Archive for July, 2023

Yes, Virginia, there is a Climate Crisis

Monday, July 17th, 2023
Virginia O’Hanlon, a real girl, wrote a real letter.
Virginia O’Hanlon, a real girl, wrote a real letter, to Dr. Roy.

Dear Dr. Roy:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Climate Crisis. My Papa says, “If you see it in Dr. Roy’s climate blog, it is so.”

Please tell me the truth. Is there a Climate Crisis?

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or women’s or children’s or ze’s or transgender’s, are little. In this great universe of ours humans are mere insects, ants, in their intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him/her/they/them, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Climate Crisis. It exists as certainly as taxation and death and congressional favors and subsidies exist, and you know that they abound and give to some people’s life its highest riches! Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Climate Crisis! It would be as dreary as if there were no poor people. There would be no special favors, no bird-chopping windmills, no Teslas to give wealthy people a reason to exist! We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which affluence fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in the Climate Crisis! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire persons to watch all the private jets on Earth Day to catch Al Gore, but even if they did not see Al Gore, what would that prove? Nobody sees Al Gore, but that is no sign that there is no Al Gore. The most real things in the world are those that neither conservatives nor Trumpers can see. Did you ever see Greta Thunberg dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that she was not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man/woman/person, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men/women/persons that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond mere reality!

Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Climate Crisis! Thank Gaia It lives and It lives forever! A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, It will continue to put fear into your heart!


The Urban Heat Island Effect in GHCN Station Temperatures: Urban Locations show Large Spurious Warming Effects

Monday, July 17th, 2023

It has been a while since I have posted progress on our DOE-funded research into the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect in the GHCN station temperatures used to monitor land-based global warming. It should be remembered that everything I post on this subject is (as is usually the case) a work in progress.

What I am addressing is the existence of localized long-term warming associated with population increases which are over-and-above the large-scale warming due to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions or nature. These urban-influenced changes are very localized, and yet they influence large-scale area averages and make the land areas look like they are warming faster than they really are. The problem is pervasive because virtually all thermometer locations are where people live, and since the 1800s even most rural locations have experienced population growth.

The bottom line is that there are UHI-based trend (warming) effects in the GHCN station temperatures; the only question is, how much have they affected reported temperature trends? Most previously published research on the subject has suggested the effects are small (Hausfather et al., 2013; Wickham et al., 2013; Hansen et al., 2010; Parker, 2010; Jones et al., 2008; Parker, 2006; Peterson & Owen, 2005; Peterson, 2003; Peterson et al., 1999; Gallo et al., 1999; Karl et al., 1988). As a result, you will find most who defend the “climate crisis” narrative will refer to one or more of those studies as showing the “science is settled”, and that GHCN-based land warming estimates are largely free of UHI warming effects.

I have argued that those studies involved methodologies that were not very good. Identifying the UHI effect is difficult. I’ve come up with a novel way of quantifying the average UHI effect, even at stations that would be considered “rural” with presumably no UHI effect. We have a paper in review in Nature Scientific Reports describing the methodology (my blog description of the methodology is here), but I have no idea what chance it has of being published.

I will get right to the results as they stand today. What I show below are for the all-station average of GHCN stations; they are NOT area averages, which are what is needed for climate monitoring. They just show how much the average GHCN station is influenced by spurious UHI warming. The stations cover the latitude bands from 20N to 80N, but are dominated by U.S. stations (about 80% of the total) due to the huge numbers of stations we have in this country.

The plots are for 4 classes of initial GHCN station population density (the first year those stations started operating) during the warm season (May/June/July), and give the cumulative year-on-year temperature increase averaged across all stations in each of the four initial station population classes. The adjusted (homogenized) GHCN station temperature changes are in green, and my calculated UHI effect is in red.

For the “wilderness to very rural” class (upper-left panel), the UHI effect on temperature trends turns out to be quite small, contrary to what I have recently argued. Since many of these low-population stations are at high northern latitudes, this would suggest that the UHI effects on the large warming trends reported there are small.

But as we progress to higher population stations, we find that UHI warming effect becomes larger. In the highest population density class (“suburban to urban”, lower-right panel) my calculation of UHI warming is virtually the entire GHCN-reported warming signal since 1880, but only a small part of the reported warming since 1980.

If these results stand, what will they mean for reported land warming trends?

I’m guessing that the UHI effect on area-average trends since 1980 (the period of most rapid temperature rise) will turn out to be relatively small. But before 1980 it looks like the UHI effect on GHCN temperatures could be substantial. This would change the nature of the global warming narrative, with little land-based warming for the first 100 years starting in 1880.

What could change these results? First, I do not account for increases in the UHI effect due to per-capita increases in infrastructure and energy use (buildings, vehicles, parking lots, electricity use and resulting waste heat). I assume the UHI effect is only a function of population density (partly because we have global gridpoint data on population extending back into the 1800s). Thus, my UHI warming estimates might be a little low for stations where population stopped growing but spurious sources of heat continued to increase, such as in Vienna, Austria (R. Bohm, Climatic Change, 1998).

In any event, I feel like I am finally converging on useful results. One aspect of this is that the record high temperatures now being reported in major population centers in the southwest U.S. and southern Europe need to be revisited based upon the very large urban heat island temperature increases seen in the lower-right panel of the above plot at suburban-to-urban stations.

UAH Global Temperature Update for June, 2023: +0.38 deg. C

Wednesday, July 5th, 2023

The Version 6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for June 2023 was +0.38 deg. C departure from the 1991-2020 mean. This is statistically unchanged from the May 2023 anomaly of +0.37 deg. C.

The linear warming trend since January, 1979 remains at +0.13 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over global-averaged land).

Various regional LT departures from the 30-year (1991-2020) average for the last 18 months are:


The full UAH Global Temperature Report, along with the LT global gridpoint anomaly image for June, 2023 should be available within the next several days here.

The global and regional monthly anomalies for the various atmospheric layers we monitor should be available in the next few days at the following locations:

Lower Troposphere:



Lower Stratosphere: