Is the number one metric actually worth anything, part 3

By: hcubed , 3:00 AM GMT on February 19, 2012

With this next post about Januaries in the US, I’ll examine the third metric the counters use – supposedly, each decade is warmer than the last, and gets progressively warmer.

With this one, we’ll actually use the WMO definition of a decade – one that ends in “0”.

So we’ll start the decade comparison with the first full decade – from 1901-1910. Adding up the years (313.0), dividing by 10, and we get an average of 31.3.

Next decade from 1911-1920 totaled 299.8, for an average of 29.98 – a DROP in average of 1.32 degrees.

Hmm – it seems that there WASN’T a rise in average. Maybe that was just a fluke.

So adding 1921-1930 gets a total of 302.3, and an average of 30.23. That’s better, we see a rise over the previous decade (but not enough to make up for the loss). Does it continue?

The years of 1931-1940 gave us a total of 315.2, and an average of 31.52. An increase in average of 1.29 (but only a 0.2 degree rise over the decade of 1901-1910). A full “climate cycle” of 30 years, and only a 0.22 degree rise.

Moving along to 1941-1950, totals of 309.8 and average of 30.98.

ANOTHER drop from the previous decade.

Next in line was 1951-1960. Here we see a 315.5 total, and a corresponding average of 31.55. A rise of 0.57 degrees. Compared to our start, however, only a .25 degree increase.

Sure aren’t seeing the meteoric rise that was predicted.

Move to the 1961-1970 period. The totals are: 295.7, avg 29.57.

Oh no – not ANOTHER drop – of 1.98 degrees. What’s happening to the Global Warming signal?

Don’t lose hope yet. Still a few decades to go.

Now, observe 1971 – 1980. 290.3, and average of 29.03. Another drop, and the second straight decade with an average COLDER that our start decade.

Moving on to 1981 – 1990. 316.4 total (and averaged at 31.64). FINALLY, an average increase. And a whole 0.34 degree higher than the start.

A quick recap.

1901 - 1910 (avg of 31.3).
1981 – 1990 (avg of 31.64).

90 years – three full “climate cycles”, and only a 0.34 degree rise.

Maybe the “current” years are worse.

Let’s look at 1991 – 2000. Totaled out at 323.3, averaged at 32.33. Now that’s better – for the counters. An actual increase in temp averages, by a whole 0.6 degrees over the previous decade (and above our starting decade by 1.03 degrees.

One more shot – from 2001 to 2010. The most current decade.

Moment of truth. This is where skeptics come in – looking at the data and reporting it, good or bad.

Here’s the total – 328.7, and average of 32.87.
So we do see an increase in the current decade’s average. And an increase over the start decade – by a whopping total 1.57 degrees.

So in one part, they’re right - the current decade is warmer than the last, and warmer than the start. And the rise in avg over the decades works out to 0.142 degrees per decade (1.57 divided by 11 decades).

But there HASN’T been a steady decade-to-decade rise – some decades were colder.

And that wasn’t supposed to happen...

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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About hcubed

Living in Biloxi MS, have been here since '85 (first Hurricane was Elena).