Monday, August 26, 2019

The US has experienced very little warming since 2005

This post digresses from economics to dabble in the issue of "climate change." If, like me, you have read enough about the difficulties of measuring global temperatures to know that virtually all temperature datasets are and have been extensively "adjusted" after the fact to correct for a variety of factors, then you should welcome the news that our own NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has come up with a way to measure temperatures in the contiguous US that, beginning in 2005, generates data that require no adjustments, thanks to strategically placed and well thought-out monitoring stations. Here's a HT to James Taylor, who notes that:

In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings. 
Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials.

The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations.

What this new data show is that in the contiguous 48 states there has been a statistically insignificant amount of warming over the past 14 ½ years. Using NOAA's data, I created the following chart:

Chart #1

The green line is the best-fit trend line, and it shows that US temperatures have increased by about 0.6º F per decade, or roughly 0.06º per year. It's worth noting as well that US temperatures have been below average for most of the past year. This, at a time when headlines trumpet soaring global temperatures.

My intuition tells me that if US temperatures have barely increased at all over almost 15 years, then it is unlikely that global temperatures have increased by much more, if at all. After all, air does circulate around the globe. Climate skeptics have here one justification for being skeptical of those who warn that man-made global warming is an existential threat.


  1. I hope you have your comments moderated, because you are going to get a lot of stuff thrown at you for this post.
    Also, this data is publicly available. What do the climate community say to excuse it?

  2. Mr. Grannis
    Congratulations for diving
    into a subject that leads
    to character attacks if you
    don't agree the world is coming
    to an end in 12 years ... and
    you allow comments !

    I've had a climate science blog for
    a few years that's popular,
    with over 41,000 page views
    -- the world is not going to
    end in 12 years, and ACTUAL,
    PAST global warming, in progress
    for about 325 years, since the
    late 1600's, probably warming
    about +2 degrees since then,
    has been 100% good news all the way.

    FUTURE climate is always claimed to be
    100% bad news, and we've been hearing that
    for over 60 years, but the bad news never
    shows up ! Must have taken a wrong turn !

    The climate alarmists will claim
    the US is just a small part of the world,
    so is not important,
    and although your data are correct,
    you don't yet understand the politics
    of climate change:

    Unusually warm = that's "climate change"

    Unusually cool = that's just "weather" !

    My climate science blog:

  3. I should have mentioned that
    using linear trend lines for non-linear
    temperature data tends to be deceptive.

    Just look at the chart with your eyes
    -- highly variable data -- the linear trend line's
    slight rise is probably within the margin of error
    for the measurements, and depends
    mainly on the chosen start and end dates.

    Also, the last sentence of the article may have a typo.

  4. Less analysis than he'd do to predict the economy a year out and ignores lifetimes of research by scientists.

  5. You should look into Maunder Minimum

  6. Data on climate are hard to evaluate, which is why we have scientists who devote their lives to the task. These scientists overwhelmingly agree that man-made climate change is happening and that it's a severe threat to our quality of life. Why would anyone care what an economist says on the subject?

  7. Why would you delve into this subject?

    Imagine a meteorologist saying: "My intuition tells me that if Japanese inflation has barely increased in 35 years, then it's unlikely that global prices have increased much more, if at all. After all, money does circulate around the globe."

    Climate scientists may be wrong, just like economists. It doesn't mean a layperson knows more than they do.

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  8. Scott, long time reader, first time commenting. I have a question that is a digression from the global warming post today. Luke Grommen (Forest for the Trees) was on a podcast discussing the fed funds rate vs IOER. He was talking about how the issuance of treasuries is choking the bank balance sheets (BofA, Citi, & JPM have been huge buyers of treasuries effectively funding 25% of US deficit). Rate cuts are not about the economy, but about helping the banks. The US$ strengthening is pushing the foreign buyers out the US market because purchasing US is unattractive on a hedged basis. Zoltan Pozsar, Credit Suisse, is calling for 100 bps in cuts to help "uninvert" the FX hedging cost & US 10YR. US Dealers end up holding more treasuries pressuring dollar funding rates (Treasury REPO) higher.
    The US will end up permanently financing the government deficits through monetary policy (won't that then be implementation of Modern Monetary Theory?). What do you think of this scenario? Thank you for your thoughts, Rick

  9. I mean it's pretty simple math. i don't know what the scare mongers argument against it is but it seems straight forward.

  10. That said Scott, you got balls to meander into this minefield...

  11. Opened NOAA website and met this:

  12. Ian: your statement "These scientists overwhelmingly agree that man-made climate change is happening and that it's a severe threat to our quality of life" is not true. No overwhelming consensus exists among scientists. In fact, there are quite a few that I am familiar with that have sterling credentials yet would be quick to deny the existence of any consensus.

    But in any event, science does not operate on the basis of consensus. Saying there is a consensus does not make it science. Science demands skepticism and proof. Come up with a hypothesis (e.g., CO2 causes global warming), and then prove it in a way that can be duplicated by others. That hasn't been done yet. Global warming alarmists have not been able to accurately forecast global temperatures—in fact, their forecasts have called for much more warming than has occurred. The global climate is filled with too many variables for anyone to be able, at this time, to accurately forecast it. Any good scientist would have to agree with this.

  13. Why are so many commenters making arguments by authority? How about addressing the data at hand. I'm sure many climate scientists have seen and written about it.

  14. Perhaps you should also speak to the past smog issue in the largest city of your state. The globe might not be warming (debate) but it doesn't mean pollution should not be addressed. LA was on a devastating path. Other parts of the world are now in a pollution pathway that comes with ramifications. David Koch has passed. He believed in little / no government regulation. One can debate how CA has overshot pollution requirements but the initial correction California took was impressive and speaks to the need for some regulation.

    1. Agreed! Poor air quality is a big problem (kills thousands of ppl a year in any big city and especially in poor countries). But poor air quality has nothing to do w CO2 so that debate is just stealing attention away from real (ppl killing) issues...

  15. I used to be a scientist, but after years of therapy I'm recovering. I used to be a mathematician as well. I'm not seeing much warming. In fact, this has to be the mildest summer we've had since we moved to the eastern side of San Diego 10 years ago. It's desert out here, so we can get some serious heat. Nothing over 96 so far this year. Our first year, we had several weeks over 100. Top of 110, if I remember right. Some winters we get lots of rain, some winters we get almost none.

    The plus side of the Global Warming, err, Climate Change panic is that it's caused me to be aware of the local data. The local data isn't telling me to avoid buying coastal property. Maybe that's why Obama sank half of his net worth into a sea-level luxury estate on Martha's Vineyard a few weeks ago.

  16. Bill Snarf, re LA smog: I personally can attest to the success of our local government in the fight against smog. When I first moved to the Pasadena area in 1967, the smog was so bad I did not realize there were 5,000 ft. mountains (Mt Wilson) just a few miles away. From the mid-60s until the late 70s the smog was horrendous. Back then, clear days were the exception. Today it has reversed, and smoggy days are the exception, with clear days being the rule. Outstanding accomplishment, which needed government intervention. Unfortunately, not every government initiative works the same way.

  17. Scott;

    The current state of climate science is covered and updated regularly by a large group of people. Reports are available here:

    Please consider reading the science report.

    Unfortunately, it's very easy to cherry pick data and complain about scientific conclusions. However, the role of CO2 in warming our planet is very clear. Without CO2, the oceans would freeze. Too much CO2 and the polar regions become warm enough for alligators to thrive. It is a large planet and these changes will take a few hundred years to be fully realized. However, as they do, sea levels will rise and dew points will become intolerable in some regions.

  18. The US will end up permanently financing the government deficits through monetary policy (won't that then be implementation of Modern Monetary Theory?). What do you think of this scenario? Thank you for your thoughts, Rick

    Comment above

    It is interesting to note that the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock, the world's largest bond manager, Pimco, and the world's largest hedge fund manager, Ray Dalio, have all recently called for money Finance fiscal programs in the next recession.

    Whether right or wrong, the attitude of Wall Street towards monetary expansionism has certainly changed in the last couple generations.

    I think these large money managers may be on to something. When I look at QE, I see a central bank printing up trillions to buy assets in a globalized asset market. There are about 350 trillion dollars of assets globally, including bonds, equities, and property. Also, global capital markets appear flooded.

    I think it makes more sense for the Fed to print up a trillion dollars, and to cut US taxes by that equal amount, and transfer the fresh trillion dollars into the US Treasury Department.

  19. World's biggest Marxist scam.
    "Value added" data adjustments by the National Climatic Data Center should be criminally prosecuted.
    Turning cooling temps into warming temps.

    There is no actual measured data that shows unprecedented warming. None.

  20. Add on:

    "The green line is the best-fit trend line, and it shows that US temperatures have increased by about 0.6º F per decade, or roughly 0.06º per year. It's worth noting as well that US temperatures have been below average for most of the past year."---Scott Grannis.

    Well...that means average temperatures F will rise about 4.8 degrees F in a lifetime...and then by about 10 degrees F by the time by children pass on?

    I am no climate expert or even climate news-junkie. But the above sentence is not reassuring.

  21. The science of "climate change" is one thing. The politicization of it is another. The earth is warming, and has been since the middle age ice age (1300 - 1900). But there is no hard scientific evidence that so called greenhouse gases, CO2 being one of them, are contributing to the overall very slow increase in global temperatures. It's also true that the planet, which includes us human beings, will do better with increased CO2 and warmer temperatures. It is also true that we all should be good stewards of the planet. and work to keep it clean. The left has co opted climate as a crisis element to further their socialist agenda. It's right out of Marx and also has been co opted by Saul Alinsky and his Rules for Radicals. Create crisises that will divide and can only be managed by Big Government.

    Thanks for bringing the conflict up Scott.

    (by the way my wife and I recently visited your area at San Clemente. We fell in love with it and are considering moving there. We are currently in Santa Ana having just moved there from Florida.

  22. Andrew: I think the IPCC is hopelessly biased and unscientific. It’s very unfortunate. I also think the UN in general is biased and too often co-opted by special interests.
    Bob: Dittos. As for San Clemente, it has a wonderful climate, lots of families, great beaches, great surf, and it is comfortably situated on the “edge” of Los Angeles civilization. Much better than Santa Ana!

  23. Benjamin, re 4.8 degrees in a lifetime. You can’t reliably project future temperatures based on this 15 year history. And besides, the “warming” it displays is, as I mention in the post, statistically insignificant.

  24. "The plus side of the Global Warming, err, Climate Change panic is that it's caused me to be aware of the local data. The local data isn't telling me to avoid buying coastal property. Maybe that's why Obama sank half of his net worth into a sea-level luxury estate on Martha's Vineyard a few weeks ago".

    KT, you are right on. Until the MARKET says there is global warming, color me skeptical and I don't see ocean front properties dropping in price.

  25. Scott,

    There is a consensus. 97% of climate scientists agree that increases in global temperature are due to human activities. This is the position of all the relevant scientific associations.

    The article by James Taylor that you link to cites no peer-reviewed evidence. Rather, it links to several climate denial blogs. Taylor himself is not a climate scientist, but a lawyer.

    If there is something to what he says, he ought to publish it in a peer-reviewed journal. Once the consensus among scientists changed, I would pay attention.

    But you'll protest that the academic establishment is biased against your viewpoint. It's a huge conspiracy against free markets or whatever. You see this conspiracy claim all the time from holocaust deniers, creationists, 9/11 truthers, Stalin apologists, etc. That is the company that climate change deniers keep.

    Since you have an interest in this issue, I would urge you not to waste time arguing with us, but to seek out forums where you will encounter specialists in climate science.

  26. Ian:
    How many climate scientists are there, exactly? 97% is a pretty specific number.
    Please be so kind as to define "climate scientist". Lots of "geologists" in there? Do physicists count? Do meteorologists count?

    Speaking of "consensus" of published does one get funding to research a scientific hypothesis which goes against this so-called consensus?
    The Climategate emails revealed a systematic, concerted effort to keep dissenting peer reviewed studies from being published in journals.
    Are those scientists counted?

    Scientific Organizations are political in nature, not scientific.
    Many actual scientists who are members, disagree with the statements that their own organizations make.
    Are those scientists counted in your consensus?
    Actual scientists made a mass exodus from the American Physical Society organization, for instance, after the organization's unscientific claim that mankind was causing some sort of unprecedented warming.

    Scientific consensus overwhelmingly concluded that the Earth is flat. They also forgot measured data and replication, just like the scientists of today. Only climate computer models show unprecedented warming. No measured data does.

  27. Applying Objectivity to any Science requires an unbiased use of as much data as possible. The more Bayesian points you include, the better.
    There’s been plenty of supposed “good science” that’s been reversed after larger sets of data were accumulated and assessed.
    Bias in researchers, ignoring some data as corrupt, often to shape the results of analysis to fit a thesis and support their proof of concept is also at odds with real Science.
    Your current discussion is inherently biased. Regardless of your personal views, you’ve only presented, at best, 30% of the data. It’s not just a question of whether the mean T° on land is changing, the Global question includes the 70% of the Earths surface that is water.
    So a more thorough examination of data would include the mean change in ocean T° ....probably obtained by the myriad of ocean buoys direct reads and presumably rigorous science applied by researchers gathering these data points.
    It’s true that Climate Scientists are undecided, at this point in time about the results of their studies. This should be commended as it is representative of a need for way more data and objectivity.
    Gather up the data on Ocean T° changes over time and re-open your discussion. Please also distinguish Climate from Weather as from a science perspective they are very different.

  28. Did you know that 86.7% of all statistics are made up?


  29. Ian,

    The often cited “97%” claim comes from a meta-analysis of research performed by Dr Richard Cook which used blatantly faulty methods—and has been repeatedly debunked.

    President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry often claimed that “97% of scientists agree that climate change is real,” and then pivot, falsely, to suggest that this means that their own climate policy is correct or appropriate. This is the “fallacy of equivocation.”

    Attempting to argue that something is true because there’s a “consensus” among experts is flawed. This is true for climate change. Consensus studies overlook research suggesting that climate change is inconclusive.

    The "consensus" wanted to hang Mr. Galileo

    To put climate change "deniers" in the same camp as holocaust deniers, Stalin apologists, etc. pegs you as the biased commentator.

    All one has to do to see the bias is to follow the money.


    "New evidence suggests that high-energy particles from space known as galactic cosmic rays affect the Earth's climate by increasing cloud cover, causing an "umbrella effect."

    "This study provides an opportunity to rethink the impact of clouds on climate. When galactic cosmic rays increase, so do low clouds, and when cosmic rays decrease clouds do as well, so climate warming may be caused by an opposite-umbrella effect. The umbrella effect caused by galactic cosmic rays is important when thinking about current global warming as well as the warm period of the medieval era."

    "In this paper we will prove that GCM-models used in IPCC reportAR5 fail to calculate the influences of the low cloud cover changes on the globaltemperature. That is why those models give a very small natural temperaturechange leaving a very large change for the contribution of the green housegases in the observed temperature. This is the reason why IPCC has to use avery large sensitivity to compensate a too small natural component. Furtherthey have to leave out the strong negative feedback due to the clouds in orderto magnify the sensitivity. In addition, this paper proves that the changes inthe low cloud cover fraction practically control the global temperature

    “During the last hundred years, the temperature increased by about 0.1°C because of carbon dioxide. The human contribution was about 0.01°C”.

    If the science had been settled this would have been modeled.

  31. I suggest you read Cliff Mass weather and climate blog. The guy seems to know what he is doing and comes to the basic conclusion that global warming is a problem but it would be nearly impossible to do anything about it without bankrupting the world economy. With apologies to my unborn great grandchildren.

  32. We are still in an ice age:

    At the moment, the Earth is just in a slightly warmer period, an "interglacial". This appears to be exacerbated by human activity.

    I have to say summers in France are becoming ridiculous without air conditioning. AC was completely unnecessary during my growing up there.

    On a philosophical level, I believe the world could benefit from a unifying topic (common goal). Global warming could be the answer. If not, divisions are likely to continue ala 1930s...

    Stick to the economy Scott ;-)

  33. It is good to hear that the government is going to give us some honest data for a change. Let's hope this is for real this time.

    I really don't see climate change as a "unifying topic (common goal)". If those who are promoting global warming had anything useful to offer, that we could unify behind, perhaps there might be some merit in the idea. Forcing everyone to pay for big bird dicers, which deafen bats so that they can't echolocate, and which only work on windy days and require massive fossil fuel backup capacity doesnt promote unity.

  34. Chicago’s temperature set its daily highs, monthly highs and yearly highs decades ago when CO2 levels were much lower. These records have yet to be exceeded, although CO2 levels have risen steadily since the records were set.

    • warmest year 1921
    • warmest day 1934
    • warmest month 1955
    • warmest season 1955


    Skeptics often have better questions than “believers” have answers for.

    Many skeptics are actually less skeptical about the possibility of warming and sea level rise than they are about the mandated, costly and inefficient counter measures that “believers” have offered as a solution to warming. Questioning warming is not so much the issue; it is more about the solutions people are being asked to pay for. Wind mills, solar panels, mass transit etc don’t move the needle even in the West; never mind that China, India and Africa are not going to postpone their own modernization to placate the West where fully equipped hospitals, air conditioned homes and modern factories are taken as a given.

  35. cbt141: "Many skeptics are actually less skeptical about the possibility of warming and sea level rise than they are about the mandated, costly and inefficient counter measures that “believers” have offered as [the ONLY acceptable] solution to warming."

    Exactly, and in a nutshell (with edits)!

  36. "Outstanding accomplishment, which needed government intervention. "

    Why did it require government intervention?

  37. Mr. Grannis:
    I didn't want to mention this in my earlier comments because it might have influenced the comments that followed from other people.

    As I mentioned before: Placing a linear trend line on non-linear temperature data is often deceptive.

    The trend line you added to your chart, for example, shows warming, while just looking at the chart shows lots of variations from year to year, with 2019 as an unusually cool year.

    Climate alarmists LOVE trend lines.

    They extrapolate them and then claim FUTURE global warming is an existential threat.

    Never mind that the PAST 325 years of mild, intermittent global warming was entirely good news.

    The always wrong predictions of the future climate are based on a theory from the 1970's that has never changed ... in spite of the fact that actual warming is far less than predicted.

    In real science wrong predictions falsify a theory.

    For climate alarmists, their 1970's theory never dies, like a climate zombie !

    I'll put on my climate alarmist hat and describe that unproven theory:
    -- A 100% increase in atmospheric CO2 should increase the average global temperature by from +1.5 to +4.5 degrees C. (roughly +2.7 to +5.8 degrees F.)

    The trend line on your chart is just for the US, not the whole world, for a short period of time, and should not be extrapolated, but let's do that anyway.

    I'll assume the starting and ending point is July of each year:

    Change in CO2 Level:
    July 2005 -- global CO2 at 381 ppmv
    July 2019 -- global CO2 at 412 ppmv
    CO2 increase from 2005 to 2019 is +31 ppmv, or +8%

    CO2 Level Source:

    Your claimed temperature trend line from 2005 to 2019 = +0.6 degrees
    ("claimed" only means I didn't check your numbers)

    If a relatively small +8% increase in the global CO2 level
    was entirely responsible for a +0.6 degree F. warming in the US,
    then that might be something to worry about !

    Mr. Grannis,
    I'm sorry to report that your U.S. trend line, for 2005 to 2019,
    can be extrapolated to show global climate change might
    be an existential threat, rather than refuting that belief,
    which was your intention.

    I've been reading climate science as a hobby since 1997, and started a climate science blog in 2014 to refute the climate change scaremongering ... by people who have no ability to predict the future climate (no one has that ability, and we have over 30 years of wrong climate model predictions to prove that).

    The "97% of scientists" agree claims are lies from bogus surveys.

    Here are my analyses of those so-called "surveys", originally published in March of this year:

    "The urge to save humanity
    from harmless carbon dioxide
    is a "progressive" false front
    for their urge to rule."
    -- The Honest Global Warming Chart Blog

    “Politics is the art of looking for trouble,
    finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly,
    and applying the wrong remedies.”
    Groucho Marx

  38. Johnny Bee Dawg:

    You said, "The Climategate emails revealed a systematic, concerted effort to keep dissenting peer reviewed studies from being published in journals."

    This is incorrect. "Climategate" itself is the real hoax and has been debunked many times over

    Cliff Claven: scientists have understood that burning fossil fuels causes the climate to warm since the late 19th century. Not sure what theory from the 1970s you are talking about.

  39. Scott Grannis: how is the IPCC "biased and unscientific"?

    You are citing an article by a non-scientist who works for a right-wing think tank. No bias there!

    Any reasonable person can see that the biggest potential source of funding to sway the debate over global warming is the fossil fuel industry, just as they did decades ago regarding leaded gasoline.

  40. I love your blogs. They are terrific.

    One simple comment--I was not comforted by this data at all. If temps have only risen 0.60 degrees in the past 15 years, and if that average continues unabated during the next 90 years. the average temp will have risen 3.60 degrees. My understanding is that an average temp rise of 3.6 degrees over 90 years has the strong potential to be cataclysmic in nature. Just one respectful man's opinion.

  41. The way I see it, there isn't any position paper one can readily believe. Temperature change measurements themselves are in absolute terms very small, which makes attributing specific causes to that very, very hard to accept for those without an agenda. There is an endless set of data points that can be cherry picked and arranged to meet any argument. And as Cliff notes, extrapolating trend lines from such variability isn't a prediction. Making predictions for 80 years in the future is highly suspect. Even clearly reporting true cost per kW of power sources is near impossible (and not attempted) for either side (production vs utilization, w/ w/out subsidies, what's a subsidy, what are externalities, what regulatory burdens does one source have that another does not, are regulations deliberate political hurdles, etc).

    On the one hand, it seems a reasonable thing to cautiously acknowledge there is a chance that high C02 levels could very well be a bad thing. On the other hand, it seems a reasonable thing to ask that proposed actions be evaluated with some sanity and cost benefit. The reason the Green New Deal gets no traction because the casual voter doesn't have to be an expert in any of this to see it's ridiculous. If the debate can be dialed back to include rational approaches including carbon capture, nuclear, gas replacing coal, continued investment in solar technology, and requiring participation from China and India... then maybe something useful could get done.

  42. This isn't the first time that folks (including Mr. Taylor) have used USCRN data to cast doubt on climate change. Here are two articles debunking their approach:

  43. For a guy that makes sense, William Nordhaus

    "William Nordhaus was a co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change. On the day of the Nobel announcement, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC) released a special report1 advising the governments of the world on various steps necessary to limit cumulative global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The major media coverage treated the two events as complementary. In fact, they are incompatible. Although Nordhaus favors a carbon tax to slow climate change, his own model shows that the UN’s target would make humanity poorer than doing nothing at all about climate change."

  44. Anyone can cite what they want to support their own confirmational biasis:

    The Union of Concerned Scientists is a left-wing advocacy organization that spreads unscientific alarmism about environment and energy topics. It is currently bragging about being a major architect and proponent of using the federal RICO Act against executives at fossil fuel companies and nonprofit think tanks, such as The Heartland Institute.

    Despite the impression given by its name and the image the way in which the media portrays it, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is not a professional scientific organization; in fact, for a $25.00 donation, you can also become a “concerned scientist.” Though founded in 1969 by faculty, including some scientists, and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, UCS’ mission from the beginning has never been the pursuit of knowledge through scientific discovery. It has instead pursued left-wing advocacy on technology, environmental, and energy issues—regardless of what the scientific data have shown.

    It supported a New York Attorney General investigation against ExxonMobil using the state’s outdated 1921 Martin Act, which has been called unconstitutional.

    Randy, pretty well stated, but good luck with the idea that the left is in anyway wanting anything that could be assumed to be rational. The American liberal democrat has been taken over by socialist ideology. Climate change/global warming/cooling are all just tools to be used to limit individual freedoms and capitalism. It's an ideological war that we are in. And, sadly, I think they may be winning.

  45. Mr. Krusty:

    This theory from the 1970's was in my last comment.

    It was featured in the 1979 Charney Report.

    "A 100% increase in atmospheric CO2 should increase the average global temperature by from +1.5 to +4.5 degrees C. (roughly +2.7 to +5.8 degrees F.)"

    It has been falsified by observations (measurements) but will not die !

    I wrote an article about the subject today:

  46. Well, if climate change isn't contentious enough...

    I don't know about collapse of the argument, but serious pause.

    "Even accounting for the Obama inequality spike, it seems the distribution of wealth and income really hasn't changed all that much. [..] This already shaky thesis may not survive the upcoming formal publication of a working paper by Gerald Auten of the U.S. Treasury and David Splinter of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. They find 'there has been relatively little change since 1960' in the income share received by the top 1% of U.S. earners.

  47. This article posted by misterkrusty exposes the dishonesty of Taylor's argument. Taylor says that his data comes from 114 weather stations starting from 2005. But it turns out that only 60% of those weather stations were operational in 2005. The data in Taylor's average changes across the period. So the whole argument is garbage. In fact there has been no change in the warming trend in recent years.

    This is why we need to base our assessments on peer-reviewed academic research, rather than journalism produced by lobbyists.

  48. It's hard to go against what seems to be an overwhelming consensus among scientists. But accepted science occasionally proves wrong. Until Einstein's 1905 bombshell, did not most institutions of higher learning worldwide speculate that light probably travels through ether?
    An interesting book is Lee Smolin's "The Trouble with Science." It was not aimed at climate science, but the dominance of string theory in university physics departments. Smolin did not "deny" string theory, but pointed out that, since there was no experimental proof for it, string theory advocates had departed from traditional scientific standards. They were, in his opinion, out on a theoretical limb. Doesn't Smolin's point apply to the warming controversy? Climate change advocates base their conclusions on slippery data that admit more than one conclusion. The slipperiness is not their fault. But solid empirical "proof" -- the kind provided by experiment -- doesn't exist. That doesn't mean climate change advocates are necessarily wrong; but it does mean that skepticism should be welcome. Yet the left, which embraces climate change theory with religious fervor, calls any skeptic a "denier" -- a horribly pejorative term that evokes the Nazi death camps. A smear.
    Personally, I welcome Mr. Grannis'comments which are, after all, offered in the "food for thought" category.

  49. I have never commented before, because I am not an economist. But I AM a bona fide, PhD scientist. And 100% of the hundreds of other scientists I know ALL believe the experts when they say the earth is warming due to CO2 emission. (Does anyone remember the man-made ozone layer destruction by refrigerants? Won the Nobel Prize? Was that also a conspiracy?)
    It is a lie to say there is no MAJOR scientific consensus regarding climate change.

  50. Consensus about what?
    There is broad agreement that global temperatures have risen (somewhat irregularly) over the last 150 years.
    There is less broad an agreement as to whether this warming or some part of the warming has been caused by rising CO2 levels.
    When discussing future rates of warming the breath of agreement fades further.
    Even more disagreement arises over the trade offs between whether the contribution of CO2 has been a net positive during the last 150 years and whether it might continue as a net positive for some time into the future.
    There is outright disagreement as to how to best address warming going forward: nuclear, wind solar, biofuels, adaptive engineering to address the impact on people etc.. China and India even seem to be doubtful about abandoning fossil fuels.

    Many of the mandated ideas as to how to limit CO2 emissions have been plagued with unintended consequences. The ethanol program, fear of fracking for natural gas, near abandonment of nuclear energy have been prime examples. Honest questions accompany the problems of scale for solar and wind.

    There is no shortage of climate “skeptics” who will agree that the climate has warmed, and that CO2 has played a part, but what to do about it encounters a wide variety of opinions. There is no magic bullet answer and continuing skepticism over mandated policies is well advised.

  51. Specifically, there is clear consensus among climate experts that rising C02 levels are causing warming of the earth. As one of many examples see this 2019 Science editorial which cites specific studies.

    You can always find sets of statistics that appear to support a different view, but science works by accepting and acting upon the very best knowledge available - from *experts who have made this their life's work*. (And the risks of not doing so are far too large to take.)

    As with the ozone layer, the time for the world to take action is- now.

  52. As I understand the physics, CO2 does impact global temperature to some extent, but its effects are logrithmic and are quite saturated already. The default status of the Earth for the past million years or so is massive continental glaciers - an extended ice age. We are fortunate enough to live in a brief interstadial. Hopefully, human activity including CO2 will prolong our interstadial. Hopefully, with some luck, and plenty of human activity inculding CO2, we can stave off the next stadial for a few thousand years longer.

    Yelling that "the time for the world to take action is - now" doesn't do anyone any good. What exactly are we supposed to do? Build some more big fans which are intermittent and which are an environmental disaster and which kill birds and bats? Put out more solar collectors which are also intermittent? Nuclear power would be an option, especially with breeder reactors, but the same people who are screaming about CO2 are also busy blocking any new nuclear power plants. When our "concensus" scientists stop acting like political hacks, and stop flying around the world to big conferences to drum up funding for their "research", and actually come up with workable scientific solutions to the slight warming which CO2 will cause, then and only then will they deserve to be heard.

    If we spend every penny we have on CO2, what will we do when something threatens the Earth which really could cause a an environmental catastrophy, such as a very large meteorite or an asteroid? If we destroy our civilization, and bankrupt our econimies, and starve off millions of people, to lower the global temperature we won't have anything left when a much more serious threat to our survival as a species emerges.

  53. Scott: first off, I'd like to say sorry if my earlier comments sounded confrontational. I appreciate your blog very much, and the fact that we disagree sometimes makes it more valuable to me, not less.

    I asked a professor I know at Cornell University for comments on your blog post. He's a geologist, but the geology and climate science departments at Cornell have merged, so he forwarded my email to the climate team. Here is their response:

    Here's a short answer, without specifically questioning the temperature data in the blog:

    The blog plots less than 15 years of data (climate, of course, is 30 years) out of the 125+ year record, which looks like this:

    [website won't let me include the chart, so here's a link:!Aqrw-OOY6WUhgok-vHKeod7FgKTaSA?e=vEqGfs ]

    Thus, by removing most of the data, it appears that the last 15 years have been just random variation. But in fact, they are 15 of the warmest years on record. It's a common statistical mistake of looking at a small interval of time and concluding there is no pattern.

    Further, it uses only the contiguous US, which is <5.5% of the world's land area (and much less if you include the oceans). It conveniently leaves off Alaska, which is an area showing tremendous warming. Again, it focuses on parts of the word that have shown, so, far, less change than the high latitudes. Major change is expected in the lower 48, but the big concern is that subtle changes we see now will continue to accelerate.

    The author writes, "My intuition tells me that if US temperatures have barely increased at all over almost 15 years, then it is unlikely that global temperatures have increased by much more, if at all." This intuition is incorrect. The climate is a complex global system, and we can't rely on personal intuition, looking at a small part of the globe in a short span of time.

    Even though the comparison interval on the blog data is also short -- only 1980-2010 -- it DOES show an upward trend nonetheless, and that a one-degree per decade (or .6) is huge. If we're worried about keeping global avg temp below 1.5 or 2 degrees C, this is enormous.

    See, for example, NTY here -

    For global temp change see NASA here -

    For 97% of scientists see also NASA -

  54. Thanks misterkrusty. This is the first explanation of the anomaly that makes sense.

  55. The advocacy for “settled science” has probably done more to create skepticism than any other position taken by folks who argue for “doing something about the climate” immediately. The hysteria always comes off sounding like a scare tactic.

    The NOAA-US Climate Reference Network report says that past readings were not properly gathered, we now know why and this should lead to better data going forward. Why is this controversial? It in no way supports immediately “doing something about the climate” neither does it support not trying to adapt technologies that improve our future. All it says is that data collection can be improved.

    The purpose of the study was not create data that could extrapolate regressions into the future; rather it appears that the study was undertaken to test the existing reliability of climate stations in the United States. The finding was that stations within the sample considered were not providing readings that properly reflect the background conditions they were meant to monitor.

    It is fair to use the recent heat island findings in in this report in reviewing a wider sample of US and world stations. It is also fair to ask how wide spread these problems are and how long have they been a problem as well as what can be done to improve both past and future readings.

    It is counter productive to defend the sacred cows of “settled science” when new data calls them into question, however, that is exactly what “settled science” does.

    One last point, the idea of the “consensus” is almost always raised when the idea of mandating some behavior aimed at directing government action toward a particularly favored technology is on the table.