The hottest year on record - how true?

I’m generally a believer in climate change, but admit I don’t follow the issue closely. I’ve seen several headlines from a right-leaning FB friend recently claiming that stats saying that we’ve had particularly hot years recently are only depending on adjusted (and presumably “fake”) data, somehow.

Is this true? If we just took the most pure unadulterated thermometer readings and averaged them together, was 2016 the hottest (or close to it) year on record? Or do those stats all go through bunch of analysis (even if honestly intended)? Or is there some reason why that’s an obviously foolish and naive question?


Well this is a case where the ones claiming the extraordinary are the ones that need the extraordinary evidence. Namely, evidence for that nonsensical claim that the data was faked among 3 or more independent scientific groups in different nations.

The ones claiming that are failing to get the evidence that they are correct. Their evidence is not coming or it is pathetic as always.

As for the hottest year on record:

Now the thing is that climate change deniers did promise that “the pause” they were talking about to remain here or for the temperatures to cool down. That turned to be the fake thing. AFAIK none of the climate change contrarians has come also with a good explanation as to why is that the recent cool La Nina years that gives the straw for contrarians to hang on are actually usually warmer than the past La Nina years.

One good thing about a Hottest Year Ever is that the next year figures to be cooler! Where I live, 2017 has been cool compared with 2016.

[SPOILER]All stats are taken from the the closest major weather station to my home. With computer assistance I scanned data from several decades, mainly looking for days of 40°C (104° Fahrenheit) or higher.

Until last year the longest streak of consecutive 40°+ days was nine days, set in 1985. Of course this record was set in April — always the hottest month here. That month had two consecutive 42°+ days, also a record.

March 2016 beat that record with eleven consecutive days of 40°+ heat. March, not April.

April? April 2016 had Twenty-Seven consecutive days of 40°+ heat. This shattered the previous record of Eleven, set the month before. April 2016 had Twenty-One consecutive days of 42°+ heat; this shattered the previous record of Two, set in 1985.

The hottest temperature ever recorded at the Nakhon Sawan Weather Station prior to 2016 was 42.4°C on 21 April 1992. April 2016 had Sixteen days hotter than that; May 2016 had Nine more, including 43.7°C on May 7. That’s 110.7°F, shattering the previous record of 108.3°F.

Of course this is just one anecdote based on one location and one season … but I’ll vote for Hot! :)[/SPOILER]

Just to be clear … there’s only one set of thermometers distributed around the world … thus only one set of data …

What anyone does with this data is their own affair and none of ours … except if this someone wants to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific publication … then they have explain in every little detail what they did to the data to get their results … [insert New Hampshire joke here] …

Here’s NOAA’s results with a bit of information on how they gets these numbers … it’s important to note this data only goes back to the 1880’s when human’s managed to finally get thermometers distributed widely enough to get “scientifically accurate” global averages …

Does this say exactly what you want it to say? … fine then, I guess you’re going to believe the methodology was adequate … objectively though, it’s too soon to tell … if we look at the ice core data … hell’s bells it’s not even the warmest it’s been since the beginning of the Holocene, and even the most dire of Alarmist predictions pale compared to how hot things were during the last inter-glaciation (125,000 years ago) … checking [sup]18[/sup]O data we find that it appears to be especially cold right now, as cold as it’s been since the Cambrian epoch, the last half billion years …

Again, looking at the ice core data, one thing that should be obvious is how noisy the data is … it’s very easy to find a sliver of data that says exactly what you want it to say … measuring climate change in ten year time intervals isn’t useful … we could well run out of fossil fuels before there’s any serious climate change …

Ask the folks in Chicago this December why a tropical climate there is a bad thing …

Um… Check your time scales. On the first graph there, the entirety of human civilization is that tiny band around zero towards the end. That’s the whole holocene. You know, that long period of relatively stable temperatures that allowed for the flourishing of human nature? The rapid warming of the 20th and 21st century wouldn’t even show up on that scale. Your second graph is even more absurd - on a timescale of tens of millions of years per inch, it wouldn’t even show the holocene at all!

The main issue with this warming is that it disrupts that prolonged stable period in a big way. Our cities are built on the ocean. Our agriculture is centered around areas with a certain temperature and climate. Disrupting that is a really bad idea.

I feel it’s important to note that scientists looking at global warming aren’t saying, “Hmm, is the earth warming?” They’re saying, “Are we a little fucked, or are we really really fucked?”

This is absurd. Data from millions of years ago is noisy. Data from today is not. Your argument is an incoherent non-sequitur banking on a misunderstanding of a lot of different issues.

And while you’re at it, ask them how they feel about malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, west Nile virus, and the like. :rolleyes:

I don’t recall ever seeing such a promise, but it sounds intriguing; do you have a cite showing that “climate change deniers did promise that ‘the pause’ they were talking about to remain here or for the temperatures to cool down”, then?

Of course those are a lot of words to say bupkis about what if anything they did wrong or fraudulently. So the point stands. it is a very pathetic effort made by contrarian “researchers” out there that many Republicans in power are using as justifications to not do anything.

As pointed before you do not bring any evidence that what they did with the data was wrong, and in fact you are ignoring that if we or the researchers used the raw data with no adjustments that the warming would be actually worse.

Of course I have to tell you here that you are reaching for the most common of climate change denier mythical arguments. The reply to it has been made many times before:

That climate has changed in the past has been acknowledged by scientists already, you are using the climate change contrarian tactic telling others that me or even researchers have missed something important. That is grossly wrong. The reasons that caused that warming in the past is not the same as the reason why it is warming now.

Besides the red herring of not being the temperatures from the instrumental age you are indeed pushing the flawed idea here that the temperatures in the past that were not affected by humans are relevant for this discussion about the hottest year of the instrumental record. (They are for other reasons why that paleo data is important, reasons that when researchers do point it out you seem to ignore them in past discussions) paloclimate is one of the main reasons why scientists are worried about the CO2 increasing by humans. Last time when nature was accumulating CO2 in the atmosphere, it did so in a matter of thousands or hundred of thousands of years. That is not case now, it is not nature what it is doing this.

Because in this interconnected world they will then begin (if not already) to face issues caused by the warming elsewhere, like refugees or warfare caused by the changes. Warfare that it is unlikely to be just ignored by American administrations of the present or the future. So many sons and daughters of the people of Chicago will be asked to do even the ultimate sacrifice. Just because many contrarians told you to do nothing now.

There will be also issues like crop failures in other states or countries that will increase the food costs in Chicago. And there is also what I did notice with past heath waves. Many deaths by heat are caused when locations that were not made for very intense heat waves turn into ovens causing many to die.

A statement that could be applied to nearly any posting by the individual in question.

Looking at atmospheric surface temperature may produce discrepancies or be subject to interpretation, but the atmosphere and terrestrial surface combined contributed less than 5% of the external heat capacity of the planet. The dominant thermal reservoir are the oceans, which provide over 93% of the thermal mass of the Earth. The mean temperature of the upper layer of the ocean (from the surface down to about 700 m) has been measured to have increased by ~0.2 K over the last fifty years, with increasing fidelity and coverage over that period.. This isn’t an ‘indication’ of global warming; it is the very definition of warming. We can argue to the causes of the historically rapid shift in climate (although given the very strong correlation to fossil fuel use and the hypothesis of greenhouse capture of heat that has been both experimentally demonstrated and accepted by the vast majority of climate scientists as the driving mechanism, we have about the closest thing to a smoking gun that one can expect in an observational science) but there is no question that it is occurring.

The notion that warming will benefit the denzions of Chicago by providing more mild winters, even if accepted as true, is massively offset by the impacts on people who will be affected by extreme weather events, flooding and tidal incursions in low laying regions, dramatic shifts in agricultural zones resulting in preivoulsy arible land no longer being viable, and the famine and strife almost certain to arise from impacts thereof. This isn’t a bunch of tree-huggers wantonly yelling doom and gloom over nothing; the United States Department of Defense considers this a major issue for future conflicts and has produced an extensive study regarding potential security impacts of climate change.


The whole reason for the existence of Watts Up With That is that Anthony Watts, one of the big climate change contrarians out there, has posted that scientists were wrong because the climate was in a pause or we were headed or into a cooling phase.

The pause continues to be insisted because it is just about the only way people like Watts can pretend that the warming will remain on the low end of the predictions, and therefore that we should not mind this issue.

Other contrarians did predict that either the warming was not going to go much higher (in favor of a pause) or to cool down. It has to be noticed that contrarians are good at seeding doubts about the science but they are much better at making many of their followers to forget about what they are proposing instead of what the readings and the current research are telling us.

Speaking of Watts again, he was also one of the biggest proponents that climatologists were getting it wrong because his skeptical brigade pointed at examples of weather stations in bad locations would explain the warming observed. The BEST team from Muller showed otherwise, but Watts decided to ignore that even after promising that he was going to abide by the research that was funded by skeptics.

Unless I missed something, literally none of that was a cite that they “did promise” that the pause would remain here or the temperatures would cool down.

I mean, granted, it’s a cite for lots of stuff; but as far as I can tell, it’s a cite for lots of other stuff. It doesn’t seem to be a cite for the stuff I, ah, asked you about.

Here, I’ll copy-and-paste the part I asked you about, to ask you about it again:

That is the the thing I’d like to see: the “promise”, from “climate change deniers”, that “the pause” would “remain here” or “temperatures would cool down.”

Meh, like if it is not good enough to use logic, anyone that claims that there is no warming does logically reach for telling others to ignore the warming and to continue to expect cooling or a very long pause.

That the “pause” (that has been broken already) is warmer than past ones is not important to them. As I foresee just an effort to obfuscate the issue by telling us that i’m hung up on the word “promise” I have to report that I’m not much hung up on it as much as you like, so I will only point out that still the contrarians have made a lot of hay about… well being contrary about what scientists are telling us is more likely to happen.

Mind you, the previous cite I made from Watts he is actually insisting, (very stupidly I must say) that the pause is/was there still and will appear again. And in the last one that colling may happen.

Again, it is not my problem if contrarians see that and continue with their denials. The problem with Watts and others like him is that he never corrects or accept where he is wrong and so the misleading information continues to percolate. Up into the corridors of power among Republicans in congress too.

No, that doesn’t follow; that someone “claims that there is no warming” doesn’t, on its own, mean they’re telling others to expect that situation to continue; saying that a thing currently exists doesn’t imply that it will continue to do so.

(You get that, right? Saying that Trump is currently the president doesn’t logically mean that he’ll always be the president. Saying that you’re currently awake doesn’t logically mean you’ll never fall asleep. Things often change.)

Again, it’s of course also not an explicit promise – though I’m still confident you can find someone who made such a promise, and I genuinely look forward to seeing a cite for your claim – but, near as I can tell, it’s not implicitly setting an expectation.

Saying “that colling may happen” isn’t, ah, “did promise”. Why, I’ll freely grant that rather a lot of things “may happen” – not just in this context, you understand, but in all sorts of different contexts – but, in doing so, I’m not promising any of them.

Isn’t the long running drought in Syria in the mid to late 2000’s, held responsible for starting the war. We might already have had our first climate change war.

Meh, you may wonder then. logically why then the contrarians bother since they are then in your view not then being contrarian… Must be just a misunderstanding. :slight_smile:

And read it again, I’m not hung up on them making a promise, you are. That they are wrong is the point.

IMHO it is indeed a factor, but not the only one that causes war.

The Arab Spring showed that very dictatorial places like Saudi Arabia that made a big effort on securing a reliable food supply had almost no unrest during those days. So, among other reasons, not being prepared is one important factor. Another is that the increase on people fleeing drought conditions to the cities coincided with that lack of preparation and people just do not want to die of hunger quietly.

That is a bit nonsensical, are you really wanting to be on the record that contrarian or deniers of the science are not saying that warming is not happening or not as it was expected by experts or that the last 2 years have not been the warmest on record? Can you actually then tell us what they are telling us what we should expect to happen then if they are correct?

[Skipped your hangover about a promise as it is just a red herring.]

You can skip it, of course – but, well, it’s simply that you stated they “did promise” something, and I then naturally asked for a cite that they “did promise” that; and you then declared the whole thing a hangover and a red herring.

If you’d refrained from saying they “did promise” something, it would’ve never been an issue in the first place – and if you’d provided a cite that they “did promise” that, it would’ve stopped being an issue then – but if you’re never going to provide that cite, since you see the whole thing as a hangover or a red herring, I’m of course perfectly content to end that entire discussion now.

As to the rest, you already stated that one of them said “that colling may happen.” That’s why I’d then quoted you as stating that he’d said “that colling may happen.” Possibly he’s said something else on the question of expectations – and you’re more than welcome to mention it, if he has – but I make no claims as to whether such a quote is out there; I’m just studying the quote you brought to my attention.