56 thoughts on “Comments

  1. This is a comment to get things started. How dangerous will it be, to exceed the 2 degrees Celsius limit?

    Here is a practical exercise that anybody with a car can do, to check out how dangerous global warming will be.

    The temperature gradient, as you move from the poles to the equator, is about 1 degree Celsius for every 150 km travelled. So hop into your car, and drive 150 km towards the equator. When you get there, get out of your car, and walk around. You are now at the 2 degrees limit. (the whole earth has already warmed by about 1 degree Celsius, and driving 150 km towards the equator raises the temperature by another 1 degree Celsius).

    If you are feeling brave, hop back into your car, and drive another 150 km towards the equator. Now you are at the 3 degrees limit.

    Keep repeating this exercise until you get bored, or you reach the equator.

    What do people think? Is this a realistic way of simulating global warming?

    1. It’s a realistic way of experiencing a local temperature change (ie, the change that you personally feel, wherever you are).

      You could do the same by fiddling with the thermostat in an air-conditioned house/room.

      Or going into/out of a sauna.

      It isn’t a good simulation for global warming, because it’s not, well, global. And the purported dangers of global warming are not limited to a rise in temperature.

      I think the suggested experiments won’t give much insight.

      1. If the purported dangers to global warming are not limited to a rise in temperature, then what would they be because of? there has to be a rise in temperature for any danger to happen. And dont give me the bullshit of icecaps melting or that a 2C increase will cause more extreme weather events.

  2. “What do people think? Is this a realistic way of simulating global warming?”
    I think it would be better in terms of night time temperature, say 2 am.
    And traveling by boat on ocean might also better than a car, and sailboat is a greener machine.
    What important in terms of global climate is we live on a planet which has 70% of surface area
    being ocean.
    That ocean retained heat is a major part of why we have global average temperature of 17 C.
    Or global average land surface temperature of about 10 C and global average ocean surface temperature
    of about 17 C.
    Ocean retain heat and absorbs more energy from the sun- as compared to land.
    Or in short, traveling by land will not give the complete picture.

  3. Oops, I meant ….a global average temperature of 15 C.
    Not 17 C.
    Entire Earth average temperature is 15 C
    Ocean 17 C
    Land 10 C.
    Oceans warms land and land [though it can have higher daytime temperatures] doesn’t warm the ocean.
    Tropical ocean is heat engine of world and Europe would have much lower average temperature without
    having the warm Gulf Stream.

  4. Sorry, I’m new here and can’t count without neatly labeled, numbered divisions. Alternatively I may be pre-Alzheimer’s or U guys are just too subtle for me, but I barely see 1 or 2 succinct thoughts let alone 4 thoughts. Should I be thinking between the lines or what?

      1. I don’t see any graphs or maps in this section. But I use “No-Scrypt” and I have to constantly give out permissions for content on different pages. Let’s see…..

  5. Agree: I’ve spent a lot of time studying the temperature trend viewer at Nick Stock’s which is somewhat like your triangles. Several comments:

    To prevent people from interpreting noise, you really need to account for confidence intervals. If you are going to give warming/cooling trends different colors when they differ by 0.5 degC, you probably mght show the portion of the triangle where the confidence interval is narrower than +/-0.5 degC. The global surface trends with confidence intervals for roughly the last 50, 40, 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 years are:

    0.168 +/- 0.019 (last 50 years)
    0.172 +/- 0.023 (last 40 years)
    0.176 +/- 0.037 (last 30 years)
    0.175 +/- 0.038 (last 25 years)
    0.142 +/- 0.065 (last 20 years) perturbed by 1997/8 El Nino
    0.168 +/- 0.109 (last 15 years)
    0.314 +/- 0.215 (last 10 years) perturbed by 2015/6 El Nino

    Notice that the most recent 10-year trend is not significantly different from that for any of the other periods shown. You could leave uncolored the areas of the triangle you feel have such wide confidence intervals that a difference in color is insignificant. Or you could make the colors semi-transparent in areas where one color change is insignificant, but two color changes are significant.

    It is also worth remembering that 2.5% of trends will fall above or below the 95% confidence interval simply by chance. So if a few percent of the area of your triangle has a statistically different trend, that doesn’t mean the trend has changed.

    1. Hi Frank,

      thank you for your comments. From a traditional statistical point of view, your comments make good sense.

      However, a global warming contour map is NOT a traditional statistical analysis.

      With a single linear regression, the only way to measure the accuracy of the estimate, is to calculate a confidence interval.

      With a global warming contour map, the accuracy of any linear regression, is determined by the number of neighbouring linear regressions which give the same answer. When you have 10,000, or 20,000 neighbouring linear regressions, all giving the same answer, then you can be fairly confident that the estimate is correct.

      Also, a global warming contour map tells a story. This story must be logical and consistent, otherwise the contour map would not be believable. For example:
      if the warming rate was +2.0 degrees Celsius per century, from date1 to date2 (a 10 year interval), and
      the warming rate was +4.0 degrees Celsius per century, from date2 to date3 (a 10 year interval), then
      the warming rate from date1 to date3 (a 20 year interval) must be +3.0 degrees Celsius per century,
      otherwise the global warming contour map would be inconsistent.

      So, with a global warming contour map, which is calculated from over 150,000 linear regressions, there are literally tens of thousands of consistency tests, performed automatically.

      Every global warming contour map comes with a lifetime, money back guarantee. If your global warming contour map ever breaks down, we will pick it up, and repair it, free of charge. And we will give you the use of a free “loan” global warming contour map, while yours is being repaired.

      Isn’t that better than a 95% confidence interval?

  6. Sheldon

    According to sources you trust, what is the approximate difference in global temperature between the LIA and present?

    1. During the LIA, glaciers advanced throughout the Northern hemisphere, and here is a little of the misery in Europe:

      “The Little Ice Age, by anthropology professor Brian Fagan of the University of California at Santa Barbara, tells of the plight of European peasants during the 1300 to 1850 chill: famines, hypothermia, bread riots and the rise of despotic leaders brutalizing an increasingly dispirited peasantry. In the late 17th century, agriculture had dropped off dramatically…..”

      All that from less than 2.0 C below the current global average? For whatever reason, a couple of degrees seems to make a BIG difference.

      1. I have trouble believing that the average temperature of the earth, during a full ice age, is only 6 to 10 degrees Celsius colder than today. But that is what the graphs suggest.

        I once did a computer model of the earth, with no atmosphere. You know the one, it gives an average temperature for the earth, of about -18 degrees Celsius.

        But I looked at the temperature at different latitudes. Even though the average temperature of the earth was about -18 degrees Celsius, the temperature at the equator was just above zero degrees Celsius, for about 6 hours of every day.

        I don’t think that many people know that.

      2. I have trouble believing that the average temperature of the earth, during a full ice age, is only 6 to 10 degrees Celsius colder than today. But that is what the graphs suggest.

        Proxy data that gives us history of the average temperatures are mostly based on ocean temperature averages. Most people live on land and the land temperatures do get much warmer and colder than ocean averages.

      3. popesclimatetheory,

        you said, “Proxy data that gives us history of the average temperatures are mostly based on ocean temperature averages. Most people live on land and the land temperatures do get much warmer and colder than ocean averages.”

        Thank you. That is a very good explanation. I wish that I had thought of that. It is very easy to get fooled when looking at global warming graphs. I have to constantly remind myself about the temperature gradient from the equator to the poles. Because temperature anomalies can make you think that everywhere is getting “warm”. But many places are still “cool”, even with global warming (with an average temperature below 15 degrees Celsius).

    2. Hi Snape,

      That is a difficult question, and it is not a subject that I know a lot about.

      Let me ask you a question. What was the temperature of the earth, yesterday?

      It varied from about -30 degrees Celsius at the poles, to about +30 degrees Celsius at the equator. Over land, the temperature varied by about 10 degrees Celsius over the day. Between summer and winter, there can be a difference of 20 or 30 degrees Celsius.

      And you want me to say what the temperature difference was, from today, over a 600 year period, from about 1250 to 1850.

      I can tell you one thing, the temperature varied a lot over that 600 year period. It was colder at some times, and not so cold at other times. It was colder in some places, and not so cold in other places.

      Do you want a temperature difference for a small area, like England? Or an average over the entire earth? Or an average for just the northern hemisphere?

      The question that I think of, when you ask me that question, is, “How long is a piece if string?”

      Just joking, it was exactly 1.3759 degrees Celsius, colder.

      Since a full ice age is only about 6 to 10 degrees Celsius colder than today, I am going to guess that temperatures during the Little Ice Age were maybe 1.0 to 1.5 degrees Celsius colder than today. But that is an average. It was different at different times, and it was different in different places. I cannot be any more exact than that.

  7. Hi Sheldon

    My question was rhetorical, meant as a response to your conversation starter:

    “Here is a practical exercise that anybody with a car can do, to check out how dangerous global warming will be.”

    Thinking you can take a drive to simulate global warming is like thinking you can take a drive to simulate the LIA.

    1. Good one, Snape. You got me.

      Sorry, I couldn’t reply sooner. I just got back from a drive to simulate the Medieval Warm Period.

  8. LOL! Thanks for this very funny but also very convincing, down to earth “solution.”

    Oh and by the way:

    “I find it very upsetting, to see large numbers of people in distress.”

    In this case you are wrong. They are not at all in distress. If you watch the many videos predicting impending doom, the “experts” are positively quivering with glee. Who cares what the fate of humanity will be, so long as their agenda is fulfilled.

    1. Hi Victor,

      now that you mention it, I have also noticed the “enthusiasm” that accompanies predictions of disaster. I always thought that it was just the scientists competing, to see who was the “alpha” scientist.You know the sort of thing, “my predicted disaster is bigger than your predicted disaster”.

      Alarmists like to accuse skeptical scientists, and even ordinary skeptics, of receiving money from “Big Oil”. Few people realise the power that the Fruit and Vegetable Cartels hold. Back in the 1950’s, Doctors used to claim that smoking was good for you (“More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”).

      Then “Big Fruit” got involved. The doctors changed their message. Now smoking was “bad” for you, and you should eat 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

      It is very easy for “Big Fruit”, to conceal the role of fruit, in global warming. They are ruthless, and think nothing of getting young children hooked on Mandarin oranges.

      As with most of these issues, you just need to follow the money. There is only one thing that we can be certain of. Peanuts do NOT cause global warming. The proof? Climate scientists do NOT work for peanuts.

  9. This analysis was done using the GISTEMP gridded temperature series (Land-Ocean Temperature Index, ERSSTv5, 1200km smoothing).

    Your results are only as good as the accuracy of the underlying temperature data. You say that you share the concern that they may have been “incorrectly” adjusted and that GISTEMP is not perfect.

    Could you please give your specific reasons for believing this.

    For example:-

    Are the temperatures properly adjusted for UHI?

    Is the extrapolation of temperature where measuring points are sparse and cover large areas correct and/or reasonable?

    Do you think adjustments to the historic record (eg USHCN in the 1930s) are correct?

    Thank you


  10. Hi Patrick,

    because I download GISTEMP on a fairly regular basis, I have seen historical temperatures (anywhere from 1880 to 2000), get “adjusted”. Why would a 100 year old temperature need to be changed? Even a 20 year old temperature. The temperature stations can’t be reporting that late! This is a mystery to me.

    I think that it is GISTEMP that adjusts for UHI, using the brightness of night time satellite photos. Poor North Korea doesn’t have much lighting at night. So GISTEMP doesn’t adjust North Korea for UHI.

    It is difficult to correct for UHI. GISTEMP is at least trying to do something. I suspect that this is not perfect.

    The extrapolation of temperature, where measuring points are sparse, and cover large areas, is another source of possible errors.

    So there are definitely possible errors, in many of the adjustments. But without any adjustments, there would also be errors. So I regard adjustments as a necessary evil. I hope that the various error cancel each other out, but there are no guarantees.

    That is why I say that GISTEMP is not perfect. But that it is probably not completely wrong.

    As a part of my research, I compare GISTEMP to other temperature series, like the satellite temperature series, UAH. You might be interested in looking at this. I made global warming contour maps (a “rate of change” of temperature graph), of GISTEMP and UAH, for the northern and southern hemispheres.

    The global warming contour maps of the southern hemisphere, for both GISTEMP and UAH, are quite similar.

    But the global warming contour maps of the northern hemisphere, for GISTEMP and UAH, are very different. I suspect that this is due the greater warming on the land, in the northern hemisphere. UAH measures temperatures in the lower troposphere, and this does not show the same amount of warming.

    The UAH contour map of the northern hemisphere, is similar to the UAH contour map of the southern hemisphere. A little more warming, but not a lot. Nothing like the dramatic warming visible in the GISTEMP northern hemisphere.

    Have a look at the global warming contour maps. The colour differences are dramatic.

    You can read about global warming contour maps, on my website, if you are interested.

  11. I have been looking at your map of warming since 1880 and it is obvious that you are a warmist and not a skeptic. I take issue with the level of color infill that the map shows, when the reality is that a great deal of the temperature data from the southern hemisphere is simply estimated.

    IE there are no actual weather stations in almost all of the southern hemisphere. Is is possible that you too have been hoodwinked by warmist scientists who work for official reporting agencies?

    A perfect example is the map of Africa. It doesn’t take much research to realize that there are few actual readings taking place, and there are certainly no records from 1880 or even 1980.

    Thanks for starting a site where opposite views can be shared without the nastiness………

    1. Dan, many people (usually skeptics), do accuse me of being a warmist. However, I can assure you that I am a skeptic (I have a dog licence, with the word “dog” crossed out, and the word “skeptic” written in with a crayon).

      Sometimes I pretend to be a warmist, to make people realise how silly warmists are. There are different types of skeptics. I am a cynical skeptic (a subclass of the class “Monty Python” skeptics).

      Most historical temperature data is estimated. Even a lot of the modern temperature data is estimated. They don’t have temperature stations everywhere. If you want to draw a map, then you have to use something (a blank map is not very interesting).

      I use warmist data (often GISTEMP), as a weapon against warmists. They can’t claim that I am using the wrong data, because it is their data. I try to show that their data is inconsistent with reality (i.e. global warming should be causing terrible catastrophes, with the amount of warming that we have already had).

      I hope that no warmists read this comment, and see what I am doing. I am already in trouble at school, and I don’t want any more detentions. As a punishment, they make you write essays about how terrible global warming is.

      1. I should add that the warming visual I was referring to is the “This is what Global Warming looks like” page. Being new to your site I hadn’t realized that you had created many series of illustrations, from multiple source records.

        Thanks for the reply. I think I was schooled at the same skeptis college.

      2. Hello! I only discovered this website recently, and haven’t had the opportunity to read through the entire commentary section, so I apologize if what I am saying is not completely relevant to this conversation.


        Moving on, the documentaries on the Arctic and Antarctic speak about the “hard” and “difficult” lives of the occupants of the ice, but then contradict themselves by saying how we are destroying the animals’ habitats through our “carbon emissions”. To be honest, those same animals would benefit from the increase in temperature. Penguins wouldn’t freeze to death, and polar bears would adapt to legitimate land (I say ‘would’ because nature has been adapting to global environments for thousands, even tens of thousands, of years).

        I would like to address the idea that humans have been and are continuing to “cause global warming due to our carbon emissions from our cars, airplanes”, et cetera et cetera. However, our contribution to the carbon-percentage of Earth’s atmosphere has been minimal. This statement could be supported with evidence, but I will only do so if someone should request the validity of my thoughts on the subject at hand.

        I would also like to comment on the claim that humans are creating the “downfall of the planet”. Did you know that during the Mesozoic Period, the gigantic beasts that roamed across this sphere of dirt and trees were called dinosaurs? Why do you think bugs were massive and the Tyrannosaurus Rex the “King of the Lizards”? The formerly stated scenario happened because immense amounts of oxygen were to be found in the atmosphere at the time. The folks who went to sixth grade science would know the term “photosynthesis” and what that process produces. When humans breathe in oxygen, they breathe out carbon dioxide. Plants use this gas to make glucose, or food, for themselves, and as a side product, oxygen. This continuous cycle has gone on long before historical records even existed. So, if our vehicles were producing carbon dioxide, wouldn’t the plants produce more oxygen, and so on and so forth? Wouldn’t that actually be BENEFICIAL for both animals and humans alike?

        The individuals who declare that global warming can be prevented by humans are refusing to see sense. If those people were sitting in front of me now, I would ask the question:

        Can we predict the weather five months in advance?

        I already know the answer to this question, and others might, too. The proper response is ‘no’. We cannot predict five months of weather because the weather can change rapidly, and we cannot predict those sudden alternations of weather patterns. If the weatherman gets the weather wrong occasionally, how can we predict the warming of the planet? And if we can’t change the weather, make it rain when the crops need it, and make the sun shine so we can have a nice day, how can we even hope to change the climate of the Earth? Humanity would have a better chance at preventing the ever-deadly natural disasters than to modify the very temperatures around the globe.

        I can’t rebuttal against every case involving global warming, but should anyone have questions, I would gladly answer them.


        PS. If someone just so happens to read the entire thing, THANK YOU! I worked very hard on this and I’d like for you to tell me what you think. Feedback would be nice. 🙂

        PPS. African or European swallows? Which could carry a coconut? (Monty Python reference, sorry I had to XD)

  12. @Patrick Harcourt

    There will always be debate about what are legitimate adjustments to reported temperatures. Obviously there is room for bias, which is why I personally like to view the raw data, and compare trends to the reported data.

    I am not going to make outright claims of fraud and manipulation, but will leave you with some food for thought. The US record, which is the most extensive in the world, reports raw daily data, as well as monthly adjusted data. In the recent past, the number of stations with missing daily reported data averaged between 10-20%. It is entirely legitimate to infill data based on other area temps, in this case. The amount of missing data currently is reported at about 40-50% of stations.

    For those willing to do the heavy lifting, there are some bread crumbs that can be followed. Individual station data is available to the public. Statistical analyses of this data tends to contradict whatever headline grabbing data is reported, as the reported data is based on adjusted monthly rather than raw daily data.

    Also when examining the missing and estimated data, some interesting (and troubling) trends present themselves. It appears, on the surface, that many of the missing data points come from rural stations, which would not be affected much by UHI.So by default the infill data is based more heavily on urban stations, which very well may be influenced by UHI. This essentially could create an upward bias to reported temperatures.

  13. Same problem with this post
    from Tamino

    If you follow the link you will find that he was critical of a post of mine on WattsUpWithThat

    And the astute reader of that post will realize that my response isn’t there. Not that I didn’t have a response, it’s just that when I posted it and retried to post it several times it never appeared.

    I assume I am banned from commenting on Tamino’s blog.

  14. Hi Sheldon, Your post on how far would you have to drive to reverse warming is interesting. There is a slight twist you might want to add however and that is arctic amplification. If the global average temperature goes up 1 C, at the equator, its significantly less and significantly more at the north pole. I’m not sure of the exact numbers here but it would decrease the distance at the equator and increase it at high Northern latitudes.

  15. Hi dpy6629. You are correct. But I didn’t include polar amplification, for 2 reasons. To keep it simple. And because not many people live in the polar regions. Also, snowmobiles can’t go very fast, so it takes a long time to travel 100 km. There is also the danger of people “falling off the edge of the world”, it they need to travel 80 km towards the pole, but are actually only 60 km from the pole.

    1. hhga2,

      that is a good question. I just tried making a “Comb of Death” sorted on the “coldest” temperature, followed by the “hottest temperature”.

      It looks like an upside down comb, but the shape is a bit different to the comb sorted by “hottest” temperature. The comb sorted by the “coldest” temperature is narrow at the “hot” end, and wide at the “cold” end. The comb sorted by the “hottest” temperature has a more uniform height over its entire length.

      Give me a few days, and I will make a web page to show you what it looks like.

      Of course, the “Comb of Death” sorted by the “coldest” temperature, is even more “deadly”. Because the teeth point upwards, if you fell on it, then you would be “impaled” on it.

      1. Hi Sheldon

        Regarding Tamino’s graph. Downward noise at the top of a warming trend is just that, “noise”…. not evidence of global cooling. An upward spike at the top of a trend is also noise but is in a position to produce a new record, something it likely wouldn’t have done from a lower starting point.

        So if ordinary noise (upward) causes record warmth – it’s the result and indicative of a warming trend. A similar fluctuation downwards, being nowhere near record cold, is evidence of nothing.

      2. Hi Snape.

        It is good to hear from you.

        I felt a disturbance in the force, when I read your comment on Tamino’s website.

        You said, “I’m feeling very naive. Had followed Spencer’s blog for over two years and was a regular contributor to the comment section…”

        That is not something that you should feel ashamed of.


        Weather is weather !!!

        Whether it increases the temperature, or decreases the temperature.

        Weather setting a new record MAY have some meaning. But it may indicate greater variability, or just chance, rather than prove a trend.

        Note that I accept that global warming is real. You don’t need to convince me about the trend.

        Did you read my article, called “A climate fairy tale”.


        I recommend it. But a warning – I have a “lame” sense of humour.

        Skip the humour, and go to the graph at the end, if you want to. Reading from the last graph, to the end, will give you the whole story.

        My graph shows a positive long-term warming rate. But it has been decreasing since about 2000. It has dropped from about +1.8 degrees Celsius per century (in 2000), to about +1.2 degrees Celsius per century (in 2018).

        A 33% reduction in the long-term warming rate, while we have had record levels of CO2, and record emissions of CO2. Doesn’t something seem slightly strange about this, Snape. Or do you just interpret everything as evidence of accelerating global warming.

        Note that I am NOT claiming that warming has stopped. It is just warming at a slower rate, for the last 18 years.

        What will happen next? I can’t tell what will happen in the future.

        But I see many Alarmists turning into Deniers, about the decrease in the long-term warming rate.

        I would like to hear what you think about this.

  16. “A 33% reduction in the long-term warming rate, while we have had record levels of CO2, and record emissions of CO2. Doesn’t something seem slightly strange about this, Snape. Or do you just interpret everything as evidence of accelerating global warming.”

    The Dow Jones declined 5.6% in 2018, yet Microsoft set an all time high and finished the year up 18.7%.
    Doesn’t that seem strange to you, Sheldon? How could an individual stock and the broader market move in opposite directions?

    1. We can use a stock market analogy if you want to.

      But I have to warn you, that I have a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Finance and Economics.

      The total stock market, is the equivalent of the entire Earth (land temperatures, sea surface temperatures, and underwater temperatures).

      The Dow Jones is a subset of the total stock market. Like GISTEMP is a subset of the entire Earth (just land temperatures and sea surface temperatures).

      Microsoft is the equivalent of one temperature station.

      It is no surprise if one stock goes in the opposite direction to the Dow Jones. Or even if one stock goes in the opposite direction to the total stock market.

      In the same way, it is no surprise if one temperature station goes in the opposite direction to GISTEMP. Or if one temperature station goes in the opposite direction to the entire Earth.

      It is even possible for GISTEMP to show a slowdown, or a pause, while global warming is still happening.


      Snape, notice that the 33% reduction in the long-term warming rate, did not just happen over a few years. It has been happening over about 18 years.

      I am the first to admit, that smoothing techniques are more uncertain near the ends of the curve.

      I developed my own method of iterative smoothing with a binary filter, using a LOESS curve as the target.

      Iterative smoothing provides higher quality smoothing, to many other techniques. But you need to know when to stop iterating. This is why I use a LOESS curve as the target.

      Usually, the smoothing that I do, is certain up until about 5 years from the end of the curve. It begins to get a little bit uncertain at about 5 years from the end of the curve, and the uncertainty increases as you get closer to the end of the curve.

      Even allowing for 5 years of uncertainty, there is still 13 years of decreasing long-term warming rate.

      The fact that you think that it is strange for an individual stock, and the broader market, to move in opposite directions, proves that you don’t know the stock market very well.

      How well do you know the climate?

      1. Sheldon, that’s not what I think about stocks, but it’s similar to your question about CO2 and global temperature.

        If Microsoft, one of the 30 companies that make up the Dow had such a great year, how come it didn’t push the index higher?


        My take on CO2 is this. If we had a time series like GISTEMP, 1850 to present, where CO2 had remained at preindustrial levels, we could compare it to what has been observed. In that way we would see the exact influence CO2 had on global temperature.

        That’s unfortunately not the case, so we’re left with physics and computer simulations.

        Temperature records are important too, but get muddied by other variables…..solar, ocean circulation, weather patterns, aerosols, land use changes, etc.
        How do we weed out the contribution of rising GHG’s?

      2. Snape, I think that you should be careful. You almost sound reasonable. They will cancel your membership to the Alarmist club.

        The movement of 29 companies, dominates the movement of 1 company. The Dow Jones is an average.

        Yes, if we had perfect data, then would would know the truth. But we don’t have perfect data. So we are forced to call each other insulting names.

        I have just sent an article to WattsUpWithThat, called “Temperature and Population by Country”. I hope that they publish it, because it is very interesting. It is one of my best articles.

        My next project is to extract the “noise” from GISTEMP, and add it to 3 linear trends (+1.0, +0.0, and -1.0 degrees Celsius per century). I want to see if my smoothing method can positively identify the underlying trend. It should be interesting. I will write an article on it, if it seems worthwhile.

        Are you concerned that people like me, don’t take global warming seriously enough? Do you think that I am too stupid to understand global warming? Or do you think that I make some valid points?

  17. “Are you concerned that people like me, don’t take global warming seriously enough?”

    Hardly anybody, including me, takes it seriously enough to actually do anything about it. My carbon footprint is as big as your average American’s….which is huge. Notice though, that the recent heat wave in Australia was pretty severe, but averaged over the month was only 2.91 C. above average. A little warming is a much bigger deal than what we might logically expect.

    “Do you think that I am too stupid to understand global warming?”

    The notion crossed my mind…..just kidding! You obviously have a gift for math and computer science. Requires serious smarts.

    Love your graphs, BTW. Still meaning to go through some of your articles, but honestly I’m pretty clueless when it comes to stats so don’t know how helpful my opinion or input would be.

    1. Speaking of stats, are you familiar with the Monty Hall probability puzzle? A goat behind two doors and a new car behind one? Roy Spencer brought it up just for fun a year or two ago.

      1. Yes, I am familiar with the Monty Hall probability puzzle. It is very counter-intuitive, even when you know the answer.

        I love difficult maths/logic problems. The problem is, that I have seen most of them. It is hard to find new ones.

        Do you know this one:

        You are given a set of scales and 12 marbles. The scales are of the old balance variety. That is, a small dish hangs from each end of a rod that is balanced in the middle. The device enables you to conclude either that the contents of the dishes weigh the same or that the dish that falls lower has heavier contents than the other.

        The 12 marbles appear to be identical. In fact, 11 of them are identical, and one is of a different weight. Your task is to identify the unusual marble and discard it. You are allowed to use the scales three times if you wish, but no more.

        Note that the unusual marble may be heavier or lighter than the others. You are asked to both identify it and determine whether it is heavy or light.

  18. I would have guessed you know the Monty Hall problem. Are you aware of this peculiarity, though?

    If Monte doesn’t know where the car is, and by chance opens a door with a goat behind it, your original choice has a 1/2 chance of being the winner. Might as well stay. The odds change depending on whether the goat is revealed on purpose or by accident.

    I tried a few years ago to figure out the marble problem. Too hard. Maybe I’ll give it another shot.

  19. A-to-D

    I think your analyses are quite interesting but I havn’t seen my favorite word yet — enthalpy, is it there someplace?


  20. Sheldon,

    I think your blog could be improved by providing a separate comment section for each of your posts.

    Is that hard to do?

  21. A-to-D

    The CO2 business is all about blocking IR and heating the atmosphere. We have models programmed with particular relationships and we want to know if the real world really works the way the models are programmed or if the seeming concurrence is an accident.

    The thermodynamic word for the energy of a gas is enthalpy, and it is the enthalpy that must change
    if heating takes place.

    The shortest useful definition for atmospheric enthalpy H is
    H = Cp * T + q * L + G * Z
    for heat capacity Cp , temperature T, mixing ratio Z, heat of vaporization L, gravity G and altitude Z.

    You will find this in papers on radiative-convective equilibrium, say by Emmanual, Held, O’Gorman,

    To be thermodynamically accurate, it is the planetary average value of H that must change if change in radiation flows cause heating.

    While the planet as a whole can change only through radiation, here at ground level a whole lot of energy is passed around by H2O. In fact something approaching half of all incoming radiation gets converted to water vapor. If you look at the numbers behind H small changes in the conversion rate of short wave radiation SWR to H2O can make massive differences in T.

    T can be changed by evaporating or condensing water at constant H. So any time I see a discussion of temperature, I wonder if the author considered that temperature and enthalpy are not the same thing — usually not.

    The conversion of SWR to H2O and vice versa is one of the many things that might change with CO2. At present there no complete theory behind several of the conversions, particularly condensation just bits of science tied together with statistics. f.ex, Does evaporation respond directly to SWR ? Does heterogenous nucleation depend on CO2?

    It is possible that planetary enthalpy is increasing more than temperature, or that diurnal phasing of condensation
    alters the high and/or low temperatures at constant enthalpy. Maybe both are happening.

    In short, I want to distinguish between changes in enthalpy and changes in the SWR to H2O conversion.

    Admittedly most people don’t care but I am not convinced that temperature alone is telling us what
    we need to know about greenhouse gasses, particularly when diurnal phasing is taken into account.
    And if the current understanding is incomplete, how can we rely on multi year projections?

    Since you show great facility with handling data, I would like you to be aware of the distinction.


  22. Hi Sheldon

    I generally agree with your Anne Alarmist post. People need to use critical thinking when looking at a graph…..it’s easy to be deceived by the way information is presented.
    On the other hand, Anne’s time series is centered on the page, naturally placed. Skeptic’s looks wacko. Graphic design would have a fit over all the empty space.

    Put it this way, you’ve created hundreds of charts where temperature change is shown using absolute values. When the location is somewhere hot, maybe the average has warmed from 32.5 C to 34.1 C, did you ever start the values along the y-axis at 0 C?

    1. Hi Snape,

      I am pleased that you approve of the Anne Alarmist post. Wanting something to be “centered on the page”, or “naturally placed” (whatever that means), is NOT important. I am displaying the truth. That is what is important.

      Mr A Skeptic’s graph does NOT look “wacko”. It is showing the truth. Or perhaps the truth is “wacko”. Empty space shows the truth. Do you want me to fill the empty space with pictures of cute kittens? Will that change the truth?

      Zero is an important value when looking at something like sea ice extent. Zero degrees Celsius is not necessarily an important temperature. What if I was plotting Fahrenheit (0 C = 32 F), or Kelvin (0 C = 273.15 K)? Zero Celsius does NOT mean no temperature. It is just another temperature value. So it is reasonable to choose a convenient temperature range for the X-axis or Y-axis.

      I appreciate your comments. It is good to hear what you think of my posts. Thanks.

      1. You don’t get it, Sheldon. A location may have a 100 F temperature fluctuation between summer and winter. A change of say 2 F, allegedly from global warming, is very small in comparison. Why would you present a graph that focuses on that small change, hiding the larger context? Are you a liar, trying to deceive people by hiding the truth?

        Or maybe your motive is less nefarious. Maybe a graph that encompasses a location’s full range of temperatures, thereby putting it’s “global warming change” in perspective, would leave a ridiculously large area of empty space on the page?

        An intelligent person can look at Tamino’s graph and in his mind’s eye extend the y axis down to zero. No problem. An intelligent person cannot look at Javier’s graph and fill in the information that is missing. It needs to be shown. You’ve created a false equivalency. Worse, ignored Javier’s deception.

      2. Snape. You are right, I don’t understand what you are saying.

        In my article called “How hot is that Country?”,


        I plot the average hottest month (summer), the average month, and the average coldest month (winter), for 216 countries.

        The graph shows the full range of temperatures, for each country. The X-axis goes from -30.0 degrees Celsius, to +50.0 degrees Celsius. I don’t focus on the small change allegedly from global warming. I show the larger context. Why are you accusing me of hiding the truth. I am showing the truth.

        My graphs have just the right amount of empty space. The empty space shows you the difference between
        – a countries average hottest month, and the “hottest” average hottest month, and
        – a countries average coldest month, and the “coldest” average coldest month.

        The empty space below a countries average coldest month, and above a countries average hottest month, allows you to see where the country fits into the full range of temperatures.

        I disagree with you, when you say “An intelligent person can look at Tamino’s graph and in his mind’s eye extend the y axis down to zero”.

        Tamino’s graph creates an illusion, which even “intelligent” people are tricked by. You may think that you are not being tricked, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being tricked.

        I am very familiar with optical illusions. I studied human perception, especially vision. I can look at some optical illusions, and even though I know that it is an illusion (I understand how it works), it still tricks me. That is what makes a good optical illusion. You are still tricked, even when you know that it is an illusion.

        Look at Tamino’s graph, and ask yourself, “how long until the sea ice extent is zero?”.

        Then look at Dr A Skeptic’s graph, and ask yourself the same question, “how long until the sea ice extent is zero?”.

        Do you get the same answer from both graphs?

        If you don’t get the same answer, then you have been tricked, because both graphs show the same plotted data.

        I am not talking about calculating how long until the sea ice extent is zero, using numbers. I am talking about the “impression” of how long until the sea ice extent is zero.

        I am not sure what Javier’s graph is. Where do I find it?

  23. “Wanting something to be “centered on the page”, or “naturally placed” (whatever that means), is NOT important. I am displaying the truth. That is what is important.”

    At the end of each trading session, you can google, “dow jones today” and a time series will appear in a clear, centered way. Today the change was 33.97 points. Tomorrow it might be 500 points, but the graphic will still be placed in a like manner. This is accomplished by adjusting the values on the y axis.

    In other words, the authors mess with the y axis in order to keep the graphic uniform. Are they hiding the truth?
    No. They expect the viewer to use/her his brain. A 30 point gain might “look” a lot like a 300 point gain – similar degree of incline – but even the dumbest investor understands the visual similarity is only an artifact of the display.

    1. The Dow Jones graph is a special case.

      The people who look at it, look at it on many days. Often daily.

      The people who look at it, are often comparing it, using their memory, with yesterdays graph.

      They know that the scale is changed to “make it fit”.

      To understand it, they know that they must look at the numbers.

      Because a 10 point rise, looks the same as a 500 point rise.


      You normally only look at one sea ice extent graph.

      You get a “mental impression”, from it. Many people don’t even look at the numbers.

      You seem to think that all graph viewers are intelligent.

      One of my favourite sayings is, “common sense is not very common”.

      The same applies to intelligence.

  24. Sheldon

    Sorry about that. I was completely wrong about your graphs. And as I mentioned before, I agree that a viewer’s impression of information can be easily manipulated by how a graph is formatted. What is insignificant can be made to look dramatic and visa-versa, We disagree on some of the details so I’ll leave it at that.

    Your response to the stock market graphs was spot-on. Good job.

  25. Canada has already demonstrated what a 1.6°C rise in temperature does to a country:
    – Over the period 1948 to 2013, the average annual temperature in Canada has warmed by 1.6 °C (relative to the 1961-1990 average)
    – winter temperatures warmed by 3.4°C over the past 71 years; spring, summer and autumn temperatures warmed by 1.5°C to 1.6°C over the past 71 years.
    So far I’d have to say I can’t see a significant climactic difference. Perhaps it is overshadowed by the immense and unwavering variability of our weather. We still get weeks of winter where temps are near -40°C. Some years spring arrives early and you think you can plant the garden, but then you get a killer frost about the time the plants sprout. This year spring was just plain late. For the past few years the cold and snow have arrived early and made harvest difficult. Some years, autumn is much like summer.
    In short, a warming of 1.6 °C might make a difference if it was always that much warmer every day, all year long.

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