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NOAA: ‘Robust, Unambiguous’ Independent Evidence Confirms The Recent Global Warming Measured By Thermometers

By Ryan Koronowski on March 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

"NOAA: ‘Robust, Unambiguous’ Independent Evidence Confirms The Recent Global Warming Measured By Thermometers"

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Yes, The Modern Instruments Are Right. Just Ask The Coral. Or The Caves. Or The Ice Cores. Or The….

Climate deniers claim you can’t trust thermometers because they changed locations or are too close to warmer urban environments. They have tried and failed to disprove millions of temperature observations all over the world. But the myth still persists.

Here’s some good news for science: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the University of South Carolina, the University of Colorado, and the University of Bern in Switzerland have found that the warming trend can be revealed using not a single thermometer:

A new compilation of temperature records etched into ice cores, old corals, and lake sediment layers reveals a pattern of global warming from 1880 to 1995 comparable to the global warming trend recorded by thermometers. This finding, reported by a team of researchers from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, the University of South Carolina, the University of Colorado, and the University of Bern in Switzerland, resolves some of the uncertainty associated with thermometer records, which can be affected by land use changes, shifts in station locations, variations in instrumentation, and more.

“Using only temperature-sensitive paleoclimate proxy records, un-calibrated to instrument data, it is possible to conclude that the warming trend in the global surface temperature record is supported by independent evidence,” said David Anderson, head of the Paleoclimatology Branch at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and lead author of the paper. The new research is detailed in “Global Warming in an Independent Record of the Past 130 Years,” published online this week in Geophysical Research Letters.

The thermometer-based global surface temperature record provides meaningful evidence of global warming over the past century, and it is critical to have independent analyses, like this one, to verify that record. For this analysis, the team used environmentally sensitive proxies to compile a temperature record that is independent of thermometer-based records. Proxies such as coral growth layers, shells of tiny marine plankton, lake sediments, ice cores, and caves are biologically, physically, or chemically connected to environmental conditions. For example, coral skeletons and plankton shells record temperature changes in the ratio of oxygen isotopes.

This paleoclimate dataset used 173 independent proxy datasets to draw a record from 1730 to 1995. To ensure the paleoclimate dataset was independent of the instrumental record, the scientists used raw data rather than reconstructed temperatures. Paleoclimate records and trends are affected by multiple environmental influences, not just warming, and the scientists minimized non-temperature influences by averaging together many records.

“The correlation of this paleoclimate dataset with the global surface temperature record has important implications in climate science and provides evidence of the significance of paleoclimate research,” said Thomas Karl, Director NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. “Temperature reconstructions, like this one, continue to play a significant role in understanding the global climate by quantitatively extending the record back in time in an independent, objective way.”

In addition to their shared long-term trend, many smaller-scale features also appear in both the paleoclimate and instrument temperature records. For example, the warm interval of the 1940s in the global surface temperature record also appears in the paleoclimate record. Both records also show that the global warming in the last 15 years of the record (1980–1995) is significantly faster than that of the long-term trend (1880–1995).

This piece was excerpted from a NOAA news release.

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15 Responses to NOAA: ‘Robust, Unambiguous’ Independent Evidence Confirms The Recent Global Warming Measured By Thermometers

  1. Jerrymat says:

    But you have left out the last 20 years, that from other measurements, show no further increase, even as CO2 continues to increase in the atmosphere. How can CO2 be the cause of warming when the mechanism stops? How can it be the cause when the geological record shows temperature leading increased CO2 by hundreds of years?
    You have shown a correlation but it is a basic idea of science that correlation does not dictate causation.
    Svensmark of Denmark shows much better correlations between cosmic rays and temperature.

    • Sasparilla says:

      Go look at some data that isn’t twisted:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm

      Gotta love the deniers – always ready to put some recycled gamed numbers idea up to show why U.S. astronauts didn’t walk on the moon – er, I mean why the earth is flat – er, I mean why injecting massive quantities of the greenhouse gas CO2 into the atmosphere won’t behave like a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, except that it does behave like a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      No Jerry-Svensmark does no such thing. Cosmic rays are only a proxy for solar activity in any case, and the records of high-altitude cosmic ray detectors show no flux that fits in with Svensmark’s (what is it about Denmark? Is this the ‘something rotten’ that Shakespeare imagined)’theories’. You see, atmospheric greenhouse gases are only one influence on global temperatures. The main driver is solar activity, then there is the influence of albedo changes, such as the loss of Arctic summer sea ice and northern snow and ice cover, and the ‘global dimming’ of air pollution, high-altitude con-trails, volcanic eruptions etc. Then there are climatic cycles like ENSO and various long-term oceanic circulation patterns. It’s pretty complex, but I suspect you prefer a simple, ideologically pre-determined (predestined, really)theory instead.

    • BillD says:

      It’s difficult to argue that warming has stopped or slowed when 10 of the eleven warmest years in the modern record occurred since 2000. As someone who uses statistics every day in my work, I find this “warming has stopped” meme incredibly naive.

  2. M Tucker says:

    The denier trolls who cruise the web are attacking the new paper by Shaun Marcott et al published in Science this year. They simply claim the study is flawed and that it has been discredited. Of course they do not provide a critique nor do they say who discredited the paper other than McIntyre. These trolls are jumping all over a SciAm blogger who put up Marcott’s graph. It is the graph they hate. They hate all graphical representations of past temperature and future projections. They will attack anything and everything. They are not influenced by science because, for them, the science is nothing more than unsubstantiated dogma.

    Above you have another example of an unsubstantiated attack on climate science.

    • Camburn says:

      M Tucker:
      Marcott 2013 is a very shoddy paper.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      M, you mention trolls, and, ‘hey presto’ who doth appear but Catbum, our favourite one-eyed dweller ‘neath bridges.

      • M Tucker says:

        Marcott needs to be ready. He will be attacked with the same enthusiasm as Mann.

        Denier rule #1: Thou shalt not publish a graph of temperature history that can be republished in MSM.

        Denier rule #2: All temperature history studies and authors must be vigorously attacked. Claim their work is flawed, claim the graph is flawed, claim anything and everything about the study is flawed. Do not worry about actually proving your claims.

        Mulga, yes I expected as much. Mentioning Mann’s work, and now Marcott, will always bring them out.

        • Camburn says:

          Rule 1. When using stats, at least use stats 101 and not imaginary stats.

          I will leave it at that unless you want more reasons why Marcott etal 2013 is rubbish.

  3. Merrelyn Emery says:

    The nonsense about thermometers was always just that, nonsense. Of course all the natural indicators say the same thing, ME

    • Yes. One of the principle means of validating scientific theories is confirming them through many lines of evidence. Thus evolutionary theory is based on the fossil record, our understanding of genetics, field observations of animal and plant disbursement, breeding experiments and so on. In global warming theory, basic theory, models, temperature records, ice core records, geologic evidence and various experiments confirm the greenhouse effect. They all agree on the important details, and all point to the same mechanisms, having eliminated other explanations.

    • NotFunnyMitt says:

      As discovered by that Koch-funded guy that discovered it didn’t matter which temperature reading you excluded (urban heat island!) you always got the same result – global warming.

    • kermit says:

      Tsk. Any denialist will tell you the simple “truth” – that all proxies, models, measurements, and observations are wrong. They all show the same picture because reality has a liberal bias. Thirty watches can be easily wrong – it happens all the time. The fact that they all show the same time of day is coincidence. Or conspiracy.

  4. Jack Burton says:

    Denial is a paid for promotion effort of the fossil fuel industry, big PR firms employ every tactic available to discredit the science. Including trolls who are paid to keep track of any discussion or comments section in which climate science springs up as a topic. The one above is probably on of the paid ones. They work from a list of talking points.
    There are any number of useful idiots to parrot the professional deniers. It is all so boring at this point.
    They will continue to work for pay and the hangers on will follow them. They can produce more denial screed than science can produce fact.
    They are to be ignored, they love the attention, and relish their ability to turn any discussion away from the facts and on to their red herrings. Just as they have me right now commenting on them and not the science.
    But I couldn’t resist.

  5. jyyh says:

    well, i guess it’s not a conspiracy by the thermometer manufacturers then… they so obviously planned to raise the price of thermometers by slowly adding higher numbers in them. :-D.