The November and December 2015 daily Climate Forecast System (CFSR) global surface temperature anomaly estimates have been posted by the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM-CCI) and I used these estimates to create monthly estimates for November and December and an annual estimate for 2015. UM-CCI also posted the final monthly anomalies for July through September 2015, so these have also been updated and are now final. The University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) has posted their December global temperature for the lower troposphere (TLT) update which is included for comparison. The annual UM-CCI CFSR and UAH TLT global temperature anomaly estimates are compared in Figure 1 for 1979 through 2015.
The UM-CCI CFSR 2015 annual global temperature anomaly estimate of +0.28 degrees Celsius (C) ranks fifth highest since 1979, while the UAH TLT estimate of +0.28C ranks third highest since 1979.
The global temperatures during this period seem to exhibit two modes. The period 1979 through 1997 shows an overall flat trend and appears to have been dominated by two strong stratospheric impacting volcanic eruptions as well as a strong La Niña. The period 1998 through 2015 also shows an overall flat trend but offset about 0.3C higher than 1979-1997. The 1998-2015 period was dominated by several strong El Niño events and had no major stratospheric impacting volcanic eruptions.
Figure 2 presents final monthly global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through 2015 from UM-CCI (surface CFSR), WxBell (surface CFSR), and UAH (TLT), and also compares the NCEI (surface) estimates through November 2015. It will be interesting to see how much more the UAH TLT estimates rise in 2016 in response to the current El Niño, especially since it sometimes has shown a slightly lagged and higher rise for these events than surface estimates.
Figure 3 graphs the daily UM-CCI CFSR daily global surface temperature anomaly estimates since 2014, including preliminary estimates for January 2016 so far (click to enlarge). The upward jump beginning in October 2015 and continuing into early January 2016 may be a response to the current El Niño. Time will tell.
For for the latest CFSR daily updates to key figures, see the Daily Updates page accessible from the menu bar at the top of this page.