Statistical analysis projects future temperatures in North America

May 15, 2012 by Pam Frost Gorder
For the first time, researchers have been able to build a consensus between different regional climate models using spatial statistics. In this image (above), the color red indicates regions of North America for which the statistical analysis indicates a 97.5 percent probability that average temperatures will rise by at least 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2070. Image by Noel Cressie and Emily Kang, courtesy of Ohio State University.

For the first time, researchers have been able to combine different climate models using spatial statistics - to project future seasonal temperature changes in regions across North America.

They performed advanced statistical analysis on two different North American regional and were able to estimate projections of temperature changes for the years 2041 to 2070, as well as the certainty of those projections.

The analysis, developed by at Ohio State University, examines groups of models, finds the commonalities between them, and determines how much weight each individual climate projection should get in a climate estimate.

Through maps on the statisticians' website, people can see how their own region's temperature will likely change by 2070 - overall, and for individual seasons of the year.

Given the complexity and variety of climate models produced by different research groups around the world, there is a need for a tool that can analyze groups of them together, explained Noel Cressie, professor of statistics and director of Ohio State's Program in Spatial Statistics and Environmental Statistics.

Cressie and former graduate student Emily Kang, now at the University of Cincinnati, present the statistical analysis in a paper published in the International Journal of Applied and Geoinformation.

"One of the criticisms from climate-change skeptics is that different climate models give different results, so they argue that they don't know what to believe," he said. "We wanted to develop a way to determine the likelihood of different outcomes, and combine them into a consensus climate projection. We show that there are shared conclusions upon which scientists can agree with some certainty, and we are able to statistically quantify that certainty."

Statisticians at Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati used spatial statistics and different regional climate models to build a consensus of likely temperature changes across North America. In this image, the color intensity corresponds to the temperature change expected by 2070, measured in degrees Celsius. The greatest temperature increases occur in the north, particularly in the Hudson Bay. Image by Noel Cressie and Emily Kang, courtesy of Ohio State University.

For their , Cressie and Kang chose to combine two regional climate models developed for the North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program. Though the models produced a wide variety of climate variables, the researchers focused on temperatures during a 100-year period: first, the climate models' temperature values from 1971 to 2000, and then the climate models' temperature values projected for 2041 to 2070. The data were broken down into blocks of area 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) on a side, throughout North America.

Averaging the results over those individual blocks, Cressie and Kang's statistical analysis estimated that average land temperatures across North America will rise around 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2070. That result is in agreement with the findings of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which suggest that under the same emissions scenario as used by NARCCAP, global average temperatures will rise 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2070. Cressie and Kang's analysis is for North America - and not only estimates average land temperature rise, but regional temperature rise for all four seasons of the year.

Cressie cautioned that this first study is based on a combination of a small number of models. Nevertheless, he continued, the statistical computations are scalable to a larger number of models. The study shows that climate models can indeed be combined to achieve consensus, and the certainty of that consensus can be quantified.

The statistical analysis could be used to combine climate models from any region in the world, though, he added, it would require an expert spatial statistician to modify the analysis for other settings.

The key is a special combination of statistical analysis methods that Cressie pioneered, which use spatial statistical models in what researchers call Bayesian hierarchical statistical analyses.

The latter techniques come from Bayesian statistics, which allows researchers to quantify the certainty associated with any particular model outcome. All data sources and models are more or less certain, Cressie explained, and it is the quantification of these certainties that are the building blocks of a Bayesian analysis.

In the case of the two North American regional climate models, his Bayesian analysis technique was able to give a range of possible temperature changes that includes the true temperature change with 95 percent probability.

After producing average maps for all of North America, the researchers took their analysis a step further and examined temperature changes for the four seasons. On their website, they show those seasonal changes for regions in the Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes, the Midwest, and the Rocky Mountains.

In the future, the region in the Hudson Bay will likely experience larger temperature swings than the others, they found.

That Canadian region in the northeast part of the continent is likely to experience the biggest change over the winter months, with temperatures estimated to rise an average of about 6 degrees Celsius (10.7 degrees Fahrenheit) - possibly because ice reflects less energy away from the Earth's surface as it melts. Hudson Bay summers, on the other hand, are estimated to experience only an increase of about 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit).

According to the researchers' , the Midwest and Great Lakes regions will experience a rise in of about 2.8 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit), regardless of season. The Rocky Mountains region shows greater projected increases in the summer (about 3.5 degrees Celsius, or 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) than in the winter (about 2.3 degrees Celsius, or 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit).

In the future, the researchers could consider other climate variables in their analysis, such as precipitation.

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plaasjaapie
1.8 / 5 (24) May 15, 2012
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (24) May 15, 2012
The NOAA data for the whole period of 1895 to 2011 says those scientists are clinically insane.

http://i49.tinypi...r49d.jpg

1998 (the warmest US year) was only .25F warmer than 1934 (the 3rd warmest year) and thats with NOAA's traditional warm bias.

http://sunshineho...hink-so/
axemaster
4.4 / 5 (14) May 15, 2012
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain

Yeah, 'cause Mark Twain was a scientist, right?

Also, I find it very interesting that the Southeast won't heat up as much as other regions. Perhaps due to local wind patterns coming off the ocean?
rhapsodist
4.2 / 5 (20) May 15, 2012
Conservatives everywhere are praying for a mini ice age because it will save them from accurate science..
Waltlaw
5 / 5 (9) May 15, 2012
This is good science. A prediction and a timeline for verification.
I'm not a fan of the inflamed red graphic at the top of the page.
NotParker
1.4 / 5 (21) May 15, 2012
This is good science. A prediction and a timeline for verification.


Very bad science. And very dishonest.

"Though the models produced a wide variety of climate variables, the researchers focused on temperatures during a 100-year period: first, the climate models' temperature values from 1971 to 2000"

They start from 1971? And ignore the warmest decades in US history - the 20s and 30s?

Did you know 1979 was the 8th coldest year in US history?

What kind of paper ignores the 20s and 30s?
joefarah
1.4 / 5 (18) May 15, 2012
I sure wish I could believe these numbers... it would be a great boon for North America! Unfortunately, I don't believe these climate models. :(
Waltlaw
4.6 / 5 (10) May 15, 2012
NotParker, it's still science if their prediction is wrong. Wait until 2070 before you laugh.
Caliban
3.5 / 5 (8) May 15, 2012
I sure wish I could believe these numbers... it would be a great boon for North America! Unfortunately, I don't believe these climate models. :(


@joefarah,

I sure wish your kidneys were replaced by solid gold replicas. It would be a great boon to North Americans and other nationals who visit PHYSORG. Unfortunately, I don't think any one would be willing to take the time or go to the expense...

Lurker2358
2.2 / 5 (13) May 15, 2012
Also, I find it very interesting that the Southeast won't heat up as much as other regions. Perhaps due to local wind patterns coming off the ocean?


GW affects higher latitudes more quickly than mid or low latitudes.

It's also possible that the south eastern states already get so hot and have such high relative humidity that it's very difficult to raise the temperature much higher, particularly since 1 degree of increased water temperature will increase convection by over 4%. Clouds most likely have a net negative feedback during the day, and a net positive feedback at night, so maximum temperature might not go up much, because the model is assuming it will be more clouding after 1 degree of rise.
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (23) May 15, 2012
Also, I find it very interesting that the Southeast won't heat up as much as other regions. Perhaps due to local wind patterns coming off the ocean?


The south east states have a cooling trends from the 20s/30s.

Take a look at Alabama:

https://sunshineh...9211.png

21 states have been cooling since 1921.

http://sunshineho...-part-2/

Sean_W
3 / 5 (10) May 15, 2012
Look at all that lava covering the continent! We must flee!!!!
NotParker
1.4 / 5 (22) May 15, 2012
NotParker, it's still science if their prediction is wrong. Wait until 2070 before you laugh.


It's laughable now. And anyone who reads the article should laugh at it too.

They are predicting 3.6F over the next 55 years.

The trend in the USA from 1990 to 2011 is .22F / decade = 160 years for 3.6F

HOWEVER

The trend from 2000 to 2011 is -0.58 degF / Decade which means in 55 years it will be -3.19F COLDER.

I suspect the real number will be in the middle.
Feldagast
1.3 / 5 (14) May 15, 2012
Give us your money the world will end anyway in 20 years and you wont need it. They are out to profit from what they predict will happen, look at Al Gore and carbon credits. Once you follow the path and are down in far enough there will be no turning back.
justinbaily
1 / 5 (10) May 15, 2012
20 years the myan's long count wheel runs out 21-12-12 and because it spans eons people believe the end is neigh. The myan's clock is just that a clock so i'm sure christmas and new years will be here without fail but the trouble with predicting models for 2070 is who do you ask if the original teams are unavaible and only they can explain something important.
Parsec
4.8 / 5 (17) May 16, 2012
From the time of Galileo till the present, scientists have been the subject of scorn because they predict phenomena that either goes against the cherished status quo, or violates religious/ideological dogma.

It's particularly irksome when non-scientists use cherry picked data and/or seriously biased statistics to make their case.

The truth is that the case for an anthropological cause for global warming becomes more overwhelming every year. Every single phenomena predicted by AGW are happening, to whit:

Rises in sea level.
Shifts in the dates when seasons start.
Migratory patterns in birds.
Shifts in the ranges of mobile species.
Shifts in the distribution of heat in the atmosphere.
Overall increases in the average global temperature.
etc.

We are still early in the transition to a warmer global temperature, so a few contradictory results have been reported.

But overall, it requires serious bias to be able to reject all this data.
stealthc
1.3 / 5 (16) May 16, 2012
I don't trust this either so far climate modelling has proven to be totally junk science. You people can't even predict tomorrow's temperature with any reasonable degree of accuracy. LOL!
alfie_null
5 / 5 (8) May 16, 2012
You people

Who are you talking to? I think you want the web site of the cabal-of-scientists-seeking-to-become-rich-off-of-grants, not physorg.

tomorrow's temperature

What does weather have to do with this?
purringrumba
4.3 / 5 (11) May 16, 2012
Use statistical analysis to predict geo-political instability. 'See, science tells us that we need strong military!'

Use the statistical analysis to predict market volatility and hedge contract prices. 'The efficient market will solve all the issues! The government should leave it alone!'

Use the statistical analysis to predict a rise in the average temperature. 'Science is wrong!'
runrig
5 / 5 (10) May 16, 2012
NotParker, it's still science if their prediction is wrong. Wait until 2070 before you laugh.


It's laughable now. And anyone who reads the article should laugh at it too.

They are predicting 3.6F over the next 55 years.

The trend in the USA from 1990 to 2011 is .22F / decade = 160 years for 3.6F

HOWEVER

The trend from 2000 to 2011 is -0.58 degF / Decade which means in 55 years it will be -3.19F COLDER.

I suspect the real number will be in the middle.


Idiot - why can't you get it that there are other cycles imprinted over AGW and cherry picking the portion of the CO2 graph to suite your argument doesn't cut it with people who have have a grasp of the science.
prcrimm
1 / 5 (4) May 16, 2012
The great earth god Gaea rose from the table and belched a great methane cloud and the seas rose and the temperature climbed 2.5c.
Then Physorg screamed its the IPCC! Please Lord make them stop!
NotParker
1.4 / 5 (20) May 16, 2012
NotParker, it's still science if their prediction is wrong. Wait until 2070 before you laugh.


It's laughable now. And anyone who reads the article should laugh at it too.

They are predicting 3.6F over the next 55 years.

The trend in the USA from 1990 to 2011 is .22F / decade = 160 years for 3.6F

HOWEVER

The trend from 2000 to 2011 is -0.58 degF / Decade which means in 55 years it will be -3.19F COLDER.

I suspect the real number will be in the middle.


Idiot - why can't you get it that there are other cycles imprinted over AGW and cherry picking the portion of the CO2 graph to suite your argument doesn't cut it with people who have have a grasp of the science.


They cherry picked 1970 when it was cold and the trend after was upwards.

Real scientists would have shown all the trends

But the 10 year trend from 2002 to 2011 would have made the story way less scary

10 years = cooling at -0.69 degF / Decade
Deathclock
3 / 5 (12) May 16, 2012
20 years the myan's long count wheel runs out 21-12-12 and because it spans eons people believe the end is neigh. The myan's clock is just that a clock so i'm sure christmas and new years will be here without fail but the trouble with predicting models for 2070 is who do you ask if the original teams are unavaible and only they can explain something important.


1: It's spelled "Mayan"
2: What the hell are you talking about "original teams"?
Feldagast
2.6 / 5 (5) May 16, 2012
New Mayan Calender shows the world will continue past 2012.
http://news.disco...511.html
Vendicar_Decarian
4.4 / 5 (13) May 16, 2012
Parker Tard's lie is easy to expose.

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

10 year trend is about .25'C per decade.

"10 years = cooling at -0.69 degF / Decade: - ParkerTard

Parker Tard is a congenital liar and is deeply mentally diseased.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (12) May 16, 2012
Parker Tard has an ideological reason for coming here to lie in support of his political ideology and the ideology of his financial backers.

"Idiot - why can't you get it that there are other cycles imprinted over AGW and cherry picking the portion of the CO2 graph to suite your argument doesn't cut it with people who have have a grasp of the science." - RunRig
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (15) May 16, 2012
10 year trend is about .25'C per decade.


The is study is about North America.

In the continental USA, the trend from 2001 to 2011 is -0.74 degF / Decade which means in 55 years it will be over -3F COLDER.

https://sunshineh...2011.jpg

http://sunshineho...hink-so/

NotParker
1.3 / 5 (15) May 16, 2012
Parker Tard's lie is easy to expose.

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

10 year trend is about .25'C per decade.


Sad little VD.

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

Trend is negative.

HADCRUT4 date ends in 2010. But even on the incomplete HADCRUT4 the trend was a microsocopic 0.00249226C per year which you can see here:

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (11) May 16, 2012
1: The U.S. constitutes less than 2% of the globe.

2: Your 10 data points don't produce any statistically significant
trend.

3: 10 years is weather not climate.

"The is study is about North America." - ParkerTard

Poor mentally diseased Parker Tard.
Is he a paid liar as well?
Vendicar_Decarian
3.9 / 5 (11) May 16, 2012
Parker Tard's latest lie is easy to expose.

For his "trend" he uses an outdated data source HadCrut3 that leaves out significant regions of the north and south poles - regions that are warming the most rapidly.

Secondly ParkerTard dishonestly uses a different dataset for the trend vs the displayed temperature plot.

"Trend is negative." - ParkerTard

Once again, from the current Hadcrut4 product...

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

A trend of 2.5'C per century

From GisTemp

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

A trend of 2.5'C per century

From UHA lower trop global mean

http://www.woodfo...11/trend

A trend of 1'C per decade

Poor ParkerTard. He born to be a congenital liar.
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (14) May 16, 2012
Parker Tard's latest lie is easy to expose.

For his "trend" he uses an outdated data source HadCrut3


HADCRUT3 has data into 2012. HADCRUT4 doesn't.

Poor pathetic VD.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.8 / 5 (10) May 16, 2012

"HADCRUT3 has data into 2012" - ParkerTard

But omits data from the polar regions where the warming is the greatest.

And that is why you dishonestly use it exclusively.

CRUT4 does not suffer as badly from that anti-warming bias.

NotParker
1.3 / 5 (15) May 16, 2012
The continental USA has been cooling for at least 10 years. There are no continental states in the arctic.

This article's premise is a bogus as VD's misdirections.
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (12) May 16, 2012
1: The U.S. constitutes less than 2% of the globe.

2: Your 10 data points don't produce any statistically significant
trend.

3: 10 years is weather not climate.

"The continental USA has been cooling for at least 10 years. " - ParkerTard

Poor mentally diseased Parker Tard.
Is he a paid liar as well?
NotParker
1.3 / 5 (15) May 17, 2012
1: The U.S. constitutes less than 2% of the globe.


The paper is about North America. The continental USA is part of North America.

Try using Google Maps. It might help you understand whats going on.

The USA is cooling.

Therefore the prediction of massive warming seems absurd.
Feldagast
1.5 / 5 (8) May 17, 2012
Shootist
1.7 / 5 (7) May 19, 2012
This is good science. A prediction and a timeline for verification.
I'm not a fan of the inflamed red graphic at the top of the page.


The only pertinent question is; can they plug in the climate numbers from 1900 (or 1800 or 1700) and come up with an accurate prediction of fact?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) May 19, 2012
"All data sources and models are more or less certain, Cressie explained, and it is the quantification of these certainties that are the building blocks of a Bayesian analysis."
GIGO.
Until the MWP is explained, along with the causes of previous ice ages and the end of those ice ages, not much is certain.
gregor1
1 / 5 (9) May 20, 2012
I want to know if it will fade the curtains.
gregor1
1.4 / 5 (9) May 20, 2012
For a total demolition of this nonsense

http://wattsupwit...the-red/
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (8) May 20, 2012
How well does this analysis technique predict the next year's DJIA?
Lurker2358
2.2 / 5 (10) May 20, 2012
The continental USA has been cooling for at least 10 years. There are no continental states in the arctic.

This article's premise is a bogus as VD's misdirections.


That's definitely a lie, you idiot.

The continental U.S. is on a streak of the 14 hottest consecutive months every.

2 months ago, it was the 12 hottest consecutive months ever.

1 month ago, it was the 12 hottest consecutive months ever.

This month(april data) it was the 12 hottest consecutive months ever.

Each new month dethroning the same month in the previous year.

Your a complete liar and just fabricating shit on the thread.

5th warmest year on record:

http://www.wunder...num=2095

Half way down page. Note all ten of the top ten have occurred in the past 12 years, totally debunking your claims of a "cooling North America".

This is also the warmest first 4 months of the year ever on record.
Urgelt
3 / 5 (3) May 21, 2012
I have to laugh at the notion that anything climate researchers can do or say will convince denialists. It's not going to happen.

As a non-denialist myself, I'm not particularly pleased with this sort of consensus view, because it begs the question: why are different models producing different results? The answer doesn't lie in averaging them together. It lies in understanding the models and producing better ones which properly deal with all of the variables we can nail down. The best consensus view is one where all the models converge, without brute-forcing them into it.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) May 21, 2012
It lies in understanding the models and producing better ones which properly deal with all of the variables we can nail down.

What about the variables you can't nail down and don't even know exist?
If such techniques were that good, the DJIA could be modeled to project its value next year.
NotParker
1 / 5 (7) May 21, 2012
The continental USA has been cooling for at least 10 years. There are no continental states in the arctic.

This article's premise is a bogus as VD's misdirections.


That's definitely a lie, you idiot.


The Northwest Region most recent 12 month period is ranked 78 out of 117.

2.6F colder than 1934

http://www.ncdc.n.../nw.html

WEST Region is ranked 89 out of 117.

1.6F colder than 1934

http://www.ncdc.n.../we.html

TheGhostofOtto1923
2.5 / 5 (8) May 21, 2012
What about the variables you can't nail down and don't even know exist?
Here is a nice article about your unfortunate disconnect ryggy:

"...in 1974, the year Republican Gerald Ford became president, 48% of conservatives trusted science, a higher proportion, interestingly, than found among liberals or moderates.

By 2010, however, that number had fallen to 34%, while the degree of trust among moderates and liberals remained stable. Of particular note: Confidence dropped among conservatives who held bachelor's degrees, not those who only finished high school.

Gauchat theorized that because educated conservatives are more politically engaged than other voting blocs, they are more likely to seek information that conforms to their ideology."
http://www.cnn.co...dex.html

-It appears your tribal affiliations may make you less apt to accept uncomfortable realities.
EverythingsJustATheory
3 / 5 (2) May 21, 2012
All models are wrong. Some are useful.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) May 21, 2012
"Box famously wrote that "essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful" in his book on response surface methodology with Norman R. Draper."
http://en.wikiped...._P._Box
NotParker
1 / 5 (6) May 21, 2012
For those interested, these are some of the states who DO NOT have a warmest 12 month period in 2011/2012.

Alabama 1931-sep to 1932-aug
Arizona 1896-jan to 1896-dec
Arkansas 1931-sep to 1932-aug
California 1995-sep to 1996-aug
Colorado 1933-sep to 1934-aug
Florida 1948-mar to 1949-feb
Georgia 1931-jun to 1932-may
Idaho 1933-jun to 1934-may
Illinois 1920-oct to 1921-sep
Indiana 1920-oct to 1921-sep
Iowa 1931-jan to 1931-dec
Kansas 1933-sep to 1934-aug
Kentucky 1931-sep to 1932-aug
Louisiana 1998-may to 1999-apr
Maine 1913-jan to 1913-dec
Michigan 1920-oct to 1921-sep
Minnesota 1931-jan to 1931-dec
Mississippi 1931-sep to 1932-aug
NotParker
1 / 5 (5) May 21, 2012
More:

Missouri 1931-sep to 1932-aug
Montana 1933-jun to 1934-may
Nebraska 1933-sep to 1934-aug
Nevada 1933-jun to 1934-may
New Mexico 1999-oct to 2000-sep
North Carolina 1931-sep to 1932-aug
North Dakota 1987-jan to 1987-dec
Oregon 1933-dec to 1934-nov
Pennsylvania 1931-mar to 1932-feb
South Carolina 1931-sep to 1932-aug
South Dakota 1933-jun to 1934-may
Tennessee 1931-sep to 1932-aug
Texas 1998-may to 1999-apr
Utah 1933-jun to 1934-may
Virginia 1931-sep to 1932-aug
Washington 1991-jul to 1992-jun
WestVirginia 1931-jul to 1932-jun
Wisconsin 1931-jan to 1931-dec
Wyoming 1933-jun to 1934-may