Even Denier’s Favorite Graph Showing Big Temp Spike

March 1, 2016

spencer0216.jpgRecent Nature Climate Change paper reopens the theological discussion about whether there was a “pause” or “hiatus” (really meaning just continued warming but slower) in global surface temperatures during the last decade or 2.  Significant authors include Mike Mann and Gerald Meehl.

Deniers, as usual, are freaking out.
Kind of moot in that even denialdom’s favorite graph, (above) from John Christie/Roy Spencer’s University of Alabama Huntsville shop is showing a bodacious spike that kind of makes the “no warming since…” meme a bit dated.

Just to show how over the top this has gotten, here’s just a sampling of James Delingpole’s latest spittle flecked rant.

In my last column I promised I’d name the guilty names: all those morally bankrupt, intellectually tainted, mendacious, ignorant useful idiot shills who for the last several years have assumed the mantle of scientific expertise and loftily declared that the “Pause” in global warming wasn’t a thing, only a fantasy cooked up by evil deniers.

You may say that I’m using a sledgehammer to crack a nest of cockroaches; that rather than crow in victory one should be magnanimous in order to prove oneself a better man than they are, Gunga Din.

Here’s a first. For a more measured reaction, I’ll go to reliable Science Committee lukewarmer witness Judith Curry’s blog:

Firstly, climate scientists agree that global warming has not ‘stopped’ – global surface temperatures and ocean heat content have continued to increase, sea levels are still rising, and the planet is retaining ~0.5 days of the sun’s incoming energy per year.

I think there is also broad agreement that climate scientists have probably not chosen the right words (e.g. ‘hiatus’) to describe the temporary slowdown, especially when talking to the media and the public.

However, there has very clearly been a change in the rate of global surface warming. Figure 1 shows rolling 15-, 30- and 50-year trends computed for different surface and satellite global temperature datasets. There are clear fluctuations in the rate of global temperature change in the past. We also expect similar fluctuations in future – global temperatures will not increase smoothly or linearly.

Spencer adds this:

In addition to the expected tropical warmth, scattered regional warmth outside the tropics led to a record warm value for extratropical Northern Hemispheric land areas, with a whopping +1.46 C anomaly in February…fully 0.5 deg. C above any previous monthly anomaly (!)


So all in all, not much different from what James Hansen told BBC a few years ago.

27 Responses to “Even Denier’s Favorite Graph Showing Big Temp Spike”

  1. j4zonian Says:

    It’s 9:53 pm; and it has not warmed at all since 11 am. Clearly, we ARE in a pause–or even a protracted cooling phase of history.

  2. Tom Bates Says:

    Why does everybody have their pants on fire over a single months apparent data? The graph as a whole does show a pause since 1997 except for Feb, 2016 and that is only for one measurement. I bet somebody changed the way the data is interpreted. If one looks at the same data from STAR there is no sudden spike and the data shows either stable or a decline depending on what layer one looks at. RSS data is similiar, no spike and declines or stable. I bet it was a change in how they massage the data.

    • Master Bates, that knock you took to the head yesterday at the interhouse quidditch match is more serious than the school nurse thought. Better forgo soccer training this afternoon.
      I’ll phone your dad and have him pick you up early. Rest up and contemplate what Prof. Spencer meant when he wrote “with a whopping +1.46 C anomaly in February…fully 0.5 deg. C above any previous monthly anomaly.” Suggest you read up on the difference between Fahrenheit and Celsius to help your contemplation. There’s a good lad.

    • Actually, if you filter out the effects of El Nino, reflective volcanic aerosols and solar variability, UAH shows a positive, warming trend that is similar to NASA GISS up until 2013.

      Please see:


      Beyond that? In the past the UAH satellite record has been subject to a variety of problems, including Spencer flipping a sign to account for a drift orbit. Each time they have corrected their errors they have shown a warmer trend than before. Regardless, if you don’t like including the effects of this El Nino, why do you start your “trend analysis” with the earlier super El Nino?

    • The following from the RSS mid-tropospheric temperature model:

      New Dataset from RSS: End of the Satellite “Pause”?

      I wonder what effect this will have on Ted Cruz’s views… This is the satellite mid-temperature “record” he loves to point to, isn’t it? The gold standard, according to Judith Curry?

  3. Tom Bates Says:

    If you go to the UAH site and look at their graph, you do not see a spike. What you see is temperatures very similiar and less than 2010. This is a tempest in a teapot storm manufactured by the AGW crowd out of whole cloth.

    • otter17 Says:

      Willing to remember this comment and apologize to all here when you find your accusations of outright manufacture are bogus? These types of flailing accusations almost always are bogus.

  4. Tom Bates Says:

    Here is a study of how much the CO2 has warmed the atmosphere. 2/10’s of a watt or .08F or 0.00014705882 percent of solar gain. That half day number is bogus. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

    • Master Bates, I just got a call from a very angry Prof. Curry. Gave her your dad’s phone number; privacy laws don’t apply in academic situations and you can confirm that with Rep. Lamar Smith. Apparently you’re a bit confused about the size of the surface of the earth – 510 million square kilometres. As an exercise, convert that into square metres, hint: it’s a really, really big number, and multiply it by “2/10’s of a watt” or 0.2 W. Get dad to help you work out the annual solar energy reaching the earth and go from there. How hard can it be if Prof. Curry could do it.
      Suggest you eat humble pie and apologise to the Prof. There’s a good lad.

      • jpcowdrey Says:


        Solar gain = 256K (Stefan-Bolzmann temperature of Earth) / 239W/m^2(TSI) = 1.07K/W/m^2

        x 0.2W/m^2/decade = 0.214K/decade

  5. Delingpole’s rant reminds me of “The Black Knight” from Monty Python in “The Holy Grail.”

    Even as they have every limb removed piece by piece….they refuse to look at the facts.

    Even as the temperatures spike to remove the one last straw man they built….they refuse to budge.

    Such is the nature of ego. They are so invested into what they have said over the years…..there ego will not allow them to admit they are wrong. Much like Donald Trump…..they have no ability to admit when they are wrong.

  6. […] Reageerder kapp55 bij ClimateCroks. 1 maart 2016: “Oh c’mon. The “no warming since …” meme is not dated. It’s just been updated to “no warming since 2016”.” […]

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