Feb UAH global temperature anomaly goes slightly negative

From Dr. Roy Spencer:

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Feb_2011

Latest Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures

(Want to see how the current month’s temperatures are shaping up? Check this out.)

Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere. Every month, John Christy and I update global temperature datasets (see here and here)that represent the piecing together of the temperature data from a total of eleven instruments flying on eleven different satellites over the years. As of early 2011, our most stable instrument for this monitoring is the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU-A) flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite and providing data since late 2002.

The graph above represents the latest update; updates are usually made within the first week of every month. Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer record of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.

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Cool.
In more ways than one.
Thanks for the update.

Kev-in-Uk

can we have (or is theresomewhere) a direct comparison graph – equally scaled – with all (i.e, GISS, HAdcrut, CET, etc) the major various surface station datasets? and possibly also the SST data?
It would be interesting to note if the satellite data reflects/mirrors any of these datasets…..

janama

is it just me or do other Firefox readers get unformatted pages from wordpress??

Bob from the UK

I was expecting a plunge at least comparable with 2008 and 1999. In fact from the fanfare preceeding it, I was expecting at to be a real decent dip down comparable with the 1990’s. Seems to be shaping up as a damp squib.

It will be interesting to see how this year responds. La Nina may or may not fade and the North Atlantic is cooling. Curious weather ahead.

Whoopeee! Ever recovered one of the ” on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch” to see what it is like after being exposed to the space (and launch) environment for a while? Along with the rest of the electronics? Oh right, after nearly 9 years on orbit without a lab recalibration this data can give you an anomaly to less than 1/100th of a degree?
I wouldn’t guarantee any electronic package to be that good even though I have a nice thermostated pressure sensor I built in 1990 which appears to be within 0.5Hpa after 20 years and ~150,000 hours of operation.

Alan the Brit

Is it me? Can I detect a correlation to temperature, & potentially sunspot activity, & financial/economic conditions in the west. I can certainly see something for the UK. . Late 1970s, economic hardship & financial disaster. Early 1980s, recession. Early 1990s, recession. Early 2010s upwards, recession? Perhaps not, but perhaps! William Herschel allegedly did win bets on the price of wheat by watching Sunspot numbers! Then again it was probably all that latent heat waiting in the wings with ever increasing levels of CO2. :-)) sarc!

And I’ve posted the preliminary February 2011 Sea Surface Temperature update:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/02/preliminary-february-2011-sst-anomaly.html

Golf Charley

Presumably this pattern of getting colder is exactly what the models predicted as a result of global warming?
Will the climate cavalry, including Gore, Hansen, Foster, Romm, Clark, Mashey, Lambert etc ride to the rescue, or just start shooting at each other again?

Otter

Always remember: with the warmists who post here, you cannot prove a negative.

Dermot O'Logical

If I may ask two honest questions of AGW proponents. These questions are not meant to imply that the AGW theory is wrong, but to assess whether the anomaly measurements can be used to shift perceptions.
For how long would the UAH anomaly need to be at or below zero for you to accept that the AGW theory is incorrect?
How low would the UAH anomaly need to be for you to accept that the AGW theory is incorrect?
It may be futile to consider only a single measurement, but I hope the sentiment is clear. For me, to see UAH go to -0.5C would suggest that there is no overall trend, and I’d be more set against the AGW theory.
Thanks,
D O’L.

Robert Morris

I suppose two trillion dollar questions are;
a) Will it continue to drop, and
b) Will it go as low as the 1999/2000 reference?

Girma

Is the global mean temperature anomaly going to following the following pattern?
http://bit.ly/bKFwyj
We have to wait and see.
However, I think, the AGW camp is very uncomfortable. Here is what they say:

Be awkward if we went through a early 1940s type swing!

http://bit.ly/9p2e5m

Caleb

Dr. Ryan N. Maue’s site, which charts the day to day variations, is pretty interesting, though he doesn’t have time to update it every day:
http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/jra25/global_temperature_anomalies.jpg
Before I saw this graph I had no idea temperatures varied so much, over short periods of time. Last November’s crash is especially interesting.
Another neat site is the NCEP Gfs 2m Raw Temperature anomalies map. The present tense map, (before they run the model,) has the present tense anomalies in red letters just to the upper right of the map. This one seems to read a bit low, but it gives you a general idea of what the world temperatures are doing, before UAH or RSS come out with any figures.
http://www.coaps.fsu.edu/~maue/extreme/gfs/current/raw_temp_c.html#picture
[ryanmaue: thanks for the plug, i have time to update it now 😉 ]

Jack Simmons

Didn’t Bastardi predict this some time ago?
What did the climate models predict for this month or year, say ten years ago? What were the models saying twenty years ago for last month? Thirty years ago?
What did Dr. Hansen say back in 1988?
Just trying to keep track of various predictive agents.

Bill Yarber

1998 is such an outlier (recognizing that it is only 30 years of data) and the ramp up is so great, might there not be another source for this exceptional spike? I read something about a suspected gamma ray burst about a year ago but nothing since. Any information on this hypothesis or other suggestions why ’98 was such a large change in less than a year?
Bill

richard verney

I was hoping to see the February temperature cool more. Whilst I dislike the cool, I would like to see a prolonged period of cooling to help bring the politians to their senses.
The lack of cooling suggests that the present La Nina is or has bottomed out and that it is not as strong as the 1999 equivalent. The SH should now be cooling and it will be interesting to see how the NH bounces back from a cold and snowy winter.
It will also be interesting to see whether the anomaly climbs back up to and hovers around the 0.2C level (ie., around the 2001/7 average). If we are in for a cooler period as many predict then the anomaly ought not to rise much above the 0.2C level. However, I recall reading that it was particularly cloudless in the Indian and Pacific oceans for some time and this will have resulted in quite some replenishment of ocean heat content. If this is so, then this will drive up temperatures.
I for one would like Anthony to post the sea temperature data at the same time as he posts the global temperature anomaly since one needs to keep both of these in mind when trying to assess the situation.
This year will be interesting!

I guess we can expect a few more negative results with the sea surface temperature just rebounding now:
http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2011/02/preliminary-february-2011-sst-anomaly.html
BTW what’s with promoting the AMSU Daily Temperature graph when the relevant surface temp data has been off line since December?

so, since 1980, our temperature has gone up zero?
Very Interesting 😉

Ian W

As the satellite also measures water content of the atmosphere, is there any planned effort to calculate the atmospheric enthalpy and thus its actual heat content, rather than a relatively meaningless temperature metric?

Stephan

Well I must have confused AMSU data with this lower troposphere data ? because AMSU does not show -0.02C more like -0.13 to 0.18C. see for yourselves…

enSKog

Could someone please explain how the PRTs are used in the derivation of a temperature value for the lower troposphere from detected microwaves?
Or, indeed, how the temperature values are derived at all?

Peter Miller

So 2011 is shaping up to be the warmest on record – at least this is the spin we can expect the alarmists to put on these figures, either that or a deafening silence.
Completely off topic, Britain’s Daily Telegraph carried the following story yesterday:
“The days of permanently available electricity may be coming to an end, the head of Britain’s power network said yesterday.
Families would have to get used to only using power, when it was available, rather than constantly, said Steve Holliday, chief executive of the National Grid.
Mr Holliday was challenged over how the country would “keep the lights on” when it relied more on wind farms…………………
Mr Holliday told Radio 4’s Today program that people would have to “change their behaviour. The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030…………………We are going to change our behaviour and consume electricity when it is available and available cheaply.”
Planned ‘brownouts and blackouts’ in the future is now the official policy of the goofball politicians who ‘run’ the UK. This is the worst insanity I have ever witnessed from those forcing us to use ever increasing amounts of expensive, unreliable, green energy.
Anthony, my apologies – I am not smart enough to put this into your tips section.
[ You just read “tips” like any other topic and make the comment at the bottom. -ModE ]

Jay Currie says:
March 3, 2011 at 12:05 am
Cool.
In more ways than one.
Thanks for the update

Cool?? In what way? Despite a strong La Nina, deep solar minimum and negative PDO (or is it?) LT temperatures have only dropped to the average for the 1981-2010 period. Current temperatures are still above most of those recorded in the 1980s and 1990s – and only slightly down on temperatures recorded during the peak of the 1986/87 El Nino .
Unless there is another dip in temperatures this looks like being the warmest La Nina on record.

Bob B

Jack, this is what Hansen said in 1988:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/13/is-jim-hansens-global-temperature-skillful/
Not even close.

The temp may go up a little in March, or stay about the same again, but I expect it is likely to then continue down until June, to about -0.2 to -0.4 °C. If the ocean oscillations crowd is right, the trend over the next 10 years should be around a baseline of 0.1 °C, varying by only about -0.01 °C per year (invisible to the eye from year to year).
The AGW believers and luke-warmers are trying to negotiate a bailout for the credibility of climate science, but serious consideration should be given to the view that anyone still promulgating the current AGW consensus (or the “greenhouse effect”, or radiation transfer theory as currently applied in climate science) should be thrown out as incompetent. Let the bad science fail, don’t bail it out.

ShrNfr
mkelly

“Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The signals that these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies are directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere.”
So 20% of the atmosphere, oxygen, does infact radiate based on its temperature.
I assume this must go up and down and effect the surface. : ).
Now what about N2.

netdr2

John Flynn
Since we are at the top of a 60 year sine wave the temperature for 2011 will be noticeably cooler than 2010. This cooling trend will continue until 2030 or so and by that time CAGW will be dead.
The temperature since records began can be explained very well by a 1/2 ° C per century ramp and a 60 year sine wave. Since we are at the top of the sine wave the chicken littles are worried but as it cools the sinusoidal nature will be obvious to everyone.
The low part of the last cycle was 1978 when the earth is cooling articles were written. The high part was in 1998 [approx] when the Kyoto Protocol was signed.
This is the third repetition of the cycle since records began. You would think the CAGW crowd would see the obvious wouldn’t you?
Here is a peer reviewed paper which explains it better than I can.
http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf

SO whatever weather-like happens now can not be related to “global warming”, since the planet is as warm/or cool as in 1980. Or..?

Fred from Canuckistan

So 32 years of SUV’s, BBQ’s, Coal Fired Electricity and all the Warmistas have to show for it is a 0.02 drop in global temperature?
They obviously didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Jack Simmons

Kev-in-Uk says:
March 3, 2011 at 12:25 am

can we have (or is theresomewhere) a direct comparison graph – equally scaled – with all (i.e, GISS, HAdcrut, CET, etc) the major various surface station datasets? and possibly also the SST data?
It would be interesting to note if the satellite data reflects/mirrors any of these datasets…..

http://www.climate4you.com/ClimateReflections.htm#20080927:%20Reflections%20on%20the%20correlation%20between%20global%20temperature%20and%20atmospheric%20CO2

son of mulder

“Bob B says:
March 3, 2011 at 5:16 am
Jack, this is what Hansen said in 1988:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/13/is-jim-hansens-global-temperature-skillful/
Not even close.”
It would be even more interesting if Hansen’s models were available (I trust they are archived) and the actual CO2 growth could be put in to compare real divergence from reality.

John Brookes

Gee, its the coldest its been since the last La Nina 3 years ago.

Nigel Harris

In reply to Dermot O’Logical’s questions above.
The UAH anomaly being at or just below zero does not indicate a cooling trend over any period longer than the last few months. The overall trend of the UAH temperature record (since Dec 1978) is still decidedly upward. It was +0.140C/decade (with standard error of about 0.01) in January and it fell to +0.139C/decade in February. If next month’s figure is -0.5C, that would simply reduce the overall upward trend to +0.136C/decade.
If the anomaly fell to -0.5C and stayed there until September 2014, then the overall trend since 1978 would become statistically insignificant (although still upward). At that point, I’d certainly be having some serious doubts about whether the world is actually in a warming trend.
It is often said that there has been no warming since 1998. But the trend in UAH data since January 1998 is still positive (albeit not statistically distinguishable from zero). To get a statistically significant negative trend from 1998, the anomaly would have to remain at or below its current level until early 2014, or would have to fall to -0.5 and stay there or below for the rest of this year. Again, if either of those things were to happen (without a massive volcanic event), then I’d start to seriously doubt that the earth is in a warming trend.
But for now, any rational investigation of the available data is going to conclude that the earth is warming. There’s nothing in UAH or any other data set that suggests otherwise.

beng

****
John Finn says:
March 3, 2011 at 4:49 am
Cool?? In what way? Despite a strong La Nina, deep solar minimum and negative PDO (or is it?) LT temperatures have only dropped to the average for the 1981-2010 period.
****
“Deep solar minimum” has no effect, in my & some others’ opinions. IMO, Atlantic & Arctic oscillations do, and they’re not in their coldest modes by any means.

jeanparisot

Not having a higher resolution graph to view, it looks like the highest temps each year are in the 1st Quarter of the year and the lowest in the 2nd or 3rd Quarter of the year.
Are the Southern hemisphere or Equitorial temperatures weighted or over-sampled?
With this year’s 1st Quarter being more the 0.5 cooler then last years 1st Quarter, it is clear that the La Nina has an effect on global averages.

Nigel Harris,
I think you made a typo in your final paragraph.
In the penultimate paragraph you say that the trend over the last 13 years is not statistically distinguishable from zero.
The statement in the final paragraph should therefore be:
“any rational investigation of the available data is going to conclude that the earth is not warming”.

netdr2 says:
March 3, 2011 at 5:48 am
John Flynn

It’s Finn actually but we’ll let that pass.
Since we are at the top of a 60 year sine wave the temperature for 2011 will be noticeably cooler than 2010. This cooling trend will continue until 2030 or so and by that time CAGW will be dead.
Are you prepared to bet on that. Exactly the same things were being said in 2008/2009 during and after the last La Nina.
The temperature since records began can be explained very well by a 1/2 ° C per century ramp and a 60 year sine wave. Since we are at the top of the sine wave the chicken littles are worried but as it cools the sinusoidal nature will be obvious to everyone.
Can it? There might be oscillatory factors at play but the underlying trend cannot be easily explained. It certainly cna’t be explained by Akasofu who without any justification (or data) whatsoever assumes the 19th century trend was the same as the 20th century trend. Long term records suggest that the 19th century temperature trends were essentially flat.
The low part of the last cycle was 1978 when the earth is cooling articles were written. The high part was in 1998 [approx] when the Kyoto Protocol was signed.
So there should have been cooling since 1998. There hasn’t been. It should also be noted that you chose the anomalously warm year of 1998 as the ‘peak’. However, the years immediately before 1998 were much cooler than those between 2001-2010.
This is the third repetition of the cycle since records began. You would think the CAGW crowd would see the obvious wouldn’t you?
I don’t know about the CAGW crowd, but I am familiar with the pattern of 20th century temperatures. I am also familiar with the CET record, the Uppsala record, the Armagh record and several other long term regional records. I fully expect decadal (and possibly longer) pauses in warming but there is no evidence of significant cooling.

Rob Potter

And in reply to Nigel Harris (as pointed out previously in this comment thread) this rise in global temperatures is the same as has been seen three times over the past 150 years or so and so does not signify anything other than natural variation.
Very few people argue that the “global mean temperature” has NOT increased since 1978, the issue is whether humans have anything to do with it. I hesitate to suggest what CAGW proponents really would treat as evidence they were wrong, but suggesting three very cold years (to bring down the average precipitously) is ignoring the approximately 30 year cycles we have been seeing for the past century and a half.
Sadly, I doubt even the three years you suggest would do very much for most CAGW proponents.

Stephan

Ok so it seems that readjustment of ch 5 AMSU satellite data at the end of the month gives -0.02C. I will accept anything Roy Spencer says or does, concerning climate, period.

Steve

This article answers a question for those still confused about how O2 and N2 can absorb/emit energy, yet accomplish this without absorbing/emitting in the thermal IR spectrum. How would an individual O2 or N2 molecule cool off in a vacuum, if not by emitting photons in the thermal IR spectrum?
The article specifies that the satellites detect the temperature of O2 by taking readings in the microwave spectrum. Thus, O2 absorbs/emits in the microwave spectrum (which is directly adjacent to the thermal IR spectrum). It’s too bad that this wasn’t easily available with a Google search of “O2 absorption spectrum”. But if you change that to “O2 microwave absorption” you’ll get plenty of hits. As for N2, the only article I could find is behind a paywall. Radio band energy emission?
The physical chemists are right. A black body is an imaginary, ideal surface that can absorb/emit any wavelength. Individual atoms can only absorb/emit in specific quanta. The larger the variety of atoms in your object, the more it will approximate a black body. The more your object is composed of a single lighter element, the less it will approximate a black body (fewer orbiting electrons equals fewer possibilities in energy level changes).

John from CA

Thanks for the update Dr. Spencer,
Btw, NASA did a great job with the new 3D presentation of satellite data. Its a shame data isn’t available for many of the satellites but I’m guessing it will be at some point.
There appears to be a mistake on the website pages:
http://climate.nasa.gov/ indicates 3.27mm sea level rise/year
http://climate.nasa.gov/Eyes/ indicates 3.27mm sea level rise since 1992
Based on other sites that record sea level data — 3.27mm sea level rise since 1992 is likely to be the correct value but as the 3D satellite presentation ( http://climate.nasa.gov/Eyes/ ) clearly shows, it relative to the region, time of year, etc.
I hope NASA gets funding to extend the 3D data modeling for the public, what a fantastic educational tool and I can’t wait to see overlays of various satellite data sets.

klem

I’m not sure what is the significance of a global temperature record of only 30 year duration. Even if 2011 turns out to be the hottest on record, the record is only 30 years long, it is not relevent. Planning to alter our entire global economy due to a 30 year trend is like changing our economy based on the stock market trend during the final .1 seconds before the closing bell rings. Three decades in earth years does not a trend make.

Dermot O'Logical

***
Nigel Harris says:
March 3, 2011 at 6:33 am
In reply to Dermot O’Logical’s questions above.

***
Thanks Nigel – I understand the point that a single month at -0.5C does not ‘stop’ the trend.
Would it be valid to interpret your position as “if the anomaly is statistically zero from 1978 to the present day, then we are not in a warming world, let alone a man-made-warming world” ?
Anyone else?

Sam Parsons

To someone who was there, 2010-2011 looks very much like 1975-1976. Most of February was warm in 1976. However, 1976 was the beginning of remarkably cold weather in most of the nation but especially in the midwest. In fact, 1977 through 1982 were the stuff of nightmare in the midwest. That is what I expect for the next five years.

M White

Kev-in-Uk says:
March 3, 2011 at 12:25 am
can we have (or is theresomewhere) a direct comparison graph
Try this
http://junksciencearchive.com/MSU_Temps/Warming_Look.html

Gandalf The White

In response to an earlier comment, deep solar minimum certainly does have an effect as does the strong La Nina. Given two marked ‘negative’ forcings the global temperatures have remained remarkably high. I wonder what other forcing might be at work here?

richcar that 1225

John Finn said:
“So there should have been cooling since 1998. There hasn’t been. It should also be noted that you chose the anomalously warm year of 1998 as the ‘peak’. However, the years immediately before 1998 were much cooler than those between 2001-2010. ”
I think we can agree that temps have been flat since 1998. The big question now is whether solar forcing is starting to show up. Although the latest thinking is that it is only a .25 watt/sqmtr compared to 1 watt/sqmtr from ghg forcing we shall now see as we continue with the obviously low cycle 24 and the decline in solar wind as measured by the Ulysses satellite. The Altai glacier solar proxy/temperature reconstruction shows a twenty year lag between group sunspot number and temperature change in the atmosphere as preserved in the ice core. This is probably due to the thermal lag of the ocean and the integrative affect of the change in the solar parameters. Therefore a temperature decrease due to solar forcing should start to show up now. The jury is out, it will be fun to watch.
http://lch.web.psi.ch/files/Publikationen/analytic/Eichleretal_GRL2009.pdf

richard verney

Juraj V. says:
March 3, 2011 at 5:48 am
SO whatever weather-like happens now can not be related to “global warming”, since the planet is as warm/or cool as in 1980. Or..?
/////////////////////////////////////////////////
Whilst this point is rather simplistic, whenever any one suggests to me that recent ‘extreme’ events are caused by global warming, this is the response that I give them. It is crazy to suggest that a warming of a few tenths of a degree C can have caused so called recent extrem events.