Friday, January 23, 2015

Tim Ball does a Denier Don on the top of a very cold ice sheet in Greenland

Sou | 1:51 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Globally, what were the coldest 300 years since civilisation? In the past 10,000 years? What were the warmest and what were the coldest and how do they compare to the 21st century. It's an interesting question and one to which there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer. The best answer looks to be the coldest 300 years in the Little Ice Age.

There have not been a lot of attempts to reconstruct global surface temperatures of the entire Holocene. It's tricky. One of the hardest things is getting an indication of what has happened in the southern hemisphere. There's not much land down here compared to the northern hemisphere and the seas are deep. Still, intrepid scientists have been putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The PAGES 2k Consortium has been working out past temperatures in different parts of the world, and reporting other aspects of past climates. It's an ongoing project.

Marcott13 was a reconstruction that caught the eye of the denialati. I don't know what it was that they didn't like about it but I think it still holds the record for the greatest number of protest articles from deniers in the shortest amount of time. Probably the fact that it showed how warm it's starting to get these days, compared to the past, didn't endear the work to the denialati.

Here is a chart of the Marcott reconstruction together with temperatures of the instrumental era (GISTemp), all as an anomaly from the 1961 to 1990 mean (which is the base year for Marcott13).

Data sources: Marcott13 and NASA GISS

The highs and lows of the instrumental record can't really be compared directly to Marcott13, because the former is annual while Marcott13 has a much coarser resolution - decades to centuries. What is fairly clear is that early last century was very cold and now it is very hot by comparison with the Holocene as a whole.  You can see the Little Ice Age to the right of the chart, not long before the modern instrumental chart. It looks to have been the coldest period in the Holocene by a large margin.

It's not possible to tell from the Marcott reconstruction whether the planet is now the hottest ever since civilisation began. There was a warm period around 8,000 years ago. However we must be getting close to the hottest and have probably by now exceeded it. And it will only get hotter over the next few decades, particularly if we keep burning hydrocarbons.

Tim Ball claims (I can use that word too) that the current global surface temperature is now no higher than the coldest 300 years of the past 10,000 years. The chart above shows just how far off the mark is silly old Tim Ball. Look at the 2014 temperature and then compare it to the coldest period - the Little Ice Age.

Tim Ball claims the world is as cold as the summit in Greenland at minus 32 degrees 

Tim is doing a Don Easterbrook (whatever happened to Denier Don?) and claiming (there I go again) that the surface temperature at a particular site on the ice sheet in Greenland is identical to the average surface temperature of the entire world. Now I for one thinks he needs to get out more. Perhaps he should go to Bangkok and see if the temperature there is really minus 30°C. He'll find it's a tad warmer and a lot more humid than it is on the top of an ice sheet in Greenland. It's around 60°C hotter than the ice sheet in Greenland.

2014 is as cold as the coldest years of the Little Ice Age! What?

Tim starts off badly, with this headline and opening paragraph:
2014: Among the 3 percent Coldest Years in 10,000 years?
We were told in October, before 2014 was over, that it was heading toward being the warmest year on record (Figure 1). The visual link of Polar Bears underscored the message. In fact, 2014 was among the coldest 3 percent of years of the last 10,000, but that doesn’t suit the political agenda.
To be "among the coldest 3 per cent of years of the last 10,000" would make last year among the coldest 300 years of the last 10,000. Let's think about that.

The little ice age lasted from around 1450 to 1850 according to the latest IPCC report. That's 400 years. So this year was at least as cold as the coldest 300 years of the little ice age? Really? This is from the IPCC report:
Since the end of the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago, global surface temperatures have probably fluctuated by little more than 1°C. Some fluctuations have lasted several centuries, including the Little Ice Age which ended in the nineteenth century and which appears to have been global in extent.
The IPCC also provides a comparison:
The limited available evidence from proxy climate indicators suggests that the 20th century global mean temperature is at least as warm as any other century since at least 1400 AD. Data prior to 1400 are too sparse to allow the reliable estimation of global mean temperature.

So there isn't sufficient data to compare the current global surface temperatures with those prior to 1400. But Tim Ball is undeterred by the sparsity of data. He wrote:
1. The instrumental data is spatially and temporally inadequate. Surface weather data is virtually non-existent and unevenly distributed for 85 percent of the world’s surface. 

See how he's contradicted himself already? He says that the instrumental data is inadequate (he's wrong of course). This contradicts his certainty that this year is at least as cold as the coldest 300 years of the Little Ice Age.

UHI was discovered centuries before the first climate science denier was born!

Tim doesn't know much about climate or temperature records at all. He wrote:
The UHIE was one of the first challenges to the claim of AGW evidenced in the instrumental record. Two graphs produced by Warwick Hughes were the most effective and appeared in 1991, shortly after the first IPCC Report in 1990.

That's a joke, surely. The Urban Heat Island effect has been known for almost as long as people have been keeping temperature records. One of the earliest papers discussing it was by Luke Howard in the early 1800s as described by Gerald Mills (h/t Raoul). It's been accounted for since the early days of global surface temperatures analysis. James Hansen discusses UHI and how he tested and allowed for it in his 1988 paper, and referred to other studies that also discussed the effect:
An additonal issue or uncertainty about the derived global temperature change is the following: How much of the change is a result of the growth of urban heat island effects? There is abundant evidence that the growth or development of urban areas is a significant contributor to local temperature trends [Mitchell, 1953; Landsberg, 1981; Cayan and Douglas, 1984; Karl, 1985; Kukla et al., 1986].

Phil Jones, another of the key scientists who have been analysing global surface temperature for decades, was also well aware of UHI from the early days. He discussed UHI in his 1986 paper, for example:
Four major factors affecting station homogeneity have been identified (Mitchell, 1953; see also the summary by Bradley and Jones, 1985):
(i) changes in instrumentation, exposure and measurement techniques;
(ii) changes in station location (both in altitude and position);
(iii) changes in observation times and the methods used to calculate monthly means; and
(iv) changes in the environment around the station, particularly with respect to urban growth
All of these pre-date any fake sceptic cries of "UHI, UHI, UHI". Deniers often get their wrong science from distorting what little they learnt from the real sceptics (scientists). They then fake it, as if they were the ones who discovered something new. When not only did they not discover anything new, they can't even apply what they did discover properly.

That doesn't apply to Tim Ball. He is not a climate scientist and he wouldn't even qualify as a fake sceptic. He falls far short. He is a conspiracy nutter of the anti-Semitic New World Order/One World Guvmint type. Akin to Jo Nova and the Galileo Movement crowd.

Thermometers are "spatially and temporally inadequate", so let's just go to Greenland

I'll skip over a lot of Tim's article. It's a gish gallop as is usual for Tim. Let's get to the nub of his argument. You'll recall he wrote right at the beginning that:
1. The instrumental data is spatially and temporally inadequate. Surface weather data is virtually non-existent and unevenly distributed for 85 percent of the world’s surface. 
His memory is appalling, because in the very same article he wrote:
Some form of the title for this article could work. “2014: Among the 3 percent Coldest Years in 10,000 year.” Figure 10 shows the Northern Hemisphere temperature for the period variously called the Climatic Optimum, the Hypsithermal, and the Holocene Optimum.
Except this was his Figure 10 - a chart of temperatures from an ice sheet in Greenland. Here is Tim's chart (click to enlarge it). I've added the arrow. Guess why :D

Source: WUWT

Tim cites Dahl-Jensen et al 1998 indirectly (with no reference), so I thought you may be interested in comparing what Dahl-Jensen had for the GRIP record. It's from Figure 3 (b):

Figure 3: The contour plots of all the GRIP temperature histograms as a function of time describes the reconstructed temperature history (red curve) and its uncertainty. The temperature history is the history at the present elevation (3240 m) of the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet (21). The white curves are the standard deviations of the reconstruction (18). The present temperature is shown as a horizontal blue curve. The vertical colored bars mark the selected times for which the temperature histograms are shown in Fig. 2.... (B) The last 10 ky BP. The CO is 2.5 K warmer than the present temperature, and at 5 ka the temperature slowly cools toward the cold temperatures found around 2 ka. Source: Dahl-Jensen et al (1998)

Let me draw your attention to the Y axis on both charts. Tim's chart has the summit of an ice sheet in Greenland showing above freezing temperature. Quite a way above. Surely enough to melt the ice sheet some. By contrast, the scientists from whom Tim's source claims to have got the data show the temperature between minus 35°C and minus 28°C for the entire 10,000 years.

Do you think Tim Ball believes that the entire surface of the earth has an average temperature in the minus 30s? That the earth is covered in an ice sheet and all the oceans have frozen over? Or perhaps Tim really thinks that the GRIP site in Greenland has had a surface temperature ranging from 0°C to 7°C for the entire Holocene. Or maybe that the average surface temperature of Earth ranges from 0°C to 7°C.

It's the last. This is what he wrote:
The red line, added to the original diagram, imposes the approximate 20th century temperatures (right side) against those of the last 10,000 years. As CO2Science noted from Dahl-Jensen (1998),
After the termination of the glacial period, temperatures increased steadily to a maximum of 2.5°C warmer than at present during the Climatic Optimum (4,000 to 7,000 years ago).
The key phrase in the 2014 claim is, “in the record”, but that only covers approximately 100 years. In the climatologically meaningful 10,000-year context, it is among the coldest.

If there was any sense in that (which there isn't for several reasons), it would be the equivalent of claiming the world is boiling over because the weather in the Simpson Desert has been rather warm of late.

Here's a map of Greenland showing the site of GRIP. It's way up high on the summit of the ice sheet. Slap bang in the middle of Greenland. It must be one of the coldest spots in Greenland (and the world).

Source: Nature (2004)

Deniers quote deniers, not science

You'll also probably be wondering why Tim is quoting some denier who is quoting a paper in Science mag. Why didn't he just go to the paper directly? Well, deniers have a curious tendency to only quote other deniers. They probably think they'll get infected with science if they read an actual scientific paper. Besides, it gives them an "out" when they misquote and misrepresent the paper they are writing about. They can say that they "only" repeated what someone else repeated, who was only repeating what some other denier was repeating, who was only repeating what some other denier was repeating etc.

A more recent study of Greenland

You might also wonder if Tim explored any more recent papers. (No, I know you're not really wondering that. Tim wouldn't.) Anyway, here is a chart from Kobashi et al 2011. It's a reconstruction of Greenland temperatures of the past 4,000 years only. So it doesn't include much of the Holocene climatic optimum or whatever you want to call it.

Figure 1 (bottom) Past 4000 years of Greenland temperature. Thick blue line and band are the same as above. Thick green line represents 100-year moving averages. Black and red lines are the Summit [Box et al., 2009] and AWS [Stearns and Weidner, 1991; Shuman et al., 2001; Steffen and Box, 2001; Vaarby-Laursen, 2010] decadal average temperature, respectively. Blue and pink rectangles are the periods of 1000–2010 C.E. (Figure 1, middle) and 1840–2010 C.E. (Figure 1, top), respectively. Present temperature is calculated from the inversion adjusted AWS decadal average temperature (2001–2010) as −29.9°C (Figure 1, top). Present temperature and ±2σ are illustrated by lines in the plots. Green circles are the current decadal average temperature as above (−29.9°C, 2001–2010). Kobashi et al (2011)

This isn't directly comparable to the ice core temperature reconstruction of Dahl-Jensen et al. Here are a couple of excerpts from that paper, my emphasis:
The estimated average Greenland snow temperature over the past 4000 years was −30.7°C with a standard deviation of 1.0°C and exhibited a long-term decrease of roughly 1.5°C, which is consistent with earlier studies. The current decadal average surface temperature (2001–2010) at the GISP2 site is −29.9°C. The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century-long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years, a period that seems to include part of the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Notwithstanding this conclusion, climate models project that if anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions continue, the Greenland temperature would exceed the natural variability of the past 4000 years sometime before the year 2100....
...the Greenland temperature trend diverges from the global trend in the last 168 years, which raises the possibility that much of the trend is due to natural variability, and makes it more difficult to attribute the recent warming in Greenland to increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere...
...Greenland temperatures of the past 1000 years were found to be significantly correlated with Northern Hemispheric (NH) temperatures (r = 0.35–0.44; depending on different NH temperature reconstructions) with an amplitude 1.4–2.3 times larger than the NH temperature likely owing to polar amplification [Kobashi et al., 2010]. 

So you'll see that the temperature trends in Greenland do correlate fairly well with Northern Hemisphere temperatures of the past 1000 years, although they have a lot bigger ups and downs. And in the past couple of centuries it's diverged from the global trend.

Tim Ball dons his tinfoil hat

Tim doesn't make any sense at the best of times. In most of his article he doesn't seem to be denying that 2014 was a record hot year. Not until you get to this bit:
The claim that 2014 was the warmest on record was politically important for proponents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) story that human CO2 was causing global warming. Central to that argument was the need to prove late 20th century temperatures were the “warmest ever”. This is why the 2014 claim conveniently appeared before the Conference of the Parties (COP) meeting in Lima Peru, at which the false IPCC claim was desperately promoted. Political importance of the measure was accentuated by the continued, 18+ years lack of increase in global temperature.

Tim cannot leave off his tin foil hat for more than a moment. Remember he thinks that climate science is a plot hatched by some Jewish bankers in the 1800s, or something like that. He tends ot mix up his paranoid conspiracy theories so one is never sure which is his conspiracy theory of the day.

And at risk of temperature overload - here is a temperature anomaly chart showing what it was like in Tim's 18+ years ago - or 18 years before last year, which would make it 1996. The world has got a lot hotter over the past 18 years.

Data source: NASA GISS

From the WUWT comments

The mods are slipping at WUWT. They've allowed a couple of normal people in, to poke fun at the idiocy that deniers mistake for "science".

icouldnthelpit starts the ball rolling:
January 21, 2015 at 8:07 am
Complains that “The instrumental data is spatially and temporally inadequate” and then relies on Greenland Ice Core temps to prove The whole Earth has been a lot warmer in the past 10,000 years. Got it.

rooter is next to congratulate Tim, writing:
January 21, 2015 at 8:42 am
It is just fantastic. This could be a classic. Surely beats the interpolation in gistemp. 

Bob Boder isn't impressed with the mirth. I don't know if Tim's idiotic article impressed Bob or not.
January 21, 2015 at 10:01 am
wow you let icouldhelpit beat you! how much did that cost you to be second.

whiten decides it's time for a lecture on the difference between climate and weather. Apparently one year (2014) is climate and not a yearly cycle when compared with 10,000 years of weather. Or is it the other way around? Maybe 2014 is only climate if Tim Ball compares it (badly) with the last 10,000 years. Otherwise it's just a yearly cycle. Or something.
January 21, 2015 at 10:13 am (extract only)
“It is just fantastic. This could be a classic. Surely beats the interpolation in gistemp.”
Yes rooter it is fantastic…..especially while it shows that people like your self can not distinguish between climate and weather, or yearly cycles.
Estimating and evaluating the particular 2014 in the format of 10,000 years is a climatic evaluation.
I know this make no heads or tails for you thus far….be patient.
A climatic evaluation or estimation is not calculated only on temp variations,….. like the measured amount of warming or cooling during the year…..but actually through the CS metric…. the amount of temp variation in accordance to CO2 emissions.
Whatever value of CS you fancy, according to the reality this is the higher CO2 emission-concentration year for the last 10,000 years with an amount of warming that makes this year with the less ever “amplifying” of warming, meaning that the 2014 regardless of so much CO2 in atmosphere shows no “amplifying” and therefor showing that there is no warming whatsoever but actually the climatic signal is one of cooling, to the extent of it been the higher COOLING CLIMATIC signal for this year than any other year for the last 10,000 years.
Sorry but you know we have this thing the CS you know, and it has a meaning and a use for, is not a figment of imagination…….it is the main climatic metric, for better or worse. 
So in the climatic estimation, like when you say the warmer or colder year ever (evah), or for any time with a length beyond a 100 years, this year belongs to the 3% of the coldest years for the last 10,000…..actually with a very very high possibility of it been the coldest ever (evah) for the last 10,000 years.
In a weather or yearly or even a decade time span estimation… it could be whatever you or any one else fancies to be….and I would not really care, as I my self more interested in the climate and climate change than weather……..But when claiming an estimation in the bases of the term “since the records began” than you are in a climatic estimation by default, so to speak.
So no matter how many record warming years you have according to the simple weather or yearly cycles estimations, or how many such record years you may “produce”, it does not really mean anything in climate terms,…………… that is why these crazy records make not even a dent to the plateau or the hiatus…or put another way….these record years can not give you back that large amount of the missing heat, no matter what, because that is all to do with climate and not weather…….
hope this is not very complicated in principle..
Oh, sorry about that. I was only going to post part of that comment, but it just kept getting better and better. The short version is: 2014 isn't climate except when Tim Ball says that 2014 is as cold as the coldest 300 years in the Little Ice Age. Otherwise, 2014 is just weather. And lots and lots of record hot years in succession without any record cold years doesn't mean the climate is changing. And anyway "hiatus" and "missing heat" - so there!

mike is an eloquent WUWT-er, isn't he. I wonder what would happen to icouldnthelpit and rooter if they wrote a comment like this at WUWT:
January 21, 2015 at 11:45 am
@rooter and icouldnthelpit
Hey root/pit! You two have quite a dynamic-duo, tag-team act going here! My compliments! And since you two puckish hive-wits are obviously the hive’s go-to-guys for smart-lip snark (not to mention your unequaled skill at positioning your opening comments at the very tippy-top of the comments section of “denier” posts (again, my compliments)), let me ask you two, knee-slapper-genic pros to help me out a bit, by allowing me to draw on that special, snot-nosed, dork-humor gift of yours.
Mike goes on to boast how he reads HotWhopper but cannot understand the science. He also indicates that he doesn't know what the hottest year on record is but he's convinced himself that it can't be 2014. And no, the chances of it NOT being the hottest year is NOT 62%. (Mike may be quite good at language from the gutter ("grope up a coupla, choice, drippin’ snark-goobers I could use in my little zinger-project?"), but he'd never pass a stats test.)

Deniers are really weird. Here's Anything is possible writing:
January 21, 2015 at 9:28 am
Tell it to Phil Jones – he insists you can determine the temperature of the Southern Hemisphere to an accuracy of one-thousandth of a degree on the basis of one thermometer.

Bob Boder imitates Anthony Watts, who often jumps down Nick Stokes throat without any provocation at all, and accuses him of being paid to "troll" at WUWT. (Nick, who has the patience of a saint and is always polite and on point and rarely gets ruffled. And who is willing to spend some hours helping out a fake sceptic when asked. One of the very few people that Anthony desperately needs to keep on side for that touch of normality.) I mean they have a point. It does take a lot out of one to read the tripe and try to inject a little science sense into the nonsense there.
January 21, 2015 at 10:00 am
Man you must really like your job! how much do you get paid to be the first one to post on every single article? Either you are really desperate for cash or trolling pays really well. let me in on who you are connected to I could do a great job of sound like fool for the right amount of cash. 

It often comes back to money at WUWT. Deniers can spend lots of time wailing and protesting the science but not bother with small details like citations or labelled figures. See the mods response to Barry who wrote:

January 21, 2015 at 10:50 am
Sorry, but I would prefer to see figures with clear captions (and references) that stand on their own. These blogs seem to often be hastily written and posted, with poor attention to detail and technical writing standards. This site could really use an editor (I understand Anthony cannot do it all himself).
[Send money. .mod]

Perhaps Nick Stokes and icouldnthelpit can donate some of the zillions of dollars they are being paid to troll WUWT. Would that ensure that Tim Ball labels his charts? (Or maybe Anthony could use the subscriptions he collected from the suckers who joined his secret open society.)

Just one more exchange and then I'll stop. This thread is a gold mine of deneirisms. It is rich pickings for anyone wanting to research the motivation of denial. Sir Harry Flashman is getting a bit sick and tired of the silliness and writes:
January 21, 2015 at 8:10 am
I suggest you take time off from the hair-splitting, conspiracy theorizing, and sophistry to take a trip up north in Canada or Alaska, where the warming is undeniable even to the most skeptical observer.

Lawrence decides that a bit of goal-post-shifting is in order: 
January 21, 2015 at 8:42 am
It may be warmer, but aren’t you missing the point? Warmer than what? Any of the last 100 years, or any of the last 10000 years? Which is most important?

While mark is desperately trying to wriggle out of any responsibility for global warming. (I remember being shocked to the core when someone I thought I knew showed the same tendencies ("it's not my fault"), rather than what any responsible person would say "what can we do to help fix the problem".) 
January 21, 2015 at 9:20 am
So prove we had anything to do with it.

More here. Like I say, this sixth (or is it the seventh) protest article provides a lot of psychological insight into the weird world of deniers.

Marcott, Shaun A., Jeremy D. Shakun, Peter U. Clark, and Alan C. Mix. "A reconstruction of regional and global temperature for the past 11,300 years." science 339, no. 6124 (2013): 1198-1201. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026 (pdf here)

Hansen, James, and Sergej Lebedeff. "Global trends of measured surface air temperature." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres (1984–2012) 92, no. D11 (1987): 13345-13372. DOI: 10.1029/JD092iD11p13345 (pdf here)

Jones, P. D., S. C. B. Raper, R. S. Bradley, H. F. Diaz, P. M. Kellyo, and T. M. L. Wigley. "Northern Hemisphere surface air temperature variations: 1851-1984." Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 25, no. 2 (1986): 161-179.  doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/1520-0450(1986)025<0161:NHSATV>2.0.CO;2 (Open access)

Dahl-Jensen, Dorthe, Klaus Mosegaard, Niels Gundestrup, Gary D. Clow, Sigfus Johann Johnsen, Aksel Walløe Hansen, and Niels Balling. "Past temperatures directly from the Greenland ice sheet." Science 282, no. 5387 (1998): 268-271. DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5387.268 (pdf here)

Kobashi, Takuro, Kenji Kawamura, Jeffrey P. Severinghaus, Jean‐Marc Barnola, Toshiyuki Nakaegawa, Bo M. Vinther, Sigfús J. Johnsen, and Jason E. Box. "High variability of Greenland surface temperature over the past 4000 years estimated from trapped air in an ice core." Geophysical Research Letters 38, no. 21 (2011). DOI: 10.1029/2011GL049444 (open access)


  1. Here is the temperature the last one-and-a-half century at the GRIP site, up to 2009. Note that temperatures the last decades were about 1 degree higher than the previous decade, which is the decade that I presume Dahl-Jensen et al (1998) is referring to when they write "present".

    So that would put present temperatures at level with much of the past 10,000 years..

  2. Richard Alley talks about what we can learn from Greenland ice cores at Dot Earth.

    Choice quote:

    "So, using GISP2 data to argue against global warming is, well, stupid, or misguided, or misled, or something, but surely not scientifically sensible. And, using GISP2 data within the larger picture of climate science demonstrates that our scientific understanding is good, supports our expectation of global warming, but raises the small-chance-of-big-problem issue that in turn influences the discussion of optimal human response."

  3. Sou,
    I think it would be for the best if you didn't use the "0.36 C in the last 18 years" graph that highlights the difference between the individual annual temperature anomaly for 2014 and 1996. I'm surprised no one has called you on it yet, and I think this the second article where it's been used. It's pretty meaningless when "they" do it and no less so when you do it.

    1. It's entirely valid to use it in response to the claim there's been no warming in 18 years, and Sou isn't using it for anything else.

    2. Appreciate your thoughts, MarkB. The linear trend says it better but not so emphatically as clearly comparing the two years on the chart. I was making a strong point that it's warmed quite a lot in the last eighteen years. Only a denier would talk about "18+ years lack of increase in global temperature".

      I'm curious about our comment on "they". Who are "they" and where have "they" shown that 2014 was 0.36 degrees Celsius hotter than 1996? (If "they" is the deniers at WUWT, mostly I've only seen them try to wrongly claim there's been zero warming in 15, 16, 18, 20, 21 plus years.)

    3. I do not understand MarkB's point either. Sou is not doing a "peak to peak" comparison. If Sou wanted to cherry pick some peaks and dips, she could have made the increase look more than 0.36C.

    4. MarkB does have a point and when I'm not being snarky I talk about trends rather than making year to year comparisons.

      In this case there's some but not a huge amount of difference. Not enough to quibble over IMO for the point I was making - which was both taking a dig at deniers for using year to year comparisons and cherry picking start dates, as well as showing that there has in fact been a substantial hike in temperature. (Different if you were wanting to know precise numbers.)

      1996 is a tad below the trend line (from 1971 to the present) but not by all that much much. 2014 is sitting right on the trend line. For comparison the linear trend from 1971 to the present is 0.166C/decade, equivalent to 0.3C over the 18 years since 1996.

    5. I'm curious about our comment on "they". Who are "they" and where have "they" shown that 2014 was 0.36 degrees Celsius hotter than 1996?
      I'm speaking to the mis-informer tactic of, for example, subtracting current year from a particularly warm (usually 1998) previous year and claiming "no warming" or "cooling". Of course that can't be done with a record setting year like 2014, so I'd hoped to be spared from seeing it for a year. Not a big deal, but I'd prefer staying on the scientific high road.

  4. I've been seeing the Jensen paper kicked around and misrepresented quite a bit in the wild lately. Most notably by Rick Cina over at Livescience.

  5. "this year belongs to the 3% of the coldest years for the last 10,000…..actually with a very very high possibility of it been the coldest ever (evah) for the last 10,000 years."

    A large number of people writing comments at WUWT seem to be paid by Greenpeace.

    1. You mean paid troll commenter to make it look like the website's readers are complete idiots?


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