2012 Hottest Year on Record

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by zenMachine, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    The average temperature was 55.3 degrees, 1 degree above the previous record and 3.2 degrees more than the 20th-century average. Temperatures were above normal in every month between June 2011 and September 2012, a 16-month stretch that hasn’t occurred since the government began keeping such records in 1895.

    Washington Post
     
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  2. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Zen, we were inoculated against this months ago by the Daily Mail Online. Again. If the vaccine is not working, one will continue to notice that air T each decade is warmer than the previous. Dang! how poorly that coincides with solar energy flux, and all of the other 'it can't possibly be CO2' whack-a-moles. Wish I could help.

    Behind the WaPo and other media splashes on this, the NOAA source website is easy to find. Dig a little deeper at NOAA to see that the mighty Mississippi is still dry, and this important material transporter still ain't workin'. US got too warm last summer, but that's over. Crops were -10%, something like that. But the 'Father of waters' is still pretty dry. I think that it teaches the persistence of different things; something that we should try to understand.
     
  3. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    Shame on media.
    Headline should read "2% of the Earth has hottest Year On Record"
    Rest of the world not much.
    USA is one of the few places om Earth who lowered CO2 during 2012.
    Lower CO2 must cause warming.
    BTW Global temp for 2012 is 9th warmest .
     
  4. icarus

    icarus Senior Member

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    ^Citation?
     
  5. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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  6. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    The UAH choices of thermal (~altitude) wavelength band and data recalibrations are theirs alone to make. And yours alone to decide of they overrule all other global records that we have.

    In any case, that record begins in 1979. The HADCRUT4 record (I recently told you where to download it) begins in 1850. To that, the month of November 2012 has been added. Not december yet, so it is still not possible to nail down the rank of 2012, compared to 1850 and later.

    But since I told the limitation, I can do so anyway :) Tied for sixth (with 2009) and exceeded by 2010, 2005, 1998, 2003, 2006 (in descending order). When Dec 2012 gets added, that could be redone. No doubt, somebody will do it.

    I'm also happy that US CO2 release is down, except to the extent that it serves as proxy for economic activity. No doubt a better record would include well site and refinery flaring, and all forms of fossil methane release. Those are not now accounted.

    To do a really good job on net IR-absorptive gases, we'd also have to include carbon sequestration on land and in territorial waters, other net methane fluxes, nitrous oxide, and tropospheric ozone. Would be great, would cost some money, and does not now exist. Incompleteness is not a virtue.

    Ah, CO2 mixing in the atmosphere. Whack-a-mole continues. In Marc Morano science (and Monckton and gee I don''t know how many others), it does not mix. Our very survival depends on the falsity of this! Trees absorb CO2 up in canopy where the leaves are. Decomposition releases it at ground level. Walk into a forest and be immediately anesthetized by the ground-level, unmixed CO2? That would be horrible.

    The time and space scales on which CO2 is 'perfectly mixed' and 'just pretty well mixed' are known and knowable by you. Either by way of personal study, or by acceptance of others who have done it. Not knowing is not a virtue.

    Here's the real deal in forests, because I find it fascinating. In the soil, CO2 is 1 to 5%. Local sources and strong limitations on diffusional mixing within soils. But it does leak out at the soil surface and then immediately mixes into the air and you find 400 to (rarely) 900 ppm in ground-level air. So forests are safe for you! (absent the occasional fire)

    Chuck Keeling started CO2 measurements in a California forest, and essentially discovered these things. He went further and further afield to find 'perfectly well mixed', and ended up atop a Hawaiian mountain.
     
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  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    The same satellite (passive microwave) data is also calculated and presented here

    RSS / MSU and AMSU Data / Latest Temperatures

    on the linked page

    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/graphics/TLT/time_series/RSS_TS_channel_TLT_Global_Land_And_Sea_v03_3.txt

    Download, paste into spreadsheet, and rank the years. I just did, it turns out that 2012 is 11th warmest since 1979! Down two notches compared to Roy Spencer's!

    You should know you have access to all this data, and can use it it assist in forming your opinions.
     
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  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Yep, this is the warmest year in the US. In Texas, you know the most important state the warmest was 2011, for the world 2010 is in a statistical tie.


    Fear not, we have real indicators of economic activity and 2012 is among the best.

    CO2 is a proxy for coal electricity generation, but we switched much electricity from coal to natural gas and wind. Even electricity is not a good proxy, so that link should change.
     
  9. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Global climate change is a serious problem. The ocean is rising and we will see much of our current coastal land under water in our lifetime.
     
  10. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Here in Texas drought has caused huge economic losses. Water is going to be a big problem for years to come if this warming trend continues. Farmers are rightfully concerned; city folks not so much.
     
  11. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Lower Manhattan in NYC was under water thank you to Hurricane Sandy. Now there is debate about building structures similar to Venice Italy and Holland to protect the City from Water.
     
  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I see coastal land under water every high tide. Sea levels are rising on average 3.2 mm per year. That means in the last 8 years they have gone up about an inch. Sea level rise is not uniform though, some land is sinking having nothing to do with ghg. The point is it is really slow. When you look at the coasts the big change is what man and nature has done to them directly, not ghg. Its likely over the next 60 years the sea levels go up less than a foot.

    The first problem is political. Artificially low federal flood insurance has caused massive building in harms way. It needs to stop now. The risks are real even without ghg. When you add in rising seas, the government is paying people to put themselves and expensive buildings in harms way.

    The sea wall idea for NYC is an old one. It needs to be done. Sure it was over 50 years since the last big storm that hit, but this is random chance.
     
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  13. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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  14. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    In #6 I said that 2012 was tied for 6th place globally based on HADCrut4 (through 2012 Nov). This is not correct and I'd like to clear that up. It is in 9th place, and with no tie.

    But, I got to thinking. Seems odd that a year can be in 9th place since 1979 in UAH satellite, in 11th place since in SSMI satellite (different analysis of same data) and in 9th place since 1850 in HADCrut4. Same spot in a much longer record is another way of saying that it is a novel datum.

    So I graphed all the HADCrut4 anomalies in descending order. See the graph. If all years were just ups and downs, responding to consistent external factors. the dots would line up in a descending straight line. I am asserting that here, but think about how it could be any other way, and tell me what you come up with.

    The graph I show looks otherwise. There is a breakpoint at about the 33rd point. There are math/stat tests for identifying breakpoints, in case we'd rather not trust our eyes :) The slope before the breakpoint is four times larger than the slope after. Not that I can assign a clear interpretation to these slopes, but there they are.

    The graph does not show which year is which, so I will. No need to trust my words, d/l the data and see for yourself.

    The breakpoint defines years before and after 1973, so we could suggest that a new climate regime began then. But there are the following exceptions. 1944 and 1953 are in the steeper part, so we'd like to know why that is. 1976 through 1979 and 1986 are in the shallower part, even though they are more recent than 1973.

    If I have not confused you, betcha already know the answer. 1944 and 1953 were El Nino (ENSO+) years, though not the most extreme in the record. 1976 through 1979 and 1986 were La Nina (ENSO-) years.

    Exceptions to this (asserted) new climate regime have happened at ENSO extremes. 1998 was the strongest ENSO+ year since 1850, and even so, its T anomaly was exceeded (slightly) by 2005 and 2010.

    You can also guess where I am going next. If the new climate regime is not caused by increasing IR absorption in the atmosphere, we need a reason. Solar output doesn't fit, not least because 2012 was weak in that department. All the land-based thermometers are in heat-island cities? Gosh, all of them? We have already been through comparing all the independent compilations of land-T records. They all agree.

    So the rank of 2012, indeed almost all years since 1973, is prominent. ENSO variations will no doubt continue in the future. But my guess is that we are going to need lots of La Nina years in the future, to avoid (er, limit) this stubborn uppishness.

    So, welcome to the climate of the future. It began, without fanfare, 40 years ago.

    HADCrut by DAS.jpg
     
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  15. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    For the past 10000 years 2012 would rank 9825th warmest.
    In other words 175th coldest in 10,000 years.
    Not too impressive considering its the highest CO2 levels.
     
  16. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Yeah, I got that mojo, but we need to avoid being too credulous about what the stable isotope record of the ice cores means. I read that it matters where in the ocean the water evaporates from, and how high was the land surface where the snow (to later become ice) fell. I see that the ice corers recognize these limitation, and that they view their best contributions as coming from the longer time scale. How has your research into this topic been going? By which I mean, beyond Easterbrook calling 1850 the present.

    How should we best know previous climates, over what time scales? I think that is a darn good question. Polar ice cores and ocean-sediment clamshells are probably our best shot for 10^6 to 10^4 years. For 10^4 to 10^1 years, it looks like tree rings, varves, continental ice and cave speleothems. For 10^2 to now, I'd go with the thermometers, buttressed by ecological and related observations.

    If climate dynamics in the future is important for us, then it is a shame that there is not just one thing that we could look at that tells the whole story. Too bad (for us) that there is not just book we can read that tells the whole truth. Too bad we need to put in the work to see how to connect these varied records.

    Or, maybe we don't! Maybe everything will be great for us under increasing IR absorption. Warmer, more CO2, rain falling somewhere else, all good! It seems not my place to wake anyone from that dream.
     
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  17. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure you are wrong. I remember 2012 being the 9823th warmest, after talking to some of my older relatives.
     
  18. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    FL, you wanna me ignore your posts or something? Zen played his card by opening the (US local) instrumental record. I stretched it (perhaps forgivably) to the global record. Mojo went where he often goes, and I tried to drag him back to the matter at hand. And you wanna maka the jokes?

    We could be wrong, in detail, about the 1000-10000 year T record. Wronger for longer. But here we are talking about the shorter term, more the direct observations.

    I'd rather like to know how whacked I am by looking at those. You and mojo, in your own ways, have run away, Ah well, it is 'PC style'.
     
  19. mojo

    mojo Senior Member

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    If the ice cores measure only to 1850,then you splice on the instrumental data to the present.
    This should add an additional 1degree to the present.NOT 3.5 degrees as in Skeptical Sciences blatent deceit.
    Adding 1 degree to the present still makes the past 10,000 years warmer than today.
    Can you remember that point in the future?
     
  20. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    When the truck is stuck in the mud, explaining the situation to the truck does not get it unstuck. When I read the "9825" post, it just struck me as funny, much like the average family having 2.3345487 kids....and all the discussion is about the "7" in that number.

    More to the point you are after, the HADCrut4 sequencing of anomalies takes some effort to understand. It takes a lot more effort to see if it providing deep insight into something basic and not be an artifact of sometime indirectly related. Are anomalies due to a) a rise in temperature, b) a change in temperature, c) the value of the temperature, or d) something else?
     
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