. sault 12:19 am 01/23/2013

    Re: “sceptical”

    Nope. See “human fingerprints on Climate Change” sections here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/Guide_to_Skepticism.pdf

    Notice how EACH claim links to a peer-reviewed paper backing it up. This is how scientific debates are supposed to work, BTW. Oh, and trying to confuse things by subjectively changing the scale is dubious. Sorry but the ENTIRE WORLD’S scientific community ha already moved on from your silly games.

    Link to this
  4. 4. priddseren 2:19 am 01/23/2013

    Lol, Sault, you are entertaining. Peer reviewed papers do not make a theory real or cherry picked data fed into flawed computer models facts.

    If you told me the 7 billion humans, all of the billions of other warm blooded life forms, the heat from car radiators, the heat from everything humans do and by the way also increased exponentially for the last 100 years, then maybe you have something because you can actually do real experiments.

    What is really happening here is when the Warmists need to get more grant money or get the government to “invest” in their failed companies or you want to convince a person to pay warmists for the ticket to guiltless zero carbon footprint heaven, then somehow the prophesies of the computer models are on track for warming.

    Then in a few months when people are questioning the effectiveness of solyndras, zero carbon foot prints or the effectiveness of some pointless regulation, magically the world or some part of it is somehow cooling or the CO2 has been reduced or whatever.

    Then a few months later when to the warmist complacency is setting in and of course, the grant money is running low, NASA releases a report that warming Armageddon is back on track as predicted.

    I am not sure what is more ridiculous for you warmists, the fact you use unproven theories and anecdotal evidence as if they are real or this use of the same methods religious leaders from priests, popes and imams to ancient egyptian holy men used to manipulate populations into handing over power and money to avoid whatever calamities you claim are coming and paying you is the only way to save everyone.

    Link to this
  5. 5. R.Blakely 3:56 am 01/23/2013

    From the article: “For the following map, NASA picked a baseline period using temperatures between 1951 and 1980, and compared temperature global temperature readings from 2012.” I think that the map exposes the fact the data is skewed. If global warming is real then the entire Earth should have a smooth red color. The fact that the color is not a smooth red exposes where the data is most skewed. In fact, NASA has done a great job in exposing how flawed the theory that CO2 causing global warming actually is!
    In fact, carbon dioxide cannot be blamed since CO2 already blocks all 15-micron photons. Dr. Hertzberg has a file about the lynching of carbon dioxide, which can be viewed at http://carbon-sense.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/hertzberg.pdf

    Link to this
  6. 6. Jürgen Hubert 5:13 am 01/23/2013

    scepticalofsciam: Try an increase of 25% in the CO2 levels in this period.

    Link to this
  7. 7. jimmywat 7:09 am 01/23/2013

    The graph over time clearly shows a head and shoulders pattern, not an uptrend. This year is barely above last year which was dramatically lower (on this scale) than the previous year.

    But the elephant in the lifeboat is that this chart is woefully short in iceage (110k, 25k, and 1500 yrs) and warming terms. It excludes the Medievel Warm period and the much higher temperatures from the previous 10,000 years.

    The Sun, not CO2 leads warming and cooling. The Sun had a low maxim this time, not a big one.

    Beware of the iceage coming on all three cycles mentioned above.

    Link to this
  8. 8. paul.connelly82 8:15 am 01/23/2013

    Hi priddseren.
    Interesting conspiracy theory. All those so called “scientists”, who are not out to do good science, just to con us simpletons out of money to support their schemes. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I didn’t realise I was a “Warmist”; I hope I can find some medicine to make me better.
    I wonder about your motives; you obviously cannot produce evidence that man made global warming is NOT happening, yet you are dismissive of all the evidence that it is. Those who are not prepared to look at this objectively, and who cry “wolf” in loud, angry voices, must surely have another agenda? Working for an energy pressure group? Or perhaps just the desire to show that you understand so much more than those so called experts. I bet that makes you feel good about yourself.

    Link to this
  9. 9. ariadne 10:12 am 01/23/2013

    Science Denial is probably a mental disorder, and not a political bias, since they seem to be unable to comprehend a fact from a fiction even when provided with copious quantities of data. It may in fact be related to schizophrenia.

    Link to this
  10. 10. MadScientist72 10:16 am 01/23/2013

    @ RBlakely – That was a very enlightening look into how CO2 works (and doesn’t work) in the atmosphere. Thank you for that.

    Link to this
  11. 11. MadScientist72 10:27 am 01/23/2013

    The most accurate part of this article is the title. Current global warming (and cooling) is part of a LONG-term trend that has been at work since long before we came on the scene.

    Link to this
  12. 12. sault 11:13 am 01/23/2013

    Wow, the deniers came out and crawled all over the kitchen floor while the lights were off…

    Look, if ALL of you consistently FAIL to understand how the climate works, then why keep spreading this garbage over SCIENTIFIC American?

    HINT: natural variability doesn’t go away once we start pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, so trying to determine global climate trends from a handfull of years SMACKS of ignorance…

    Link to this
  13. 13. julianpenrod 1:20 pm 01/23/2013

    An issue that I tried before in a number of other but similar matters, but never really received a reply.
    For all those who question the validity of arguments and evidence of man made climate change or who say it isn’t happening at all, what would you consider an acceptable level, degree, form of proof to convince you otherwise?
    In other words, do present forms of evidence not satisfy your pre determined standards, or do you simply disagree with everything that proponents of man made climate change say, out of hand?

    Link to this
  14. 14. jfwilder 1:21 pm 01/23/2013

    Wait for it…..here come the denier freaks.

    Link to this
  15. 15. MadScientist72 1:37 pm 01/23/2013

    @ sault – “HINT: natural variability doesn’t go away once we start pumping CO2 into the atmosphere, so trying to determine global climate trends from a handfull of years SMACKS of ignorance…”
    Funny, that sounds exactly like what the climate change gloom-&-doomers have been doing. They take the last 150-ish years out of the long-term context, stick it under a microscope and say “Whoa, it’s HUGE!” when it’s nothing more than a blip in the larger record.

    Instead of shouting “denier” everytime someone disagrees with you, how about you take the time to READ Dr. Hertzberg’s analysis that RBlakely linked to and provide evidence to refute (if you can) the specific criticisms he makes. While you’re at it, you might also try to tackle the fact that the rate of sea level rise has been CONSTANT (rather than accelerating) for more than a century (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00319.1). (Of particular iterest – the closing statement that the relationship between climate change & sea level rise “is weak or absent during the 20th century”.) In fact, the last major change in the rate, was a slow-down about 7000 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Post-Glacial_Sea_Level.png).

    Link to this
  16. 16. cookchh 2:18 pm 01/23/2013

    So anyone offer a hypothesis of why the average flat-lined from 1940 to 1980? Did we not make any CO2 then or before 1910?

    Link to this
  17. 17. mudphud 2:44 pm 01/23/2013

    cookchh- The graph does not represent average temperatures, those continued to increase 194-1980. It’s a graph showing average deviations from a baseline temperature which the article states is 1950 to 1980. So the increase or decrease year to year in that period is “flat” because that is where they set zero. The lower the temperature in the 1900s or higher in the 2000s the greater the deviation from the baseline.

    Link to this
  18. 18. mudphud 3:01 pm 01/23/2013

    MadScientist72- Regarding your link to the constant rate of sea level rise article, did you actually read the article? They don’t claim sea level rise is not being driven by warming, but that it has been constant, and that would be inconsistent with warming being the only cause. They then explain multiple factors are likely responsible, with our activities on land leading to decreases in water reaching the seas, like dams and irrigation, and other sources like glaciers melting early and now decreased enough that they don’t add as much leading to a linear increase out of step with overall warming. Their point is not that global warming isn’t the main driver of current increases in sea levels, but that because there are other significant contributors that it’s going to be difficult to predict future levels. Their take away point is it might be less than predicted, but could be a whole lot worse since some of the factors keeping it lower may reach a maximum, like dams and irrigation.

    Link to this
  19. 19. Leroy 3:59 pm 01/23/2013

    priddseren – Since you brought up Solyndra … it’s worth noting that that company didn’t fail because of lack of demand for solar or its effectiveness. Their product would likely have found its niche in the solar market had China not flooded the global market with subsidized photovoltaics.

    Link to this
  20. 20. hankroberts 4:06 pm 01/23/2013

    for cookchh:

    Yes. Good question.

    Sulfates from mostly US coal plants increased from the 1940s until the limits were set by the Clean Air Act, then rapidly dropped.

    The same pattern — early increasing use of coal and diesel, without pollution controls; lots of sulfates — seems to have happened again during the first decade of this century

    https://www.google.com/search?q=sulfate+global+warming

    http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/whatonearth/posts
    /post_1309955964133.html
    Has Sulfate Pollution from Asia Masked a Decade of Warming?

    On Modification of Global Warming by Sulfate Aerosols
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0442%281997%29010%3C0245%3AOMOGWB%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Simulation+of+early+20th+century+global+warming
    Simulation of early 20th century global warming
    TL Delworth, TR Knutson – Science, 2000 – sciencemag.org
    … both the early and latter parts of the century (1). Several climate models accurately simulate the
    global warming of the late 20th century when the radiative effects of increasing levels of
    human-induced greenhouse gases (GHGs) and sulfate aerosols are taken into account (2–4 …
    Cited by 194

    Link to this
  21. 21. hankroberts 4:13 pm 01/23/2013

    Oh, and ‘mudphd’ gave you a wrong answer — the baseline can be any span of time for which you have good measurements for over a few decades, it’s that thin horizontal line across the chart. Other groups use other baselines — but the global trend looks about the same for all of them. The baseline chosen has nothing to do with how the temperature changes.

    Good explanation here:
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/notes#baselines

    Link to this
  22. 22. sault 5:02 pm 01/23/2013

    Re Madscientist72:

    Dr. Hertzberg’s “paper” is not peer-reviewed, and if you can’t even see how it is filled to the brim with LOADED WORDS, you need to read up on what REAL scientific papers look like.

    Dr. Hertzberg uses a simplistic model and confuses his readers by chosing scales that intentionally obscure the role of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. He totally ignores lapse rate and decreasing radiative efficinecy with increasing emitting altitude. Therefore, using an absorption spectrum for Earth’s average temperature is incorrect. He totally ignores the FACT that water vapor cycles through the atmosphere thousands of times faster than CO2 and its concentration is HIGHLY temperature dependent, making it a FEEDBACK, not a forcing.

    BTW, trotting out the boogeyman Algore on the FIRST PAGE is a subtle clue that this paper is politically motivated and not scientifically sound. Having blatant typos and unprofessional statements like “some of their dissolve[sic] CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere…” and “So Gore and the IPCC have it back asswards…” are marks of sloppy and ideologically-motivated writing. He gets so close to describing the ocean temperature-CO2 feedback mechanism but stops short of mentioning the little inconvenient TRUTH that this feedback will amplify our CO2-caused warming. I guess only the (non-existant) evidence that supports his predetermined conclusions gets through, eh?

    He doesn’t source his data, he doesn’t label or caption his figures, he utterly confuses correlation with causation, thinks the world’s climate can turn on a dime and presents a whole host of other debunked denier canards. He’s basically using the “shotgun approach” and you can see EVERY SINGLE ONE of his silly claims debunked with PEER REVIEWED SCIENCE here:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    He ridiculously states that CO2 only stays in the atmosphere for 5 years even though he posts graphs showing CO2 concentrations CLEARLY increasing from year to year. His arguments are contradictory and emotionally charged. Basically, it’s no wonder this guy can’t find a journal to publish his garbage.

    Link to this
  23. 23. Benfun 9:53 pm 01/23/2013

    @skeptical @prid @ mad..

    Do you realize that every national science foundation at every country that has one, and every international science or engineering academy (now including the only previous holdout, the Petrochemical Engineering Association) has endorsed the consensus scientific interpretation of the data, that the earth is warming, and that is primarily driven by human CO2 emissions.

    Rival universities, that vigorously compete for grants have done independent studies, often with oil & gas money funding them like the Berkeley Earth Science group & found the same trends & patterns originally observed & predicted in papers that go back to the 1960s & 1970s.

    Your claim that they are all colluding in a conspiracy of self delusion or fraudulent mass coercion is the one that requires evidence else you should be sued for slander.

    Link to this
  24. 24. MadScientist72 11:05 am 01/24/2013

    @ sault:
    “trotting out the boogeyman Algore on the FIRST PAGE is a subtle clue that this paper is politically motivated”
    Apparently you missed the part on page 2 where Dr. Hertzberg admits to being “a lifelong DEMOCRAT” (emphasis added) and the part on page 8 where he points out that Alexander Cockburn, who helped him publicize his findings is “well to the left” of Dr. Hertzberg himself. (Cockburn even writes for the Nation – the self-described “flagship of the left”.) So your allegation of political motivation is patently ludicrous.

    “He totally ignores the FACT that water vapor cycles through the atmosphere thousands of times faster than CO2.”
    Re-read pages 14 &15. He doesn’t ignore anything – he addresses it by referencing Professor Tom Segalstad of the University of Oslo, whose work indicates that the atmospheric lifespan of CO2 has been grossly overestimated.

    “Having blatant typos and unprofessional statements … are marks of sloppy and ideologically-motivated writing.”
    Really? Typos? Couldn’t you do any better than that? I guess you’ve NEVER seen a typo in a peer-reviewed paper? As far as the “unprofessional statements” go – as you pointed out, this isn’t a paper from a peer-reviewed journal. It’s intended for the general public, not other scientists & he simply chose his wording according to his audience.

    “you can see EVERY SINGLE ONE of his silly claims debunked with PEER REVIEWED SCIENCE here”
    What I see is a bunch of BLOGGERS, many of whom have no scientific credentials, attempting to interpret the scientific literature to suit their preconceived conclusions. If you go to the “About Team” page, the list is headed up by a comp sci guy who call himself “Dikram Marsupial”! You’re seriously going put that up against a combustion expert with a Physical Chemistry PhD from Stanford on the subject of CO2′s properties?

    “He ridiculously states that CO2 only stays in the atmosphere for 5 years even though he posts graphs showing CO2 concentrations CLEARLY increasing from year to year.”
    He explains this on page 11 – the warming oceans are accelerating their release of CO2 into the air. That’s why the concentrations are going up, even though the life-span’s short. The math is simple enough – if more CO2 is going into the atmosphere than is coming out, the concentration will rise.

    I can’t help but notice that you (& skepticalscience) had nothing to say about one of his major statements – that the vast majority of CO2′s contribution to warming happens in the fisrt 20ppm of atmospheric concentration, with rapidly diminishing returns as levels rise (page 4). By the time it gets to the approx. 100ppm that marks the low end seen in the Vostok ice cores (page 9), it’s down under 0.1 C per 20ppm CO2 and less than half that once you get to concentrations seen at the start of the Industrial revolution (approx. 280ppm). At current levels (approx. 39ppm [http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/global.html]), the contribution is down to approx 0.02 C per 20ppm CO2. As Dr. Hertzberg puts it, by now the atmosphere has effectively been “completely opaque” to the 15 micron wavelength (where CO2 absorbs) for over a century.

    Link to this
  25. 25. David Marjanović 9:29 am 01/26/2013

    14.6C is 287.6 degrees Kelvin, 0.5K is an increase of 0.17% due to an increase of C02 levels of 0.02%. Noise?

    What, why? And those 0.02 % are % of the atmosphere, not % of the amount of CO2.

    If you told me the 7 billion humans, all of the billions of other warm blooded life forms, the heat from car radiators, the heat from everything humans do and by the way also increased exponentially for the last 100 years, then maybe you have something because you can actually do real experiments.

    …I don’t understand what you’re talking about. The problem isn’t an increase in the production of heat. The problem is that heat can’t be radiated off into space quite as easily as it used to be.

    What is really happening here is when the Warmists need to get more grant money or get the government to “invest” in their failed companies

    …What companies???

    And it’s evident that you’ve never tried to publish a paper or apply for a grant. Seriously, it doesn’t work like you believe it does. Promising a repetition of what people already know doesn’t land you a grant, and it doesn’t get you published.

    If global warming is real then the entire Earth should have a smooth red color.

    Man, are you stupid.

    Seriously. Do I need to say anything more than this?

    In fact, carbon dioxide cannot be blamed since CO2 already blocks all 15-micron photons.

    That’s a very old claim, and it’s still wrong.

    The graph over time clearly shows a head and shoulders pattern, not an uptrend. This year is barely above last year which was dramatically lower (on this scale) than the previous year.

    LOL. You need to take trends over 30 years or more.

    the Medievel Warm period

    Didn’t happen everywhere at the same time, and in many places it didn’t happen at all. Look it up.

    The Sun, not CO2 leads warming and cooling.

    That’s usually the case, yes. But this time, the sun stopped getting brighter decades ago, and yet, temperatures still rise.

    Beware of the iceage coming on all three cycles mentioned above.

    The next one is scheduled to begin in 50,000 years; we’re probably preventing that right now.

    Current global warming (and cooling) is part of a LONG-term trend that has been at work since long before we came on the scene.

    Evidence?

    the last 150-ish years [...] it’s nothing more than a blip in the larger record

    1) Show me.
    2) Isn’t it curious that of thousands of climatologists worldwide, who want to get published and who compete for grants, not a single one has come to your conclusion? Man, the Conspiracy must be printing money to pay them all off.

    trotting out the boogeyman Algore on the FIRST PAGE

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D
    What is it with all those Americans who believe the climate will suddenly cool if only they can get Gore out of the picture? :-D

    Apparently you missed the part on page 2 where Dr. Hertzberg admits to being “a lifelong DEMOCRAT” (emphasis added)

    So what?

    (…Apart from the fact that it’s mind-bogglingly bizarre to state one’s political orientation, or someone else’s like that of Mr. Cockburn, in an allegedly scientific paper.)

    “Having blatant typos and unprofessional statements … are marks of sloppy and ideologically-motivated writing.”
    Really? Typos? Couldn’t you do any better than that?

    How about the unprofessional statements? You even quote that part.

    It’s intended for the general public, not other scientists

    …Waaaaait. So, is there a paper that’s intended for “other” scientists? If yes, why don’t you cite it? If no, isn’t that intriguing?

    attempting to interpret the scientific literature to suit their preconceived conclusions

    Show me.

    If you go to the “About Team” page, the list is headed up by a comp sci guy who call himself “Dikram Marsupial”! You’re seriously going put that up against a combustion expert with a Physical Chemistry PhD from Stanford on the subject of CO2′s properties?

    Why not? Most of physical chemistry* doesn’t even touch the atmosphere or the climate.

    * I wonder why you capitalized that; probably because you don’t know what it is, so you thought it was some kind of proper name.

    the warming oceans are accelerating their release of CO2 into the air

    Then why are they turning more acidic instead of less?

    I can’t help but notice that you [...] had nothing to say about one of his major statements –

    Here’s the sentence you overlooked:

    He totally ignores lapse rate and decreasing radiative efficinecy with increasing emitting altitude.

    That’s a very short summary of the article I linked to. Go read it.

    Link to this
  26. 26. David Marjanović 9:34 am 01/26/2013

    I wrote:

    this time, the sun stopped getting brighter decades ago, and yet, temperatures still rise

    Reference.

    Link to this
  27. 27. Postman1 11:55 am 01/26/2013

    David, this paper seems to contradict your assertions:
    http://www.biocab.org/Solar_Irradiance_is_Actually_Increasing.html#anchor_15

    Link to this
  28. 28. hankroberts 8:02 pm 01/26/2013

    The ‘Biocab’ page, last updated in 2009, refers to Lean (2004), which is an older paper; more recent work is available by Lean and others.

    Biocab is apparently written by Nahle.
    Look the name up:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=nasif+nahle

    His unique theories about climate and physics appear in Biocab, you won’t find much in the science journals.

    There’s probably a reason for that.

    Link to this
  29. 29. Carlyle 10:23 pm 01/26/2013

    Let me see now. sault & others love to call those who question the conclusions drawn by climate scientists from limited or massaged data, deniers.
    More & more, our disbelief has proven to be justified.

    1/ The Arctic Ice did not disappear by 2012 (In fact it is currently a little ahead of last years extent despite the record low summer extent)
    2/ Global temperatures have not increased at the rate predicted or in lock step with CO2 increases.
    3/ CO2 can not be the temperature driver previously claimed when not only has the temperature been almost stable for the past 15 years or so, but of the tiny increase above the long term trend, a substantial proportion is now attributed to carbon soot.
    4/ Peak oil has NOT been reached.
    5/ Extinction rates are at least half what has been claimed
    6/ Wildfires are 15% lower than pre 1950s
    7/ The number & intensity of sever storms is down (Not to be confused with damage caused by increased population & construction density in vulnerable areas)
    8/ The driest habitated continent, Australia (Island Continent) has not entered an unending drought as predicted, but is entirely drought free.
    9/ Frog Disease was not caused by climate change. It was caused by a fungus that spread into widely different climate zones.
    There are many more examples.
    All of these things have previously & some still, been accepted as fact by AGW supporters. Who is in denial?

    Link to this
  30. 30. Carlyle 10:46 pm 01/26/2013

    26. David Marjanović
    9:34 am 01/26/2013
    Do you realise how ridiculous that argument is?
    If you have a large container of water with a gas burner under it, adjusted to maintain say 40F. You turn the gas up gradually then leave the gas at the new level or even turn it down a little but still at a higher level than originally. What happens? The water continues to heat until the new equilibrium is reached. The temperature will only reduce if the burner is tuned back to below the original level. You do not have to continue to turn the flame up for the water to continue to heat. No one is suggesting that the sun has reduced its output to a level below what it was prior to the present blip. Simply that I has stopped increasing & MAY be decreasing slowly.
    How can you put your handout for your pay when you do not immediately see the error in your argument?

    Link to this
  31. 31. Carlyle 12:25 am 01/27/2013

    Further to above, any reduction in heat once it has reached equilibrium & the temperature of the water will go down of course, but it has to go back to the original level & stay at that level long enough for the temperature to settle back to the earlier level. In the case of the Earth, this could take many years in either direction.

    Link to this
  32. 32. David Marjanović 7:28 am 01/27/2013

    Let me see now. sault & others love to call those who question the conclusions drawn by climate scientists from limited or massaged data, deniers.

    Massaged data!?!

    If you accuse thousands of people (scientists, no less!) all over the world of fraud, sue them already!

    1/ The Arctic Ice did not disappear by 2012

    o_O Did anybody predict it would disappear by 2012??? The most pessimistic estimates I seem to remember put that into the 2030s at the very earliest.

    2/ Global temperatures have not increased at the rate predicted or in lock step with CO2 increases.

    Did you read the first screen or so of comment 20?

    3/ CO2 can not be the temperature driver previously claimed when not only has the temperature been almost stable for the past 15 years or so,

    LOL. The La Niña (exceptionally cold) year of 2011 was about as hot as the El Niño (exceptionally hot) year of 1998. If you call that “almost stable”, you’re either intellectually dishonest or have given the issue very, very, very little thought.

    but of the tiny increase above the long term trend, a substantial proportion is now attributed to carbon soot.

    Details, please… and soot comes from burning fossil fuels and eventually turns into CO2.

    4/ Peak oil has NOT been reached.

    Not many people have claimed it would come that early.

    5/ Extinction rates are at least half what has been claimed

    Details? Keep in mind that extinction rates are estimates depending on estimates of how many species there are in the first place.

    6/ Wildfires are 15% lower than pre 1950s

    That could have a large number of reasons. Is it even globally true?

    7/ The number & intensity of sever storms is down (Not to be confused with damage caused by increased population & construction density in vulnerable areas)

    Down compared to when?

    8/ The driest habitated continent, Australia (Island Continent) has not entered an unending drought as predicted, but is entirely drought free.

    As expected from La Niña.

    9/ Frog Disease was not caused by climate change. It was caused by a fungus that spread into widely different climate zones.

    Details, please.

    Do you realise how ridiculous that argument is?

    Let me put it this way: Even though it’s so obvious, thousands of climatologists all over the world haven’t realised it in decades – only Carlyle on some blog has. Hmmm. How likely is that?

    Why doesn’t your argument contain any numbers? You’re making lots and lots of assumptions about how quickly the Earth radiates heat into space – and you don’t seem to even notice that you’re doing that.

    In the case of the Earth, this could take many years in either direction.

    It’s been 35 years. Does that count as “many”? Without putting numbers to your argument, you don’t know.

    Link to this
  33. 33. Carlyle 2:12 pm 01/27/2013

    Yes. Data has been massaged yet climate scientists, knowing the facts, continue to us discredited data. Read up on the famous hockey stick & the actual emails from that scandal. Look it up yourself. Using the reports below you can Google them your self too. Then you can chose your own links & not blame the messenger. I am tired of that trick.
    “The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the US government’s Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.
    And Nasa climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

    Extinction of millions of species ‘greatly exaggerated’
    Reports of the extinction of millions of species on Earth have been greatly exaggerated, a team of scientists has said.

    Frog Extinctions Linked to Global Warming
    Brian Handwerk
    for National Geographic News
    January 12, 2006
    Global warming may cause widespread amphibian extinctions by triggering lethal epidemics, a new study reports.

    It is actually caused primarily by a fungus. Across all climate zones where amphibians occur.

    I do not need to give numbers to argue a point of logic. A talent you obviously lack. When you can fault the logic in my post about heat transfer, get back to me. You can check my logic on your kitchen stove & write another paper on it.

    Link to this
  34. 34. Quinn the Eskimo 8:02 pm 01/27/2013

    NASA’s long term does not predate 1958.

    Before that the record is spotty and incomplete. High tech satellite records only date to the 70′s.

    Try as you warmers might — those truths remain.

    Link to this
  35. 35. Carlyle 11:19 pm 01/27/2013

    8/ The driest habitated continent, Australia (Island Continent) has not entered an unending drought as predicted, but is entirely drought free.

    As expected from La Niña.

    AS expected???
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dr_5Iv9_OGY

    Link to this
  36. 36. David Marjanović 12:16 pm 01/28/2013

    Yes. Data has been massaged yet climate scientists, knowing the facts, continue to us discredited data. Read up on the famous hockey stick & the actual emails from that scandal. Look it up yourself.

    You must have been largely absent from the Internet in those days. Google ScienceBlogs for “trick to hide the decline” and read what it really means. Or perhaps read Mann’s book that came out last year.

    “The Arctic is screaming,” said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the US government’s Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.

    That kind of poetic metaphor isn’t very precise, is it?

    And Nasa climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

    Congratulations, you found one who said it “could” be “nearly” ice-free at the end of last summer. That all you’ve got?

    It is actually caused primarily by a fungus.

    Uh, yeah, and the idea is that the warming climate allows Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus) to spread up mountains and into higher latitudes.

    I do not need to give numbers to argue a point of logic.

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    You’re still making all kinds of assumptions about rates of heat loss and heat gain, and apparently you’re not even aware of that. It’s like saying “don’t ever run east, you’ll make the Earth stop spinning” – perfectly logical, except the numbers don’t add up.

    Try as you warmers might — those truths remain.

    Which truths? Are you trying to say without satellite measurements we have no idea of temperature at all?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr_5Iv9_OGY

    I don’t have sound here in the museum, so there’s no point in watching this… piece of peer-reviewed literature right now. Later. I’ll just point out that “blame the rapist, not my hot body” is… really not funny. WTF.

    Link to this
  37. 37. David Marjanović 12:18 pm 01/28/2013

    I note, furthermore, that you genuinely seem to think thousands of climatologists are either incredibly stupid or have been maintaining a global conspiracy for decades (and no financial or other gain I can think of).

    Link to this
  38. 38. Carlyle 4:12 pm 01/28/2013

    You are a typical example of the acolytes who excuse & explain away every fault & misdemeanour in the AGW camp.
    I do not need to read a book by a miscreant to explain a term that is clear in the context in which it was used.
    If you want an example of ‘trick’, may, could, probably, possibly etc are typical examples used by alarmists. They are almost always coupled with dire predictions, rarely with anything that could be deemed to moderate predictions.
    Your ‘Poetic Metaphor’ with the obligatory ‘could’ was not alarmist prediction? If it had occurred, are you saying it would not have been trumpeted as a firm prediction?
    The fungus spread globally. Into cooler regions as well as hotter regions. So how can that be caused by warming?
    My description of how water, or the Earth come to that, will not instantly adjust to a new level of temperature input but will take time to reach the new equilibrium does not need numbers. The rate of change will largely be determined by the volume being heated or cooled & the degree of temperature input change. Your lack of understanding of this basic logic is a smoke screen. Any intelligent person could grasp such a simple fact. You must surely choose to ignore it.
    Thousands of scientists chose to ignore contra evidence?
    Yes. Just as billions are convinced of their particular faith. Including millions of scientists. Do you think those millions of scientists are truly logical or is that a different ‘reality’. In fact it is exactly the same mental flexibility you exhibit.

    Link to this
  39. 39. davidwogan 8:28 pm 01/28/2013

    Okay, popping in here because things are getting unruly. Please refrain from personal attacks, conspiracies, or other nonsense that distract us from the actual topic of the article. If not, I will start deleting comments.

    As for all the talk of tricks, massaging data, etc – that is a distracting argument that is getting off topic. What this article is about is: scientific data by qualified researchers is giving us another piece of data that we can use to understand how our climate is changing, from both natural and manmade inputs. There is a natural variation due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis, volcanoes, etc., but there is a sharp increase in measured temperature after the U.S. Industrial Revolution. Nothing alarmist or fanatical about that.

    Link to this
  40. 40. Carlyle 10:10 pm 01/28/2013

    The U.S. Industrial revolution is absolutely nothing compared to the Chinese & Indian Industrial revolutions of recent times yet the rate of temperature increase has not increased in a comensurate maner for the past 15 years. That is fact too.

    Link to this
  41. 41. Carlyle 6:30 am 01/29/2013

    Global temperature has been increasing by about .1C per decade since 1979. Without any explanation, NASA has added one decades worth to the temperature record. Since 2008 alone, NASA has added about 0.1C of warming to the trend by unexplained “adjustments” to old records.
    http://thegwpf.us4.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=3362c017f3&e=c1a146df99

    Link to this
  42. 42. David Marjanović 4:08 pm 01/29/2013

    You are a typical example of the acolytes who excuse & explain away every fault & misdemeanour in the AGW camp.

    I’m a scientist. I always try to explain everything. Duh.

    I do not need to read a book by a miscreant to explain a term that is clear in the context in which it was used.

    Nothing is clear when you’re dealing with jargon you don’t even recognize as such. Remember the folder labeled “censored” in the data of Mann et al.? To find out which part of the dataset has the greatest influence on the result, you take parts out, rerun the analysis without them, and see what happens – and taking parts out is called “censoring” by statisticians.

    If you want an example of ‘trick’, may, could, probably, possibly etc are typical examples used by alarmists. They are almost always coupled with dire predictions, rarely with anything that could be deemed to moderate predictions.

    …Why would a scientist keep the more dire possibilities under wraps just because they’re not certainties???

    Your ‘Poetic Metaphor’ with the obligatory ‘could’ was not alarmist prediction? If it had occurred, are you saying it would not have been trumpeted as a firm prediction?

    By Jay Zwally perhaps. How many other teams made that prediction?

    And what do you actually mean by “alarmist”?

    My description of how water, or the Earth come to that, will not instantly adjust to a new level of temperature input but will take time to reach the new equilibrium does not need numbers.

    That part is true. But you’re saying it’ll take over 35 years, because that’s when the sun stopped getting brighter; and that claim needs numbers.

    Do you think those millions of scientists are truly logical or is that a different ‘reality’.

    LOL. I’m a scientist myself (not a climatologist, but what I’m talking about here works the same way all over); find me in Google Scholar if you don’t believe me. Almost all journals insist on only publishing stuff that is newsworthy, and when papers that merely affirm what everyone already (thought they) knew do get published, they’re hardly going to be cited often. Job applications, promotions, tenure, and grant applications depend on the number of citations – sometimes directly, sometimes via the impact factors of the journals the scientist has published in*, sometimes more, sometimes less, but it’s always important. The most prestigious journals, which are the most widely read ones and thus the ones with the highest impact factors*, are the most restrictive ones as far as newsworthiness is concerned; they reject most manuscripts that are sent to them right away and only send the most surprising ones out for peer review.

    In other words, what scientists are forced to try every day is to prove that someone, somewhere, was wrong. Engaging in a conspiracy to the contrary would be laughably stupid. It would be career suicide. Scientists are rewarded for overturning paradigms – unless they accept money from, say, the fossil-fuel industry.

    * Impact factor = how often a paper in that particular journal is, on average, cited within 2 years after comes out.

    In fact it is exactly the same mental flexibility you exhibit.

    You’re really quick to jump to really awful conclusions.

    the U.S. Industrial Revolution

    Not just the US, the entire West including Japan.

    The U.S. Industrial revolution is absolutely nothing compared to the Chinese & Indian Industrial revolutions of recent times yet the rate of temperature increase has not increased in a comensurate maner for the past 15 years. That is fact too.

    Looks like you still haven’t read the first screen of comment 20 in this very thread.

    Global temperature has been increasing by about .1C per decade since 1979. Without any explanation, NASA has added one decades worth to the temperature record.

    If you don’t like NASA, look at the other 3 temperature measurement series.

    Link to this
  43. 43. Carlyle 8:01 pm 01/29/2013

    I was a researcher & manufacture in solar & other alternative energy spheres for seven years. So you are a scientist. In which case how is it you have avoided my simple explanation about heat transfer?
    Other researchers rely on bodies like NASA & East Anglia & a few others. It is a relatively small group that print the commandments with a vast congregation spreading THE WORD. They all sing from the same song sheet. Their pays usually depend on it. No opposition allowed in the hallowed halls. If you were prepared to actually look you would find the discrepancies yourself. Its the THREE MONKEYS syndrome.

    Link to this
  44. 44. Carlyle 6:54 am 01/30/2013

    Re the numbers you ask for re rate of heat transfer. Again, logic will or at least should tell you, it could even be centuries. If there is only a slight increase in solar output, the transfer of heat energy to a point where it is measurable will take a very long time. Imagine a very large tank of water in a perfectly stable temperature environment. Add the equivalent of a match flame to the tank. It will raise the temperature but it could be centuries before it is measurable, depending on the volume, & years more before equilibrium. The arguments therefore, that because the output from the sun ceased increasing but temperatures on earth continued to increase, though argued by thousands of scientists, is plainly not valid. The same applies to other claims. Particularly those relying on small samples & models.

    Link to this
  45. 45. David Marjanović 10:03 am 01/30/2013

    how is it you have avoided my simple explanation about heat transfer?

    How is it you’ve avoided putting any numbers to it? You keep implying the Earth must keep warming for at least 35 years after the sun stops getting brighter; test that hypothesis at last!

    It is a relatively small group that print the commandments with a vast congregation spreading THE WORD.

    That applies to instrumental data. It does not apply to proxy data, and it doesn’t apply to the actual math done with those data.

    Their pays usually depend on it.

    And you say that right after I explained how ridiculous this is?

    Again, logic will or at least should tell you, it could even be centuries.

    I’m not much interested in what it could be in theory. I want to know what it is, with error bars.

    If there is only a slight increase

    “Slight” is not a number.

    Link to this
  46. 46. davidwogan 11:35 am 01/30/2013

    Let’s move on from the whole “scientists are making global warming up because their pay depends on it” line, because it’s distracting. As exciting as it sounds, there is no secret cabal of scientists making up data to win more grant money.

    And equating climate science to religious dogma, while convenient, holds no water either.

    Link to this
  47. 47. davidwogan 5:07 pm 01/30/2013

    @postman1 comment deleted for linking to Watts.

    Link to this
  48. 48. Postman1 4:54 pm 01/31/2013

    davidwogan So, are you outlawing links in your comments? Do you dispute the facts in the article I referenced? Mann has made six million dollars off his sermons. That is fact and brings his motives into question.

    Link to this
  49. 49. Carlyle 4:37 am 02/1/2013

    I have had my posts deleted too. The idea that SA is in a position to denigrate WUWT is laughable. As is the proposition that climate science is beyond reproach. As you no doubt know Postman1, the highly respected Tokyo Climate Centre uses the same raw data as NASA yet shows considerably less warming than NASA. The difference is in the way NASA adjusts the raw data. Now because of the ban on links toWUWT readers will have to wade through the data themselves from NASA GISS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom. A convenient comparison between these bodies is denied them. With the accompanying graphs & data links. Of course if this type of information & probing analysis was available in SA there would be no need to link to other sites. Instead SA readers are handfed what the authors think is good for them.

    Link to this
  50. 50. davidwogan 8:59 pm 02/1/2013

    Please read this post about commenting: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/01/31/housekeeping-note-on-comments/

    Link to this
  51. 51. Postman1 10:27 pm 02/1/2013

    davidwogan
    From your list of not allowed: “Debating established climate change and anthropogenic global warming science”

    ‘Established’ does not make it a ‘proven fact’.
    If we had followed this principle, the Earth would still be the ‘center of the Universe’

    So, either agree with you or go elsewhere?

    Link to this
  52. 52. Carlyle 12:52 am 02/2/2013

    This article states: The line plot above shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2011 as recorded by NASA GISS, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center, the Japanese Meteorological Agency, and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom. All four institutions tally temperature data from stations around the world and make independent judgments about whether the year was warm or cool compared to other years.
    What it did not state was that there is a substantial difference between the NASA figures & Japanese Meteorological Agency figures. This is dishonesty by omission & implies that they are all in agreement. Is that on topic? You will find the actual comparison if you go, guess where? Google Japan’s ‘Cool Hand Luke’ moment for surface temperature, for a detailed discussion on how NASA comes to a temperature .25 degres hotter in the period after 2000. This hides the decline.

    Link to this
  53. 53. Carlyle 1:05 am 02/2/2013

    The anomaly I refer to is displayed in the graph but there is no explanation. The graphic is also washed out, poor definition. The fact that the article concentrates on the highest figures from NASA also obscures the facts. Without discussing the anomaly, it is biased.

    Link to this

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