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Arctic (Non) Warming Since 1958

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Watts Up With That?
Thursday, May 14, 2009
From time to time we hear that various places on earth have been “warming much faster than the rest of the planet – as predicted by “the models.”  One of the places commonly mentioned in that list is the Arctic, based largely on 30 years of satellite data.  Fortunately though, we are not limited by 30 years of satellite data, as the Danish Meteorological Institute has records going back to 1958 and GISSTEMP has even longer records.
Below is a visual comparison of DMI 1958 Arctic temperatures vs. 2009, showing that temperatures have hardly changed since the start of their record.

2009 Daily Mean Temperatures North of 80 degrees

Below is an overlay directly showing that 2009 temperatures (green) are similar to 1958 (red) and close to the mean.  Blue is mean temperature for the 41 year record.
So if the Arctic has warmed since 1979, how can it be the about same as 1958?  The answer can be seen in the GISSTEMP graph below of Godthab, Greenland.
Temperatures have warmed since the start of the satellite record, but they cooled even more between 1940 and 1980.
Everyone (including NSIDC) quietly acknowledges that most of the Arctic was warmer in the 1940s than now – so they shift the warming argument to the Alaska side.  However, that argument also has problems.  Alaska temperatures rose at the positive PDO shift in 1977, and have cooled again with the recent negative PDO shift – as seen below.   2008 was notable in that Alaska glaciers started to increase in size.
If you look at only one leg of a cycle, you will come to the wrong conclusion about the shape of the graph.  Thus I would argue that Dr. Spencer’s fourth order curves are much more meaningful than the nearly meaningless linear fits being used by most prominent climate scientists.  Climate is primarily cyclical, as every good climate scientist should know.

Vostok Ice Core Temperature Records

This article was posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 4:03 am

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