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Average Temperature - US Contiguous States


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As many of you already know - my scepticism of AGW is rooted in the fundamental measurement of temperatures. The Global "gridding", adjustments for numerous issues such as urban heat islands, and the overall "homogenizing" of data is a mish-mash of processes that is impossibly complex. The US National Climatic Data Center provides average temperatures for the Contiguous US states and using their simple calculator, one can come up with some results that may surprise people. I find them much more relevant because it excludes a lot of the "global" issues that make things so complex - but if Global Warming is not happening in the US, who cares! ;) Here are some tidbits:

Using a base period of the last century (1901-2000) here are the average temperature trends for the following decades:

1901-1910 +.68 degrees F (warmer than base period average)

1911-1920 -.29 (cooler)

1921-1930 -1.19 (cooler)

1931-1940 -.65 (cooler)

1941-1950 -.62 (cooler)

1951-1960 -.53 (cooler)

1961-1970 -.56 (cooler)

1971-1980 -.16 (cooler)

1981-1990 +.91 (warmer)

1991-2000 +1.39 (warmer)

2001-2010 -1.01 (cooler)

Using the calculator is an interesting exercise as it allows us to see how easy it is to cherry pick dates. The two decades from 1981-2000 have a huge effect on the most recent 30 year average....but as you can see, there is already a large moderating influence because of the cooling that has occurred in the last decade. If the trend continues - and by what has happened recently, it appears it will, the 30 year average will continue to moderate.

Anyway, it's good fun.

Link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

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As many of you already know - my scepticism of AGW is rooted in the fundamental measurement of temperatures. The Global "gridding", adjustments for numerous issues such as urban heat islands, and the overall "homogenizing" of data is a mish-mash of processes that is impossibly complex. The US National Climatic Data Center provides average temperatures for the Contiguous US states and using their simple calculator, one can come up with some results that may surprise people. I find them much more relevant because it excludes a lot of the "global" issues that make things so complex - but if Global Warming is not happening in the US, who cares! ;) Here are some tidbits:

Using a base period of the last century (1901-2000) here are the average temperature trends for the following decades:

1901-1910 +.68 degrees F (warmer than base period average)

1911-1920 -.29 (cooler)

1921-1930 -1.19 (cooler)

1931-1940 -.65 (cooler)

1941-1950 -.62 (cooler)

1951-1960 -.53 (cooler)

1961-1970 -.56 (cooler)

1971-1980 -.16 (cooler)

1981-1990 +.91 (warmer)

1991-2000 +1.39 (warmer)

2001-2010 -1.01 (cooler)

Using the calculator is an interesting exercise as it allows us to see how easy it is to cherry pick dates. The two decades from 1981-2000 have a huge effect on the most recent 30 year average....but as you can see, there is already a large moderating influence because of the cooling that has occurred in the last decade. If the trend continues - and by what has happened recently, it appears it will, the 30 year average will continue to moderate.

Anyway, it's good fun.

Link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

Not sure you understand your own data.

The raw data you linked to shows a consistant warming trend over the last 100 years.

January 1895 - 2010 Trend = 0.11 degF / Decade

The site even lets you plot all the data on a graph, and shows a green trend line.

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Not sure you understand your own data.

The raw data you linked to shows a consistant warming trend over the last 100 years.

The site even lets you plot all the data on a graph, and shows a green trend line.

How so?

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Sorry whats your question? The site he linked to shows a clear upwards trend in US temperatures of .1 degrees per decade.

You have to provide some dates....if you just use it the way it first presents itself, you're only "plotting" for the month of January from 1895-2010 (the defrault). Change "January" to "Annual" and try putting in some dates like I did in my post - or use your own....it's quite interesting.

Edited by Keepitsimple
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You have to provide some dates....if you just use it the way it first presents itself, you're only "plotting" for the month of January from 1895-2010 (the defrault). Change "January" to "Annual" and try putting in some dates like I did in my post - or use your own....it's quite interesting.

I did provide dates. I ran the report in about a dozen different ways, and unless you cherry pick short little windows, what the underlying data shows is a warming trend of .1 degree F per decade, which is noted right on the first page. Your data shows the exact trend you appear to be claiming isnt happening.

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I did provide dates. I ran the report in about a dozen different ways, and unless you cherry pick short little windows, what the underlying data shows is a warming trend of .1 degree F per decade, which is noted right on the first page. Your data shows the exact trend you appear to be claiming isnt happening.

Actually, I'm not claiming anything - you can draw your own conclusions.....but if you came up with .1 degree F per decade, then I guess we don't have anything to worry about......no Armegeddon, especially with the trend going down in the last decade.....and that's pretty well my point, it's easy to cherry pick dates......and when you understand that the 80's and 90's were very warm decades, it's easy to see that scenarios can easily be distorted. As I said, from 2000, there has been a continuing moderation of temperture - at least as shown in the US.

Edited by Keepitsimple
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Actually, I'm not claiming anything - you can draw your own conclusions.....but if you came up with .1 degree F per decade, then I guess we don't have anything to worry about......no Armegeddon, especially with the trend going down in the last decade.....and that's pretty well my point, it's easy to cherry pick dates......and when you understand that the 80's and 90's were very warm decades, it's easy to see that scenarios can easily be distorted. As I said, from 2000, there has been a continuing moderation of temperture - at least as shown in the US.

Your post shows that you don't understand this. The 'down trend' you speak of is taken into account, so that if temps go down for one decade by .1 degrees, we expect them to rise by .2 degrees in the next decade, if the trend is correct.

You then say there has been a 'moderation of temperatures', after seemingly acknowledging a warming trend.

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Your post shows that you don't understand this. The 'down trend' you speak of is taken into account, so that if temps go down for one decade by .1 degrees, we expect them to rise by .2 degrees in the next decade, if the trend is correct.

You then say there has been a 'moderation of temperatures', after seemingly acknowledging a warming trend.

Absolutely - there is a warming trend - that cannot be denied.....lets put aside the human factor for now....it's always been a matter of how much and how fast and the fact that warming in the 80's and 90's really took off. That's what I found interesting about a decade by decade look at the US temperatures.....there really wasn't that much to see except for those decades - even though CO2 has been rising pretty steadily all the way through. The 2000-2010 decade has warm years because the temperature has been rising over the last century - so the warmest years are most likely going to be recent ones.......but looking at the short term trend from 2000, you can clearly see that it's nothing like the 80's and 90's. So the question remains - will we once again see a return to the spikes of the 80's and 90's and "runaway Global Warming" - or will there continue to be a return to the more moderate and gradual warming that existed from 1900-1979 and has now returned in 2000-2010?

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There's no question in my mind that the 1980's and 1990's were warm; it was also the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

In addition, in case you didn't notice the air was far dirtier prior to 1970 than now. In the 1910's it was positively filthy.

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There's no question in my mind that the 1980's and 1990's were warm; it was also the warm phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

In addition, in case you didn't notice the air was far dirtier prior to 1970 than now. In the 1910's it was positively filthy.

Are you suggesting the that the air is much cleaner today than 100 years ago? Are you out of your skull?? Where did all the pollution go?

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Are you suggesting the that the air is much cleaner today than 100 years ago? Are you out of your skull?? Where did all the pollution go?

Can't speak for every city in the world but it may indeed be cleaner in North America and many large European cities. A century ago - just about everything was driven by coal and any place where there was industry, there was dirty soot all over the place. More recently, when the Soviet Union collapsed - so did a huge number of their state sponsored factories - and that did wonders to clean up European air - that's why Kyoto was such a farce - but I digress. Closer to home, Toronto has much cleaner air today than just 30 years ago - hardly anymore smog warnings. Where did the pollution go? Environment regulations in most Western countries are diminishing pollution at it's source. Automobiles are a good example....and with all the attention given CO2, many people haven't noticed Ottawa's regulations that have helped to greatly reduce various industry pollutants. Now....if we could only take all the billions that are being blown on half-baked CO2 reduction schemes and instead put scrubbers on every Chinese coal-fired electricity plant.......but I guess I'm dreaming.

Edited by Keepitsimple
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Now....if we could only take all the billions that are being blown on half-baked CO2 reduction schemes and instead put scrubbers on every Chinese coal-fired electricity plant....

But I thought blowing billions for scrubbers on every Chinese coal-fired electricity plant WAS the half-baked plan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just fiddling around with NASA temperatures for the 48 Contiguous states and here's what came out - no cherry picking here - just the average (mean) temperatures for all decades from 1901:

1901-1910 52.33

1911-1920 52.00

1921-1930 52.67

1931-1940 53.37

1941-1950 52.80

1951-1960 52.96

1961-1970 52.48

1971-1980 52.53

1981-1990 53.18

1991-2000 53.57

2001-now 53.99

It appears that nothing of note was happening until - arguably - well into the 80's - even though CO2 was rising steadily (was it not?)......and then we started to have a blurp - that seems to have levelled out.....but the direct relationship to CO2 is tenuous at best.

Link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

Edited by Keepitsimple
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Just fiddling around with NASA temperatures for the 48 Contiguous states and here's what came out - no cherry picking here - just the average (mean) temperatures for all decades from 1901:

1901-1910 52.33

1911-1920 52.00

1921-1930 52.67

1931-1940 53.37

1941-1950 52.80

1951-1960 52.96

1961-1970 52.48

1971-1980 52.53

1981-1990 53.18

1991-2000 53.57

2001-now 53.99

It appears that nothing of note was happening until - arguably - well into the 80's - even though CO2 was rising steadily (was it not?)......and then we started to have a blurp - that seems to have levelled out.....but the direct relationship to CO2 is tenuous at best.

Link: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/cag3/na.html

The problem with having MLW posters argue the science directly is that many of us have no idea what we're talking about. I could open up my old textbooks and do some linear regression on those numbers, and even point out some things that have been done incorrectly by you so far but even I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that and I have experience with it.

I'm suspecting you just eyeballed the numbers and came up with your conclusion based on that.

We should leave the science to the experts, period, and review what they have to say about it - not what bloggers and the like have to say about it.

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The problem with having MLW posters argue the science directly is that many of us have no idea what we're talking about. I could open up my old textbooks and do some linear regression on those numbers, and even point out some things that have been done incorrectly by you so far but even I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that and I have experience with it.

I'm suspecting you just eyeballed the numbers and came up with your conclusion based on that.

We should leave the science to the experts, period, and review what they have to say about it - not what bloggers and the like have to say about it.

I think that's where a lot of the problem lies - the fact that the science - unintentionally or not - has failed to find a way to clearly establish a compelling temperature trend in a manner that reasonable people can understand. Adjustments galore, homogenization, gridding, and station culling are simply mind-boggling. So it's left to those with an interest to rationalize the data that's available and just do a reasonability check. BTW, you're right - I'm just eyeballing the decadal averages....and yes, I did draw a conclusion. It's getting warmer - like it's supposed to - but not by that much.....except for that darn blurp.

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I think that's where a lot of the problem lies - the fact that the science - unintentionally or not - has failed to find a way to clearly establish a compelling temperature trend in a manner that reasonable people can understand. Adjustments galore, homogenization, gridding, and station culling are simply mind-boggling. So it's left to those with an interest to rationalize the data that's available and just do a reasonability check. BTW, you're right - I'm just eyeballing the decadal averages....and yes, I did draw a conclusion. It's getting warmer - like it's supposed to - but not by that much.....except for that darn blurp.

I'm following what you're saying here, and it's entirely reasonable. The problem, though, is that even intelligent people (such as you and I) and even intelligent people with training in the statistics (such as I) can't really follow it. This is for PHds, but not just PHds, but PHds who have excelled to the top of their game in a highly specialized field.

You have 90% of climate scientists (a conservative figure) supporting the prevailing theory, and 10% who don't. You also have non-scientists (journalists, people with a political axe to grind, conspiracy theorists) muddying the water.

We trust scientists to do all kinds of things - design cars, predict the weather, develop drugs - but when it comes to the environmental movement, it's different because that movement is some kind of proxy for the hippie movement, which is a cultural religion that happens to be anti-American.

The culture wars that we're seeing probably have a parallel in some big conflicts like this in the past: I'm thinking of the Dreyfus affair in France, or the Silver Standard in the US. Those were long and ingrained battles that were difficult to resolve because there was no easy answer, and because society lined up behind one line or the other according to what 'type' they were.

This is the same type of thing. With the Dreyfus affair there was a forgery and a series of events that led to a resolution and the affair actually promoted social change in France. The Silver issue just kind of withered away, and the conspiracy looks quaint today.

We need to understand that religions are cultural phenomena not strictly god-worshiping clubs. For such people, loyalty is more important than objectivity. I mean, how many on here are willing to go after political types from both sides ?

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The problem with having MLW posters argue the science directly is that many of us have no idea what we're talking about. I could open up my old textbooks and do some linear regression on those numbers, and even point out some things that have been done incorrectly by you so far but even I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that and I have experience with it.

I'm suspecting you just eyeballed the numbers and came up with your conclusion based on that.

We should leave the science to the experts, period, and review what they have to say about it - not what bloggers and the like have to say about it.

The problem with having MLW posters argue the science directly is that many of us have no idea what we're talking about.

Yeah thats why AGW has generated mostly extremely low quality threads. Its pretty much pointless for anyone here to argue the underlying science. Were plumbers and carpenters and software developers etc.

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Yeah thats why AGW has generated mostly extremely low quality threads. Its pretty much pointless for anyone here to argue the underlying science. Were plumbers and carpenters and software developers etc.

But we can argue the politics better than pathetic and grey-lipped "panels of experts" on national TV, I'd say. All they care about is how the latest gaffe will play in Oshawa or Quebec. I don't care about that.

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But we can argue the politics better than pathetic and grey-lipped "panels of experts" on national TV, I'd say. All they care about is how the latest gaffe will play in Oshawa or Quebec. I don't care about that.

In some cases there pretty good discussions. Way too much noise though IMO, and a few people that do nothing but troll. Colorful group at least though Id say.

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The problem with having MLW posters argue the science directly is that many of us have no idea what we're talking about. I could open up my old textbooks and do some linear regression on those numbers, and even point out some things that have been done incorrectly by you so far but even I wouldn't feel comfortable doing that and I have experience with it.

I'm suspecting you just eyeballed the numbers and came up with your conclusion based on that.

We should leave the science to the experts, period, and review what they have to say about it - not what bloggers and the like have to say about it.

Perhaps there's a simpler explanation, Michael. Someone with an agenda makes a claim based on those numbers that things are warming up. A layman looks at those numbers and to him the differences are to small to appear to be significant.

There are two possible explanations. One is that the scientist has a technical argument that proves the differences ARE significant!

The other is that the differences ARE trivial, and the technical argument is just technobabble to try to fool the ignorant!

Don't totally lose faith in your own abilities. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar! Sometimes even the most respected scientist is full of crap! They are human beings subject to mistakes and errors, just like the rest of us. The only difference is that their mistakes tend to be more spectacular.

Edited by Wild Bill
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Yeah thats why AGW has generated mostly extremely low quality threads. Its pretty much pointless for anyone here to argue the underlying science. Were plumbers and carpenters and software developers etc.

And students, give me a decade and I'd be able to argue climate science with the best of them. To bad I have no interest in spending years getting a climate science degree.

Edited by TrueMetis
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Perhaps there's a simpler explanation, Michael. Someone with an agenda makes a claim based on those numbers that things are warming up. A layman looks at those numbers and to him the differences are to small to appear to be significant.

There are two possible explanations. One is that the scientist has a technical argument that proves the differences ARE significant!

The other is that the differences ARE trivial, and the technical argument is just technobabble to try to fool the ignorant!

This other explanation basically dismisses all of statistics.

Don't totally lose faith in your own abilities. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar! Sometimes even the most respected scientist is full of crap! They are human beings subject to mistakes and errors, just like the rest of us. The only difference is that their mistakes tend to be more spectacular.

We're not talking mistakes here, we're talking throwing out an entire process. Does it happen ? Sure. About once in a thousand years. Let's see - you have Galileo, Einstein... there's two.

But those guys had theories in hand that proved the prevailing theories wrong. Nobody is coming with a new set of theories to replace statistical modeling, and no real scientist that I know of is proposing that bad math explains these theories.

Edited by Michael Hardner
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