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Roads and trains were shut down across the New York area Monday night and into Tuesday, and for what? It snowed in New York, but only 9.8 inches fell in Central Park after predictions of a foot and a half or more. What went wrong? Forecasters, including yours truly, decided to go all-in on one weather model: the European model (or Euro).

And the Euro was way off. Other models had this storm pegged.1

Update after update, the Euro (produced by the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting) kept predicting very high snow totals in New York. As of Monday morning’s run, the Euro was still projecting a foot and a half in the city. This consistency was too great for forecasters to ignore, especially because the Euro had been the first to jump on events such as the blizzard of 1996 and Hurricane Sandy. It also was one of the first to predict that a March 2001 storm was going to, like this one, be a bust. The Euro had a good track record.

That consistency, though, hid a great sense of uncertainty. The SREF (or Short-Range Ensemble Forecast), produced by the National Weather Service, collects 21 models (shown below). And Sunday night, the SREF indicated that the storm could be very different. Five of the 21 models in the SREF had (on a 10:1 snow-to-liquid ratio) less than 10 inches of snow falling. Nine of the 21 predicted a foot or less. Only eight could have been said to support 18 or more inches of snow in New York City.

screen-shot-2015-01-27-at-12-55-57-pm

In other words, 57 percent of the SREF members Sunday night suggested the forecasts were far too gung-ho. By Monday afternoon, 11 of the 21 members were on the 10-inches-or-less train. Eight of the 21 still supported big-time snow, but they were a minority.

The SREF members were not alone in being suspicious of so much snow. In Sunday’s 7 p.m. run, all of the other major models were against the Euro.

  • The American Global Forecasting System (GFS), which was recently upgraded, had only about 20 millimeters (or 8 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling for the storm. Although the GFS is considered inferior to the Euro by many meteorologists, the difference is probably overrated. Both models perform fairly well over the long term, as was pointed out in The New York Times this week. The GFS was showing the storm would stall too far northeast for New York to get the biggest snows. Instead, as we are seeing, those larger totals would be concentrated over Boston.
  • The GFS solution probably shouldn’t have been ignored given that it was joined by the Canadian’s global model, which had only 25 millimeters (or about 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow. The Canadian’s short-range model was slightly more pessimistic than the global. It predicted only about 20 to 25 millimeters (or 8 to 10 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) of snow.
  • The United Kingdom’s model, which typically rates as the second-most accurate behind the Euro, was also on the little-snow train in New York. It had only 20 millimeters (or 8 inches on a 10-to-1 ratio) falling as snow.
  • Even the United States’ short-range North American Mesocale (NAM) model was on board with smaller accumulations, though it would change its tune in later runs and agree with the Euro for a time. On Sunday night, the NAM went with the 20 millimeters of snow.

Put it all together, and there was plenty of evidence this storm wouldn’t be record-setting in New York. Of course, forecasters are going to miss on occasion. Forecasting weather is very difficult. Models aren’t perfect, and forecasters should be practicing meteorology and not “modelology.”

That said, there are a few lessons to be learned:

  1. I’m not sure forecasters (including amateurs like myself) did a good enough job communicating to the public that there was great uncertainty in the forecast. This has been a problem for media forecasters who have historically been too confident in predicting precipitation events. A study of TV meteorologists in Kansas City found that when they predicted with 100 percent certainty that it would rain, it didn’t one-third of the time. Forecasters typically communicate margin of error by giving a range of outcomes (10 to 12 inches of snow, for example). In this instance, I don’t think the range adequately showed the disagreement among the models. Perhaps a probabilistic forecast is better.
  2. No model is infallible. Forecasters would have been better off averaging all the model data together, even the models that don’t have a stellar record. The Euro is king, but it’s not so good that we should ignore all other forecasts.
  3. There’s nothing wrong with changing a forecast. When the non-Euro models (except for the NAM) stayed consistent in showing about an inch or less of liquid precipitation (or 10 inches of snow on a 10-to-1 ratio) reaching New York and the Euro backed off its biggest predictions Monday afternoon, it was probably time for forecasters to change their stance. They waited too long; I’m not sure why.

Meteorology deals in probabilities and uncertainty. Models, and the forecasters who use those models, aren’t going to be perfect. In this case, there was a big storm. It just so happened to be confined to eastern Long Island and southern New England. But that’ll do little to satisfy New Yorkers who expected a historic blizzard.

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If you’ve come here from EWRadar’s #BootsandHearts weather updates, head to [this page] to go to our Boots and Hearts live radar feed With support from the Weather Channel and Environment Canada. Canadian Tire Mosport Park (“Boots and Hearts”) is located just NE of map centre. Quick guide – green – overcast to light rain. Yellow – moderate to heavy rain, light thundershower. Red – heavy rain, moderate to severe thunderstorm. Pink, purple – take cover!
Have a great weekend – wish I was there!

For more southern Ontario weather monitoring go to our main pages at http://radar.ephemerata.ca

We recently re-added realtime METAR (Aviation Routine Weather Report) rosettes to the Scan B radar displays. The attached image shows the rosettes for Kithener-Waterloo and near Fergus, Ontario. These reporting stations are usually sited at airports and may or may not be automated. Their currency may lag by up to 2 hours, although they usually more current than that.

The rosette EWR displays consists of a centre circle, to which a wind vane is attached, and is surrounded by three or four numbers.

The centre dot may contain one of the following codes: M – no sky cover report (ie “missing”; a full white dot (clear sky), a full black dot (fully cloudy), or a partial black/white dot that is quartered in black and white in proportion to the relative cloud cover. In the image, the KW cloud cover is “50%”. Additionally, our METAR dots will also show a red down-arrow (sharply decreasing pressure) or a green up-arrow (sharply rising pressure). These latter two items report in relation to storm cells typically. The outer rim of a storm cell will be strongly high pressure due to the storm cell downdrafts and outflow winds, while the storm centre or core will show a strong low pressure due to rising air in the cell. These rapid changes are indicative of a strong convection cell, and should be viewed as indicative of potentially severe weather imminent.

The wind vane radiating from the centre dot indicates direction the wind is coming from; the “feathers”, the strength of the wind, in knots. There are two scale lengths to the feathers, long and short. A long feather is 10 knots, a short feather, 5 knots. The vane itself represents a 5 knot breeze.

The top left number in white is the reported temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. The lower green number is the dew point. The upper right number is the last 3 digits of the atmospheric pressure in kilopascals, ie, for Fergus, “237” is 1023.7 kpl.

Other chart symbols may show from time to time (we have no control over what comes down the METAR feed) – this chart link will show the many symbols which may turn up, depending on what’s on the feed at the time.

METAR

And everything that is said about 7 day forecasts is so true – beyond 5 days, not worth shite! Might as well be +1!

Reposted from WattsUpWithThat.

Arctic blast coming to Eastern US – likely to be the coldest opening to calendar spring in at least 50 years

Another massive cold wave headed for Eastern US next week to put temperature 20 degrees below normal

Senior WeatherBell Meteorologist Joe Bastardi commented:

I am 58.. never seen anything close to this for late March.

and

[The] pattern next week has as much extreme potential for the time of the year as I can find. Coldest opening to calender spring in 50 yrs at least.

Weather forecast models such as the ECMWF and NCEP, both of which have had good track records this year in identifying polar vortex outbreaks in advance, are now forecasting a massive cold blast for the beginning of spring. See maps:

NCEP_GFS_ensMean_Mar24

Dr. Ryan Maue commented on this forecast from ECMWF:

ECMWF 12z (WMO-Essential) 850-hPa temperature + wind streams. Final 10-day outcome after 2nd Arctic blast. Brutal.

ECMWF_temp_anomaly_Mar27

He added:

Canadian ensemble system looks like other guidance at 7-days as well. This cake is baked. Arctic blast to end March

If Lake Michigan can open up a bit, then this cold could drop enormous amounts of Lake Effect snow on Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Canadian_model_mar24

EWR Note: The following post is crossposted from Watts Up With That, and is available on WUWT at the link in the title below. EWR encourages you to go to WUWT and review also the commentary discussion of this post. Most of the discussion is about minor details, not about what the post says and what the post illustrates: The scare regime of “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (or “AGW”, “CAGW” or “Climate Change” as its now called) is OVER. Solid data now reaching out more than 17 years shows what most real scientists have known for some time: that there is no coupled effect between levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and global temperatures. Yes, the physics of CO2 in pure gaseous state provides for a warming contribution to the gas, but in the context of the planet, at <.04% of the earth's atmosphere, is not, and has never been, a determiner of global climate. Man's contribution to the <.04%, and its effect, even doubled, is insignificant.

The AGW-Climate Change meme is, and has always been, a political construct of factions of the UN and related interests. This isn't conspiracy theory, is demonstrable fact supported by a wide variety of documents, many from the UN itself. I will leave the reader to conduct their own searchs on this aspect – there is plenty to read. As the post below outlines, the scientific evidence is clear: there is no "Climate Change" event attributable to the impact of CO2 or man's contribution to it. The earth is going through an interglacial period that is not as yet understood. There appears to be correlations with solar activity, and to a variety of heat exchange mechanisms with the major heat sinks such as the oceans and the atmosphere, but the CO2 balance and man's contribution are not part of the equations. There is no basis for extensive taxation and mitigation strategies based on falsely projected "climate change " events. It is ALL politcal theatre, and the question needs to be asked: who profits?

This is a long post. Some of the graphs are wider then this blog format – click on the graphic to see the whole graphic.

A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – Santer 17 Update

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

NOAA’s State of the Climate In 2008 report found that:

The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.

In 2010 Phil Jones was asked by the BBC;

“Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?”

Phil Jones replied:

Yes, but only just.

In 2011, the paper “Separating signal and noise in atmospheric temperature changes: The importance of timescale” by Santer et al. moved the goal posts and found that:

Because of the pronounced effect of interannual noise on decadal trends, a multi-model ensemble of anthropogenically-forced simulations displays many 10-year periods with little warming. A single decade of observational TLT data is therefore inadequate for identifying a slowly evolving anthropogenic warming signal. Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.

In October 2013, the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite temperature data set reached a period of 204 months/17 years for which the slope is = -0.000122111 per year. For those not familiar, the RSS satellite temperature data set is similar to the University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) dataset that John Christy and Roy Spencer manage. Information about RSS can be found at here and the data set can be found here.

In November 2013, Dr. Robert G. Brown, Physics Department of Duke University wrote on WUWT:

This (17 years) is a non-event, just as 15 and 16 years were non-events. Non-events do not make headlines. Other non-events of the year are one of the fewest numbers of tornadoes* (especially when corrected for under-reporting in the radar-free past) in at least the recent past (if not the remote past), the lowest number of Atlantic hurricanes* since I was 2 years old (I’m 58), the continuation of the longest stretch in recorded history without a category 3 or higher hurricane making landfall in the US (in fact, I don’t recall there being a category 3 hurricane in the North Atlantic this year, although one of the ones that spun out far from land might have gotten there for a few hours).        * Links added subsequently

While I must disagree with Dr. Robert G. Brown as to what one can and can’t be make into a headline, I do otherwise agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, with mainstream media outlets like PBS are running erroneous headlines like, “UN Panel: ‘Extremely Likely’ Earth’s Rapid Warming Is Caused by Humans” we are stuck reporting on average climate data. Amusingly, it has proven a quite effective method of informing the public and disprove erroneous alarmist claims and headlines, as Dr. Brown’s comment above attests.

For those not too familiar with the “Pause” in Earth’s warming, recommended reading includes: “Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar.” The Economist “Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it.” Daily Mail “Twenty-year hiatus in rising temperatures has climate scientists puzzled.” The Australian “Has the rise in temperatures ‘paused’?” Guardian “On Tuesday, news finally broke of a revised Met Office ‘decadal forecast’, which not only acknowledges the pause, but predicts it will continue at least until 2017.” Daily Mail “RSS global satellite temperatures confirm hiatus of global warming, while the general public and mainstream press are now recognizing the AWOL truth that skeptics long ago identified…global temperatures are trending towards cooling, not accelerating higher” C3 Headlines

In terms of exactly how long the “Pause” has lasted, it depends on the data set and what it is being measured, e.g. in Werner Brozek’s recent article Statistical Significances – How Long Is “The Pause”? he showed that;

1. For GISS, the slope is flat since September 1, 2001 or 12 years, 1 month. (goes to September 30, 2013)
2. For Hadcrut3, the slope is flat since May 1997 or 16 years, 5 months. (goes to September)
3. For a combination of GISS, Hadcrut3, UAH and RSS, the slope is flat since December 2000 or 12 years, 10 months. (goes to September)
4. For Hadcrut4, the slope is flat since December 2000 or 12 years, 10 months. (goes to September)
5. For Hadsst3, the slope is flat since November 2000 or 12 years, 11 months. (goes to September)
6. For UAH, the slope is flat since January 2005 or 8 years, 9 months. (goes to September using version 5.5)
7. For RSS, the slope is flat since November 1996 or 17 years (goes to October)

Here’s what that looks like graphically;

WoodForTrees.org – Paul Clark – Click the pic to view at source

However, to really see the big picture on “Earth’s Temperature” we must take into account many more measurements than just Surface and Tropospheric Temperatures. As such, the following is an overview of many of them. NASA’s Earth Observatory claims that;

“Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.”

so let us start there…

Global Surface Temperatures:

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly – 1996 to Present:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) – Click the pic to view at source

NOAA’s – National Climate Data Center – Annual Global Land and Ocean Temperature Anomalies:

NOAA – National Climate Data Center – Click the pic to view at source

UK Met Office’s – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Annual Global Average Land and Ocean Temperature Anomaly;

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

the UK Met Office – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Monthly Global Average Land Temperature;

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

and HadCRUT4 Global, Northern and Southern Hemispheric Temperature Anomalies:

University of East Anglia (UEA) – Climatic Research Unit (CRU) – Click the pic to view at source

The Pause appears to apparent in Earth’s Land and Surface Temperature record. It is important to note that the reason that the IPCC claims to be;

“95% certain that humans are the “dominant cause” of global warming since the 1950sBBC

is because prior to 1950 Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil-Fuels were insufficient to have a significant influence on “Earth’s Temperature”, i.e. Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil-Fuels;

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center – Click the pic to view at source

and Cumulative Anthropogenic CO2 Emissions from Fossil-Fuels:

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center – Click the pic to view at source

In May 2013, the Economist noted that;

The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, “the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”

Additionally, surface temperature records are burdened with issues of questionable siting, changes in siting, changes in equipment, changes in the number of measurement locations, modeling to fill in gaps in measurement locations, corrections to account for missing, erroneous or biased measurements, land use changes, anthropogenic waste heat and the urban heat island effect.  Thus to see the Big Picture of “Earth’s Temperature”, it also helps to look up.

Atmospheric Temperatures:

Since 1979 Earth’s “temperature” has also been measured via satellite. “The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.” NASA

Here is RSS Global Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and this is the University of Alabama – Hunstville (UAH) Global Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present:

University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) – Dr. Roy Spencer – Click the pic to view at source

Note: Per John Christy, RSS and UAH anomalies are not comparable because they use different base periods, i.e., “RSS only uses 1979-1998 (20 years) while UAH uses the WMO standard of 1981-2010.”

The March UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomaly was .29 degrees C above the 30 year average and RSS Global Global Lower Troposphere shows a .127 degrees C increase per decade.

When we look at Earth’s “canaries”, i.e. RSS Northern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

appears to have Paused for the last 18 years and RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

looks like it has been on Pause for its entire record.

To this point we’ve only addressed the Lower Troposphere Temperatures, the following Temperature Anomaly plots from RSS will increase in altitude as is illustrated here:

Here is RSS Temperature Middle Troposphere (TMT)- Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

According to Remote Sensing Systems, “For Channel (TLT) (Lower Troposphere) and Channel (TMT) (Middle Troposphere), the anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow tropospheric warming. The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the most recent one being the largest.” RSS

Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to show slow warming overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including several comparatively large El Niño events. Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to entered The Pause with the large El Niño in 1998.

Moving higher in the atmosphere, RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been in The Pause since records began in 1987, with a trend of just -.004 K/C per decade.

The 1997-98 and 2009 – 10 El Niño events are still readily apparent in the Troposphere / Stratosphere plot above, as is a spike from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Note that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo is the opposite in the Lower and Middle Troposphere versus the Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS), i.e. “Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere; the gases convert into submicron particles (aerosol) with an e-folding time scale of about 1 year. The climate response to large eruptions (in historical times) lasts for several (2-3) years. The aerosol cloud causes cooling at the Earth’s surface, warming in stratosphere.”
Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

It is interesting that, incorporating the impact of three significant surface driven warming events, Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperatures (TTS) have been quite stable, however there is a bit of regional variation here, e.g.:

RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been increasing by .047 K/C per decade, whereas the RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been decreasing by -.039 K/C per decade.

Moving higher still in the atmosphere, the RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

“is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS

The eruptions of El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo are readily apparent in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation at Mauna Loa, Hawaii:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) – Click the pic to view at source

“The stratosphere” … “in contrast to the troposphere, is heated, as the result of near infrared absorption of solar energy at the top of the aerosol cloud, and increased infra-red absorption of long-wave radiation from the Earth’s surface.”

“The stratospheric warming in the region of the stratospheric cloud increases the latitudinal temperature gradient after an eruption at low latitudes, disturbing the stratospheric-troposphere circulation, increasing the difference in height of the troposphere between high and low latitudes, and increasing the strength of the jet stream (polar vortex, especially in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warming during the northern hemisphere winter following a tropical eruption, and this warming effect tends to be larger than the cooling effect described above.” Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

The Lower Stratosphere experienced “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo.” … “Here we provide observational analyses that yield new insight into three key aspects of recent stratospheric climate change. First, we provide evidence that the unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, we argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, we reveal the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer-Dobson circulation” David W. J. Thompson Colorado State University

Above the Stratosphere we have the Mesosphere and Thermosphere, neither of which have I identified current temperature time series for, but of note is that on “July 15, 2010″ “A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” occurred when “high above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.”

“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.” NASA

In summary, “the Pause” is apparent in Earth’s atmospheric record, Lower and Middle Troposphere appear to have warmed slowly, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events, and tempered by the cooling effects of the eruption of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have paused since the large El Niño in 1998. Tropospheric / Stratospheric temperatures appear to have been influenced by at least three significant surface driven warming events, the 1997-98 El Niño, and the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991, but have maintained a stable overall trajectory. Stratospheric temperatures appear to have experienced two “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).”, and “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years. Lastly, “during deep solar minimum of 2008-2009″ “the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years” occurred and “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.”

Ocean Temperatures:

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Bureau of Meteorology

From a surface perspective Hadley Center’s HadSST2 Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly;

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

NOAA’s – National Climate Data Center – Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly;

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Reynolds OI.v2 Global Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly

Bob Tisdale – http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com – Click the pic to view at source

all appear to be well into The Pause.

Obviously Sea Surface temperature only scratch the surface, thus changes in Ocean Heat Content are important in understanding “Earth’s Temperature”. Here is NOAA’s NODC Global Ocean Heat Content from 0-700 Meters – 1955 to Present;

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) – Click the pic to view at source

and here is the same from Ole Humlum’s valuable climate data site Climate4you.com, NODC Global Ocean Heat Content – 0-700 Meters – 1979 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

It seems apparent from the plots above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, and has not paused per se, however the rate of increase seems to have slowed significantly since 2004.

Sea Level:

“Global sea level is currently rising as a result of both ocean thermal expansion and glacier melt, with each accounting for about half of the observed sea level rise, and each caused by recent increases in global mean temperature. For the period 1961-2003, the observed sea level rise due to thermal expansion was 0.42 millimeters per year and 0.69 millimeters per year due to total glacier melt (small glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets) (IPCC 2007). Between 1993 and 2003, the contribution to sea level rise increased for both sources to 1.60 millimeters per year and 1.19 millimeters per year respectively (IPCC 2007).” Source NSIDC

Global Mean Sea Level Change – 1993 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Mean Sea Level Change Map with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” – 1993 to Present;

University of Colorado at Boulder – Click the pic to view at source

While it appears that Sea Level Rise has continued recently;

Wikipedia – Click the pic to view at source

it is important to note that Sea Levels were increasing at a similar pace during the first half of the 20th century, before anthropogenic CO2 emissions were sufficient to have a significant influence on “Earth’s Temperature” and Sea Level:

Snow and Ice:

A proxy often cited when measuring “Earth’s Temperature” is amount of Snow and Ice on Earth. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “The vast majority, almost 90 percent, of Earth’s ice mass is in Antarctica, while the Greenland ice cap contains 10 percent of the total global ice mass.” Source USGA

However, there is currently no generally accepted measure of ice volume, as Cryosat is still in validation and the accuracy of measurements from Grace are still being challenged. Sea Ice Area and Extent are cited as proxies for “Earth’s Temperature”, however there is significant evidence that the primary influences on Sea Ice Area and Extent are in fact wind and Atmospheric Oscillations.

With this said, Global Sea Ice Area;

Cryosphere Today – University of Illinois – Polar Research Group – Click the pic to view at source

had it’s largest maximum in 2013, since 1996 and has remained stubbornly average for the entirety of 2013. Antarctic Sea Ice Extent has remained above the 1981 – 2010 “normal” range for much of the last four months;

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – Click the pic to view at source

we had the third most expansive Southern Sea Ice Area measured to date;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

and Southern Sea Ice Area has remained above average for almost all of the last two years:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

At the other pole Arctic Sea Ice Extent has remained within the 1981 – 2010 “normal” range for the entirety of 2013;

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to view at source

and Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area had it’s smallest decline since 2006:

Cryosphere Today – University of Illinois – Polar Research Group – Click the pic to view at source

There appears to have been a negative trend in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, a positive trend in Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, thus the resultant Global Sea Ice Area trend appears to be slightly negative. However, in the last 6 years there does appear to be a Pause in Global Sea Ice Area.

In terms of land based data, here is 20 Year Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover with 1995 – 2009 Climatology from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Extent – 1967 to Present from Rutgers University;

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

 alt=

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

While none of the Snow plots offers a global perspective, when looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there appears to have been a slight increase in Winter Snowcover and Snow Extent, a decrease in Spring Snow Extent and no change in Fall Snow Extent over the historical record.

Based on the limited Global Ice and Snow measurements available, and noting the questionable value of Sea Ice Area and Extent as a proxy for temperature, not much inference can currently be drawn from Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements. However, there does appear to be a Pause in Global Sea Ice Area.

Conclusion:

The Pause in “Earth’s Temperature” appears in many of Earth’s observational records, it appears to extend for between 6 – 16 years depending on the data set and what it is being measured.

Additional information on “Earth’s Temperature” can be found in the WUWT Reference Pages, including the Global Temperature Page and Global Climatic History Page

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source by simply clicking on it.

The following is the EC summary of weather events over the stormy past weekend of Friday, July 19, 2013 and Saturday, July 20, 2013. EWR adds some of our graphics and info from our own monitoring activities below the summary.

Environment Canada Summary:

Updated weather summary for all of Southern Ontario and the
National Capital Region issued by Environment Canada
At 10:46 AM EDT Monday 22 July 2013.

————————————————————-
==weather event discussion==

A hot and humid air mass ahead of a cold front provided the perfect
combination to set off severe thunderstorm activity across Central
and Southern Ontario Friday. The severe weather became extensive
during the afternoon and evening hours resulting in the biggest
severe weather outbreak of the season. An exceptionally large area
was affected, from Windsor to Ottawa and from Lake Erie to North Bay.

Friday morning, thunderstorms gave severe wind damage to callander
(near North Bay) resulting in the declaration of a state of emergency
for the town.

Severe thunderstorms continued to develop eastward and southward. In
the early afternoon, storms produced a swath of damage from Pembroke
to Petawawa where cars were flipped over, roofs blown down, trees
uprooted, street lights snapped, and trailers overturned. By late
afternoon, wind damage was reported in dozens of communities in a
broad swath from Lake Huron and Georgian Bay through to Eastern
Ontario.

The severe storms developed southward during the evening hours,
causing wind damage in the Golden Horseshoe and in Southwestern
Ontario. Flooding and downed trees were reported in Niagara Falls
with rainfall estimated at 75 to 100 mm. 150 mm was reported to have
fallen at Rondeau bay.

2 minor injuries were reported in Chatham late Friday evening when a tree fell on a car with the people in it.

Hundreds of thousands of residents were left without power following the storms. As of this morning, approximately 17,000 homes remained
without power.

Environment Canada storm damage teams have investigated damage in
Barrie, Orillia, Gravenhurst, Hamilton, Petawawa, callander and
Dufferin County. The most severe damage was found near honeywood, in
duffern county, where estimated winds of 150 km/hr destroyed a cattle
barn and threw the roof 300 metres. This damage rates ef1 on the
enhanced Fujita scale. Evidence thus far indicates that the storm
damage in Ontario was caused by straight-line, downburst winds.

Below is a list of the most significant damage reports that
Environment Canada has received as of 7:00 PM Sunday.

————————————————————-
Time(lcl) location event description

11:20 AM Gravenhurst 2.5 cm hail

12:40 PM Petawawa and roof damage, trailers flipped,
Pembrooke power outages

12:55 PM Petawawa plaza front facet off, windows blown out,
Roof caved in

1:55 PM Gravenhurst large trees down, power lines down

2:30 PM Coldwater trees down and snapped, power outages

2:45 PM Gravenhurst cars overturned

2:50 PM Orillia trees down, power lines down, street
Lights snapped

2:55 PM lake dalrymple power lines and trees down

3:00 PM W of Ottawa roof damage, crop damage, trees down

3:00 PM’s of Gull Lake 150 trees down on South Morris island

3:15 PM Barrie funnel cloud, trees down – caused
Damage to homes

3:20 PM se of tree damage
Bracebridge

3:20 PM Bobcaygeon trees uprooted

3:30 PM Kanata large hail

4:00 PM N of Arthur trees down

4:35 PM Barrie building damage, trees snapped,
Power outages

4:50 PM Listowel wind gust of 92 km/h

5:10 PM Ottawa trees down (primarily in west end)

5:10 PM Borden wind gust of 96 km/h

5:10 PM mulmar barn roof thrown 300 metres, barn
Destoyed near honeywood, ef1 damage,
Winds estimated at 150 km/hr.

5:15 PM Napanee trees down, gas leaks, power outages

5:30 PM Innisfil funnel cloud, limbs down

5:30 PM Waterloo arpt wind gust of 119 km/h, trees down

5:35 PM sw of Bradford funnel cloud

5:40 PM Guelph dozens of trees snapped or uprooted,
Hundreds of branches down, damage to
Homes from fallen trees or limbs

5:45 PM Casselman 53 mm rain

5:50 PM Kitchener trees down – caused damage to homes,
-Waterloo power outages, damage to bus shelter

5:50 PM Stratford trees down

5:55 PM Port Carling mature trees down, trees snapped
Port Severn

5:55 PM Gravenhurst large trees down, power lines down

6:00 PM Toronto Pearson wind gust of 104 km/h

6:00 PM paris tree damage, wooden balcony torn off
House, cinderblock warehouse collapse

6:10 PM Toronto trees down, including a
Historic century old tree, power
Lines down

6:30 PM Hamilton trees down

6:45 PM Stoney Creek trees down, trees snapped

7:05 PM Hamilton arpt wind gust of 104 km/h

7:10 PM St Catharines trees down, 75-85 mm of rain,
Flooding

7:3o PM Chatham trees down, power lines down,

7:45 PM Grimsby trees down, power outages, 65 mm of
Rain

7:45 PM Waterdown trees down

8:20 PM Chatham-Kent trees down, power outages

8:30 PM Ancaster trees and power lines down, small
Hail

8:45 PM norwich wind gust of 90 km/h, trees down

9:00 PM mulmur barn damage, crop damage, roof
Damage, power outages

9:10 PM Hamilton arpt wind gust of 106 km/h

9:20 PM Mount Hope trees down, trampoline blown onto
Roof, crop damage

10:00 PM Port Colborne wind gust of 98 km/h

11:00 PM Port Colborne wind gust of 93 km/h, power outages

02:00 AM (sat) Waterloo arpt wind gust of 91 km/h

Reports with exact time unknown:

St George trees and hydro lines down
Essex County trees down
Simcoe County trees down
Rondeau bay 150 mm rain
Chatham minor injuries to two passengers of
A car
Wiarton large tree uprooted
Blenheim trees down, flooded basements, power
Outages
Niagara Falls 75-100 mm rain, flash flooding
Beamsville/ 75-85 mm rain, flash flooding
Vineland

This weather summary contains preliminary information and may not
constitute an official or final report.
____________________

Observations from EWR:

EWR’s rain gauge measured 35mm of rain by the completion of the frontal passage Saturday morning. In the radar animation below, covering the time from 7:28 pm Friday to 9:01 am Saturday morning, two storm systems collided over the Niagara Escarpment at Grimsby at approximately 9:10PM Friday evening (early part of the animation). The westernmost system advanced eastward along the north shore of Lake Erie from the St. Thomas area, and colliding with the system moving southerly across the GH-GTA from the Kitchener-Waterloo area. The Lake Erie system was strongly electified, and the light show was impressive. The gust front from that system was strong with torrential rain in wind as it passed over Dundas, Ancaster and Hamilton. The bulk of the rain we measured at EWR came from that gust front.

20130720 Click image to start animation if it doesn’t start on its own.

[click on any of the following images to see them full size]

2013-0719-srv1-619

This Storm Relative Velocity* image, taken at 6:20pm on Friday, shows two areas of rotational development along the gust front of the storm line that had just arrived from the Kit-Wat area. The inverted pink triangle is a “TVS signature” sent out by the KBUF radar system, indicating conditions for tornadic rotation exist. Immediately to the right of the TVS signature is a very tight “couplet” – bright red and green, indicating that rotational winds exist. The beam centre at this distance from the Buffalo station is about 4300 feet, so it is unknown if this rotation yielded a waterspout or not (its over Lake Ontario at this point).

South of Cobourg, another area of suspected rotational development – quite a large area, suggesting the storm cell is developing a rotating core. The bright green is suggestive of a strong in-flow jet.

When this storm passed over Dundas, there was a strong “fresh earth” smell to the storm leading edge, and a bit of “greenness” to the advancing shelf. Both are suggestive that there had been tornadic activity in the cell in its travels, or at least very strong updraft over open land.

* Storm Relative Velocity – a radar measure of the direction and intensity of winds in a storm, relative to the wind velocity over ground of the storm. Visualizes the wind within a storm, as opposed to the wind we feel over ground. Green – winds flowing toward the radar station, red, flowing away. To be tornadic the couplet must straddle a radial – a line drawn from the radar site to a couplet.

2013-0719-srv2619-2

This image is a zoom-in of the previous one, to get a better look at the couplet. Key elements are the tight and intense colour change. This is indicative of very tight rotation, consistent with a small but well defined funnel, tornado or waterspout.

2013-0719-srv3637--1

A combined Storm Relative Velocity (right) and Base Reflectivity view of the previous area, approximately 20 minutes later. The storm line has moved further across the lake. The previous couplet has dissipated, and a new TVS has come up, although there isn’t any overt indication in the SRV pattern to indicate a cell. These views only represent one angle sweep – the lowest tilt – there may have been more evidence in higher tilts.

The Coboug pattern is better defined and is most likely a strong inflow jet. This is borne out by the shape of the cell in the Base Reflectivity scan. This is a tornadic supercell in the making, but it didn’t mature much beyond this phase.

Of interest, is the well defined “gust front” shelf or roll cloud formed ahead of the storm over Niagara. Notice the thin cloud line in the base reflectivity scan, and the thin green and red line in the SRV scan, stretching from Youngstown in a gentle arc eastward out of the frame, just ahead of the main cloud mass.

2013-0719-srv5638-1

This image is the same as the previous scan, just one radar cycle later. The TVS icon has dropped, but the Cobourg cell is maintaining its integrity.

While the official NOAA position is that 2013 will be an active hurricane season, other experienced watchers believe that’s not necessarily the case. For current tropical storm activity, you can follow the season for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific at our Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Hurricane Activity 2013 page.

[Ed. Note: Cross posted from WUWT. This is a large, valuable, albeit technical discussion about the validity of the Global Warming meme so righteously promoted by mainstream media, and variety of catastrophic climate scientists advocates. The comment stream is also worthwhile for the links and discussions within. ]

A Big Picture Look At “Earth’s Temperature” – “Extreme Weather” Update

By WUWT regular “Just The Facts”

Recently there have been increased efforts to link “Climate Change” and “Extreme Weather” e.g., NOAA links extreme weather to climate change CBS – July 10, 2012, “NASA scientist links climate change, extreme weather” CNN – August 6, 2012 and Get used to ‘extreme’ weather, it’s the new normal The Guardian – September 19, 2012.  Per the Guardian article, “Scientists have been warning us for years that a warmer planet would lead to more extreme weather, and now it’s arrived”. These “Extreme Weather” efforts have shifted into high gear with Sandy. Yesterday United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “one of the lessons from Superstorm Sandy is the need for global action to deal with future climate shocks.” “He told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that it is difficult to attribute any single storm to climate change, but the world already knows that “extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal.” U.N. leader: Sandy a lesson in climate change CBS – November 9, 2012

All of these claims and “extreme weather” rhetoric seems to be predicated on the assumption that “Earth’s Temperature” has increased recently, thus causing “extreme weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. However, does the observational data support this assumption? Let’s take a look…

 

Global Surface Temperatures:

Generally, when referring to Earth’s “climate” warming, proponents of the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) narrative refer to Earth’s Surface Temperature, e.g. “Global warming is the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.” NASA Earth Observatory

As such, here’s NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Global Monthly Mean Surface Temperature Anomaly – 1996 to Present:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) – Click the pic to view at source

Looking across the last 16 years, Global Surface Temperature do not appear to have increased much at all.

For a longer term view, UK Met Office’s – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Annual Global Average Land Temperature Anomaly – 1850 to 2011;

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

and the UK Met Office – Hadley Center – Climate Research Unit (CRU) Monthly Global Average Land Temperature – 1850 to 2011

Met Office – Hadley Center – Click the pic to view at source

Unless the arrival of “extreme weather” occurred in 1997-1998 with the well documented “very strong El Niño”, and the media is just realizing it, there does not seem to be a basis for the “extreme weather” claims in Earth’s recent Land and Surface Temperature record. There does not appear to be much recent change, and if anything the trend is down in the last few years. However, the surface temperature record is burdened with issues of questionable siting, changes in siting, changes in equipment, changes in the number of measurement locations, modeling to fill in gaps in measurement locations, corrections to account for missing, erroneous or biased measurements, and the urban heat island effect. Thus to see the big picture on the temperature “Earth’s Temperature”, it also helps to look up.

Atmospheric Temperatures:

Since 1979 Earth’s “temperature” has also been measured via satellite. “The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time.” NASA

Here is RSS Global Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and this is the University of Alabama – Hunstville (UAH) Global Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomalies – 1979 to Present:

University of Alabama – Huntsville (UAH) – Dr. Roy Spencer – Click the pic to view at source

Note: Per John Christy, RSS and UAH anomalies are not comparable because they use different base periods, i.e., “RSS only uses 1979-1998 (20 years) while UAH uses the WMO standard of 1981-2010.”

The September UAH Lower Atmosphere Temperature Anomaly was .33 degrees C above the 30 year average and RSS Global Global Lower Troposphere shows a .133  degrees C increase per decade. “Earth’s Temperature” varies naturally by numerous degrees and has been significantly warmer than it is today:

NOAA – National Climate Data Center – Click the pic to view at source

Are we to believe that 3 or 4 tenths of a degree C warming over the last 30 years has brought us to the precipice of “extreme weather”? Seems implausible. Maybe there are significant regional variations that portended the arrival of “extreme weather”?

Looking at the RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

and RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

neither seem indicative of warming that would have caused “extreme weather” to arrive.

Furthermore, RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) Brightness Temperature Anomaly;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

is currently negative and shows a .013 K/C per decade decrease. Should we assume that Antarctica is experiencing less “extreme weather” at the moment?…

To this point we’ve only addressed the Lower Troposphere Temperatures, but one never knows where this “extreme weather” might be coming from, the following Temperature Anomaly plots from RSS will increase in altitude as is illustrated here:

Here is RSS Temperature Middle Troposphere (TMT)- Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

According to Remote Sensing Systems, “For Channel (TLT) (Lower Troposphere) and Channel (TMT) (Middle Troposphere), the anomaly time series is dominated by ENSO events and slow tropospheric warming. The three primary El Niños during the past 20 years are clearly evident as peaks in the time series occurring during 1982-83, 1987-88, and 1997-98, with the most recent one being the largest.” RSS

Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to show slow warming overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including several comparatively large El Niño events. Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of a recent change in Earth’s Temperature that could cause “extreme weather” to become the “new normal.

Moving higher in the atmosphere, RSS Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been flat since 1987, with a trend of just -.008 K/C per decade. Perhaps this is the “new normal”?…

The 1997-98 and 2009 – 10 El Niño events are still readily apparent in the Troposphere / Stratosphere plot above, as is a spike from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Note that the effect of Mt. Pinatubo is the opposite in the Lower and Middle Troposphere versus the Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS), i.e. “Large volcanic eruptions inject sulfur gases into the stratosphere; the gases convert into submicron particles (aerosol) with an e-folding time scale of about 1 year. The climate response to large eruptions (in historical times) lasts for several (2-3) years. The aerosol cloud causes cooling at the Earth’s surface, warming in stratosphere.”
Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

It is interesting that, incorporating the impact of three significant surface driven warming events, Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperatures (TTS) have been quite stable, however there is a bit of regional variation here, e.g.:

RSS Northern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been increasing by .044 K/C per decade, whereas the RSS Southern Hemisphere Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere (TTS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly- 1987 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

has been decreasing by -.061 K/C per decade. However, Southern Hemisphere Troposphere / Stratosphere Temperature does show a significant increase in 2012, perhaps it is this increase that caused “extreme weather” to arrive? Or maybe not…

Moving higher still in the atmosphere, the RSS Temperature Lower Stratosphere (TLS) – Brightness Temperature Anomaly – 1979 to Present;

Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) – Microwave Sounding Units (MSU) – Click the pic to view at source

“is dominated by stratospheric cooling, punctuated by dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS

The eruptions of El Chichon and Mt Pinatubo are readily apparent in the Apparent Atmospheric Transmission of Solar Radiation at Mauna Loa, Hawaii:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) – Click the pic to view at source

“The stratosphere” … “in contrast to the troposphere, is heated, as the result of near infrared absorption of solar energy at the top of the aerosol cloud, and increased infra-red absorption of long-wave radiation from the Earth’s surface.”

“The stratospheric warming in the region of the stratospheric cloud increases the latitudinal temperature gradient after an eruption at low latitudes, disturbing the stratospheric-troposphere circulation, increasing the difference in height of the troposphere between high and low latitudes, and increasing the strength of the jet stream (polar vortex, especially in the northern hemisphere). This leads to warming during the northern hemisphere winter following a tropical eruption, and this warming effect tends to be larger than the cooling effect described above.” Ellen Thomas, PHD Wesleyan University

The Lower Stratosphere experienced “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).” RSS “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichon and Mt. Pinatubo.” … “Here we provide observational analyses that yield new insight into three key aspects of recent stratospheric climate change. First, we provide evidence that the unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, we argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, we reveal the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer-Dobson circulation” David W. J. Thompson Colorado State University

Above the Stratosphere we have the Mesosphere and Thermosphere, neither of which have I identified current temperature time series for, but of note is that on “July 15, 2010″ “A Puzzling Collapse of Earth’s Upper Atmosphere” occurred when “high above Earth’s surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called “the thermosphere” recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.”

“This is the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years,” says John Emmert of the Naval Research Lab, lead author of a paper announcing the finding in the June 19th issue of the Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). “It’s a Space Age record.”

The collapse happened during the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009—a fact which comes as little surprise to researchers. The thermosphere always cools and contracts when solar activity is low. In this case, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.

“Something is going on that we do not understand,” says Emmert.

The thermosphere ranges in altitude from 90 km to 600+ km. It is a realm of meteors, auroras and satellites, which skim through the thermosphere as they circle Earth. It is also where solar radiation makes first contact with our planet. The thermosphere intercepts extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photons from the sun before they can reach the ground. When solar activity is high, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to puff up like a marshmallow held over a camp fire. (This heating can raise temperatures as high as 1400 K—hence the name thermosphere.) When solar activity is low, the opposite happens.” NASA

In summary, Earth’s Lower and Middle Troposphere appear to have warmed slowly, overlaid with the El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, including four comparatively large El Niño events, and tempered by the cooling effects of the eruption of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991). Lower and Middle Tropospheric temperatures appear to have flattened since the large El Niño in 1998 and offer no indication of changes that could be causing “extreme weather”. Tropospheric / Stratospheric temperatures appear to have been influenced by at least three significant surface driven warming events, the 1997-98 El Niño, and the eruptions of El Chichon in 1982 and Mt Pinatubo in 1991, but have maintained a stable overall trajectory. Stratospheric temperatures appear to have experienced two “dramatic warming events caused by the eruptions of El Chichon (1982) and Mt Pinatubo (1991).”, and “unusual step-like behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures” which has resulted in a significant stratospheric cooling during the last 30 years. Lastly, “during deep solar minimum of 2008-2009″ “the biggest contraction of the thermosphere in at least 43 years” occurred and “The magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain.” Unless someone can demonstrate a causative relationship between “Climate Change”, the collapse of the thermosphere and “Extreme Weather”, there does not seem to be any support with the atmospheric temperature records for “extreme weather” arrival and “new normal” rhetoric.

Ocean Temperatures:

“The oceans can hold much more heat than the atmosphere. Just the top 3.2 metres of ocean holds as much heat as all the world’s air.” Commonwealth of Australia – Bureau of Meteorology

As such, changes in Ocean Heat Content are important in understanding “Earth’s Temperature”. Here is NOAA’s NODC Global Ocean Heat Content from 0-700 Meters – 1955 to Present;

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) – Click the pic to view at source

and here is the same from Ole Humlum’s valuable climate data site Climate4you.com, NODC Global Ocean Heat Content – 0-700 Meters – 1979 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

It seems apparent from the plots above that Global Ocean Heat has increased over the last several decades, however Global Ocean Heat does not appear to show a recent increase that could lead to “extreme weather”. Furthermore, in his recent article Bob Tisdale demonstrated that “sea surface temperatures for Sandy’s path haven’t warmed in 70+ years” WUWT.

Sea Level:

“Global sea level is currently rising as a result of both ocean thermal expansion and glacier melt, with each accounting for about half of the observed sea level rise, and each caused by recent increases in global mean temperature. For the period 1961-2003, the observed sea level rise due to thermal expansion was 0.42 millimeters per year and 0.69 millimeters per year due to total glacier melt (small glaciers, ice caps, ice sheets) (IPCC 2007). Between 1993 and 2003, the contribution to sea level rise increased for both sources to 1.60 millimeters per year and 1.19 millimeters per year respectively (IPCC 2007).” Source NSIDC

Global Mean Sea Level Change – 1993 to Present:

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Mean Sea Level Change Map with a “Correction” of 0.3 mm/year added May, 5th 2011, due to a “Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA)” – 1993 to Present:

University of Colorado at Boulder – Click the pic to view at source

It seems doubtful that “extreme weather” arrived because of the 5.5 Centimeter increase in Sea Level since 1993. Sandy’s storm surge topped “out at 14 feet (4.3 meters)” Huffington Post, would Sandy have been less extreme if the surge had only been 4.245 meters?…

Snow and Ice:

A proxy often cited when measuring “Earth’s Temperature” is amount of Snow and Ice on Earth. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “The vast majority, almost 90 percent, of Earth’s ice mass is in Antarctica, while the Greenland ice cap contains 10 percent of the total global ice mass.” Source USGA

However, there is currently no generally accepted measure of ice volume, as Cryosat is still in validation and the accuracy of measurements from Grace are still being challenged. Sea Ice Area and Extent are cited as proxies for “Earth’s Temperature”, however there is significant evidence that the primary influences on Sea Ice Area and Extent are in fact wind and Atmospheric Oscillations. With this said, here are

Global, Arctic & Antarctic Sea Ice Area from 1979 to Present;

climate4you.com – Ole Humlum – Professor, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences – Click the pic to view at source

Global Sea Ice Area Anomaly – 1979 to Present:

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area Anomaly, 1979 to Present;

Cryosphere Today – Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois – Click the pic to view at source

Arctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – click to view at source

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent – 15% or Greater

National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) – Click the pic to view at source

There appears to have been a negative trend in Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent and a positive trend in Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice Area and Extent, thus the resultant Global Sea Ice Area trend appears to be slightly negative.

In terms of land based data, here is 20 Year Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover with 1995 – 2009 Climatology from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Snow Cover Anomalies 1966 – Present from NCEP/NCAR;

Florida State University – Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Winter Snow Extent – 1967 to Present from Rutgers University;

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Spring Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

 alt=Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

Northern Hemisphere Fall Snow Extent – 1967 to Present:

Rutgers University – Global Snow Lab (GSL) – Click the pic to view at source

While none of the Snow plots offers a global perspective, when looking at the Northern Hemisphere, there appears to have been a slight increase in Snowcover and Winter Snow Extent, a decrease in Spring Snow Extent and no change in Fall Snow Extent over the historical record.

Based on the limited Global Ice and Snow measurements available, and noting the questionable value of Sea Ice Area and Extent as a proxy for temperature, not much inference can currently be drawn from Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements. However, there does not appear to be any evidence of change in Earth’s Ice and Snow measurements indicative of the arrival of “Extreme Weather”.

Conclusion:

There is no evidence of a recent increase in “Earth’s Temperature” due to “Climate Change,” which could have caused “Extreme Weather” to arrive and become the “new normal”. Claims and rhetoric that recent “Extreme Weather” is caused by or associated with “Climate Change” are not supported by the observational data.

Additional information on “Earth’s Temperature” can be found in the WUWT Reference Pages, including the Global Temperature Page and Global Climatic History Page

Please note that WUWT cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data/graphics within this article, nor influence the format or form of any of the graphics, as they are all linked from third party sources and WUWT is simply an aggregator. You can view each graphic at its source by simply clicking on it.

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