Big warming, or no warming, depending on dataset

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The uncertainty of science: Depending on the dataset, the most up-to-date climate data now shows either no warming since 1993, no warming since 1996, or significant warming continuously since then.

On several different data sets, there has been no statistically significant warming for between 0 and 23 years…. Cl stands for the confidence limits at the 95% level.

The details for several sets are below.

  • For UAH6.0: Since August 1993: Cl from -0.006 to 1.810. This is 23 years and 1 month.
  • For RSS: Since December 1993: Cl from -0.008 to 1.746. This is 22 years and 9 months.
  • For Hadsst3: Since December 1996: Cl from -0.022 to 2.162 This is 19 years and 9 months.
  • For Hadcrut4.4: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years.
  • For GISS: The warming is statistically significant for all periods above three years.

The quote above lists all the major climate datasets that everyone in the climate field uses. I’ve rearranged the order from the original to put similar datasets together and thus make it easier to digest the information.

The first two datasets are from satellite data. The Hadcrut datasets both use historical ground and sea surface temperature records and are both produced by the Climate Research Unit headed by Phil Jones, who when other scientists asked him for his raw original data in order to check it admitted that he had lost it. Jones was also one of the scientists whose climategate emails revealed a desire to destroy the careers of any skeptics, prevent their work from being published, and an effort to conceal or change data that contradicted the theory of global warming. GISS is the Goddard Institute for Space Sciences, run for decades by global warming advocate James Hansen and now the source of today’s claims that every month of every year is the hottest ever recorded. GISS is also the NASA institute that has been adjusting past datasets to cool the past and warm the present, thus creating a significantly steeper rise in global temperature than is shown by the original raw data.

Of these datasets, three show no significant warming in the past two decades, while two show significant warming. Which is it? Your guess is as good as mine. However, I must point out that the two datasets that show statistically significant warming have both come under question in the past few years because of questionable science practices, which from my perspective makes their conclusions suspect.

Regardless, even if we accept all of these datasets as completely sincere and honestly obtained, they still are in conflict with each other. Under any reasonably scientific analysis, this tells us that the science here is definitely not settled, and that a lot more work needs to be done before anyone can hazard a guess as to what’s going on with the climate.


  • And even the glaciers are part of “The Great Conspiracy”.
    Look at the deceit that has been involved in going from this:
    to this:
    Must have taken hours of Photoshop time.
    Even the famous Matterhorn is part of “The Great Conspiracy”.
    Claims about rising sea level are also part of “The Great Conspiracy”.
    Look at what happens when somebody left their hose on and then “The Great Conspiracy” attributed it to Global Warming.
    “Miami Beach Sea Level Rise, Paradise Lost!”
    P.S. Here’s a hint. The real world is not interested in Global Warming Deniers’ fabricated conspiracies and/or their paranoia.

  • m d mill

    The UAH(more data biased/skeptical) and RSS(more model biased/alarmist) satellite analysis teams are in a respectful adversarial relationship. They diligently check one another’s methods and results using the same satellite data. Rarely in the climate orthodoxy is this kind of balance found. Further more the satellites have full global view and use a constant/uniform platinum thermocouple based temperature measurement platform for all the global measurements, which are FURTHER checked against local balloon based temperature measurements. These data sets have been very stable for decades (after some initial compensation problems with the earliest satellite data).
    As opposed to the GISS ,NOAA and now even HADCRUT data sets which literally change significantly on a monthly basis. This is the 21’st century and these agencies can still not get it right after a century of modern meteorology? How can anyone accept their expertise based on this performance?
    For me there is little doubt that the satellite data is far more reliable.

  • PeterF

    What Bill Butler doesn’t seem to understand is that the contributors to this weblog already know that big oil is in a conspiracy to increase global temperatures so that they can profit from the sale of farming and development rights on their North Slope leases that they secretly obtained from the Bush administration. That was why there was so much push-back on the ANWR. The Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge is located smack dab in the middle of the best future farmland up there. Monsanto will be able to grow as much single species GMO it pleases without complaint from any neighbors. Transshipment to a hungry world will be simplified via the planned ports along the now largely ice-free Arctic sea coastline. Halliburton already holds the construction contracts.

  • Andrew_W

    A series of cherry picks from start to finish, all 4 global surface data sets show warming over the last 20 years, picking time periods so that the minimum statistically significant warming at the 95% confidence level is negative by less than 0.01 degrees is as valid as claiming the warming could be as high as around 1.746 degrees or more at the 95% confidence level.

  • Andrew_W

    Regardless, even if we accept all of these datasets as completely sincere and honestly obtained, they still are in conflict with each other.

    Absolutely untrue, for them to “conflict” with each other there would need to be no or incomplete overlap between the data sets at the 95% confidence level, in fact there is a considerable overlap between all of the data sets.

  • Edward

    Bill Butler,
    Very few skeptics claim that the temperature has not risen since 1970 or that it is warmer now than in 1900 — or 1800 for that matter. The data suggests that it has. The Little Ice Age has been coming to an end for a couple of centuries, perhaps since the last Frost Fair on the Thames River was held.

    You already lost that “cherry picked” end dates argument, but here you are using your own cherry picked end dates even as you decry the use of cherry picking. Do you see how you are inconsistent?

    I didn’t think so.

  • m d mill


    You are quite incorrect.
    The length of the pause is calculated from the present time backwards.
    The “beginning” of the pause is the result of the calculation, not a
    cherry picked starting point.
    A very long pause did exist according to satellite measurement ,
    to deny this is inane.
    Whether it will continue is the question.

  • Andrew_W

    Edward, I just chose 1996 as a start date for a twenty year period to date, I tried the same thing with 15, 25, and 30 year periods and still got positive trend lines, is there some magic start date that I’m supposed to use?

  • Andrew_W asked, “Is there some magic start date that I’m supposed to use?”

    I know this is a waste of time, and that you will refuse to acknowledge what I am now trying to tell you. This was also noted quite nicely by md mill in a previous comment above. I want to re-emphasize mill’s point because it is important, and I didn’t make it clear in my original post.

    No one picked a magical start date. What was done was to use a mathematical algorithm that looked at the data to see if it was rising, falling, or holding steady from year to year, looking backward from the present. For three of the datasets, the algorithm found no warming at all, beginning today and going backwards for respectively 19, 22, and 23 years into the past. No one picked a start date. This is simply what the data showed.

    For two of the datasets the algorithm found that the temperature has been rising steadily, with no pause at all. This is what this data showed.

    No cherry-picking was involved, except by you when you picked random years to create a trend.

    Anyway, my point remains. How can anyone say the science is settled if there is such disagreement between the fundamental climate temperature datasets that all climate scientists depend on? An honest person would answer, the science is not settled, it remains uncertain and confused, and requires a lot more research before we can come to any reliable conclusions or even some basic understanding of the climate.

  • Edward

    No magic start date. You just picked the cherry you wanted.

    But m d mill is correct, and I explained it to you before. In order to find the length of time that no warming has occurred, work backward to find that date. The date is not cherry picked, it is calculated. If no pause were present, then the start date would either be very recent or would not exist, but it is a couple of decades old (somewhere around 18 years).

    As I have stated before, you are learning nothing from us, and this is one more data point that proves my statement.

    We could calculate how long the Little Ice Age recovery has been going on, too, but we don’t have good temperature measurements for that calculation.

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