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Mickey Mann Can See Climate Change From His Window – Part II

July 8, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




According to Mickey Mann, “We can see climate change, the impacts of climate change, now, playing out in real time, on our television screens, in the 24-hour news cycle”.


So, I wonder what he can see when he looks out of his window at Penn State?

The longest running USHCN station in Pennsylvania is Uniontown, which has largely complete records dating back to 1872.

First, let’s see what it tells us about temperatures.




The above chart is based on USHCN adjusted temperatures, not raw, but still show that temperatures in recent years are little different to the period from the 1930s to 50s.


The whisker plot below of monthly mean temperatures shows that the hottest months are not getting hotter. Also, while the extreme cold months common in the 1970s and 80s are not so prevalent, we again see little change from earlier decades as far as winter is concerned.




Of course, we are often assured that, while averages may change little, it is the extremes that are getting much worse. Unfortunately, the facts don’t agree!

The chart below shows a whisker plot of daily maximum temperatures. Clearly, extremely hot days have become much less common in the last decade or two. Again, we see that the coldest days occurred in the 1980s and 90s.






Ah, but what about rainfall? Surely we are getting more floods and droughts now?

Aren’t those darned facts inconvenient?

Not much change in annual rainfall, is there Mikey?




Monthly rainfall extremes? Oh dear!




Or daily extremes?




Maybe it’s snowfall then. John Holdren assures us that winters are snowier because of global warming.

Afraid not, John!



NOTE – There is some missing data between 1971 and 1988.



I don’t know what it is that Mickey is seeing, but it certainly ain’t climate change. Perhaps he has been at the Jamaican Woodbines!



  1. July 8, 2016 5:26 pm

    Uniontown, PA is about 35 miles from my home. Mikey cannot possibly see it from his window in Happy Valley, State College, PA. That is a LONG way from Uniontown. But I doubt it would cause him a crisis should it be useful to see it.

  2. Broadlands permalink
    July 8, 2016 7:25 pm

    The old official US Weather Bureau was superseded by NOAA and NCDC. The WB reported monthly mean temperatures each month for all 48 states except for New England and Maryland/Delaware, which were “lumped”. A direct comparison with the same months in each state reveals that the 48 state temperatures for 1921 were lowered an average of 0.8°F and Pennsylvania was lowered 1.2°F. This analysis was made in 2009. Additional changes have been made by Asheville since then.

    A similar very tedious analysis for 1934, 1938 and 1940 reveals similar lowering in each case. Makes historical analysis very difficult to do… no matter which window you look out or who does the looking?

    (if I knew how to post a graphic here I could show the data in chart form)

    • Richard Mallett permalink
      July 8, 2016 8:49 pm

      I guess you could post it somewhere like Flickr or Dropbox and post the address here.

    • July 8, 2016 9:49 pm

      I did my analysis here, which came to similar conclusions

      • Broadlands permalink
        July 9, 2016 12:51 am

        Paul.. Sorry that I did not know about your analysis. The evidence that the past US weather data have been adjusted is overwhelming. What is the relevant issue (for me) is why and why it was seasonal… if it was only because of “time-of-bias” or station relocation. To me, the answer is that they have been obsessed with trying to “ferret out” our human impact from whatever Nature would have done without us. It, obviously hasn’t worked… the way they wanted it to?

  3. July 9, 2016 10:24 am

    In the second edition of Climate, History and the Modern World, Hubert Lamb specifically warned of the danger of attributing human causes to natural climate fluctuations. His advice was to continue researching climate and to keep watch on the impacts of change, but not to attribute too much to the idea of the importance of human activity.

    Lamb wrote, “In fact, from about the beginning of this century up to 1940 a substantial climatic change was in progress, but it was in a direction which tended to make life easier and to reduce stresses for most activities and most people in most parts of the world. Average temperatures were rising, though without too many hot extremes, and they were rising most of all in the Arctic where the sea ice was receding. Europe enjoyed several decademmunity from severe winters, and the variability of temperature from year to year was reduced. More rainfall was reaching the dry places in the interiors of the great continents (except in the Americas where the lee effect, or ‘rain-shadow’, of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes became more marked as the prevalence of westerly winds in middle latitudes increased).

    And the monsoons became more regular in India and west Africa. Planning on the climatic statistics of the preceding decades was in fact allowing wider safety margins for many activities than was apparent up to some time about 1950.”
    End of quote.

    The following paper confirmed Lamb’s remark by assessing how climate zones changed during the 20th century based on the Koppen classification System modified by Trewartha (KTC)..The relevance of the KTC system is that the temperature and precipitation criteria are based on plant ecology. This subsumes animal ecology because animals depend on plants.

    Belda, M., Holtanová, E., Halenka, T. and Kalvová, J., 2014. Climate classification revisited: from Köppen to Trewartha. Climate research, 59(1), pp.1-13.
    The URL may require patience, but it does work. The Belda web site has supplementary information and maps.

    This study is probably the best to date in reconstructing the Koppen-Trewartha climate classification map using global gridded data. The maps constructed by the authors show the climate regions of the world (except Antarctica) for two periods, 1901-1931 and 1975-2005, based on CRU(UK) global temperature data interpolated to a 30 minute grid, average area about 2500 km2. Precipitation data was from a separate source.

    (About 50,000 grid cells cover 135 million km2, the land area of the Earth except Antarctica.)

    Between the two periods separated by 75 years, 8% of the cells changed climate type. When you plot a scatter diagram of distributions for the two periods, you will find there is little divergence from the straight line passing through the origin and with slope unity. R-squared is 99.5.

    The paper does not discuss error bars. However, the climate date has since been revised to remove wet bias. This correction would increase R2 by reducing the number of cells that have changed climate type. Since a large percentage of changed cells shifted because of increased wetness, the correction for wet bias may significantly reduce the estimated changes in climate zones during the period 1901-2005.

    In any other field of Earth science, using data with similar precision, we would conclude that we cannot reject the null hypothesis that the two data Koppen-Trewartha climate maps, separated by 75 years, are not significantly different.

    We can accept that the Earth has warmed a little and some places now get little more precipitation, and most people worldwide are much better off than their parents and grandparents. In relative terms, the people benefiting the most from the changes are those on the margins of steppe to desert and those on the margins between ice and tundra. But they are few in number.

    As Roger Pielke and his colleagues have demonstrated, financial losses from extreme weather events is mostly due to the fact people have much more to lose now compared to a century ago.

    As those of us who work in the field of economic development see so often, population growth has forced settlement of more risky locations. While land use control in a country like Malaysia has prevented settlement at the coast and in the flood plains of rivers, few other tropical countries have effective controls. The end result has been to attribute to extreme weather events failure of institutions to cope with socioeconomic change.

    Inspection of changes in Koppen-Trewartha climate zones reveals that at the end of the century, the changes were consistent with Lamb’s view that “it was in a direction which tended to make life easier and to reduce stresses for most activities and most people in most parts of the world.”

    I remember the 1930’s and since 1960, I have lived and worked in 18 countries. The only change in climate that I can remember is the cooling during the 1960’s to early 1970’s. It seems that pre-WW2 conditions have returned. This does not seem to me a cause for alarm.

    Anyone who is under the age of about 70, such as Dr Mann or Mr Obama, cannot be relied upon when he claims that he knows climate has changed because he has seen it during his lifetime.

    Such witnesses are too young. Already by 1955, popular US gardening books and magazines were reporting the warming trend revealed by changes in the dates of first and last frost. My grandfather had a horse barn not far from the city center, but no horse. In the barn was a big sleigh that he used when winters were longer and colder with more snow and little rain.

    We know now the warming changes was a result of the waning of the Little Ice Age.

    The demographic group most skeptical about climate change are US farmers, who happen to be older on average than other professionals and closer to nature than most. They remember as I do that temperature and rainfall fluctuate, but the fluctuations go both ways, up and down.

    Yes, climate might be changing and some day we might have sufficient evidence to be certain about how much and in which direction. We might even discover whether the change is for better or worse.

    But that day has not yet arrived and may not arrive during the lifetime of any scientists now practicing.

  4. Don B permalink
    July 9, 2016 1:19 pm

    Mann is in his private Jonestown, and has drunk the kool-aid.

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