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Status on global temperature trends

Posted by Frank Lansner (frank) on 20th January, 2011
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A global temperature stagnation despite warm El Nino year 2010?

Will the global warming idea survive a strong La Nina?


After the warm El Nino period 2009-2010, global temperature trends starting 1998 has generally turned positive:

The period starts out with a strong El Nino in 1998, however a strong La Nina lasting 3 times longer also has a strong effect on temperature trends starting 1998.


Temperature trends from 2002:

Thus removing the 1998 El Nino and 1999-2001 La Nina significantly cools the trends. The overall picture is now temperature stagnation 2002-2010 9 years.

The global warming theory generally suggests heating, but one can say that a period of roughly a decade with no temperature rise might be an expected deviation from the general trend.

However, things get worse for the global warming idea. Problem is that 2010 in the very end of the shown period is in fact a rather warm El Nino year. And still, the trends 2002-2010 are just... flat. Even now after the warm 2010. As if the global warming idea just barely holds on in the months just after a warm 2010.

However, things get even worse for the global warming idea. The powerful La Nina is now showing its strength as we have witnessed temperature dive in the latest months. The NCEP prognoses roughly indicates a further drop of probably more than 0,1 K from dec 2010 to jan 2011. And the La Nina - allthough predticed to weaken during spring time - is by many predicted to match the 1999-2001 La Nina.

IF the present La Nina will resemble the magnitude and effect of the 1999-2001 La Nina, how would this affect the temperature trends from 1998 that already seems to have stagnated for a decade?

 A "simulated" La Nina 1999-2001 by just assuming the same temperature flow repeated starting Januar 2011 to get a rough idea. Now suddenly we have a full 16 years period of no warming. In fact we mostly see cooling trends. (If we imagine yet an El Nino to occur thereafter, then after 17 - 18 years, perhaps we will still just have a flat curve??)

And "Uhh Ohh" whats going to happen if we simulate a 1999-2001 La Nina on the graph starting at 2002??

In this view, we see 12 yeas of strongly falling temperature trends.

La Nina is upon us, and that it won't help the global warming message.

----- * ------

Method used above is basically saying:

"How many years can we go back and still see temperature trend stagnation or trend decline?"

If we want to have an answer to this question, typically the year 1998 or 2002 will be the start year of the new stagnating (or falling) temperature trend.

The classic alarmist argument is then: But we have had 5 year, 7 year and 8 year trends before without the longer warm trend has changed.

This is true, however, these dives in temperatures are almost always connected with the large volcanic eruptions as Lucia from the Blackboard here shows:


So, when we use 1998 or 2002 as start years, and only thereby can read the length of the present stagnating/falling temperature trend, we have to know: This time there are no volcano to blame.

And when the result - for example after the La Nina prognosis shown above - may give us 12-15-18 years of stagnating/falling trends - without the help of volcanoes - then this IS something significant against anything we have seen in the last decades of warming.

And without using start years 1998 or 2002 we cant tell how many years the falling trend this time is. Therefore its perfectly relevant to use 1998 or 2002 as start years.

And as fig 2 here indicates

the 1998 El Nino may have lifted the whole temperature level (perhaps by warming the Arctic) and in this context, it is definitely relevant to analyse using start point 1998.

There are many ways of defining how the temperature trend is best described, but the idea that we had a level shift in temperature 1998 too makes it relevant to checkout trends after 1998 red dotted line:



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Last changed: 25th January, 2011 at 11:31:28



starting point By Unknown on 21st February, 2011 at 20:03:58
If you use late 2007, midway from bottom to top of the big rise to the 2008 peak, as your starting point, you get a trend that is flat to slightly down, and that gives pretty neutral start and end points.
To Dr Norman page By Frank Lansner on 20th February, 2011 at 14:56:02
Thank you for commenting - and I happen to share your opinion, the SST´s are perhaps one of the best temperature set we have - especially when we want a longer term data series.

K.R. Frank
Wow! By Unknown on 19th February, 2011 at 19:45:01
So all you have to do to show an overall cooling trend is to not count years that were warmer than most? Why didn't I think of that?! So I might be a highly overweight slob, but I was sick half of 2002 and actually lost about five pounds; if I show just that that year, I can convince myself I'm lighter than I was! Thank you so much for this insight!
Global Temperature Trends By Unknown on 19th February, 2011 at 06:19:27
Be­cause of the thermal inertia of the oceans and the lack of any Urban Heat Island effect the best indicator of recent trends is the Hadley – CRU Sea Surface Temperatur­e data. The 5 year moving average shows the warming trend peaked in 2003 and a simple regression analysis shows a global cooling trend through end 2010 . The data shows warming from 1900- 1940 ,cooling from 1940 – about 1975 and warming from 1975 – 2003. CO2 levels rose steadily during this entire period. The SST data show no net warming since 1998 – 12 years with CO2 up 6% and no net warming. ( Check the actual data for yourself at the Hadley Center Anthropoge­nic CO2 has some effect but our knowledge of the natural drivers is still so poor that we cannot accurately estimate what the anthropoge­nic CO2 contributi­on actually is. Since 2003 CO2 has risen and yet the global temperatur­e trend is negative. This is obviously a short term on which to base prediction­s but in the context of declining solar activity – to the extent of a possible Dalton or Maunder minimum and the negative phase of the Pacific Decadal and Arctic Osciallati­ons a global 20 – 30 year cooling spell is more likely than a warming trend. The entire IPCC -Al Gore AGW paradigm is about to collapse in the face of the real world temperatur­e data.
Dr Norman Page - Houston.
1990 - step By Frank Lansner on 23rd January, 2011 at 10:41:43
Hi Brian!

True, perhaps its questionable to compare pre and post 1990 GHCN temperatures to some degree?

K.R. Frank
The Great 1990 Slaughter of the Termometers By Unknown on 22nd January, 2011 at 19:43:06
Here's a graph Tim Ball produced:

My quickie calc shows the "step function" of the baseline is 1.5°C as a result of that Great Selection. Ain't evolution wonderful?
Name By Unknown on 22nd January, 2011 at 19:40:05
That last anonymous wuz me.
Picking trends By Unknown on 22nd January, 2011 at 11:42:40
The "what if" analysis of a long La Nina is very relevant, regardless of what the trends are. But if there's been a "change of pattern" and therefore trend, it's important to provide a rationale for the "switchover" year. I think you do a fairly good job of this.

As for blogging in English, you start out OK, but by the middle of the post the grammar and syntax are starting to go. By the end it's falling apart. This seems to be a common pattern: has to do with attention span, and getting too focussed on the meaning and not the form, I guess!

By the way, your "next articel" link should say "next article". For example. ;)
Mr Humbug, Baa By Frank Lansner on 21st January, 2011 at 15:16:37
Hi nice to see you back!

Im right now and the next hour updating the article to shed some light on the starting year. In a way the mysterious unknown with the first very typical alarmist one-liner argumentation :-) made me want to expand the article a little...

K.R. Frank
ooops By Unknown on 21st January, 2011 at 14:53:21
Sorry Frank, the 'unknown' comment was by me

Baa Humbug
La Nina is stronger than we think By Unknown on 21st January, 2011 at 14:52:19
Hi Frank

This is an interesting take on what may happen (seems the anonymous commentor didn't get it).

This current La Nina is a very strong one. The BoM site shows temperatures below the sea surface in the tropical pacific running at up to 4DegC lower than norm.

There is every chance we will get a double La Nina i.e. 2010-2011 going well into 2012.
Also, this time around, the SOI plunged into a La Nina very steeply, much more so than the 1998-9 one.

We live in interesting times.
Great stuf!!! By Unknown on 21st January, 2011 at 12:57:19
Can I add:
The 2002-2010 statistic shows flat trends, and it both starts and ends with El Nino!
-Down Under
In fact.. By Frank Lansner on 21st January, 2011 at 11:47:32
IF you want to show that the latest trends are part of at long term warming trend then you will want a long period of averaging and show the continous trend from way back in time.

However if you want to examine IF there can be spotted a change in temperature trend, then its fair to have another approach.

All in all i do think its fair to ask: "How many years can we go back in time and see a changed trend?".

And doing so, the years 1998 or 2002 are likely the years that will be starting years of new trend as they may represent a peak in trends.

THEN, when discussing the result "how long time back with new trend" you have to be aware on the other hand that it has been possible to make longer rows of years earlier where you can pinpoint a falling trend.
To examine if we are maybe seeing a change of trend it is therefore correct to start out 1998 or 2002 and THEN compare the length of the new trend period with other periods of changed trends.

A strong upcoming La Nina does suggest a longer period of changed trend back from 1998 or 2002 than we normallt see, and this is indeed relevant to point out.

(Further more, remember that the global warming agenda needed just a decade of warming in the 1980´ies to present this as an important trend. With th new La Nina everything points to a new trend period longer than this!!)

The typical alarmist claim that

"you should not examine if temperature trends have changed by starting at temperature peak"

is "so-so" i would say. We just have to know that there has been temperature drops earlier when concluding.
Please identify yourself :-) By Frank Lansner on 21st January, 2011 at 01:31:24
And you would have preferred the strong la Nina 1999-2001 as start year perhaps??
Some year has to be start year, and I think 2002 where just a weak El Nino was present is not that bad.

But feel free to suggest a better year, and tell why you think its better.

K.R. Frank
two cherry picked start years By Unknown on 21st January, 2011 at 01:10:57
that's all that needs to be said about this questionable analysis

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