Why 2014 Won’t Be the Warmest Year on Record

October 21st, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Much is being made of the “global” surface thermometer data, which three-quarters the way through 2014 is now suggesting the global average this year will be the warmest in the modern instrumental record.

I claim 2014 won’t be the warmest global-average year on record.

..if for no other reason than this: thermometers cannot measure global averages — only satellites can. The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch — of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis. You can travel hundreds if not thousands of kilometers without finding a thermometer nearby.

(And even if 2014 or 2015 turns out to be the warmest, this is not a cause for concern…more about that later).

The two main research groups tracking global lower-tropospheric temperatures (our UAH group, and the Remote Sensing Systems [RSS] group) show 2014 lagging significantly behind 2010 and especially 1998:


With only 3 months left in the year, there is no realistic way for 2014 to set a record in the satellite data.

Granted, the satellites are less good at sampling right near the poles, but compared to the very sparse data from the thermometer network we are in fat city coverage-wise with the satellite data.

In my opinion, though, a bigger problem than the spotty sampling of the thermometer data is the endless adjustment game applied to the thermometer data. The thermometer network is made up of a patchwork of non-research quality instruments that were never made to monitor long-term temperature changes to tenths or hundredths of a degree, and the huge data voids around the world are either ignored or in-filled with fictitious data.

Furthermore, land-based thermometers are placed where people live, and people build stuff, often replacing cooling vegetation with manmade structures that cause an artificial warming (urban heat island, UHI) effect right around the thermometer. The data adjustment processes in place cannot reliably remove the UHI effect because it can’t be distinguished from real global warming.

Satellite microwave radiometers, however, are equipped with laboratory-calibrated platinum resistance thermometers, which have demonstrated stability to thousandths of a degree over many years, and which are used to continuously calibrate the satellite instruments once every 8 seconds. The satellite measurements still have residual calibration effects that must be adjusted for, but these are usually on the order of hundredths of a degree, rather than tenths or whole degrees in the case of ground-based thermometers.

And, it is of continuing amusement to us that the global warming skeptic community now tracks the RSS satellite product rather than our UAH dataset. RSS was originally supposed to provide a quality check on our product (a worthy and necessary goal) and was heralded by the global warming alarmist community. But since RSS shows a slight cooling trend since the 1998 super El Nino, and the UAH dataset doesn’t, it is more referenced by the skeptic community now. Too funny.

In the meantime, the alarmists will continue to use the outdated, spotty, and heavily-massaged thermometer data to support their case. For a group that trumpets the high-tech climate modeling effort used to guide energy policy — models which have failed to forecast (or even hindcast!) the lack of warming in recent years — they sure do cling bitterly to whatever will support their case.

As British economist Ronald Coase once said, “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything.”

So, why are the surface thermometer data used to the exclusion of our best technology — satellites — when tracking global temperatures? Because they better support the narrative of a dangerously warming planet.

Except, as the public can tell, the changes in global temperature aren’t even on their radar screen (sorry for the metaphor).

Of course, 2015 could still set a record if the current El Nino ever gets its act together. But I’m predicting it won’t.

Which brings me to my second point. If global temperatures were slowly rising at, say, a hundredth of a degree per year and we didn’t have cool La nina or warm El Nino years, then every year would be a new record warm year.

But so what?

It’s the amount of temperature rise that matters. And for a planet where all forms of life experience much wider swings in temperature than “global warming” is producing, which might be 1 deg. C so far, those life forms — including the ones who vote — really don’t care that much. We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree, which no one can actually feel.

Not surprisingly, the effects on severe weather are also unmeasurable …despite what some creative-writing “journalists” are trying to get you to believe. Severe weather varies tremendously, especially on a local basis, and to worry that the average (whatever than means) might change slightly is a total misplacement of emphasis.

Besides, once you consider that there’s nothing substantial we can do about the global warming “problem” in the near term, short of plunging humanity into a new economic Dark Age and killing millions of people in the process, its a wonder that climate is even on the list of the public’s concerns, let alone at the bottom of the list.

179 Responses to “Why 2014 Won’t Be the Warmest Year on Record”

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  1. John W. Garrett says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Thank you for this timely reminder of the dubious reliability of the surface thermometer temperature record.

  2. jimc says:

    Well, that fraction of a degree makes a big difference to the goats.

    “’Shrinking goats’ another indicator that climate change affects animal size”

    • BBould says:

      I started to read that and quit, its an absurd article.

      • jimc says:

        You skeptics are definitely uncaring people.

        • DEEBEE says:


        • lewis says:

          I read the article. It turns out, the warmer temperature makes the grass/food grow differently, except in this case. In this case the goats rest more, meaning they don’t eat as often and that is the problem. Well now I’m really upset.

          JIMC – the climate of earth has changed enormously the past 30,000 years. Look it up. Glaciers covered a large portion of the northern hemisphere. The climate go warmer. The glaciers melted. Think – just how big were those goats 20,000 years ago, when it was so much colder than it is now. They must have been huge and seem to have survived it all.

          So let’s get serious here. You’re worried about a relatively minor change in a species of goat and expect us to do what about it.

          I know – shoot the goats. Put them out of their misery. Feed the starving people in – somewhere.

          • Chris Schoneveld says:

            “Warmer temperature” ??? Was is that? Warmer water or warmer air or warmer anything physical that’s ok, but you can not warm up a temperature. Maybe you meant “hIgher temperature”.

          • Ron says:

            Actually, the alarmist would rather shoot the people and save the goat, that is until they figure out the goat exhales CO2 also, then they will shoot them too

          • lewis says:

            Chris S.,

            Try using ‘warmer’ as an adjective. It is not exclusively a verb.

        • E. Bleeker says:

          What does caring for goats have to do with an article about whether it is warming or not? You alarmists don’t bother about the facts you just want to feel superior to those bad skeptics, how pathetic.

    • Phyte On says:

      Shrinking peckers will be the next alarmist claim…shrinking woodpeckers that is…size matters.

      • wayne says:

        He he!

        I’d just love the climatic scientists to claim such hogwash, however it would be characteristic of their MO.

        At least half of the populace know that these instead shrink when cold, not when warmed, even if made of wood. It takes some external heat energy to cause expansion, for instance from nearby SW radiation emitted from some ћot body’s curved surfaces or even just lcd radiation in proper wavelengths and spatial configurations.

  3. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    Dr. Spencer
    Could you explain if and how eventual UHI is treated by the satellites.
    In some way i think that UHI should not be corrected for. If the Globe gets warmer or colder, it should be measured no matter the reason.
    If you allow for UHI correction to find the real “climate signal” you let the cat out of the bag. Then you should also correct for snow cover, ice cover, land changes, crop changes, and maybe for el nino and draught/rain. The list has no end.
    It is a bit funny that the climate community is looking forward to an el nino, to claim more warming. That warming would have nothing to do with CO2.

    • DEEBEE says:

      It is not treated at all. That seemed clear IMO

    • Nate says:

      Svend, the point is that el ninos are riding on top of a trend. If there were no trend, there would be no reason to expect a record this year or next, in any of the data sets.

      To see if there is a trend, compare 2014 to other similar (w/ respect to el nino) years. 2014 is year in which an el nino is probably developing. Therefore you should compare 2014 to 1997 or 2009. Try it for Roy’s data or any other set. You will see a clear trend.

      Though lots of love shown here for satellite data, the data has been notoriously difficult to analyze, with various drifts and corrections needed and problems when satellites going out of service. Roy has been forced to make many corrections over the years-some of which completely changed the temperature trends. First there was a negative trend, then it changed to flat, then positive, then more positive. Is all corrected now? Who knows?

      • Fonzarelli says:

        …and yet UAH and RSS corroborate each other fairly well.

        • BBould says:

          Exactly, I found that to be the most interesting.

        • DavidA says:

          Fonzarelli says:
          October 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM
          “…and yet UAH and RSS corroborate each other fairly well.”

          They do? Over the last 18 years, RSS shows zero warming for the LT, while UAH shows +0.18 C.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Yes, David, but note that at all times they are no further than one tenth of a degree apart… (and more often than not a lot closer than that)

    • Calvin says:

      The problem is that UHI affects the surface-temperature record precisely because the surface-temperature record is so far from comprehensive, i.e., so unrepresentative of the globe as a whole. Purely for illustration’s sake, suppose for instance that there are 2,500 surface-temperature datapoints to work with, and of those 500 are affected by UHI. That means UHI affects one-fifth of the datapoints, so its affect on the average will be proportional. But suppose that there are 2,500 million satellite-measured datapoints, and of those still 500 are affected by UHI. That means UHI affects not one-fifth but two one-hundred-thousandths of a percent of the datapoints, so its affect on the average will be proportional. I.e., UHI disappears in the satellite averages not because the satellites don’t detect it WHERE IT OCCURS (in urbanized areas–and, by the way, you’d be astounded at how “urbanized” gets defined for this purpose–it includes not just places like Manhattan but also little Eskimo villages in Alaska, where there is indeed a measurable UHI), but because where it occurs is such a tiny proportion of the GLOBE, even if it’s a comparatively large proportion of the surface-station temperature record.

      Roy, have I got that right?

      • James Strom says:

        I was about to post something like this. The satellites record temperatures affected by UHI but they don’t give those temperatures disproportionate weighting.

  4. Frank K. says:

    So where is all the heat coming from? It can’t be the land masses. Is it the ocean (mild el Nino)? Arctic/Antarctica? If it’s either of the latter two, there’s NO WAY anyone can know what the ocean surface or polar temperatures were 100 years ago. There are no reliable measurements for the poles and most of the ocean’s surface outside shipping routes, and there the measurements are approximate by today’s standards.

    Then there’s the issue of TOBS only being applied to the U.S. I’ve never understood that one…

  5. An excellent defense of the satellite measurements. I had not realized how much more accurate the satellites were than the land-based thermometers. It also should be obvious that a ground-based network run on a shoe-string and reliant on thousands of dedicated volunteers will often have poor quality instruments that will be very infrequently calibrated.
    By the way the British economist Ronald Coase (1910-1913) was the outright winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in his discipline, unlike some of the climate community who claim credit for a shared Peace Prize for a UN body to which they were among thousands of contributors. Coase had two major, quite profound insights in economics.

    • bev says:

      “Coase had… insights”

      AND did not need to use obscurantist maths or crass models to explain them.

  6. Doug Proctor says:

    I am so tired of the warmist group picking one set of satellite data to confirm their sea level rise because the tidal gauge stations don’t agree with their position, and then NOT picking the satellite data for global lower atmosphere temperatures because the satellite data doesn’t agree with their position. With the satellite data, first it was okay to take the satellite data that showed less ice coverage, and then when the ice coverage was increasing, it was not good to take the satellite data: you had to use ice VOLUME. Which is not satellite data compatible.

    We have had all this satellite data, we now have satellite data to determine cloud cover, and yet we don’t have cloud cover historical data. Why? And yet cloud cover obviously has an equal or greater radiative forcing than CO2.

    The public doesn’t realize how carefully the data is picked, how carefully some data is NOT picked, and how strange “adjustments” – even to the sea level data! by adding in GIA, which is irrelevant to a coastline threat – are made on a continuing basis.

    Every now and then I get twitchy about running counter to the mainstream. And then I go back to the basics and see weird things that are necessary to the CAGW narrative, but which leave the analytical me going “Huh?”.

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi Doug,

      You correctly noted:

      “The public doesn’t realize how carefully the data is picked, how carefully some data is NOT picked, and how strange “adjustments” – even to the sea level data! by adding in GIA, which is irrelevant to a coastline threat – are made on a continuing basis.

      Every now and then I get twitchy about running counter to the mainstream.”

      As I’ve pointed out in previous threads the CAGW community of fabricators not only cherry pick data they’ll conjure it up by adjusting actual data or in other words make it up as they go along. The University of Colorado admitted to adjusting their sea surface/level data upward to reflect their supposed belief that the world’s ocean basins are growing. The graphs and data they provide really seem designed for students who as children had been routinely dropped from a significant height on their skulls.

      As to going against the stream. Chesterton put it best:

      “A dead thing goes with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

      ― G.K. Chesterton

      • John W. Garrett says:

        Here’s another insight from a profound thinker:

        “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

        -George Bernard Shaw

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi John W Garrett,

          Thank you for a great quote. You may or may not know that G.K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw had a close relationship, discussed topics of the day, wrote to each other and they may even have publicly debated one another.

          Have a great day!

      • Jerry L Krause says:

        Hi JohnKl,

        Just looked up Chesterton because I had never heard of him. Were you aware of Lewis Agassiz?

        And help me, what is the following quote of G. B. Shaw saying? Who, in the controversy of man-caused climate change, is the reasonable man and who is the unreasonable man?

        Have a good day,


        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Jerry L Krause,

          Gilbert Keith Chesterton was in my opinion one of the greatest writers and thinkers of the 20th century. G.B. Shaw though a lesser light, had much useful advice. Yes, know of Louis Agassiz. Among other accomplishments he convinced Charles Lyell of the existence of an ice-age.

          The G.B. Shaw quote suggests that only the person unreasonable enough to persistently try to adapt or change the world around him to his liking will move the human lot forward. The person who simply adapts his ambitions to the world as he finds it progresses not at all. He simply reduces his dreams to what stares him in the face.

          The CAGW community & fellow eco-whackos persist in scaring people about their minutest impact on the planet from the excess emission of atmospheric plant food CO2. They harangue the masses into reducing their actions and ambition to what they believe must be a reduced scope of existence to make them conform to some undefined, delusion of sustainability. In this sense, they do not seek the conquest of NATURE in general. Quite the opposite, the seek the conquest of their fellow MEN. George Bernard Shaw lived during the peak of the early years of industrialization and saw the enormous benefit resulting from the conquest and proper utilization of nature and God’s bounty (although I’m not sure if he ever recognized God’s existence). He clearly (and in my opinion rightly) praised the human effort (mental and physical) applied to the conquest of the natural world and new the few unreasonable men brave enough to confront the challenge would carry the whining world on their shoulders. You asked me before about FREE PRODUCTIVE MINDS and MARKETS. You may wish to begin here.

          Have a great day!

          • Jerry L Krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            Thanks for responding. My problem is in my world it is the reasonable men who have been brave enough to challenge the evil of the world. To me reasonable men know that they cannot change what God created (fool Mother nature) and it is unreasonable men who think they can. The bottom line is I do not consider myself an unreasonable man.

            Have a good day,


          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            You do indeed seem reasonable to me. Please remember I attempted to explain G. B. Shaw’s quote. However, you did state:

            “To me reasonable men know that they cannot change what God created (fool Mother nature) and it is unreasonable men who think they can.”

            In my opinion, God in fact does instruct us to take dominion over nature which by definition includes change/alteration of it. Genesis chapter 1 verses 26-28 state:

            Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.
            God created mankind in his image;
            in the image of God he created them;
            male and female* he created them.
            God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.* Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.”

            Btw, to repeat I do believe you to be very reasonable also. Nevertheless, I simply cannot accept the human hands-off-the-planet attitude so many eco-nazi’s take. Thanks and …

            Have a great day!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            One other point. God’s instructions as I’m sure you will agree should be considered REASONABLE!

            Have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            John, I must confess to being a “hands off the planet eco-nazi”… I just don’t think that agw, flawed as it is, actually means that we have our hands on the planet. In particular, I think that a very weak case is being made with the carbon data. (and i don’t think skeptics are doing a very good job cross examining that case) As well, if Dr Spencer’s data set is correct, then that means when every one thought that it was warming, it wasn’t! And now that they think it isn’t warming, it is! (comparisons with carbon growth vouch for the accuracy of the UAH data set, as you know I’ve been repeating of late) So what’s an eco-nazi to do?! Just imagine my neurosis when I walk into the whole foods store. I’m thrilled to see all the clearly marked non gmo food on the shelves and yet disdained when they won’t even give me a plastic bag to carry it home with!!! (do you know what it’s like to have your tofu fall out the bottom of a paper bag when it rains?) I just think the nonsense has got to stop. It’s one thing to be concerned about the environment and quite another to be delusional…

          • Jerry L Krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            Just a short note, again I believe we agree where it matters.

            I hope you haven’t concluded that I think we should just look at nature. You quote Gen 1:28 what I consider the first commandment. Have dominion over My creation. Do not let the creation have dominion over you. And having dominion having good stewardship practices, like harvest forests when they are mature instead of watching them burn down. Do not know if this clarifies anything if there was confusion. To me Ben Franklin and the other founders of USA were reasonable and very brave men, and so was Galileo.

            I’m making a couple day trip to the Oregon outback so will look to see what you responded to other and possibly to this. Because I am still a bit confused.

            Have a good day,


          • Jerry L Krause says:

            Hi JohnKl,

            I maybe exiting from participating in blogsites because there is too great a lack of continuity and the fact I prefer private conversations to public ones. If you want to continue any further conversations I am sure you know how to contact me.

            I have been pondering Shaw’s quote (“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world, the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”) and have discovered a possible cause of my confusion.

            In Galileo’s book, Dialogues Concerning Two New Science, Elsevier (the publisher) wrote (as translated by Crew and de Salvio: “For, according to the common saying, sight can teach more and with greater certainty in a single day than can precept even though repeated a thousand times; or, as another says, intuitive knowledge keeps pace with accurate definition.” There are at least two worlds to which Shaw might be referring: the natural world and the people world. It seems your explanation of Shaw’s quote assumes he is referring to a people world and I know I was assuming he was referring to a natural world.

            However, if I focus on the contribution that the Wright Bros. made, which must be considered progress, I cannot conclude that, by either definition of world, they were being unreasonable men.
            Or, in the case of Edison’s invention of the light bulb, I cannot conclude he was being an unreasonable man in any sense of how one might define ‘world’. Yes, both the Wright Bros. and Edison were passionately driven men pursuing a very defined objective and both were using what is commonly considered the fundamental method of modern science: test an idea to literally ‘see” if it works. And in the Oct. 13, 2014 issue of C&EN (Chemistry and Engineering News) I read: “The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics honors the inventors of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which have made possible inexpensive, efficient white light for a variety of applications.” These inventors were Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakanura and I wonder if anyone who personally knows these men would describe them as being unreasonable men. I cannot believe the efforts and achievements of these six men could ever have been described as being controversial. Therefore, based upon this analysis, I must conclude that Shaw was absolutely wrong when he wrote: “Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”. The key world is ’all’. Based upon observation, progress has not required unreasonable men unless you go back to the beginning of modern science when Copernicus and Galileo challenged the long held knowledge of certain Greek philosophers, who preceded the Christian Church by centuries.

            Joseph Fourier, Mem. De l’ Ac. R. d. Sci, de l’tInst. De France, t. vii, 1827, first proposed, at this very early time, the idea that the atmosphere of the earth acted as the glass of a greenhouse to keep the temperature of the earth warmer than it would be if it were not for certain atmospheric gases which absorbed and emitted longwave (dark) radiation. There is no doubt that radiation emitted by these certain gases in a downward direction toward the earth’s surface are observed. And certainly there must be a consequence of this observed fact. But what is this consequence and what is its magnitude? I wrote that I questioned the proposal that this downward radiation absorbed by the surface heated the surface; instead I proposed that this absorbed downward radiation slowed the cooling of the surface just as the condensation of water vapor in a parcel of atmosphere slows its cooling rate as it adiabatically rises. But Joel Shore presented the argument that if there were no downward radiation to be observed, the temperature of the surface would be less because the cooling rate would be greater. And I had to admit to the reasonableness of his argument (reasoning).

            However, in trying to accurately define the real natural system which exists, I find that I, and many others, do not begin to define the two different situation that generally exist during each diurnal temperature cycle. Just as we do not generally clearly and accurately acknowledge the easily observed differences between earth (land) surfaces and ocean surfaces. First, during the daytime the earth-atmosphere system is warmed during most of the ’daytime’ and during most of the nighttime the earth-atmosphere system is cooled as it radiates to space most all the energy it has absorbed the previous daytime. But, this description (definition) of the heating-cooling cycle of the earth-atmosphere system ignores the fact that a significant portion of the solar radiation (energy) absorbed by the ‘land’ surface is also radiated back toward space as longwave IR radiaton during the daytime. This is because the heated land surface’s temperature is greater than that that of the cooling land surface during much of the nighttime. And this leads to the difference between land surfaces and ocean (liquid water) surfaces. Several responses have pointed to the fact that the solar radiation is absorbed throughout a large volume of matter and it is not just the surface of land which is absorbing most all the solar radiation that is absorbed by the earth-atmosphere system. I have the great problem I have no personal experience with the tropical ocean’s diurnal temperature cycle and I do not know how to access all the data being continuously being observed from buoys in the tropical Pacific. All I know is that while solar radiation is absorbed throughout a layer, of significant depth, of the ocean while the longwave IR radiation being emitted to space is only being emitted from the ocean’s surface by water molecules. So, I do not even know if the radiation being emitted from the surface has a blackbody distribution of wavelengths or if the radiation being emitted only has the distribution of wavelengths reasonably expected for water molecules in the atmosphere. And having noted the latter, I must admit I do not actually know what the distribution of wavelengths of being emitted by water molecules in the atmosphere is observed to be. On this note that I have an extremely limited amount of knowledge, I maybe say goodby, unless you privately contact me.

            Have a good day,


    • DavidA says:

      “The public doesn’t realize how carefully the data is picked, how carefully some data is NOT picked…”

      The data are “picked” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, they show the Pause.

  7. As far as I am concern the only data that has any meaning is satellite data.

  8. ossqss says:

    I would rather sweat than shiver, but have been doing much shivering in Florida winter the last 5 years as compared to the 20 prior to that.

    Hopefully Gavin doesn’t adjust my comment too 😉

  9. bassman says:

    Do I interpret the UAH data correctly that 2014 is already warmer than 2013? I had done the math a few weeks ago and found that 2014 was lagging 2013 but this shows the opposite. Were there revisions to the UAH data?

    I find UAH data to be very useful. My only complaint is that it is too sensitive to changes in ENSO. It also tends to lag the MEI index by a good 5 months. If you average the UAH over 5 year time periods you do get a very consistent rate of warming however.

    I think the most important trend to focus on is Dec-Feb temps as these seem to have been held back or influenced the most by La Niña like conditions over the last decade (mostly northern hemisphere). Will positive ocean temps cause record breaking temps during these months? Do we really need an El Niño to have 2015 replace 2014 as the warmest on record? I think not. The next 12 months will be very interesting at the surface.

  10.  Physicist. ↓ says:


    I predicted cooling would be more obvious by 2014 back in August 2011 in an archived statement. That is because all climate change is 100% natural cycles regulated by the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. The whole radiative greenhouse conjecture is false as explained below.

    Jeff Conlon on The Air Vent asked: “So you are stating that your idea is not new and are of the belief that Loshmidt had the right answer correct?”

    To this I replied:

    The fact that the temperature gradient forms autonomously at the molecular level (without any specific need for upward convection) was first explained in the 19th century, and has never been correctly rebuked. But this “gravito-thermal effect” has been overlooked by James Hansen et al. Hence 255K is not the right “starting point” and there is not “33 degrees of warming” but more like 10 to 12 degrees of cooling by radiating molecules, mostly water vapour of course, because the radiating properties of these molecules have a temperature levelling effect working against the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient that is not due to any lapsing process..

    But what has not been explained prior to the 21st century is how the necessary energy transfers over the sloping thermal profile just like new rain water falling on a small section of a lake spreads out evenly over the whole lake. This is what happens (and must happen) in planetary tropospheres, and it happens because the Second Law of Thermodynamics is all about thermodynamic equilibrium evolving. Thermodynamic equilibrium has a density gradient (because there must be more kinetic energy per molecule at lower altitudes) and that density gradient thus has a temperature gradient.

    Thermodynamic equilibrium is what it says – an equilibrium state just as much as is mechanical equilibrium which keeps the surface of a lake more-or-less following the curvature of the Earth. Gravity spreads new rain water over the lake, raising the level all around the lake. Likewise, new thermal energy absorbed in a planet’s upper troposphere or elsewhere (such as in and above clouds) spreads out in all accessible directions by convection, where I use the term to mean both diffusion and advection in accord with normal usage in physics. And that’s how the required energy gets down to the base of the Uranus troposphere to maintain temperatures hotter than Earth’s surface. Likewise on Venus and likewise on Earth because solar radiation directly to the surface is nowhere near sufficient and we would freeze on cloudy days if this downward convection were not a reality.



    This comment is being posted on about six other blogs as I don’t like wasting my time on just one blog, unless a blog owner runs an article on the content of my book and agrees not to delete any of my comments replying to comments on that thread. I may do likewise with any future such questions and answers in the interests of disseminating correct physics and gradually wearing down the greatest error ever made since the flat Earth garbage.


    • DEEBEE says:

      Keep trying since you have not disseminated anything of interest as of yet.

      •  Physicist. ↓ says:

        Well you explain how the necessary thermal energy gets down to the base of the nominal troposphere of the planet Uranus in order to maintain temperatures around 320K – hotter than Earth’s surface. You explain why my study of 30 years of temperature data from three continents proves water vapour cools, quite the opposite of what the IPCC thinks. Remember there’s a $5,000 reward on offer to the first person to prove the physics and the study to be substantially wrong. Put up or ….

  11. MyersKL says:

    The scientists pushing this AGW fiction are doing it for the following reasons:

    Research money
    Front-page publicity
    Awards, travel and speaking engagements
    Peer pressure
    Fear (not getting invited to the next cocktail party)

    •  Physicist. ↓ says:

      Spot on. Add “saving face” and income from climate blog advertising what’s up with that in the millions.

    • Phyte On says:

      Scientists are as flawed men as any other profession. Scientists aren’t any less motivated by ego than other professional. The currency of their ego is prestige, recognition, popularity, advancement, notoriety, etc. The pull of these attractions to a scientist are just as hard to resist as the temptations to a Wall Street Banker.

  12. bassman says:

    Sorry my phrase:

    “My only complaint is that it is too sensitive to changes in ENSO. It also tends to lag the MEI index by a good 5 months.”

    sounds pretty stupid. The fact that UAH lags changes ENSO more than surface temps is not a big deal.

  13. Fonzarelli says:

    Dr. S., what happens if you decide to take up golf one day and leave all this climate change craziness behind? (Will your methodology be preserved going forward?)

    • bev says:

      If he does and if he is wrong about the amount of global warming, he will have to take a sweater off while playing.

  14.  Physicist. ↓ says:


    The Second Law of Thermodynamics implies that there will be a density gradient in a planet’s troposphere. Guess what! There is.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics also implies that there will be a temperature gradient in a planet’s troposphere. Guess what! There is.

    Hence there is no need for concern about carbon dioxide or water vapour supposedly warming the Earth by that “33 degrees” because the laws of physics can be used to explain why they cool Earth’s surface when their radiating properties work against the gravitationally induced temperature gradient.

    Correct use of the laws of physics leads to correct conclusions which are in accord with empirical evidence.


    • jimc says:

      Doug, are you for real? The second law (first law or zeroth through nth law) doesn’t predict the density gradient – gravity plus the ideal gas law does . Nor the temperature gradient. There is no thermodynamic process going on vertically in the atmosphere – adiabatic or otherwise. The atmosphere is (mostly) vertically stable with each level in (near) thermal equilibrium. The temperature of that thermal equilibrium is determined by other factors, e.g. radiation. No one can be as dense as you pretend to be. This has to be a joke.

    •  Physicist. ↓ says:

      Yes the Second Law does explain the density gradient. You obviously don’t understand that thermodynamic equilibrium (which the Second Law says will evolve) includes mechanical equilibrium, and entropy must take into account gravitational potential energy. Even Wikipedia will help your understanding of these terms.

      You don’t need the Ideal Gas Law to calculate the temperature gradient. The gas laws are derived from the very same Kinetic Theory that the temperature gradient itself can be derived from in two lines. The temperature gradient in a non radiating gas is based only on the quotient of the acceleration due to gravity and the weighted mean specific heat of the gases involved – not on pressure. We just equate kinetic energy gained (M.g.dH) with gravitational potential energy lost (M.g.dH) to get the gradient dt/dH=g/Cp as documented in detail in my book “Why It’s Not Carbon Dioxide After All.”

      There are thermodynamic processes going on everywhere and in natural adiabatic processes the Second Law tells us entropy will increase until thermodynamic equilibrium is attained, that equilibrium having a density and temperature gradient, from which a pressure gradient is merely a corollary because pressure is proportional to the product of density and temperature.

      No the troposphere approaches thermodynamic equilibrium, not thermal equilibrium. That’s what the Second Law tells us will happen. There is no mention of thermal equilibrium in statements of the Second Law.

      No, the temperature at the base of a planet’s troposphere and in any surface is not determined primarily by direct radiation reaching that level. On Uranus there is none from the Sun getting down there, and on Venus it’s about 10% of what Earth’s surface receives, but the temperature is around 735K.

      Don’t bother reiterating standard IPCC “explanations” as I have studied climatology writings very, very extensively and can pinpoint precisely where they go wrong.

      •  Physicist. ↓ says:

        Sorry that should read “We just equate kinetic energy gained (M.Cp.dT) … ” because we equate KE gained in a height difference dH with the energy required to raise the temperature of mass M by dT using the specific heat Cp.

    •  Physicist. ↓ says:


      Now jimc perhaps you’d like to help DEEBEE respond to this comment above.

      To anyone else wishing to debate the valid physics I present:

      You also might like to start with a response to the Uranus question also. Thinking about it will help you realise how little you understand about planetary tropospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures the physics of which I have explained with copious empirical evidence to support my hypothesis.


  15. DavidA says:

    “The satellite instruments measure nearly every cubic kilometer – hell, every cubic inch — of the lower atmosphere on a daily basis.”

    Don’t RSS’s published monthly numbers stop at 82.5 degrees latitude (north and south)?

    Why is that, when UAH includes that area in their monthly numbers?

    It’s only 0.9% of the Earth’s surface area, but the Arctic is changing fast: +0.44 C/decade at the North Pole, according to the entirety of UAH’s record, with a 0.00 C/dec trend at the South Pole.

    • DEEBEE says:

      So the contribution of North Pole is, using your numbers, about one hundredth of 0.44 per decade. Hmmmm

      • Werner Brozek says:

        No, more like 1/200 since the 0.9% is both poles. Actually, it is more like 0.42% at one pole or about 1/240.

        • crakar24 says:

          Maybe David A can tell us how many thermometers are above and below 82.5 degrees?

          • DavidA says:

            “Maybe David A can tell us how many thermometers are above and below 82.5 degrees?”

            UAH and RSS aren’t measuring temperatures via thermometers.

          • crakar24 says:

            You failed to answer the question David but dont worry everyone whos thoughts are controlled by religious dogma fail to answer questions.


          • DavidA says:

            This thread is about the areas missed by the satellites, and UAH and RSS aren’t measuring temperatures via thermometers.

      • DavidA says:

        “So the contribution of North Pole is, using your numbers, about one hundredth of 0.44 per decade.”

        No, it would be weighted by its area.

  16. DavidA says:

    “…we are in fact city coverage-wise with the satellite data.”

    But you’re not measuring the surface, you’re measuring up to thousands of meters from the surface.

  17. DavidA says:

    “And for a planet where all forms of life experience much wider swings in temperature than “global warming” is producing, which might be 1 deg. C so far, those life forms — including the ones who vote — really don’t care that much.”

    Lots of species have gone extinct in past episodes of climate change — read Peter Ward’s book “Under a Green Sky.”

    And that’s when all species were free to migrate. For larger land animals on the planet, that’s getting increasingly difficult.

    BTW, HadCRUT4’s trend since 1960 is 0.13 C/decade. That’s 30% higher than 0.01 degrees per year. And because of feedbacks, who expects the future warming to be linear?

    • JohnKl says:

      Hi David A,

      You asserted:

      “Lots of species have gone extinct in past episodes of climate change — read Peter Ward’s book “Under a Green Sky.””

      The only known climate related mass extinction revealed in the geological record remains the ICE AGE!!! No extinction due to HEAT STROKE has ever been established.

      Have a great day!

      • Fonzarelli says:

        John, that sure was fascinating with Dr Krause, wasn’t it?

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Fonarelli,

          Yes! He adds a good deal to the exchange.

          Have a great day!

        • Jerry L Krause says:

          Hi Fonzarelli and JohnKl,

          Thank you for the kind words, but I am Jerry. The other, is true, but I only added it in an attempt to get Roy to respond to what I wrote. I prefer private to public exchanges like this, but I cannot contact me but you can contact me if you want.

          Have a good day,


          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Jerry L Krause,

            If you wish to carry on conversation on other blog locations please identify communication sites. Thanks and as usual…

            Have a great day!

      • DavidA says:

        “Abstract: More than 200 million years ago, a cataclysm known as the Permian extinction destroyed nearly 97 percent of all living things. Its origins have long been a puzzle. Paleontologist Ward, fresh from helping prove that an asteroid had killed the dinosaurs, turned to the Permian problem, and he has come to a stunning conclusion: that the near-total devastation at the end of the Permian period was caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide leading to climate change.”

        Peter Ward, “Under a Green Sky,” 2007

        See Table 1 (pg 51) in:

        “Has the Earth’s sixth mass extinction
        already arrived?,” Anthony D. Barnosky et al, Nature 3 MARCH 2011, VOL 471.

        which list climate change as one of the proposed causes in the “Big Five” mass extinction event

        “As I discuss here, global environmental events such as the PETM have had profound effects on evolution in the geological past and must be considered when modeling the history of life. The PETM is also relevant when considering the causes and consequences of global greenhouse warming.”

        Environment and evolution through the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum
        Philip D. Gingerich, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Volume 21, Issue 5, May 2006, Pages 246–253.

        • BBould says:

          DavidA, Enjoy your life of self induced fear and buy plenty of insurance. And oh BTW what insurance will you be investing in?

        • Aaron S says:

          Do not bring Paleontology or Geology weak if I am in the audiance.

          1) The Permian Mass extinction was a protracted extinction over 10’s of millions of years and not related to CO2 unless you are an alarmist. That is not a valid citation
          2) Mass extinctions are defined by the extinction of Orders and Families, not Species. This is a valid paper, but the comparison between species and mass extinction is not sound logic. This is a major extrapolation. There are a couple families in danger like Rhinos, and they are not going extinct from climate change- hunting and habitat from human expansion. They did just fine during the last interglacial when sea level rose 6m higher than today.
          3) The biggest mammal extinction (not a mass extinction) was during the late Miocene and associated with global cooling. This is when we lost many of the north american diversity and had a great reorganization.

          4) Can you read? The PETM is real and associated with a spike in CO2 and Temp, but the relationship is not clear because marine isotopes have no where near the resolution to work out the relationship like in an ice core, which by the way shows CO2 lags Temp. I think you missed the point on this one buddy- the article is about the expansion of animals during this climate optimum! You are sort of arguing against yourself here- typical for an alarmist to just cite a few abstracts they know nothing about except what a 10 min google search brought up. I do appreciate the effort, but your bias seems to blind you…. why even try you have already made up your mind.

          Global warming is to a liberal, what creationism is to a conservative- they are taken by faith.

        • DavidA says:

          Aaron, so you know more about past extinction events than Peter Ward or a dozen authors on the Nature paper? I doubt that.

          For the P-T extinction Barnosky et al write, as proposed causes “Siberian volcanism. Global warming. Spread of deep marine anoxic waters. Elevated H2S and CO2 concentrations in both marine and terrestrial realms. Ocean acidification. Evidence for a bolide impact still debated.”

          “There are a couple families in danger like Rhinos, and they are not going extinct from climate change- hunting and habitat from human expansion. They did just fine during the last interglacial when sea level rose 6m higher than today.”

          My comment was about past extinction events, not anything happening today. I’m certainly aware that their upcoming extinction is driven by profits, not climate change.

          And rhinos live in the interior of their continent, near the equator, or in southern Asia, don’t they? So how would 6 m higher sea levels affect them? How much would that warming be near the equator?

          Many millennia rhinos were free to migrate in the climate changed. That’s hardly the case now.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David A,

            You do realize this entire argument regarding the P-T extinction bears no relationship to scientific inquiry at all? It involves SPECULATION.

            Note Ward claims:

            “Abstract: More than 200 million years ago, a cataclysm known as the Permian extinction destroyed nearly 97 percent of all living things. Its origins have long been a puzzle.”

            Hmmh! Something over 200 million years ago could be 210 million years but that wouldn’t be within the Permian period. Of course, neither 200 million years doesn’t fall within the Permian period either. “The Permian is a geologic period and system which extends from 298.9 ± 0.2 to 252.2 ± 0.5 million years ago” according to Wikipedia. Even more troubling no SCIENTIFIC dating chronometer exists capable of dating anything that far back. All elemental decay dating methods involve numerous assumptions and thus can only be labeled SPECULATION.

            Have a great day!

        • DavidA says:

          Aaroon: About the PETM, no one really knows where all the carbon excursion came from (~3000 Gt). It was rapid and seems unlikely that it was all due to warming:


          Yes, most land species did good during the PETM. But, again, they were free to travel up in altitude and to higher latitudes. Many larger animals don’t have much of that prospect anymore.

          About extinctions:

          “A remarkable oxygen and carbon isotope excursionoccurred in Antarctic waters near the end of the Palaeocene (-57.33 Myr ago), indicating rapid global warming and oceanographic changes that caused one of the largest deep-sea benthic extinctions of the past 90 million years. In contrast, theoceanic plankton were largely unaffected, implying a decoupling of the deep and shallow ecosystems.”

          Kenneth & Stout, 1991

    • DEEBEE says:

      That last sentence is nonsense

  18. Aaron S says:

    Two comments.
    1. I would love to see a residual graph by subtracting the UAH measurements from the IPCC mean model prediction. Imho this graph would clear up the point that the models, which are the foundation for the catastrophic warming are failing through time. It would be very cool to add when the models were unleashed.

    2. Who are these NOAA scientists they interview? They seem more political than scientific… very scary!


  19. Chris Hanley says:

    The land-based thermometer record is claimed to be reliable back to 1850 in one case, a self-evidently ridiculous claim IMO (as a layman).

  20. wyoskeptic says:

    The only thing that the surface thermometer records have going for them is that they go back longer than the satellites. For those bent in the alarmist direction, they can also manipulate that data because it is not good enough (read it doesn’t show what they want it to show) so they can bend, fold and mutilate it til it does.

    But using what data I can get, I have put together a few graphs to demonstrate why reducing a year’s temp to one value makes little sense to me.


    I use 36 years worth of airport data. Yes, there could be some UHI, but I have lived in this area for all of that time and the development around the airport is not that extensive. What I find interesting is comparing that data to long term COOP data and how close the last couple of years matches the averages from 1902 to 2012.

    Anyway, it is all a sham in order to bilk the government of lots of money to be given to the greenies. Until the taxpayers revolt, not much is going to change.

  21. JohnKl says:

    Hi Roy,

    You stated:

    “The thermometer network is made up of a patchwork of non-research quality instruments that were never made to monitor long-term temperature changes to tenths or hundredths of a degree, and the huge data voids around the world are either ignored or in-filled with fictitious data.”

    This last few decades of some Americans conjuring up fantasy temp data to scare other Americans into giving up their equal rights to the nation’s resources truly represents one of the more psychotic periods in our history. Some future historian similar to Charles Mackay LLD. will have to add supplements to “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

    You later added:

    “Besides, once you consider that there’s nothing substantial we can do about the global warming “problem” in the near term, short of plunging humanity into a new economic Dark Age and killing millions of people in the process, its a wonder that climate is even on the list of the public’s concerns, let alone at the bottom of the list.”

    It should be noted there exists a segment of the population that would not at all mind the deaths of millions. In fact, in a post I made on an earlier I provided quotes of many public figures including Jacques Cousteau who make comments in this regard. Many in academia and politics advocate mass murder frequently.

    Have a great day!

    • Walt Allensworth says:

      More accurately, they would not mind the absence of life of millions.

      Holdren, current science adviser to the POTUS, while not condoning murder was a population control advocate [1], and certainly advocated administering birth control against people’s will and without their knowledge as a means to control the population [2]. Pretty despicable in my estimation, but certainly not “mass murder.” I have noticed that the liberal fascists at work on Wiki have been systematically walking back the damning words against Holdren on Wiki over the last several years.

      [1] Paul R. Erlich and John P. Holdren. “Population and Panaceas A Technological Perspective”, Bioscience, Vol 19, pages 1065-1071, 1969

      [2] http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/29/glenn-beck/glenn-beck-claims-science-czar-john-holdren-propos/

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Walt Allensworth,

        You wrote regarding Holdren:

        “Pretty despicable in my estimation, but certainly not “mass murder.””

        This statement proves only as good as the specific person referenced. The same cannot be claimed for Margaret Sanger for example:

        “The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
        Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race
        (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)

        In addition, from what I understand the U.S. actually borrows money to help fund China’s one-child policy. Oh! One really shouldn’t forget the untold millions of abortions.

        Have a great day!

        • bev says:

          China has eased its one-child policy. A family can now have two children if one parent is an only child. In practice (in the convoluted world of one-party politics) this is an instruction to all state officials that the policy is no longer to be enforced at all.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Bev,

            Thank you for the update. If true, families will not be forced to eliminate family members. Unfortunately, many families out of habit will likely continue the practice. In fact, from what I’ve gleaned over the years Chinese families frequently eliminated female children (note after they’ve been born) preferring males. Thanks again and…

            Have a great day!

          • DavidA says:

            China’s one-child policy did more to reduce future CO2 emissions than Kyoto.

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi David A,

            You boast:

            “China’s one-child policy did more to reduce future CO2 emissions than Kyoto.”

            Which means of course like the Kyoto Protocol it didn’t accomplish any significant change at all. Unless of course CO2 reduction never happened to be the goal. Don’t worry David A I’m sure you’ll do all you can to make up for it!

            Have a great day!

          • Fonzarelli says:

            There you go, John… abortion equals saving the planet. Sick, isn’t it?

  22. Locke says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong Roy but there are not that many humans actually living in the troposphere.

    • John S says:

      The lower troposphere satellite measurements are important because (1a)it is allegedly “ground zero” of man-made global warming (heat rises), (1b)alarmists claim the troposphere will be warmer than surface temps, and (2)the satellite troposphere data can not be subjectively changed unlike the raw temp surface data which is so tainted by UHI that it must corrected through a subjective process called “homogenization”. And as Dr. Roy said, we can’t be sure that the homogenization process gives us correct data. Homogenization is just a wild-guess to take knowingly corrupted data and make it less bad. The surface temp data is unworthy to use for research… The satellite data is the best data we got…

    • bev says:

      We all live in the troposphere. It is that part of the atmosphere subject to vigorous convective mixing.

  23. Baylor says:

    Greetings all- My first post here. Our local newspaper front paged Seth Borenstein’s AP article which quoted NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. She claims there’s been no 18-year pause in GW. As for those saying otherwise, Borenstein (paraphrasing Blunden) writes “Some people, mostly nonscientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but ‘no one’s told the globe that,’ Blunden said. She said NOAA records shows no pause in warming.”

    Borenstein states earlier in the article that El Nino is much the reason that 2014 may turn out to be the hottest on record, paraphrasing Blunden. This passage occurs after the turn & in the 7th paragraph.

    I disagree with much of what I read in the article. So I am considering writing the following to my local editor, who actually listens. (Your comments please).

    I was astonished to read Tuesday’s front page article wherein for the first time, your newspaper takes up the matter of the “Pause” in Global Warming. In “Earth’s Scorching Pace”, NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden attempts to reason away the claims that the warming has paused.

    **Some people, mostly nonscientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years…**

    Do you see the trick in that statement? I wished I’d come up with that doozy myself. A mere seven words in and the damage is done. Really really really I fail to see in the quote a reason why I might doubt the “Pause” claim.

    Was it James Hansen, cited as the father of the Global Warming theory, who testified before Congress in 1977 of the looming dangers of Global Warming? Now, he’s claiming the pause is on. So says Andy Revkin of the New York Times. (Lest we worry, Andy’s warming story to skeptic story ratio is about 30-1.)

    So Tuesday morning, a front-page photo of a technicolor explosion in Kobani and below that, “Earth’s Scorching Pace – Planet May Be On Track To Break The Record For The Hottest Year”. Might we citizens stand to be better informed by a headline such as, “Blunden Claims Global Warming Caused By El Nino, Not Greenhouse Gas”?

    [full article]

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Earth is on pace to tie or even break the mark for the hottest year on record, federal meteorologists say.

    That’s because global heat records have kept falling in 2014, with September the latest example.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that last month the globe averaged 60.3 degrees Fahrenheit (15.72 degrees Celsius). That was the hottest September in 135 years of record keeping.

    It was the fourth monthly record set this year, along with May, June and August.

    NASA, which measures temperatures slightly differently, had already determined that September was record-warm.

    The first nine months of 2014 have a global average temperature of 58.72 degrees (14.78 degrees Celsius), tying with 1998 for the warmest first nine months on record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.

    “It’s pretty likely” that 2014 will break the record for hottest year, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden.

    The reason involves El Nino, a warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean that affects weather worldwide. In 1998, the year started off super-hot because of an El Nino. But then that El Nino disappeared and temperatures moderated slightly toward the end of the year.

    This year has no El Nino yet, but forecasts for the rest of the year show a strong chance that one will show up, and that weather will be warmer than normal, Blunden said.

    If 2014 breaks the record for hottest year, that also should sound familiar: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010 all broke NOAA records for the hottest years since records started being kept in 1880.

    “This is one of many indicators that climate change has not stopped and that it continues to be one of the most important issues facing humanity,” said University of Illinois climate scientist Donald Wuebbles.

    Some people, mostly non-scientists, have been claiming that the world has not warmed in 18 years, but “no one’s told the globe that,” Blunden said. She said NOAA records show no pause in warming.

    The record-breaking heat goes back to the end of last year — November 2013 broke a record. So the 12 months from October 2013 to September 2014 are the hottest 12-month period on record, Blunden said. Earth hasn’t set a monthly record for cold since December 1916, but all monthly heat record have been set after 1997.

    September also marks the fifth month in a row that Earth’s oceans broke monthly heat records, Blunden said.

    The U.S. as a whole was warmer than normal for September, but the month was only the 25th warmest on record.

    While parts of the U.S. Midwest, Russia and central Africa were slightly cool in September, it was especially hotter than normal in the U.S. West, Australia, Europe, northwestern Africa, central South America and parts of Asia. California and Nevada set records for the hottest September.

    If Earth sets a record for heat in 2014 it probably won’t last, said Jeff Masters, meteorology director for the private firm Weather Underground. If there is an El Nino, Masters said, “next year could well bring Earth’s hottest year on record, accompanied by unprecedented regional heat waves and droughts.”


    NOAA’s global analysis for September: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/9


    Seth Borenstein can be followed at http://twitter.com/borenbears

    • lewis says:

      Baylor: Your letter goes too many directions. Pick one or two things you want to get across and stick to those. Remember, always, who your audience is. You’re not talking to yourself.

    • DavidA says:

      If there’s a pause, why does it show up in the RSS LT data but not UAH’s? It doesn’t show up in ocean heat content, or Cowtan & Way, or GISS, HadCRUT4 or NOAA. Some of those show slowdowns (though not UAH LT), but then the years surrounding the mid-90s show MORE warming than was expected — an anti-pause.

      The temperature data aren’t sacrosanct. They too come from models, and the data models need to be questioned just as much as the climate models.

  24. Locke says:

    Too funny

    “For some time, the UAH satellite data’s chief significance was that they appeared to contradict a wide range of surface temperature data measurements and analyses showing warming. In 1998 the UAH data showed a cooling of 0.05 K per decade (at 3.5 km – mid to low troposphere). Wentz & Schabel at RSS in their 1998 paper showed this (along with other discrepancies) was due to the orbital decay of the NOAA satellites. Once the orbital changes had been allowed for the data showed a 0.07 K per decade increase in temperature at this level of the atmosphere.”

    • Roy Spencer says:

      RSS found the orbital decay correction was necessary, which we now both use. *We* (UAH) found the instrument body temperature effect correction was necessary, which we now both use. So, what your point?

      • AnotherUser says:

        “So, what your point?”

        Maybe: What other necessary corrections you will find in the future? I wonder if the trend for 2001-2013 will be the same in the UAH 6.0 as in UAH 5.6.

        What is the source of differences between UAH and RSS? How can I tell that satellite record is credible, when one series show for september 0.3 and other 0.1(RSS rebaselined to 1981-2010)?

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Both data sets use the same data but use slightly differing methodologies… Dr. Roy says he thinks UAH is better because it corroborates well with balloon (?) data. Perhaps the biggest corroboration of all, though, is the corroboration of satellite data with carbon growth data:

          • lewis says:

            I don’t understand the linked graph. In 1980 CO2 PPM was 340 +/- and in 2012 near 390 PPM. The graph you reference does not indicate that steady increase of C02. Please explain.

          • Fonzarelli says:

            Lewis, this graph represents the rate of growth of carbon dioxide. (It tells us how fast CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere) warmer temps mean faster growth; cooler temps mean slower growth…

          • Fonzarelli says:

            the vertical axis shows ppm per year…

          • DavidA says:

            “The graph you reference does not indicate that steady increase of C02. Please explain.”

            See “Keeling Curve.” The graph linked to shows changes in CO2 levels, not CO2 levels.

      • Locke says:

        Hi Roy,

        To hold up the satellite data as some kind of holy grail in light of some of the egregious errors that UAH have had to correct over the years, well….. it’s too funny.

        The tropospheric temperature may have some academic interest but we live on the surface, not in the troposphere.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          … and yet, there is a near perfect correlation with the satellite data and carbon growth (which DOES happen at the surface). It may well be that the global nature of the satellite data trumps any difference between the lower troposphere and surface temps.

          • DavidA says:

            “there is a near perfect correlation with the satellite data and carbon growth”

            Not for RSS’s satellite data.

        • Fonzarelli says:

          Yes, David… And that is probably a good indicator of the superiority of the UAH data set over that of RSS. Nice to agree with you on something…

  25. Mervyn says:

    It does not matter whether Earth’s atmosphere is warming or cooling because, irrespective of the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, it will always experience years of warming and years of cooling. It is what has happened in the past, and is what will happen in the future.

    Below is a link to a NASA science video about a major solar event that occurred in March 2012. What is interesting about this video is NASA explaining how carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are a natural atmospheric thermostat, and how carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are the two most efficient coolants in the atmosphere.


    This video demonstrates that contrary to carbon dioxide being a threat to our climate, it is actually sustaining life on this planet.

  26. MIkeN says:

    You left out that even if the ground temperature record was accurate, all the alarmists have established is a small warming trend. If you look at peak to peak warming, you get trends of less than .5C per century.
    Assuming a record of .67C this year in Gistemp, trends are
    .01C in 4 years(.25C/Century), .01C in 5 years from 2005 to 2010(.2C/century), .04C in 7 years from 1998 to 2005(.57C/Century) or .6C in 16 years(.38C/Century).

  27. Jerry L Krause says:

    Roy, you wrote: “thermometers cannot measure global averages–only satellites can.” Then you attempt to justify your claim. Please explain how satellite instruments can measure temperatures beneath the many clouds I can see in the satellite images you have recently been posting. I admit the instruments can detect the invisible longwave IR radiation being emitted from the earth-atmosphere system but there is abundant observations, measured with surface based thermometers, that even thin clouds greatly limit the passage (loss) of this radiation to space. So I cannot understand how the satellite instruments can thereby detect this radiation and thereby determine the temperature of the emitting matter. So please explain this so I can be brought up to the technology of the present because it seems, if what you wrote is fact, I am far behind the times.

    Have a good day,


  28. ducdorleans says:

    not only in the USA, the AGW concern is at the bottom of the list …

    here in Europe, we pay enormous amounts of money to the EU … is it well spent ? … probably not … but there is 1 small part where it might be well spent …

    eurobarometer ( http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/index_en.htm ) is part of the EU administration, and holds, and publishes, opinion polls within the Union since 1974 …

    1 of the questions since long is “main concerns at European level”, and what is always bottom, or near bottom, of the list is “climate change” .. around 4 to 7% of the people worry, exactly the average, or slightly less, of what the Green parties gather as votes in general elections around here …

    so, even when the “real” Greens don’t really worry about it, Governments still think it is one of their main concerns …

    it is always easy to spend other peoples money …

    • Fonzarelli says:

      And Europe is well over twice the population of the U.S. So why should anybody really care what America thinks?

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        While Europe does have a larger population than the U.S., I don’t believe it anywhere near doubles it.

        Have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, 742 million… (that includes the eastern block)

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            My mistake, I considered only the Western countries. However, you do realize Putin wants the East block countries back. If you count in the 740 million the Ukraine & Crimea you may prove to be an optimist.

            Have a great day!

  29. Jerry L Krause says:


    I have now read further and find you wrote: “In my opinion, … The thermometer networks is made up of a patchwork of n-research quality instruments that were never made to monitor long-term temperature changes to tenths or hundredths of a degree.” There is a greater problem than the quality of thermometers or where they have been placed or how their sites have changed, which I have not commonly found being addressed. It is a fact they were never intended to determine the radiative temperature of the earth’s surface. They were intended to measure the temperature of the atmosphere in which human’s commonly lived (an arbitrary distance of about 1.5 m above the earth’s surface). And there was and still is no practical (my opinion) need to measure this temperature with a precision greater than a degree.

    What is not my opinion is the specific circumstances of the measurement of the ambient atmosphere’s temperature. For the temperature sensor cannot be exposed to direct solar radiation for the obvious reason the sensor would absorb some of this radiation, which means the temperature of sensor would be determined and not the temperature of the ambient atmosphere. So, long ago it was decided to place the thermometer in a small, standardized enclosure whose ’roof’ was isolated (insulated) from the thermometer beneath it. In general it seems this has not been changed because it is recognized that any change in configuration could change the temperature being observed. And the reason for standardization was to allow a somewhat valid comparison of temperatures being made at different locations. Roy, you refer to program to monitor long-term temperature changes and claim the satellite data is far better than the ground based measurements. The problem with this, as some others have pointed to, is we will have to wait another 50 or 100 years to have a long-term satellite temperature record.

    And the following is not my opinion. Because the earth is a near sphere we recognize that the incident angle of direct solar radiation upon its surface varies with latitude and time of day. So the intensity of the solar radiation on the surface varies with latitude and time of day. And while it seems a few are unwilling to accept that, given a cloudless atmosphere, at high noon the earth’s surface is warmer (at a temperature greater) than that of the atmosphere 1.5 m above it. But most would agree that the warmer surface is heating the atmosphere above it by every mechanism of heat (energy) transfer that we know about. And the atmospheric temperature often continues to increase during the afternoon. Wind can be a significant variable factor, especially during the afternoon. Then a few hours before sunset the atmospheric temperature begins to slowly decrease, then more rapidly as it reaches it maximum cooling rate, then slowly the cooling rate decreases through the night and even to an hour after sunrise. Most would accept the fact that once the atmospheric temperature begins to decrease, the temperature of the surface has more rapidly decreased below that of the atmosphere 1.5 m above it. And the acceleration of the cooling rate is due to the rapid response of the surface temperature because rapid decrease of the solar radiation intensity upon the surface near sunset. The rate of the surface’s decrease depends upon insulating property of a shallow surface layer which thermally isolates the surface from a surface layer beneath the shallow layer. While it might seem this detailed description is not necessary, it can be even more detailed. And details are necessary to even begin to explain a common, diurnal, atmospheric temperature cycle.

    A common diurnal atmospheric temperature cycle because there is another common diurnal atmospheric temperature cycle which occurs when there is a cloudless atmosphere. One of your images is of a snow covered Siberian landscape. Because in a few weeks there will be no direct solar radiation to heat either the snow surface I fast forward to the spring equinox when the periods of daylight and nighttime are at least equal. I assume there will still be a snow cover of some depth. At some point during a spring day, before the snow surface begins to melt, the atmospheric temperature will rise above 0 C (32 F), the maximum possible temperature of a snow surface when is melting. The atmosphere’s temperature rises above the temperature of the snow surface because water vapor absorbs a portion of solar radiation’s invisible near IR. And a atmospheric surface layer over a snow surface, like one over a stream, lake, ocean, should be nearly saturated with water vapor at the temperature of the snow surface. Now, why the snow begins to melt is a different issue which I choose not to address at this time.

    The point I am making is that the radiative temperature of the earth’s surface is usually significantly greater or lesser than the atmospheric temperature which is being observed 1.5 meter above the surface. And this has nothing to do with the quality of the temperature sensor or its location on the surface of the earth relative to the sensor’s changing environment.

    Have a good day,


    • BBould says:

      Most would accept the fact that once the atmospheric temperature begins to decrease, the temperature of the surface has more rapidly decreased below that of the atmosphere 1.5 m above it.

      This does not sound reasonable unless I misread it. You are saying at night, the atmosphere is warmer than the atmosphere near the ground? Where would the atmospheric heat come from if not from the ground where it was hottest to begin with before the night started cooling? Doesn’t heat rise?

      • Jerry L Krause says:

        Hi BBould:

        Should have responded to your response long ago. Go to the University of Wyoming website where you will find you can access the atmospheric sounding data which are being made every 12 hours. Look at the soundings being launched at Salem OR during the summer and you will see that by the early morning sounding, when skies are cloudless, a temperature inversion has formed which extends up to nearly 4000 feet. And the temperature at 4000 feet is usually only a degree or two different from that observed during the afternoon sounding.

        Have a good day,


    • Robert G. Brown says:

      Hi Jerry,

      I think that the point isn’t that the two records should have the same variance, but that if one expresses them both as an anomaly, it would be extremely worrisome if the anomaly systematically diverges over time as apparently is happening. One knows from the covariance of at least HadCRUT3 and UAH that both are indeed often responding in proportional ways and in the same direction, and the general range of the anomaly divergences are very similar. Indeed, UAH and HadCRUT3 are in pretty decent agreement if you go to W4T and plot them both from 1979 to the present with a 0.2 offset to UAH to bring it into approximate alignment in 1979.

      What is disconcerting is that HadCRUT4 and GISSTEMP do not share this rather desirable trait, at least not to the same extent, and are actively diverging from UAH with the current disagreement up to 0.2C. For only a few data points this is not a problem, but the split is too systematic for comfort. I would say that it is out there where if it grows any larger it would indicate serious trouble for the surface temperature computations, if it isn’t already there. Roy obviously thinks that it is already there, and offers a number of good reasons to agree. It may be an apples-to-oranges comparison, but in this case there are physical reasons that one can’t go down or remain flat while the other increases, at least not for any extended period of time. In the interval from 2000 to the present, in particular, there appear to be increasingly long intervals where exactly that occurs, as well as fairly substantial discrepancies in the short term fluctuations that are very difficult to understand. 2008 stands out in this regard, but really the entire post 2010-ENSO records are in substantial disagreement.

      What is sad is this. Each temperature product is almost as jealously guarded as an industrial secret or “intellectual property”, in spite of being entirely developed with public money towards a presumably common end. Each one has its own particular virtues, and indeed each one acts as a valuable check on the rest. UAH/RSS are the ultimate sanity check on the thermometric records — the surface temperature simply cannot actively diverge from or countervary from the temperature of the troposphere on a sustained global basis. Sea surface temperatures are another sanity check — since they are (or should be) the 70% weighted major component of global surface temperatures, they simply cannot remain flat while surface temperatures supposedly increase, not in any sort of sustained way, and most especially not while lower troposphere temperatures also remain flat.

      Climatologists should be working together to reduce or explain these discrepancies, not to promote one particular temperature product over another. I think that is really the point of Roy’s top post. How can it possibly be that 2014 is the “warmest year on record” on the surface when it is no such thing in the lower troposphere? How can one compare the “warming” added to the 2014 average by the highly localized pacific hot spot to global temperatures from pretty much any time before 1950 or 1900 that might well have missed observing it altogether? How many such hot spots were omitted, for example, from the global temperature estimates across the 1930’s that might have bumped the 1930s up to what they very likely were, the hottest decade on record? They certainly were in the United States — just about exactly half of the state high temperature records were set in one single decade, and it wasn’t 2004-2014.


  30. sky says:

    The fundamental problem with station-data “global” indices is twofold: locations of stations are NOT fixed throughout time and they often are urban.

  31. tonyM says:

    Dr Roy,
    On the NOAA site they show an error level of 0.12C with say their current Sept monthly data. The global 2013 error was +/- 0.16C

    With this sort of error level many minute T differences are meaningless but seem to occupy a lot of blog discussion.

    What would be the comparable error level of UAH and RSS data? Many bloggers try to discredit Satellite data due to drift and not being surface measures.

    Thank you for your great work.

  32. michael hart says:

    “..there’s nothing substantial we can do about the global warming “problem” in the near term, short of plunging humanity into a new economic Dark Age and killing millions of people in the process”

    Some of the neo-Malthusians are still hoping for billions, Roy.

  33. michael hart says:

    “..there’s nothing substantial we can do about the global warming “problem” in the near term, short of plunging humanity into a new economic Dark Age and killing millions of people in the process”

    Some of the neo-Malthusians are still hoping for billions, Roy. They don’t actually admit to wanting to harm people. They just wish they didn’t exist. A strange logic.

    Keep up with clear and concise articles. I think they are very educational for those that read them.

  34. michael hart says:

    sorry about the duplicate paste error.

    • Jerry L Krause says:

      Hi Go —:

      Looked but don’t know what cloud filtering capability means. Since Roy doesn’t appear likely to help I’ll try to search out the microwave technology.

      Have a good day’


  35. Dave says:

    More than 90% of the heat goes into the oceans and ocean heat content continues to increase unabated.


    You’ve focused on satellite measurements without once mentioning the enormous amount of heat accumulating in the oceans.

    You graph lower tropospheric temps that measure the lower troposphere up to about 8kms, whilst disregarding the surface thermometers that are on the ground and argo data measuring the oceans.

    Not very scientific of you.

  36. G. Holden says:

    What an embarrassing misrepresentation of satellite versus surface based instrumentation. Dr. Spencer, you are not a physicist nor an atmospheric chemist. Satellite data is never going to be more accurate than surface instrumentation when comparing surface temperature data. As an analytical chemist I’d be appalled at your deliberate misinformation on this issue if it weren’t for the fact that you have a strong belief that only “God” can change the climate.

    You have been, and will continue to be, proven wrong regarding the mechanisms of climate change. This post of yours was both desperate and to be honest, a self-humiliating exercise where wishful thinking replaces scientific reasoning to prop up a dead position.

    • the Griss says:

      Well he’s not going to be proven wrong by you, is he. !!

    • Mel Famie says:

      G, I certainly hope you were not one of my analytical chemistry students.

    • Robert G. Brown says:

      My goodness! I’m going to get out my Logical Fallacy Bingo card if this sort of thing keeps up. Appeal to authority, ad hominem, oh, I’ll bet I’ve got a winner in a single post!

      Let’s go through it by the numbers. What exactly do you disagree with in his assertions above?

      * Are you claiming that the instrumentation that is the basis for the bulk of HadCRUT (say) was recorded at a precision greater than 0.1C or likely accurate (for what was being measured) at more than 1 C? What is the basis for your assertion?

      * Are you claiming that HadCRUT has measurements for (say) the bulk of the Pacific Ocean (1/3 of the Earth’s surface) or for that matter the bulk of the ocean period (70% of the Earth’s surface) for all, part, some of the last 164 years?

      * Are you disagreeing with his assertion that HadCRUT, in particular, fails to even try to correct for UHI, and hence has a known source of systematic bias?

      I’m just trying to see exactly where you are using “scientific reasoning” in your reply, as opposed to name calling.

      I’m also very curious as to why you (seem to) think that UAH measurements are incorrect or irrelevant to global warming, since the greenhouse effect itself is directly connected to the way heat is transported through the atmosphere, and hence to the detailed distribution of atmospheric temperatures in the troposphere.

      BTW, just to forstall a similar abusive rant devoid of any reference to an actual relevant fact in my general direction, I actually am a physicist. I don’t agree with Roy’s religious convictions either, but I don’t see what anybody’s religious convictions have to do with a published series of comparatively unprocessed sensor measurements that are actively diverging from the extremely heavily processed supposed thermometric record in a way that is rapidly becoming physically impossible.

      Are you asserting that there is absolutely no reason to be concerned about the 0.2C and growing divergence between UAH and e.g. GISSTEMP and/or HadCRUT4 over the last 35 years? That we shouldn’t worry even if this divergence grows to 0.5C or more? Are you asserting that we shouldn’t worry because that makes physical sense to you, or because we should discount UAH as a record altogether because of the religious beliefs of one of the individuals on the team? Does that mean that we should ascribe more weight to RSS because John Christy was Trenberth’s student, and Trenberth is a well-known climatologist, or do we discount his beliefs because he might be religious as well?

      Look, Dude, I’m a rabid atheist myself, but the remote sensors used to measure troposphere temperatures really don’t care about Jesus and neither should you, when it comes to ascribing weight to their objective measurements in the Great Climate Debate. I personally have to say that I find the growing divergence between UAH/RSS and the major temperature products quite worrisome — for the major temperature products — and would strongly suggest that it is already a sufficient reason to suspect sources of systematic bias in one or the other.

      Now, if you have some specific systematic biases to suggest are the explanation, I’m all ears. Roy has suggested not one, but several sources of potential bias or error in the heavily processed thermometric record. Where are your suggestions for sources of systematic bias in UAH?

      Are you seriously engaging in a self-humiliating exercise where ad hominem replaces scientific reasoning to prop up a dead position?


  37. Go Whitecaps!! says:

    Hey Big G. Why did you come to this blog to beclown yourself.

  38. James Strom says:

    A bit late, but I’d like to thank Roy Spencer for his discussion of the adjustments that have been made to the UAH series. Over time you can’t avoid replacing defective equipment (or compensating for it), and you must switch to newer, more accurate, equipment when it becomes available. Both of these require adjustments or periods of coordination between earlier and later methods. It might be worth a post devoted entirely to this matter.

  39. Philip Shehan says:

    While there are problems with surface data stations, there are also problems with satellite data.

    It is my understanding that that both UAH and RSS use the same satellite data. They process the data in different ways, so you end up with the difference in calculated temperatures which are much greater than calibrations to one hundredths of a degree.

    The satellites data on which UAH and RSS calculate temperatures is microwave radiation of oxygen. I believe there are differences in how they deal with the orbital decay of satellites and other sources of error.

    Whether or not a particular year is or is not the hottest on record according to one or other data set is of little importance.

    What is important is the fact that overall the trend differences since 1979 between the RSS and UAH are no greater than and in statistical agreement with trends from terrestrial measurements:

    Giss Trend: 0.157 ±0.044 °C/decade (2σ)
    NOAA Trend: 0.148 ±0.040 °C/decade (2σ)
    Had4 Trend: 0.154 ±0.041 °C/decade (2σ)
    RSS Trend: 0.125 ±0.069 °C/decade (2σ)
    UAH Trend: 0.138 ±0.070 °C/decade (2σ)

    Trends calculated from


    • Werner Brozek says:

      Check all end dates. The slopes are no different if you end at 2014.1 or 2015. It uses 2 sigma by the way. Nick Stokes’ site uses 95% which gives slightly different error margins which happen to be a bit shorter.

      • Philip Shehan says:

        Thanks Werner, but I don’t think these differences alter my main point about the accuracy of satellite data and that there is not really much difference between satellite and surface based data terms of the trends they show.

      • Philip Shehan says:

        One question Werner, I tried the moyhu link and it says the CI is 95% but they seem to be about half that of Kevin Cowtan’s (SkS)trend calculator which is also 95% (2 sigma). Do you have the link to Nick Stokes’ site?

        Had a discussion some time back with people about whether autocorrelated confidence intervals should be used as temperature data for one month is not independent of data for the preceeding month. Cowtan’s program uses an autocorrelated calculation which is typically abouty twice the usual OLS calculation.

        It looks to me like the moyhu CI’s are not autocorrelated.

        Any opinion?

      • Philip Shehan says:

        Pardon me Werner i gather moyhu is Nick Stokes’ site

        • Werner Brozek says:

          Yes, As well, 2 sigma is 95.4% if I am not mistaken. This may account for some difference, but there are other things as well that Nick would be more able to explain.

        • Nick Stokes says:

          “Cowtan’s program uses an autocorrelated calculation which is typically abouty twice the usual OLS calculation.

          It looks to me like the moyhu CI’s are not autocorrelated.”

          No, the Moyhu trend viewer uses a Quenouille correction, which assumes a AR(1) model of autocorrelation. This is the commonest treatment.

          Cowtan and Way follow Grant Foster in using a ARMA(1,1) model. This usually gives a greater spread of CI. I’ve examined the difference in detail here. I don’t have very strong views; as I say there, in reality there is an oscillatory component which means the autocorrelation goes negative. So while ARMA(1,1) seems like a better fit close to zero, the more steeply descending AR(1) may better allow for the switch to negative.

          The climate plotter does not allow for autocorrelation. This is partly because it is not concerned with CI, and the change of slope with autocorrelation is very small (in the Quenouille approx, none). But also the plotter uses (so far) only annual data, where autocorrelation is much less.

          More discussions here and

    • Fonzarelli says:

      Philip, Dr. Roy has said in the past that he thinks his data is superior to that of RSS. He’s also said that it corroborates well with “radio sonde” which, if I’m not mistaken, is balloon data. I’ve been pushing the fact that there is a strong corroboration with carbon growth: http://members.westnet.com.au/jonas1/deltaCO2vsTemp.JPG

      Perhaps our dear friend David Appell summed it up best in quoting me and adding his comment here: DavidA October 23, 2014 1:41pm “there is a near perfect correlation with the satellite data and carbon growth”
      Not for RSS’s satellite data.

      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Fonzarelli,

        Where did the CO2 growth data come from? Mona Loa data seems to indicate much faster CO2 growth rates than global temp averages over-time. Your graph seems very unlikely. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, and as usual…

        Have a great day!

        • Fonzarelli says:

          John, if I’m reading you right you’re saying that carbon growth precedes temps. (if you mean something else let me know…) yeah, I picked this one up over at wuwt. It seems a poor job was done superimposing the two graphs. I hesitated to use it at first but it’s the only one that I’ve ever seen that has not only both together like that but also the two beginning with 1979. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get, I suppose. I do think it illustrates the point I’m trying to make better than if I were to present two separate graphs. Appell didn’t seem to have a problem with it so I guess I’m doing pretty good !!!

          • JohnKl says:

            Hi Fonzarelli,

            It seems the graph you presented represents an effort simply to mesh the INCREASE in carbon growth rate

            ( http://www.drroyspencer.com/global-warming-background-articles/carbon-dioxide-growth-rate-at-mauna-loa/\ )

            with the UAH temp data. This data only suggests that as the rate of CO2 growth increase in ppm increases say from 1 to 4 ppm the temp data will reflect a small temp increase as well. In addition, if the rate of CO2 growth decreases from 4 to 1 ppm the temp data reflects an DECREASE EVEN THOUGH ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION CONTINUES TO GROW!!! It should be remembered that while atmospheric CO2 captures IR within it’s small bandwidth uncaptured by di-atomic gas compounds like Oxygen and Nitrogen, it also radiates engergy away from the atmosphere at a much faster rate (10-100 times faster) than the microwave radation from Oxygen molecules. Note if the rate of CO2 increase remains steady as it has for the most part since 1998 temperature doesn’t appear to increase at much at all.

            Have a great day!

  40. Robert Clark says:

    Dr. Spencer, how is it that the scientists who do these “adjustments” to the thermometer data don’t realize the serious discrepancy with the satellite measurements needs to be explained and resolved?

    Bob Clark

  41. Robert Clark says:

    It occurs to me it will be pretty easy to determine which is providing the better measurements the satellites or the ground-based thermometers subject to the continual “adjustments”.

    Dr. Spencer notes the ground-based thermometers are frequently older and inaccurate and weren’t meant to do long term measurements. In addition many are subject to a false-heating effect in being near large cities.

    Then to find which measurements are the most accurate get the most up-to-date, accurate thermometers, which presumably don’t require “adjustments”, place them away from the large cities and determine if the original thermometers in those areas or the satellite data is the more accurate in comparison to these new thermometers.

    Bob Clark

  42. Dave in Canmore says:

    “We are arguing over the significance of hundredths of a degree, which no one can actually feel.”

    This needs to be repeated to every journaslist, bureaucrat and politician!

  43. William McClenney says:

    Do not worry! This is not related to glacial inception. Seven of the last 8 interglacials each lasted about half a precession cycle. Based on varve counts, the Holocene is only 11,717 years old this year. The precession cycle varies between 19,000 and 23,000 years and we are at the 23kyr part of the cycle now, making 11,500 years half and 11,717 years about half. So since the Holocene is “about half a precession cycle” old right now, the chance that we are anywhere near the normal natural glacial inception moment is obviously zero…….

    The reason it is obviously zero is because of the efficacy of CO2 as a GHG. Obviously, we are now living in the Anthropocene extension of the Holocene! Do not be misled by such things as the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis:

    “The possible explanation as to why we are still in an interglacial relates to the early anthropogenic hypothesis of Ruddiman (2003, 2005). According to that hypothesis, the anomalous increase of CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere as observed in mid- to late Holocene ice-cores results from anthropogenic deforestation and rice irrigation, which started in the early Neolithic at 8000 and 5000 yr BP, respectively. Ruddiman proposes that these early human greenhouse gas emissions prevented the inception of an overdue glacial that otherwise would have already started.”



    “We will illustrate our case with reference to a debate currently taking place in the circle of Quaternary climate scientists. The climate history of the past few million years is characterised by repeated transitions between `cold’ (glacial) and `warm’ (interglacial) climates. The first modern men were hunting mammoth during the last glacial era. This era culminated around 20,000 years ago [3] and then declined rapidly. By 9,000 years ago climate was close to the modern one. The current interglacial, called the Holocene, should now be coming to an end, when compared to previous interglacials, yet clearly it is not. The debate is about when to expect the next glacial inception, setting aside human activities, which may well have perturbed natural cycles.”


    The reason we are nowhere close to glacial inception, despite the recent grand solar maxima, and a sun that has gone all quiet on us, is because of the two normal natural climate states; cold (glacial) and warm(interglacial).

    Just because MIS-11 “went long”, lasting somewhere between 1.5 to 2 full precession cycles, and MIS-19 didn’t, is no reason whatsoever to even suspect that the Holocene will not “go long” too. We are at a 400kyr eccentricity minima here in MIS-1 (the Holocene), just like MIS-11 and MIS-19 were. Just because MIS-11 “went long” and MIS-19 didn’t is no reason, no reason at all, to even suspect that our chance of “going long” is just 50:50.

    MIS-1 will “go long” simply because.

    Presently, there is only 1 hypothesis out there that could ameliorate:

    “Investigating the processes that led to the end of the last interglacial period is relevant for understanding how our ongoing interglacial will end, which has been a matter of much debate…..

    “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades, demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416 Wm2, which is the 65oN July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428 Wm2. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the [glacial] inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”


    which, of course, would be GHGs.

    It is therefore quite patently absurd to even consider that removing the only prognosticated speedbump to glacial inception (CO2), thus terminating the Anthropocene extension of the Holocene interglacial, could possibly result in switching our climate state to the cold glacial state.

    The only result that could possibly occur if we strip the CO2 “climate security blanket” from the late Holocene/Anthropocene atmosphere would be a return to the balmy Holocene interglacial climate state that should either already be over or nearing termination right now.

    All that could happen is that we might revert to our balmy Holocene climate for perhaps another 50kyrs if we removed said “climate security blanket”. Or so say Loutre and Berger (2002) from a 2D model of intermediate complexity.

    It matters not that this low resolution modeling exercise from near the turn of the century was handily debunked by Lisiecki and Raymo’s 2005 observational analysis of 57 globally distributed deep ocean sediment cores:

    “Recent research has focused on MIS 11 as a possible analog for the present interglacial [e.g., Loutre and Berger, 2003; EPICA community members, 2004] because both occur during times of low eccentricity. The LR04 age model establishes that MIS 11 spans two precession cycles, with 18O values below 3.6 o/oo for 20 kyr, from 398{418 ka. In comparison, stages 9 and 5 remained below 3.6 o/oo for 13 and 12 kyr, respectively, and the Holocene interglacial has lasted 11 kyr so far. In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398{418 ka as from 250{650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched. However, the June 21 insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a “double precession-cycle” interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”


    Just because things are cooling down while they are hotter than ever is no reason to even consider this could in any way be a part of glacial inception. Just because the Eemian ended with two rapid thermal excursions, the second being the stronger setting the sea level highstand for the most recent end interglacial, or that MIS-11 and MIS-19 ended with 3 thermal excursions, the last of each being the stronger, in no way suggests that the Holocene might also end exactly the same. Simply because this seems to be the status quo for post-Mid Pleistocene Transition (post-MPT) interglacials in any way suggests that the Holocene might terminate in such a fashion.

    There are three very compelling reasons why, (1) we/you did not know that, (2) that is way too much information in a 140 character bandwidth modern world, and (3) just because every post-MPT interglacial that achieved at least our sea levels ended with multiple rapid thermal excursions is no reason, no reason whatsoever, to even suspect that the Holocene/Anthropocene could ever end the same way.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled half precession cycle old post-MPT interglacial.

    /sarc off

  44. Gordon Robertson says:

    Roy…one thing you did not mention is the number of data points accumulated by satellites versus those by thermometers.

    Thermometer readings are based on two readings a day, a high and a low. Then the reading is averaged.

    Satellites scan bazzillions of data points (oxygen molecules) while the scanner is instantaneously on one position. Therefore, satellite scanners not only have a 95% coverage they also have a relatively infinite set of data points.

    • Jerry L Krause says:

      Hi Gordon Robertson:

      Ground based temperature measurements are recorded continuously just as are satellite ones are. Historically it has been an accepted practice, to calculate the ‘average’ temperature of a day, is the average of the day’s high and low temperatures.

      Have a good day,


      • Fonzarelli says:

        Jerry, it’s nice to see that you haven’t completely “jumped ship”. I would agree that this blog has all the delicacy of a street brawl (as far as the comment page goes). I kind of like it that way though… That’s why I go by the name fonzie, the hoodlum character from the tv show “happy days”. Not only do I actually look like “the fonz”, fonzie being a real nick name for me, but like the character I relish getting in people’s faces (if you get my drift). I guess that’s the drawback of a blog that’s geared toward public consumption, the public shows up! And the general public is not always given over to high minded debate…

        • JohnKl says:

          Hi Fonzarelli,

          Of course, if you substantially bear the “Fonzie” (Henry Winkler) traits and characteristics you should sport a bevy of attractive East Coast Italian chicks at your beck and call. If that proves true, news should spread. Btw, whatever happened to your compatriot “Cunningham” which by correlation must pertain to Ron Howard’s character in the same series “Happy Days?” He probably couldn’t hack it as a CLIMATE HOODLUM and left the job to you!

          Have a great day!

        • Jerry L Krause says:

          Hi Fonzie,

          I will continue to monitor and ask you questions because I totally cannot understand the troposphere satellite data that Roy recently posted and you responded to. After he claimed that satellite instruments could sense the temperatures of what I understood to be tiny parcels of atmosphere he show an image of which I can only imagine what thickness of troposphere is being referred and what its base altitude is. Then there is such a subtle shading of colors of the image and the legend. So I am clueless.

          As I have read his posts and the responses it has been obvious to me that I am operating (correctly according to my opinion) at such an elementary level relative to any satellite studies. And it seems that Roy (hundredths of a degree) and many respondents are operating at the esoteric level and therefore cannot grasp my elementary thoughts any better than I can grasp their ‘higher’ thoughts.

          I will try to regularly keep in touch. Remember I like to try to have others much more knowledgeable than myself to speak for me. But I do have some personal observations that I might share with you in the future.

          Check in what I write to JohnKl.

          Have a good day,


      • JohnKl says:

        Hi Jerry L Krause,

        If you wish to carry on conversation on other blog locations please identify communication sites. Thanks and as usual…

        Have a great day!

        • Jerry L Krause says:

          Hi JohnKl,

          I have checked out a few other blog locations but the ones that more directly stick to science (which I admit I haven’t strictly done)seem to have even more responses than Roy’s postings do. I appreciate very much your, fonzie’s, and previously Joel Shores exchanges because you sometimes confront me with thoughts which I must ponder and like to hear what of my ideas you endorse and which you question. As I write now, I have decided to send you and fonzie and anyone else you cares to read some of what an unknown (to me) author (UA) wrote in a rough-draft of a paper in which UA was trying to refute the greenhouse effect. A little more than a year ago I discovered this paper in some of my old papers. And it renewed my interest in trying the same and being some simple backyard observations. Please read what I responded to Fonzie as if I don’t know that what you both do. For how long?

          Have a good day,


  45. gallopingcamel says:

    “Granted, the satellites are less good at sampling right near the poles, but compared to the very sparse data from the thermometer network we are in fat city coverage-wise with the satellite data.”

    No matter how bad satellites may be at sampling near the poles you may be better than you think.

    The good folks at NOAA have only a handful of stations above 65N. They rely on interpolation over distaces of 1,000 km or more.

  46. Norman says:


    Maybe interpolation works in the Arctic Circle because of the polar vortex that develops it may prevent warmer air from other regions from entering there and the air may be very uniform (moderated by cold water in summer and ice in the winter). Not sure about this but it might explain the reason they feel justified in doing this.

  47. Christian says:

    What a Bullshit-Post, soory for the hard words, but i so..


    Spencer also knows that terrestical temperature and free troposphere temperature are not directly compareable (not on Interanual Scale, just test Correleation, you much below 1), to the physical differences between the layer, you already see more effect from ENSO in free troposphere then in terrestical temperature. And to the physics it can be, that you get a record year on Ground but not in free troposhere.


    Spencer also knows, that Satdata not better then terrestical, in UAH/RSS is much Uncertainy, Model assumptions (e.g Wind) and Drift-Problems, thats why Satdaten often have to be adjustet. Satdata are also unable to meassure Weather with Invasions, mainly due Wintertimes, when Ground is cool and a 1000m above is warm.

    Sorry Roy, you making politics not science

  48. Christian says:

    And if you wish to see the Bias in UAH/RSS just looking to a very cold Winter(DJF) in Germany(54N-58N and 6E-15E) 1995/1996

    Also see here: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02799387

    So now we compare the Temperatur on GISS and Crutemp4 vs. UAH/RSS for this Ice-Winter with respect to 1981-2010:


    UAH: -1.28K
    RSS: -1.14K

    Huge Difference but only comes from a month of Invasion-Weather, Januar 1996, when GISS and Crutemps meassure negative Temperature-Anomalie and Satdaten claim positive Temperature Anomalie.

    Now it should be clear seen, that Satdata also not perfect als there is no place to say they are better then terrestical meassurments

  49. Christian says:

    Another point is the UHI-Effect. Just not work for 2014, because the record breaking heat comes from the ocean parts not from Land and Towns.

    Just look in NCDC Ranking for Periode Ja-Sep:

    Land: Rang 5 of the warmest for the period
    Ocean: Rang 1 The warmest for the period

    In constrast, the warming of the ocean was on high latitudes and not tropical and that is why UAH/RSS not going up this way.

  50. Robert G. Brown says:

    Hi Roy,

    This has been puzzling me as well. They are clearly leveraging the Pacific Hot Spot of this summer plus the La Nada fizzle into some sort of high temperature, in spite of record sea ice in the Antarctic, record setting cold in (at least) North America, and at the very least a decent recovery of Arctic sea ice.

    The other more worrisome thing is that they appear to be abandoning the restraint that UAH briefly seemed to exert on the major surface temp products. If one aligns UAH, HadCRUT4, and GISS LOTI in 1979, they are now separated by 0.2C by 2014, increasing the warming reported over the 35 years by half again.

    And if you want to add fuel to the fire you are building here, plot HadCRUT3 unadjusted global mean against offset-matched UAH. They are in much better agreement! HadCRUT3 actually matches the variance of UAH much better than either HadCRUT4 or GISSTEMP, where the latter is at this point pretty much a joke. It actually manages to go up when both UAH and HadCRUT3 go down, significantly.

    This creates huge problems for everybody seeking to understand the climate, because no matter how one proceeds, one ends up fitting one model not with raw data, but with another model! If I take raw data and fit an exponential to it, and then use the exponential as data to be fit by some process, that process is going to end up “predicting” an exponential behavior. If I take raw data and then “correct” it in some way and fit the corrected data to some process, that process is going to fit not the data, but my correction. And since the corrections to the global anomaly data are all safely occult, buried in a mountain of methodology from the selection of inputs down to just how they krige across the vast empty space of no data in space and time, It ends up being truly impossible to know if one is building processes to fit the climate or to fit a failing model of the climate.

    Of course, in the case of CMIP5 the answer is neither one! One is building models that fail to fit even the failing models of HadCRUT4 and GISSTEMP, and then compounding the failure by averaging the failures together into a failed and statistically meaningless multimodel ensemble mean and then using it to justify the expenditure of stupendous amounts of money and human misery.


  51. John Parsons says:

    Is it really possible that Dr. Spencer does not understand how modest changes in Global Temperature can produce dramatic changes on Earth’s physical and biological systems? JP