UAH Global Temperature Report: September 2013 – up

While NASA GISS is offline, there’s no shutdown at UAH. From Dr. Roy Spencer:

The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for September, 2013 is +0.37 deg. C (click for larger version):
UAH_LT_1979_thru_September_2013_v5.6

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 21 months are:

YR MON GLOBAL NH SH TROPICS
2012 1 -0.145 -0.088 -0.203 -0.245
2012 2 -0.140 -0.016 -0.263 -0.326
2012 3 +0.033 +0.064 +0.002 -0.238
2012 4 +0.230 +0.346 +0.114 -0.251
2012 5 +0.178 +0.338 +0.018 -0.102
2012 6 +0.244 +0.378 +0.111 -0.016
2012 7 +0.149 +0.263 +0.035 +0.146
2012 8 +0.210 +0.195 +0.225 +0.069
2012 9 +0.369 +0.376 +0.361 +0.174
2012 10 +0.367 +0.326 +0.409 +0.155
2012 11 +0.305 +0.319 +0.292 +0.209
2012 12 +0.229 +0.153 +0.305 +0.199
2013 1 +0.496 +0.512 +0.481 +0.387
2013 2 +0.203 +0.372 +0.033 +0.195
2013 3 +0.200 +0.333 +0.067 +0.243
2013 4 +0.114 +0.128 +0.101 +0.165
2013 5 +0.083 +0.180 -0.015 +0.112
2013 6 +0.295 +0.335 +0.255 +0.220
2013 7 +0.173 +0.134 +0.212 +0.074
2013 8 +0.158 +0.111 +0.206 +0.009
2013 9 +0.367 +0.342 +0.392 +0.192

The Effect of Convective Oscillations On Tropospheric Temperature
I sometimes get asked why the tropospheric temperature variations are so large on a month-to-month basis. As I have mentioned before, these are usually due to natural oscillations in convective heat transfer from the ocean surface to the atmosphere. Just how large are these variations? The global average rate of energy transfer by moist convection (precipitation systems) has been estimated to be around 100 Watts per sq. meter. Since satellite (SSM/I) measurements of global oceanic rainfall have a monthly standard deviation of 3%, this equates to ~3 W/m2 monthly variations in convective heating of the troposphere. A quick calculation using the heat capacity of air will show that 3 W/m2 of more (or less) heating will raise (or lower) the tropospheric temperature by about 0.2 deg. C (assuming no other energy exchanges are affected). This is indeed the approximate size of the month-to-month variations in tropospheric temperature that we observe.

Note: In the previous version (v5.5, still provided to NOAA due to contract with NCDC) the temps are slightly cooler, probably due to the uncorrected diurnal drift of NOAA-18. Recall that in v5.6, we include METOP-A and NOAA-19, and since June 2013 they are the only two satellites in the v5.6 dataset, whereas v5.5 does not include METOP-A and NOAA-19.

Popular monthly data files:

uahncdc_lt_5.6.txt (Lower Troposphere)
uahncdc_mt_5.6.txt (Mid-Troposphere)
uahncdc_ls_5.6.txt (Lower Stratosphere)

From the UAH press release by Phil gentry and John Christy:


Sept2013_tlt_bar

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade
September temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.37 C (about 0.67 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.34 C (about 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
Tropics: +0.19 C (about 0.34 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for September.
August temperatures (revised):
Global Composite: +0.16 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.11 C above 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.21 C above 30-year average
Tropics: +0.01 C above 30-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)
SEPTEMBER2013_map

Notes on data released Oct. 3, 2013:

Compared to seasonal norms, in September the coolest area on the globe was south of South Africa in the southern ocean, where temperatures in the troposphere were about 2.49 C (about 4.48 degrees F) cooler than normal, said Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The warmest area was in the Wilkes Land area of the east Antarctic, where tropospheric temperatures were 5.20 C (about 9.4 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms.
Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:
http://nsstc.uah.edu/climate/

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data is collected and processed, it is placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.
– 30 –

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48 Responses to UAH Global Temperature Report: September 2013 – up

  1. Latitude says:

    probably due to the uncorrected diurnal drift of NOAA-18.

    Does everything have to be retroactively corrected?

  2. Roy Spencer says:

    Latitude, if you know a way to correct problems BEFORE they happen, I’d like to know. ;-) It usually takes months of retrospective data before a problem becomes obvious. Then, you have to decide the best way to fix it, etc.

  3. Dag F says:

    Why is temperature reported as an anomaly?
    That indicate that a normal temperature exists.

    Why not just report temperature in: Kelvin K in accordance with the International System of Units?

  4. Mark Bofill says:

    Roy Spencer says:

    October 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Latitude, if you know a way to correct problems BEFORE they happen, I’d like to know. ;-) It usually takes months of retrospective data before a problem becomes obvious. Then, you have to decide the best way to fix it, etc.

    Gosh, that’s an easy one Dr. Spencer. Just project the problems with a GCM. Voila!

    /sarc

  5. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    IPCC can do it!!! They can do anything with numbers!

  6. JJ says:

    These monthly UAH reports are informative, but a little dry.

    They would be a lot more entertaining if, say, there was a third or fourth order polynomial best-fit to them, so that we could get a feel for what the trend to date looks like.

    :)

  7. geran says:

    September was indeed above “normal” where I watch temps (mid-continent, US).

    It’s good to see my tracking system agrees with UAH–I must be doing something right….

  8. Bob Tisdale says:

    Sorry. The NOAA NOMADS system didn’t update this week, so I don’t have a preliminary September 2013 sea surface temperature update. The most-recent update was for Mid-September, using weekly data:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/mid-september-2013-sea-surface-temperature-anomaly-update/

    Additionally, Jo Nova asked me to throw together a few questions the media should be asking the IPCC. Here are my suggested questions about the hiatus:
    http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/questions-the-media-should-be-asking-the-ipcc-the-hiatus-in-warming/
    And Joanne’s cross post:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/10/bob-tisdale-six-questions-the-media-should-be-asking-the-ipcc/

    Regards

  9. Green Sand says:

    Having watched the northern sea surface temps running “warm” for the whole of September the global increase from last month is not a surprise. However the NH being lower than the SH is.
    For the first 2 weeks to 18th Reynolds SST had NH running at approx +0.50C and the SH at around +0.10C?

    http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_daily.php?plot=ssa&inv=0&t=cur
    http://nomad1.ncep.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/pdisp_sst.sh

  10. Jquip says:

    “Latitude, if you know a way to correct problems BEFORE they happen, I’d like to know. ;-)”

    Simple, design better tools. Been the way of things since man started thinking a chunk of rock was a good hammer.

  11. Latitude says:

    “problems”……is that code for retroactively adjusting temperatures?

    sorry, I’m over sensitive to all these re-writing history adjustments…I guess

  12. Definitely felt 3/10th of a degree warmer than usual.

  13. Jquip says:

    Latitude: “sorry, I’m over sensitive to all these re-writing history adjustments…I guess”

    AP — Today was the official publication of the eagerly awaited experiment from Michelson and Morely that confirmed the Aether Theory. Morley stated, “This is exciting confirmation of physics with great importance to understanding how aether torque effects the atmosphere and climate.”

    When asked his response to Professor Einstein’s claims that the team had manufactured their data, he responded, “Well let me be clear, Einstein is a teacher, not a physicist. He’s well known for his physics-denial and pseudo-scientific papers. If he were a scientist he would know that these adjustments were necessary to correct differential aether dragging and vortices that arise from asymmetries of mass and geometry in the interferometer.”

    Speaking of future plans, Morely enthused that “The results were suprisingly not perfectly expected and we are eagerly awaiting the next round of grant funding to further our knowledge of the Aether and it’s impacts on human life.”

  14. RC Saumarez says:

    The second figure is interesting. There seems to be a relatively flat period ubtil the el Nino event and then a second relatively flat period. I’m sure this has been commented on many times but it is very visually striking in this plot.

    The implication is that a linear fit to the entire record is obviously inappropriate because the residual would not be randomly distributed around the “best fit” line. Again, I’m sure this has been pointed out many times but it hadn’t struck me so forcibly. To say that this is natural variation imposed on a linear increase doesn’t really add to our understanding.

  15. Caleb says:

    The lack of hurricanes hoisting huge amounts of heat up to the verge of the stratosphere, where some can be gobbled up by outer space, may be keeping us a bit warmer, however I suspect that the result will be a warmer Atlantic ocean, which will clash with arctic outbreaks, and give us some really big east coast nor’easters, (and those things get even huger when they get up to Labrador, where few live.) That will balance things out.

  16. R. de Haan says:

    [snip - way off topic and off color - Anthony]

  17. Genghis says:

    Mr. Spencer,

    You say that the heating in the atmosphere is due to increased convection (I agree), Would a series of Hurricanes and Typhoons cause a net heating or cooling by comparison?

  18. Brian H says:

    The anomaly is up! Head for the hills! The Killer Warmth is a-comin’!

  19. Jim G says:

    Jquip says:
    October 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    “Latitude: “sorry, I’m over sensitive to all these re-writing history adjustments…I guess”

    AP — Today was the official publication of the eagerly awaited experiment from Michelson and Morely that confirmed the Aether Theory. Morley stated, “This is exciting confirmation of physics with great importance to understanding how aether torque effects the atmosphere and climate.”

    When asked his response to Professor Einstein’s claims that the team had manufactured their data, he responded, “Well let me be clear, Einstein is a teacher, not a physicist. He’s well known for his physics-denial and pseudo-scientific papers. If he were a scientist he would know that these adjustments were necessary to correct differential aether dragging and vortices that arise from asymmetries of mass and geometry in the interferometer.”

    Speaking of future plans, Morely enthused that “The results were suprisingly not perfectly expected and we are eagerly awaiting the next round of grant funding to further our knowledge of the Aether and it’s impacts on human life.””

    The Michelson Morley experiment was conducted at my alma mater in 1887, a short time before I attended that school, as my children would say, and it gave evidence that there was no aether, which gave rise to the original concepts of relativity. I am therefore confused by your quotes and assume they are tongue in cheek.

  20. Toto says:

    Isn’t it time to drop the “Mt. Pinatubo cooling” label?

  21. Bill Illis says:

    The lower troposphere warming trend going back to 1958 versus the IPCC hindcast/forecast from 1860 to 2100.

    Discrepancies are apparent.

    http://s8.postimg.org/ndzekc3t1/Lower_Trop_Warming_Trend_1850_2100_Sept13.png

  22. RACookPE1978 says:

    Bill Illis says:
    October 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    1. But doesn’t that graph leave open what the spikes down were in 1883 and 1904 – if volcanoes were properly edited out of the trend?

    2. Is the 0,0 point set at 1952?

  23. Jquip says:

    Jim G — “I am therefore confused by your quotes and assume they are tongue in cheek.”

    Rather, that’s what we would expect from Michelson-Morley if they practiced science in 1887 as they do today.

  24. D.I. says:

    WOW! 370 thousandths of a degree.
    Did I detect It?
    Yes a Fly landed on me,and soon took off.

  25. Adam says:

    Is it just me or does it feel slightly insane to be so worried about +/- tenths or a degree changes?

    Really? We can’t cope with a change in global average temperature of 0.3 Celsius? I do not understand why anybody at all cares about this issue. It is insane. Wake me up when it is 10 degrees warmer on average for at least a year.

  26. Luke Warmist says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    Thank you. I always look forward to your concise summary.

  27. Alec, aka Daffy Duck says:

    Interesting, noaa update their sst graphic today!
    http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2013/anomnight.10.3.2013.gif

    But their arctic stuff isn’t available

  28. SAMURAI says:

    Let me just say what everyone is thinking… CRAP!!

    Actually, I figured September’s UAH’s anomaly would be higher than August given the incredible (some would say, “unprecedented”, which isn’t true as Bob Tisdale’s excellent analysis shows) increase in North Pacific and North Atlantic SSTs in September.

    I’ve noticed that towards the end of September, these SST anomalies have decreased, but they still remain high, with some areas in Northern Pacific still as high as 4.15C above average.

    This is simply the Earth doing what it does; seeking equilibrium.

    The trend for RSS’s TLT anomalies has been flat since October of 1996, and even with a number of months above the .22C flat trend line will not affect this overall 17-year pause in TLT warming.

  29. Ric Werme says:

    Dag F says:
    October 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    > Why is temperature reported as an anomaly?

    So it can be reported as a conveniently small number.

    > That indicate that a normal temperature exists.

    Average temperature! It’s extremely rare that some temperature is “exactly average”. In fact, it’s quite abnormal. You can report a normal range of temperatures, but don’t expect much support for claiming a normal temperature.

    > Why not just report temperature in: Kelvin K in accordance with the International System of Units?

    Because conveniently small numbers are convenient. Perhaps you can create a shadow website that tracks WUWT but has all temperatures listed in Kelvins. Or Kelvin K, though I’ve never seen that in any SI documents I’ve read.

  30. James at 48 says:

    I realize it is a visual of a limited data set … in any case, it would appear that ever since about 2000, the ENSO signal have been getting a lot more washed out by either noise or some other higher frequency harmonic or component. Perhaps it is a characteristic of the early part of a negative PDO phase. Or something else entirely.

  31. anna v says:

    September was also above normal where I am, Greece, lovely summer temperatures. And then first of October came with temperatures way below average and forecasts of cooler than average for next week.

    In addition, the swallows gathered in our area and left two weeks early, usually they leave about mid October. Of course it was a funny summer without many insects but I always think they might have a way to forecast weather ahead since they are so vulnerable to storms when crossing the Mediterranean to Egypt and Libya.. This time they gathered about five days before the present front.

    The coming and leaving of swallows is used by folk weather forecasters to predict coming weather. They now predict a very cold winter.

    Since birds do have a way of sensing the magnetic fields to orient themselves, I wonder whether they can use it to forecast storms coming down the pipe. After all it takes days for the fields to build up to thunderstorms and the lightnings move slowly from west to east. For example this lightning front coming to us in about a week.

    Then the folk correlation becomes “early storms, early winter”.

  32. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Bill Illis says: October 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    Bill,
    Should the curve in the CO2 graph not be reversed, i.e. so that it approaches a horizontal line with time? Have you used the quadratic inverted, or am I mixing up my terms?

  33. Chris R. says:

    To anna v:

    Nothing wrong with folk correlation. People notice patterns. When
    centuries empirical data are gathered, general trends can easily be
    seen without use of complicated models.

  34. Steven Kopits says:

    Roy -

    Sept. seems like a pretty warm month to me. Are there any broader conclusions that we should draw from this? Do you think this pre-sages a return to a longer warming trend?

  35. beng says:

    Hmm. Most of the warming this month is localized in Antarctica, Canada & the Barents Sea.

  36. steve says:

    just a layman here, but if The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperatures were rounded to a whole degree it would be a straight line right? no change at all really.

  37. phlogiston says:

    My guess is that temps will gradually rise till the new year, when they will fall sharply in a major La Nina episode. 2007 showed you can get a La Nina starting from neutrality.

    The NH-SH asymmetry is starting to look interesting.

  38. Bill Illis says:

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    October 4, 2013 at 2:54 am
    Bill Illis Should the curve in the CO2 graph not be reversed, i.e. so that it approaches a horizontal line with time? Have you used the quadratic inverted, or am I mixing up my terms?
    ———————
    The IPCC line is the actual multi-model mean of the climate models which submitted RCP 6.0 runs to the IPCC. It is very close to a function Temp C Anom = X.X * ln(CO2) – YY.Y . Really. Some people think the temperature response is a magic property that somehow appears in the climate models when it actually appears to just be a mathematical function (and the climate models have the seasonal cycle increasing in the future versus today.

    It does start to approach a horizontal as time goes on, another fifty years or so. We are just in a particular part of the overal curve of Ln(CO2) warming trend which is close to linear right now. The AR4 mean had a little more flattening in it than AR5 has.

    Now my Ln (CO2) warming trend for the warming from UAH-RSS-HadAT is just flatter to start with. It will also move towards flat in a few years.

    Another issue is the CO2 level in 2100. It is going to be around 680 ppm in the year 2100 versus the true doubling level of 560 ppm around the year 2065. So all these lines have CO2 continuing to increase. Equilibrium temperature is reached somewhere around 20 years after the CO2 level is reached (and another 0.1C or so in the far future as Albedo is impacted.) So if one was thinking just the pure doubling level all the lines would move to virtually flat in 2100 if CO2 reached 560 ppm in 2065 and then stayed there.

  39. Bill Illis says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    October 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm
    Bill Illis says:
    October 3, 2013 at 5:03 pm
    1. But doesn’t that graph leave open what the spikes down were in 1883 and 1904 – if volcanoes were properly edited out of the trend?
    2. Is the 0,0 point set at 1952?
    ————————–

    Technically, the IPCC hindcast/forecast has the impacts of volcanoes still in it while the UAH-RSS-HadAT warming line has the impacts of volcanoes removed.

    So not a perfect comparison for all years but the last impact of volcanoes is gone by 1995, so they are perfectly comparable afterward. (the IPCC is trying to blame low level nearly continuous volcanoes now for some of the warming hiatus but this is baloney. These small volcanoes go off 3 or 4 times a year, every year, ever since the Earth has had a solid surface or let’s say since 2.0 billon years ago assuming volcanism was higher in the early Earth. They are a continuous feature of the climate and always have been. The large stratospheric volcanoes which have a real impact on temperatures only happen about 5 times a century on average. There was actually none between 1912 and 1963 while we had 2 in 1982 and 1991).

    The baseline for the charts is really the 1958-2012 average. The average of all months in these years for both lines is 0.0000C. Since the troposphere only shows a small amount of warming over this period, I’ve always assumed it means the temperatures in 1900 were not really -0.5C but closer to -0.2C and the warmers have played around with the historic temperature data. Its like another check on the tampering beyond comparing original raw records to the current adjusted ones. The satellite/radiosonde trends say at least 0.3C of the adjustments were not justified.

  40. Brian H says:

    Jim G says:
    October 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Jquip says:
    October 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    “Latitude: “sorry, I’m over sensitive to all these re-writing history adjustments…I guess”

    AP — Today was the official publication of the eagerly awaited experiment from Michelson and Morely that confirmed the Aether Theory. Morley stated, “This is exciting confirmation of physics with great importance to understanding how aether torque effects the atmosphere and climate.”

    When asked his response to Professor Einstein’s claims that the team had manufactured their data, he responded, “Well let me be clear, Einstein is a teacher, not a physicist. He’s well known for his physics-denial and pseudo-scientific papers. If he were a scientist he would know that these adjustments were necessary to correct differential aether dragging and vortices that arise from asymmetries of mass and geometry in the interferometer.”

    Speaking of future plans, Morely enthused that “The results were suprisingly not perfectly expected and we are eagerly awaiting the next round of grant funding to further our knowledge of the Aether and it’s impacts on human life.””

    The Michelson Morley experiment was conducted at my alma mater in 1887, a short time before I attended that school, as my children would say, and it gave evidence that there was no aether, which gave rise to the original concepts of relativity. I am therefore confused by your quotes and assume they are tongue in cheek.

    Let me ‘splain. He’s distorting the historical record to conform with how ‘science’ is conducted by AGW [practitioners]. A spoof.

  41. Brian H says:

    typo: practitioners

  42. John Franco says:

    Can anyone tell me how the satellite instruments detect temperature? Are they detecting a proxy? If they are detecting a proxy, how is the proxy calibrated to temperature? As a layman, whenever I see a temperature anomaly plot, I never know if I am looking at US surface temperatures, weather balloon temperatures, sea surface temperatures, worldwide temperatures, or any of another million temperature data sets. I know that they are all put through data processing, that at least in the case of the US surface temperature data sets have produced upward trends that are not really there. I was wondering if the satellite proxy was calibrated using processed data sets with the artificial trends. I was wondering if the satellite temperature data was just following whatever it was calibrated with.

  43. John Franco says:

    I had another question about the satellites. How do we have a 30 year record, when satellites don’t last that long? Are multiple satellite temperature data sets being stitched together? How do we know we are properly scaling data from one satellite to the next? It would be nice if the plots would show the date ranges of each contributing satellite’s data.

  44. JP says:

    @John Franco,

    The following Wiki link gives a very general explanation of how the UAH/RSS remote sensing satellites work. In short they use the IR spectrum to extrapolate tropospheric temperatures (low, mid, and upper tropospheric temps). The program began in 1979, so it is actually a 34 year data set that uses a 30 year mean. IMHO it is far superior to surface based temperatures for obvious reasons (coverage -especially over the oceans, where surface based measurements are scarce; as well as depth – the satellites measure tropospheric temps and not surface temps). There are some technical issues that arise; but, unlike other scientists in the Climate/Atmospheric Science field, Dr Spencer is forthright in pointing these out.

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

  45. JP says:

    @Caleb

    You bring up a good point concerning the dearth of Atlantic tropical storm activity. There is a huge amount of heat energy that either gets expended during the life of the tropical storm, or is transported poleward in the upper jetstream via the low level convergence/high level divergence couplet of tropical storm activity.

  46. Mike Rossander says:

    Good afternoon, Anthony. I know you maintain a very permissive approach to comments and I generally appreciate that but the off-topic obscenity posted above by R. de Haan at October 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm seems beyond even your tolerant standards.

    REPLY: Fixed thanks, none of the filters caught this for some reason – Anthony

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