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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Quoting AussieStorm:
I see Dr. Masters picked up on a story i posted a few days ago. What took ya so long Dr. J.????
OK, I'll bite, what story was that?
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
The young people then, who would kill a man to save a tree

Maat, dear one, WORDS CAN HURT...please, be more careful.

Are you aware of the famous picture of the student who was killed at Kent State during the Vietnam war protests? She was just walking across campus between classes or the like.

And she was killed by a young National Guard person who was probably scared silly himself.

One of my best friends was there. She was working for the Kent State radio station, and she's in some other pics.

It's still painful. So please, have some respect, okay. Some of us were having a fun, playful conversation...with a little weather thrown in...to avoid CC/AGW hurtful stuff, in part.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Got a spinner going.

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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


I liked TornadoD-'s moniker the other day,
"The station formerly known as The Weather Channel"
{:
Featuring "Wake Up With Annoying Al" a great way to get annoyed by Al at 6:00 am every day
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
I see Dr. Masters picked up on a story i posted a few days ago. What took ya so long Dr. J.????
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
634. if you just added a "G" to the name, then it would be accurate..."TGWC"...LOL


I liked TornadoD-'s moniker the other day,
"The station formerly known as The Weather Channel"
{:
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Oh, I'm sorry...I was just having pleasant daydreams and flashbacks about this:

the world was a lot cooler back in the 60's when we had Hippies. You know Peace, Love, Dube Dube Do, or something like that.


That was Doobie Doobie Brothers. Dube dube do is older than that. :)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Ann Arbor, MI Highest Wind report:
SW 26 G 44 MPH

Detroit, MI Highest Wind report:
SW 36 G 48

Chicago, IL Highest Wind report:
SW 26 G 36

Columbus, Ohio Highest Wind report:
SW 37 G 52

Okay, I guess Ohio is the highest wind report I found so far. But, man RDU is up there with them. I guess the wind gusts sound hair-raising here because the corrugated metal roof makes more noise than I guess a typical house roof.
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634. if you just added a "G" to the name, then it would be more accurate..."TGWC"...LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Patrap:


STRANGE LIGHTS OVER NORWAY: This morning in arctic Norway, onlookers were stunned when a gigantic luminous spiral formed in the northern sky. "We are used to seeing lots of auroras here in Norway, but this was different," says Nick Banbury of Harstad who witnessed the phenomenon on his way to work "between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m. local time." Onlooker Jan Petter Jorgensen took this photo:

When I saw this earlier on the blog I was commenting in wonder if this may have anything to do with HAARP site in Alaska
Member Since: August 25, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 633
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
Check out this line from the RDU airport weather records at the NWS (occurred 4 or 5 hours ago):

9 14:51 SW 35 G 47 10.00 Mostly Cloudy and Windy BKN035 70 58 29.43 996.3

I wonder if anyone is getting even stronger winds right now.


Check the Great Lakes Region if you like. TWC just mentioned that at the tag before the commercial.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
631. LMAO...that didn't even cross my mind! i guess that's a pretty typical combination down here :) j/k
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Check out this line from the RDU airport weather records at the NWS (occurred 4 or 5 hours ago):

9 14:51 SW 35 G 47 10.00 Mostly Cloudy and Windy BKN035 70 58 29.43 996.3

I wonder if anyone is getting even stronger winds right now.
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630. Liquor and Guns -- Oh My!
Don't Mess with Texas (:
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
623. well, i think you found the ditch! LOL...when i was thinking about graduate work, it was either distillation studies making homemade brandy or ballistics studies reloading ammo :)

LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting WonderWeatherWoman:
I have yet to see any response to my two questions:

1) What about the ice core samples that suggest CO2 lags behind Gobal Warming?

2) How can you can you predict forward with so little historical data?

And a new question from your blog today:
3) What would the increase or decrease in global temps be without the human factor?

If you can not answer that last question, maybe you, Mr. Masters, would be well advised to work on better short term models, since you missed it by almost 20 deg last week and my garden got freeze damage.(and it's not winter yet)


1. CO2 does often lag behind temperature changes in ice core data, but the fact that a correlation between increased CO2 concentrations and increased global temperature remains. It is basic undebated science dating back to the 18th century that states that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will eventually lead to increasing temperatures. In paleoclimate, the case has usually been CO2 following temperature, but the other way around is also shown to work. This also illustrates a dangerous positive feedback mechanism. As global temperatures warm, the biosphere turns from a carbon sink to a source, the oceans can no longer hold as much carbon due to increased heat and acidity, and methane as well as CO2 are being released from melting permafrost. CO2 levels have increased more from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day than it has from the peak of the last ice age to the start of the Industrial Revolution.

2. The predictions and projections are usually made through different inputs into computer models. We know the physics behind the greenhouse effect, but there are some large uncertainties such as climate sensitivity, positive feedbacks, and the effect of clouds. Therefore there is a range of possible warming scenarios, and each produces a range of possible effects on certain locales and ecosystems that we know from fields such as paleoclimatic studies and proxy data evidence.

3. Computer models are given the task of solving these types of problems, and they are compared by adding anthropogenic and natural inputs. So far, from temperature measurements from around the globe, almost all observations fit within the range expected by adding natural and anthropogenic forcings on climate, and very few are within the range that would be expected if natural factors were the only cause of climate change. If that were the case, current global temperatures would be fairly close to the temperatures recorded around 1970.
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Quoting NCHurricane2009:


LOL. Actually, the garage is on a university campus, doing research work and studying for final exams.

Oh, I'm sorry...I was just having pleasant daydreams and flashbacks about this:

the world was a lot cooler back in the 60's when we had Hippies. You know Peace, Love, Dube Dube Do, or something like that.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
I am in a garage doing some graduate school work, and I here the walls shake

Hmmm, is that what they call it now -- what, no van because of gas prices?


LOL. Actually, the garage is on a university campus, doing research work and studying for final exams.
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
619. i was thinking the same thing! LOL...at least about the "working in the garage" part...

:)

We both found that proverbial ditch...
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
619. i was thinking the same thing! LOL...at least about the "working in the garage" part...

:)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
I am looking at the map in post 603, see a lot of high wind reports to our southwest, wondering if those are actual wind damage reports or not, and if we'll get any incidents here tonight.
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I am in a garage doing some graduate school work, and I here the walls shake

Hmmm, is that what they call it now -- what, no van because of gas prices?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Global Warming US Cities Getting Warmer
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
oh, my....some people just know how to find the ditch! LOL

...........swerve!!!!!! LOL


Huh, whad I miss? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting calusakat: at post # 526:

Actually they already are.

Ask any longshoreman about what is being offloaded at the docks.

Oil companies are a very secretive lot, they be doing a whole bunch of stuff on the QT.

Do you actually believe that they aren't neck deep in this hoax?


537. hurricanejunky replies

Yeah the whole concept of using alternative clean energies is a real hoax. Only the sane people like you don't want clean burning fuel.

To which calusakat replies...

Ahh...another believer in The Church of the IPCC/AGW.

Now take the time to read the post before you comment.

The oil and coal companies consider themselves to be 'energy suppliers' to the world. If you think for one moment that they are standing on the sidelines watching while opportunities to be involved in the switch to alternative sources are marching by, think again.

Sure they want to sell oil and coal, after all, that is their mainstay right now. They also want to be part of the gravy train that is moving into the station as The Church of the IPCC embarks on its goal of imposing "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs." on the unsuspecting people of the planet.

One bit of a difference though, 'to each', means to them and their cohorts and not to the wretched masses as the media would have you believe.

Are you really that naive to believe the billionaires in the coal and oil industries will simply sit back and see their dynasties melt away.

Not a chance.
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I've noticed the world was a lot cooler back in the 60's when we had Hippies. You know Peace, Love, Dube Dube Do, or something like that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Evening,

Boy is it windy here in Raleigh. I am in a garage doing some graduate school work, and I here the walls shake and doors try to open. I checked the RDU weather reports, right now sustained at 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph (I didn't think that such winds would make all the noise and try to open the front door).
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oh, my....some people just know how to find the ditch! LOL

...........swerve!!!!!! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
JFLORIDA: "Even without catastrophic warming and pollution, within 50 to 100 years is the reasonable suggestion for all fossil fuels to expire."

The question is, how do we get there?

Cap and trade? I don't think so.

We are now able to exploit domestic shale gas reserves - and these are massive.

We should use those gas resources as a springboard. Rather than paying money for overseas fuels, we produce our own - that lowers short-term costs for consumers AND raises taxes for governments - who can then afford to offer tax breaks for consumers to install solar/wind devices.

And consumers will be able to afford to pay for their share of the installation costs since their short-term energy costs have dropped.

A carbon study in England tried to wish away the up front consumer costs by having government pay for it. But where does government get the money? By taxing people.

We cannot solve this issue by treating government money as manna from heaven. We need to have a robust approach that curtails the amount of money we pay to the likes of the Saudis and Hugo Chavez for energy we can produce here - so we can put that money to good use here.

BTW, I am not in favor of massively increased coal use as part of such a plan - having lived in Pennsylvania Anthracite country, I've seen the devastation coal mining does to landscapes and water resources.
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I have yet to see any response to my two questions:

1) What about the ice core samples that suggest CO2 lags behind Gobal Warming?

2) How can you can you predict forward with so little historical data?

And a new question from your blog today:
3) What would the increase or decrease in global temps be without the human factor?

If you can not answer that last question, maybe you, Mr. Masters, would be well advised to work on better short term models, since you missed it by almost 20 deg last week and my garden got freeze damage.(and it's not winter yet)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The low pressure center of the big Midwest storm seems to be passing near us in S. Ontario to our northwest, and winds are picking up. We've had about 15 cm of snow and a little rain on top of that but it looks like all the rain will freeze and more snow will fall on top of the icy roads.
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Hummm, na, the sun only provides 99.9% of the energy to this earth :)

Global warming is caused by radiation from the sun,5:10PM GMT 08 Dec 2009

Well at least we are not having to deal with a singularity problem Patrap, I think ?
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Quoting pottery:
LOL Awake! Sorry about the loss of 54 years of that!
But yeah, you are prob. correct. The entire world was tuning into As The Wheel Turns, and this has caused a Tsunami of change in Media.
Oh, Well!!


Yup, no pain, no gain.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
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paging Grothar:

re: "polite conversion"

Is that like the nice people who come to my door in their Sunday best who keep asking me to see the light and come to their church?

We just hope & "pray" the dogs yap enough to scare them away.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
JFlorida: 1. not a trend.
2. Still the warmest.


1. Definitely a slight downward trend
2. The CO2 models cannot account for it.
3. So what is the natural component here?

Regarding Japan, this goes much deeper than just imposing fuel standards on cars. Americans are used to big lifestyles, big homes, big yards, etc. You are talking a complete cultural change. That is now starting to be driven by economic reality (the most powerful motivating force of all in such matters) - but cultural icons who think Americans should live smaller should do the same themselves. And not just buy a Prius to have in the garage, but cut waay back on the mansion size, travel on vacations less, the works. The cultural icons play a large role in shaping what Americans want in the way of a lifestyle. If they tell us we should change, they need to lead the way.

Also regarding Japan, what is very insteresting is their laws regarding incremental energy improvment with each passing year and each new energy-using widget manufactured by companies. The Japanese excel at incremental quality improvements, so it fits well with their cultural mindset. We have to figure out how to get the dang American MBAs to start thinking the same way here.
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UNYSIS GFSx 10-Day 00Z 18Dec
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Quoting hurricanejunky:


Yeah the whole concept of using alternative clean energies is a real hoax. Only the sane people like you don't want clean burning fuel.

Ahh...another believer in The Church of the IPCC/AGW.

You are replying to my post #526...

Now take the time to read the post before you comment.

The oil and coal companies consider themselves to be 'energy suppliers' to the world. If you think for one moment that they are standing on the sidelines watching while opportunities to be involved in the switch to alternative sources are marching by, think again.

Sure they want to sell oil and coal, after all, that is their mainstay right now. They also want to be part of the gravy train that is moving into the station as The Church of the IPCC embarks on its goal of imposing "From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs." on the unsuspecting people of the planet.

One bit of a difference though, 'to each', means to them and their cohorts and not to the wretched masses as the media would have you believe.

Are you really that naive to believe the billionaires in the coal and oil industries will simply sit back and see their dynasties melt away.

Not a chance.


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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.

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