The Contiguous U.S. Surface Air Temperature Data Through 2012 – Is the Recent Warming Trend Unusual?

UPDATE:  Fixed the date of the second trend period on Figure 3. It now reads the correct year.

UPDATE 2:  For those visiting because of the Tamino’s recent (misdirection) post, refer to my response to it here.


There’s going to be a press conference today with James Hansen of GISS and Tom Karl of NOAA. According to the press release, at 10AM 2PM EST on Tuesday January 15th, they’re going to tell us all about nasty weather around the globe in 2012.

Right up there near the tops of their lists has to be surface air temperatures in the United States, Figure 1, which were thankfully warm in the 2012. (I’m old. I prefer warm weather.) We’ve been hearing for months about how warm it was. I’m sure they’ll be happy to tell us about it at least one more time.

Figure 1

Figure 1

As many of you know, I normally don’t pay any attention to land surface air temperatures. I study sea surface temperature data. So, with all of the nonsense we’ve been hearing this year, I was surprised to see there was nothing unusual about the rate of warming over the past couple of decades in the contiguous U.S., even with the thankfully warm weather in 2012.

It’s very obvious that land surface air temperatures in the U.S. warmed rapidly from 1917 to 1934. Then there was a cooling period for a number of decades, which was followed by the recent warming period. What’s unusual about that? It could be argued that the recent warming started in 1979 or 1993. So let’s compare the trend of the early warming period to the trends of the recent warming period with the start years of 1979 and 1993.

The linear trend of the early warming period (1917 to 1934) was 0.997 Deg F/ Decade. The linear trend for the recent warming period with the start year of 1979 is far below it, at 0.537 Deg F/Decade. See Figure 2. If we start the recent warming period in 1993 (Figure 3), the rate of warming is a little higher at 0.674 Deg F/Decade, but that’s still far less than the warming rate of the early warming period.

Figure 2

Figure 2


Figure 3

Figure 3

Now a question for Hansen and Karl: what’s all the hubbub, bubs? If anything, U.S. temperatures are warming at a slower rate in recent decades compared to the early warming period, even with all of that lovely warm weather last year.


It’s doubtful that Hansen and Karl will mention the fact that the ocean heat content records since 1955 and the satellite-era sea surface temperatures show no evidence of a manmade global warming signal. That is, while they’ve warmed, it’s blatantly obvious that Mother Nature was responsible for the warming. Since they won’t raise that topic, I will.

I’ve recently published my e-book (pdf) about the phenomena called El Niño and La Niña. It’s titled Who Turned on the Heat? with the subtitle The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit, El Niño Southern Oscillation. It is intended for persons (with or without technical backgrounds) interested in learning about El Niño and La Niña events and in understanding the natural causes of the warming of our global oceans for the past 31 years. Because land surface air temperatures simply exaggerate the natural warming of the global oceans over annual and multidecadal time periods, the vast majority of the warming taking place on land is natural as well. The book is the product of years of research of the satellite-era sea surface temperature data that’s available to the public via the internet. It presents how the data accounts for its warming—and there are no indications the warming was caused by manmade greenhouse gases. None at all.

Who Turned on the Heat? was introduced in the blog post Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about El Niño and La Niña… …Well Just about Everything. The Free Preview includes the Table of Contents; the Introduction; the beginning of Section 1, with the cartoon-like illustrations; the discussion About the Cover; and the Closing.

Please buy a copy. (Paypal or Credit/Debit Card). It’s only US$8.00.

You’re probably asking yourself why you should spend $8.00 for a book written by an independent climate researcher. There aren’t many independent researchers investigating El Niño-Southern Oscillation or its long-term impacts on global surface temperatures. In fact, if you were to perform a Google image search of NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies, the vast majority of the graphs and images are from my blog posts. Try it. Cut and paste NINO3.4 sea surface temperature anomalies into Google. Click over to images and start counting the number of times you see Bob Tisdale.

By independent I mean I am not employed in a research or academic position; I’m not obligated to publish results that encourage future funding for my research—that is, my research is not agenda-driven. I’m a retiree, a pensioner. The only funding I receive is from book sales and donations at my blog. Also, I’m independent inasmuch as I’m not tied to consensus opinions so that my findings will pass through the gauntlet of peer-review gatekeepers. Truth be told, it’s unlikely the results of my research would pass through that gauntlet because the satellite-era sea surface temperature data contradicts the tenets of the consensus.


Contiguous U.S. land surface air data is available in Table form through the NOAA/NCDC webpage here.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in Climate Assessment Report Faults, LSAT. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Contiguous U.S. Surface Air Temperature Data Through 2012 – Is the Recent Warming Trend Unusual?

  1. There is outright, blatant fraud in the US temperature adjustments being made, as Steven Goddard has been pointing out for months, and I easily found that:

    US Temperatures Have Been Falsely Adjusted According to the Level of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere

    Everyone needs to be aware of this — it should be front-page news worldwide.

  2. All of the warming shown in the graph is due to adjustments by NOAA. The raw data shows no warming

  3. Bob Tisdale says:

    stevengoddard: Please email me the time series data for the unadjusted Contiguous Land Surface Air Temps. Or please let me know where I can find it in an easy-to-use format.

  4. Gary H says:

    Would be fun to see the same trending applied to the actual recorded (unadjusted) temperature record.

  5. GuarionexSandoval says:

    This is using Hansen’s phony “adjusted” data, right? I think it was Lord Monckton who showed a graph of the warming since the late 1800s as having occurred over three roughly equal periods of time separated by a period of cooling and the amount increase each period being roughly the same.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Gary H says: “Would be fun to see the same trending applied to the actual recorded (unadjusted) temperature record.”

    I’d like to compare the unadjusted data to the sea surface temperature records for the Coastal US waters.

  7. Bob Tisdale says:

    GuarionexSandoval says: “This is using Hansen’s phony ‘adjusted’ data, right?”

    Nope. This is the NCDC’s adjusted data.

  8. Pingback: Yet Even More Sleight of Hand from Tamino | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

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