Saturday, January 17, 2015

Was 2014 the warmest year on record? Not so fast!

The NOAA NCDC announcement yesterday, "2104 Earth's warmest year on record" spread quickly through news and social media channels, just as planned.  2014 was the warmest "on record", but
that record is based on historical land and sea surface thermometer measurements with missing readings filled in by statistical and other tricky methods.  See a full discussion of the (in)significance of the 2014 result here.

However, there's another record considered to be somewhat more reliable than surface thermometer readings - and that is the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Satellite Based Temperature of the Global Lower Atmosphere.  That record shows "2014 was Third Warmest Year Since 1979, but Just Barely":

Update: Updates on all the global temp data sets: the three surface temp data sets (GSS, NCDC and HADCRUT) and the satellite data sets (UAH and RSS). 

Update: 2014: The Most Dishonest Year on Record
... What remains of the original description of this ‘warmest year on record’ news? Nothing but bluff, spin, and the uncritical press-release journalism that dominates mainstream reporting on the climate. ...


Anonymous said...

oldwhiteguy wants to know,,,,, how warm was it in alberta when the dinosaurs walked the area?

JR said...

Dunno the details but a lot warmer than today.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is it's the warmest since measurements in the 1880s began. Before then we don't have accurate measurements although considering the 1600s and 1700s were the Little Ice Age period its likely most recent years were warmer than any during that period. When you may have had warmer temperatures is the Medieval warm period around 1000 AD. I do know though this was without question the warmest year in Europe as they had a mild winter followed by a hot summer. For Canada contrary to what some think it was warmer than normal on the whole. While the winter was colder than normal, BC and Alberta in the West and Atlantic provinces in the East had a hot summer. Only Manitoba and Ontario was the summer on the cool side and only slightly below normal. The US likewise had a warmer than normal year too as the winter was colder than normal East of the Rockies in all states save Florida, while the summer was cooler than normal in the East, but hot in the West. That being said I think one needs to look at trends not each individual year and the trend has been warming. Where the debate is, is what the cause is. The earth naturally warms and cools thus the science is settled on the fact the earth has warmed, where the dispute is, is what is the cause of the warming.

JR said...

Anon(3:18 PM)
The NOAA NCDC press release claims it was the warmest year since surface temperature measurements began. But they're not clear about the existence of another, arguably more accurate and reliable, source of measurement - the satellite data that's been available since 1979 which is at odds with the NOAA NCDC claim.

Yes, there is broad scientific consensus (nearly 100%) on the warming trend that has been ongoing since the end of the LIA.

And yes, the real debate is (or should be) about man's precise contribution to that warming. The general public doesn't seem to understand that and the warming propagandists, with the aide of a mostly know-nothing media, apparently want to keep it that way. "Scientists" who promote or go along with this strategy forfeit their integrity as scientists - they've become propagandists and political advocates.

As for other warm periods since the ice age, besides the MWP, there's also the Roman Climate Optimun 2000 years ago, and Holocene Climate Optimums of (roughly) 4-5 thousand years ago and 6-8 thousand years ago.