“The Best Data we Have”. Bad News for Deniers – Satellite Data Heats Up.

July 3, 2017

Oops. Paging Senator Cruz.

“The best data we have” just strengthened the consensus case for climate change.

Now I’ll have to update the video above, but main outlines are still current.
Climate deniers have cited the work of Carl Mears at Remote Sensing Systems to support their claims of slow, or no warming over last decade or so.  Any “Red Team” on climate science would have to include the scientist whose work has so often been cited (misleadingly) as supporting climate denial.
Mears, of course, has always made it clear that Senator Cruz, Judy Curry, and others deliberately distort or misuse his work.  His most recent update further clarifies.

John Abraham in the Guardian:

A new paper just published in the Journal of Climate is a stunning setback for the darling of cherry-picking for contrarian scientists and elected officials. Let’s walk though this so we appreciate the impact.

The vast majority of scientists know that the climate is changing, humans are the main reason, and there are going to be severe consequences. We have decades of measurements that prove our understanding of this process. There is simply no debate or dispute.

Despite this, there are a shrinking number of contrarian scientists, elected officials, and industry representatives that have spent endless time trying to downplay the impact. They have variously argued that the climate isn’t changing, that the changes won’t be very much, or that there are no viable solutions to the problem. Much of their position relies upon finding evidence that the current observations of warming are not great. That is, the Earth is not warming as fast as predictions.

To support this incorrect (and intellectually dishonest) position, contrarians have scoured the data for any evidence at all that suggests the Earth is not warming. They have skipped oceans (which account for 93% of the warming). They skip the Earth’s surface temperature, ignore ice loss, ignore sea level rise, and in fact ignore everything except some select regions of the atmosphere. Their fallback position is that since a part of the atmosphere seems not to be warming very fast, this means the Earth isn’t warming or that climate models cannot be trusted. I know I know, this sounds dumb, and it is. But it is their current argument.

Further clarification from Zeke Hausfather below.

Zeke Hausfather in Carbon Brief:

Researchers from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), based in California, have released a substantially revised version of their lower tropospheric temperature record.

After correcting for problems caused by the decaying orbit of satellites, as well as other factors, they have produced a new record showing 36% faster warming since 1979 and nearly 140% faster (i.e. 2.4 times larger) warming since 1998. This is in comparison to the previous version 3 of the lower tropospheric temperature (TLT) data published in 2009.

Climate sceptics have long claimed that satellite data shows global warming to be less pronounced than observational data collected on the Earth’s surface. This new correction to the RSS data substantially undermines that argument. The new data actually shows more warming than has been observed on the surface, though still slightly less than projected in most climate models.


Both the old record, version 3 in grey, and new record, version 4 in red, are shown in the figure above, along with the difference between the two, in black. The trends since 1998 for both are shown by dashed lines.

Most of the difference between the old and new record occurs after the year 2000. While the old record showed relatively little warming during the oft-debated post-1998 “hiatus” period, the new record shows warming continuing unabated through to present. Similarly, while the old RSS v3 record showed 2016 only barely edging out 1998 as the warmest year in the satellite record, the new v4 record shows 2016 as exceeding 1998 by a large margin.

To best understand the scam Ted Cruz and others have been playing, see below 4 scientists underscore just how the game is played.

11 Responses to ““The Best Data we Have”. Bad News for Deniers – Satellite Data Heats Up.”

  1. Gingerbaker Says:

    Deniers will not accept such a ‘convenient’ revision. And it is at least a decade since the time to stop debating liars and scoundrels about facts.

    It is high time to stop playing defense, and start playing offense. Time to change the Overton window.

    It is time to begin a full-fledged legal offensive against deniers themselves. We need a fully-funded ACLU – an American Climate Liberty Union – to aggressively lay civil suits and criminal charges against these agents and abettors of mass murder.

    Let’s take this to court. Let’s protest individuals not with fingertips on keyboards but with pitchforks and torches at their homes. Let’s get the best legal minds to clear the way for frog marching the Koch brothers, Limbaugh, Delingpole and 100 others to the ICC for prosecution for crimes against humanity.

    Let’s take real action.

    • toby52 Says:

      I disagree. Personalisation will just give deniers the inflated self-importance and martyrdom they crave.

      Focus on the science and be honest. It has won over most of the globe, only temporarily frustrated in the US thanks to the plutocrat nexus ranged against it.

      It was always a war of attrition, to be won by a thousand little skirmishes rather than pitchec battles.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        “Personalisation will just give deniers the inflated self-importance and martyrdom they crave.”

        Good. They can enjoy it from a jail cell. And the world will be a better place.

        “Focus on the science and be honest. It has won over most of the globe, only temporarily frustrated in the US thanks to the plutocrat nexus ranged against it.”

        That’s a definition of “temporarily” with which I am not familiar. Climate denial has been an orchestrated willful campaign for two decades. We no NOT have the luxury of hoping another two decades will magically turn the tide, and, as you point out, we are dealing with plutocrats. And the ONLY thing plutocrats worry about are pitchforks and jail terms.

        Recommending we stay the course instead of demanding justice be done is not just cowardly, it is EXACTLY what those plutocrats want. Why do you want to protect those who are murdering billions in slow motion?

    • grindupbaker Says:

      I suggest you note that Roy Spencer UAH in March 2015 released V6.0 which showed a TLT trend of +0.114 degrees / decade 1979-2015, reduced simply by Spencer’s improved (?) analysis from his prior V5.6 TLT trend of +0.140 degrees / decade 1979-2015. Ask whichever one of this worthless bunch whether they think that’s valid and, if so, why so. Then return to topic of Carl Mears RSS data v4 record showing higher trend than v3 record. Listen to them wriggle out of that pairing. I calculated that UAH trend 1979-2017 is +0.151 degrees / decade (Spencer didn’t trend and annotate that plot), way up from his 1979-2015 trend of +0.114 degrees / decade.

  2. I hate to burst your bubble, but Carl Mears himself just admitted that the Climate Mafia got to him:

  3. smithpd1 Says:

    I think that the writing in this article is backwards, leaving the punch line hidden until the end. The important point, to me, is that RSS TLT V4.0 now agrees with surface temperature record, so the use of satellites as a denier talking point is, even more obviously, no longer valid. As written, one must wade through old videos, which are correct but need updating, and click on “more” to see a portion of the TLT 4.0 story from Zeke Hausfather.

    Here are some numbers for the complete satellite record (1979-2017) to put it in perspective:
    1.84 C/decade (TLT 4.0 from TLT browser, updated monthly, to 82.5 N latitude)
    0.174 C/decade (Mears and Wentz paper on TLT 4.0, end of 2016, to 80.0 N latitude)
    0.170 C/decade (GISS, Climate at a Glance, 1979 to current 2017)

    Links —

    The Zeke Hausfather article in Carbon Brief:
    Major correction to satellite data shows 140% faster warming since 1998

    Carl Mears’ FAQ about the V4.0 TLT Update | Remote Sensing Systems
    (explains adjustments and above temperature rates)

    RSS V4 temperatures and link to Browser Air Temp Time Series (now 1.84 C/decade)

  4. Sir Charles Says:

    Major Correction to Satellite Data Shows 140% Faster Warming Since 1998

  5. […] Ben was an important contributor to my vid on how deniers misread satellite temperature data – one that I must update soon in view of new info! […]

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