BBC “disappears” headline “Coldest December Day on record for some sites”

BBC “disappears” headline “Coldest December Day on record for some sites”. Oh. My. Dog. (Sorry, reading Anthony Watts’ blog makes me dyslexic sometimes.) A website changed an article headline! It is a climate conspiracy!

Anthony follows this revelation with some nit-picking over whether 2010 really will be a “dead heat” with 1998 for the hottest year on record. This requires ignoring the running averages that have always been used for comparison, mumbling about where the real “finish line” is, breaking out a magnifying glass and of course not discussing at all the fact that 1998 was hot because of a very strong El Niño effect while there is no comparable influence contributing to 2010’s results.

Ooh, an Emily Litella moment! After all that whining about the word “dead heat”, it turns out that the denialist’s favorite scientist Dr. Roy Spencer is the one that used it. Quoth Anthony; never mind.

UAH Global Temperature – still in a holding pattern

UAH Global Temperature – still in a holding pattern. Thanks for the weather observation from Roy Spencer, Anthony. I wonder if Anthony will ever stop pretending not to understand that good old natural climate variation, such as the eastern Pacific Ocean El Niño circulation pattern, will continue while the progressive human impacts express themselves. It’s not either/or.

It’s well understood that natural “cooling” climate variations can suppress the man-made rise, but when they swing back to “warming” they will magnify it. All Anthony is doing is pretending that these pauses are significant. “Expect drops in the months ahead” says Anthony. So what? But it will be interesting to watch him squirm out of his meaningless prediction if it fails to come to pass.

UAH Global Temperature, 1979 - present

Interesting admission from Dr. Spencer:

As of Julian Day 212 (end of July), the race for warmest year in the 32-year satellite period of record is still too close to call with 1998 continuing its lead by only 0.07 C.

Doesn’t sound like cooling to me. Spencer and sundry denialists are still clinging to that crazy 1998 El Niño as the answer to the painfully obvious warming trends.

Global Sea Surface Temperature Cooling Continues

Global Sea Surface Temperature Cooling Continues. Dr. Roy Spencer lets us know that the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) as recorded by NASA’s Aqua satellite is continuing to fall. It’s been falling for months! That’s a trend! Not.

Yes, the well-known El Niño/La Niña circulation pattern in the tropical east Pacific Ocean has entered a phase that brings colder water to the surface. No, the oceans are not cooling now.

NOAA SST Anomaly Chart for 2010-08-03

La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos

La Niña Is Not The Opposite Of El Niño – The Videos“. WUWT re=posts Bob Tisdale’s blog entry about El Niño and La Niña in 1997-99. Yes, the Pacific Ocean circulates? Bob’s theory is buried in the embedded YouTube videos; “both El Niño and La Niña result in warming of the East Indian/West Pacific Ocean”.

This seems to be laying the groundwork for a revision of the denialist claim that the La Niña circulation pattern will produce global cooling any day now. That will be an unfortunate claim to have to defend when it doesn’t happen…

Satellite Temperatures and El Niño

Satellite Temperatures and El Niño“. Steven Goddard has convinced himself that recent satellite temperature observations are “too warm”. He’s compared them the surface temperature records and decided that the satellite record is somehow incorrect because of unspecified El Niño effects. Maybe it’s because of aliens with investments in carbon-neutral technologies?

I thought that the surface temperature records were hopelessly contaminated by Urban Heat Island effect, human incompetence and malevolent selection and were to be ignored (because they showed a strongly significant warming trend) in favor of the purity of satellite measurements (a useful delaying tactic because they were too new to have good statistical meaning). I guess the surface temperature records are fine when they suit the denialist argument du jour.

Here’s what happens: The surface temperature record is only observed at the surface. Satellite measurements reflect a much ‘thicker’ selection of the atmosphere. The vertical transport of heat/moisture has a lag of several months and hence satellite measurements will normally trail surface measurements.

March Global Sea Surface Temperatures

March Global Sea Surface Temperatures“. Bob Tisdale posts a whack of charts and plots derived from NOAA’s National Operational Model Archive & Distribution System (NOMADS) data. Not much interpretation though, maybe because the temperature trends seem to be upward.

Anthony however is confident enough to conclude about the global surface temperatures reported earlier today: “we have the likely primary driver of that number, a persistent El Nino in the Pacific.”

I’m scratching my head over the difference between these two versions of the March Global SST Anomalies. Similar, but somehow Bob’s version minimizes the orangey bits.

Bob Tisdale's version of the March 2010 SST anomalies.

NOAA's version of the March 2010 SST anomalies.