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Monday, 1 May 2017

Ah, the 1930's temperature record...

Next up on Eschenbach's blog, a comment by Steve Case about the 1930's temperature record:

"Wow, the cooling of the 1930’s temperature record has hit new lows"

The New Scientist has this to say:

"After rising rapidly during the first part of the 20th century, global average temperatures did cool by about 0.2°C after 1940 and remained low until 1970, after which they began to climb rapidly again.

The mid-century cooling appears to have been largely due to a high concentration of sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere, emitted by industrial activities and volcanic eruptions. Sulphate aerosols have a cooling effect on the climate because they scatter light from the Sun, reflecting its energy back into space.

The rise in sulphate aerosols was largely due to the increase in industrial activities at the end of the second world war. In addition, the large eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 produced aerosols which cooled the lower atmosphere by about 0.5 degrees C while solar activity levelled off after increasing at the beginning of the century.

The clean air acts introduced in Europe and North America reduced emissions of sulphate aerosols. As levels fell in the atmosphere, their cooling effect was soon outweighed by the warming effect of the steadily rising levels of greenhouse gases."

I am going to skip forward now, but only a little bit, to a quite ridiculous statement by someone called Chimp, who says:

"There has been no statistically significant warming in the 21st century. The so-called “surface” data are totally bogus, anti-scientific fantasy perpetrated by lying, tough-feeding bureaucrats in order to try to make their GIGO models look less epically failed and to keep the CACA gravy train rolling."

Of course, its utter bull. Chimp provides no evidence to support either claim. However, the Australian Government reported that 2013 was the hottest year ever on record: :

"2013 was Australia’s warmest year since records began in 1910. Mean temperatures across Australia have generally been well above average since September 2012. Long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather. Nights have also been warmer than average, but less so than days.

The Australian area-averaged mean temperature for 2013 was +1.20 °C above the 1961–1990 average. Maximum temperatures were +1.45 °C above average, and minimum temperatures +0.94 °C above average. Temperatures were above average across nearly all of Australia for maximum, mean and minimum temperatures, with large areas of inland and southern Australia experiencing the highest on record for each.

Australia has experienced just one cooler-than-average year (2011) in the last decade. The 10-year mean temperature for 2004–2013 was 0.50 °C above average, the equal-highest on record. Averages for each of the ten-year periods from 1995–2004 to 2004–2013 have been amongst the top ten records.

The Australian mean rainfall total for 2013 was 428 mm (37 mm below the long-term average of 465 mm). In comparison with rainfall in all years since 1900, 2013 sits close to the median or mid-point of historical observations.

Annual rainfall was below average across a large region of the inland east centred on western Queensland and extending into northern South Australia and the Northern Territory. Rainfall was above average over parts of the Pilbara and the south coast of Western Australia, as well as along the east coast and northern Tasmania."

 The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) confirmed that 2016 was the warmest year on record (

So Chimp's statement is just utter nonsense. However, he goes on to say:

"The peaks in 1997-98 and 2015-16 are from super El Ninos, totally natural events. The recent one was fractionally warmer, but there is no reason to suppose that humans are responsible for the insignificant difference."

....except that data from NOAA shows that the 2014-2016 El Nino didn't even begin until October 2014 and was pretty borderline until mid-2015. It did add to the warming from late 2015, but if the El Nino factor is removed, 2016 is still the warmest year on record. So Chimp's statement on this is again a load of nonsense. 

 Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather from Berkeley Earth says more on this here

"It is all but certain now that 2016 will shatter historical records to be the warmest year ever by a wide margin. It was helped along the way by a large El Niño event, which tends to be associated with warmer temperatures globally. But, even without El Niño, 2016 would likely still be the warmest year ever."

He goes on to say that David Rose's article in the Mail on Sunday in November 2016 was "deeply misleading" based on cherry-picking an obscure temperature record, the creator of which warned that it should be "used with caution". Hausfather says that the warming of 2014, 2015 and 2016 has been driven by human greenhouse gas emissions, not El Nino.

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