Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Weather is not Climate

An observation popular with one side of the climate controversy when the weather is unusually hot, with the other side when it is unusually cold.


At 7:22 PM, October 07, 2014, Blogger Shaddox said...

One side has abandoned the phrase "global warming" in favor of "climate change."

At 6:38 AM, October 08, 2014, Blogger August said...

CO2 is not climate either. Not by a long shot. The fertile crescent got turned into a desert without modern industry.

At 11:48 AM, October 08, 2014, Blogger Tibor said...


I'm not sure whether his data are accurate or not (but I am more inclined to trust Randall Munroe with his research than not), but otherwise it is a similar point (for the extreme cold case).

At 1:19 PM, October 08, 2014, Anonymous Laird said...

Tibor, I won't dispute Munroe's numbers (although it's entirely possible that he selected St. Louis because it gave the results he wanted), but the fact remains that globally the planet has been cooling for the last 17+ years (depending upon how you measure). Curious how that corresponds exactly with the time period Munroe cited, isn't it? Of course, over an entire planet one would expect there to be localized exceptions to the global trend, so citing one (or even several) cities doesn't really mean much.

Shaddox is correct: the CAGW crowd switched from "global warming" to "climate change" when the results didn't match their models' predictions and the cooling trend became widely known. It's a nice ambiguous phrase which covers a multitude of sins, and is hardly deniable (the climate is always changing. Yet still their models are worthless, and there remains no satisfactory explanation for the actual record.

At 11:58 AM, October 09, 2014, Blogger Tibor said...

Laird: Agreed. Although I am not sure about the exact number of years, I thought it was more like 10ish. However 10 years in such a huge thing as a global climate is almost like one day of weather in a month.

What it does show however is that the previous models were wrong because they did not predict that. It does not show that the warming has simply ended, but it indeed is a good reason to reexamine the methods used and the predictions policies are based on. Of course that is in theory. In practice you have a lot of lobbying going on, especially in Europe, of companies that live off the "green" energy and the subsidies and other benefits that come to them that way (including those who manufacture bio-diesel, which is not a sensible idea even from the strictly ecological point of view, I think even Greenpeace are against that now...but those biodiesel companies are already hooked and they won't let go easily).

What I find really irritating is the nuclear phobia (and here the word phobia actually fits well, because it really is mostly irrational fear), which is common, especially here in Germany. I think there are people who agrue that GW is a real problem who have some good points, but if those same people are also against nuclear energy (which is not perfect, but definitely a solution to a good deal of GW problems if they actually are serious), then I cannot take them seriously.

At 12:41 PM, October 11, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Global warming" was never "abandoned" in favor of "climate change"; for example, the IPCC has always been called "IPCC".

To be precise, the term is "anthropogenic climate change", for which "global warming" is a convenient shorthand. I recommend googling "luntz memo climate change" to see from where the push to change terminology came from.

Also, "anthropogenic climate change" is much more than warming surface temperatures. One of the best measures is ocean heat content. Examining the latest analysis


shows that there is no "pause", or "cooling" or "end" to manmade climate change.

It's unfortunate when those very unfamiliar with the evidence, data, and science pass off their uninformed opinions as fact.

At 9:22 AM, October 12, 2014, Blogger Paul Brinkley said...

Speaking of observations popular with one side of the climate controversy:

"No one is betting big on global warming not happening. No one's buying up coastal property on the premise that it won't be inundated, but will meanwhile go for temporarily low prices."

Struck me as an interesting argument. I honestly don't know of anyone buying up enough coastal property to make a headline, but other than that, and perhaps purchase of land at lower latitudes thought to grow too hot, it's hard to imagine another type of big bet one might back on the earth not getting warmer. Thoughts?

At 11:41 AM, October 12, 2014, Blogger Tibor said...

Paul: You first need people who are trying to get rid of coastal property because they believe it will soon be under water. Is this happening (i.e. is coastal property getting cheaper in time)? If not, then you might also argue that nobody is bidding on global warming causing severe ocean rise (at least in the near future).

At 5:35 AM, October 13, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Al Gore DID buy a rather expensive beachfront property back in 2010...

I seem to remember both the huffpo and the WP running with that story.


At 6:16 AM, October 13, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The legend says that graph shows heat content in joules, so in order to make it something a bit more comparable to the graphs we're used to seeing, I've worked out that the graph puts the increase at 0,0187 degrees kelvin between 1980 and 2014.
That's 0,0055 degrees a decade.

Interestingly, the difference between 1996 - 2014 temperature anomalies, which is considered a flat trend, is about -0.0052.

1996.83 0.237842
2014.75 0.232655
- http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/rss/from:1996.8/plot/rss/from:2000/trend/plot/rss/from:1996.8/trend

Here's my working out, it's possible I've made a huge mistake somewhere:

352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallons (worlds oceans - http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceanwater.html)
1,335,000,000,000,000,000,000 liters
1,335,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 g (1 kg = 1 liter water at 4 degrees celsius, so not 100% accurate)
100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 joule increase
25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (4 joules to increase 1 gram of liquid by 1 degree kelvin)
25/1335 = 0,0187 degrees kelvin between 1980 and 2014
0,0187/3.4 = 0,0055 degrees kelvin pr decade


At 9:39 AM, October 13, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous Changing the temperature of the entire volume of the ocean even a very small amount takes a tremendous amount of energy, as has been shown. Also, it has been shown that ocean heat content does not have a "pause" or a "hiatus".

RSS suffers from what Roy Spencer calls "spurious cooling". Why do you cherry-pick one dataset out of several and show only from 1998 onwards?

At 12:53 AM, October 14, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I picked the first dataset I found when I searched for temperature changes over the last ten years.

I chose the last ten years because that's when global warming is supposed to have stopped.

Whether changing the temperature of the entire ocean takes a tremendous amount of energy or not is rather esoteric considering the size of the system its occuring within.

The fact remains that global temperatures as seen in the oceans seem as flat as temperatures in the air, trend-wise, if we use comparable units of measurements, and the rise in ocean heat content actually seems pretty consistent since around 1900, though with how little historical data exists for it it's difficult to say.


At 2:18 PM, October 17, 2014, Anonymous js290 said...

We shouldn't assume we can predict either...

A changing, unpredictable climate should be the default null hypothesis.

At 6:47 AM, October 18, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous, repeat your analysis at WFT with one of the other surface temperature datasets. It will be most illuminating.

At 6:48 AM, October 18, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@js290 Climate isn't strictly speaking unpredictable. I predict that on 1 July 2100, it will be far warmer in NYC than it will be at the South Pole.

That's a climate prediction.

At 2:42 AM, October 20, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What's WFT?

At 6:21 PM, October 21, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous (excel)

WFT == "woodfortrees.org", from where you got your RSS numbers.

It provides a few other surface temperature analysis datasets.

At 7:05 AM, October 22, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you have any particular ones in mind?
On hadcrut 3 and 4 I end up with the ocean heat content graph looking even flatter by comparison.
(.3-4 ish for either one vs 0.005 for OHC).


At 8:19 AM, October 23, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you looking at ocean heat content or surface temperature?

At 6:04 AM, October 24, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking at ocean heat content compared to surface temperature, as you suggested.


At 12:08 PM, October 24, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@excel how are you looking at OHC and WFT? It's not one of the climate variables you can plot.

At 2:40 AM, October 27, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm using the same methodology as I used in the earlier comment. I don't need to plot the OHC any longer since I have those numbers in the earlier comment.


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