The Hottest January?

There are two schools of thought. The Earth’s land and oceans have been warming for the last twenty years. Er, no, they have been cooling.

Our world can’t do both at the same time surely, so who is right? (Obviously, both sides agree that the climate is changing.)

A few days ago, NOAA declared that January 2020 was the hottest on record, globally. It beat 2016 by 0.02°C, a ridiculously tiny amount compared to the margin of error of the calculation. But wait…

The four warmest Januaries documented in the climate record have occurred since 2016; the 10 warmest have all occurred since 2002.

NOAA

I have been a “warmist” for as long as I can remember, a position reinforced by the Ten Weather Stations I’ve been monitoring. I spent a few hours on Sunday extending the series back to 2001and calculated the difference between the January Mean and the Ten Year Average for each station. The resulting hemisphere/globe charts look like this.

January_NORTH_0120

January_SOUTH_0120

January_GLOBE_0120

It is clear that 2020 wasn’t the warmest January at one northern station. Koltsovo was the anomaly and I had to check the data at Weather Underground. Seventeen days were over 20 degrees Fahrenheit and three above freezing. Phew! Unprecedented?

The trendlines show warming in the 21st century but this does not mean that the “Coolists” are wrong in their assertions. Ten stations is a pitifully small sample. I may, by chance, have picked on those returning unusually high mean temperatures.

As a control (of sorts), I looked at Durham Tees, going back as far as the data were available in an uninterrupted sequence.

DurhamTeesJANUARY9720

I was surprised to see northern England experienced Koltsovo-like relative warmth in 2007, with 2020 coming a dismal 4th and 2016 5th (of 24 years). But the trendline is almost flat, so it is not difficult to imagine that hundreds of stations could easily dip the other way.

(Januarys/Januaries.)

I wonder what the Hemisphere and Globe charts would look like if the data from every station available on Weather Underground were to be interrogated and averaged.

The elephant (or polar bear) in the room is the accusation from the Cool folk that NOAA doctors the raw temperature data to suit a global warming narrative. Mallen Baker answers the charge.