Shifting patterns of temperature volatility in the climate system

Jul 24, 2013

In recent decades there has been increased variability in yearly temperature records for large parts of Europe and North America, according to a study published online in Nature.

The study was carried out by scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the University of East Anglia and the University of Exeter.

Lead author Dr Chris Huntingford from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, "Fluctuations in annual average temperatures have shown very substantial geographical alteration in recent decades. However, to our surprise, when considered across the globe, total variability has been relatively stable."

Co-author Professor Phil Jones, from the University of East Anglia said, "We used globally-complete surface temperature data that has been constructed by merging observations and weather forecasts, and verified our findings against station temperature records"

The study concluded that regions of high variability have moved markedly over the last five decades, including to areas of high population in Europe and North America. Dr Huntingford added, "The movement of raised temperature variability to regions of high population may have contributed to the general perception that climate is becoming more volatile."

The study also examined future projections by 17 climate model simulations. Almost all predict that overall temperature fluctuations will actually decrease towards the end of this century, as greenhouse gas concentrations increase.

Co-author Professor Peter Cox, from the University of Exeter said, "We provide evidence that decreasing global temperature variability will be a consequence of major sea-ice loss in a warmer world."

Dr Huntingford added, "Our findings contradict the sometimes stated view that a warming world will automatically be one of more overall climatic variation."

Technical note—The analysis looked at year-to-year variability in temperature at different geographical locations. This variability is occurring around general global warming trends. These trends were subtracted from the actual measurements, and the remaining "anomalies" analyzed for changes over time and space.

Explore further: Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

More information: Nature Doi: 10.1038/nature12310

Journal reference: Nature search and more info website

Provided by Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

4.1 /5 (15 votes)

Related Stories

Are tropical forests resilient to global warming?

Mar 10, 2013

Tropical forests are less likely to lose biomass – plants and plant material - in response to greenhouse gas emissions over the twenty-first century than may previously have been thought, suggests a study published online ...

Central European summer temperature variability to increase

Dec 18, 2012

More extreme heat waves have been observed in central Europe in recent years as summer temperature variability has increased on both daily and interannual timescales. Models project that as the climate warms throughout the ...

Global precipitation variability decreased from 1940 to 2009

Oct 29, 2012

One of the strongly held assumptions of climate change is that the variability of precipitation will grow with an increase in temperature. Storms will become heavier but less frequent. Flash floods and droughts will increase. ...

Recommended for you

Tropical Storm Genevieve forms in Eastern Pacific

3 hours ago

The seventh tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean formed and quickly ramped up to a tropical storm named "Genevieve." NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an infrared image of the newborn storm ...

NASA maps Typhoon Matmo's Taiwan deluge

6 hours ago

When Typhoon Matmo crossed over the island nation of Taiwan it left tremendous amounts of rainfall in its wake. NASA used data from the TRMM satellite to calculate just how much rain fell over the nation.

User comments : 19

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (26) Jul 24, 2013
Berkeley physicist Richard Muller who created a new global temperature average explains how author Phil Jones deceived the public such that he will not read hockey stick team papers any more:

http://www.youtub...pciw8suk

Climategate 101: "For your eyes only...Don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone....Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it - thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that." - Phil "Hide The Decline" Jones e-mail to Michael "Hockey Stick" Mann
NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (25) Jul 24, 2013
This year King Abdullah University in $audi Arabia accepted Phil Jones as lecturer:

http://mpc.kau.ed...nes.aspx
GuruShabu
1.8 / 5 (25) Jul 24, 2013
NicFromNyc,
It is a blow of fresh air having someone like you here in this absolutely "believers" contaminated website!
The point for me is most of defenders of GW (old) and (GCC new as the old paradigm did not work at all) are very good people but unfortunately, they just "believe" in this very appealing BS about antropogenic global whatever on climate. They do not examine data and most are not able to read graphs, tables, etc.
Just a lot of good, sensitive people with their minds and souls hijacked by naughty people like Al Gore and the like.
The ones that can read but still defend this nonsense have financial interest such as grants, bit "green companies", etc.
GuruShabu
1.8 / 5 (26) Jul 24, 2013
One more comment.
I forgot to say, as most of the good engaged people on antropogenic Global whatever just "believe"; the matter is very sensitive and generates very emotional reactions.
Just like religion which this subject is quite similar.
Therefore, see how many 1s (ones) I will receive...:)
VendicarE
3.4 / 5 (18) Jul 24, 2013
"Berkeley physicist Richard Muller who created a new global temperature average explains how author Phil Jones deceived the public such that he will not read hockey stick team papers any more:" - NikkieTard

Muller then went on to perform his own temperature analysis and came to the conclusion that the temperature rise that he originally claimed was false, was in fact correct.

You can see Muller's admission of error here.

http://www.youtub...uKxXUCPY

Poor NikkieTard. Unlike his own reference, he just can't handle the truth.
VendicarE
3.6 / 5 (17) Jul 24, 2013
From the scientist that NikkieTard shows in the video presentation.

"Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that the rise in average world land temperature globe is approximately 1.5 degrees C in the past 250 years, and about 0.9 degrees in the past 50 years."

"Berkeley Earth also has carefully studied issues raised by skeptics, such as possible biases from urban heating, data selection, poor station quality, and data adjustment. We have demonstrated that these do not unduly bias the results"

NikkieTard... NikkieTard.... NikkieTard... Wake up and smell the science.
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (22) Jul 24, 2013
"Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate." - Richard Muller, 2003

Muller's strongly upturning global average T only used land data, ignored urban heating, and its strongly upturning plot after 1980 is falsified by two much more accurate satellite records of land temperatures which do not suffer from urban heating. Opportunist Muller obtained major funding from the Koch Foundation based on attacks on the hockey stick team and Gore's movie, then created a headline grabbing story that he was for years a skeptic, as the above quote also falsifies. He tried to clean house, then Bill Clinton adopted him.

He extended the global average T back another 130 years to the 1700s, but the longest thermometer records required to do that show no such hockey stick.
NikFromNYC
1.9 / 5 (22) Jul 24, 2013
Plot of "former skeptic" Muller's global average T with satellite data for comparison:

http://www.woodfo...plot/uah

The oldest thermometer records bluntly falsify his hockey stick:

http://s24.postim...nous.gif
VendicarE
3.5 / 5 (16) Jul 24, 2013
The denialist lie...

Muller's strongly upturning global average T only used land data, ignored urban heating, and its strongly upturning plot after 1980..." - NikkieTard

The facts...

Is the urban heat island (UHI) effect real?

"The Urban Heat Island effect is real. Berkeley's analysis focused on the question of whether this effect biases the global land average. The results indicate that the urban heat island effect on our global estimate of land temperatures is indistinguishable from zero." - Muller - FAQ - Berkeley Earth

The denialist lie....

"He extended the global average T back another 130 years to the 1700s, but the longest thermometer records required to do that show no such hockey stick" - NikkieTard

The facts...

http://berkeleyea...mall.png
VendicarE
3.6 / 5 (17) Jul 25, 2013
The extent of NikkieTard's mental disease is clear for everyone to see.

He first posts a link to a very old video of Muller making baseless accusations against climate scientists, and in an attempt to attack climate science.

Later when it is pointed out that Muller - to his credit as a scientist - performed an analysis that indicated that his fromer criticism was wring - and changed his opinions to the exact opposite, NikkieTard begins to weave a web of doubt and conspiracy about the scientist. The same person he was first uncritical of when he supported NikkieTards's ideologically driven opinion.

Muller is an example of a real scientist who looks at the data and formulates a honest conclusion based on that data.

NikkieTard and the other denialists simply ignore, or dishonestly misrepresent data that doesn't mesh with their world view.

Filth.
VendicarE
3.8 / 5 (17) Jul 25, 2013
It is unclear to me why NikkieTard presents a graphic in which global mean termperatures
rise in accordance with the averages obtained by Best and the others, and then conclude that this nearly identical increase in temperature somehow shows the temperature increase hasn't happened.

http://s24.postim...nous.gif

Look NikkieTard says. 2+2 <> 4 because 2 is the same as 2 so the original 2 must be 0.

But this is the way Conservatives really think.
GuruShabu
2 / 5 (21) Jul 25, 2013
To VebdicarE,
However, it is clear to me how unkind and rough you are when addressing anyone with a different "opinion" than yours.
Education is not about literature and kindness is more important than "to be right".
You behave like an adolescent, mate.
Why you keep tagging people that disagree with your wisdom as "tards" as they were all mentally handicapped?
Is this for your ego massage of for amassing support from your "followers"?
Why just not keep to the subject and stop personal attacks?
If you want to be respected you first have to show respect!
NikFromNYC
2 / 5 (21) Jul 25, 2013
"Former skeptic" Muller in 2008: "Back in the early '80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming."

Doe$ a per$on who $upport$ activi$m with brazen lie$ $how integrity?

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in Carbon (Organic) Chemistry (UofMN/Columbia/Harvard), with lab work on genetics, organometallics, and microfabrication (with lots of time in M.I.T. labs and the Harvard physics dept. during collaborations). My old lab mate served as Dept. of Chemistry chairman at Columbia, up the street. There was a future president of the Am. Chem. Soc. (Breslow) and a future chemistry Nobelist (Marty Chalfie) on my Ph.D. committee, prior to my winning the "top student" award that year.
deepsand
2.7 / 5 (18) Jul 25, 2013
To VebdicarE,
However, it is clear to me how unkind and rough you are when addressing anyone with a different "opinion" than yours.
Education is not about literature and kindness is more important than "to be right".
You behave like an adolescent, mate.
Why you keep tagging people that disagree with your wisdom as "tards" as they were all mentally handicapped?
Is this for your ego massage of for amassing support from your "followers"?
Why just not keep to the subject and stop personal attacks?
If you want to be respected you first have to show respect!

What about respect for the truth?

Those who persistently lie are deserving of no respect.
NikFromNYC
1.8 / 5 (20) Jul 25, 2013
Overzealous conservatives really *do* suck: not only did they ban neuroscience testing in humans akin to the Church banning telescopes, and also forced creationism into state school science programs and banned funding for life saving stem cell research, but they are now following the pedophile tainted Vatican to support yet another attack on science....

Two hundred evangelical Christian scientists petition Congress to tackle global warming:

http://www.newson...e-change

John Cook who runs the propaganda alarmist site SkepticalScience.com from which true believer activists come from is also an evangelical bible thumper. His partner there, Dana Nuccitelli, works for a monstrous nuclear weapons design firm that now also receives $350 million dollar grants for green energy and which was also runner up to design the Keystone Pipeline.

The concept is truth is religious and profoundly anti-scientific.
alfie_null
4.1 / 5 (9) Jul 25, 2013
-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in Carbon (Organic) Chemistry (UofMN/Columbia/Harvard), with lab work on genetics, organometallics, and microfabrication (with lots of time in M.I.T. labs and the Harvard physics dept. during collaborations). My old lab mate served as Dept. of Chemistry chairman at Columbia, up the street. There was a future president of the Am. Chem. Soc. (Breslow) and a future chemistry Nobelist (Marty Chalfie) on my Ph.D. committee, prior to my winning the "top student" award that year.

Not climatology, though. Like William Shockley and eugenics.

This canard about AGW proponents doing it for money is wearing a bit thin. Maybe plays well to the home team, but to me it only sounds like a prescribed part of some dogma.

Rather than trying to argue with readers here, publish something. Have it out with scientists who are climatologists.
GuruShabu
1.9 / 5 (18) Jul 25, 2013
To VebdicarE,
However, it is clear to me how unkind and rough you are when addressing anyone with a different "opinion" than yours.
Education is not about literature and kindness is more important than "to be right".
You behave like an adolescent, mate.
Why you keep tagging people that disagree with your wisdom as "tards" as they were all mentally handicapped?
Is this for your ego massage of for amassing support from your "followers"?
Why just not keep to the subject and stop personal attacks?
If you want to be respected you first have to show respect!

What about respect for the truth?

Those who persistently lie are deserving of no respect.

I agree with you on broad lines...however, it is difficult to pinpoint "truth" here as dogmas and beliefs are predominant.
But, yes, the "truth" is our goal...unfortunately, I am not the guy to tell you what IS the Truth...
I acknowledge that I really don't know but I humbly try to find it wholeheartedly and with my mind open.
Caliban
4.4 / 5 (7) Jul 27, 2013
BaboonDuDu

First:

"NicFromNyc,
It is a blow of fresh air having someone like you here in this absolutely "believers" contaminated website!
The point for me is most of defenders of GW (old) and (GCC new as the old paradigm did not work at all) are very good people but unfortunately, they just "believe" in this very appealing BS about antropogenic global whatever on climate. They do not examine data and most are not able to read graphs, tables, etc.
Just a lot of good, sensitive people with their minds and souls hijacked by naughty people like Al Gore and the like.
The ones that can read but still defend this nonsense have financial interest such as grants, bit "green companies", etc."

Then:

"I agree with you on broad lines...however, it is difficult to pinpoint "truth" here as dogmas and beliefs are predominant.
[...]
I acknowledge that I really don't know but I humbly try to find it
wholeheartedly and with my mind open.

Cognitive dissonance much?

deepsand
2.6 / 5 (10) Jul 29, 2013
To VebdicarE,
However, it is clear to me how unkind and rough you are when addressing anyone with a different "opinion" than yours.
Education is not about literature and kindness is more important than "to be right".
You behave like an adolescent, mate.
Why you keep tagging people that disagree with your wisdom as "tards" as they were all mentally handicapped?
Is this for your ego massage of for amassing support from your "followers"?
Why just not keep to the subject and stop personal attacks?
If you want to be respected you first have to show respect!

What about respect for the truth?

Those who persistently lie are deserving of no respect.

I agree with you on broad lines...however, it is difficult to pinpoint "truth" here as dogmas and beliefs are predominant.

Pinpointing factual lies here is rarely so difficult task as you would have us believe.