UAH global temperature anomaly for May – down again, near zero

UAH_May09-520

Graph by Anthony (click for larger image) text by Dr. Roy Spencer from his blog here

May 2009 Global Temperature Update +0.04 deg. C

June 4th, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

YR MON GLOBE   NH   SH   TROPICS

2009   1   0.304   0.443   0.165   -0.036

2009   2   0.347   0.678   0.016   0.051

2009   3   0.206   0.310   0.103   -0.149

2009   4   0.090   0.124   0.056   -0.014

2009   5   0.043   0.043   0.043   -0.168

May 2009 saw another drop in the global average temperature anomaly, from +0.09 deg. C in April to +0.04 deg. C in May, originating mostly from the Northern Hemisphere and the tropics.

A reminder for those who are monitoring the daily progress of global-average temperatures here:

(1) Only use channel 5 (”ch05″), which is what we use for the lower troposphere and middle troposphere temperature products.

(2) Compare the current month to the same calendar month from the previous year (which is already plotted for you).

(3) The progress of daily temperatures should only be used as a rough guide for how the current month is shaping up because they come from the AMSU instrument on the NOAA-15 satellite, which has a substantial diurnal drift in the local time of the orbit. Our ‘official’ results presented above, in contrast, are from AMSU on NASA’s Aqua satellite, which carries extra fuel to keep it in a stable orbit. Therefore, there is no diurnal drift adjustment needed in our official product.

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Wonder what folks will do when we hit negative …

Flanagan

Even following Dr Spencer’s tips, the AMSU-A daily temperature predicted a much larger positive anomaly. I really wonder now how useful these daily temperature really are…
I think the most useful tool would be here the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis like the following one, presented on a French website
http://www.climat-evolution.com/article-32112504.html
One can clearly see that this reconstruction shows very positive anomalies at the level of the poles, and a relative cooling of the northern hemisphere (as mentioned). This, at least, is consistent with the satelite data which do not cover extreme latitudes and, thus, not the poles.
I think one should be really careful then with the purely satelite-based anomalies. For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite would still indicate nothing. Does anyone know wether GISS and HadCrut take some polar staiton data into account?

Rhys Jaggar

This is very interesting.
Has anyone been putting together comparisons between temperature anomalies in:
i. the troposphere
ii. land surface
iii. Sea Surface
to see how these differ and, hence, how different slants on ‘climate change’ may be coming about?
In particular, are there any indications that trends in e.g. the troposphere show correlation to lagging changes in e.g. land surface?
This would be very valuable as people start to try to understand how all the different measurements which scientists have been making, often apparently in isolation, may contribute to an overall picture of earth’s temperature cycles, fluctuations and anomalies……..

Alex

Seems as though David Archibald’s May 2009 temperature prediction didn’t materialise… Oops… (O_o)
maybe next year..

Mike Bryant

” For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite(sic) would still indicate nothing.”
That is probably what’s happening… Why didn’t I see it?

So David Archibald was wrong by about 0.5C – better luck next time!

Alex

Flanagan,
“For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite would still indicate nothing. Does anyone know wether GISS and HadCrut take some polar staiton data into account?”
100 degrees above average?? That sounds like a Hansen “temperature data correction” to me!
Taken from a WUWT article from 7 May 2009:
‘Once again there is a rather large discrepancy between our monthly anomaly (+0.09 deg. C.) and that produced by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS, +0.20 deg. C). We (John Christy and I) believe the difference is due to some combination of three factors:
1) we calculate the anomalies from a wider latitude band, 84S to 84N whereas RSS stops at 70S, and Antarctica was cooler than average in April (so UAH picks it up).
2) The monthly anomaly is relative to the 1979-1998 base period, which for RSS had a colder mean period relative to April 2009 (i.e. their early Aprils in the 1979-1998 period were colder than ours.)
3) RSS is still using a NOAA satellite whose orbit continues to decay, leading to a sizeable diurnal drift adjustment. We are using AMSU data from only NASA’s Aqua satellite, whose orbit is maintained, and so no diurnal drift adjustment is needed. The largest diurnal effects occur during Northern Hemisphere spring, and I personally believe this is the largest contributor to the discrepancy between UAH and RSS.’

Ozzie John

Not sure how the maths ae calculated here but can someone explain how the global average is 0.043 when the tropics are -0.168 and both NH & SH anomolies are 0.043.
Am I reading this correctly ?

“I think one should be really careful then with the purely satelite-based anomalies. For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite would still indicate nothing.”
OK, but who could care less if the temperature is -30C when it should be -31C at these extreme latitudes? It’s not going to melt the ice, and global warming is only a worry, if it’s a worry, where people actually live and work.

Pat

So, it *IS* cooler? Well, as I now live in Sydney, Australia, I thought I was actually living in Wellington, New Zealand, at the Brass Monkey cafe!!!

John Silver

How is the zero level defined?

Tamara

Flanagan:
“For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite would still indicate nothing.”
Outrageous hyperbole really is embedded in our culture.

Flanagan, at the risk of stating the obvious, there are no stations near the N Pole! GISS does use the data from the station at the S Pole (and a glance at the GISS data shows that the claim of large positive anomaly there is completely false) .
What HadCrut currently uses, nobody knows, because they refuse to release this information (see latest post at climate audit).

Tom_R

Flanagan
The polar hole the AQUA satellite leaves is roughly the size of Lake Michigan. That’s unlikely to tilt the global temperature significantly by it’s omission.
BTW, how does your French site gather it’s polar temperatures? Are they actual measurements, or WAGs?

chris y

Flanagan- “For example, the poles could be 100 degrees above average and the satelite would still indicate nothing. Does anyone know wether GISS and HadCrut take some polar staiton data into account?”
As far as I recall, GISS uses GCM’s to estimate polar temperatures, adds them to the database and then reports them as ‘measured’. HadCrut does not have polar coverage. This was discussed last year either here or at CA.
As for your example of the poles being 100 degrees above average- in the spirit of your silly example, they could also be 100 degrees below average.
Either way, last year Hansen taught us, after having to clean up an error in the GISS database, that the U.S. anomaly ‘does not matter’ in the global picture because it is such a small fraction of the global surface area. Surely Hansen’s philosophy also applies to the polar regions, say 80 – 90 north or south, whether they are warming or cooling?
“I think one should be really careful then with the purely satelite-based anomalies.”
What do you suggest as a more accurate, reliable alternative to satellite data, which provides global coverage every day, measured from MSU sensor platforms?

Bill Illis

Here are a few charts showing how the Satellite temps stack up against the IPCC’s forecasts from the most recent IPCC report AR4.
First, here is the forecast from 2000 to 2100 for the A1B GHG scenario from the IPCC. [AR4 rebased the temperature data to the 1980 to 1999 average so this chart actually starts about 0.2C below the normal anomaly we are used to seeing for today.] Effectively, just add 0.2C to it so it makes sense compared to the numbers we are used to.
The A1B scenario is the most commonly used GHG growth scenario. It is closest to the track we are on now. CO2 reaches 715 ppm by 2100 under this scenario which is perhaps a little high but closer to expectations than the other IPCC scenarios.
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/earth/climate/images/ipcc_many_models_sm.gif
The trend to date from the Satellites show two important points.
– first, they indicate that the older temperature records may have been adjusted to increase the trend prior to 1979 by about 0.3C.
– second, the trend indicates that global warming will be much less than the IPCC forecast – only 0.78C to 1.03C temperature increase by 2100 or just 0.7C more to go in the next 90 years.
RSS versus the IPCC’s ensemble mean A1B scenario.
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/9985/rssvsar4.png
UAH versus the IPCC (a little lower than RSS).
http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8716/uahvsar4.png

Ubuntu

NSDIC’s Dr Mark Serreze is carving WUWT a new one on Climate Progress.
Ubuntu

Rhys Jaggar (04:37:29) :
This is very interesting.
Has anyone been putting together comparisons between temperature anomalies in:
i. the troposphere
ii. land surface
iii. Sea Surface
to see how these differ and, hence, how different slants on ‘climate change’ may be coming about?
In particular, are there any indications that trends in e.g. the troposphere show correlation to lagging changes in e.g. land surface?
[…]

If you plot the UAH Lower Trop. “Land” and “Ocean” data, you can see the two curves track fairly well up until 2003; with “Land” having a bit higher amplitude variation. Since 2003, the two curves begin to divert. The “Ocean” curve starts a gradually steepening cooling trend in 2003; while the warming trend of the “Land” curve diminishes and then begins a shallow cooling trend in 2005.
The Northern vs. Southern Hemispheres has a similar relationship. The NH warmed more than the SH from 1979-2003…The SH started its cooling trend in 2003 and the NH in 2005.
It looks like something happened to the oceans in 2003…The Climate Shift of 1976 was linked to a sharp change in oceanic upwelling. I wonder if there are any papers out there on sharp increases of upwelling in 2003.

jeroen

Flanagan
the fact that de ice sheat in de northern and southern poles are around normal suggest that the red parts on your french website are false. And you alsow take a average of 68 to 96. that is very suspicious because in the early 70’s you had coulder weather and in 96 you had a sunspot minimum and colder weather.

Ubuntu

Climate Progress declares war
“Watts, who is apparently in the tinfoil-hat and black helicopter club, that poster reveals dark purposes:”
Tinfoil-hats and black helicopters?
Ubuntu

It is important to remember that – while ALL of the before-zero (pre-satellites) historical temperatures have been “adjusted” dowward by Hansen’s cronies (thereby increasing the apparent global warming trends) – NONE of the post zero-satellite temperatures CAN BE “adjusted” any direction BECAUSE the satellite temperatures create an honest baseline.
So, if we compare the above record to the ORIGINAL (pre-Hansen) surface temperature record, what do we find for rural and small town sites? Once UHI effects are removed, what id left? How much have we cooled since 1935-1945?

Allan M R MacRae

Rhys Jaggar (04:37:29) :
A partial answer to your question (LT vs ST data) at
http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/
The increase of ST over LT is about 0.07C per decade, probably due to UHI, etc.
I think Roy Spencer wrote something recently here or on his own blog that included SST.
______________________
Alex (04:52:26) :
“Seems as though David Archibald’s May 2009 temperature prediction didn’t materialise… Oops… (O_o)”
A little info please Alex – what was David’s prediction – about -0.3C or so?
I really don’t remember, but David was still much closer to reality than the IPCC’s catastrophic warming nonsense.
_______________________________________
To all – notice in recent years how LT anom drops around this time of year?
We are freezing here in Western Canada – temperatures should drop below freezing this weekend. Snow is forecast for the California mountains.
A bit more global warming alarmism would be welcomed here, if it were accompanied by some actual HEAT!
It would be entirely appropriate if all these warmist imbeciles froze in the dark. It’s the rest of us I’m worried about.

Miles

Dug up from the archives at RC –
1. [Response: Science is about making predictions and seeing if they pan out. This is a relatively new endeavour and has a number of issues (the limits to predictibiilty of ENSO, other sources of variation etc.). But if you look at that data more in detail, there is definite skill – ie. the forecast outperforms persistence (r=0.74 vs 0.36), OLS regression = 0.98 compared to 0.5 (though the bias is less, -0.01 compared to 0.07). It might not be perfect, but the variations are being tracked quite well. Given that, their estimate of relative warmth in 2009 is probably a good bet. – gavin]

Pamela Gray

Science discussions and debates sit around facts, figures, and plausible theories. Any opposition blog that uses such phrases as “tinfoil hats and black helicopter club” can be dismissed and ignored, even if occasional posts there offer food for thought. They are carving on themselves.

An Inquirer

Ozzie John (05:25:12) :
“Not sure how the maths ae [sic] calculated here but can someone explain how the global average is 0.043 when the tropics are -0.168 and both NH & SH anomolies are 0.043.”
Ozzie, if I understand your question correctly . . . the NH, SH and tropics are not separate subsets. The tropics overlap with both the NH and SH. Apparently, the higher northern and southern latitudes had higher anomalies to offset the negative tropics anomaly.

Flanagan

Hi everybody,
of course, the 100 degrees figure was just for fun. The thing is, for what I remember, that the fastest warming regions are around the poles (even if the temperatures do stay below 0 in most parts), so I’m not sure data based on everything-but-the-polar region is really the best choice. RSS should have similar problems.
The French estimate is based on forecasting models for the polar regions, including boundary conditions known from other data set.

MrCPhysics

“Watts, who is apparently in the tinfoil-hat and black helicopter club, that poster reveals dark purposes:”
When you can’t argue the facts one resorts to ad hominem attacks. One shouldn’t, but often one does, especially when “one” is a climate “scientist.”
The disgustingly low level of dialog on AGW is going to one day be the shame of ALL of us who consider ourselves scientists. The agenda-driven activist “scientists” have forever tarred the profession for the rest of us.

For those interested, I normally post monthly (OI.v2 SST) global, hemispheric, individual ocean, and NINO3.4 SST anomaly data on the 1st or 2nd of each month. Here’s this month’s:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/06/may-2009-sst-anomaly-update.html
Regards

Mike Bryant

Climate Progress believes in “Mark’s Arctic Death Spiral!” Anagrammed = “Mark’s Patriarchical Edicts”… I didn’t even know the sea ice was alive…

MarkoL

Reported today that in Helsinki Finland we are experiencing the coldest weather in 60 years. So much for GW again.

MikeEE

Flanagan (04:36:06) :
Yes, the incomplete coverage of the Earth should be considered, but most regular readers of this blog will know that this has been covered before. See:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/08/putting-a-myth-about-uah-and-rss-satellite-data-to-rest/
In it Dr. Christy is quoted to say: (I hope my formatting experimentation works)

As the spacecraft rolls over the pole it does so at an inclined orbit so
that the highest nadir latitude is about 82 deg with the scanner looking
out a bit closer to the pole. Since we apply the scan line data mostly to
the nadir area directly below the satellite, the actual data only go to
about 83 deg. In the gridded data I interpolate over the pole, but I
wouldn’t trust the data too much beyond 85 deg.
MikeEE

MikeEE

…and I should have included…
The coverage is such that almost all of the Earth is seen only a few percent is missed.
MikeEE

Ken

“How is the zero level defined?”
The mean of all temperatures 1979-1998.

David Y

Totally OT here:
Wait for it, everyone…Based on a piece in Yahoo news this morning, some AGW blowhard will, invariably, blame Flight 447’s tragic demise on global warming/climate change/etc.
“Meteorologists said the Air France jet entered an unusual storm with 100 mph (160 kph) updrafts that acted as a vacuum, sucking water up from the ocean. The moist air rushed up to the plane’s high altitude, where it quickly froze in minus-40 degree temperatures. The updrafts also would have created dangerous turbulence.”
Any bets on when Al Gore/Hansen/other says something along the lines of: “Before global warming, airliners never had to deal with this”? I give it 48 hours more (unless I just haven’t seen it yet).

Ron de Haan

Ok, David Archibald was a little too optimistic with his temperature projection but…temperature is still going down. It obviously takes more time before the effects of the current solar minimum materialize.
We are in a learning process here and there is no scientist in the world who made any progress without engaging a trial and error process.
I miss the respect for the trial and error process with some of the posters here and I absolutely reject the mentality of burning down people who stick out their necks publishing about subjects to be discussed here.
Without people like David Archibald, and many others, WUWT would be a blank page and nobody would learn anything.

Frank Mosher

Anthony. Several people have criticized Archibald’s prediction. ” Those that are without sin cast the first stone”. Before someone is critical of anothers public prediction, ISTM, they should have also made a very public prediction that was substantially more accurate. A little humility goes a long way. fm

Keith W

The May AMSU anomaly tracks with surface temperatures away from urban heat islands close to the Canadian border (44’62” N). We are 4.6% above the long term heating degree day averages for this year with snow down to 2000 feet last week and frost again in the valleys last night.

Joe Black

1998 was such a gift to the AGW alarmists who like to terminate analysis around AD 2000.

George DeBusk

Dave Middleton,
Where can I find the UAH Lower Tropospheric data separated by land and ocean? I have only seen global data and data segregated by latitude bands.
GHD

Milwaukee Bob

Ubuntu,
Climate Progress declaring war on WUWT is like Monaco declaring war on the US.
But if you need me Dr. Watts, I have my T-hat (with a brain underneath it) and my old beat-up physics books ready to go.
MKE Bob

Milwaukee Bob

Oh, and a really good slip-stick and even and abacus.

Frank Mosher

Anthony. Is this ” Flanagan”, the same one who said “hot” in California ? NWS is predicting 4-7 inches snow for Ebbetts, Carson and Tioga passes this evening. There are a lot of hikers/backpackers that will be huddled in their tents this evening, cursing their misfortune. Up your way, i see Redding broke a rainfall record yesterday. fm

Claude Harvey

Somehow, this one doesn’t look quite right. The chart in this post appears to be Spencer’s April chart. When I go to Spenser’s site, his May numbers are not yet posted. If you check out the real-time ASMU temp charts at various altitudes, they appear to show temperatures for May ’09 higher than May ’08.
What am I missing here?

Philip Mulholland

Flanagan (04:36:06) :
Thanks for the URL. For those of us who don’t read French very well, here is a Link to the site via Google Translate .

“Tinfoil-hats and black helicopters?”…It’s a conspiracy theory jab.
“Tinfoil-hats” refers to people who wear such things to prevent the CIA, space aliens or the UN from using mind control devices on them or reading their thoughts. See the movie Signs for an example.
“Black helicopters” refers to mysterious black helicopters (presumably UN helicopters) that were supposedly snooping on Americans in the 1990’s. Some of the “black helicopter” crowd also claimed that the Clinton Administration was putting bar codes on the reverse sides of highway signs so that the UN invaders could navigate our highways – UN invaders drive on the wrong side of the road…I guess. I have a friend who literally believed in this sort of crap.
Basically they are referring to Mr. Watts and WUWT as a bunch of conspiracy geeks because we are skeptical of the AGW fraud. It’s sort of a compliment. It’s like a Creation Science blog referring to a Stephen J. Gould blog as being in “the tinfoil-hat and black helicopter club.”

Ron de Haan

Flanagan, get rid of your Toyota Prius and get a life.

David Y

re: My OT post at 7:51:40
Aha! The ad hominem specialists at ClimateProgress already beat me to it:
http://climateprogress.org/2009/06/04/marc-moranos-banner-headline-did-global-warming-help-bring-down-air-france-flight-447/
Sorry, no prizes for anyone.

Ubuntu (06:25:51) :
NSDIC’s Dr Mark Serreze is carving WUWT a new one on Climate Progress.
Cute. Dr. Romm lobbed Dr. Serreze a softball and the newly-appointed director of NSIDC responds with an ad-hominem attack on Anthony Watts. Great Science going on over there at Climate Progress. Rather than explaining why NSIDC and arctic-roos graphs are different, the best Dr. Romm can say is “They do things a little differently”.
I’m sure there is no connection whatsoever, but it is interesting how that arctic ice melt line started going down when Dr. Serreze was apponted.

Ron de Haan

Exclusive: New NSIDC director Serreze explains the “death spiral” of Arctic ice and the “breathaking ignorance” of blogs like WattsUpWithThat
From: http://climateprogress.org/
Congratulations Anthony, I regard it as a compliment when professional warmistas take aim at WUWT.
It’s like an open invitation.
It’s only a pitty that they don’t allow you to post a comment if it does not support their overheated ideas.

J.Hansford

Very interesting.
CO2 is going up, but temperature is staying down…. Not what the Hypothesis of AGW says is supposed to happen…. Not to mention the fact that no computer model modeled this outcome…. They are not very good at proving their assertions on climate are they?
Keep up the good reporting Anthony.
I had a quick look at ” Climate Progress” Ubuntu, and was a bit appalled at what passed for Journalism there. WUWT is very Fair and Balanced compared to that blog I reckon.