UAH global temperature posts warmest January

January 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update +0.72 Deg. C

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

UPDATE (4:00 p.m. Jan. 4): I’ve determined that the warm January 2010 anomaly IS consistent with AMSR-E sea surface temperatures from NASA’s Aqua satellite…I will post details later tonight or in the a.m. – Roy

YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS

2009 01 +0.304 +0.443 +0.165 -0.036

2009 02 +0.347 +0.678 +0.016 +0.051

2009 03 +0.206 +0.310 +0.103 -0.149

2009 04 +0.090 +0.124 +0.056 -0.014

2009 05 +0.045 +0.046 +0.044 -0.166

2009 06 +0.003 +0.031 -0.025 -0.003

2009 07 +0.411 +0.212 +0.610 +0.427

2009 08 +0.229 +0.282 +0.177 +0.456

2009 09 +0.422 +0.549 +0.294 +0.511

2009 10 +0.286 +0.274 +0.297 +0.326

2009 11 +0.497 +0.422 +0.572 +0.495

2009 12 +0.288 +0.329 +0.246 +0.510

2010 01 +0.724 +0.841 +0.607 +0.757

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Jan_10

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010. This is the warmest January in the 32-year satellite-based data record.

The tropics and Northern and Southern Hemispheres were all well above normal, especially the tropics where El Nino conditions persist. Note the global-average warmth is approaching the warmth reached during the 1997-98 El Nino, which peaked in February of 1998.

This record warmth will seem strange to those who have experienced an unusually cold winter. While I have not checked into this, my first guess is that the atmospheric general circulation this winter has become unusually land-locked, allowing cold air masses to intensify over the major Northern Hemispheric land masses more than usual. Note this ALSO means that not as much cold air is flowing over and cooling the ocean surface compared to normal. Nevertheless, we will double check our calculations to make sure we have not make some sort of Y2.01K error (insert smiley). I will also check the AMSR-E sea surface temperatures, which have also been running unusually warm.

After last month’s accusations that I’ve been ‘hiding the incline’ in temperatures, I’ve gone back to also plotting the running 13-month averages, rather than 25-month averages, to smooth out some of the month-to-month variability.

We don’t hide the data or use tricks, folks…it is what it is.

[NOTE: These satellite measurements are not calibrated to surface thermometer data in any way, but instead use on-board redundant precision platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs) carried on the satellite radiometers. The PRT’s are individually calibrated in a laboratory before being installed in the instruments.]

===============================

NOTE: Entire UAH dataset is here, not yet updated for Jan 2010 as of this posting


Sponsored IT training links:

We guarantee 100% success in real exam with help of 642-384 prep materials including 70-643 dumps and 70-536 practice exam.


Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Neven

Congratulations, everyone!

Steve Goddard

This goes to show how limited the value of a “global temperature” metric is. Given the unusual cold across many large land masses this January, a map and physical explanation of the temperature distribution is imperative.
Will GISS show this large spike? Probably not.

bryan

It looks like we might be in the grips of another 1998 style El-Nino event. I can testify that the California Storm abundance and rainfall ammounts are similar to that time so El-Nino is a very likely cause.

John

Looks like El Nino really matters, even with the cold winter in the US. This temperature measurement shouldn’t be subject to UHI effect (obviously), since its from satellite.

Green Sand

Largest anomaly is in the NH? Sea temps in NH must be very high to balance this out. I must go away and do some more research.

Physics Major

It looks like it was warmer in 1998, but maybe that wasn’t January. It’s hard to tell given the resolution of the chart.
REPLY: Here’s the raw dataset, not yet updated for Jan 10
http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2
April 98 global was 0.77, the peak then
– Anthony

JP

Do these satellites produce some kind of thermal map of globe? It would be interesting to see what regions have been measured to be warm and which cold. Especially on NH.

Hmmm … would not agree given experiences here in del Norte Tejas this winter …
.
.

Peter of Sydney

I’m excited! I can’t wait for the forthcoming temperature readings over the next months/years. Will we see a continuation of the rise in monitored temperatures yet the world freezes over as the world continues to cool? If so the longer this goes on the more fun we will have when even AGW alarmists start to realize something is crook in the way temperatures are monitored and processed. NASA and others will then fall into disrepute and disappear from the scientific arena, which is a shame given what they have achieved during the moon landings. Hopefully by then we will finally see some of the clowns behind bars, although it should be happening right now since there’s more than enough evidence to prove in a court of law that data is being deliberately corrupted.

JP

This may have been asked before, but what is the data path from satellite to UAH and what steps that includes?

Lars

Well ,
Stockholm Sweden, has had the coldest January for 23 years. and that’s Official.
http://www.smhi.se/klimatdata/arets-januari-blev-kallast-sedan-1987-i-soder-1.9423
//Lars

Ray

It would certainly be interesting to see what really drives the El Nino events like these. Some warmists will put the blame on anthropogenic CO2 but how could a few ppm of CO2 drive such a massive hot water pump?

Ian C.

I can vouch for the effect on the West Coast of Canada. Definitely the evil El Nino at work. The Olympics being held in Vancouver BC are having to truck in snow for the event. We are spared the ravages of the cold winters of the Eastern Seaboard.

Jerry

Kind of refreshing to see a graph showing some periodic warming where you don’t have to wonder what kind of biased data manipulation was involved.

Peter Miller

Does anyone know exactly where we are in the current El Nino cycle?

Cam

Agree with others here – we’re at the peak of the current El Nino event. JAMSTEC who seem to be more accurate in their forecasting than any other agency are predicting a rapid decline in El Nino in the Boreal Autumn (SH fall). In fact they predict a possible return to La Nina conditions by late 2010.

Adam from Kansas

According to WXmaps, they’re showing an increasing amount of land area in negative temp. anomalies when checking on the climate outlooks since sometime last month, depending on how the outlooks shift there could be a drop in anomalies over land this month.
The only big blood red area they have in the projections is over Canada and Greenland.

RichieP

OT:
Today’s Daily Mail climate article featuring the comic turn of Windsor C. along with a few scientists who sternly admonish the sceptic community:
“…. those who questioned the conclusions drawn by climate researchers had to ‘expose’ their evidence, rather than just their beliefs.”
(And there was me thinking it was the warmists who refuse to expose their evidence.)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1248513/Prince-Charles-hits-climate-change-sceptics-scientist-calls-critics-provide-evidence-views.html#ixzz0ebodKvkN
Balanced by this earlier piece:
Scientists broke the law by hiding climate change data: But legal loophole means they won’t be prosecuted
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246661/New-scandal-Climate-Gate-scientists-accused-hiding-data-global-warming-sceptics.html#ixzz0ebppJ1bD

[quote JP (14:21:47) :]
Do these satellites produce some kind of thermal map of globe? [/quote]

They produce geo-located brightness readings, which can be converted to a image map. I plan on doing this for the raw temperatures in the near future.
I’ll do it for the adjusted temperature anomalies as well if Dr. Spencer decides to make his computer code available to the public.

Sordnay

“[NOTE: These satellite measurements are not calibrated to surface thermometer data in any way”
Ok, there are known problems with surface measurements, (UHI, dubious adjustments, etc.), but, shoudn’t be done this exercise? plotting difference from surface temps vs satelital data, I think it would be very interesting.

Thindad

A dumb question.
Did I not read that the Satellite data does not do ICE covered areas?
What impact would the ICE and Snow cover land and ocean in the Northern Hemisphere have on the satellite average temperature?

wayne

Could it possibly be that the surface sea temperature (SST) and radiance long-wave satallite readings (AMSR), not total ocean heat content (OHC), are telling us of an unusual relation of energy flux if radiance balances between the sun’s temperture (TSI related) and global LW average output shifts?
TSI is near a low so OHC hold abnormally high amount of heat compared to that held, such as in the pre-1700, when we know TSI was also low. As this excess heat moves not deeper but back out of the oceans depths, could that actually cause a “surface” warming (Low altitude AMSR and SST)? I’m curious.
Most land showing record lows but oceans (the mass holding most of the earths heat) are showing record highs. Layers above tropopause showing record lows too. What’s going on?

[quote Thindad (14:37:55) :]
Did I not read that the Satellite data does not do ICE covered areas?
[/quote]

Satellites do ice, including the AMSU used to develop UAH data.
You can read about their coverage, both in space and time, here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-uah-and-rss-temperatures-are.html

kadaka

Have any of those PRT’s placed in satellites ever been recovered after use and shown to hold their calibration?
I know the Shuttle was used to place some satellites. I don’t know if it was used to recover any and bring them back to the ground. However it would take either that or a similar space capsule mission to properly obtain them for rechecking. The normal method of satellite re-entry adds uncertainty to the process. Also some shuttle missions serviced satellites, so perhaps they might have brought back some used PRT’s that had been replaced.

Hockeystickler

The land in the northern hemisphere is mostly cold and the ocean surfaces are warm ; does this mean that the oceans are getting warmer or that they are giving up heat ? it should be an interesting year.

Stephen Wilde

It all shows the power of a negative Arctic Oscillation in suppressing the normal poleward movement of the air circulation systems that would usually follow from an El Nino event.
All or most of the energy pumped into the air by the El Nino remained over equatorial oceanic regions and was not dispersed poleward so there was an enhanced positive anomaly in those regions.
At the same time the movement of the polar high pressure cells equatorward allowed room for lower pressure at the poles with a consequence that air flowed more freely into and out of the poles. Thus polar regions were also anomalously warm.
In contrast the mid latitude continental areas were starved of warmth from the equatorial regions and at the same time received more cold air than usual from the poles.
Overall the two warmer regions outweighed the colder regions.
I see this as an unusual heat distribution rather than a sign that the current possible global cooling trend has reversed.
As I have said elsewhere a quiet sun seems to reduce energy loss to space by encouraging a more negative Arctic Oscillation. We have recently begun a trend towards negative (cooling) oceans and a quiet sun tends to offset the (global) cooling effect of negative oceans.
That does mean however that when an El Nino occurs during a negative ocean phase then the quiet sun will enhance the effect whilst the El Nino subsists. That El Nino enhancing effect is over time more than offset by the general cooling effect of a background negative oceanic phase because oceanic effects are faster and more powerful than solar effects.
When the El Nino fades the energy still in the equatorial regions will be pumped poleward and out to space quickly with the subsequent La Nina then compounding the overall cooling trend.
The continental regions having become so cold the warmer air from the equatorial regions will be neutralised quickly when it does start to move poleward again.
I suspect that the rest of the northern henisphere winter will be nearer average than the first part but as the El Nino fades I expect to see another cool northern summer and an average southern winter.
The true test will be in the scale and length of the next La Nina. If it happens whilst the sun becomes more active then a true tropospheric cooling scenario will take hold with a faster loss of energy to space at the same time as the oceans deny more energy to the air.
I accept the speculative nature of this description but I put it forward as a test of my ideas to be confirmed or rebutted by real world events over the next two years or less.

vibenna

Even before this latest month, the UAH data showed a stronger trend than the IPCC trend estimate. So despite the various claimed problems with GISS and Had/Crut, this UAH data set shows strong global warming.
Any high school science or maths teacher can download the data and run a regression as a class exercise. It will show a warming trend in the UAH data stronger than that stated by the IPCC.
So while there may well be problems with GISS and Had/Crut, they don’t seem to undermine the AGW hypothesis.

Steve Goddard: You asked, “Will GISS show this large spike? Probably not.”
January 2010 Global SST anomalies (at least the preliminary monthly SST anomalies) of the dataset used by GISS dropped slightly (~0.03 deg C).
http://i50.tinypic.com/xfrujq.png
Anomalously high land surface temperatures could easily outweigh this.
The preliminary January SST anomaly data is posted here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/02/preliminary-january-2010-sst-anomaly.html

Peter Miller (14:32:55) : You asked, “Does anyone know exactly where we are in the current El Nino cycle?”
Weekly NINO3.4 SST anomalies peaked about five weeks ago and they’ve been dropping like a stone ever since:
http://i50.tinypic.com/ih2vtj.png
From my preliminary monthly SST anomaly update:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/02/preliminary-january-2010-sst-anomaly.html

wayne

Before someone picks on it,
“Most land showing record lows but oceans (the mass holding most of the earths heat)”
should have read
“Most land showing record lows but oceans (the mass holding most of the earths heat) surface readings

MJK

Oh dear–this latest reading does not point to a cooling world now does it? or do we now no longer trust Dr Spencer

GK

El Nino is well known to cause drought in Southern Australia. Yet, we`re having normal rainfall in all of Southern Aus. This is not a normal EN

Reality is just wrong!
That’s the problem.

Ian L. McQueen

Ian C. (14:31:06) concluded: “We are spared the ravages of the cold winters of the Eastern Seaboard.”
I can’t speak for the US part of the eastern seaboard, but we in much of the east of Canada (Maritime provinces) had a milder-than-usual January, so we contributed to Dr. Spencer’s warmth.
IanM

John from MN

Is their Satellite Broke. Here in S. MN. near the Iowa border, it conitues to be extremely cold (1 day made it above freezing, with munerous below zero readings) continuing on from the cold 2009. Europe very Cold too. Where is so warm in NH not only to make up for the extreme cold but make the satellite tell us it is the warmest ever? Sure seems surrealistically impossible…..John.

[quote: vibenna (14:53:07) :]
Any high school science or maths teacher can download the data and run a regression as a class exercise. It will show a warming trend in the UAH data stronger than that stated by the IPCC.
[/quote]

It will show a warming trend during an El Nino that is stronger than the IPCC trend with no El Nino
If you’re trying to hang your hat an El Nino for a long term tend, you’ll be disappointed.

B. Smith

bryan (14:18:04) :
“It looks like we might be in the grips of another 1998 style El-Nino event. I can testify that the California Storm abundance and rainfall ammounts are similar to that time so El-Nino is a very likely cause.”
______________________________________________________________________________
Exactly what I was thinking, Bryan. I would expect to see above-average rainfall through March up here in Northern California, especially in the Russian River watershed.
The rainy days feel noticeably colder to me as well. Then again, maybe I am just feeling the effects of old age. 😀

Ian L. McQueen

In my comment on the mild January in the Maritimes, I forgot to mention that the forecast from David Phillips, Environment Canada’s Senior Climatologist, is for a colder than usual next three months.
IanM

janama
Jay Sezbria

Well that should spell the death of the ‘global warming has ended’ meme. And the ‘it’s the sun’ meme too, seeing as solar activity is so low. Also, I wish Roy would put his 4th-order polynomial trend line back in – it was very instructive.

Alan Millar

Well perhaps February will show cooler.
The AMSU satellite is currently declaring 2.2.2010 to be 529.84 deg F cooler than 2.2.2009!!!!
Has the Sun gone out? Perhaps mistakes do happen.
Alan

DirkH

Now it will be interesting to watch the OHC. El Nino transports energy from the ocean into the atmosphere, will the OHC now start to drop? Watch Pielke’s and Bob Tisdale’s space.

Ray (14:30:59) : You wrote, “It would certainly be interesting to see what really drives the El Nino events like these. Some warmists will put the blame on anthropogenic CO2 but how could a few ppm of CO2 drive such a massive hot water pump?”
Actually, the majority of the warm water stored in the Pacific Warm Pool for an El Nino was produced during the La Nina that came before it. I’ve discussed this here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects_26.html
Warmists have tried to blame anthropogenic greenhouse gases for the increase in frequency of El Nino events since 1976 with little to no success. The problem for their argument is downward longwave radiation (from greenhouse gases) only impacts the top few centimeters of the oceans. And if we look at a time-series graph of tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Content (OHC)…
http://i36.tinypic.com/eqwdvl.png
…you’ll note that there are long-term drops (not rises) in tropical Pacific OHC. The only significant rises occur during multiyear La Nina events (or during lesser La Nina events with unusually high trade winds like the one in 1995/96).

[quote:Sordnay (14:37:44) :]
“[NOTE: These satellite measurements are not calibrated to surface thermometer data in any way”
Ok, there are known problems with surface measurements, (UHI, dubious adjustments, etc.), but, shoudn’t be done this exercise? plotting difference from surface temps vs satelital data, I think it would be very interesting.
[/quote]

Just a technical note. The UAH satellite readings are not calibrated using surface measurements. But they have been validated using surface measurements. They are also validated using weather balloons.
Calibration is used to adjust raw readings in order to make them accurate. Validation is used to ensure calibration was done correctly.

hotrod ( Larry L )

This could also indicate some non-intuitive changes going on.
If the northern hemisphere polar region was warmer than “normal” during the northern hemisphere winter (ie zero solar isolation) then that would imply that net heat loss to space in the polar latitudes was very likely much higher than normal.
Since the global average temperature does not really measure heat content, or net thermal energy balance (ie heat flow to space vs heat flow absorbed from the sun) but only temperature, I question if a higher average global temperature really means anything important without considering the context.
Larry

DirkH

Oh i see Dr.Bob is already there. Thanks for the links, Doc!

P.S. And just in case anyone’s wondering, no, UAH doesn’t use GISS for validation.

GK (15:00:57) : You wrote, “El Nino is well known to cause drought in Southern Australia. Yet, we`re having normal rainfall in all of Southern Aus. This is not a normal EN”
This year’s event is an El Nino Modoki. Refer to the well-detailed Ashok et al (2007) paper “El Nino Modoki and its Possible Teleconnection.”
https://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/publications/modoki-ashok.pdf
I’ve also discussed El Nino Modoki here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/there-is-nothing-new-about-el-nino.html
and here:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/07/comparison-of-el-nino-modoki-index-and.html

J. Berg

9th coldest january since 1900 in Norway. – 2.9 celsius below the average (1970-91, I believe). The southern parts coldest. Svalbard ended up + 8.1 celsius higher than the average.
http://met.no/?module=Articles;action=Article.publicShow;ID=2801

joe

The El Nino 98 for the North East produced north eastern storms that started as snow, than changed to rain for southern New England. This year almost all Northeasterner storms have gone too far south. This El Nino is different from the 98 one, and has been unable to push the jet stream north like the one in 98.
“UAH global temperature posts warmest January”
Yeah sure, somehow most folks have not felt this January heat wave. But Hansen promised a barbecue year, he must know something?