Obsessing Over Global Temperatures

Posted: December 18, 2018 by oldbrew in climate, Measurement, opinion, Temperature

The idea that humans can ever know exactly what the temperature is or was, everywhere on Earth – including the vast oceans – all the time, is amusing but not much else.

Science Matters

Reification is the Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness. It is a mental process by which someone comes to believe that an abstraction (idea or concept) is a material, physical object in the real world. Mike Hulme observes that many people are obsessing over global temperatures, not realizing they are abstractions and not things to be feared. He provides calm and sensible views regarding global temperature reporting. The post at his blog is Climatism and the Reification of Global Temperature. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Over the last 40 years global-mean surface air temperature – ‘global temperature’ for short – has gained an extraordinary role in the science, politics and public discourse of climate change. What was once a number crudely calculated through averaging together a few dozen reasonably well-spaced meteorological time series, has become reified as an objective entity that simultaneously measures Earth System behaviour, reveals the future, regulates…

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  1. stpaulchuck says:

    consider that 40% of reported temperatures are fake. Yeah, that’s right, fake. Look for the little ‘e’ in the temperature box.

    It stands for ‘estimated’, i.e. made up, fictional. In addition, most all the fake numbers are for the non urban sites, i.e. the colder ones. They take urban or near urban temperatures and interpolate to arrive at the fake temperatures. Anyone ever heard of UHIE? Yeah, they bias that into the rural areas.

    No wonder we are so “hot” nowadays.

  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘Satellite temperature measurements are inferences of the temperature of the atmosphere’

    Satellites do not measure temperature. They measure radiances in various wavelength bands, which must then be mathematically inverted to obtain indirect inferences of temperature.[1][2] The resulting temperature profiles depend on details of the methods that are used to obtain temperatures from radiances. As a result, different groups that have analyzed the satellite data have produced differing temperature datasets. Among these are the UAH dataset prepared at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the RSS dataset prepared by Remote Sensing Systems.


    IOW there is no accurate global temperature measurement system.

  3. Ron Clutz says:

    To be clear. Mike Hulme is not talking about the accuracy of the calculation, but rather the meaning of the metric:

    “Global temperature does not cause anything to happen. It has no material agency. It is an abstract proxy for the aggregated accumulation of heat in the surface boundary layer of the planet. It is far removed from revealing the physical realities of meteorological hazards occurring in particular places. And forecasts of global temperature threshold exceedance are even further removed from actionable early warning information upon which disaster risk management systems can work.”

  4. oldbrew says:

    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king 😉

  5. ivan says:

    How can there be such a thing as global temperature in the first place – the surface is too varied and the atmosphere is chaotic so where do they get this mythical figure from and how can it be an indicator of anything?

    This is just the UN Church of Climatology trying to up the fear factor to keep the surfs in their place – nothing more, nothing less.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Talk of 1.5C or 2C rises in temperature means next to nothing if the starting point is unknown, or at best is guesswork.

  7. Phoenix44 says:

    As I have commented before, this is politics not science. As the French have shown, you beat politics with politics – the yellow vests were not arguing about global temperatures, they were saying they would not accept paying for the vanities of politicians.

    If sceptics are serious about the harm being done to our economies and societies by this madness, we should stop arguing about what a thermometer measures and start showing we will not accept what us being done.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Some variable aspects of the Earth’s climate do not work on human, or short-term, timescales anyway. Fiddling around with emissions of trace gases won’t change that.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Date: 19/12/18 Global Warming Policy Forum
    An international competition for our readers, friends and supporters


  10. stpaulchuck says:

    here’s another thought for you – the IPCC, Mann et al, are predicting future global average temperatures to the tenth of a degree, i.e. 1.5C. Some of them even to the hundredth of a degree. That’s fine except there is no mention of the error range and confidence factor.

    When you consider that most of the instruments being used are accurate to plus or minus one degree and cumulative errors (instrumental, calibration equipment, locational (next to a large blacktop parking area, in or near the blast area for departing jets, etc.)) are greater than that for the 90% confidence area, then their whole story is crap.

    I am a computer scientist and I work with statistics and currently with Artificial Neural Networks (ANN’s) in our vain attempts to predict stochastic systems like stock prices, the weather, etc. We are getting better at short term trend predictions but as anyone in physics and thermodynamics can tell you – the future state of a system is dependent on ALL initial conditions. In other words, you’d have to know the state of every particle in the universe to predict the future weather conditions/climate (Butterfly Effect) at some place like Earth.
    “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” – IPCC TAR WG1, Working Group I: The Scientific Basis
    and yet.. WE’RE the anti-science people for not crediting AGW or the ability of humans to willfully create significant changes to the global climate.
    “Meanwhile, conservatives are said to have rejected science if they won’t believe that taxes control the weather.” from moonbattery.com

  11. oldbrew says:

    Arctic Glaciers ADVANCED 16 km During 2008-2016 In A Region That Was 6°C Warmer ~9,000 Years Ago
    By Kenneth Richard on 20. December 2018

    Newly published science indicates glaciers in the High Arctic Svalbard/Barents Sea region have rapidly advanced in the last decade — surging 16 kilometers since 2008, which is the greatest ice growth since 1890.


    – – –
    IOW from the last solar minimum until the next big El Niño.

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