16 February 2011

Despite What You Saw on Twitter- January 2011 was 17th Warmest.

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Extreme cold in Asia and the Eastern USA, was outweighed by amazing warmth in the high northern latitudes. Image from NCDC-NOAA

The National Climate Data Center released the January temp. anomalies today. In spite of the cold and snowy January in the Eastern USA, it was the 17th warmest on record. The global sea temps. were the 11th warmest on record. What is really eye catching is the intense cold in Central and East Asia.

The weakening La Nina, in the Pacific, is also to be seen along with the intense warmth of the high latitudes. This warmth is likely related to the record low amounts of sea ice. With less ice present, the sea warms the air much more than it would normally be in February. Look at the amazing warmth east of Hudson Bay. The bay did not freeze completely until later in the month.

NASA does a separate analysis using slightly different methods, and January 2011 is tied for 9th place in their data.

NASA temperature anomalies for Jan 2011 based on an average from 1951-1980.

Another graph, released by the Nat. Snow and Ice Data Center, is valuable for understanding why (other factors related to AGW are at work as well) there is so much warmth in polar regions. It’s the change in sea ice coverage since the 1950’s.

From the NSIDC

Here is another way of looking at the data. The temperature anomalies as a function of latitude:

January temp. anomalies as a function of latitude. From NASA GISS

So, now that you have the real data, let’s take a look at what someone looking on twitter for some accurate climate information might find. Here’s a short sample from a search of today’s #AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) which seems to have suspiciously been taken over by a group of rabid extremists.

Don’t think it’s just the harmless  ravings of conspiracy theory types. It’s stuff like this that leads to death threats to some climate scientists I know. Without doubt, it’s the number one junk science site on the net these days.

(My comments in red.)

marychastain 9:23pm via Echofon

RT @GregWHoward: Anyone STUPID enough to believe scientists are objective when big grant money is in play believes in #AGW, end of story

WRH_Mike_Rivero 9:45pm via web South Korea chaos after ‘heaviest’ snowfall

Yes, the atmosphere is holding about 4% more water vapor, due to the warming of the last 60 years, and that has lead to an increase in heavy precipitation events, but you cannot blame any one weather event on climate change.

AGW_IS_A_HOAX 9:00pm via Twuffer 2008: The year man-made #globalwarming was disproved {Darn, I must have missed that paper!}

WRH_Mike_Rivero 8:19pm via web New volcanic vents found in Antarctica waters
{I’m guessing this is supposed to explain the warmth of Antarctic sea water! I know it’s February, but throw a cup of coffee in the pool and dive in!}

AGW_IS_A_HOAX 8:00pm via Twuffer Exposing The Fake Scientists

soupermom 4:28pm via web RT @WRH_Mike_Rivero: Worst Freeze In 60 Years Wipes Out Crops in Southwestern U.S. And Northern Mexico

AGW_IS_A_HOAX Feb 14, 9:00pm via Twuffer Moscow Heatwave Update -26F

Good thing the planet’s temperature isn’t taken in Moscow, or El Paso, it would be the end of science!

..and a particularly scary one:

redostoneage 7:41pm via WordPress.com RT @ToryAardvark: Climate Change Criminals – Its Heads On Poles Time:

It’s sad really. The war on science in America continues. I’ve even seen a billboard going after astronomers (They don’t like the Big Bang) here in Huntsville recently!

Huntsville, home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.