It’s a cold day here today but global warming is still warming

Satellite temperature record with May 2019:

Just as a reminder: I cite the UAH satellite temperatures not because it is the best data set but because it cuts through a lot of disinformation. It’s maintained by a “climate sceptic” and doesn’t depend on land based surface stations.

In the 1980s, last May’s temperatures would have been a record breaking month. It is getting hotter, noticeably within our lifetime.

How hot was April?

I haven’t posted satellite temperatures for awhile, here is April:

As always, I’m using the UAH record because its the one that the deniers should have the least argument against.

According to the Australian Bureau of Metrology, there’s a 70% chance of El Niño conditions this year but likely a short lived set:

The magical cooling that is supposed to occur according to those who say warming is just solar cycles or just some other cycles, remains invisible.

Feeling cold? Here’s some global warming links

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that 2018 was the fourth warmest year since instrumental records began.

“Global temperatures in 2018 were the fourth warmest on record, US government scientists have confirmed, adding to a stretch of five years that are now collectively the hottest period since modern measurements began. The world in 2018 was 1.5F (0.83C) warmer than the average set between 1951 and 1980, said Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). This means 2018’s average global temperatures were the fourth warmest since 1880, placing it behind 2016, 2017 and 2015.”

According to the satellite temperature record, 2018 drops a bit to being the sixth warmest on record:

“The 2018 globally averaged temperature anomaly, adjusted for the number of days in each month, is +0.23 deg. C, making 2018 the 6th warmest year in the now-40 year satellite record of global lower tropospheric temperature variations.

Dr Spencer (who is a sceptic of global warming, so has no reason to exaggerate) also produced this graph showing ranking of years in his dataset:

While the US has had some chilly polar vortex woes, January was the hottest month Australia has had since records began according to the Bureau of Meteorology:

The Bureau of Meteorology released its climate summary for January on Friday and said the widespread heatwave conditions and daily extremes were “unprecedented”.
“There’s been so many records it’s really hard to count,” said Andrew Watkins, a senior climatologist at the Bom.

And despite those extremely cold temperatures in North America, globally January was relatively warm in the satellite record:

Satellite Temps for August

The usual caveats and observations apply.


Still in a relatively low point, that’s a historical high.

As we did a bit of solar discussion a few weeks ago, a reminder that if global temperatures were all due to solar cycles then we would already be in a historically cold period. If you don’t want to trust the temperature data then ask yourself “Is the world COLDER than it has been in decades?” The honest answer, unless you have a very confused memory is “no” – at which point you need to ask why.


(UAH Satellite temp anomaly versus monthly sunspot number, both normalised to fit on same axes)


How Coal Runs Australian Politics

The latest news in Australian politics is that ex-PM Malcolm Turnbull will resign his seat sooner than expected triggering a by election. I suspect this won’t bring down the government but it’s a more assertive act by Turnbull than I expected.

The Guardian has a report here:

Further down in that article is a comment from Turnbull’s son Alex, that confirms an observation I’ve made about this chaos:

“After Turnbull’s leadership loss last week, his son Alex Turnbull has started speaking publicly about his frustrations with the federal Coalition.
On Monday, Alex said he suspected a powerful group of coal mining companies on Australia’s east coast was having an “undue level of influence” on federal Liberal party policy.
He said the Coalition’s “singular fixation” on the Galilee Basin – a gigantic coal deposit in central Queensland – and on keeping ageing coal-fired power stations alive, had led him to believe “there are other forces at work” to explain the Coalition’s unproductive policymaking.”

“That there is an undue level of influence on Liberal Party policy by a very small group of miners who have some assets they probably now regret having purchased which did not make a lot of sense anymore and are trying to engineer an outcome which makes those projects economic,” he told the ABC on Monday.
When asked who the miners were, he laughed. Then he said: “People who own a lot of coal in the Galilee Basin.”

The observation certainly fits known facts. And here is a weird twist or perhaps an example of saying the quiet part loud: Denialist website Wattsupwiththat has an article loudly complaining that the press aren’t giving ENOUGH coverage to the fact that Turnbull was ousted because of climate policy:

The Right Don’t Need To Win To Stop Climate Policy

I perhaps didn’t emphasise this enough in recent posts on Australian politics. Yes, it is complex and factional and there is a lot going on around opinion polls and personalities and feuds. You particularly can’t ignore race and racism in this mess when, as Megpie commented on my last post “instead of the current Minister for Locking Children Up In Camps, we get the Former Minister for Locking Children Up In Camps”

BUT I’m going to focus on a single issue for a moment because it is a big one. Australia is a big country with a relatively small and urban population. The majority of its elected representatives believe that climate change is real and caused by human activity and that the government should take action on climate change. Successive Prime Ministers have promised to take actions on climate change. The non-urban population of Australia is also highly vulnerable to climate change and many Australian farming communities are currently suffering from an extended drought.

BUT Australia is a country with a lot of mineral wealth and a lot of that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of wealthy people. If a government tries to take action on climate change then the political right will move heaven and earth to stop it. There are lots of factors in Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall but it is notable that this specific toppling occurred directly around his attempt to pass a new energy policy – a very insipid policy watered down to extremes to get it past the right of his party but nonetheless, an energy policy.

Rudd, Gillard, Turnbull have each been successively punished by the right faction of the Australian Liberal Party, some select media outlets (two Murdoch controlled) and money from the mining industry. The conservatives in the Liberal Party just demonstrated that they’d happily trash THEIR OWN PARTY to use a kind of mutually-assured destruction tactic to hamper any moves on climate change. And that’s all they need to do – they don’t need to actually govern because ideologically they only need to wreck to achieve results for the vested fossil fuel interest.

Arguing at a Distance

My vicarious publicity team/deep cover agents in Puppydom (Chris Chupik and The Troll That Walks aka Phantom) like to keep me involved vicariously in the comment sections of Puppy blogs. I think it helps keeps up an impression that I somehow commented a lot on those blogs instead of somewhat occasionally.

Anyway, Phantom is having a bit of a tantrum about my last post on global warming:

“Its funny, actually. floppy goes to all the trouble of matching temp data to sunspot data, and notes that they match up fairly well, like Stephanie mentioned above. Shock, surprise.

But then the curves diverge around 1920, the familiar hockey stick shape. We’ve heard plenty of evidence about “adjustment” shenanigans and the relocation of NOAA thermometers to hotter locations etc. So I look at that and it fairly screams “CHECK DATA!!!”

But not floppy. He’s maintaining that all those years previously that the curves matched are over, and that since 1920-odd the CO2 in the atmosphere has completely decoupled Earth’s temperature from the solar output. The sun is getting cooler, and the Earth is getting warmer. Because magic!

Which isn’t even stupid. It’s just bare-faced lying.”

Ho hum. Yes, yes, it is usual troll stuff and refuting it just leads to a new goalpost position. Readers will recall that Phantom once declared that he would believe in global warming when I could show him cattle farms in Greenland and so I did:

But anyway back to the specific complaint. Phantom doesn’t trust that stinky NOAA data! Oh noes! OK, here’s a different data set.


This time instead of HADCRUT I used the BEST (that’s it’s name) data. The BEST temperature record was a project partly funded by the conservative (and climate denialist) Koch Brothers When the project started, the study was lauded by ‘skeptics’ because they thought it would reveal that the data was all wrong and all the warming would disappear. The founder of the project, physicist Richard Muller had publically voiced sceptcism about the data behind global warming and was seen initially as being favourable to the ‘skeptic’ cause.

That all changed when the BEST results were released. Sure, there are various quibbles and questions around how best to manage complex temperature data sets collected over very long periods of times (i.e. over generations of people) but basically the story the data was telling was correct. Muller wrote in 2011:

“When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”

It doesn’t matter which data set you use. There is difference in the details but the trends are the same. Solar activity has declined in recent years and temperatures have increased. If solar activity is really very closely tied to non-anthopogenic global warming (a reasonable hypothesis) then ipso-facto the current warming MUST be non-non-anthropogenic (i.e. it’s us people!).

Let’s use completely different data! Say the PMOD total solar irradiance index and the UAH Satellite temperatures. They only go back a few decades but, gosh, same pattern.


The theory that global warming in the twentieth century was due to solar activity and not greenhouse gas emissions implies/predicts that temperatures should be colder NOW. It should have already got cooler. Really, forget about the graphs and ask, does it really feel like temperatures are currently lower than they have been in years?

That’s why I call it denial. It literally is denial and no evidence, even the direct evidence of the denialists own senses will shake it.