UAH Global Temperature for October, down significantly

October 2009 UAH Global Temperature Update +0.28 deg. C

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS

2009 1 +0.304 +0.443 +0.165 -0.036

2009 2 +0.347 +0.678 +0.016 +0.051

2009 3 +0.206 +0.310 +0.103 -0.149

2009 4 +0.090 +0.124 +0.056 -0.014

2009 5 +0.045 +0.046 +0.044 -0.166

2009 6 +0.003 +0.031 -0.025 -0.003

2009 7 +0.411 +0.212 +0.610 +0.427

2009 8 +0.229 +0.282 +0.177 +0.456

2009 9 +0.422 +0.549 +0.294 +0.511

2009 10 +0.284 +0.271 +0.298 +0.328

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Oct_09

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly in October 2009 fell from +0.42 deg. C in September to +0.28 deg. C in October. The tropical and Northern Hemisphere were responsible for this cooling.

The global-average sea surface temperature anomalies in October continued their fall from the peak in July, despite the irregular onset of El Nino conditions:

AMSR-E_SST_thru_Oct_09

The daily running 3-day average SSTs through early November shows no let-up in this cooling:

AMSR-E_daily_SST_thru_Nov_4_09

As usual, the linear trend lines in the previous two figures should not be construed as having any predictive power whatsoever — they are for entertainment purposes only.

51 thoughts on “UAH Global Temperature for October, down significantly

  1. So far (only 5 days tho) November is showing lower-same temps as November last year, which would translate to another drop if that pattern holds.

  2. If the Global Average Sea Temperature goes down, it is safe to assume that the whole planet is cooling down (negative slope) since the ocean surface represents 70.8%. Obviously the IPCC models don’t show that at all.

  3. I am sure that you will enjoy this article
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1225577/RICHARD-LITTLEJOHN-When-twin-religions-global-warming-shopping-collide-.html
    I particularly like his description of the woman who doesn’t want anyone to have a security light on at night because then we will all drown from AGW as being from the ‘Monster Raving Green Party’.
    Richard Littlejohn is a right wing popular commentator who especially targets political stupidity.

  4. I trust the results fro UAH but am rather surprised that the drop was not much larger of October.
    The more I study these “global” temperature measurements, the more I realize that a single thermometer located off the Galapagos islands would obtain almost the same results at a much lower cost.
    It has been rather amazing how strongly the equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures determine the “global” average.

  5. “As usual, the linear trend lines in the previous two figures should not be construed as having any predictive power whatsoever — they are for entertainment purposes only.” Actually, it is pretty meaningless, period. So why insist on superimposing it then?
    Dr. Spencer, why are you comparing this month’s SSTs with those of last month’s when the annual global SSTs for the AMSU satellite is bimodal? That is, there is (a peak in March, probably reflecting the austral peak in SSTs) and another (lower) peak in late August (reflecting boreal peak in SSTs). Saying oceans cooled/warmed from last month to this month is not entirely correct procedure. Should one not be asking how does this October compare with others on the record? Or how does the mean SST for the year 2008 compare with that for 2006? What is the trend in annual anomalies (then again, any trends, even trends in annual values, determined from such a small sample size are not at all statistically significant)? It would be great if you could add these options to your AMSU website, rather than only being able to say that today the global SST (or near surface layer) is 0.x F warmer/cooler than last year. Thanks for considering.

  6. Ray (10:03:46) : “If the Global Average Sea Temperature goes down, it is safe to assume that the whole planet is cooling down (negative slope) since the ocean surface represents 70.8%. Obviously the IPCC models don’t show that at all.”
    It’s ‘worse than you thought,’ Ray. The oceans have 280 times the mass of the atmosphere. Factoring in the four times higher heat capacity of water, the oceanic heat sink is almost 1200 times as great as the atmosphere. Atmospheric temperatures are relatively transient and insignificant on climatic time scales.

  7. RockyMtn (10:31:09) :
    The temperature anomalies are not calculated based on the average temperature of the sum of the months and years for the baseline, it is calculated from the average temperature for each month, else during the summer it would always be positive and in winter negative.

  8. I notice that temps go down starting around the first of the year, for the last 8 years, and for several earlier years as well, including El Nino year 1998, and also 1999. Something to do with the Earth’s rotation or orbit, if memory serves. Go for nine?

  9. We recently learned some things about UAH through Chad at treesfortheforest. The reason RSS has diverged from UAH is because UAH is using a station keeping satellite. The trends now since 2002 are pretty reliable in my opinion. Pre-2002 has some issues with steps and diurnal corrections but some of my own work shows that the step change between UAH and RSS favors the UAH version.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/bias-in-satellite-temperature-metrics/
    This one includes some discussion by Dr. Christy.
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/satellite-temps-getting-closer/
    It’s really interesting to see the issues in the trends being resolved between the two methods.

  10. So, it would appear looking at various sources, that we have right now:
    1. Cold land temperatures in the US.
    2. Cooling oceanic temperatures toward a long-term average.
    3. Early snows in Europe and Canada.
    4. Surprisingly, a slower than average recovery of the arctic sea ice extent after a reasonable recovery at September minimum.
    5. A significant surge in arctic air temperatures in October and November considerably above long-term average.
    6. A continuing relative paucity of sunspot cycle 24, although it appears to be starting to kick off finally.
    7. A continuing decline in magnetic field strength.
    By the way, how many years of data do you need before straight lines transform from ‘amusement value’ into statistically significant trends??

  11. After seeing Lindzen presentation yesterday, I was wondering what is the error range on those measurements. Lindzen was displaying them with a pink fuzz on the graphics and said that it is statistically insignificant when the errors are in the same range.
    Comments?

  12. Ray, you misunderstood my post. Yes, of course, October’s anomaly was calculated form the mean global SST for all Octobers considered in the baseline. My issue is with comparing the anomaly in Sept. with that in October, for example. Or today’s temperature with that observed on the same day last year. Hence my suggestions.

  13. Let’s all chant: “Go El Nino!”
    At least that would soften the blow. Each sawtooth takes the overall signal a bit lower. The peaks are deceiving, the overall trend is down.

  14. Rhys Jaggar: The answer to your questions depends on whether or not your trend lines show warming or cooling. Any warming being the result of climate change is significant. Cooling is just weather, not a trend and can not have a trend line. I have heard that if you take an apparent negative temperature trend and remove the sign,(as it doesn’t matter) then redraw your trend. This teases out the warming signal from weather events. Peer reviewed science has proven this.

  15. imapopulist (10:45:14) :
    Why has Ch05 recently been indicating temperatures at record highs? Could you explain the apparent discrepancy with the above charts?

    If you select years 2003-2009, you see that October 2009 is on the higher average of all of them, comparable with October 2006. However, the satellite which curves we see on AMSU page is different than that, from which the actual anomaly is calculated, so those charts are informative only. Because of continuous satellite drift, you see that even October 2006 curve looks lower, the real 2006 anomaly was higher than 2009.
    One thing puzzles me on these data is, that first half of the year is usually closer to average and autumn is always higher.

  16. I was interested in Dr Svalgaard’s observations on an earlier post – The Sun’s magnetic funk continues – about the Carrington Event, when a CME led to unusually widespread aurorae. I went back to my local paper for 1859 to see if they had been observed here – approx 54N in England – which would be very unusual. Sure enough there was a description from an Observatory at Beeston in Derbyshire. Much to my amazement the very next article in the paper was about climate change. What was interesting about the article which is reprodced below was how a relatively limited series of observations on rainfall plus some anecdotal evidence was used to support a deeply held belief in the historical reality of Noah’s Flood. On the other hand there was no suggestion that everyone should rush off to church and beg the Lord to save them from drought instead it was viewed as “the normal condition, of the globe.” Times do change apparently.
    DIMINUTION OF RAIN – STARTLING SPECULATIONS. – In the quarterly return of the Registrar General ending with June it is stated that “the deficiency in the fall of rain from the beginning of the year is 1¾ inch. The deficiency in the year 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858 amounted to the average fall of one year, viz., 25 inches. From a careful examination of the fall of rain (year by year} from the year 1815, it would seem that the annual fall is becoming smaller, and that there is but little probability that the large deficiency will be made up by excess in future years.” Should this statement, made by Mr. Glaisher and adopted by the Registrar General in a document issued by authority, be confirmed, it will constitute one of the most important discoveries ever made by meteorologists. In all countries traces of dried-up streams are met with; but within the historical period there are few or no examples of new rivers coming into existence. The Dnieper at Kiev is drying up. The redoubted plains of Troy can with difficulty be recognised or traced, because the rivers mentioned by Homer, whose descriptive topography is not doubted, either cannot be found or they are now such insignificant streams as to fall far below the descriptions of the poet. About the mouths of the Nile the water is becoming shallower while there is reason to believe that the volume of its waters has been within the period of history sensibly diminished. The Baltic is decreasing. The Adriatic derives its name from a town that is now 18 miles from the shore and was once a flourishing seaport. North America is sensibly draining. The rivers are slowly wearing away the rock, and occupying a lower bed. America on the Pacific Ocean is notoriously rising, or the ocean
    which surrounds it is sinking. The Deluge is a very early event in the history of mankind; and it is consistent alike with sacred and profane history to suppose that ever since that period, as well as immediately after the first few days when the dove found a resting-place, the waters of the earth have gradually dried up. If it be a fact, then, that the quantity of rain which falls has been continually diminishing through a period of 44 years, the slow and gradual diminution of rain must be considered as the normal condition, of the globe. Most of the changes which geology traces on the crust of the globe have been in progress for many ages, and, from the light which the diminution of rain reflects on many theological phenomena, we were induced, at starting, to describe it as one of the most momentous discoveries, should it be confirmed, that observation has ever made.
    From a Correspondent of the Illustrated London News.

  17. Carlo (10:08:59) : You asked, “No El Niño peak?”
    NINO3.4 SST anomalies are now climbing again. They should rise some more before they peak. Then a few months later, TLT anomalies will peak.

  18. imapopulist (10:45:14) :
    “Why has Ch05 recently been indicating temperatures at record highs? Could you explain the apparent discrepancy with the above charts?”
    imapopulist, Did your question answered? The graphs at the uah website are generated from satellites that experience orbital drift. Through time, the temperatures are skewed to a higher end. RSS adjusts these temperatures before releasing a monthly average. UAH uses a non-drifting satellite for its calculation of a monthly average. UAH does intend at some point in time to load its non-drifting satellite daily data onto its website. Of course, that would make difficult the comparison to historical data generated by drifting satellites.

  19. I see nothing alarming whatsoever in the data, nothing at all to justify economy-crippling carbon cap and trade legislation, and nothing that shows a correlation between increasing human CO2 emissions and atmospheric temperature. Has Climate “Czar” Carol Browner seen this, I wonder? Would she care? Why the hell do we have people called “Czars” dictating U.S. policy, and why is there no Senate oversight of these “Czars?”

  20. Ray (10:03:46) : “If the Global Average Sea Temperature goes down, it is safe to assume that the whole planet is cooling down (negative slope) since the ocean surface represents 70.8%. Obviously the IPCC models don’t show that at all.”
    Not really. SSTs are used because satellites can measure SSTs accurately, not because SSTs are a measure of global warming or cooling.
    SSTs are not the same as Ocean Heat Content, which does measure whether the Earth’s climate is warming or cooling.
    SSTs are best viewed as a measure of the heat flow from the oceans into the atmosphere (and from there into space). SSTs on their own say nothing about whether the climate is warming or cooling. Only in relation to OHC do they tell us whether warming or cooling is occuring.
    Increasing SSTs relative to OHC means the climate is cooling.
    Decreasing SSTs relative to OHC mean the climate is warming.
    And no, I didn’t get those the wrong way round.

  21. Bob Tisdale:
    Althought NINO3.4 is climbing, global SST as whole is diving. It certainly is not relatively small NINO3.4 area alone which defines forecoming TLT anomalies. To me it seems that because of some reason El Nino is not as dominant as earlier concerning temp data.

  22. This is clearly a fraud by all you powerful minority with vested interests, as a means to hold the world to ransom. After all Kevin Rudd says so:

    Sydney, Nov 6 (AFP) Powerful climate change skeptics were “holding the world to ransom”, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said today as he warned of fear campaigns designed to derail global talks.
    Rudd said naysayers were active in every country as the world approached the United Nations’ climate summit in Copenhagen in December.
    “They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests,” he said.
    Rudd said it was difficult to move towards a global agreement in the face of those who denied climate change was caused by human activity, those who refused to act on the evidence, or who wanted other countries to act first.
    “As we approach Copenhagen, these three groups of climate skeptics are quite literally holding the world to ransom,” he told policy think-tank the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

  23. Philib_B:
    You claim that it is possible that the climate is warming if SSTs and OHC are both going down (SSTs a bit faster) for 100 years for example. I think that you are wrong. Final state can be 100% ice-covered planet…

  24. We’re currently having the July/August pressure dome pattern resulting in an Indian Summer and I just heard the Ice Cream Truck nearby, something that didn’t happen during October.
    Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Intellicast shows the traditional cold pool over Siberia is set to expand a bit in the east as it slowly pushes into China, the trade-off is above freezing air going northward near Moscow.
    Australia is showing very hot conditions while South America is not showing anything like that, Africa is showing heat in the usual hot locations, Europe is not hot, but not super cold either.

  25. Here in Saskatchewn, Canada, we are having an incredibly warm November, after a brutally cold October. Today it hit plus 16C, almost unheard of for this time of year. The next week is to be warm as well, with daytime temps above freezing everyday. For Saskatchewan, that’s amazing.

  26. I noticed this post on climate sanity:
    http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/page/2/
    The suggestion is that global sea level rise rate (mm/yr) gives a sneak preview of global temperature (but from a correlation from only 10 years data). The prediction implicit in the right end of the graph, that global temps will follow sea level change rate downward, seems to be happening for now.
    Could d/dt sea level indicate movements of heat in the ocean?

  27. What gets me is that here you have all these positive anomalies, yet so many more record lows are being set as compared to record highs.
    Winter comes earlier, spring is later.
    Are anomalies the best tool we have for examining global climate?

  28. Alan Haile (10:28:48) : “Richard Littlejohn is a right wing popular commentator who especially targets political stupidity.”
    Cushy job, given the target-rich environment.

  29. “They are a minority. They are powerful. And invariably they are driven by vested interests,”
    “As we approach Copenhagen, these three groups of climate skeptics are quite literally holding the world to ransom,”
    So Anthony, how much $$$ do you think you can get out of them before you give them back their global warming?

  30. I know this is a ‘weather is not climate’, but snow cover over the top 100m of Mt Benson, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island BC was observed this morning.
    Warming? Where?

  31. Hi Ron de Haan,
    I don’t think I’d want to send that image to Hopenhagen — it makes the next 100 years look really bad. No one is going to get excited about forecasts beyond 100 years in the AGW camp.

  32. “No el nino peak?”
    If you look at past el ninos, temperatures do not normally start rising noticeably until November or December. Normally at this time of year the temperature will be quite close to the 30 year trend.

  33. rbateman (16:27:44) :
    What gets me is that here you have all these positive anomalies, yet so many more record lows are being set as compared to record highs.
    Winter comes earlier, spring is later.
    Are anomalies the best tool we have for examining global climate?

    The “record lows” appear to be limited to the US (i.e. 2% of the earth’s surface). There haven’t been any record lows in the Arctic recently (see polar temperature link). Europe has been mostly above average. The same goes for South America and much of Asia.
    What do you suggest we use to examine global climate. Anecdotes from random US posters, perhaps?

  34. rbateman (16:27:44) :
    “What gets me is that here you have all these positive anomalies, yet so many more record lows are being set as compared to record highs.
    Winter comes earlier, spring is later.
    Are anomalies the best tool we have for examining global climate?”
    Your right to question this! Global average temperature (and anomalies to some LTA) convey no useful information about climate trends.
    The only meaningful measure is change to total climate system dynamic energy level. Unfortunately, at the moment, it is not possible to get an accurate enough measure of changes in system energy, due to the chaotic nature of the systems which effect them.

  35. Bob Tisdale:
    Pictures sent by Roy Spencer are more recent and AMSR-E shows diving. Is there divergence between these datas (Spencer’s and yours)? Or will data used by you continue diving when next couple of weeks are in?

  36. Re: SST plots
    Can anyone confirm that Roy’s AMSR-E SST data is the same as the sea surface readings at
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps
    Using all data available as the base period (i.e. 2002-2009) I get the following (approximate) anomalies for the most recent months
    Jul +0.16
    Aug +0.11
    Sep +0.06
    Oct +0.04
    These values seem to match up pretty well with the monthly SST plot above
    (plot 2 of 3). However, my numbers disagree with the 3-day plot (plot 3 of 3). Roy seems to have negative anomalies in late Oct/early Nov whereas my calculations give positive anomalies. I do, though, get negative anomalies between 29th Sep and 4th Oct.
    I was hoping to find a reason for the apparent discrepancy between Bob Tisdale’s plots and Roy’s as commented upon by Leone. I think Bob is probably correct, i.e. the fall in SST from the peak in July has stopped and SST are starting to rise again.

  37. Leone (08:28:59) : You wrote, “Pictures sent by Roy Spencer are more recent and AMSR-E shows diving.”
    Yes, you’re right. They were newer. I waited to reply until NOAA updated their weekly OI.v2 data. Here’s the global since 2000, for the week ending Nov 4. It also shows the minor upswing and downturn, like Dr. Specer’s data:
    http://i34.tinypic.com/245wr6e.png

  38. John Finn: You wrote, “I think Bob is probably correct, i.e. the fall in SST from the peak in July has stopped and SST are starting to rise again.”
    The latest weekly data is showing the downturn similar to Dr. Spencer’s as noted above to Leone

  39. Why are people arguing that because the temperature anomaly has risen by 0.28 degrees, as has EVERY month this year, that the planet is cooling? What am I missing?
    And hasn’t the running 13month average been above 0.0 since 1995?
    How can people not see this?

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