2000s: hottest decade on record; dangerous blizzard pounds Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on December 09, 2009

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The end of the decade is upon us, and this decade was the warmest decade on record, according to NOAA and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The decade of the 2000s was 0.17°C (0.31°F) warmer than the 1990s, according to NOAA. The "official" scientific assessments on climate change, the IPCC reports, have been predicting that Earth's temperature rise should average about 0.19°C per decade, due to human-caused global warming. Thus, the warming over the past decade is about 10% below predictions--well within the uncertainties that natural variation in the climate can bring. Of course, one can look at shorter time periods and say that no warming is occurring. The hottest year on record globally was 1998, according to the UK's HadCRUT3 data set, and was 2005, according to the data sets maintained by NASA and NOAA. It is apparent from the plot of global temperature anomalies (Figure 1) that the global temperature rise has flattened out since 2005. One can correctly say that global temperatures have not increased since 2005. However, climate is measured on time scales of decades, so it is incorrect to say that the climate has not warmed since 2005. It is meaningless to any statement about climate on any time scale less than ten years. Thirty years is better, since the atmosphere has natural multi-decadal oscillations, and the solar cycle of 11 years is also important. Global average temperature oscillates 0.1°C between the maximum and minimum of the solar cycle, and we are currently in an unusually long minimum.


Figure 1. Change in global surface temperature anomaly as computed by NOAA (NCDC Dataset), NASA (GISS data set) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK) (HadCRUT3 data set). Uncertainty in the HadCRUT3 data is shown in gray. Image credit: WMO.

Mass front-page climate change editorial published in 45 countries
An unprecedented joint editorial urging action on climate change appeared in 56 newspapers in 45 countries yesterday. Many of the papers carried the editorial on the front page. The editorial began: "Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted.". According to Editor & Publisher, the editorial was published in 20 languages including Chinese, Arabic and Russian. The text was drafted by the UK newspaper, The Guardian, in conjunction with editors from more than 20 of the papers involved. A number of U.S. papers supported the project and agreed with everything in the editorial, but only one--the Miami Herald--was brave enough to publish it.

Posts on the hacked climate scientists' emails
If you haven't read my posts on the hacked email affair, my attitude on the matter can best be summed up by a highly amusing political cartoon by Houston Chronicle cartoonist Nick Anderson. While an investigation is needed into whether the scientific data involved was properly withheld from other scientists, there is nothing in the hacked emails that affects the validity of any of the published peer-reviewed science on climate change. "Climategate" is a manufactured scandal designed to take attention away from the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is responsible for most of the observed warming in recent decades, and that this warming will increase dramatically in coming decades. My posts on the affair:

Don't shoot the messenger
Embattled UK climate scientist steps down
The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy
Is more CO2 beneficial for Earth's ecosystems?

Ricky Rood in Copenhagen
Our Climate Change expert, Dr. Ricky Rood, is in Copenhagen for the COP15 climate change summit. Check out his blog over the next two weeks to hear an insider's view of what's going on.

Major winter storm blasts the Plains and Western U.S.
It's a bad day to be in Iowa, unless you happen to be a polar bear. I'll back up that startling claim with some hard data: at 4:35 am CST, Carroll, Iowa reported heavy snow, sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 48, visibility 350 yards, a temperature of 9°F, and a windchill of -17°F. The mighty storm responsible was centered over Lake Michigan this morning, and is bringing blizzard conditions to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern Michigan. The storm has brought very high winds to large portion of the country. Sustained winds of 53 mph, gusting to 77 mph were reported in Ruidiso, New Mexico yesterday afternoon, and hurricane-force wind gusts were reported in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas yesterday. A peak gust of 105 mph was reported in Texas' Guadeloupe Mountains. Heavy rain from the storm has also brought localized flooding to California, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Some snow amounts from the storm so far (with distances in miles from the city included, where appropriate):

...ARIZONA...
FLAGSTAFF 7.8 SSW 30.4
JACOB LAKE 24.0
WILLIAMS 0.4 SW 20.0
GRAND CANYON SOUTH RIM 18.0

...CALIFORNIA...
KIRKWOOD SKI AREA 48.0
ALPINE MEADOWS 45.0
SODA SPRINGS 40.0
KINGVALE 1.3 WSW 37.0
NORTHSTAR 36.0
CISCO 5 ENE 35.0
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE 8 SSW 31.0
MAMMOTH LAKES 14.0

...COLORADO...
PAGOSA SPRINGS 9.1 NNW 33.0
CARBONDALE 8.2 S 24.8
CRESTED BUTTE 6.2 N 24.5
DURANGO 24.0
BAYFIELD 7 N 23.5
DOLORES 22 NE 23.0
GREELEY 2.3 SE 22.0
PAGOSA SPRINGS 3 SE 22.0

...IDAHO...
WESTON 4.0
POCATELLO AIRPORT 3.7
BOISE 6.7 SE 3.5

...KANSAS...
MARYSVILLE 14.0
LINCOLN 5 NE 12.0
CONCORDIA 5 SSE 11.0
HAYS 13 WNW 9.0
SALINA 8.0
ABILENE 5 SSW 7.0
MANHATTAN 7.0

...NEBRASKA...
TECUMSEH 13.5
ORD 12.0
OMAHA 3 N 8.6
KEARNEY 8.0
INDIANOLA 6.0

...NEW MEXICO...
LAS VEGAS 8.4 NW 8.0
SANTA FE 3.3 NE 5.5
TAOS PUEBLO 2.8 NW 5.2
GALLUP 8.1 NNW 4.8

...NEVADA...
HEAVENLY VALLEY 34.0
MT ROSE SKI AREA 23.0
CARSON CITY 1.3 NW 18.0
RENO 7.1 N 13.7
SUN VALLEY 0.9 N 10.5

...SOUTH DAKOTA...
SIOUX FALLS 6.0

...UTAH...
VERDUE 8 WNW 25.0
SPRINGDELL 23.0
ORDERVILLE 19.0
SPRINGVILLE 10.0

...WYOMING...
SAND LAKE 11.0
DIVIDE PEAK 9.0
LARAMIE 27.3 WSW 6.0
CHEYENNE 26.7 NE 4.3

Next post
I'll have a new post Thursday; there's a lot going on.

Jeff Masters

Snow in Angels Camp. (Isolino)
Woke up this morning to snow. We don't get snow in Angels Camp very often. It made for some difficult driving.
Snow in Angels Camp.
Frost (thebige)
More frost on our car. This photo wasn't cropped or edited.
Frost

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I see the blog took a nose dive since yesterday.

Looks like a lurking day.

I cant believe it, still foggy in St. Petersburg. It's been foggy for a day in a half, I feel like where up north when the sun disappears for days.
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Quoting jeffs713:
Its amazing how perfectly sensible, middle-of-the-road AGW posts get lost, while the extreme, looney-bird variety get quoted.


I think thats the whole idea of them posting them. The more extremest views are the ones that get the most response from the other extreme.

A lot like baiting a troll.. and it seems to be working very well, they have taken over the blog.

I miss JFV :(
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Its amazing how perfectly sensible, middle-of-the-road AGW posts get lost, while the extreme, looney-bird variety get quoted.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Mate, its currently 78.3F 33% humidity, wind NW 20km/h(12.4Mph) Gusts 30km/h(18.6Mph)


Perfect for golfing.. just enough wind to make it interesting... and nice and warm.. not to hot :)

My Koi ponds are frozen over, and they look like skating rinks (save the Koisicle Jokes, surfmom beat you to it)
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:



A lot of useless bickering and whining from the right since the beginning of the year, funny picture. Seems they are waiting in the bushes to throw dust. Nah Nah, you made a mistake, lol. If Obama doesn't make it another 4, at least the wheels of change are in motion. The public won't stand for a return to extreme rightisim so they better start working on a formidable candidate, Charlie Christ isn't going to work, he's horrible.


But don't you see the left does that too? I see the left and the right equally guilty of the same things, as you've just demonstrated. Do you think maybe rather than throw dust on the ones throwing dust, there might be a better way that brings you above the fray?
Member Since: August 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
Quoting Orcasystems:


Since I did not see it... we will have to assume I have also :)


:)

Stay warm up there. We have a cold front swinging down my way this morning. I welcome it!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting Orcasystems:
Hey Aus, hows the summer going for you down under..I am freezing up here.. more then happy to trade you :)


Mate, its currently 78.3F 33% humidity, wind NW 20km/h(12.4Mph) Gusts 30km/h(18.6Mph)
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Quoting TampaWeatherBuff:


The only person you've quoted so far in this discussion is yourself ("I am convinced by what I have seen"), and Emily Dickenson.

The issue of sourcing is a funny one. If we disagree fundamentally about who the reliable sources are, we're not going to get very far in a debate.
Moreover, should I "ignore" every pro-AGW poster who posted a political cartoon to make their point? I daresay I chuckle at some of them, even when I "disagree" with them, particularly if they demonstrate some wit.

People who so easily "ignore" other people because they don't write peer-review treatises for every post should consider that their motive is not "science" but rather to avoid debate and seek only the confirming fellowship of like-minded believers.


I ignored him the other day, not because of what he was saying, but how he was saying it. He was coming across in a very rude manner, and many agreed with me on that.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting mikatnight:



A lot of useless bickering and whining from the right since the beginning of the year, funny picture. Seems they are waiting in the bushes to throw dust. Nah Nah, you made a mistake, lol. If Obama doesn't make it another 4, at least the wheels of change are in motion. The public won't stand for a return to extreme rightisim so they better start working on a formidable candidate, Charlie Christ isn't going to work, he's horrible.
Quoting CaneWarning:


I know, I took one off of ignore to see if he was being civil a second ago and I see that he is posting about me again. So back on ignore he went!


Since I did not see it... we will have to assume I have also :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I sure hope so... as a habit I don't put people on ignore if they are at least ontopic... we have had some post that are so far out there lately its insane. I added two people I normally respect to that list this morning...


I know, I took one off of ignore to see if he was being civil a second ago and I see that he is posting about me again. So back on ignore he went!
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting CaneWarning:


Unfortunately, as of late, it appears that science has become dishonest.


I don't think that is the case. There are many cases of science being politicized (and dishonest) throughout history. The number of Malthusian-type predicted catastrophes are plentiful. Remember the Population Bomb?

That said, I do wish Dr. Masters focused on the weather more. I can certainly appreciate his faith but not everybody here shares that faith. I could see two blogs coming from him. He could keep a climate change blog as well as one devoted to real-time weather. I've no doubt the climate change blog would still have plenty of bickering because that really is a controversial topic, but for many of us, we could just frequent the weather blog.
Member Since: August 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
Quoting JFLORIDA:


The one that will not source his opinion as such returns. That request is why he ignored me.

And yes he is correct, ignore would be best considering it is just opinion.

Which actually is fine it just should be sourced as such.


The only person you've quoted so far in this discussion is yourself ("I am convinced by what I have seen"), and Emily Dickenson.

The issue of sourcing is a funny one. If we disagree fundamentally about who the reliable sources are, we're not going to get very far in a debate.
Moreover, should I "ignore" every pro-AGW poster who posted a political cartoon to make their point? I daresay I chuckle at some of them, even when I "disagree" with them, particularly if they demonstrate some wit.

People who so easily "ignore" other people because they don't write peer-review treatises for every post should consider that their motive is not "science" but rather to avoid debate and seek only the confirming fellowship of like-minded believers.
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Let's hope his post today focuses more on the hurricane season for 2010.


I sure hope so... as a habit I don't put people on ignore if they are at least ontopic... we have had some post that are so far out there lately its insane. I added two people I normally respect to that list this morning...
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Quoting Orcasystems:
I really hope Jeff gets the blog topic back on track soon.


Let's hope his post today focuses more on the hurricane season for 2010.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Hey Aus, hows the summer going for you down under..I am freezing up here.. more then happy to trade you :)

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Quoting Orcasystems:
Ahh its always good to pop into the blog to see that insanity and craziness is still alive and well :)

Yep, it is definitely refreshing to see that the looney birds are not extinct.
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Tropical low looms off the Top End coast


In what would be a relatively early start to the 2009/2010 tropical cyclone season, a low pressure system is slowly becoming more organised off the Top End coast and is being closely monitored for signs of further development.

The low is currently situated around 300km north of the Arnhem Land coast and is moving slowly west.

The main effect of the low on land, so far, has been an increase in cloud cover and rainfall. In the 24 hours to 9am Thursday, Upper Adelaide River picked up 31mm. Between 9am and 2pm, Pirlangimpi had received 13mm.

Another result of the increased cloud cover and humidity was a very warm night on Wednesday night. Darwin recorded an overnight minimum of 29.7 degrees, its equal highest on record.

As the low continues tracking west, the cloud, rain and high humidity will persist into the weekend. The low is expected to reach the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf by Sunday, where it should start intensifying more rapidly.

Computer model guidance is varied but, at this stage, there is around a 40-50% chance of the low developing into a cyclone off the WA coast during next week.

- Weatherzone



Tropical Disturbance Summary For area Equator to 25S, 160E to 120W
ISSUED FROM RSMC NADI Dec 10/0815 UTC 2009 UTC.

TROPICAL DISTURBANCE TD01F [1001HPA] ANALYSED NEAR 11.0S 169.0E AT
100600 UTC. SLOW MOVING. POSITION POOR BASED ON MTSAT IR IMAGERY AND
PERIPHERAL OBSERVATIONS. SST AROUND 30 DEGREES CELSIUS.

CONVECTION IS PERSISTENT OVER THE SYSTEM BUT REMAINS DISORGANISED.
01F LIES UNDER A 250HPA RIDGE AXIS ALONG A SURFACE TROUGH WITH
MODERATE SHEAR OVER 01F. A RIDGE OF HIGH PRESSURE LIES TO THE SOUTH
AND DIRECTS A DRY SOUTHEASTERLY SURGE. MOST GLOBAL MODELS HAVE PICKED
UP THE SYSTEM AND GRADUALLY MOVE IT WEST SOUTHWEST.

POTENTIAL FOR THIS SYSTEM TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE
NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS IS LOW.

TROPICAL DISTURBANCE TD02F [1004HPA] ANALYSED NEAR 15.0S 180 AT
100600 UTC. SLOW MOVING. POSITION POOR BASED ON MTSAT IR IMAGERY AND
PERIPHERAL OBSERVATIONS. 02F IS EMBEDDED ALONG A SURFACE TROUGH AND
JUST SOUTH OF AN UPPER DIFFLUENT REGION. TD02F LIES IN A MODERATELY
SHEARED ENVIRONMENT. SST AROUND 30 DEGREES CELSIUS. MOST GLOBAL
MODELS DO NOT DEEPEN THE SYSTEM.

POTENTIAL FOR THIS SYSTEM TO DEVELOP INTO A TROPICAL CYCLONE IN THE
NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS IS LOW.

THERE ARE NO OTHER SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL DISTURBANCES ANALYSED OR
FORECAST IN THE AREA.



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I really hope Jeff gets the blog topic back on track soon.
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Ahh its always good to pop into the blog to see that insanity and craziness is still alive and well :)
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Well, I see the looney birds came out overnight.

Remind me why I bother reading the blog when the AGW debate is going on? Someone?

Just to wade into this whole debate today...

AGW is not based on JUST CO2. It is the most talked about, but not the only factor. Methane, stratospheric water vapor, and other chemicals are just as responsible for any GW in models, and are just as discussed. CO2 takes such prominence because it is so prevalent in the atmosphere, and it also is (most importantly), largely controllable. We can do something about CO2 production. It is harder to make a meaningful impact on methane levels, especially if the Siberian permafrost thaws.

Also, with the whole debate about the globe being warmer in the past - of course it was... before we had billions of people leaving within 100 miles of the coast. Also, there is no evidence showing the current rate of the temp rise ever in the past. Yes, there may be natural processes in effect, but at the same time, we have consumed half the global supply of oil (which takes millions of years to produce naturally) in less than 200 years. Oil is a HydroCARBON. Meaning it holds lots of carbon. Please don't try to tell me that us burning half the world's supply of oil (most of which was created from the plants from 65M years ago) will have no impact on CO2 levels. Yes, we are a mere speck on the geologic time scale. But we are also an incredibly wasteful species, and have been wasting this planet's natural resources like they are going out of style.

Beyond the AGW debate - wouldn't it be great if we could actually, as a species, live within our means in a sustainable manner? You know, use the gigantic nuclear furnace in the sky for our power generation needs? Or tap into the incredibly hot rock a few miles beneath our feet? Or harness tidal motions to generate energy for practically free?

Take cars for instance - the MOST efficient internal combustion engine wastes roughly 70% of its potential energy, dissipating that energy as heat. As an illustrative example, the 200hp engine in your car generates approximately 149kW of power. That is with 70% wasted energy. If that exact same engine was 100% efficient, you would suddenly get 665hp out of the same engine (in theory - some energy would still be lost via friction)

The same concept of power efficiency is true for all power generation, from coal to nuclear power.
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Oh man. you guys still are going at it hammer and tongs.... geez give it a rest
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Quoting TampaWeatherBuff:


I am not anti-science. I happen to know a thing or two about political philosophy and see the classic battle lines over economics lining up. Marx thought he and Engles invented "scientific" socialism that would eradicate all poverty and bring about universal peace and prosperity, but it was based on entirely false assumptions about human nature. There was nothing scientific about it, except the insistence of its rhetoric that it was somehow "scientific." In point of fact, it was based on layers of deceit and brought about instead a kind of systematic brutality in the last century that killed millions of people in the name of "progress."

Your introduction of "postmodernism" (another branch of the same Hegelian philosophical tree from which Marx et al. sprang) merely proves my point about the underlying political nature of the so-called scientific debate.

I'm not saying anybody has a monopoly on goodness. I'm skeptical of all do-gooder schemes to improve humanity, even laissez faire capitalist ones, and view everyone as thumpingly dishonest. This is why we *need* science, because we can check each other's methods at least. It's also why we *need* freedom, to call bull***t on each other.


Unfortunately, as of late, it appears that science has become dishonest.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting JFLORIDA:


No YOU say that as an opinion.

I am convinced by what I have seen.

The painting of anti science crusaders as victim in the postmodern sense is the most disturbing part of this - and the misapplication of Identity theory as well as relational aesthetics -- an area that I feel I am actually an expert in and will post an entire blog devoted to.


I am not anti-science. I happen to know a thing or two about political philosophy and see the classic battle lines over economics lining up. Marx thought he and Engles invented "scientific" socialism that would eradicate all poverty and bring about universal peace and prosperity, but it was based on entirely false assumptions about human nature. There was nothing scientific about it, except the insistence of its rhetoric that it was somehow "scientific." In point of fact, it was based on layers of deceit and brought about instead a kind of systematic brutality in the last century that killed millions of people in the name of "progress."

Your introduction of "postmodernism" (another branch of the same Hegelian philosophical tree from which Marx et al. sprang) merely proves my point about the underlying political nature of the so-called scientific debate.

I'm not saying anybody has a monopoly on goodness. I'm skeptical of all do-gooder schemes to improve humanity, even laissez faire capitalist ones, and view everyone as thumpingly dishonest. This is why we *need* science, because we can check each other's methods at least. It's also why we *need* freedom, to call bull***t on each other.
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I must say it is pretty obvious that the people who most vociferously deny global warming on this blog tend not to be able to concede any points with a simple:

You are right about this, thank you for correcting me.

Part of being intelligent and unbiased is the ability to admit when you are wrong, on both sides. There is no church going on, nobody on this blog trying to hoodwink others, the only people who might be doing that are the professionals, so acting civil towards each other should be common sense.
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Quoting TampaWeatherBuff:


BTW, judging by your photo, I'm skinnier than you. I am happy to take cash, check or credit card and will be delighted to make payment arrangements with you offline. Do it for the planet. Think of the children.


Do yourself a favor and put that guy on ignore. You are wasting your time.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting JFLORIDA:



WAIT, YOU GUYS BROUGHT UP THE ARGUMENT. FROM THE 70's.

And now you and calling others dishonest for providing specific sources.

BTW Neutral doesn't mean "cooling".


Or "warming"...
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Quoting JFLORIDA:


Yes and I admit I am overweight and not ideal. I try and spend money and time in the effort.

How does this now relate back to GW.



JMO – but I don’t believe there is a correlation between body mass and hot air, as thin folks appear more than able to float their own balloons…
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Technically it's not only a one way street of wealth distribution.

Helping poor countries develop low carbon economies -> their emissions don't cause health problems for developed nations -> their standard of living goes up including a lower birth rate because of better health care -> less overpopulation -> creating a bigger developed market for advanced products and skills made in the US and other developed nations -> everybody gets something out of it.

Admittedly developed nations may overtake the privileged few at the moment, but hey, everyone agrees trying to abolish slavery is good right? Well apart from the people in the slavery business... Maybe an apt analogy for developed nations.
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The whole Man Made Global Warming is centered around a model based on assumptions about the effect of CO2 on the "Global" climate. What if that assumtion is wrong? Do you calculate in CO2 levels in your short term forcast?

Just wondering
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Quoting JFLORIDA:


Yes and I admit I am overweight and not ideal.

How does this now relate back to GW.



Both arguments are based on guilt, not logic, let alone data. The "deniers" here are the ones who pretend the information uncovered by the release of emails and (especially!) source code doesn't demonstrate bad faith on the part of the most respected of the so-called scientists involved in devising the computer models that supposedly prove AGW's reality and justify the draconian political steps contemplated in Copenhagen.

The painting of the scientists as somehow selfless crusaders for humanity vs. greedy corporate interests is classic left wing framing of the issue. We are supposed to believe the scientists, even though their internal discussions demonstrate political motives and a shocking willingness to malign those who disagree with them and apply a meat-axe to any data that doesn't confirm the theory. Well, when you're asking me at gunpoint to hand over my wallet over the matter (and Copenhagen is all about enforced wealth redistribution), I'm sorry, but no man's motives are above question.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
calusakat, 44 papers predicted global warming, 7 predicted global cooling. The ratio is over 6 to 1. As I said.

Typical slight of hand there. More Church of the IPCC/AGW methodology at work I see.

By your own claim, there were 71 papers on the subject...44 agreed with global warming and 27 did not. Not even 2 to 1.

What is so difficult about being faithful to the math at least?


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Mornin' all!
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Even assuming the now specious claims regarding the data, how the True Believers in AGW jump from "the earth may be warming and man's CO2 output may exacerbate the trend" to "Therefore, the United States must commit itself to a command and control regime of wealth redistribution" says more about their politics than their vaunted love of "science." Why anyone should believe one group of people have a monopoly on altruism, least of all when $145 trillion is on the line, and the major players have by thier own actions discredited themselves, I have yet to hear a credible argument.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.