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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More about the hot weather in North America, and more

Sou | 11:59 PM Go to the first of 67 comments. Add a comment

In the comments today, under the article about the extreme weather around the world these past few days, there was a claim that "It was warmer in the US in 1955". There was nothing else except a link to two maps of the USA. The top map was labeled 2015 and the bottom map was labeled 1955. The maps were coloured but there was:

  • no legend
  • no date
  • no information that would explain anything about what the charts were meant to represent.

That sort of behaviour is more common on denier blogs than it is here at HotWhopper. Anyway, it prompted me to do some reading and research, and in the process I got diverted a bit into US temperature records, and trends in diurnal temperature range. So this article is a bit of a wander, and a bit long.

How hot was it in 1955 in the USA?

First, though, let's see about the very short and somewhat cryptic comment from HotWhopper reader, Andy Wilkins. He wrote that it was warmer in the US in 1955. But was it? No, it wasn't. At least not if you are looking at mean annual surface temperatures.

Below is a chart showing the annual mean surface temperature for the contiguous USA from 1895 to 2015 (average to November). I've marked the mean temperatures for 1955 and 2015, and this year so far is 1.31 °C hotter than the annual mean temperature in 1955.

Data source: NOAA ClimDiv

Now if Andy had somehow mistaken 1955 for 1954, then the difference between then and now would have still been 0.41 °C . That is it's been 0.41 °C hotter this year so far than it was back in 1954. (Note: The US temps and chart were corrected shortly after posting.)

I dug a bit deeper into Andy's comment, which took me around deniersville. I found myself tripping from the blog of a UK denier to a video from a US denier. The image that Andy linked to turned out to be from a YouTube video from Joe Bastardi, the science denying weather forecaster from Weatherbell. He's the chap who four years ago said that we are heading for mini ice age. Oops!

Data source: GISS NASA

Anyway, here is the basis for the claim that it was hotter in 1955 in the USA. It's a map of the NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis of temperature around North America for 24 December in 1955 and 24 December in 2015. I've animated it to show the same day for both years. Yes, it's just a day - not the whole year.

Source: Joe Bastardi on YouTube
There is a huge blob of very cold air over the north west in 1955, which is smaller and warmer in 2015. There's also a big blob of cold air to the east that isn't there this year. The red blob of warm air is also bigger and positioned differently in 2015 than it was in 1955. It stretches right the way up to the Arctic this year. In 1955 it was positioned over the middle of the USA. More of the contiguous USA (not including Alaska) was warm, but in different parts to this year. Averaged overall, though, North America and its surrounds were warmer this Christmas Eve than in 1955.

By the way, the image that Andy linked to had a lot of the cold bits cropped out from 1955 and warm bits cropped out from 2015. Here it is, so you can compare it to the images from Joe Bastardi's video as shown just above:

Source: denier blog of Paul Homewood who cropped it from a video by Joe Bastardi

I wonder if what Andy was trying to say was that there was nothing unusual about the temperatures in the USA recently, despite the records being broken. And despite the fact that Joe Bastardi had to trawl all the way back to 1955 to even get close to the recent temperatures - and he could still only find one day! Even then the denier map had to chop off the surrounding regions, because they spoilt the story. (Or maybe he was wanting to say that climate science is a hoax because ... Christmas Eve.)

To complete the 1955 to 2015 picture, here is an animation using the NCAR reanalysis, comparing December 24 in 1955 with December 24 in 2015. The plots are in Kelvin. It was quite a bit hotter on Christmas Eve this year pretty well everywhere. Notice the polar regions, and the tropics.

Data source: NCEP Reanalysis

The point is...

Whether or not the mean daily temperature on 24 December for the contiguous USA was as warm or nearly as warm as it was this year on 24 December might be interesting if you play Trivial Pursuit. However it tells you next to nothing about the overall warming trend in the USA, or North America, or the entire world.  And neither does it detract from the fact that this December has seen some very unseasonal warmth across eastern North America (and much of western Europe, too).

It's been warm in much of the USA

Here is how Bob Henson and Jeff Masters at described the unseasonal warmth this December:
Hundreds of records were buried by sunshine, warmth, and humidity instead of white-Christmas snowfall all across the eastern U.S. during the holidays, especially on Thursday and Friday. Christmas Day was the apex for the north-south breadth of warmth, with record highs set from Florida (82°F in Jacksonville) to Maine (62°F in Portland). Many records on Thursday and Friday were smashed by margins of 10°F or more. The Christmas Eve readings of 72°F at Albany, NY, and 68°F at Burlington, VT, both set all-time records for December. As noted by WU weather historian Chris Burt, these are truly impressive records given the late date in a month that gets progressively colder, not to mention the long periods of record at both sites (since 1883 in Burlington and 1874 in Albany). Chris adds that Philadelphia has seen eight days this month through Sunday with record daily highs: “Not since records began in Philadelphia back in 1874 has any other month of any single year experienced as many daily record highs as this December!” The capital of Christmas commerce, New York City, basked in record warmth of 72°F on Thursday and 66°F on Friday. As of Sunday, Central Park had yet to get below 32°F this fall or winter; its monthly average (12/1 – 12/26) of 52.0°F was running at an astonishing 13.8°F above normal and 7.9°F above the previous December record, going back to 1871. A cooldown this week will reduce that value, but a warmest-on-record December is all but certain for much of the eastern U.S. It’s no wonder that flowers and shrubs are blossoming from Washington to New York.

Daily records USA

Below is a table from NOAA, listing the daily records broken in the last week and month.

Hi Max
Hi Min
Low Max
Low Min
Last 7 Days 1,210 1,412 29 12 534 127
Last 30 Days 3,902 5,364 319 276 2,778 663
Last 365 Days 28,682 40,491 18,527 11,384 29,967 6,874
Month to date 3,879 5,301 166 159 2,572 610
Year to date 28,637 40,425 18,098 11,192 29,881 6,736

The table below shows the number of daily low maxima and low minima as a percentage of the daily high maxima and minima. Over the last week and month, the lows were all less than 10% of the highs. In the last seven days, the number of record low minima was only 0.8% of the record high minima


Low Max Low Min
Last 7 Days 2.4% 0.8%
Last 30 Days 8.2% 5.1%
Last 365 Days 64.6% 28.1%
Month to date 4.3% 3.0%
Year to date 63.2% 27.7%

Monthly records USA

The tables above are the daily records. Below are the monthly records.

Hi Max
Hi Min
Low Max Low Min Precip-itation Snowfall
Last 7 Days 26 145 0 0 20 1
Last 30 Days 56 283 9 10 238 19
Last 365 Days 1,437 2,081 512 451 1,170 476
Month to date 56 283 1 0 232 19
Year to date 1,437 2,079 504 451 1,168 469

The chart below shows the number of monthly record low maxima and minima as a percentage of the monthly record high maxima and minima, which in all cases were more than the record lows. In the last seven days, there were no recorded record monthly low minima.

Low Max Low Min
Last 7 Days 0.0% 0.0%
Last 30 Days 16.1% 3.5%
Last 365 Days 35.6% 21.7%
Month to date 1.8% 0.0%
Year to date 35.1% 21.7%

It's easy to see how unusual the most recent week and month have been. Given global warming, it's not unexpected that there are more high records than low records.

Fewer low minima records than low maxima records

Over the past year for the USA the low maxima average out at around 64% of the high maxima, while the low minima are only around 28% of the high minima.

I've had a look at the literature to see why night time minima would be rising more than daytime maxima. Sometimes I read about how a reduction of the diurnal range of temperature is a sign of global warming, or at least that nights should warm faster than days. After reading up a bit, I discovered that it's not that simple. (An extensive study was done a few years ago (in 2006), which documented changes in extreme temperature (and precipitation) across the world.)

There have been a number of papers on the subject of trends in diurnal temperature range (DTR). The classic paper is from 1999, by Aiguo Dai, Kevin E. Trenberth and Thomas R. Karl - the title is self-explanatory: "Effects of Clouds, Soil Moisture, Precipitation, and Water Vapor on Diurnal Temperature Range". Cloud cover makes a difference. As the authors wrote: "Clouds can reduce Tmax by reflecting the sunlight and increase Tmin by enhancing downward longwave radiation".  Clouds are not all the same, though. Different clouds have different effects. Soil moisture and precipitation also make a difference, for example there can be a cooling effect of evaporation at the surface in the daytime, which is less at night.

If you're interested in exploring the subject, I've listed some references below. As I said, it's not straightforward. Here is something to whet your appetite, from the concluding section of Dai99. It's quite long, and you'll probably see why I decided not to try to summarise. It's complicated:
Our analysis of the daily data from the FIFE site and the global weather stations shows that clouds, soil moisture, and precipitation can reduce the surface diurnal temperature range by over 50% compared with clear sky days, while atmospheric water vapor increases both the Tmin and Tmax and has small effects on DTR over most land areas except the northern high latitudes where DTR tends to be larger in high humidity days in winter and autumn. Changes in wind directions, such as those associated with the passing of synoptic systems, can greatly alter the daily mean temperature but generally do not affect DTR significantly at the FIFE site. Clouds, which contribute most of the DTR reduction and largely determine the mean magnitudes of DTR over most regions, reduce DTR by sharply decreasing surface solar radiation and thus the daytime maximum temperature, while soil moisture increases surface latent heat releases and slows down the temperature rise during the day in warm seasons. However, surface sensible heat fluxes tend to offset a large part of the latent heat release anomalies and make soil moisture less effective in damping DTR. Precipitation affects DTR mostly by increasing the soil moisture content while its direct damping on DTR is relatively small. The nighttime minimum temperature is largely controlled by the greenhouse effect of lower atmospheric water vapor, while the daytime maximum temperature depends heavily on the surface solar heating, which is strongly affected by cloud cover, and the amount of it that is released into the air by sensible and latent heat, which depends on soil moisture content. Stronger winds tend to reduce DTR over islands, western Europe, and some other coastal areas, but have a small effect on DTR over most inland areas.

Correlations between the nighttime minimum temperature and total, low, middle, and high cloud amounts are weak in all seasons in low latitudes and in summer in high latitudes. This suggests that, except for the winter high latitudes where solar radiation is at a minimum, the nighttime greenhouse warming effects of clouds tend to balance their daytime solar cooling effects on afternoon temperatures, resulting in small net effects on the nighttime minimum temperature. This further suggests that clouds damp DTR mainly by reducing the daytime maximum temperature over most land areas while their downward longwave radiation contributes little to the DTR reduction mainly because it has a relatively small diurnal asymmetry. Our results are consistent with those of Power et al. (1998), who find that over Australia annual precipitation, which is highly correlated with cloud cover, negatively correlates with Tmax but generally not with Tmin.

Clouds with low bases are found to be most efficient in reducing the daytime maximum temperature and DTR. High and middle clouds have only moderate damping effects on DTR mainly because they are usually optically thinner than clouds with low bases.

The reduction of DTR by clouds is largest in warm and dry seasons (e.g., SON for many northern midlatitude regions such as the United States, southern Canada, and Europe) and smallest in the winter high latitudes where sunshine is largely absent. This is expected because during warm and dry seasons surface latent heat release is limited so that the daytime maximum temperature depends more on the solar heating and thus clouds.

A later paper by Ryan Eastman, Stephen G. Warren and Carole J. Hahn (2011) showed that total cloud cover increased from the middle of last century through to the late 1990s, but then decreased, mostly because of a reduction in low level cloud. Over the same period high clouds increased. That paper also looked at the relationship between cloud cover and sea surface temperature, which was interesting and showed some differences in different parts of the oceans.

In 2012 there was a paper published in 2012 by Ryan G. Lauritsen and Jeffrey C. Rogers, in which they discussed different factors affecting the diurnal temperature range in different regions across the USA. Just as the other papers demonstrated, the relationships are not simple, with different factors dominating in different regions.  That is, different regions have different patterns of cloud cover, precipitation, and soil moisture. The diurnal temperature difference can also be affected to some extent by atmospheric circulation teleconnections.

I don't know if there's any consensus about what the future will hold for clouds of different types in different regions. It's hard enough for scientists to figure out cloud cover from observations. (Read this paper by Seiji Kato et al to get an idea of some of the difficulties, and how different estimates of cloud cover will lead to very different estimates of radiative forcing.)

References and further reading

Alexander, L.V., Zhang, X., Peterson, T.C., Caesar, J., Gleason, B., Klein Tank, A.M.G., Haylock, M., Collins, D., Trewin, B., Rahimzadeh, F. and Tagipour, A., 2006. "Global observed changes in daily climate extremes of temperature and precipitation". Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012), 111(D5). doi:10.1029/2005JD006290. (open access)

Dai, Aiguo, Kevin E. Trenberth, and Thomas R. Karl. "Effects of clouds, soil moisture, precipitation, and water vapor on diurnal temperature range." Journal of Climate 12, no. 8 (1999): 2451-2473. doi:<2451:EOCSMP>2.0.CO;2 (open access)

Ryan G. Lauritsen and Jeffrey C. Rogers, 2012: "U.S. Diurnal Temperature Range Variability and Regional Causal Mechanisms, 1901–2002." J. Climate, 25, 7216–7231. doi: (open access)

Ryan Eastman, Stephen G. Warren, and Carole J. Hahn, 2011: Variations in Cloud Cover and Cloud Types over the Ocean from Surface Observations, 1954–2008. J. Climate, 24, 5914–5934. doi: (open access)

Kato, Seiji, Sunny Sun‐Mack, Walter F. Miller, Fred G. Rose, Yan Chen, Patrick Minnis, and Bruce A. Wielicki. "Relationships among cloud occurrence frequency, overlap, and effective thickness derived from CALIPSO and CloudSat merged cloud vertical profiles." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 115, no. D4 (2010). DOI: 10.1029/2009JD012277 (open access)


  1. Also the observed trends in the diurnal temperature range have a much higher uncertainty than the trends in the mean temperature. Many reasons for inhomogeneities (many changes in the observational methods) affect the maximum and minimum temperature in the opposite direction. As a consequence, the breaks in DTR are larger than those in the mean temperature. Some examples:

    Change in response time of instrument: a very fast thermometer can measure turbulent changes in temperature. A slower instrument would average them away, making the maximum temperature smaller and the minimum temperature larger.

    Changes in radiation errors. If radiation can come onto the instrument there will be a (solar) warming bias during the day and an (infra-red) cooling bias during the night.

    Changes in location. There are often strong spatial differences in the diurnal temperature range, which for example depends on the distance from water or the amount of vegetation.

    1. Thanks, Victor. Another new thing I've learnt today.

  2. Linking to that one picture was clearly deceptive of Andy Wilkins. So stupidly deceptive that I would almost wonder if he is an agent provocateur of Greenpeace.

    The other sources do show that it is just one day and a critical reader could thus see that this has nothing to do with climate change, but only illustrates that the weather is quite variable. I hope these warm winters will not again lead people to assume we will never have cold or snowy winters anyone and no longer prepare. Weather will not magically stop in future.

  3. "To complete the 1955 to 2015 picture, here is an animation using the NCAR reanalysis, " that has me trying to push back my eyes in their sockets still.

  4. Shall we have a sweepstake on Andy's response?

    1. He returns to mount a brilliant defence of his original post. We are all impressed and convert to the dark side.

    2. He returns to add further disinformation while ignoring all else. We are not impressed and make unkind remarks.

    3. He disappears into the void (possibly returning much later and with a new sock). We barely notice.

    4. He has his "Road to Damascus" moment and converts to the light side. Half of us have to be medicated

    1. Can I get medicated anyway? I have a relative posting articles favourable to Donald Trump on my wall, one of which linked to a "new" site that suggested Obama is a gay Muslim transvestite.

    2. Transvestite?

      Well at least I'll give your relative credit for originality (or access to resources I've never heard of). I've never heard that one before.

      Medication recommended.

  5. Life on Earth cannot afford this rate of record-breaking to continue for any appreciable time.

    It just can't.

    1. No.
      Or civilizations. How about another 1, 2 years of drought in South-Africa - the country will implode.

    2. iirc, when climate change became a public issue things used to be phrased in term of "by 2050". Nowadays all that seems far too optimistic: the debate is how much of the extreme weather (and to all too many people that means disasters)right now is down to climate change.

      The only thing that seems to be entirely unaffected is the denial. To judge by his concerns, Anthony cannot possibly be living in California anymore.

    3. Totally crazy December in Holland - but climate revisionists here keep going on with their tripe.

      Climate revisionism is unaffected because it presents like ideology akin to religion (in fact it is criminal).

      The thugs may be silent for a while in the UK, though Cameron (whose cabinet is owned by Shell) absolutely keeps sucking.

  6. As interesting as the N.A. temps are, the arctic is simply gone nuts. Longyearbyen, Svalbard: "The warm season lasts from June 15 to September 4 with an average daily high temperature above 41°F. The hottest day of the year is July 23, with an average high of 48°F and low of 42°F."

    Current temperature: 43F.

    That's insane since considering they haven't seen the sun since October 27th. Two months with no sun and the temps are as high as mid-summer?

    Global warming? Arctic amplification? Of course not - it's the sun .... oops :)

    1. Tomorrow thaw at the very north pole.
      Is this my planet?

    2. It was a bit colder the only time I went to Longyearbean ... in July 2012!

    3. There are Russians on Svalbard: those people have insane steam pipe plumbing.

    4. On Wednesday, the North Pole will be warmer than Western Texas, Southern California, and parts of the Sahara.

    5. The forecasted temperatures are now evident in the onsite data. Buoy 300234062785480 located at 85.45N rose 25C in 9 hours (and is now above freezing). It was -24.3C at 0600 hours (day 363.25) and +1.0C at 1500 hours (day 363.626).

      Table of buoys.

      Datafile for 300234062785480.

      That's just 472km - or 293 miles - from the north pole.

    6. For newcomers to HotWhopper who didn't get Millicent's snark:

  7. Nice review! Take a look at hot it is the Arctic right now:

    2016 is going to be scary - and probably deadly.

  8. Now DON'T WORRY, any of you! Here in the US, we have Lamar Smith heading our science board. He'll be SURE to get to the bottom of this weather... uh... stuff!


  9. Hi Sou,
    Glad to see I've got you thinking!
    What does all the (admittedly very interesting) above data have to tell me?
    It tells me that temp differences over the decades are minimal and definitely nothing to worry about.

    That is the nub of the problem that AGW proponents have to deal with - the average educated man or woman on the street notices the differences of mere tenths, or even hundredths, of a degree that you complain about and finds hysteria about such tiny differences deeply unimpressive. They also see the kind of nasty weather that you get worried about being no different to the nasty weather they have occasionally experienced throughout their lives.
    People are far too busy leading their very busy lives to genuinely care about lowering their "carbon footprint" and this is one of the many reasons why CO2 levels continue to rise. Admittedly, there are an extremely small number of people who pay lip-service to the AGW meme by buying a bicycle or putting some extremely expensive and inefficient solar panels on their roof, but they are a mere drop in a huge ocean of people who couldn't care less.

    I'm afraid you've lost a battle that nobody else wanted to fight or even cared about. If you were winning the battle CO2 levels would be static or even falling.

    Some might accusimg me of trolling - I'm just telling you how it is out in the real world away from the COP junkets and pages of the Guardian.

    That will be all I have to say at your site, as I don't want to start a protracted argument that I know will change neither of our minds. I just want to (genuinely) thankyou for listening to what I have to say with good grace and manners.


    1. That would be a (2) then.

    2. Andy the real world happily acknowledges science. You and your fellow travellers are the outliers.

    3. Really, Andy, your response is really stupid...there is no other way to put it.

      Compare mean temps in December 1955 with December 2015.

      "What does all the (admittedly very interesting) above data have to tell me?
      It tells me that temp differences over the decades are minimal and definitely nothing to worry about."

      Compare the cryosphere in 1955 and 2015, you utter idiot!

      It's great you find it 'very interesting', when are you going to use data in a coherent way?! Why are AGW rejectionists so stupid?

    4. "It tells me that temp differences over the decades are minimal and definitely nothing to worry about, because temperatures above freezing at the North pole in the middle of the Arctic winter are perfectly normal."

      Thanks, Andy. That clears things up nicely.

    5. Well we've seen 1, 3, and 4 falsified. But I don't think 2 captures the ignorant superciliousness and baseless superiority held together with a dash of sexism. Probably a bit of giggling in his mind as he typed too.

      Need a better hypothesis than mere disinformation, I think.

    6. 5. He returns to completely deny reality while simultaneously acting like a complete twat, then runs away.

    7. @ Millicent, call it a 2+.

    8. Just so people know what the ratings mean - read Millicent's comment here.

      I'm no longer surprised that there are wilfully ignorant deniers who boast that they are members of the illiterati, and want to harm the world. History going back thousands of years shows that humans are capabable of much good and much evil, and there's undoubtedly always been a bottom 8%.

    9. We educated Men-In-The-Street know that 1.5 is only 0.00015% of one million. Therefore, we laugh at the alarmists who insist that it's unwise to ingest 1.5 milligrams of cyanide per kilogram of body weight.

    10. The temperature point is well made - the majority of people don't understand what it actually means for a rise in temperature of 0.01C globally. I try to instil an understanding of energy in my students so they can see that a temperature rise means an increase in thermal energy in the system. Once you see how much energy is involved, a small global temperature rise no longer looks trivial.

    11. Just another climate revisionist criminal. Go lecture in York mate. Or Asunción. Or on the Missippi where historic flooding is shaping up now. Go lecture in Chennai.
      I know you won't, you coward.

    12. Lots of people have already pointed out some of the errors in Andy's thinking. I don't think anyone has yet pointed out this mistake:

      >>"If you were winning the battle CO2 levels would be static or even falling."

      CO2 is a well-mixed greenhouse gas. To even get to a steady state of CO2 levels would require an immediate reduction of 70% to 80% of current global emissions from all sources, ie from burning coal, burning oil in motor vehicles, deforestation, cement production and the rest. If we suddenly stopped adding any CO2 to the air, then CO2 levels would drop because it would continue to be absorbed by the ocean and biosphere for as long as it is out of balance. We'd probably have to cut current emissions by more than 80% to see Andy's drop in CO2 levels - and maybe more.

      That is quite unrealistic. It won't happen right away it will take several decades, so Andy is misguided at best.

      The other thing is, of course, that even when we do get CO2 to a steady state (assuming we are successful in getting that far), then the extra CO2 will still have an effect on climate for thousands of years in the future. The most noticeable effect will be over the coming thousand years or so. The warming that we've already seen is said to be irreversible for generations, but not unstoppable - Damon Matthews and Susan Solomon have written:

      "...the warming that has already occurred as a result of past anthropogenic carbon dioxide increases is irreversible on a time scale of at least 1000 years (5, 6). But irreversibility of past changes does not mean that further warming is unavoidable."

    13. This was just posted on Verheggen's blog:
      (below )

    14. Andy Wilkins sez:

      That is the nub of the problem that AGW proponents have to deal with - the average educated man or woman on the street notices the differences of mere tenths, or even hundredths, of a degree that you complain about and finds hysteria about such tiny differences deeply unimpressive.

      Educated is one thing, Andy, but you also have to be informed. "Tenths or even hundredths of a degree", eh? How about an anomaly that's currently more than *1 whole deg C* above the 1951 - 1980 baseline! Such a huge increase over such a short time frame represents an astounding amount of energy that we have trapped largely with mankind's CO2 emissions.

      Part of the reason the public is so blasé about the AGW issue is that there are plenty of wilfully ignorant (and ideologically motivated) people like you around telling them there's no problem. Hope that makes you feel good about yourself.

    15. Metzomagic, Andy Wilkins is ignoring the fact that millions of people are already aware of the escalating impacts of climate change. Wilkins is simply pulling the blinds down on his view of the world so that he can see only those like-minded folk in his inner circle, and he is extrapolating back out from his funnelled-vision.

      Meanwhile, in the real world, the impacts of global warming are expanding out like ripples on a pond, but unlike ripples they are increasing in effect as they radiate from their temporal initiation points. By the time that Wilkins' ilk realise what's coming, there will be tsunamis bearing down implacably on their heads... and on those around them who were frustrated by the inaction that the Wilkins of the world have sowed and nurtured for so long.

    16. Agree, Bernard. Andy's claim about the average educated person on the street is as wrong as his claims about climate. As is usual with deniers, he provides no evidence for that claim either.

      See my comment here.

    17. Metzomagic:

      "Such a huge increase over such a short time frame represents an astounding amount of energy that we have trapped largely with mankind's CO2 emissions."

      My guess is that Andy would say that if you walked outside on two otherwise equal days, but the first is 20˚C and the second is 21˚C, you would hardly notice a difference. This is the thinking of someone who doesn't understand global contexts. I'd bet he thinks that the global temperature difference between glacial periods and interglacial periods is on the order of tens of degrees Celsius.

      As always, there's a relevant XKCD:

  10. It's just natural variation and besides we won't know the real Arctic temps until the UAH datasets (Version 7.0 The Force Awakens) are in for this period (some time in early 2017).

  11. The very cold blobs in 1955 you say are over the north west are actually over Canada. Looking at just the U.S., it definitely looks warmer over the U.S. in 1955 than 2015.

    1. Except that the actual temperature records prove you wrong.

    2. " definitely looks warmer over the U.S. in 1955 than 2015..." the midwest, on the 24th of December of the respective years.

      Looking [reluctantly] at the archived rejectionists prattle, it seems they are exercised by a claim made somewhere? that Xmas 2015 was warmest ever in the US...however a helpful commenter at No Brains Zone notes that this claim was never made. The misdirection was built from an Accuweather article that forecast the warmest ever Xmas eve "to unfold across the eastern US"...not at all the same claim ,eh?

      The axis of stupidity that is Bastardi/Heller/Gosselin holds firm as ever.

    3. You're spot on, Nick. When disinformers like Joe Bastardi run out of ideas they build straw men for mugs like Cam and Andy and Paul Homewood to regurgitate mindlessly and ad nauseum.

      It's a hard slog in the science denial game these days, with all the extreme weather, hottest years coming one after the other.

      They've got a year or maybe two to come up with their next brainwave. (Too early for "it's been cooling since 2017".)

    4. "It was warmer on about 2% of the Earth on one day 60 years ago, therefore the observed global warming trend since then is disproven! is, ahem, my natural superiority!"

      Why is there even a discussion of this in a global warming blog? The thesis is patently stupid as a scientific question worthy of comment from the get-go. As any "educated man or woman on the street" clearly knows.

    5. Did Cam know that I was talking about the continent when I wrote 'North America', not just one country (the USA)?

    6. You wrote this "He wrote that it was warmer in the US in 1955". I was just pointing out that the very cold region in the graphic that you say countered this but was cut out was not in the U.S. but in Canada. This means he's technically correct. And for this I'm a mug?

    7. Is that what passes for trying to cover up your error, Cam? It looks as if you have a bad case of confirmation bias. I said nothing about "countering". Read the article again, for example this bit. Or this comment, and this.

    8. BTW - read this comment again. It indicates where the muggery lies.

  12. Replies
    1. Hm, remembers me of one 'Brad Keyes'. Though then he changed his style.

    2. Your link goes straight to google -- which turns up a baseball player and a business consultant. Did you have one of them in mind, or none of the above?

  13. I was curious enough to check. Yes, Christmas Eve of 1955 set quite a few then-records for maximum temperatures in the central US -- Wichita, KS hit a high of 28.3 °C, nearly 25 °C above normal. However this was a specific weather phenomenon, with much of November and early December of that year being very cold.

    Just another cherry-picked point given out of context by the usual suspects.

    December 1955 was notable for its many extremes of weather in the United States. The cold of the preceding month continued well into December, but with some amelioration from the record levels reached in the Northwest [1]. In the Southwest, a sharp return to warmer weather resulted in record high temperatures for in some areas."

    The Weather and Circulation of December 1955

    1. The link doesn't work as formatted above.

    2. Thanks, Magma. Interesting read. Another link to that paper:

      While warm on Christmas Eve in 1955, there were devastating floods in the west.

  14. I said I wouldn't comment again, but I feel I have to say one more thing:
    The outpouring of vitriol and hysteria from commenters is quite a sight to behold.
    Sou has been perfectly polite, but the commenters have not, which is a shame.
    I'll be saving this page, both as digital and hard copies. In years to come it'll be instructive to place it back up on the net to illustrate how deranged some people became about AGW.

    And that really is all from me,
    Warmest wishes,

    1. we knew you'd be back. can't help youself, can you?

    2. "Your response is really stupid..." My god, the vitriol and hysteria - how do we stand it? Calling a spade a spade is neither vitriolic nor hysterical, Andy.

      I've commented at WUWT and Goddard's and read many other threads where I didn't comment. In the realm of vitriol and hysteria this site is *nothing* compared to the treatment even respected scientists often receive there.

      But thank you for your concern.

    3. Straight from the handbook:

    4. Unlike Andy, I see no sulfuric acid poured out anywhere at all in these comments. Nor do I detect any wandering uteruses.

    5. @Andy Wilkins

      If you choose to post a wheedling tone comment instead of seriously addressing the criticisms and points raised about your "cut and pastes" then you should expect some derision. It is hardly hysteria and bile.

      Try engaging with the discussion. You might be surprised at how you might start to examine critically what you are promoting.

    6. "In years to come..."

      But when exactly will these years be coming?

    7. Kevin and "Your response is really stupid..."

      I would go further and taking a leaf out of a book of a great physicist of the past "Your response is not even stupid...", and that really goes for your latest playing the victim.

  15. Somewhat off topic: temperatures have been extreme in Sweden, average anomalies for december so far (about 3-6C above):

    Far worse was a week or two ago, with average temepratures in excess of +10C, see (scroll down slightly).

  16. I think it's been obvious for a while that Andy Wilkins is a denialist troll who will never post anything better than horrible garbage. He even bragged trollishly in the previous post of his 'starring role' in this one. Please banish him to the HotWhoppery, Sou.

  17. I have daffodils in full flower in my garden, with buds starting to swell on the apple tree and ther grass needs cutting. In December, at 51.2 degrees North 0.3 degrees East, unflipping real.

    1. Indeed:


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