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One more data point

Filed under: — gavin @ 15 January 2020

The climate summaries for 2019 are all now out. None of this will be a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention, but the results are stark.

  • 2019 was the second warmest year (in analyses from GISTEMP, NOAA NCEI, ERA5, JRA55, Berkeley Earth and Cowtan & Way, RSS TLT), it was third warmest in the standard HadCRUT4 product and in the UAH TLT. It was the warmest year in the AIRS Ts product.
  • For ocean heat content, it was the warmest year, though in terms of just the sea surface temperature (HadSST3), it was the third warmest.
  • The top 5 years in all surface temperature series, are the last five years. [Update: this isn’t true for the MSU TLT data which have 2010 (RSS) and 1998 (UAH) still in the mix].
  • The decade was the first with temperatures more than 1oC above the late 19th C in almost all products.

This year there are two new additions to the discussion, notably the ERA5 Reanalyses product (1979-2019) which is independent of the surface weather stations, and the AIRS Ts product (2003-2019) which again, is totally independent of the surface data. Remarkably, they line up almost exactly. [Update: the ERA5 system assimilates the SYNOP reports from weather stations, which is not independent of the source data for the surface temperature products. However, the interpolation is based on the model physics and many other sources of observed data.]

The two MSU lowermost troposphere products are distinct from the surface record (showing notably more warming in the 1998, 2010 El Ni?o years – though it wasn’t as clear in 2016), but with similar trends. The biggest outlier is (as usual) the UAH record, indicating that the structural uncertainty in the MSU TLT trends remains significant.

One of the most interesting comparisons this year has been the coherence of the AIRS results which come from an IR sensor on board EOS Aqua and which has been producing surface temperature estimates from 2003 onwards. The rate and patterns of warming of this and GISTEMP for the overlap period are remarkably close, and where they differ, suggest potential issues in the weather station network.

The trends over that period in the global mean are very close (0.24oC/dec vs. 0.25oC/dec), with AIRS showing slightly more warming in the Arctic. Interestingly, AIRS 2019 slightly beats 2016 in their ranking.

I will be updating the model/observation comparisons over the next few days.

Unforced variations: Jan 2020

Filed under: — group @ 1 January 2020

The new open thread on climate science for a new year, and a new decade – perhaps the Soaring Twenties? What precisely will be soaring is yet to be decided though.

Two things will almost certainly go up – CO2 emissions and temperatures:

But maybe also ambition, determination, and changes that will lead to reduced emissions in future? Fingers crossed.

AGU 2019

Filed under: — gavin @ 8 December 2019

Another year, another AGU. Back in San Francisco for the first time in 3 years, and with a massive assortment of talks, events and workshops. For those not able to go, there is an increasing, though not yet exhaustive, availability of streaming and online content.

Notably, the AGU GO service is streaming 15 sessions live on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with the ability to ask questions and interact with other registrants, both in San Francisco and online.

Additionally, there are many posters available electronically at the ‘eLightning’ sessions covering the full range of AGU topics.

The hashtag to follow on Twitter is #AGU19.

Forced Responses: Dec 2019

Filed under: — group @ 6 December 2019

Open thread for climate solution discussion. Climate science discussions should remain on the Unforced Variations thread.

How good have climate models been at truly predicting the future?

A new paper from Hausfather and colleagues (incl. me) has just been published with the most comprehensive assessment of climate model projections since the 1970s. Bottom line? Once you correct for small errors in the projected forcings, they did remarkably well.

More »

Unforced variations: Dec 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 December 2019

This month’s open thread. December already?

10 years on

Filed under: — gavin @ 17 November 2019

I woke up on Tuesday, 17 Nov 2009 completely unaware of what was about to unfold. I tried to log in to RealClimate, but for some reason my login did not work. Neither did the admin login. I logged in to the back-end via ssh, only to be inexplicably logged out again. I did it again. No dice. I then called the hosting company and told them to take us offline until I could see what was going on. When I did get control back from the hacker (and hacker it was), there was a large uploaded file on our server, and a draft post ready to go announcing the theft of the CRU emails. And so it began.

From “One year later”, 2010.

Many people are weighing in on the 10 year anniversary of ‘Climategate’ – the Observer, a documentary on BBC4 (where I was interviewed), Mike at Newsweek – but I’ve struggled to think of something actually interesting to say.

It’s hard because even in ten years almost everything and yet nothing has changed. The social media landscape has changed beyond recognition but yet the fever swamps of dueling blogs and comment threads has just been replaced by troll farms and noise-generating disinformation machines on Facebook and Twitter. The nominally serious ‘issues’ touched on by the email theft – how robust are estimates of global temperature over the instrumental period, what does the proxy record show etc. – have all been settled in favor of the mainstream by scientists plodding along in normal science mode, incrementally improving the analyses, and yet they are still the most repeated denier talking points.

More »

Sensitive But Unclassified

The US federal government goes to quite a lot of effort to (mostly successfully) keep sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information (like personal data) out of the hands of people who would abuse it. But when it comes to the latest climate models, quite a few are SBU as well.

More »

Unforced variations: Nov 2019

Filed under: — group @ 1 November 2019

This month’s open thread.

Do you want to share your views on climate change and reading blogs?

Filed under: — rasmus @ 21 October 2019

A survey is conducted by researchers of Cambridge University and Wageningen University. They have asked us to post information about it. Please share your views on climate change and reading blogs by filling out this survey. The data will be used to get a better understanding of climate change blog audiences’ views on climate change and their blog reading behavior.

What’s in it for you?

  • You have a chance on winning a $20 gift card of Amazon;
  • You will get a sneak preview of the preliminary results;
  • You will contribute to research on climate change blogs.

Participation is anonymous, and your answers will be handled confidentially. The data is only used for research purposes.

The Cambridge University and Wageningen University team highly value your input. Please fill out the survey by following this link.


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