A Quick Post before the Monthly Global Surface and TLT Temperature Update

I’m adding Two Graphs to my Monthly Global Surface and TLT Temperature Updates. The new graphs are being added for a simple reason: to provide different perspectives on the increases in global temperatures since 1979.

The graphs are of Berkeley Earth global land+ocean surface temperature data and RSS global lower troposphere temperature data, both in absolute (not anomaly) form. That way they include the annual cycles in temperatures, which are far greater than the warming that’s occurred since 1979, based on their linear trends.

I’ve added the new graphs as follow ups to the post Do Doomsters Know How Much Global Surface Temperatures Cycle Annually? (WattsUpWithThat Cross post is here). I knew the RSS TLT data existed in absolute form, but, sadly, I forgot to include it in the “Doomster” post, so I will be including it in the monthly updates along with the Berkeley Earth surface temperature data.

Figure 1 presents the Berkeley Earth global land+ocean surface temperatures in absolute form, with land surface air temperature data for Arctic sea ice (data here). This is created by adding the “Estimated Jan 1951-Dec 1980 monthly absolute temperature (C)” listed there to their respective monthly anomalies. The trend line is as determined by EXCEL for the absolute data, but the trend value is determined by EXCEL from the anomaly data (not illustrated). I use the anomaly data for the trends for a simple reason: with anomalies, I don’t have to worry about the start and end months to account for the impacts of the seasonal cycles on the trends. The 3.6-deg C span of the average annual cycle (for the period of 1979 to 2017) is listed in the title block.

Figure 1

Figure 2 presents the RSS global lower troposphere temperature data in absolute form. That data are available to the public in easy-to-use formats from the KNMI Climate Explorer, on their Monthly Observations webpage, specifically the RSS MSU 4.0 TLT, webpage. There, the TLT data are presented in K, not deg C, the latter of which we are much more familiar, so I added 273.15 to the monthly K values to convert to deg C. As listed in the title block, the span of the average annual cycle (for the period of 1979 to 2017) is 2.6-deg C. The trend for the RSS TLT data is included in the trend comparison graph, not included in this post (example here).

Figure 2

And, of course, in both cases, as mentioned above, the new perspective is that the average annual cycles are much greater that the changes in global temperature from January 1979 to October 2018, based on the linear trends.

Have fun in the comments, and enjoy your day! The monthly update should be posted in a couple of days—everything’s ready and waiting for the update to the GISS LOTI data.


Please purchase my recently published ebooks. As many of you know, this year I published 2 ebooks that are available through Amazon in Kindle format:

To those of you who have purchased them, thank you. To those of you who will purchase them, thank you, too.



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Alan Tomalty
November 14, 2018 6:25 am

Bob, If these are average global temperatures, why should there be a cyclical seasonal pattern at all assuming the same number of measuring stations in both hemispheres. If there are not the same number in both hemispheres, then are we truly getting a global temperature? I notice the numbers are way different than UAH data which is the only data that both sides trust.

Gary Mount
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 14, 2018 6:40 am

The difference in land area between the two hemispheres causes the difference. This is pretty fundamental knowledge.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 14, 2018 7:36 am

Could it also be that there are more measuring stations in the north than the south and more on land? The main UAH temp data graph removes the seasonal cycle. It seems to me that until we get the exact same number of measurements from both hemispheres that there will always be a bias. Also is there the exact same number of measurements over land than there is over the oceans? If not then this is another bias. I would think that the UAH satellite numbers would not have these 2 biases.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
November 14, 2018 3:30 pm

Bob. Both say anomaly

Tom in Denver
November 14, 2018 6:46 am

Specifically there is much more Ice free land mass in the Northern Hemisphere. Albedo is lower for land than it is for sea water,(or ice). This is also why the CO2 count cycles on a yearly basis. The low if the cycle is during the end of Northern Hemisphere summer

Michael Sununu
November 14, 2018 6:57 am

Love these graphs Bob. Far easier to make the point of natural variability vs anthropogenic “signal”. How does one reasonably argue that you can find that signal in that noise?


Patrick Harcourt
November 14, 2018 7:06 am

I understand that the RSS version 4 Lower Troposphere temperatures were revised and issued in mid 2017 by Mears and Wentz and showed a sizeable increase in the rate of warming over their previous versions. The version 4 warming is over 50 percent higher than UAH version 6 satellite figures which show a trend of 0.13C/decade.

Roy Spencer and John Christy of UAH have cast doubt of the accuracy of RSSv4 and point out that their UAH figures are supported by readings from the radiosondes. But also because of the calibration drift on the NOAA-14 MSU instrument which was not corrected for in RSSv4.

Should we believe RSSv4?

Alan Tomalty
November 14, 2018 7:39 am

I have always said that the only temp data that both sides trust is the UAH data. When that data starts showing drastic cooling in the next 5 years,the global warming meme will be finished.

November 14, 2018 8:30 am

Maine environmental group pushing wind turbines and global warming claim AGW has increased Lymes disease in Maine:


HOWEVER….(Let them eat crow).


November 14, 2018 8:56 am

Bob Tisdale …

“And, of course, in both cases, as mentioned above, the new perspective is that the average annual cycles are much greater that (than ?) the changes in global temperature ”

Great essay as always .

November 14, 2018 8:57 am

The global variability doesn’t tell us much, except that the N hemisphere dominates the behavior. Much more interesting and far larger is the variability per hemisphere, both of which respond more or less independently to solar input which is orders of magnitude larger than the energy passed between them. The N response is larger and when the S response is averaged in, all that’s left is the portion of the N response that wasn’t cancelled by an opposite S response.

The hemisphere specific data dramatically shows the asymmetries between hemispheres owing to the relative fractions of land and water and also illustrates the relatively rapid response of the planet to seasonally variable solar forcing. This rapid response to change pretty much invalidates any possibility of ‘hidden heat’ arising from the pathetically slow response to change presumed by the IPCC and its self serving consensus.

Taylor Pohlman
November 14, 2018 9:33 am

I’ve used this same approach with a group of students who were very worried about sea level rise, based on the anomaly charts. Here on the coast of Maine, the sea level can easily change by 3 meters twice a day – a graph of actual sea level (vs. anomalies), looks a lot less scary, as does Bob’s graphics approach to temperatures.

“How to Lie with Statistics” is still the classic treatment on the subject, a book I thankfully encountered many years ago in High School…

November 14, 2018 10:13 am


Ocean heat content, at both 0 – 700 meters and 0-2000 meters, are at record high levels so far in 2018, despite the lowest solar irradiance in a century. Paradoxically, SST’s have also been on a multi-decade warming trend (causing more heat to be released by the oceans).

What sort of natural variation do you think explains this?

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 10:24 am

Ummmm, no.

comment image

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 10:49 am

The natural variation involved has nothing to do with the climate system, but has to do with a collective mind driven by group think. The result is confirmation bias leading to the acceptance of wildly understated uncertainties as supporting wildly overstated effects.

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 12:08 pm

NOAA shows about 0.08ºC warming from 1955 – 2010 in the 0-2000 whole ocean data.

Are you scared yet !!

And there is zero evidence that man has causes any of that.

Reply to  fred250
November 14, 2018 12:18 pm

Given that the measuring instruments, analysis methods and absolute calibrations have changed many times since 1955 and combined into a single ‘trend’, the error bars are surely much larger than 0.08C over more than half a century.

Reply to  fred250
November 14, 2018 2:34 pm

“Are you scared yet!!”

I’m a realist. Heart disease, cancer, car accidents……nothing else is even on the radar.

Does that mean I can’t be interested in climate science?

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 3:59 pm

Being interested in climate science is a healthy pursuit and I encourage you to seek out the truth. My interest and the due diligence it inspired convinced me that the IPCC could not be more wrong about their presumed effect CO2 has on the climate. I would just caution you against blindly accepting anything that the IPCC claims in support their continued existence and that of the UNFCCC. This obvious conflict of interest driving what is and what is not climate science is pure evil as they falsely project their evil intent on the industrialized world that produces CO2 as a byproduct of industrialization.

Mike Macray
Reply to  fred250
November 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Fred 250..

…NOAA shows about 0.08ºC warming from 1955 – 2010 in the 0-2000 whole ocean data.

Wow ! very precise thermometry!?
mike macray

November 14, 2018 11:10 am


Your graph shows SST’s warming since around 1950. That’s multi-decadal.

Not sure why you decided to show the time series specific to hurricane Florence’s storm track, I was referring to a global average.

November 14, 2018 11:24 am


Groupthink? Like when Willis grossly miscalculated California’s warming trend, but received nothing but praise for his analysis?

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 12:00 pm


More like those involved with the IPCC who apply fake science (massive amplification from positive feedback) in support of tenuous trends tortured from dubiously adjusted data (the hokey hockey stick) and reinforced by known faulty models (GISS Model E) somehow justifies the UNFCCC’s repressive agenda of wealth redistribution under the guise of climate reparations. Only blind faith in a cause can twist a mind so much as to accept this reality.

Many of these folks and their followers are deluded into thinking their cause is to save the world from mankind, when in fact, their goal is to destroy all that has made the world a place worth saving. The depth of this delusion is unparalleled in modern history and you need to go back to the belief in an Earth-centric Universe to find anything similarly contrived in order to support faith based group think.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 14, 2018 1:11 pm


Whatever. I asked Bob an ocean science question, and you go off on an Infowar nutter rant.

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 4:10 pm

Your comment to me was about group think. I get that the truth may be hard for you to accept, but ignoring it will not make it go away. It you want to be objectively interested in climate science, you must approach it with your eyes wide open. Climate science is horribly polluted by unscientific subjective issues like politics, greed, envy and guilt and until you understand the how, why, when and where this occurred, you will have no hope of understanding the actual science, as only the scientific method, and not the IPCC, has the legitimacy to establish what is and what is not science.

Reply to  Snape
November 14, 2018 4:51 pm

Regarding your question to Bob in the other thread, I answered it by explaining how the presumption that there was something that needed to be explained was the result of accepting understated uncertainty as proof of overstated effects.

The actual uncertainty regarding the 0.08C increase you cite is large enough that a small decrease is just as likely. Approaching climate science with your eyes wide open means among other things to accept stated uncertainty with a grain of salt as it’s well known that uncertainty is widely understated in many fields and climate science tops the list with the most egregious understatement of uncertainties ever conceived as so clearly demonstrated by the various Summary for Policymakers prepared by the IPCC in cooperation with the UNFCCC.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 14, 2018 5:50 pm


We have no common ground for a discussion.

If I cite data from NOAA or NASA (or any other research group, big or small) that doesn’t fit with your viewpoint, you’ll just claim it’s fudged or somehow flawed.

No use fighting that level of paranoia.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 14, 2018 7:33 pm


I’ve looked at this data and it has no error bars which makes it very suspicious independent of its source, moreover; the 2E23 Joule anomaly is insignificant relative to the stored Joules responsible for the temperature of that water in the first place. Relative to the total energy content, this is less than 1 ppm. You’re being misled by anomalous anomalies. Plot this to scale and the difference would be less than a pixel even when zoomed in by a factor of 1000X. Whether or not it conforms to my understanding is a moot point. The actual ‘trend’ is so insignificant and buried so deep in the noise, it neither confirms or disputes my understanding, nor is it significant enough to conflict with any other trends, real or imagined.

I don’t know how you interpret my understanding of science as paranoia. This is the silliest thing I’ve ever been ‘accused’ of by an alarmist. You need to come up with better insults, better yet, why don’t you try and understand the actual science, then petty insults would be unnecessary.

November 14, 2018 12:27 pm

Its been said before, but there are two lines parallel to the x-axis, before and after the 98 el nino.
The NH dominates because of ‘data’ collection points. And NH includes ‘arctic’ , 16% of NH , which is ‘made up’ and should not be included.
The data is no better than a random walk, to infer trends out of this noise is BS.

John Dowser
November 14, 2018 12:45 pm

This article is a perfect example of a red herring. Global warming theory was and is never about the absolute swing within a year but about accumulated energy and sustained patterns over decades. And more extremes in the high ends, like the graphs show: half degree of average increase in the yearly global peak.

The point of climate change critique is to examine data, models and projections. Not to make some imaginary claim that yearly seasonal cycles stand in some kind of relation to any imagined trend in climatology.

Now if warmists would have claimed that the globe could not stand three degree warming within one year as some absolute limitation to the overall dynamic… but they never claimed that. It was for example about sustained three or more degree rise on top of the current cycle max. And thus: deep red slippery herring alert! Not even educational since the comparison obfuscates — not illuminates anything!

November 14, 2018 4:06 pm

Bob, you said:

“… so I added 273.15 to the monthly K values to convert to deg C”. Just a nit, which dosen’t detract from your work, but I think that you subtracted 273.1 from the K values to get the C vales?

Brett Keane
November 15, 2018 1:31 am

The 1979-2010 approx. graphs closely represent the warming half of a full c.63yr cycle. This is well known among students of Climate and may be governed by Solar System Mechanics. We are now n the other, downward, half and I have to say I am noticing it. Being 71, I saw the previous falling half too, worked outside in it all, and hopefully learned a bit. The current Quiet Sun effect, that might be something else, we shall see. Snow here at 45 South in the equivalent of May in the NH. Brett

Francis Pileos
November 15, 2018 2:09 am

I don ‘t like the added trend on the graph. We know that if we continued that line to the left it would not match past temperatures (which were warmer than the trend would suggest), and people will assume that the trend can be continued to the right when in fact is is most likely temperatures will be cooler than the trend suggest. This is especially true when considering the 60 year cycle. We know the satellite record started at a low point in temperatures , and that we are now at the high point of the 60 year cycle. A skewed -cos(2pi x year/60) trend would be more useful to get an idea of the real temperature rise/decrease trend. Your linear trend induces mental bias towards alarming warming. I’ll keep refering to the UAH temperature anomaly graph and keep ignoring the 0,13deg/dec that Spencer keeps telling us about.

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