RSS July Global Temperature Anomaly – up a bit

RSS (Remote Sensing Systems of Santa Rosa, CA) RSS Microwave Sounder Unit (MSU) lower troposphere global temperature anomaly data for July 2008 was published today and has moved a bit above the zero anomaly line, with a value of 0.147°C for a positive change (∆T) of  0.112°C globally from June 2008.

RSS
2008 1 -0.070
2008 2 -0.002
2008 3   0.079
2008 4   0.080
2008 5 -0.083
2008  6  0.035
2008  7  0.147

I rather expected it to go up a bit, given that La Nina has diminsihed, plus the NH has a greater landmass than the SH, and we are in summer. But compared though to July 2007, at 0.363, it is still lower, down 0.216.


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98 Responses to RSS July Global Temperature Anomaly – up a bit

  1. Tom in Texas says:

    So what happened to UAH? Aren’t they usually first to report?

  2. Bill in Vigo says:

    Just eyeballing it looks like we are still about 0.2C cooler than this time last year. I am looking forward to seeing UAH numbers. It looks like we may have taken a pretty serious down tick on the last 12-18 months. Can’t wait to see what January brings. I think I will get some extra fire wood in just in case.

    Bill Derryberry

  3. dreamin says:

    Has anyone subjected these temperature readings to statistical analysis to see if they are “memoryless” or just how much “momentum” is involved?

    For example, if know a stock price today, you can make some kind of guess what the price will be tomorrow, but knowing yesterday’s price won’t help at all. i.e. any “momentum” is just an illusion.

    Do global surface temp anomalies exhibit the same phenomenon? Just eyeballing the temperature graph in this post, it looks to me like it could have easily resulted from a “random walk” type memoryless process.

  4. Flowers4Stalin says:

    Can anyone here tell me just how accurate UAH really is(I mean an explanation with scientific evidence)? I noticed how the May 2008 temp anomalies were extremely cool mostly due to a big cold anomaly in the tropical Indian Ocean that had no correlation with the water temperatures just below it according to NCDC and Hadley. Is it really an accurate representation of the air temperature, or does it monitor a layer of atmosphere that is dreadfully warped by El Nino and La Nina and has limited relevance to what is really going on with Gaia’s fever? It seems to me the tropical temperature gives a poor representation of how Gaia actually feels during El Nino and La Nina events GLOBALLY. I feel the data lets El Nino and La Nina heating and cooling run rampant across the globe even if it is not being felt on the surface air(excluding UHI). I have seen this happen with both, but it is VERY obvious in the UAH data, generally over the oceans.

  5. Philip_B says:

    dreamin, I assume you know that almost all of ‘climate science’, the IPCC and AGW theory is dependent on persistence of forcings, or in your terms ‘climate memory’.

    If forcings (things that make the climate warmer or cooler) aren’t persistent, then we can toss all climate science to date in the bin.

    Personally, I’m sceptical of the forcings persistence model. One reason being what you point out, global temperatures look too random on shorter timescales. The standard explanation is weather noise, but I see no reason why the Earth’s weather in aggregate (ie its climate) should be noisy, as weather is just transfer of heat and moisture from one place to another.

  6. Leon Brozyna says:

    Despite this seeming to have all the excitement of watching grass grow, I now wait with bated breath each month for the new numbers to be revealed.

    How will the new numbers compare to last month? Last year? Or, on an anecdotal level, how do they compare to last month’s temperature record for where I live? {Seems to have been boringly average}.

    If the last few months develop into a trend and there is a cooling, we’ll be well into any possible cooling before it becomes obvious. If the line returns to, and stays with, the trendline of the past few years, then all it will tell us is that the climate is staying with the status quo.

    The trouble is, if that red line does start dropping over the long haul, I’ll be freezing my buns off over the coming winters. A most unpleasant prospect. Give me a warming climate and day and it’s every polar bear for itself.

  7. Leon Brozyna says:

    Whoops – Give me a warming climate any day and it’s every polar bear for itself.

  8. Walter Dnes says:

    Bill in Vigo…
    The 12 month running mean is still falling. See http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/mean:12/from:1980/plot/uah/mean:12/from:1980/plot/hadcrut3gl/mean:12/from:1980/plot/gistemp/mean:12/from:1980 for a graph of 4 major global temperature datasets.

    dreamin…
    Global temperatures respond to influences like ENSO (i.e. El Nino and La Nina) and PDO, so your question amounts to what are they doing. Also, month-to-month looks quite random, but July 2008 versus July 2007 is more predictable. Since the average of the July 2008 daily temperatures at http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/data/amsu_daily_85N85S_chLT.r001.txt was below the July 2007 average, something similar is expected for the monthly data. I’ve done a linear regression for what it’s worth, and it’s OK for UAH and RSS, and better than random, but not super, for Hadley and GISS.

    If you want an idea of where August is going, follow the UAH daily temperatures at the above link. The linear regression between year-over-year RSS monthly temps, and year-over-year monthly-average-average-of-UAH-daily-temps has a correlation of 0.963 (Using 12 points, Aug 2007..Jul 2008). The y-intercept is -0.081 and the slope is 0.971. The average temperature for Aug 1 through 5 is 0.0444 C degree higher than last year. Using good ole “y = mx + b”, I get -0.038 as the projected temperature delta from Aug 2007 to Aug 2008. Since Aug 2007 was 0.367, this is a prediction that Aug 2008 will be 0.367 – 0.038 = 0.329. Of course, the daily temperatures will be wandering all over for the remaining 26 days of the month, so the projection will change every day.

    For a look at ENSO, see the discussion and links at http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/mei.html The MEI (Multivariate ENSO Index) is currently neutral.

  9. Johnnyb says:

    Anyone want to take bets that GISS comes out and says that this was the hottest July ever in the History of the World?

  10. Philip_B says:

    BTW, there are signs the La Nina may be reforming. Looking at Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) there is a positive anomaly on or near the equator across most of the Pacific. Increasing OLR (more heat lost to space) is a primary cause of the cool waters that constitute La Nina.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/bmrc/clfor/cfstaff/matw/maproom/OLR/m.3d.html

  11. Paul Shanahan says:

    It doesn’t suprise me to much that the data is up. We’ve had a warm and occasonally humid last 3 weeks (purely observational – some down to high pressure over the UK)

  12. Johnnyb says:

    Phillip,

    NOAA’s weekly ENSO report seems to be predicting that La Nina conditions will return late Winter or Early spring, what I find even more interesting is that the North Atlantic seems to be developing some cool spots as well, and NOAA seems to be predicting a growing cooling trend starting this fall which should continue through Spring.

    NOAA, of course, has started to only display their climate predictions PLUS trend, so if the trend line has changed, to the cool side more than NOAA acknowledges then its very possible that we could see the cooling trend resume in force come October or so.

    Another thing that I have been following with some interest is a growing cold spot between Hawaii and Alaska. What will become of this? I don’t know.

  13. Jared says:

    I don’t know what’s taking UAH so long, but I’m guessing based on this that they should be right around the 0 anomaly or just below. And August temps are currently in a tailspin…we’ll see how low they go.

  14. Jerker Andersson says:

    You said: “I rather expected it to go up a bit, given that La Nina has diminsihed, plus the NH has a greater landmass than the SH, and we are in summer. ”

    I do not understand how summer and the the greater landmass could cause the temperature anomaly to raise. Isn’t the landmass the same as the base period 1979-2000 or what ever base period that is used for calculating the average for each month? I can’t see how it will cause temperature anomaly for July to raise this year, unless there is a significant change in landuse this summer.
    But the global absolute temperature is higher when it is summertime in NH though, due to landmass, right?

  15. Neil Hampshire says:

    The IPCC are good at coming up with eye catching lines such as
    ” 11 of the last 12 years are among the highest global temperatures ever recorded”.
    Has anyone any alternative one liner suggestions for the downward temperature trends since the start of the new millenium?

  16. Luis Dias says:

    Adding to Jecker’s obvious statements in (00:12:10), I’d also like to point out the other obvious:

    People are watching grass grow lower this year and calling AGW off. I’ve no problem on that, love the controversies. BUT, if one watches 1998 clearly off any possible trend, one learns that looking at 2008 as if endorsing the position that GW is called off is as specious and false as if looking at 1998 (in 1998) endorsing a huge acceleration of GW.

    So people, calm down and if you really want to see grass grow, fine by me. I just tell you that it won’t reach any interesting “height” to reach conclusions until next two or three years (and even still!).

  17. Robert Wood says:

    Environment Canada here in Ottawa has been telling us that June and July daily average temperatures have been, well, average. To the amazement of the locals.

    The reasoning is that, with all this cloud cover,the highs aren’t as high, but at night, the lows aren’t as low.

  18. Jerker,

    Yes, I was going to note the same thing: The anomalies are from monthly averages, so the seasonal NH/SH differentials are already taken care of (that’s why there is no detectable 12 month signal, it has already been subtracted out):

    Band-pass around annual signal for RSS compared to raw signal

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/fourier/low-pass:35/high-pass:25/inverse-fourier/plot/rss

    Just to emphasise the point, here’s the same for HADCRUT Northern Hemisphere only, which you’d other expect to show a very strong annual signal:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/fourier/low-pass:35/high-pass:25/inverse-fourier/plot/hadcrut3vnh

    I also expected RSS (and UAH) to ‘bounce back’ a bit; it seems to me they react more strongly to short-term El Nino/La Nina events – perhaps simply because of the greater thermal mass of the land/sea measurements?

  19. Oops! Please ignore the HADCRUT one above. I forgot to adjust the harmonic numbers for the longer period (or equivalently reduce the timescale) – so that graph shows the approximately 5 year signal (which is also more-or-less absent).

    Here’s what I meant to do:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1979/fourier/low-pass:35/high-pass:25/inverse-fourier/plot/hadcrut3vnh/from:1979

  20. Pierre Gosselin says:

    I’m just the messenger,
    Arctic sea ice could reach 2007 levels by next week.

  21. jeez says:

    Paul, ignore my email, for a second I thought I had deleted one of your posts.

  22. Pierre Gosselin says:

    LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND ALARMIST!
    (hat-tip to IceCap)

    http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/gore-hits-the-waves-with-a-massive-new-houseboat/

    Sorry Anthony, but I couldn’t resist. They’re are our ultimate role models after all.

  23. old construction worker says:

    Johnnyb (22:19:57) :

    ‘Anyone want to take bets that GISS comes out and says that this was the hottest July ever in the History of the World?’

    They will say it’s 8 hottest July for the last millennium, updated in the CCSP and splice it to the “Hockey Stick”. LOL

  24. Vincent Guerrini Jr. says:

    expected 9/10 of land mass is NH so when its heats up, it heats up global. Generally though temps are on the way down. Just you wait for 2009-2010!

  25. Frank L/ Denmark says:

    Pierre Gosselin – ze messenger:

    The ice extend could in one week reach 2007 levels.
    Its true that the melting right now is a little speedy, but still, this would mean that we should get from the left picture to the right in one week?

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=08&fd=06&fy=2008&sm=08&sd=13&sy=2007

    To determine size, know that Greenland is 2,15 mio kvm2.
    In many cases I have tested NSIDC and cryosphere to show (much) lower difference between 2007 and 2008 than you can see from the pictures. I donnt know why this is the case, but never the less, when looking at the pictures it should be a very melty week indeed to achieve what you say.

    Best regards, Frank

  26. moptop says:

    PG,
    Any evidence besides that graph? That is a lot of ice to melt when there is already fall in the air where I live, 45° N, and days are getting shorter. I am just asking because your cryptic comment seems to imply something is going on. I guess I will check CA.

  27. Tom in Florida says:

    Pierre:”I’m just the messenger,
    Arctic sea ice could reach 2007 levels by next week.
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    The link’s graph contains the magical “1979-2000 average”. I still ask the question, Why are the years 2001-2007 not included in this average? My bet is that it will lower the average and the lines for 2007 & 2008 will appear more normal. Well, we certainly can’t have that!

  28. Paul Shanahan says:

    jeez (01:59:47) :
    Paul, ignore my email, for a second I thought I had deleted one of your posts.

    No problem Charles. I’ve not looked at my emails for a few days, but I will ignore.

  29. Paul Shanahan says:

    A little off topic. I appears we have had hailstone here in the UK. A little unusual for summer! Must be very cold up there.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7546933.stm

  30. Pingback: July Temps Up a Bit, But Far Below 1998 Levels | Skeptics Global Warming

  31. JP says:

    Since a negative PDO is mainly a signal for a La Nina-esque ENSO pattern, I’m mainly interested in the Pacific. If the worm has really turned we should be seeing either:

    a)ENSO neutral evolving into a weak/short term El Nino for 2009.
    b)ENSO neutral continuing through the winter and maybe spring of 2009
    c)ENSO neutral evolving into another La Nina by summer of 2009.

    if ENSO transitions from neutral to a moderate El Nino or stronger, then it is back to the drawing boards.

  32. dreamin says:

    dreamin, I assume you know that almost all of ‘climate science’, the IPCC and AGW theory is dependent on persistence of forcings, or in your terms ‘climate memory’.

    No, I didn’t know that. Or at least I hadn’t given it much thought. But now that you mention it, it makes sense.

    If forcings (things that make the climate warmer or cooler) aren’t persistent, then we can toss all climate science to date in the bin.

    Personally, I’m sceptical of the forcings persistence model.

    I’m skeptical too, and anyway, one should consider the possibility that any “forcings” themselves are transient and the result of noise. Let me give you an example:

    If you are playing blackjack in a casino, your odds of winning in a particular hand are not independent of your odds of winning the previous hand. Because situations can arise where the remaining cards are very rich in tens and face cards. In those situations, you have a better chance of having a winning streak than would be predicted by a model which assumed that each hand was independent.

    By analogy, it seems possible that temperatures could engage in a bona fide warming trend (i.e. a trend which passes statistical tests) but which doesn’t have any deep meaning. Perhaps if some ocean current shifts from one state to another.

    Thus, if a butterfly in China can cause a rain storm in New York, we should consider the possibility that the same butterfly can cause an ice age.

    Anyway, if external forcings drive the climate, then what caused the Little Ice Age? What caused the Medieval Warm Period? And why can scientists not predict global temperature anomalies over a 5 or 10 year time period?

    Seems to me the response of many climate scientists is that (1) the little ice age didn’t happen; (2) the medieval warm period didn’t happen; and (3) short term noise makes it impossible predict over a 5 or 10 year period, but it’s possible over a 25 or 50 year period.

    (1) and (2) strike me as false. (3) strikes me as an unsupported, ad hoc explanation which conveniently delays falsification for another 20 years or so. i.e. it has all the red flags of BS.

    One reason being what you point out, global temperatures look too random on shorter timescales. The standard explanation is weather noise, but I see no reason why the Earth’s weather in aggregate (ie its climate) should be noisy, as weather is just transfer of heat and moisture from one place to another.

    I basically agree with you. It seems to me that under the external forcings view, the total heat in the system should be monotonically increasing.

  33. Allen says:

    Simply eyeballing the temperature vs year graphs indicates a “cycling”. And, by the look of it, we’ve been near a “local minimum” — so an upturn just about now is not unexpected. On the other hand, continuing a downward trend would be very-very interesting.

    I am interested to see how high we will get during this next multi-year “up cycle”. That is, are temperatures cycling down, up, or level.

    Its also interesting to see how well IPCC contributors’ climate model predictions are tracking with actual multi-year temperature cycles (they are not even close, in my opinion).

  34. Deanster says:

    Leon …

    You mention the trends. I personally have a big problem with the way people handle trends in Climate. As pointed out, Climate is noisy. Depending on where you decide to start your trend line determines what kind of trend you get. Even with this recent cooling, the weight of the warmer temps associated with the top of the curve (ie., 1995-2006) of the latest warm blip is over represented in the trend analysis, thus guaranteeing that the overall trend will be positive. It would make more sense to me if they started the trend line at the last temperature peak (1930-somethin’), that way the lower temps of the last cooling get figured in as well.

    I recall that Anthony featured a post here where someone (or maybe he himself) did an analysis of small trends within the longer term temperature record since 1979. IMO, this is a much more accurate way of looking at it. If not, then it’d be better to look at the trend over multicentury spans.

    As many folks have noted …. there’s just too much cherry picking going on in Climate Science.

  35. Pierre Gosselin says:

    old construction worker,
    Latest news is that Hansen wants to set up one of them Stevenson screens over that 800°F hot-spot in California. Can’t get better siting than that!

  36. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Mike Bryant,
    Dr Baker appears to be re-hashing Lanscheidt’s science.
    Not much new there, really.

  37. counters says:

    Anyway, if external forcings drive the climate, then what caused the Little Ice Age? What caused the Medieval Warm Period?

    External forcings does not mean extra-terrestrial. There are many terrestrial events that have wide-reaching impacts on the climate. Since you are legitimately asking, let me give you the textbook, accepted idea which is used to explain the LIA. Note that the MWP is not really considered to be a period of global warmth; its effects were most profound in the North Atlantic, and there is not definitive evidence that it occurred to the same extent globally.

    The LIA was caused by several things, but two important ones stick out. First, the LIA was a period of anomalously high amounts of volcanic activity. The eruption of volcanoes has two effects: on the long-term, they increase the temperature of the climate because the black carbon aerosols and GHG’s they spout contribute a warming effect. However, in the short-term, they can dramatically cool the climate (as evidenced by the Pinatubo eruption in the early 90’s). The period of high volcanic activity led to a large amount of aerosols being deposited in the stratosphere; they shielded a great deal of incoming radiation.

    To add to the decrease of incoming radiation, the sun also underwent the “Maunder Minimum.” Although there really isn’t a physical mechanism which has connected sunspots to a cooling sun, it is a highly popular hypothesis, and the LIA and especially its peak minimum highly correlate to the maunder minimum.

    Finally, it has been hypothesized that the oceanic thermohaline circulation may have abruptly shifted, altering the Gulf Stream which helps high-latitude portions of Europe in a warmer trend.

    These are the big ideas which go into the LIA. They’re considered “external forcings” because they’re not part of the atmosphere.

  38. RHFrei says:

    Hmmm, where I work is near a well-documented weather station (LAX) and the posted numbers for July were two degree F below the normal. August so far is even.

  39. dreamin says:

    Simply eyeballing the temperature vs year graphs indicates a “cycling”. And, by the look of it, we’ve been near a “local minimum” — so an upturn just about now is not unexpected.

    I disagree. Take a look at a stock market graph over a time period of about a year. It’s easy to think that there are predictable cycles, but there are not.

    For better or for worse, a lot of my thinking about climate models is informed by knowledge of financial markets and how they work.

  40. counters says:

    For better or for worse, a lot of my thinking about climate models is informed by knowledge of financial markets and how they work.

    No offense, but that’s definitely “for worse.” Climate models operate on physical principles which can be summarized into mathematical equations and approximations. Predictive financial models do not.

    While the stock market and the atmosphere are similar in that they are examples of chaotic systems, they are chaotic for different reasons. The financial market is chaotic because there is no hard-wired physical basis for the phenomena it exhibits. On the other hand, the atmosphere is chaotic because we do not have a full understanding of it and its influences – however, we do have enough of an understanding to begin analyzing it.

  41. Bill Marsh says:

    Walter,

    Thanks for the link. I slapped the data into a spreadsheet locally so I could play with it. I must be missing something though because the data says that Aug 5th 2008 was -.12 F lower than Aug 5th, 2007 in the comment section, but when I look at Aug 5 2007 the reading was 272.649 and Aug 5, 2008 is 272.583, which, even with my somewhat limited arithmetic skills (aided immensely by Excel) is -.066, not -.12. I wonder if I’m misreading the data somehow?

  42. Bill Marsh says:

    Walter,

    This is the data I was referring to above. Sorry for not including it.

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/data/amsu_daily_85N85S_chLT.r001.txt

  43. Bob Tisdale says:

    JP: If we turn the common understanding about the PDO and ENSO around… If the frequency of La Nina episodes outnumber El Ninos, the PDO will remain negative. Will La Ninas be more frequent than El Ninos for the next 20 to 30 years? Your guess is as good as mine. Looks like they’re trying.

  44. Matt says:

    Paul (and others),
    Thanks for those graphs. One thing that stands out (particularly in the 12 month moving average plots) is that there seems to be a ~4 year cycle in global temps. It’s not really noisy on a month to month scale, it’s a steady rollercoaster of ups and downs, not a washboard gravel road, so to speak. That is, there are dips in ~’85, ’89, 93, ’96, ’00, ’04, and ’08. The global temp picks a vector and heads that way for about 2 years, then there’s a fairly rapid reversal from these nadirs to peaks a couple years later.
    I have no idea or have never read any reason for such a short cycling. I could undersand a yearly cycle, or an 11ish year cycle, but the only 4-year cycle that matches this data set well is our presidential elections…hmmm

    Matt

  45. Mike Keep says:

    Paul Shanahan- “A little off topic. I appears we have had hailstone here in the UK. A little unusual for summer! Must be very cold up there.”

    Hailstones are quite common in summer months and have nothing to do with cool ground temperatures. In the UK,especially the southern half this time of year always has three days of fine weather folloed by a thundery outbreak. Hailstorms are very common during thunderstorms.

    Back to the July temperature anomoly, we now have a neutral ENSO and ‘coolphase’ PDO. The solar minimum is well established (one sunspot last month) so why is the temperature still above average? As I understand the theory, low sunspot activity allows more cosmic rays to enter the earths atmosphere forming more clouds by increased ion-induced aerosol nucleation, hence a cooling. As this is a direct process there should be no temperature lag.
    Temperatures should be falling, but they are not, could there be another reason?

  46. Allen says:

    dreamin –

    Having tried stock trading (and all the study and modeling that goes with it), I agree with your stock market observation. I think the fact that humans are so involved has a lot to do with that.

    Regarding the “global temperature”. I think “cycling” of various natural phenomena have been and will be found to impart a cyclic effect on global temperature — the result is a complex cycling of global temperature over various time scales which may look random at times.

    Why? Global temperature is driven by natural forces not subject to easy modification by humans (even AGW). Some are very cyclic (e.g. planetary motions). I think few are truly random in effect (with the major exceptions of random volcanic activity and comet strikes occasionally causing major world wide temperature events). I think that most (not all) of the variability is ultimately understandable after the fact. On the other hand, future global temperature may never be completely predictable because some needed data may never be available in advance.

    Just my opinions. A relative newcomer, I continue to study global temperature phenomena and don’t know what I am talking about.

  47. Basil says:

    dreamin, et al.,

    The question about persistence is an interesting one. The Hurst exponent is one way to look at, or try to measure, persistence or memory in data. So I just took a look at calculating Hurst exponents for a variety of UAH temperature series. I’ll just post the results, in an order that makes some sense to me, and invite comment. All this is based on UAH, monthly, 1978:12 through 2008:06.

    Globe: 0.9057

    That’s a fairly high degree of persistence (the range is .5 to 1, with randomness at the low end, and autocorrelation at the upper end).

    But it varies quite a bit latitudinally:

    Northern Polar: 0.904806
    Northern Extra Tropics: 0.967697
    Tropics: 0.732871
    Southern Extra Tropics: 0.862738
    Southern Polar: 0.689742

    Breaking out the Northern Extra Tropics between ocean and land:

    Ocean: 0.986821
    Land: 0.918612

    And the Tropics:

    Ocean: 0.721679
    Land: 0.752451

    Comments, anyone?

    Basil

  48. Manfred says:

    Mike Keep

    it will propably take a number of colder years to cool down ocean temperatures and roll backthe arctic ice anomaly that are forcing against a very juvenescent cooling trend. The Maunder Minimum also did not happen in the first year after the end of the medieval warm period.

  49. Bill Marsh says:

    Mike,

    “As this is a direct process there should be no temperature lag.”

    I think the answer is that, if the effect exists as postulated by Dr. Svensmark, it is not the ONLY thing affecting temperature. Just as CO2 increase or decrease is not the ONLY, nor the overwhelming, thing affecting temperature.

    Another possibility is that the increased low altitude clouds (those are the ones that lower temps, increased Cirrus clouds would raise them) are mostly over the oceans, so the effect would not be on atmospheric temperatures , but on ocean heat content. A decrease in ocean heat content (which we have evidence is occurring since 2005) would have a delayed effect on atmospheric temperatures.

    The climate system is a complex, non-linear, chaotic system (I often wonder if there are examples of linear chaotic systems, if not, the term non-linear is superfluous) so the effect of changing any one input will not necessarily be reflected immediately.

  50. Jim Arndt says:

    Counters

    How many volcanoes? Evidence of these volcanoes? For 300+ years? Wow the earth was really heaving out some gas. Oh yea don’t volcanoes also produce CO2, where is that in the record?

    Mike K. yea we are really blazing at .147 positive. The Earth wont cool in just a year or two it takes time since 70% of the surface is water. How long does it take for your coffee to cool down, especially the store bought type.

  51. Basil says:

    Mike Keep (09:16:01) :
    Back to the July temperature anomoly, we now have a neutral ENSO and ‘coolphase’ PDO. The solar minimum is well established (one sunspot last month) so why is the temperature still above average? As I understand the theory, low sunspot activity allows more cosmic rays to enter the earths atmosphere forming more clouds by increased ion-induced aerosol nucleation, hence a cooling. As this is a direct process there should be no temperature lag.
    Temperatures should be falling, but they are not, could there be another reason?

    But temperatures are falling. Look at the following:

    This graph plots the monthly seasonal difference for UAH (global) for the 12 months 2007:07 through 2008:06 (sorry, I don’t have the RSS data readily accessible, and the July data for UAH is not out yet). “Monthly seasonal difference” refers to a month in the current year compared to the same month a year previously. When this number is negative, it means that temperatures are falling, i.e. the temperature in the current month is lower than the temperature in the same month the year before. It has been negative for the past 10 months (through June). Don’t get confused here. The trend can be negative even if the anomaly is positive.

    So, one could could argue that the theory you reference is currently being validated, i.e. we’re at a solar minimum, cosmic ray flux is high, and temperatures are trending downward. Personally, I think the jury is still way out on the Svensmark hypothesis, and that even if it ever becomes widely accepted, it isn’t going to explain short term correlations like we’re seeing here. Going back to what I just posted about persistence, the climate system is to complicated for easy answers like this. I do think the Sun is a primary driver of terrestrial climate, but its impact gets filtered through very complex ocean atmospheric processes that do lead to trends — or better, cycles — in temperature data.

  52. Paul Shanahan says:

    Mike Keep (09:16:01) :
    Hailstones are quite common in summer months and have nothing to do with cool ground temperatures. In the UK,especially the southern half this time of year always has three days of fine weather folloed by a thundery outbreak. Hailstorms are very common during thunderstorms.

    Hi Mike

    Not sure where the ground temperature bit came from in your post. I was referring to the heavens. I must admit that hail in the summer is not something I had noticed before observationally. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, of course. From what I understand, hail the size of marbles is a very rare event in the UK, but is common in say, the US.

    This must mean that either there is a lot of moisture in the air, the cumulus cloud went VERY high or it was very cold in the atmosphere. It’s just an observation I thought might be interesting as a “side show”.

  53. Tom Klein says:

    counters,
    re your comment “The LIA was caused by several things, but two important ones stick out. First, the LIA was a period of anomalously high amounts of volcanic activity.”, you should read Brian Fagan’s book, ” the Little Ice Age. The author – who by the way believes in the strong influence of CO2 on the climate – uses extensive historical data to describe climatic events that took place starting with the Medieval Warm Period and the onset of the LIA which he pinpoints at the seven weeks of non-stop rain that took place in 1315. He did not link it to any volcanic activity, at least not for that time. He did make a strong correlation to volcanic activities for the period 1812-1815, when 3 major volcanic eruptions took place, including the Mount Tambora eruption, which was one the largest ever recorded. That was in 1815 and resulted in what he calls ” The year without summer “. He also notes the strong correlation between cold periods and absence of sunspots, but does not go into any attempts to explain the correlation.

  54. MarkW says:

    co2science has hundreds of studies, from all over the world indicating that the MWP was world wide.

  55. Walter Dnes says:

    Bill Marsh

    The temperatures are listed in degrees Kelvin. A Kelvin degree is the same size as a Celsius degree. The difference is that Kelvin = Celsius – 273.12. Thus 0 degrees K = “absolute zero”. Using Kelvin temperatures really simplifies a lot of scientific equations. Anyhow, I mentioned that a Kelvin degree is the same size as a Celsius degree. A Celsius degree = 1.8 Fahrenheit degrees. Thus 0.066 Kelvin (or Celsius) degree equals 0.066 * 1.8 = 0.1188 Fahrenheit degree, which rounds off to 0.12. The display must be targetted at an American audience.

  56. Walter Dnes says:

    Gack, quick reply during lunch break. Kelvin = Celsius *PLUS* 273.12

  57. JP says:

    “Back to the July temperature anomoly, we now have a neutral ENSO and ‘coolphase’ PDO. The solar minimum is well established (one sunspot last month) so why is the temperature still above average?”

    Above average is a subjective term. And, the earth’s oceans and atmsophere normall do not just lose huge amounts of heat energy over a one year period (At least I don’t want to be around for it it does). If the earth is 1 deg C warmer than it was in 1908, and July was say 0.4 deg warmer than the 30 year running average, it could still be cooling. The year over year, or decade to decade trends are what people are looking at. July 2008 could still be the XX warmest July since 1900, but it is cooler than say July 2003.

    This kind of statistical monkey business was started by the Alarmists, in order to well… alarm people. I think it is much more interesting to follow the ENSO MEI. Short term trends are just that.

    In my neck of the woods, we;ve had a classic La Nina Spring-Summer. Dry and moderately cool, and an occaisonal Northwest flow induced outbreak of severe weather.

  58. Jared says:

    Matt….

    The 4 years cycle you see is pretty easy to explain, for the most part.

    1985 was a La Nina and solar minimum.
    1989 was a very strong La Nina.
    1993 was the Pinatubo eruption (volcanic, so really separate from climate cycles).
    1996 was La Nina and solar minimum.
    2000 was strong La Nina.
    2004 was a neutral ENSO year, so this is the one that is harder to explain, but you will note it also did not dip near as much as the others overall.
    2008 was La Nina and solar minimum.

  59. Neil Crafter says:

    Anecdotal I know, but here in Adelaide, South Australia we had a July mean temp of 14.8C, half a degree below the mean long term temp of 15.3C.

  60. Pofarmer says:

    The reasoning is that, with all this cloud cover,the highs aren’t as high, but at night, the lows aren’t as low.

    Absolutely.

    We had a very cool June here in MO. However, it was very humid and cloudy with record rainfall. I don’t beleive it ever broke 90 in June here, or maybe only one or two days, which is odd. We’ve only had a couple of 90 degree days in July, and one in August so far. The forecast for the rest of this week are high’s in the low 80’s with lows in the low 60’s, which is pretty uncommon for August here. However, for June, Climatology called it the 2nd warmest June ever, or something like that. I call BS. I would sure like to see a graph of only the daily highs, and then only the daily lows, and then the combination of the two into an average temperature. That would be interesting, and I think would cut through some of the BS.

  61. Frank L/ Denmark says:

    Mike and co

    Temperatures: Yes, as many has written, it takes time to shift global temperature.

    Solar cycle 20 in the sixties. We saw a somewhat weak solar cycle, and all the way through the cycle the global temperatures had a falling tendensy.
    I´ve seen Alarmists pointing out exactly that “we are now at the bottum of solar activity, so now it can only go up”. They might be surpriced the next years. Its the level of the whole cycle that should be compared to the other cycles. And so far the level is Maunder minimum like low.

    As you know, there is a VERY strict connection between solar sycles and temperature the last 400 years, so i find it rather extraordinar that some people just thinks that this time there will be no such connection.

    For what reason should there for the first time not be this connection?

    Remember that the solar cycles historically is connected to temperature variances many times bigger that the 0,7 degrees celcius of warming in the 20´th century.

    K.R. Frank

  62. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Now here’s something that was a pleasure to read. Let’s hope this trend picks up some super-heated steam.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article4474202.ece

  63. Pierre Gosselin says:

    Concerning Arctic sea ice. Compare arctic sea temps:
    8/7/2008

    http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/PSB/EPS/SST/climo&hot.html

    and

    8/6/2007

    Well maybe ya’ll right. 2007 in the Arctic regions looks redder than a Stalinist parade.

  64. Allen says:

    I understand that the sun’s output (measured at Earth) cycles by roughly a couple watts per square meter peak-to-valley.

    A quick, simplistic calculation indicates it would take the Earth’s oceans rough order of magnitude well over 100 years to completely respond to a 2 watt per square meter change (assuming I did not screw up).

    If that’s anywhere near right, the ocean temperature (and therefore Earth global temperature) is probably always behind the sun forcing in some sense — maybe a couple hundred years behind. Thus, the sun may have reached a genuine minimum of some sort during the little ice age and then picked up its output to new highs over a couple hundred years ago — and we are still adjusting to the new highs.

  65. Matt says:

    Thanks Jared,

    I appreciate that perspective.

    So I’m seeing ~12 year solar cycle. I guess what is striking to me is why 4 years is the relative period of oscilation. What’s regular is the oscilation, almost never static, almost never 3 straight years of rise or fall (admittedly, the 00s is an abnormality). I’ll have to look at other records to go back in time, maybe I’m reading too much into it.

    Nonetheless, I look at these numbers and think “these troughs never last” and that our temp will be headed back up by next year, unless the sun has truly gone ‘Maunder’ on us (the opposit of “postal” I suppose).

    Matt

  66. Ken Westerman says:

    Who knew watching grass grow could become a sport?

    I think Vegas is behind the curve here…

  67. Bill Marsh says:

    Walter,

    Thanks, it is very confusing to show the readings in one scale and quote the difference in another.

    I’m an American, but I would prefer the Celsius myself.

  68. Bill Marsh says:

    Walter,

    Svensmark’s hypothesis, at least the aspect that postulates that high energy particles (and thus Muons generated from GCR collisions in the atmosphere) are the ‘spark’ behind formation of CCD (Cloud condensation nuclei) is going to be tested at CERN in the CLOUD project. While Dr Svensmark believes he has already verified this effect on his own, CLOUD will provide a more rigorous verification.

    If this is verified, then the remaining work is looking for the signal in the past, something that researchers have presented evidence for and against.

    Personally I think this is the mechanism that controls temperature more so than CO2 level, but that remains merely an opinion.

    http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/Research/CLOUD-en.html

  69. KlausB says:

    Anthony,

    somwhow toff topic here – but I forgot to save the email-address from this
    great ‘woodfortrees’ guy. I would like to ask, if there is apossibility to add the
    Pacific Warm Water Volume to his list of displayable datas, see:

    I like the comparison of this datas to the AMSU global maritime temperature anomalies. It does really explain why ’98 was such warm – the pacific lost about 25% of its energy stored in warm water and provided it to the atmosphere.

  70. Mike Keep says:

    Hi Paul,
    “Not sure where the ground temperature bit came from in your post. I was referring to the heavens.”

    Sorry, my mistake. Read it as ‘over there’, how I refer to blighty from the dampness of the Emerals Isle!

  71. dreamin says:

    External forcings does not mean extra-terrestrial.

    I never claimed otherwise.

    Anyway, while there are obvious differences between the climate and financial markets, there are also some important similarities. Most importantly, it’s not too hard to create a financial market model which “predicts” past market behavior and fool yourself into thinking that your model will predict the future. It looks to me like the same mistake is being made in climate modeling.

    On the other hand, the atmosphere is chaotic because we do not have a full understanding of it and its influences

    This statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of chaotic systems.

  72. DAV says:

    dreamin (08:31:35) : quoting someone: “Simply eyeballing the temperature vs year graphs indicates a “cycling”. And, by the look of it, we’ve been near a “local minimum” — so an upturn just about now is not unexpected.

    And responding: I disagree. Take a look at a stock market graph over a time period of about a year. It’s easy to think that there are predictable cycles, but there are not.

    There are predictable cycles in weather over a year. I’d bet my house that, in the NH, August will be warmer than February. Not sure what you mean by “persistence” but there is definite autocorrelation, not only from year to year, but a warmer than average JAN is likely to be followed by a warmer than average FEB.

    Likewise, there appear to be longer climate cycles one of them around 30 years and another around 70 years. The 70 year cycle seems to have a lot of influence in the NW weather along the Pacific coast (I’m pulling this out of memory; there was a seminar presentation provided on the Monckton’s DVD).

    The UAH graphs are for global temperatures which should pretty much even out. One exception is that during part of the year, the Earth is closer to the sun. So happens that is during the NH winter months. Winter is approx 4-5 days shorter than summer in the NH because the orbital speed is also greater during this time. I don’t know what that means in terms of temperatures.

    Anyway, the upturn in June may not have been all that predictable.

    ——

    dreamin (14:27:56): it’s not too hard to create a financial market model which “predicts” past market behavior and fool yourself into thinking that your model will predict the future. It looks to me like the same mistake is being made in climate modeling.

    Amen to that. I think it’s a major downfall of the GCM’s. I believe they are too detailed: a lot like trying to predict river flow by modeling the dynamics of each water molecule. They are also incomplete (e.g. lack substantial modelling of clouds). Like trying to model river flow but neglecting precipitation.

  73. DAV says:

    counters: “On the other hand, the atmosphere is chaotic because we do not have a full understanding of it and its influences”

    dreamin: This statement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of chaotic systems.”

    I don’t normally agree with counters but understand that chaotic has a colloquial meaning that equates to unpredictable or random. In the sense that he meant, it’s a fair and accurate characterization.

    I, too, firmly believe that randomness, in general and of weather specifically, is only apparent. It’s our lack of understanding of the physics and physical parameters that lead to the appearance of random response. If this were not true then most scientific investigation would be pointless.

    Economic systems (stock prices, e.g.) are less likely to be characterized and parameterized any time in the near future as physical systems are because they are driven in part by human psychology on which we only have a vague handle.

    The two things, weather and stock indices, resemble each other superficially but have ultimately and sufficiently different drivers that make comparisons between them less useful.

  74. DR says:

    Bill Marsh

    On CERN, a more extensive exposition on cosmic rays:

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0804/0804.1938v1.pdf

  75. Brian D says:

    Looking at the chart, global temps are about the same range as they were when we had La Ninas just before and after the big El Nino of 1998. And if were are in for more La Ninas, then we can expect more subdued global temps.(depending on referenced metric)

    ENSO reference in PDF(updated on Mondays).

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf

  76. Philip_B says:

    For those of you interested, my alternate theory of climate change (to the forcings model).

    The Earth’s climate is dominated by water feedbacks, specifically water phase changes, over hours to days – evaporation, clouds, rain/snow. Overall, it is in dynamic equilibrium.

    Forcings operate over years to decades.

    So, water feedbacks swamp changes in forcings over very short timescales. Which leaves us with the question, How do warm and cold periods such as the MWP and LIA occur?

    The answer is that the primary influences on our climate are factors that affect phase changes of water. Svensmark’s GCR forming clouds. Soot and particulates causing ice and snow to melt. And aerosols and particulates seeding cloud formation.

    This is due to the very different effects of water in it’s different phases. Ice/snow = strong cooling from increased albedo. Water vapour = strong warming due to GH effect. Liquid water as clouds = mostly cooling effect.

    You can see the effect of the water vapour/clouds phase change feedback in the diurnal temperature range of humid versus dry places. In the humid tropics diurnal range is small, perhaps 5C. In the dry tropics diurnal range is large, up around 25C. The more water there is the bigger the feedback.

  77. statePoet1775 says:

    “I, too, firmly believe that randomness, in general and of weather specifically, is only apparent. It’s our lack of understanding of the physics and physical parameters that lead to the appearance of random response. If this were not true then most scientific investigation would be pointless.” DAV

    I thought chaos theory and quantum theory pretty much told us we would have limits on how far we could predict in the future. Einstein famously said that “God does not play dice with the Universe” but could not prove otherwise.

    Science is not pointless but it has its limits and it is good to recognize those.

  78. old construction worker says:

    Counters
    ‘The LIA was caused by several things, but two important ones stick out. First, the LIA was a period of anomalously high amounts of volcanic activity. The eruption of volcanoes has two effects:’
    Sorry to bust your bubble, but you are wrong about volcanic activity. we where coming out of the LIA when volcanic activity increased.

    http://www.longrangeweather.com/global_temperatures.htm

    To add to the decrease of incoming radiation, the sun also underwent the “Maunder Minimum.” Although there really isn’t a physical mechanism which has connected sunspots to a cooling sun, it is a highly popular hypothesis, and the LIA and especially its peak minimum highly correlate to the maunder minimum.
    So that leaves a correlation to the sun.

  79. Glenn says:

    Watts up with that “W” on the end of the graph? And the “A” before it?

  80. KlausB: My e-mail is on the site linked above (trivially hidden to avoid spam). For new datasets I need an easy-to-read monthly data file which is kept up to date by the provider, plus academic refs etc.

    BTW, you might be interested to know that I just added HADSST2 sea surface temperatures…

    Cheers

    Paul

  81. dreamin says:

    I don’t normally agree with counters but understand that chaotic has a colloquial meaning that equates to unpredictable or random. In the sense that he meant, it’s a fair and accurate characterization.

    In my opinion, if that poster had meant “unpredictable,” then he or she should have said so. Instead, he or she used the phrase “chaotic systems,” which is not quite the same thing. A chaotic system has the property of being sensitive to initial conditions. Thus it remains unpredictable even if the underlying physical properties of the system are well understood.

    In any event, as far as I know, it’s an open question as to whether the climate is chaotic on a 50 to 100 year time frame. If a butterfly can cause a storm, can we rule out the possibility of a butterfly causing a little ice age?

  82. dreamin says:

    I thought chaos theory and quantum theory pretty much told us we would have limits on how far we could predict in the future. Einstein famously said that “God does not play dice with the Universe” but could not prove otherwise.

    Science is not pointless but it has its limits and it is good to recognize those.

    I agree, and it’s troubling to me the way people throw around phrases like “chaotic system” without really knowing what they are talking about.

    Why is it possible to predict an eclipse? Because a small error in the measurement of the positions and motions of sun, earth, and moon results in only a small error in predicting their positions at or around the time of the next eclipse.

    In a chaotic system, these uncertainties have a tendency to multiply, giving results that are difficult or impossible to predict even if one understands the interactions of the system’s elements.

  83. Fred Nieuwenhuis says:

    UAH’s out: 0.06!!

  84. jmrSudbury says:

    And the UAH winner is (2008 7 0.048) up from -0.114 in July.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

    John M Reynolds

  85. MattN says:

    UAH is out for July. .048 global anomaly.

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2

  86. Mike Bryant says:

    As I look at the UAH monthly mean data from 1979, something strikes me. The whole thing pretty much averages out to zero. In, fact almost every month in the record would be rounded to zero, except for some months in 1998. Has anyone else made this observation? Can anyone here even PERCEIVE these differences? I might be making too much of this, but in my view this seems to be much ado about nothing.
    Adapting to Zero Climate Change,
    Mike Bryant

    PS I would like to see this data set rounded to nearest whole number.

    REPLY: Mike eyeballing doesn’t reveal the trends all that well. There is a decadal trend of 0.130 degrees in the global data. – Anthony

  87. Pingback: July UAH Global Temperature Anomaly: up a bit and in agreement with RSS « Watts Up With That?

  88. randomengineer says:

    counters — “Note that the MWP is not really considered to be a period of global warmth; its effects were most profound in the North Atlantic, and there is not definitive evidence that it occurred to the same extent globally.”

    The only way you can get here is to buy into MBH99 or Ammann and Wahl’s defence against M&M05’s proof of MBH99 being wrong. Otherwise the literature is rife with examples showing that MWP was in fact global.

    Given that MBH99 is completely and utterly discredited to the point that even the IPCC on AR4 no longer used the hockey stick, yours seems a very curious and telling comment; it’s as if you start with MBH99 and go from there.

    The MWP was global. Period. MBH99 was wrong, and they lied. Period.

  89. Fred Nieuwenhuis says:

    Again, what’s the difference between http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2 and

    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt

    REPLY: Fred just FYI, I’m a bit busy today, I can’t always drop everything to research and answer a question. I hope that others can answer for you.

    – Anthony

  90. Fred Nieuwenhuis says:

    Understood. My apologies if it seemed that way.

  91. Fred Nieuwenhuis says:

    Below is a note in UAH’s Global Temperature Reports (not released for July yet) eg. http://climate.uah.edu/june2008.htm

    “The processed temperature data is available on-line at:
    vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/uahncdc.lt”

  92. randomengineer says:

    Fred Nieuwenhuis

    The 5.2 seems to summarize everything Big Picture style whereas the other table seems to break stuff down into data by region/type.

  93. Fred Nieuwenhuis says:

    randomengineer,
    Agreed. However, you would expect the Global temperature column to agree in both charts. But they don’t, even with rounding up/down into consideration.

  94. dreamin says:

    The MWP was global. Period. MBH99 was wrong, and they lied. Period.

    I think you are probably right, but if we assume for the sake of argument that it was limited to the Northern Hemisphere, there still remains the question: What (if anything) caused it?

  95. old construction worker says:

    According to Co2 science there is evidence of the MWP in both hemispheres.

    http://co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

    Medieval Warm Period Project

    The real question is what caused the drop in “temperature” from the MWP to the LIA.

  96. Sunny Day says:

    Sun spots, or rather the lack there of.

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