The Medieval Warming Period Was 3-Degrees Warmer Than 2014

(First posted in January of this year [2015], but re-posted because of the amount of traffic it has been getting.)

  • “For someone to think that 1998 or 2010, or even 2014 are the warmest years… you have to be smoking something.” ~ RPT [Me]


Here are a few evidences — of the many — that indicate it was much warmer in the past and that 2014 wasn’t even near the warmest year [even assuming this to be true!]. The first piece of evidence to show is a recent article at WUWT dealing with giant clams (Jump to one of my favorites, TREES):

From the Chinese Academy of Sciences:

Two recent papers, one is in Earth-Science Reviews and the other is in Chinese Science Bulletin, have studied key chemical contents in micro-drilled giant clams shells and coral samples to demonstrate that in the South China Sea the warm period of the Middle Ages was warmer than the present.

The scientists examined surveys of the ratio of strontium to calcium content and heavy oxygen isotopes, both are sensitive recorders of sea surface temperatures past and present. The aragonite bicarbonate of the Tridacna gigas clam-shell is so fine-grained that daily growth-lines are exposed by micro-drilling with an exceptionally fine drill-bit, allowing an exceptionally detailed time-series of sea-temperature changes to be compiled – a feat of detection worthy of Sherlock Holmes himself.

By using overlaps between successive generations of giant clams and corals, the three scientists – Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Yuhong Wang of Fudan University, Shanghai – reconstructed a record of sea-surface temperature changes going back 2500 years.

The Roman and Mediaeval Warm Periods both showed up prominently in the western Pacific and East Asia. Sea surface temperatures varied considerably over the 2500-year period.

Changing patterns of winter and summer temperature variation were also detected, disproving the notion that until the warming of the 20th century there had been little change in global temperatures for at least 1000 years, and confirming that – at least in the South China Sea – there is nothing exceptional about today’s temperatures.

Dr. Yan said: “This new paper adds further material to the substantial body of real-world proxy evidence establishing that today’s global temperature is within natural ranges of past changes.”  Dr. Soon added: “The UN’s climate panel should never have trusted the claim that the medieval warm period was mainly a European phenomenon. It was clearly warm in South China Sea too.”

Another example is that in the the 1500’s till the late 1800’s passages that are now iced over allowed for what is termed as the Northwest PassageExxon or cars weren’t around then?

“If you are like me and bit foggy on the Northwest Passage, here is a five cent refresher. The British coined the term Northwest Passage for the potential northern oceanic pass that would allow vessels to move between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The earliest explorations for the fabled passage were by Cortes in 1539. The late 1500’s were marked by British explorers, Martin Frobisher, Humphrey Gilbert, and John Davis. Several expeditions followed, all with little success of finding the passage but tempered by the acquisition of new lands. Some attempts lead to deaths of entire crews. Notable of these is the Sir John Franklin expedition in which all of the crew members were lost to starvation, scurvy, cannibalism, and lead poisoning from food sealed in tins. The first to transverse the Northwest Passage was Sir Robert McClure using a combination of both sledge and ship. Ironically this was done during the search for Franklin’s team in which McClure’s own ship became trapped in the ice for three winters. The passage was finally conquered entirely by sea by the Norwegian Amundsen in 1906.”

Another hint are the Vikings and how they flourished.

Here are some great excerpts from a book[s] on the subject that include Icelandic and Greenlandic Vikings:

  • The warm climate during the MWP [Medieval Warming Period] allowed this great migration to flourish. Drift ice posed the greatest hazard to sailors but reports of drift ice in old records do not appear until the thirteenth century (Bryson, 1977.)
  • The Norse peoples traveled to Iceland for a variety of reasons including a search for more land and resources to satisfy a growing population and to escape raiders and harsh rulers. One force behind the movement to Iceland in the ninth century was the ruthlessness of Harald Fairhair, a Norwegian King (Bryson, 1977.)
  • Vikings travelling to Iceland from Norway during the MWP were probably encouraged by the sight of pastures with sedges and grasses and dwarf woodlands of birch and willow resembling those at home.
  • Animal bones and other materials collected from archaeological sites reveal Icelandic Vikings had large farmsteads with dairy cattle (a source of meat), pigs, and sheep and goats (for wool, hair, milk, and meat.) Farmsteads also had ample pastures and fields of barley used for the making of beer and these farms were located near bird cliffs (providing meat, eggs, and eiderdown) and inshore fishing grounds. Fishing was primarily done with hand lines or from small boats that did not venture across the horizon (McGovern and Perdikaris, 2000.)
  • The Greenland Vikings lived mostly on dairy produce and meat, primarily from cows. The vegetable diet of Greenlanders included berries, edible grasses, and seaweed, but these were inadequate even during the best harvests. During the MWP, Greenland’s climate was so cold that cattle breeding and dairy farming could only be carried on in the sheltered fiords. The growing season in Greenland even then was very short. Frost typically occurred in August and the fiords froze in October. Before the year 1300, ships regularly sailed from Norway and other European countries to Greenland bringing with them timber, iron, corn, salt, and other needed items. Trade was by barter. Greenlanders offered butter, cheese, wool, and their frieze cloths, which were greatly sough after in Europe, as well as white and blue fox furs, polar bear skins, walrus and narwhal tusks, and walrus skins. In fact, two Greenland items in particular were prized by Europeans: white bears and the white falcon. These items were given as royal gifts. For instance, the King of Norway-Denmark sent a number of Greenland falcons as a gift to the King of Portugal, and received in return the gift of a cargo of wine (Stefansson, 1966.) Because of the shortage of adequate vegetables and cereal grains, and a shortage of timber to make ships, the trade link to Iceland and Europe was vital (Hermann, 1954.)


To support the sun being involved, here is another short video:

Another example of this warming comes from the production of wine and the trading boom and crop and animal growth and productivity during this medieval warming period in the Roman Empire. Vineyards on the Salisbury Plains, and other parts on England that wopuld be impossible today:

Farmers and peasants in medieval England launched a thriving wine industry south of Manchester. Good wines demand warm springs free of frosts, substantial summer warmth and sunshine without too much rain, and sunny days in the fall. Winters cannot be too cold — not below zero Fahrenheit for any significant period. The northern limit for grapes during the Middle Ages was about 300 miles above the current commercial wine areas in France and Germany. These wines were not simply marginal supplies, but of sufficient quality and quantity that, after the Norman conquest, the French monarchy tried to prohibit British wine production.


And my final example, one I used in a more layman way with high school students at West Ranch High School was the following. I have wanted to get this copied and up for a long time, and I have the time now. But for the tree lovers, the following will be new information to them surely… and note how the 1990 IPCC graph at the top of this post matches the Chinese one below. This much warmer weather/climate (by three[+] degrees) allowed for higher tree lines in the past::

3-Degrees Warmer

Tree rings can be counted to date the time of an event, and their summertime width is greater under good growing conditions (warmth, rainfall) than during poor growing seasons (cold, dry). They are limited by the distance back in time researchers can find live trees, dead trees, or buried wood from an earlier time which can be accurately dated to its growth period.

In mountainous northwestern Pakistan, more than 200,000 tree-ring measurements were assembled from 384 long-lived trees that grew on more than twenty individual sites. The 1,300-year temperature proxy shows the warmest decades occurred between 800 and 1000, and the coldest periods between 1500 and 1700.128

Mountain tree line elevations are another sensitive and highly accurate proxy for temperature change. A number of studies of European tree lines testify to the fact that tree lines, farming, and villages moved upslope during the Medieval Warming and back with the Little Ice Age.

A recent study of tree line dynamics in Western Siberia showed that advances in tree lines during the warmer weather of the 20th century were “part of a long-term reforestation of tundra environments.” Two Swiss scientists, Jan Esper and Fritz-Hans Schweingruber, note that “stumps and logs of Larix sibirica can be preserved for hundreds of years” and that “above the tree line in the Polar Urals such relict material from large, upright trees were sampled and dated, confirming the existence, around A.D. 1000, of a forest tree line 30 meters above the late 20th century limit.” They also note, “this previous forest limit receded around 1350, perhaps caused by a general cooling trend.” Thus, the Siberian tree lines testify to the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age well outside of Europe.129

Lisa J. Graumlich of Montana State University combined both tree rings and tree lines to assess past climate changes in California’s Sierra Nevada. The trees in the mountains’ upper tree lines are preserved in place, living and dead, for up to 3,000 years. Graumlich says:

A relatively dense forest grew above the current tree line from the beginning of our records to around 100 B.C., and again from A.D. 400 to 1000, when temperatures were warm. Abundance of trees and elevation of tree line declined very rapidly from A.D. 1000 to 1400, the period of severe, multi-decadal droughts. Tree lines declined more slowly from 1500 to 1900 under the cool temperatures of the Little Ice Age, reaching current elevations around 1900.130

Graumlich’s tree evidence confirms both of the last two 1,500-year cycles: the Roman Warming/Dark Ages climate cycle and the Medieval Warming/Little Ice Age. Severe drought, which has been documented in California during the latter part of the Medieval Warming, obscured the timing of the shift from the Medieval Warming to the Little Ice Age. However, both events were clearly evident.

Cave stalagmite cores confirm the global nature of the 1,500-year cycle found in ice cores, seabed sediments, and trees. Their carbon and oxygen isotopes and their trace element content vary with temperature. Moreover, the stalagmites go back further in time than the tree evidence. One German stalagmite goes back more than 17,000 years. Cave stalagmites have been found in Ireland, Germany, Oman, and South Africa whose layers all show the Little Ice Age, the Medieval Warming, the Dark Ages, and the Roman Warming.131 A number of the stalagmites also show the unnamed cold period that preceded the Roman Warming.

In southern Ontario, pollen shows that the warmth-loving beech trees of the Medieval Warming gradually gave way to cold tolerant oaks as the Little Ice Age came on—and then the forest became dominated by pine trees. The oak trees have been making a comeback in Ontario since 1850 and the beech trees can be expected to resurge as the Modern Warming continues in the centuries ahead.132

Remains of prehistoric villages in Argentina were analyzed by Marcela A. Cioccale of the National University of Cordoba to determine where Argentina’s native peoples lived over the past 1,400 years. Using carbon-14 dating, she found that the inhabitants clustered in the lower valleys during the Dark Ages period, and then moved higher up the slopes as the Medieval Warming brought “a marked increase of environmental suitability, under a relatively homogeneous climate.”133 Habitation moved up as high as 4,300 meters in the Central Peruvian Andes around 1000 as the Medieval Warming not only raised temperatures but created more stable conditions for farming. After 1320, people migrated back down the slopes as the colder, less stable climate of the Little Ice Age set in.

Yang Bao of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reconstructed China’s temperature history for the last 2,000 years from ice cores, lake sediments, peat bogs, tree rings, and the historic documents that date back farther in China than in any other country. He found China had its highest temperature during the second and third centuries, toward the end of the Roman Warming. China’s climate was also warm from 800 to 1400, cold from 1400 to 1920, and then began to warm again after 1920.134 (See Figure 4.1.)

Figure 4.1: 2,000 Years of Chinese Temperature History

Medieval Graph

Source [for above figure]: Y. T. Hong et al., “Response of Climate to Solar Forcing Recorded in a 6,000-Year Time-Series of Chinese Peat Cellulose,” The Holocene 10 (2000): 1-7.

[128] J. Esper et al., “1,300 Years of Climate History for Western Central Asia Inferred from Tree Rings,” The Holocene 12 (2002): 267-77.

[129] J. Esper and F. H. Schweingruber, “Large-Scale Tree Line Changes Recorded in Siberia,” Geophysical Research Letters 31 (2004): 10.1029/2003GLO019178.

[130] L. J. Graumlich, “Global Change in Wilderness Areas: Disentangling Natural and Anthropogenic Changes,” U. S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-15-Vol. 3, 2000

[131] F. McDermott et al., “Centennial-Scale Holocene Climate Variability Revealed by a High-Resolution Speleothem 018 Record from SW Ireland,” Science 294 (2001): 1328-331; S. Niggemann et al., “A Paleoclimate Record of the Last 17,600 Years in Stalagmites from the B7 Cave, Sauerland, Germany,” Quaternary Science Reviews 22 (2003): 555-67; U. Neff et. al., “Strong Coherence between Solar Variability and the Monsoon in Oman between 9 and 6 kyr ago,” Nature 411 (2001): 290-93; and Tyson et al., “The Little Ice Age and Medieval Warming in South Africa,” South African Journal of Science 96, no. 3 (2000).

[132] I. D. Campbell and J. H. McAndrews, “Forest Disequilibrium Caused by Rapid Little Ice Age Cooling,” Nature 366 (1993): 336-38

[133]  M. A. Cioccale, “Climatic fluctuations in the Central Region of Argentina in the last 1000 years,” Quaternary International 62, (1999): 35-47.

[134] Yang Bao et al., “General Characteristics of Temperature Variation in China during the Last Two Millennia,” Geophysical Research Letters 10 (2002): 1029/2001GLO014485.

  • S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years (Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), 63-66.

For a great interactive map one should see this link embedded in the below graphic, after the excerpt from WUWT:

The idea of a medieval warm period  was formulated for the first time in 1965 by the English climatologist Hubert H. Lamb [1].  Lamb, who founded the UK Climate Research Unit (CRU) in 1971, saw the peak of the warming period from 1000 to 1300, i.e. in the High Middle Ages. He estimated that temperatures then were 1-2 ° C above the normal period of  1931-1960. In the high North, it was even up to 4 degrees warmer. The regular voyages of the Vikings between Iceland and Greenland were rarely hindered by ice, and many burial places of the Vikings in Greenland still lie in the permafrost.

Glaciers were smaller than today

Also the global retreat of glaciers that occurred in the period between about 900 to 1300 [2] speaks for the existence of the Medieval Warm Period. An interesting detail is that many glaciers pulling back since 1850 reveal plant remnants from the Middle Ages, which is a clear proof that the extent of the glaciers at that time was lower than today [3].

Furthermore, historical traditions show evidence of unusual warmth at this time. Years around 1180 brought the warmest winter decade ever known. In January 1186/87, the trees were in bloom near Strasbourg. And even earlier you come across a longer heat phase, roughly between 1021 and 1040. The summer of 1130 was so dry that you could wade through the river Rhine. In 1135, the Danube flow was so low that people could cross it on foot. This fact has been exploited to create foundation stones for the bridge in  Regensburg this year [4].

Clear evidence of the warm phase of the Middle Ages can also be found in the limits of crop cultivation. The treeline in the Alps climbed to 2000 meters, higher than current levels are [5]. Winery was possible in Germany at the Rhine and Mosel up to 200 meters above the present limits, in Pomerania, East Prussia, England and southern Scotland, and in southern Norway, therefore, much farther north than is the case today [6]. On the basis of pollen record there is evidence that during the Middle Ages, right up to Trondheim in Norway, wheat was grown and until nearly the 70th parallel/latitude barley was cultivated[4]. In many parts of the UK arable land reached heights that were never reached again later.

Also in Asia historical sources report that the margin of cultivation of citrus fruits was never as far north as in  the 13th century. Accordingly, it must have been warmer at the time about 1 ° C than today [7].

Archeology and history confirm interglacial

Insects can also be used as historical markers for climate. The cold sensitive beetle Heterogaster urticae was detected during the Roman Optimum and during the Norman High Middle Age in York. Despite the warming of the 20th century, this beetle is found today only in sunny locations in the south of England [8].

During the medieval climate optimum, the population of Europe reached hitherto unknown highs. Many cities were founded at this very time with high-altitude valleys, high pastures and cultivated areas, which were at the beginning of the Little Ice Age again largely abandoned [9].

The Middle Ages was the era of high culture of the Vikings. In this period their expansion occurred into present-day Russia and the settlement of Iceland, Greenland and parts of Canada and Newfoundland. In Greenland even cereals were grown about this time.. With the end of the Medieval Warm Period the heyday of the Vikings ended. The settlements in Greenland had to be abandoned as well as in the home country of Norway, during this time, many northern communities located at higher altitudes [10]. The history of the Vikings also corresponds very well to the temperature reconstructions from Greenland, which were carried out using ice cores. According to the reconstructions, Greenland was  at the time of the Vikings at least one degree warmer than in the modern warming period [11].


Is 2014 The Hottest Year? No (Part 2 of a Series)

This is meant mainly as a supplement to a Christmas Eve-Eve gathering/discussion I was at. I will make this post  a little different than other posts, as, it will be “minimalist.” This is the second installment of the topics covered, which are polar bears, rising sea levels, CO2, Inconvenient Truth (the movie), nuclear power, warmest year, electric vehicles (EVs)/hybrid cars, and bullet trains.

Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot!

The question becomes this:

  1. what are the different ways to measure temperature,
  2. which one are many media sources using,
  3. and which are the most reliable.

These are the questions any serious person who tells people 2014 is the hottest year as if they are the final arbiter of truth. I have dealt with this in the past, but will again deal with it here.

The two main research groups tracking global lower-tropospheric temperatures (our UAH group, and the Remote Sensing Systems [RSS] group) show 2014 lagging significantly behind 2010 and especially 1998:

Viewed another way:

UAH Reading

Another instance highlighting the NOAA’s overestimating temperature is when it said October was the hottest month ever, but RSS data showed October to be ninth warmest on record. And I wonder what family members on the East-Coast would say to there being more than 400 record lows and record cool highs set, via The Weather Channel (11/2014):

A third surge of cold air pushed into the Northern Plains, Upper Midwest and East Coast. This third surge reinforced the cold temperatures for millions of Americans who have already endured at least a week of January-like chill.

There have been more than 400 record lows and record cool highs set, covering 43 states, since Sunday. That leaves only five states in the contiguous U.S., all in New England, that have not experienced record cold temperatures this week. 

On Wednesday morning record lows were broken or tied from New York to Houston. Thursday morning brought more record cold to parts of the Southeast.


First arctic surge: Spread into the East last week (November 11-15).

– Second arctic surge: Blasted through the East, Midwest, and South through early Thursday (November 16-20). For parts of the mid-Mississippi Valley, Ohio Valley, Tennessee Valley and the Middle Atlantic States, this was the coldest of the surges, with numerous daily record lows broken.

– Third arctic surge: Reached the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest Thursday, then slid east across the Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast on Friday. It did not press nearly as far south as the first and second surges did.

– Cold relief: Relief began in the Rockies, then expanded into the southern Plains and Southeast Wednesday and Thursday. Midwest and Northeast relief arrives this weekend….

Okay, what we have already seen is that the satellite temperatures say 2014 will NOT BE the hottest year. One should ask what the hottest year was: 1934:


(L.A. Times) A slight adjustment to U.S. temperature records has bumped 1998 as the hottest year in the country’s history and made the Dust Bowl year of 1934 the new record holder, according to NASA.


That meant that 1998, which had been 0.02 degrees warmer than 1934, was now 0.04 degrees cooler.

This is where I transition to the NOAA temperature, but I wanted to take this transition with help from Dr. Willie Soon (NM), who is an Astrophysicist and Geoscientist at the Solar and Stellar Physics (SSP) Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. (I will embolden the point made below.) More and more scientists have been coming out of the closet and Dr. Soon is one of them. He says in fact that if his community continues “to keep silent and do not express outrage like the one I now feel, the notion of science as a philosophy and way of life will soon be reduced to computer games and animation for the mind-controllers and beauty-contest institutions….” Dr. Soon continues:

2014 hottest year a manipulation

Is this a joke or simply my BAD dream? Prostituting science like this is now consider a virtue. It is no wonder that science writer Lord Ridley said that he has lost his faith on science as an institution.

Why would anyone even bother with claims and insistence of the globe in 2014 being the hottest to a relative colder years all within a few hundredths of a degree Celsius? Poor Anders Celsius should be dancing in his grave.

The claim is based on just one (from a half dozen or so) thermometer-based products whose measurement quality is fraught with uncertainty and with actual error bars at least ten times larger than those claimed “effects”. WMO and others simply pick and choose the “data” that produces the press news they want in time for the Lima, Peru political pow-wow.

In truth the datasets taken as a whole clearly show that the global temperature has been flat-trending for nearly two decades now and that the theory of rising CO2 leading to global warming is sorrowfully exaggerated.

This kind of manipulative science, exemplified by IPCC, WMO, NOAA and what have you, is serving its master in the realm of politics and policy, and is indeed very sickening.

All of them are essentially behaving in ways we would never want any of our school children to behave: cheating and manipulating that are accompanied by careful wording and clever rhetoric….

This sets us up for HOW the NOAA gets their temperatures, and why they are inaccurate. The below is posted elsewhere on my blog and is semi-technical for the layman. But the key is PLACEMENT, and you can see that in the photo’s below Dr. Mueller’s presentation on how the numbers are skewed/manipulated.

(Dr. Mueller is part of the Department of Physics at the University of California at Berkeley, and Faculty Senior Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, where he is also associated with the Institute for Nuclear and Particle Astrophysics.)


There seems to be a misunderstanding by the general public of the NOAA and other organizations and how they misuse data points (or average them wrongly).

So, for instance, professor Mueller at Berkeley mentions how climate “scientists” were hiding the decline in the past:

They were skewing the numbers in other words. This is an example of fraud. But numbers can be skewed by faulty or outdated methods/equipment. For instance,


Here are some examples of fudged data because of sub-standard equipment:

You’d think the answer would be obvious, but here we have a NOAA operated USHCN climate station of record providing a live experiment. It always helps to illustrate with photos. Today I surveyed a sewage treatment plant, one of 4 stations surveyed today (though I tried for 5) and found that for convenience, they had made a nice concrete walkway to allow servicing the Fisher-Porter rain gauge, which needs a paper punch tape replaced one a month.

Here is what you see in visible light:

Here is what the infrared camera sees:

Note that the concrete surface is around 22-24°C, while the grassy areas are between 12-19°C

This station will be rated a CRN5 by this definition from the NOAA Climate Reference Network handbook, section 2.2.1:

Class 5 (error >~= 5C) – Temperature sensor located next to/above an artificial heating source, such a building, roof top, parking lot, or concrete surface.”

More than half of the stations the NOAA use are tainted or wrongly placed equipment.


Another example of changing averages was noted by Steve Goddard and others — even the NOAA have acknowledge it — have been discussing recently is exemplified in Dr. Judith Carry’s post on the matter (from a larger post of mine):

Even the Wall Street Journal chose the higher temperature reading to say that July of 2012 was July was the “hottest month in the contiguous U.S. since records began in 1895.” WUWT found this on accident and it has led to quite a few other revelations as we will see. Here is description in part of what we looking at:

Glaring inconsistencies found between State of the Climate (SOTC) reports sent to the press and public and the “official” climate database record for the United States. Using NCDC’s own data, July 2012 can no longer be claimed to be the “hottest month on record”.


I initially thought this was just some simple arithmetic error or reporting error, a one-off event, but then I began to find it in other months when I compared the output from the NCDC climate database plotter. Here is a table of the differences I found for the last two years between claims made in the SOTC report and the NCDC database output.


In almost every instance dating back to the inception of the CONUS Tavg value being reported in the SOTC report, there’s a difference. Some are quite significant. In most cases, the database value is cooler than the claim made in the SOTC report. Clearly, it is a systemic issue that spans over two years of reporting to the press and to the public.

It suggests that claims made by NCDC when they send out these SOTC reports aren’t credible because there are such differences between the data. Clearly, NCDC means for the plotter output they link to, to be an official representation to the public, so there cannot be a claim of me using some “not fit for purpose” method to get that data….

The Wall Street Journal made a graph showing this record setting month (below-left). The more accurate temperature for July likewise is shown in the same graph (below-right):

This looking at the data sets chosen and what is used and isn’t used to support an idea that fails in every way. Combine this obvious cherry-picking with the bias, collusion, and charges against the report that the President used to route Congress, all show we have a problem Houston! But this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It seems the NOAA has been skewing these temps for some time. Why? Because the left uses this as a way to promote an ever growing government and the scientists get more-and-more funding. This data fudging story is newer, and it is evolving quickley, including this newest post via Real Science where Steve Goddard notes that More Than 40% Of USHCN Station Data Is Fabricated. Here is Dr. Judith carry’s synopsis (excerpted), in which she critiques a bit Goddard’s post… but then bows to the evidence:

OK, acknowledging that Goddard made some analysis errors, I am still left with some uneasiness about the actual data, and why it keeps changing. For example, Jennifer Marohasy has been writing about Corrupting Australian’s temperature record.

In the midst of preparing this blog post, I received an email from Anthony Watts, suggesting that I hold off on my post since there is some breaking news. Watts pointed me to a post by Paul Homewood entitled Massive Temperature Adjustments At Luling, Texas. Excerpt:

So, I thought it might be worth looking in more detail at a few stations, to see what is going on. In Steve’s post, mentioned above, he links to the USHCN Final dataset for monthly temperatures, making the point that approx 40% of these monthly readings are “estimated”, as there is no raw data.

From this dataset, I picked the one at the top of the list, (which appears to be totally random), Station number 415429, which is Luling, Texas.

Taking last year as an example, we can see that ten of the twelve months are tagged as “E”, i.e estimated. It is understandable that a station might be a month, or even two, late in reporting, but it is not conceivable that readings from last year are late. (The other two months, Jan/Feb are marked “a”, indicating missing days).

But, the mystery thickens. Each state produces a monthly and annual State Climatological Report, which among other things includes a list of monthly mean temperatures by station. If we look at the 2013 annual report for Texas, we can see these monthly temperatures for Luling.

Where an “M” appears after the temperature, this indicates some days are missing, i.e Jan, Feb, Oct and Nov. (Detailed daily data shows just one missing day’s minimum temperature for each of these months).

Yet, according to the USHCN dataset, all ten months from March to December are “Estimated”. Why, when there is full data available?

But it gets worse. The table below compares the actual station data with what USHCN describe as “the bias-adjusted temperature”. The results are shocking.

In other words, the adjustments have added an astonishing 1.35C to the annual temperature for 2013. Note also that I have included the same figures for 1934, which show that the adjustment has reduced temperatures that year by 0.91C. So, the net effect of the adjustments between 1934 and 2013 has been to add 2.26C of warming.

Note as well, that the largest adjustments are for the estimated months of March – December. This is something that Steve Goddard has been emphasising.

It is plain that these adjustments made are not justifiable in any way. It is also clear that the number of “Estimated” measurements made are not justified either, as the real data is there, present and correct.

Watts appears in the comments, stating that he has contacted John Nielsen-Gammon (Texas State Climatologist) about this issue. Nick Stokes also appears in the comments, and one commenter finds a similar problem for another Texas station.

Homewood’s post sheds light on Goddard’s original claim regarding the data drop out (not just stations that are no longer reporting, but reporting stations that are ‘estimated’). I infer from this that there seems to be a real problem with the USHCN data set, or at least with some of the stations. Maybe it is a tempest in a teacup, but it looks like something that requires NOAA’s attention. As far as I can tell, NOAA has not responded to Goddard’s allegations. Now, with Homewood’s explanation/clarification, NOAA really needs to respond….

(H/T to Climate Realist ~ See WUWT and Hockey Schtick for more)

So we see in the above, that temperatures can be changed years later as the totality of the data is included. What was considered the hottest falls to just an average month in the heat index.

And this has — within the past few months — turned into a very large debate.


Here is another example of older/faulty equipment:

A Quick Note about the Difference between RSS and UAH TLT data

There is a noticeable difference between the RSS and UAH lower troposphere temperature anomaly data. Dr. Roy Spencer discussed this in his July 2011 blog post On the Divergence Between the UAH and RSS Global Temperature Records.  In summary, John Christy and Roy Spencer believe the divergence is caused by the use of data from different satellites.  UAH has used the NASA Aqua AMSU satellite in recent years, while as Dr. Spencer writes:

…RSS is still using the old NOAA-15 satellite which has a decaying orbit, to which they are then applying a diurnal cycle drift correction based upon a climate model, which does not quite match reality.

I updated the graphs in Roy Spencer’s post in On the Differences and Similarities between Global Surface Temperature and Lower Troposphere Temperature Anomaly Datasets.

While the two lower troposphere temperature datasets are different in recent years, UAH believes their data are correct, and, likewise, RSS believes their TLT data are correct.  Does the UAH data have a warming bias in recent years or does the RSS data have cooling bias?  Until the two suppliers can account for and agree on the differences, both are available for presentation.



Another example of competing ideas is this example from two major UK papers, the first being from the Guardian:

This next one from the Daily Mail:

(Daily Mail) ….The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.

This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 (see graph, right), and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.

Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.


Crucially, the ice is also thicker, and therefore more resilient to future melting. Professor Andrew Shepherd, of Leeds University, an expert in climate satellite monitoring, said yesterday: ‘It is clear from the measurements we have collected that the Arctic sea ice has experienced a significant recovery in thickness over the past year.

‘It seems that an unusually cool summer in 2013 allowed more ice to survive through to last winter. This means that the Arctic sea ice pack is thicker and stronger than usual, and this should be taken into account when making predictions of its future extent.’

Same data used, one says BEWARE, the END IS NEAR, the other says making gains, as the graph shows below:

(So are Polar Bears, BTW) And the Antarctic has made BIG GAINS. But if the left — yes, the left — says we should renter the little ice-age to be at a normal point of “climate disruption,” then they are living a pipe-dream. As the earth gets warmer life flourishes, as warmer periods in history have exemplified:

June was ranked one of the coldest months in a while. According to the NOAA, July 2014 ranked 29th coldest out of 120 using the Maximum temperature. And so we enter the discussion about if the pause is real… which is now being acknowledged by almost all (except the IPCC).


Here is Dr. Judith Curry posting ion the subject before getting into two papers that talk about it from two points of view:

With 39 explanations and counting, and some climate scientists now arguing that it might last yet another decade, the IPCC has sidelined itself in irrelevance until it has something serious to say about the pause and has reflected on whether its alarmism is justified, given its reliance on computer models that predicted temperature rises that have not occurred. – Rupert Darwall 

The statement by Rupert Darwall concisely states what is at stake with regards to the ‘pause.’   This seriously needs to be sorted out….

For a running — updated — list of these excuses mentioned above, see here. What HAS been clearly shown is that while some wish to make CO2 illegal, CO2 is in fact not driving the climate:


What is being shown as of late is that more-and-more scientists are becoming concerned with the group-think in the climate-sciences. Again, Dr. Judith Curry was the biggest pro-AGW proponent, but has — like many others leaders in their respective field — changed or softened her/their positions on what the science is actually showing:

The implications of dogmatic groupthink and intimidation for the pursuit of sound science — and sound policy — are chilling. – Christopher Snowden

A collection of articles from the health science community on the fate of papers and scientists that challenge the consensus.


  • Gross Scientific Negligence – IPCC Ignored Huge Body Of Peer-Reviewed Literature Showing Sun’s Clear Impact – See more at: (NASA is changing on this as well)
  • NASA is saying the sun — thanks to the Goddard Institute studying this, is the driver of warming and cooling: (Via Hockey Shtick)

And yet another study is showing the sun as the major player… NOT greenhouse gases.

So what’s the bottom line? NOAA temps change over time. Many in this respective field are seeing group-think. Ideology is driving this group-think, not science.

Why should you be interested? Sea surface temperature records indicate El Niño and La Niña events are responsible for the warming of global sea surface temperature anomalies over the past 30 years, not man-made greenhouse gases. I’ve searched sea surface temperature records for more than 4 years and ocean heat content records for more than 3 years, and I can find no evidence of an anthropogenic greenhouse gas signal in either dataset. That is, the warming of the global oceans has been caused by naturally occurring, sunlight-fueled, coupled ocean-atmosphere processes, not anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

(From the newest global temp data-set at WUWT)

No matter what evidences one puts forward, until people remove their rose-colored glasses, they will continue to explain away the pause showing CO2 has nothing to do with global temperatures.