In weather terms, how did 2017 stack up?

As regular readers know, I now do this little examination each year, waiting until Ole Humlum, of climate4you, has assembled the global data from all the climate datasets. Most of what follows has been distilled from his latest bulletin. As always there were excitable people who wanted to tell us, even before the end of 2017, that the year would prove to be the hottest ever, and were asking why we weren’t doing something about it. So a few preparatory remarks are in order. First, the planet has emerged from a notably cool period, often called ‘the little Ice Age’. By and large there seems to have been a slight warming since about 1850, with some later cool or static periods as well. Second, one central question is the extent to which human activities have added to the warming. The IPCC claims that more than half of the warming since 1950 is so caused. It is very difficult indeed to showroom evidence that this is so, and the IPCC’s claim is in fact a kind of consensus of opinion from those who wrote the report. Third, ‘global average warming’ which is part of the equation, is a statistical construct that has no real meaning to anyone. We experience our local weather, not anyone else’s, let alone the average for the globe. Readers will remember that just as parts of Australia were having some hot weather in January, parts of North America and Europe were having great freezes. The end of the year is often like that. It’s called weather.

In the diagram that follows, the average surface temperatures for areas on the globe are set against the average for the last ten years for the same areas. The data come from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). Humlum uses the past decade because he thinks that going back to 1950, a cool period, gives a misleading account of ‘climate change’ (see further below). Besides, he regards the satellite temperature measurements as much the best, and they only begin in 1979 (but of course the satellite instruments measure lower troposphere temperatures, which are in the body of air above us but not at the surface, where we live).

In considering the map don’t be fooled by Mercator’s projection, which gives greatest emphasis to the Poles. It is the tropical areas that have the most weight, and you can see that there it was pretty balanced, perhaps a tad more cooling than warming. In our part of the world eastern Australia was a little warmer than average for the past ten years, while the southwest of WA was rather cooler. By and large, there wasn’t much change anywhere. The data suggest that 2017 was a little cooler on average than 2016, which was a little warmer on average than 2015. The reason is mostly the el Nino spike of 2015/16, which extended into 2017 but was replaced at the end of the year by a weak la Nina. We are back to the way things were before that el Nino. CO2 accumulations are increasing, and global air temperatures are responding mostly to the oceans. All the datasets are showing these variations.

It seems to me that el Ninos and la Ninas are responsible for most of the variation in temperature that we experience in Australia. The following data uses NOAA classifications, and runs from January 1950 to December 2017. I’m sorry the detail is so small, but I use the diagram only to show the powerful episodes.

Since 1950 there have been six really big el Ninos, and the one that has just finished was slightly larger than the one in 1998. Alongside them there have been a dozen or more smaller ones. La Ninas don’t exactly match el Ninos — eight big ones and about the same number of small ones. No one has been able to show, even theoretically, how anthropogenic global warning could produce the shift from one phase to another, a shift which has been going on for at least a hundred years (when measurements started) and almost certainly long, long before that. There is some expectation that the current weak la Nina will continue and grew more intense. If that happens we will have more cool and wet conditions on the eastern seaboard. They can’t come quickly enough for me.

A good deal of interest in climate circles surrounds ocean temperatures and ‘ocean heat content’, since about 90 per cent of the heat in the planet is contained within the oceans. Not only that, higher-than-usual air temperatures lead in time to higher-than-usual sea surface temperatures. Climate4you.com provides quite a set of sea-surface temperatures (SST). My reading is that there has been a small, but rather steady increase, and the error involved in measurement is likely to be a good deal higher. The increase, according to Argo buoys, which are accepted as the gold standard here, runs from 6.36 degrees C in 2004 to 6.38 degrees C at the beginning of 2018. Nonetheless, I would not argue that SST are decreasing.

As for ocean heat content, measuring it involves abundant averaging. We need to decide what layers of water we will regard as important. We know that the bottom of the ocean is very cold indeed everywhere, so all the attention focusses on the top and intermediate layers. We have to assume the the measuring points we have are representative of a great or lesser amount of water between the measuring point and the nearest one. And so on. If the oceans are warming, then the heat content must be higher. What does all that tell us? In my view, it leads to a summary that nothing much seems to be happening in these areas. I’ve dealt with the belief that sea-level rise is accelerating in another post, and won’t rehash that here. It is worth remembering, as we leave this topic, that if air temperatures fall, then the oceans will release some of their stored heat.

What else is there to note? Well, there have been cries (most now decently forgotten) that snow would be a thing of the past, and that children in England would never know what a snowfall was. The data don’t show anything of the sort. Northern Hemisphere snow cover has moved up and down a little in the last fifty years, but is still much as it was in the 1970s. Indeed, there was in 2017 more snow in Summer, Spring and Winter in the Northern Hemisphere then there had been in the few previous years, while in the Fall there was almost as much as there had been in those years. Sunspots? They are declining in number, which often though not always is a harbinger for colder weather. One day I’ll do a piece on sunspots, the historic use of which in agriculture is most interesting.

To conclude, 2017 was just another year, with no sign of anything of great moment one way or the other. It is perhaps best to finish with a summary from Professor Humlum himself, a cautious and rigorous scholar. The notion that he could be ‘debunked’, as one reader commented in the past, seems almost preposterous to me. This is what he says, in part, about measuring air temperature:

Usually modern surface air temperatures are compared to the so-called normal temperature, representing the so-called normal climate. This ‘normal’ temperature is calculated as the average for values recorded during a 30-year period. The period 1961-1990 is the official World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) normal period, and is therefore often the time period referred to. Another 30-year period used as reference for comparisons is 1951-1980. This is partly because the total number of meteorological stations during this period reached a maximum, and since has undergone a marked reduction in number. 

Unfortunately, both these periods are dominated by the cold period 1945-1980, and almost any comparison with such a low average value will therefore appear as high or warm. This makes it difficult to decide if surface air temperatures at present are increasing or decreasing. The only thing that will be clear is that modern temperatures are higher than back in this cold period.

 

Join the discussion 99 Comments

  • David says:

    Don are you serious? According to your UAH data average global temperature increases about 0.12 degrees per 10 years. So the diff between the 10 year mean temp and the 10 year max temp is going to be 0.06 of a degree. And you give us a map which color codes, in 1 degree categories, to analyse????

    And you argue the concept of a mean is a statistical construct.

  • Patrick says:

    A general comment: major assumptions by the climate church faithful viz.
    There is significant warming which is entirely caused by human emissions of CO2 and will be catastrphic if human production of CO2 (amounting to 3%) is not drastically reduced. All flawed of course.
    The effects of warming are taken as confirmatory proof that CO2 is causing the warming. There is no admission that whatever is happening to climate is consistent with natural changes in the past.
    Specifics
    IPCC assumes that solar variability is low and climate sensitivity to CO2 is high.
    Soon & the Connollys (2015) in a tour de force demonstrated conclusively that the global temperature records using homogenised data are in fact contaminated by the urban heat island effect. They also demonstrated that using a higher sollar variability & lower climate sensitivity is equally plausible to account for observations.
    Scafetta simply invokes the cyclicuty of the solar system and he too can plausibly account for observations. Both are well worth a read especially Soon et al. which discusses all the ways in which solar activity has been estimated and raise the interesting idea that zero sunspots may not actually represent the ‘floor’ of solar activity.
    Recently Professor Zharkova of Northumbria University developed a mathematical model of twin solar dynamos which also plausibly accounts for observational data. She predicts that we may well be experiencing the equivalent of a Maunder Minimum in the coming decades.

  • David says:

    “Since 1950 there have been six really big el Ninos, and the one that has just finished was slightly larger than the one in 1998.”

    Don’t stop there Sherlock,….. and the Nino in 1998 slightly larger than the one before it and so on. There is a clear trend. The el Ninos have been getting progressively warmer/larger over time. Just saying.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer has posted the latest Jan ’18 update that shows a fall to 0.26 c above the 39+ year anomaly. Their has been a big fall in the tropics and SH.
    Looks like a fairly typical lagged response to a very strong el nino event. This could be a very interesting year. Who knows?
    Thanks for your thoughts Don and it is typically a very good summary of the last 12 months.

    • David says:

      Stop press. Planet cools a little after warmest year on record.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Davie, you mean “warmest year on record” according to those thermometer records that began during the recent Little Ice Age, following which it has warmed less than 1.0c?

        When there is undeniable proof that the world has been considerably warmer than it is now, during the earlier Holocene period when there was a tiny population, no big cities, virtually no ACO2 emissions, possibly the lowest atmo CO2 ever and a Nat Var that is much greater than this slight warming, what is the point you are trying to make?

      • JMO says:

        Oh dear David you are so gullible. Despite strong evidence of altering, changing or manipulating (oops… homogenising) of past temperature records (ie cooling the past), the wilfully ignoring of the urban heat island effect, the positioning of weather stations next to north facing walls or freeways/ expressways, the cutting off all records before 1910 (despite this cuts of the first 10 years of the first 30-year “climate normal” ) which happens to be a low temperature point and cutting out the inconvenient high temperature records of the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries, you still harp on the climate doomsters’s drivel of “highest temperature on record”.

  • spangled drongo says:

    With the latest January temps 2018 has started out a little cooler but the total warming since ~ 1850 is less than 1.0c and if you did a graph showing the midline the net effect to the nearest whole degree would be zero.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850/trend:2017

  • spangled drongo says:

    Donate now:

    https://www.gofundme.com/peter-ridd-legal-action-fund

    Good to see he is getting some assistance.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    And there’s been snow in Morocco, too!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7lMs8M9IRc

    It’s still just weather

  • Don Aitkin says:

    The dreaded ID problem is being attended to. It may be a bot, fastening on to a loophole in the theme structure of the website. In any case, it is being sought out for correction. Since it is happening to me, now, I can see that it is a pest. The frequent commenters have earned to deal with it.

    I ask all new commenters to replace what they see with their own IDs.

  • David says:

    Stop press, again.

    Climate denialist has a conspiracy theory.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Isn’t it nice to detect some healthy sci-scepticism:

    Dwarf galaxies threaten standard model of cosmology

    “He said “co-rotating” dwarf galaxy systems formed during such interactions did not fit with the normally reliable modelling of dark matter’s gravitational effects, as simulated using the standard model of cosmology.

    “Coherent movement seems to be a universal phenomenon that demands new explanations,” Dr Müller said.

    University of Texas at Austin astronomer Michael Boylan-Kolchin said the findings added weight to calls to “search for an alternative model”. He said the latest discovery did not mean the standard model was in crisis, “but the results raise the stakes”.’

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/dwarf-galaxies-threaten-standard-model-of-cosmology/news-story/8f06494fbc018a864b1b4aae9908f5c9?login=1

    • David says:

      Cosmology? Skepticism from another astronomer would be healthy. But skepticism from a pseudo-science like astrology can be disregard.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Notice well too, how aware this Humlum is of the effect of inserting a particular cool period. Therefore his choice of a particularly hot El Nino period must be a deliberate device of falsification.

    And the only way to make his cherrypicked hot period really change the data is by ignoring the 30 year standard and selecting just a miniscule 8 years.

    So Humlum has perpetrated 2 tricks to fuel his fantasy.

    But it gets worse.

    There is so much continuous warming that he 1998 trick will not work anymore, so what does Humlum do, move the goal posts yet again and construct a new “reference period”.

    Now that we have had the warmest years that are not El Nino, and the 2015-16 El Nino was warmer than 1998, Humlum has to throw away 1998 and insert the higher peaks as his reference period. Humlum now states:

    “the last previous 10 years (2007 – 2016) are used as reference period. The reason for comparing with this recent period instead of the official WMO ‘normal’ period 1961-1990,….”

    Humlum’s opportunistic shifting is the very opposite of ” a cautious and rigorous scholar. ”

    Yet again our denialists are too scared to use the standard baseline and are too scared to use 30 years standard. And when ongoing warming exposes their first trick, they move on to another.

    They are a fraud.

    I guess they hope they fool enough internet trolls to keep them disrupting the explanations being offered by real experts, scientists, and those with clean analytic skills.

    If you look at the data a bit more closely you will see that in fact, any honest analysis is little affected by reference period. There are data set tools which allow you to choose your own baseline or reference period.

    See here: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/customize.html

    If you select smoothing of 11 years, this cancels out any fluctuations due to the 11 year sunspot cycle so the warming trend becomes clearer.

    You can choose what ever reference period you like – 30 years, 10 years or even 5. The picture stays the same.

    PS

    It was lucky I just noticed an incorrect email address just near the submit button. So the problem is still occurring.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Don

      Humlum is a denialist trickster and everyone needs to have a very clear idea of the dirty tricks being spread by these elements.

      He, as do others, severely cherry pick their data to suit their dogma.

      In the case of global warming they invariably choose 1998 or a short period including 1998 and then generate images of cooling compared to this (fake) baseline.

      Scientists know that you cannot compare peaks to troughs BUT must compare peaks to peak or troughs to troughs.

      Humlum cherrypicks “peaks” and then depicts troughs.

      First Humlum cherrypick was his statement:

      “…the period 1998-2006 is used as reference period. The reason for comparing with this recent period instead of the official WMO ‘normal’ period 1961-1990, is that the latter period is affected by the relatively cold period 1945-1980. Almost any comparison with such a low average value will therefore appear as high or warm, and it will be difficult to decide if modern surface air temperatures are increasing or decreasing. Comparing with a more recent period overcomes this problem.”

      What nonesense. Scientists always use 30 year periods and the temperatures from 1945 to 1960 do not in anyway damage the official WMO ‘normal’ period.

      Notice well too, how aware this Humlum is of the effect of inserting a particular cool period. Therefore his choice of a particularly hot El Nino period must be a deliberate device of falsification.

      And the only way to make his cherrypicked hot period really change the data is by ignoring the 30 year standard and selecting just a miniscule 8 years.

      So Humlum has perpetrated 2 tricks to fuel his fantasy.

      But it gets worse.

      There is so much continuous warming that he 1998 trick will not work anymore, so what does Humlum do, move the goal posts yet again and construct a new “reference period”.

      Now that we have had the warmest years that are not El Nino, and the 2015-16 El Nino was warmer than 1998, Humlum has to throw away 1998 and insert the higher peaks as his reference period. Humlum now states:

      “the last previous 10 years (2007 – 2016) are used as reference period. The reason for comparing with this recent period instead of the official WMO ‘normal’ period 1961-1990,….”

      Humlum’s opportunistic shifting is the very opposite of ” a cautious and rigorous scholar. ”

      Yet again our denialists are too scared to use the standard baseline and are too scared to use 30 years standard. And when ongoing warming exposes their first trick, they move on to another.

      They are a fraud.

      I guess they hope they fool enough internet trolls to keep them disrupting the explanations being offered by real experts, scientists, and those with clean analytic skills.

      If you look at the data a bit more closely you will see that in fact, any honest analysis is little affected by reference period. There are data set tools which allow you to choose your own baseline or reference period.

      See here: https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/customize.html

      If you select smoothing of 11 years, this cancels out any fluctuations due to the 11 year sunspot cycle so the warming trend becomes clearer.

      You can choose what ever reference period you like – 30 years, 10 years or even 5. The picture stays the same.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, I guess we all need some guidance about this ‘cherrypicking’ thing. When you use start and finish dates, they’re the right ones, aren’t they? But when a distinguished climate scientist like Professor Humlum uses them, he’s cherry-picking, right?

        So how do we, the benighted, tell a non-cherry-picking date from a cherry-picked one?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          And Dr Roy Spencer uses 1979 to 2018. Are these dates cherry-picked too? They don’t show much of a warming…

        • Chris Warren says:

          Don

          Any run of 30 years is NOT cherrypicked because it will cover movements in the data up and down due to El Nino / La Nina and sunspots.

          Cherrypickers always pick much shorter samples. In the past this has usually been done by using 1998.

          Also cherry-pickers, having selected a suitable short sample, then never work through the entire data set obtining all the other equal sample sets. They just focus on the ONE subset they have picked – a juicy cherry.

          Periods significantly less than 30 years are not useful for climate analysis, except if you spot some disrupted short run (weather) pattern that may be a symptom of climate change.

          You can pick any 30 year period you like at:

          https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/customize.html

          and you will find that every possible earlier 30 year period is cooler, AND every later 30 year period is warmer.

          This eliminates cherry-picking.

          • JM says:

            The best cherry pick I have seen is BOM cutting of all temperature data prior to 1910 (1/3 into the first 30-year climate normal!) when temperature were high, very high, in the mid to late 19th century and very early 20th century before they quickly cooled reaching the nadir at… you guessed it…1910. Makes the warming graph look more dramatic. On top of this there is strong evidence of a deliberate cooling the past tendency when adjusting, manipulating…oops… homogenising past temperature records.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Delete this post as it is incomplete – I got a bit distracted when I saw an incorrect email address.

      The second post is the complete post.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “The second post is the complete post”

        Complete all right, blith, complete blither as usual.

        Instead of the blithering angel argument, do us all a favour and just tell us how much of that less-than-1c-warming-since-the-LIA is down to humans and how much is Nat Var.

        When the total warming is only about half Nat Var. [or less]

        Go on, blith, give us your “honest analysis”.

  • Neville says:

    Many recent studies show little concern for SLR. And a number of these studies show a higher trend before 1950.
    So where is the impact of increased co2 emissions? Don’t forget the human increase in co2 is about 1 molecule of co2 to every 10,000 molecules of the air we breathe or about 100 ppm.
    And Dr Hansen and Bill McKibben think that a co2 level of 350 ppm would be okay. Think about it and their so called temp increase. Something doesn’t add up.

    http://notrickszone.com/2018/02/01/new-scare-science-global-sea-levels-rose-a-staggering-3-1-inches-1-42-mmyr-during-1958-2014/#comments

  • Neville says:

    We know that Antarctica is supposed to be negative for SLR for the next 300 years, but recently Greenland warming has become a bit patchy as well.
    Also Arctic temps usually drop when the AMO changes to the cool phase. And Dr Judith Curry expects the next cool phase of the AMO to develop after 2020. Who knows? See graphs at the link.
    Bjorn Lomborg also covered the importance of the AMO cycles ( impact on temps) in his book “Cool It”.

    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2018/01/29/greenland-is-getting-colder-new-study/

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Jesus, give this crap a rest.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Like the dogs in my suburb. One barks, the rest join in, and it’s bedlam for a few minutes. Then things settle down. The chief contributor is now asleep. Get the message?

  • Neville says:

    Korea prepares for record cold winter Olympics. But it’s just weather of course, except when it is warmer at any other shindig in any other area of the globe.
    Then this becomes climate change caused by humans using fossil fuels. Selective BS and fra-d are their specialty.

    https://eblnews.com/video/2018-winter-olympics-prepare-record-cold-temperatures-319178

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Some areas will get more rain, floods, and snowfall etc as the planet heats up due to increased water vapour.

      See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_vapor#/media/File:BAMS_climate_assess_boulder_water_vapor_2002_-_2.png

      Disrupted weather is a symptom of underlying climate change.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Chris, with respect I don’t know why you even bother … it will never lead to the likes of the terrible twins changing their steel trap minds. They spend at least half of their days and nights poring over the same sites that support their beliefs and then pouring the stuff out here.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Blith, please stop with the woolly-minded, lefty, proggy links.

        You should be perfectly aware that lower and mid-stratospheric long-term trends are negative, and the trends from Boulder are shown not to be globally representative.

        If you are not, there are plenty of papers you can brush up on to get your mind right.

        Disrupted weather is always a big part of Nat Var.

  • Neville says:

    The 2017 Fountain et al study has found 6 decades of glacier advance along the western Ross sea area of Antarctica.
    This is not the Canary in the coalmine they expected. Gore thrilled the salivating crowds of group thinkers with wild tales of the extreme SLR as their CAGW devastated the planet.
    But I guess we shouldn’t point out these inconvenient studies because the luvvies aren’t interested in the real planet earth, but prefer the extreme fairy tales about their fantasy planet.
    Silly Flannery, Gore, Williams, Jones, Viner etc will have plenty more fantasies to come.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V21/jan/a8.php

  • Neville says:

    Thanks SD, I wasn’t going to bother with Chris, but SLs along OZ’s east coast were at least 1.5 metres higher after the end of the Holocene optimum.
    Just 4,000 years ago in fact as is shown by this Catalyst ABC program. Sydney SLR today is about 0.65mm a year and Brisbane is less.
    So a lot lower today and a NZ Uni team have also checked the different island groups and found most have remained the same or grown over the last 30 years.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2278381.htm

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Your link was fake and did not support your dogma.

      from 1947 to 2014, …”five vegetated reef islands that vanished during that time period.”

      Between 2007 and 2014 – six islands disappeared.

      The islands of Nahlapenlohd and Kepidau en Pehleng have disappeared.

      In the Carteret Islands, the population may have to move due to sea level rise and one island – Huene – has been split into two, due to rising seas.

      As scientists have found, in fact 8 islands have disappeared.

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/2146594-eight-low-lying-pacific-islands-swallowed-whole-by-rising-seas/

      And denialists are denying like they never have before.

    • Chris Warren says:

      So is this what our denialists want to deny. In Micronesia, scientists found, in 2014, that:

      “Islands have disappeared within living memory, others drastically reduced in size in the past decade, while others – their sand cover washed away – are being reduced to a skeletal (boulders anchored by mangrove) state. ”

      All because of this: http://ig.utexas.edu/files/2016/10/FSM_RSL.png

      Only denialists deny this.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      Are you aware of more submerged islands in Pohnpei since 2007 …

      http://www.kpress.info/images/issue_18/laiap_01.jpg

      Do you want to deny this too?

      • spangled drongo says:

        Poor idiotic ol’ blith doesn’t know the difference between rising seas [as in storms and erosion] and rising sea levels.

        Two completely different situations.

        How come they admit that many similar low lying islands in the same area have not disappeared?

        What do you suppose that is telling you?

        Hint!!! That’s EROSION, not SLR.

        What is it about “Almost 25-years of meticulous data gathered by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology displays no discernible sea-level rise for Solomon Islands and Nauru. See the two graphs below”….that you don’t understand

        • David says:

          No difference SD.

          Both make your socks wet.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Well davie, some people get that a storm surge, that lasts for a day, is slightly different to SLR that is permanent.

            I find it very honest and refreshing of you to admit that you don’t understand this.

            Which, sadly, is more than our blith is prepared to do.

    • Chris Warren says:

      For those interested.

      This is what scientists using science have found…

      https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends.html

      Denialists have different methodology.

      • spangled drongo says:

        So now, in a response to being shown how he has misquoted sea level rise in the west Pacific, our blith posts a map of the world where there is so much vertical land movement in both directions following the LGM [awa so many other factors] that it has very little bearing on sea level measurements.

        When you have a world-wide full assessment of all this land movement, get back to us.

        Do yourself a favour and look out the window at your local sea levels [if you know where to find them, that is] and you will see for yourself that nothing is happening.

        As I keep telling you, blith, the solution is simple.

        STOP IT!!!

        Stop denying normality and Nat Var.

      • dlb says:

        Thanks for that link Chris.

        Interesting that almost all of the oceanic islands have a less than 3mm sea level rise per year. It is only along the continental margins that large positive or negative values are seen. But even then most sites rises are still under 3mm per year. I would guess tectonic forces and glacial rebound would be the influence on continental crusts?

        What I thought was most intriguing were the Hawaiian island chain. The most recent island, the big island of Hawaii, had the greatest sea rise at 3.01 mm, while as you headed NW the level dropped, so at Midway Island, basically a coral cay, the rise was only 1.3 mm. Obviously the bigger and less eroded islands were depressing the oceanic crust.

        With sea level rise at most sites under 30 cm a century, I can’t see any reason to panic.

  • Neville says:

    Chris I didn’t link to Prof Kench’s studies, but here is a later 2014 study that shows how islands respond to rising seas.
    I will find the other Kench study when I can.
    In fact a young Charles Darwin understood this over 150 years ago.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2013GL059000/full

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      In the absence of athropological warming, islands still evolve in response to natural climate changes.

      As your source says:

      Our findings suggest that island formation is complex and is likely dependent on the site specific temporal relationship between reef growth and sea level (which controls the depth window for effective wave entrainment and transport of sediments) and available sediment supply as previously proposed from evidence in the other reef regions.

      But you should have told us what Ketch et. al. actually said; ie

      “First, how will reef islands respond to future sea level rise? Reef islands provide the only habitable land in atoll nations such as the Maldives (Indian Ocean), Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands (Pacific). Projected sea level rise and climatic change are expected to promote widespread island inundation and shoreline erosion, threatening the security of atoll nations and rendering them uninhabitable over the next century.”

      If you access Ketch et. al. “Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century: Records from a central Pacific atoll”

      [“GEOLOGY, Volume 43. Number 6, http://www.gsapubs.org]

      you will find further explanation ie:

      ” Significantly, our results show that islands can persist on reefs under rates of sea-level rise on the order of 5 mm/yr. However, sea level is projected to increase by 1.2 m by 2100, at rates double that of recent times, and it is unclear whether islands will continue to maintain their dynamic adjustment at these higher rates of change. ”

      So there is no basis in any of this literature to deny sea level rise, and the Bureau of Meteorology shows how variable sea level rises are as at January 2018, here:

      http://www.bom.gov.au/cosppac/apps/portal/raster/SEA00002_sla_pac_201801.png

      Sea level rise is almost general across the Pacific ocean, at some places at rates that can be matched with additional coral growth and sediment accumulation, and others that cannot.

      Today’s mechanism of sea level rise has nothing to do with the Holocene.

  • David says:

    Nev, the only variables that can confirm your “natural variation hypothesis” are imaginary ones. Smell the coffee.

  • Neville says:

    Here is AM’s coverage of Kench et al coral Atoll islands.

    Pacific Islands growing: Research
    Philippa McDonald reported this story on Thursday, June 3, 2010 08:21:00
    Listen to MP3 of this story (

    minutes)
    Alternate WMA version | MP3 download
    PETER CAVE: For years we’ve been told that our small pacific island neighbours are about to disappear as a result of climate change.

    But findings released in today’s New Scientist magazine are set to challenge that thinking.

    A long term study by geologists has revealed that many islands in the central pacific are actually getting bigger and they’re not at risk of sinking.

    Philippa McDonald reports from Auckland.

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Associate Professor Paul Kench from the University of Auckland was among a team of scientists who compared changes to 27 central pacific islands over the last 20 to 60 years using historical aerial photos and satellite images.

    PAUL KENCH: Over those time frames 80 per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or have, in fact, got larger, and some of those islands have got dramatically larger by 20 or 30 per cent.

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Islands in Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia are among those which have grown, largely due to coral debris, land reclamation and sediment. Associate Professor Kench says rising sea levels are not drowning low level islands as many had forecast.

    PAUL KENCH: Islands can actually grow higher as well and keep pace with sea level change and the reason for this is that these islands are so low lying that in extreme events waves crash straight over the top of them and in doing that they transport sediment from the beach or the adjacent reef platform and they throw it onto the top of the island.

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: To what extent does this challenge the forecast that Kiribati and Tuvalu are sinking and that their populations need to live somewhere else?

    PAUL KENCH: That rather gloomy prognosis for these nations is incorrect. We’ve now got the evidence to suggest that the physical foundation of these countries will still be there in a hundred years. So that they perhaps do not need to flee their country.

    That poses even more significant challenges of how they cope with the changes ahead and there are questions arising now as to, the land may still be there but will they still be able to support human habitation?

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Naomi Thirobaux is from Kiribati and has studied the shape of pacific islands for her PhD. But she says no one should be lulled into thinking erosion and inundation is not taking its toll and displacing people from their land.

    NAOMI THIROBAUX: In a populated area what would happen was that, if it’s eroding, a few metres would actually displace people and in a populated place people can’t move back or inland because there’s hardly any place to move into. So that’s quite dramatic.

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: These findings are generating intense interest.

    Professor Barry Brooke is a climate scientist at the University of Adelaide.

    BARRY BROOKE: Well it is surprising in that sea levels are obviously rising. I think in the short term it suggests that there may be more time to do something about the problem than we’d first anticipated. But the key problem is that sea level rise is likely to accelerate much beyond what we’ve seen in the twentieth century.

    PHILIPPA MCDONALD: Gloom, doom or some hope but more questions over just how resilient low lying pacific islands are to rising sea levels.

    This is Phillipa McDonald reporting from Auckland for AM.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Neville

    The fact that:

    PAUL KENCH: Islands can actually grow higher as well and keep pace with sea level change and the reason for this is that these islands are so low lying that in extreme events waves crash straight over the top of them and in doing that they transport sediment from the beach or the adjacent reef platform and they throw it onto the top of the island.

    is no excuse for ignoring the ” pace with sea level change”. As already noted some islands can grow to match 5mm per year rise. However sea level change has sunk other islands and threatens to erode more if the pace increases.

    If you read the entire AM transcript you will know that the facts are that:

    BARRY BROOKE: Well it is surprising in that sea levels are obviously rising. I think in the short term it suggests that there may be more time to do something about the problem than we’d first anticipated. But the key problem is that sea level rise is likely to accelerate much beyond what we’ve seen in the twentieth century.

    which is entirely consistent with Kench et al. position I stated earlier viz:

    ” Significantly, our results show that islands can persist on reefs under rates of sea-level rise on the order of 5 mm/yr. However, sea level is projected to increase by 1.2 m by 2100, at rates double that of recent times, and it is unclear whether islands will continue to maintain their dynamic adjustment at these higher rates of change. ”

    So no scientist is denying global warming caused sea level rise and associated damage and impacts. You only get the deniers here.

    No scientist is associating current sea level rises with Holocene and no scientist is examining the impacts of sea level rise in the pacific by gazing stupidly at Fort Denison.

    .

    • spangled drongo says:

      ” Significantly, our results show that islands can persist on reefs under rates of sea-level rise on the order of 5 mm/yr. However, sea level is projected to increase by 1.2 m by 2100, at rates double that of recent times, and it is unclear whether islands will continue to maintain their dynamic adjustment at these higher rates of change. ”

      Where does that say that SLR is actually happening, blith?

      SLR in those islands and much of the coastal tropics is caused by trade winds which, in a big el Nino, cease to blow and a fall in SLs results.

      Look at the tide gauges.

      Hence coral bleaching as we have just experienced.

      But the only reason those islands will NOT continue to maintain their dynamic adjustment as they have done in the past in much higher rates of change [ average of 1 metre per century but often twice that rate] is because they now have too much population continually interfering with the coastline which prevents them from reacting in their natural manner.

      So Nat Var doesn’t necessarily apply in some of these cases.

      But Fort Denison and Moreton Bay will always give you a much truer indication of sea levels than coral atolls ever will.

      And they are telling us that there is nothing happening.

      It’s still not too late for you to check it out for yourself, blith.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s the Royal Society’s SLR graph for both Antarctica and Greenland for the next 300 years. You’ll note Antarctica is negative and Greenland is positive. These are all the models used by the IPCC.

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/364/1844/1709/F4.large.jpg

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes Neville, and what about the past, too:

      “Thirteen thousand years later, and homo snowflakus is worried about seas rising by 1mm a year”

      The things that went on before “climate change”:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/before-climate-change-falling-rocks-set-fire-to-10-of-land-trigger-mini-ice-age-for-1000-years/

    • Chris Warren says:

      Neville

      You do not understand. The graphs are NOT “sea level rise”.

      The graphs are “Rate of sea level rise”.

      There is a big difference between a rate of change and the amount of change.

      Have you just copied a pretty picture from a denialist blog without understanding what it means?

      • Neville says:

        Chris, the 300 year trend for Antarctica is negative and the trend for Greenland is positive and the rate for both trends are shown.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Neville

          While rates may vary – the sea level can still rise – at different rates.

          So the charts, which you seem to have copied from some unknown source, do not carry whatever your message is.

          The rates of sea level rise do vary, and are different between the north and south poles.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Poor ol’ blith doesn’t get that a zero to minus 3mm/y rate of SLR = NO sea level rise to 3mm/y sea level DROP.

            “The rates of sea level rise do vary, and are different between the north and south poles.”

            You actually read that somewhere, blith?

            What a source of sci-info you are.

  • Neville says:

    The 2017 Hodgkins et al study of Nth America and European floods finds no AGW link over the last 80 years. Here’s the excellent Co2 Science summary and the link.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V21/feb/a3.php

    No Evidence of an Anthropogenic Influence on Floods

    Paper Reviewed
    Hodgkins, G.A., Whitfield, P.H., Burn, D.H., Hannaford, J., Renard, B., Stahl, K., Fleig, A.K., Madsen, H., Mediero, L., Korhonen, J., Murphy, C. and Wilson, D. 2017. Climate-driven variability in the occurrence of major floods across North America and Europe. Journal of Hydrology 552: 704-717.

    Model projections of future increases in precipitation from anthropogenic global warming have led to concerns that there will be corresponding increases in river flooding. Consequently, many researchers have begun to search for evidence of more frequent and/or severe flooding over the past several decades. The latest team of scientists to conduct such an investigation is Hodgkins et al. (2017), who examined trends in the occurrence of major floods across North America and Europe over the past eight decades.

    In preparing for their analysis, the twelve researchers first made sure to build a proper database free of contaminating influences. This was accomplished by their using only those hydrologic stations that were located in minimally altered catchments. Such catchments, for example, had to contain (1) less than 10 percent urban area, (2) have no substantial flow alteration or changes in land cover, (3) less than 10 years of missing data and (4) good quality gauges capable of providing accurate peak-flow data. By sticking to these criteria, the authors were confident that any trends they found in the data would most likely be the result of climate-driven influences (either human-induced or natural in origin). This winnowing process led the authors to select 1204 hydrologic stations, which they utilized to examine for changes in major flood events over the period 1961-2010. They then repeated their analysis on a smaller subset of 322 stations over the longer time period of 1931-2010. And what did their results reveal?

    Hodgkins et al. report that “there was no compelling evidence for consistent changes over time in major-flood occurrence during the 80 years through 2010,” adding that “the number of significant trends in major-flood occurrence across North America and Europe was approximately [equal to] the number expected due to chance alone.” Consequently, they conclude that “compelling evidence for increased flooding at a global scale is lacking.” And this lack of evidence, we would add, disproves any and all attempts by climate alarmists to claim that major floods are currently increasing due to anthropogenic-induced climate change — at least over this large portion of the globe!
    Posted 5 February 2018
    Printer Friendly Version
    Copyright © 2018. Center for the Study of Carbon

  • Neville says:

    The Bohai sea area of Nth China has shown an increase in ice cover trend over the last 30 years and temps have also reduced over that period.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V21/jan/a14.php

  • spangled drongo says:

    “Climate predictions come in two types, those that failed to materialise and those that are yet to fail to materialise. So much fun.”

  • Neville says:

    I just watched a couple of videos on you tube, telling us what would happen if all the ice on earth melted. Bill Nye claims about 70 metres SLR and another claims 68.3 metres.
    If we use Nye’s number, Antarctica would add 62.3 metres, Greenland 7 metres and the rest 0.7 metres = 70 metres or nearly 230 feet.
    Needless to say this would take many thousands of years and incredible amounts of energy to even start to achieve this outcome. For a start precipitation would always increase as the world started to warm, so more evaporation, more rainfall, more snowfall and more ice until a switch started to occur.
    Probably this switch would take a very long time because more snow and ice cover would absorb less of the Sun’s energy and therefore slow the process down considerably. Then again we may also see clouds misbehaving and causing some other kind of negative feedback and slowing the whole process down again. Who knows, but I suspect it would take a very long time and many thousands of years before future generations noticed much of a change.
    And here I’m only referring to their AGW forcing caused by a doubling of Co2 ( to 560 ppm) and if that also leads to more negative feedback then all bets are off.

  • spangled drongo says:

    World Leading Authority: Sea Level “Absolutely Stable”:

    http://notrickszone.com/2018/02/04/world-leading-authority-sea-level-absolutely-stable-poor-quality-data-from-office-perps-ipcc-false/#sthash.fqC8gWZn.dpbs

    This bloke must actually step outside and look.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “Get the message?”

    Apparently not. So who won this round?

    Tune in again for the next episode of “Blue Seas”. Or “Blue Skies”. Or “My Blue Heaven”.

    Or don’t bother – it’ll be the same blather, just louder.

    • Neville says:

      What’s your point Bryan? This is a post about global temp, so I’m sorry we’re not following the footy or cricket or the latest idiot TV soapy or whatever. I for one appreciate the effort Don puts into his posts and you’ll note that I’m absent at times because I don’t feel I have much to add to the discussion.
      But I then become a lurker and still read the comments, although I don’t comment at all or just some of the time.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        “What’s your point Bryan?”
        That everybody has made THEIR points over and over again. Nothing new has been contributed for months. Dr A says this, Dr B contradicts him. ‘Sea level’s rising – no it’s not’. In any real science establishment, predicting the climate a hundred years in advance would be laughed to scorn, and setting an arbitrary limit on hot hot we’ll allow the temperature to go, and assuming we can meet that goal is simply preposterous. Everybody knows this.
        Elon Musk wants to colonise Mars – he’d be better showing he can terraform Earth.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Bryan, you mustn’t have noticed how much this climate change craziness is costing the world?

          Trying to solve what is very likely a non-problem?

          You have on one side the doom-sayers who are sending us broke with solutions that don’t work that are overriding the more practical solutions of rational people.

          We should all be trying to be part of the right solution and the best way we know is to point out the errors of the doom-sayers.

          If you have a better method of arriving at rationality please say so.

          • David says:

            No I have not noticed. My stock portfolio has been going through the roof, bit of a blip yesterday. But all good now. Australia has had 25 years of continual positive growth. My rental property is going well. I am making money hand over fist. Planning my annual overseas holiday as we speak. I am thinking of going to India to watch IPL.

          • spangled drongo says:

            So pleased you are doing so well investing offshore while anyone trying to run a local business and employ local people is going broke.

            Mostly because of govt policies forcing cost increases to cope with “climate change”.

            And govt policy on out-of-control migration has been so good for rental property too, hey?

            So thoughtful of you to take your well earned holiday overseas too, davie.

            Where would we all be without smart people like you to pull our chestnuts out of the fire for us?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Davie, I hope you know who is responsible for your stock portfolio going through the roof and you thank him for it every night.

            Also something to improve your education on the misuse and abuse of statistics:

            “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”

            http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

        • spangled drongo says:

          Bryan, when there is good reason to believe that our best climate institutions are corrupt in their group think and show no inclination to do anything other than carry on regardless, the “point” can never be made often enough:

          http://joannenova.com.au/2018/02/scandal-bom-ignores-major-site-changes-at-iconic-historic-sydney-observatory-sloppy-or-deliberate/#comments

        • Chris Warren says:

          Bryan

          Your labels;

          “laughed to scorn”, and “preposterous”;

          adorn your good self so well that no further comment is necessary.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Provide a verified, peer-reviewed example of any human intervention that has lowered the average global temperature by even a tenth of a degree. Preposterous, eh?

  • David says:

    Bryan, you seem out of sorts. Crankier than usual. Are you OK?

    • spangled drongo says:

      Maybe he was checking out the Muslim bookstore:

      “I was walking in the mall and I saw that there was a Muslim bookstore. The sign outside led me to wonder just what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore, so I went in.

      As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk gave me the stink eye, but asked if he could help me.

      I know I didn’t look like his normal clientele, so I asked,

      “Do you have a copy of Donald Trump’s book on his U.S. immigration policy regarding Muslims and illegal aliens?”

      The clerk said, “Kiss my ass, get out, and stay out!”

      I said, “Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in paperback?”‘

  • Chris Warren says:

    Do you feel sorry for the poor ‘ol dumb Queenslander denialists?

    Nuh! When they scratch themselves and ask where is this global warming? just tell them …

    “They are standing in it”

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/weather/records-tumble-as-state-sweats-through-its-hottest-ever-year/news-story/0e343e4613d99b6b22322670155b447f

    • spangled drongo says:

      Queenslanders have been standing in it for the last couple of centuries, blith luv.

      It’s just that alarmist-bed-wetters believe in discarding all the old records, cooling the past and introducing hundreds of new AWSs that give false spikes that mercury never did.

      And then claim it’s the hottest EVAH!!!

      We used to work in 50c heat that was measured on “Coolgardie Safe” verandahs [the air-conditioning of the far west] but that’s all been either discarded or adjusted.

      It’s a shame you have never lived in the real world, blith.

      You’ve missed such a lot.

  • Chris Warren says:

    2017 data means we now have 5 years of data to confirm modelling by the UK Met Office.

    Boy – did they get it wrong. They completely underestimated the warming over this period.

    See here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/gallery/decadal-forecast-verification-2012-2017.png

    They expected the southern atlantic ocean to cool – it didn’t.

    They only expected mild warming at the north pole, but this received massive warming.

    The Met Office has now issued another “Decadal forecast” in which they admit there is now a 10% probability we will exceed 1.5C global warming for at least a year – presumably El Nino?

    Details are here: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/seasonal-to-decadal/long-range/decadal-fc

    And of course all this will continue for the next 100 years even though our pet denialists are still barking like crazy – “poor fools they”.

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