UAH Global Temperature anomaly published, 1998 still warmest year in the UAH satellite record

See also: RSS data: 2010 not the warmest year in satellite record, but a close second

Dec. 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update: +0.18 deg. C

By Dr. Roy Spencer, PhD.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_102.gif

NEW 30-YEAR BASE PERIOD IMPLEMENTED!
Sorry for yelling like that, but if you have been following our global tropospheric temperature updates every month, you will have to re-calibrate your brains because we have just switched from a 20 year base period (1979 – 1998) to a more traditional 30 year base period (1981-2010) like that NOAA uses for climate “normals”.

This change from a 20 to a 30 year base period has 2 main impacts:

1) because the most recent decade averaged somewhat warmer than the previous two decades, the anomaly values will be about 0.1 deg. C lower than they used to be. This does NOT affect the long-term trend of the data…it only reflects a change in the zero-level, which is somewhat arbitrary.

2) the 30-year average annual cycle shape will be somewhat different, and more representative of “normal” of the satellite record than with 20 years; as a result, the month-to-month changes in the anomalies might be slightly less “erratic” in appearance. (Some enterprising person should check into that with the old versus new anomaly datasets).

Note that the tropics continue to cool as a result of the La Nina still in progress, and the Northern Hemisphere also cooled in December, more consistent with the anecdotal evidence. :)

I will provide a global sea surface temperature update later today.
YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS
2010 1 0.542 0.675 0.410 0.635
2010 2 0.510 0.553 0.466 0.759
2010 3 0.554 0.665 0.443 0.721
2010 4 0.400 0.606 0.193 0.633
2010 5 0.454 0.642 0.265 0.706
2010 6 0.385 0.482 0.287 0.485
2010 7 0.419 0.558 0.280 0.370
2010 8 0.441 0.579 0.304 0.321
2010 9 0.477 0.410 0.545 0.237
2010 10 0.306 0.257 0.356 0.106
2010 11 0.273 0.372 0.173 -0.117
2010 12 0.180 0.213 0.147 -0.221

WHO WINS THE RACE FOR WARMEST YEAR?
As far as the race for warmest year goes, 1998 (+0.424 deg. C) barely edged out 2010 (+0.411 deg. C), but the difference (0.01 deg. C) is nowhere near statistically significant. So feel free to use or misuse those statistics to your heart’s content.

THE DISCOVER WEBSITE: NOAA-15 PROBLEMS STARTING IN MID-DECEMBER
For those tracking our daily updates of global temperatures at the Discover website, remember that only 2 “channels” can be trusted for comparing different years to each other, both being the only ones posted there from NASA’s Aqua satellite:

1) only ch. 5 data should be used for tracking tropospheric temperatures,
2) the global-average “sea surface” temperatures are from AMSR-E on Aqua, and should be accurate.

The rest of the channels come from the AMSU on the 12 year old NOAA-15 satellite, WHICH IS NOW EXPERIENCING LARGE AMOUNTS OF MISSING DATA AS OF AROUND DECEMBER 20, 2010. This is why some of you have noted exceptionally large temperature changes in late December. While we wait for NOAA to investigate, it seems like more than coincidence that the NOAA-15 AMSU status report had a December 17 notice that the AMSU scan motor position was being reported incorrectly due to a bit error.

The notice says that problem has been sporadic, but increasing over time as has the amount of missing data I have seen during my processing. At this early stage, I am guessing that the processing software cannot determine which direction the instrument is pointing when making its measurements, and so the data from the radiometer are not being processed.

The daily NOAA-15 AMSU imagery available at the Discover website shows that the data loss is much more in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere, which suggests that the temperature of the instrument is probably involved in the bit error rate. But at this point, this is all my speculation, based upon my past experience studying how the temperature of these instruments vary throughout the orbit as the solar illumination of the spacecraft varies.

UPDATE from Dr. Spencer(1/3/10, 2:50 p.m. CDT): Graph fixed…it was missing Dec. 2010.

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90 thoughts on “UAH Global Temperature anomaly published, 1998 still warmest year in the UAH satellite record

  1. am i reading the graph wrong? it says “.18 degrees celsius” on the text but seems to be around “.30″ on the graph….what am i missing?

  2. Thought the same.

    markinaustin says:
    January 3, 2011 at 11:49 am
    am i reading the graph wrong? it says “.18 degrees celsius” on the text but seems to be around “.30″ on the graph….what am i missing?

  3. Markinaustin @ 11:49 am

    It looks like the number was plotted as if it were under the old 20 year base period. For example, November also looks plotted high, as if it were the old 0.381, rather than the new, improved 0.273.

  4. On second thought, I was apparently thinking November 0.318 while writing 0.381. November looks better using the proper number. Never mind.

  5. It looks like the values posted to the graph stop at November’s reading (+.27°C). It looks like December’s reading hasn’t been added, even though there’s an arrow there (which, btw, covers the +.18°C area).

  6. I am sooo fed up with these temperature quibbles!
    Who was it said “correlation is not causation”?
    And for the love of Pete, how much correlation do we have?

  7. It is a bit confusing

    The text use the new 30-year base period, but the graph is based on the old base period so there is a 0.1 degree mismatch.

  8. correlation does not equal causation …

    BUT

    for there to be casuation there MUST be correlation …

    CO2 vs Temperatures over the last 100 years … very poor correlation …

  9. Changing the base-period for the anomalies to the standard 30-yr length is not objectionable. But it would be nice either to recalculate the entire anomaly series from Dec 1978 or to provide readers the monthly offsets from the old base period, so that they could do that themselves. Otherwise, a step-discontinuity is introduced into record.

  10. markinaustin says:
    January 3, 2011 at 11:49 am

    am i reading the graph wrong? it says “.18 degrees celsius” on the text but seems to be around “.30″ on the graph….what am i missing?

    Yes, it’s confusing. The graph your looking at is using the old anomaly values which at first glance appear to add about 0.1 too the new values. This will have to be checked on a month by month basis but I think you’ll find that the old value for this month is about 0.28.

  11. ‘we have just switched from a 20 year base period (1979 – 1998) to a more traditional 30 year base period (1981-2010) like that NOAA uses for climate “normals”.’

    I fully concur that NOAA’s use of the 20 year (1979 – 1998) base period for, oh, some 11+ years become never was traditional even if they treated it as such.

    One t’ing, matey, strikes me as utterly hippo poop and that is the correlation with tradition with NOAA’s mythical, but very short (which came only after a lot of nagging), use of the 1981-2010 base period. Maybe, especially, with a graph that says 1979-2010. :p

  12. Eric (Skeptic) brings up a good point. How is the strength of El Nino measured? Do we know for certain the 2010 El Nino was stronger (or possibly stronger but shorter) than the El Nino of 1998? I had always heard the 1998 El Nino was very strong.

    So three questions regarding comparing 2010 with 1998 – Which El Nino was stronger? How many months out of each year was the El Nino in effect? Where can we find the data?

  13. OK here’s the deal–

    the UAH data — real data that has integrity and transparency– shows some varibility, some cyclical behavior. There is an underlying warming trend sonce 1979, but it is not linear, and basically flatlined over the last 12 years. The UAH data does not validate the GISS/IPCC models and is badly correlated to atmospheric CO2 levels. These are facts. What can be deduced form these facts? who knows? one thing that CAN’T be deduced is that CO2 drives world-wide temps and AGW will have catatrophic consequesnces. That theory is so badly shot to pieces by this data, it is beyond any redeeming credibility.

  14. 0.1c difference between 1998 and 2010 is about what this should be comparing the two different strength El Ninos. Therfore this also shows there has been little warming since this period.

  15. The zombie Intelsat Galaxy-15 telecommunications satellite is brought back to life. From Wikipedia:

    On 23 December 2010, Intelsat successfully regained control over the satellite after the Baseband Equipment Command Unit reset following a loss of lock and full discharge of the batteries, reportedly the most critical phases of the recovery of Galaxy 15 have been completed.

    Also:

    On 27 December 2010, Intelsat reported that the satellite had rebooted as per design and the command unit was responding to commands again. In addition, the satellite had been secured in safe mode and the potential for interference issues from Galaxy 15 had ceased.[1] [2] On 1 January 2011 the satellite was located near 98.0° west.[3][4]

    Around this time, December 20 and later, the NOAA-15 satellite begins acting up, as mentioned above.

    Coincidence?

  16. (SarcOn) I’m sure it would NEVER occure to NASA and NOAA to play games with the data to convince Congress to give them an extra $trillion or so to get some NEW equipment, and just for the old fashioned fun of it drive the Non-Warmers crazy with data thats ‘missing’ some days.(SarcOff)

    Or would it?

  17. Nomination for Climate Quote of the Week:
    “So feel free to use or misuse those statistics to your heart’s content.”
    ;-)

  18. Ron Cram says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Eric (Skeptic) brings up a good point. How is the strength of El Nino measured? Do we know for certain the 2010 El Nino was stronger (or possibly stronger but shorter) than the El Nino of 1998? I had always heard the 1998 El Nino was very strong.

    So three questions regarding comparing 2010 with 1998 – Which El Nino was stronger? How many months out of each year was the El Nino in effect? Where can we find the data?

    The Multivaraite ENSO Index http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/ has the data you are looking for

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/table.html

    1998 had 7 of 12 values as positive (El Nino) and the other 5 negative (LaNina), 4 of the 7 were strongly positive (greater than 2.0)

    2010 is still missing the final value, which is certain to be negative, only the first 5 values are positive, none of them strongly so. It is therefore without doubt that the 1998 El Nino was far stronger and had a far larger effect on the global temperature anomaly than 2010

  19. markinaustin says:
    January 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    ah..well someone fixed it!

    now the years are off by 2

  20. So, UAH says 0.42K since 1980 by eyeball, or 1.4K/century. Considering we were looking at about 1.8K/century before the CO2 days, we must be in a reduced warming time over the decades, unless GISS shows UAH to be wrong. Hansen said we were warming at about 3K/century, in line with “projections” of the IPCC. Hmmm.

    Any legal challenge to Hansen’s adjustments will involve the UAH and RSS datasets. Could get ugly. How does Hansen/NASA dismiss the divergence of land and satellite datasets when NASA collects both?

  21. Ryan Maue says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    OH MY, the newest forecast models have the mother of all cold blasts descending from Canada in the next 7-10 days. Record all-time lows would occur if this comes to fruition.

    Mr Ryan Maue

    I have been reading that the Arctic is warming. If that is true how can this happen? Maybe what I have read is not true?

  22. Peter says:
    3rd January 2011 at 2.20pm

    “The Multivaraite ENSO Index http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/ has the data you are looking for

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/klaus.wolter/MEI/table.html

    1998 had 7 of 12 values as positive (El Nino) and the other 5 negative (LaNina), 4 of the 7 were strongly positive (greater than 2.0)

    2010 is still missing the final value, which is certain to be negative, only the first 5 values are positive, none of them strongly so. It is therefore without doubt that the 1998 El Nino was far stronger and had a far larger effect on the global temperature anomaly than 2010″

    And yet the Australian BoM

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soihtm1.shtml

    shows 7 positive values for 1998 ranging from 9.8 to 13.3
    and
    7 positive values for 2010 ranging from 10.1 to 25.

    Am I missing something?

  23. Matt G says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    0.1c difference between 1998 and 2010 is about what this should be comparing the two different strength El Ninos. Therfore this also shows there has been little warming since this period.

    My response: Try again Matt G, because you misplaced the decimal point. The difference is only about 0.014, which is so statistically insignificant, that a coin toss is almost as likely to determine which year was hotter. This is in spite of a much stronger, and longer, El Nino in 1998, and in spite of low solar insolation in 2010.

    Furthermore, the 12 month global anomaly really only shows the rate of heat transfer into the troposphere during the El Nino. As typically happens on our planet, the energy balance in the tropics is strongly positive, with net outgoing infrared energy much less than incoming solar radiant energy. Some of the excess heat is convected to higher latitudes where the energy balance is negative; in spite of lower temperatures, the net OLR exceeds the absorbed solar radiation. In an El Nino, more of the heat that builds up in the tropical Pacific waters transfers into the troposphere causing a higher global temperature anomaly. For this reason, the 12-month and shorter lower troposphere anomaly moving averages during El Nino periods are one of the worst measured indicators of planetary heat buildup. The longer term rolling averages, such as 13, 14, 15 and 16 month averages, hit new highs in 2010, as well as 48 month and up moving averages (which span more than one ENSO cycle).

    Since 1998 the amount of heat that has been absorbed into heat sinks (oceans, soils, ice caps, glaciers, and ice sheets) exceeds the amount of heat need to raise the global temperature anomaly 0.10 deg C in that timeframe, by roughly a 200 to 1 ratio. There is no doubt at all, that the planet in 2010 is much, much hotter than in 1998.

  24. It is really academic whether 2010 or 1998 is the warmest year. More importantly is whether 2010-2019 will be warmer on average than 2000-2009. It seems there are several interesting possibilities, and regardless of which on comes to pass, we’ll all learn a great deal more about the climate than we know now. Some things I’ll be watching:

    1) Will next few weak solar cycles be enough to counter any warming effect from CO2 derived AGW?
    2) Will the Arctic seasonal summer ice continue to contract and how might this affect global atmospheric circulation patterns? (currently we have the lowest extent in Arctic Sea ice for this date since accurate satellite records started in 1979).
    3) How will the phases of the PDO, NAO, etc. effect the climate over the next decade, and could it be possible that the nature of these longer ocean cycles are being affected by AGW?
    4) Will we continue to see evidence of an acceleration in the hydrological cycle globally, with an increase in the frequency of epic floods like Pakistan and Australia? (note: these events in and of themselves are within the bounds of normal weather variations, but it is the increased FREQUENCY of these types of events that would be predicted by GCM’s when factoring in the continued rise in CO2 over the next decade on top of the 40% additional CO2 added since the 1700’s)

    All in all, the decade ahead will prove to be a highly interesting for those who enjoy studying the factors influencing the climate, but the fact as to whether or not 2010 was a bit cooler than the record warm year of 1998 is insignificant.

  25. It’s always Marcia, Marcia says:
    January 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm
    Ryan Maue says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    OH MY, the newest forecast models have the mother of all cold blasts descending from Canada in the next 7-10 days. Record all-time lows would occur if this comes to fruition.

    Mr Ryan Maue

    I have been reading that the Arctic is warming. If that is true how can this happen? Maybe what I have read is not true?
    _____
    The Arctic region is at or above normal temps this winter (with areas around N. Canada and Greenland way above normal). Unusual high pressure systems over the Arctic this winter has forced the cold air out and created much of the warm in the Arctic. Currently, Arctic sea ice extent is at a record low since accurate satellite measurements have been taking place. In short, it is very incorrect to think just because there is record cold south of the Arctic, that the Arctic would also be experiencing record cold.

  26. Whilst I understand the reason behind the change of base, changing the base makes comparisons with earlier data sets more difficult. In any event, the chosen base is often artificial, intented only to highlight the trend which the author wishes to highlight. Thus one should be sceptical when considering the chosen base.

    If one looks at the UAH plot, the anomaly was fairly flat at about -0.1C between 1979 and 1997 and following the 1998 El Nino, it has remained fairly flat at about +0.2C.

    What appears to have happened is that there was a significant step change brought about by the 1998 El Nino which has increased the UAH variation by about 0.3C. Does anyone have any thoughts on this and the reasons behind such step change.

  27. After further research, I have seen the error of my ways – duh!

    It seems Aust BoM calculates ENSOI using a formula that results in negative figures being associated with El Nino and positive figures with La Nina.

  28. the 30 year base might artificially amplify trending of the 30 year heating/cooling phase of the 60 year PDO.

  29. Paul K2 says:
    January 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Paul,

    The o.1c is not a decimal place out, you have misunderstood that this is a figure taking into account what the difference between the two should be if there was no warming.

    The most energy is stored in the oceans and these surface temperatures all over the globe don’t show that claim about 2010 being much warmer than 1998. The year 1998 still shows the most warming in all ocean data below. (hadsst)

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/normalise/from:1997/to:1999/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2009/normalise

    Since 0.1c-0.014c = 0.086c, so that means 2010 is approximately this value warmer than 1998 taking the strength of the different El Ninos into account. Hence, why there has been little warming and is also shown the same with global SST’s.

  30. R. Gates says:
    January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    2) Will the Arctic seasonal summer ice continue to contract and how might this affect global atmospheric circulation patterns? (currently we have the lowest extent in Arctic Sea ice for this date since accurate satellite records started in 1979).

    Arctic sea ice has generally been recovering since 2007, with a slight blip down for 2010. You are harping now on the fact that ice extent is a little low for this time of year and you were harping the same thing in the early summer. You seen to concentrate on the ice extent at the two points in the cycle where extent means the least and ignore the general recovery in extent and the recovery in multi-year ice that has been going on since 2007.

  31. Gary says:
    January 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm
    Nomination for Climate Quote of the Week:
    “So feel free to use or misuse those statistics to your heart’s content.”

    Yeah, like that could ever happen!

    :)

  32. R. Gates says:
    January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    1) Will next few weak solar cycles be enough to counter any warming effect from CO2 derived AGW?

    ================================

    What, of any consequence, “warming effect from CO2-derived AGW”??

    You are breaking logic and reason completely.

    You must first establish that such a beast exists in the first place….even with a rhetorical question.

    Your question is like:

    “Will significant suburban development in the Pacific Northwest have any effect on the populations and natural territory of the Sasquatch?”

    You must first prove Sasquatch to exist before you can earn the right to question human’s encroachment on its territory.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  33. Alex says:
    January 3, 2011 at 2:05 pm
    “The farse continues.”
    Spot on. What can be concluded from a window of this time scale anyway? If peak to trough was 30 years, would you see it?

  34. R. Gates says:
    January 3, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    3) How will the phases of the PDO, NAO, etc. effect the climate over the next decade, and could it be possible that the nature of these longer ocean cycles are being affected by AGW?

    ===============================

    Get your facts straight, first. (But I know that is too much to ask of a spin doctor).

    The NAO is not an “ocean cycle.” It is an atmospheric one.

    Listening yo your half-truth littered posts over the months I might make a recommendation:

    Have you thought of applying to do support work for a governmental organization such as the EPA, or perhaps the IPCC itself?

    Just asking. But I think you would feel right at home at one of those organizations, no doubt.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  35. Dr. Roy Spencer,

    The year labels at the bottom of the graph (http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_102.gif) above are confusing. There is an arrow on the far right saying “Dec 2010″ yet “2011” is to the left of that! Would it be possible to clearly mark the graph in such a way that the year labels VISUALLY correspond to the year lines or boxes? There are 32 columns corresponding to years 1979 through the end of 2010. Part of the confusion is that the year labels are on an angle, it would be better if they were vertical directly under their year column… and if all the columns were labeled… you’d also not need to use the label 2011 at all since it’s not even got data on the graph thus removing that part of the confusion.

    Thanks, any improvements would be appreciated… and sorry if I’m nitpicking… it just took longer than I expected it should to get which columns go with which years…. I design information systems and user interfaces to be clear for people as part of my professional career so this is a free-be for you. Thanks again. [:)]

    All the best,

    Peter

  36. “Matt G says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    0.1C difference between 1998 and 2010 is about what this should be comparing the two different strength El Ninos. Therefore this also shows there has been little warming since this period.”

    The UAH difference was 0.013, however the RSS difference was 0.039. See http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/01/rss-2010-was-second-warmest-after-1998.html#more
    Lubos Motl would apparently agree to some extent with what you said based on UAH data, but not based on RSS data. At the above site, he says: “Because the 2009-2010 El Nino was just somewhat weaker than the 1997-1998 El Nino, the predicted annual mean temperature, according to the formula above, is exactly 0.30 °C cooler than the actual observed RSS annual mean temperature. This fact is both true for 1998 and 2010. So if you adjust the RSS temperatures for the El Nino index, there has been no noticeable extra warming or cooling from 1998.”

    However let me just for argument sake take your value of 0.1 C warmth over the 12 years at face value. Over 100 years, this would be 0.8 C. When added to the 0.8 C that some say the earth has already warmed, this gives a total of 1.6 C in another 100 years. So IF you feel we should not reach 2 C, at this rate, it would take another 144 years. Would you still say it is urgent that we do something now?

  37. Werner Brozek said…

    “The answer is YES….In all five cases, the average anomaly for the last five years was lower than for the last ten years. THIS INCLUDES GISS!”

    Hm. Too bad 10 years is not statistically significant.

  38. Paul K2 says at January 3, 2011 at 3:30 pm :
    “Since 1998 the amount of heat that has been absorbed into heat sinks (oceans, soils, ice caps, glaciers, and ice sheets) exceeds the amount of heat need to raise the global temperature anomaly 0.10 deg C in that timeframe, by roughly a 200 to 1 ratio.”
    Ummm…so enough to raise the global average temperature by 200 x 0.10 K = 20 K, in a little over 10 years? [I prefer K to deg C.] Eyebrows are raised extremely high — that’s an awful lot of energy, and such a claim requires quantitative backup which is not present in your post. Last time I looked, SST trend was ~0.15 K/decade, so if you said 0.2 K since 1998 it would be in the right ballpark. But not 100 times that.

    I realize you’re including energy which went into ice melt, but that’s not very large compared to the entire earth’s heat capacity. Do the math, and post your results.

  39. Werner Brozek,

    I too am interested in the direction in which temps are going. I suggest you keep a copy of these graphs just in case the record keepers need to “adjust” over the next few years when the cycles point to a general cooling.

    Whatever these graphs show they don’t show what the warmers told us to expect; a gradual increase in step with CO2 emissions. Clearly they don’t.

    I also note that R.Gates is claiming an increase in temps in the Artic, where there are few temp stations. He ignores the decrease in temps in the Antarctic of a similar magnitude. Balance? He also refers to the natural cycles hiding the AGW increase. Of course natural cycles were unimportant until recently and now they might be the major driver of climate changes. Who’d -a -thought?

  40. I hear some readers comparing 1998 El Nino to 2010’s. Yet I hear no one speaking about AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) which was set to record highs in the beginning of the year. AMO has also been trending upwards since 1970’s and the trend has continued in the 2000’s. Also PDO made a short spike at the start of year.

    Those two factors (and more) combined, its no miracle 2010’s is almost as warm as 1998 record El Nino year.

  41. Rob Honeycutt 10:36pm:

    “Hm. Too bad 10 years is not statistically significant.”

    10 years’ data of global warming was all Dr Hansen had when he set in motion the train of events that led to the formation of the IPCC.

  42. “richard verney says:

    What appears to have happened is that there was a significant step change brought about by the 1998 El Nino which has increased the UAH variation by about 0.3C. Does anyone have any thoughts on this and the reasons behind such step change”

    If the amount f heat in the oceans/seas is constant it is very easy to have big swings in sea surface and air temperature, just by changing currents. Place the hot water heat wide and flat and you get global heating, make it narrow and long you get global cooling.
    The changes in the ice on the poles suggests that sensible heat is being removed from the southern oceans and placed in the north.
    Actually getting a temperature range of plus/minus one degree in the Earths water systems is close to being steady state as one could get, with a max and min of -25 t0 +37 °C

  43. DaveF says:

    “10 years’ data of global warming was all Dr Hansen had when he set in motion the train of events that led to the formation of the IPCC.”

    That not true. He had 100+ years of temperature reconstructions to base his conclusions on.

  44. Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 4, 2011 at 8:42 am
    “That not true. He had 100+ years of temperature reconstructions to base his confusions on.” You had a spelling error, so I fixed it for you.

  45. “If one looks at the UAH plot, the anomaly was fairly flat at about -0.1C between 1979 and 1997 and following the 1998 El Nino, it has remained fairly flat at about +0.2C.

    What appears to have happened is that there was a significant step change brought about by the 1998 El Nino which has increased the UAH variation by about 0.3C. Does anyone have any thoughts on this and the reasons behind such step change.”

    http://spaceweather.com/archive.php?view=1&day=20&month=12&year=2010

    Perhaps—

    “Earth’s stratosphere is as clear as it’s been in more than 50 years. University of Colorado climate scientist Richard Keen knows this because he’s been watching lunar eclipses. “Since 1996, lunar eclipses have been bright, which means the stratosphere is relatively clear of volcanic aerosols.”

    “This is timely and important because the state of the stratosphere affects climate; a clear stratosphere “lets the sunshine in” to warm the Earth below. At a 2008 SORCE conference Keen reported that “The lunar eclipse record indicates a clear stratosphere over the past decade, and that this has contributed about 0.2 degrees to recent warming.”

    Just a thought

  46. Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Werner Brozek said…

    “The answer is YES….

    Hm. Too bad 10 years is not statistically significant.”

    Fair enough. However you cannot look at the last ten years in isolation. See page 21 at the following:

    http://sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf

    There are huge ocean cycles that form a sine wave every 60 years. And right now, we are at the point where we were in the 1950s where things were getting cooler for a few decades and some thought there would be an ice age in the 1970s.

    P.S. Lawrie: Is there more than one group that does adjustments?

  47. Werner Brozek says:

    “There are huge ocean cycles that form a sine wave every 60 years. And right now, we are at the point where we were in the 1950s where things were getting cooler for a few decades and some thought there would be an ice age in the 1970s.”

    I’m sorry but that link presents a paper with a very fundamental error. The tropospheric hotspot is a signature of warming regardless of the source of warming, and we’ve clearly had warming over the past 30 years. Remember the saying “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”

    So, this Dr Evans is claiming there is warming and no hotspot so that just doesn’t jive. Sorry but this paper would never make it through peer review. It’s also heavily laden with acrimonious language that should never appear in a scientific paper. You know how annoyed Anthony gets at people for using the term “denier” on his blog? A 26 page paper that uses the term “alarmist” 16 times… To me that suggests the paper is far from reliable.

    I will read the paper in full but first perusal is raising numerous red flags.

  48. Lawrie Ayres says:
    January 4, 2011 at 12:36 am
    Whatever these graphs show they don’t show what the warmers told us to expect; a gradual increase in step with CO2 emissions. Clearly they don’t.

    NK says:
    January 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    The UAH data does not validate the GISS/IPCC models and is badly correlated to atmospheric CO2 levels. one thing that CAN’T be deduced is that CO2 drives world-wide temps and AGW will have catatrophic consequesnces. (sic)

    DaveF says:
    January 4, 2011 at 3:06 am

    Rob Honeycutt 10:36pm:
    10 years’ data of global warming was all Dr Hansen had when he set in motion the train of events that led to the formation of the IPCC.
    ________________________________________

    Ha ha, well, 2 things. 1 – CO2 levels ought to eventually correlate with a stable equilibrium temperature, not induce some odd in-step straight temperature increase with no variation from other causes; and 2 – correlation of CO2 and temperature were never the basis for the theory of GW, it was the physics of it.

  49. What Hansen has NOT done, is acknowledge problems with the temperature data source. As a scientist, his conclusions are in question if siting problems are not considered in the numbers he uses. I do not want to hear that he has “adjusted” for that, as it compounds the errors. So does “smoothing” ( especially at 1200 km scales ). He has shown HOW he does his adjustment, but no justification as to WHY he has made those adjustments to specific station data. What rational is there for adjusting older temperatures colder and newer ones warmer if not to fit a preconception? This is not good science, but good propaganda. It should be obvious to anyone that Hansen clearly has an agenda, and it is not a good one.

  50. David Ball says:

    “It should be obvious to anyone that Hansen clearly has an agenda, and it is not a good one.”

    That is quite an amazing leap of logic that, seems to me, more fits the conclusion that you want to come to. It seems to me that when you look at all the data sets together, adjusted for their different baselines, you get an astonishing consistent picture. I’m not sure where the agenda is.

    Honestly, this is why I love science. Regardless of your agenda, or my agenda, or Hansen’s agenda… the data are going to tell us the truth. I give kudos to all the scientists involved in this issue – Hansen, Santer, Spencer and Christy, alike – because ultimately they are all looking for the same answer. The right answer.

  51. Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm
    The leap is yours. A guy who gets arrested trying to stop the “death trains” is going to give you his unbiased opinion. Oookaaayy, ….. If you love science as you claim, explain Hansen’s “adjustments” for us all. His “adjustments” are in the wrong direction regarding UHI. That is some AWESOME science there boyo. Want some more?

  52. I have absolutely had it with these sheltered academics. If civilization ever collapsed, as they seem to be pushing towards, they would be screwed, blued and tattooed. Majority couldn’t hammer a nail if their lives depended on it. Pull your head out of your arse and remember what David Hoffer said on this very blog; “mankind has spent his entire existence trying to keep the outdoors out. Now they want to let the outdoors in”. WUWT? Come do some winter camping (sans modern gear) and we’ll see how long any of you “outdoorsy” types last.

  53. David Ball… If Hansen choses to protest something he believes is wrong or bad that is a personal decision separate from any science he does. You could argue that his political views affect his scientific work and you might be right. But the way science works is that wrong answers are eventually filtered out. They will not fit the data as they unfold. This is the fundamental element of science that has taken modern society to where it is today. Science removes inherent human biases in favor of physical reality.

    Whether a scientist could survive winter camping (though many of them do it for a living) or could hammer a nail (though many are master carpenters) has no bearing on the science they produce.

    Again, I point you to all four temperature data sets. Here.

    Please show me the bias. I honestly do not see it.

  54. David Ball… With regards to your inquiries, you’re setting up a no-win. If Hansen adjusts you ding him. If he doesn’t adjust you’d ding him. Do you apply the same logic to Dr Spencer when he adjusts his data. He obviously has done exactly that in this very post. Changing from a 20 year baseline to a 30 year baseline.

    Ultimately the results will play out among the various data sets. Each group has their rationale for managing their data the way they choose. All the groups adjust their data when warranted. If one of them is “cooking the books” in any manner then they are going to be the anomalous data set and suspect. It’s a kind of checks and balances system.

    Personally, I trust the scientific method and I trust all these scientists are doing their work as they best see fit. In the end the physical reality of climate will be very clear.

  55. “Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 4, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Please show me the bias. I honestly do not see it.”

    NASA released data showing that, globally, November 2010 was the warmest on record.”
    However is this value skewed? See the attached set of graphs showing how the four major data sets, which includes two satellite sets, compare with each other: http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/2010temperatureanomalies.png

    GISS says November 2010 was the warmest November on record. The other three disagree.
    GISS says 2010 may be the warmest year on record. The other three disagree.
    GISS says July and August had lower anomalies than October and November according the graphs. The other three disagree.

    By the way, the November Hadcrut3 number is not on this graph, but it was 0.431.
    See: http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/12/hadcrut3-2010-will-be-2nd-5th-warmest.html
    A quote from the above:
    “It just happens that since the ClimateGate, Jones’ team is indicating a much lower warming trend than Hansen’s team: Phil Jones’ HadCRUT3 dataset is attributing November 2010 the coolest rating among Novembers and among the four datasets – with a 0.43 °C global anomaly, it was the 7th warmest November – while the GISS dataset says that November 2010 was the warmest November on record.

    The satellite datasets sit in between: November 2010 was 3rd for UAH and 6th for RSS.”

  56. I am impressed that you are so trusting of the fox guarding your henhouse. I’m just not that trusting. It is strange that the scholars I know are a LOT different than the scholars you seem to know. Anyway, it is really funny to see you guys spinning so furiously. You blame the skeptics for the sea change in public opinion, yet it is the hoisting by ones own petard that has been your undoing. The “we predicted this all along” is hilarious !! I welcome the judgement of history, as you do. It would be difficult to accept that one has been made useful, but one of us most assuredly has.

  57. Thank you for posting the data sets, but it surprises me that it did not occur to you that these are monitored here constantly. What you must think of us, … shame.

  58. @Honeycut

    Sorry, the motives of some of the scientists you mention may be pure. But, Hansen has demonstrated that he has an agenda and if truth inconveniently interferes with his agenda, he will remake the truth to fit his agenda. He hasn’t been a scientist for a long time.

  59. Rob Honeycutt 8:42:
    “He had 100+ years of temperature reconstructions…..”
    So he would have been making a fuss about global warming ten years earlier when he had 90+ years of data to go on. Right?

  60. Rob Honeycutt says: January 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm
    Rob, you do realize that the ‘adjustments’ Hansen makes are more than changing a baseline reference, he actually changes the data from the past, as well as adjusting current temperatures the wrong direction to compensate for UHI?!

    Putting Hansen in the same class of scientific integrity as Spencer and Cristy is a joke, I am not familiar enough with Santer’s work to make a relative assessment.

  61. @Steve Keohane

    You do realize that Spencer and Cristy defended their inaccurate satellite temp data for almost a decade before they were finally persuaded it was wrong and that the past data all had to be “adjusted” … don’t you?

  62. mike g… Honestly, it doesn’t matter if Hansen is evil incarnate itself. If he is wrong, even if he manipulates the data all day long, then ultimately his results will be falsified. That is how the process works. Same goes for Spencer, Lindzen and others. Ultimately what matters is the BIG picture that results from all the work that ALL the scientists do collectively. Irrespective of any political bias, that is where the physical reality of this issue lay.

  63. Steve Keohane… I think you should ask Dr Spencer if he is ever required to adjust his data. Go ask the folks at the CRU or RSS. As with anything, if you spot errors they have to be corrected.

  64. David Ball says:

    “Thank you for posting the data sets, but it surprises me that it did not occur to you that these are monitored here constantly. What you must think of us, … shame.”

    Well then, if you are watching the data so closely you should be able to point to me the bias in Hansen’s data. I’m still not seeing it.

  65. Steve Keohane says:

    “Putting Hansen in the same class of scientific integrity as Spencer and Cristy is a joke.”

    Again, every scientist is human. All humans have their biases. That is why the scientific process works. Whether you think that Spencer and Christy have more integrity or I think Hansen has more integrity does not matter. Physical processes do not care one wit about our who we like better.

    The truth is not in our political inclinations. The truth will be in the collective data.

  66. Werner Brozek says:
    January 3, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Thank you, I don’t disagree with what you are saying and only used one data set because this thread is about that one. Of course it is 0.013c, just using 0.014c with reference to the post I replied too previously, so this person couldn’t mistake the value I was referring too.

    Actually both these values are very likely to be lower because the warmth from the Pacific where El Nino originates is circulated towards the pole, eventually warming other ocean regions too.

  67. Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1970/to:2011/plot/uah/from:1970/to:2011/trend/plot/rss/from:1970/to:2011/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1970/to:2011/offset:-0.15/plot/gistemp/from:1970/to:2011/offset:-0.23

    Rob,

    Look at that carefully, the GISS in the earlier period was often one of the coolest, over the last decade it is easily the warmest. The baseline has changed between the GISS and all the rest. The reason being is because it makes up more data only over the past decade compared with the rest. Especially the GISS has no control to compare with other decades, so the 2001-2010 decade was the warmest of the only data set that exists for that decade. Similar for Hadley too with changing data sources for different time periods, but it doesn’t show the errors as bad.

  68. Matt G…

    The only thing the baseline does is change the zero axis. It doesn’t affect the data in any way. What we have with this composite chart is, overall, four data sets showing virtually exactly the same thing. There is little divergence between the data sets. The satellite sets tend to show higher highs and lower lows I suspect because they are more sensitive to short term fluctuations.

    If you add in all the trend lines for the data sets what you see is that GISS and CRU are showing almost identical warming over the total series. RSS shows slightly less warming than those two and then UAH shows less cooling than RSS.

    Now, I’m not going to speculate on who is right. Potentially the ALL are correct in that they are all tracking and parsing the data differently.

    What we see, though, is that these data all agree in general on warming over the past 30 years. Squint as hard as you want at tiny nuances, it won’t change the overall trend.

  69. My most fervent hope is there will be no raising of the debt ceiling in congress and that NASA/GISS will be one of the resulting casualties.

  70. mike g says:

    “My most fervent hope is there will be no raising of the debt ceiling in congress and that NASA/GISS will be one of the resulting casualties.”

    Sounds like you are more in this as a vendetta than for scientific discovery. If Hansen is cooking the books then let him die on his own sword. If he’s not, then it will become obvious as the cards play out over the next decade.

  71. Rob Honeycutt says:
    January 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Changing the baseline doesn’t do much to the recent data, but when this changes every decade it makes a significant difference when comparing with much earlier data in the series. The problem has never been so much how they compare with other data sets of recent times, but longer periods that the satellites don’t cover. Still over recent data that little change is only needed to produce records when the others don’t show it. That is simply why it is done to get as much warming from the data as it is possible. With the temperature changes involved just in the tenths of a degree, this change makes a difference.

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