Sunday, October 14, 2012

HadCRUT4: no warming for 16 years

The Hadley Centre at the Met Office released a new product replacing HadCRUT3, the temperature record of the Earth. It's called HadCRUT4.

Various years are rearranged but look at the chart of the last 16 years, since early 1997, as discussed in the Daily Mail. There has been no trend for 16 years.

Various folks in the newspapers disagree whether 16 years is a long time or a short time. Judith Curry says that the plateau already shows that the existing climate models are inadequate; Phil Jones says that 16 years is too short a period of time and climate models may disagree with the reality for 16 years – but they will ultimately agree about the looming Armageddon.

Well, is 16 years a long time or a short time? It is longer than 5 years but shorter than 50 years. ;-) It depends what you're comparing 16 years with. Relatively to some screaming by climate activists who want some urgent action, 16 years is a very long time. Note that if we didn't do anything about CO2 since 1997 – and except for wasting money for nonsense and tolerating unhinged alarmist bigots, we indeed haven't done anything with CO2 that continued to grow under the business as usual – there would be no detectable change for 16 more years. We could have just postponed any solutions by extra 16 years.

And here we're talking about seeing no trend in the 16-year period at all. Seeing no trend is a rather constraining condition. When a trend is seen, it's still extremely far from being a dangerous or harmful one. It's just like with your body temperature. A good thermometer may tell you that your temperature increased from 36.6 °C to 36.8 °C but that still doesn't mean you must visit a doctor (incidentally, the magnitude of the temperature changes is pretty much the same in both discussions). So you may estimate that even if there were an underlying trend that would ultimately show up, it could only start to be dangerous or harmful in 80 years – I just quoted an estimate. There's no strict boundary at which things "suddenly start to be dangerous or harmful" so you shouldn't be asking for a more accurate or more justified number.

In 80 years, people will have a better idea whether they want to try to geoengineer the Earth's temperature in one way or another. We're solving a different problem: whether we want to do similar things today. The plateau at the graph shows that plans to speed up such policies to a timeframe shorter than 16 years would be utterly irrational because the climate isn't changing that quickly. The noise, or the weather, is by far the dominant source of the variability at this timescale.

Hat tip: ClimateDepot


  1. Brian G ValentineOct 14, 2012, 8:46:00 AM

    The glue sniffing global warmers know this, so they talk about non-existent Arctic ice loss instead.

    There is nothing left for them to talk about, as far as I am aware - drought, cyclonic storms, heat waves, ...

    all of it ephemeral, with no trend

  2. The double page that is inserted monthly in my Science & Vie magazine alarming us about the Arctic ice loss begin to look like an advertising insert these days with a dramatic picture etc... not like a serious article with real investigation from the magazine's journalists. Sad.


    See comment by Rhys Jaggar on correlation of "hysteria research" & grant funding. Govt & ignoramus behavior is based on "fear"..classic crackpottery.

    "Science begets Knowledge, Opinion..Ignorance"
    -- Hipparchus

    Good comment by Amerioque:

    "AGW is a scientific, intellectual, political, financial and moral scam. The climate has been changing for millions upon millions of years.
    The IPCC is the biggest perpetrator of scientific fraud that the world has ever seen.

    Individuals and organizations involved in this fraud should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

    Civil suits should be filed to recover grant money and subsidies given to individuals and organizations participating in the fraud."

  4. another good comment "William Wangard":

    "It is complete nonsense that bovines were contributing to an environmental calamity. For millenia, tens, if not hundreds of millions of buffalo roamed North America. Each of these creatures subsists on essentially the same diets as Bos primigenius (cattle). Throughout that time, the earth went through ice ages and warming cycles.
    The Earth's climate is NOT a delicatlely balanced system. It is remarkably resilient. Anybody who has looked at the climate history would understand this.

    Looking at only the last 150 years of climate history and making proclamations is akin to knowing the history of a war as the last bullet is fired."

  5. Rhys Jaggar comment:

    "As someone who saw the way academia works first hand, I know this about scientists:
    1. They magnify small effects, by the way a graph is presented, or by general discussions in the manuscript, if by so doing they get their paper published.

    2. You don't publish a paper saying: 'Microbes in the soil produce N2O, which decreases if cows graze on the land'. Because the editor will say: 'So what?' and put the manuscript in the bin. You need to link those somewhat abstract, correct measurements in a small, bounded situation, to something more global, more human, more worrying, more threatening. So in this case you link it to climate change.

    3. The reason why publishing regularly and in 'sexy journals' is important is to get tenure at your institution, to pull in future grants and hence gain PRESTIGE, STATUS and SALARY.

    So this has nothing to do with being a socialist, it has to do with 'getting on in the scientific world'. Which is quite a Tory concept, isn't it??

    Now it might reconfigure science back toward reality if it became 'sexy' to let FARMERS decide if this science were significant, if others looked at where in nature N2O is broken down (usually it's a good starting point to think that for each process you find in nature, somewhere something is doing the opposite) and hence found ways to look at how to increase N2O breakdown, if that were desirable.

    What is risible, Fraser, is the scientists, in effect, saying: 'my wife is pregnant, I will be the father of an Oxford Professor'.

    Now someone in future will no doubt become an Oxford Professor. But to jump to a conclusion that, yes, there is a fetus in your wife's womb, means that in 40 years time you know what will happen to them, is really rather pathetic.

    It will depend on an enormous number of interactions, some of which will be controllable and some not.

    It is time for scientists to take one enormous step backwards and discriminate between their narrow, obsessional measurement mode and their flowery, often unjustifiable salesman/story-telling mode to get the money in or 'get the paper away' to paraphrase a City expressing for 'doing an IPO'."

  6. This might well be a very significant article Lubos. It's the first time, that I can remember, that this cessation of temp rise has been illustrated in the MSM with a suitable graphic (worth 10,000 words!). The silence on the BBC and most of the press has been deafening. This might be the start of a move to more sceptical (i.e. sensible) articles in the MSM. If most of the sceptical community are correct and the Sun's magnetic activity is a prime driver of the earth's climate then cycle 24 should see a decrease in temperatures post 2015/16 or so. Even in this mad world, peopled by mad warming alarmists, falling temperatures will mean that CAGW is untenable.

  7. Brian G ValentineOct 14, 2012, 5:14:00 PM

    You folks who who were duped into giving money to the Communist front organizations WWF, Sierra "Club" etc to "stop global warming" should be PROUD to know that you didn't throw your money down the toilet

  8. Dear Lubos,

    Did you read already this interesting article about 'Germany's Failing Environmental Projects' ? :

    If you haven't yet, i urge you to read this article.

  9. I'd like to know who has been tracking the age of ice throughout the arctic ice sheet.

    What exactly is the age, area, and mass of the oldest regions? What were they 50, 40, 30... 10 years ago?

    I'd be amazed if conditions now are any different than the 1930s and 40s. I doubt any, other than some chunks, ice are older than a few hundred years, nor were they 60 years ago.

  10. Not a huge fan of the sierra club, but doubt they are significantly communist or even socialist. There are many conservatives in the sierra club. In fact it may be largely conservative. It used to be wealthy, elite who simply idolized nature.

  11. Brian G ValentineOct 15, 2012, 8:32:00 PM

    Oh, okay, they are not Communist. What a joke! They are as communist as they get. WWF is part of the International Communist movement, Sierra "club" - the American subset.