Temperature and Mortality

May 24, 2016

We are all going to die, nothing is surer. “Nobody knows the day or the hour”, but one thing is clear: we are more likely to die in winter than in summer.

Death by unnatural causes (suicide, accident, bushfire, disaster, even acute illness) can come to otherwise healthy people of any age. Death by natural causes is more predictable.

Those vulnerable to death are the elderly, very young babies, those with chronic illness (e.g. asthma, diabetes) and weakened immunity, and those with respiratory and circulatory illness.

Analysing mortality is made difficult because the sample population is always changing. Excess deaths in one month may be followed by further excess deaths in the following month, or because so many vulnerable people have already died, there will be fewer than expected deaths in the next month or months, or even the next couple of winters. Similarly, if fewer than expected deaths occur, there will be a larger cohort of the vulnerable in the following months, getting older and with probably poorer health. Population growth, aging, migration, improved vaccines, and public education programs all play a part as well.

In this analysis, I use mortality and population data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and temperature data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), for Victoria, as it is a small and compact state which is subject to large temperature changes and also severe heat waves. Monthly mortality data are difficult to find, so this study is restricted to the period January 2002 to December 2011. A 10 year period is hardly sufficient for meaningful averages, however some useful insights can be found.

Mortality statistics are available by month, but population figures are by quarter, therefore I interpolated estimated monthly population figures based on three month growth.

Firstly, this plot shows the total deaths for every month from January 2002 to December 2011.

Fig. 1:

act D per mnth
Note the seasonal spikes and dips. The apparent increase in deaths can be compared with Victoria’s population increase:

Fig.2:

Population Vic
By dividing the total deaths by the population in thousands we can calculate the death rate:

Fig. 3:

Death rate per yr

Note the mortality rate has decreased, and that, in spite of heatwaves, bushfires, and flu pandemics, 2009 had a lower death rate than 2008.

Because months have varying numbers of days, a better analysis can be made by calculating the Daily Death Rate for each month (by dividing each monthly rate by 31, 30, 29, or 28 days).

Fig. 4:

mortality per month

For the state of Victoria for the 10 years to 2011, on average more deaths occurred for each day in August than for any other month. The lowest Daily Death Rate was in February.

Now compare with monthly averages (2002 to 2011) for maximum and minimum temperatures:

Fig. 5:

Tmax Tmin avg

The death rate peak lags July temperature by about a month. Cooler months (June to September) are deadlier than warmer (December to April).

The relationship with temperature can be shown with scatter plots:

Fig. 6:

DDR v Tmax

Fig. 7:

DDR v Tmin

Which merely reinforce that deaths are more likely in winter!

Now we look at the question of estimating how many deaths are likely in a given period, by multiplying the average daily death rate for each month by the number of days in each month and by the estimated total population for each month. By subtracting this figure from the actual number of deaths we get a mortality “anomaly”.  The following graph shows this anomaly for each year:

Fig. 8:

Act minus exp deaths per year

And each month:

Fig. 9:

Diff act minus exp Deaths per mnth

Note the peaks in the winters of 2002 and 2003, and also in the summer of 2008-2009. Note also that both graphs show that in spite of a killer heatwave, the Black Saturday bushfire, and the swine flu pandemic, deaths in 2009 were below what could be expected.

To put the anomaly for January 2009 into context, we can compare actual daily deaths per 1,000 population for all months from 2002 to 2011:

Fig. 10:

act daily D per mnth

Note that the extreme figure for January 2009, while extremely high for January, is still below those of the lowest extremes of June, July, and August.

Perhaps higher mortality in the winter months is coincidence and due to some other factor than temperature- seasonal flu incidence for example. I now look at the month of August with the highest average mortality rate:

Fig. 11:

Act minus exp deaths vs Tmin August

There is fairly decent correlation showing that for every degree warmer in minima, the August death toll will be around 150 less than expected.

February, with the lowest rate:

Fig. 12:

Act minus exp deaths vs Tmin Feb

Even in summer, warmer minima mean fewer deaths.

In summer, do higher maxima cause more deaths?

Fig. 13:

Act minus exp deaths vs Tmax Feb

Even including the 173 deaths in the Black Saturday bushfires in the 200 extra deaths for February 2009, there is no trend.

January, whose data include the 2009 heatwave:

Fig. 14:

Act minus exp deaths vs Tmax Jan

A very small trend, but the 2009 heatwave outlier is obvious and skews the data. (Victorian health authorities say there were 374 excess deaths in the week to 1 February 2009).

Extreme heatwaves are indeed killers. Normal hot summers up to two degrees above average are not.

Conclusion:

Improved public health measures, influenza vaccines, and improved public awareness – plus warmer winters- have led to a decrease in the Victorian mortality rate in the period 2002-2011.

Extreme heatwaves are dangerous in Victoria and cause hundreds of extra deaths especially amongst the elderly (>75 years old). However, these are rare events. Severe and Extreme Heatwaves are newsworthy precisely because they are unusual.

Normal Victorian winters are even more dangerous with on average 17.5% more deaths in winter than summer every year, but because this is normal and expected, this regular annual spike in deaths is unremarkable and not newsworthy- much less regarded as a natural disaster. While 374 excess deaths in a week in a heatwave is shocking, even with these included, the highest January’s Daily Death Rate (in 2009) is below that of the lowest of any winter month.

Warmer minimum temperatures are associated with lower death rates at all times of the year, but especially in August in Victoria, where for every degree of extra warmth, about 150 fewer deaths can be expected. I hope, for the sake of those who are sick or elderly, that we have a warm winter this year.

The Pause Update: April 2016

May 9, 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for April were released on Friday.  I could have presented this earlier, but there are some more important things in my life, like grandkids’ sleepovers and Mothers’ Day.  Back to business.  I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison.  The Pause still refuses to go away, despite all expectations.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 5 months long- 448 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The graphs below start in December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are April 2016.

 [CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

Apr 16 globe

The 12 month mean to April 2016 is +0.43C.  However, the Pause is still an embarrassing reality! For how much longer we don’t know.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies, which shows that The Pause is over by my rather strict criterion:

Apr 16 globe mthly

+0.22C/100 years since December 1997- not exactly alarming.  The Pause will return sooner with monthly anomalies than 12 month means of course.

Northern Hemisphere:

Apr 16 NH

The Northern Hemisphere Pause refuses to go quietly and remains at the same length. It may well disappear in the next month or two.

Southern Hemisphere:

Apr 16 SH

The pause has shortened by one month.  For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

Apr 16 Tropics

The Pause has shortened by 3 months.

Tropical Oceans:

Apr 16 Tropic Oceans

The Pause has shortened by 3 months.

Northern Extra Tropics:

Apr 16  NH ExtraTropics

The Pause by this criterion has ended in this region, however note that the slope since 1998 is +0.17 +/- 0.1C per 100 years compared with +1.56C for the whole period.  That’s not much above dead flat.

Southern Extra Tropics:

Apr 16  SH ExtraTropics

The Pause has lengthened by one month.

Northern Polar:

Apr 16 NP

No change.

Southern Polar:

Apr 16 SP

At -0.18C/ 100 years, this region is cooling for the entire record.

USA 49 States:

Apr 16 USA 49

No change

Australia:

Apr 16 Oz

One month longer.

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:

Pause length

Apart from  the North Polar, whose Pause is shorter, and the Northern Extra Tropics, whose Pause has ended, all other regions have a Pause of 18 years 3 months (half the record) or longer- including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record,

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:

Trends 1978 regions

Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:

Trends 1998 regions

The only region to show strong warming for this period is the North Polar region: the Northern Extra Tropics at +0.18C/ 100 years has very mild warming, and the Northern Hemisphere at +0.12C/ 100 years is virtually flat: all other regions are Paused or cooling.

12 month means will continue to grow for the next few months, so the Pause as  here defined may disappear shortly, and may not reappear until early 2018.  The impact of the coming La Nina will be worth watching.  Unless temperatures reset at a new, higher level and continue rising, very low trends will remain.

The Myth of Fossil Fuel Subsidies- Ignorance, Misinformation, and Blatant Lies

April 20, 2016

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

This idea, usually attributed to Joseph Goebbels, is central to propaganda and misinformation in all societies, not merely Nazi or Stalinist states.   It raises its ugly head in multiple ways in our otherwise enlightened society, not least in the propaganda spread by the Green movement.  Big lies, smaller lies, misinformation, ignorant assumptions passed off as truth, and illogical arguments, all feature in the call for an end to ‘taxpayer subsidies’ for fossil fuels.

The Australian Greens and their acolytes have been very vocal about ending fossil fuel ‘subsidies’.  A quick internet search reveals a green-sponsored organisation called Market Forces http://www.marketforces.org.au/ which has been promoting this meme.

Time for a Reality Check.

Ignorance: 

From the Market Forces website:

“How your taxes subsidise fossil fuels

There are a number of national tax-based subsidies that encourage fossil fuel production and consumption, adding up to a huge total of around $12 billion each year.

By far the largest contributor to the tax-based subsidies total is the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme, which provides around $6 billion worth of credits and grants to cover the tax paid on fuel to reduce its overall costs to heavy users. It is estimated that some 20% of these fuel tax credits go directly to fossil fuel producers. We have included the full amount as it all goes to supporting the consumption of fossil fuels.”

From the ATO:

“Fuel tax credits provide businesses with a credit for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) that’s included in the price of fuel used in:

machinery

plant

equipment

heavy vehicles

light vehicles travelling off public roads or on private roads.

The amount depends on when you acquire the fuel, what fuel you use and the activity you use it in….

Some fuels and activities are not eligible including fuel you use in light vehicles of 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) or less, travelling on public roads.”

People who have never operated a business are unaware that these are tax credits for the expenses of operating businesses, in particular transport and off-road equipment.  Transport costs directly contribute to the cost of living, particularly in more remote areas, so tax credits are in effect a subsidy for ordinary Australians.  The fuel excise that we all pay was designed to raise money for road maintenance- including the roads that electric cars and bicycles use.  Operators of equipment that doesn’t use roads- farm and mining equipment, fishing boats, industrial plant, the things that actually earn money for the economy– should not have to subsidise the taxes of everybody else.

Market forces also nominate as “Subsidies for fossil fuels” Accelerated Depreciation concessions and concessional excise on avgas and jet fuel.  However aircraft don’t use roads either, and accelerated depreciation assists all business reinvestment- not just for petrol vehicles.  If you buy an electric car for business use, you can claim accelerated depreciation on it as well.

The people behind Market Forces are merely displaying their ignorance about running a business and how the economy actually works for their benefit.

Misinformation:

“Public finance for fossil fuels

The Australian government continues to support the expansion of the fossil fuel industry by using public funds to finance fossil fuel companies and projects.

…..

EFIC is Australia’s ECA, which is a semi-governmental financial institutions that provides loans, insurance and guarantees to support the international operations of local companies, or to projects that hold some national value. ECAs often lend far more than commercial banks and offer long-term, low-interest debt that makes a project much more bankable.

While EFIC doesn’t lend to local coal projects, it loaned over $1 billion to the massive Ichthys LNG project of the coast of Northern Australia at the end of 2012.

On top of this, EFIC provided a total of more than $400 million in finance to national and international fossil fuel projects in 2013 and 2014.

……

Australia also holds shares and plays a significant role in two IFIs, otherwise known as multilateral development banks, the World Bank Group and the Asian Development Bank. Through Australia’s involvement in these institutions, we have contributed a total of almost $300 million worth of finance to the global fossil fuel industry over the past two years.”

This is misinformation.  Loans have to be repaid at some point in the future so should be regarded as cost neutral over the long term.  As well, these projects promote much infrastructure other than “huge, dirty coal power developments”.

The Greens appear to be against not just fossil fuels, but any development that might be good for the human race- roads, railways, ports, electricity, all mining, mechanised agriculture- which the people of underdeveloped nations desperately need.

Finally, Blatant Lies:

Market Forces also identifies “direct handouts”:

“Direct contributions and handouts to the fossil fuel industry

There are a number of federal and state bodies and initiatives that directly contribute to the expansion and continuation of the local fossil fuel industry….

Geoscience Australia is a government body that engages in fossil fuel exploration activities as one of its major operations. With a specific focuses (sic) on offshore reserve development, Geoscience Australia also provides exploration data and other support to fossil fuel companies.

This federal government institution devotes $29 billion dollars to exploration annually, and this figure is added to by extra funding from within the national budget.”

$29 billion dollars?  You’d think somebody might have noticed!

From the Geoscience Australia website:

“Geoscience Australia is Australia’s pre-eminent public sector geoscience organisation. We are the nation’s trusted advisor on the geology and geography of Australia. We apply science and technology to describe and understand the Earth for the benefit of Australia.”

The 2014-15 Annual Report for Geoscience Australia shows expenditure of $198.8 million, offset by revenue of $59.2 million- a long way short of $29 billion!  And that $198.8 million is spent on many other projects besides minerals exploration, of which fossil fuel exploration is one part.

This is a blatant lie, and a big one.

Continuing:

“… capital injections to state-owned electricity generators. In 2014, these injections totalled more than $600 million”  in Queensland and Western Australia.

The authors fail to mention the millions in dividends that the Queensland government has stripped out of electricity providers over the past few years- does this mean Queensland taxpayers are being subsidised by fossil fuel?  From ABC News (7 October 2015):

“The Energex annual report, released last week, shows dividends paid to the State Government rose from $406 million in 2014 to $1.3 billion in the 2014-2015 financial year.

Alliance of Electricity Consumers lobby group spokesman Jonathan Pavetto told 612 ABC Brisbane Ergon dividends rose from $400 million to $1.9 billion over the same period.”

It seems the government got its money back.

Market Forces goes on to claim:

“The worst offender, Queensland, has spent over $2.2 billion of public money over the past two years on rail and port infrastructure, much of which supports fossil fuels and coal exportation in particular.”

None of this money (apart from routine maintenance) has been spent on coal lines- none have been built in the past five years.  The Greens and their sympathisers are very fond of public transport, especially electric trains.  $4.4 billion is to be spent from 2013 to 2018 on suburban trains for the south east corner around Brisbane.  More than $170 million was spent on the existing Citytrain network in 2014-15 alone, plus the new line to Redcliffe worth $1147 million, $300 million contributed by the Queensland government.  Queensland Rail’s 2014-15 Annual Report lists considerable expenditure on regional lines- not the coal network- replacing bridges and improving track.

Rail and port expenditure can be regarded as an investment meant to raise more than is spent.  Queensland’s mineral rail lines for years have subsidised passenger services, including the Citytrain network in Brisbane.  QR made a profit of $223 million in 2014-15- very largely due to mineral freight traffic.  A dividend of $179 million is payable to the Queensland government in 2016.

As Government owned corporations, all ports “operate according to commercial principles, raise their own revenue and make dividend and tax equivalent payments to the Queensland Government.”  The same applies to Queensland Rail.  Investment in coal terminals is a commercial investment decision, not a subsidy or a handout.  Taxpayers can expect to get their money back.

Far from taxpayers subsidising fossil fuels, coal and gas extraction subsidises taxpayers through mining royalties, rail freight and port charges, and taxes.

Conclusion:

The Market Forces website is full of the misinformation, ignorance, and outright lies that Global Warming Enthusiasts delight in using.

But what else can you expect from an organisation that is an affiliate of Friends of the Earth, and many of whose team have backgrounds with Greenpeace and the Greens.

Antarctic Trends

April 17, 2016

Data from UAH Version 6.0 show the South Polar region to be unique in that it has a Pause, if not very mild cooling, for the whole of the satellite record, since December 1978. In this post I dig in a little deeper, and also look at surface data from Australia’s Antarctic bases.

Fig.1: Monthly TLT for the South Polar region (60- 85 S)

SP monthly

Fig. 2: Three Monthly TLT

SP 3m

Both plots show no evidence of any warming. However, Land areas are warming:

Fig. 3: SP Land: 3 month means

SP land 3m

While the Ocean area is cooling:

Fig. 4: SP Oceans: 3 month means

SP ocean 3m

Summers are warming:

Fig. 5: South Polar Summers (Yearly)

SP summer

While winters are cooling rapidly:

Fig. 6: South Polar Winters

SP winter

Especially Ocean winters, when the sea ice is at its greatest and thickest extent.

Fig.7:  SP Ocean Winters

SP ocean winter

Perhaps the sea ice insulates the atmosphere from the water below the ice? If so, in summer, with sea ice extent much reduced, the atmosphere above the ocean should be warmed much more than above the land, which is almost totally covered by ice. Let’s check:

Fig.8:  SP Ocean Summers

SP summer ocean

Fig.9:  SP Land Summers

SP summer land

Nope- TLT above land area is warming at four times the rate of ocean areas.

It’s not a great mystery. Here’s why.

We should not read too much into whether individual months create records or not, nor should we stress about the seasonal differences. Here’s an example of individual Octobers.

Fig.10: Octobers from 1979-2015

SP land october

Note the rising and falling pattern: a series of below average Octobers is followed by a series of above average Octobers.  A trend using only Octobers would show warming, as the record starts with below average Octobers and ends with above average. (Just like some global datasets!)

These patterns are evident, but with different values, in all months, which is why winters appear to be cooling and summers appear to be warming.

Fig.11:  SP Ocean Junes from 1979-2015

SP ocean junes

The most we can say is that the long term trend of ALL months shows no evidence of any warming, i.e. a Pause.

So is this just an artefact of the fairly short satellite record? We can check against surface data from Australia’s Antarctic stations at Mawson and Davis. (There is insufficient overlap to make a useful splice between closed and open sites at Casey.) These stations are on the coast far from the Antarctic Peninsula.

Fig. 12:  Monthly mean temperatures, Mawson Base

mawson mean

There is a Pause, or slight cooling, over the past 62 years.

Fig. 13: Monthly mean temperatures, Davis Base

davis mean

At Davis, a Pause, or slight warming, over the past 47 years.

The Pause in the South Polar region is real.

The Pause Update: March 2016 (Complete)

April 8, 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for March have been released. I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison.  The Pause refuses to go away, despite greatly exaggerated rumours of its death.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 4 months long- 448 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The graphs below start in December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are March 2016.

As I intimated in the previous post, there have been some small changes in the data. Some slope values have changed slightly.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

Mar 16B globe

Sorry, GWEs, The Pause, for more than half the record, is still an embarrassing reality! For how much longer we don’t know.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies, which shows that The Pause is over by my rather strict criterion:

global monthly B 2016 mar

I will continue posting these figures showing these scarey trends from monthly anomalies. The Pause will return sooner with monthly anomalies than 12 month means of course.

Northern Hemisphere:

Mar 16B NH

The Northern Hemisphere Pause refuses to go quietly and remains at more than half the record. It may well disappear in the next month or two.

Southern Hemisphere:

Mar 16B SH

For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

Mar 16B Tropics

Tropical Oceans:

Mar 16B Tropic Ocean

Northern Extra Tropics:

Mar 16B NExtraTropics

The Pause by this criterion has ended in this region, however note that the slope since 1998 is one tenth of the slope for the whole period.

Southern Extra Tropics:

Mar 16B SExtraTropics

Hmmm!

Northern Polar:

Mar 16B NP

The Pause here has shortened.

Southern Polar:

Mar 16B SP

As the trend exceeds -0.1, this region is cooling for the entire record.

USA 49 States:

Mar 16B USA

Australia:

Mar 16B Oz

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:

Pause length var regions

Apart from  the North Polar, whose Pause is shorter, and the Northern Extra Tropics, whose Pause has ended, all other regions have a Pause of 18 years or longer- including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record,

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:

Trends 1978 now mar 16

Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:

Trends 1998 now mar 16

The only region to show strong warming for this period is the North Polar region: the Northern Extra Tropics has very mild warming: all other regions are Paused or cooling.

12 month means will continue to grow for the next few months, so the Pause may disappear shortly, and may not reappear until early 2018.  The impact of the coming La Nina will be worth watching.

The Pause Update: March 2016 (Preliminary)

April 2, 2016

Well my last post certainly stirred up some Global Warming Enthusiasts who found it difficult to get their heads around the continued existence of The Pause.  What will they make of this month’s update?  The Pause refuses to go away, despite greatly exaggerated rumours of its death.

Dr Roy Spencer has just released UAH v6.0 data for March.  This is a preliminary post with graphs only for the Globe, the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere, and the Tropics.  Other regions will be updated in a few days’ time when the full data for March are released.  (These preliminary figures may change slightly as well.)

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures.    I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies.  Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 4 months long- 448 months.  12 month running means commence in November 1979.  The graphs below start in December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers.  The final plotted points are March 2016.

Except for the Tropics, where The Pause has reduced by three months, in other regions it has remained at the same length.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

Mar 16 globe

Sorry, GWEs, The Pause is still an embarrassing reality!  For how much longer we don’t know.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies, which shows that The Pause is over in monthly anomalies by my rather strict criterion:

global monthly 2016 mar

I will continue posting these figures showing these scarey trends from monthly anomalies.  The Pause will return sooner with monthly anomalies than 12 month means of course.  Meanwhile, shudder at the thought of 18 years and 4 months with a frightening trend of +0.15C +/-0.1C per 100 years.

Northern Hemisphere:

Mar 16 NH

The Northern Hemisphere Pause refuses to go quietly and remains at nearly half the record.  It may well disappear in the next month or two.

Southern Hemisphere:

Mar 16 SH

For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

Mar 16 Tropics

The Pause has shortened by three months, but is still well over half the record long.

In a few days the full dataset will be released and graphs for the other regions will be plotted as soon as possible.  As I will be doing Jury duty for the next four weeks, posts and comments are likely to be few, and brief.

The Pause Update: February 2016

March 21, 2016

UPDATE!

Firstly, I must apologise for the late posting.  We went away for a two week road trip in early March, during which my laptop died.  As well, we have had some family issues that have taken priority.

UAH v6.0 data for February have been released. Here are updated graphs for various regions showing the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures.    Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 3 months long- 447 months.  12 month running means commence in November 1979.

Despite the record TLT for February, I am sorry to disappoint GWEs that The Pause has not disappeared.  In some regions it has lengthened, in others it has shortened, and in the Northern Extra-Tropics it has disappeared (by my criterion)- but mostly it has remained at the same length.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

Feb 16 globe

There has been zero trend for 18 years and 10 months.

Update:  Some commenters (see below) think that use of 12 month running means are some form of trick to hide the data, and that using monthly data will show no Pause.  Poor souls.  Here is the graph of global monthly anomalies:

global monthly

18 years 7 months- not much difference, and The Pause still lives!

Fools rush in….

Northern Hemisphere:

Feb 16 NH

 

Southern Hemisphere:

Feb 16 SH

For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

Feb 16 Tropics

Tropical Oceans:

Feb 16 Tropic Oceans

 

Northern Extra-Tropics (20-60N- where most people live):

Feb 16 NH Ext Trop

The Pause has ceased in this region as the trend since July 1998 is a tad over +0.1C (+/- 0.1C) per 100 years.

Southern Hemisphere Extra-Tropics (mostly water):

Feb 16 SH Ext Trop

But still strong in the South!

North Polar:

Feb 16 NP

The Pause has lengthened by three months.

South Polar:

Feb 16 SP

For the whole of the satellite record, the South Polar region has been cooling.  So much for a fingerprint of warming due to the enhanced greenhouse effect being greater warming at the Poles!

Australia:

Feb 16 Aus

One month longer.

USA 49 states:

Feb 16 USA

Despite all expectations to the contrary, The Pause lives on!

 

Trending Trends Continued: An Alternative View

February 26, 2016

No matter how much and how well we explain the methods for calculating the length of The Pause, Global Warming Enthusiasts will accuse us of cherry picking the start date.

In this post I will replicate the IPCC’s predicted estimates for temperatures, and show alternative scenarios with a range of trends to the end of 2035, through using an alternative  view which will be sure to please our friends on the other side of the fence- but will demonstrate the limited extent of the joy they should feel at the expected demise of The Pause. As well,  I will also demonstrate what temperatures will need to do before we skeptics can claim victory (our opponents will never admit defeat- that would be heresy).

In these figures I plot running trends of 12 month means of Temperatures of the Lower Troposphere (TLT) anomalies from UAH (Version 6 Beta 5), but starting from the beginning of the record (12 month means from November 1979).  Running trends will be used in this post to demonstrate the effects of changing data values over time.

Fig. 1: Running trends for global TLT to the present

Trend to 2016 all

Fig. 2: Running trends for global TLT to the present, closer view.

trend to 2016 closeup

Note to GWEs: there is no cherry picking: the start is from the start of the record. Each new month’s data point will either increase or decrease the long term trend, but with decreasing effect as the record grows in length. Peaks correspond to warming events, troughs to cooling events. Note also that the recent long term trend is near the lowest it has been since 1998. With the expected increase in temperatures following the El Nino, I anticipate the long term trend to the end of 2016 will be about +1.2C per 100 years.

What of the future? Now according to the IPCC Assessment Report 5, warming for the next 20 years is locked in, no matter what emissions scenario.

“The global mean surface temperature change for the period 2016–2035 relative to 1986–2005 is similar for the four RCPs and will likely be in the range 0.3°C to 0.7°C (medium confidence). This assumes that there will be no major volcanic eruptions or changes in some natural sources (e.g., CH4 and N2O), or unexpected changes in total solar irradiance.”

( https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf p8)

If I am still around in 2035, this prediction will not be a huge priority for me. However, to illustrate various possibilities, I shall calculate possible TLTs for the next 20 years. (Yes, I know the IPCC is talking about surface temperatures. However if tropospheric temperature change doesn’t reflect surface temperature change for another 20 years there are going to be some serious arguments in climate science circles!)

First, let’s replicate the IPCC predictions for 2016-2035- and in so doing, show The Pause in all its glory. The next figures plot running 12 month mean Temperatures of the Lower Troposphere (TLT) anomalies in degrees Celsius versus global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in parts per million (ppm), data from NOAA.  The global record commences in 1980.

Fig. 3: Running trend of Degrees C per 100 ppm CO2

Trend TLT v co2

Note again the peaks and troughs, and that the current trend is the lowest it has been since 1996.  The long term trend to December 2015 is +0.65C/ 100 ppm CO2. This is confirmed in the following plot:

Fig. 4: TLT anomalies vs CO2

tlt vs co2 1980-2015

Now let’s break the record in two: the first half of the CO2 rise and the second half.

Fig. 5:  TLT vs CO2: 1st 30.32ppm

tlt vs co2 1st half

Fig. 6:  TLT vs CO2: last 30.32ppm

tlt vs co2 2nd half

There you have The Pause: entirely un-cherry picked, as we are using exactly equal portions of the record: the first and last 30.32 ppm of the CO2 growth from 1980 to 2015.

The next graphs plot CO2 increase over time, from 2001 to 2015.

Fig. 7: CO2 growth (12 month running mean)

co2 to 2015 formula

Using this trend equation it is possible to estimate CO2 for the next 20 years, and from that, using (A) the trend of the first half of TLT vs CO2, i.e. rapid warming; (B) that of the whole 1980-2015 period, i.e. continuing the present long term trend; and (C) that of the second half of the CO2 growth, i.e. The Pause, calculate three theoretical estimates for the TLT in the best way- from observations. Here are series A and B.

Fig. 8:  Theoretical trends calculated from observations

Series A B calcs

Note that series A approximately tracks the observed TLTs until about 2002, when the disparity begins. This shows clearly why The Pause is so inconvenient, and why so much effort has been made to eradicate it.

Amazingly, the 2016-35 high mean of 0.7 above 1986-2005, and the low mean of +0.3, as predicted by the IPCC, have been replicated almost exactly by series A and B. (The UAH 1986-2005 mean is +0.02C).  It appears that the temperature trend for the rapidly warming phase up to 2001 exactly matches the trend needed to create the upper limit of their prediction for 2016-35, and the trend overall to 2015 is very close to that of the lower limit. The IPCC is banking on the warming trend from now to 2035 being at least as much as the 1980-2015 trend, and as much as that of the rapid warming to about 2001. Any continuation of a slowdown makes that much harder.

Obviously these series are imaginary, showing the theoretical TLT calculated from CO2 concentration, and without any of the bumps and dips caused by natural variation- volcanoes, ENSO events, and the like. However, they can be used to simulate what temperatures might do over the next 20 years.

I illustrate this with these scenarios, and a fourth, below.

Scenario A allows the 2016-2035 mean to be 0.7C above the 1986-2005 mean and necessitates temperatures sharply rising then continuing at the rate of the higher of the theoretical series (A). Scenario B very slightly exceeds the lower IPCC expectation of +0.3C, and represents a continuation of the current trend. Scenario C is calculated by multiplying expected CO2 concentration by the TLT per CO2 trend for the second half of CO2 growth, indexed to the 1996-2015 mean. As expected it is virtually flat with the 2016-35 mean at +0.14C. This represents an extension of The Pause by another 20 years. Scenario D shows a sharp drop to a 20 year plateau (shown as flat as we have no idea how temperatures may fluctuate) at -0.11C, the lowest 12 month mean of the last 20 years, and about the same average as the 1980-95 period. I have smoothed the beginning months of all four scenarios.

I repeat- these scenarios are entirely imaginary and represent approximate calculated values IF TLT responds to CO2 concentration as it has to now, and nothing else.

Fig. 9: Four scenarios to 2035

Scenarios to 2035

I have marked in the trend line for UAH to now.  Scenario A shows what would happen if The Pause came to an abrupt end, with temperatures rising to a record high for 2016, and then keeping on rising at the theoretical rate as if The Pause had never happened. I’m sure there are some Global Warming Enthusiasts who expect temperatures will do just that.

But the IPCC has an out clause- Scenario B. If the current long term trend continues, TLTs will reach IPCC expectations. Which is why GWEs are desperate for The Pause to end and warming to resume at (at least) the slow if not steady +1.1 to 1.2C per 100 years. If it doesn’t they’re in trouble.

Temperatures will need to trend below this to falsify the predictions- and not even as much as Scenario C, which represents an extension of The Pause. Scenario D represents a significant decrease.

The next plot compares the trends under these four scenarios.

Fig. 10: Trends in degrees Celsius per 100 years to 2035 under four TLT scenarios.

Trend scenarios to 2035

Ignore the artificial shape of the curves. At December 2035 the trend for each scenario will be about:
Scenario A: 2.1C/ 100 years
Scenario B: 1.2C
Scenario C: 0.6C
Scenario D: 0.0C

The IPCC expects trends to be between those of Scenarios A and B. A small step up (to a new 20 year mean of say +0.25C) and a new pause- which is entirely possible- would probably still be claimed to be “the hottest decade ever” and “consistent with global warming projections”. We need to emphasise that a pause doesn’t have to be completely flat. A 30 year period with a trend of +0.3C per 100 years should be enough to bring the global warming models into question. However, there will need to be a significant drop in temperatures, or a much longer plateau, for us to claim victory. A 57 year pause would be most embarrassing- but then they would probably blame it on volcanoes!

Finally, even if this El Nino is followed by a strong La Nina, as suggested by NOAA,  it is unlikely The Pause will return until the beginning of 2018, perhaps a little earlier. However, that is not important. The important thing is what happens next. Watch the next two or three ENSO cycles- especially the La Nina dips.

Global Warming Enthusiasts are desperate for rapid warming to resume at least as much as Scenario B. The long term trend must rise above the current rate if they are to feel vindicated. But then, who knows what the actual temperatures will do.

Time will tell.

The Pause Update: January 2016

February 13, 2016

UAH v6.0 data for January were released this week.  The dataset has moved to Beta 5, which has caused some interesting changes.  Remember, Version 6.0 is a work in progress, with slight tinkering, until the final version is released.

Here are updated graphs for various regions showing the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than +0.1C/ 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures.   In some regions the pause has lengthened, in others it has shortened.  Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 37 years and 2 months long- 446 months.  12 month running means commence in November 1979.

[CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE]

Globe:

trends jan 16 globe

There has been zero trend for 18 years and 11 months.

Northern Hemisphere:

trends jan 16 NH

The Pause is back!

Southern Hemisphere:

trends jan 16 SH

The Pause has lengthened again.  For well over half the record the Southern Hemisphere has zero trend.

Tropics:

trends jan 16 tropics

Tropical Oceans:

trends jan 16 tropic oceans

22 years 5 months.

Northern Extra-Tropics (20-60N- where most people live):

trends jan 16 nh extr

Southern Hemisphere Extra-Tropics (mostly water):

trends jan 16 sh extr

North Polar:

trends jan 16 NP

The Pause is 13 years 11 months long- 13 months short of 15 years.

South Polar:

trends jan 16 SP

For the whole of the satellite record, the South Polar region has been cooling.  So much for a fingerprint of warming due to the enhanced greenhouse effect being greater warming at the Poles!

Australia:

trends jan 16 Aust

20 years 10 months.

USA 49 states:

trends jan 16 USA49

The Pause lives!

 

The Disconnect Between Theory and Reality- Part 2: Winters vs Summers

February 12, 2016

UPDATE:  PLEASE NOTE UAH DATA FOR THIS POST ARE FROM 6.0 BETA 4.  BETA 5 WILL GIVE DIFFERENT RESULTS.

It was two years ago in 2013 that I last posted on the difference between climate scientists’ expectations and reality, so in this series of posts I bring these points up to date, and add a couple of related points.

What the climate scientists tell us:

Dr Karl Braganza in The Conversation on 14/06/2011 lists the “fingerprints” of climate change (my bold).

These fingerprints show the entire climate system has changed in ways that are consistent with increasing greenhouse gases and an enhanced greenhouse effect. They also show that recent, long term changes are inconsistent with a range of natural causes…..
…Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include:
• greater warming in polar regions than tropical regions
• greater warming over the continents than the oceans
• greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures
greater warming in winter compared with summer
• a pattern of cooling in the high atmosphere (stratosphere) with simultaneous warming in the lower atmosphere (tropopause).

And later

Similarly, greater global warming at night and during winter is more typical of increased greenhouse gases, rather than an increase in solar radiation.

In this post I look at whether there is a pattern of greater warming in winter than summer.

This indicator appears to be FALSIFIED for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres:

Fig. 1:  Winter vs Summer, Northern Hemisphere (UAH)

summ win NH

Fig. 2:  Winter vs Summer, Southern Hemisphere (UAH)

summ win SH

And at the Poles:

Fig. 3: Winter vs Summer, Northern Polar region (UAH)

summ win NP

Summers warming faster than winters.  And in Antarctica:

Fig. 4: Winter vs Summer, Southern Polar region (UAH)

summ win SP

Winters (which are mostly night) are cooling much faster than summers.

In Australia overall however, winters are warming faster than summers.

Fig. 5: Winter vs Summer, Australia (UAH 1979-2015):

summ win Oz uah

And Acorn surface data since 1979:

Fig. 6: Winter vs Summer, Australia (Acorn 1979-2015):

summ win Oz acorn 7915

And since 1911:

Fig. 7: Winter vs Summer, Australia (Acorn 1911-2015):

summ win Oz acorn 19112015

However, the patterns are very different in different Australian regions.  North Australia has winters warming faster than summers:

Fig. 8: Winter vs Summer, Northern Australia (Acorn 1911-2015):

summ win Oz nth

While Southern Australia has exactly the reverse:

Fig. 9: Winter vs Summer, Southern Australia (Acorn 1911-2015):

summ win Oz sth

Let’s look at different parts of the South, first the South East:

Fig. 10: Winter vs Summer, South Eastern Australia (Acorn 1911-2015):

summ win Oz SE

And the South West:

Fig. 11: Winter vs Summer, South Western Australia (Acorn 1911-2015):

summ win Oz SW

This shows a particularly strong summer warming effect.

In the North, the pattern seems driven by greater summer rainfall and drier winters:

Fig. 12:  Summer and Winter rainfall anomalies, Northern Australia

summ win Oz rain Nth

There has been much less winter rain in the Southwest (in the Southeast, there has not been as much variation):

Fig. 13:  Summer and Winter rainfall anomalies, South Western Australia

summ win Oz rain SW

In both the North and Southwest, there are distinct changes in rainfall in the late 1960s or early 1970s:

Fig. 14:  Northern Summer rainfall changes

summ rain Nth

Note the long term slow decrease to 1973, the wet 1970s and dry 1980s, and all except 6 wetter than average seasons since 1991.

By contrast, the South Western rainy season shows a long term slow increase with great variability until the 1960s, with a sharp step down in 1969, and another in 2001, with less year to year variability.

Fig. 15:  South Western Winter rainfall changes

winter rain SW

This shows up in trend maps of summer and winter rainfall 1970-2014:

Fig. 16:  Trends in summer rainfall

summ rain 19702014

Fig. 17:  Trends in winter rainfall

winter rain 19702014

The effect of less winter rain on temperatures in the following summer in South Western Australia is clearly seen in this scatterplot:

Fig. 18:  Summer means and previous winter rain:

summ T vs win rain SW

While the IPCC and its acolytes in the Climate Council predict less rainfall for southeastern and southwestern Australia, this would not be difficult given the trend for southwestern Australia had been established for 20 years before the IPCC was even formed, and 45 years before AR5. Northern Australian rainfall is not mentioned.

Assessment of this evidence for the enhanced greenhouse effect: FAIL.  Tropospheric data show this to be falsified in both Hemispheres and both Poles.  Australia appears to go against this pattern, but drastic changes in rainfall patterns in the Northwest and Southwest appear to be involved in the difference between north and south.

Theory has been mugged by reality yet again.