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Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics

Founded by Keller, Jürgen U.

Editor-in-Chief: Hoffmann, Karl Heinz

Managing Editor: Prehl, Janett / Paul, Raphael

Ed. by Michaelides, Efstathios E. / Rubi, J. Miguel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 2.083

CiteScore 2018: 1.84

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.564
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.876

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Volume 32, Issue 1


Does a Global Temperature Exist?

Christopher Essex
  • Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada.
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Ross McKitrick / Bjarne Andresen
  • Corresponding author
  • Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2007-02-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JNETDY.2007.001


Physical, mathematical, and observational grounds are employed to show that there is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere. A given temperature field can be interpreted as both “warming” and “cooling” simultaneously, making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically ill-posed.

About the article

Received: 2007-05-03

Accepted: 2006-06-26

Published Online: 2007-02-22

Published in Print: 2007-02-20

Citation Information: Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, Volume 32, Issue 1, Pages 1–27, ISSN (Print) 0340-0204, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JNETDY.2007.001.

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