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Lessons learned from Swedish temperature records

By Dennis T. Avery 
web posted October 18, 2010

The ten coldest winter-spring temperatures out of the last 500 in Stockholm, Sweden, were almost all during the Little Ice Age. No surprise there. The coldest was 1569, followed by 1573.   

The warmest years: 1863, 1990, 1743, 1525, 1989, 1605, 1822, 1790, 1762, and 2008, in that order. The years since 1976, supposedly with "unprecedented warming," claim only three slots among the top ten. Apparently, the Modern Warming isn't all that hot. Nor do we have any temperature readings from the earlier Medieval and Roman Warmings, which the ice cores and seabed sediments tell us were even warmer than today.   

In science, observations must be taken much more seriously than theories or computer models. The Swedish data came primarily from long-term records on sea ice conditions in the Stockholm harbor inlet—such as the dates when the ice broke up each year. The data correlation is good when the harbor records overlap with instrumental data.

Apparently, the Swedish ice record must also be taken more seriously than today's "official" temperature records. The "consensus," of course, is that the planet has warmed about 0.7 degree C since 1850 and will undergo drastic greenhouse warming in the century ahead. However, we know that the worlds best-ever temperature data come from the satellite readings since 1978. They give whole-earth coverage, including the oceans. Nor do they suffer from the Urban Heat Island effect, which has increasingly polluted recent land-based thermometers.

The satellites say the earth's temperatures since 1978 have risen at a miniscule rate of 0.005 C per decade. If that satellite trend continues, we can expect the planet to warm another 0.05 C by 2100.  That compares well with my forecast that the world will warm only about another half-degree C during the next several centuries—because Nature's every-1500-year warming cycles have been "front-loaded." They've gotten about half of their total temperature change in the first decades after the shift, with the other half spread out erratically over hundreds of years.

Senior U.S. meteorologist Joe D'Aleo says our recent thermometer records have been manipulated. He says the shut-down of rural thermometers and the "adjustment factors" applied by Goddard Space Institute and the National Climate Data Center have systematically suppressed temperatures from the years before WWII. This has made the temperature increases in recent years look larger. 

Eugenia Kalnay at the University of Maryland found that adjusting the satellite and high-altitude balloon records for "no cities and no land use changes" over the past 50 years wiped out 40 percent of U.S. warming.

The New Zealand Science and Education Trust has filed a High Court suit against the country's "official" temperature record. The country's Seven Station temperature set "officially" shows warming at the rate of 0.91 C per 100 years since 1909. But New Zealand's raw temperature data—posted on line—shows only 6 percent of that warming, a statistically insignificant trend of 0.06 C per century since 1850.

The country's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research just announced it has "no responsibility" for the "official record" it has been publishing.

The raw thermometer data says New Zealand was actually warmer in during the period from 1863–1919 than it is now! The apparent 20th century warming was dependent on the use of "adjustments taken by NIWA from a 1981 student thesis by former NIWA employee James Salinger." Salinger had gotten his training in climatology from the University of East Anglia, where leaked e-mails have revealed a broad effort by "climate experts" to make the Modern Warming look scarier than it has actually been.

Those Swedish harbor records are looking better and better. ESR

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist.  He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to cgfi@hughes.net.

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