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Wednesday, August 08, 2007
New Rankings for Warmest Years

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

With the changes to the GISS data made today after an error was found by Stephen McIntyre, 1998 falls to #2 behind 1934 as the warmest year, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999 and 1953. Expect more changes to come in the months ahead as more scrutiny of the data bases takes place. Note in the graph below, the peak in the five year mean around 2000 is a mere 0.25F higher than that in the early 1930s.


10 of the top 20 warmest years occcurred since 1980, 10 from the 1920s to 1950s. Only 4 of the top 10 occurred since the 1980s, 6 fell in the prior warm period. See details of the new rankings here.

Don’t expect any press releases from NASA or NOAA about this change nor much coverage on the networks or major newspapers.

Posted on 08/08 at 09:10 PM
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Sunday, August 05, 2007
Three Radically Different Versions of Central Park Temperatures

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

Our national centers regard station data as critical to measure recent climate change. The raw observations are taken from the stations then adjusted to account for local factors like site changes, changes in instrumentation, time of observation and in some cases urbanization (Karl 1988). One would think the differences would be small and that once adjusted, the data would stand the test of time.

We found that to be far from the truth by examining the data sets for our biggest city, New York City and the climate station in Central Park. We have looked at this in two separate blogs. I have combined the two and added to it in this analysis.

Central Park, New York City Observing Site at Belvedere castle

I find the data mind boggling. For our own government to maintain three different versions of historical data for a single site whose average July temperature for much of the record varies by 11F! and where the adjustments to the data decrease in recent years introducing a warming not in the raw data.  These kinds of variances and ‘adjustments” in the “data” have got to have you question whether we can trust any surface station based data set to determine changes the order of a tenth of a degree for climate change assessment.

See the updated analysis here.

Posted on 08/05 at 04:27 PM
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Why We Can’t Ignore the Urban Factor

The IPCC and NCDC with their GHCN and NASA with their GISS data bases admit the importance of urban warming locally but suggest the effect of urbanization on the global data bases is small and can be neglected. This judgment is largely based on the comments in a paper in 2003 by Petersen that stated: “Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, no statistically significant impact of urbanization could be found in annual temperatures.” This same argument is being used to discard the urban heat island adjustment of the original USHCN data set when the new version 2 is released shortly.

In recent blogs by Stephen McIntyre, Steve discusses Petersen’s paper, his analysis and errors in the analysis and conclusion. Another paper surfaced this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres by Della-Marta et al., in which the authors blatantly admitted to cherry picking stations and adjusting data (downward) in the early warm part of the record allegedly because of changes in instrumentation. They said this suggested a more alarming warming of 1.6C instead of 1.3C since 1880 in Europe.

See why in this blog and the links provided why both Petersen and Della Marta have it all wrong and why it is the rural areas that become towns, small towns that become bigger towns, towns that become cites where the warming seen is the greatest. Those locations are what cause the global unadjusted data sets to show the warming they do.  That is not to exclude the natural ups and downs due to the natural variability which is superimposed on this urban induced rise. 

Read the full blog and see the links in WORD here. or for PDF here.


Posted on 08/05 at 04:23 AM
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Monday, July 23, 2007
Shining More Light on the Solar Factor- A Critical Review of the Lockwood and Frolich Paper

By Joseph D’Aleo, ICECAP

Just recently, with the release in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of the paper “Recent Oppositely Directed Trends In Solar Climate Forcings And The Global Mean Surface Air Temperature” by Mike Lockwood and Claus Frohlich, the global warmers declared victory and went home.

In their abstract, the authors noted “There is considerable evidence for solar influence on the Earth’s pre-industrial climate and the Sun may well have been a factor in post-industrial climate change in the first half of the last century. Here we show that over the past 20 years, all the trends in the Sun that could have had an influence on the Earth’s climate have been in the opposite direction to that required to explain the observed rise in global mean temperatures.”

Read in this review with comments from Richard Willson, Columbia University and Chief Investigator for the NASA ACRIMSAT project and Dr. Nicola Scafetta of Duke University, co-author of a landmark paper that used a phenomenological approach to study the solar impact on 400 years of a global surface temperature record since 1600 where Lockwood and Frolich went wrong and why the sun is very likely still the leading candidate for climate change responsibility.  Lockwood_and_Frolich_Review.pdf

Posted on 07/23 at 01:25 PM
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Sunday, July 15, 2007
MetSul Weather Center and ICECAP Special Report: Cold Spell in Brazil

BY Alexandre Aguiar / MetSul

One of the most important cold spells to affect Southern Brazil in recent times brought record low temperatures, widespread and severe frost as well as snow to the region. On Thursday (July 12th), the state of Rio Grande do Sul was whitened by frost.  The freezing temperature was associated to the same air mass that prompted the first snowfall to the city of Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 89 years. Temperature in the city of Bage, state of Rio Grande do Sul, fell to minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1955. Nearby, inside Uruguay, the national low in Mercedes was minus 6.6 degrees. At least three Uruguayans died in consequence of the cold temperatures. On Wednesday (July 11th), Porto Alegre, the state capital of Brazil’s southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, recorded one of its lowest ever record daily highs with clear skies. The high only reached 9 degrees C. In the following morning, the city awakened with frost inside the urban heat island, a rare fact not observed since July 14th 2000. The low temperature of 0.3 degree was the lowest since July 14th 2000.

All over the state the temperature dropped to the freezing level, even in the coastal areas. In the city of Pelotas, frost was observed in the sands of Laranjal Beach in the Patos Lake.  One day after the snow in Buenos Aires, Argentina, snow was also recorded in three cities of the State of Rio Grande do Sul: Soledade, Arvorezinha and Itapuca. The snow fell for about one hour and was heavy at some times. Residents from the hills in the state of Parana, closer to Central Brazil, reported to local meteorologists a brief snowfall. If confirmed, it would be the first snow to be recorded in the region since 1999. Temperature monthly anomalies are below average in the state of Rio Grande do Sul since May in the coldest climatic winter in recent memory.

See story with photoes on METSUL’s website here

Posted on 07/15 at 10:48 PM
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Saturday, July 14, 2007
Global Warming - Is Carbon Dioxide Getting a Bad Rap?

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap for the Energy Tribune

With the prospects of climate change legislation that could cost American families up to $4,500/year by 2015 by some estimates or talk of using known technology to sequester carbon through well drilling, which Michel Economides (in Energy Tribune 2007) has estimated could cost up to $7.2 trillion or 60 times the current costs of drilling, the need to be certain we really have a problem becomes even more critical. I was asked by Michael to address the climate change issue to determine whether the earth was truly warming out of control, whether carbon dioxide was really to blame and if not what other factors might be important.

In this guest editorial for Energy Tribune, I addressed the issues of climate change and the possible causes. I talked about the problems with the earth’s surface data that is being ignored, made the case that greenhouse gases get a bum rap for what is really natural cyclical changes induced by cycles in the sun and oceans. I show how these cycles suggest cold and not warm was in our future. Before the next assessment, the world may be taking note of the cooling or the cessation of the warming.

Lost in all of this is the fact that we have been in a climate optimum the last 30 years with warmer temperatures, more rainfall, and increased CO2 that has enabled us to grow more food more places and consume less energy than we would have had the cold weather of the 1960s and 1970s persisted. Descending back into a little ice age has far greater negative consequences than a slow and relative minor warming. Crop failures and famines are more common due to dryness and cold and the world would consume more energy for heating. We may look back at the late 20th century and the early 21st century as the golden years.

Future generations will shake their heads at how we didn’t recognize a good thing when we had it and how science was hijacked by politics, environmentalism and greed. We would be better off spending all our dollars and efforts on maximizing energy sources, new and old than trying to eliminate a gas that does far more good than harm.

See the full story here.

Posted on 07/14 at 02:54 PM
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Thursday, July 12, 2007
Central Park - The Differences Between the Global and US NCDC Data Bases

By Joseph D’Aleo, Icecap

A few weeks back, we looked at July and January in Central Park at the version 1 variances from the raw observed data in a blog on Central Park Temperature Comparisons.  Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit did the same with Central Park: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

We have discussed how the global data bases are contaminated by station dropout, missing data, poor coverage, inadequate urban adjustment and poor siting issues. NCDC in addition to the HCN maintains a global data base of stations which it uses to track climate change. I decided to compare Central Park in that GHCN data set (the latest V2) with the HCN data set relative to the raw data.


The differences between the data sets is startling large for the July monthly mean through much of the record (11F!). it diminishes since 1990 as HCN adjustments for urbanization have inexplicably diminished even as NYC population grew.


These kinds of variances in the “data” have got to have you question whether we can trust any data set to determine changes the order of a tenth of a degree for climate change assessment.  See full pdf with full size images in printable form here.

Posted on 07/12 at 05:22 PM
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Unbelievable Day (Hundred Year Snow Event for Argentina)

By Alexandre Amaral de Aguiar, MetSul Meteorologia Weather Center Communications Director

It was June 22nd 1918. Buenos Aires got covered by snow. That last time the Argentineans saw their capital covered in white the world was still fighting the First Great War, the former Russian czar was executed by revolutionaries, the Spanish Influenza started to attack and Woodrow Wilson was in office as the 28th president of the United States of America and the planet was leaving the very cold period of the Little Ice Age.

It was July 9th 2007. Buenos Aires got covered by snow. The Argentinean capital was white again after nearly a century. No superpowers are in conflict, terrorism is the new menace, AIDS and bird flu are the health concerns, George W. Bush is in office as the 43rd president of the United States of America and the planet is warming in a fever of studies pointing to a global catastrophe due to human-induced greenhouse effect.

“Despite all my years, this is the first time I’ve ever seen snow in Buenos Aires”, 82-year-old Juana Benitez was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. That was the overall feeling. Thousands of Argentines cheered in the streets of Buenos Aires as the capital saw the first of its kind since 1918. The initial report of snow came from the Ezeiza International Airport, in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, but minutes later it was also snowing in the densely populated areas of Central Buenos Aires. Wet snow fell for eight hours in the Argentine capital and at sometimes it was heavy. Late in the afternoon snow became heavier and several districts of Buenos Aires were already accumulating snow in the parks and over parked cars.

The frigid weather was not confined to Buenos Aires. It snowed for the first time in 35 years in some cities of the northern Buenos Aires Province. It snowed for the first time in history in some towns of the Santa Fe Province. Southern Santa Fe Province experienced the snowiest day since 1973. Cordoba City the heaviest snowfall since 1975. Mendoza went trough he heaviest snowstorm in decades. Temperature fell to minus 19 degrees Celsius in Patagonia and near all-time record in Bariloche (most famous ski resort in South America). Windchill in Bariloche was record: -minus 22 degrees. Low temperature in Bahia Blanca, Southern Buenos Aires province, fell to outstanding 9 below zero Celsius. Snow also fell in northern Provinces and in Bolivia isolated the capital La Paz from the rest of the country.

The snow event followed a bitterly cold month of May that saw subfreezing temperatures, the coldest in 40 years in Buenos Aires. That cold wave contributed to an energy crisis and dozens of deaths. This 2007 May figured among the coldest in recent decades also in Uruguay and Southern Brazil.

See full story replete with some photographs here

Posted on 07/10 at 03:01 PM
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Friday, June 29, 2007
Guest Blog on State Records in the 20th Century

By Peter McGurk, Icecap member and Senior Meteorologist, WSI

Expanding on the work of Bruce Hall in the “Hall of Fame” blog, I took a look at how the state temperature extremes compared when stratifying the data by whether or not the record was set during the first half of the last century (1900-1949) or during the second half of the last century (1950-1999).

Looking at extreme state maximum temperatures, there were 298 recorded during the years from 1900 to 1949 while only 245 records were set during the period from 1950 to 1999. This in spite of the bias, noted by Hall, of listing only the most recent record location in the event of a tie. For extreme min temperatures, the data shows almost the exact opposite. Only 246 extreme record state low temperatures during the period from 1900-1949 while 301 extreme low state records were set during the period from 1950 to 1999.

As far as extreme maxes are concerned, not only is the overall average greater during the first half of the last century, but 2/3 of the monthly averages are also greater during the period 1900-1949. Only for the months of March, June, October and December were they warmer during the period 1950-1999. For the extreme mins, the first half of the 1900s was decidedly colder than the second half, in spite of the fact that the majority of the record mins occurred during the period 1950-1999. Only 1/3 of the months, May, June and July were the monthly averages cooler during the period 1950-1999.

I suspect that if we were truly headed for a Global Meltdown, that this data would vastly different than it is currently. Namely, we would be seeing many more record state maxes occurring more frequently during the recent past that the distant past. Additionally, we should not be seeing more state record extreme mins set during the second half of the past century.

See Pete’s full data analysis and charts here

Posted on 06/29 at 10:19 PM
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Temperatures in the United States, Greenland and the Arctic, Relationship to Ocean and Solar Cycles

By: Joseph D’Aleo, CCM and George Taylor, CCM

The IPCC Fourth Assessment, Working Group I Report R4 devoted many pages to a discussion of mulitdecadal ocean teleconnections and various solar factors but in the end discounted them or concluded their relationship with climate changes were at best uncertain.

Multidecadal Oscillations in the Pacific and the Atlantic are acknowledged to be the result of natural processes. In the attached we show how the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) leads to more El Ninos and general warmth and the cold phase to more La Ninas and widespread coolness. The warm mode of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also produces general warmth especially across Northern Hemispheric land masses including Greenland and the Arctic and the cold phase colder temepratures over the Northern Hemisphere continents and Polar Regions. When you combine the two effects, you can explain much of the temperature variances of the past 110 years for the United States, Greenland and the Arctic. 

Similarly increased solar activity when you consider more than just the solar brightness or irradiance and include other more indirect solar warming factors such as ultraviolet which through ozone chemistry warms the high and middle atmosphere in low and middle latitudes and the decrease in cosmic rays which reduces low clouds, also correlates extremely well with temperature changes in the United States and the Polar Regions. 

Though correlation does not always imply causation, the strength of these relationships suggest the oceans and sun play a far more important role in climate change than the IPCC admits to.

See full paper here.

Posted on 06/27 at 05:05 PM
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Thursday, June 21, 2007
Central Park Temperature Comparisons - Before and After HCN Adjustment

By Joe D’Aleo, Icecap

We compared historical Central Park, NY data from the National Weather Service site in New York City as taken from the periphery of the park from 1909 to 1919 at the Arsenal Building 5th Ave (between 63rd & 64th) and then since 1920 at the Belvedere Castle on Transverse Rd (near 79th & 81st) with the Central Park data from NCDC Climate at a Glance USHCN database with HCN adjustments made to the NYC observations. We picked the two extreme months (January and July) for the comparison. The two data sets for July are plotted below.


Note the adjustments were significant (a cooling exceeding 6 degrees from the mid 1950s to the mid 1990s.) Then inexplicably the adjustment diminished to less than 2 degrees. The result is what was a flat trend for the past 50 years became one with an accelerated warming in the past 20 years. It is not clear what changes in the metropolitan area occurred in the last 15 years to warrant a major adjustment to the adjustment. The park has remained the same and there has not been a population decline but a spurt in the city’s population in the 1990s.


See full story including the January differences here.

UPDATE: Also see Steve McIntyre’s interesting follow-up analysis on Climate Audit Central Park: Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Posted on 06/21 at 05:04 AM
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Thursday, June 14, 2007
Where’s the Beef (Heat)?

By Joe D’Aleo, Icecap

Because of a report that was blogged by Joe Bastardi of Accuweather that indicated no record daily June highs for Iowa were in recent decades, we took a look for ourselves at the Des Moines records and look what we found for number of record highs by decade for June and July.


It is very clear that the 1930s stand out with a total of 33 days during the two month period. Both the 1910s and 1950s had 7 days. 1988 made an impressive showing in June with 5 days. July was hot that year but the 1930s were hotter. There were more records set in the 1880s (4) than in the last 20 years (0).  For Des Moines, Iowa at least record daily June and July highs show no propensity for increasing in this so-called global warming era.

For a report with larger images and a total for June and July graphic see Des_Moines_June and July_Records

Posted on 06/14 at 04:25 PM
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Countdown to Version 2 USHCN

By Joe D’Aleo, Icecap

Version 1 of HCSN developed in 1990 has been for the past 16 years the data base of choice when examining climate change because it was the most stable and had the best adjustment for urbanization (Karl et al. 1988) based in part on the landmark work of Oke and Landsberg. It has had over the years some siting/land use change issues recently brought to light in blog postings too numerous to list by Roger Pielke Sr. on Climate Science, Stephen McIntyre on Climate Audit, and now on a new site that will be a repository for photographs of the stations by Anthony Watts.

The USHCN has always been a point of contention with those managing the global data bases as the USHCN’s warming has been muted and clearly cyclical.
See the comparison to one of the global data bases GISS below.

NCDC has announced they are coming out with a new version of the USHCN data base in July which has been described as a “paradigm shift with some significant adjustments due to previously undocumented inhomogenities.” The version 2 documentation is now available and in it it indicates they have eliminated the urbanization and other land use adjustments claiming the new approach makes them unneceessary.

You can bet that if in July the new version plots look a lot like the bogus global plots with their overstated warming due to understated urban adjustment, the Iraqi war will not be the only war in the news.

To their credit, NCDC and NOAA is working on a new network of high quality, properly sited stations called NERON.  They currently have 114 or so stations mainly in New England, eastern New York and Alabama. About 50 stations will be added per year under the current plan with a goal of 1000 or more. It will be a awhile before there will be enough coverage and history to make this network useful in climate change assessment but it is clearly a step in the right direction. 

Posted on 06/13 at 02:38 AM
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Monday, June 11, 2007
Could Heat and Drought Be in the Cards This Summer

By Joe D’Aleo, Icecap

As La Nina slowly comes on, the prospects of a droughty and hot summer are increasing. Historically this has especially been the case after El Nino winters. Drought and heat would of course be blamed on global warming but the historical plots of drought show there is no tendency for a steadily increased frequency of drought during the last century.


See what La Ninas after El Ninos winter have meant and more on why ocean temperatures are more likely behind changing drought frequency than greenhouse gases here Summer07_Heat_Drought.pdf

Posted on 06/11 at 03:59 PM
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Friday, June 08, 2007
You Would Think the Meeting Was in the Pinocchio Mountains

By Joseph D’Aleo

The U.S. House’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing was held atop 4,180-foot Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, requiring all to ride an aerial tram to the lodge where it was held. last weekend to discuss global warming. They heard from some of the local alarmists who predicted there would no longer be a ski industry left in New England, not a single maple treee would survive, so bye-bye maple syrup industry and fall foliage tourism. They heard an orchestrated fictional account of how New England would become more like the Carolinas.

You will recognize those who testified and those who participated in the panel discussion. They will be the ones with the long noses. Not since Paul Bunyon or Prairie Home Companion have such tall tales been told, this time in the beautiful hills of northern New England where I have enjoyed many enjoyable years.

They claim it never snows in the northeast anymore due to global warming. Tell that to the folks further south where in New York City and Boston they set new single snowstorm records the last 3 years. Or Boston where the 12 years ending 2004/05 had more snow than any 12 years in their history back into the 1870s or New York City with 40 inches of snow for the first time ever ending in 2006 and the highest 4 year total in their history back to the 1860s. Or to the 60 cities of the east and midwest that set all-time seasonal snowfall records in the snow blitz season of 1995/96 or in southeast new England in 2004/05.

Now it is true there are always winners and losers in the ‘who gets the snow’ jackpot and northern New England has not fared well most years precisely because the storm track favored snow further south. That was true because after the Great Pacific Climate Shift of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in 1978, El Ninos were favored and El Ninos favor southern track storms.

By the way, the Pacific appears to be shifting back and this La Nina that appears to be coming on may be the first of many more in the decades ahead. La Ninas mean colder weather further north and the return of the northern storm track. That will mean the ski areas will see much more snow again (remember the tease in the La Nina of 2000/01 when a preview of this change occurred when northern areas were buried?). That will mean better maple runs again and spectacular fall foliage.  Also if not this solar cycle certainly the next will be a super dud like those of the mini-age age which will reinforce the cold and have them talking again about putting a dome over Winooski, Vermont like they did in 1979 after the super cold winters of the late 1970s.

Oh and by the way I just looked in the mirror...not crazy about what I saw as the years are showing and my hair is graying… but my nose didn’t grow.

Posted on 06/08 at 04:09 AM
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