UAH global temperature, down a bit in August

UAH Global Temperature Update for August, 2011: +0.33 deg. C

By Dr. Roy Spencer

The global average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly for August, 2011 retreated a little, to +0.33 deg. C (click on the image for a LARGE version):

Note that this month I have taken the liberty of adding a 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel). This is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

Here are the stats…we are beginning to see cooling in the tropics from La Nina conditions which are re-emerging there:

YR MON GLOBAL NH SH TROPICS
2011 1 -0.010 -0.055 +0.036 -0.372
2011 2 -0.020 -0.042 +0.002 -0.348
2011 3 -0.101 -0.073 -0.128 -0.342
2011 4 +0.117 +0.195 +0.039 -0.229
2011 5 +0.133 +0.145 +0.121 -0.043
2011 6 +0.315 +0.379 +0.250 +0.233
2011 7 +0.374 +0.344 +0.404 +0.204
2011 8 +0.325 +0.323 +0.327 +0.157

The global sea surface temperatures from AMSR-E through the end of August are shown next. The trend line is, again, for entertainment purposes only:

About these ads

53 thoughts on “UAH global temperature, down a bit in August

  1. Thanks Dr Spencer. Another example of your sterling work. Always entertaining, adherent of the scientific method and striving for accuracy.

    Busy day, huh?

  2. As long as we are just playing around with the numbers here, what about a Fast-Fourier Transform (FFT)? Nothing better for resolving periodic influences…

  3. Looks like a slope of about +0.13C/decade.
    I wonder if the small increase in the trace gas has anything to do with it…

  4. PhilM says:
    September 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm
    =================================
    Since 1979 and 2002? yeah, that’s it….

    …what is funny is the zero “normal” line…..move it up and we’re below “normal”….move it down and we’re above “normal”…….LOL

  5. Could be the classic “head and shoulders” shape well known to stock market chartists. Only time will tell of course…

  6. Really Dr. Spencer … whether it’s the 13-month average or a 3rd order polynomial, anyone beyond the 3rd grade ought to know that all that those lines do is indicate in simpler terms, what has happened, not what will happen. Okay, maybe the 4th grade.

  7. Instead of adding a polynomial fit, why don’t you (and everyone else, for that matter) try some Fourier series fits (instead of Taylor series fits)?

  8. Some Guy says:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    “Instead of adding a polynomial fit, why don’t you (and everyone else, for that matter) try some Fourier series fits (instead of Taylor series fits)?”

    To avoid frequency reflections (Gibbs phenomenon) you would have to use a window function like a Hamming window, for instance; this would necessarily reduce the weight of current data to near zero, so you won’t see the influence of the last few months/years very much. A trend line or especially a moving average is much better to see the development up to now. (You stay in the time domain instead of switching to the frequency domain)

  9. DirkH says:
    September 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm
    “To avoid frequency reflections (Gibbs phenomenon) ”

    Correction: The Gibbs phenomenon describes not frequency reflexions, but “waviness” of the transform. Sorry.

  10. Everyone give a big hello to DeSmog blog’s most prolific commentor, PhilM. Phil is an Aussie and a huge fan of Julia Gillard. If you engage him in conversation you will have no doubt that he considers himself the smartest man in the room. Hey, Phill! The trend line for any meaningful “climate change” legislation here in the states is still 0.0 per decade.

  11. Note that this month I have taken the liberty of adding a 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel). This is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

    Thank you for the disclaimer – I go apoplectic when someone tries to project a polynomial fit. I don’t even like them near the end points. Whether or not my apoplexy has any entertainment purpose is unclear.

  12. Gee, a curving fit. You’d never know that, as Ric Werme states in this train, that trying to find a non-linear fit to something that is known in the very long term and the very short term to have sinusoidal-like cycles is a foolish thing and leads to foolish expectations that, over time, rises are followed by falls that are followed by rises, sometimes bigger than others.

    Please tell me why we can’t say that there are somewhat curivlinear cycles going on now that went on in the past and probably will do so in the near future. Is it an anal-rhetorical problem with mathematical rules of certainty because we don’t have enough cycles in the box for the statistician to wrap a program around?

    Correlations are the first stage of scientific discovery, even if it is only that the causation is two steps back. When my right fingers go numb, I know that it is not a problem with my fingers, but wih the scar damage in my neck vertebrae, but I sure as hell use that correlation to know when it is time to go to chiro.

    If the pattern is there and it is useful, use it. Work out the reasons later (like CERN CLOUD).

  13. Thank you for the math added just for grins; it confirms my thoughts based on observing your data about once a week. Keep up the good work. TNX

  14. “Ric Werme says:

    Note that this month I have taken the liberty of adding a 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel). This is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

    Thank you for the disclaimer – I go apoplectic when someone tries to project a polynomial fit”

    However, if you want to measure the RATE, then a nth-order polynomial is your best friend.
    this is a fit of HadCrut3, using a polynomial, which is information free (and so user bias free). After you do the fit all you do the calculus in you spreadsheet of choice:-

  15. Why the reticence about the curve? No theoretical line predicts anything until proven, but a theoretical sine is 99% more likely to match a natural pattern than a theoretical straight line.

    Nature doesn’t do lines, so any attempt to fit Nature to a linear trend is automatically illegitimate.

  16. Ric Werme says:
    September 2, 2011 at 3:13 pm
    “I go apoplectic when someone tries to project a polynomial fit.”

    Do you know why?

    At which point in mathematical studies do most people stop learning math do you think? :p

  17. It looks like the developing (returning) La Nina is “sticking out its tongue” at global warming:

    Furthermore, the BoM Monthly Subsurface Pacific Ocean Equatorial Temperature Anomalies down to 400 Meters show a strongly cooling equatorial Pacific:

    On this basis one would expect this month’s global UHA temperature downturn to be continued for a few months more. Plus a chilly NH winter ahead.

    Then the curve-fitting fun will really begin!

  18. Some Guy says:
    September 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm
    Instead of adding a polynomial fit, why don’t you (and everyone else, for that matter) try some Fourier series fits (instead of Taylor series fits)?
    -/———
    Assuming you are serious and not leg pulling, the answer is without multiple complete cycles to work on the transform result will be junk.

  19. Doug Proctor muses
    /——–

    If the pattern is there and it is useful, use it. Work out the reasons later (like CERN CLOUD).
    ———-
    So, since there is a 99% correlation between divorce rate and apple production, are you going to fix to divorce rate problem by banning the growing of apples or are you going to improve apple production by forcing everyone to divorce?

    I don’t think you have thought through the consequences of how tortuous the relationships between cause and effect can be.

    There have been popular books written on the pitfalls of statistical inference so I think you need to read a book.

  20. Dang, I sure hope it’s a sine wave (but still plan as if it’s a saw tooth on a longer period than shown in the graph).

  21. Roy W. Spencer says:
    September 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    I think I now remember why I stopped putting any trend line on these plots. :)
    ========
    CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heuer told Welt Online that the scientists should refrain from drawing conclusions from the latest experiment.
    “I have asked the colleagues to present the results clearly, but not to interpret them,”
    —-
    At some point, someone will have to express an opinion.
    God help them :)

  22. polistra says:
    September 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Nature doesn’t do lines, so any attempt to fit Nature to a linear trend is automatically illegitimate.
    ———
    Bad Storytelling. Light travels in straight lines. So just open your eyes.

  23. One interesting point is the rather sudden and increased divergence between SST and UAH.

    Since SST is a direct measurement, is it possible that the satellite measurement is suffering from error bias ?

  24. Lazy T says:

    “Bad Storytelling. Light travels in straight lines. So just open your eyes.”

    There are no straight lines in nature, including light paths. That went out with Aristotle. It’s all curves, all the time.

  25. LazyTeenager says:
    September 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    polistra says:
    September 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Nature doesn’t do lines, so any attempt to fit Nature to a linear trend is automatically illegitimate.
    ———
    Bad Storytelling. Light travels in straight lines. So just open your eyes.

    Light travels in straight lines. Therefore the earth is warming due to anthropogenic CO2. Sounds like you are a follower of the R Gates laws of logical inference.

    Is your name Sunny by any chance?

  26. reply to: Mike Mangan says: September 2, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Everyone give a big hello to DeSmog blog’s most prolific commentor, PhilM. Phil is an Aussie and a huge fan of Julia Gillard. If you engage him in conversation you will have no doubt that he considers himself the smartest man in the room. Hey, Phill! The trend line for any meaningful “climate change” legislation here in the states is still 0.0 per decade.

    Ok, why is it that on reading this PhilM intro, somehow immediately I could hear the theme song from “The Dating Game” with Mike as host Jim Lange (or maybe Jim Carey in a “Dating Game” skit) introducting one of the bachelors? Scary!

    Theme song:

    Typical Jim Lange introduction, for atypical contestants in this particular case:

  27. reply to: LazyTeenager says: September 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Doug Proctor muses If the pattern is there and it is useful, use it. Work out the reasons later (like CERN CLOUD).
    ———-
    So, since there is a 99% correlation between divorce rate and apple production, are you going to fix to divorce rate problem by banning the growing of apples or are you going to improve apple production by forcing everyone to divorce?

    A couple of my favs for “Correlation is Not Causation” have to be:

    Less Pirates Cause Global Warming, More Pirates Equals Less CO2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster#Pirates_and_global_warming

    Drinking 2+ cups of coffee per day = 1/2 the chance of suicide http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1996/03.14/CoffeeWontGrind.html (of course, this one may have panned out, but not sure)

  28. What surprised me was the claim by the UK Met. Office. Cooler than average for August. something that all U residents would have claimed without their help. Lots of low cloud reinforcing the Svensmark Theory.

  29. 2011 8 +0.325 +0.323 +0.327 +0.157

    If the figure for the global anomaly is + 0.325, why is it shown as +0.33 on the graph?

  30. CinbadtheSailor,

    Sunny is doing a parody of enviro-wackos, and no one does it better:

    “I’m determined that this is the week” [to stop using toilet paper], LOL!!

  31. That Sunny is a rollicking proverbial urine take. But she does raise my temperauture ever so slightly.

  32. Smokey,

    I know parody involves imitation, but usually with deliberate exaggeration.

    I think Sunny is closer to pure imitation.

  33. Mike Mangan says:

    PhilM, really? What’re the odds, eh? You are a warmist, no?

    Hey Mike!
    Ok, I’ve changed my epithet to make it easier for you to get your head around the difficult concept of two people on the internet having similar names….

  34. Rational Debate says:
    September 3, 2011 at 12:25 am
    reply to: LazyTeenager says: September 2, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Reply to both Lazy Teenager and Rational Debate, re correlating one thing to another without direct causation evidence is a bad and foolish thing:

    Both of you are engaging in the arguments of rhetoric that were raised in the early days of Greek philosophy. The idea that because a process CAN be abused is reason to avoid it being used.

    My objection is that patterns that are visible and easily worked should be used until they are proved to be unusable. I am a fan of the 19th century philosopher-thinkers who revolutionized both science and philosophy by contradicting the orthodox, faith-based view of the world by drawing conclusions from what they observed and following through with expectations based on data (hear you might say “history”). (Without computers and high-level math, by the way.) If what they predicted came true, then they worked out possible explanations. As long as the explanations continued to provide true visions of the future, they held to those explanations, though ready to change them at any time that observations failed to conform to expectations.

    The American philosopher William James clarified the philosophy of Pragmatism earlier worked up by Pierce (forget his first name). Truth, James said, is something we can never actually get to, the world being more complex than we can grasp at any time, and our abilities to find what we need being less than complete. The best we can get is close to the truth. As long as we recognize that, we will do just fine.

    “Truth” according to James and Pragmatism, has three parts: 1) that the new idea doesn not fundamentally violate what we already recognize as being true, 2) that the new idea leads to other, apparent true things that we would not recognize without the new idea, and 3) that it has `cash`value, a term meant to show that the new idea is useful. If the new idea has these three things going for it, we call it a `truth`and add it to our collection of things we know to be. Until something shows up to contradict it meaningfully, that is.

    (I know your rhetorical skills (by the way, Google `rhetoric`to find out why this way of thinking is grand for lawyers but not for discovering how reality is) will play hell with James` first concept, that the new idea can`t contradict previous `truths`, could be used to say the warmists are more right than the skeptics. Unfair (the trouble with rhetoric in general is that it uses `straw men`and cheap shots like ad hominem attacks to win arguments that reason and logic can`t). Previous truths – like the IPCC meme – were recognized as faith-based, not observation-based. Faith-based truths are immediately set aside and a type of understanding that is not being reviewed. That the earth was flat was an understanding much to the level that man and his activities signficantly affect the world climate: a type of intuitive knowledge, not data based. So let us pass on the rhetorical argument you might try to use at this point.)

    When I look to the temperature record and see patterns – of which there are so many, and which lead, by the way, to the concepts of the Milankovich theories of glacial cycles – I claim that we use the cycles as being meaningful until proven otherwise. Just because a claim can be made that patterns can be found in random data – like the temperature and number of pirates – does not mean that the pattern you are seeing is false. It means that SOME of the patterns you are seeing – like the pirates one – are false in the causative sense. I get that. I suggest, though, that the cycles we see in the temperature records ARE real and not random.

    Here the Pragmatic concept of truth arises. I say there are cycles that exist and are easily shown in the temperature record. Let us use those to predict the future. Do they work – that is what you need to know.

    The possibility of failure is not the same as the reality of failure. Random data can be coerced into patterns. Much is being done – in my eye – with computer simulations and statistical algorithms that is suspect ONLY because the patterns that are being found are so subtle that you MUST use your high-powered computational skills ad `p`type derivatives to know whether they are meaningful or not. In the climate science debate we are talking about big, big features. Global things, solar system things, catastrophically big things. If extreme subtlety is required to find the signatures of these big things, they do not exist. Bigfoot is not to be found hiding in a rabbit hole.

    So, read a book, you say. On Statistical Methods and Errors of Observation, I suppose. Been there. Once you are outside of a book and in the world, you see how observation is more solid than – in theory – it might be. The world churns on and on, doing its thing. Patterns emerge because in harmony requires less energy than chaos to maintain.

    Some of the patterns we see in the temperature record may reflect resonance rather than a simple driver. Resonance is the constructive interference of drivers. A hurricane that pulls up warm water when it was warm air that causes the hurricane could lead to a reinforcing cycle you could call a resonance pattern. (Not saying it does, just that there is a simple example.) The important thing is to recognize something that appears to be repetitive and significant and use it until you have hard evidence that it is a perception problem rather than a data problem.

    The IPCC fundamentally says that what climate did before is not what is happening now. That means that patterns of old are different from patterns now. The patterning of climate is unavoidable; if it is all random, neither side has an arguable position, and certainly not a predictive one. You can argue where patterns end and chaos begins, but even farmers in China 4000 years ago knew that cycles existed, and that knowledge of those cycles could be used to good benefit.

    So: I see cycles in the last 160 years of the temperature record. I do not think that Fourier analysis is inappropriate, especially if it gives us a prediction for the future that reflects powers bigger than man and his CO2. If CO2 is not a significant driver of our climate, then you can be assured that the actual drivers wax and wane with time in very serious patterns. Chaos does not rule the universe (though catastrophic events occur, called Punctuated Equilibrium in some circles).

    So before you tell me that observations of patterns is untenable, tell me why – outside of rhetorical, book-based arguments of potential problems – that these climate or temperature or sea current patterns are NOT indicators of time-related events in the World. The World of practice, not theory.

    By the by, has any study suggested that during colder times economic opportunities are less and therefore honest sailors resort to villainry to get ahead, or during warmer times there is so much sea commerce that well-fed but lazy, villainous sailors find piracy too easy to ignore …

  35. Smokey:

    ““I don’t think you have thought through the consequences of how tortuous the relationships between cause and effect can be.”

    You know, of course that plotting against PPM is totally dishonest and misleading. Why do you continue to do it. There are better skeptical arguments. Lindzen makes some. You should read him. That would require effort. You would learn that the effect is logrithmic. You would learn that the effect is lagged. And you might stop posting misleading charts. Mann and Jones never learned to stop misleading behavior, I hope you can.

  36. steven mosher,

    First off, that’s not my quote. And second, sorry about your humor impairment. Unfortunately, some folks are born without a funny bone. I was just having fun with LT’s comment. A Lindzen paper wouldn’t have had the same effect, would it?

    And third, what is misleading about that chart? It shows a declining T trend for those years vs a rising CO2 trend. Pretty inconvenient, eh?

  37. “I have taken the liberty of adding a 3rd order polynomial”

    A third order polynomial will always show this shape assuming the data has an odd order to it as opposed to an even order. It is leading to add this curve. One could have put a first order polynomial through it, showing a steady increase, and have lit up the comments section with accusations of warming bias. One could have put a second order fit through it and it would have projected even higher temperatures in the future. One could have put a sine wave with a period of thirty years through it and project oscillating temperatures around a mean. Whatever.

    Let’s just stick to the data, I say.

  38. mike g says:
    September 3, 2011 at 9:20 am
    @phlogiston

    Help me out. Sunny was using sarcasm cunningly, right? Nobody is that stupid.

    Its just superbly well observed parody. There is something even Tolstoy-esque about the depth at which Sunny comprehends and illuminates the psycology of precious and manipulative self-importance of the ideological crusader, the “witness my inner struggle for moral good and be intimidated and coerced by it” kind of strategy. She is smart, there is more to this than just being very funny.

Comments are closed.