December 2011: Regional Update


Why some may wonder about the purpose purpose of the regional updates, there is much that can be learned from a careful and detailed analysis from the data over the course of one year.  When 2011 wraps up, I will start to show just how much critical information can be gleaned from this data.  Of course if one only looks at the temperature anomaly, then there is nothing to learn.  If one is willing to look and understand how and why the climate changes over the course of the year, then there is much to be learned.

My last update was in early October and it showed the transition from Summer to Fall was well under way.  As it is early December it should be no surprise that the temperatures have continued to drop.  If I were a climate scientist then the only thing I would care about for the year is the anomaly for the year thus far.

Boise:  -0.09 °C

McCall:  -0.85 °C

If I wanted to show this on a daily basis I would simply show a daily chart of the average temperature anomaly.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

Daily Temperature Anomaly: Boise, Idaho 2011.

This is the perfect way to show information because it has had all usefulness removed and no important questions will be asked based on a chart like this.

One purpose for this series of articles was to find a better way to present the temperature data for the course of the year and what I have settled into the the following chart type.  This shows how the temperature of Boise behaved for the year.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

(Red) Daily High Temperature, (Blue) Daily Low Temperature

The anomaly chart is simply the average for the high and low temperature anomaly for each day of the year.  The year 2011 is almost exactly average for the year, but it is almost never actually the average temperature for the high or the low each day.  Most days are more than a few degrees warmer or cooler than the average.

McCall which is about 100 miles north and far more rural than Boise shows similar behavior of the year.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

(Red) Daily High Temperature, (Blue) Daily Low Temperature

What is interesting to me is that both Boise and McCall had an average low temperature that was above average (0.15 °C and 0.38 °C respectively).  In both cases it has been significantly low high temperatures that have caused the overall low temperature anomaly for the year.  The high temperature anomaly for the year has been:

Boise:  -0.30 °C

McCall:  -2.07 °C

This type of information doesn’t show up in the normal anomaly information.  The region overall has had significantly lower than average high temperatures for the year as a whole, but that will never be seen in a normal climate analysis.

Here is where reading my book is going to be important.  Most of the articles that I have written for this website are based on a scientific analysis of the Earth’s climate that is not well known.  It is outlined in the book, but for the first time I am going to really start hitting some of the harder science in regards to the website.

The actual temperature (not anomaly) is critical to determining how the Earth’s climate behaves.  If I were to show the radiated energy (energy loss from the surface to the atmosphere) for the year, I would get this chart.

The Inconvenient Skeptic

(Red) Daily High Radiated Energy, (Blue) Daily Low Radiated Energy

I might in the future make this one a different color, but for now I want to show how the actual temperature determines how much energy the surface is radiating to the atmosphere.  This has an influence on how much heat the surface loses to the atmosphere.

The real kicker is that a place can be below average temperature for the year and still radiate more energy away than it does on average.  Boise in fact had a below average temperature anomaly, but it lost more energy than average over the course of the year.

There is much more to come on this topic.  The Northern Hemisphere of the Earth has been cooling for the past 3,000 years.  The reason is that it has been losing more energy to space than it has been getting from the Sun.  The longer this takes place, the more the Earth will cool.  All of this can be demonstrated by a careful analysis of a single year.  This is going to be a lot of fun.

Posted in Anomaly by inconvenientskeptic on December 12th, 2011 at 4:44 am.

3 comments

This post has 3 comments

  1. Richard111 Dec 12th 2011

    Hmm… interesting. Are you using blackbody values or do you have different, or at least, an average emissivity value for the area under consideration? And how do you define what is absorbed in the atmosphere and what passes through the “window”, and what effect clouds have and.. and.. ah, my mind curdles up. 🙂

  2. Richard Dec 13th 2011

    What might be interesting is to include the solar input curve for this latitude (suitably scalled) that provides what the radiative input is over the year as well.

  3. What would be interesting would be showing bright sunshine alongside temperature, but that is not collected very much in the US.

    In the UK there is some station data and it shows a significant increase in sunshine for the 20th century (1929 on).

    Go here and pick UK, Sunshine,Annual

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/actualmonthly/

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