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Temperature questions

The current El Nino is rousing our green friends into a frenzy as they anticipate all the lurid headlines they will be able to generate at Paris (this is, admittedly, before the year is actually finished, but that has never been much of a concern to the tree hugger).

But questions keep nagging away. If surface temperatures are blipping upwards, why does the pause continue in the satellite record? That's what happened in the 1998 super El Nino.

Similarly, 1998 was hot here in the UK, but the current El Nino seems to have had negligible effect on the British Isles. Indeed, if anything, the opposite.

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Reader Comments (81)

The world is cooling as we enter the new little Ice Age, and is accelerating. It's to do with the end of SC 24:

CO2-AGW is very near zero; you can easily show why. The problem with IPCC pseudoscience is that researchers have, apparently for over 50 years, been taught subtly incorrect physics, including claiming the S-B equation predicts a real energy flux, when it is the exitance of the emitter, potential EM energy flux in a vacuum to a radiation sink at absolute zero. In reality, the atmosphere radiates back, offsetting all self-absorbed GHG band surface IR emission.They also transpose emittance, an old term for the SI unit exitance, for emissivity. See units 19.1 and 19.2 in this MIT Thermodynamics course. They cannot communicate with standard physics'-based disciplines in this key area.

This leads to IPCC researchers being convinced they are right in creating a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd kind in the modelling, originally GISS claiming non existent 'negative convection' to offset 140% increase in input energy over reality, swapped apparently by the Met. Office to manipulating cloud physics and Kirchhoff's Law of Radiation to make more plausible, but still wrong physics. They then bleed off a bit of the imaginary energy as the non-existent EGHE. I don't know when this bad science will be dumped, but dumped it must be because you cannot teach false physics.

Sep 5, 2015 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Sorry, missing URL for the incorrect radiative physics teaching at MIT:

Sep 5, 2015 at 8:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

I was wondering about that. Hottest Year EVAH! and snowpack still in the highlands of Scotland in August? I vaguely remember that occurrence being used as proof of the coming ice-age in the mid-'60's. Is the data available to compare temperatures in the UK now with the temperatures, (un-mogaddoned) at the same developmental stage of the 1998 el Nino? Also, is the data available to compare sea-surface temperatures in the Western Approaches/ N.E. Atlantic between 1998 and the present?

Sep 5, 2015 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

Always worth remembering that El Nino is an index based on temperatures in certain selected areas of tropical oceans. Meteorologists/climatologists have selected these areas because, at some point in the past, they decided to consider them important.

If they wanted to, at some point in the future, they could change the size or location of the areas they want to consider important. Then the definition of an El Nino would change too. It is a matter of choice. Would it be better or worse, is merely the wrong question.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Hottest evah, El Nino will burn us all baby - yah!

...... and who would ever guess that, there was a world global warming contest coming up, a competition where eco warriors and green civil servants, idiot political despots from third world dictatorships and the formative European Soviet Republic, a mad man in the White House and paper pushing delegates gather to make 'chicken little' statements of ever increasing and apocalyptic hyperbole.


El Nino, is an entirely natural phenomenon and at the moment the tropical eastern pacific are experiencing some great upwelling of warm water, which has a knock on effect to pressure systems across the Pacific and admittedly to world weather systems.

At present, the earth, is suffering an extended ENSO warm phase episode to which, the Alarmists want to link El Nino to more extreme weather events [Typhoons] and consequential causation to man made emissions CO². That link is not made and never will be. For sure, we don't really understand fully the mechanisms for El Nino, all is conjecture and supposition - despite what NOAA and the Wet Office may prognosticate on.

After a super El Nino event, the northern Atlantic may experience "colder drier winters" [maybe] and warmer temps the following spring and summer [maybe].

Satellite readings show there is not much to worry about unless you live in the Pacific rim, although undoubtedly world commodity food prices can sometimes be greatly affected.

No, Lets worry about a far more existential threat, like; super volcanos, Britain's self inflicted energy production crisis, or the UK's continued and increasingly unmanageable mass immigration inundation or, the Daesh, world economy currently diving into a slump - all of which are of a magnitude and influence which are far more important.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

@ NCC1701E

I'm not seeing that in the data.
I don't understand your 'explanation'.
Could you spell it out to an intelligent layman without sounding like bafflegab?

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Morgan

El Ninos cool the ocean.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Working backwards, Leo: Despite the expenditure of billions of dollars the anthropogenic component has not been definitively delineated, and hasn't even been distinguished from zero. If it's zero, the physics in the models is incorrect, and this is an alternative view of the physics. At our level of understanding atmospherics, it would not be surprising if earlier thinkers were wrong. The best I can do to make it simple is that 'greenhouse', is a poor metaphor, 'blanket' a less poor one, 'models' even less poor and NCC's the least poor yet. It's metaphors all the way down.

I am impressed that the language may not have matured to the point of being able to describe atmospheric physics.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kevin Lohse, the CET is about as honest as temperature series go. You can get detailed data for it.

For N.E. Atlantic, the closest I can think of is the data for Stornaway from somewhere on the Met site. At one point I subtracted Stornaway from a few UK stations (Armagh, Oxford, Durham, Sheffield and the CET). I got interesting results. All of them warmed faster than Stornaway, with Armagh the least and Oxford the most. Sheffield was almost identical to the CET. The deviation from Stornaway started in the 1940s. Although Durham cooled in relation to Stornaway up to that point. The differences looked like urbanisation.

Don't know if any of that was useful to you.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

@TinyCO2. Thanks.

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Lohse

I find the correlation between the the satellite record and the only legitimate hockey stick somewhat lacking

Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions Since 1751 - CDIAC

36% of all Anthropogenic Carbon Emissions Evah emitted in the same period that the satellite record shows no increase in global temperature at all...

Data here, I used the 2011 data for 2012-2014, an under estimate

*perhaps a mod could embed the graph in the post

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterGras Albert

@Leo Morgan: sorry, but to understand this science, you need to know the precise meaning of scientific terms. I do because I am amongst other things, a heat transfer specialist in the days of slide rules and analytical physics, now replaced by computer packages so modern day scientists are really technicians unable to go back to 1st principles, blindly following whichever leader claims dominance.

Climate Alchemists imagine, from mistakes by Carl Sagan and their main textbook, Goody and Yung, that two bodies in radiative equilibrium emit separate streams of photon energy. This breaches Maxwell's Equations because photons are a subset of Poynting Vectors so interact as vectors, therefore mostly cancel out**, and the 1st & 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics, by creating extra energy and extra radiation entropy production.

You easily prove the EGHE cannot exist because to absorb that 'extra IR energy', the local atmosphere would have to be at about 0 deg C mean global temperature, and it isn't.

**Another EM potential term is Electromotive Force, Volts. To predict electric current in a wire you first calculate the vector sum of EMF at any point in the wire. Some of the EM potential disappears, e.g. 1.5 V one end, 1 V the other, the current is driven by 0.5 V. It's the same for EM radiation and there is an immense source of engineering literature on coupled convection and radiation proving it. Climate Alchemists should claim back part of their tuition fees, so should the MIT students being taught incorrect radiative physics..

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

“the current El Nino seems to have had negligible effect on the British Isles. Indeed, if anything, the opposite”

It did have an effect, starting in 2014. The current HadCET graph shows an uptick which only came about through the natural warming of the ongoing 2014/15 El Nino. Back in 2013 all of the Central England Temperature warming since the 1945 peak had been reversed by natural cooling, see

Simple empirical evidence shows that the global warming of the 80s and 90s, the only brief period of steady warming in the last 70 years, was due to a preponderance of naturally warming El Ninos, not man-made CO2. For details see

Sep 5, 2015 at 9:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

@Doug Brodie:the real AGW in the 1980s and 1990s was from Asian industrialisation giving a burst of extra aerosols. These reduced low level Pacific cloud albedo giving a vast increase in Pacific warming. Apparent global cloud area fell from 67% to 63% in 1983 and rose again in about 1997, probably an artefact from the image analysis discrimination by satellites. In 1999, the aerosol concentration had risen so much, Brownian motion caused agglomeration (the 'Asian Brown Cloud'), explaining why the effect ended.

The underlying physics is quite simple: Carl Sagan made a big mistake in his aerosol optical physics; the real sign of the 'Aerosol Indirect Effect' is reversed. The same aerosol mechanism explains Milankovitch amplification at the end of ice ages and part of the 50-70 year Arctic melt freeze cycle, melting because of biofeedback from stored micronutrients in old ice. This is why the Arctic is now freezing; the Fe and dimethyl sulphide is used up so it's colder because clouds let less solar energy through. In the early 2000s. ~120 km Arctic phytoplankton blooms were observed from Space and clouds had low albedo; it's all very simple but it's almost impossible to publish except in Asian journals.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

With the temperature data sets the interesting questions arise with comparing the results from different methods and/or sources, then seeking explanations for those differences. For instance surface temperatures are affected by local biases such as the urban heat island effect. To eliminate such biases requires temperature homogenisation - a process that cleanses the temperature data of measurement biases to only leave only variations caused by real climatic or weather variations. This is turn relies upon an assumption that nearby stations are exposed to almost the same climate signal. I have found that temperature trends can vary substantially over quite small areas not just in magnitude but in time period. As a result homogenisation can result in the introduction of biases into the data.
The response could be that these anomalies will average out. Cases where homogenisation amplifies the true temperature trend will be offset by the cases where homogenisation reduces it. One crucial area where this will not happen is where over time the density of weather stations varies. One interesting example (from the aspect of assessing the magnitude of human-caused global warming) is the relative magnitudes of the early and late twentieth century warming periods. In many parts of the world (both on land and sea) collection of temperature data was far greater post 1950 than before. As a result in the earlier period real local variations are more likely to be eliminated than in the later period. This hypothesis is testable, but there is huge resistance to even considering the issue from the climate community.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin Marshall

@NCC 1701E: I’m an engineer, not a scientist, so I can’t explain exactly why the warming of the 80s and 90s happened as at did, I can only go by the empirical facts. However in my paper I did suggest (page 5) that it could have been due to reduced global cloud cover which accentuated the El Nino oceanic warming effect.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Brodie

@Doug Brodie: I've now given you the reason! I wrote the paper but it can't find a home in the UK because it shows up the IPCC physics as being very wrong. This has been confirmed by the US' top cloud physicist who saw what I saw from the ground in the satellite data but possibly because he works with Trenberth, he can't publish either.

It's all so easy once you realise all the IPCC physics from Sagan is wrong: he made 4 bad mistakes. This also affects the Astrophysicists.The trouble is, this is heresy and the carbon traders will fight hard to prevent publication because it would destroy their $1.5 trillion a year industry.

Sep 5, 2015 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

There is typically a lag of between 2-6 months between El Nino affecting the surface temperatures and going on to affect the lower troposphere measured by satellites. That said, this one really does seem to be dragging its heels in the lower troposphere...

The last five or six years activists have been predicting an imminent super El Nino - the reason is obvious, they are hoping that natural variability will break the pause. Oh, the irony! It seems just at the moment, the stopped clock may be telling the right time.

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

@Spence_UK: if I am right, the 1998 super El Nino was from the real AGW, Asian industrialisation aerosols, not CO2. That effect ceased; the new El Nino will be much smaller.

The next move is that as Asia cleas up its emissions, we'll find suddenly accelerated cooling offsetting the 1980s - 1990s extra temperature gain, on top of the up to ~1.5 K cooling from a Maunder minimum LIA. It could be ~2 K cooling and 100s perhaps 1000s of millions of people might, in the absence of extra CO2, die from the collapse of agriculture.

However, extra CO2 may well save our bacon etc. by extra biofeedback. The OCO-2 satellite shows this is happening now as does Greening of the Sahel and ~30% increase in crop yields. However, it could be a quite painful 60 years or so.

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Sometimes after a hurricane or cyclone you can see the effect on the SST. With three on the go in the Pacific, Monday's map might be interesting. I might be kidding myself to say I can see the cool spots now?

I assume the wind features blast the heat upwards? Will they show up in the satellite records or is it a fast track to outer space?

Sep 5, 2015 at 11:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

@TinyCO2: convective clouds and overshoot are the Earth's safety valve, heat going directly to Space. This is the Differential part of the Earth's Proportional, Integral and Differential control system.

The Proportional system is via the normal water cycle, strong negative feedback.

The Integral part is heat storage in the oceans. The 1998 El Nino was a great big belch of heat via extra evaporation, latent heat and more convective cloud systems, and was a one off unless we do something similar to Asian Industrialisation, a sudden destabilisation of the very stable PID control system.

Any engineer, and I am one, knows such details instinctively. It's only dumb climate Alchemists who imagine otherwise because they were too poorly educated to counter Sagan and his successor in the scientific hubris stakes, Hansen.

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Here's the fact check on the hottest July

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon C.

I hope COP 21 in Paris is well attended by all the right people.

After all, COP 20 in Lima attracted the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, World Association of Girl Guides, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Maryknoll Sisters of Dominic, Women in Europe for a Common Future and the University of East Anglia, + 1300 more collections of nitwits.

Gotta have those important players present!

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

The HadCRUT4 record (upt to July) is suggesting a dramatic rise for 2015, probably an all time record, just as we run up to COP Paris. Its currently at 0.684 for 2015, compared to 0.536 for 1998.

Anyone suspicious?

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered Commenteroakwood

If you tell a lot of third world countries that they will get money if the figures show warming, it is almost certain it will show warming whatever the actual temperature.

The only thing stopping even worse wholesale corruption is the fact that the satellite shows what is really going on.

Sep 5, 2015 at 12:59 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Rick Bradford, Naturist Groups from colder climates also have an interest in a warmer climate. I wonder whether they have noticed anything worth displaying in Paris.

Athelstan, El Nino remains an entirely natural phenomenon, only because Gobal Warmists have yet worked out how to blame it on mann made psyantiffic causes.

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Fortunately, the satellite record is under the control of folks who have demonstrated rigor, precision and transparency to date.

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterbernie1815

Crackpot central on here today!

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered Commentersomeblah

A gnomic utterance from some anonymous bletherer.
Are you an expert in 'blah', sir, or just a passer of wind?

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:39 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Sagan and Pollock made 3 mistakes in 1960, claiming Venusian lapse rate warming was from surface exitance heating when that is not a real energy flux. They misinterpreted Mie scattering physics.

Gravity causes lapse rate warming, a virtual work problem. Later on, Sagan misinterpreted van der Hulst's empirical curve fitting. Lacis and Hansen stripped out absorption stuff in 1974 to get the cloud physics, but it is still wrong.

Wang et al started the GISS part of the mistaken physics in 1976 by claiming uphill convection; an abysmal mistake, check it out. The Met Office pulled their nuts out of the fire with the Kirchhoff's Law explanation, but you can't create energy in mathematical modelling or mix data types. This is obvious to any independent observer.

It is expected that lesser lights in the scientific firmament might consider such radical criticism as crackpot instead of answering it, presumably claiming the science is settled. Reality is 18 years 8 months no RSS mean global lower troposphere warming.

Sep 5, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

+1 kim

El Nino is a feedback. A colder atmosphere allows them.

Sep 5, 2015 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

If satellite data is more tamper resistant and less prone to hacking, shouldn't we be storing confidential computer records (Health, Banking etc) not on land or in ethereal clouds, but in space? Or is this a failed James Bond plot line?

Sep 5, 2015 at 2:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie they anticipate all the lurid headlines they will be able to generate at Paris ...

I'm looking forward to the lurid headlines.

After our freezing summer they will be a great target for suspicious responses from the Mainstream Media if they try to claim that we are experiencing the 'hottest temperature evah!' during a bout of freezing fog....

Sep 5, 2015 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

NCC 1701E, but this would destroy not only the delusions of grandeur ingrained within climate scientists, but all their actual accumulated riches aswell.

Will the planet, and all its inhabitants be better off if we lost all the knowledge and wisdom of climate science? Er, yes.

Sep 5, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

What knowledge and wisdom of climate science? At least since Hubert Lamb handed over to Wigley.......:o)

Sep 5, 2015 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Ref.: Michael Hart at 9:04 "… El Nino is an index ..."
El Niño is the warm phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation.
There are several indexes used by agencies in different countries. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) :

There is also the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI):
Paul Homewood shows this one on his blog of 2012/12/21 with the title 'NOAA Mixing Up Their Ninos' – also cross-posted on WUWT.

Sep 5, 2015 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

Will the planet, and all its inhabitants be better off if we lost all the knowledge and wisdom of climate science? Er, yes.
Sep 5, 2015 at 3:11 PM golf charlie

Despite dressing up in the clothes of science and doing its best to sound like science, climate 'science' is not science.

Any more than 'social science', 'domestic science', 'political science', 'economic science', 'creation science', 'relationship science' or even 'physical science' (= phys ed).

Sep 5, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

NCC 1701E sounds a lot like Doug Cotton.
If so, readers might want to search The Blackboard: "Doug Cotton has managed to get himself banned."
Likewise, Roy Spenser's site, and WUWT (see: Critical mass of Cotton)

If you like this stuff, collapse and go to: why its not co2 . com /index.html

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn F. Hultquist

@Hultquist: if you want to, try to prove me wrong on any of the physics I present, but you MUST provide unambiguous experimental evidence. I warn you that Pyrgeometers measure exitance, not a real energy flux. I won't be annoyed.

PS I disagree with Cotton in some areas but he, like many others knows that the Goody and Yung bidirectional photon diffusion idea is unphysical, so the radiative physics in the IPCC models is broken.

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

"a bout of freezing fog"

Is Al Gore going to Paris..?

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

UAH and RSS have until after 1998 shown higher response to El Nino events than surface series. 1997-8 marked the introduction of the AMSU sensors. The lack of a similar recent response does indeed raise questions and Eli is sure that UAH and RSS are busy beavering away on the problem. the answer is going to require either a re-evaluation of the MSU or AMSU records.

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

NCC 1701C
I don't know when this bad science will be dumped, but dumped it must be because you cannot teach false physics.

Well, we *are* going to need all kinds of phoney but well-paying, sciencey and socially-virtuous jobs for the well-connected and offspring of the elites once AI and automation displaces all us non-agreeing proles.

But these jobs can’t be too mentally challenging, require self checking or feature accountability for mistakes made, so what professions fit the bill?

Jobs in the $1.5 trillion/yr climate "science" industry of course!

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPiperPaul

Eli 5:37 Thank you.

That is a small step for a rabbit, but would be a giant leap for Mann's kind.

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@PiperPaul: what is at stake is the 230 year old Scientific Enlightenment. We cannot let bad science let the rich rape the poor by unneeded carbon taxes and subsidy farming, for that is out and out Fascism. And it was planned that way

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

I wonder if the supply of limousines, corporate jet parking and hookers in Paris will be more reliable than in Copenhagen. Environmentalists seem able to produce demand where one would expect none.

Sep 5, 2015 at 5:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBilly Liar


"re-evaluation of the MSU or AMSU records"

And re-evaluation of the balloon data records?

B.T.W. you should take a look at the lower stratosphere: no cooling since 1993-1994

Sep 5, 2015 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim

I forgot

Sep 5, 2015 at 6:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim

Billy Liar, climate scientists are like hookers, they are attracted to money, and will do and say whatever the best money wants.

Corporate jets and limousines, on the other hand, require hard surfaces to perform at their best.

Sep 5, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Eli's claims don't really make much sense (nothing new there, of course). The most marked swings in the Southern Oscillation Indices since 98 occurred between 2008 (La Nina), to 2010 (El Nino), to 2011 (La Nina). You can see quite clearly the swings during this period are stronger in the satellite data than in the surface data (Bob Tisdale's post at WUWT, linked below, has overlays of averaged surface and average satellite sets that show this quite clearly, see figure 9 at the link).

So I think the MSU / AMSU thing is a red herring, and I sincerely doubt either UAH or RSS will be spending any time going down that particular rabbett hole.

It should be noted that the bulk of the infamous 1998 super el nino occurred in late 1997. But the satellite temps don't peak until early 1998, at which point the SOI is actually swinging back towards neutral again. Given that, we are due an uptick in satellite temperatures from the el nino, probably in the next 1-3 months.

Bob Tisdale's Post

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

Ah, sorry, just to note the link is to the version of the post at Bob's own blog, rather than a version at WUWT. Thought I should clarify that!

Sep 5, 2015 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpence_UK

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