Political Climate
Aug 22, 2009
Borenstein’s AP Sea Surface Temperature Article Is Misleading

By Bob Tisdale on Watts Up With That

The Seth Borenstein AP article about the recent high sea surface temperature is misleading. There is a significant difference between what Seth Borenstein reported and what NOAA stated in the July “State of the Climate”.

Borenstein does not clarify that it is a record for the month of July, where NOAA does. NOAA writes, “The global ocean surface temperature for July 2009 was the warmest on record, 0.59C (1.06F) above the 20th century average of 16.4C (61.5F). This broke the previous July record set in 1998.” Refer to Figure 1, which is a graph of SST for July from 1982 to 2009 (NOAA’s ERSST.v3b version).

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Borenstein readers are told that July 2009 Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were the highest since records began, but that is false. Figure 2 illustrates monthly SSTs from November 1981 to July 2009. I’ve added a red horizontal line to show the July 2009 value.

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Whether or not July SSTs represented a record is also dependent on the SST dataset. NOAA’s satellite-based Optimally Interpolated (OI,v2) dataset presents a different picture. That dataset clearly shows that July 1998, Figure 3, had a higher SST.

The Borenstein article also claims that Arctic SST anomalies are as high as 10 deg F (5.5 deg C) above average. Wow!! Really??

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And looking at the monthly OI.v2 data since November 1981, Figure 4, there are numerous months with higher SSTs.

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The Borenstein article also claims that Arctic SST anomalies are as high as 10 deg F (5.5 deg C) above average. Wow!! Really??

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See larger here.

SST anomaly graphs through July 2009 for the Arctic Ocean and other individual oceans can be found at my July 2009 SST Anomaly Update.

To sum up the Borenstein article, itís factually incorrect in places, and in others, it raises alarmism to ridiculous levels by dwelling on a meaningless statistic, the July SST anomaly of the White Sea. See full post here.

See Anthony’s excellent post on “Diane Feinstein, Turbidity Denier” here.



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