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.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
407 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Neven
February 4, 2010 2:13 pm

Congratulations, everyone!

Steve Goddard
February 4, 2010 2:15 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:18 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:19 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:19 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:20 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:21 pm

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.

February 4, 2010 2:23 pm

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

Peter of Sydney
February 4, 2010 2:26 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:28 pm

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

Lars
February 4, 2010 2:30 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:30 pm

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.
February 4, 2010 2:31 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:32 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:32 pm

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

Cam
February 4, 2010 2:34 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:35 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:35 pm

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

February 4, 2010 2:36 pm

[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
February 4, 2010 2:37 pm

“[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
February 4, 2010 2:37 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:41 pm

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?

February 4, 2010 2:45 pm

[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
February 4, 2010 2:47 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:49 pm

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.

February 4, 2010 2:52 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:53 pm

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.

February 4, 2010 2:54 pm

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

February 4, 2010 2:57 pm

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
February 4, 2010 2:59 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:00 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:00 pm

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

February 4, 2010 3:01 pm

Reality is just wrong!
That’s the problem.

Ian L. McQueen
February 4, 2010 3:03 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:05 pm

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.

February 4, 2010 3:07 pm

[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
February 4, 2010 3:07 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:10 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:11 pm
Jay Sezbria
February 4, 2010 3:12 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:13 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:14 pm

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.

February 4, 2010 3:14 pm

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).

February 4, 2010 3:15 pm

[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 )
February 4, 2010 3:15 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:18 pm

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

February 4, 2010 3:22 pm

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

February 4, 2010 3:22 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:24 pm

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
February 4, 2010 3:24 pm

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?

wayne
February 4, 2010 3:26 pm

Stephen Wilde (14:52:22) :
I’ve got a question. Is not everthing you are raising a short-term (1-2 year) re-distribution of the earth’s heat. So when the effects you are mentioning balance out in near-future, the readings should all return to their normal levels or go the opposite side of normal. (That is, no long-term, permanent step up or down and normal being the long-term average)?

Richard M
February 4, 2010 3:27 pm

This certainly raises some questions about the accuracy of any historic land-based record and could represent a new learning experience.

JP
February 4, 2010 3:27 pm

“The only big blood red area they have in the projections is over Canada and Greenland.”
I tried to check GISS data, but it seems that there is basically no current surface measurement data for those regions. Hard to compare with satellite data.
Are there any surface stations left, which are not included in GISS data but are still active?

Gary Hladik
February 4, 2010 3:27 pm

Hey, maybe Hansen’s “dark heat” is finally coming out of the “pipeline”! Will we have a “barbecue February” before we’re all barbecued in July? 🙂

DirkH
February 4, 2010 3:28 pm

Shouldn’t somebody, someday tell a journalist about this thing called the Ocean Heat Content? So that he can tell his colleagues? And write it into an article in the MSM? I know, the concept is outlandish… Heat! In an ocean!

Peter Miller
February 4, 2010 3:29 pm

Bob
Thanks for this – these references are truly great. El Ninos come and go and it’s good to know they are now on the way out.
Bob Tisdale (14:57:16) :
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

Jason S
February 4, 2010 3:30 pm

A tie with 98 El Nino is a loss to the AGW hypothesis. If global warming was going on unabated, how come 12 years later we aren’t .12C+ higher than the 98 El Nino?
I realize that is completely devoid of any real scientific substance, but hey… that’s the kind of slick talk we get all the time. It’s all in how you word it.

John Finn
February 4, 2010 3:30 pm

The high January anomaly has been anticipated for some time. We’ll probably get a few more warm months and may even get 12 month (rolling if not calendar) record. The interesting thing will be what happens after that. Will there be a repeat of the 1998-2007 pattern, i.e La Nina followed by a ‘new’ higher background level of temperatures or something different.
Despite the weaker sun and the negative PDO, I don’t see any likelihood of significant cooling.

Ray
February 4, 2010 3:32 pm

Ian C. (14:31:06) :
Olympic Lack Of Snow:
Lake Placid, 1932
Squaw Valley, 1960 (Native American had to do a snow dance… not kidding!… and it worked!)
Oslo , 1952 (last minute snow)
Innsbruck, 1964
Lake Placid, 1980 (used many snow machines)
Calgary, 1988 (artificial snow and Chinook)
Nagano, 1998 (but had too much snow during the games)
Torino, 2006 (snow machines and trucks)
Vancouver was just a bad choice… or Cypress Mountain was a bad choice.
People can read this article to have a feeling of winters in Vancouver, BC:
http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/blogs/brucearthur/2010/01/lack-of-snow-in-vancouver-hardly-a-surprise.html
“The lack of snow in Vancouver is not an unusual event… it’s life.”

John from MN
February 4, 2010 3:38 pm

Does anyone know how well the satellite handle snow cover? I ask because the NH probably has the highest percentage of snow cover in history and out pops satellite data that shows the warmest January ever recorded by the satellite. Matches with the most snow cover ever?…..John….

February 4, 2010 3:40 pm

[quote JP (14:28:16) :]
This may have been asked before, but what is the data path from satellite to UAH and what steps that includes?
[/quote]

I’ve got a couple of posts on that here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/01/aqua-satellite-data-processing.html
and here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/02/summary-of-aqua-satellite-data-computer.html

des
February 4, 2010 3:43 pm

could this be heat escaping from the oceans? almost like it had been trapped by heat in the atomosphere which has gone hence cold landmasses and now stored heat is escaping from the oceans?

Jerry
February 4, 2010 3:44 pm

Nonsense From
MJK (15:00:11) :
“Oh dear–this latest reading does not point to a cooling world now does it? or do we now no longer trust Dr Spencer”
The world has been warming for at least 150 years. Variation in global temperatures are natural. There is no debate on this. The link to CO2 is the question that is debatable.
Warmer types like you refuse to debate and some scientists appear to manipulate data to make a case that does not exist.
True scientists report the truth as they find it and then attempt to find out why. The case for CO2 as the cause for recent warming hasn’t been made.
Please do a little unbiased research on this site, join the informed. You’ll sleep better.

Ray
February 4, 2010 3:46 pm

Bob Tisdale (15:14:51) :
Thanks Bob.
Does that mean next winter will be quite cold and really snowy?

Henry Galt
February 4, 2010 3:49 pm

It wont make much difference to the ENSO adjusted 12 year trend-
http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2010/01/twelve-year-satellite-temperature.html
unless February is hot too. I would bet on Stephen Wilde being right and this is an airflow issue as the ocean transfers heat from tropics to the pole.
Nearly all the “climate change global warming catastrophe” is in the Northern Hemisphere winter. NH summer? Mostly flat. For centuries now.
Sudden Stratospheric Warming anyone?

February 4, 2010 3:53 pm

So, what will prevail at years’ end: El Niño or sun cycle 24? Bets.

Richard
February 4, 2010 3:53 pm

Lars (14:30:02) : 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

Our January, on the other side of the world was dull, wet and cold also. And that too is official http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10623669
Two thoughts:
1. January does not a year make and
2. Looking at the graph above- the 1998 El Nino pushed the temperatures up a great deal from a valley around 1993. This years El Nino has pushed the temperatures up not so much, but from a higher level.
Lets see how the coming months and years pan out.

Ray
February 4, 2010 3:54 pm

Bob Tisdale (15:14:51) :
Your video of ocean heat is very nice and it looks like it’s alive… do you have an update that includes the last 9 years?

February 4, 2010 3:55 pm

Stephen Wilde: You wrote, “As I have said elsewhere a quiet sun seems to reduce energy loss to space by encouraging a more negative Arctic Oscillation.”
And once again I will recommend that you plot the data before you make statements. There was a correlation between solar activity and the AO during Solar Cycles 22 and 23, but before 1983 and after 2003, they do not correlate.
http://i49.tinypic.com/30lkjm8.png
The rest of your comment could be brilliant and spot on, Stephen, but that one assumed correlation that does not exist calls into question the remainder of your comment.

February 4, 2010 4:00 pm

Ray: You asked, “Does that mean next winter will be quite cold and really snowy?”
Sorry. I don’t make predictions.

vibenna
February 4, 2010 4:00 pm

magicjava – I agree the trend estimate will be biased by heterogeneity in warm/cold events (PDO, as well as El Nino). But I don’t think that will change the underlying trend, especially given there is now 30 years of data. The UAH trend was substantially stronger than the IPCC forecast even before January’s temperature spike.

JP
February 4, 2010 4:02 pm

“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.”
What happens if validation with surface measurement does not match? Is satellite data calibration adjusted based on surface data or is surfce measurements corrected based on satellite data?
Is satellite data calibrated based on surface measurements, but if validation fails calibration is not adjusted?
What is used as a surface data in this case? Is it data from NASA or as with UAH, is surface reference temperature coming from UAH?
Who does this calibration, NASA or UAH?
Sorry that I’m asking so many questions, but the processing for satellite data is new to me..

Marcos
February 4, 2010 4:02 pm

it would be interesting to also see the actual avg jan temps for 1979-2010 instead of just the anomaly…

February 4, 2010 4:07 pm

At the end of 2007 Hansen made a very exposed predictionof a new temp record in the next 2-3 years.

…it is unlikely that 2008 will be a year with truly exceptional global mean temperature. These considerations also suggest that, barring the unlikely event of a large volcanic eruption, a record global temperature clearly exceeding that of 2005 can be expected within the next 2-3 years.

He repeated this at the end of 2008:

“Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance. GISS Dec 2008.”

If the El Nino effect has not yet peaked, then might we see this prediction confirmed even in the satelite data?

carrot eater
February 4, 2010 4:09 pm

Jay Sezbria (15:12:42) :
Somebody should suggest to Spencer to just use a Loess smooth.
Bob Tisdale:
You say that “Warmists have tried to blame anthropogenic greenhouse gases for the increase in frequency of El Nino events since 1976”
I don’t think that’s fair. People have looked at it, sure, but it isn’t obvious what if any impact there would be on ENSO. At least, that’s the impression I have.
Jerry (15:44:18) :
You say there is no debate that there has been long-term warming? I think if you look around here, you’ll find some people who would debate that.

George E. Smith
February 4, 2010 4:10 pm

Well I take Dr Roy’s numbers at face value; subject of course to him checking for that y2.01K gremlin; which I don’t expect him to find.
But I don’t ever plan on living at 14,000 ft above sea level, and I don’t want to hear of any floating sea ice up that high either.
So I can’t quite picture how this new January high relates to life on earth for us lowlander mortals.
But I’ll buy Dr Spencer’sd suggestion that this might be El Nino Related.
Do I understand we will be seeing some new SSTs shortly too.
A new high at 14,000 feet is not going to melt a lot of arctic ocean ice; but it certainly is interesting to see these jumps come along while everyone is freezing their buns off.

artwest
February 4, 2010 4:10 pm

OT: From The Guardian:
“……..If global warming is as catastrophic as its champions in the science community claim – and as expensive to rectify – its evidence must surely be cross-tested over and again. Yet it has been left to freelancers and wild-cat bloggers to challenge the apparently rickety temperature sequences on which warming alarmism has been built.
No professional body is checking all this. Assertions are treated as scientific fact even when they come from such lobbyists as the World Wildlife Fund (on whose politics see Raymond Bonner’s At the Hand of Man). If their conclusions are wrong, they are demanding money with false menaces. If they are right, their abuse of evidence and political naivety jeopardises life on earth. ……..”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/04/scientists-fallibilty-self-criticism-question

John Finn
February 4, 2010 4:11 pm

Henry Galt (15:49:06) :
unless February is hot too. I would bet on Stephen Wilde being right and this is an airflow issue as the ocean transfers heat from tropics to the pole.

Hang on a minute. January isn’t a one-off. November 2009 was the warmest November in the UAH record and September 2009 came within a whisker of being the warmest September in the UAH record.

John
February 4, 2010 4:11 pm

Peter Miller, you’re indicating a drop of sea surface temp by .71 and Dr. Spenser is indicating a global-average lower tropospheric temperature rise of .72. Isn’t this a bit odd, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

February 4, 2010 4:15 pm

Vibeena (14:50;07)
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
You can easily conduct a regression analysis on temperature data. If you pick the right data you can project a rapid increase in the projected UAH temperatures. For example, if you selected UAH data from 1993 to 1998 you would conclude that there is a very rapid rate of heating. Would you say that projection is correct? Proving whether the warming of the planet is due to anthropological sources of CO2 or whether it is due to increases in solar activity depends upon having an understanding the mechanisms operating to produce heating of the planet. Correlations of data are not proof of any mechanism. The details of either of these mechanisms are missing independent verifications. That is why many of us are skeptics.

Sordnay
February 4, 2010 4:17 pm

magicjava (15:15:04) :
“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.”
.
From this wonderful guest post here on WUWT from Dr Spencer, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/12/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/
I understood that, calibrations with those PRT’s is done once every earth scan, also as you said it was validated with weather baloons.
Also there stated that “The variable emissivity problem is the smallest for well-vegetated surfaces, and largest for snow-covered surfaces.”
So this is why I wonder if validations were also done with this cold conditions.

Mark.R
February 4, 2010 4:20 pm

Here in christchurch n.z in Jan in the 1998 El Nino our avg temp for that month was 19.4c . This jan 2010 air temp avg was 16.7c cant see El Nino pushing up temp this time.

George E. Smith
February 4, 2010 4:24 pm

There is one aspect of this 14,000 ft atmospheric temperature data, and also the higher stratospheric temperatures, that intrigues me.
I read papers that talk of a cooling stratosphere resulting in less outgoing LWIR; which to me suggests that the authors are suggesting that the source of earth’s outgoing radiant energy is in fact the cold high very thin stratospheric atmospheric radiation.
Does it occur to anyone that there is a lot of LWIR radiation, that actually originates at the earth’s surface; actually at much higher temperatures than those puny stratospheric air molecules; and furthermore, those emission from hotter surface areas can go zipping on by a lot of GHG molecules, in the various “atmospheric windows” that exist.
So just where is the outgoing radiation sourced from, and just how important is it that the stratospheric temperatures might cool (or warm for that matter).
Personally, it seems to me, that ourgoing radiation is sourced from the surface and all levels of the atmosphere, and a good bit of it exits unhindered by GHGs and other atmospheric gremlins.
Now I do believe that these goings on at 14,000 ft or other levels are important to understand, or at least observe. Right now it is not clear to me how important a 14,000 ft anomaly of 0.72 deg C really is. And of course I understand the “weather is not climate” mantra.

D. Patterson
February 4, 2010 4:25 pm

The Pacific Northwest has been experiencing an extraordinarily mild winter weather while much of the rest of the Continental United States and Canada have been experiencing an extremely cold winter. The winter has been so mild in the Puget Sound region of Western Washington, there has been a false Spring of sorts in late December and January with flowers emerging early and trees budding early. If the normal weather patterns return in late February and March, these plants may be badly damaged by the frosts. Just across the Cascade Mountains to the east, bitter cold conditions extending all the way to New England and Maritime Canada are killing some native plants which are normally hardy in those regions.
So, if the present day land surface weather air temperatures record bitter cold temperatures in the boreal winter while satellite observations are recording worldwide warmth, then we must ask what are the implications for the past time periods in which there were no satellite records to contrast with the bitter cold boreal winter land surface weather air temperatures? Data infilling and assumptions about the austral summer and boreal winter in the pre-satellite era would have no way of detecting the kinds of anomolies we are seeing in the present observaitonal systems. Wouldn’t such apples and oranges comparisons artificially create a warming trend which does not exist in reality?

Mark
February 4, 2010 4:27 pm

I wonder if that satellite was hacked… I find it hard to believe that Jan was this warm in the northern hemisphere.

Kum Dollison
February 4, 2010 4:27 pm

The Southern Oscillation Index has gon “crazy” the last week. It’s -60, today.
Is the El Nino going to do an encore?

alefnula
February 4, 2010 4:29 pm
Paul Vaughan
February 4, 2010 4:30 pm

Ian C. (14:31:06) “The Olympics being held in Vancouver BC are having to truck in snow for the event.”
They’ve now resorted to $10,000 per hour heavy-lift helicoptering of snow. I left the following note in “Tips & Notes to WUWT” yesterday:

2010 Winter Olympic “snow crisis” in Vancouver:
1) $10,000 per hour helicoptering of snow.
2) $150,000 trucking of snow from nearly 300km away.
3) And look at the massive stockpiles of HAY they’ve trucked in TO SUBSTITUTE FOR SNOW – (they just use the trucked-in & helicoptered-in snow to cover the hay after they fly the hay up the mountain with other helicopters, that ‘only’ cost $1,000 per hour).
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
Watch the whole video – if you’re a BC carbontaxpayer, this will make you IRATE; if not, you might die laughing at the ridiculousness:
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100203/bc_cypress_helicopter_090203/20100203?hub=BritishColumbia
DAVID LETTERMAN JOKES about this farce – video here:
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20100203
/bc_snow_jokes_100203/20100203?hub=BritishColumbia
Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki is BLAMING GLOBAL WARMING for the Olympic “snow crisis”. (Actually, it’s El Nino – these types of winters are NOT uncommon here.)
VANOC says they are factoring the trucking/helicoptering into their carbon footprint analysis – will the public get honest numbers? – perhaps by averaging Suzuki & VANOC numbers.

Re: Ray (15:32:02)
That National Post article is not very impressive. El Nino vs. La Nina makes a huge difference here – and so does elevation. Maybe that writer didn’t get out much when he was living here. The winters vary substantially – (last winter we had nearly non-stop snow at sea-level for 3 straight weeks). Mid-elevations are particularly unstable at a biweekly-timescale most winters – something most lower-income people in the expensive city might not notice because they can rarely afford to leave town – and the wealthy few generally only drive through mid-elevations on the way to the ski-hill.

Symon
February 4, 2010 4:30 pm

This is worrying. I’m sceptical of the panic from the global warming scientists, but, this is a big rise, verified from two regarded sources. The data should be treated with respect.

Ray
February 4, 2010 4:32 pm

Bob Tisdale (16:00:17) :
Sorry… I had to try. ;<)

George E. Smith
February 4, 2010 4:36 pm

“”” JP (16:02:24) :
“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.”
What happens if validation with surface measurement does not match? Is satellite data calibration adjusted based on surface data or is surfce measurements corrected based on satellite data?
Is satellite data calibrated based on surface measurements, but if validation fails calibration is not adjusted?
What is used as a surface data in this case? Is it data from NASA or as with UAH, is surface reference temperature coming from UAH?
Who does this calibration, NASA or UAH?
Sorry that I’m asking so many questions, but the processing for satellite data is new to me.. “””
JP, I think if you keep up with the dialog, you will find that Dr Spencer has in fact explained exactly how their satellite temperature measurments ARE calibrated.
Do you understnad that if the satellite thermometers, are calibrated on the satellite in real time, against perfectly well accepted laboratory standards of SI system temperature, that there is nothing to gain by comparing them to the very same sorts of standards that happen to be maintained here on the surface.
The satellite “thermometers” are NOT reading temperatures (of atmosphere) out in space; but actually at about 14,000 ft altitude; and those readings are matched agaisnt standards that are maintained on board the satellite.
So a dollar bill on the satellite is just as good as a dollar bill on the ground; almost as good as dime in fact.
Calibration against ground standards is quite unnecessary, so long as one calibrates against recognized and accepted laboratory standards, and the satellite is full of those; as Dr Roy has explained in detail.
Now if they were measuring the 14,000 ft data and comparing against the Pyramid Inch, on board the satellite, you would have something to be concerned about. I haven’t asked Roy, if they have a Pyramid Inch standard on board; but they do have good Platinum Resistance Laboratory Standard Thermometers on board to compare their readings to.

Paul Vaughan
February 4, 2010 4:38 pm

Bob Tisdale (15:55:42) “There was a correlation between solar activity and the AO during Solar Cycles 22 and 23, but before 1983 and after 2003, they do not correlate.
http://i49.tinypic.com/30lkjm8.png

It’s a good deal more complicated than that – the relations don’t go away – they’re just not so easy to detect. I’m still working on cross-wavelet approaches to detection. I’m finding nonrandom (but complex) phase relations – it will take time & patience to sort the signals out.

George E. Smith
February 4, 2010 4:41 pm

“”” John from MN (15:38:38) :
Does anyone know how well the satellite handle snow cover? I ask because the NH probably has the highest percentage of snow cover in history and out pops satellite data that shows the warmest January ever recorded by the satellite. Matches with the most snow cover ever?…..John…. “””
I think they rely on the fact that none of that NH snow is actually at 14,000 ft altitude, which is where UAH is taking their readings.
So i think the answer is that your snow doesn’t have any effect on their readings.

George E. Smith
February 4, 2010 4:43 pm

Well I was thinking your NH was actually New Hampshire; but I’ll bet none of your Minnesota snow is at 14,000 ft.

rbateman
February 4, 2010 4:47 pm

John Finn (16:11:08) :
Something is not right with that UAH thing. Folks everywhere are shaking thier heads at these warmest ever months, and darned few can lay claim to being in the middle of some egg-frying record heat.
Don’t make no sense.
A big dump is on it’s way to the Mid-Atlantic on US East Coast, a mild El-Nino has rain coming down around my ears, but where oh where is that blast furnace heat?

The Iceman
February 4, 2010 4:49 pm

What does it mean, when satellite temperature data does not correspond with record low temperatures measured in situ on the land, on the ice pack, and in the sea ? can it be that there is some error in the data. Remember the “missing” million sq km of ice last year …….

Mike Ramsey
February 4, 2010 4:49 pm

CO2 based global warming posits that the poles will preferentially heat up. Is there a spike at the poles or is the spike clustered nearer the equator? If closer to the equator, is it related to the El Nino?
Details would help people process this information.
Best regards,
Mike Ramsey

Jerry
February 4, 2010 4:50 pm

carrot eater (16:09:14) : Says
Jerry (15:44:18) :
“You say there is no debate that there has been long-term warming? I think if you look around here, you’ll find some people who would debate that.”
There was a little ice age in the 1600’s, we have warmed up back to normal (what ever that is) ever since. Only Mann and his followers deny that.
Do you believe global temps haven’t gone up a bit since 1750?
I think reality is the best way to evaluate climate change. A natural occurrence.
I hope we warm a bit more, the increased crop yields will save many lives and prevent the loss of life and suffering caused by extreme cold.
Warming is good, cooling is dangerous.

Anticlimactic
February 4, 2010 5:06 pm

This will be a two-edged sword for AGW proponents. They may jump up and down at it being the warmest on record, but when it is broadcast to the public in the northern hemisphere it is really really not going to go down well! Expect a lot more people to think the AGW crowd do not know what they are talking about, even though, unusually, it will actually be true!
I would be interested in separate graphs for the northern and southern hemispheres.

Steve Goddard
February 4, 2010 5:07 pm

If the US and Europe are this cold at the peak of a strong El Nino, how cold will they get when El Nino fades?

Harold Blue Tooth (Viking not phone)
February 4, 2010 5:07 pm

Cam (14:34:07) :
we’re at the peak of the current El Nino event. JAMSTEC…
Would that mean there will be a precipitous drop in temps by the end of the year as happened after the peak in el Nino in 98?

RobP
February 4, 2010 5:09 pm

The argument that was used last year when satellite temperatures were lower than surface was that it would take time for the “heat” to move from the surface into the higher levels measured by the satellites. What I would like to see is how this months satellite correlates with the surface anomaly. Since what we have seen is a significant NAO anomaly this year, the distribution of energy between surface air and lower troposphere is likely to be affected.
I am still not convinced that monthly changes in temperatures are giving us a real picture of the energy in the system, only changes in the distribution. The fact that the yearly ‘global temperature’ is lower in the northern hemisphere winter is proof that we are only looking at one portion of the energy in the whole system. I know that the ocean is a much bigger heat sink than the atmosphere so can we account for this using ocean heat content?
I am not up to speed with the different metrics, but if we can’t yet account for the where the energy is coming from and going to then this is where we should be focusing research. Aren’t there supposed to be a few hundred millions going to NASA for climate change research now? Don’t you think we should use some of this for real research?

February 4, 2010 5:11 pm

Ray (15:54:23) : You asked, “Your video of ocean heat is very nice and it looks like it’s alive… do you have an update that includes the last 9 years?”
The sea level animation is an MPEG video from JPL (19MB) that I posted on YouTube. Unfortunately, JPL hasn’t updated it:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/tiffs/videos/tpj1global.mpeg
There are a bunch more JPL videos here:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/tiffs/videos/

Harold Blue Tooth (Viking not phone)
February 4, 2010 5:13 pm

I still see general cooling in the record since the last big El Nino spike in 98. I doubt surface temps will show this spike right now. And I doubt manmade global warming is the cause of this spike.
In a few months when quick cooling in the data set comes what will the warming believers have to make them feel the victory they are feeling as the look at this January spike in UAH? They should be careful not to feel over confident at this time because that feeling of victory is going to be short lived.
As they have always harped on us about, one month of data is not a trend.

Harold Blue Tooth (Viking not phone)
February 4, 2010 5:19 pm

The Iceman (16:49:19) :
As one commentor has put it, weather patterns on earth are like a lava lamp. The lumps of lava are never in the same place twice, never the same shape twice, etc. The warming in the region that satellites measure is not the same as where surface temps are measured. The heat and cold, and other weather factors, move around.
Still, if you look at the data sets you’ll see there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995. And there has been general cooling since 2005.
One month of data has to be taken in context with the bigger picture.

Harry
February 4, 2010 5:19 pm

vibenna (14:53:07) :
“Even before this latest month, the UAH data showed a stronger trend than the IPCC trend estimate…..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.”
I think the UAH includes the trend data in the dataset.
DECADAL TREND= 0.127 0.188 0.066

wucash
February 4, 2010 5:20 pm

Great, climate’s taken over weather again…
They’re gonna have a field day over this. Oh well.

February 4, 2010 5:22 pm

carrot eater (16:09:14) : You wrote, “I don’t think that’s fair. People have looked at it, sure, but it isn’t obvious what if any impact there would be on ENSO. At least, that’s the impression I have.”
But you missed the remainder of my reply, which read…
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).
ENSO dominates Ocean Heat Content in all major ocean basins…
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/09/enso-dominates-nodc-ocean-heat-content.html
…but the North Pacific (where the NPI is the major factor)…
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/12/north-pacific-ocean-heat-content-shift.html
…and the North Atlantic (which is governed by ENSO, AMOC, and the NAO)…
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/10/north-atlantic-ocean-heat-content-0-700.html
If you can find an anthropogenic signal in the OHC of the ocean basins as I have them broken down, please feel free to illustrate it.

February 4, 2010 5:24 pm

Folks, many posts are pathetic. When satellite data agrees with cooling, you say they are the best thing since sliced bread. When they show warming, you whine about calibration, etc.
The real explanation is, of course, that the lack of serious solar activity is driving heat out of the oceans 🙂

Robert of Ottawa
February 4, 2010 5:29 pm

We had a cool December and a warm January here in Ottawa, Canada. I enjoyed watching the Europeans freeze their butts off for a change \;-)

Kay
February 4, 2010 5:30 pm

@ Peter of Sydney (14:26:51) : 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?
This got me thinking. I’m no expert or anything, so I apologize if this is naive or flat-out wrong, but…could there be an inverse correlation between atmospheric temps and land temperatures? It seems that if the satellite data read warm, it’s cold on the ground. And vice versa. Maybe it’s just me, but that thought has occurred to me before, and Peter’s comment just reminded me again, and I just thought I’d ask.

Robert of Ottawa
February 4, 2010 5:31 pm

Mike Ramsey (16:49:21) :
I am skeptical of the “theory” of most warming occuring at the poles. I think this might be, possibly, because that is where the AGWers’ charts show most red. But, we also note that the fewer thermometers, the larger the red.

Gail Combs
February 4, 2010 5:35 pm

Richard M (15:27:22) :
“This certainly raises some questions about the accuracy of any historic land-based record and could represent a new learning experience.”
I will agree with that. Instead of the “it’s colder/it’s warmer fight” we should (and are) paying attention to the change in pattern. If I am reading this correctly we are having an additional lost of energy from the greater snow cover in the NH and the warmer arctic, and if I understand this correctly from Bob Tisdale the warmer sea surface actually translates into a DROP in the ocean heat content.
It is a heck of a lot more complicated than the CO2 causing CAGW.

Robert of Ottawa
February 4, 2010 5:36 pm

Symon (16:30:40) :
No need to worry. We need to monitor “global” temperatures, if there are such things, for millenia before we could say something is (ab)normal.
It was a warmer January here in Ottawa, Canada, and they are having problems finding snow for the winter olympics in British California. However, they are freezing their balls off in Europe 🙂

Mike J
February 4, 2010 5:42 pm

“[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.]”
The satellites aren’t calibrated to surface thermometer data? To what are they calibrated? My limited understanding is that the satellites measure a proxy of actual temperature and this had to be correlated to actual thermometer readings. To do this, surface thermometer data was used.
Therefore, given the known urban heat island problems with surface thermometers, can we rely on the satellite readings?

The Iceman
February 4, 2010 5:43 pm

The climate is continually changing
Humans commonly migrated to a climate which suited them until people started with the fences and title deeds. Now people are stuck where they are and cannot easily migrate with the climate shifts, without causing strife and war.

Oslo
February 4, 2010 5:43 pm

Calibration, you say?
By who?
And to what end?

February 4, 2010 5:47 pm

[quote John from MN (15:38:38) :]
Does anyone know how well the satellite handle snow cover? I ask because the NH probably has the highest percentage of snow cover in history and out pops satellite data that shows the warmest January ever recorded by the satellite. Matches with the most snow cover ever?…..John….
[/quote]

No, I don’t think anyone knows.
Which is yet another reason Dr. Spencer should release his source code to the public.
I’m cooking diner right now, will try to answer other questions on this thread shortly.

mobihci
February 4, 2010 5:49 pm

the problem with amsu is that using microwaves means diffculty as soon as ice or snow are involved.
ice and to a certain degree snow is more transparent to microwaves than water, so while it is possible to detect the blackbody (earth) and the normal water vapour, ice may not be as easy to determine.
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/content/kitchenscience/exp/-324719c1f8/
the aqua project is just that, a project, not just a satellite. to determine ice thickness, snow cover etc is not a simple matter of reading the brightness, it must be calculated.
first off the type of snow must be known for a certain area for the crystal structure which can vary greatly, then a calculation can be made against the brightness. if snow cover changes dramatically for an area, i dont think there is a way the calculation can determine just how much more or less snow there is. but obviously the aqua people have found a way to calculate this, and apply it.

Earle Williams
February 4, 2010 5:51 pm

vibenna,
The IPCC made predictions back in 1979?
I didn’t think so.
Their 4AR prediction was for around 0.2C per decade trend for the first few decades of the century.
The UAH trend since 2001 is here:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2010/plot/uah/from:2001/to:2010/trend
How’s that compare with that IPCC projection?
OK, let’s say the century began in 2000. Then you’re looking at:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2000/to:2010/plot/uah/from:2000/to:2010/trend
The trend for UAH lower troposphere since 2000 is 0.0537541 per decade.

Oslo
February 4, 2010 5:58 pm

If someone who has ignored Spencer for years now suddenly start citing his results, they better take notice of his results when temperatures go down as well.
Otherwise it is just another case of cherry picking the warmest results to prove a point of view. Personally I believe that Spencer provides the most objective global temperatures out there, and believe in him: up or down.
Temp is still lower than the last El Nino: January ’98.
The trend continues.

Adam from Kansas
February 4, 2010 6:05 pm

Well you could say that CO2 did it and that we must stop all industry and modern life in the next month or else we will all die, but then you could argue that the extended length that the sun has been quiet is causing an Ocean-wide heat release event which the current El Nino Modoki is a part of.
I’d like to hear about what Tallbloke has to say on this, whether or not we should only be listening to NOAA and the IPCC from now on.

February 4, 2010 6:12 pm

1) What’s the big deal? Based on any meteorological records that haven’t been kept for many centuries, every month can be a maximum this or minimum that, any time. The smaller is the data set, the more frequent are extremes.
2) Having said that, I don’t believe that the shown UAH data are correct. If it’s government-financed, then somehow, somewhere, somebody faked something. It just cannot be otherwise, it’s the law of human nature.
3) Sliced bread is terrible. Yuk.

John Morgensen
February 4, 2010 6:17 pm

Thanks for posting your work, Dr. Spencer.
Please keep your sense of humor(insert smiley).

Terry Jackson
February 4, 2010 6:18 pm

There is a large disconnect between the data and the experience, and it would be good if someone would explain in simple terms why the people in most of North America, Europe and Asia can’t believe their lying eyes that their yard is covered with 6″ of partly cloudy that will not melt while the record has them well above normal. Hello?

Jerry
February 4, 2010 6:18 pm

The AGW crowd will have you believe that this “warming” proves that CO2 is the cause. This is false. Global Warming and Global Cooling is natural.
CO2 is a trace gas in the atmosphere. It’s contribution to surface temps is theoretical and unknown.
Once the population has moved on from the “Gore, Mann, Pachauri, Jones” warnings. Reasonable people will be able to evaluate real climate changes in a rational manner.
The Indian government seems to have had enough by exiting the IPPC process. Their new scientific process will no doubt find that glaciers are not melting and rivers will not dry up.
Cap and trade is dead, we still need a full investigation of the CRU and their American accomplices.
The planet warms, then it cools, then it warms again. Every once in a while we have an ice age.

Konrad
February 4, 2010 6:21 pm

I trust Dr. Spencer, and I have trusted satellite readings over surface stations for some time. However satellite temps have started to raise questions for me since the start of the severe NH winter. One issue is that satellites are measuring microwave emissions from oxygen molecules at various layers in the atmosphere and we know the atmosphere has been contracting for most of the satellite era. The second issue is that the snow cover in the NH this winter best compares with winters in the pre satellite era.
I would have greater confidence in temperature readings from remote sensing systems in current conditions if a coordinated validation exercise were carried out. This would require a few weeks of preparation, and would involve a series of radiosonde balloon launches at points along the projected ground track of the satellite to be tested. At each launch point several balloons would need to be released at staggered intervals so each was at the correct height in the atmosphere over the launch point prior to the satellite over flight. While there would be errors in the true altitude and ground positions of each group of radiosondes, this would be small compared to trying to validate against balloons launched at times and locations uncoordinated with the ground track of the satellite.
The $540000 stimulus grant recently awarded to Dr. Mann could be redirected to carry out this exercise over the continental USA.

Tom T
February 4, 2010 6:25 pm

Mike J. 17:42:45 That is one of the silliest things I heard in quite some time. When you buy a thermometer do you calibrate it to all the other thermometers in the world or to you trust that the factory calibrated it when they built it. Your thermometer does not care what the thermometer at your neighbors house says.
As it says in the paragraph you mentioned, the instruments are calibrated at the lab. They are reading the temperature independently of an other measurements. Just like your thermometer reads the temperature at your house independent of your neighbor’s thermometers.

Daniel H
February 4, 2010 6:26 pm

Hmmm, this reminds me of something highly relevant to the topic under discussion:

February 4, 2010 6:30 pm

Gail Combs: You wrote, “…if I understand this correctly from Bob Tisdale the warmer sea surface actually translates into a DROP in the ocean heat content.”
For the tropical Pacific that’s true. An El Nino event releases heat from the tropical Pacific, and the La Nina event replaces it. Here’s the most current version from a post I should have up tomorrow morning:
http://i49.tinypic.com/2nut183.png
But globally, OHC and SST can and does rise at the same time. Over the last three decades they both have risen.

John Whitman
February 4, 2010 6:36 pm

Bob Tisdale or other commenters,
This isn’t OT, so please stay with me while I explain.
Back on 02 Feb ’10 WUWT had a post “Jo Nova’s ClimateGate Timeline: 30 years in the making (Edition 1.1)” where a commenter “geo (17:25:38)” said :
“This is cool, I like it. . . but you know what I’ve really been wanting recently?
A data flow diagram of data sets starting as raw data, going through a process (and who owns that process) and then being used as an input into the next process and the next data set, etc.
So like how does raw data aggregate into GHCN and GISS and CRUTEMP and data models and who does a process and where along the line.
I’d really like one of those.”
________
I was following the post but there were no return comments on Geo’s comment.
I see a significant value in what he is asking. So does an integrated flow chart exist so we can understand the whole data gathering, sending, processing and the interrelations between various organization?
If it doesn’t exist I would like to help someone do it. I have some time.
John

Jeff L
February 4, 2010 6:39 pm

I am sure some else has posted this, but this shows the limitations of a single globally averaged number, as many can attest to, given the severity of winter in many places. It also shows the many causes of warmer temps – el nino warming the tropics, tremendous blocking over the NH pole – so although cold there, it is above normal because all the cold air is forced south. It also goes to show the models dont have clue what a warmer “global average” temp would mean for day to day weather for most.

MattN
February 4, 2010 6:42 pm

“It looks like we might be in the grips of another 1998 style El-Nino event.”
Except we’re not. This El Nino was NO WHERE near as strong and is already fading. Compare Jan 4th SSTs to now.

February 4, 2010 6:43 pm

Ok, I’m back.
I think a lot of people are thinking “With all the cold we had last month in the northern hemisphere, how could this be the warmest January in the last 30 years? Is it possible the satellite readings are wrong?”
Yes. It’s possible the satellite readings are wrong.
As it travels around the Earth, the AMSU (the instrument used to read what becomes UAH temperature anomalies) reads 30 scans in in the direction perpendicular to its orbit. Two of these scans are directly below the satellite and the each of the other 28 get progressively farther and farther away from the satellite in both the port and starboard directions. The further away from the satellite, the larger the error in its temperature readings.
Note that I didn’t say possible error. There’s no question at all these other 28 readings are wrong. The amount of error can be as high as 30 degrees Kelvin.
These errors are corrected via software. For each channel, the software checks the two neighboring channels and previous readings. This procedure is called a “Limb Adjustment”.
I have a short discussion of this in the “Adjusting Footprint Brightness” section of the post I made here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/02/some-useful-climate-code.html
And you can find a full technical discussion of the issue here:
http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0450/40/1/pdf/i1520-0450-40-1-70.pdf
Unfortunately, the Limb Adjustment uses statistical techniques to determine the adjustment values for each footprint, not the hardcoded technique I discussed in my blog post. It’s possible these statistical techniques fail in the face of unusual weather events like what we saw this January.
But without having access to the source code, I can’t tell if these unexpectedly high readings are due to a statistical error in the software calculations or are actually correct.

Adam from Kansas
February 4, 2010 6:43 pm

If the daily SOI index continues at the current rock bottom levels, we could end up seeing another big Kelvin wave and El Nino Modoki picking up again despite the trades not being as weak as they have been. (according to TAO).
Could this El Nino actually drop OHC farther than the one in 97/98 if this means we see this event going on a bit longer than that one? I guess then whether it goes back up depends on what ENSO will do afterwards?

Kum Dollison
February 4, 2010 6:52 pm

How common is it to hit Warmer water the Deeper you dive? An El Nino is warmer water rising to the surface? Is that it?

SNRatio
February 4, 2010 6:52 pm

It’s normal that UAH has stronger reactions than GIS during strong El Ninos, you can look at 12-month averages and linear trends here (not including Jan2010 record) :
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1980/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1980/mean:12/plot/uah/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1980/trend
Now natural, skeptical, questions would be: Disregarding IPCC, warmists etc. Are the overall pictures from the temp series
A: Consistent with each other?
B: Consistent with a hypothesis of GHG warming with feedbacks giving, say, 2.5 deg C/doubling of CO2, with some 400 years to new equilibrium?
C. Consistent with a solar forcing hypothesis explaining all the warming?
D: Consistent with Svensmark’s hypothesis?
E: Consistent with Akasofu’s hypothesis?

MattN
February 4, 2010 6:52 pm

Feb is not starting off well. It’s at record level as well (I know, only 4 days in…)
Still, this proves that the oceans are in charge. What must be shown is a CO2ocean warming link. That has not been proven. Ocean heat content has been decreasing for the last 5-6 years, ever since ARGO went active….

DR
February 4, 2010 6:55 pm

Ok, this has never been answered to my satisfaction.
Surface measurements are done ~1.5 from the surface. Satellites are measuring several thousand feet above the surface which obviously is colder than the surface.
How is the baseline (.146 for HadCRUT and .238 for GISS) then in any way related to the difference in raw temperature?
In other words, suppose all temperature products have the same anomaly reported, making them “in good agreement”. How can this be when temperature generally decreases with height?

February 4, 2010 7:05 pm

[quote John Whitman (18:36:51) :]
I see a significant value in what he is asking. So does an integrated flow chart exist so we can understand the whole data gathering, sending, processing and the interrelations between various organization?
[/quote]

I have a blog entry discussing this here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/01/aqua-satellite-data-processing.html
and here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/02/summary-of-aqua-satellite-data-computer.html

Jim Arndt
February 4, 2010 7:11 pm

I think this will be a great proxy for AWG because if all the heat being released is “trapped” by CO2 then we should see temperatures go up to a higher state and stay there. But if the temperatures go down or stays level then I think it blows the AWG out of the water. See after the 1998 El Nino temps stayed high due to the PDO still positive and AMO peaking positive but now both are negative so the next few years will truly tell us who is correct or maybe something else will come up to crow about.

Jim Arndt
February 4, 2010 7:15 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:24:37) :
Folks, many posts are pathetic. When satellite data agrees with cooling, you say they are the best thing since sliced bread. When they show warming, you whine about calibration, etc.
The real explanation is, of course, that the lack of serious solar activity is driving heat out of the oceans 🙂

Careful Leif some of the people here may actually believe you. 😉 And sliced bread isn’t the best thing, twinkies are!

rbateman
February 4, 2010 7:15 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:24:37) :
And we cannot believe this is the warmest January ever when the bulk of the N. Hemisphere OBSERVED a colder winter than has been seen in quite some time.
It makes no sense, Leif, no sense at all.
Where on this planet Earth was the correspoding massive heat to offset the colder winter to produce the warmest global January ever recorded?
Where?
This is absolutely incredulous.
I believe Dr. Spencer is faithfully reporting the data as it comes out the end of the pipeline.
When you see something that says 4-4=3, it’s time to ask what went wrong.
Last year it was a satellite glitch or two.
What is it this time?

Jim Arndt
February 4, 2010 7:16 pm

I screwed up the Italics shoot

Larry
February 4, 2010 7:16 pm

As always, the atmosphere surprises us every so often. That is part of the fun behind examining weather. I trust what Roy has posted, and I also think it is related to El Nino.
One thing seems to be constant – all of the big winter storms come up from Texas! Lol! When I lived in Wisconsin, which of course sometimes got really big snowstorms (the biggest I remember was a 20-incher in mid-April 1973), the meteorologists would always refer to that type of storm as coming from a “Panhandle low.” That (relatively) warm, moist Gulf air really adds punch to any low pressure system storm that heads north.

February 4, 2010 7:17 pm

[quote Leif Svalgaard (17:24:37) :
Folks, many posts are pathetic. When satellite data agrees with cooling, you say they are the best thing since sliced bread. When they show warming, you whine about calibration, etc.
[/quote]

I see where you’re coming from with this Dr. Svalgaard, but I don’t think it’s that simple.
An El Nino isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about global warming. The believers will still be believers and the skeptics will still be skeptics.
I think what a lot of folks are thinking is that this January didn’t seem even close to the warmest since 1979. In fact, it was down right cold. So I think folks are trying to reconcile this fact with the satellite readings.
And in doing that, I think it’s natural to ask is there something about this unusual winter that “broke” the satellite. And if you’ve read my post about the statistical processing of the AMSU (which came after your post), you can see there may be something to the idea this strange winter broke the satellite.
Dr. Spencer releasing his source code would solve the issue one way or another.

rbateman
February 4, 2010 7:21 pm

MattN (18:42:37) :
I agree. There is nothing exceptionally warm or strong about this El Nino.
Snow levels across California have been moderate 3000-5000′. No 7000-10000′ tropical deluges to be found. A few heavy snowfalls, nowhere near the records of big event years. No general flooding across the state.

John Whitman
February 4, 2010 7:22 pm

magicjava (19:05:27) : ” I have a blog entry discussing this here:
http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/01/aqua-satellite-data-processing.html
and here: http://magicjava.blogspot.com/2010/02/summary-of-aqua-satellite-data-computer.html
—–
magicjava,
Thanks for your quick response. Appreciate it.
Yes, before I commented [John Whitman (18:36:51) :] I saw your entry and went to your sites. Your sites are along the lines I was thinking and prompted me to recall the Geo entry from Jo Nova’s post.
Yours is for satellite data, correct?
I would like to see a master chart of satellite, ocean bouys, land, ice, etc etc.
I want to do this, but as my experience on many years of management that where to start is the hardest aspect to establish on a project. Suggests?
John

Neven
February 4, 2010 7:33 pm

“Where on this planet Earth was the correspoding massive heat to offset the colder winter to produce the warmest global January ever recorded?
Where?”
Besides the SH, in the Arctic perhaps? If I’m not mistaken the negative Arctic Oscillation caused an extra cold winter in the NH by blowing all that cold air out of the Arctic? There are some neat graphics in the latest ‘Climate Denial Crock of the Week’ (which I won’t be posting here for obvious reasons) on Youtube explaining this.

Douglas DC
February 4, 2010 7:41 pm
February 4, 2010 7:42 pm

magicjava (19:17:28) :
Dr. Spencer releasing his source code would solve the issue one way or another.
You want to slap him with a FOI-request? Just like we all do to CRU and Mann and Co…

February 4, 2010 7:45 pm

[Quote John Whitman (19:22:11) :]
Yours is for satellite data, correct?
I would like to see a master chart of satellite, ocean bouys, land, ice, etc etc.
[/quote]

Yes, mine’s for satellites. GISS drives me up a wall. 🙂
If you look at the blog roll here, you’ll see entries for Lucia’s The Blackboard and The Chiefio – E.M. Smith. Those two do a lot of work with GISS and should be good sources.
Beyond that, I’d say looking at the NOAA site would be the place to go.

Adam from Kansas
February 4, 2010 8:06 pm

I didn’t comment on the OHC content graph from Bob Tisdale yet, apparently according to the update there it looks like the rise in OHC preceded the 97/98 El Nino if you carefully count the lines that mark each year, the OHC looked like it was rising through 1995 and 1996 before the big release in 97/98.
I wonder what that means with this newest data and ENSO?

February 4, 2010 8:07 pm

[quote Leif Svalgaard (19:42:48) :
magicjava (19:17:28) :
Dr. Spencer releasing his source code would solve the issue one way or another.
You want to slap him with a FOI-request? Just like we all do to CRU and Mann and Co…[/quote]

I was hoping that me repeatedly posting requests to release his source code would work.
But if not….

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 4, 2010 8:12 pm

Jerry (15:44:18) :
Nonsense From
MJK (15:00:11) :

===============================================
MJK is the on who started the 25 month smoothing lie.
MJK does not use his real name. MJK must be a coward.

Claude Harvey
February 4, 2010 8:15 pm

Take a hint from the PR antics of the “true believers” and flip it on its head, boys and girls! Your headline should read, “Global Cooling Causes Global Warming”.

player
February 4, 2010 8:16 pm

So what? Its “weather, not climate”. ;#)

Andrew30
February 4, 2010 8:18 pm

So, we had the coldest January since 1938 or so in the UK, well below average temperatures in the rest of Europe, Russia was as cold as ever, China was the coldest it has been in a long time, the central and Eastern US was positively frigid, central Canada was even colder then the central US. Have I got that right so far? Then we have cool temperatures in California and Oregon, and a less then really cold January in Eastern Canada, perhaps even above average. And that is over ½ of the land mass of the planet.
Also I understand that the overall Ocean temperatures have been dropping for the last few years; that would be most of the rest of the planet.
We add all these numbers up, and we get the warmest January in the last 32 years.
Is it possible that the increase in cosmic rays due to lack of sunspots passing through an increased atmospheric density is having an affect on the machine?
Is it at all possible that this satellite is equipped with Pentium V processors?
If they print in any newspaper in the Northern Hemisphere that “Last January was the warmest in almost 40 years”, I think people will simply say; “Just how stupid do they actually think I am” or “I thought they were fudging the numbers, now I am sure they are”.
Am I missing something?

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 4, 2010 8:21 pm

Daniel H (18:26:03) :
I loved Chris Farley. He could never come to terms with his appearance. What a loss his death was.

Frederick Michael
February 4, 2010 8:23 pm

Why shouldn’t the recovery from the Little Ice Age still be ongoing?
If sunspots are the driver, there may be a huge lag. A couple of years of surprisingly low sunspots isn’t enough (yet). It could take a few solar cycles for the effects to accumulate to a significant level.
People who staked a claim on global cooling didn’t play their cards well. The alarmists needed a break and we may have given them one. Be smarter next time.

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 4, 2010 8:33 pm

magicjava (19:17:28) :
An El Nino isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about global warming. The believers will still be believers and the skeptics will still be skeptics.
——————————————
I think that most people have heard the term ‘El Nino”. But if they were to see the graphs of its effect it wouldn’t mean anything. And if they saw the this January warm spike in UAH it wouldn’t mean anything either.
What does mean something is there’s been longer winters all over the world for 3 years in a row. Florida got froze for days on end. Europe is freezing. China has huge snow. And this year could be another year of record snow in the US.
The average person may be saying “What global warming?”
I don’t think what scientists have to say—or what a trolls in comments on a blog are saying—means anything to them.

aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES
February 4, 2010 8:43 pm

Andrew30 (20:18:06) :
I think the difference is between surface temps and satellite temps. Satellite doesn’t measure at the surface.
I think in months to come there will be a rapid drop in satellite temp reading. There won’t be a high anomaly like January was.

February 4, 2010 8:54 pm

Mike J (17:42:45) :
“[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.]”
The satellites aren’t calibrated to surface thermometer data? To what are they calibrated? My limited understanding is that the satellites measure a proxy of actual temperature and this had to be correlated to actual thermometer readings. To do this, surface thermometer data was used.
Therefore, given the known urban heat island problems with surface thermometers, can we rely on the satellite readings?

Did you bother to read the NOTE that you provided? It explains the “to what they are calibrated” and it isn’t surface temperatures. Seems to me you read the first sentence, rejected it and went on to postulate your theory.
You can get the detailed explanation from Dr. Spencer at:
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/01/how-the-uah-global-temperatures-are-produced/

February 4, 2010 8:57 pm

On my previous comment the first clause of my third sentence should read:
Seems to me you read the first clause in the first sentence…
clause will get you every time. 😉

Richard
February 4, 2010 8:58 pm

magicjava (18:43:10) : ..It’s possible the satellite readings are wrong.
As it travels around the Earth, the AMSU (the instrument used to read what becomes UAH temperature anomalies) reads 30 scans in in the direction perpendicular to its orbit. Two of these scans are directly below the satellite and the each of the other 28 get progressively farther and farther away from the satellite in both the port and starboard directions. The further away from the satellite, the larger the error in its temperature readings.
Note that I didn’t say possible error. There’s no question at all these other 28 readings are wrong. The amount of error can be as high as 30 degrees Kelvin.
These errors are corrected via software. For each channel, the software checks the two neighboring channels and previous readings. This procedure is called a “Limb Adjustment”.

So then I take it that 2 scans are correct and 28 scans are “adjusted”.
Dr Spencer I would like to ask you a direct question. Assuming that the temperature readings are only the 2 perpendicular scans – what do these “unadjusted” temperatures show?
Can you carry out such an excercise on the data, just as a matter of interest?
If there is a discrepancy between the perpendicular measurements and the “slanting adjusted” measurements – then maybe, just maybe there could be a bias in the adjusting software.

rbateman
February 4, 2010 9:08 pm

Neven (19:33:05) :
In the Artic. When looked at from above the pole, the landmass of 3 continents swamps the Arctic. 3 to 1, 4 to 1??
By all means, while the credibility of Climate Science hangs by a strand of the thinnest silk, let’s see if that line will hold up the piano’s weight.
So, Arc + NAm + Eur + Asia + NPac + NAtl = X/?
Ant + SP + SAtl + SAm + Indn + IndOc = 7/?
Jan ’10 = (X+Y) / 2
Something like that. With weights of area to each Cont/Ocean.
Surely you have paid enough attention to the events of the last 2 years to understand the need to deliver a message that is believable as well as
straightforward.

Ripper
February 4, 2010 9:19 pm

I do notice that on the AMSU chart that at 56000′ and above the atmosphere appears to be very close to 20year low temperatures.
Could this be a result of Svensmarks’s theory and the clouds are trapping the heat at the surface?.

Roger Knights
February 4, 2010 9:26 pm

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.
MJK (15:00:11) :
Oh dear–this latest reading does not point to a cooling world now does it?
Jay Sezbria (15:12:42) :
Well that should spell the death of the ‘global warming has ended’ meme.
vibenna (16:00:37) :
magicjava – I agree the trend estimate will be biased by heterogeneity in warm/cold events (PDO, as well as El Nino). But I don’t think that will change the underlying trend, especially given there is now 30 years of data.
BernieL:
He [Hansen] repeated this at the end of 2008:

“Given our expectation of the next El Niño beginning in 2009 or 2010, it still seems likely that a new global temperature record will be set within the next 1-2 years, despite the moderate negative effect of the reduced solar irradiance. GISS Dec 2008.”

I hope any warmist who agrees that the trend is up and/or that a record year in 2010 is “likely” will hustle over to Intrade and take advantage of the great odds skeptics there are offering (via Intrade’s bid/asked market mechanism) for a variety of bets on those propositions. Here’s the link: https://www.intrade.com . Check under Markets –> Climate and Weather.

Henry Pool
February 4, 2010 9:37 pm

Here in South Africa (inland) we had overcast conditions in January almost all the time. – I have not had the air conditioner on once. So this result puzzles me a bit, especially with all that cold weather in the north.. I think Australia had some warm weather?

February 4, 2010 9:43 pm

Ripper (21:19:22) :
I do notice that on the AMSU chart that at 56000′ and above the atmosphere appears to be very close to 20year low temperatures.
Could this be a result of Svensmarks’s theory and the clouds are trapping the heat at the surface?.

No it’s due primarily to depletion of ozone there.

D. Ch.
February 4, 2010 9:46 pm

Actually, it occurred to me that the unusually cold temperatures this Jan across the Northern Hemisphere (as recorded by land based weather stations) suggests that an unusually large amount of cold air pushed south in the very lowest layers of the atmosphere. The relatively warm air that is usually there has to go someplace — any weatherman will tell you that the cold air displaced the warm air, rather than mixing with it like hot and cold air inside a car — so what may well have happened is that the warm air that is normally there got pushed up to 14000 feet for the satellite to measure. Once there it will cool off more than it would had it stayed near the ground, and the heat content of the atmosphere as a whole will be that much less.

Garry Lockwood
February 4, 2010 9:46 pm

Umm, can someone explain to me why running averages of 13 or 25 would be used? I understood (although stats is not my main area), that running averages of 12 or 24 months should be used, as then there is an equal number of each period in the average, ie one/two Januarys, one/two Februarys, etc.

vibenna
February 4, 2010 10:08 pm

Earle Williams – I’m just talking about trend, not predictions. Cheers.

February 4, 2010 10:09 pm

This UAH data is useful as I’ve been wondering for the past month or so if Western Australia is the hottest land mass on the planet, at least when compared to the icy temps seemingly reported from everywhere else.
Each month my site maintains data showing the last 12 months of min and max temps at 32 locations across Western Australia compared to their averaged Bureau of Meteorology records at the beginning of the 1900s…
October 08 to September 09
min .44 C above the early 1900s
max .60 above the early 1900s
November 08 to October 09
min .39 C above the early 1900s
max .60 above the early 1900s
December 08 to November 09
min .53 C above the early 1900s
max .92 above the early 1900s
January 09 to December 09
min .59 C above the early 1900s
max 1.09 above the early 1900s
February 09 to January 2010
min .54 C above the early 1900s
max 1.16 above the early 1900s
Beginning in November, the maxima in particular went through the roof in Western Australia and the BoM notes that January had the second hottest mean temperature on record at 1.2 C above the long term average. The January maxima at some locations was up to 4 degrees C above the long term average. The UAH data above also shows a sharp jump in November for the southern hemisphere, although December doesn’t sync with the Western Australia results.
http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/wa/summary.shtml
The BoM summary for January confirms that the surge in maxima coincided with well below average rainfall in central and west-south-westerly areas of Western Australia that heated the most, as was the case for the previous couple of months … i.e. it’s probably a fair assumption that the daytime temps went up because of a prolonged lack of cloud cover – along with above average SST in the Indian Ocean.
The heatwave stopped about a week ago, since when the temps have been well below the historic February averages with similar low temps forecast for the coming week.
From a broader perspective, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology monitors 26 locations across the 2.5 million square kilometres of Western Australia as part of its “high quality” (corrected) data set that is presumably the official Aussie land surface temp feed to GISS and other international organisations.
It’s worth looking at decadal averages for the same 26 locations extracted and averaged via Excel from the BoM’s “high quality” data set from 1910 to 2009:
1910-1919 – 19.56018445
1920-1929 – 19.6552
1930-1939 – 19.8408
1940-1949 – 19.7776
1950-1959 – 19.85069231
1960-1969 – 19.90246795
1970-1979 – 20.21713846
1980-1989 – 20.34732308
1990-1999 – 20.54858462
2000-2009 – 20.54797177
My reading of the BoM data is that 2000-2009 was marginally cooler than 1990-1999 across Western Australia. The BoM has nominated 2000-2009 as the hottest decade ever in Australia.
So the western half of Australia is one of the reasons the global temps were up in January despite what everybody thought was a cold northern hemisphere, but we’re not to blame for any warming over the past decade 🙂
http://www.waclimate.net/1979-2009.html

AndyW
February 4, 2010 10:24 pm

The interesting thing to me is that the 13 month average has not dipped below 0 ( apart from the volcano event) since the 1980’s. It still doesn’t show any inclination to do this either.
As an aside, sceptics don’t like to be called denialists, but when someone comments on this thread
“Will we see a continuation of the rise in monitored temperatures yet the world freezes over as the world continues to cool?”
we shouldn’t really complain should we when they do.
Andy

Tor Hansson
February 4, 2010 10:25 pm

I for one am not a cheerleader for colder temperatures. A little warmer climate suits me fine. That’s what I came to California for.

savethesharks
February 4, 2010 10:32 pm

Neven (19:33:05) :
“Where on this planet Earth was the correspoding massive heat to offset the colder winter to produce the warmest global January ever recorded?
Where?”

This is nonsense. “Massive heat” should actually be described as deviations above normal in the Arctic…..but it is all relative dude.
Still well below freezing there.
Point and click. http://www.athropolis.com/map2.htm
Every time the heights around the top of the Earth are this high with a well-developed block, then the cold air is forced southward.
And voila….you have the epic winter of 2009 – 2010…to the major population centers of the NH.
There is NO “massive heat offset”, except the difference/spread of what normally occurs within the realms of natural variability.
No big deal.
This is not 1998. It may be close….but we are on a different area of the slopes of the Planet’s cycles this time. So….let’s see what lies ahead….
Also, 32 years does not make a trend. It barely makes one revolution in the AMO.
So much that we do not know….
CHRIS
Norfolk, VA, USA

rbateman
February 4, 2010 10:32 pm

A quick look at many years of the DMI, Jan 2010 is nothing special, and just about average for January. Sure doesn’t look like the Arctic is the place for the mother of all hot anomalies.

tokyoboy
February 4, 2010 10:35 pm

http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2010/02/preliminary-january-2010-sst-anomaly.html
If we CAN extrapolate the trend of the PAST TWO YEARS to 2010, we’ll be 15 degC WARMER!!!!

KW
February 4, 2010 10:43 pm

Looks like global warming has resumed.
I’m not complaining though.

savethesharks
February 4, 2010 10:53 pm

Here is a great example, a case-in-point, of natural variability.
The record low and high for this date for ORF, is within a few years (and they were in the late 1800s).
Record (KORF) 77 °F (1890) 4 °F (1886)
Obviously, Krakatoa, 3 years before 1886, may have had an effect.
Regardless…such temperature spreads on the same day only a few years apart..deserve a little attention.

mkurbo
February 4, 2010 10:59 pm

Roger Knights (21:26:10) :
Can they exchange their carbon credits to make those Intrade propositions ?
Better yet, when the AGW folks slap a worldwide tax on humans we should all have an option to either:
a.) pay the tax and be allowed to live in the less industrial (no modern conveniences) “cooler” regions, or…
b.) not pay the tax and live in the nasty industrial “warmer” regions with all modern conveniences.

Gerry
February 4, 2010 11:27 pm

SNRatio (18:52:24) :
Now natural, skeptical, questions would be: Disregarding IPCC, warmists etc. Are the overall pictures from the temp series
A: Consistent with each other?…
D: Consistent with Svensmark’s hypothesis?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I’d say yes to A and D.
For A: In 1999, the year following the ’98 El Nino, notice that there were four months with negative UAH temperature anomalies. In 2008, following the unusually high global temperatures in 2007, there were eight months with negative UAH anomalies.
For D: notice the significantly lower neutron monitor counts from all stations in the last half of January, 2010:
http://leif.org/research/Neutron-Monitors-Real-Time.htm
Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Alberto
February 4, 2010 11:28 pm

In the Netherlands we’ve had the coldest January in 13 years: see report

wayne
February 4, 2010 11:30 pm

YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS
2009 12 +0.288 +0.329 +0.246 +0.510
2010 01 +0.724 +0.841 +0.607 +0.757
———————————-
CHNG +0.436 +0.512 +0.361 +0.247
This make you feel worse. North hemisphere warmed the most? Could possibly be due to extreme condensation, warmer clouds keeping below toward surface warmer and also radiating more upward to space. If so, would be setting up for a large drop later if both types of readings are actually accurate.

anna v
February 4, 2010 11:37 pm

I have a question on what these temperatures are.
Are they temperatures of the air?
Is there an assumption that the air temperature is the land/sst temperature?
Maybe the disconnection is there.
Take the northern hemisphere: wind masses from the north bring the temperatures down while taking warm masses to the arctic. The ice does not heat, it keeps on giving its black body radiation to outer space in the long night, but the air temperature does and gives a huge anomaly to the one before the wind descended south and before the cooling ice cools the air again.
Is there any meaning in these global measures? There is a meaning in saying “this country is ten degrees cooler than last year”, from 10C it went to 0C air temperatures. The arctic gain going from -35C to -21C as can be seen in http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php is mostly meaningless since it is air and the ice is radiating away at practically a fixed rate anyway.
Maybe this gross discontinuity between the heat loss perception of people and the recorded global temperatures will bring to the fore that it is the heat gain and loss and not the temperatures that should be budgeted.
I think that the satellites should give energy balance plots: energy in energy out, if they can. It is the only way we could see if we are heating up or cooling down really.

Sam Lau
February 4, 2010 11:52 pm

Adam from Kansas (18:43:19) :
{i}If the daily SOI index continues at the current rock bottom levels, we could end up seeing another big Kelvin wave and El Nino Modoki picking up again despite the trades not being as weak as they have been. (according to TAO).
Could this El Nino actually drop OHC farther than the one in 97/98 if this means we see this event going on a bit longer than that one? I guess then whether it goes back up depends on what ENSO will do afterwards?{/i}
A WWB is in progress for sure, but given the Western Pacific is cooler then the Central Pacific and the stronger-than-normal Peruian current, I am indeed confident that the current El Nino is peaked, and I believe that this El Nino will not linger into boreal summer. It should also be noticed that Eq 160W to 120W have cooled for almost 1 degree over the last 3 weeks, a big amount given the time of the year!

Norm/Calgary
February 4, 2010 11:54 pm

The running 13 month average should include the latest 13 months of data, why does the line end before the end of January 2010 data?

JP
February 4, 2010 11:56 pm

“Tom T (18:25:40) :
Mike J. 17:42:45 That is one of the silliest things I heard in quite some time. When you buy a thermometer do you calibrate it to all the other thermometers in the world or to you trust that the factory calibrated it when they built it. Your thermometer does not care what the thermometer at your neighbors house says.”
magicjava’s web page seem to say that satellites calibrate to 1) empty space 2) higer reference temp measured from reference source built into the satellite 3) from other satellites
Thus temperature measurement from troposphere is adjustes between space (2,7K) and reference “warm” source, and result is calibrated with data coming from other satellites + ground data.
So satellites are very different from household thermometers..

Norm/Calgary
February 4, 2010 11:57 pm

While the price of carbon is at 10¢ a ton on the Chicago market I suggest we all buy up a few hundred tons and then when J Hansen comes looking for us we can show him we’ve already offset our carbon footprints.

February 5, 2010 12:01 am

NH being so warm is quite surprising, considering the North Pacific has been cold, North Atlantic not warm either – AMO index just 0,135 and here were no huge positive anomalies above ground, rather negative ones.
In the meantime, El Nino seems to be gradually replaced by cold water from the east and the huge hotspot east of NZ looks to decompose as well.
http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sst_anom.html
In the past, 600mb temperatures followed SST with several months lag and maybe this is the same case.
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:2005/plot/hadsst2gl/from:2005
Ground based measurement will not come close to the record, since UAH seems to react on Nino/Nina/volcanic events much more readily than ground stations:
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/plot/uah/from:2002
On the bright side, the UAH anomaly can get only lower in the future 😀

Bart
February 5, 2010 12:13 am

Norm/Calgary (23:54:01) :
“why does the line end before the end of January 2010 data?”
The group delay of an average (or any other finite symmetric weighting function) spanning T units of time is T/2, i.e., the output lags the input by half the length. Constant group delay (linear phase response) is one of the reasons your digital music system is so much clearer than the old analog gear – there is no “phase distortion.”
Therefore, to be contemporaneous, you must match up the average values with the data at time T/2 before the most recent datum in each output of the running average. That means, in this case, you can’t get an average value after 6.5 months before the current value.

wayne
February 5, 2010 12:19 am

anna v (23:37:48) :
“it is the heat gain and loss and not the temperatures…”
I perfectly agree. Have learned much in last six months. My views have evolved. I’ve tried to get others to grasp the scale on the energy topic. Air is feeble to water when speaking heat, therefore temperature. Simple condensation is 500+ times conduction for instance, and other realizations as such. Sometimes it is easy to look at the small process, thinking you are looking at a large process, and visa-versa! As you said, all the talk about temperatures but the energy flow is the key because mass and specific heat come into play.

JP
February 5, 2010 12:32 am

“D. Ch. (21:46:21) :
Actually, it occurred to me that the unusually cold temperatures this Jan across the Northern Hemisphere (as recorded by land based weather stations) suggests that an unusually large amount of cold air pushed south in the very lowest layers of the atmosphere. The relatively warm air that is usually there has to go someplace — any weatherman will tell you that the cold air displaced the warm air, rather than mixing with it like hot and cold air inside a car — so what may well have happened is that the warm air that is normally there got pushed up to 14000 feet for the satellite to measure. Once there it will cool off more than it would had it stayed near the ground, and the heat content of the atmosphere as a whole will be that much less.”
Hmm. Interesting point. What if the warm winds, which have been melting the west coast of Canada have been flowing on the top of the quite cold and heavier air in continental canada? And produce huge red area at 14 000 feet?
Is it possibe to check if the difference between surface temperatures and satellite data at those “hot regions” is greater than it usually is?
If it is – the it would quite well explain that why satellite measurement shows something thats not experienced on surface.

Tenuc
February 5, 2010 12:36 am

D. Ch. (21:46:21) :
“Actually, it occurred to me that the unusually cold temperatures this Jan across the Northern Hemisphere (as recorded by land based weather stations) suggests that an unusually large amount of cold air pushed south in the very lowest layers of the atmosphere. The relatively warm air that is usually there has to go someplace — any weatherman will tell you that the cold air displaced the warm air, rather than mixing with it like hot and cold air inside a car — so what may well have happened is that the warm air that is normally there got pushed up to 14000 feet for the satellite to measure. Once there it will cool off more than it would had it stayed near the ground, and the heat content of the atmosphere as a whole will be that much less.”
I think you have a workable hypothesis here. Instead of the cold air being trapped at the north pole, some change causes it to drop south resulting in an overall drop in the energy stored in the total atmosphere.
It will be interesting to see how the MSM handle the January anomaly, as here in the UK we’re heading for the coldest winter for 20 years should the Dec/Jan pattern continue into Feb.
The public are going to ‘know’ the data is untrustworthy if the CAGW brigade try to make to much of this. Here’s the info from the infamous Met Office:-
December 2009
“Overall, it was a very cold month with mean temperatures 1.5 to 2.0 °C below the 1971-2000 normal over England and Wales, 2.0 to 2.5 °C below over Northern Ireland and 2.5 to 3.5 °C below over Scotland. Provisionally, it was the coldest December over the UK since 1995.”
January 2010
“Overall, it was a very cold month with mean temperatures 2.5 to 3.0 °C below the 1971-2000 normal over England and Wales, 2.5 °C below over most of Scotland and 2.0 to 2.5 °C below over Northern Ireland. Provisionally, it was the coldest January over the UK since 1987 and equal eighth coldest in a series from 1914.”
This is how they define winter and calculate the mean:-
“Calculate the monthly mean value at each station based on all available data (stations with too many missing observations are excluded)
Interpolate the mthly station data to a 5km grid (taking into account topography etc)
Calculate a regional average by taking the mean of all grid points within a geographical area
How we calculate seasonal averages – we take an average of the regional values for the three months that constitute the season e.g. for winter it is an average of the Dec, Jan and Feb values. Included in this final step is an allowance for the different lengths of each month i.e. slightly more weight is given to Dec and Jan (because they have 31 days) than for Feb (28 or 29 days, depending on the year).”
We experience weather, not climate.

wayne
February 5, 2010 12:43 am

Norm/Calgary (23:54:01) :
I’ve seen this asked before. If Dr. Spencer doesn’t answer this also here it is in simple English. It is a 13 period box filter. Like a moving average but it is the average of the point itselt plus six before and plus six after. This keeps the trend in sync with the raw data instead of lagging behind. The last six cannot be shown because you don’t know the six next points in the future!

Sven Hagström
February 5, 2010 12:51 am

Well, for 1998 NINO 3-4 dropped 0,2 degrees in January. This time around we have dropped 0,6 degrees.
For 1998 February dropped 0,7 degrees it was then UAH had one peak, then in April and Mars after a 0,3 and a whooping 1,2 degrees drop we had the second peak.
Since this El Niño started dropping early (January instead of February) this was expected.
And remember, after removing the heat from the El Nino. It is hard for it to reclaimed it.
/Sven

stephen richards
February 5, 2010 12:53 am

MJK (15:00:11) :
Don’t panic ! There is a lot of heat rebalancing going on. The satelites have never seen this situation before having been up there, in part, since ’79. Wait for the La Niña which will surely follow.
The recent discovery that an active sun allows the upper atmosphere to cool while an inactive sun does the opposite will also have a bearing on the rest of the year.

Mike Ramsey
February 5, 2010 1:04 am

Robert of Ottawa (17:31:54) :
Mike Ramsey (16:49:21) :
I am skeptical of the “theory” of most warming occuring at the poles. I think this might be, possibly, because that is where the AGWers’ charts show most red. But, we also note that the fewer thermometers, the larger the red.
I am uninterested in the cooked numbers that Hansen and company produce out of GISS but rather in what the satellite data is telling us.  Are the satellites telling us that the pole’s got warmer in January or that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation was responsible for the spike?
http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/01/is-antarctic-warming-real-or-%E2%80%9Cmann%E2%80%9D-made-a-note-from-fred-singer/
Mike Ramsey

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 5, 2010 1:09 am

I’m quite prepared to take this data at face value, but nevertheless they do not make sense to me. How can it be that while most of the Northern hemisphere has had, and still is in, the coldest winter in a generation, the average temperature still has gone up by a big jump, unless it has been excessively hot in the rest of the world? I haven’t, apart from the usual stories from Down Under, heard anything of the kind.
Also, notice that the jump from the previous measurement is about the largest jump upwards of the whole record. I am reminded of similar glitches in the Artic temperature record last year.
I foresee a correction being offered, shortly …..

Luís
February 5, 2010 1:14 am

Hi Roy,
Don’t know if you’re still out there listening. It seems to me pretty clear why the cold snaps, with the Tropics extra-hot and the Arctic extra-cold – three aerological units were deeply active at the same time early January. This also explains why the Arctic sea ice extent looks low at this time – more southerly warm air arriving there. But of course, it also increased precipitable potential in the Arctic, which will show up during the Summer.
Nice to have your posts here.

SNRatio
February 5, 2010 1:39 am

The main reason the extreme conditions in early January in Scandinavia didn’t produce more of a landslide of cold records, was that the tropospheric temperatures at ca 1000m were far higher than in similar cold periods. This is consistent with the surprisingly high UAH results.
The solar activity in 2009 was at a minimum in 100 years, still 2009, when the time series is adjusted for volcanic activity and ENSO, is the hottest year on record in the GISTEMP series. (A tied second without adjustments.) Such simple adjustments are of course no kind of “final answer”, but they give indications of underlying tendencies. And, with a 30-year trend of 0.1-0.13 degC/decade in UAH, and quarterly moving averages of second half of 2009 well above that trendline, maybe the January UAH results should not be so surprising after all.
I think a lot of people may have been misled by using short-time, statistically unstable, regression slopes as “trends”. Using more appropriate methods, we need 13-15 years to establish a significant trend, and such estimates are rather stable, at 0.1-0-16 degC/decade warming. Not heeding the need for stability, it is all too easy to overestimate the trend for a period of warming when oscillations are large. If the underlying trend is somewhat stable, the next years will then probably indicate “cooling” – otherwise we would have a real change in trend.
This is what has happened over the last few years, and is also why adjusting for ElNino/LaNina events+volcanism (and maybe sun cycle) could be a good idea.

February 5, 2010 1:44 am

Paul Vaughan: “It’s a good deal more complicated than that – the relations don’t go away – they’re just not so easy to detect. I’m still working on cross-wavelet approaches to detection. I’m finding nonrandom (but complex) phase relations – it will take time & patience to sort the signals out.”
And then, Paul, you would have to prove that the freq

John Hooper
February 5, 2010 2:04 am

So it’s trending upwards – no surprises there.

February 5, 2010 2:08 am

Sorry, Paul Vaughan, somehow without touching my mouse the comment posted. Where was I?
And then, Paul, you would have to prove that the frequency (or whatever) at which you’re finding these more complex correlations are having the same effect on climate/weather as the raw AO signal, would you not? That is, we know what the raw AO represents; does the modified signal represent the same thing?
Also, I was replying to a statement about how the AO tends to be negative during solar minimums and it clearly does not.

rtgr
February 5, 2010 2:12 am

mmhh ok greenland and iceland are really warm this winter
but a +0.841 anomaly for the nothern hemisphere, that cant be right
that would be the warmerst januari in at least 30 years .. while in the whole of europe its at least the coldest jan in 13 years (en the eastern part even the coldest in 25 years) US and azia were cold and russia is was on average colder than normal.
the North. Altlantic is colder as well…

February 5, 2010 2:14 am

John Whitman (18:36:51): I have not seen a flow chart that illustrates how each of the temperature products are processed. Good idea, though. You may want to ask at ClimateAudit?

February 5, 2010 2:25 am

Adam from Kansas (20:06:35): Here’s a link to older graph that compares the tropical Pacific OHC to NINO3.4 SST anomalies. It should help you establish timing.
http://i36.tinypic.com/eqwdvl.png
And the spike in 1995/96 was caused by the unusual strength in the trade winds during the 1995/96 La Nina. Discussed is this post, if you haven’t already read it:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/11/more-detail-on-multiyear-aftereffects_26.html
Regards

Symon
February 5, 2010 2:45 am

I’m concerned for the people who post stuff like “I’ve got snow in my backyard this winter, so these figures for the whole planet must be wrong”. Surely both sceptics and warmists can see the dumbness of that kind of statement? I offer this video to demonstrate the difference in scale.

February 5, 2010 2:46 am

Bob Tisdale
Again Bob you don’t have a broad enough or long enough perspective.
The AO is affected by more than just the level of solar activity. It is a balance between solar and oceanic effects so there does not need to be a short term or even cycle by cycle solar correlation.
Furthermore our records of AO intensity are not long.
Instead of seeking a correlation I look at basic principles and recent SABER satellite results that I have referred you to before.
It seems that when the sun is more active (on average over long time scales) there is a faster loss of energy to space so the AO would tend positive.
With a slower energy loss to space the AO would tend negative.
The reason being that with a faster release of convective energy from warmer ocean surfaces combined with resistance to the ejection of that energy from the contracted atmosphere (which then has a smaller surface area capable of outward radiation) then the polar high pressure cells would become stronger and move equatorward causing a more negative AO.
The extra energy from the El Nino would have been diverted back downward within the air circulation system instead of being pumped more quickly to space as would happen if the sun were more active with an expanded atmosphere and a larger radiating surface area.
That’s exactly what we see when such as this winter we get warm equatorial ocean surfaces with a quiet sun.
The counterintuitive point is that the effect of those variations in the size of the atmosphere’s radiating surface area is apparently greater than the variations in the sun’s absolute power output which conveniently squares with Leif’s objections to a substantial direct solar impact on climate.
To oppose this line of thinking you need to deal with the SABER observation that when the sun’s surface is more active the atmosphere loses energy to space faster.
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/AGU-SABER.html

John Finn
February 5, 2010 3:02 am

DR (18:55:35) :
Ok, this has never been answered to my satisfaction.

I’ll have a go.
Surface measurements are done ~1.5 from the surface. Satellites are measuring several thousand feet above the surface which obviously is colder than the surface. How is the baseline (.146 for HadCRUT and .238 for GISS) then in any way related to the difference in raw temperature?
Hadley, GISS and UAH/RSS calculate anomalies relative to different base periods. What this means is they take the average monthly temperature for a defined period and from that they calculate the recent monthly anomaly. For example Hadley use the 1961-1990 period. The most recent Hadley anomaly was +0.41 for December 2009. This means that, according to Hadley data, December 2009 was 0.41 deg warmer than the average 1961-1990 December temperature during. Ok so far?
The problem for comparison is that they don’t all use the same base period. GISS use 1951-1980 and UAH & RSS use 1979-1998 (note the first satellite readings were in Dec 1978). Because the 1950s and 1960s were generally colder than the 1980s and 1990s this means that the GISS and Hadley anomalies will be higher than the satellite anomalies (GISS in particular). A way round this is to use the same base period, i.e. 1979-1998, for all 4 metrics.
Using your figures: Hadley data suggests that the average temperature for the 1979-1998 period is 0.146 deg higher than it is for the 1961-1990 period and the GISS data suggests that the average temperature for the 1979-1998 period is 0.238 deg higher than it is for the 1951-1980 period. Though, it should be noted that these are overall averages and that the monthly averages will vary slightly. Therefore, when plotting, the above values are often used as ‘offsets’ to standardise the base periods and so provide a truer comparison. As a very, very rough guide; if you subtract ~0.24 from the GISS anomaly it should give you an approximate value for the expected UAH anomaly (but I repeat monthly values will vary ).
As far as raw temperatures are concerned, these are not really relevant. We’re simply looking at the change in temperature. For example, if the 1979-98 average temperature of the lower troposphere is 252 K (i.e.-21 deg C) and it ‘s now 252.5 K then there is an increase of 0.5 K. Similarly, if the surface was 287 K (i.e. 14 deg C) in 1979-98 and now it’s 287.5 there is also an increase of 0.5 K. That would probably be seen as consistent.
In fact, the trends in all 4 metrics are remarkably consistent despite what you might reads sometimes. There are obviously blips from time to time due to slightly different methods of a analysis and there are different lag times in response to ENSO events, but all 4 have warmed at virtually the same rate over the past 20 years.
I might have made a bit of a mess of this but, reading it myself, I can’t really tell. Just to reinforce the main point:-
In other words, suppose all temperature products have the same anomaly reported, making them “in good agreement”. How can this be when temperature generally decreases with height?
Because the anomaly indicates the change in temperature NOT the raw temperature.

MattN
February 5, 2010 3:27 am

“I agree. There is nothing exceptionally warm or strong about this El Nino.”
Correct. However, if you look at global SSTs, I think you’ll see the reason January is so warm is there is a HUGE warm pool in the south Pacific, unassociated with any El Nino region, and the Atlantic seems to be warmer than normal. Add it all up, and I’d wager there might be another “warmest month ever for the oceans” articles soon….

John Finn
February 5, 2010 3:34 am

rbateman (19:15:22) :
Leif Svalgaard (17:24:37) :
And we cannot believe this is the warmest January ever when the bulk of the N. Hemisphere OBSERVED a colder winter than has been seen in quite some time.

No. The part of the world inhabited by most readers of this blog observed a “colder winter than has been seen in quite some time”.
Incredible. Despite using different sources, we’ve got both RSS and UAH reporting record anomalies for January – and despite the fact that both have been operating (successfully if previous posts are anything to go by) for 32 years. Yet I’ve noticed a number of posters cite 6 years of ARGO data as though it’s results were carved in stone. Woe betide ARGO it it starts to show any ocean warming.

Mike J
February 5, 2010 3:36 am

JP – Thank you for validating my question.
Tom T – there are no silly questions, only intolerant answers. “As it says in the paragraph you mentioned, the instruments are calibrated at the lab.” I repeat, To what are they calibrated?
JLKrueger – I did not postulate any theory. I disclosed my limited understanding and asked a question – Can we rely on the satellite readings?

SNRatio
February 5, 2010 3:44 am

John Finn: “but all 4 have warmed at virtually the same rate over the past 20 years ”
Yes, but looking the 1980-2009 trends for GISS and UAH, the UAH rate is somewhat slower. Contradicting hypotheses about the troposphere warming faster than the surface.
Which simply may indicate that transport phenomena are more important than we thought – typically, UAH reacts more to strong El Nino episodes than GISS.
Also, transport, or rather lack thereof, probably plays a large role in the current record UAH anomaly. If one doesn’t like global warming, the recent weather pattern may be about the worst that could happen. It is like shutting off the heating in some rooms during cold nights: They cool, but the average indoor temp you can have with a given amount of heating increases this way, so it’s economical. (Just look at the radiative balance at +5 and -20 degC: A lot less heat than normal has been lost from the NH cold ares this winter.) And if this weather pattern becomes more normal, which is not unlikely – we have had quite a few similar episodes in recent years, it may actually speed up global warming.

SteveE
February 5, 2010 3:52 am

Jerry (18:18:57) :
“The planet warms, then it cools, then it warms again. Every once in a while we have an ice age.”
That is true, but that doesn’t disprove the idea that increased CO2 caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels will increase the rate of warming and take it out of this natural cycle.
Sure we won’t know for certain until after the event, but it just might be a bit late then.
“Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted”

Henry Pool
February 5, 2010 4:13 am

I live in Pretoria. Suppose like you people, I want to know the avg temp. for a month, but not for the whole world, I just want to know for Pretoria
1) where do I put the thermometer? Different valleys or hills & other places give all different temps. How would one get the right place that really represents Pretoria?
2) Who calibrates the thermometer? How do I know this is all done right?
3) How do I determine the avg for the month? Do I have a recorder that plots every temp. of every minute of the month and does the computer give the avg? How was that done 100 years ago??

February 5, 2010 4:13 am

SteveE (03:52:30),
Got any evidence for “the idea that increased CO2 caused by man’s burning of fossil fuels will increase the rate of warming and take it out of this natural cycle”?
Not opinions, or computer models, but actual evidence.

February 5, 2010 4:18 am

Stephen Wilde: You wrote with respect to my comment in which I showed that there was no correlation between the AO and the solar cycle, “Again Bob you don’t have a broad enough or long enough perspective,” but then you confirmed what I had written with, “The AO is affected by more than just the level of solar activity. It is a balance between solar and oceanic effects so there does not need to be a short term or even cycle by cycle solar correlation.”
To clarify, you wrote, and I responded to, “As I have said elsewhere a quiet sun seems to reduce energy loss to space by encouraging a more negative Arctic Oscillation.”
And I provided you with a graph that compared the Arctic Oscillation and scaled sunspot numbers to show that the Arctic Oscillation has been positive or negative or neutral during periods of a quiet sun (solar minimums).
http://i49.tinypic.com/30lkjm8.png
Now you attempt to redirect the conversation with “It is a balance between solar and oceanic effects so there does not need to be a short term or even cycle by cycle solar correlation.”
If there is no, as you write, “short term or even cycle by cycle solar correlation,” then you confirm your initial comment was wrong. In other words, if, as you wrote, “there does not need to be a short term or even cycle by cycle solar correlation,” then you can’t write that, “a quiet sun seems to reduce energy loss to space by encouraging a more negative Arctic Oscillation.” They contradict one another.
You then attempted to introduce a time factor, writing, “Furthermore our records of AO intensity are not long.”
If the AO does not correlate with the solar cycle over the past 60 years, would you expect it to improve over a longer term? And if it did, there is still a lack of correlation over the short term which contradicts what you’d written originally. And if you do not have access to longer AO records, you have no knowledge of any longer term relationship, so why introduce it, other than to muddy the waters?
And with respect to the Saber Project article you link, the project started in 2002 and the article was written in 2008. That’s six years, about half of a solar cycle, and you complain to me that the AO data is too short? There’s no consistency in your reply, Stephen.

Henry Pool
February 5, 2010 4:24 am

Henry@SteveE
Initially I also believed that carbondioxide was a cause for climate change as its properties to absorb heat are well documented.
However, the fundamental argument of AGW theory is that this trace gas (at slightly less than 0.04% or 400 ppm) is THE key ingredient to controlling a massively complex system such as climate. It increased by less than 0.01% during the past 50 years.
We are asked essentially to dismiss the effects of solar variation, orbital changes, cosmic rays, magnetic field changes, or many other variables and their inter- realationships. A main component of air, namely water vapor (average 1% in air and which is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2), is completely ignored. (all processes including nuclear and rocket fuel produce water vapor)
The argument that CO2 is a cause for warming is absurd.

Paul Vaughan
February 5, 2010 4:25 am

Re: Bob Tisdale (02:08:29)
Not disagreeing with your earlier comment about AO & solar activity Bob – just reminding everyone that the relations found in that area are complex (layers of conditional dependencies).

Paul Vaughan
February 5, 2010 4:26 am

Added some labeling:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/100204.PNG

DR
February 5, 2010 4:52 am

@John Finn
Your answer still does not answer the question. I understand what an anomaly is.
The “trend” can be identical yet one product can still be in error in amplitude depending on the initial conditions and changes between the end points of the data. This is easily provable.
You cited UAH and GIStemp agreeing with each other for the U.S., yet if you examine the 30 years of data, GIStemp clearly diverged greatly from UAH from 95-01. Look at global temps as well. GISS makes the past colder and the present decade warmer, yet the trends are “similar”.
As satellite was not available 70 years ago, there is no way to evaluate initial conditions from that period to determine if the last thirty 30 years trend is meaningful in terms of correlation between the two products.
Also, as I understand it, the LT should be warming at a faster rate than the surface to begin with, correct? In fact, the opposite is the case.
I think too much emphasis is placed on long term trends without considering what happens between the end points.

Henry Pool
February 5, 2010 4:55 am

http://rt.com/Top_News/2010-02-04/climategate-climate-change-fake.html
Essentially what I get from the above report is that in all fairness we cannot compare let us say (as claimed in this report) 1930 with 2002 and decide which year was warmer or colder.
Is this true?

Missingno
February 5, 2010 4:56 am

Henry Poole, first of all it is irrelevant that Co2 is a trace gas, it’s climatological effects are greatly disproportionate to it’s percentage amount of the atmosphere.
Secondly, it has increased by far more than 0.01% in the past 50 years. In 1950 Co2 was at around 270-280ppm in the atmosphere, today it is approaching 390ppm, an increase of around 40%.
Thirdly, you are asked to ignore all the other main drivers of climate because these things have been more or less static, or have at least not been significantly anomalous to the extent that they could be the cause of the observed warming. Co2 levels have not been static.
Water vapor is completely ignored because first of all, we are not pumping water vapor into the atmosphere that has been out of the system for millions of years as fossil fuels, thus it is not accumulating in the atmosphere in greater amounts, and also because water vapor actually falls back out of the sky as rain, and doesn’t stay there for hundreds and hundreds of years like Co2 does.
The argument that Co2 is not a cause for warming is absurd.

SteveE
February 5, 2010 5:01 am

Smokey (04:13:40) :
Not opinions, or computer models, but actual evidence.
There’s no evidence as you would put it that the theory of evolution is true. We can’t run and expriment and test it as it occurs over a much longer time scale than we can observe. That doesn’t mean it wrong though.

pft
February 5, 2010 5:04 am

I guess you can not argue that it is warmer at 14,000 ft above sea level. I mean, how many population centers or surface temperature stations are there at 14K.
Satellite data does not lie, only man made algorithms and adjustments can do that. And calibrated thermometers on board a satellite stay calibrated for the life of the satellite and prove what, that the temperatures being directly measured on board are accurate?
More important, what does a temperature anomaly of 0.72 deg at 14,000 ft mean to heat at the surface. Given the lower density, an equivalent heat increase at the surface equals a temperature increase of 0.36 deg.
I have to imagine that cloud variability at this altitude has to be adjusted for. How accurate are these adjustments.
The data is spliced from many different satellites over 30 years, so I guess intercalibration of the various satellites data is a possible issue.
In any event, when data does not match observation, it should be questioned.
None of this means squat anyways, the issue is not whether we are warming or cooling, but is more to do with what is causing it. Natural variation or mans CO2?.

SteveE
February 5, 2010 5:08 am

Henry Pool (04:24:50) :
An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.

Jordan
February 5, 2010 5:13 am

I have yet to see anything in the way of a sampling strategy for these temperature reconstructions. Specifically, a sampling strategy which ensures these signals are not aliased.
This point covers both spatial and temporal aliasing. I feel slightly more relaxed about the temporal sampling frequency, but very uncomfortable about spatial sampling and the scope for aliasing across each sample of the temperature field.
Design of a sampling regime needs to kick off with a detailed survey of the temperature field and to determine the temporal and spatial “bandwidth”. Theoretically, we can sample at a minimum of twice the bandwidth, but in practice the sampling rate needs to be about 10 times the bandwidth.
Until this quenstion is convincingly answered, my inclination is to dismiss all trends in the global temperature reconstructions as being unreliable and possibly completely misleading.
A nasty feature of aliasing is that it can produce a plausible-looking signal. And averaging does not help – there is not a lot of purpose in taking the average value of a signal which has been completely distorted by aliasing.
This is not a question of statistical sampling error. It is firmly in the realms of discrete signal processing, and is well based in mathematics.
Two short videos to help illustrate the phenomenon:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy9dJgGCWZI&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVwmtwZLG88&feature=related

Gareth
February 5, 2010 5:19 am

MattN said: “Correct. However, if you look at global SSTs, I think you’ll see the reason January is so warm is there is a HUGE warm pool in the south Pacific, unassociated with any El Nino region, and the Atlantic seems to be warmer than normal. Add it all up, and I’d wager there might be another “warmest month ever for the oceans” articles soon….”
Is this extra warmth upwelling from the deep or a lack of convection cooling by the atmosphere?(Through cold air being parked over land)

John Finn
February 5, 2010 5:21 am

SNRatio (03:44:44) :
John Finn: “but all 4 have warmed at virtually the same rate over the past 20 years ”
Yes, but looking the 1980-2009 trends for GISS and UAH, the UAH rate is somewhat slower. Contradicting hypotheses about the troposphere warming faster than the surface.

The UAH warmed at a lower rate than all other datasets between before 1990. That is true. Whether that’s a problem with UAH or the other datasets is not clear. You are correct that the very close agreement contradicts the troposphere amplification hypothesis for the time being .
Which simply may indicate that transport phenomena are more important than we thought – typically, UAH reacts more to strong El Nino episodes than GISS.
I accept that UAH responds more sharply (and a bit later) to ENSO hence we sometimes get ‘mismatches’ in the anomalies. With this in mind, though, I don’t know why people don’t accept that the surface may sometimes be more sensitive to certain events than the troposphere and that GISS readings may be genuine and not ‘fudged’ to show warming.
My main point is that if GISS were really fudging data to show warming they’re not doing a particularly good job.

February 5, 2010 5:21 am

I agree with this:-
” Harold Blue Tooth (Viking not phone) (17:07:41) :
Cam (14:34:07) :
we’re at the peak of the current El Nino event. JAMSTEC…
Would that mean there will be a precipitous drop in temps by the end of the year as happened after the peak in el Nino in 98?

Peak of El Nino, at the moment, so when it subsides such as after 1998 and 2007, we will see a BIG drop in global temperatures as measured by UAH due to a La Nina.
My understanding is that El Nino is the upper layers of the Pacific ocean giving out heat to the atmosphere. This heat will disssipate into space and sharp cooling after that will occur.
Don’t panic folks, EL Nino is just weather, it is PDO and solar activity that drive the climate. And the long term trend for those is down.

Richard M
February 5, 2010 5:35 am

There are several reasons why certain ares of the planet were cooler than might be expected during this warm El Nino. Here’s a couple:
1) Blocking high pressure systems have kept cool air patterns across much of the US and Europe.
2) The addition snow cover provides it’s own cooling effect. When warm air does return to these areas, it cools, condenses into fog or low clouds and limits the daily highs from reaching levels they might reach without snow cover. While the lows remain warm most people don’t associate the lows with how warm it is.
Also keep in mind that the UAH surface readings were also high for January which calls into question the theory that the warm air was pushed upward.
Like I said before, this event is a great learning experience and some real clever scientists have a chance to learn more about our complex climate system. We shall see if this happens.
I hope someone computes a land only anomaly for last month from GISS or HadCru. If it actually does show the cooling as most people seem to think, that means there’s a real question about the historic record and whether it has any meaning relative to Earth’s total energy.

Kay
February 5, 2010 6:22 am

@Frederick Michael (20:23:22) : Why shouldn’t the recovery from the Little Ice Age still be ongoing? If sunspots are the driver, there may be a huge lag.
Well, how long does it take to cool a few quadrillion gallons of water?

beng
February 5, 2010 6:22 am

It’s fortunate for some areas that there is warmth & El Nino. The SW US is getting badly needed precip that prb’ly wouldn’t have occurred otherwise. California, NM, Arizona and west Texas should consider themselves lucky.

Gabriel HBay
February 5, 2010 6:24 am

Well, reading through this thread just proves to me that no-one has the foggiest idea how this weather and temperature thingy works. All speculation and guesswork. Here in Cape Town we seem to have had a very mild summer/January. Some deciduous trees appear to be already donning autumn colours, which seems way too soon. I have needed the AC in my home office (normally a sauna at this time of the year) only once or twice. My daughter in UK has had scary cold weather, as has much of the northern hemisphere. Does anyone have any idea where exactly have sufficiently warm temperatures been recorded on the ground to offset all the cold? Seems to me this temperature measurement is just totally unrelated to what happens on the ground. Quite frankly, I trust it no more than any off the other questionable “science” that has been thrust down our throats of late.

Arthur Glass
February 5, 2010 6:26 am

Has the El Nino peaked?
Compare the infrared presentation of SSTs over the past month.
Here is 7 January.
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.1.7.2010.gif
And here is the most recent presentation, 4 Feb.
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.2.4.2010.gif
The El Nino would seem clearly to have waned in the sectors closest to the South American coast, with small spots of blue now appearing. The current Nino-ish anaomaly is more concentrated in the 3,4 sectors. Further south, the ‘hot spot’ mid-ocean, directly west of the coast of Chile seems to have diffused and abated somewhat. In general, there seems to be more blue appearing.
The SOI, however, has spiked radically negative.
http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/SeasonalClimateOutlook/SouthernOscillationIndex/30DaySOIValues/
Does this represent the atmosphere’s delayed reaction to the build-up of heat in the tropical Pacific?
Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather uses such steep negative spikes in the SOI as teleconnecting, in winter, to a strong southern jet over North America. Given a negative AO and NAO, and a pool of tapable Arctic air, you have an ideal scenario for major snowstorms in the eastern U.S.
Unfortunately, for a weather weenie in the NYC area, this means the disappointment of seeing storm after storm concentrate its glory a hundred miles to your south. This is about to happened with the latest in the train. When the last flake is measured Washington, D.C. may be snowier this winter than Boston.

savethesharks
February 5, 2010 6:32 am

AnnaV: “I think that the satellites should give energy balance plots: energy in energy out, if they can. It is the only way we could see if we are heating up or cooling down really.
Well said.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

coaldust
February 5, 2010 6:42 am

Peter Miller (14:32:55) :
Does anyone know exactly where we are in the current El Nino cycle?

According to the weekly report put out by NOAA, we are at on near the peak.
See pages 27-28 of
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/lanina/enso_evolution-status-fcsts-web.pdf
Looking at the graphs in the report is enlightening.
These make it look like the peak has passed:
Equatorial Pacific sea surface temps (pg.4)
El Nino region SST departures (pg.5)
Change in SST departures (pg.8)
Equotorial Pacific sub-surface temp departures (pg. 11)
Equatorial Pacific heat content evolution (pg. 16)

February 5, 2010 6:44 am

Come on you guys!
There is 70% of the ocean by area,where most of the El-Nino is from.While the 30% of the land surface has unusually favorable blocking patterns that funnel cold air farther south than usual,mostly staying on the continental areas.
I do not think Dr. Spenser’s data release for January is bad,just indicative of a strong release of energy from the ocean (it is cooling because of it).
In all this there is obviously no discernible AGW effect going on.
Calm down.

savethesharks
February 5, 2010 6:55 am

magicjava (18:43:10) : ..It’s possible the satellite readings are wrong…
Fascinating stuff. Perhaps Dr. Spencer can give you access to the source code??
Of course, the prescient observations you provide will not make it into any Associated Press release. I can see it now: “The World is Burning Up” etc ad nauseum…
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

Editor
February 5, 2010 7:01 am

We should all know better than to read too much into a single month’s global temperature data point. On a month to month basis, the data is very noisy. But smoothed out, over time, there is a clear and indisputable pattern of natural climate variation in which global temperature rates of change rise and fall on a decadal time scale. So I think it would be of interest to know where we are with respect to this decadal climate cycle. Are we in the early part of an ascending phase, so that we might expect temperatures to demonstrate a tendency to keep on rising, or are we nearing the end of one, in which case we can expect the rate of temperature increase to moderate, and then begin to decline?
I think the answer is very clear from the following graph:
http://i47.tinypic.com/woc9.jpg
This is a graph of the HadCRUT3 monthly global temperature anomaly, seasonally differenced, and then smoothed. The approximately decadal cycles are clear and indisputable (even if they vary in terms of frequency and amplitudes). The last trough occurred in September of 2006. The (approximately) decadal cycles have an average frequency of 110.8 months. For a ballpark guesstimate, figure 55 months from last trough to peak, and that moves us out to April 2011, or about 15 months from now.
So expect the current warming cycle to begin to moderate over the next year, and then start back down.

February 5, 2010 7:06 am

@Basil (07:01:14) : So expect the current warming cycle to begin to moderate over the next year, and then start back down.
One way to quantify that expectation:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/you-bet/

Pascvaks
February 5, 2010 7:07 am

“Hay Mutt, what’s everybody so concerned about?”
“Jeff, I think it has something to do with a satellite.”
“But… I don’t understand Mutt, who cares about a stupid satellite.”
“Not sure Jeff. Maybe it cost a lot of money?”
“Mutt, these folks sure like to talk and worry about nothing. Don’t they?”
“Jeff, they’re bored and have nothing better to do.”
“Mutt, why are some of them more worried than the rest?”
“That’s easy Jeff, the people who are most worried think the satellite is telling them something important. The people who aren’t worried know the thing is just telling them something.”
“Mutt?”
“Yes, Jeff”
“Want to go get something to eat at the Dinner?”
“No, Jeff. There’s a Nor’easter out there that’s going to knock the city’s socks off. Let’s have some fun and order a pizza, we’ll bet on how long it takes the kid to get here. The one off by the most pays for the pie. OK?”
“OK!”

February 5, 2010 7:35 am

Missingno (04:56:26) :
“…The argument that Co2 is not a cause for warming is absurd.”
Every point in your post is either wrong, or wrongly argued. I’ll just summarize it by saying that you’re trying to correlate CO2 with different causes.

Suzanne
February 5, 2010 7:41 am

As Mr. Spock would say “Fascinating”. What this really shows is that we really don’t know as much about how the climate works as we think we do. I just finished a book by Arnd Bernaerts about the warming in the Arctic between 1919 and 1939. What stood out was that during this time of warming, the southern oceans, Indian Ocean and Atlantic actually cooled. Records of the past suggest that periods of “cooling” have been associated with stormy, extreme weather in Northern America and Eurasia but I haven’t found much on the proxy records of the oceans during these climate shifts like the cooling episodes of the “Little Ice Age”. One of the benefits of the AGW hysteria has been the development of the network of monitors (land based CRU, NOAA and GISS temps currently excepted) that allow us to observe temperatures, sea levels, clouds, ice etc. Only with accurate data over a period of time and minds open to the observations can we say we understand our climate.

Mike Ramsey
February 5, 2010 7:42 am

sunsettommy (06:44:15) :
Come on you guys!
There is 70% of the ocean by area,where most of the El-Nino is from.While the 30% of the land surface has unusually favorable blocking patterns that funnel cold air farther south than usual,mostly staying on the continental areas.
I do not think Dr. Spenser’s data release for January is bad,just indicative of a strong release of energy from the ocean (it is cooling because of it). In all this there is obviously no discernible AGW effect going on.
Calm down.
Yes, I agree that what you say is probably true.  But why not state where the heat is coming from and confirm your (and my) analysis?  Leaving the statement the way it stands opens the door to the propagandist. 
Mike Ramsey

February 5, 2010 7:43 am

SteveE (05:01:31) :
“There’s no evidence as you would put it that the theory of evolution is true.”
Of course there is. I recall a paper in Science [IIRC], showing pictures of black moths whose ancestors were white to match the color of the tree trunks they spent a lot of time on. The moths turned black through natural selection because of the heavy use of coal, which turned the tree trunks very dark grey, making the white moths easy targets for predators.
I also recall experiments done with bacteria showing the effects of natural selection. And Charles Darwin took copious notes on his observations of the effects of evolution by natural selection.

February 5, 2010 7:53 am

Smokey (07:43:11) :
SteveE (05:01:31) :
“There’s no evidence as you would put it that the theory of evolution is true.”
Of course there is.

Evolution is a fact by now. Just like ‘Continental Drift’ [aka Plate Tectonics], Expansion of the Universe, Relativity, 4.5 billion year old Earth, etc. All the facts that pseudo-scientist and assorted nuts are unaware of or denying. Let’s call them ‘fact deniers’.

DirkH
February 5, 2010 7:57 am

“Suzanne (07:41:27) :
[…]
One of the benefits of the AGW hysteria has been the development of the network of monitors ”
Not really. Networks like Argo are becoming technologically feasible due to the development of microcontrollers and cheaper fabrication technologies. Without the IPCC fraudsters we would have much more of that already because they dumped most of the money that was given to them into useless GCM’s.

SteveE
February 5, 2010 8:01 am

Smokey (07:43:11) :
That’s true, I remember seeing the same paper now you come to mention it.
If you want observational evidence how about my earlier post:
“Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”
That’s direct observational evidence like seeing the those black moths isn’t it?

Editor
February 5, 2010 8:02 am

Ron Broberg (07:06:47) :
@Basil (07:01:14) : So expect the current warming cycle to begin to moderate over the next year, and then start back down.
One way to quantify that expectation:
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/01/31/you-bet/

Well, I’ve already done a back of the envelop quantification of my expectation. Are you wanting me to bet on it? I’m not sure that you can compare my “forecast” with Tamino’s. I’m not saying anything about the trend, per se. I’m talking about predictable cycles, or changes, in the trend. More crudely, perhaps, I’m talking about whether the data points are tending to fall above or below the trend line. Right now, they are falling above it. Before long, they will fall below it. That is a bet that is impossible to lose. The only uncertainty is in how long it will be before they begin to fall back below the trend line.

Bill Parsons
February 5, 2010 8:02 am

Is skepticism only reserved for empirically-observable networks scattered around the surface of the Earth? Satellite systems still require engineers to build them, computer scientists to program them, aeronautical experts to keep them in precise orbit, and ultimately a climate scientist to read and interpret their data. A lot of people are involved, and (with great respect for their advanced degrees) people make mistakes. If we can’t get accelerator linkages and brake systems to function here on Earth, how can we conceive of a flawlessly operating system in space where conditions are much more harsh?
Scientists in these programs can address questions of a skeptical nature.

A C Osborn
February 5, 2010 8:05 am

Sorry, I I just can’t buy it. The northern hemisphere has been very very cold (except western Canada), some countries the coldest for 100 years and yet the Satellites show the NH as the highest Plus Anomoly?
Andes Colder, South Africa Colder, New Zealand (despite the adjusted temps showing otherwise) colder, the Oceans cooling.
Obviously Human observation is useless and Calculated Temperatures form Satellites are right when measuring temperatures.

kadaka
February 5, 2010 8:11 am

How The Satellite Calibration Is Done:
(to the best that I can figure it out)
1. What actually takes the readings that end up reported is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU).
2. For onboard calibration, AMSU measures a high and a low temperature. With both those temperatures known by other means, it can be checked if AMSU has reported those temperatures correctly. This is done once every Earth scan.
3. For the low number, AMSU measures empty space, the “cosmic background view,” which is assumed to be 2.7 Kelvin. I will presume a “reality check” is also done, where if AMSU reports something widely different from the expected 2.7K on the recheck then an error flag gets set.
4. For the high number, AMSU measures a “warm calibration target” onboard the satellite. The temperature of the target is continuously measured by precise platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs). The reading from AMSU is checked against the PRT readings.
5. The start of the calibration, the primary referencing, was done back in the lab on Earth. The PRT’s were carefully calibrated to a laboratory standard. Once on the satellite and in orbit, the PRT’s have to hold their calibration and reliably monitor the warm calibration target. Needless to say, the calibration of the PRT’s are not rechecked against the original laboratory standard.
6. Thus AMSU can be trusted as long as the PRT’s can be trusted. Multiple PRT’s are used to detect if one or more go bad by looking for abnormal readings compared to the rest. The accuracy of AMSU is verified by comparing its readings to those from weather balloons.
Going from lab to PRT to AMSU, there is a loss of accuracy compared to making the readings with direct comparison to a laboratory standard. But as Dr. Spencer reported, with everything figured together “…the absolute accuracy of the calibrated Earth-viewing temperatures are probably not much better than 1 deg. C.” What is desired for satellite use is a system that is rugged and will keep working for many years, and the long-observed relationship is that as precision and accuracy goes up so to does fragility. As long as we are mostly looking for trends and AMSU is consistent in its readings, it can be trusted.

rbateman
February 5, 2010 8:16 am

John Finn (03:34:46) :
No. The part of the world inhabited by most readers of this blog observed a “colder winter than has been seen in quite some time”.
Incredible.

You got that last part right. An incredible credibility problem. The Observations were NOT confined to this blog, nor did they exclusively originate here. And it goes downhill rapidly from there, people across the world were paying attention.
So, this is what it is: Climate Science has one heck of a reputation problem right now. Do you really expect to be able to nonchalantly toss out another ‘warmest ever’ leaned up against a heavily damaged GISS/CRU or HadCRUT data set – AND – have it go unchallenged??
Bad idea of the 21st century.
Really a bad idea.
My guess is that there are those who cannot be dissuaded and are itching to get the report off. Discretionary caution would be the better part of valour here. Apparently lost in the shuffle. So be it.

Dave D
February 5, 2010 8:18 am

Let me take a bask at quoting Warmist GobbledyGook, “Global Warming can cause cooling events, because the warm water shifts currents, leaving certain land masses without their ‘warming protection’, this should not misconstrued as Global cooling, it’s a symptom of Warming….”
Well, now we have Cold records covering N America, UK, Mainland Europe, Asia (remember China’s Ports), and we have Ocean temps being reported as warmer. I know Australia isn’t hotter than normal this summer – the Aussy Open was chilly and variable alot of rain over 2 weeks of the month… Where is all that warm water going and which land masses are being blankets by it’s heat?
Any thoughts?

R. Gates
February 5, 2010 8:31 am

Atmospheric temps at 36,000 ft. are currently what would be expected around mid-June. This anamoly bodes well for making 2010 the warmest on record, and with the solar cycle 24 maximum still ahead of us a few years, things will only go up up up…as CO2 and Methane levels continue in the same direction…
[snip]

SNRatio
February 5, 2010 8:32 am

John Finn:
“I accept that UAH responds more sharply (and a bit later) to ENSO hence we sometimes get ‘mismatches’ in the anomalies. With this in mind, though, I don’t know why people don’t accept that the surface may sometimes be more sensitive to certain events than the troposphere and that GISS readings may be genuine and not ‘fudged’ to show warming.
My main point is that if GISS were really fudging data to show warming they’re not doing a particularly good job.”
Sure. Which is why I like to plot the UAH and GISS together, both with a 12-60 month moving average. Best with longer periods, to eliminate most of ENSO etc. Discard one – and you should really also discard the other. And they are obtained quite independently. I like to stress the somewhat smaller trend in UAH – even if they are virtually identical 1990-2009 – to point to some problematic parts of climatic modeling: According to most theories, it should be greater. But it is a logical fallcay to conclude that AGW is refuted.

JP
February 5, 2010 8:34 am

Is Yellowknife in the satellite hotspot for January?
I managed to find the data for Yellowknife (which is no longer included to GISS) from Canadian weather office. You can pull the daily data from here:
http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climateData/dailydata_e.html??timeframe=2&Prov=XX&StationID=45467&Year=2010&Month=1&Day=31
Average temp for January was -23.48C
How does the daily / monthly temp compare with satellite data for Yellowknife area? (Latitude: 62° 27.000′ N Longitude: 114° 22.800′ W)

yonason
February 5, 2010 8:35 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:53:39) :
“Evolution is a fact by now.”
That’s way too general a statement. In some particulars it’s true, and in others false, and in others just pure speculation. In fact, it rests on the same kinds of inferences, like CO2 temp correlations, that are now being shown to be false. Specifically, while there are many conjectures and alleged examples, close scrutiny reveals that the hypothesis of random mutations conferring a net positive advantage to any organism has never been shown to be correct. And, where anymore in the reviewed literature does anyone claim that life arose from dead matter? You want examples of nutters? How about Crick and Hoyle, who, knowing the impossibility of life arising by chance, postulated that it came from space? Never mind that the statistics that say life couldn’t have arisen in 4.5 billion years, also say it couldn’t have arisen in 15 (actually a lot less, as the ingredients hadn’t even been made in the stars yet).
So, as you have stated it, no it isn’t a fact, and won’t be until they find clear unequivocal and evidence that what they postulate can occur, and often enough to be the vehicle for the changes the POSTULATE occurred that way.

ShrNfr
February 5, 2010 8:39 am

@JP and others:
The data flow for a microwave temperature sounder unit is basically as follows:
1) The sounder is a directional antenna that views things at several frequencies. These frequencies are located in the oxygen absorption complex from 50-70 GHz. Its easier to use the lower edge so they are usually in the 50 GHz area.
2) The sounder also views the earth in a “window” channel away from molecular absorption lines and usually also at the 21.235 GHz water vapor absorption line.
3) The sounder also views an on board calibration object whose temperature is known via direct measurement.
4) The amount of emission at the various frequencies is downloaded to the earth. This is known in the trade as the “Brightness Temperature” and is what is displayed on the RSS web site.
5) To convert the brightness temperatures to temperatures at a given pressure is fun and games time. It involves assumptions on the reflectivity of the surface and there are a number of methods that have been used over time. Since the brightness temperature is the integral of the physical temperature, the strength of the absorption line, the reflectivity of the surface and some other random things, you can basically assume that a temperature at a given pressure level (say 500 mb) is an approximation to what is really at that level. If you can get within a degree C or so of a radiosonde (which has its own set of problems) you are doing fairly well. However, when the instrument is operating correctly, an increase or decrease in the brightness temperature of a channel is basically indicative of an increase or decrease in the temperature of the atmosphere in and around the peak of the weighting function of the channel.
You can also tease out various other things from the brightness temperatures. Since the reflectivity of a rough ocean with lots of foam is different than the reflectivity of a smooth ocean, you can get some gross idea as to the wind speed at the surface. Likewise, the reflectivity of snow/ice is different than that of bare soil. You usually tease those out with your “window” channel.
Bottom line, things are not exact, but you can get a good idea of the global temperature distribution with these beasts. They work over land, sea, and ice. However, they are not surface penetrating. The ocean temperatures they compute are the surface temperatures, not the Argo temperatures at depth.

February 5, 2010 8:59 am

SteveE (08:01:42) :
“Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet’s surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming.”
Sorry, but it only shows correlation. There can be alternate causes. Here’s one: click
That link is out of date; the Sun is not radiating as strongly now. [Leif can correct me regarding anything Solar.] But you can see the rigor necessary in climate science, now that such monumental corruption has been exposed.
Much more scrutiny of CO2 claims is now necessary because of the deceit and professional misconduct exposed in the East Anglia emails and the Harry-read_me file.
Climate scientists have admitted in their emails that they simply fabricated large swathes of data. They also state that they made up the data to conform to their climate model expectations.
They also adjusted raw data, then discarded the raw data so their adjustments cannot be validated. They still refuse to ‘open the books’ to scientific skeptics, claiming they have agreements [that they have not produced], while giving the same purportedly confidential information to their friends.
So now everything claimed about the effect of carbon dioxide on the planet’s temperature and climate must be rigorously backed by real evidence, not by learned opinions expressed in the climate peer review literature, or in the output of GCMs. All of that is suspect now, all of it, and it is essentially worthless.
If the scientists had unimpeachable reputations, then some leeway could be allowed. But there is no one who argues that CO2 will lead to catastrophic AGW who can now be trusted. There are no doubt some honest climate scientists who believe sincerely that CO2 will lead to runaway global warming, but as a group they have all been tainted, or corrupted outright, by money and status — deliberately in many cases, by NGOs, by politicians and their staffs, and by wealthy foundations with a heavy pro-AGW agenda. And of course, by the hero status accorded them by an uncritical, unquestioning and fawning media.
Nor can most climate journals be trusted, now that it is clear that rather than publishing scientifically valid points of view, they act as gatekeepers at the beck and call of the same climate scientists, by placing alarmist referees in coveted positions, by excessively long publication delays, or more often, by barring outright papers skeptical of AGW, while publishing alarmist submissions with alacrity.
It is an unfortunate situation, but unless and until there is full and complete cooperation by these same purveyors of the CO2=AGW hypothesis, including the sharing of all data, methodologies, algorithms, notes and experiments, and anything else requested by skeptical scientists that is related to the hypothesis, then the presumption must be made that the climate alarmists are still being deceitful, and that their conclusions cannot withstand open scientific scrutiny.
They brought this terrible situation on themselves, and now they are reaping what they have sown. Scientists in other disciplines, which have been starved of funding because of the ongoing AGW scare, should rise up in furious indignation at the result: the public is beginning to distrust all scientists as money grubbing publicity hounds. That is not fair to the large majority of honest scientists, who are the victims of the Michael Manns, Phil Joneses and Wei-Chyung Wangs, just as much as the taxpayers are.

rw
February 5, 2010 9:11 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:53:39):
Smokey (07:43:11):
SteveE (05:01:31:
There’s no evidence as you put it that the theory of evolution is true
Of course there is.
Evolution is a fact by now.

Evolution always was a (complex) fact. An account whose name I can’t recall offhand put this very well. To wit, Darwin’s task in The Origin was two-fold: to collect and assess the evidence supporting the fact of evolution and to propose a theoretical explanation, based primarily on natural selection. (Incidentally, the famous observations and experiments on industrial melanism in moths are evidence for the operation of natural selection in the real-world, but don’t bear on the fact of evolution [which involves speciation] directly.) Darwin didn’t provide a very adequate explanation for speciation itself, but Mayr’s work on geographic isolation has, I think, largely filled this (theoretical) gap.

nathan
February 5, 2010 9:14 am

That data is crap, burn it. that makes absolutely no sense what so ever. that is weird it has been cold every were. I mean it snowed in Australia and it has been very cold in the states. Whatever.

yonason
February 5, 2010 9:22 am

“…lower tropospheric temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010.”
That’s it. There’s something seriously wrong with those satellites.
Go here, and check any 10 locations at random and show me how much above average they are. (I’ve just given one, which is NOT above average)
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=mexico+temperature
Good luck.
Exactly what part of the world contributed to it? It wasn’t Europe, or North America or China, or Mexico, or Russia… So, where was it? I want to see a break down into smaller areas so it’s source can be found. If it isn’t all the extra cold areas, then there must be some spot, or spots, that is/are much hotter than usual.
Just a single number tells me nothing, especially since the concept of global average temperature makes no more sense than a global average wind velocity.
Sorry, I ain’t buyin it. As far as I’m concerned that satellite is just space junk.

richard verney
February 5, 2010 9:28 am

Given that we are experiencing an El Nino, it is not that surprising that the global temperature has increased and it will be interesting to see whether it peaks at less than the 98 temperature. However, I am surprised by the NH temp given the extensive record snows over record areas. I guess that the high NH temperature must be due to sea temps.

rbateman
February 5, 2010 9:36 am

“But it is a logical fallcay to conclude that AGW is refuted. ”
It is not logical to attempt to jump the Grand Canyon with a damaged vehicle sporting a troubled propulsion system and without a parachute.
Imagine the spectacle if tomorrow Toyota decided to call off the recall, saying they reviewed thier latest findings and decided there is nothing wrong with the models in question.
It is with an ill-fated headlong plunge that AGW purports to span the gulf of credibility here.

Rhys Jaggar
February 5, 2010 9:36 am

I guess this just shows that you need to measure land-based temperature, atmospheric temperature and oceanic surface temperatures to get a true picture of what is going on?

Peter Plail
February 5, 2010 9:44 am

OT but you’ll be pleased to see the results of this BBC poll on global warming, but don’t be fooled by their first graph:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8500443.stm
“The findings, based on interviews carried out on 3-4 February, show that only 26% of people think “climate change is happening and is now established as largely man-made”, only 1% more than those who think there is no global warming.”
Of interest too is the list of key stories on the right of the page – none of them positive but going back some months (the Phil Jones story was his initial stepping down last year).

Ray
February 5, 2010 9:51 am

Joseph Romm at Climate progress has really a tooth against Dr. Spencer. Of course Romm post is full of erros and half-truths.
Take a look at his comment on his post: http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/05/hottest-january-in-uah-satellite-record-roy-spencer-global-warming/#comment-261029
at February 5, 2010 at 11:07 am
“[JR: Try googling his name at WattsUp. He is doing anti-science. Please read my link. As RC noted, “Now, there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes when pursuing an innovative observational method, but Spencer and Christy sat by for most of a decade allowing — indeed encouraging — the use of their data set as an icon for global warming skeptics. They committed serial errors in the data analysis, but insisted they were right and models and thermometers were wrong. They did little or nothing to root out possible sources of errors, and left it to others to clean up the mess, as has now been done.”
As I noted, Amazingly (or not), the “serial errors in the data analysis” all pushed the (mis)analysis in the same, wrong direction. Coincidence? You decide. But I find it hilarious that the deniers and delayers still quote Christy/Spencer/UAH analysis lovingly, but to this day dismiss the “hockey stick” and anything Michael Mann writes, when his analysis was in fact vindicated by the august National Academy of Sciences in 2006.”

Peter Plail
February 5, 2010 9:56 am

The reporter introducing the BBC’s new poll results was of course Roger Harrabin and when asked what was causing the increased scepticism replied that one factor was the IPCC getting one of their facts wrong – and mentioned Glaciergate.
What an ace reporter! How long have the other slips been in the public domain? Even the Telegraph’s Louise Gray mentioned one or two errors yesterday.

Ian M Campbell
February 5, 2010 9:57 am

This is a long blog and its probably too late in the day for this post from a non-scientist to receive much attention. Also its a little off topic.
Is climate a cybernetic system? Is the goal of this system to provide over time, but not necessarily in lockstep, a constant relationship between the various climatic elements?
Read no further if you do not believe climate is a cybernetic system, but please feel free to give all the benefit of your opinion.
Cybernetic systems are controlled by feedback. How successful have climate scientists been in identifying the feedback which has corrected the earth’s tendencies to cool on the one hand and heat on the other over time? For example, is there an agreed and accepted understanding of the feedback condition which brought to an end the respective ice ages?
My concern is that because the feedback which causes climate to change may not be understood it is not reflected in any modeling. Accordingly when the current trend is for the temperature to increase, the predictions from the models can only produce constant increases in the future, and vice versa.
So why should I have any faith in climate modelling?

John Finn