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CCNet 17/01/13

James Hansen (NASA) Admits Global Temperature Standstill Is Real

"Mean Global Temperature Has Been Flat For The Last Decade"


The GWPF has been right all along. In a new report Hansen, Sato and Ruedy (2013) acknowledge the existence of a standstill in global temperature lasting a decade. This is a welcome contribution to the study of global temperature. When others reached the same conclusion they have been ridiculed; so this admission should provide some pause for reflection by those who have attacked the very idea of a recent temperature standstill, often without understanding the data, focusing on who was making the argument and their alleged non-scientific motives. The bottom line is that the recent global temperature standstill is a real event. David Whitehouse, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 17 January 2013
 
 

The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.  --James Hansen et al., 15 January 2013 
 
 
 
 
The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest. The tenth-hottest result comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the three main global databases used to assess planetary temperatures and the only one of the three not so far linked to political climate activism. -- Lewis Page, The Register, 16 January 2013
 
 

Arctic sea ice extent today is, for all practical purposes, back to normal! That return to normal only means one thing. The “dramatic melt” of August 2012 had to have been reversed completely by an equally dramatic refreeze this winter. Unfortunately we’re not going to find any news stories about that in the media, are we? --P Gosslin, No Tricks Zone, 16 January 2013
 
 
 
According to a dynamic summary report on the home page of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group website called State of the Polar Bear, there are now 22,600-32,000 polar bears worldwide, when tallied by nation. This is a big change from the 20,000-25,000 that has been touted as the global polar bear population since 2005. If there could be as many as 32,000 polar bears worldwide, why have we not heard of this before?  --Susan J. Crockford, Polar Bear Science, 8 January 2013
 


Lord Lawson has accused Sir David Attenborough of ‘sensationalism’ as he focuses on the effects of global warming on the Polar regions during the finale of Frozen Planet. In the final episode of the popular series, Sir David claims that the Arctic could be ice free in summer by 2020 and polar bears are already dying due to a lack of ice. Writing in the Radio Times, Lord Lawson points out that certain populations of polar bears are rising and that sea ice cover is in fact increasing in Antarctica. “Sir David Attenborough is one of our finest journalists and a great expert on animal life. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to global warming he seems to prefer sensation to objectivity,” he said. --Louise Gray, The Daily Telegraph, 29 November 2011
 
 

Met Office’s Hadcrut4 global temperature data 1997 - 2012

 


1) David Whitehouse: Hansen Admits Global Temperature Standstill Is Real - The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 17 January 2013

2) 2012 Temperature Figures Confirm Global Warming Still Stalled - The Register, 16 January 2013

3) Arctic Sea Ice Back To Normal - No Tricks Zone, 16 January 2013

4) The New Polar Bear Boom - Polar Bear Science, 8 January 2013
 
 

1) David Whitehouse: Hansen Admits Global Temperature Standstill Is Real
The Global Warming Policy Foundation, 17 January 2013

The GWPF has been right all along. In a new report Hansen, Sato and Ruedy (2013) acknowledge the existence of a standstill in global temperature lasting a decade.

This is a welcome contribution to the study of global temperature. When others reached the same conclusion they have been ridiculed; so this admission should provide some pause for reflection by those who have attacked the very idea of a recent temperature standstill, often without understanding the data, focusing on who was making the argument and their alleged non-scientific motives.

According to Hansen et al. the Nasa Giss database has 2012 as the ninth warmest year on record, although statistically indistinguishable from the last 12 years, at least. Noaa says it’s the tenth warmest year. The difference is irrelevant.

Hansen discusses the possible contributions to global temperature in the past decade from stochastic variability and climate forcings. Personally I don’t think that the variations are demonstrably stochastic.

Very early in the report Hansen makes the statement; “Global temperature thus continues at a high level that is sufficient to cause a substantial increase in the frequency of extreme warm anomalies.” To say that such an assertion is debatable is an understatement.

La Nina Years

Hansen has an explanation as to why the year was only the ninth warmest. He says that much of 2012 was affected by a strong La Nina that kept temperatures down. In fact less than half of the year was so affected. In addition, the warming El Ninos and the cooling La Ninas of the past decade or so are not responsible for the standstill in global temperatures. Rather they provide quasi-oscillations around a constant mean. Such is the lack of a trend in global temperatures that a moderate El Nino is enough to push an individual year’s mean temperature to be a record, though still statistically indistinguishable from previous years.

Hansen says; “Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades. We conclude that background global warming is continuing, consistent with the known planetary energy imbalance, even though it is likely that the slowdown in climate forcing growth rate contributed to the recent apparent standstill in global temperature.”

I don’t think this is a safe conclusion. Looking at the last three La Nina’s (1999-2000, 2008 and 2011-2012) I think it unwise to use the first one for any comparison. It occurred immediately after the very unusual El Nino of 1998 (said by some to be a once in a century event) and clearly the two subsequent La Nina years must be seen as part of that unusual event. It would be safer not to include 1999-2000 in any La Nina year comparisons. Which leaves us with two, 2008 with a temperature anomaly of 0.49 and 2010-11 which has 0.66 and 0.54. That’s not a great difference, and besides one shouldn’t look for trends with just two datapoints. You cannot conclude anything about background warming from this data.

In addition there is no similar effect in El Nino years; 2002-04 is 0.60 – 0.59, 2006-07 is 0.59 – 0.62 and 2009 is 0.59.

Hansen says that the continual warming since the mid-70s has been associated with greenhouse gasses. His attribution of the global temperature standstill between about 1940 – 1980 as being due to a balance between aerosol cooling and greenhouse gas warming is not as well established as he portrays it; he also contradicts himself when he adds that there is no satisfactory quantitative interpretation of this period because we just don’t know enough. It is also not the explanation that the IPCC attributes to this period which says it can be explained by solar and volcanic effects.

The bottom line is that the recent global temperature standstill is a real event. It is explained in a hand-waving way as due to natural climatic variations masking the long-term trend, even if we do not understand those natural variations. Some believe the standstill might be pointing the way to a deeper revision of our understanding of climate. One thing is clear the stuff you heard until very recently about mankind’s signal of warming being the strongest (and getting stronger) is wrong. The standstill has already taught us that.

Feedback: david.whitehouse@thegwpf.org
 
 
2) 2012 Temperature Figures Confirm Global Warming Still Stalled
The Register, 16 January 2013

Lewis Page

The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest.

The tenth-hottest result comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the three main global databases used to assess planetary temperatures and the only one of the three not so far linked to political climate activism*.

The NOAA says that the 2012 average was 14.47±0.08°C, which makes it the tenth hottest in its records. Preliminary figures released last November ahead of the Doha carbon talks by the World Meteorological Organisation, which averages all three datasets, suggested that the year would be ninth hottest and NASA agrees. However the difference is not a big one: the projected WMO figure was 14.45°C.

However one slices it, the world has not warmed up noticeably since 1998 or so, though all three datasets show noticeable warming in the two decades prior to that. The UK's Met Office acknowledged this fact in November, with the Office's Dr Peter Stott saying:
"We are investigating why the temperature rise at the surface has slowed in recent years, including how ocean heat content changes and the effects of aerosols from atmospheric pollution may have influenced global climate."

Since then the Met Office has radically amended its warming forecast for the coming decade, such that if the forecast is right there will have been essentially level temperatures for two decades or more - a fact which has caused much comment in climate-sceptic circles.

Nonetheless a majority of academic climate scientists still contend that global warming will definitely resume in the near future.

Full story
 

3) Arctic Sea Ice Back To Normal
No Tricks Zone, 16 January 2013

P Gosslin

Arctic sea ice extent today is, for all practical purposes, back to normal! That return to normal only means one thing. The “dramatic melt” of August 2012 had to have been reversed completely by an equally dramatic refreeze this winter. Unfortunately we’re not going to find any news stories about that in the media, are we?



Ice and many other climate developments are only one-way dramatic for the warmists, i.e. only when it melts, and not when it refreezes.

“Oh! But hold on!” some of you out there may say. “It’s thickness (i.e. volume) that’s really important, and not area.”

Yes, that’s correct. But how come we never here the media talk about ice volume in August? In August, suddenly only area counts. Funny how they bring up volume only when ice refreezes and things are back to normal.

If you do look at volume (Antarctica and the Arctic), then there really is nothing to worry about. Global ice volume varies by only a few thousandths of a percent globally each year – even over decades. I discussed this once already not long ago HERE.

Full story
 

4) The New Polar Bear Boom
Polar Bear Science, 8 January 2013

Susan J. Crockford

This afternoon I came across some startling information. There are now 22,600-32,000 polar bears worldwide, when tallied by nation. This is a big change from the 20,000-25,000 that has been touted as the global polar bear population since 2005.

According to a dynamic summary report on the home page of theIUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group website  called State of the Polar Bearthere are now 22,600-32,000 polar bears worldwide, when tallied by nation.

Here are the numbers, by nation, listed in the State of the Polar Bearsummary report (see map below):

Canada                              13,300-17,500
USA                                     1,200-1,800
Russia                                  2,700-4,800
Norway                                1,900-3,600
Greenland
(Denmark)                        3,5000-4,400
Total                            22,600-32,000



The “Nations” page of the Polar Bear Specialist Group’s “State of the Polar Bear,” a dynamic summary that can be launched from the home page of the IUCN PBSG  http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/dynamic/app/ [published Oct. 15, 2012] Click to enlarge.
The “Nations” page of the Polar Bear Specialist Group’s “State of the Polar Bear,” a dynamic summary that can be launched from the home page of the IUCN PBSG website, http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/ [published Oct. 15, 2012] Click to enlarge.

This is a big change from the 20,000-25,000 that has been touted as the global polar bear population since 2005 (see Aars et al. 2006; Obbard et al. 2010) and my post on polar bear population estimates.

I found nothing to explain the difference in these two estimates in theState of the Polar Bear feature – or elsewhere on the PBSG website. Indeed, the “population status” page of the PBSG website still says: “The total number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be 20,000 – 25,000.”

In the State of the Polar Bear feature, there is a “subpopulations” map where  population estimates are given for each of the 19 recognized subpopulations. Surprisingly, 7 subpopulations are given an estimate of 0 (that’s zero). Greenland, all of Russia, and Norway have no estimates given on the subpopulation map. These three countries cover more than half of the Arctic! However, these same countries are given credit for 8,100-12,800 on the population-by-Nations page. [In addition, two Canadian subpopulations - Foxe Basin and Viscount-Melville – also get a zero on the subpopulations page while the total for Canada on the population-by-Nations page is substantial]

I have never seen an estimate of 22,600-32,000 for polar bears given before – where did these numbers come from?

One explanation is that despite the PBSG insisting that it has no valid population estimates for Russia, Greenland and Norway, it must have. If it didn’t, why produce a map listing polar bear populations by nation in the first place?

Suggesting that Russia, Greenland and Norway have no polar bears (i.e. zero) would be patently untrue. So the PBSG had to provide polar bear population estimates for these three nations.

Apparently, the PBSG were confident enough of their population estimates for Russia, Greenland and Norway to commit these numbers to their “State of the Polar Bear” summary that’s featured on the front page of their website.

If there could be as many as 32,000 polar bears worldwide, why have we not heard of this before? Is this another example of data being kept secret?[see previous discussion here and here]. Or is something else going on?

Full story

 

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