Thursday, April 25, 2013

Denier Weirdness: WUWT says Watch Out for the Ice Age!

Sou | 10:11 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

On WUWT today, Anthony Watts has posted an article by Ed Hoskins, who is saying that:
....the reversion of our planet to a real ice age is foreseeable.

Ed doesn't say when he thinks this 'foreseeable' ice age is likely to occur.  Let's see what he bases it on to see if we can get a clue.  Here is some of Ed's "evidence", Central England temperatures (CET) of the past twelve years!  (Click on any chart to enlarge it.)

Ed's got way too many lines in the way to see what he's talking about.  We need to get rid of them to see more clearly.  Here's a cleaner chart of CET for the period 2000-2012 from Met Office data.

As you can see, the temperature for the past decade lies above the 1961-1990 mean, except for 2010 when it dipped below by 0.6 degrees Celsius.  I wouldn't recommend trying to draw any conclusions from Ed's 'trend lines'.

Central England is Getting Warmer

How about we look longer term, going back to the 17th Century.

It got pretty cold at the end of the 17th century, then plateaued from the mid-18th century to the late-19th century, then started going up.  Today's CET temperatures are 2.5 degrees Celsius above the lows of the late 17th century!

Let's look more closely at more recent CET temperatures from 1880 to 2012.

Ice age?  It doesn't look like it.

In any case, you won't be able to tell what's happening globally from temperatures in one location.  Ed picks two - Central England and Greenland.  Two isn't sufficient, either.  Funny how some deniers say that three to six thousand locations aren't enough to see global temperature changes, while others like Ed Hoskins seem to  think one or two locations are ample.

Here's the global land-surface temperature trend from NASA.

About the Central England Temperature Record

The UK Met Office website describes the CET thus:
The CET dataset is the longest instrumental record of temperature in the world. The mean, minimum and maximum datasets are updated monthly, with data for a month usually available by the 3rd of the next month. A provisional CET value for the current month is calculated on a daily basis. The mean daily data series begins in 1772 and the mean monthly data in 1659. Mean maximum and minimum daily and monthly data are also available, beginning in 1878.
These daily and monthly temperatures are representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Lancashire, London and Bristol.

Ed doesn't seem to know all that much about these data, he writes:
It has not been adjusted as have so many other official temperature records.
In contrast, the Met Office states:
The daily series begins in 1772. Manley (1953,1974) compiled most of the monthly series, covering 1659 to 1973. These data were updated to 1991 by Parker et al (1992), when they calculated the daily series. Both series are now kept up to date by the Climate Data Monitoring section of the Hadley Centre, Met Office. Since 1974 the data have been adjusted to allow for urban warming.


  1. I know that I pitched this here recently, but there's a free app (very big download, but very easy to use) that anyone can use to debunk Watts' claims about the global temperature record.

    The link to the app is: http://tinyurl.com/NASA-HANSEN4

    It will run on any newer Mac or Windows PC/Laptop, and can be installed and run with just a series of mouse-clicks per the quickstart instructions provided (see the link on the right side of the download page).

    The app combines a clickable Google Map display of GHCN temperature stations with a program that computes average temperature anomalies "on the fly" from the stations you select. You can compare your own raw and adjusted data results with the official NASA results.

    Play with the app a bit, and you will find out how amazingly easy it is to confirm the NASA results (and debunk Watts favorite claims) with just a series of mouse-clicks.

    Folks who are interested can find more detailed info in my previous post about this, here: http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/04/anthony-watts-is-extremely-hot-on-china.html?showComment=1365830143040#c7636671441052155221


  2. OK, bear with me while I get a bit obnoxious and toot my own horn here...

    Some time ago, I posted a link to the global-temperature software package to realclimate.org. I got this response from Dr. Eric Steig (professor and reaclimate blogger):

    "Very nice..." (link: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/02/urban-heat-islands-and-u-s-temperature-trends/comment-page-1/#comment-319694)

    I also posted a link to the software on my twitter account and got this tweet from a climate-scientist in Europe (https://twitter.com/JPvanYpersele):

    "JPascal van Ypersele ‏@JPvanYpersele 19 Apr

    Want to see by yourself how robust the global average temperature signal is? Check this. Amazing!"

    The software package is all very straightforward "boilerplate" stuff from a programmer's perspective -- the global-temperature averaging algorithm is really quite simplistic compared to the NASA algorithm.

    But the package does do a nice job of demonstrating how incredibly robust the NASA results are -- the very simplistic averaging routine implemented in the package can replicate the official NASA results amazingly closely, even when applied to *raw* temperature data.

    I'd like to encourage folks to download the package (even though it's a pig of a download at 1GB) and give it a try -- then burn it to a DVD and share it with others.


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