Does a Global Temperature Exist?

Christopher Essex 1 , 1 , Ross McKitrick 2 , 2  and Bjarne Andresen 3 , 3
  • 1 Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, N6A 5B7, Canada.
  • 2 Department of Economics, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada.
  • 3 Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.


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.

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The Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics serves as an international publication organ for new ideas, insights and results on non-equilibrium phenomena in science, engineering and related natural systems. The central aim of the journal is to provide a bridge between science and engineering and to promote scientific exchange on non-equilibrium phenomena and on analytic or numeric modeling for their interpretation.