May UAH Global Temperature Anomaly – holding steady

May 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update: +0.53 deg. C.

By Dr. Roy Spencer

UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_10

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature remains warm: +0.53 deg. C for May, 2010. The linear trend since 1979 is now +0.14 deg. C per decade.Tropics picked up a bit, but SSTs indicate El Nino has ended and we may be headed to La Nina. NOAA issued a La Nina Watch yesterday.

In the race for the hottest calendar year, 1998 still leads with the daily average for 1 Jan to 31 May being +0.65 C in 1998 compared with +0.59 C for 2010. (Note that these are not considered significantly different.) As of 31 May 2010, there have been 151 days in the year. From our calibrated daily data, we find that 1998 was warmer than 2010 on 96 of them.

As a reminder, three months ago we changed to Version 5.3 of our dataset, which accounts for the mismatch between the average seasonal cycle produced by the older MSU and the newer AMSU instruments. This affects the value of the individual monthly departures, but does not affect the year to year variations, and thus the overall trend remains the same as in Version 5.2. ALSO…we have added the NOAA-18 AMSU to the data processing in v5.3, which provides data since June of 2005. The local observation time of NOAA-18 (now close to 2 p.m., ascending node) is similar to that of NASA’s Aqua satellite (about 1:30 p.m.). The temperature anomalies listed above have changed somewhat as a result of adding NOAA-18.

YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS

2009 1 0.251 0.472 0.030 -0.068

2009 2 0.247 0.564 -0.071 -0.045

2009 3 0.191 0.324 0.058 -0.159

2009 4 0.162 0.316 0.008 0.012

2009 5 0.140 0.161 0.119 -0.059

2009 6 0.043 -0.017 0.103 0.110

2009 7 0.429 0.189 0.668 0.506

2009 8 0.242 0.235 0.248 0.406

2009 9 0.505 0.597 0.413 0.594

2009 10 0.362 0.332 0.393 0.383

2009 11 0.498 0.453 0.543 0.479

2009 12 0.284 0.358 0.211 0.506

2010 1 0.648 0.860 0.436 0.681

2010 2 0.603 0.720 0.486 0.791

2010 3 0.653 0.850 0.455 0.726

2010 4 0.501 0.799 0.203 0.633

2010 5 0.534 0.775 0.293 0.710

[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.]

YR MON GLOBE NH SH TROPICS

2009 1 0.251 0.472 0.030 -0.068

2009 2 0.247 0.564 -0.071 -0.045

2009 3 0.191 0.324 0.058 -0.159

2009 4 0.162 0.316 0.008 0.012

2009 5 0.140 0.161 0.119 -0.059

2009 6 0.043 -0.017 0.103 0.110

2009 7 0.429 0.189 0.668 0.506

2009 8 0.242 0.235 0.248 0.406

2009 9 0.505 0.597 0.413 0.594

2009 10 0.362 0.332 0.393 0.383

2009 11 0.498 0.453 0.543 0.479

2009 12 0.284 0.358 0.211 0.506

2010 1 0.648 0.860 0.436 0.681

2010 2 0.603 0.720 0.486 0.791

2010 3 0.653 0.850 0.455 0.726

2010 4 0.501 0.799 0.203 0.633

2010 5 0.534 0.775 0.293 0.710

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58 thoughts on “May UAH Global Temperature Anomaly – holding steady

  1. Dr Spencer, do you expect the lower tropospheric temperature to drop further from the peak earlier this year given El Nino has ended and we may be headed into a La Nina? Also what type of lag time would you expect between the SST temp drop and the lower tropospheric temperature drop.
    I realize this is hand waving so I am only expecting a SWAG.

  2. Thank goodness this warming is almost done. A record year would not be good for the PR.

  3. The atmospheric temperatures will likely lag the SSTs by several months if past behavior is any indication.

  4. crosspatch says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:25 am
    The atmospheric temperatures will likely lag the SSTs by several months if past behavior is any indication.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Thank you for answering my question Crosspatch.

  5. This has bothered me for some time: “PRT’s are individually calibrated in a laboratory before being installed in the instruments.”
    So, exactly, how long have these things been aloft? How stable is the calibration over time? Who did the calibration in the first place? Who validated the use of these for space operations? Have any of them ever been brought back down and recalibrated?

  6. Does anyone know how to interpret the Unisys SST anomaly Normal/Inv. plots?
    There is no information on the Unisys site for these SST contour plots.
    The Normal Plot anomaly off of Paraguay does not make sense from the SST Data plots.
    I have checked the SST data for end of May for all the years in the archive, but nothing seems to be abnormal to earn this area such a large anomaly.

  7. Henry: (at 09:46)
    how many years constitutes a correct sample size (and give your reference) ?

  8. Douglas DC says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:41 am
    NW Calif. – we are soaked here. They keep forecasting dry weather the past month, but it never gets here.

  9. The Guardian posted a compilation of debunked Ice-melt alarmism. My comment:

    The PIOMAS ice volume estimate cited in this article is known to be grossly in error. Ice volume is NOT the lowest since 1979. It is far above the low years of 07 and 08, and if editor John Vidal paid any attention to anything other than the known to be dishonest establishment sources like dirtbag Hansen, he would know it. He doesn’t even follow a skeptic clearinghouse like WUWT? Some “editor.” Propagandist fellow traveler is more like it.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/06/01/piomas-non-verification-ii/

    As a matter of etiquette I shouldn’t call Hansen a dirtbag, but Vidal also linked to Hansen condemning “politicised media,” so I couldn’t help it.

  10. There is lag, but Nino peaked in January, so we’re already worked off some of that lag which is why after an ugly March number the April/May have been somewhat better.

  11. @Henry: (at 09:46)
    An e-mail I received from professor "Stephen H. Schneider" in September 2008, say's 30 years is a significant sample size. He didn't like the e-mail I sent him showing that HadCRUT3 had showed no warming for a decade.
    E-Mail reply from "Stephen H. Schneider"
    
    Thanks for the comment. It is irrelevant what happens in a decade from a global climate point of view. Had we chosen the decade from 1992 to 2001 it would look like global warming is rising off the charts. WMO defines climate statistics over thirty year blocks, and that is "unequivocal" warming, as noted by IPCC. Read the Working Group 1 Report where all the data in various time blocks can be found. Cheers, SHS Stephen H. Schneider Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment Mailing address: Yang & Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building - MC 4205 473 Via Ortega Stanford University Stanford, CA 94305
  12. A sceptic’s interpretation of this latest data from Dr Spencer: The graph, when viewed from right to left, clearly shows a downward trend in temperature over the 30 year period.
    Keep up the good work.
    MJK

  13. A statistically significant sample size is dependant on the data and the sample size itself. Going from memory from a Design of Experiments course, I believe 25 – 30 is (barely) enough. The larger the sample size, the higher the level of confidence in the variability in the solution. If I’m not mistaken, the text we used stated something to the effect of:
    A sample size of 25 – 30 maybe usable but larger sizes (preferably) in the 1000’s provides a better level of confidence based on the variability in the sample set.
    Someone whose expertise in statistics should be able to provide a better answer.
    Bueller, Bueller, anybody?

  14. I prefer the RSS data:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) analysis of the same satellite data that UAH uses shows that May had a temperature anomaly of 0.588° C, not 0.53° C.
    And a warming trend of 0.160° C/decade, not +0.14 deg. C per decade:
    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_time_series
    RSS was the organization which found the errors in data processing that UAH had been doing from 1989 to 2006 – the UAH analysis which kept showing “the GCMs are all wrong” for so long, despite repeated requests from other researchers to look closer and see if they were doing anything wrong:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements#Reconciliation_of_satellites.2C_radiosondes_and_climate_models
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Change_Science_Program#Temperature_trends_in_the_lower_atmosphere_.28SAP_1.1.29
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-1/finalreport/sap1-1-final-execsum.pdf
    Good thing UAH is not in Virginia – the AG might go after them for violating the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.

  15. Again:
    There has been no significant warming from 1990 till the present.
    The temperatures of 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994 would have been the same or even higher then the temperatures in 1990 if Pinatubo wouldn’t have erupted (there was a long El Niño from end 1991 to in 1995).
    Also El Chichon dimmed the impact of the big El Niño of 1982-1983 and probably had a cooling effect for a couple of years after that.
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadat/images/update_images/global_upper_air_thumb.png

  16. @Juraj V.
    According to Dr. Roy Spencer:

    Being a believer in natural, internal cycles in the climate system, I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that global-average SSTs will plunge over the next couple of months. Based upon past experience, it will take a month or two for our (UAH) tropospheric temperatures to then follow suit.

  17. Alec Rawls…
    I’m sitting here laughing my you know what off…
    A dirtbag is um er um
    cough cough choke… er um
    As Shakespeare once said so eloquently
    A rose by any other name, is still a rose…
    But in the case of Hansen the smell is more like fertilizer rather than a rose. 🙂

  18. [SNIP – I’ve told you before to tone it down. While I don’t agree with what Dr. Hansen and Dr. Mann says, I won’t have you turn their persona into Nazi comparisons. Either clean it up or stop commenting on my blog – next comment like that will earn you a ban. – Anthony]

  19. So what do we make of this? We have found that the (apparent) onset of La Nina has improved fishing conditions here in Fiji, and my records do show some correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index and our Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) for albacore – something that Willis, as an old fisherman may be interested in. If there is any interest, please do email.
    Look at the ‘sea sub-surface’ tab http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
    The map for the 5 days ending 24 May shows a large volume of cooler than normal water below the surface of the tropical Pacific, with anomalies more than 4°C cooler than normal for this time of the year. The central sub-surface has cooled a further 1°C from two weeks ago.

  20. Just finished your book Dr. Spencer. One word comes to mind, FANTASTIC. Thank you for showing a (non climate) scientist how the climate science models work (or don’t work as the case may be).

  21. With a quiet sun, the Earth’s heat seems to be radiating away. Could be we’re missing something important here about our climate’s link to the full spectrum of solar activity?
    The next few months should be interesting!

  22. OT: Oregon Coastal Rains continue… October through May we have had 78 inches of rain. We have already had 4 or more inches so far in June that isn’t shown in this. I am ready for some local warming and drying out. On the flip side, fishing is great. I caught a 22 pound Chinook Salmon last weekend. If El Nino equals Rain in Spades for the Oregon coast, what does La Nina equal? Please don’t tell me “More” rain.
    We are in second place for total rain in the following locations.
    http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/monthly_precip.php

  23. Watch the Y axis!. I am burning with that increase. Did you feel the difference of half a degree too?, it surely caused the blow up of the gulf rig!

  24. It is interesting that it took the 1998 super El nino to bump global temps in a step fashion to about .38 from 1998 untill now. This El nino may not be strong enough to bump us up much after the coming La Nina. I am looking for a super La Nina to bump global temps down .38.

  25. Doctor Spencer: In the race for the hottest calendar year, 1998 still leads with the daily average for 1 Jan to 31 May being +0.65 C in 1998 compared with +0.59 C for 2010. (Note that these are not considered significantly different.) As of 31 May 2010, there have been 151 days in the year. From our calibrated daily data, we find that 1998 was warmer than 2010 on 96 of them.
    Can someone please explain what exactly is being compared here? Is the 1998 +0.65 C rise being compared against the same temperature averages as the 2010 +0.59 C (i.e 1979-2010), or against an earlier and lower average (possibly 1967-1998)?

  26. From: Anu on June 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I prefer the RSS data:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_2.txt
    Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) analysis of the same satellite data that UAH uses shows that May had a temperature anomaly of 0.588° C, not 0.53° C.
    And a warming trend of 0.160° C/decade, not +0.14 deg. C per decade:
    http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_data_description.html#msu_amsu_time_series
    (…)

    You like RSS? That’s good to know. From their “Description of MSU and AMSU Data Products” page is found under “Introduction”:

    The MSU and AMSU instruments were intended for day to day operational use in weather forecasting and thus are not calibrated to the precision needed for climate studies. A climate quality dataset can be extracted from their measurements only by careful intercalibration of the distinct MSU and AMSU instruments.

    Well, ain’t that a startling admission. Also:

    The AMSU instruments are similar to the MSUs, but they make measurements using a larger number of channels, thus sampling the atmosphere in a larger number of layers. By using the AMSU channels that most closely match the channels in the MSU instruments, we can continue to extend our climate-quality dataset.

    So they say there is “a warming trend of 0.160° C/decade”? From Decadal Trends we see that is from MSU channel TLT, identified as :

    TLT = Temperature Lower Troposphere….MSU 2 and AMSU 5

    Back over at UAH we find the descriptor “14,000 ft / 4.4 km / 600 mb (ch05).”
    Note the following quirk, TLT extends from 70S to 82.5N while the other three are good for 82.5S to 82.5N. Oh well, who cares about that Antarctica area anyway, with all those incredible amounts of rapid ice melt and skyrocketing temps…
    Also from UAH:

    During global warming, the atmosphere in the lower atmosphere (called the troposphere) is supposed to warm at least as fast as the surface warms, while the statosphere [sic] above the troposphere is supposed to cool much faster than the surface warms.

    Let’s see how that’s working out with the RSS numbers.
    TLT
    –plus 0.160 K/decade
    TMT-Temperature Middle Troposphere–MSU 2 and AMSU 5
    –plus 0.096 K/decade
    TTS-Temperature Troposphere / Stratosphere–MSU 3 and AMSU 7
    — minus 0.004 K/decade
    TLS-Temperature Lower Stratosphere–MSU 4 and AMSU 9
    — minus 0.318 K/decade
    OMG! There it is! Rapid Stratospheric Cooling! We’re all doomed!
    At least you may think that if you look at the number without looking at the corresponding graph in the “Global Brightness Temperature Anomaly (K)” section. There’s a peak around 1983 corresponding to a primary El Nino, and a stretched-out peak between 1991-1993 which corresponds to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. Between the peaks, looks flat. From 1993 to current, looks flat. A rapid rate of stratospheric cooling clearly showing disastrous warming is occurring as the models said it would? Not happening.
    Yup, gotta give ⋀⋂⋃ proper credit, looks like RSS really ain’t that bad of a site. 😉

  27. RHS says:
    June 4, 2010 at 11:48 am
    A statistically significant sample size is dependent on the data and the sample size itself. Going from memory from a Design of Experiments course, I believe 25 – 30 is (barely) enough. The larger the sample size, the higher the level of confidence in the variability in the solution. If I’m not mistaken, the text we used stated something to the effect of:
    A sample size of 25 – 30 maybe usable but larger sizes (preferably) in the 1000′s provides a better level of confidence based on the variability in the sample set.
    Someone whose expertise in statistics should be able to provide a better answer.
    Bueller, Bueller, anybody?
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Yes, 25 – 30 sample size is the minimum but only if you are fairly sure all the data belongs to the same “process” The first rule of course is to PLOT the data.
    If I do that with the cities in my area I see this:
    Chapel hill NC
    Lumberton NC
    Albermarle NC
    And another place chosen completely at random:
    Moosonee Ont.
    HUMMmm, I see what might be a sine wave type pattern to this data. Therefore I would need to choose a sample size that included at least one entire cycle of the pattern. I would prefer three.
    However we know there are other cycles and patterns beyond those showing in this data so the more data the better. It is far too early to make decisions on a record that does not contain the complete pattern because it will lead to a major error in the analysis.
    There is also the matter or error analysis of the data. A good explanation of that is here

  28. dennis ward says:
    June 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm
    > Can someone please explain what exactly is being
    > compared here? Is the 1998 +0.65 C rise being compared
    > against the same temperature averages as the 2010
    > +0.59 C (i.e 1979-2010), or against an earlier and lower
    > average (possibly 1967-1998)?
    It’s the same base (i.e. apples-to-applea). Too bad that blogs don’t allow posting tables, so here it is “the hard way”.
    1998 anomalies
    ==========
    Month, Hadley, GISS,UAH,RSS,NOAA
    1, 0.492, 0.52, 0.582, 0.550, 0.5656
    2, 0.756, 0.80, 0.753, 0.736, 0.8288
    3, 0.548, 0.56, 0.528, 0.586, 0.6060
    4, 0.647, 0.55,,0.770, 0.858, 0.7107
    5, 0.596, 0.62, 0.645, 0.668, 0.6311
    6, 0.606, 0.69, 0.562, 0.568, 0.6407
    7, 0.671, 0.68, 0.510, 0.606, 0.6981
    8, 0.647, 0.63, 0.518, 0.573, 0.6700
    9, 0.393, 0.42, 0.458, 0.494, 0.5011
    10, 0.420, 0.40, 0.416, 0.461, 0.4396
    11, 0.351, 0.43, 0.192, 0.196, 0.3605
    12, 0.444, 0.48, 0.277, 0.312, 0.5124
    2010 anomalies
    ==========
    1, 0.495, 0.69, 0.648, 0.640, 0.6082
    2, 0.463, 0.72, 0.603, 0.588, 0.6020
    3, 0.566, 0.84, 0.653, 0.652, 0.7784
    4, 0.553, 0.73, 0.501, 0.546, 0.7590
    5, MISG, MISG, 0.534, 0.588, MISG
    Note that Hadley, GISS, and NOAA haven’t reported for May 2010 yet.
    Cumulative anomalies(2010) minus anomalies(1998), Jan through April
    -0.366, 0.550, -0.228, -0.304, 0.036
    Cumulative anomalies(2010) minus anomalies(1998), Jan through May
    UAH -0.339 and RSS -0.384

  29. “n the race for the hottest calendar year, 1998 still leads with the daily average for 1 Jan to 31 May being +0.65 C in 1998 compared with +0.59 C ”
    Yet when UAH changed from 5.2 to 5.3 the 2010 temperatures changed but 1998 did not.
    Are we compairing like with like here?

  30. I too am a bit confused by the number being lower than 1998, its probably a lack of understanding on how it works, but if you add up temps for every day in May 2010 and compare them to May 1998, the average temp on Channel 5 is higher in 2010, just going off the data provided on the page labeled “want to see how the current month is shaping up”. I’ve double checked my math, and the average daily temp on channel 5 is definitely higher than in 1998.

  31. rbateman (9:57am):
    The high positive anomalies off Paraguay are likely due to warm effluent of the River Plate.

  32. “we may be headed to La Niña”
    Good! It’s like freakin’ July 25 here! (Philadelphia)
    Why show a 30 year period? http://i46.tinypic.com/2ik7er7.gif You can see here that the recent warming trend has been in place since about 1974, so displaying 30-years-only shows what is happening in the context of that warming trend.
    Right now, temperature is close to the centerline of the trend, but nobody really knows what will happen next. Hypothetically, if temperature starts tracking the yellow trend line exactly, that would make the 10 year moving average (fat light blue line) continue to track just below the trend line. However, if as some people claim global temperature has stopped rising, then the temperature data (dk blue) and the 10 year MA (lt blue) will deviate more and more from the yellow trend line on the downside.
    However, you can see graphically that 1 month’s data tells us almost nothing about the long term trend.

  33. sky says:
    June 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm
    That’s what I was thinking, until I checked ever year from 2000 to 2010, and found that it is anomalously warm most of the time. Which should make it normal for it to be warm. In a lot of years, the peristent warm anomaly is offshore, detached from the river by a good distance. So, the river it not the cause, and the anomaly cannot be because of above normal sea temps.
    Nothing makes sense.

  34. Jbar says:
    June 4, 2010 at 6:37 pm
    “we may be headed to La Niña”
    Good! It’s like freakin’ July 25 here! (Philadelphia)
    Why show a 30 year period? http://i46.tinypic.com/2ik7er7.gif You can see here that the recent warming trend has been in place since about 1974, so displaying 30-years-only shows what is happening in the context of that warming trend…..
    _______________________________________________________________________
    This is The global-average lower tropospheric temperature It is showing data from satellites only. That is why it is only showing data from 1979. Also it is NOT the same as ground temperatures. As was explained in the comments somewhere (here or one of the other recent articles) different parts of the atmosphere have different trends.

  35. dennis ward says:
    June 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm
    “Can someone please explain what exactly is being compared here? Is the 1998 +0.65 C rise being compared against the same temperature averages as the 2010 +0.59 C (i.e 1979-2010), or against an earlier and lower average (possibly 1967-1998)?”
    January – May 1998 average 0.65 °C higher than average 1979-1998.
    January – May 2010 average 0.59 °C higher than average 1979-1998.
    Because the temperature deviations dropped during the year, the deviation for 1998 was +0.52 in the end. This will also happen 2010, no matter if a La Nina will come (but the extend of the decline will depend from this).
    2010 will probably end as second warmest year in this series, with a small chance to be the warmest. And 2011 will be colder, that’s already sure.

  36. In the 15 years from 1979 we had above and below zero on a regular basis, in the last 15 or so years not once below zero, why is that? Have all the cycles changed or is it something else?
    Andy

  37. AndyW says:
    June 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm
    “In the 15 years from 1979 we had above and below zero on a regular basis, in the last 15 or so years not once below zero, why is that? Have all the cycles changed or is it something else?”
    Reference period is 1979-1998, so for this period the average has to be 0.0 °C deviation. The main reasons for year to year fluctuations are El Nino / La Nina overlaid by cooling from vulcano eruptions (El Chichon 1982 and Pinatubo 1991 reduced the global temperature for several years).
    A small part of the warming trend can be explained by the vulcanoes: contrary to the reference period there was no eruption with noticable cooling effect after Pinatubo. So because the average temperature 1979-1998 is reduced by vulcanoes, the positive deviations are higher now.
    But the main reason is global warming caused by x % natural and y % anthropogenic reasons (x and y depending on your religion).

  38. Re: mjk on June 4, 2010 at 11:40 am
    Thank you for your support!
    This site wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular without comments like yours.

  39. Walter Dnes says:
    Cumulative anomalies(2010) minus anomalies(1998), Jan through April
    -0.366, 0.550, -0.228, -0.304, 0.036

    Wow, that 2nd number, from GISS, is a warmist outlier!

    Climate Kate says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm
    2010 will probably end as second warmest year in this series, with a small chance to be the warmest.

    Do you think this will be true according to the GISS numbers? The odds on https://www.intrade.com are 75% that 2010 will be the warmest (per GISS).

  40. Hi Walter,
    GISS as “warmist outlier” for January to May 2010 – that’s too easy. 1998 was more extreme at UAH, RSS and CRU (still by far the warmest year for UAH and RSS with very high lead before all others). For GISS 2005 was warmer than 1998, which is only No. 4 (or No. 2-6, because 4 other years including 2009 were also between 0.55 and 0.57 °C above average 1951-1980 for the complete year). Reason: Arctic and Antarcic areas were not very warm in 1998. You can compare the data here:
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/ZonAnn.Ts+dSST.txt
    (only complete years shown, compare global, 64-90 °N and 64-90 °S).
    2005: global +0.62, 64-90 °N +2.14, 64-90 °S +0.57
    1998: global +0.56, 64-90 °N +0.84, 64-90 °S +0.16
    In 2010 Arctic area is very warm until now.
    The warmist outliers for strong El Ninos are always the data from satellites (like they are the “coolist” outliers for strong La Ninas)
    Compared to the same reference period 1979-1998 UAH has higher deviations for Jan-Apr 2010 than GISS. So the GISS +0.69 for January (ref. 1951-80) are only +0.41 with reference 1979-1998, because the Januaries 1979-1998 were 0.28 degrees warmer than 1951-80 at GISS. This is much less than the 0.65 (and before correction even higher value) from UAH.
    The rank for 2010 at GISS is open, because so many years are very close (while 1998 and 2010 are very high above all others at UAH). Maybe 2010 and 2005 (+0.62) will be similar in the end, but even rank 7 is not impossible.
    Walter Dnes says:
    “Cumulative anomalies(2010) minus anomalies(1998), Jan through April
    -0.366, 0.550, -0.228, -0.304, 0.036
    Wow, that 2nd number, from GISS, is a warmist outlier!
    Climate Kate says:
    June 4, 2010 at 9:36 pm
    2010 will probably end as second warmest year in this series, with a small chance to be the warmest.
    Do you think this will be true according to the GISS numbers? The odds on https://www.intrade.com are 75% that 2010 will be the warmest (per GISS).”

  41. OK!
    Let’s say that the UAH data and graph is the best in the world that we anthroprogenics can come up with in this day and age. (I have a feeling it is, but let’s not debate that anymore.) Look at the graph, above. Now, what makes the thing move? When it’s warm in Alabama it’s cooler in Argentina, right? So, globally speaking, differences in location and time of year are meaningless. What’s accounts for the cooling from ’91-’93, or the warming from 93-95? Is it just the “temperature” or something else? (One day the global air mass at “14,000 ft / 4.4 km / 600 mb (ch05)” is x, the next it’s y, etc. , the monthly average is z, etc.) One day a big volcano explodes. Another day El Nino moves into town.
    What does the data and graph tell us about weather or climate or life at “14,000 ft / 4.4 km / 600 mb (ch05)”?
    Ready? Set? Go!

  42. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
    June 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    You like RSS? That’s good to know. From their “Description of MSU and AMSU Data Products” page is found under “Introduction”:

    Well, ain’t that a startling admission.

    Well, I’m glad to see you reading citations. Most people do not, I suspect.
    You realize RSS and UAH don’t launch their own satellites, right ?
    RSS, UAH and even UW all analyze the same data from the same satellites, launched by NASA:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/msu.html
    Notice the North Pole, Land, Ocean temperature anomalies for the latest month of UAH data available at NCDC (April 2010): 2.46° C, 2.31° C, 2.68° C
    Look at the Arctic ocean anomalies for Dec 2009: 3.20 ° C
    Feb 2010: 2.92° C
    No wonder the ice is melting at a record rate this spring:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/uahncdc.lt
    Although RSS analyzed the exact UAH data in 2006 to see if there were any errors, I think in recent years the two groups have diverged somewhat, with UAH using data from the Aqua satellite (for instance) in it’s TLT product, and RSS using that data for separate ocean products:
    http://www.remss.com/amsr/amsr_data_description.html
    I’d have to look into this.
    Back over at UAH we find the descriptor “14,000 ft / 4.4 km / 600 mb (ch05).
    Maybe you shouldn’t rely on a “DISCOVER” page intended for high school and college students for the source of your understanding of UAH data. Try here:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/uah-msu.pdf

    Two deep-layer tropospheric temperature products, one for the lower troposphere (T2LT surface to about 8 km) and one for the midtroposphere (T2 surface to about15 km, thus including some stratospheric emissions), are based on the observations of channel 2 of the MSU

    This is also useful:
    http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/readme.13Apr2010
    “Lower troposphere” is surface to 8 km (5 miles) – the same definition applies to RSS, UAH and UW:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global
    Don’t think you “caught” RSS in some “trick”.
    Your UAH “Discover” page can break down layers of atmosphere however they want, but “lower troposphere” includes their “near surface layer”, 4.4 km, and 7.5 km layers.
    BTW, it takes a lot of processing to try and figure out the temperature for a specific layer in the atmosphere:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements
    Satellites do not measure temperature as such. They measure radiances in various wavelength bands, which must then be mathematically inverted to obtain indirect inferences of temperature. The resulting temperature profiles depend on details of the methods that are used to obtain temperatures from radiances. As a result, different groups that have analyzed the satellite data to calculate temperature trends have obtained a range of values. Among these groups are Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). Furthermore the satellite series is not fully homogeneous – it is constructed from a series of satellites with similar but not identical instrumentation. The sensors are subject to fade over time, and corrections are necessary for satellite drift in orbit. Particularly large differences between reconstructed temperature series occur at the few times when there is little temporal overlap between successive satellites, making intercalibration difficult.

    Note the following quirk, TLT extends from 70S to 82.5N…
    That’s a good observation – I think the microwave sounding units have too much interference from the Antarctic ice sheet to reliably get temperatures for the air mass above it. I’m pretty sure UAH also covers 70S to 82.5N, although they don’t break down latitudes in their data files, preferring to use descriptions like “NoPol”.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Microwave_Sounding_Unit
    I know “NoPol” is not up to 90N:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/08/putting-a-myth-about-uah-and-rss-satellite-data-to-rest/

    UPDATE: An additional question has been brought up related to why the data seems to be missing from the poles. Dr. Christy also responded:
    As the spacecraft rolls over the pole it does so at an inclined orbit so that the highest nadir latitude is about 82 deg with the scanner looking out a bit closer to the pole. Since we apply the scan line data mostly to the nadir area directly below the satellite, the actual data only go to about 83 deg. In the gridded data I interpolate over the pole, but I wouldn’t trust the data too much beyond 85 deg.

    Huh, interpolating over the Arctic – doesn’t Dr. Hansen do something like that ?
    Perhaps Dr. Spencer can enlighten us on UAH lower troposphere temperature anomaly coverage over Antarctica. Does the ice sheet interfere with the MSU and AMSU instruments too much, or does UAH do some different processing than RSS for data over Antarctica ?

  43. Does there appear to be any connection with the warmer than normal arctic temps reported in your April temp post and the steep sea ice extent decline that’s apparent in May?
    Thank you

  44. @Climate Kate (or anyone who has an opinion on the matter):
    How likely do you think it is that June and/or July will have an anomaly exceeding 0.50 per GISS? The last likelihood given for June was 57% and for July 60% by bettors on https://www.intrade.com My guess is that 57% is a realistic estimate for June, but that it’s even money that July will be less than 0.50.

  45. RSS was the organization which found the errors in data processing that UAH had been doing from 1989 to 2006 – the UAH analysis which kept showing “the GCMs are all wrong” for so long, despite repeated requests from other researchers to look closer and see if they were doing anything wrong:
    Now, I ask, who is looking for errors the other way?
    Is there any group who actively seeks to see if the data can be read into a lower trend?
    If not, how can anyone be certain that errors that tend to raise the temperatures are not being missed?
    Don’t give me the “they are the best scientists” line. We have all watched the group think of the worlds “best” bankers lead to a global financial melt-down.
    That UAH can have been “wrong” for so long does not inspire confidence. We now know they are “right”, but are they actually right?

  46. Mooloo says:
    June 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm
    Now, I ask, who is looking for errors the other way?
    Is there any group who actively seeks to see if the data can be read into a lower trend?
    If not, how can anyone be certain that errors that tend to raise the temperatures are not being missed?
    That UAH can have been “wrong” for so long does not inspire confidence.

    It’s not like UAH was totally incompetent – I think RSS found just two subtle errors to do with how they handled orbital drift and inter-satellite calibration biases. This changed the warming trend significantly, but in fairness, doing something for the first time is more difficult than improving it later – UAH made a few errors, but hey, that happens in Science.
    A team at University of Washington has also found additional errors in the work of UAH and RSS (at least, they prefer to do the analysis of the satellite data differently, especially subtracting the component of measured stratosphere cooling from the measured mid-troposphere warming). Whereas UAH would use two different view angles to try and subtract the stratosphere component from the MSU/AMSU channels, UW uses a different approach which uses two channels (frequencies) and weights them to subtract the stratosphere cooling signal from the troposphere warming signal:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/nature02524-UW-MSU.pdf
    The UofW work shows more warming than either UAH or RSS, indicating that they think both groups do not handle the overlaying, cool stratosphere correctly:
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global
    The example of just four researchers from one University (UW) coming up with a reanalysis of the first two groups, which is recognized by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, should inspire the Heartland Institute, or the Marshall Institute ( http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=415 ), or Dr. Lindzen, or whatever ‘skeptic’ authority there is which can recruit a few researchers to look at the satellite data again, and see if they can find any additional errors that make the warming trends go down.
    I agree that perhaps there are such errors, waiting to be discovered.
    Not guaranteed, but possible.
    But honestly, after 21 years, I think if they were there, Dr. Spencer would have found those errors by now.
    ———-
    We have all watched the group think of the worlds “best” bankers lead to a global financial melt-down.
    The bankers did very well –
    for themselves.
    It kind of reminds people why they put all those financial regulations in place after the last global financial meltdown.

  47. Anu,
    today is the first time I’ve been to this thread. And I see you’re all confused. You’ve got GISTemp confused for UAH. You’ve got melt confused with shear. You’ve got political/environmentalists propaganda confused with truth. But really, I know it is not confusion. It is intentional.

  48. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:
    June 6, 2010 at 10:05 am
    Anu,
    today is the first time I’ve been to this thread. And I see you’re all confused. You’ve got GISTemp confused for UAH. You’ve got melt confused with shear. You’ve got political/environmentalists propaganda confused with truth. But really, I know it is not confusion. It is intentional.

    Huh?? where has he confused UAH with GIStemp?

  49. The average temperature does not tell any kind of story where the story matters most. Farm to fork. For me, that means agriculture in NE Oregon. I believe the confounding influence of the Aleutian pressure system, the cold water at the mouth of Bering Strait and upper East side of the Pacific, along with the negative AO and El Nino conditions, conspired to make dry deserts wet and Springs cool and prolonged. Old retired farmers got this, intuitively. They may not have understood the drivers, but they totally were keyed into the signals that times were a-changing for crop rotations. But alas, land was sold to corporate farms or taken over by new-age youngsters fresh out of agriculture school in our now green-nosed institutions (IE Oregon State University). Who know nothing of these time honored weather predictors of both year to year variation and oscillations.
    Time was when dry land fields were rotated between cool season crops (IE rape and peas here in NE Oregon), with warm crops (wheat) interspersed with fallow. Now all that is grown is wheat, year after year. New age farmers got hooked and addicted to the water supply coming out of irrigation sprinklers sucking up water from the various feeders and the river itself that forms the backbone of water supply to much of Oregon’s agriculture efforts. This system of “never mind the climate or weather, just grow it and irrigate when necessary” has become the fall back position over wiser crop management.
    The result? This year, after three years of wet cool Springs, farmers again planted wheat, and sprinkled it, ignoring the gathering rain storms, to see it rust in the field. The old leg-bowed farmers would have put that land in peas (or any other cool season crop) two years ago. And kept it in peas till the confounding parameters switched back to wheat friendly weather oscillations.
    It just seems to me that wild-eyed panic over rusty wheat should be filed under “duh”.
    http://www.capitalpress.com/content/ml-wheat-rust-052810-art

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