Could 2010 be the hottest year on record?

The numbers are in, and it looks like the “global cooling” theory just melted away.

A new independent statistical analysis of climate records for the past 130 years confirms that the global temperature trend continues upward. The study was performed for The Associated Press by four independent university statistics experts. The four were given blind data sets and asked to analyze the trends, not knowing they were analyzing temperature data to remove any possible bias.

1nasa-2007.jpg

NASA annual surface temperature anomaly relative to 1951-1980 mean, based on surface air measurements at meteorological stations and ship and satellite measurements of sea surface temperature.

Some climate change skeptics have been claiming that the earth has been cooling since 1998, which until that time was the hottest year in the 130 global year surface record. 2005 was slightly hotter according to a NASA analysis. According to NOAA the last 10 years are the hottest decade anywhere in the modern global historical record.

It is remarkable statistically that the 13 warmest years in the modern record have all occurred since 1990. The fact that the 13 warmest years since 1880 could have occured by accident after 1990 corresponds to a likelihood of no more than 1:10 000. That’s the equivalent of flipping a coin and having it come up “heads” 14 times in a row.

Some climate change skeptics point to solar variability as the primary reason for climate changes on earth. The problem is, we’ve just observed two of the least active sunspot years in the last century in 2008 and 2009 during the current solar minimum. You would expect then that those two years would be cooler than average globally if the solar cycle theory is valid.

Instead, 2008 was the 8th warmest year in the global temperature record. And event though parts of the U.S. have been running cool in this year, globally 2009 is on pace to be the 6th warmest year on record. That pretty much shreds the solar variability only theory on global temperatures. Why did we observe two “top 10″ warmest years during the lowest period of solar activity in nearly a century? Something else is at play here. Atmospheric changes are likely overcoming any natural solar variability.

Climate Forcing Graph.png

Climate forcing graph shows solar variability as a much smaller climate change forcing component than greenhouse gasses.

(Sent to me by Kerry Emanuel MIT, based on Meehl et al. (2004) courtesy globalwarmingart.com)

This brings us to 2010, which is right around the corner. Several key elements appear to be in place that could produce one of the hottest years, if not the hottest year, in the modern global record.

1) The cooling effects of La Nina are gone in the Pacific Ocean. A moderate El Nino is gaining strength as we enter 2010. This may aid a rise in global temperatures in 2010.

2) The deepest solar minimum in nearly a century appears to be over. Sunspot 1029 formed rapidly this week and is the strongest this year. This could indicate the ramping up of solar cycle 24. Most astronomers expect a dramatic increase in solar activity in 2010.

If all these elements fall into place and the trend of recent decades continues, 2010 could be one of the hottest years on record.

Stay tuned.

PH

  • Andy

    Thanks for the nice article. I came across an article at http://www.icecap.us entitled “Comments on AP story: Statistics experts reject global cooling claims” that suggested the study overlooked something called the upper ocean heat content. What do you think about that?

    Thanks.

  • Paul Huttner

    Hi Andy:

    Thanks for the comment.

    I think the evidence is overwhelming that all measures of the planet are statistically much warmer than any sort of normal level in recent history would suggest.

    Let’s see where we are after 2010 and in the next 5 to 10 years.

    PH

  • http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/ Bob Tisdale

    Paul Huttner: A few things. You attribute the Climate Change Attribution graph to Kerry Emanuel, but it’s actually from Global Warming Art:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Climate_Change_Attribution_png

    The graph is obsolete. It relies on an outdated (1993) Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction that was manufactured, in part, to explain part of the the rise in global temperature in the first half of the 20th Century. The current understanding of TSI variability shows little change in solar minimum:

    http://i40.tinypic.com/zjb977.jpg

    I discussed this in detail here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/agw-proponents-are-two-faced-when-it.html

    As you imply, global temperature variations are dictated by ENSO. This is confirmed by Knight et al (2009) “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?”:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/global_temperatures_09.pdf

    They write, “El Nino–Southern Oscillation is a strong driver of interannual global mean temperature variations. ENSO and non-ENSO contributions can be separated by the method of Thompson et al. (2008) (Fig. 2.8a). The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08 +/- 0.07 deg C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the ‘ENSO-adjusted’ trend) is 0.00 +/- 0.05 deg C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement with anticipated global temperature rise.”

    So there hasn’t been the anticipated rise in global temperature because, after you remove the effects of ENSO, the trend is zero. Therefore, if this year is a record year, it should be attributable to ENSO, not AGW.

    Also note that Knight et al (2009) assume the relationship between ENSO and global temperature is linear. It is not.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/relationship-between-enso-and-global.html

    Have a nice day.

  • Windy City Kid

    Here is a history of temperatures in Illinois. 2009 will likely be one of the coldest years on record. We could use a little warming so I hope you’re right. The state crop yield was horrible because of the cold.

    http://www.isws.illinois.edu/atmos/statecli/Climate_change/iltren-temp.png

  • Sera

    Could you give an example of why a comment would not be accepted on this site? Even from a fellow meteorologist?

  • Roger Knights

    Let’s parse that AP article:

    “The statisticians, reviewing two sets of temperature data, found no trend of falling temperatures over time.

    Strawman. 2009 is warmer than 1979 and 1880. But the period between those two start points is not what skeptics have in mind by “over time.” They are referring to the most recent trend.

    “And U.S. government figures show that the decade that ends in December will be the warmest in 130 years of record-keeping.”

    Another technically correct pseudo-refutation. Since the first half of that period preceded heavy man-made CO2, and therefore warmed from another cause, it indicates there’s a non-anthropogenic component to the long-term warming trend—a component that could still be active. (I.e., the rebound from the LIA.)

    “Global warming skeptics are basing their claims on an unusually hot year in 1998.”

    Another strawman. Most skeptics (on WUWT, anyway) don’t choose 1998 as their starting point. Instead, they either claim it’s been cooling during the present century, or since 2002, or since 2004.

    “They say that since then, temperatures have fallen — thus, a cooling trend. But it’s not that simple.”

    A red herring (diversion). It IS that simple, because a short-term flattening and cooling trend falsifies the IPCC’s prediction for this decade, casting doubt on its models’ reliability; because it casts doubt on the implacability (and the urgency of the threat) of CO2’s alleged “forcing”; and because the PDO has flattened and turned negative at about the same time, which suggests that the PDO is the climate “forcer,” not CO2.

    If a patient has a fever and the fever “breaks,” that breakage can’t be waved aside with the diversionary argument that the temperature decline hasn’t lasted long enough to be a long-term trend. No one is claiming it is a long-term trend–just that the fever (most likely PDO-driven) has broken.

  • Geoff

    The Climate Change Attribution chart you show is now known to be incorrect.

    1. The sun TSI figures are out of date.

    http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.pdf

    2. Sulphate emissions were once thought to explain the cooling which took place between 1945-1975. It is now known that these emissions were very localised & were almost exclusively in the northern hemisphere and could not have had a global cooling effect.

    This is a problem for the GHG hypothesis. How can one then explain the warming in the 1920’s & 1930’s, not dissimilar to the degree & pace of the 1980’s & 1990’s warming? How can we explain the cooling which followed the warming in the earlier period?

  • Rodney Molyneux

    I have read Anthony Watts comment which you rejected. It seems perfectly valid and reasonable to me. Perhaps you could explain why you decided to censor his comments.

  • Molon Labe

    Please explain why Bob Tisdale’s science-based comment was rejected.

  • CO2isLIFE

    Paul,

    I’ve read Bob Tisdale’s comment to your post and don’t understand why you haven’t replied to it. Here is the link to your colleague Anthony Watts’ WUWT blog site where it is posted so it can be compared to your post and evaluated:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/29/minnesota-public-radio-cant-handle-comments-on-climate-change/

    Your reply that “I think the evidence is overwhelming that all measures of the planet are statistically much warmer than any sort of normal level in recent history would suggest.” may be fine if you exclude the more reliable RSS and UAH satellite temp results showing near anomaly levels. But, why do that in favor of unreliable and openly selective GISS and NOAA results?

  • GregS

    Regarding the “Global Climate Change” graphic at the top of this page, what is really being measured? Does the Global Historic Climate Network (GHCN) measure the temperature of the earth or the temperature of the network?

    The two are not the same.

    The GHCN and its companion United States Historic Climate Network have a troubling problem with site quality. One that has been well documented by Climatologist Roger Pielke and Meteorologist Anthony Watts.

    Many of us Minnesotans have seen the hilarious photo of an air conditioner in Detroit Lakes that exhausts hot air into a weather station sensor. However, few of us are aware of the more subtle problems – like with the station at Zumbrota where an asphalt parking lot has encroached on the USHCN station there.

    No wonder NOAA and NASA claim that satellite data is “cooler”. It lacks their station siting bias.

  • Chris

    Paul,

    RSS and UAH satellite temperature records exclude high latitude arctic regions which show the highest temperature anomalies. This is why they show a slightly lower warming tend the GISS record which includes these regions.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • Imran

    Meteorologists are not having much success predicting annual or even seasonal temperatures of late. The UK Met Office similarly predicted that 2007 would be the hottest year ever (in Jan 2007) only for average temperatures to drop with the result that it was one of the coolest this century. And they have been wrong for about 6 winter / summer seasons in a row predicting mild winters and barbeque summers.

    Predictions would be somewhat more believable if you could adequately explain why the IPCC2001 predictions have so far completely failed to materialise. Plotting actual temperatures against the predictions (p34 of the Summary report for policy makers) shows them underneath the ENTIRE RANGE. Why is that ?

    Rgds

    Imran

    PS Its not cool to reject comments that are factual and scientific.

  • GregS

    Chris,

    What is the source of your assertion that RSS and UAH “exclude” high latitude arctic regions?

    As for GISS including these regions, I would hardly credit a single thermometer in areas larger than Texas, as in inclusion.

    On the other hand, to achieve the “hottest years ever” claim, NOAA has excluded the more accurate satellite data set of the oceans, and reverted to reliance on reports from buoys and tramp steamers.

    It is all more the stuff of politics than science.

  • Rick

    That last graph is awesome! The drop in sulfates and volcanics show an uncanny correlation to the rise in temperatures, far more than the CO2 does.

    Volcanics have been proven and witnessed to have far more affect on climate than trace gasses.

  • Mike O’Kelly

    I find it disturbing that an NPR related site would use outdated, politicized graphs and data, and then reject a comment from a highly qualified responder that merely attempts to update and de-politicize the graphs and data. Censorship of this type seems highly Nixonian, and contrary to the innate mores of NPR. Doesn’t TRUTH matter anymore?

  • BradH

    I’m a bit curious as to why the second graph seems to end in the early 1990’s? Surely, we have some more current information. I’m also intrigued by the term, “greenhouse gases”. It’s a very prominent line, but quite a broad term, really.

  • hunter

    Why is a government funded media outlet misrepresenting the facts so blatantly?

    Journalism used to be about skeptical, tough looks.

    Now, especially in the publicly funded media, the job is to sell the leftist view of any given issue.

    That not one global warming prediction has been accurate will not change, no matter how much spin, misleading reporting, or suppression tax payer supported media engages in.

  • http://wermenh.com/climate/index.html Ric Werme

    One thing in the statistical review article that seems curious to me is that their description of the data is not what anyone would use to describe the CO2 concentration over time (the Keeling curve). Given that CO2 increases are the foundation of the the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory, perhaps something other than CO2 is important.

    Personally, I like Akasofu’s hypothesis that shows good correlation with a steady recovery from the Little Ice Age plus a 60 year periodic oscillation that fits the PDO.

    See the full paper at http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf

    or comments and discussion at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/20/dr-syun-akasofu-on-ipccs-forecast-accuracy/

    [Aside – my url is down, apparently due to too many downloads. It’ll be back Nov 1 or sooner if I throw money at the problem.]

  • Fred C

    I just read that you rejected a comment to this article from Bob Tisdale. His comment can be found here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/like-others-of-its-ilk-minnesota-public.html

    I have read it, and it does not appear to contain anything that would cause a blog moderator to reject it.

    Please post his comment so the readers here can see some well-documented information which is very pertinent to this article.

    Thanks.

  • rstritmatter

    Like Rodney Molyneux and other posters, I’d like to know how you can justify removing posts by those, such as Anthony Watts, who are capable of providing a coherent alternative to your arguments. What would be the public service in denying your readers the opportunity of the realization that you might be wrong? Or do the ends justify the means?

    Best Regards,

    Dr. Stritmatter

  • Ripper

    Giss must be measuring another Arctic to the Danes.

    Is there two of them?

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

  • Ripper

    As an Australian I am gobsmacked that censoring an esteemed person such as Bob Tisdale could happen in the so called land of the free.

  • Dan Robinson, PE

    Silly article, silly “guess” at what will happen in 2010. Yes, it’s warmer than it was in 1900, or 1901, or 1902 etc.

    Warming trend since 1998 according to Nasa

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1998/plot/gistemp/from:1998/trend

    Cooling trend since 1998 according to Hadley

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend

    Warming trend since 1999 Nasa

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1999/plot/gistemp/from:1999/trend

    Cooling rend since 2001Nasa

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2001/plot/gistemp/from:2001/trend

    Cooling trend since 2002 Nasa

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:2002/plot/gistemp/from:2002/trend

    Do they not teach math or statistics in University level meteorology??

  • The Goracle

    I warn you skeptics with great warning: Gaia will not be mocked! Cease all this endless caterwauling, or face her wrath!!! There are Three things, Three things you must do for Gaia: You must cease your mockery of the Faith, you must cease your vile consumption of meat, and you must make regular offerings to her prophets through the purchases of “carbon credits.” Oh, and you must dramatically reduce your industry and your emissions! Four, These Four things you Must do for Gaia, or She will smite you with great burning and endless woe and a really nasty heat rash!!!

    Take heed, oh ye unbelievers!!!

  • Preston Calvert

    Your rejection of the salient and respectful comments of Bob Tisdale concerning your post is very telling. A person of intellectual honesty and integrity would not do such a thing.

    That implies you are not such a person.

  • Richard M

    As a native Minnesotan I am very disappointed in your lack of ethics in censoring a scientific comment. Pointing to the obvious propaganda piece by Seth Borenstein demonstrates a total lack of critical thinking. It is so blatantly cherry picked and unscientific.

    Climate science is in its infancy. The warming claims are being made based on questionable data and simplistic computer models. Why do you think climate researchers are so much smarter than medical researchers that can’t cure the common cold (or cancers and hundreds of other diseases)? Yet, somehow in just a few years they’ve diagnosed the problem with a much more complex system called Earth and have a cure. More taxes. Why would anyone with an iota of common sense believe claims made about a poorly understood chaotic system when we already know that no scientist in any other field would make such bold claims with such limited knowledge?

    Truly mind boggling.

  • r.wright

    In the last 2 weeks the Pew Poll and the Harris Poll has indicated that the percentage of Americans who think man-made global warming is real has declined significantly, to about 36%.

    This issue deserves fair and objective coverage. There is no shortage of knowledgeable people who can speak for the climate sceptics. Why is this side of the debate being ignored, on a public funded station?

  • climatebeagle

    Do you really mean “hottest year ever”, or just the hottest year since the late 1800’s when we have some form of temperature record?

    If reporters were honest with the facts then maybe the climate change discussions could be more reasonable. The fact that the earth has been much hotter in the past (and survived without any tipping points) is usually not mentioned and in fact hidden by headlines such as yours. Presenting the full facts to people might allow them to make sense of the discussions, rather than sensationalist headlines.

    I wish the media would actual perform real journalism on climate change, where’s a good piece showing how the temperature anomaly graphs are created, the fact they use proxies, different number of temperature stations, how sparse the coverage is for a global temperature and how a global temperature is even calculated.

  • http://americandigest.org vanderleun

    “It’s not hard to hear consensus if you don’t hear any disagreement.”

  • PaulM

    Where is the report written by these expert statisticians?

    The only report I am aware of written by expert statisticians on climate controversies was the Wegman report, which confirmed Steve McIntyre’s criticism of the hockey stick picture.

    Your headline is up there with those that claimed in 2007 that the arctic would be ice-free in 2008.

    The AP article is full of utter nonsense, for example

    “Since 1998, temperatures have dipped, soared,…”

    There has been no soaring at all, in fact temperatures have levelled out since 1998 – even the head of the IPCC (Pachauri) has acknowledged this.

  • http://americandigest.org vanderleun

    On the other hand, although the silence from the author continues apace, it is indeed fortunate Watts noticed this item. Otherwise it would have the blog’s average comment stream: zero to two.

  • Scott

    One of the many problems with your report is that the GISS NASA data is dry-labbed. Hansen’s inscrutable algorithms massage (i.e. change) even recorded temperature data from the 1800’s to match his political beliefs. Add the urban heat island effect (which his data-changing algorithms exacerbate instead of mitigate), the unreliability of surface station data (caused by land use changes, for example paving a parking lot right next to the sensors, and moving sensors to be near or on top of buildings so that they can be automated), and the use of small numbers of measurements to cover vast unpopulated areas (thousands of square miles), and you find that GISS is just not trustworthy. It should never be used. Any time I see it used in an article, I disregard all of the author’s conclusions, because a reputable author who has done his homework would know the issues regarding it.

  • http://VaneAttempt.googlepages.com Richard Just

    Minnesota Public Radio:

    “Our Mission is to enrich the mind and nourish the spirit, thereby assisting our audiences to enhance their lives, expand perspectives and strengthen their communities.”

    How can one enrich the mind and nourish the spirit if one refuses to listen to another point of view? There is more than one perspective to this global warming business and only honest, unbiased reporting by publicly funded media – can deliver it.

  • Paul Huttner

    FYI:

    I have not rejected Bob Tisdale’s or any other comments on the site. I (and MPR) accept all comments as long as they do not have profanity etc.

    If a comment did not appear it was a techincal error. Please re-submit any comments.

    You guys must be posting from Australia or something as many of the commetns came in the wee hours of the morning here. Don’t you guys sleep?

    I was off duty at an appointment this morning through midday here Minnesota time. I do appreciate the comments and traffic!

    More soon…

    PH

  • Paul Huttner

    //That last graph is awesome! The drop in sulfates and volcanics show an uncanny correlation to the rise in temperatures, far more than the CO2 does.

    Volcanics have been proven and witnessed to have far more affect on climate than trace gasses.

    Posted by Rick | October 30, 2009 7:04 AM //

    Yes Rick, large volcanic eruptions have a significant temporary global cooling effect. Tambora and Pinatubo are great examples. They just don’t seem to occur often enough to play a role in long term climate.

    PH

  • Sean Houlihane

    Is there a good reason why the graph shows an increasing solar influence when the current consensus is that over the long term (excluding the pseudo-11 year cycle) total Solar irradiance is near enough constant?

  • Paul Huttner

    Minnesota Public Radio:

    “Our Mission is to enrich the mind and nourish the spirit, thereby assisting our audiences to enhance their lives, expand perspectives and strengthen their communities.”

    //How can one enrich the mind and nourish the spirit if one refuses to listen to another point of view? There is more than one perspective to this global warming business and only honest, unbiased reporting by publicly funded media – can deliver it.

    Posted by Richard Just | October 30, 2009 1:05 PM //

    Richard: I think you can see many perspectives right here in these blog comments. And MPR is roughly 90% funded by our wonderful members’ contributions and underwriting.

    People support us precisely because we give a fuller, deeper, more balanced approach to news than any other media outlet. That is why we are the clear number one rated radio station in this market.

    PH

    ——————————————————————————–

  • Paul Huttner

    //Do you really mean “hottest year ever”, or just the hottest year since the late 1800’s when we have some form of temperature record?

    Posted by climatebeagle | October 30, 2009 10:15 AM //

    Beagle:

    Yes, a more accurate title might have been “Hottest Year on Record?”

    I will change it.

    Thanks..

    PH

  • Paul Huttner

    //As a native Minnesotan I am very disappointed in your lack of ethics in censoring a scientific comment. Pointing to the obvious propaganda piece by Seth Borenstein demonstrates a total lack of critical thinking. It is so blatantly cherry picked and unscientific.

    Posted by Richard M | October 30, 2009 10:00 AM //

    As I posted here, no comments have been censored. I have asked Mr. Tisdale to re-post his comment. If it did not make it thought it was purely a technical reason. It would be nice if people would check these things out before they claim “censorship.”

    Clearly you can see all of the other posts made it through.

    MPR does not censor commentary on blogs.

    PH

  • Ronald Hansen

    I am SHOCKED that MPR would allow the above blog, but not the comments of comments of Bob Tisdale. As pointed out by Anthony Watts, many of what you call facts are outdated or just wrong.

    For those who aren’t drunk on Al Gore’s cool-aid, and would like to become informed on this subject, Try going to Watts Up Wuth That.

    Fewer Americans now believe in the Global Warming hoax than believe in Haunted Houses. Eventualy the truth will prevail.

    2009 Hottest year BALONEY.

  • David Walton

    There are few things more disappointing than an NPR reporter refusing to accept valid criticism and then hiding behind the excuse of “technical error”.

    The bottom line is Tisdale is correct and you made an error. A grotesque error. Not only in your analysis (which obscures the real science and does it a tremendous disservice), but in the intelligence and knowledge of your audience.

  • Paul Huttner

    Bob Tisdale:

    Neither myself nor anybody at MPR rejected you comment. It must be a technical issue. Please re-submit your comment. As you can see all other comments have posted just fine.

    It would be good to check with me personally before you post a claim that MPR “censors” comments. We do not. My contact information is easily available on the MPR site.

    It is ironic that all your comments must be approved by the blog author.(you) All comments to Updraft post immediately, without my approval.

    From your site: “Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.”

    Amazing.

    I attempted to post this on your blog but cannot as I do not have a Google account.

    PH

    Paul Huttner

    Chief Meteoroloigst

    MPR

    phuttner@mpr.org

  • David Alan

    In the web address, it reads ‘publicradio’. Is it? Or does this website, like so many other media outlets that claim to be public, just another arm of ideologists that do not wish to see anything contradicting the AGW agenda.

  • Paul Huttner

    To All:

    Thanks so much for the great posts.

    With all respect to those who somehow find a way disagree with the fact that our planet is getting warmer, just try this.

    Take out a coin and try to get “heads” on a flip 14 times in a row today.

    From my Updraft post:

    “It is remarkable statistically that the 13 warmest years in the modern record have all occurred since 1990. The fact that the 13 warmest years since 1880 could have occurred by accident after 1990 corresponds to a likelihood of no more than 1:10 000. That’s the equivalent of flipping a coin and having it come up “heads” 14 times in a row.”

    This is perhaps the most compelling data that stack the deck in favor of AGW. How can anyone account for the fact that since 1984 we have not observed one year globally cooler than the 1961-1990 average?

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record_png

    You would expect that half the years since 1984 would have been below that average. And yet there is NOT ONE YEAR COOLER THAN AVERAGE since 1984?

    Instead, we have seen the 13 warmest years since 1990? That’s a one in 10,000 shot folks.

    Global warming “skeptics” are simply on the wrong side of the data. The only way you come to a conclusion that does not recognize global climate change is if you have a preset opinion.

    I am always open to credible peer reviewed science that changes scientific theory and thinking. Say what you want, but the overwhelming scientific evidence is on the side of continued planetary warming in the coming decades.

    Let’s see where we are after 2010, and beyond.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    PH

  • Richard Just

    Richard: I think you can see many perspectives right here in these blog comments. And MPR is roughly 90% funded by our wonderful members’ contributions and underwriting.

    Paul,

    My point is that given the content of the comments it is apparent there is another perspective to the global warming issue. One supported by well-meaning, honest citizens and scientists that does not get published by MPR, NPR or other mainstream media.

    MPR receives 64% operating revenue from “public” sources including grants from endowments, foundations, and businesses. About 20% of your budget comes from listener/member contributions (which is admirable.)

    One might reasonably speculate that the larger percentage of grants from corporate and foundations may color your selection of climate science news. Which does not necessarily “expand perspectives and strengthen their [audience] communities.”

  • Terry

    Paul,

    Re: Instead, 2008 was the 8th warmest year in the global temperature record. And event though parts of the U.S. have been running cool in this year, globally 2009 is on pace to be the 6th warmest year on record. That pretty much shreds the solar variability only theory on global temperatures. Why did we observe two “top 10″ warmest years during the lowest period of solar activity in nearly a century? Something else is at play here. Atmospheric changes are likely overcoming any natural solar variability.

    As a meteorologist, you no doubt understand seasonal lag. On an oceanic level, there is also a lag to heat or cool it, and then realize the affect on temps, and that lag is much longer. I think it may be a bit premature to declare the solar / temp theory “shredded.” I’m interested to hear your thoughts regarding this.

  • http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/ Bob Tisdale

    Paul Huttner: A few things. You attribute the Climate Change Attribution graph to Kerry Emanuel, but it’s actually from Global Warming Art:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Climate_Change_Attribution_png

    The graph is obsolete. It relies on an outdated (1993) Hoyt and Schatten TSI reconstruction that was manufactured, in part, to explain the rise in global temperature in the first half of the 20th Century. The current understanding of TSI variability shows little change in solar minimum:

    http://i40.tinypic.com/zjb977.jpg

    I discussed this in detail here:

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/agw-proponents-are-two-faced-when-it.html

    As you imply, global temperature variations are dictated by ENSO. This is confirmed by Knight et al (2009) “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?”:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/global_temperatures_09.pdf

    They write, “El Nino–Southern Oscillation is a strong driver of interannual global mean temperature variations. ENSO and non-ENSO contributions can be separated by the method of Thompson et al. (2008) (Fig. 2.8a). The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08 +/- 0.07 deg C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the “ENSO-adjusted” trend) is 0.00 +/- 0.05 deg C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement with anticipated global temperature rise.”

    So there hasn’t been the anticipated rise in global temperature because, after you remove the effects of ENSO, the trend is zero. Therefore, if this year is a record year, it should be attributable to ENSO, not AGW.

    Also note that Knight et al (2009) assume the relationship between ENSO and global temperature is linear. It is not.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/relationship-between-enso-and-global.html

    Have a nice day.

  • Fred J Harris

    You MPR scientific types are getting a reputation. Is it true your easy?

  • mpaul

    “Take out a coin and try to get “heads” on a flip 14 times in a row today.”

    Paul, please don’t be so condesending. Many of the skeptics are hard core statisticians. No one is aurguing that the climate is Bernoulli process (like a coin toss process).

    The correct question is: how likely is it to see the range of temperatures of the past few years, given the historical temperature range during this interglacial period?

    To answer that question, you must know what the temperature variability has been over the past few thousand years.

    Just because Google’s stock has traded high for the past month doesn’t mean that its in a run-away race condition and will never cycle back to lower prices.

  • Dave Middleton

    @Paul Huttner

    ” All comments to Updraft post immediately, without my approval.”

    “Clearly you can see all of the other posts made it through.”

    I posted a comment early this morning regarding the fact that GISS not only show more of a warming trend than RSS and UAH; but it also shows more of a warming trend than HadCRUT3. That comment elicited a reply that my comment was being held in moderation pending approval of the blog owner. The comment never made it through.

  • http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/ Bob Tisdale

    Paul Huttner: You wrote, “Neither myself nor anybody at MPR rejected you comment. It must be a technical issue. Please re-submit your comment. As you can see all other comments have posted just fine.”

    I resubmitted my comment at ~5:15PM today and received the following reply page.

    #####

    Updraft

    Minnesota Public Radio chief meteorologist Paul Huttner blogs about our region’s favorite conversation starter.

    Thank you for commenting.

    Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

    Return to the original entry.

    ####

    Check your spam filter, Paul.

  • Paul Huttner

    Paul,

    My point is that given the content of the comments it is apparent there is another perspective to the global warming issue.

    Posted by Richard Just | October 30, 2009 3:55 PM

    //Hi Richard: “perspective” and “science” are two different animals. This is especially true in climate change discussions.//

    PH

    One might reasonably speculate that the larger percentage of grants from corporate and foundations may color your selection of climate science news. Which does not necessarily “expand perspectives and strengthen their [audience] communities.”

    Posted by Richard Just | October 30, 2009 3:55 PM

    Richard: I can assure you that NO ONE at MPR has or ever will tell me what to discuss or publish regarding climate change. If they did, I would walk immediately and make it public.

    In fact MPR has the highest journalistic ethics of any news organization I have ever been fortunate enough to work for. And I have been fortunate enough to have worked at some of the best; including WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities and WGN-TV in Chicago.

    My analysis and perspective on global climate change are my own, and are not dictated or influenced in any way by MPR or it’s supporters.

    PH

  • Paul Huttner

    Paul Huttner: You wrote, “Neither myself nor anybody at MPR rejected you comment. It must be a technical issue. Please re-submit your comment. As you can see all other comments have posted just fine.”

    I resubmitted my comment at ~5:15PM today and received the following reply page.

    #####

    Updraft

    Minnesota Public Radio chief meteorologist Paul Huttner blogs about our region’s favorite conversation starter.

    Thank you for commenting.

    Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.

    Return to the original entry.

    ####

    Check your spam filter, Paul.

    Posted by Bob Tisdale | October 30, 2009 4:43 PM

    Hi Bob:

    I’m not an IT guy, so I don’t know why you would get that message. I will be happy to forward it to those who would know.

    Obviously your comment above comment made it through…along with nearly all the 50+ others. Again, I do not personally approve any comments to Updraft.

    I would be happy to respond to any data you can show me. But you are not being censored in any way.

    Would you please remove or change your incorrect blog post headline below?

    “Like Others Of Its Ilk, The Minnesota Public Radio Censors Comments On Its Climate Blog”

    Again, you could have easily contacted me personally before inaccurately claiming to be “censored.”

    PH

  • Ed

    “Skeptics are on the wrong side of the data”

    Simple right? Except exactly what data, what time frame (no cherry picking); do we take into account the recovery from the LIA?

    Do we demand that temps continue to rise with increased CO2 or excuse the lack of increase the last decade or so?

    Is it necessary for skeptics to prove CO2 does not raise temps much or do AGW fans have to prove it does?

    Or is it just get in, shut up and hold on?

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org Ken Paulman, MPR News

    The missing comments were indeed being caught up in a spam filter. I’ve released the unpublished comments and they should be visible on the site now.

    The comments that didn’t post had a large number of hyperlinks – suspect that’s why the filter didn’t like them.

    Paul does not screen comments beforehand.

    — Ken Paulman, managing editor for online news, MPR

  • Jamie

    “How can anyone account for the fact that since 1984 we have not observed one year globally cooler than the 1961-1990 average?

    You would expect that half the years since 1984 would have been below that average. And yet there is NOT ONE YEAR COOLER THAN AVERAGE since 1984?”

    I can think of several possible reasons.

    1) Average global temperature without any AGW wouldn’t just jump around randomly, temperature in the system from the previous year affects the following year. If you heat a pot of water on the stove, then turn the heat down, the water will continue to be hotter than it was when you first turned on the heat.

    2) The GISS temperature record has several adjustments made to it before it is released. Many of these are curious, counter-intuitive, and invariably raise modern temperatures while lowering historic ones. If you look at this article, it argues that the entire warming trend is created by the adjustments:

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/06/how-the-us-temperature-record-is-adjusted/

    Now these adjustments may be valid, but if the entire proof of warming comes not from thermometers out in the World, but from adjustments made in a NASA office then we really better make sure. Accepting one man’s interpretation of the temperature and accepting it as definitive is a very dubious way to gather evidence.

    3) The temperature measurements we use were never intended to be used for tracking global warming. The temperature changes in your graph are in the order of a tenth of a degree a decade. Yet when these readings were taken, the person reading the thermometer was just recording the day’s temperature – “Is it 67, is it 72?” They would be happy to read the closest degree, certainly not worry about whether it’s 67 or 67.5. Yet the difference is fifty years of global warming. When the signal we are searching for is within the margin of error of the measurements, we again have to take care.

    Of course, you may be right. You probably are right. But don’t you think we owe it to ourselves to use the best possible evidence before we decide?

  • Paul Huttner

    Paul Huttner: A few things. You attribute the Climate Change Attribution graph to Kerry Emanuel, but it’s actually from Global Warming Art:

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/Image:Climate_Change_Attribution_png

    //Bob: You are right on the source. Kerry Emanuel emailed me the graph, but did not generate it. I have updated the post.

    PH//

    As you imply, global temperature variations are dictated by ENSO. This is confirmed by Knight et al (2009) “Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?”:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/global_temperatures_09.pdf

    They write, “El Nino–Southern Oscillation is a strong driver of interannual global mean temperature variations. ENSO and non-ENSO contributions can be separated by the method of Thompson et al. (2008) (Fig. 2.8a). The trend in the ENSO-related component for 1999–2008 is +0.08 +/- 0.07 deg C decade–1, fully accounting for the overall observed trend. The trend after removing ENSO (the ‘ENSO-adjusted’ trend) is 0.00 +/- 0.05 deg C decade–1, implying much greater disagreement with anticipated global temperature rise.”

    So there hasn’t been the anticipated rise in global temperature because, after you remove the effects of ENSO, the trend is zero. Therefore, if this year is a record year, it should be attributable to ENSO, not AGW.

    //Bob: We have been through numerous ENSO phases since 1984. Yet not one of those years has been cooler than average year globally. Instead we’ve had the 13 warmest years on record.

    That suggests while ENSO contributes to changes in global temps, is not the sole or ruling factor. Some other mechanisim with much greater climate forcing is at work.

    PH//

    Also note that Knight et al (2009) assume the relationship between ENSO and global temperature is linear. It is not.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/relationship-between-enso-and-global.html

    Have a nice day.

    Posted by Bob Tisdale | October 29, 2009 4:32 AM

    Thanks for the comments Bob.

    PH

    ——————————————————————————–

  • Paul Huttner

    Posted by Jamie | October 30, 2009 5:32 PM

    I can think of several possible reasons.

    1) Average global temperature without any AGW wouldn’t just jump around randomly, temperature in the system from the previous year affects the following year. If you heat a pot of water on the stove, then turn the heat down, the water will continue to be hotter than it was when you first turned on the heat.

    //Hi Jamie: I get the “seasonal lag” argument, but I do not agree.

    That would have to be one hot pot of water since all years have been above average globally since 1984. If that theory is correct, why would temperatures have risen so dramatically in the 80s and 90s after the relatively cool years in the late 70s? It doesn’t fit. AGW fits much better.

    PH//

    Now these adjustments may be valid, but if the entire proof of warming comes not from thermometers out in the World, but from adjustments made in a NASA office then we really better make sure. Accepting one man’s interpretation of the temperature and accepting it as definitive is a very dubious way to gather evidence.

    //Jamie: Much of the most compelling proof of the rate and magnitude of earth’s current warming does not come from the modern surface temperature record, rather it comes from ice core, tree ring and other paleoclimatic data.

    Check out Dr. Malcom Hughes’ work at the University of Arizona Tree Ring Laboratory. I have interviewed Dr. Hughes and seen his lab and data.

    His work finds that at that time, 1998 was not just the warmest year in the modern surface record; it was the warmest year in 1,000 years! Other studies show that the RATE of warming observed in the past decades is faster than at any previous time in recorded history. It’s not one man’s data, or even one set of data.

    PH//

    Of course, you may be right. You probably are right. But don’t you think we owe it to ourselves to use the best possible evidence before we decide?

    //Actually I’m kind of hoping to be proved wrong. I hope the consensus warming does not occur, or that we are able to mitigate it.

    You raise a great point here Jamie. The scientific community has already “decided” (and largely proven) that the best science indicates the planet is highly likely to get much warmer. I think those who try and debate that science are behind the curve.

    The question now really lies with politicians and what if any actions they will take. I am not a policy maker nor do I have any positions on what we should DO about the best science that says AGW is real and likely to continue.

    I remain focused with fascination on what the planet is doing, and as a forecaster I’m amazed by and focused with intense interest to see what happens to global temperatures in the coming years and decades.

    There are a lot of great people in science whose only interest is to study and answer the wonderful mysteries of the best planet in the universe.

    Thanks for the great comment Jamie.

    And thanks to all the other posters.

    PH

  • http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/ Bob Tisdale

    Paul: You’ll need to check the spam filter regularly. I just posted a comment in which I advised you that I had changed the title of my post. It included one link but it too was being held for approval.

  • Frederick Michael

    Paul, you have acquitted yourself admirably on the censorship issue. I apologize for just assuming the worst; only luck kept me from making a hostile post earlier. The whole AGW issue has generated more heat than light on both sides right now (OK, it’s a terrible pun) and that’s gonna degrade the dialog some. Please don’t let it get to you.

    However, the RSS and UAH temperature data sets are the better ones (for the last 30 years) and they do not support well the thesis that the current warming is extraordinary. Also, the current warming clearly began before man began releasing huge amounts of CO2. Furthermore, the evidence that the 12th century was warmer is significant.

    The thesis that the current warming is mostly natural deserves serious consideration. Some of the papers and data supporting the AGW thesis have not withstood public scrutiny. The tide may be turning in the scientific “consensus.”

    Which is not to say the current warming has stopped. Even if the warming is mostly natural, it may have a few more centuries to run — and the portion that’s man made is still going strong.

    Since El Nino years tend to dump a lot of snow in the midwest, I’d guess you’re about to have a corker of a winter and 2010 will look and feel like an unusually cold year through June.

    Take care and keep the snow-blower ready. By the way, 0W-30 oil is widely available again. It’s absolutely da bomb for small 4-cycle engines in cold weather.

  • Roger Knights

    Paul Huttner wrote: “why would temperatures have risen so dramatically in the 80s and 90s after the relatively cool years in the late 70s?”

    A warming phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which has a 30-year cycle, superimposed on the rebound from the Little Ice Age. Here’s a link to “Two Natural Components of Recent Climate Change,” here (as a 50-Mb PDF) by prof. Syun-Ichi Akasofu (one of the dozen most cited scientists in the world):

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/little_ice_age.php

    Paul Huttner wrote: “Check out Dr. Malcom Hughes’ work at the University of Arizona Tree Ring Laboratory. I have interviewed Dr. Hughes and seen his lab and data. His work finds that at that time, 1998 was not just the warmest year in the modern surface record; it was the warmest year in 1,000 years!”

    Tree-ring data as a proxy for temperatures has many flaws, which have been discussed extensively recently on the skeptic WUWT site regarding Briffa’s tree-ring data from Russia. It’s also contended on skeptics’ sites that the Medieval Warm Period was considerably warmer than the current period, making his tree-ring assertion even less likely.

    Paul Huttner wrote, “Other studies show that the RATE of warming observed in the past decades is faster than at any previous time in recorded history.”

    The charts I’ve seen on the WUWT site indicate a more rapid rate of warming during the previous warm phase of the PDO, earlier in the 20th century.

  • Roger Knights

    PS, here’s one of the WUWT threads that implicitly (mostly) critiques tree rings as proxies. There are other recent WUWT threads that explicitly make that criticism. It’s title is, “Yamal treering proxy temperature reconstructions don’t match local thermometer records”:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/

  • Jamie

    Paul, I’m not literally comparing the sun to a turned-down stove, it was just a metaphor to demonstrate that idea that one year’s temperature is influenced by those that came before.

    To be honest, I have no idea why temperatures rose in the last 30 years or why they were static or slightly declining in the previous 30 years. I don’t see why only AGW explains it though. How does ever increasing carbon dioxide output explain 30 years of flat temperatures? Of course, the answer is volcanic activity depressing temperatures. I do wonder why we are allowed to use natural processes to explain low temperatures, but highs like 1998 are included in your top 13 even though it was the year of a large El Nino. Equally, if there was a little ice age, then a period of warming would follow it. And if you accept the idea of a little ice age, then you have to accept other variability in the global temperature, sometimes up, sometimes down.

    As for tree rings, I’m sure they are a fascinating subject, but really, how much would you bet on a man being able to discern a 0.5 degree temperature change over a thousand years based on tree rings. I’m sure I sound like a Luddite, but I’m not, I’ll take the technology of the thermometers over trees, but I do worry about the over-confidence of some scientists.

    I don’t want to come across as a deranged conspiracy theorist, I’m not saying any of these intelligent men and women aren’t much more highly qualified to make these judgments than me. But I have to speak from the heart, and I’m not filled with confidence by the state of the science being done in this area.

  • Roger Knights

    Here’s a thread on the WUWT site on the problems of using tree rings as temperature proxies. If you do a site-search for Yamal a dozen other recent threads will turn out that contain comments on this topic. These comments are not individually addressable, unfortunately, so they have to be scanned for. (But the Yamal controversy is interesting in itself.)

    A look at treemometers and tree ring growth

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/28/a-look-at-treemometers-and-tree-ring-growth/

  • Sera

    “You raise a great point here Jamie. The scientific community has already “decided” (and largely proven) that the best science indicates the planet is highly likely to get much warmer. I think those who try and debate that science are behind the curve.”

    I think that people who use outdated material such as your TSI graph are ‘behind the curve’.

    “I attempted to post this on your blog but cannot as I do not have a Google account.

    PH”

    I do not have a Google account, and I have not had any problems posting to BT’s webpage.

    Somebody here is definitely behind the curve when they present tree ring data as authoritive.

  • Richard M

    Paul, I apologize for thinking you had removed certain comments. You have to realize this is SOP for most sites that support AGW alarmism.

    However, I suggest you spend a little more time looking into the science of AGW if you are going to publish articles like this one. Your dice analogy of comparing random events to chaotic systems is just plain wrong. Your appeal to specific tree ring proxies is also short sighted. If one looks at ALL proxies of temperature (still a questionable activity) you will find that our current temps are nothing special and lower than most of the current interglacial. In fact, one would have to consider that we are heading towards the next ice age and just about anything we could do to slow or delay that process would be beneficial.

    Also, understand that most of those who speak out against AGW alarmism really do believe that CO2 has some warming properties, they just believe that it is small and mostly beneficial.

  • http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/ Bob Tisdale

    I posted this comment on 10-30-09, over a week ago. It has been stuck in the spam filter because it contains links the filter finds offensive. I’ve changed the links to the addresses of the webpage, something I’ve known I could do all along. I just wanted to see how much time would transpire before it was retrieved. A week to me indicates that it would not be retrieved, even though I commented above on October 30, 2009 7:25 PM:

    Paul: You’ll need to check the spam filter regularly. I just posted a comment in which I advised you that I had changed the title of my post. It included one link but it too was being held for approval.

    This is not that comment. This is a reply to your response to my original comment.

    ######

    Paul Huttner: You wrote, “Bob: We have been through numerous ENSO phases since 1984. Yet not one of those years has been cooler than average year globally. Instead we’ve had the 13 warmest years on record.

    “That suggests ENSO contributes to changes in global temps, is not the sole or ruling factor. Some other mechanisim with much greater climate forcing is at work.”

    You miss my point. The relationship between ENSO and global temperature is non-linear. ENSO is actually causing the rise in Global Temperature. Also, the global response to ENSO events is not equal. There are traditional El Nino events, El Nino Modoki, significant El Nino events, lesser El Nino events.

    The following three links explain and illustrate in great detail that the significant traditional El Nino events of 1986/87/88 and 1997/98:

    1. raised SST anomalies of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, or ~25% of the global ocean surface area, in steps. It includes a video that even shows the process that takes place to accomplish it.

    2. raised TLT anomalies of the Mid-To-High Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in steps. In that post, I used the Time-Latitude plots from RSS, the supplier of the TLT anomaly data, to help show how the heat from those significant traditional ENSO events moves from the tropics to the Mid-To-High Latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. It’s actually hard to miss once you know it’s there.

    When averaged with the data for the rest of the world, those upward step changes in SST and TLT are mistaken for anthropogenic warming.

    Webpages(Cut and Paste to Your Browser):

    bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html

    bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html

    bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/rss-msu-tlt-time-latitude-plots.html

    Since you’re bound to now suggest that greenhouse gases must warm the oceans and cause more frequent El Nino events, why don’t I add another link that illustrates that the significant traditional El Nino events of 1972/73 and 1997/98 actually raised Ocean Heat Content (OHC)? At first that appears counterintuitive, but it’s not if one understands that ENSO acts to discharge and recharge tropical Pacific OHC and that ocean currents redistribute warm water to the mid latitudes of nearby ocean basins during significant traditional ENSO events. Those same El Nino events also change Walker and Hadley Circulation, wind stress, cloud cover, etc., which raises the OHC in more remote areas of the global ocean.

    (Cut and Paste to your browser)

    bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html

    And one more post that illustrates why global OHC anomalies are falling far short of the Jim Hansen/GISS projections:

    Cut and Paste to your browser:

    bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-are-ohc-observations-0-700m.html