An Elegant Day vs Night Test of AGW

I’ve lost track of where I saw the pointer to this page. Either at WUWT, or here hidden somewhere in “tips”. If you put up a tip, holler for a h/t…

I’d opened the window on it weeks? ago and didn’t have time to even read it. I ought to have. It’s very short, and very nicely done. It is something I’d started to do in a bulk way with GHCN (then found the max and min temps very lacking and let it go for “someday” that never quite came).

Basically, it compares what is happening to the MAX temps vs the MIN and MEAN (average) at each of a bunch of thermometers. No globally averaging homogenized who-haws… Just simple station data, made into series and compared.

It looks at the simple question of “Is it warming during the day, or during the night?”. The CO2 ‘back radiation’ thesis would have the evenings staying warm longer (‘holding in’ the daily heat a bit longer and better). The “sun did it” (or via clouds) thesis would have more energy arriving during the day, so days would warm more. As we’ve seen already, heat that arrives during a day, rapidly leaves, so the evening lows would tend to stay about the same as always.

So this is the game. We have reasonable accurate data from weather stations all over world for the past 35 years. I do not trust most of the data from long before 1975 unless it can be explained exactly how the measurements were done and recorded. (like in the example of the station in Armagh – Northern-Ireland).

So far, after evaluating 22 weather stations the score on Henry’s pool table for global warming is as follows:

MAXIMA: rising at a speed of 0.0382 degrees C per annum

MEANS : increasing at a speed of 0.0137 degrees C per annum

MINIMA: creeping up at 0.0056 degrees C per annum

HUMIDITY: decreasing at a rate of -0.02% RH per annum

PRECIPITATION: slight change at + 0.16 mm /month /year

The latest tables show that, over the past 4 decades, the rates of increase of temperatures on earth i.e. maxima, means (=average temperatures) and minima have risen at a ratio of about 7:3:1. Remember: these are the summaries of actual measured results from a number of weather stations all around the world….No junk science. No hypothesis. Every black figure on the tables is coming from a separate file of figures. Obviously I am able to provide these files of every black figure on the table.

Yes, it’s only a small number of stations that have all that data in all that detail available for this type of comparison. But, frankly, I’d rather have a few stations handled directly and cleanly than a thousand handled very badly (and that ‘badly’ version is exactly what GIStemp and HADCrut and NOAA/NCDC do – with all sorts of inexplicable prestidigitations, adjustments, homogenizing, and making up roughly 14,000 out of 16,000 ‘grid boxes’ in the present – as there are only 1200 ish currently active stations in the GHCN data set…)

So rather than homogenized ‘data food product’, here we get a smaller but much higher quality sample of Real Data.

And it shows that heat does not hang around all night long. It either soaks into some water somewhere or radiates away fairly promptly, such that the evenings cool back to ‘normal’, even when excess incoming daily heat puts a bit more in the system. (Henry leaves open the question of ‘why’ days are warmer, but suspects either more sunshine or fewer clouds. I think it’s both together. Hot sun and Svensmark lower clouds come together when they come).

Perhaps I’ll now be motivated enough to revisit the GHCN and see if the post adjustment manipulated data food product from NCDC has enough stations with mins and max to do a similar test. It would at least tell me if I need to just toss anything that has been through their hands and that we simply must restart from “Raw Data Only”. If a similar sample of stations shows the same min vs max trends, I’m confident we’ve “got something”. If they are suddenly nicely uniform in day vs night behaviour, well, that would be just too suspicious to ignore… There is no way days and nights will behave one way in the direct sample data and another in the post processed form unless the processing does something to the data.

For me, the approach is a simple, elegant, and direct one. It finds increased daily heating, and nights ‘not so much’. I think that matters…

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW Science and Background and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to An Elegant Day vs Night Test of AGW

  1. Verity Jones says:

    Gallopingcamel wrote a guest post on Nikolov & Zeller’s “Unified Theory of Climate” and in reply
    Ned Nikolov commented:

    “In our view, recent warming has been entirely a result of declining cloud cover and related cloud albedo driven by solar magnetic activity. Earth’s albedo has likely declined about 1.2% since 1670 causing a 1.2K global temperature rise (according to our estimates, the sensitivity of Earth’s surface temperature to albedo changes is 1.03K per percent albedo)… The lack of warming over the past 13 years is (according to satellite observations) due to a sharp increase in low-level clouds, which took place over a 6-month period in late 2000 – early 2001. This was likely caused by a reversal in solar magnetic activity, which began declining in late 1990s. This decline is till continuing and will most likely move global temperature onto a cooling (negative) trend over the next 9 years.”

    If the warming since ~1975 has been due to more ‘solar warmth’ reaching the Earth, that would warm up days more than nights, just as you are saying.

  2. Gogs says:

    Mean temperatures, minima and maxima, at selected sites, don’t really tell us much about total warming (or cooling)

  3. A. C. Osborn says:

    “For me, the approach is a simple, elegant, and direct one. It finds increased daily heating, and nights ‘not so much’. I think that matters…”

    I agree completely, I have the “Best” so called quality controlled data.
    I think it might be worth a look at a couple of well known stations.
    I also think Henry’s Pool Table needs a bit more exposure, so I will try posting your link on a few more Forums, starting with Tallbloke’s talkshop as they are very much in to this kind of analysis.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Hi Chief

    I’ve noticed Henry plugging his ‘pool Table’ on WUWT for some time now, and the earlier look I took at it brought me to much the same conclusion. ‘It’s the clouds wot done it’.

    For an elegant analysis of sunshine hours vs temperature, take a look at

  5. A. C. Osborn says:

    Tallbloke, I have had a quick look at Doug’s paper and it is looking at something slightly different as it only looks at maximum Temps, whereas Henry compares Min, Mean & Max to show that the changes are inconsistent with GHG increases, because the wrong temperature Max and not Min is most affected.
    Which was why I posted on your forum.

  6. R. de Haan says:

    Common Sense is such a drag.
    Especially when it destroys a perfectly fine multi billion dollar global con in seven seconds.

    Don’t listen, just ignore it.

  7. R. de Haan says:

    Well, you just bought the farm on that one.
    You’ve just qualified as a conspiracy theorist

    The core message: don’t mess with our money and power

  8. adolfogiurfa says:

    See, again, M.Vukcevic´s GMF vs. Temperatures, here:
    Why insist on separating the FIELD in water tight compartments?
    That´s a problem of epistemology: “How to disentangle a tangle?” …when we feel so good when being confused. The more inextricable, the more complex, the more “cool” and intelligent we are. And this is a “mutual grooming activity” proper of apes, as Desmond Morris pointed out in his “Naked Ape”.

  9. Kevin B says:

    Way back when I first got into the whole CAGW thing I made a comment at WUWT to the effect that if we really, seriously, wanted to show if there was an enhanced greenhouse effect we should have built a thousand or so climate stations around the world, (especially in the – hot and cold – deserts).

    These stations could monitor hourly temperature, humidity, precipitation, CO2 and even cloud cover. Had we spent billions on this, rather than on the IPCC with it’s COPs and models and propaganda reports, we would have thirty years worth of data to study. Just the slope of the evening cooling, when related to cloud cover and humidity and compared to similar days in the past, would tell us more about how the Earth’s climate works than any number of model runs.

    Combine this with Balloon data and ARGO and we would have much more data to argue about, and a much better chance of understanding the weather.

    I wonder why this wasn’t done?

  10. adolfogiurfa says:

    There is a description here about such a confusion, which arose when an Ape, while grooming others to take their fleas off their heads, found an INVISIBLE FLEA, a real BLACK HOLE FLEA:

  11. Jason Calley says:

    @ Kevin B “I wonder why this wasn’t done?”

    I suspect we both know the answer.

    I have only been watching the CAGW phenomenon for a few years, but one of the early things I ran across was Anthony Watts and his survey of US weather station and their quality. I was flummoxed. What!? Why so many bad site? My first thought was, “Thank goodness! Now the officials can rebuild the network with GOOD stations and get some reliable results. Obviously, when your data is THIS unreliable, the very first thing to do (and cheap at the price) is to get GOOD data. The fact that no really serious attempt (and no, the USHCN is not (in my opinion) a serious attempt) was made to reform the data gathering process is prima facia evidence that GISS and the rest are not interested in the facts of the matter.

  12. omanuel says:

    At the caucus gathering on Saturday, I talked to many ordinary citizens:

    They too know: Something is seriously wrong in government !

    I joined an anthropology discussion group to see if they have a better explanation for the corruption of science:

    Today the web keeps closing when I start to post. Is this a wordpress feature?

  13. George says:

    “The “sun did it” (or via clouds) thesis would have more energy arriving during the day”

    Not so. If it is solar magnetic field being weaker allowing greater cloud cover it would work both ways in some areas … cooler days and more moderate nights.

  14. R. de Haan says:

    May I make the remark that the “figures” presented by E.M are so small they’re not worth any further investigation let alone allocation climate research budget.

  15. Ian W says:

    While I hate to keep banging on about it, the interesting figure is the reduction in humidity as this will lead to a lower atmospheric enthalpy. Significantly less heat is required to raise the atmospheric temperature of dry air than of humid air indeed the very small increase in atmospheric temperatures could be largely explained by the reduction in atmospheric enthalpy. The green house gas hypothesis is about _heat_ being trapped. Atmospheric temperature is _not_ a direct measure of heat in the atmosphere.

    These figures could show not only that CO2 is not causing any ‘global warming’ but also that there really hasn’t been any heat being trapped but that there _has_ been a reduction in humidity leading to lower enthalpy and higher temperatures.

    Anyone interested can calculate the figures using the formulae at

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ian W.:

    Every so often I bang on the “Heat is not temperature. Temperature is not heat. Remember enthalpy!” drum. It think it is a critical point, but a very large percentage of folks just ignore it.

    I suspect that the bulk of humanity simply does not really understand how heat is different from a higher temperature, even many ‘well educated’ folks.

    But I appreciate someone else joining me in shouting into the wind…


    I think it’s Cosmic Rays (or a WordPress software ‘improvement’…)

    “Regular Folks” are much harder to hoodwink than ‘bright folks’. They keep asking “stupid” things like: “If it’s warmer why is my heating bill higher?” and “If it’s warmer, why did my garden die of frost?” and “If it’s warmer, why is it colder than when I was a kid?” and… I really like “Regular Folks”…

    @Jason Calley and Keven B.:

    Well, when you know you are going to disrespect the data, you don’t care what it looks like when it comes in the door. A little time in the shower and salon and you can put it on the street for a good profit…

    @R. de Haan:

    There has been an interesting “Tipping Point” reached on the governance point as well. There’s been an exponential ramp started on folks saying “No!” to more government. We’ll see how it unfolds in the EU and the newest USA elections.

    @A. C. Osborn and Tallbloke:

    I’m in catch up mode, so I’ll look at that paper “next” ;-)


    No, the temperatures don’t tell us much. In fact, averaging of different thermometers has not practical foundation in philosophy. (Averages of intrinsic properties are meaningless). However, in this case, it is the same instrument set being used, no comings and goings, so it actually has some philiosophical basis (unlike GIStemp and HADCrut and all the other ‘data homoginizers’).

    As the instrument set is kept constant, you know have a basis for observing trends. That min vs max diverge does speak loudly…


    I keep thinking “If all it is is PV=nRT then why is it so cold at Antarctica and so hot at the Equator? Isn’t the P and V and n and R all constant? I know, it’s a mass flow thing… but it just seems like there’s “issues” with that simple Pivnert analysis (how we said it in Chem Class ;-)

    George says: 19 March 2012 at 5:54 pm

    “The “sun did it” (or via clouds) thesis would have more energy arriving during the day”

    Not so. If it is solar magnetic field being weaker allowing greater cloud cover it would work both ways in some areas … cooler days and more moderate nights.

    My point was that if we were warming due to lower cloud cover, we would have days warming more than nights (when heat would leave better due to the same lack of clouds). Your statement turns that into an assertion about sun changes causing cloud changes that cause cooling… other direction.

    Sun Warms: Days get warmer, nights not so much.
    Clouds decrease, so warming: Days get warmer, nights radiatively cool better.

  17. Paul, Somerset says:

    I agree with Ian W. The figure that really grabbed me was the decline in relative humidity of 0.02%/year. How on earth can climate scientists publish analyses of global weather on the basis of temperature while ignoring that figure?

    It doesn’t help that here in the UK I don’t know of a single CAGW believer who remembers being taught in physics classes that heat is measured in joules, calories or BTUs, while degrees centigrade or fahrenheit measure the effects of heat, and those vary with the material being heated.

    I sometimes ask them which is hotter: air at 100C or water at 100C? Invariably they think for a few moments and laugh that it’s a trick question. You actually have to ask people to go to the cooker, warm the oven to 100C and insert their hand, then heat a pan of water to 100C on the hob and try inserting their hand in that.

    Even then it’s rare that they are prepared to make the mental effort to consider the implications regarding humidity and global warming.

  18. Verity Jones says:

    I keep thinking “If all it is is PV=nRT then why is it so cold at Antarctica and so hot at the Equator? Isn’t the P and V and n and R all constant?
    The average for planet – pressure, temperature, solar radiation.

    Regarding clouds warming or cooling. Nikolov explains – which is common sense – about the effect of the sun heating surfaces, which can get very warm and heat the air next to them – and retain heat.
    “the lapse rate in the free atmosphere is generally larger (i.e. more negative) than the lapse rate due to rising terrain elevation.”
    When there is cloud cover the surfaces will never warm as much, although the radiative cooling will be less too.

  19. R. de Haan says:

    @E.M.Smith says:
    19 March 2012 at 10:29 pm@R. de Haan:

    “There has been an interesting “Tipping Point” reached on the governance point as well. There’s been an exponential ramp started on folks saying “No!” to more government. We’ll see how it unfolds in the EU and the newest USA elections”.

    In Europe they have hidden the climate change budgets and now talk about coupling the foreign development budget with the non existing climate change problem.

    In short the Agenda remains on track.

    As I said before, the USA is the last bastion to fall.
    All depends on the upcoming elections and the right President.

    But the current Republican nominee is a warmist and a Globalist and he will sell us out.

  20. Anthony Watts still believes that CO2 has a measurable effect on average global temperature:

    Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen also believe but they talk about “Sensitivities” six times lower than the IPCC’s best guess. Three Kelvin per doubling divided by 6 = 0.5 Kelvin/doubling.

    N&K say forget CO2. “Sensitivity” zero or close to it. Given the lack of correlation between the monotonically rising CO2 concentration and global temperatures the N&K position has great plausibility. Now we need to explain what physical processes bring this about. It works, but why?

    In the troposphere the dominant heat transfer mechanism depends on a variety of processes that involve convection, Coriolis eddies and changes of state (latent heat). You can get a pretty good estimate of a planet’s surface temperature by assuming a radiation balance at the TOA (Top of the Atmosphere and then applying the convective model (adiabat) to the ground.

  21. p.g.sharrow says:

    388 parts per million! 1/3rd of 0ne percent! Who in the HE%# thinks that this can have any practical effect on climate change. It ‘s the water and the sun only, that can have any effect on changes of the weather and climate. Gravity sets the base line of vapor pressure in the atmosphere troposphere and that sets the surface temperature based on the input of solar energy into the hydrosphere. Anything else is just minor. Water vapor in the driest desert air is of greater amounts then CO2 and may reach 4 percent, 40,000 parts per million over the oceans. Oxygen and Nitrogen are the real greenhouse gases as they slow the heat loss from the surface as they are insulators to radiation from the surface and transparent to radiations from the sun, real green house effects. Water vapor carries heat energy and is the hole in the green house roof and is the main driver of convection as it changes volume 1,600 to 1 during changes in state. pg

  22. p.g.sharrow says:

    Darn! that 1/3rd of one percent should be 1/3dr of 1/10 of one percent! pg

  23. R. de Haan says:

    p.g.sharrow says:
    20 March 2012 at 5:52 am

    Another act of common sense.
    CO2 has no measurable effect.
    And the the changes in temperatures over time are futile and well within any error margin.
    This leaves the UN IPCC completely empty handed.

    What we do know is that the political measures to curb this non existing problem are totally devastating because we are now set for a huge shift from fossil fuels use to bio mass use.
    Non of the Green solutions is working in practice and hyped just like the hoax.

    We are in dangerous waters and we really have to stop the ongoing process of de-industrializations and destruction of capital.

  24. Pascvaks says:

    @ R. de Haan –
    “What we do know is that the political measures to curb this non existing problem are totally devastating because….”

    Such is the ‘way of the world’. If you want to try to detect which way the world is going, listen to, or watch, the young, those who have recently taken up the burden of parenting new life and for caring and educating it upon their own sholders. What do they say of those currently in power? What do they say of the price of food, fuel, the value of their money, and the trappings and taxes of government? The EU (as is true of the US and China, and every other power center) reflects the ‘philosophy and dreams’ of the ruling mob currently in power. What do you hear being said, what do you see being done, by the young adults who have begun the age old task of bearing and rearing the newest generation? They are the ones holding up the heaviest weight and paying the highest price for the dreams of the old men and women who have now assended to the heights of power. My own experience suggests that they will not tolerate these fools gladly. Perhaps a new age of Common Sense will dawn before the stupid old men and women kill us all again. Watch the young, listen to the future;-)

  25. omanuel says:

    Yes, it is darn dangerous now!

    Ordinary citizens know that something is seriously, seriously wrong in government, but they are also fearful that it may collapse at any time.

    They see no viable leader who can get us safely out of this mess.

    What is, is, and cannot be hidden forever. Despite frantic efforts by politicians and consensus scientists, recent news confirms, “truth will out !”

    AMSTERDAM – The recent minimum in solar activity was unusually deep and prolonged. But that was not the only peculiarity of this lull.

    According to the scientists who have done the analysis, it would seem to indicate that a temporary disturbance has occurred in the “solar dynamo” – the turbulent plasma in the interior of the sun that generates the magnetic field. or

  26. adolfogiurfa says:

    @P.G.: Just don´t worry about these details. M.Vukcevic has found how all this thing works though he doesn´t say it plainly. I will tell you something cryptically:
    Have you seen an electric motor? What if this “motor” has an armature with 12 fields (12 windings) to run more smoothly, however every time “force”,”work”, “gravity” is generated, every time that “armature” moves from one point to another, a change would be felt by the tiny inhabitants of such an “armature”.

  27. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Omanuel: That DYNAMO it is not a dynamo running on its own power, it is connected to the Galaxy mains. We humans prefer to learn the hard way but then it is TOO LATE.

  28. adolfogiurfa says:

    OMG! It´s being really funny!…Interesting times indeed!

  29. R. de Haan says:

    @Pascvaks says:
    20 March 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Pascvaks, I talk a lot with young(er) people and the majority is absolutely clueless.
    Many in their twenties, even thirties are still living with their parents who still continue to pay their bills.

    A nephew of mine was told to send in his application for a university study.
    After a few weeks the application was still on his desk.
    When I asked him why he didn’t fill out the application and mail it he told me he doesn’t have a signature. You see he said every time I sign something my signature looks different.

    Many of our youth are insecure.
    Today in the schools you look stupid when you ask a question.
    With such an attitude you get nowhere.

    I think the shit created by the current generation on power will be too much for them.

Comments are closed.