Saturday, January 23, 2016

NOAA Claims 2015 Hottest On Record - Wrong

Subtitle: US Pristine Areas Show No Warming Trend

This being mid-January, it is the time when summaries of last year are announced.  NOAA, via the NCDC (National Climate Data Center) announced this week that 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded when both land and ocean records are considered.  Well, that may be true, given the false and misleading data that is in their database, and all the adjustments to that data.   This post shows some of why the NCDC conclusion is not valid.   In short, the land temperature data for the US from pristine areas, the USCRN data, shows a cooling trend since 2004 and 2015 is far from the warmest in that data.   What NCDC includes, wrongly, is data from known warming locations such as cities and other sites where artificial warming occurs.   In addition, 2015 was the warming phase of an El Niño, so ocean temperatures are temporarily a bit warmer than usual.  

As written before on SLB, (see link  to "Cities and UHI Warming Corrupt Temperature Databases,") the cities are warming, have warmed, and will continue to warm no matter what provides the electricity, heating energy, and transportation energy to them.  The simple facts of a great amount of heat being dissipated in a relatively small area creates a heat bubble.   More population in cities over time creates an even greater heat bubble.   It is a simple, but stark fact that even if all electricity on the planet were from hydroelectric dams, a source that creates zero carbon dioxide, CO2, and every vehicle was electric, plus all energy used in the cities was electricity, the warming bubble would still exist.  For False-Alarmists to conclude that CO2 in the atmosphere must be reduce to prevent catastrophic global warming is simply false.  Even if CO2 production ceased 200 years ago, the temperatures as measured by NCDC would still show a warming trend.  

From the NCDC website (see link),

"The January–December map of temperature anomalies shows that warmer-than-average temperatures occurred across the vast majority of the globe during 2015, combining to bring overall record warmth for 2015, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average. This easily surpasses the previous record set just last year by 0.16°C (0.29°F). The global temperatures were strongly influenced by the strong El Niño conditions that developed during the year. The 2015 temperature also marks the largest margin by which an annual temperature record has been broken. Prior to this year, the largest margin occurred in 1998, when the annual temperature surpassed the record set in 1997 by 0.12°C (0.22°F). Incidentally, 1997 and 1998 were the last years in which a similarly strong El Niño was occurring. The annual temperature anomalies for 1997 and 1998 were 0.51°C (0.92°F) and 0.63°C (1.13°F), respectively, above the 20th century average, both much lower than the 2015 temperature."

2015    0.90 deg C above average
2014    0.74
1998    0.63
1997    0.51

Here is the map that NCDC refers to in the first sentence.  This shows land and ocean by different colors, with cooler in blue and warmer in red.  
from NCDC website 23 January 2016
It is notable that NCDC did not mention, that I could locate, the cooling (blue areas) in the eastern Canada, southern Greenland, and north Atlantic areas.   It is a feature of good science to discuss the contrary data that is opposite to one's conclusions.   A valid reason should be put forth for why the contrary data exists.  Only a few hundred miles apart, eastern Canada is cooling, while the remainder of Canada was hotter than normal.  Also, the map above shows the western Atlantic Ocean hotter than normal, while the north Atlantic is much colder.   Yet, we know the Gulf Stream carries warm water north and a bit east across those same areas.    Similarly, the region around Japan is colder, yet surrounding areas are warmer.   No mention of these differences.  

While this will be covered in more detail in a future post at SLB, the USCRN data for 2015 from pristine sites shows no warming trend for the contiguous states for the relatively short period (11 years) of the USCRN data. 


The fact is, and has been for a long time, that the official keepers of the temperature records reach their conclusions of alarming, rising temperature trends by over-inclusion of data that has no business being included in such temperature databases.   To put it in the simple vernacular, "Cities gonna warm."   Also, fact-finding and analysis of temperature-measurement sites in the US show that most of the sites also have artificial heating and are not measuring what they are intended to measure.   The was recognized a bit more than a decade ago and resulted in the creation of measuring instruments in pristine areas, the USCRN sites that are far from human influences such as cities, power plants, and asphalt parking lots.   NCDC and NOAA's problem is that the USCRN data is only a decade long, perhaps a bit longer for the oldest sites.  The USCRN data is not global, being limited only to the USA.   SLB has a post on the first decade results from USCRN, see link.   The results for that decade, 2005-2014 (inclusive) show a pronounced cooling in the contiguous US, with a severe cooling trend for winters.   A short record, of only ten years, is subject to pronounced end-point effects.  We can expect that additional years may change the trend a bit until a longer period exists.   An update to that USCRN post is imminent, likely in early March 2016 when the data for the full winter 2016 is available. 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California
copyright (c) 2016 by Roger Sowell - all rights reserved.   

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