Obama on leadership, COP21, the pause, warmest year on record, the facts.

Asking Obama about his comments a year ago that America is the indispensable nation and that America leads, CBS 60 minutes interviewer Steve Kroft commented that Vladimir Putin “seems to be challenging that leadership” with his actions in Syria.

Obama’s response was revealing about how he sees the role of the United States as a global leader. “If you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership,” Obama replied. “My definition of leadership would be leading on climate change, an international accord that potentially we’ll get in Paris. My definition of leadership is mobilizing the entire world community to make sure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon. And with respect to the Middle East, we’ve got a 60-country coalition that isn’t suddenly lining up around Russia’s strategy.”

Leadership? Obama seems to have an unique angle on leadership. He claimed in his  April 18 weekly address to the nation, : “2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record.”

This will be one of his main arguments going into the Climate Conference COP21 in Paris in December.

How accurate is this statement?

Besides from the fact that we are not even close to the Minoan warming period 3000 years ago, or the Roman warming period 2000 years ago, not even the Medieval warming period 1000 years ago it is way off the mark on other facts as well. The figure below is from the Greenland Ice Core probings and is one of the best gauges for temperature records the last 10000 years. 2014 was still one of the 1000 coldest. Note also that the inter-glacial maximum temperature was around 6000 years ago and we are well into the bog-building face where normally Carbon would be deposited in the bogs and trigger the next ice-age. Burning Coal slows down the cool-down.

Greenlandgisp-last-10000-new

We are now experiencing an 18 year 8 month pause in the warming occurring since the little ice age. This is an undisputed fact if one looks at the satellite data.

18yr8monthspauseHowever, if one looks at the data generated by the surface stations it looks quite different. There has been a substantial rise in global temperatures since measurements began, and indeed, this century is so far the warmest on record.

ncdc.global.history.0910So, who is right? The official satellite measurements or the official surface temperature measurements?

The satellite measurements are done without any corrections, but the instruments are frequently calibrated to ensure no temperature drifts occur over time.

On the other hand, the United states Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is the custodian of temperature data from the 48 contiguous states. As temperature stations are dropped and others are added they try to do a homogenization step to present the most probable past temperatures for the 48 states. This leads to temperature adjustments to past readings. They sincerely try to do the best job possible to ensure the adjustments are without bias of any kind. If we look at the next picture they did a near perfect temperature adjustment of past temperatures as a linear function of CO2 concentration.

tempC02(Credit to Tom Heller who did the analysis). This means that all homogenization was performed assuming the temperature adjustments had to conform to the IPCC model.

In other words, by assuming the model is right you adjust the data until they fit the model. Using the adjusted data you then claim this proves the model is right.

Climate science?

Published by

lenbilen

Engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, and chip manufacturing. Presently adjunct faculty at PSU, teaching one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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