Roy Spencer’s UAH report for March

See also Dr. Christy’s report from yesterday here

UAH Global Temperature Update for March 2012: +0.11 deg. C

By Dr. Roy Spencer

The global average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly jumped up in March, 2012, to +0.11 deg. C. as La Nina conditions in the Pacific Ocean waned (click on the image for the full-size version):

The 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.

Here are the monthly stats:

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 +0.327 +0.321 +0.332 +0.155
2011 9 +0.289 +0.304 +0.274 +0.178
2011 10 +0.116 +0.169 +0.062 -0.054
2011 11 +0.123 +0.075 +0.170 +0.024
2011 12 +0.126 +0.197 +0.055 +0.041
2012 01 -0.090 -0.057 -0.123 -0.138
2012 02 -0.112 -0.013 -0.212 -0.277
2012 03 +0.108 +0.128 +0.089 -0.108

As a reminder, the most common reason for large month-to-month swings in global average temperature is small fluctuations in the rate of convective overturning of the troposphere, discussed here.

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35 thoughts on “Roy Spencer’s UAH report for March

  1. The 3rd order polynomial does provide a good long-term average. It appears to show a maximum increase of 0.37 K over 30+ years, which is consistent with the skeptics estimate of a non-alarming +1 to +1.5 K per century.

    The start date of 1979 is at the end of a decade so cold people were worrying about another ice age. It sure is a good thing we’ve warmed up a little since then.

  2. Now Frank, we mustn’t draw conclusions from sea ice extent. It’s the volume we have to worry about and we all know the volume is decreasing at an alarming rate in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. “The entire cryosphere — all of it — is screaming about global warming”. So says Tamino and who are we to argue?

  3. All that “warmest March ever!” stuff is strictly lower-48, it’s almost always based on the notoriously corrupted NASA-GISS rendition, and it typically refers to the post-1950 timeframe (‘tho seldom stated).

    Essentially meaningless.

  4. I beg to differ says:
    April 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

    So is it or is it not the warmest march ever? The press is reporting it as such.

    No it is not – the Eemian was warmer:

    “The warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape (which is now tundra) in northern Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E. Hardwood trees like hazel and oak grew as far north as Oulu, Finland.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eemian

  5. So is it or is it not the warmest march ever? The press is reporting it as such.

    In specific portions of the US, perhaps. Elsewhere in the world (over most of the world) absolutely not. Note well the UAH anomaly — it isn’t enormous by any stretch of the imagination.

    The US has been warm in March because of how air has circulated across it — ordinarily we get cool air moving down from the northwest in bursts that last a fair amount of time and dominate the average, but instead our air has been coming more consistently out of the south and the arctic air has stayed home, keeping the pacific northwest colder and snowier than usual. I’m guessing that this in turn is associated with the change in the phase of the PDO.

    In NC spring has been warm, no doubt, but it was neither the earliest spring nor, I suspect, the warmest. I’m also still very much worrying about a late killing frost — there is plenty of cold air up north and we may yet get a dominant wave carrying it south. In three more days we’re due for nighttime temperatures in the 30′s, and that’s always risky.

    If one takes a peek at the 5,000,000 year sediment/proxy thermal record, the peak temperature of the entire Holocene is cooler than somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of the record. On the timescale of this curve, the last 10,000 years is a sharp spike back to temperatures close to the stable norm for the first 2 million years of this time frame (with no ice ages). We should be worrying about how to prolong this spike at all costs (which we probably cannot do, as we haven’t got a damn clue about the major factors that contribute to the observed bistability except to note that they are almost certainly beyond our control) because return to the cold phase dominant attractor would most certainly be a real catastrophe, where there is no evidence in the climate record that a still-warmer stable phase even exists for the Earth’s climate for any values of the functional controlling parameters, let alone a catastrophic one.

    rgb

  6. I beg to differ says:
    April 4, 2012 at 7:32 am

    So is it or is it not the warmest march ever? The press is reporting it as such.

    Remember to add on the thermometer record / satellite era etc. It certainly is NOT the warmest March ever.

  7. NOAA has the February 2012 as the 17th warmest.
    1954 was 4F warmer.
    1930 was 2.67F warmer.

    For March, the US might beat 1910 … finally.

    1910 50.56
    2007 48.45

  8. Thank goodness. With 6+ B people around, even something as minor as another 1985 could kill tens if not hundreds of millions.

  9. I’m with rgb on this one – with a number of worries added.

    The big question is about what happens when (not if) the bubble of warm air decides to pop.

    If it goes quickly, then we get a huge dose of very cold air blasting down through a bunch of warm and humid air. Lots and lots of unstable weather, to say the least.

    The other issue is about a big late-spring cold snap – that continues on to a mild summer (or even a cold one in the Midwest states) – then on to an early winter. Not good for agriculture, to say the least, especially if it stays dry through all of that.

  10. “The start date of 1979 is at the end of a decade so cold people were worrying about another ice age. It sure is a good thing we’ve warmed up a little since then.”

    Haha, not really. Some people might have speculated that another ice age was possible. But the decade was not cold. In the instrumental record of GISTEMP, it was the second warmest decade of all decades up to that point.

  11. “But the decade was not cold”

    Winters were cold.

    NOAA says 1979 was the coldest Winter in US history. 1978 was 7th. 1977 was 11th.

    1984 and 1985 were 18th and 19th coldest. 1982 was 22nd coldest.

  12. Albert says:
    April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am
    In the instrumental record of GISTEMP, it was the second warmest decade of all decades up to that point.

    Well, that’s GISTEMP. They’ve adjusted the pre-satellite anomalies so much it no longer agrees with history.

    (if you were intending to sarcastically point out the blatant lie that is GISTEMP, you need to add /sarc to the end of your post)

  13. sunshinehours1 says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:13 am
    NOAA has the February 2012 as the 17th warmest.
    1954 was 4F warmer.
    1930 was 2.67F warmer.

    For March, the US might beat 1910 … finally.

    1910 50.56
    2007 48.45

    ——————————————————————————————–

    Thank you sunshine we will get on the adjustments right away.
    signed NASA-GISS

  14. Can anyone point me towards the actual numbers that are potted on these graphs? I would really like to look at these numbers!

    Robin

  15. Albert says:
    April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

    “The start date of 1979 is at the end of a decade so cold people were worrying about another ice age. It sure is a good thing we’ve warmed up a little since then.”

    Haha, not really. Some people might have speculated that another ice age was possible. But the decade was not cold. In the instrumental record of GISTEMP, it was the second warmest decade of all decades up to that point.
    ___________________________________
    My cases of frost bite from the Sixties and Seventies tells me you are either nuts or blowing smoke. When you almost lose toes from walking to the school bus in minus 30F weather for days on end you remember it. When the snow is over your head you remember it. I also remember the hype about a comming Ice Age.

    George Kukla, together with Robert Matthews of Brown University, convened a conference in 1972 entitled “The Present Interglacial: How and When will it End?”, and reported it in Science magazine… [note the date]

    Kukla and Matthews alerted President Richard Nixon, and as a result the US Administration set up a Panel on the Present Interglacial involving the State Department and other agencies. None of us knew then that the mid-century cooling was about to be punctuated by a warming spell from the late 1970s to the mid 1990s…. [again note the dates]

    A more definitive confirmation of Milankovitch came in 1976, in a paper by Hays, Imbrie and Shackleton, using Shackleton’s data in the figure above. But long before either that paper or my own, there was widespread behind-the-scenes acceptance of Milankovitch, and Kukla, for one, was concerned about the implications…..

    George Kukla: Well almost all of us have been pretty sure that there were only four ice ages, separated by relatively long warm intervals. But now we know that there were twenty in the last two million years. And the warm periods are much shorter than we believed originally. They are something around 10,000 years long. and I’m sorry to say that the one we are living in now has just passed its 10,000 year birthday. That of course means that the ice age is due now any time.

    http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/next-ice-age/

    You might get away with rewriting history in other blogs but not here.

  16. sunshinehours1, you’re confusing winters in the US with the decadal average temperature for the whole world. And Gail Combs, you’re confusing your own personal experience of cold with the decadal average temperature for the whole world.

    Tom_R – don’t like GISTEMP? The story is exactly the same in the NOAA, BEST and HadCRUT data sets.

  17. “sunshinehours1, you’re confusing winters in the US with the decadal average temperature for the whole world. ”

    It isn’t the “decadal average” people remember. It is cold winters.

    Jan/Feb 1968 -0.550 -0.396
    Jan/Feb 1969 -1.138 -1.074
    Jan/Feb 1972 -1.041 -0.963
    Jan/Feb 1974 -0.506 -0.632

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/crutem3nh.txt

    Jan and Feb temperatures below -1 were quite unusual.
    Jan 1940 was -1.184 And then the next previous one was 1895.

    HADCET has 1979 as the 7th coldest winter. 1982 was 11th, 1985 was 15th

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/ssn_HadCET_min_sort.txt

  18. Albert says:
    April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am
    “Haha, not really. Some people might have speculated that another ice age was possible. But the decade was not cold. In the instrumental record of GISTEMP, it was the second warmest decade of all decades up to that point.”

    “Some people” like the CIA.

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/world-exclusive-cia-1974-document-reveals-emptiness-of-agw-scares-closes-debate-on-global-cooling-consensus-and-more/

    http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

  19. Albert says:
    April 4, 2012 at 4:33 pm
    Tom_R – don’t like GISTEMP? The story is exactly the same in the NOAA, BEST and HadCRUT data sets.

    So you’re saying that all three disagree with recorded history? And this doesn’t raise a red flag to you?

  20. Considering how much disruption, expense, and hassle has flowed from the fudging of data, it needs to be reclassified legally as a high crime, with extreme sanction. Once a fudger, never trust-worthy again, and better disposed of. I have a little list, there’ll none of them be missed …

  21. sunshinehours1, what people remember is irrelevant. People remember Captain Kirk saying “beam me up, Scotty” and they remember Ingrid Bergman saying “play it again, Sam”.

    Tom_R: they are recorded history. Please point me to the source of your alternative history.

  22. From Albert on April 4, 2012 at 4:33 pm:

    sunshinehours1, you’re confusing winters in the US with the decadal average temperature for the whole world. And Gail Combs, you’re confusing your own personal experience of cold with the decadal average temperature for the whole world.

    You’re going to have to explain what you mean by “whole world”. Northern hemisphere and Southern hemisphere winters are offset a half year. How do you look at global temperatures and pick out winters?

    Albert said on April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am:

    “The start date of 1979 is at the end of a decade so cold people were worrying about another ice age. It sure is a good thing we’ve warmed up a little since then.”

    Haha, not really. Some people might have speculated that another ice age was possible. But the decade was not cold. In the instrumental record of GISTEMP, it was the second warmest decade of all decades up to that point.

    NOAA-NCDC datasets, available near the bottom here. Using Land and Sea combined, decades defined from start of xxx0 to end of yyy9. When using monthly figures to derive a yearly amount, in a spreadsheet, I “adjusted” to compensate for the varying number of days in the month, figure * days in the month / days in the year, then summed those numbers for the yearly figure. Oh, and NCDC reported to four decimal places, go figure, so I’m using four as well.

    Monthly Northern Hemisphere anomalies
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.land_ocean.00N.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    Decade start year – °C anomaly
    1910 -0.2995
    1900 -0.2707
    1890 -0.2508
    1880 -0.1936
    1920 -0.1262
    1970 -0.0417
    1950 0.0032
    1960 0.0336
    1930 0.0440
    1940 0.0791
    1980 0.1523
    1990 0.3777
    2000 0.6300
    Northern Hemisphere, from 1880 (record start) to 1979, 1930-9, 1940-9, 1950-9, and 1960-9 were all warmer than 1970-9. Thus 1970-9 was not the second warmest decade on record in the Northern Hemisphere at that point. Heck, it was colder than the preceding four decades!

    Monthly Southern Hemisphere anomalies
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.land_ocean.90S.00N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    Decade start year – °C anomaly
    1900 -0.3037
    1910 -0.2738
    1920 -0.2240
    1890 -0.2091
    1930 -0.1163
    1880 -0.0954
    1950 -0.0430
    1940 0.0141
    1960 0.0389
    1970 0.1579
    1980 0.3015
    1990 0.3953
    2000 0.4854
    1970-9, warmest Southern Hemisphere decade at that point.

    Annual Global anomalies
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/annual.land_ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    Decade start year – °C anomaly
    1900 -0.2917
    1910 -0.2868
    1890 -0.2362
    1920 -0.1727
    1880 -0.1532
    1930 -0.0291
    1950 -0.0175
    1960 0.0350
    1970 0.0503
    1940 0.0593
    1980 0.2199
    1990 0.3825
    2000 0.5571
    1970-9, second warmest decade for the globe at that point.

    So in the Northern Hemisphere, where there were more people who lived in more-developed countries naturally taking more interest in Northern Hemisphere temperatures, 1979 ended the coldest decade of the last half century. No wonder people were worried about a coming “ice age”. You have to add in the Southern Hemisphere to get “second warmest”.

    To toss it out there, using the separate Annual Global land and ocean datasets, on land the 1970′s were beat by both the 1930′s and 1940′s, for the ocean the 1970′s were warmest.

    By Monthlies, NH Land, again the 1970′s were beat by both the 1930′s and 1940′s. NH Ocean, 1970′s were the coldest of the half century, beaten by 1930′s, 1940′s, 1950′s, and 1960′s.

    SH Land, 1970′s second warmest, beat by 1960′s. SH Ocean, 1970′s warmest.

    So in the Northern Hemisphere, the oceans were getting colder, overall it was colder, scientists and others were worried it was all going to get colder, perhaps with a return of continental glaciations. If it wasn’t for the Southern Hemisphere ocean temperatures pulling up the global averages, the 1970′s would be known as a rather cool time that justified the worries of everything getting colder.

    Of course I’m working on “hindsight” here, using current records that have worked in relatively recent Sea Surface Temperature reconstructions into the historical record. Way back then, what was actually known about those SH SST’s and if they even had the records to know the 1970′s really were that warm, is another topic. And how much one can trust such reconstructions given the dearth of historical measurements, is yet another.

  23. Albert says:
    April 5, 2012 at 4:27 am
    Please point me to the source of your alternative history.

    Here’s one from the warmist camp:

    http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2008-02-20-global-cooling_N.htm

    Even in this warmist backtrack to deny any past concern for Global Cooling, they admit that the ’70 were cold:

    “The ’70s was an unusually cold decade. Newsweek, Time, The New York Times and National Geographic published articles at the time speculating on the causes of the unusual cold and about the possibility of a new ice age.”

    Of course that was back then, before cAGW required history to be re-written:

    Dropping past temperatures to make the current anomalies look higher is an ongoing trend, and the adjustments always are made in the direction that increases warming. Winston Smith has been busy with the temperature records.

  24. If the global temperature is rising from February to March (’12) this does not mean that Greenland must be green again in July. If the global temperature is decreasing from February to March (’11) this does not mean a new Ice Age is coming to our doors. People look precise what is morality wrong as playing throw dice in a pub in a state but no one of the experts have noticed that the cubes have six dots on each of the six planes, so that there is no morality needed, just fun.

    Science is to study the whole, the essence of nature. People do not look on the frequencies but only on the highest temperatures or on the lowest on their digital thermometer, as it is a winner game. As eclipses are not coming from eating dragons on the ecliptic, heat oscillations are not coming from gas dragons or ENSO dragons; ENOS makes no heat in Watt. There is no chaos dragon in science, it would mean that nature has no order, but that is impossible. Studying the frequencies in the solar system from millennia to month it is in proper harmony with the global heat flow, measured and given to us by Dr. Roy Spencer. This holds also for the next millennia for free.

    Thanks.

    V

  25. What is the smooth, long-period oscillation line representing? I can’t find a label.

    Thx.

    Ed

  26. Ed, ‘Mr.’ Jones says:
    April 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    What is the smooth, long-period oscillation line representing? I can’t find a label.

    Thx.

    Dr. Roy Spencer says: “”The 3rd order polynomial fit to the data (courtesy of Excel) is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as having any predictive value whatsoever.”

  27. Has anyone ever seen the entire UAH data plotted on a graph by Roy Spencer with a simple linear trend (since it is based on a simple linear scale – time)?

    I’ve never seen him produce one for his own blog or this one. Just wondering why his apparent aversion to doing so?

    Here’s what it looks like, in case anyone was wondering: http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/trend

  28. Why do you want to assume that there is ANY “simple linear trend” with respect to time, when temperature cycles up and down naturally, as proved by the last 2400 years of cyclical rises and falls?

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