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Possible New Continental Heat Record for Antarctica

By: Christopher C. Burt, 5:27 AM GMT on March 26, 2015

Possible New Continental Heat Record for Antarctica

On March 24th Base Esperanza (under Argentinean administration) located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula reported a temperature of 17.5°C (63.5°F). Although this is the warmest temperature ever measured since weather stations became established on the southern continent, it is complicated by what the very definition of ‘Antarctica’ is. Here’s a brief review.



Argentina’s Esperanza Base on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It is located near 63°S latitude. Image from Wikipedia.





METAR tables for Base Esperanza (top) and Base Marambio (bottom) for the days of March 23-24. The 17.5°C (63.5°F) at Esperanza on March 24th and 17.4°C (63.3°F) at Marambio on March 23rd exceed any temperatures yet measured on or very close to the Antarctic landmass. Tables from OGIMET.

The 17.5°C (63.5°F) temperature at Esperanza occurred just one day following a reading of 17.4°C (63.3°F) measured at Base Marambio (also under Argentinean administration) on March 23rd. Marambio is located about 60 miles (100 km) southeast of Esperanza. Both figures surpass any temperature yet measured at either site. Esperanza’s previous record high of 17.1°C (62.7°F) was recorded on April 24, 1961 according to Argentina's met service SMN (Servicio Meteorológico Nacional) and the previous record for Base Marambio was 16.5°C (61.7°F) on December 7, 1992.

More importantly, the temperature at Esperanza exceeds any figure yet observed on the Antarctic landmass or Peninsula. According to the WMO, the all-time warmest temperature yet observed in Antarctica was 15.0°C (59.0°F) at Vanda Station on January 5, 1974. Vanda Station is located near 77°S latitude but was occupied for only brief periods, mostly during the Austral summers, between 1967-1995. It now has an automated weather station and is occasionally visited by researchers. Base Esperanza’s weather records began in 1945 according to data published in The World Survey of Climatology: Vol. 14, The Polar Regions. On page p. 353 there is a table of climate data for Esperanza based upon the POR of 1945-1960. I am not sure if the POR has been continuous since 1960 up to the present. Base Marambio was founded in 1969 and is a relatively large facility with at least 55 year-round personnel, a total that swells to 200 during the summer.



Map of Antarctica showing the locations of the various sites referred to in this blog. A table of what the highest observed temperature on record for each of the four sites discussed is below the map.

Despite the fact that the temperature record from Vanda appears on the list of world weather extremes maintained by the WMO, the WMO has not yet investigated all-time weather records for Antarctica, so the Vanda reading and the recent observations at Esperanza and Marambio remain ‘unofficial’ (so far as continental world-record-temperature extremes are concerned) although the recent temperatures at Esperanza and Marambio are 'official', at least preliminarily, according to SMN.

That being said, and given the recent extraordinary temperatures observed at Esperanza and Marambio, there is a chance that the WMO may wish to launch such (an investigation of Antarctica’s warmest measured temperature).

Defining 'Antarctica'

Should this happen the first issue will be the definition of the region of ‘Antarctica’ for the purpose of weather records relating to the continent. There could be perhaps three (or even four) possible scenarios.

1) The narrowest interpretation might be to include only sites that are south of the Antarctic Circle (near 66°S latitude). In that case, Esperanza would not be part of the record set and the Vanda figure might stand. See map above.

2) A more broadly accepted definition would be that adopted by the Antarctic Treaty System in 1961 which defined ‘Antarctica’ to include all land and ice shelves located south of the 60°S latitude. Should this interpretation be used, then the South Orkney Islands, which lie about 500 kilometers northeast of the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, would fall inside the investigation area. That would mean that the British outpost, Signy Research Station (latitude near 60° 43’S), on Signy Island would have measured the warmest temperature on record in Antarctica with a 19.8°C (67.6°F) on January 30, 1982 according to research by Maximiliano Herrera.

3) The third possible definition would be to include only the landmass of Antarctica (although the Antarctica Peninsula is actually composed of a series of islands connected to one another by glaciers and ice sheets). In that case the recent 17.5°C at Base Esperanza would most likely stand as the warmest temperature yet measured on the continent.

4) Maximiliano adds yet a possible fourth consideration: areas associated with the Antarctic geological shelf. See his note on his Wiki page of continental records here. He adds the following footnote: “If we consider the geological case, Amsterdam Island, (located at 37° 49'S and 77° 33'E), which belongs to the French dependence of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and associated with Africa, lies on the Antarctic plate and has a highest temperature of 26.4°C (79.4°F) on 30 January 2005”.

More About the Unusual Warmth at Bases Esperanza and Marambio

One surprising aspect of the temperatures measured recently at Esperanza and Marambio are that they occurred in autumn, nearly three months past the usual warmest time of the year in the Antarctic Peninsula. According to NOAA December is typically the warmest month in Esperanza, with an average high temperature of 37.8°F (3.2°C). The March average high temperature is 31.3°F (-0.4°C), so temperatures on Tuesday, March 25th, were more than 30°F (17°C) above average. However, looking at the statistics in the World Survey of Climatology (referred to earlier) it is interesting to note that the warmest temperature observed at Esperanza during the period of 1945-1960 was a 14.6°C reading during an October and the 2nd warmest was 14.2°C during an April (also tied in January). So we can see that record high temperatures for Esperanza are not confined to just the summer months.



Departure of temperature from average for Tuesday, March, 24, 2015, over Antarctica. Temperatures were more than 30°F (17°C) above average. Image credit: University of Main Climate Reanalyzer.

A strong high pressure ridge and a Foehn wind led to the record temperatures as Jeff Masters explains here:

This week's record temperatures were made possible by an unusually extreme jet stream contortion that brought a strong ridge of high pressure over the Antarctic Peninsula, allowing warm air from South America to push southwards over Antarctica. At the surface, west to east blowing winds over the Antarctic Peninsula rose up over the 1,000-foot high mountains just to the west of Esperanza Base, then descended and warmed via adiabatic compression into a warm foehn wind that reached 44 mph (71 km/hr) at 09 UTC on March 24th, near when the maximum temperature was recorded. A similar event also affected Marambio on the 23rd.



Jet stream image for Tuesday, March, 24, 2015, over Antarctica. An unusually extreme contortion of the jet stream allowed a ridge of high pressure to extend far to the south over the Antarctic Peninsula, bringing record-warm air from South America. Image credit: : University of Main Climate Reanalyzer.


KUDOS: Thanks to Maximiliano Herrera for bringing this to our attention and researching the temperature records for Antarctica.

Christopher C. Burt
Weather Historian

Heat Extreme Weather

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

Reader Comments

Inded, Esperanza and Marambio records are OFFICIAL and confirmed , not unofficial.
Several other stations have recorded OFFICIAL temperatures above 15C:
Larsen 16.1C
Base Orcadas 15.2C
Base San Martin 15.0C
few stations in the King George island with official records as high as 16.7C.

Not to mention the previous OFFICIAL records of Esperanza (17.0C) and Marambio (16.5C).

It is not up to the WMO, whose workers are a bunch of inepts without even the minimal knowledge of the very basic of climatology to decide what is official or not
In fact, almost all their Continental records are completely wrong, they are so ridiculous and physically impossible that even a kindergarten 3 years old kid would laugh like crazy at those absurde data.
So it's s completely IRRELEVANT what those lazy bureaucrats do or don't do.
Why don't you tell to the New Zealand MetService that their OFFICIAL and 100% correct national record of 42.4C set in 1973 is unofficial because the WMO prefers a completely wrong record 42.2C set in 1912 in the Philippines without a Stevenson Screen as the Oceania highest temperature ? A wrong temperature, a lower temperature in any case in another continent. Fantastic ! They would probably suggest you a good shrink or to go back to the primary school and study some geography and science.
These readings above are also 100% OFFICIAL according to the National Institutes of Meteorology and Institutions which manage them.
There is no way we can spit on their work only to favor an extremely corrupt and incompetent institution.

The issue whether to include the South Orkney Islands in Antarctica is the only debatable point here.

Good to have you back! Hope you enjoy the vacation!
My opinion is that Antarctica consists of the continent and immediately adjacent islands. Esperanza and Marimbio are part of Antarctica and the South Orkney Islands are not. I'd include the Palmer Islands in Antarctica and not the South Shetland Islands. Yes, I'm being arbitrary :) Click on map below to expand.

Any good look at an atlas will illustrate that Signy Island and the rest of the South Orkney Islands are an extension north-eastwards of the spine of the Antarctic Peninsula, so geologically they are a part of Antarctica (and also politically through the Antarctic Treaty as they lie south of 60S). Any land northwards of 60S obviously fails the political test.

If the South Orkneys are to be excluded from Antarctica, then logically they must be included in South America, so now we have a new reliable absolute minimum temperature for South America of -40.1C, which also comes from Signy Island.

Lots of luck in getting that record past the "bunch of inepts" (Max's description) at WMO.
I don't have a big problem with including the South Shetland islands in Antarctica, although I'd also like to see a separate record for the 'mainland' of Antarctica in that case. The South Orkney Islands don't have to be included with a continent but could be just their own group.
It is just convention that we separate the world into continents (generally being the continental land masses, although Europe is split off from Eurasia for whatever reason), but there are only seven of them. Any remaining islands are then placed into one of these continents for grouping, statistical, political and other purposes, but it's an ad hoc thing done for various reasons.

The South Orkneys are very roughly 400 miles from the Antarctic mainland, but maybe 1200 miles from South America, so common sense says they're grouped as part of Antarctica.

When discussing continental temperature records, I am quite comfortable with Signy Island taking the Antarctic record with a footnote that Base Esperanza has the Antarctic mainland record.

PS Good to have you back Chris!
I disagree about assigning distant island groups to continents. Tristian de Cunha is not a part of Africa. Hawaii is not part of North America. South Georgia is not a part of Antarctica or South America. We'll agree to disagree.
As long as I know what the record is on the Antarctic continent itself, I don't care which islands are included.
But that is an issue: The Antarctic Peninsula is actually a series of islands bound to the Antarctica landmass by glaciers and ice sheets. So is the peninsula actually part of the 'landmass'?

Quoting 8. BaltimoreBrian:

As long as I know what the record is on the Antarctic continent itself, I don't care which islands are included.
Quoting 8. BaltimoreBrian:

As long as I know what the record is on the Antarctic continent itself, I don't care which islands are included.
Quoting 8. BaltimoreBrian:

As long as I know what the record is on the Antarctic continent itself, I don't care which islands are included.
But will the Antarctic Peninsula be a continuous landmass due to isostatic rebound if/when all the ice there melts? For that matter, I wonder how much of the West Antarctic depressions will rise above sea level for the same reason.

When I look at this large detailed map, it looks to me as if the Antarctic Peninsula has a continuous chain of mountains. Click to enlarge.



Apparently not. Should all the ice melt on the Antarctic Peninsula it would reveal that it is just a chain of islands. In fact, very deep ocean channels separate some of the islands from one another.

Quoting 10. BaltimoreBrian:

But will the Antarctic Peninsula be a continuous landmass due to isostatic rebound if/when all the ice there melts? For that matter, I wonder how much of the West Antarctic depressions will rise above sea level for the same reason.

When I look at this large detailed map, it looks to me as if the Antarctic Peninsula has a continuous chain of mountains. Click to enlarge.




Tomorrow I'm looking for a map showing the land elevation under the ice.
OK here it is. There are channels at the base of the Antarctic Peninsula, and all are deeper than 2,500 feet, which is probably too much for isostatic rebound to overcome when the ice disappears. The spine of the peninsula appears to be continuous land.

Click map to expand

I've been looking at those image a lot lately. First I should correct my previous statement that "the peninsula is just a chain of islands". That is incorrect, sorry! But near where the Antarctic Peninsula meets or joins the so-called mainland, there are a number of separation points which ARE very deep and wide (at least so far as the current sea level is concerned).

.
Quoting 12. BaltimoreBrian:

Tomorrow I'm looking for a map showing the land elevation under the ice.
Here is a map estimating the appearance of Antarctica if all ice melted and isostatic rebound was complete.

BTW, I agree with you on this 100%! The point of any investigation about just what comprises the 'Antarctica mainland' so far as current weather observations can't pretend that ice and glaciers are NOT part of the Antarctic continent. What might be the future at some time is irrelevant.

The only real question is the territorial claim of Antarctica (i.e. should the South Orkney Islands be considered).

Base Esperanza STANDS as having just measured the warmest temperature on record ever measured ON the Antarctica continent.

Quoting 8. BaltimoreBrian:

As long as I know what the record is on the Antarctic continent itself, I don't care which islands are included.
Good to have you back Chris -

One of West Antarctica's largest glaciers surged a staggering 325 feet (about 100 meters) in less than two weeks this month, the European Space Agency reports.

Two radar images from the ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite on March 3 and March 15 reveal parts of the enormous Pine Island Glacier and its floating ice shelf making a swift trek toward the sea. The wild race to sea is typical for Pine Island Glacier, which flows up to 13,120 feet (4,000 m) every year.

"Pine Island is not speeding up," said Eric Rignot, an expert on Pine Island Glacier at the University of California, Irvine, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

However, Pine Island Glacier is one of the most rapidly changing features in West Antarctica. In recent decades, the colossal river of ice has sped up and grown markedly thinner. (As glaciers flow faster, they stretch out and thin.) [Photo Gallery: Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Cracks]

The glacier's grounding line — the zone where the ice loses contact with the ground and floats into the ocean — has also receded by nearly 20 miles (up to 30 kilometers).


Link
Looking foreward to sitting on the beach in my speedos
Are there any data on sun 's total radiation absorb by earth with respect to size of the Arctic and Antarctica's ice?
Oh Chris...it is good to see you here again.

Lee
This post has has triggered a whole lot of others -

Google News

Nice way to return Chris.
Amazing. Great post!
I wonder what the effect of this record Antarctic warmth and associated possible collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (which happens to lie just to the south of the Antarctic Peninsula) will be on the thermohaline circulation. If it manages to send enough fresh water cascading into the Pacific to enhance the El Niño... Yeah, this could be interesting.
accuweather.com shows several days in March were 19C at Esperanza Base. Where do they get their data?
http://www.accuweather.com/en/aq/esperanza-base/1 71288_poi/march-weather/171288_poi
To me, it boils down to what is a "continent". We definitely don't use a purely political definition, as otherwise we would have silly results like Hawaii being part of North America. At the same time, there are clear gaps in the current system such as having "orphan" islands like Ile Amsterdam that are neither part of a continent nor part of "Oceania". Where do they go? Basing things on geology might be helpful, but that would also create some inconsistencies, I think.

Overall, exclusion of the New Shetlands and New Orkneys seems rather arbitrary to me. To analogize, Attu is some 1500 miles from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, yet it gets lumped in with N. America. So, why the different treatment for these islands? In both cases, they are clear continuations of a land mass part of which just so happens to be underwater.
Thank you,Mr Burt.
I think at this point, it's fair to say that a changing climate does not recognize political borders.

This report on record heat in Antarctica grimly compliments a report from 16 months ago, where we were discussing record warmth along the Arctic coast, with 39 degrees and rain falling in Deadhorse, Alaska in December.

From Arctic to Antarctic, the poles are feeling the heat. Earth's polar ice -- our planet's cooling mechanism -- is melting. Yet again, we hear Winston Churchill's words echoing into our uncertain future:

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences."
As this report continues to pinball around the web , there is the ole' one off event comment , "No one event can be etc. etc. etc."

So I went and got this little background item from the British Antarctic Survey :

Science Briefing - The Antarctic Peninsula’s retreating ice shelves

The breakout in March 2008 of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula is the latest drama in a region that has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years. In the past 30 years seven floating ice shelves retreated, with very little of their area now remaining. The changes give us clues about the impact of climate change across Antarctica in the coming centuries......................................... ..............................

What is happening to Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves?

The long mountainous landmass known as the Antarctic Peninsula has always been warmer than the interior of the Antarctic continent. Each summer produces significant amounts of meltwater on the Antarctic Peninsula’s ice shelves. Each shelf can tolerate only so much meltwater before they weaken and begin to retreat — scientists call this the ‘limit of viability’.

As the climate on the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed — by 3°C over the last 50 years — the limit of viability for ice shelves has moved southwards. Ice shelves that used to be stable are now retreating.

How much ice has been lost?

Since the 1950s, a total of 25,000 km2 of ice shelf has been lost from around the Antarctic Peninsula. In volume, this is the equivalent of the UK domestic water requirement for around 1,000 years.


Link
One other back ground item -

Another month at the South Pole. Another month of record high temperatures at the bottom of the world.

The 2013 winter – the months of June, July and August – will already go down as the warmest such season at the South Pole since records began in 1957. That trend continued into September – now the warmest on record – with four new daily maximum record temperatures falling in the middle of the month.

“Saying that it has been a warm winter this year is a bit of an understatement at this point,” said Phillip Marzette, senior meteorologist at the South Pole Station External U.S. government site.


Link
Just wanted to share a loop I had made of the windstreams with thermal overlays. It appears a storm system wrapped up near/over the penninsula tapping into and bringing in the warm spell for those couple of days.

Given the process responsible for the temperature reading I don't feel one could attribute this to more than a localized event related to a storm system. If it were to frequently repeat then you could look into why the new storm track exists and attempt to piece together the triggering process. I would venture a guess the previous record reading was born of a similiar event.

Starting March 22nd and one day per frame thereafter ending with March 28th. All at 1700 (5pm ET).


What does everyone think of this research?

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI- D-14-00656.1

Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing

Bjorn Stevens*
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg Germany



Abstract
Based on research showing that in the case of a strong aerosol forcing, this forcing establishes itself early in the historical record, a simple model is constructed to explore the implications of a strongly negative aerosol forcing on the early (pre 1950) part of the instrumental record. This model, which contains terms representing both aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions well represents the known time history of aerosol radiative forcing, as well as the effect of the natural state on the strength of aerosol forcing. Model parameters, randomly drawn to represent uncertainty in understanding, demonstrates that a forcing more negative than %u22121.0 W m%u22122 is implausible, as it implies that none of the approximately 0.3 K temperature rise between 1850 and 1950 can be attributed to northern-hemispheric forcing. The individual terms of the model are interpreted in light of comprehensive modeling, constraints from observations, and physical understanding, to provide further support for the less negative ( %u22121.0 W m%u22122 ) lower bound. These findings suggest that aerosol radiative forcing is less negative and more certain than is commonly believed.
RSS Southern Polar Temperature Lower Troposphere (TLT) – 1979 to Present

On the tip of a peninsula that is more South America than Antarctica, a one day record may have been broken by a degree or so. And that is the there there on man caused melting polar ice caps?! LMAO!!! For how long did this record heat wave last? An hour? 20 minutes? Never mind that Antarctic sea ice hits record highs often in the past three years - something that was not predicted to happen, in a "warming world".
Quoting 33. Zippit:

On the tip of a peninsula that is more South America than Antarctica, a one day record may have been broken by a degree or so. And that is the there there on man caused melting polar ice caps?! LMAO!!! For how long did this record heat wave last? An hour? 20 minutes? Never mind that Antarctic sea ice hits record highs often in the past three years - something that was not predicted to happen, in a "warming world".


Sigh...

"Something that was not predicted to happen" Okay, what's your point. If scientists could predict everything, correctly, we wouldn't be doing climate prediction, we'd be doing futures in the stock market.

To your point of more ice in recent years, specifically more sea ice (land ice in the Antarctic is on the decrease); as land ice melts, this drives freshwater into the ocean, decreasing the salinity of the ocean. Freshwater is easier to freeze than salt water (this is why we put salt and brine on the road surface before winter storms). So, more sea ice results. (Basically).

Breaking an all-time heat record for a continent is a pretty big deal...just look at the nice flurry of comments over what exactly constitutes a continent.
So as it gets warmer, then more ice melts, but RSS shows it is getting colder and more ice is forming...
The images don't display very well here, so I included the original links...

Link


Link


Link

Quoting 35. quanta:

So as it gets warmer, then more ice melts, but RSS shows it is getting colder and more ice is forming...


Here ya go, I suggest you read this. I am not knowledgeable enough to directly refute your RSS charts, but Skeptical Science does an excellent job of explaining phenomena. Link
Quoting 36. Astrometeor:



Here ya go, I suggest you read this. I am not knowledgeable enough to directly refute your RSS charts, but Skeptical Science does an excellent job of explaining phenomena. Link


Thanks for that link. The stuff I posted (relating to Antarctic ice), was Sea ice. The fluctuation in Antarctic Land ice, as your link points out is much, much more complicated and not very well understood. The loss, expressed in percent, is actually about 0.0045% per decade (not as scary as the actual Gt amounts...). At that rate it will take a bit more than 2000 years before a 1% loss is reached...

As the sat data indicates, there is a decreasing trend in temperature for that region, hence the Sea ice increase.
Quoting 35. quanta:

So as it gets warmer, then more ice melts, but RSS shows it is getting colder and more ice is forming...
The images don't display very well here, so I included the original links...

Link


Link


Link




The RSS doesn't cover the entirety of the South Pole and has severe issues with land height. Satellite lower atmosphere temperatures are not very accurate.
Quoting 31. FormosanBlackBear:

What does everyone think of this research?

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI- D-14-00656.1

Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing

Bjorn Stevens*
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg Germany



Abstract
Based on research showing that in the case of a strong aerosol forcing, this forcing establishes itself early in the historical record, a simple model is constructed to explore the implications of a strongly negative aerosol forcing on the early (pre 1950) part of the instrumental record. This model, which contains terms representing both aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions well represents the known time history of aerosol radiative forcing, as well as the effect of the natural state on the strength of aerosol forcing. Model parameters, randomly drawn to represent uncertainty in understanding, demonstrates that a forcing more negative than %u22121.0 W m%u22122 is implausible, as it implies that none of the approximately 0.3 K temperature rise between 1850 and 1950 can be attributed to northern-hemispheric forcing. The individual terms of the model are interpreted in light of comprehensive modeling, constraints from observations, and physical understanding, to provide further support for the less negative ( %u22121.0 W m%u22122 ) lower bound. These findings suggest that aerosol radiative forcing is less negative and more certain than is commonly believed.


I'll let the researcher say what he thinks, since so many are taking this paper out of context:

In my new paper I did not speculate as to the implications of my findings for estimates of Earth’s Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, which is perhaps the simplest measure of the response of the Earth System to a change in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However others have used my findings to suggest that Earth’s surface temperatures are rather insensitive to the concentration of atmospheric CO2. I do not believe that my work supports these suggestions, or inferences.

As fond as I am of my own ideas, one should resist concluding too much, too
soon, from a single study. In the long run I certainly hope that my findings will help constrain the climate's sensitivity to CO2 but they do not, on their own, relieve society of the threat of dangerous warming arising from anthropogenic emissions of CO2. Indeed, even a warming of only 2ºC from a doubling of CO2 poses considerable risks for society.
Many scientists (myself included) believe that a warming of more than 2 ºC from a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is consistent with both my new study and our best understanding
Quoting 38. Naga5000:



The RSS doesn't cover the entirety of the South Pole and has severe issues with land height. Satellite lower atmosphere temperatures are not very accurate.


Not very accurate as compared to what?
Quoting 40. quanta:



Not very accurate as compared to what?


Compared to reality. Satellite lower atmospheric temperatures are not reliable. The varying satellite data sets show little agreement with each other, suggesting the issues with coverage at the poles, land height, and measurements through cloud cover are not being properly adjusted for via the methodology. After all, the RSS and UAH can't both be correct in their measurements when the difference is so large. This is pretty common knowledge as lead scientist at RSS Carl Mears has pointed out, " A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)."

So far, the best method for estimating accurate temperature over the Antarctic seems to be the Cowton and Way "kriging" method which incorporates satellite data in order to fill gaps where there is no surface data using an algorithm which is verified through skill in reproducing temperature in unused data.

In other words, my original point was simply that the RSS needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt when trying to use it to infer surface temperature or lower atmospheric temperature with any degree of accuracy. So in the case of your analysis, 10 degrees of latitude data from 70S to 60S provided by a satellite that seems to be off it's rocker, isn't a very good analytical way to make statements regarding temperature trends over the entirety of the Southern Pole.
Quoting 41. Naga5000:



Compared to reality. Satellite lower atmospheric temperatures are not reliable. The varying satellite data sets show little agreement with each other, suggesting the issues with coverage at the poles, land height, and measurements through cloud cover are not being properly adjusted for via the methodology. After all, the RSS and UAH can't both be correct in their measurements when the difference is so large. This is pretty common knowledge as lead scientist at RSS Carl Mears has pointed out, " A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)."

So far, the best method for estimating accurate temperature over the Antarctic seems to be the Cowton and Way "kriging" method which incorporates satellite data in order to fill gaps where there is no surface data using an algorithm which is verified through skill in reproducing temperature in unused data.

In other words, my original point was simply that the RSS needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt when trying to use it to infer surface temperature or lower atmospheric temperature with any degree of accuracy. So in the case of your analysis, 10 degrees of latitude data from 70S to 60S provided by a satellite that seems to be off it's rocker, isn't a very good analytical way to make statements regarding temperature trends over the entirety of the Southern Pole.


Ahhaha... That quote was probably the funniest thing I ever read.
"A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)."

We're talking about a 0.01 Degree C difference here.

Wiki
RSS v3.3 finds a trend of +0.125 °C/decade.[23]
UAH v5.5 finds a trend of +0.136 °C/decade.[34]

Note the absence of error bars here or mostly everywhere else where this subject is discussed.
There is no way that an accuracy of 0.01 degrees C can be be claimed for any time series of temperature.


Quoting 42. quanta:



Ahhaha... That quote was probably the funniest thing I ever read.
"A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)."

We're talking about a 0.01 Degree C difference here.

Wiki
RSS v3.3 finds a trend of 0.125 C/decade.[23]
UAH v5.5 finds a trend of 0.136 C/decade.[34]

Note the absence of error bars here or mostly everywhere else where this subject is discussed.
There is no way that an accuracy of 0.01 degrees C can be be claimed for any time series of temperature.





Both Spencer (UAH) and Mears (RSS) have written extensively regarding the divergence of the two data sets. This is a good illustration:



Something is amiss with the RSS (and the UAH, if recent publications are correct), and certainly both sets are questionable.
Quoting 43. Naga5000:



Both Spencer (UAH) and Mears (RSS) have written extensively regarding the divergence of the two data sets. This is a good illustration:



Something is amiss with the RSS (and the UAH, if recent publications are correct), and certainly both sets are questionable.



Yes, I think we can both agree that these data sets are questionable.
But where does that leave things in the big picture?

Here?



Quoting 44. quanta:



Yes, I think we can both agree that these data sets are questionable.
But where does that leave things in the big picture?

Here?






You do know that graph compares the agreed questionable satellite temperatures of the lower atmosphere to the CIMP5 highest scenario surface temperatures (RCMP 8.5) models and only for 20N to 20S (ignoring the areas where warming is largest), while artificially forcing all to begin at 0 in 1979 (this artificially shifts the CIMP5 scenarios upwards about .3 degrees)? *This whole thing is a cherry pick of location, artificial starting point, and models

I don't know what rabbit hole you are going down, but I would argue that this graph is pure fantasy, essentially forcing a comparison of two entirely different things by completely changing the data parameters for the benefit of making Spencer look correct. Besides, the original point of all of this, which we seem to agree on(?), is that the RSS is most likely broken and cannot be trusted for the claim of Antarctic cooling especially when it does not measure the entirety of the Antarctic.
Quoting Naga5000:


You do know that graph compares the agreed questionable satellite temperatures of the lower atmosphere to the CIMP5 highest scenario surface temperatures (RCMP 8.5) models and only for 20N to 20S (ignoring the areas where warming is largest), while artificially forcing all to begin at 0 in 1979 (this artificially shifts the CIMP5 scenarios upwards about .3 degrees)? *This whole thing is a cherry pick of location, artificial starting point, and models

I don't know what rabbit hole you are going down, but I would argue that this graph is pure fantasy, essentially forcing a comparison of two entirely different things by completely changing the data parameters for the benefit of making Spencer look correct. Besides, the original point of all of this, which we seem to agree on(?), is that the RSS is most likely broken and cannot be trusted for the claim of Antarctic cooling especially when it does not measure the entirety of the Antarctic.


As I said before, the idea of 0.01 degree C precision is pure fantasy.

The graph is a good illustration of accuracy vs precision and the trap it lays for the unwary...
The most fundamental principle of scientific experiment that every research effort based on is fixing as many variables as possible and observe the interaction between two or more variables, the less the better.

As I have stated in previous comment, I was interested in antarctic sea ice increased surface area in relationship to sun's radiation absorb by earth. Dr. Steves' research is about the similar effect that he believe the effect of such is proven to be lower.

Essentially this is what happened, say it was previous thought global warming is thought to be X degree K. Before Dr. Stevens' research, it was considered 0.3 K reduction was due to northern-hemispheric forcing between 1850-1950. So measured X K is actually X 0.3 K and X 0.3 K was use to calculate the effect of human activities in relationship Global Warming.

Assuming X = 2, then you have the scenario where 2.3 instead of 2 was used 2.3 / 2 = 1.15 or 115%. It is a 15% error is X is smaller the error is larger, if X is larger the error is smaller. 15% is not an acceptable error in Engineering terms so what would bring it down to 5%? (Y 0.3) / Y = 1.05 or .3/Y = .05 Y = .3 /.05 = 6 (K). It means if Global Warming does not reach 6 degree K, calculation needs to be redone (not using X .3 but X) or new source of radiation reduction such as INCREASED SURFACE ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC SEA ICE between 1850-1950 needs to be discover to account for the error!

Quoting 39. Naga5000:



I'll let the researcher say what he thinks, since so many are taking this paper out of context:

In my new paper I did not speculate as to the implications of my findings for estimates of Earth%u2019s Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, which is perhaps the simplest measure of the response of the Earth System to a change in concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide. However others have used my findings to suggest that Earth%u2019s surface temperatures are rather insensitive to the concentration of atmospheric CO2. I do not believe that my work supports these suggestions, or inferences.

As fond as I am of my own ideas, one should resist concluding too much, too
soon, from a single study. In the long run I certainly hope that my findings will help constrain the climate's sensitivity to CO2 but they do not, on their own, relieve society of the threat of dangerous warming arising from anthropogenic emissions of CO2. Indeed, even a warming of only 2C from a doubling of CO2 poses considerable risks for society.
Many scientists (myself included) believe that a warming of more than 2 C from a doubling of the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide is consistent with both my new study and our best understanding
Quoting 47. FormosanBlackBear:

The most fundamental principle of scientific experiment that every research effort based on is fixing as many variables as possible and observe the interaction between two or more variables, the less the better.

As I have stated in previous comment, I was interested in antarctic sea ice increased surface area in relationship to sun's radiation absorb by earth. Dr. Steves' research is about the similar effect that he believe the effect of such is proven to be lower.

Essentially this is what happened, say it was previous thought global warming is thought to be X degree K. Before Dr. Stevens' research, it was considered 0.3 K reduction was due to northern-hemispheric forcing between 1850-1950. So measured X K is actually X 0.3 K and X 0.3 K was use to calculate the effect of human activities in relationship Global Warming.

Assuming X = 2, then you have the scenario where 2.3 instead of 2 was used 2.3 / 2 = 1.15 or 115%. It is a 15% error is X is smaller the error is larger, if X is larger the error is smaller. 15% is not an acceptable error in Engineering terms so what would bring it down to 5%? (Y 0.3) / Y = 1.05 or .3/Y = .05 Y = .3 /.05 = 6 (K). It means if Global Warming does not reach 6 degree K, calculation needs to be redone (not using X .3 but X) or new source of radiation reduction such as INCREASED SURFACE ARCTIC AND ANTARCTIC SEA ICE between 1850-1950 needs to be discover to account for the error!




That may be an accurate reflection if 1) this research was focused on looking at the entire variable and not just constraining the lower bound of the variable, and 2) If the new estimate was outside the previously discussed values of aerosol forcing (it's not, it's in the range of the IPCC's previous estimates on aerosol forcing).

So I wouldn't make any large assumptions in inferring that it means the calculation needs to be reconsidered, especially since it falls into the range of previous calculations. It's like saying we previously knew the value of the variable was somewhere between -3 and -1, this new research tells us it is more likely between -2.5 and -1. If we discovered the new most likely value was between -1 and 0, then we might have a problem.
Quoting 46. quanta:



As I said before, the idea of 0.01 degree C precision is pure fantasy.

The graph is a good illustration of accuracy vs precision and the trap it lays for the unwary...



The graph is fraudulent, I don't see how it says anything. Regarding the .01 degree precision, you were comparing decadal linear trends (calculated in 2013 according to the Wiki article), not actual temps or anomalies, for March 2013 to March 2014 the UAH and RSS were more than .12 degrees apart on actual temperature. That is a big difference, it is the difference between the RSS showing a cooling trend and the UAH showing a warming trend.
Quoting 49. Naga5000:



The graph is fraudulent, I don't see how it says anything. Regarding the .01 degree precision, you were comparing decadal linear trends (calculated in 2013 according to the Wiki article), not actual temps or anomalies, for March 2013 to March 2014 the UAH and RSS were more than .12 degrees apart on actual temperature. That is a big difference, it is the difference between the RSS showing a cooling trend and the UAH showing a warming trend.


Well, what it shows is that the tropical "hotspot", which the models had expected, has gone mysteriously missing.
I won't clog up the page with the graphs, but I will extend the courtesy of inserting a link to the appropriate AR4 page.

Note that this was expected in the upper troposphere centered at the equator and obviously has never happened (except in model space).


Quoting 50. quanta:



Well, what it shows is that the tropical "hotspot", which the models had expected, has gone mysteriously missing.
I won't clog up the page with the graphs, but I will extend the courtesy of inserting a link to the appropriate AR4 page.

Note that this was expected in the upper troposphere centered at the equator and obviously has never happened (except in model space).





Yawn. The Spencer graph compares the 20S to 20N Tropical Mid Troposphere temperatures against the CIMP5 model runs of global surface, making any sort of inference about tropical hot spots and upper troposphere is IMPOSSIBLE given what you've posted. And at this point you've shown to be easily swayed by graphs you don't understand.

The IPCC link you just posted links to the 2007 4th report involving the PCM model and a prediction from one study in 2003. Again, I'm getting the picture that you really don't know what it is you are linking to.

Besides, you have managed to change the topic repeatedly when challenged on your initial claim of no Antarctic warming, failing to address any subsequent point explaining the issue and showing where your assumption was flawed. And not you're blathering about hot spots and models?
Quoting 37. quanta:



Thanks for that link. The stuff I posted (relating to Antarctic ice), was Sea ice. The fluctuation in Antarctic Land ice, as your link points out is much, much more complicated and not very well understood. The loss, expressed in percent, is actually about 0.0045% per decade (not as scary as the actual Gt amounts...). At that rate it will take a bit more than 2000 years before a 1% loss is reached...

As the sat data indicates, there is a decreasing trend in temperature for that region, hence the Sea ice increase.

Nope. There is some sea ice increase from which some SST and lower air temps lag the global warming. The cause of more sea ice there is actually aggressive warming of sea and air elsewhere, causing undercut of shelf ice and actual melt of land ice (through strong acceleration and thinning of land ice outlet glaciers). This increases sweet surface water content of seas around the Antarctic; also there is an AGW induced jet stream pattern alteration pointed to as a cause of this temporary(!) small(!) increase.
Quoting 50. quanta:



Well, what it shows is that the tropical "hotspot", which the models had expected, has gone mysteriously missing.
I won't clog up the page with the graphs, but I will extend the courtesy of inserting a link to the appropriate AR4 page.

Note that this was expected in the upper troposphere centered at the equator and obviously has never happened (except in model space).





The funniest thing about your comment here, is way back in post 43 I linked to a study which shows the UAH tropical 20N - 20S TMT is horrible underestimated (which shows you either didn't read the link, or didn't understand the link). To the tune of .114C per decade bad for the TMT, which in turn makes the graph you posted even more B.S. as they attempt to hide this by averaging it with the RSS. This fix to the UAH makes the hotspot argument nonsense. Spencer and Christy, and now by proxy you, continue to put forth myth and distraction. Lying liars lie.
Quoting 53. Naga5000:



The funniest thing about your comment here, is way back in post 43 I linked to a study which shows the UAH tropical 20N - 20S TMT is horrible underestimated (which shows you either didn't read the link, or didn't understand the link). To the tune of .114C per decade bad for the TMT, which in turn makes the graph you posted even more B.S. as they attempt to hide this by averaging it with the RSS. This fix to the UAH makes the hotspot argument nonsense. Spencer and Christy, and now by proxy you, continue to put forth myth and distraction. Lying liars lie.


I guess you forgot tell Dr. Carl Mears, the senior research scientist for RSS, about the Recent Slowing in the Rise of Global Temperatures...
After a lot of maybes and hand waving, he concludes that no one really knows what's happening.

And he posts a nice 80NS model to observation graphic as well.



Quoting 54. quanta:



I guess you forgot tell Dr. Carl Mears, the senior research scientist for RSS, about the Recent Slowing in the Rise of Global Temperatures...
After a lot of maybes and hand waving, he concludes that no one really knows what's happening.

And he posts a nice 80NS model to observation graphic as well.






Again, you dodge the evidence, instead you move on to another topic entirely. Earlier, a Mears quote wasn't a good fit for you because it challenged your narrative, Now, Mears is acceptable, right? The very quote you took issue with is from that article you just linked to: "A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets (they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!)." . The hypocrisy is astounding, but unsurprising.

If you haven't figured it out by now (you probably never will) the satellite data sets have real problems. You seem to not get this issue yet, and instead of looking at the observations, have some weird fixation on models as a straw man proxy argument for justification of your science denial.

I guess you forgot to acknowledge post after post of evidence refuting your poor assumptions.

Quoting 55. Naga5000:



Again, you dodge the evidence, instead you move on to another topic entirely.



Climate revisionist. Do not presume innocence.
Quoting 56. cRRKampen:


Climate revisionist. Do not presume innocence.


Exactly...

I see what you are saying but it still comes down to research. (I also believe using your example that it's 2.5 to -1.5, not 2.5 to -1) A 15% error is not acceptable. I suspect Dr. Stevens may have realize it is possible his paper have point out too big a mistake of his fellow researchers and is currently paying the price for it.

Again, I am simply interested in possible ways of Sun's radiation reduction, known or unknown.

Quoting 48. Naga5000:



That may be an accurate reflection if 1) this research was focused on looking at the entire variable and not just constraining the lower bound of the variable, and 2) If the new estimate was outside the previously discussed values of aerosol forcing (it's not, it's in the range of the IPCC's previous estimates on aerosol forcing).

So I wouldn't make any large assumptions in inferring that it means the calculation needs to be reconsidered, especially since it falls into the range of previous calculations. It's like saying we previously knew the value of the variable was somewhere between -3 and -1, this new research tells us it is more likely between -2.5 and -1. If we discovered the new most likely value was between -1 and 0, then we might have a problem.
Quoting 58. FormosanBlackBear:

I see what you are saying but it still comes down to research. (I also believe using your example that it's 2.5 to -1.5, not 2.5 to -1) A 15% error is not acceptable. I suspect Dr. Stevens may have realize it is possible his paper have point out too big a mistake of his fellow researchers and is currently paying the price for it.

Again, I am simply interested in possible ways of Sun's radiation reduction, known or unknown.




"(I also believe using your example that it's 2.5 to -1.5, not 2.5 to -1)"

There is no research, Stevens or others to suggest aerosol forcing is anything but negative at the moment, Stevens argues that the lower bound is -1.0 w/m^2, the IPCC report states the net aerosol forcing at -.9 w/m^2 with a range of -1.9 to -.1.

"I suspect Dr. Stevens may have realize it is possible his paper have point out too big a mistake of his fellow researchers and is currently paying the price for it."

Again, this is a pure mischaracterization of the paper, Stevens has said in response to this very line of questioning, as put forth by the CATO institute (who did not, by the way, contact Dr. Stevens for a statement) "A paper that I recently wrote, entitled ‘Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing’ has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate. This paper presents a number of arguments as to why the radiative forcing from aerosols is neither as negative, nor as uncertain, as has previously been thought. That said, my new estimates of aerosol radiative forcing are within the range of previous estimates, e.g., as provided in Chapter 7 of the IPCC fifth assessment report of which I was one of the authors, albeit on the lower end of that range in terms of the estimated magnitude of the forcing. "

Why would he be "paying the price" for a finding that narrows down the lower bound of a variable? That implies that you believe there to be a conspiracy of some sort that punishes scientists for doing science because it does not agree with previous research? I have news for you, you may want to rethink how the scientific discourse is constructed, built on, and challenged by research.

The Steven's paper does one thing and one thing only, it is the first paper to set a new lower bound on net aerosol forcing. It won't be the last, and it may be inaccurate, we will have to wait until more research is done. For the time being, the best working value we have for net aerosol forcing is -.9 w/m^2.

If you are truly interested in "possible ways of Sun's radiation reduction, known or unknown", then head on over to Real Climate for the review and information from last weeks Ringberg workshop on climate sensitivity, you will find none of Steven's fellow researchers doing anything but science and advancing the discipline. Stevens even discussed his work there.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt once, but your post reeks of conspiracy ideation and distrust of climate scientists. That nonsense simply will not be tolerated.
Well, numbers and data don't lie. Global warming or lack of it does not change data. If you do not realize the significance of 15% error pointed out by Dr. Stevens, there is nothing SCIENTIFIC we can talk about. Please finish your lower division science classes so you can better understand the nature of scientific experiment and research!

Therefore, since you want to override science with politics, let's talk politics. If you claim there is no political play in the scientific/research community, you are either ignorant or lying. As such there is really no reason to dignify you with my time or comment.

Quoting 59. Naga5000:



"(I also believe using your example that it's 2.5 to -1.5, not 2.5 to -1)"

There is no research, Stevens or others to suggest aerosol forcing is anything but negative at the moment, Stevens argues that the lower bound is -1.0 w/m^2, the IPCC report states the net aerosol forcing at -.9 w/m^2 with a range of -1.9 to -.1.

"I suspect Dr. Stevens may have realize it is possible his paper have point out too big a mistake of his fellow researchers and is currently paying the price for it."

Again, this is a pure mischaracterization of the paper, Stevens has said in response to this very line of questioning, as put forth by the CATO institute (who did not, by the way, contact Dr. Stevens for a statement) "A paper that I recently wrote, entitled ‘Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing’ has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate. This paper presents a number of arguments as to why the radiative forcing from aerosols is neither as negative, nor as uncertain, as has previously been thought. That said, my new estimates of aerosol radiative forcing are within the range of previous estimates, e.g., as provided in Chapter 7 of the IPCC fifth assessment report of which I was one of the authors, albeit on the lower end of that range in terms of the estimated magnitude of the forcing. "

Why would he be "paying the price" for a finding that narrows down the lower bound of a variable? That implies that you believe there to be a conspiracy of some sort that punishes scientists for doing science because it does not agree with previous research? I have news for you, you may want to rethink how the scientific discourse is constructed, built on, and challenged by research.

The Steven's paper does one thing and one thing only, it is the first paper to set a new lower bound on net aerosol forcing. It won't be the last, and it may be inaccurate, we will have to wait until more research is done. For the time being, the best working value we have for net aerosol forcing is -.9 w/m^2.

If you are truly interested in "possible ways of Sun's radiation reduction, known or unknown", then head on over to Real Climate for the review and information from last weeks Ringberg workshop on climate sensitivity, you will find none of Steven's fellow researchers doing anything but science and advancing the discipline. Stevens even discussed his work there.

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt once, but your post reeks of conspiracy ideation and distrust of climate scientists. That nonsense simply will not be tolerated.
Quoting 60. FormosanBlackBear:

Well, numbers and data don't lie. Global warming or lack of it does not change data. If you do not realize the significance of 15% error pointed out by Dr. Stevens, there is nothing SCIENTIFIC we can talk about. Please finish your lower division science classes so you can better understand the nature of scientific experiment and research!

Therefore, since you want to override science with politics, let's talk politics. If you claim there is no political play in the scientific/research community, you are either ignorant or lying. As such there is really no reason to dignify you with my time or comment.




Nice refuting of the post. I especially enjoyed the part where you questioned my background, blathered on about politics, and provided no evidence to refute the facts I put forward. But I especially liked where you continue to mistake the constrain on the lower bound of a variable to mean something completely different even when the author put out a post telling people they cannot make the illogical leap you are continuing to make.

I called you out for your nonsense, and you responded with more nonsense. When science disagrees with your interpretation you guys are left with no other choice but to go full nut. Thanks for outing yourself and self marginalizing. I really do appreciate it when science deniers go out of their way to let everyone know they aren't to be taken with any iota of authority.

I guess I'll go "finish some lower division science classes" when you finish some upper division data analysis coursework. We can then meet and discuss your misinterpretation of data and why you were incorrect, I will then consider your apology. Toodles.
Well look at all these comments! I guess 'warmest ever' language raises the bar on drama. Props to the author for questioning the definition of Antarctica and introducing possibility of outlier anomaly on rocky island a relatively unimpressive event.

Also want to raise a middefinger at the kooky folk who introduce politics or religion and poor critical thinking ability into any scientific dialog.

Just a warning to open, productive communicators: the monkeys WILL hurl their poop, shriek, yell, cry, scream, spankjohnnybehindtheears or worse... Recommendation: Observe and report. Engage when necessary.

That is all.


Calif. Continues to Shatter Temperature Records


The dubious records keep piling up for California, a state wracked by four years of drought brought on by a pernicious weather pattern that has kept rains at bay and exacerbated by human-induced warming. Just one week after the state measured its lowest-ever snowpack, U.S. scientists have announced that the year so far has been the warmest on record, setting expectations for a long, hot, dry year ahead.

“2015 to date has been truly astonishingly warm in California, and we're breaking almost all the temperature records there are to break,” Daniel Swain, an atmospheric science PhD student at Stanford University, said in an email.


Link
How can we be expected to agree with your data when the Vostok, Antarctica yesterday low still show +1830F. Can't you fix your programming??? I have pointed this out before. It appears that your blog lets us state our feeling, but doesn't alter your invalid data!!!
1830F equals 999C. I believe 999 is generated when the data is not reliable and is excluded from recorded data?
999 is an error code. It won't be used to calculate anything. Jerry seems a bit upset by that error.
weatherhistorian has created a new entry.
FYI, the 17.5C measured at the Argentina's Esperanza Base is close to the temperature measured by a Vaisala Weather Transmitter WXT520, which is located on a permanent GPS station (ID = FONP, -65.245392, -61.646534, 123.0m). The site is located at the Argentina's Base Aerea Teniente Benjamin Matienzo, which is a little more than 300 km to the SW of Esperanza Base. The WXT520 is installed above the power system frame and is ~ 2m above the ground surface. The temperature record by the WXT520 at 2015-03-24T04:30:00.000 was 18.7C. The wind speed measured by the WXT520 at the same time was 9.9 m/s, which makes the temperature value more believable because the WXT520 shield is not aspirated. Must of been a katabatic wind coming off the ice. Temps jumped about 25C in a 24 hour period.