Spencer: Something’s Fishy With Global Ocean Temperature Measurements

Image from; FreeDigitalPhotos.net Dr. Roy Spencer sent me a notice of his most recent post in email. He offers an invitation for anyone to help “figure this one out”. The result could be “worse than we thought”. – Anthony

(edited 8/23/09 0710 CDT: Changed plots & revised text to reflect the fact that NCDC, not CRU, is apparently the source of the SST dataset; also add discussion of possible RFI interference in satellite measurements)

(edited 8/22/09 1415 CDT: added plot of trend differences by month at bottom)

By Dr. Roy Spencer

In my previous blog posting I showed the satellite-based global-average monthly sea surface temperature (SST) variations since mid-2002, which was when the NASA Aqua satellite was launched carrying the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOS (AMSR-E). The AMSR-E instrument (which I serve as the U.S. Science Team Leader for) provides nearly all-weather SST measurements.

The plot I showed yesterday agreed with the NOAA announcement that July 2009 was unusually warm…NOAA claims it was even a new record for July based upon their 100+ year record of global SSTs.

But I didn’t know just HOW warm, since our satellite data extend back to only 2002. So, I decided to download the NOAA/NCDC SST data from their website — which do NOT include the AMSR-E measurements — to do a more quantitative comparison.

From the NOAA data, I computed monthly anomalies in exactly the same manner I computed them with the AMSR-E data, that is, relative to the June 2002 through July 2009 period of record. The results (shown below) were so surprising, I had to go to my office this Saturday morning to make sure I didn’t make a mistake in my processing of the AMSR-E data.

Global-SST-NCDC-vs-AMSRE

As can be seen, the satellite-based temperatures have been steadily rising relative to the conventional SST measurements, with a total linear increase of 0.15 deg C over the 7 year period of record versus the conventional SST measurements.

If the satellite data are correct, then this means that the July 2009 SSTs reached a considerably higher record temperature than NOAA has claimed. The discrepancy is huge in terms of climate measurements; the trend in the difference between the two datasets shown in the above figure is the same size as the anthropogenic global warming signal expected by the IPCC.

I have no idea what is going on here. Frank Wentz and Chelle Gentemann at Remote Sensing Systems have been very careful about tracking the accuracy of the AMSR-E SST retrievals with millions of buoy measurements. I checked their daily statistics they post at their website and I don’t see anything like what is shown in the above figure.

Is it possible that the NCDC SST temperature dataset has been understating recent warming? I don’t know…I’m mystified. Maybe Frank, Chelle, Phil Jones, or some enterprising blogger out there can figure this one out.

UPDATE #1 (8/22/09)

Here’s the trend differences between the satellite and in-situ data, broken out by calendar month. The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon.

Global-SST-NCDC-vs-AMSRE-trend-diff-by-month

UPDATE#2 (8/23/09)

Anthony Watts has suggested that the radio frequency interference (RFI) that we see in the AMSR-E 6.9 GHz data over land might be gradually invading the ocean as more boats install various kinds of microwave transmitters. While it’s hard for me to believe such an effect could be this strong (we have never seen obvious evidence of oceanic RFI before), this is still an interesting hypothesis, so this week I will examine the daily 1/4 deg. grids of AMSR-E SST and compute a spatial “speckle” statistic to see if there is any evidence of this kind of interference increasing over time. I should note that we HAVE seen more RFI reflected off the ocean from geostationary TV communication satellites in the AMSR-E data in recent years.

UPDATE#3 (8/24/09)

OK, gang, this is what I found out today before having to leave work. I downloaded the monthly grids of SST from NCDC (both their v2 and v3b products), and I computed the monthly anomalies at each gridpoint relative to the June 2002 through July 2009 period (since that is the period we have AMSR-E measurements for).

I then differenced the later part of the period (since 2007) with the earlier part (during and before 2004), separately for the NCDC and AMSR-E products.

Then I differences THOSE differences.

What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe. The problem seems to diminish and then go away poleward of about 30S latitude, and poleward of 45N latitude.

This does NOT look like an RFI issue…it is too uniform spatially. Someone has made a major boo-boo…and I hope it isn’t me. 🙂

Advertisements

188 thoughts on “Spencer: Something’s Fishy With Global Ocean Temperature Measurements

  1. My article “global cooling has arrived, global warming is dead” commissioned by the London branch of the Institute of Physics for their Autumn newsletter has been suppressed and will now not be published. The real reason is because it opposses global warming! This story hit the Times Higher Education edition last week with the IOP saying they do not suppress articles. They say my article should have been peer reviewed. this is nonsense as none of the fifty groups in the IOP have ever had their newsletter articles peer reviewed! One does not have to be a scientists to follow my article. A similat article was published in the Belfast Telegraph on 13 May. See http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk click on environment and scroll down to 13 May.
    Reply: Is there some reason you didn’t just link directly to your article? ~ ctm

  2. Tom in Florida (11:49:17) :
    http://www.ssmi.com/amsr/amsre_sst_validation_statistics.html#amsre_sst_compared_to_in_situ_sst
    Look at the first chart comparing drifting bouys and moored ones. The drifing bouys throughout most of July show a consistantly higher reading. I am sure our more technical writers can determine if there is anything to this.
    Is this trend only for July? what about the previous months?
    Speculation: warm currents drag the drifting ones, which never sample the colder upwelling that the moored ones must at times by construction.

  3. You mention the CRU.Note the recentletter from R. C E Wyndham, co-signed by M. Khandekar and others sent to Professor Robock of the American Geophysical Union concerning the withdrawal from the net of data from CRU. In particulat they are concerned about the position of Dr P Jones who according to them does not permit independent examination of the data and again according to them also refuses to publish raw data. Is this true?

  4. We’ve had some changes in ocean circulation SST effects, e.g., PDO, AMO, AO, could this imply lack of appropriate coverage and overreliance on interpolation?
    SSTs this extreme should be having an effect on weather not observed this summer, e.g., Canada and corn belt US are well below norm indicating Arctic/Temperate interface is south of normal, the obverse of that expected.

  5. Dr. Roy
    Could the contraction of the atmosphere, driven by the very low solar cycle be influencing how the temperatures from Aqua are measured?

  6. Dr Spencer
    What’s fishy?
    1) First the concept of a global sea temperature is even more flawed than that of a global surface temperature.
    2) From buoys it is derived from an absurdly small number of data points-satellites have their own inherent problems.
    3) The sea continually mixes-a patch of warm water can shift from one hour to the next and either be read or drift away.
    4) Seven years is an absurdly short period from which to read any meaningful data
    Below is the executive explanation of changes and reconstruction of existing figures from 2008- which now excludes satellite data.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/merged-product-v3.pdf
    This is the detailed document from which the executive statement comes.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf
    It must be remembered that Historic global SST data is even more sparse than surface global temperatures. Both have their genesis in James Hansens’ 1986 document which seems to have aquired a factual scientific basis from which fractions of a degree are calculated.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/1987/1987_Hansen_Lebedeff.pdf
    We may know SST from extremely localised locations for a few decades-for example Plymouth UK- but it is surely not wise for us all to pretend this is a finely tuned science, and we know all the answerrs. Heck, we dont even know the right questions!
    In short, parsing nonsensical figures will result in nonsensical answers.
    Keep up the good work-I find your information very interesting.
    tonyb

  7. Dr Spencer
    Sorry, the above comments were phrased for the general audience we get here, obviously you already know all this stuff and much much more!
    Tonyb

  8. And how a trace gas like CO2 influences the ocean temperature again? The amount of CO2 dissolved surely has nothing to do with that.

  9. Orwell – “”He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.” ”
    Climate Science — he who controls the “adjustments” controls the “data”.

  10. My first reaction is to question Jim Hansen’s NASA. You know… Normal Anthropogenic Supplemental Adjustment, Normally Adjusted Somewhat Above.. yeah, that NASA. The same guys looking for a roughly +2.4º El Nino SST anomaly based on AGW forcing.
    I’d like to see some -RAW- ARGO data to put next to this, not the filtered by warmers stuff.

  11. Looking higher in the directory of…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    … I find a read-me file…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/README
    …that states only:
    “In July 2009, NCDC transitioned to the use of an improved Global Land and Ocean data set (Smith et al., 2008) which allows better analysis of temperatures throughout the record, with the greatest improvements in the late nineteenth century and since 1985. Improvements in the late nineteenth century are due to improved tuning of the analysis methods.”
    That’s a fairly recent change (last month).

  12. If the SST’s did indeed rise or is rising to apocolyptic levels the recorded surface temps. I would guess would easily suggest August would be a bit wamer than July globally.
    However while this shows it is above the norm it doesn’t look like it will show another significant rise from July
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps
    I would guess with that data you’d expect the 2009 line for the last 2 or so weeks to be quite a bit higher than it is now considering how rapidly SST’s would’ve warmed if you believe the data.

  13. The trend differential between AMSE-R minus the CRU SST in-situ data as well according to the RSS validation data.
    The average is +0.035C per decade but there is wide dispersion amongst the different methods of in-situ measurement:
    +0.066C per decade for ship engine intake
    -0.104C per decade for moored bouys
    -0.027C per decade for drifting bouys
    +0.077C per decade for ship bucket
    +0.165C per decade for ship hulls
    So, perhaps there is more warming in the Ocean SSTs but the ship-based measurements are adding in a cooling trend to the in-situ CRU SSTs.

  14. Look at 2003. CRUT was much Higher than you. Sometimes you pick up something they don’t. Sometimes, they smear the red crayon out a little too far from one of their sensors.
    It’s just an example of using old, inefficient tools, vs using new, modern efficient ones.

  15. All global warming/climate change just the imagination of the most famous new age scientist and NOBEL prize AG?
    Have you seen the Y axis for temperature anomaly?. Are not those tiny mini tempertures differences most probably instrumental?.
    Al what is needed it is to change scale to 1 grade and you get a straight line.

  16. Dr. Roy and Anthony:
    The NCDC SST Anomaly data…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    …is the NCDC’s ERSST.v3b data…
    ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersstv3b/pdo/aravg.mon.ocean.90S.90N.asc
    …except it has the years 1901 to 2000 as its base years, instead of the “normal” NCDC SST climatology.
    The ERSST.v3 data was released last year with much fanfare, trumpets blowing, a paper to describe the how the new dataset incorporates satellite data. A few months later they stopped updating it. Then back in November, I think, they re-released it with the satellite data removed as ERSST.v3b. The satellite data was causing a downward bias that some users didn’t like. In other words they bent under peer pressure. I’ve done a couple of posts on this dataset.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/search?q=ersst.v3b
    Give me a few minutes to finish the graphs.

  17. That’s an awfully short interval upon which to base a climatology, with a sample size of only n = 7 for each month — pretty unstable — especially with the large anomaly occurring right at the end (maximum leverage in regression) ….and due to the nature of how anomalies are constructed, that outlier drives earlier July anomalies down (some of which are below the x-mean, supplying more leverage).
    If the AMSR-E SST series was available in monthly-format, I’d be inclined to break the analysis down by month, performing detailed diagnostics. My guess is that the regression model assumptions are nowhere near being met (non-normal errors, outliers, perhaps autocorrelation).
    Does anyone know where monthly AMSR-E SST summaries can be found in plain-text format on a plain webpage?
    (…and if not, does anyone know why something so standard & simple is not available?)

  18. Ships and buoys obtain thermometric readings from different layers of near-surface water. Microwave measurements are a totally different animal, which I suspect more closely follows surface skin temperature, rather than layer temperature. Since the skin is evaporating rapidly (~100skins/day*), one should not expect high coherence. The skin is absorbing all the LW backradiation; the subsurface layers are essentailly insulated from it, with only minor conductive transfer downward. It might prove as basic as that.
    *That’s better than Lee Trevino ever did!

  19. Dear Dr. Spencer,
    could you kindly sketch, how the AMSR-E instrument works. Is it scanning microwaves emitted from the sea surface, probably at 89 GHz, which would be the tale of the Planck spectrum? The tale intensity would contain the temperature T of the emitter.
    In wikipedia it is stated that the atmosphere gets opaque for microwaves above 300 GHz (1 mm wavelength). Is there atmospheric absorption below 300 GHz, and if so, how do you correct for it?
    Do you know, what is the atmospheric absorption mechanism above 300 GHz?
    Do you measure during the day, or only at night?

  20. Roy Spencer (12:21:06) : This is off topic, but I can’t seem to get an email to you. I’m curious about your efforts to tease out the feedback signal in the satellite radiation data. Have you done any assessment of the regional variation in results? I’m curious because I want to see how the results for the Tropics as covered by ERBE from Lindzen and Choi compare with the same region in your results.
    On topic…hm, this is rather, uh, goofy. Maybe it’s time to revisit the buckets issues again?
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?cat=67

  21. We’ve found one case already where satellite drift was unexpeceted, but was biasing otherwise accurate temeprature recrods.
    Repeated here – but the other way? A steady, but small, change in instrument readings/increasing instrument error since the launch date?
    I’d repeat the original “calibration” back to the original comparision measurement locations today – look for a difference between the areas that had been used for calibration then and now. The numbers will be different of course, but the differences may show that drift.

  22. Question: if the oceans were losing heat into space more rapidly than before, what would be the impact of temperatures at the water/air phase boundry? Would they not increase with the increased transfer rate?
    My thin ceramic coffee cup, with its high loss rate, gets hotter to the touch than my insulated cup with its lower rate of transfer. That’s why I use the ceramic cup when I don’t have much time. The coffee gets cooler quicker.

  23. Anthony and Dr. Spencer:
    As discussed in my 13:00:38 comment above, the NCDC’s SST data…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    …is the NCDC’s ERSST.v3b data…
    ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersstv3b/pdo/aravg.mon.ocean.90S.90N.asc
    …with different base years. Here are the two plotted together:
    http://i27.tinypic.com/2mrrv4i.png
    Here’s a graph of the NCDC SST anomalies MINUS the ERSST.v3b SST anomalies over the term of the data:
    http://i29.tinypic.com/339kchz.png
    And a short-term (5-year) version of NCDC SST anomalies MINUS the ERSST.v3b SST anomalies graph:
    http://i28.tinypic.com/2hnns0k.png
    A few days ago, Lucia @ TheBlackboard posted that NCDC had announced the update of their global temperature product:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/noaa-new-and-improved/
    The NCDC Announcement:
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/README
    And my comment at Lucia’s read:
    ############
    Lucia: The new NCDC dataset should be based on the ERSST.v3 data they released last year [It is as confirmed above], then updated this year (ERSST.v3b) due to complaints about the downward satellite bias. Refer to the following link. Although the dataset is ERSST.v3b, they also discuss in the links the changes they made to their calculations of land surface temperatures.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/ersstv3.php
    I’ve discussed the new dataset in a number of posts:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/search?q=ersst.v3b
    Steve McIntyre also had a few:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6038
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6100
    My favorite ERSST.v3b dataset is the Southern Ocean SST anomalies:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/29zxus7.jpg
    It gets even funkier when you compare the Southern Ocean South of the Southeast Pacific with the remainder of the Southern Ocean:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/qsjwwp.jpg
    Note how the “Remainder of Southern Ocean” appears to have what could be a 100-year cycle, but that portion South of the Southeast Pacific has all of the unusual variation. Curious.
    ##############
    And I can assure you that the new NCDC dataset is not based on and Hadley Centre dataset. The Hadley Centre SST data has a step change in 1998 that results from the merger of two incompatible datasets:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/step-change-in-hadsst-data-after-199798.html
    The Hadley Centre step change does not appear in NCDC Minus ERSST.v3b graph above.
    Regards.

  24. I recall reading a number of comments suggesting that the AMSU data shows a systemic error during the june july period each year. Could whatever is causing that be responsible for this discrepancy?

  25. just some thought as I was reading that news:
    could it be simply due to some difference in adjustment due to “time of reading”?
    DTR is said to decrease with a larger up trend in minima and a weak up trend in maxima.
    I remember reading taht CRU was adjusting the data to homogenize the time of reading. I think for middle of afternoon (not sure…)
    I expect satellite to adjust for middle of the day, that is solar noon (1pm or 2 pm depending your part of the world).
    That is CRU has reading temperature at a later time in the day than satellites. So satellites should have a larger up trend than CRU.
    Of course from back of the envelop calculation, the trend Dr Spencer observes is 30 to 1000 times larger than what I expect from this effect as I present it here (depending more exact time of reading). So it cannot be the entire story (I just spent 5 min on this, not a thorough thinking at all). Perhaps a start though, time of reading and method for homogenization.

  26. Hi folks, this could be a silly idea, but we not measuring SST.
    We measuring the sea surface and whatever in there!
    Like plankton’s, and other living organisms. They absorb more of the incoming radiation. Now this swarm of the bottom of the food chain is riding the currents and dependent of the sea temperature.
    Is there any analysis of the biological entities albedo variation?
    Perhaps migration with seasons?

  27. GLOBAL COOLING HAS ARRIVED. GLOBAL WARMING IS DEAD
    By Terri Jackson
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/environment/pouring-cold-water-on-global-warming-14299972.html
    “The Russian physicists have analysed sun spot activity from 1882 to 2000 and have noted that the minimum of the cycle of solar activity will occur around 2021 to 2026 and that we will be facing not global warming but global cooling leading to a deep freeze around 2050.”
    I would agree, there is a possibility of a prolong minimum 2021-2026, as this graph predicts:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PolarField1Cr.gif
    I am rather sceptical about ‘deep freeze’. If the Sun is driver of the temperature anomaly, activity is predicted to increase post 2025. If there is a strong influence of some other factors (e.g. possible link to the geomagnetic activity) than temperatures may decline but not at a rapid rate.
    http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/40/88/86/PDF/NATA.pdf

  28. vukcevic (14:15:38) :
    I would agree, there is a possibility of a prolong minimum 2021-2026, as this graph predicts
    Since your graph is just curve fitting it has no predictive power. It already fails to post-dict the polar fields before 1967.

  29. From Bob Tisdale’s blog:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/05/recent-differences-between-giss-and.html
    “The bias was strongest in the middle and high latitude Southern Hemisphere where in situ data are sparse.”

    http://i43.tinypic.com/6yfx8h.jpg

    “[…] note that the trend increases with each SST dataset improvement. […] It looks as though, if you’re a SST data producer, downward biases are bad, but increases in trend with each update are good.”
    Good digging Bob – and thanks TonyB for the valuable notes & links.
    This ties in with:
    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2003). Changes in the Antarctic ice sheet mass and the instability of the Earth’s rotation over the last 110 years. International Association of Geodesy Symposia 127, 339-346.
    and the article Basil recently featured:
    Carvalho, L.M.V.; Tsonis, A.A.; Jones, C.; Rocha, H.R.; & Polito, P.S. (2007). Anti-persistence in the global temperature anomaly field. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 14, 723-733.
    http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/npg-14-723-2007.pdf

    So:
    What has been happening in the deep south & Antarctica in recent months? I imagine many (or at least some) here are capable of supplying some good links?

  30. Roy Spencer, Bob Tisdale…I just wanted to say thanks for being a consistent voice of sanity in this ridiculous debate! Please keep up the good work.

  31. Just a thought – thinking aloud –
    The atmosphere could not cause SST’s to rise suddenly, or in any dramatic fashion. A sudden jump in SST’s points to an oceanic event.
    Possibly a sudden mixing of the warmer waters of the tropics with the cooler waters closer to the poles.
    The regional picture will have to be looked at. Is this true? Have the waters warmed more towards the poles?
    I remember Tallguy (where has he gone?) had a hypothesis that geothermal heat could have a significant impact on the climate. I have gradually come to think there maybe something in this.
    70 % of our globe is covered with water. If a terrestrial event like Mt Pinatubo could lower global air temperatures by 0.5 C practically “overnight”, a large sub-terrainian event like Pinatubo might have a similar effect on SST’s, both by warming the waters directly and also causing more mixing.
    I guess undersea earthquakes could do the same?

  32. Nogw (12:55:38) :
    I agree. The black lines on my old tried and trusty mercury thermometer are about 0.15 deg C thick…

  33. Jimmy Haigh (15:05:46)
    Can I add that it still measures freezing water at 0C (32F) and boiling water at 100C (212F)?

  34. All the above assumes of course that the data is correct. If the data has a bias or error – that will have to be uncovered.

  35. Undersea Volcanic Eruptions Spotted in Action: Michael Reilly, Discovery News
    June 5, 2009 — A crack team of “rapid response” volcano experts scrambled to the South Pacific Ocean last month to find something rarely seen by human eyes: an underwater eruption exploding into the inky, cold depths and spewing lava onto the ocean floor.
    The realm of underwater volcanic eruptions is a strange, uncharted one. As much as 80 percent of the planet’s volcanic activity is thought to occur on the sea floor, but scientists are rarely able to witness the events.
    Last November, a team led by Joseph Resing of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle detected a plume of volcanic material floating in the water column, above the Lau Basin, 140 miles southwest of Samoa.
    http://jisao.washington.edu/print/news/Discovery_6-5-09_UnderseaVolcanicEruptionsSpottedInAction.pdf
    March 19, 2009 Undersea eruptions near Tonga
    Scientists sailed out to have a closer look at the eruptions of an undersea volcano off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean today…Officials also said it may be related to a quake with a magnitude of 4.4 which struck last March 13 around 35 kilometers from the capital at a depth of nearly 150 kilometres. (I know this is an off-day posting, but really, thought the images were worth it – 12 photos total)
    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/undersea_eruptions_near_tonga.html
    I am sure there are others too.

  36. Bob Tisdale (14:01:59) :
    “My favorite ERSST.v3b dataset is the Southern Ocean SST anomalies:”
    The absence of Volcanic “forcing” in the 19th century eg Krakatoa 1883 and Tarawera 1888 seems to be absent in this dataset,is this a mix of hadcru ? Problematic issue due to inhomogeneous sampling. eg Stenchilov 2006
    “The observed value no doubt has substantial temporal sampling errors, and the observations for the earliest eruptions considered may suffer from inadequate
    geographical sampling or other data quality issues. It is noteworthy in this respect that the global-mean surface temperature record used in this study surprisingly shows no global cooling following the very large 1883 Krakatau eruption [Jones et al., 2003]. However, the surface air temperature reconstructed by Hansen and Lebedeff [1988] shows a more sizable cooling effect of Krakatau, which
    indicates the level of uncertainty in the observations themselves, especially for earlier volcanic events.”

  37. I can’t believe all those temperature sensors in the oceans are wrong. My gut feeling is that something is drifting in the satellite sensor unit.
    Now if there is more than one satellite showing this drift upwards, then my hunch is wrong. I’m assuming there is only one satellite (these things don’t grow on trees).

  38. My first question is “Are we comparing raw data?” If not, then maybe we should re-examine the adjustments made to each data set.
    I recall some years ago, there appeared a great debate as the satellites weren’t showing any global warmign and, then, hey presto, the correct corrections were dutifully discopvered and made. A very similar thing occured with the AQUA diving buoys.

  39. Leif Svalgaard (14:37:50) :
    “Since your graph is just curve fitting it has no predictive power. It already fails to post-dict the polar fields before 1967.”
    I am well aware that such an interpretation may be entertained by some. The fact that more and more serious scientists, after much effort and studious work, are reaching same conclusion is a delight to the formula’s author.
    Although most of predictions are mater of opinion, and often just a guess work, my prediction is a mathematical operation on the past, with set of constants sufficiently robust to outlast most of the current crop of predictors.
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/PolarField1Cr.gif

  40. From Bob Tisdale’s blog:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/step-change-in-hadsst-data-after-199798.html
    “The change of data set also helps explain why HADCRUT3 Global, Northern Hemisphere, and Southern Hemisphere data sets consistently run high since the 1997/98 El Nino when compared to other land and sea surface temperature data sets.”
    I’ve always wondered about that ….another mystery down.
    – –
    Bob Tisdale (14:01:59) “My favorite ERSST.v3b dataset is the Southern Ocean SST anomalies:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/29zxus7.jpg
    It gets even funkier when you compare the Southern Ocean South of the Southeast Pacific with the remainder of the Southern Ocean:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/qsjwwp.jpg

    Note how the “Remainder of Southern Ocean” appears to have what could be a 100-year cycle, but that portion South of the Southeast Pacific has all of the unusual variation. Curious.”

    Priceless (bold quote-emphasis mine). Bob, you couldn’t have addressed my upthread-question better.
    This ties in with:
    1) Sidorenkov (2003).
    2) Carvalho et al. (2007).
    3) Ian Wilson’s contributions during the past year.
    4) The last few minutes of Scafetta’s Feb. 26, 2009 presentation.
    5) latitudinal variations in:
    (a) rate of change of CO2.
    (b) ocean net primary productivity (NPP).
    6) Earth’s polar motion.
    7) paleoecological studies that highlight north-south asymmetry on longer timescales.
    Further reinforcing this, Bob’s ERST v3b plot shows the same annual-timescale pattern that one sees in LOD (length of day) & AAM (atmospheric angular momentum).
    http://i28.tinypic.com/wwho49.png
    (This further underscores my concerns about working with only anomalies.)
    Bob’s observation about the deep-south anomalies is anything-but trivial. Thanks to Dr. Spencer & Anthony for sparking up a potent one.

    Bob, where do I find those exact series?
    http://i41.tinypic.com/29zxus7.jpg
    http://i41.tinypic.com/qsjwwp.jpg
    This is important. Thanks if you can provide the links.
    Regards.

  41. Dennis Wingo (12:17:08) :
    You hit me with this Eureka suggestion. To me, the height of the atmosphere is an indication of the energy content of the atmosphere.
    I do not know whether this does have an imapct on the measurements; it is a good question.

  42. Richard (15:02:40) :
    If you look at Google Earth for example these days you can see what are termed ‘spreading ridges’ running across the oceans, for example, all up the middle of the Atlantic. Basically this is a line of underwater volcanoes which are constantly exuding basaltic lavas as the American plate moves westard relative to the Euro-African plate as sea floor spreading continues its merry way onward at several cm/year. We’ve probably all seen videos of undersea volcanic eruptions and also videos of ‘black smokers’ where super heated brines containing dissolved metallic ores such as lead and zinc sulphide (galena and sphalerite respectively) are deposited into the oceanic waters and onto the sea bed. These waters are over 300C!! (570F!) So I guess this could have an effect on overall sea temperatures. Many of the world’s largest metal ore deposits are believed to be derived from black smokers, e.g., the Navan lead/zinc/silver oredbody in Ireland.
    I would like to think that this phenomenon has been fairly stable over the last say 100 million years and will continue to be so and that it won’t constitute the next scare story.
    I can see the headlines!: “man made global warming causes increased sea floor spreading. Experts predict that the oceans will boil by the year 2100. But don’t worry – we we can fix it but, phew, it’s going to cost you…”
    Interestingly my old geology professor now works in NASA on his theory that life itself evolved at the sites of these black smokers. I’ll see if I can find a link…

  43. In my last post I mentioned the paucity of genuine SST’s for all but a very limited number of places for a very limited timescale and yet that global sea temperatures-despite this lack of data-were being constructed and used as factual ‘proof’ of warming.
    I also mentioned Plymouth so I have retrieved this from another thread as it shows the data in a historic context and illustrates that-like global surface temperatures-if you wait long enough temperatures will go down as well as up.
    “As with surface temperatures we need to step back and
    a) wonder at the practicality of a global temperature
    b) Look back in time to ascertain how temperatures respond over a long period.
    Last year I wrote a series of short pieces on ‘Fish as a temperature proxy’ which traced back the change from warm, to mid, to cold water fish around the south west coast of Britain. We can trace these from actual records of catches back to around the 13th Century and which also live on locally in place names such as the Pilchard Inn.
    This extract from the University of Plymouth gives us some idea that -like surface temperatures- sea temperatures are constantly fluctuating (Also note that historic records are being constantly ‘adjusted.’ See the CA debate on ‘buckets.’)
    “Detection of environmental change in a marine ecosystem—evidence from the western English Channel
    References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.
    Stephen J. Hawkins, , Alan J. Southward and Martin J. Genner
    Marine Biological Association of the UK, The Laboratory, Citadel Hill, Plymouth PL1 2PB, UK
    Received 28 January 2002; revised 1 November 2002; accepted 25 November 2002. ; Available online 4 February 2003.
    Abstract
    To separate human-induced changes from natural fluctuations in marine life requires long-term research. The western English Channel has been investigated from Plymouth for over 100 years. The abundance of marine life has been recorded and related to physical changes in the environment. By comparing different parts of the ecosystem we can demonstrate historic natural fluctuations, allowing prediction of effects of future global change. From the 1920s to the 1950s there was a period of warming of the sea, with increases in abundance of species of fish, plankton and intertidal organisms that are typically common in warmer waters to the south of Britain. After 1962 the sea cooled down and northern cold-water species became more abundant. Since the 1980s regional sea surface temperature has increased again and warm-water species are once more becoming abundant.”
    This is part of an aeons old natural cycle-unless someone can demonstrate that Man has interfered with that cycle?
    Tonyb

  44. What about the possibility of air currents over the oceans world wide having calmed down a bit so that there is less evaporation of the the ocean skin? Could the late start to the hurricane season this year be related? Are there regions of the oceans with unusual or extended doldrums, like the old-time sailors got stuck in from time to time? I guess that buoys would sample deeper than the skin.

  45. Paul Vaughan: You asked regarding the two Southern Ocean SST anomaly graphs, “Bob, where do I find those exact series?”
    They’re from my post “A Closer Look At The ERSST.v3b Southern Ocean Data”:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/closer-look-at-ersstv3b-southern-ocean.html
    ERSST.v3b SST anomaly data is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer website:
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere
    One you’re there:
    1. Select ERSST.v3b, click on “Select Field”.
    2. Input the coordinates, enter a “0” in the “Demand at least” field, and click on “Make Time Series.”
    3. Scroll down to third graph, which is the anomalies, and click on “Raw Data.”

  46. Jimmy Haigh (16:05:37) :
    Richard (15:02:40) :
    “.. you can see what are termed ’spreading ridges’ running across the oceans … all up the middle of the Atlantic. Basically this is a line of underwater volcanoes which are constantly exuding basaltic lavas ..These waters are over 300C!! (570F!) So I guess this could have an effect on overall sea temperatures. ..

    I would like to think that this phenomenon has been fairly stable over the last say 100 million years and will continue to be so..
    This part I feel difficult to believe. Aside from ’spreading ridges’ which are constantly exuding basaltic lavas, there would be big undersea volcanoes that could erupt cataclysmically like Pinabuto. These wouldnt be felt or observed on the surface but would affect the local ecology and might affect SST’s by churning up the waters.
    Many of the pacific Islands including Hawaii started off as undersea volcanoes.
    I believe a giant undersea volcano was discovered off the coast of Sumatra 4,600 meters high with a diameter of 50 km, some 330 km west of Bengkulu city and another off Iceland.
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/05/28/giant-undersea-volcano-found-sunda-trench.html
    Giant Undersea Volcano Found Off Iceland
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080422-iceland-volcano.html
    These are very recent discoveries. There maybe many others undiscovered.

  47. Jimmy Haigh (16:05:37) :
    Here’s a link to Professor Mike Russell. As I mentioned he is researching into black smokers/ under sea volcanoes as the site of the origin of life at NASA in Pasadena, CA. He isa brilliant lecturer and is an excellent chap! There is a list of publications at this URL.
    http://science.jpl.nasa.gov/people/Russell/

  48. Richard (17:00:37) :
    As I said: “I would like to think that this phenomenon has been fairly stable over the last say 100 million years and will continue to be so..”
    I think what I was trying to say is that I think that the total heat flow from all of the undersea volcanoes has been stable over geological time but this is basically a gut feeling guess: to be honest I haven’t a clue! I’m sure that there has been some work done on this over the years and that there will be something in the literature about it.
    I don’t know if this phenomenon is factored into the GCM’s…

  49. IF the data above is a true then you must look for a reason why the atmosphere is warming at the height measured by the sensor but cooling at the very ocean surface.The most logical reason to me would be an alteration of the height at which clouds are forming, now trapping more heat in the height band of sensor.It is not necessary to have more clouds, just a different altitude.

  50. There seems to be some confusion here…the issue I’ve raised is NOT what the global-average SST trend is during 2002 up to the present (which is a pretty short period of time climate-wise).
    The issue is that two global SST datasets that should show very similar behavior over that period of time have DIVERGED by so much….and fairly consistently over time.
    BTW, the SST are measured at 6.9 GHz, where the main signals in the data are SST (thermal emission by the surface), and wind roughening (which Frank Wentz has always been very meticulous at separating from the other signals). The dual polarization (H and V) measurements allow the separation of the wind and SST signals. Higher frequencies from AMSR-E provide additional information on rainfall, oceanic integrated cloud water and water vapor, and our FAVORITE variable (of course)…SEA ICE!

  51. Something isn’t right here -If the implication is that sea temps are warmer than 1998, than why aren’t the air temps at similar level – given the small lag between air temps & water temps?? If this is right is suggests there is a very strong forcing mechanism with next cooling being seen in the signal to generate the difference between 1998 & current air temps. Could that actually be the case??

  52. Question: if the oceans were losing heat into space more rapidly than before, what would be the impact of temperatures at the water/air phase boundry? Would they not increase with the increased transfer rate?
    The main effect of heat transfer from the oceans to the atmosphere would be increased humidity (water vapour content) near the surface. The heat would then be transported to where ever rain droplets form, warming the atmosphere at that location. Typically higher up in the atmosphere and to a significant extent over land.
    Warming of the near surface atmosphere over warmer SSTs would occur primarily from an increased greenhouse effect from higher water vapour content.

  53. Dr. Spencer: I tried to duplicate the graph you created (without the Satellite Minus In-Situ Plot), using the RSS MSU Ocean (70S-82.5N) data here:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    And comparing it to the NCDC SST (ERSST.v3b) data using as close to the same latitudes that the dataset would allow. The ERSST.v3 is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer, thanks to Geert Jan van Oldenborgh:
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere
    The results are decidedly different than the graph you provided. The satellite data has a steeper negative trend than the in situ data:
    http://i28.tinypic.com/2wnmcsw.png

  54. This part I feel difficult to believe. Aside from ’spreading ridges’ which are constantly exuding basaltic lavas, there would be big undersea volcanoes that could erupt cataclysmically like Pinabuto.
    Conventional wisdom, which is probably right, says volcanoes along the mid-ocean ridges don’t erupt cataclysmically. Cataclysmic eruptions only occur with volcanoes on or along the continental plates. Incidentally there is a Phillipines continental plate.
    Although, the statement this phenomenon has been fairly stable over the last say 100 million years refers to geological timescales and does not preclude significant variation over shorter timescales (say less than a 1,000 years). Which is not to say there is significant variation over shorter timescales.

  55. Very odd discrepancy. Especially odd when the satellite based MSU lower troposphere readings over the ocean apparently do not show a similar discrepancy with the standard SST’s (I think I am right about this, but not certain). The lower troposhpere temperature over the oceans ought to track the SST.
    Could the accuracy of the RSS satellite SST readings be verified by comparing readings for specific ocean regions where there exist a reasonable number of temperature measurements actually taken at the surface of the those same regions?
    One other possible way to resolve the discrepancy would be to compare the trend in ARGO data for the ocean temperature at/near the surface since 2003-2004 with both the trends in conventional SST average and the RSS satellite based SST. The Argo data may not be dense enough (1 transmission per float each 10 days I think) to give good short term estimates, but longer term trends in the ARGO surface temperature data set could turn out to be a reasonable “reality check” for the longer term trends reported by the other measures.

  56. Philip_B (18:23:49) :
    The oceanic crust sea floor spreading volcanoes are associated with ‘chemically basic’ basaltic lavas are indeed fairly benign in comparison to often cataclysmic explosions of ‘acidic’ continental lavas. Sea flor spreading is a more or less continuous event compared to the sporadic and random eruptions of the likes of Toba, Krakatoa, Vesuvius, Mont Pelee and the possibly geologically imminent Yellowstone.
    The Atlantic ocean ridge comes ashore on iceland which is a very thick accumulation of basaltic lavas very close to the pole of rotation of the spreading.
    Ther have been periods through geological time of increased volcanic activity. One such was during the early Tertiary when the Deccan basalts of India were deposited. At around the same time, the North Atlantic finally opened (after trying to for a good few million years!) and the West of Scotland volcanoes of Ardnamurchan, Skye and Rhum were active. The Permian age Karoo lavas of South Africa are another example.

  57. Dr Spencer, thank you for explaining how the sensor works.I can now see how alarming this divergence is!!

  58. Hmm. AVHRR data (NCDC’s OI.v2) show a result that’s different than the TLT data from my 18:08:15 comment and Dr. Spencer’s results above. It’s trend is approximately the same as the in situ (ERSST.v3b) data since June 2002:
    http://i30.tinypic.com/23ws5tv.png
    But with all the adjustments made by the NCDC to accomodate cloud cover issues (not a problem with the AMSR-E satellite, if memory serves me well) and the high-latitude biases, etc., it’s not surprising that they match.
    The bias corrections NCDC makes are discussed in a number of papers. Here’s two:
    ftp://ftp.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/cmb/sst/papers/reynolds_1988.pdf
    ftp://ftp.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/cmb/sst/papers/oiv2pap/oiv2.pdf

  59. Philip_B (18:23:49) :
    Conventional wisdom, which is probably right, says volcanoes along the mid-ocean ridges don’t erupt cataclysmically. Cataclysmic eruptions only occur with volcanoes on or along the continental plates.

    By Cataclysmic I meant large. If they are undersea then generally no Cataclysm should occur like Pinatubo. Most of the plate boundaries run along the sea.
    Here’s one: “This was a Mount St. Helen-size volcanic event..”
    http://www.oar.noaa.gov/spotlite/archive/spot_nurp.html
    No cataclysm occurred.
    This was some time ago: “Undersea Volcanic Eruptions Linked to Ancient Die-Off”
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/07/080716-mass-extinction.html

  60. ERSST.v3b SST anomaly data is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer website:
    http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

    Bob, Paul
    I just downloaded the data, and crafted the following graphic:
    http://i32.tinypic.com/ht8v4p.jpg
    We’re looking at trends in the trend (seasonal differences, raw and smoothed). There is clearly a pattern of natural variability on a decadal time frame, and we’re currently in the warming part of the cycle. But it will eventually end, probably ~2012, and a cooling trend will begin.
    I’m not sure if this bears on Dr. Spencer’s puzzlement, but looking at the recent years more closely, we get this:
    http://i26.tinypic.com/6t3ivl.jpg
    Here I’ve zeroed in on the “satellite era” and added the UAH Ocean series. Now I know that he’s comparing CRU-SST to AMSR-E, and here I’m comparing ERSST to UAH_Ocean. But at least in this case, any divergence between the satellite “ocean” series and the surface/sst has the latter rising more rapidly in recent years. However, this could just be an “end artifact” of the smoothing process.
    Here’s a look at the two series differenced:
    http://i32.tinypic.com/2hpufet.jpg
    In viewing these graphs, bear in mind that they are not the anomalies themselves, but are the rates of change in the anomalies.

  61. So much for the unfounded criticisms that WUWT never has any “warming” stories.
    My contention a few threads ago should have been clearer – that warming stories come with doubts about it virtually every time. Cooling stories generally don’t. There are exceptions. This is the first post I’ve read that suggested the formal recoords may be understanding the warming trend consonant with global warming. Not having read every single post here, I allow that my generalisation may be off-base. But perhaps someone would like to stand up and say there is a roughly even balance here.

  62. Mark (15:48:10) :
    I can’t believe all those temperature sensors in the oceans are wrong.

    And I can’t believe, after all the satellite problems of late, that this isn’t just another one going haywire with all the changes in the Solar System Environment.

  63. Something I do not understand, and perhaps someone can explain, is why the atmosphere is supposed to add heat to the ocean that can hide for years, but volcanoes on the sea floor add heat that is supposed to disappear.
    What makes the two different heat sources effects on the ocean polar opposites?

  64. I’m sorry to interrupt, but this has to be one of the most interesting comment threads I have ever read! (Sorry to have to relegate you to second place Dr. Svalgaard)
    Truly marvellous to behold…

  65. @Bob Tisdale (13:00:38) :
    “…The satellite data was causing a downward bias that some users didn’t like…”
    NOAA also called this “a downward bias”.
    do they simply mean, the (high precision) satellite data was just lower ?

  66. Adam Grey (19:48:13) : “My contention a few threads ago should have been clearer – that warming stories come with doubts about it virtually every time. Cooling stories generally don’t. There are exceptions. This is the first post I’ve read that suggested the formal recoords may be understanding the warming trend consonant with global warming. Not having read every single post here, I allow that my generalisation may be off-base.”
    Good of you to admit the off-base thing. Because there is as much friction here [airing dirty laundry over domestic disputes] as there is fighting with third parties.
    So I have to correct this: no “there are exceptions.”
    Reality: There are “normal, ordinary disputes”. But these are commonplace and not “exceptions” to the rule as you describe it.
    Capice??
    The main goal here is THE TRUTH whatever that may be.
    CHRIS
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  67. Dr. Spencer mentioned the 6.9 gigahertz band was used for AMSRE measurements. Perhaps we have a growing RF interference problem:
    Global Survey of 6.9 GHz Radio Frequency Interference and Implications for Future Remote Sensing
    Ashcroft, P.; Njoku, E. G.; Li, L.; Wentz, F.
    American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2003, abstract #H32B-0570
    The AMSR-E instrument on the AQUA platform affords a nearly unprecedented opportunity to monitor the Earth at the 6.9 GHz microwave band. In this respect, AMSR-E prefigures other instruments that will extend microwave remote sensing to even lower frequencies. These measurements have already proven useful for investigations of sea surface temperature and soil moisture. Unfortunately, expanding use of this band for telecommunications is increasingly leading to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) conflicts with remote sensing needs. Drawing on an archive of more than one year of AMSR-E data, we present a global survey of RFI sources, focusing on both spatial and temporal characteristics. In many cases, RFI is easily recognizable either due to its intensity or its correlation with known population centers. While the obvious RFI, (almost all of which is over land), can be disregarded in studies of natural phenomena, the challenge is to identify RFI when the signature is not obvious. This discrimination will provide the dual benefits of salvaging data that would otherwise be discarded, while ensuring that only untainted data is used for studying natural phenomena. This paper explores several criteria that may be used for this purpose.
    Here is the PDF:
    http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/40892/1/04-1697.pdf
    In that PDF figure 7, which shows world 6.9GHz hotspots, speaks to me, I’ve uploaded it here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/6pt9ghz_world_rfi.png
    Dr. Spencer indicates in his update that “The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon”. and when you look at the 6.9GHz world RFI map, the RFI is overwhelmingly in the NH.
    Just like optical and radio astronomers have trouble steering clear of electromagnetic interference, our climate monitors may very well be having the same difficulty.
    I realize the paper speaks mainly of land based RFI, but with the explosion of all sorts of high frequency gadgets, I don’t know how much the map has changed since 2003. I also don’t know if any of the new innovative electronics on ships and places that would be over the ocean would afffect AMSRE data.
    For example, the lower end of Wifi at 2.3 to 2.4 GHz has a 3rd harmonic pretty close to 6.9 GHz.
    I think its worth a look to rule out. Most hi-tech human activity is northern hemisphere, and humans do tend to get out more in the “warm season”.

  68. RayB (12:30:44) :
    My first reaction is to question Jim Hansen’s NASA. You know… Normal Anthropogenic Supplemental Adjustment, Normally Adjusted Somewhat Above.. yeah, that NASA. The same guys looking for a roughly +2.4º El Nino SST anomaly based on AGW forcing.
    I’d like to see some -RAW- ARGO data to put next to this, not the filtered by warmers stuff.
    ——-
    Also, NASA – Numerous Adjustments Significantly Above
    Agree on the need for access to raw data, since overly aggressive manipulations may result in inappropriate reports.

  69. timetochooseagain: You wrote, “That’s the RSS Lower troposphere data. We’re talking SST here.”
    Understood. Just plotting more references. I followed that with the comparison of AVHRR based SST data (OI.v2) and in situ data (ERSST.v3b) at 19:40:32.
    The AMSR-E data seems to be the odd man out, but again the OI.v2 data is bias corrected by NCDC to the point that its trend matches the ERSST.v3b data.

  70. “Jimmy Haigh (15:05:46)
    Can I add that it still measures freezing water at 0C (32F) and boiling water at 100C (212F)?”
    So you live at sea level ?

  71. looking at the vertical axis (Y) of the graphs/plots, and in terms of the signal to noise ratio idea, much ado is made about trends in noise, rather than signal.
    🙂
    Happens when your experience is limited to the desktop and not nature itself.

  72. Might be timely to refresh our ideas of temperature.
    Temperature is an intensive variable which is applied to a volume of matter to derive a computationally useful number, “stored heat”.
    In itself temperature is no different to a telephone number, and when averaged, is as nonsensical as an averaged telephone number. But when applied to a volume of matter, it then serves a useful metric as a measure of heat.
    I’ll leave it here for further comment.

  73. Tom in Florida (11:49:17) :
    http://www.ssmi.com/amsr/amsre_sst_validation_statistics.html#amsre_sst_compared_to_in_situ_sst
    Look at the first chart comparing drifting bouys and moored ones. The drifing bouys throughout most of July show a consistantly higher reading. I am sure our more technical writers can determine if there is anything to this.

    When swimming in even small bodies of water there are anomalous patches of warm water. I am assuming here that the same thing happens in the oceans only on a much larger scale. It would make sense then that moored and drifting buoys would deviate especially in July August in the NH when these patches would be most apparent. In the case of a moored buoy a warm patch would drift on by registering a “peak”. A drifting buoy in a warm patch would tend to drift right along with the patch from formation to dissipation.
    There might also be an element of this in ship data in that ships tend to follow the same course as natural currents where possible and so may travel with such a “patch” for much longer than a ship cutting at 90deg to the general drift.
    I don’t know how gridded data is is calculated but if it were max/min based I imagine these anomalous patches cause huge problems as they drift through the fixed grids in the sense that each grid is registering the same moving anomaly as a peak static SST for that grid and all the others in it’s path.

    The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon.

    It might be interesting to do the same thing in Feb. with the SH data.

  74. Manfred: You asked, “do they simply mean, the (high precision) satellite data was just lower ?”
    By removing the satellite data, SST anomalies rose a few hundredths of a deg C from the late 80s to present.
    http://i30.tinypic.com/8yw4gh.png
    Most of that, though, was in the high latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere.

  75. Steve Fitzpatrick: You wrote, “The lower troposhpere temperature over the oceans ought to track the SST.”
    Not necessarily. It depends on the ocean. Some track well; others don’t. ENSO and volcanoes impact SST and TLT in different ways, at different time lags, and to different magnitudes. I illustrated this with comparisons of SST vs TLT anomalies over the oceans here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/part-3-of-comparison-of-gistemp-and-uah.html

  76. UAH-Ocean trend:
    http://www.klimadebat.dk/forum/vedhaeftninger/uahoceantemp.gif
    It appears that the 1998 peak (+0,77K) is more than twice the 2009 peak (+0,38K)
    It appears that ALL years with El Nino since 1997 has had bigger peak in UAH ocean than 2009.
    It appears that the UAH OCEAN has a colder trend since 1997 than UAH global. The july2009 uah ocean peak is perhaps higher compared to UAH global than normal trend would suggest? If so indicating special winds etc?

  77. Syl (04:13:15) :
    —-
    In that PDF figure 7, which shows world 6.9GHz hotspots, speaks to me, I’ve uploaded it here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/6pt9ghz_world_rfi.png
    —–
    Very interesting. Given that the resolution is a bit poor, I’d still like to know what big population centers exist along the Pak/Afghan border. 🙂 And why the Middle East has more interference than all of Europe.
    Syl, just a few thoughts about your questions.
    For the Pak/Afghan border, think of military sources. This is the region where the remote controlled drones fly and a lot of military communication takes place.
    There is a huge difference between Europe and the Middle East:
    Vegetation versus sand deserts, moist lands versus very dry environments and cloudy air versus dry air.
    The difference in these conditions could enhance the Middle East signal.

  78. Do I remember reading here a little while ago that Argo sensors were changed (or adjusted) Perhaps there is a known (to the authorities) problem with certain types of sensors in certain situations, and equally that might mean there are unknown (as yet) problems also.
    tonyb

  79. Syl said
    “Very interesting. Given that the resolution is a bit poor, I’d still like to know what big population centers exist along the Pak/Afghan border. 🙂 And why the Middle East has more interference than all of Europe.”
    Along the border it could be refugees-mobile phones are widespread throughout the area, as are satellite phones.
    tonyb

  80. As one of a team who performed insight/oversight to the AMSR-E thermal design for the Aqua program, I can relate that the warm calibration target design was suspect, with a gradient issue. As a foreign “gift” instrument, our influence in getting the design issue addressed was inadequate. Not sure if this has anything to do with the observed trend, but just another tidbit to consider.

  81. Alexej Buergin (02:38:08) :
    “So you live at sea level ?”
    Pretty close – about 35 ft above!

  82. So, let’s just assume that the Oceans ARE showing warmer. All my crops, and the crops of a whole lot of other folks assure me that NA is trending cooler. Let’s also stipulate that the spot free sun isn’t putting out that 1% extra energy or whatever the variation is. Lit’s stipulate that 1998 was the peak, as it was the peak sunspot year. So, if the atmosphere is cooling because of some lack of energy from the sun, release of heat from the oceans is the perfect damping mechanism. We should realize that changes in a system of this size are going to be relatively slow. How much cooler would it be if the oceans WEREN’T giving off some of their heat right now? IMHO, we’d be a lot better off to shut up and watch what’s going on than to keep screaming apocalypse all the time. “We” not being most of the folks at WUWT.

  83. I have a great deal of trouble concluding anything with 7 years of data that is used to describe thousands of years of activity. Moreover, the data itself needs to be questioned since we don’t understand everything we know about it(similar to the ground-based data that is flawed by changing sites and site conditions). Gathering data from satellites sounds great but what are the potential errors? As noted by a previous poster, the floating sites may constitute a significant source of error and finally the fact that we are seeing interference suggests we don’t know all that we need to know before we attempt to draw conclusions.
    REPLY: satellite data goes back to 1978, this is just one platform, AQUA. Dr. Spencer is looking into the RFI issue now and will have a spatial pattern analysis later this week. – A

  84. Frank Lansner (05:50:26) :
    “Vukcevic – Convincing indeed !
    Thanks for the graphics!”
    However, I am coming to a conclusion that correlation is not direct, but result of some intermediary factor, but it appears not to be the Svensmark’s effect.

  85. Gary (05:30:47) :
    As one of a team who performed insight/oversight to the AMSR-E thermal design for the Aqua program, I can relate that the warm calibration target design was suspect, with a gradient issue. As a foreign “gift” instrument, our influence in getting the design issue addressed was inadequate. Not sure if this has anything to do with the observed trend, but just another tidbit to consider.
    Gary-
    As the system is passive, is it calibrated to a known source and are the
    results uplinked or generated internally? Is there a bias table and
    can it be updated? …….How is it calibrated?

  86. Anthony, Roy, someone: can I access some type of “guide to calibration” for the satelliet measurements?

  87. I just wondered what effect suspended plastic particulates in the ocean would have on;
    a) sensor malfunction
    b) the correct reading of temperatures whether by buoys or satellites.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch
    This patch seems to be the size of the arctic ice cap and there are others like it drifting round the world. Interestingly such patches can’t be seen by satellites.
    tonyb

  88. Richard (15:02:40) :
    I remember Tallguy (where has he gone?) had a hypothesis that geothermal heat could have a significant impact on the climate.

    Working away this last week.
    I make no claims for the degree of geothermal heat transfer, as there is no good global data as far as I can see. I simply note that it will vary with the changing depth of sub crustal currents evidenced by changes in the earth’s length of day, and will be non zero in magnitude.
    Bob Tisdales graph of southern ocean temperatures against south of southwest of Pacific tempreatures is very interesting. It seems to lend some support to my main hypothesis that the oceans have somewhat distinct heat absorption and heat release modes, with the currents that drive them possessing a momentum and inertia which are probably linked to the ~60 year oceanic cycles we have seen in the SST record.
    The big swings in the high latitude southern ocean at the end of the C19th seem to coincide with the big el nino events which stand out from my temperature model derived from sunspots and LOD variation. To me this indicates that these heat release events are drivien by the ocean’s need for internal adjustment to changing external conditions.

  89. Another question about the measurement: If the satellite measures 6.9 GHz energy, assuming amplitude, how much amplitude change occurs with a 1 degree change in surface temperature? How accurately can that amplitude be measured? There is a big difference between resolution and accuracy.
    Microwave receivers drift with time. For consumer items like cell phones, it doesn’t matter as they ‘measure’ frequency change (FM or one of it’s derivatives). But for amplitude measurements, you need a very stable signal processing chain. How do they claim to make this work? How do they verify it?

  90. I think there is more to this than just ships, satellites, and adjustments. The infrared budget is a key component. Sensors in/on the ocean measure temperature directly at a deeper depth. Satellites measure heat based on the infrared budget at the outer edge of the atmosphere. What, if any, differences do we see there during this discrepant period?

  91. Bob Tisdale (03:29:08) :
    Tom in Texas: You asked, “Have you added 2.4°C to the AVHRR data and plotted?
    “Graph from here: http://i30.tinypic.com/23ws5tv.png”
    To what end?
    Bob, I find it more instructive, when comparing trends, to start those trends at the same point. In your graph, adding 2.4°C to all the AVHRR data will raise its trend line to begin at same initial point.

  92. wattsupwiththat (21:49:01) : 6.9GHz hotspots… “The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon”
    So there’s a possible contamination from ‘6.9GHz hotspots’. A frequency interference on satellites recordings working a same effect as an UHI on surface stations? Will there be a volunteer photo crew on this one too?
    6.9GHzHotSpots.org ? 😉

  93. If I understand this and the data sets are correct then over the last seven years something has been warming the skin of the oceans exclusively. Is there anything that can do that? I can’t imagine there are a lot of things, maybe a component of solar radiation or ocean water, maybe the atmosphere. If those things can’t explain it then one of the data sets is wrong. How likely is it that the direct physical measurements of buoys and ships are systematically wrong? Wouldn’t their errors more likely be random? How likely is it that the satellite measurements are systematically wrong?

  94. SSMRs measure a surface “brightness temperature” signal, which is dependent upon wind-generated wave slopes and whitecaps that increase that brightness. This is not a direct themometric measurement. The SST estimates are obtained via a complicated, nonunique mathematical inversion process that relies upon judicious choice of frequencies, polarizations and incidence angles. To expect very high coherence between the resulting global monthly averages and those of surface-based thermometric readings is a bit much, given the distinctly different measurands (and geographic coverage) involved. Discrepancies of a few tenths of a degree should be fully expected. While the apparent trend of discrepancies may strike some as very significant, the short time interval of seven years cannot provide an adequate basis for any far-reaching inferences. Given the broadband cyclicalty of climate variables, that “trend” should be quite volatile. If it persists, then sensing and/or signal processing issues should be adressed first.

  95. vukcevic (07:07:31) :
    However, I am coming to a conclusion that correlation is not direct, but result of some intermediary factor, but it appears not to be the Svensmark’s effect.
    If you tell us which station(s) are used for the graph then we can accurately calculate the component for any time half of the last 1000 years, so can extend the graph that far.

  96. Gary (05:30:47) “[…] the warm calibration target design was suspect, with a gradient issue.”
    Can you elaborate (in layman’s terms)?

  97. Gene Nemetz (10:43:27) :
    wattsupwiththat (21:49:01) : 6.9GHz hotspots… “The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon”
    So there’s a possible contamination from ‘6.9GHz hotspots’.

    Hmmm … 6.9 GHz is second harmonic to 3.45 GHz which is encompassed by the 3.5 to 3.7 GHz WiMax et al spectrum (varies on globally; different bands in different countries).
    We have/there are requirements for harmonic emissions for this equipment (both infrastructure and subscriber hardware), as well as radiated emission limits from the chassis/radio hardware itself, but, all these values are finite; there is no such thing as infinite attenuation of shielding effectiveness, and today’s markets support only meeting spec (ETSI or FCC) with not a lot of margin to spare (certainly not an order of magnitude.)
    Also note that 6.9 GHz is 3rd harmonic for 2.3 GHz WiMax gear and other occupiers of that particular spectrum …
    There are other issues that even the WiMax folks have to deal with, like satellite services that occupy the 2.3 GHz band, as discussed here:

    COMPATIBILITY OF SERVICES USING
    WiMAX TECHNOLOGY WITH
    SATELLITE SERVICES IN THE
    2.3 – 2.7 GHz AND 3.3 – 3.8 GHz BANDS

    Full disclosure: This be the ‘bidness’ I’m currently involved in.
    .
    .

  98. tallbloke (09:26:38) “Bob Tisdales graph of southern ocean […] is very interesting. […] The big swings in the high latitude southern ocean at the end of the C19th seem to coincide with the big el nino events […]”
    I noticed that – and it’s also late C20th:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/2q20f88.jpg
    http://i44.tinypic.com/a331xv.jpg
    – –
    tallbloke (09:26:38) “[…] the changing depth of sub crustal currents evidenced by changes in the earth’s length of day […]”
    Can you provide references &/or links to materials that are influencing your thinking here tallbloke?

  99. Leif Svalgaard (11:34:17) :
    If you tell us which station(s) are used for the graph then we can accurately calculate the component for any time half of the last 1000 years, so can extend the graph that far.
    Correlation is high, but it would be wrong to finally conclude that one is cause of the other; it is more likely that there is a common modulating factor, while each has a fundamentaly independent driver.

  100. John S. (11:32:46) “[…] nonunique mathematical inversion process that relies upon judicious choice of frequencies, polarizations and incidence angles […] distinctly different measurands (and geographic coverage) […] the short time interval of seven years cannot provide an adequate basis […] “trend” should be quite volatile.”
    As often, thanks for the valuable notes.

    Bob, the KNMI Climate Explorer site is great. Thanks.

    Basil, your graphs are instructive. Comparing the amplitude-variation & phase-relation patterns in your plots suggests further lines of questioning…

  101. Tom in Texas (10:00:52) :
    Bob, I find it more instructive, when comparing trends, to start those trends at the same point. In your graph, adding 2.4°C to all the AVHRR data will raise its trend line to begin at same initial point.
    Tom
    Tom, did you mean to write 0.24C instead of 2.4C?

  102. Paul Vaughan (12:15:33) :
    Vukcevic, how exactly are you calculating your anomalies?
    Temperature data is readily available. Magnetic data is normalised to the same scale for the period (1900-2005, variations are wide) and an average (negative) gradient calculated; the result is then normalised to the temperature scale. In the absolute terms, obviously temperature (deg.K) varies less than +-0.2%, while magnetic field variations are much greater but far less erratic.

  103. Aaron Wells (13:38:32) : “Tom, did you mean to write 0.24C instead of 2.4C?”
    Yes, sorry. My point was that its easier to compare the wiggles when the trends originate at the same point (much the same thing as using anomalies).

  104. Bill Illis (12:43:45) :
    The trend differential between AMSE-R minus the CRU SST in-situ data as well according to the RSS validation data. The average is +0.035C per decade but there is wide dispersion amongst the different methods of in-situ measurement:
    +0.066C per decade for ship engine intake
    -0.104C per decade for moored bouys
    -0.027C per decade for drifting bouys
    +0.077C per decade for ship bucket
    +0.165C per decade for ship hulls

    Possibilities
    (1) too little data for these differences to be significant
    (2) they are a product of different (and somewhat arbitrary) corrective factors
    (3) they point to real differences eg Are moored buoys nearer land than drifting buoys? Do buoys generally cool more due to wind evaporating spray, a factor missing from ship hulls? Have wind effects (not just hurricanes) subsided? Above all, are land, sea-above-surface, and sea-below-surface affected differently by a changing Sun? Does land cool with quiet sun while oceans warm? The hemispheric difference is surely a big clue.

  105. That 6.9 Ghz is a 10x multiple of UHF channel 50-52 (at 686-704 Mhz).
    While it’s “anecdotal” my son reports significant increases in interference with various wireless equipment since the “Digital TV” cutover hit. I’ve noticed degradation of my computer wireless connection as well.
    The digital modulation method looks to me like it could easily generate a large number of harmonics and sidebands. And TV stations broadcast with rather very large power. Oh, and seasonally, the power output changes. There is a requirement that power be reduced (at least for radio, and I think for Digital TV still) at sundown with ionospheric propagation changes. That could account for some of the seasonal variation…
    Yes, all speculative, but I’ve seen more interference caused by less…
    I would also tend to look for how the solar changes have changed the ionized layers of the atmosphere and how those might impact transmissivity as well as ground sourced signal propagation / reflection. With the air a lot thinner right now, I could easily see a marginal “noise” source becoming significant as it crosses a sensitivity threshold.
    Basically, we’re putting one heck of a lot more kW into the upper MHz and GHz ranges. To expect equipment to be immune to any effect is a bit daft.

  106. OT perhaps, but here’s a quote from a news article that concerns me:
    “[…] the new, denser, shrubbier tundra could speed up global warming even further simply because that vegetation is darker and absorbs more solar energy. Previous studies have suggested that a global spread of thicker plant growth on the tundra could have the same effect as doubling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
    http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090823/climate_tundra_090823/20090823?hub=SciTech
    As an ecologist I find the spin on this story truly irksome. I appreciate that a good funding-hook is part of survival for a researcher and I also love any excuse to be around fiords, but the polished & sophisticated storyline does not tell the whole truth, so deception needs to be called.
    I note that the article points out that, “other researchers […] soon start reporting results from similar experiments in other parts of the world.”
    Anthony, I know you have a few contacts – maybe you know someone scientifically qualified to put the significance of insolation at that latitude into perspective (relative to, say, the role of convection from the south) and provide commentary moving forward as these “other” studies come out “soon”. I’ve got all the background I need to assess the claims about the plant ecology & range shifts, but I would certainly appreciate a (concise) relative/comparative look at the elements of the physical energetics.
    – –
    Re: vukcevic (13:54:50)
    My question is about how you calculate your “magnetic anomalies”. Are you using aa index? Are you calculating a “climatology” and then subtracting it? If so, based on annual cycles? – other cycles? Are you differencing? (If so, at what step-size?) Are you smoothing? (If so, what bandwidth?) In order to judge your work, I need to be able to reproduce it. Perhaps semantics are getting in the way, but that should be easy enough to overcome. Your graph is interesting. Maybe you can provide a ‘Vukcevic’s-magnetic-anomaly-calculation step-by-step-for-idiots’ cookbook recipe?
    [ :

  107. Roy Spencer (17:53:54) :
    There seems to be some confusion here…..The issue is that two global SST datasets that should show very similar behavior over that period of time have DIVERGED by so much….and fairly consistently over time.
    (Quick break from work) Beyond my expertise and ken but looking at the 3 graphs above I’d say black one satellite minus in situ is believeable. Red and Blue – nah.
    Ocean temperatures go up by over 0.35 C in a year and a half? Has there been a supervolcano going off under the sea? Mass die off of marine life? Something not quite right there

  108. Leif Svalgaard (11:34:17) :
    If you tell us which station(s) are used for the graph then we can accurately calculate the component for any time half of the last 1000 years, so can extend the graph that far.
    Yes, thanks. I will take up your offer. Here is the location: nearest to 60 S, 60 W, half way between Ushuaia and Larsen Ice shelf.

  109. Richard (15:26:52) :
    Ocean temperatures go up by over 0.35 C in a year and a half? Has there been a supervolcano going off under the sea? Mass die off of marine life? Something not quite right there

    The sea surface temperature has risen, ocean heat-energy content hasn’t. In fact it’s been “slightly falling” since 2003.
    We are witnessing heat energy leaving the oceans.

  110. Lucy Skywalker (15:13:35) “[…] Do buoys generally cool more due to wind evaporating spray […]?”
    That’s a good one.

    Lucy Skywalker (15:13:35) “[…] are land, sea-above-surface, and sea-below-surface affected differently by a changing Sun? Does land cool with quiet sun while oceans warm? The hemispheric difference is surely a big clue.”
    That’s an interesting one (that risks triggering thread-derailing semantic/technical-nitpicking – let’s hope not!) I suggest working shifts in global-distribution-of-water into this.
    – –
    – –
    For those who do not have access to Sidorenkov (2003), Sidorenkov (2005) provides an overview in section 3:
    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.
    http://images.astronet.ru/pubd/2008/09/28/0001230882/425-439.pdf
    Strongly suggested:
    Compare Figure 7 with Bob Tisdale’s Southern Ocean graphs.

    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/closer-look-at-ersstv3b-southern-ocean.html
    Again: Good work Bob. This is getting interesting.
    Question: Do you know of any related literature? – or other time series that show the same general pattern?

  111. Tom in Texas: You wrote with regards to the correction by Aaron Wells, “Yes, sorry. My point was that its easier to compare the wiggles when the trends originate at the same point (much the same thing as using anomalies).”
    But the intent of the graph wasn’t wiggle matching. It was intended to show that the trends were fundamentally the same, that the TLT anomaly trend wasn’t elevated like the AMSR-E data. But this ONCE I will respond to your curiosity:
    http://i31.tinypic.com/8y5dvl.png

  112. Bob Tisdale (16:26:26) : “But this ONCE I will respond to your curiosity”
    Thanks Bob. It looks to me like ERSST Feb.(?) 2005 is a bad data point.
    It wouldn’t affect the trend much, and if anything would make their agreement even closer.

  113. tallbloke (16:02:38) :
    Richard (15:26:52) :
    Ocean temperatures go up by over 0.35 C in a year and a half? Has there been a supervolcano going off under the sea? Mass die off of marine life? Something not quite right there
    “The sea surface temperature has risen, ocean heat-energy content hasn’t. In fact it’s been “slightly falling” since 2003.
    We are witnessing heat energy leaving the oceans.

    Still doesnt ring right. In over a century the sea surface temps rise matches that. The red and blue curves – seems to be some mistake there.
    Why should more energy leave when the energy content is in fact getting less? But indeed if the sea surface gets slightly warmer as is probable this would warm the atmosphere by convection ands radiation.

  114. E.M.Smith (15:21:58) :
    While it’s “anecdotal” …
    The digital modulation method looks to me like it could easily generate a large number of harmonics and sidebands.

    Yes, anecdotal.
    Observation of the TV spectrum shows things are normal with no large-scale, area-wide mixing problems present (equipped with the tools to ‘troubleshoot’, measure, identify and such interference here on this end). Dorothy needn’t click her heels together quite yet and return back to Kansas and analog broadcasts quite yet.
    And no oddities to report on other bands either (VHF, UHF incl ham bands, poh-leece, wx service, WiFi, etc) since the switch either. But don’t let that compel anyone from otherwise blaming that which is not observable ‘without instrumentation’.
    Reminds me of the sage advice to the newbie ham operator wishing for a tower:
    Construct that new tower and wait a fortnight plus a week or so for ‘interference’ reports from the neighbors and town council to pour in … only then is it safe to add the antenna (or beam) of choice to the tower and then wait another fortnight for a repeat of the cycle once more before actually operating …
    .
    .

  115. vukcevic (15:30:45) :
    Yes, thanks. I will take up your offer. Here is the location: nearest to 60 S, 60 W, half way between Ushuaia and Larsen Ice shelf.
    Elsewhere you have claimed that your graph was based on many stations. Why do you think that that particular location is important? And what does ‘nearest to 60S, 60W’ mean? Anyway, the variation of the Z-component at that location is nowhere near what your graph shows: http://www.leif.org/research/Z-Component-1595-2010.png


  116. Basically, we’re putting one heck of a lot more kW into the upper MHz and GHz ranges. To expect equipment to be immune to any effect is a bit daft.

    But, that’s our job, E.M., to understand the RF environment and understand the propagation of those signals, plan for the signal levels (for receive) and also what is necessary in the way of transmit signal purity so as not be a ‘nuisance’ on the band to adjacent ‘services’ either within our own service-band or whether adjacent to other ‘bands’ that must be protected from RF that might otherwise cause harm (defined often as ACP or ACPR measurement – adjacent channel power [ratio]).
    I have yet to see, except under really, really adverse conditions that the atmosphere and to a slightly lesser extent the ionsophere acts as anything but a linear, passive bi-directional ‘medium’ when it comes to signals; oh, it may change a signals phase (apparent to a receiving party on the shortwave bands as ‘selective fading’) and amplitude (then there is Faraday rotation; let’s save that for another time), but I have yet to witness ‘mixing’ (convolution: two time-varing signals of different wavelength producing a plethora of others) or other obvious non-linear behavior.
    So far, for this RF engineer, if you respect the channel plan, build equipment for the dynamic range of the signals expected, restrict or control emissions from one’s transmitters per established or industry standard norms, everything works out (at least to the degree that the system design engineers planned for). I suspect there are other issues as yet unexplained affecting those > 200 MHz wide, AMSR 6.9 GHz ‘receivers’ e.g. as malfunctioning equipment (and that does happen; I have stories in that category too).
    .
    .
    .

  117. Richard (17:10:54) :
    Why should more energy leave when the energy content is in fact getting less?

    It’s easier if you consider it the other way round.
    Energy leaves the ocean raising SST’s on the way, therefore the remaining energy is less. Why it does it is an interesting question, but the SST record shows that this is what happens when the sun gets quieter, like at the end of the C19th, and now. Big el ninos occur when the sun is at minimum, especially after a run of high cycles.
    To me, the simplest and most obvious answer is that the oceans absorb and retain energy when the sun is strong, and release energy when the sun goes quiet.
    This seems to happen both at decadal and multidecadal timescales. i.e. over the ~11 year solar cycle and after a run of a few high cycles.

  118. Leif Svalgaard (18:04:05) :
    ———
    It was not necessarily meant to. 60S 60W is an area well known for the high speed currents, where warm water currents of Pacific and (cold saline) Circumpolar current squeeze trough into South Atlantic.
    Recent study suggests that oceans’ currents may have an effect on geomagnetic intensity. Chart from NOAA (Dec 2005) shows mag S pole drift for period 1590-2005. Comparing two, it might give an indication if there is an effect.

  119. tallbloke (01:11:06) :
    Energy leaves the ocean raising SST’s on the way, therefore the remaining energy is less. Why it does it is an interesting question, but the SST record shows that this is what happens when the sun gets quieter, like at the end of the C19th, and now. Big el ninos occur when the sun is at minimum, especially after a run of high cycles.
    To me, the simplest and most obvious answer is that the oceans absorb and retain energy when the sun is strong, and release energy when the sun goes quiet.
    This seems to happen both at decadal and multidecadal timescales. i.e. over the ~11 year solar cycle and after a run of a few high cycles.

    This sounds reasonable. The radiative balance becomes negative? More is being radiated out than in. Another analogy would be a bucket of water with a heater on top. As you turn up the controller the water absorbs radiation and heats up, when you turn it down it radiates more than it absorbs and cools, but while doing so the surface layer gets hotter? Wonder if anyone has done such an experiment to confirm this?
    And where is the data to confirm your statement this happens? This would explain the sudden increase in the SST. But by that much? Still doubtful

  120. To square the circle one really needs to propose independent variability within the oceans i.e. independent of direct forcing from either sun or air.
    I say that because there are no cycles in air or sun to explain 25 to 30 year oceanic phase shifts and often oceanic cycles either oppose or supplement solar cycles so I’m a little doubtful about the suggestion that El Ninos dominate when the sun is at solar minimum.
    On the other hand tallbloke has said he has noted that the phase shifts occur around minimum on every third cycle and someone else suggested a mechanism but I’ve no idea whether that stacks up.
    What does seem clear is that if the oceans are releasing energy faster as during an El Nino event then unless the solar input is more than compensating for the energy lost then the ocean energy content falls even as the air warms.

  121. tallbloke (16:02:38) :
    Richard (15:26:52) :
    Ocean temperatures go up by over 0.35 C in a year and a half? Has there been a supervolcano going off under the sea? Mass die off of marine life? Something not quite right there
    The sea surface temperature has risen, ocean heat-energy content hasn’t. In fact it’s been “slightly falling” since 2003.
    We are witnessing heat energy leaving the oceans.
    But surely it’s been leaving the oceans since 1997/98 at least. Why are the high SSTs still at the same level as they were then. This ocean cooling stuff just doesn’t stack up.

  122. vukcevic (01:46:01) :
    60S 60W is an area well known for the high speed currents, where warm water currents of Pacific and (cold saline) Circumpolar current squeeze trough into South Atlantic.
    Why is your curve different from mine?

  123. Could satellite data be systematically high? The idea is they don’t ‘measure’ water temperature but the air “immediately” above. Could Wingo’s surmise be on track with rising albedo throwing calibration studies. Light is a wave as well as quanta.

  124. “We are witnessing heat energy leaving the oceans.
    But surely it’s been leaving the oceans since 1997/98 at least. Why are the high SSTs still at the same level as they were then. This ocean cooling stuff just doesn’t stack up.”
    The only way for it to stack up is to set the rate of solar energy going into the oceans against the rate of (former) solar energy leaving the oceans for the air.
    Thus throughout the 30 years up to 2000 there was a predominance of El Ninos releasing high levels of energy to the air but the ocean energy content nevertheless rose most likely because the solar cycles 21, 22 and 23 were all at historically high levels of activity.
    I know that is at odds with what Leif Svalgaard tells us about the smallness of solar variability from cycle to cycle but it’s all we have to go on unless one accepts the CO2 forcing scenario. To my mind the CO2 scenario cannot be right because the flexibility and speed of the hydrological cycle always deals effectively with any attempted deviation of the air temperature above or below ocean SST temperatures globally.
    The period 1945 to 1975 is instructive because then we had a very active solar period during cycles 18 and 19 ( at peak, even higher than during 21,22 and 23) but there was a some of cooling of the air globally because of a negative oceanic phase.
    Then solar cycle 20 was a bit weaker and the oceans remained negative and the combination gave a more significant downward trend in temperatures during the early 70s.
    Now all that suggests a pretty high responsiveness of the global air temperatures to combined solar and oceanic trends but that remains at odds with what we think we know about the energy quantities involved.
    I have suggested that the answer is that there is a very fine balance between energy entering the oceans and energy leaving it and additionally the oceans themselves have their own internal characteristics independent of sun and air which periodically accelerate and decelerate the speed of the flow of energy through the Earth system. In the process of accelerating and decelerating the flow of energy the oceans themselves generate a variation in the amount of heat energy produced within the system which is independent of the solar contribution.
    When the oceans slow down the rate of energy flow more energy is converted to heat and when the oceans speed up the rate of energy flow then less energy is converted to heat. Just like a resistor in an electric circuit.
    I don’t expect that description to be readily accepted by many at this point but I am hopeful for the future.

  125. Richard (02:06:01) :
    water absorbs radiation and heats up, when you turn it down it radiates more than it absorbs and cools, but while doing so the surface layer gets hotter? Wonder if anyone has done such an experiment to confirm this?
    And where is the data to confirm your statement this happens? This would explain the sudden increase in the SST. But by that much? Still doubtful

    The oceans, their varying salinity, and their currents both lateral and vertical are a good deal more complex than a bucket experiment, but be my guest. 😉
    What explains the sudden fall in SST’s by the same sort of amount previous to the 0.35C rise? And is 0.35C really all that much anyway?

  126. John Finn (03:46:39) :
    But surely it’s been leaving the oceans since 1997/98 at least. Why are the high SSTs still at the same level as they were then. This ocean cooling stuff just doesn’t stack up.

    According to my calcs, the oceans gain heat whenever the sunspot count exceeds around 40/month. So the oceans gained quite a lot of heat during solar cycle 23 after the big el nino heat release during the cycle22/23 minimum. Once the sunspot count dropped after 2003, the oceans started releasing heat energy.
    You need to understand SST’s can be high for different reasons: energy entering from above, energy welling up from below.

  127. Richard (02:06:01) :
    And where is the data to confirm your statement this happens?

    SST data, OHC data, sea level data, LT data.

  128. El Nino releases energy to the air which then warms but ocean heat content declines unless the sun is strong enough to counter the energy loss as seems to have been the case from 1975 to 2000.
    La Nina holds energy back from the air which then cools but ocean heat content increases unless the sun is putting less into the oceans thus offsetting the gain from La Nina. That seems to have happened in 2006/7
    The current situation is that since 2003 the oceans have been losing energy slowly even though there was a recent powerful La Nina. That would be because of the weak sun.
    Now there is a mild El Nino releasing energy to the air faster but the sun remains weak. Despite that increase in energy supply to the air the northern continents continue to cool and Arctic Ice is recovering. I would have expected a bigger uptick in tropospheric air temperatures from current ocean conditions if there were 10 years of CO2 forcing in the background but it seems not to be there.
    The test of my suggestion would be whether we will shortly find that the decline in ocean energy content has accelerated following the current El Nino conditions.
    At least there is a means of testing my description.

  129. Stephen Wilde (06:01:46) :
    Now all that suggests a pretty high responsiveness of the global air temperatures to combined solar and oceanic trends but that remains at odds with what we think we know about the energy quantities involved
    I will add a “petty” theory of my own (as Leif would say), and this is the “teaspoon stir theory”, this happens whwenever sea waters become agitated and so release more energy, during earthquakes and tsunamis. We can remember those big earthquakes such as the one in Valdivia, Chile (the stongest in recorded history), in the 60′ s and the Huaraz, Peru, quake (70,,000 deaths) in the 70′.

  130. Stephen, by what mechanism are you supposing the Sun is being so variable in its ability to heat the ocean? Are you supposing that the Sun is creating or removing clouds that are reflecting shortwave infrared away or allowing it through thus changing solar insolence? Or are you saying that the Sun is changing the strength of its infrared radiation at its solar source?

  131. Gary (05:30:47) :
    On heat gradient, for calibration, can you point us to any papers to read how that is done?
    How sensitive is the signal to the depth into the ocean or height above the ocean?
    Can you point us to any papers discussing the absorptivity vs depth above/below the ocean surface?

  132. Stephen Wilde (06:19:45) :
    The test of my suggestion would be whether we will shortly find that the decline in ocean energy content has accelerated following the current El Nino conditions.

    That was my suggestion several months ago on this blog too.
    I’m glad we concur. 🙂

  133. _Jim (18:00:22) : Observation of the TV spectrum shows things are normal with no large-scale, area-wide mixing problems present (equipped with the tools to ‘troubleshoot’, measure, identify and such interference here on this end). Dorothy needn’t click her heels together quite yet and return back to Kansas and analog broadcasts quite yet.
    Jim, I am in no way advocating a return to analog. And while I find your trust in the perfection of equipment touching, my point was not about the spectrum and cross modulation per se, more about the response of some particular bits of equipment to changes in their environment (and any such problem would be the fault of the equipment, not the broadcaster).
    But don’t let that compel anyone from otherwise blaming that which is not observable ‘without instrumentation’.
    Plenty of things are observable “without instrumentation”. Almost universally the “instrumentation” is brought in to figure out what’s really happening after something is observed “without instrumentation”. (Though one could make the case that a cheesy cheap receiver front end is a kind of crappy instrument… so it isn’t really without instrumentation…)
    Reminds me of the sage advice to the newbie ham operator wishing for a tower:
    I’m more a SWL than a HAM (though a licensed HAM is part of my household). And yes, it’s always fun when you put up a new antenna as a SWL and someone complains about your TRANSMITTER screwing up their TV! Believe it or not, this is a common problem for SWLs…
    (SWL is Short Wave Listener – i.e. no power in the antenna because you have no transmitter…)
    But, while rare, it is possible for a passive tuned element to cause reflections and re-radiation of signals and other problems. (The Soviets were especially good at exploiting this, with passive “bugs” that were irradiated with microwaves, but modulated by voice vibrations, and ‘re-radiated’ a modulated signal) That’s where the instrumentation is handy. To show there is no energy there; or where it’s going. The “spook business” is full of interesting exploits for grounds as antennas, or as power feeds, and for passive objects as antennas and / or modulators.
    _Jim (18:23:37) : But, that’s our job, E.M., to understand the RF environment and understand the propagation of those signals, plan for the signal levels (for receive) and also what is necessary in the way of transmit signal purity so as not be a ‘nuisance’ on the band to adjacent ’services’
    Do I detect a bit of defensiveness?
    Jim, I’m NOT tossing rocks at the broadcasters!
    I’m simply pointing out that a lot of energy has moved to higher frequencies and we added more total power (especially during the transition) and that might cause a marginal shift in the behaviour of the satellite front end. More stations moved to UHF (especially when some of them were simultaneously broadcasting Analog, HDTV, and DTV ) and it got crowded. More stations popped up around UHF 50. More total energy. More of it on a sub-multiple of the satellite frequency. More of it concentrated in Single Sidebands and not in carriers.
    That could either swamp a badly shielded and poor rejection filtered front end on a <$40 cheap wireless gizmo on the ground near a station (i.e. the anecdotal ground gear observations) OR cause the very expensive sat front end to have a small shift in how the very sensitive front end amplifier handles the signals it’s getting (and thus slightly change the reported “temperatures”). In both cases the fault would lie with the end user gear, not the broadcaster; but my point was not about “fault”, it was about the potential for a bit of gear that “worked fine” in one context to change it’s behaviour with a change of context.
    Basically, the satellite might have tested “to spec” or been “calibrated” in one context, but suffer a shift when it starts getting a few hundred kW more total signals tossed at it in higher frequencies.
    If you don’t think that’s possible, drive near a broadcast transmitter with your radio on. I regularly get a commercial broadcaster bleed through at high enough power… antenna about 200 yards from road. Or just point a 100 kW radar at your TV and see what reception you get. Yes, much more dramatic than anything I’m thinking might be happening with the satellite, but it demonstrates the point that the equipment is not a perfect filter and does not have unlimited compliance.
    So basically I’m saying that cheap (i.e. <$40 type) wireless gear on the ground might serve as a 'canary' to say "go dig here" and discover IF there is an issue with the rejection capacity of the satellite (NOT an issue with DTV!).
    I have yet to see, except under really, really adverse conditions that the atmosphere and to a slightly lesser extent the ionsophere acts as anything but a linear, passive bi-directional ‘medium’ when it comes to signals;
    It dramatically changes propagation at some frequencies. The total power “visible” to the satellite could easily change by a large factor based on how much signal was reflected off the ionosphere vs how much penetrated to the satellite. It would be a “good idea” to investigate it to see how much (if any of significance) the total power to the satellite front end changes with atmospheric and ionospheric changes. Until you know the numbers, you’re just guessing (or, perhaps better as “I’m just guessing”). So all I’m suggesting is that it’s a thing that ought to be measured to make sure it isn’t an issue. (If the satellite can reject, for example, a 100 kW line of sight signal at 1/10 bandpass while amplifying a 1 microwatt signal in the desired band; and works fine with a strong ionospheric shield, but at low ionization it “sees” 1000 kW total from multiple ground stations, that could interfere with the ability of the front end to properly and LINEARLY amplify the desired signal.
    And yes, I know that “skip” is very unusual at TV frequencies. Yet there are folks who “work DX” for TV signals. (There are even specialized TVs that let you choose your modulation method to pick up foreign “skip” signals properly). Again: I am not attributing causality, I am brainstorming things worth investigating (most likely to prove they are not the “issue” but possibly to discover where the issue is.)
    So far, for this RF engineer, if you respect the channel plan, build equipment for the dynamic range of the signals expected, restrict or control emissions from one’s transmitters per established or industry standard norms, everything works out (at least to the degree that the system design engineers planned for).
    Unless the receiver or it’s antenna have “issues” that their designer failed to handle properly. My point is not about the channel plan nor the broadcasters, it’s about the guy building the OTHER END equipment having something that passed acceptance but is now in a different environment and it’s not working quite the same…
    I suspect there are other issues as yet unexplained affecting those > 200 MHz wide, AMSR 6.9 GHz ‘receivers’ e.g. as malfunctioning equipment (and that does happen; I have stories in that category too).
    Don’t forget that the DTV modulation is an 8 level vestigial sideband signal. More energy going into one sideband. It’s easier to filter out a nice sin wave carrier than it is to filter a high modulation sideband. My point here is not to say SSB is bad (it isn’t, it’s god’s gift to long distance on low power SWLing). Simply that the environment changed for the satellite front end and it may have tickled a design limitation that was not caught before with nice fat analog signals with broad power distribution.
    SIdebar: One of my favorite antennas is an aluminum frame picture window with 2 slider windows in it. I can just “clip on” and get decent reception. Moving the “clip” can tune it a little, as can moving the “sliders”. I would speculate that it’s acting as a kind of ‘quasi-fractal’ antenna. It “outperforms” some simple long wire antennas (but not my inverted V tuned dipole). I know, SWLs don’t need to worry about transmitter coupling efficiency and SWR like HAMs do; but it’s still a ‘neat trick’. (Though it did bug me for a few years that the window frame was better than the wires I strung up… but it gradually “grew on me”…)
    The point being that there are many times that a chunk of metal hanging in insulted space behaves in ways the designer (and sometimes the user) did not expect. Especially when it comes to radio energy. There are plenty of opportunities for slightly oxidized or sulphated joints to start acting as diodes and mixers; for “accidentally tuned” elements to act as antennas. Etc. Anyone trying to get a decent high frequency ground system debugged will “have stories”. It isn’t a theoretical world and it isn’t perfect.

  134. David L. Hagen (10:00:11) :
    Gary (05:30:47) :
    On heat gradient, for calibration, can you point us to any papers to read how that is done?
    No studies with engineer’s design but recently reread Feynman’s “QED”, Princeton, ca. 1985. Lights interaction with matter is probabilistic, the “reflection” at a surface is illusory, in fact an electromagnetic interaction with the intervening layer’s electrons. The resulting percentage reflection changes with the layer’s depth, oscillating between extremes, e.g., for glass, 4% to 16%.
    The reflection is occuring everywhere but the infinity of resultant paths cancel except for those at the near and far margins.
    In this case, engineers would have calibrated the AMSR-E recieved energy levels with actual temperatures measured by other means. Presumably this was done over a time period wherein atmospheric depth changed diurnally over some range that is now not representative.

  135. “”” Bob Tisdale (16:42:38) :
    maksimovich: You asked, “The absence of Volcanic “forcing” in the 19th century eg Krakatoa 1883 and Tarawera 1888 seems to be absent in this dataset,is this a mix of hadcru ?”
    No. It is an NCDC product, ERSST.v3b. It is not a product of the Hadley Centre. The paper discussing the ERSST.v3 data and the differences between it and HADSST data is here:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf “””
    The Mt Tarawera Eruption occurred in 1886; not 1888; perhaps the worst of all NewZealand Natural Disasters. Apart from what it did to the mountain (blew the whole middle of it, out so it is almost two mountains now) it also blew to smithereens the fabulous Pink and White Terraces; which were the largest silica terrace formations on earth. Some thought they were just buried under the volcanic ash; but later studies proved they were completely destroyed, and pieces were found almost 100 miles away. The locals really haven’t fully accepted that they are gone forever.
    But the eruption did also create the Waimangu Geyser; which for many years was the larges and most spectacular geyser on earth; It too is gone now as a result of a later (local) eruption

  136. I’m still enamored of the idea that the SST is more a function of mixing via cyclonic storms than of other inputs like solar. The idea being that years of lower hurricane activity (for example) would show higher SST while those with lots of storms would show lower SST.
    What causes the hurricane energy to modulate is a different question… but you have a process that moves vast quantities of heat from the ocean to the stratosphere. Seems reasonable to me that the SST would be variable based on how many of these happen…
    I know, it turns the normal causality view on its head. (Typically the assertion is that higher SST drives more hurricanes via providing the energy for them). But what if it’s a two way street to some extent? More energy allowing for more cyclones, but if you have fewer cyclones in some year, the SST rises for “a long while” until you do get a high cyclone year…

  137. tallbloke (06:11:47) : The oceans, their varying salinity, and their currents both lateral and vertical are a good deal more complex than a bucket experiment, but be my guest. 😉
    tallbloke I have a day job and a gf and other committments which I have been neglecting.
    And where is the data to confirm your statement this happens? “SST data, OHC data, sea level data, LT data.”
    No I want only SST data. You said: the SST record shows that this is what happens when the sun gets quieter, like at the end of the C19th, and now.
    And remember I am a climatology illiterate. I dont know what OHC and LT stands for. I am barely better than Al Gore, but can restrain myself from saying the earth has a fever or a cold. All that I’ve learnt is thanks to him giving me the shivers.
    But before we get bogged down in water skin experiments, methinks we should first understand what Dr Spencer has written. I’m not sure that I do. I just shot my mouth off looking at the 3 graphs above
    ..I thought I would take a look at what the combined AMSR-E & TMI instruments on NASA’s Aqua and TRMM satellites (respectively) had to say…the combined SST product produced by Frank Wentz’s Remote Sensing Systems provides complete global coverage only since the launch of Aqua (mid-2002)…
    ..The large and frequent swings in global average temperature are real, and result from changes in the rate at which water evaporates from the ocean surface….
    …I decided to download the NOAA/NCDC SST data from their website — which do NOT include the AMSR-E measurements — to do a more quantitative comparison…
    …From the NOAA data, I computed monthly anomalies in exactly the same manner I computed them with the AMSR-E data…
    …If the satellite data are correct, then this means that the July 2009 SSTs reached a considerably higher record temperature than NOAA has claimed…
    [this is the part I dont understand]
    …Is it possible that the NCDC SST temperature dataset has been understating recent warming? [In other words they have made a mistake and the SST’s anomalies are actually more?]

    Many questions – AMSR-E data shows it is less? Have they been inaccurate? Why should the NCDC SST temperature dataset be more accurate?
    ..Frank Wentz and Chelle Gentemann at Remote Sensing Systems have been very careful about tracking the accuracy of the AMSR-E SST retrievals with millions of buoy measurements…
    buoy measurements? someone help me out. Many more but I have to rush

  138. “Pamela Gray (09:47:49) :
    Stephen, by what mechanism are you supposing the Sun is being so variable in its ability to heat the ocean? Are you supposing that the Sun is creating or removing clouds that are reflecting shortwave infrared away or allowing it through thus changing solar insolence? Or are you saying that the Sun is changing the strength of its infrared radiation at its solar source ?”
    Hi Pamela,
    I’m not actually supposing that the sun is particularly variable.
    I am suggesting that the oceans themselves appear to alter the rate of energy emission to the air on various timescales due to internal behaviour of the oceans. Sometimes creating a net release to the air and sometimes a net absorption from the sun. Ocean energy content duly follows.
    The Enso cycle is quite short and largely self cancelling but behind that we have 25 to 30 year phase changes which make noticeable differences to the global air temperature trends and shift all the air circulation systems latitudinally in the process.
    For all I know there could be even longer term ocean cycles as well but our period of observation of ocean behaviour is not yet long enough.
    For the 20th Century the ocean phase changes describe everything we have seen save for a small background warming trend but that could be explained either by multi century scale small solar changes since the bottom of the LIA or possibly by longer ocean cycles as yet undiscovered.
    I think that internal oceanic variability is the best way of narrowing the current gap between the energy value of solar variations and the energy value of observed climate changes.

  139. Paul Vaughan: You asked, “Do you know of any related literature?”
    I haven’t seen any papers written on the ERSST.v3b depiction of the Southern Ocean.
    And you asked, “– or other time series that show the same general pattern?”
    I asked the same question in this post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/12/does-anyone-recall-any-other-data-sets.html
    Which then leads one to why would the curve of the “Hours of Bright Sunshine” over the Armaugh Observatory, inverted, have the same shape as the Southern Ocean SST anomalies?

  140. E.M.Smith: You wrote, “The idea being that years of lower hurricane activity (for example) would show higher SST while those with lots of storms would show lower SST.”
    Other than the Gulf of Mexico and a small part of the Caribbean, the areas with elevated SST anomalies are outside of the tropical Atlantic.
    http://i32.tinypic.com/ilanx5.png

  141. OK, gang, this is what I found out today before having to leave work. I downloaded the monthly grids of SST from NCDC (both their v2 and v3b products), and I computed the monthly anomalies at each gridpoint relative to the June 2002 through July 2009 period (since that is the period we have AMSR-E measurements for).
    I then differenced the later part of the period (since 2007) with the earlier part (during and before 2004), separately for the NCDC and AMSR-E products.
    Then I differences THOSE differences.
    What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe. The problem seems to diminish and then go away poleward of about 30S latitude, and poleward of 45N latitude.
    This does NOT look like an RFI issue…it is too uniform spatially. Someone has made a major boo-boo…and I hope it isn’t me. 🙂

  142. ..This does NOT look like an RFI issue…it is too uniform spatially. Someone has made a major boo-boo…and I hope it isn’t me. 🙂
    Mama mia!! Lets wait and see

  143. Re: Bob Tisdale (13:12:47)
    Bob, thanks for the response.
    Have you ever written to the people at COADS about your post on the 1945 discontinuity?
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/large-1945-sst-discontinuity-also.html
    http://icoads.noaa.gov/participants.html
    Specifically, I’m curious to know if any officials have clarified the roles of the various series in constructing the various other series. For example, has the cloud cover series in-part been estimated from the SST records?
    I would go as far as suggesting that your blog post on this subject demands a formal & fully-public response from officials — or at least the establishment of a permanent page on their website devoted to providing important clarification.

  144. Ignore my previous comment, I was thinking of the Land+Ocean dataset which USHCN2 would affect.
    Here is a more likely candidate:
    NOAA Global July temps release.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global&year=2009&month=7&submitted=Get+Report
    Note the note at the bottom of the release, excerpted below:
    Please Note: Effective with the July 2009 State of the Climate Report, NCDC transitioned to the new version (version 3b) of the extended reconstructed sea surface temperature (ERSST) dataset. ERSST.v3b is an improved extended SST reconstruction over version 2. Most of the improvements are justified by testing with simulated data. The primary difference in version 3b, compared to version 2, is improved low-frequency tuning that increases the sensitivity to data prior to 1930. In ERSST v3b, satellite data was removed from the ERSST product. The addition of satellite data from 1985 to present caused problems for many users. (who, the warmers?)
    Although the satellite data were corrected with respect to the in situ data, a small residual cold bias remained at high southern latitudes where in situ data were sparse For more information about the differences between ERSST.v3b and ERSST.v2 please read Summary of Recent Changes in the Land-Ocean Temperature Analyses and Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006) paper (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/sst/papers/SEA.temps08.pdf – (ironically this paper lauded the use of satellite data – yet 6 months later it was yanked?)
    Temperature anomalies for July 2009 are shown on the dot maps below. The dot map on the left provides a spatial representation of anomalies calculated from the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset of land surface stations using a 1961-1990 base period. The dot map on the right is a product of a merged land surface and sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly analysis developed by Smith et al. (2008). Temperature anomalies with respect to the 1961-1990 average for land and ocean are analyzed separately and then merged to form the global analysis.

  145. ????
    WTFarce?
    “Most of the improvements are justified by testing with simulated data. The primary difference in version 3b, compared to version 2, is improved low-frequency tuning that increases the sensitivity to data prior to 1930.”
    So, they are “checking” the “new” way of processing data with “simulated” data – rather than comparing it to REAL DATA of REAL datasets?
    Then the “change” is affecting comparision of new information to old reported data (corrupted data (er, corrected data) actually) of recorded temperature information prior to 1930.
    What’s wrong with actual raw data? Oh right. HADCRU claims THAT’S state secrets.

  146. Roy Spencer (13:55:08) :
    “What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe. The problem seems to diminish and then go away poleward of about 30S latitude, and poleward of 45N latitude.
    This does NOT look like an RFI issue…it is too uniform spatially.”
    —–
    If it behaves like that, look for a cosine function interface of (latitude of the measurement) and the difference between the (magnitude of the original temperature, or received energy amount) and the reference (expected) value. Sounds like a term is getting “erased” in the processing.
    As the receiver (data point) gets higher, the value becomes more accurate with respect to previous values.
    We KNOW – by observation and surface temperatures – that temperatures worldwide didn’t really get warmer magically and suddenly in July. In May and June the difference between baseline and worldwide levels were (literally!) zero.
    However, we are told that the “calculation” of the worldwide temperature suddenly changed at that time in July: so what is (should be!) suspect: the world – previously very inconveniently “cold”? Or the calculated (corrupted) temperature plot by people who NEED a sudden warming for their September publicity tour, and who therefore have little reason to check (very convenient) rising temperature records?

  147. Roy Spencer (13:55:08) :
    What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe.

    That’s a lot.
    I wonder if NCDC is taking the opportunity to bring it’s data back closer to reality during an el nino spell when it’s not so noticeable.
    This plot compares the SST’s of the rather similar solar situations and el nino events of the last 8 years and the end of the C19th. The difference is more like 0.2C than 2C, though these are global figures rather than equatorial.
    http://s630.photobucket.com/albums/uu21/stroller-2009/?action=view&current=sst-1892.gif
    Perhaps Roy could clarify his “1 to 2 deg C” ?

  148. Oceans Regulate
    http://nov55.com/gbwg.html#tropo
    Humans cannot influence the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, because oceans regulate the amount to the most minute degree. Propagandists sometimes acknowledge this and sometimes contradict it. They acknowledge that oceans are absorbing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, when they are pretending that the oceans are being harmed by the result. They contradict it in claiming humans determine the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.
    It is a fact of chemistry that water absorbs carbon dioxide and establishes an equilibrium with the amount in the air. Equilibrium means absorption and release is continuous, while the concentration on either side is defined by the chemistry. Warmer water releases more carbon dioxide, and so does saltier water. If the oceans were not high in salt, there would not be enough carbon dioxide in the air to sustain plant growth.
    As oceans heat up, they release more carbon dioxide into the air, which is why carbon dioxide levels in the air track with ocean temperatures. The reason why there has been an increase in carbon dioxide in the air over the past 150 years is because the oceans have been heating up, not because humans are producing more.
    This equilibrium is observable when atmospheric carbon dioxide is measured. These measurements are made on a mountain in Hawaii, where the air is not disturbed by nearby human activity. The measurements show that when the Pacific Ocean heats up due to an El Nino, the carbon dioxide in the air increases; and when the El Nino disappears, the CO2 level in the air normalizes. This shows that oceans control the amount of carbon dioxide in the air rapidly and to the most minute degree.
    Carbon dioxide is not self-regulating based on supply and demand, because the upper limit of toxicity is very high, and the lower limit of availability is almost nonexistent due to the large amount in the oceans. A stable level only exists because the oceans regulate through solubility equilibrium.

  149. wattsupwiththat: Anthony, regarding your 18:32:52 comment, I wouldn’t lie to you.
    Refer to my 8/22/09 comment at 13:00:38 which begins:
    Dr. Roy and Anthony:
    The NCDC SST Anomaly data…
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/anomalies/monthly.ocean.90S.90N.df_1901-2000mean.dat
    …is the NCDC’s ERSST.v3b data…
    ftp://eclipse.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/ersstv3b/pdo/aravg.mon.ocean.90S.90N.asc
    …except it has the years 1901 to 2000 as its base years, instead of the “normal” NCDC SST climatology.
    Regards

  150. Bob Tisdale & Others,
    I’ve dug for some basic background towards researching further the very interesting Southern Ocean patterns depicted on Bob’s blog:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/closer-look-at-ersstv3b-southern-ocean.html
    The following appears to relate to the spatial variation within the Southern Ocean:
    Antarctic Oscillation Spatial Loading Pattern:
    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/aao/aao.loading.shtml

    Notes:

    Southern Ocean
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Ocean
    “The ocean-area from about latitude 40 south to the Antarctic Circle has the strongest average winds found anywhere on Earth.”
    “The Antarctic Circumpolar Current […] comprises the world’s longest ocean current”

    Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_circumpolar_current
    “Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) […] the largest ocean current […]. It keeps warm ocean waters away from Antarctica […]”
    “The Circumpolar Current is driven by the strong westerly winds which are found in the latitudes of the Southern Ocean. In latitudes where there are continents, winds blowing on light surface water can simply pile up light water against these continents. But in the Southern Ocean, the momentum imparted to the surface waters cannot be balanced in this way. Different theories of the Circumpolar Current balance the momentum imparted by the winds in different ways.”
    “Because of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, that water gets transported around the Southern Ocean fairly rapidly, so that the water in the Southern Ocean south of, for example, South America, resembles the water in the Southern Ocean south of New Zealand more closely than it resembles the water in the mid-Indian Ocean. Several processes operate along the coast of Antarctica to produce, in the Southern Ocean, types of water masses not produced elsewhere in the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. One of these is the Antarctic Bottom Water, a very cold, highly saline, dense water that forms under sea ice.”

    Antarctic Convergence
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Convergence
    “There is no Arctic equivalent, due to the amount of land surrounding the northern polar region. This line, like the Arctic tree line, is a natural boundary rather than an artificial one, like a line of latitude. It not only separates two hydrological regions, but also separates areas of distinctive marine life associations and of different climates.”
    Arctic and Southern Oceans Contrasted:
    Arctic Ocean: Warm ocean moderates frigid land.
    Southern Ocean: Icy landmass feeds cold ocean.

    Images:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctic_Circumpolar_Current.jpg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctic_frontal-system_hg.png
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctica-Region.png
    For comparison, an alternate boundary for the Southern Ocean is 60S (a more artificial boundary that is nonetheless more convenient for preliminary computational purposes):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Southern_Ocean_-_en.png

    Jacobs, G. A.; & Mitchell, J.L. (1996). Ocean circulation variations associated with the Antarctic Circumpolar Wave. Geophysical Research Letters 23(21), 2947-50.
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/gb/gb3/jacobs.html
    “The Southern ocean is the one region of the world where such a process could freely develop. In other areas, land masses would act to interfere with the surface temperatures which drive the atmosphere. Thus the ACW possibly represents a fundamental mode of variation in Earth’s environmental system.”

    http://www.iugg.org/iapso/JointAssembly97/abstracts/jpgm10.html
    “The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) is the only simply connected current around the world. Research has been undertaken to study effects of the ACC variability on the Earth Rotation (ER) and it has been shown that seasonal variations of currents through the Drake Passage (DP) can be related to seasonal changes of Length of the Day (LOD)”

    Gross, R.S. (2007). Earth Rotation Variations – Long Period. In: Herring, T.; & Schubert, G. (eds.) Treatise on Geophysics, Volume 3 (Geodesy), 239-294.
    ftp://euler.jpl.nasa.gov/outgoing/EarthRotation_TOGP2007.pdf
    “The cause of the decadal-scale polar motion variations is currently unknown. Gross et al. (2005) found that redistribution of mass within the atmosphere and oceans cannot be the main excitation source of decadal polar motion variations during 1949–2002 since it amounts to only 20% (x-component) and 38% (y-component) of that observed, and with the modeled excitation being 180 [degrees] out of phase with that observed.”
    Then it gets more interesting:
    “However, the ocean model used in their study was not forced by mass changes associated with precipitation, evaporation, or runoff from rivers including that from glaciers and ice sheets, and so had a constant total mass. Thus, their study did not address the question of the excitation of decadal polar motion by processes that change the total mass of the oceans, such as a nonsteric sea level height change associated with glacier and ice sheet mass change.”

    Schmitz-Hubsch, H.; & Schuh, H. (1999). Seasonal and short-period fluctuations of Earth rotation investigated by wavelet analysis. Technical Report 1999.6-2 Department of Geodesy & Geoinformatics, Stuttgart University, p.421-432.
    http://www.uni-stuttgart.de/gi/research/schriftenreihe/quo_vadis/pdf/schmitzhuebsch.pdf
    “The main other cause for the semi-annual variation in lod is the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) (e.g. Dickey et al., 1993). It is responsible for the variation of the semi-annual oscillation of lod because it feeds the cold Humboldt current from South to North along the West coast of South America. During strong El Nino events (marked by thin vertical lines in fig. 1b,c) the Humboldt current is being disturbed by the warm water of the El Nino moving from North to South along the South American West Coast. There are many interferences in the currents and as a consequence the semi-annual variation in lod almost vanishes. This is clearly visible on fig. 1b, e.g. during the very strong El Nino event in 1982/83.”

    Biological Perspective
    See Figure 2 here:
    Dewar, W.K.; Bingham, R.J.; Iverson, R.L.; Nowacek, D.P.; St. Laurent, L.C.; & Wiebe, P.H. (2006). Does the marine biosphere mix the ocean? Journal of Marine Research 64, 541-561.
    https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/1912/1501/1/JMR_64_541.pdf
    The lifeforms know nothing of anthropogenic computer fantasies. Note the correspondence with the Southern Ocean geography Bob has shown us – i.e. “something different” about the Southern Ocean south of the SouthEast Pacific.
    Related – See Figure 3.3 here:
    http://www.icsu-scope.org/downloadpubs/scope13/chapter03.html#t3.3
    Note the spatial anti-node for the Southern Ocean. Due to factors including the asymmetric distribution of Earth’s continents, the equator is not the balance point. [If one plots the interannual rate of change of CO2 (related to photosynthesis) across a latitudinal gradient one will find only the deep-south/Antarctica (i.e. not the whole southern hemisphere) out-of-phase with the northern hemisphere.]

    http://umanitoba.ca/outreach/crystal/sustainability%20resources/Lessons%206-7.pdf
    “The Antarctic Circumpolar Current
    The Southern Ocean is the only ocean that circles the globe without being blocked by land. It contains the Antarctic Circumpolar current and is the world’s largest ocean current.
    The Antarctic bottom water (cold, salty, and dense) sinks into the deep sea, spills off the continental shelf, and travels northward hugging the ocean floor beneath other water masses. This is a huge amount of water that pushes the warmer water out of the way, usually by flowing underneath it, causing new flows and currents in other directions. It travels as far as the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. The bottom water flowing away from Antarctica has to be replaced by other water, so the warmer waters in the north tend to flow southward to fill the gap. Then they cool down and the cycle keeps going.
    The Antarctic Circumpolar current has a powerful influence on much of the word’s climate as it redistributes heat, influencing patterns of temperature and rainfall.”

    Other Links:
    Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_Bottom_Water
    Rintoul, S.R.; Hughes, C.; & Olbers, D. (2001). The Antarctic Circumpolar Current System (book chapter). In: Ocean Circulation And Climate. Academic Press.
    http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Rin8888b.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_gyres
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antarctic_oscillation

    As for Armagh sky conditions:
    Let’s recall Ian Wilson’s presentation:
    Wilson, Ian (2008). Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
    http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/solar-cycles/IanwilsonForum2008.pdf
    Ian highlighted a relationship between NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and length of day (LOD).
    So what is the connection with Antarctica?
    Sidorenkov has the answer in figure 1:
    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2003). Changes in the Antarctic ice sheet mass and the instability of the Earth’s rotation over the last 110 years. International Association of Geodesy Symposia 127, 339-346.
    Alternately, see Figure 7 here:
    Sidorenkov, N.S. (2005). Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions 24(5), 425-439.
    http://images.astronet.ru/pubd/2008/09/28/0001230882/425-439.pdf
    If you flip it over, you get a clear match with:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/04/closer-look-at-ersstv3b-southern-ocean.html

    The most interesting thing arising out of this side-theme (which was sparked by the main theme of this thread) is not the answers found, but rather the questions raised.
    For example are we looking at a continuation of the decadal timescale anti-phase seen in figures 9, 10, & 11 (thanks Basil) here?….
    Carvalho, L.M.V.; Tsonis, A.A.; Jones, C.; Rocha, H.R.; & Polito, P.S. (2007). Anti-persistence in the global temperature anomaly field. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics 14, 723-733.
    http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/npg-14-723-2007.pdf
    http://www.icess.ucsb.edu/gem/papers/npg-14-723-2007.pdf
    And:
    What about those deep-south cold-anomalies that seem to have seriously offended alarmists?

    At least we are learning that the equator is not always the equator.

    Other notes:
    Figures 8e & 9a are interesting here:
    Landerer, F.W.; Jungclaus, J.H.; & Marotzke, J. (2008). El Nino-Southern Oscillation signals in sea level, surface mass redistribution, and degree-two geoid coefficients. Journal of Geophysical Research 113, C08014. doi:10.1029/2008JC004767.
    “An intriguing aspect of Figure 8e is the large-scale pattern of positive bottom pressure correlations in the Pacific, and negative correlations in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean. It appears that the mass balance between these ocean basins is influenced by ENSO […]”
    “The atmosphere as the third water storage subsystem can hold only a very limited amount of water, but up to 80% of the variance of total atmospheric water vapor can be
    explained with ENSO.” [Related: See figure 5.]
    “For the subpolar North Pacific gyre region, others (Y.T. Song and V. Zlotnicki […]) have found ocean bottom pressure signals that are well correlated to ENSO,”
    Song, Y. T.; Zlotnicki, V. (2008). Subpolar ocean bottom pressure oscillation and its links to the tropical ENSO. International Journal of Remote Sensing 29(21), 6091-6107.
    This links nicely with R. Gross’ landmark findings (which raised a lot of questions).
    Related:
    Trenberth, K.E.; Stepaniak, D.P.; & Smith, L. (2005). Interannual variability of patterns of atmospheric mass distribution. Journal of Climate 18, 2812-2825.
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/massEteleconnJC.pdf

    I think it might be interesting to start contrasting ocean basin (& region) sea-levels and their interannual rates of change with an eye for patterns related to Bob’s & Sidorenkov’s observations. I’m convinced that we need to refine our understanding of what EOP (Earth Orientation Parameters) are recording. I will speculate that something of fundamental importance has been completely missed (or perhaps kept top secret since there are aerospace engineering applications, including military targeting applications). I will further speculate that this is interfering with efforts to understand variations in other geophysical variables, thus contributing to costly sociopolitical conflict and the corruption of both the environmental movement & science.

  151. Re: Bob Tisdale (04:33:53)
    I have just written to ICOADS representatives to inquire regarding any influences the various series may have had upon one another due to whatever processing may have been applied to the raw data.

  152. Richard (15:26:52) :
    Ocean temperatures go up by over 0.35 C in a year and a half? Has there been a supervolcano going off under the sea? Mass die off of marine life? Something not quite right there.
    Just to keep this in perspective, I scuba dive in the Vancouver, BC area. Ocean temperatures in that area vary 5 or more degrees between the coldest (5-6 C) and warmest (11 C). A 0.35 C difference isn’t that much.

  153. Notice all the frenzied “tail chasing” going on here? Spencer brings up a very basic dilemma which he keeps repeating, to wit, “What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe.
    A high proportion of the back-and-forth responses I’m reading here have absolutely nothing to do with the puzzle raised. That failure to focus on the question at hand may entertain the participants, but it has to frustrate the questioner. The issue at hand is not why the SST has increased or decreased but rather why the NCDC and satellite records of SST have diverged so dramatically (and in directions counter-intuitive to the general tenor of this particular blog).
    It brings back the headaches of a distant past life when I spent two years in a “think tank” as resident Neanderthal.
    CH

  154. Volcanic signals in oceans
    Georgiy Stenchikov
    Division of Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering and Division of Chemical and Life Sciences and Engineering, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
    Thomas L. Delworth
    NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    V. Ramaswamy
    NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    Ronald J. Stouffer
    NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    Andrew Wittenberg
    NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    Fanrong Zeng
    NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, USA
    Sulfate aerosols resulting from strong volcanic explosions last for 2–3 years in the lower stratosphere. Therefore it was traditionally believed that volcanic impacts produce mainly short-term, transient climate perturbations. However, the ocean integrates volcanic radiative cooling and responds over a wide range of time scales. The associated processes, especially ocean heat uptake, play a key role in ongoing climate change. However, they are not well constrained by observations, and attempts to simulate them in current climate models used for climate predictions yield a range of uncertainty. Volcanic impacts on the ocean provide an independent means of assessing these processes. This study focuses on quantification of the seasonal to multidecadal time scale response of the ocean to explosive volcanism. It employs the coupled climate model CM2.1, developed recently at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, to simulate the response to the 1991 Pinatubo and the 1815 Tambora eruptions, which were the largest in the 20th and 19th centuries, respectively. The simulated climate perturbations compare well with available observations for the Pinatubo period. The stronger Tambora forcing produces responses with higher signal-to-noise ratio. Volcanic cooling tends to strengthen the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Sea ice extent appears to be sensitive to volcanic forcing, especially during the warm season. Because of the extremely long relaxation time of ocean subsurface temperature and sea level, the perturbations caused by the Tambora eruption could have lasted well into the 20th century.
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011673.shtml

  155. Claude Harvey (22:11:37) :
    Totally agree with your post. It’s been virtually impossible to pick out and follow comments which are relevant to the ‘problem’ outlined by Roy Spencer.
    While I generally welcome the ‘free speech’ policy adopted at WUWT, there may be occasions when certain threads need to be more strictly moderated.

  156. Claude Harvey (22:11:37) : ..Spencer brings up a very basic dilemma which he keeps repeating, to wit, “What it shows is that AMSRE has either spuriously warmed, or NCDC has spuriously cooled, by 1 to 2 deg C over all of the ‘warmer’ waters of the globe… the back-and-forth responses I’m reading here have absolutely nothing to do with the puzzle raised. .. The issue at hand is not why the SST has increased or decreased but rather why the NCDC and satellite records of SST have diverged so dramatically …
    John Finn (03:29:24) : … While I generally welcome the ‘free speech’ policy adopted at WUWT, there may be occasions when certain threads need to be more strictly moderated.

    I too have been guilty as charged. My initial meandering may have caused a little wandering also as some tried to chase my train of thought. Having re-read the two posts I realised I may have grasped the bull by the tail.
    I dont agree with John Finn’s suggestion about curtailment of “free speech”, certainly not by snipping “off point” comments.
    I agree this is a serious technical matter with serious implications, but most readers here are climate science novices like me and part of the reason for blogs like this is to educate through free discussion.
    I admit I am out of my depth here. The more knowledgeable could share their ideas as Dr Spencer and his team try and figure out whats wrong.
    In the meantime some of us could discuss variations in sea temperature, radiative imbalances, undersea volcanoes geothermal heat and stuff like that which have some relevance maybe not for this topic but for the general scheme of things.
    I hope Dr Spencer wont get too frustrated looking for some illumination among the clutter.

  157. Some novice observations: “The problem seems to be mainly a Northern Hemisphere warm season phenomenon.” The graph clearly shows that it is a warm season phenomenon. But why NORTHERN HEMISPHERE? Dr Spencer has some other knowledge which is obvious to him that he has not stated or shared with us.
    I was puzzled by the fact that absolute average global temperatures were not even but showed a sinusoidal pattern with a peak in July and minimum in January. Because the Earth is actually closer to the sun in January furthest in July this further mystified me. I wrote to Dr Roy Spencer and he was kind enough to write back and explain very simply and elegantly “It’s because most of the land is in the Northern Hemisphere, and land reaches a higher temperature than ocean under the same amount of sunlight.” On doing a very superficial examination of insolation, assuming similar cloud covers over the years, I found match was extremely good.
    Now I notice that the curve above also has a bulge in the summer months. The difference is that this curve is not a sinusoid but rather like a bell curve skewed to the left. The other difference is that these are not differences in absolute temperatures but the differences in trends. To get to the bottom of this Dr Spencer has meticulously separated the two products NCDC and AMSR-E and computed the difference in trends grid-wise.
    He has found that the difference in trends are (as I understand it) majorly around the equator diminishing and then vanishing at latitudes 45 N and 30 S.
    These differences are spatially uniform. There is a difference and someone has blundered.
    Dr Spencer said that “…Frank Wentz and Chelle Gentemann at Remote Sensing Systems have been very careful about tracking the accuracy of the AMSR-E SST retrievals with millions of buoy measurements…” Is that a cross checking of the Satellite measurements? The Satellite data computes the Sea temperature as X, what does the buoy say, do they match? If this be so then the fault may not be with the satellite data / algorithms.
    Does this mystery have anything to do with the relative areas of land and sea in the two hemispheres? Not only is there a difference in the lower latitudes but the difference of the trends increases in the summer months, falling off in December. Herein lie the clues dear Watson. They maybe elementary but I am mystified dear Holmes.
    Separate from who is right and who wrong and where the mistake lies are the implications of this. This is big and this is the part I absolutely do not understand. Is NCDC wrong in computing the data they have and the Seas are actually much warmer than what they say? This implies their data is correct but computation wrong?
    Or are they right and Dr Spencer has got things wrong? What would that imply? Do satellites are take part of their measurement from the actual sea measurements? Does it mean that his temperatures should actually be higher? Do satellite temperatures only show the anomalies and not the absolute temperatures? Do they have to rely on this for actual measurements of sea temperatures which are taken by NCDC and they have based this on the NCDC figures?
    Dr Spencer is clear about this, but could someone explain.

  158. Ok the consequences of Dr Spencer being right would be that NCDC have overstated the current warming.
    This is big. More than big – this is colossal.
    One would even wonder, if NCDC have made a mistake, if their mistake is a genuine one or deliberate?

  159. Re: Claude Harvey (22:11:37) & John Finn (03:29:24)
    I suspect the discussion would have taken a different tack if direct links had been provided to plain-text monthly-summaries of all raw & anomaly series being discussed. (I base this comment largely on my experience running online stats courses.)
    I agree that there are some comments upthread that suggest misunderstanding, but what I take from such comments is that people are interested and supportive of Dr. Spencer’s efforts. Excluding such gestures of good will would alienate supporters.
    As for tolerance of fruitful side-themes: Contrast WUWT with Tamino for some perspective. Tamino engages in shameless quantitative distortion and strictly forbids competing views. It’s a slippery slope in that direction. In sharp contrast, Anthony applies the surefooted approach of wisely sticking to common sense.

  160. Bob Tisdale & Others,
    2 last notes:
    1) AMO seems relevant in your Southern Ocean mystery.
    2) An ICOADS representative has informed me that the cloud “estimate procedure is not related to measurements of SST”.

Comments are closed.