Intellect Applied to Climate Change

Rex Murphy writes at  National Post  If CBC cared about diversity, it would host Jordan Peterson global warming talk Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

There is no other issue over the past 20 and probably 30 years that has more obtained the attention of the world’s press than global warming.

I know there have been others. But none has had such a continuous and insistent presence.

No other issue has had the sweet, soft, giddy support of the big networks, the great corporations, the trendy school boards, every mad virtue-signalling politician (the chieftain of which is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), and the whole wide and multitudinous, amoeba-replicative (and dreadful) NGOS — think of the various foundations, of which I nominate the Suzuki Foundation as the Canadian prince of these dull harrying grouplets — as global warming.

I am aware I am using the old and opportunistically discarded
brand-name here: global warming.

Global warming was the term du jour when the thesis was we were heading into thermal crisis, the snow caps were to disappear, glaciers would go all water in the next 30 years or so, skiers would stare down snow-clean slopes, the seas would swamp New York and Tokyo, and children would weep at bared un-snowed hill-slides.

Alas. Snow kept falling. Seas refused to swell to city-destroying levels. Some winters remained … cold. Ski slopes had snow. And children still in all their sweet joy sledded down the still snow-blanketed hills.

Imagine — the planet’s weather refused to follow Greenpeace’s furious warnings.

Elizabeth May’s hothouse weepings, the latest bulletins from various second-tier folk singers, and people who slept on multimillion-dollar yachts on the French Riviera who deplored those who drove pickup trucks in Northern Alberta.

It was for naught. The Earth has its own ideas. And may probably continue to have them. Presuming the cosmos itself doesn’t go woke.

So it was obvious that “global warming,” the doomster’s environmental tagline required what the communication shops call a “re-branding.” And there being no set more adjusted to the miracles of communications management than the herd of apocalyptic global warming warriors, they — perhaps with much polling, and certainly with much cuteness — changed the brand to “climate change.”

Climate change. There’s a conceptual “get out of jail” brand.

A useful digression: I come from dear, sweet Newfoundland. And I know this will not mean much for you who are not from my province — but I grew up in Placentia Bay.

In Placentia Bay the climate changes every six minutes. And on rough days, every four. Climate change is a beautiful redundancy. It always changes. And if it didn’t … well, it wouldn’t be climate.

So the new brand of “climate change” had this going for it — it gave a blanket rationale for every twitch and tingle or every “weather event” of any kind, wet or cold, hot or dry, a justification under its pure and infinitely elastic designation.

And every TV station, every “weather specialist” was on board with pointing
to “climate change” as the universal cause.

CBC and TV Ontario kept up the silly surmise, having aired Al Gore’s ridiculous, abysmally ignorant An Inconvenient Truth as if it was a script from Sinai, not on stone tablets of course, but “verified” by the “scientists” at the Academy Awards.

Climate change as a brand and a switch-name has gone unchallenged by the main media. Most of them have endorsed a silence on respectable, authoritative, independent and resolute minds who offer more than a different view, but a neutral, rational, and science-based contesting opinion on what has become more of a doxology than matter for exchange, debate, and informed challenge.

Consider Dr. Richard Lindzen. His qualifications on atmospheric science are superb. He is not a “culture warrior.” He is not “political.” He is a great thinking mind — that last term is a very high compliment.

He recently gave a long — nearly two hours — interview with Jordan Peterson, on “climate change,” all conducted with great calm and a backand-forth that followed no script. It was, to my view, one of the cleanest discussions of this issue I have seen.

Dr. Lindzen has the authority of real knowledge on this topic, and therefore his reasonings are worth full and wide attention.

The interview is a model of intellectual exchange, something long lost on our big networks with their fixed views and hollow coverage.

Dr. Lindzen is a font of clear thought, non-agenda-driven deliberation, and direct statement.

It would be a wild wish to see Peterson’s interview with Dr. Lindzen on CBC or TVO. It would break the hearts of their morning agenda meeting attendees. And would threaten their “diversity” and climate change mandates, which are, apparently, whatever the Suzuki foundation and Steven Guilbeault think are correct must be correct.

Watch this interview, even if you are committed to “global warming” theorizations.

And, to Ms. Catherine Tait, CBC president currently wandering the great Canadian landscape arguing CBC’S relevance and point. Here’s a thought: diversity is a quality of mind and intellect. It is not a submission to current faddishness.

Try airing the interview with Dr. Lindzen as an experiment with diversity of thought.

It may be a strange thing to say, but a broadcaster, subsidized and leaning on past glories, should earn its present-day respect by looking around and giving a glimpse at opinions and perspectives outside the glass case of its own treasured ever-so-correct eidolons of virtue-speak.

Zero Warming: January 2023 Starts Cold

The post below updates the UAH record of air temperatures over land and ocean.  But as an overview consider how recent rapid cooling  completely overcame the warming from the last 3 El Ninos (1998, 2010 and 2016).  The UAH record shows that the effects of the last one were gone as of April 2021, again in November 2021, and in February and June 2022  Now at year end 2022 and continuing into January 2023 we have again global temp anomaly lower than average since 1995. (UAH baseline is now 1991-2020).

For reference I added an overlay of CO2 annual concentrations as measured at Mauna Loa.  While temperatures fluctuated up and down ending flat, CO2 went up steadily by ~60 ppm, a 15% increase.

Furthermore, going back to previous warmings prior to the satellite record shows that the entire rise of 0.8C since 1947 is due to oceanic, not human activity.


The animation is an update of a previous analysis from Dr. Murry Salby.  These graphs use Hadcrut4 and include the 2016 El Nino warming event.  The exhibit shows since 1947 GMT warmed by 0.8 C, from 13.9 to 14.7, as estimated by Hadcrut4.  This resulted from three natural warming events involving ocean cycles. The most recent rise 2013-16 lifted temperatures by 0.2C.  Previously the 1997-98 El Nino produced a plateau increase of 0.4C.  Before that, a rise from 1977-81 added 0.2C to start the warming since 1947.

Importantly, the theory of human-caused global warming asserts that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere changes the baseline and causes systemic warming in our climate.  On the contrary, all of the warming since 1947 was episodic, coming from three brief events associated with oceanic cycles. 

Update August 3, 2021

Chris Schoeneveld has produced a similar graph to the animation above, with a temperature series combining HadCRUT4 and UAH6. H/T WUWT




See Also Worst Threat: Greenhouse Gas or Quiet Sun?

January Update  Cooler Land and Sea 


With apologies to Paul Revere, this post is on the lookout for cooler weather with an eye on both the Land and the Sea.  While you will hear a lot about 2020-21 temperatures matching 2016 as the highest ever, that spin ignores how fast the cooling set in.  The UAH data analyzed below shows that warming from the last El Nino was fully dissipated with chilly temperatures in all regions. After a warming blip in 2022, land and ocean temps dropped again with 2023 starting below the mean since 1995.

UAH has updated their tlt (temperatures in lower troposphere) dataset for January 2023. Posts on their reading of ocean air temps this month came ahead of updated records from HadSST4.  I have previously posted on SSTs using HadSST4 Ocean Temps Dropping November 2022 This month also has aO separate graph of land air temps because the comparisons and contrasts are interesting as we contemplate possible cooling in coming months and years. Sometimes air temps over land diverge from ocean air changes.  However, in January temps in all land and ocean regions dropped sharply.

Note:  UAH has shifted their baseline from 1981-2010 to 1991-2020 beginning with January 2021.  In the charts below, the trends and fluctuations remain the same but the anomaly values change with the baseline reference shift.

Presently sea surface temperatures (SST) are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Enthalpy is the thermodynamic term for total heat content in a system, and humidity differences in air parcels affect enthalpy.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, ocean covers 71% of the planet surface and thus dominates surface temperature estimates.  Eventually we will likely have reliable means of recording water temperatures at depth.

Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST.  Thus the cooling oceans now portend cooling land air temperatures to follow.  He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST by 11-12 months.  This latter point is addressed in a previous post Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

After a change in priorities, updates are now exclusive to HadSST4.  For comparison we can also look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6 which are now posted for January.  The temperature record is derived from microwave sounding units (MSU) on board satellites like the one pictured above. Recently there was a change in UAH processing of satellite drift corrections, including dropping one platform which can no longer be corrected. The graphs below are taken from the revised and current dataset.

The UAH dataset includes temperature results for air above the oceans, and thus should be most comparable to the SSTs. There is the additional feature that ocean air temps avoid Urban Heat Islands (UHI).  The graph below shows monthly anomalies for ocean air temps since January 2015.

Note 2020 was warmed mainly by a spike in February in all regions, and secondarily by an October spike in NH alone. In 2021, SH and the Tropics both pulled the Global anomaly down to a new low in April. Then SH and Tropics upward spikes, along with NH warming brought Global temps to a peak in October.  That warmth was gone as November 2021 ocean temps plummeted everywhere. After an upward bump 01/2022 temps reversed and plunged downward in June.  After an upward spike in July, ocean air everywhere cooled in August and also in September.   Now in January 2023, sharp cooling everywhere brought all regions into negative territory. 

Land Air Temperatures Tracking Downward in Seesaw Pattern

We sometimes overlook that in climate temperature records, while the oceans are measured directly with SSTs, land temps are measured only indirectly.  The land temperature records at surface stations sample air temps at 2 meters above ground.  UAH gives tlt anomalies for air over land separately from ocean air temps.  The graph updated for January is below.

Here we have fresh evidence of the greater volatility of the Land temperatures, along with extraordinary departures by SH land.  Land temps are dominated by NH with a 2021 spike in January,  then dropping before rising in the summer to peak in October 2021. As with the ocean air temps, all that was erased in November with a sharp cooling everywhere.  After a summer 2022 NH spike, land temps dropped everywhere, and in January, a NH upward bump offset further cooling in SH and Tropics to leave Global land anomaly unchanged. 

The Bigger Picture UAH Global Since 1980

The chart shows monthly Global anomalies starting 01/1980 to present.  The average monthly anomaly is -0.06, for this period of more than four decades.  The graph shows the 1998 El Nino after which the mean resumed, and again after the smaller 2010 event. The 2016 El Nino matched 1998 peak and in addition NH after effects lasted longer, followed by the NH warming 2019-20.   An upward bump in 2021 was reversed with temps having returned close to the mean as of 2/2022.  March and April brought warmer Global temps, later reversed, and with the sharp drops in Nov., Dec. and now January temps, there is no increase over 1980.

TLTs include mixing above the oceans and probably some influence from nearby more volatile land temps.  Clearly NH and Global land temps have been dropping in a seesaw pattern, nearly 1C lower than the 2016 peak.  Since the ocean has 1000 times the heat capacity as the atmosphere, that cooling is a significant driving force.  TLT measures started the recent cooling later than SSTs from HadSST3, but are now showing the same pattern.  It seems obvious that despite the three El Ninos, their warming has not persisted, and without them it would probably have cooled since 1995.  Of course, the future has not yet been written.


Climate Critical Intelligence Q & A


H/T David Wojick and CFACT

Doctors for Disaster Preparedness are concerned to be ready for real disasters and not be distracted by irrational fears like global warming/climate change. They have provided a useful resource for people to test and deepen their knowledge of an issue distorted for many people by loads of misinformation and exaggerations.

From David Wojick:

A new lesson set called the Climate Change IQ (CCIQ) provides a good skeptical critique of ten top alarmist claims. The format is succinct and non-technical. Each alarmist claim is posed as a question, followed by a short skeptical answer, which is highlighted with a single telling graphic.

Then there is a link to a somewhat longer answer, which in turn includes links to a few online sources of more information. Each lesson is also available in a printable PDF version, suitable for classroom use. This compact format is potentially very useful.

CCIQ comes from a long-standing skeptical group called the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). Despite the name, DDP gives attention to pointing out scares that are not disasters waiting to happen. Not surprisingly climate alarmism gets a lot of this attention.

The ten topic questions are wide ranging, including the following. Each speaks to a popular pro-alarmist news hook.

Is climate change the most urgent global health threat?

Are government-sponsored climate scientists the only credible sources of information relating to climate-change policy?

Is the increase in atmospheric CO2 making wildfires worse?

Why can’t all States emulate California’s proposed “clean” energy standards?

What would happen if atmospheric CO2 concentration dropped by half, say to less than 200 ppm?

Are human CO2 emissions acidifying the oceans and endangering shell-making animals?

Will Manhattan and Florida soon be under water if humans do not curtail use of “fossil fuels”?

Do 97% of climate scientists agree that catastrophic climate change will result if humans do not curtail use of “fossil fuels”? (This one includes the dynamite John Christy graph showing the rapidly growing divergence of climate model global temperature forecasts with real world observations.)

Is Arctic ice disappearing?

And the number 1 CCIQ question: Would lowering atmospheric CO2 prevent or mitigate hurricanes?

Note:  Each question title links to a pdf with a longer answer and references. Question 1 link is in red above as an example.  See the CCIQ questionnaire for links to all 10 pdfs

Check it out. Inquiring minds want to know.


“The reason some of us are skeptical about man-made global warming, or climate change, isn’t that we’re in “denial” or the pay of Big Oil. It’s the alarmists’ long run of lurid failed predictions. The models “run hot.” Arctic ice hasn’t vanished. The coral hasn’t died. We haven’t been overrun by rats and super-itchy poison ivy.”  John Robson National Post Canada

Testimonial: No Climate Emergency

Recently OAN’s Stella Escobedo interviewed Dr. Matthew Weilicki concerning his joining the declaration against any climate “emergency.”  The video can be accessed by clicking on the red link above.  Below I provide a transcript with my bolds along with some exhibits. SE refers to Stella Escobedo and MW to Matthew Weilicki

SE:  Well, you have probably heard that climate change is an existential threat and we need to do something about it right away. The World Economic Forum was just held in Davos, Switzerland, with discussions of the climate crisis front and center. Biden has persuade Democrats in Congress to provide hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change.

But there are hundreds of scientists around the world who say there is no climate emergency. In fact, they have signed the World Climate Declaration. And one of the biggest things they say is climate science should be less political. And I’d like to welcome to the show Dr. Matthew Weilicki. He’s currently a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. Dr. Weilicki., thank you so much for joining us.

MW: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

SE: Of course..So before we get started, Dr. Weilicki, I want you to tell our viewers a little bit about your educational background and why you’re educated enough to to have this conversation and to talk about this topic.

MW:  Yes, absolutely. So my original bachelor’s degree is actually biochemistry and cellular biology. I worked in four novel vaccine companies for them through my original degree, and I went on to kind of shift gears and I went and got a Ph.D. in geochemistry from UCLA. And because I don’t really work in climate science per se, and I also don’t work in oil and gas exploration, I am an Earth scientist that uses a lot of the same tools that both of these types of fields will use. But I felt that I could take an objective look in and offer my expert opinion without really having any kind of, you know, any sort of motivation on either side. And I thought that would allow me to take an objective view. But the background that I have is very similar to the way that we try to identify what the climate looked like in the past, which is mainly through geochemistry.

SE: So, Dr. Weilicki, you are one of more than a thousand scientists who have signed this petition that says there is no climate emergency. Explain why you say that.

MW:  I think if we take an objective look at the data, it’s very difficult to see any metric that would allow us to explain the state of the climate as in an emergency or in a crisis, as you commonly hear. If we look at, for example, human lives lost from natural disasters, I ask my students this all the time and they are convinced that there has been significantly more lives being lost in natural disasters today than over the last hundred years. Let’s say that number has decreased by something like 97%.

Source: Bjorn Lomborg

And so it’s clear. And the graphic you’re showing now, another question that I ask is how often are how many natural disasters are occurring? And so these students are usually freshmen and sophomores and things like that. And I ask them these questions about about the state of the climate. And I’m noticing that they have the exact wrong view of what’s happening. They’re convinced that more people are dying, more disasters are happening. And if you look at the empirical evidence, the data just doesn’t support that claim. And I think that the mental health effects are really damaging to these young people.

Source: Roger Pielke, Jr.

SE: Well, any time we do have massive flooding, heat waves or wildfires, as you just mentioned, we’re constantly being told it is climate change. Even the World Meteorological Organization has legitimized it. What are your thoughts on that?

MW: This is really part of the problem. This is this is why I blame these organizations. I don’t blame these young people for for believing this. I think if I was in my twenties, I would probably believe that the world is in catastrophe mode. But, you know, these these constant catastrophizing of weather events, weather is not climate. And to to harp and to take advantage of every extreme event to try to push your narrative is so disingenuous.

And these are smart people. They know that weather is not climate. Climate is very different. We’re talking about long term trends and variability in weather patterns and to try to catastrophize a single flood or a single hurricane and make the claim that if we didn’t burn fossil fuels or if we lowered atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions, somehow the flood wouldn’t have occurred or the hurricane wouldn’t have occurred. That is absurd. We know in the geologic record that these events happen. Sometimes they happen worse more than other times. But these happen. This is not has nothing to do with the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.  This is a much larger issue.

And to suggest that we wouldn’t have extreme weather if we could just change
one trace gas in the atmosphere is absolutely not scientific.

SE: Well, you have so many smart people like yourself who are speaking up saying there is no climate emergency. And yet do you feel like people like yourself are getting any real attention? In fact, many scientists get defunded for speaking out, get called climate deniers. How do you respond to that?

MW:  Yes, absolutely. I think that’s such a it’s such a derogatory term. It’s. Clearly trying to link people that are skeptical about climate and making questions about science with Holocaust deniers. I was born in Poland, just a few hours from the gates of Auschwitz. I lost many family members in the Holocaust. To try to link me because I have questions about science to denying the Holocaust is absolutely disingenuous. It’s an ad hominem attack because people realize that the empirical evidence doesn’t support what they’re saying and how catastrophize they’re trying to make the climate and such. They don’t want to discuss the actual data, so they’d rather label you a name and try to deplatform you or defund you. And, you know, I find it to be a very disingenuous way of having a scientific discussion.

SE: You know, just a few days ago, you announced you’re leaving the university and a post on Twitter. I saw you say some of it is personal family related. But you also mentioned it’s no longer a place that embraces freedom of exchanging ideas. Can you elaborate?

MW:  Yes. My life dream was to be a professor. My father was a professor ever since I was about 12 years old. And we made a pretty big sacrifice by moving from all of our families in California. We moved to Alabama because I really wanted to pursue this career, and I really started to realize pretty quickly that it wasn’t the way that my father remembered it. And when we would have discussions and this rise of illiberalism, that’s what I like to call it, this idea, these ideological ideas, the fact that there are certain things that are undiscussed that you can’t discuss.

What I was talking about was DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion.
And even having a discussion about this is very similar to climate.

If you just want to look and investigate whether something that’s probably has good intentions like inclusivity. I understand it’s a noble cause, but if we don’t look at the outcomes, it’s very difficult to figure out whether this is having the intent that we want. And I started to realize that just speaking out about some of these things was really enough to get you labeled, you know, a certain degree bigotry term, whichever one it is, a denier or sometimes even a racist, because you’re having questions about the outcomes of some of these diversity equity inclusion policies.

And it was clear to me once I made my my Twitter thread, I was attacked by faculty members from all over the place, even UA, calling me a racist. They tried to link me to some anti-Semitic writings that happened on the sidewalk somewhere on campus. It just made it prove to me very clearly that if you have genuine questions and you see negative impacts on students, even bringing that up is, is is, you know, paradigm to being a heretic and you get ostracized and people call you out. And so that’s definitely one of the reasons that made it easier for me to start walking away from from this profession.

SE: Well, you’re not alone. And it’s unfortunate that this is happening. It’s happening in your industry. It’s happening to parents who are speaking out, you know, for their children in schools. So it’s unfortunate. But I do hope that this doesn’t push smart people like you completely out of science. Dr. Weiliki, thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Matthew M. Weilicki Homepage




Click to access WCD-version-100122.pdf




Geologists’ Turn in Anti-Science Barrel

David Lewis Schaefer reports on the attempted political takeover of the profession in his American Mind article A Sad New Epoch.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Even the field of geology is rejecting science in the name of making political statements.

The Anthropocene Working Group of geologists, featured on the front page of the New York Times, is poised to announce the discovery/invention of a new epoch in the Earth’s history, beginning in the middle of the 20th century. Whereas seven previous epochs ranged from 4.6 billion to the most recent one, the “Holocene” (11,700 years since the end of the last ice age), during which homo sapiens evolved, scientists in the working group claim that no broad numbers are needed to date the Anthropocene since developments caused by humans, such as the increased use of nitrogen fertilizers, global warming, “the proliferation of plastics, garbage, and concrete across the planet,” and potential nuclear war, are directly visible to us. The group claims that the effects of the new age “will be discernible in the rocks for millenniums.”

The iconic Metronome clock in New York City was repurposed as an 80-foot-wide climate clock that shows our remaining time to take urgent action on climate change. (photo credit: BEN WOLF)

Certification of the new epoch will require a 60% vote by four committees. If it fails to receive such a vote from any of the committees, the Times warns it “might not have another chance to be ratified for years.”

But of course this isn’t how science develops, properly understood. As Stanley C. Finney, the secretary-general of the International Union of Geological Sciences, has observed, the notion of the Anthropocene has become a way for geologists to make a “political statement.” One advocate of the statement (a historian of science, not a geologist) explains that whereas she had once been taught “that geology ended when people showed up,” the Anthropocene designation signifies that “actually, the human impact is part of geology as a science.” Another expresses the fear that failing to recognize the Anthropocene would have “political reverberations,” as if the “geological community is denying” that human beings “have changed the planet drastically.” As another proponent of what we might term geological mission creep puts it, “I always saw [the designation] not as an internal geological undertaking, but rather one that would be greatly beneficial to the world at large,” as “a call to attention.” In other words, let’s mend our sinful ways!

The term “Anthropocene” is reported to have been coined and popularized by biologist Eugene Stormer and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen in 2000. It has since been put to wider use by political activists as a way of indicating that humanity’s presence is just one more passing stage.

In fact, some even look forward to the end of that stage so as to restore
Mother Earth to her pristine, pre-human condition.

Instead of simply accepting widespread climate change dogma, shouldn’t geologists be aware of the transition from the sometimes devastating Little Ice Age, variously defined by scientists as running from the 14th or 16th centuries through the mid-19th century, to more moderate worldwide climates, which began long before the invention of the internal combustion engine? (The Little Ice Age, confined largely to areas of northern Europe, followed a preceding Medieval Warming period.) Scientists have attributed those changes to such causes as cyclical lows in solar radiation, heightened volcanic activity, changes in the ocean circulation, and variations in Earth’s orbit and axial tilt.

Have those forecasting devastation from a warming climate considered the significance of millennia-old corpses, like Ötzi, sometimes discovered under many feet of snow in areas like the Alps, suggesting a longer-term cooling trend? And why dismiss the likelihood that scientific research will uncover means of combating detrimental effects from excessive heat: should that occur, would the geologists have to reverse their announcement of the new epoch?

This politicization of science encourages an unjustified suspicion or rejection of real science.

Look no further than Anthony Fauci’s sometimes contradictory, and admittedly sometimes purposely misleading, pronouncements regarding the causes of and appropriate responses to COVID, which have eroded public trust in the institution of public health. Also, as politically appealing “discoveries” win the attention and respect of science educators, they will inevitably be integrated into science curricula, starting at the elementary or middle school level. Students will not only be indoctrinated into the latest, politically correct dogmas, but they will be misled as to the nature of the scientific enterprise.

Given their subject of expertise, geologists are probably less equipped than physicists, chemists, and biologists to conduct controlled experiments in the Baconian sense. That fact does not make their undertaking any less a science but only confirms the observation made by Aristotle that different objects of study require different sorts of scientific approaches. But it does not excuse them from the need to offer rebuttable hypotheses, always subject to revision or even refutation in light of further data or a more comprehensive explanation.

Yet how can they possibly document the prediction reported in the Times that the effects
of the human activities they cite will be discernible for millennia?

Announcing the “discovery” that the world has suddenly reached a new epoch, within living memory, resembles nothing so much as the pronouncements once issued by Christian millenarians that “the end is near.” In fact, one advocate quoted in the Times views the authorization of the new epoch as its “canonization.”

Note the ominous claim that the new era will
“bring the previous chapter of the Earth’s history to a close.”

But how can any human being, lacking divine guidance, be qualified to pronounce such a change? If we have just embarked on the Anthropocene era, what could follow it? If there is a post-Anthropocene epoch, there won’t be any human beings left to record it. Geologists, please curb your eagerness to grab the world’s “attention” or make it comply with your political-theological wishes, and stick to your cores and samples. The world will be the better for it.

In Honor of Fred Singer

S. Fred Singer (1924 – 2020) passed away on April 6, 2020 at the age of 95.

Dr. Singer is the author, coauthor, and editor of many books, including Climate Change Reconsidered (several volumes), a comprehensive critique of the assessment reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and research fellow with the Independent Institute.

Dr. Singer published more than 200 technical papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals,  His editorial essays and articles have appeared in Cosmos, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Republic, Newsweek, Journal of Commerce, Washington Times, Washington Post, and many other publications. His accomplishments have been featured in front-cover stories appearing in Time, Life, and U.S. News & World Report

Dr. Singer was an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, and American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Dr. Singer gave hundreds of lectures and seminars on global warming, including to the science faculties at leading universities around the world.

This post commemorates his steadfast labors to expose the truth of climate change as a natural variability and to neutralize the poison of claiming humans are causing a climate crisis or emergency.  To this end below is a synopsis of his analysis originally published Sept. 10, 2001 in the Wall Street Journal.  The source is Water Vapor Rules the Greenhouse System at ClimateCite.

Just how much of the “Greenhouse Effect” is caused by human activity?

It is about 0.28%, if water vapor is taken into account– about 5.53%, if not.

This point is so crucial to the debate over global warming that how water vapor is or isn’t factored into an analysis of Earth’s greenhouse gases makes the difference between describing a significant human contribution to the greenhouse effect, or a negligible one.

Water vapor constitutes Earth’s most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect (4). Interestingly, many “facts and figures’ regarding global warming completely ignore the powerful effects of water vapor in the greenhouse system, carelessly (perhaps, deliberately) overstating human impacts as much as 20-fold.

Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC’s, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).

For those interested in more details a series of data sets and charts have been assembled below in a 5-step statistical synopsis.

Note that the first two steps ignore water vapor.

♦ 1. Greenhouse gas concentrations

♦ 2. Converting concentrations to contribution

♦ 3. Factoring in water vapor

♦ 4. Distinguishing natural vs man-made greenhouse gases

5. Putting it all together

Note: Calculations are expressed to 3 significant digits to reduce rounding errors, not necessarily to indicate statistical precision of the data. All charts were plotted using Lotus 1-2-3.

Caveat: This analysis is intended to provide a simplified comparison of the various man-made and natural greenhouse gases on an equal basis with each other. It does not take into account all of the complicated interactions between atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial systems, a feat which can only be accomplished by better computer models than are currently in use.

1. The following table was constructed from data published by the U.S. Department of Energy (1) and other sources, summarizing concentrations of the various atmospheric greenhouse gases. Because some of the concentrations are very small the numbers are stated in parts per billionDOE chose to NOT show water vapor as a greenhouse gas!

TABLE 1.The Important Greenhouse Gases (except water vapor)
U.S. Department of Energy, (October, 2000) (1)

Table 1 is not a very meaningful view because 1) the data has not been corrected for the actual Global Warming Potential (GWP) of each gas, and 2) water vapor is ignored.  But these are the numbers one would use if the goal is to exaggerate human greenhouse contributions:

The various greenhouse gases are not equal in their heat-retention properties though, so to remain statistically relevant % concentrations must be changed to % contribution relative to CO2. This is done in Table 2, below, through the use of GWP multipliers for each gas, derived by various researchers.

2. Using appropriate corrections for the Global Warming Potential of the respective gases provides the following more meaningful comparison of greenhouse gases, based on the conversion:

concentration ) X ( the appropriate GWP multiplier (2) (3) of each gas relative to CO2 ) = greenhouse >contribution.:

TABLE 2.Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases (except water vapor)
adjusted for heat retention characteristics, relative to CO2

NOTE: GWP (Global Warming Potential) is used to contrast different greenhouse gases relative to CO2.

Compared to the concentration statistics in Table 1, the GWP comparison in Table 2 illustrates, among other things:

♦  Total carbon dioxide (CO2) contributions are reduced to 72.37% of all greenhouse gases (368,400 / 509,056)– (ignoring water vapor).

Also, from Table 2 (but not shown on graph):

♦  Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 contributions drop to (11,880 / 509,056) or 2.33% of total of all greenhouse gases, (ignoring water vapor).

♦  Total combined anthropogenic greenhouse gases becomes (28,162 / 509,056) or 5.53% of all greenhouse gas contributions, (ignoring water vapor).

To properly represent the total relative impacts of Earth’s greenhouse gases Table 3 (below) factors in the effect of water vapor on the system.

3. Table 3, shows what happens when the effect of water vapor is factored in, and together with all other greenhouse gases expressed as a relative % of the total greenhouse effect.

TABLE 3.Role of Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases
(man-made and natural) as a % of Relative
Contribution to the “Greenhouse Effect”

Total atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) — both man-made and natural– is only about 3.62% of the overall greenhouse effect— a big difference from the 72.37% figure in Table 2, which ignored water!

Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, comes from natural sources and is responsible for roughly 95% of the greenhouse effect (4). Among climatologists this is common knowledge but among special interests, certain governmental groups, and news reporters this fact is under-emphasized or just ignored altogether.

Conceding that it might be “a little misleading” to leave water vapor out, they nonetheless defend the practice by stating that it is “customary” to do so!

4. Of course, even among the remaining 5% of non-water vapor greenhouse gases, humans contribute only a very small part (and human contributions to water vapor are negligible).

Constructed from data in Table 1, the charts (below) illustrate graphically how much of each greenhouse gas is natural vs how much is man-made. These allocations are used for the next and final step in this analysis– total man-made contributions to the greenhouse effect. Units are expressed to 3 significant digits in order to reduce rounding errors for those who wish to walk through the calculations, not to imply numerical precision as there is some variation among various researchers.

5. To finish with the math, by calculating the product of the adjusted CO2 contribution to greenhouse gases (3.618%) and % of CO2 concentration from anthropogenic (man-made) sources (3.225%), we see that only (0.03618 X 0.03225) or 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity. The other greenhouse gases are similarly calculated and are summarized below.

TABLE 4a.Anthropogenic (man-made) Contribution to the “Greenhouse
Effect,” expressed as % of Total (water vapor INCLUDED)This is the statistically correct way to represent relative human contributions to the greenhouse effect.

From Table 4a, both natural and man-made greenhouse contributions are illustrated in this chart, in gray and green, respectively. For clarity only the man-made (anthropogenic) contributions are labeled on the chart.

♦  Water vapor, responsible for 95% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, is 99.999% natural (some argue, 100%). Even if we wanted to we can do nothing to change this.

♦  Anthropogenic (man-made) CO2 contributions cause only about 0.117% of Earth’s greenhouse effect, (factoring in water vapor). This is insignificant!

♦  Adding up all anthropogenic greenhouse sources, the total human contribution to the greenhouse effect is around 0.28% (factoring in water vapor).

The Kyoto Protocol calls for mandatory carbon dioxide reductions of 30% from developed countries like the U.S. Reducing man-made CO2 emissions this much would have an undetectable effect on climate while having a devastating effect on the U.S. economy. Can you drive your car 30% less, reduce your winter heating 30%? Pay 20-50% more for everything from automobiles to zippers? And that is just a down payment, with more sacrifices to come later.

Such drastic measures, even if imposed equally on all countries around the world, would reduce total human greenhouse contributions from CO2 by about 0.035%.

My Comment

Readers may have wondered, as I have, how the typical Earth Energy Balance diagrams can show surface solar radiation amounting to ~161 W/m2 and downwelling IR atmospheric radiation ~333 W/m2, more than twice as much.  This despite the fact that shorter wavelengths are more energetic and longer wavelengths have less energy.

Part of the problem lies in calculating the conversion from radiation amounts to energy.  The formula is Energy level E = pV, where p is the Planck constant and V is the frequency.  Too often the shortcut is to assume the average frequency of visible light as the conversion factor.  That is a reasonable assumption for sunlight, but greatly exaggerates the energy of LWIR, which is 10 to 20 times longer than sunlight wavelengths.

In the tables above Dr. Singer did all the calculations considering each GHG’s volume and adjusted it by its ability to absorb IR radiation and the energy carried by each IR frequency.


A comment below dismisses Fred Singer’s expertise, likely based on a popular climate paradigm that is logical, simple and wrong.  To understand the flaws in thinking about earth’s climate, see this post:

2021 Update: Climate Reductionism

For a better understanding of the role of H2O, see William Gray’s paper, synopsis here:

Bill Gray: H20 is Climate Control Knob, not CO2

World of CO2 Infographics Update

Update January 25, 2023

Raymond notified me that this new repository is live and standalone with some improvements.  The previous location links are gone and the infographics are available as described below.

The World of CO₂” charts are officially hosted here only!

Previous Post

This post is to announce that Raymond Inauen of RIC-Communications has a website up for the public to access a series of infographics regarding CO2 and climate science.  As seen above, the website is  here:

The World of CO2


Readers will be aware of previous posts on the four themes to be discovered.  Raymond introduces this resource in this way:


Would you like to learn more about CO₂ so you can have informed conversations about climate policy and future energy investments? Or would you rather pass judgment on CO₂ after learning about the basics? Then this is the website for you.

There are 29 infographic images that can be downloaded in four PDF files.  Thanks again, Raymond for your interest and efforts to make essential scientific information available to one and all.

Fatal Flaw in Earth Energy Balance Diagrams

Prof. Warren Stannard of Western Australia University provides the math analysis to correct the above mistaken energy balance cartoon published in 1997.  His paper in Natural Science (2018) is The Greenhouse Effect: An Evaluation of Arrhenius’ Thesis and a New Energy Equilibrium Model.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and exhibits.


In 1896, Svante Arrhenius proposed a model predicting that increased concentration of carbon dioxide and water vapour in the atmosphere would result in a warming of the planet. In his model, the warming effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapour in preventing heat flow from the Earth’ s surface (now known as the “Greenhouse Effect”) are counteracted by a cooling effect where the same gasses are responsible for the radiation of heat to space from the atmosphere. His analysis found that there was a net warming effect and his model has remained the foundation of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect—Global Warming hypothesis.

This paper attempts to quantify the parameters in his equations but on evaluation his model cannot produce thermodynamic equilibrium. A modified model is proposed which reveals that increased atmospheric emissivity enhances the ability of the atmosphere to radiate heat to space overcoming the cooling effect resulting in a net cooling of the planet. In consideration of this result, there is a need for greenhouse effect—global warming models to be revised.

1. Introduction

In 1896 Arrhenius proposed that changes in the levels of “carbonic acid” (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere could substantially alter the surface temperature of the Earth. This has come to be known as the greenhouse effect. Arrhenius’ paper, “On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground”, was published in Philosophical Magazine.  Arrhenius concludes:

“If the quantity of carbonic acid in the air should sink to one-half its present percentage, the temperature would fall by about 4˚; a diminution to one-quarter would reduce the temperature by 8˚. On the other hand, any doubling of the percentage of carbon dioxide in the air would raise the temperature of the earth’s surface by 4˚; and if the carbon dioxide were increased fourfold, the temperature would rise by 8˚ ” [ 2 ].

It is interesting to note that Arrhenius considered this greenhouse effect a positive thing if we were to avoid the ice ages of the past. Nevertheless, Arrhenius’ theory has become the foundation of the enhanced greenhouse effect―global warming hypothesis in the 21st century. His model remains the basis for most modern energy equilibrium models.

2. Arrhenius’ Energy Equilibrium Model

Arrhenius’ proposed a two-part energy equilibrium model in which the atmosphere radiates the same amount of heat to space as it receives and, likewise, the ground transfers the same amount of heat to the atmosphere and to space as it receives. The model contains the following assumptions:

Heat conducted from the center of the Earth is neglected.

Heat flow by convection between the surface and the atmosphere and throughout the atmosphere remains constant.

Cloud cover remains constant. This is questionable but allows the model to be quantified.

Part 1: Equilibrium of the Air

The balance of heat flow to and from the air (or atmosphere) has four components as shown in Figure 1. The arrow labelled S1 indicates the solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere. R indicates the infra-red radiation from the surface of the Earth to the atmosphere, M is the quantity of heat “conveyed” to the atmosphere by convection and Q1 represents heat loss from the atmosphere to space by radiation. All quantities are measured in terms of energy per unit area per unit time (W/m2).

Figure 1. Model of the energy balance of the atmosphere. The heat received by the atmosphere ( R+M+S1 ) equals the heat lost to space (Q1). In this single layer atmospheric model, the absorbing and emitting layers are one and the same.


Part 2: Thermal Equilibrium of the Ground

In the second part of his model, Arrhenius describes the heat flow equilibrium at the “ground” or surface of the Earth. There are four contributions to the surface heat flow as shown in Figure 2. S2 is the solar energy absorbed by the surface, R is the infra-red radiation emitted from the surface and transferred to the atmosphere, N is the heat conveyed to the atmosphere by convection and Q2 is the heat radiated to space from the surface. Note: Here Arrhenius uses the term N for the convective heat flow. It is equivalent to the term M used in the air equilibrium model.

Figure 2. The energy balance at the surface of the Earth. The energy received by the ground is equal to the energy lost.

3. Finding the Temperature of the Earth

Arrhenius combined these equations and, by eliminating the temperature of the atmosphere which according to Arrhenius “has no considerable interest”, he arrived at the following relationship:

ΔTg  is the expected change in the temperature of the Earth for a change in atmospheric emissivity from ε1 to ε2. Arrhenius determined that the current transparency of the atmosphere was 0.31 and, therefore the emissivity/absorptivity ε1 = 0.69. The current mean temperature for the surface of the Earth can be assumed to be To = 288 K.

Figure 3. Arrhenius’ model is used to determine the mean surface temperature of the Earth as a function of atmospheric emissivity ε. For initial conditions, ε = 0.69 and the surface temperature is 288 K. An increase in atmospheric emissivity produces an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth.

Arrhenius estimated that a doubling of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere would produce a change in emissivity from 0.69 to 0.78 raising the temperature of the surface by approximately 6 K. This value would be considered high by modern climate researchers; however, Arrhenius’ model has become the foundation of the greenhouse-global warming theory today. Arrhenius made no attempt to quantify the specific heat flow values in his model. At the time of his paper there was little quantitative data available relating to heat flow for the Earth.

4. Evaluation of Arrhenius’ Model under Present Conditions

More recently, Kiehl and Trenberth (K & T) [ 3 ] and others have quantified the heat flow values used in Arrhenius’ model. K & T’s data are summarised in Figure 4.

The reflected solar radiation, which plays no part in the energy balance described in this model, is ignored. R is the net radiative transfer from the ground to the atmosphere derived from K & T’s diagram. The majority of the heat radiated to space originates from the atmosphere (Q1 > Q2). And the majority of the heat lost from the ground is by means of convection to the atmosphere (M > R + Q2).

Figure 4. Model of the mean energy budget of the earth as determined by Kiehl and Trenberth.


Substituting ε = 0.567, ν = 1.0 and Tg = 288 K we get:  Q2=149.2 W/m2

Using Arrhenius value of 0.69 for the atmospheric emissivity Q2 = 120.9 W/m2.

Both values are significantly more than the 40 W/m2 determined by K & T.
The equation will not balance, something is clearly wrong.

Figure 5 illustrates the problem.

Equation (5) is based on the Stefan-Boltzmann law which is an empirical relationship which describes the amount of radiation from a hot surface passing through a vacuum to a region of space at a temperature of absolute zero. This is clearly not the case for radiation passing through the Earth’s atmosphere and as a result the amount of heat lost by radiation has been grossly overestimated.

No amount of adjusting parameters will allow this relationship to produce
sensible quantities and the required net heat flow of 40 W/m2.

This error affects the equilibrium heat flow values in Arrhenius’ model and the model is not able to produce a reasonable approximation of present day conditions as shown in Table 1. In particular, the convective heat flow takes on very different values from the two parts of the model. The values M and N in the table should be equivalent.

5. A New Energy Equilibrium Model

A modified model is proposed which will determine the change in surface temperature of the Earth caused by a change in the emissivity of the atmosphere (as would occur when greenhouse gas concentrations change). The model incorporates the following ideas:

1) The total heat radiated from the Earth ( Q1+Q2Q1+Q2 ) will remain constant and equal to the total solar radiation absorbed by the Earth ( S1+S2S1+S2 ).

2) Convective heat flow M remains constant. Convective heat flow between two regions is dependent on their temperature difference, as expressed by Newton’s Law of cooling1. The temperature difference between the atmosphere and the ground is maintained at 8.9 K (see Equation 7(a)). M = 102 W/m2 (K & T).

3) A surface temperature of 288 K and an atmospheric emissivity of 0.567 (Equation (7b)) is assumed for initial or present conditions.

Equation (9) represents the new model relating the emissivity of the atmosphere ε to the surface temperature Tg. Results from this model are shown in Table 2. The table shows the individual heat flow quantities and the temperature of the surface of the Earth that is required to maintain equilibrium:

The table shows that as the value of the atmospheric emissivity ε is increased less heat flows from the Earth’s surface to space, Q2 decreases. This is what would be expected. As well, more heat is radiated to space from the atmosphere; Q1 increases. This is also expected. The total energy radiated to space Q1+Q2=235 W/m2 . A plot of the resultant surface temperature Tg versus the atmospheric emissivity ε is shown below Figure 6.

Figure 6. Plot of the Earth’s mean surface temperature as a function of the atmospheric emissivity. This model predicts that the temperature of the Earth will decrease as the emissivity of the atmosphere increases.

6. Conclusion

Arrhenius identified the fact that the emissivity/absorptivity of the atmosphere increased with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and this would affect the temperature of the Earth. He understood that infra-red active gases in the atmosphere contribute both to the absorption of radiation from the Earth’s surface and to the emission of radiation to space from the atmosphere. These were competing processes; one trapped heat, warming the Earth; the other released heat, cooling the Earth. He derived a relationship between the surface temperature and the emissivity of the atmosphere and deduced that an increase in emissivity led to an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth.

However, his model is unable to produce sensible results for the heat flow quantities as determined by K & T and others. In particular, his model and all similar recent models, grossly exaggerate the quantity of radiative heat flow from the Earth’s surface to space. A new energy equilibrium model has been proposed which is consistent with the measured heat flow quantities and maintains thermal equilibrium. This model predicts the changes in the heat flow quantities in response to changes in atmospheric emissivity and reveals that Arrhenius’ prediction is reversed. Increasing atmospheric emissivity due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations will have a net cooling effect.

It is therefore proposed by the author that any attempt to curtail emissions of CO2
will have no effect in curbing global warming.

World of CO2 Infographics

This post is to announce that Raymond Inauen of RIC-Communications has a website up for the public to access a series of infographics regarding CO2 and climate science.  As seen above, the website is  here:

The World of CO2

Readers will be aware of previous posts on the four themes to be discovered.  Raymond introduces this resource in this way:


Would you like to learn more about CO₂ so you can have informed conversations about climate policy and future energy investments? Or would you rather pass judgment on CO₂ after learning about the basics? Then this is the website for you.

There are 29 infographic images that can be downloaded in four PDF files.  Thanks again, Raymond for your interest and efforts to make essential scientific information available to one and all.

Ocean Temps Warm Slightly December 2022


The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source. Previously I used HadSST3 for these reports, but Hadley Centre has made HadSST4 the priority, and v.3 will no longer be updated.  HadSST4 is the same as v.3, except that the older data from ship water intake was re-estimated to be generally lower temperatures than shown in v.3.  The effect is that v.4 has lower average anomalies for the baseline period 1961-1990, thereby showing higher current anomalies than v.3. This analysis concerns more recent time periods and depends on very similar differentials as those from v.3 despite higher absolute anomaly values in v.4.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 and 4 from other SST products at the end. The user guide for HadSST4 is here.

The Current Context

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST4 starting in 2015 through December 2022.  A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016. 

Note that in 2015-2016 the Tropics and SH peaked in between two summer NH spikes.  That pattern repeated in 2019-2020 with a lesser Tropics peak and SH bump, but with higher NH spikes. By end of 2020, cooler SSTs in all regions took the Global anomaly well below the mean for this period.  In 2021 the summer NH summer spike was joined by warming in the Tropics but offset by a drop in SH SSTs, which raised the Global anomaly slightly over the mean.

Then in 2022, another strong NH summer spike peaked in August, but this time both the Tropic and SH were countervailing, resulting in only slight Global warming, later receding to the mean.   Oct./Nov. temps dropped  in NH and the Tropics took the Global anomaly below the average for this period. Now in December an uptick in SH has lifted the Global anomaly slightly above the mean.

A longer view of SSTs

To enlarge image open in new tab.

The graph above is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.1995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino. 

The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99. There were strong cool periods before and after the 1998 El Nino event. Then SSTs in all regions returned to the mean in 2001-2. 

SSTS fluctuate around the mean until 2007, when another, smaller ENSO event occurs. There is cooling 2007-8,  a lower peak warming in 2009-10, following by cooling in 2011-12.  Again SSTs are average 2013-14.

Now a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cooled sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peaks came in 2019 and 2020, only this time the Tropics and SH were offsetting rather adding to the warming. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)  Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. After September 2020 temps dropped off down until February 2021.  Now in 2021-22 there are again summer NH spikes, but in 2022 moderated first by cooling Tropics and SH SSTs, now in October and November by deeper cooling in NH and Tropics.

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.

The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows August warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since, including 2020, dropping down in 2021.  Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.

This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The heavy blue line shows that 2022 started warm, dropped to the bottom and stayed near the lower tracks.  Note the strength of this summer’s warming pulse, in September peaking to nearly 24 Celsius, a new record for this dataset. In November the SSTs were closer to the middle.


The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies will likely decline in coming months, along with ENSO also weakening will probably determine a cooler outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST4

HadSST is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST4 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.


USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

Footnote Rare Triple Dip La Nina Likely This Winter

Here’s Where a Rare “Triple Dip La Niña” Might Drop the Most Snow This Winter Ski Mag

The unusual weather phenomenon might result in the snowiest season in years for some parts of the country.

The long-range winter forecast could be good news for skiers living in the certain parts of the U.S. and Canada. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that the chance of a La Niña occurring this fall and early winter is 86 percent, and the main beneficiary is expected to be mountains in the Northwest and Northern Rockies.

If NOAA’s predictions pan out, this will be the third La Niña in a row—a rare phenomenon called a “Triple Dip La Niña.” Between now and 1950, only two Triple Dips have occurred.

Smith also notes that winters on the East Coast are similarly tricky to predict during La Niña years. “In the West, you’re simply looking for above-average precipitation, which typically translates to above-average snowfall, but in the East, you have temperature to worry about as well … that adds another complication.” In other words, increased precip could lead to more rain if the temperatures aren’t cooperative.

The presence of a La Niña doesn’t always translate to higher snowfall in the North, either, as evidenced by last ski season, which saw few powder days.

However, in consecutive La Niña triplets, one winter usually involves above-average snowfall. While this historical pattern isn’t tied to any documented meteorological function, it could mean that the odds of a snowy 2022’-’23 season are higher, given the previous two La Niñas didn’t deliver the goods.