RSS Global Lower Troposphere Temperature Data for 2016 Confirm Results from UAH

That is, for 2016, the Temperatures of Earth’s Atmosphere Nearest to Its Surface Were an Insignificant 0.02 Deg C Higher than the Previous El Niño-Related High in 1998.

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

Earlier this week, Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced the annual lower troposphere temperature anomalies for the year 2016. See his post Global Satellites: 2016 not Statistically Warmer than 1998. Bottom line: The UAH global lower troposphere temperature anomaly for 2016 (an strong El Niño-decay year) was only 0.02 deg C (that’s read 2 one-hundredths of one degree Celsius) higher than in 1998, another strong El Niño-decay year with the previous highest value. See Figure 1. (Monthly data here.)


Figure 1

With much less fanfare, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) released their results for December 2016 yesterday. After converting the monthly data to annual anomalies, we can see that RSS lower troposphere temperature anomalies had similar results. That is, they too showed the RSS global lower troposphere temperature anomaly for 2016 was only 0.02 deg C higher than in 1998. (Monthly data here.) See Figure 2.


Figure 2

Curiously, in a comparison of two comparably strong El Niño events, even though global lower troposphere temperature anomalies were much lower in 1997 than in 2015 (the El Niño evolution years), they were remarkably similar during the years of 1998 and 2016 (the El Niño decay years). See Figure 3. In other words, the uptick from 2015 to 2016 was much less than the rise from 1997 to 1998, suggesting that the 2015/16 El Niño was weaker than the 1997/98 El Niño.


Figure 3

Another curiosity: the December 2016 and December 1998 values are remarkably similar.

What’ll happen in 2017?


Figure 4

Global lower troposphere temperature anomalies should be lower in 2017 than in 2016 due to the lagged global temperature response to the decay of the 2015/16 El Nino, but the drop will likely not be as significant as the one that happened from 1998 to 1999. Why? See Figure 4. There was a moderately strong La Niña in 1998/99, where weak La Niña to ENSO-neutral conditions exist now.


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Which shows AGW theory is wrong and all of the global temperature changes thus far are all tied to ENSO.
Now with very low solar conditions starting to come on I believe the overall global temperature trend will be lower.

Exactly. The winds blow water vapor here or there, carrying lots of tropical energy, minimum daily temp follows dew point temp, cooling down to near dew point on every clear sky night. More water vapor, warmer dew points, warmer mornings. Co2 does nothing to night time cooling.

The winds across Eurasia have taken quite a turn. The spot marked is where the edge of the purple/deep cold wave was on 12/31/2016 at noon. At 2pm on the 1st the edge, -15F or lower, was on the move towards Europe and it has advanced every day since then. Even now the edge has advanced closer in. This would probably be the equal of the depth of cold felt during the worst of the historical cold patterns of the past, if that lead edge enters deeper in to Europe. …,52.71,497/loc=72.556,66.186

ENSO is more a movement of heat than anything else. Why would such movement affect the global temperature?

Warm water evaporates more water, and water vapor blows someplace to cool on the way to the poles.

Micro, surely these movements are a zero sum game.

It’s an elaborate system that every single day on average gets 3,750 W/m^2 every day, not a 155W daily average, that alone implies there’s storage. And just because it’s a zero sum game, does not mean it’s expression isn’t lumpy, and that is what we see, wind, currents, tides, cyclones, and anticyclones, all of those are from the zero sum game.

Yes Micro, and hence my view that what is currently vaunted as a global average temperature is nothing more significant than a global average telephone number.

That was pretty good wasn’t 🙂
8 or 9 years ago after watching the temp fall 10 or 15 degrees by midnight while taking pictures of galaxies, I decided I’d use my skill to see what the surface stations measured, not the gruel they dish out to us. I have a ton of data, more than I can even look at at my sourceforge link here

tony mcleod

Forrest Gardener
“ENSO is more a movement of heat than anything else.”
That’s all it is. All the frothing and hyperventilating about the .00002C is so much koolaid.comment image

Johann Wundersamer

Agreed, FG –
‘Warm water evaporates more water, and water vapor blows someplace to cool on the way to the poles.’
‘Forrest Gardener on January 5, 2017 at 1:20 pm
Micro, surely these movements are a zero sum game.’
– but a decent 97% confidence ‘scientific community’ obviously makes a living on ‘zero sum games ‘.

Richard M

The other big factor is the large AMO induced sea ice loss in the Arctic which has raised temperatures there much higher than in 1998. Look at the polar temperatures and it is about 1 C higher in 2016. The heat release from open ocean water is obvious. This means the rest of the planet is cooler.
If we get any kind of sea ice recovery in the Arctic this year or next, the GASTA will likely drop very quickly. All of this without La Nina.

Richard M

It is all of the above plus the primarily one, evaporative heat loss. The main heat effect is when the temperature is normally below freezing, the more below freezing the bigger the effect as the open water warms up the atmosphere.
Normally the sea ice provides an insulating layer to prevent much of this heat loss. It is quite obvious at the DMI link where the winter time shows the biggest amount of warming.

Richard M

The temperature is right near freezing but just above the level needed to form ice. As it releases energy that water sinks and bottom water rises, replaces it and cools as well. Over time the entire Arctic ocean gets significantly cooled.

Look where?
Exactly which thermometer/thermistor is measuring that temperature?
From the DMI graph:

“The daily mean temperature of the Arctic area north of the 80th northern parallel is estimated from the average of the 00z and 12z analysis for all model grid points inside that area”

The Arctic temperatures are estimated, not actual. Try looking at the nearest temperature stations in Greenland.
Keep in mind that the “estimated” temperature is still well below the freezing point of salt water. Ice accretion is inevitable.

tony mcleod

Over time the entire Arctic ocean gets significantly cooled.
Well that’s just what is not happening. If the Arctic were isolated (like it has been in the past with the Bering Straight closed) then maybe. But in recent decades heat and humidity has been pouring in by sea and air that is why the the sea ice is disappearing so fast.

@tony mcleod “Well that’s just what is not happening. If the Arctic were isolated (like it has been in the past with the Bering Straight closed) then maybe. But in recent decades heat and humidity has been pouring in by sea and air that is why the the sea ice is disappearing so fast.”
I’m confused by your statement. If the ice in the Arctic only covers the surface, wouldn’t the ocean currents still move freely under the ice? The ice cover should make no difference. Maybe I’m missing something.

The ice cover should make no difference. Maybe I’m missing something.

at least 9 months ago year open arctic under clear skies loses more to space than it gains. And that is what arctic ice does, blocks surface radiative cooling to space.


My take on it is that the ’15/16 event was not quite as intense as the ’98 event, but was much longer lived, because the ’14/15 Blob made it a long multi-year event.
Bob Tisdale:
What is your take on the contribution of the Blob setting the stage for the high temp portion of the El Nino, and the modest cooling since?
Is the relatively low Arctic sea ice now, the last echo of the Blob as the heat finally dissipates in cold north?
Thanks, fascinating stuff.

Here is the reason for the low sea ice extent. Surface winds in this area have consistently pushed warm southern air into the Arctic starting around the end of June of 2016. Shortly after is when DMI and NISDC showed the sea ice trend dropping below -2sd. Also adding to the overall low sea ice conditions were surface winds on the Pacific side of the Arctic entering into the Arctic around half of the time in the last 6 months…,77.15,497/loc=31.085,75.256

I have noticed this connection between surface winds and surface temp changes over the last several years. Watching the daily Arctic temp changes is what first caught my eye…
For example, note that the Pacific side of Siberia has warmed a bit recently. Then look at…,82.00,497
and you can see the surface winds pushing into the Siberian coastline and warming the area. Also notice that warmer spot in lower central Russia. That is due to the surface winds which have been crossing eastward from the Black Sea region. They have recently diminished in strength. Several days ago the Arctic map showed a much warmer lower western Russia due to stronger winds blowing steadily eastward from a start point in the Mediterranean. By looking at either earthnull or the Arctic map I can know what I will see when looking at the other one. I also noticed a similar connection with the Antarctic sea ice extent boundaries and winds moving towards the pole.

Wouldn’t a steady surface wind blowing north up the Atlantic and into the Arctic also push warm surface waters into the sea ice edge?

Sea surface temps are little changed for the time of year as compared to the last 3 years, looking at saved data. The current ssta graph shows moderately warmer than during the last 2 years in the North Atlantic.
Here is a look at surface currents and ssta conditions in the eastern side of the Arctic. …,70.77,819/loc=33.827,82.853
and here is a look at sst conditions. Note the warm pockets and the substantial area which is slightly above the freezing point of sea water, and which borders the sea ice extent. ..,70.77,819/loc=5.766,77.716


Anatomy of an atmospheric river: Yesterday (4 Jan 2016 18:00Z) as central California had the “Pineapple Express” turned on it. In the last three days Squaw Valley ski resort (near Lake Tahoe, visible on the map) got 75 inches of fresh snow at the 8000 ft level. NorCal drought? Gone.,35.60,1281/loc=99.467,29.623

I have been observing daily conditions in the North Pacific for over 3 months. It has been interesting to watch the plumes of dense level TPW move to mid latitudes or higher and then mix into an area before moving inland.
I was living at Lake Tahoe in the winter of 1970/71. In early January of 1971 the area had 6 foot in 24 hours. That was huge. Twelve days prior there had been 12 feet of snow in 3 days. That was a sight to see.

Earth, is a wonder and well worth utilizing for it’s strengths.
Only, fills in a lot of global data from models, not reality.

“global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours
ocean surface current estimates updated every five days
ocean surface temperatures and anomaly from daily average (1981-2011) updated daily”
“Welcome to the Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch of the Environmental Modeling Center at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction in College Park, Maryland. We are responsible for the development of improved numerical marine forecasting and analysis systems within the NOAA National Weather Service”
“NCEP SST Analysis
Because there are a number of different uses for sea surface temperature analysis, a number of different analyses have been developed at NCEP. The two families are the RTG — Real Time Global, and the OI — Optimal Interpolation (aka Reynolds SST). The RTG analyses are aimed at weather prediction and modeling, particularly at high resolution and short range. The OI analyses are lower resolution and aimed more at long range weather and climate. Both have a history.”

Surface winds are modeled.
SST temperatures are modeled (using NOAA’s new shipboard thermometer adjustment algorithm)
Ocean currents are modeled.
Arctic temperatures are modeled.
Arctic sea ice is similarly modeled, DMI pixel counters are likely more accurate.

“Sea Ice Home Page
The Polar and Great Lakes Ice group works on sea ice analysis from satellite, sea ice modeling, and ice-atmosphere-ocean coupling. Our work supports the Alaska Region of the National Weather Service, the Great Lakes Marine Forecasting group in the Cleveland NWSFO, and other groups, as well as the Environmental Modeling Center, of which the ice group is a part.”

Lance Wallace

Both of your links to the UAH and RSS monthly data stop at November. Where did you get your December results?

Lance Wallace

Richard M. Thanks, I was about to provide the link to the RSS data
Both your and my links provide RSS data for December.
However, your UAH link still does not provide the December data. I think there is usually a delay of a few days following Dr. Spencer’s announcement of the Global value.

To see UAH to 3 decimal places to December, go to:


Thanks Bob, for another illuminating report. It seems that the next 8 years may prove very significant for both political and climate watchers. Are we entering a period of real change, or will we look back at 2016-2017 as a mere head-fake?

Janice Moore

+1 — GREAT report, indeed, Bob Tisdale. Your writing is lucid, complete, and, best of all, ACCURATELY describes the significance of the data analyzed. That is, instead of grossly distorting the significance of a .02 increase by using language which distorts by omission (mostly, of context) resulting a, “Wo! Look at this, folks. Time to worry — the temp this time is HIGHER!!!!!” implication, you simply tell it like it is.
Re: “head-fake”
1 vis a vis lower troposphere temp anomalies:
The player, sprinting forward with the football tucked under his arm, just jumped over a bucket of water left out on the field. The game is still over for the AGWers, as that ball is now about 80 yards past the 10(year)e2 yard goal line which THEY set (10 years of no rising temps. = they lose).
To reverse their loss will take YEARS DECADES of steady, significant warming.
2. vis a vis U.S. economic and liberty hopes: Look at the team Coach Trump recruited. There’s your answer. Odds will be on Trump (and where there is real money involved, those odds will be pretty accurate).
Also, if God wants the Trump administration to succeed, they will. No matter what stunts the RINOS try to pull. I believe God made sure Trump was elected, “God’s amazing grace” (Mike Pence). In the 8 (yes!!! 🙂 ) years to come, we will see why (I hope it was to make America and the whole free world prosper in health, wealth, and liberty! — but, only God knows…).


Nice metaphor. What is the appellation for that AGW team? Are they the AGW Dinos? The Fakers? Or merely the AGW Weasels?

J Mac

Appellation for AGW believers?

Janice Moore

Thanks, JorgeK.
Answer: Clowns.
is what we call them (those of us on the WUWT team, hoooo-wah!).
They style themselves, Association for Global Wisdom. hahahahah — Mascot: (yup, you guessed it) Weasels (because they admire them so).

Janice Moore

J Mac — You must have been listening in to their 2AM fight song practice sessions (always, after the bars close, as they stumble home).
The gang’s all here!
Tyranneee for– EEHHVERR!
(a little louder)
Tyranneeee for– EEEHHVERRR!!
The gang’s all here!
Grab your hockeystick aaaaand — SING!
It! — Is! — A -tra-ve-steeeee!
But, we can explain it!
But, we can explain it!
Ships! Buoys! Adjust ’em allllll aaaaaand
Gather ’round the press and — SING!”
(to the tune of the chorus in “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here,” Gilbert & Sullivan, “Pirates of Penzance” (based on Verdi’s “Anvil Chorus” — Il Trovatore))


Nice comments, Janice. I always seem to guess wrong as to what God is up to, but given:
Mass of observable Universe: about 10^53 kg (about 160 billion times the mass of the milky way)
Mass of milky way: about 6 x 10^42 kg (3 trillion times mass of Solar System)
Mass of Solar system: about 2 x 10^30 kg (about 330,000 times mass of earth)
Mass of Earth: about 6 x 10^24 kg ( 12 trillion times mass of human race)
Mass of 7 billion humans at 70 kg each: about 5 x 10^11 kg
So the universe is about 2 x 10^42 times bigger than all of the human race. I feel quite lucky and privileged just to be one of the 7 or so billion, much less to be one of the few humans with the time and resources to go online and read this kind of material from a warm comfy chair.

… and a re-resurrected Jesus shall walk upon ocean waters, using Argo floats this time as stepping stones, instead of just his bare feet, as all the children of Earth shall be saved from the ravages of the CO2 serpent infesting their gullible minds with catastrophic fears.


Hi Bob,
According to RSS the TLT v3.3 should be used with caution due to drifts.
Can a faulty product confirm UAH TLT v6??
Why don’t you use the new troposphere product TTT v4 instead? I think that 2016 is significantly warmer than 1998 if Spencer’s 0.10 C confidence interval is adopted


So far there is no peer reviewed work, which lists these alleged errors of TLT v3 and the allegedly better TTT v4 mandatory. So far, there is only month-old statement from RSS and until then Bob can still use the old TLT v3.


Wrong, the RSS statement to be cautious with TLT 3.3 is based on their latest v4 method paper and the findings therein


It says right there in your link that RSS v4 TLT hasn’t been updated at this time. Probably because it will be replaced very soon because v4 is erroneous.


Or are you literally asking why isn’t Bob comparing apples to oranges?

Bob Tisdale January 5, 2017 at 10:56 am
Why didn’t I present the RSS TTT data? you asked in a later comment. Let me ask a question in return. What value does RSS TTT data have in a discussion of TLT data? Answer, none.

Plenty, because the new version of LT produced by UAH is different than their old one, the peak weighting is now at 4km as opposed to 2km formerly. The equivalent product to the new LT is the RSS TTT version 4 which also has a peak weighting at 4km, comparing RSS TLT version 3.3 with UAH version 6 is comparing apples to oranges. Also RSS TTT version 4 covers from 82.5S-82.5N unlike TLT version 3.3 which covers from 70.0S-82.5N

Vertical weighting functions for RSS.
For UAH.
So now we have UAH TLT v6 vs RSS TTT v4 temperature divergence. Measuring same thing with different results. Choose one or the other to suit your political ambitions.


Hi again Bob,
Actually the TTT and new UAH TLT weighting profiles and trends are very similar.
If you manufacture an UAH TTT index (v6) it has almost exactly the same trend as the TLT index, ie 0.123 C/ decade (TTT= 1.1*TMT-0.1*TLS)
Also, it is not difficult to make a RSS v4 TLT index with the UAH v6 formula:
TLT = 1.538*TMT -0.548*TTP +0.01*TLS
Such an RSS TLT index has the trend 0.21 C/decade from 1987 til now.
RSS doesn’t find the tropopause channel reliable prior to 1987. If we borrow TTP channel data from UAH and splice it onto that of RSS, in order to extend the series back to 1979, the overall trend (1979-now) of RSS v4 TLT would also be 0.21 C/ decade
Since NOAA STAR in its v3 also used the faulty RSS v3 diurnal drift correction, they have made a swift move and produced a new v4 dataset. They have chosen a different approach and corrected diurnal drift with the Po Chedley method.
The new STAR v4 TMT-channel corroborates that of RSS, and has actually a slightly larger trend (0.144 C/ decade)
So now we have three new TMT products, one with the trend 0.08 and two with the trends 0.14 C/decade.
Guess which one that is the outlier, and guess which one that agree least with radiosonde data…

O R writes:
“… Guess which one that is the outlier, and guess which one that agree least with radiosonde data…”
It would depend on which radiosonde data you’d choose to compare with.

O R writes:
“… Guess which one that is the outlier, and guess which one that agree least with radiosonde data…”
It would depend on which radiosonde data you’d choose to compare with.


“So far there is no peer reviewed work, which lists these alleged errors of TLT v3 and the allegedly better TTT v4 mandatory.”
Has there been any peer reviewed work showing the alleged errors in UAH 5.6? It’s interesting that both UAH 5.6 and RSS TTT 4 show 2016 beating 1998 by a similar margin, 0.17 C.


sajave, radiosonde datasets agree with each other and with models:
but not with a certain satellite dataset:
This satellite dataset has a disclaimer:
” May contain elements of cherry-picked satellites with alleged superior calibration”
it only agrees with one faulty satellite dataset…

Lance Wallace

O R:
A fair point. One assumes that the TLT v3.3 will at some time be replaced by TLT v4.0, but it has been some months since the replacement was made for TMT v4.0 and TTT v4.0. Why the delay for TLT? Since we see the direction of change for v4.0 for TMT and TTT (higher temperatures) we can confidently predict that TLT v4.0 will move in the same direction. At that point, RSS (Mears) will be able to state that RSS in December 2016 did NOT support UAH.

Same as the delay by UAH in producing a new LT 5.6, they didn’t do it they replaced it with a different product because of errors and ease of calculation (but used the same name, LT, whereas RSS changed the name from TLT to TTT).


OZ: Not wrong. The paper is awaiting peer reviewing from March till now and is so far not peer reviewed. We do not even know whether the change already made to TTT v4 is correct. To the orgies of the climate science to the increasingly quick adjustments in favor of ever greater warming the following German fun proverb: All has an end, only the sausage has two. In fact, here and there end with Prs. Trump these orgies.

Hans-Georg: By the same token we do not know whether the change to UAH LT is correct as a paper on that change has not yet been published either.


Hans Georg,
??? The peer reviewed paper was published February 2016:
Are you refering to the UAH method paper? It has been accepted, but not published ( in a Korean journal).
My Samsung products are of very high quality, and hopefully also the standards of Korean journals.
However, IMO som lousy peer-reviewing is needed to let the “Cadillac calibration choice” through, ie when two satellites disagree, cherrypick the one with the lowest trend..

george e. smith

Well you can manufacture new “troposphere products” to your heart’s content. Sooner or later you may hit on one that everybody likes.
Well planet earth will still pay no attention to your “product.”
The future temperature will be exactly what Mother Gaia says it is.


I do not think the 2015/16 El Nino in the top was stronger than the 1997/98 el Nino, however, he was better developed in the width. The global temperatures are determined not only by the ENSO zone, but the Indopacific Warming Pool is even more correlated to global temperatures. This Warming Pool was very large and very warm in 2015/16. The global temperatures have already risen since the beginning of 2015. This gave the climate alarmist twice the possibility to declare an absolute record year of temperatures. The decline is correspondingly slower compared with 1997/98, but it will come.

LOL in Oregon

But, but, but,
the satellites show that the “record high” is only a touch above 18 years ago in 1998!
What happened to all the heat? Why hasn’t it gone up faster?
Aren’t we burning enough $$$ to make it warm?


From Bob’s post: “In other words, the uptick from 2015 to 2016 was much less than the rise from 1997 to 1998, suggesting that the 2015/16 El Niño was weaker than the 1997/98 El Niño.”
If the 2015/16 El Nino was weaker than the 1997/98 El Nino, why was the temperature warmer in 15/16? Perhaps because the baseline was higher.


Bob Tisdale
You’re saying that oceans have heated up more or less continuously over the past 3 decades in response to solar warming and have even had sufficient heat to spare to also warm the atmosphere over the same period. Oceans warming the atmosphere for decades with no net loss of ocean heat; in fact with a net gain in ocean heat. All this during a period when solar output has been decreasing, so much that others here have been predicting global cooling on the back of it. Most odd.

Oh, I wanted to add, these big satellite warm pulses we see, are huge releases of energy to space, signs of cooling, not warming.

Comes from big pools of warm water that in the tropics mostly, but you also get all of that evaporated water, and it carries a lot of heat with it as it move toward the poles.

Excess levels or just faster transfer ?
Is that a valid question ? … and if a faster transfer could COME from somewhere, then it mus GO somewhere. … Where oh where could that be … I know, I know ! … SPACE !

tony mcleod

SPACE, or somewhere else…
I’d be interested in hearing Bob Tisdales interpretation of that plot in relation to SST.


I still think Trump should plan for annual press conferences outdoors in Minot each January. It would not hurt to hold an outdoor State of the Union speech there also. And no human caused fiddling with thermostats is required.

Mark from the Midwest

How about a rotating venue? Duluth, Houghton, and Bismark should be in the mix, and don’t forget Fargo.

Got to include Buffalo too.


Yes, those are all good for spreading the wealth. The Constitution does not specify where the State of the Union Speech should be given. A few other places in Trump land might include are Copper Harbor, Iron Mountain, Red Cliff, and Shelby.


Deadhorse might be good for Al Gore to give a speech – or is that too obvious?


I vote Hell, then when Trump has to release some bad news he can remind people that Hell has frozen over.


Early presidents gave the State of the Union in the form of a written report. No speech given.

South River Independent

Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Be sure the entire press corp is there – lightly dressed. I live 3 hours north of Minot. It was -28C with a windchill of -40C this morning. My morning swim in the cattle trough was invigorating! Had to leave my socks on.

Clif westin

3 hours north? So, Canada?


More picturesque would be, say, Kalispell, or better yet Whitefish, in NW Montana. Just as cold, but not so dreary a landscape. Ironically, not far to the west, where the Kootenay River crosses into the Idaho panhandle at tiny Leonia, is found the lowest elevation in Montana!

Maybe not such a good idea, look what happened to William Henry Harrison!

Rex of Wellington

Two hundredths of a degree
+- 20 hundredths of a degree error margin
and that would be an understatement

M Seward

and a 37 year data record when it is thousands of years since the last ice age on a planet that is 4 billion years old. Makes Henny Penny seem like and ultra rationalist to make much of 0.02 dgrees.

Caligula Jones

There was some index that measured how great a nation was, and Canada was #1 for many years. Then the Conservatives were elected, and we fell to fourth.
Then someone pointed out that the measurement was to the fourth decimal place and we could probably go back to sleep.
Luckily for the Liberals, people are ok with innumeracy (where they’d be properly worried over illiteracy).
I’m reminded of this every time I’m behind someone buying lottery tickets with their bank cards.


The problem with such surveys is that they vary dramatically based on what the surveyor considers to be important.
I remember a survey of which cities were the safest in the US, many years ago. The authors of the survey rated cities based on how much the spent on police services. The assumption was that a city that spent more on police must be safer.

we do NOT have the ability to measure a single temperature for the earth to within hundredths of a degree…….the changes fall well inside the margin of ERROR.

george e. smith

Well we do know that it lies somewhere between about 179 kelvin and 333 kelvin.
And there’s an infinity of places where it will be any specific value in that range that you decide is the proper temperature for the earth to have, for our survival.
So all is well; nothing much is happening.

I have been reading this site for some time now ,&must say that I wonder why we are concerned about .02degc If that is even accurate.i just looked up the temperature in Moscow it is .Minus 15 deg c,( -15c ) .In Glasgow &Edinburgh ,scotland on the same latitude , it is +1 deg celsius .The distance between the two places is about 2 500km ,or 1550 miles,this seems a large difference over a relatively small part of the globe,the rate of cooling between them must be large,& also, i think one place would feel very different from the other,in the outside air .Does an ‘average’ GLOBAL temperature have any real meaning? the hottest place is today is in the southern hemisphere (surprise!) is Mardie ,in australia, +46.4degc ,a very big jump from Moscow temp.Oh its -50c,over most of N. siberia (.just a thought would this give a global temp of -1.8c).


I liked the observation: “An average world temperature is about as useful as the average world telephone number.”

Does an ‘average’ GLOBAL temperature have any real meaning?

A person with an “average global IQ” should be able to answer your question, kendo.
Studies show that since the nineteen fifties the average I. Q has dropped a total of three points. This is alarming and confusing at the same time.
Well, … that explains human caused global warming right there. Now let’s get into those deep statistical arguments about data reliability and “necessary” … “adjustments”.

richard verney

But look at the uptick in Fig1.
2015/16 was coming off a base of say about +0.2 degC and peaked at +0.8 degC.
The Super El Nino of 1997/98 came off a base of -0.2degC and peaked at +0.8 degC
So there is quite a difference between these two El Ninos.
The issue here is that coincident with the Super El Nino of 1997/98 there has been a long lasting step change in temperatures. Whether there is a similar long lasting step change coincident with the 2015/16 El Nino is yet to be seen. IF there is no similar long lasting step change, and IF 2015/16 turns out to be no more than a short lived spike as was seen with the 2010 El Nino, the pause will reappear, and will by then be more than 20 years long.
What happens in 2017/18 will be interesting for the run up to AR6. There is a desperate attempt to get rid of the pause as demonstrated by the recent Berkeley Earth paper (discussed in the recent post on that paper), but without a long lasting step change in temperatures coincident with the 015/16 El Nino, that El Nino whilst a strong one will be seen to be a dud.

The issue here is that coincident with the Super El Nino of 1997/98 there has been a long lasting step change in temperatures.

The effective (surface) sensitivity of temp to solar forcing is here
I use the changing length of day, that changing solar in the extratropics, and divide daily temp change by the Solar at the surface for that station.
After the 97-98 El Nino, only one part of the world stayed warm, the 20-~35 N Latitude, this band became more sensitive to solar.
A change in long term cloud coverage, or an increase in the amount of warm water vapor being blown over that band could cause this. But not co2.

Hello Richard,
Please examine the blue line in the following plot.
It could be argued that there has been NO global warming in most of the satellite era, at least since ~1982.
The apparent warming observed in the 1980’s and 1990’s is largely due to the natural recovery from the cooling effect of two major volcanoes – El Chichon in 1982 and and Pinatubo in 1991.
I expect Bill Illis could quantify this better.
Regards, Allan
I plotted the same formula back to 1982, which is where I (I think arbitrarily) started my first analysis. Satellite temperature data began in 1979.
That formula is: UAHLT Calc. = 0.20*Nino3.4SST +0.15
It is apparent that UAHLT Calc. is substantially higher than UAH Actual for two periods, each of ~5 years,
BUT that difference could be largely or entirely due to the two major volcanoes, El Chichon in 1982 and Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.
This leads to a startling new hypothesis: First, look at the blue line, which shows NO significant global warming over the entire period from 1982 to 2016. Perhaps the “global warming” observed after the 1997-98 El Nino was not global warming at all; maybe it was just the natural recovery in global temperatures after two of the largest volcanoes in recent history.
Regards, Allan


It is the sun.
It is at its most destructive point in the cycle. Cannot think of any material in space ( without atmosphere) that can wither it.
Hence we have all these new versions…

richard verney

Hi Allan
It seems to me that there is little statistically significant warming in the satellite data between 1979 and the run up to the Super El Nino of 1997/98. Some warming, but rather little, and the record is largely dominated by the volcano activity to which you refer. Some claim that volcanoes cause a net warming after a short term drop. I am unsure on that claim but the drop in temperatures seems to be short lived and temperatures recover within a short period.
It seems to me that absent the recent 2015/16 El Nino, and which ENSO cycle has yet to complete, there is all but no statistical warming between 1998 and the run up to the 2015/16 El Nino. IF La Nina conditions develop in 2017, I would expect to see the pause to reappear.
The satellite data seems to be strongly influenced/responsive to ENSO events, but more particularly to El Ninos than to La Ninas. That might be because of convection with warm air rising in EL Nino events having more of an impact on troposphere temperatures.
I do not consider the satellite data supports a linear trend line, and there appears to be an unexplained long lasting step change in temperatures of about 0.27degC coincident with the Super El Nino of 1997/98 (I don’t like using hundredths so let’s say about 0.3degC). The reason for that step change and why it has remained long lasting (as opposed to a short term spike seen with the 2010 El Nino) is not yet known or understood.
Over the entirety of the satellite record (37 years) there has been warming of about 0.4degC the majority of which has been coincident upon the 1997/98 Super El Nino and the step change in temperatures that took place around that time.
There is certainly no first order correlation between CO2 and temperatures over the entirety of the satellite data.

tony mcleod

I noticed that for 1999 through 2015, the annual figures for RSS are generally higher than those for UAH if RSS and UAH are offset to match each other in 1998 and 2016. As for pre-1998, it appears to me that UAH and RSS show that period as cooler than the individual years 1998 and 2016 by the same amount. This means that RSS shows slightly more warming than UAH does from the 1979-1997 period to the 1998-2016 period. Then again, RSS had a minor change a few months ago that shows recent years being warmer than previously reported.

William Astley

Thanks Bob. Another excellent analysis of the current temperature data.
I see the warm Pacific blob is gone. I am looking for signs of cooling and specific regional climate changes that occurred during previous solar cycle changes.

Ian Cooper

No wonder we aren’t having a summer here in New Zealand. Look at all the cold water around us! Snowing in the South Island mountains and frosts to boot. Snow on the central plateau of the North Island too. Not unheard of in our austral January, and usually after an El Nino has decayed.

another question :,most people are familiar with actual temperatures in eith er celsius or fahrenheit &can from experience judge what they mean , eg, 0c=freezing, 22c=,warm 100c= boiling hot ,etc. kelvin scale is difficult for most non physicists to quickly relate to. so .why use’ anomalies’ .to what are they ‘anomalous’ ,who decided the base from which they are anomalous,ie the numerical value of that base ?is the base accurate to start with? Whats’swrong with using actual temperatures ?.

george e. smith

The answer is the same as the answer you get if you ask a lawyer why they jabber in mediaeval Roman language. The whole idea is to make you think that climate science is special. And if you use the SI system of units that all other scientists use, then anybody will be able understand what you are doing.
And they don’t want anybody to understand what they are doing; because you see , they are special.


Ref. Kendo2016,
Your questions are answered here.
Everything is a Guestimate.

Henry Galt

You speak of garlic kendo. Climate psyentists are frightened of garlic. It made the Emperor appear naked. Fricken amateur. Imagine what it would do to real/total frauds. Gulp.
Actually, they have been very sneaky. There is no silver bullet in this farrago. On either side. The ‘effects’ of CO2 are so minuscule that neither we, nor the tax wampyres, can show the work needed to produce some/any/a teensie bit of evidence from out of the noise. For shame.
We don’t need no steenkin’ baseline. etc. etc.
North Atlantic Ocean Cooling Rapidly
NoTricksZone, 5 January 2017
Kenneth Richard
While it has understandably not received much, if any, media attention, the North Atlantic Ocean has been rapidly cooling since the mid-2000s, or for more than 10 years now.
The longer the cooling trend continues — and scientists are projecting more cooling for the coming decades — the more difficult it will be to ignore. The North Atlantic Ocean is, after all, a key trend-setter for hemispheric- and perhaps even global-scale climate changes.
In their new paper, for example, Reynolds and colleagues (2017) point out that natural fluctuations in heat transport initiated by the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) are “directly linked” to precipitation and warming/cooling temperature trends in Africa, Brazil, North America, and Europe. Not only that, but the authors explain that a centennial-scale reduction in surface heat transport (AMOC) can explain the dramatic reduction in surface temperatures from the warmth of the Medieval Warm Period to the frigid Little Ice Age, which, of course, could imply that centennial-scale increases in surface heat transport could explain warming periods.

Yes and no. The question of ‘explanation’ for warming and cooling is begged by what the ultimate cause is – and slowing of the AMOC is not the ultimate cause. The immediate cause of the ‘slowing’ is a change in average wind direction (contrary to popular understanding, the Gulf Stream is wind-driven). The cause of this change of wind direction relates to the pattern of cyclones and anticyclones. That pattern correlates to the jetstream track – with most meteorologists assuming the jets are a consequence of the cyclonic pattern and not vice-versa (I suspect it is the other way around but cannot cite any studies – if anyone knows of one, let me know please) – so for example, during the Little Ice Age, the storm-tracks took a more horizontal line. So the wind altered the direction of the currents that carry the warm waters from off the Florida coast up to Greenland and across to Norway and into the Barents Sea. The AMOC (or conveyor) is a combined effect of these surface currents and the sinking bottom water that exits the shallow Arctic Ocean – it is density driven, but the direction of the current is wind driven . As the winds shift more horizontally, the cyclones track into Iberia and the Mediterranean basin, and NW Europe is deprived of the heated surface currents. Iberia actually gets cooler because there is more cloud. The North Atlantic is also deprived of insulating low lying cloud and cools even more during winters. My guess is that after this pattern becomes established, the Arctic bottom water outfall slows and stagnates, whereas the over-turning becomes rather like an Atlantic version of the Pacific east-west flux (ENSO) involving mainly the top 200m.
Interesting – Drew Shindell at NASA published a paper on this about ten years ago – by studying sediment grain size he had a proxy for storm tracks. He also correlated the LIA to lower levels of UV (by inference from magnetic proxies) and hence pointed to the ultimate cause – the solar cycle. He was then moved on (presumably by the top climate scientist, J Hansen, his boss) to study anthropogenic global warming, later landing a seat at the UN special panel on man-made global warming. So far as I know, NASA does not now have anyone working on these paleo-patterns.

richard verney

The immediate cause of the ‘slowing’ is a change in average wind direction (contrary to popular understanding, the Gulf Stream is wind-driven).

But aren’t all winds ultimately ocean driven?
What powers the atmosphere, where does the energy come from?

richard verney

My quip below is rather too simplistic, but subject cloudiness, the radiant energy over land remains fairly constant whereas that over the oceans varies due to oceanic currents in 3 dimensions. In addition with a spinning planet one cannot completely ignore topography. That said, the bulk of the energy is in the oceans, with, in relative terms, little energy in the atmosphere. In a water world, the atmospheric conditions are largely driven by the oceans and the water cycle (which itself is driven by the oceans).
There are many oceanic cycles such as ENSO, PDO, AMOC etc, and may be there are others that we do not yet know about such as the blob. The reason for the appearance of the blob is not known or understood, and we do not know whether there have been similar appearances in the past that have simply gone undetected.
The entire warming from the LIA could be explained by slight variations in SST caused by oceanic changes which we simply do not know sufficient about. It is assumed that ENSO is net neutral, but this is only one phenomenon and since we have so little measurements of the oceans, we have no idea whether subtle natural variations in SST is responsible for the entire global temperature profile for the last 200 years or perhaps aided and abetted by subtle changes in cloudiness which has resulted in changes of the absorption of solar irradiance in the oceans.
There is a lot out there, yet to be learnt and understood.

The entire warming from the LIA could be explained by slight variations in SST caused by oceanic changes which we simply do not know sufficient about.

And what I’ve discovered is that land temps follow dew points, how that ocean water vapor, gets blown across the surface, and that explains everything. The ocean cycles are net neutral, but range from daily to multicentury cycles, so as you note we just don’t know enough to identify all of them.
These El Nino events ought to be seen as evidence that it’s the oceans wagging the tail.

You seem to be missing the more up-to-date RSS version 4, which agrees quite well with surface temperature trends:comment image
Regarding version 3, RSS says that:
“We use TTT because TTT has been updated to version 4.0, while version 4.0 TLT is not yet available. (We use TTT instead of TMT because the latter has not been corrected for the influence of stratospheric cooling.) In the upgrade to version 4.0, we improved the method we use to correct for drifting satellite measurement time, leading to more reliable measurements, particularly since 1998. The new version shows more warming than the older version, particularly since 1998. For more details see: Mears, C. A. and F. J. Wentz (2016). “Sensitivity of Satellite-Derived Tropospheric Temperature Trends to the Diurnal Cycle Adjustment.” Journal of Climate 29: 3629-3646.
RSS TLT version 3.3 contains a known cooling bias. We are working to eliminate the bias in the new version of TLT.”

Janice Moore

Well, what I missed was the then appropriate Emily Litella finish … or at least a restatement not using RSS TLT 3.3. The caveats warning against using that dataset was discussed in other recent threads.

Zeke, would you expect lower troposphere temperature trends to “agree quite well” with surface temperature trends? Or would you expect one to lag behind the other? If a lag, how much lag?

The annual average of the day to day change in min surface station temp, inverted, looks a lot UAH. I was thinking it might be showing the heat passing through the troposphere from the surface.comment image

At the very basic level the northern and southern hemispherical seasons are opposites. Then there is the fact that the southern hemisphere has more sea and the northern hemisphere has more land.

I have all of the continents by themselves too.

Clif westin

Zeek, as you and everyone else knows, the peeks in this chart were prior to basically the last quarter of 2016. We all know that most of the heat in the peeks has been given back. What’s it going to show? Speculation from your graph (already plotted it myself): Your graph show a much more reactive RSS than GISS. How close do you think the two agree as we speak? And… *cough cough* why don’t you throw a little UAH love on a graph.


Zeke Hausfather on January 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm
You seem to be missing the more up-to-date RSS version 4…
Well Mr Hausfather, I’m afraid very few people here will “miss” RSS4.0 in whichever variant. This of course is due to a background having more politic than scientific character (“karlization of RSS data” and the like).
Everybody here therefore does his/her best to ignore the fact that RSS3.3 no longer should be in use: it is simply too interesting to show how pretty good RSS3.3 and UAH6.0 correlate (at least globally).
{ To be honest, I’m not sure Bob Tisdale would be that happy if lots of people would ignore an important update of one of his ebooks only because the old revision had a better fit to their opinion 🙂 }
A very interesting point is that nearly nobody shows (knows about?) RSS3.3 TLT trends at the North Pole:
which are considerably higher than those shon by UAH (0.345 >< 0.245 °C / decade, i.e. a difference of 1 °C per century).
UAH6.0’s 2.5°grid data shows a trend of 0.42 °C / decade at latitudes 80-82.5N; one can imagine how much RSS3.3 TLT shows there in a certainly existing gridded variant.
Finest irony here is that while RSS4.0 shows much higher, surface-like trends for the Globe than do RSS3.3 TLT or UAH6.0, it looks, at the North Pole, much similar to UAH6.0 than does… RSS3.3:

I’m also curious why the RSS Press release wasn’t mentioned?
Atmospheric temperature measured by satellites sets new record in 2016.
Analysis of mid to upper tropospheric temperature by Remote Sensing Systems shows record global
warmth in 2016 by a large margin.


Thanks… I didn’t manage to see it!

Prepare yourselves for the alarmists next cry: Global Climate Stagnation

The whole charade comes down to the next 18 months. Endpoints now say 0.7C per 45 years av. If post El Nino temps drop to the “hiatus” level, it is about 0.50C per 45 years. No CAGW at all, especially considering the projected CO2 peak emissions in 2030.
Some day the IPCC scenarios will collapse. 2020? Scenario 8.5 can’t live forever. Experience has to match expectations when the causitive reasons stabilize.

Ian Wilson

DWR54 said January 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm
“You’re saying that oceans have heated up more or less continuously over the past 3 decades in response to solar warming and have even had sufficient heat to spare to also warm the atmosphere over the same period. Oceans warming the atmosphere for decades with no net loss of ocean heat; in fact with a net gain in ocean heat. All this during a period when solar output has been decreasing, so much that others here have been predicting global cooling on the back of it.”
Bob Tisdale has convincingly shown that the ENSO phenomenon appears to warm the Earth in step-like increases following strong El Nino events. Continuous heating of the lower atmosphere by infra-red back-radiation from increasing CO2 (+ H20 amplifiers) would not show a step-wise increase.
However, you raise a valid dilemma as to the source of this heat energy.
Bob attributes it to the build up of heat in the eastern equatorial Pacific during La Nina years because of short-wavelength light penetrating the oceans surface when there are clear skies off the equatorial coast of South America. If he is correct and we assume that solar luminance is constant, then you would expect that the level of heat build up in the ocean should be proportional to the length of time the skies are clear in eastern equatorial Pacific.
Bob claims that this heat build up is funnelled into the Warm Pool in the Western Pacific where it is eventually re-distributed to higher latitudes after the next El Nino event.
I think that this hypothesis is not correct because there does not appear to a connection between the excess energy absorption of sunlight in the eastern equatorial Pacific ocean and the amount of warming of the world’s mean temperatures.
Given a relatively constant source of incident energy (i.e the Sun), it is much more likely that the world’s mean temperature is governed by the efficiency with which it warms or cools. In the short term (< 5 – 10 years) this is governed by:
a) factors governing the loss of atmospheric heat energy in the tropics e.g. the iris cloud effect.
b) factors governing the loss of atmospheric heat energy in the mid-to-high latitudes – e.g. the amount of low level cloud.
c) Rate of transfer of atmospheric heat energy and momentum between the equator/tropics and the poles.
In addition, the vast bulk of the meridional energy and momentum transport above the Earth’s crust takes place in the atmosphere rather than the oceans, with most of the atmospheric transport resulting from the Hadley circulation in the tropics and sub-tropics, and jet-stream eddies in the higher mid-latitudes.
I feel that we should be looking at factors which produce changes in Hadley Circulation (effectively measured by the trade-wind strength) and the wave-lengths of the mid-latitude jet-stream eddies.
It is these that influence the rate at which the Earth's atmosphere cools and warms.
Some interesting things to look at would be:
The effects of regional cloud formation on atmospheric cooling rates
The effects of changes in the Earth's rotation rate upon the zonal wind speeds.
The effects of ENSO events upon the temperature difference between the Equator and the poles.


Ian Wilson
“Bob Tisdale has convincingly shown that the ENSO phenomenon appears to warm the Earth in step-like increases following strong El Nino events.”
I’d have to dispute the term “convincingly” there. Convincing to whom? Bob has never published a word of his ‘step-change’ hypothesis in any peer reviewed journal, as far as I know. I am by no means an expert, but I can see that Bob’s idea requires a heat source that is ‘external’ to the ocean/atmosphere system in order for heat energy to accumulate in both over a period of decades. The sun simply doesn’t provide such an explanation, since total solar irradiance has been in decline over most of the the period of observed warming.
“Continuous heating of the lower atmosphere by infra-red back-radiation from increasing CO2 (+ H20 amplifiers) would not show a step-wise increase.”
Perhaps not in the absence of any other forcing; but certainly in the presence of internal variations, including possibly some of those you mention, there could be the appearance of a step change, if you look hard enough (just as you can draw pauses in warming if you look hard enough). The long term (+30 year) linear trend has remained reasonably consistent in both RSS and UAH.
For instance, the latest el Nino hasn’t actually altered the long term linear trend in RSS that much:
It moved from 0.124 C/dec up to mid 2015 to 0.135 C/dec if you count the data up to Dec 2016. That’s a change of just 0.011 C per decade, which is not a step change by any means.

DWR54.If as you assert :the sun doesn’t provide an explanation……. ,what other mechanism is there? at the moment ,in the Arctic circle there is no or very little sun (solar irradiance ).this lasts for about 4+months ..temperatures are consistently many degrees below zero celsius(-30cin Fairbanks)in N. Siberia it is about -50c..If we have no sun,anywhere ,presumably all temperatures would fall to similar levels or colder. .What other heat sources do u have in mind ?Where do they originate?


“If as you assert :the sun doesn’t provide an explanation……. ,what other mechanism is there?”
If it’s not automatically axiomatic, then one obvious candidate is increased (or ‘enhanced’) greenhouse forcing. According to that theory, over the past few decades there’s been a slight reduction in the rate at which heat energy enters the earth surface/atmosphere system from the sun; but there’s also been a concurrent decrease in the rate at which heat energy leaves that system. It’s like throwing an extra blanket on a bed; or insulating your loft. The existing heat energy doesn’t increase at all, it just goes further.


For instance, the latest el Nino hasn’t actually altered the long term linear trend in RSS that much…
You are imho right.
Santer, Bonfils et alii have shown in 2014
that upon extraction of all ENSO and volcano signals off the RSS time series (page 52)
a residual trend of about 0.85 °C per decade became visible, i.e. near 70% of the original 0.125 °C.

tony mcleod

“Bob Tisdale has convincingly shown that the ENSO phenomenon appears to warm the Earth in step-like increases following strong El Nino events.”
a. Not convincing because
b. it isn’t true.
The EN/LN cycle is a heat transport system not a heat generating system. The vast and steadily warming waters beneath the surface and the energy store they represent are far more instructive as to the trends.
ENSO may cause the bumpiness of the graph but those bumps are clearly just superimposed upon a steadily rising background temperature.
All he has shown is that the so called pause(s) are temporary lulls between spikes.

Instead of overlaying UAH and RSS results if you graph one in X and the other in Y for a combined graph, the trend shows a strong correlation and that RSS is exactly 0.1 C hotter than UAH over the whole range.


“RSS is exactly 0.1 C hotter than UAH over the whole range.”
The difference is due to RSS using a different base period to UAH.


Donald Kasper on January 5, 2017 at 11:51 pm
RSS is exactly 0.1 C hotter than UAH over the whole range
As Bellman wrote: different baselines:
– UAH 1981-2010
– RSS 1979-1998
Actually this gives (for the Globe only) an offset of 0.09 °C.
{In fact, as we are comparing monthly time series, the baseline then is not a yearly offset, but a vector of 12 monthly offsets. We won’t be holier than the pope, however.}
Without offset correction:
With offset correction:


Wouldn’t be betting to hard on a weak La Niña continuing. There seems to be a lot of unusually cold sub-surface water in the tropical pacific. If the trades pick up and upwelling occurs from the east the La Niña will kick in big time. SOI was 27 a few days ago….though dropped back to 10 today.


Cloudbase on January 6, 2017 at 12:31 am
Please have a look at the Multivariate ENSO Index
and compare 1997/98 with 2015/16:
1997: -.489 -.595 -.222 .535 1.165 2.292 2.805 3.04 3.044 2.401 2.542 2.368
1998: 2.503 2.792 2.768 2.685 2.212 1.292 .347 -.331 -.6 -.798 -1.086 -.941
2015: .419 .468 .67 .97 1.584 2.045 1.948 2.366 2.53 2.241 2.297 2.123
2016: 2.202 2.121 1.96 2.07 1.699 1.001 .312 .175 -.101 -.379 -.212
This La Niña edition actually seems to be a somewhat lame duck 🙂
Wait and see…

Ian Wilson

DWR54 January 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm
Green house forcing is one “obvious” candidate but as any true scientist would know – it is not the ONLY candidate. For example:
a) A small change (~ 1%) in the Earth’s albedo due changes in the amount of cloud would also provide the necessary conditions for a build up of heat energy within the Earth’s climate system.
b) The > 1 Terra-Watt of power deposited by tidal friction upon the crustal irregularities at the base of the Earth’s oceans would be another source.
c) The regular 6 year cycle in acceleration and de-acceleration of the non-seasonal component of the Earth’s rotation rate which just happens to perfectly match the phase of 6 year cycle in the alignments of the lunar line-of-apse with the lunar line-of-nodes. The 6 year cycle is incorrectly attribute to the a resonant coupling between the liquid-core and the Mantle.
d) A recent discovery has been made that the observed pattern of escarpments on the Moon’s surface can only be explained by the fact that lunar surface is regularly being “massaged” by the effects of the Earth-Sun tides acting upon the Moon. The influence of these weak gravitational tidal forces acting upon the Moon appears to be much more influential than expected by the underlying physics. This tells us that the Earth’s surface is also probably being regularly “massaged” by the luni-solar tides acting upon the Earth to level that could be more influential than expected.
Any one of these four explanations would completely negate the need to invoke greenhouse forcing.
It is important to note that explanations c) and d) are given added weight by spectral analysis of the non-seasonal component of the Earth’s LOD. The spectra of the high quality seasonally de-trended LOD data since 1962 shows distinct peaks at 18.6 years, 6.0 years, and 4.45 year [in addition to the residual annual and semi-annual variations caused by imperfect de-trending, and other strong peaks with periods corresponding to the anomalistic, semi-Tropical, semi-Sidereal and Draconic lunar months.] The 4.45 year peak is a beat period that is produced by the synodic product of semi-annual variation in the Earth’s LOD with the oscillations in LOD that occur once every anomalistic month. I believe that the interaction of the luni-solar tidal forces with the seasons may play be adding energy to the Earth’s climate system. Possibly by the modulation of the Earth’s cooling rate through the influence of variations in the amount of regional cloud.

tony mcleod

Ian Wilson
a) A small change (~ 1%) in the Earth’s albedo due changes in the amount of cloud would also provide the necessary conditions for a build up of heat energy within the Earth’s climate system.
Speaking of albedo, what would you expect if the Arctic was largely ice-free this year or next.

Ian Wilson

Tony McCloud – The Arctic is such a small fraction of the total area of the Earth that intercepting sunlight, I would expect that it has a small global effect but possibly an important local effect. Two additional points:
a) I am almost certain that the Arctic will not be ice free in the next year or so.
b) The reduction in albedo cause by the Arctic will be more than compensated for by the increase in albedo caused by the increased amounts of ice cover in the Antarctic.


Ian Wilson January 7, 2017 at 7:17 am
b) The reduction in albedo cause by the Arctic will be more than compensated for by the increase in albedo caused by the increased amounts of ice cover in the Antarctic.
I hope you are right. But when I look at
and click to view NSIDC SH, I see that in 2016 the sea ice increase in the Antarctic wasn’t very impressing.
Recently I downloaded daily data from
but lacked time to process that. Let’s have a look at it!