However, satellite data don’t agree with that finding
People send me stuff.
Today I got an email with an advance link to the NOAA/NCDC “state of the climate” briefing- that monthly phone call where Tom Karl’s NCDC staff spoon feeds unquestioning newsies like AP’s Seth Borenstein the latest worry over climate. Unsurprisingly, May 2015 is now anointed as the “warmest May on record”, thanks in part to the new and “pause busting” improved sea surface temperature record, all highly adjusted based on a variety of rationalizations.
This is what is being sent out today:
NOAA to Announce Key Climate Findings: Learn more about the temperature, precipitation and weather events experienced around the world in 2014, tomorrow at 11 am EDT. Dial 1-888-989-9791 with the password “Climate” to join the call and view the slides here (available at 10:30 am EDT).
It seems the oceans are now all the “Red Sea of climate despair”, except for that stubborn patch of low percentile blue near Greenland:
Wow, lots of red in the oceans, all based on percentiles (a statistical tool). Scary looking huh? I’ll bet AP’s Seth Borenstein (and others) will eat that right up and that global image they are pushing will be seen in news world-wide.
Of course, we knew back on June 19th this would be coming. Bob Tisdale wrote then:
NOAA recently published their State of the Climate Report for May 2015. Under the heading of Global Summary Information, they note:
Note: With this report and data release, the National Centers for Environmental Information is transitioning to improved versions of its global land (GHCN-M version 3.3.0) and ocean (ERSST version 4.0.0) datasets. Please note that anomalies and ranks reflect the historical record according to these updated versions. Historical months and years may differ from what was reported in previous reports. For more, please visit the associated FAQ and supplemental information.
But of course we know the adjustments that led to the new NOAA ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature data (the biggest changes to the NOAA data took place in the ocean portion) are not supported during the global warming slowdown period by the night marine air temperature dataset (HadNMAT2 from the UKMO) that NOAA used for bias corrections. (See post here.) In other words, it appears NOAA overcooked their “improvements”. Oops!
On the NOAA Global Analysis – May 2015 webpage they state under the heading of Temperatures:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was the highest for May in the 136-year period of record, at 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F), surpassing the previous record set just one year ago by 0.08°C (0.14°F). This ties with February 1998 as the fourth highest monthly departure from average for any month on record. The two highest monthly departures from average occurred earlier this year in February and March, both at 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average for their respective months.
Somehow I don’t think that will surprise anyone.
There’s another global graph that NCDC made, showing anomaly data rather than percentiles, but that didn’t quite make it into the press briefing, perhaps because there’s not as much red in it:
Aw, shucks, where did all the hot red go? Interestingly, there’s no link in the press briefing document that take you to the directly to the May 2015 SOTC page at NCDC that this is presented on, so folks like Seth won’t likely see this image unless they actually switch from regurgitator to reporter mode and spend some time to look for it.
If you want to look at both the press briefing and the SOTC page where that image exists, here are the links:
SOTC Press brief: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/briefings/201506.pdf
SOTC May 2015: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201505
But, never mind. Let’s look at the global temperature for May 2015 as seen by satellite data (click to enlarge):
Looks to me like the pause is alive and well, and look at the rightmost datapoint, May 2015, nowehere near a record. Now to be fair, the satellite record is only from 1979, but, there’s certainly no indication of May 2015 being the hottest ever.
Or if you prefer numbers, here is what UAH said about May 2015:
Global Temperature Report: May 2015
Third warmest May in satellite record
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.11 C per decade
May temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.27 C (about 0.49 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.33 C (about 0.59 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.21 C (about 0.38 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.
Tropics: +0.27 C (about 0.49 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.
Compare that to what NOAA/NCDC is saying:
The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was the highest for May in the 136-year period of record, at 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F), surpassing the previous record set just one year ago by 0.08°C (0.14°F).
So for May 2015 NOAA says the globe is at 0.87°C above normal, and UAH says the globe is at 0.27°C above normal – a difference by a factor of three.
Who to believe?
Well, it would seem so. But, 2F is not 2C. 2.30F works out to 1.27C. Close but no cigar. NOAA/NCDC could do a better job in their press briefing for the globe tomorrow by using both C and F, especially since many reporters can’t do this simple temperature conversion. Right now, they only have °F on their PowerPoint, which is curiously unscientific and Americanized.