Category Archives: Uncategorized

Global Temperature October 2017

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) monthly global surface temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through October 2017 from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) and from WeatherBELL (WxBELL) are graphed below.  The UM CCI CFSR estimates have been adjusted (UM adj), while the WxBELL CFSR estimates have been left unadjusted to show the difference.  The UM CCI CFSR adjusted monthly estimates for June through September 2017 are based on final daily averages and the estimate for October 2017 is based on final daily averages for October 1-15 and preliminary daily averages for October 16-31. The UM CCI October estimate was up by 0.16C from September while the WxBELL estimate was up by 0.11C.  Most likely the UM CCI October estimate will drop by about 0.05C once final daily averages for October 16-31 are released. Click on the graph below to see a larger copy.

Also shown for comparison are monthly global temperature anomaly estimates from seven other major sources, including lower tropospheric estimates from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and surface estimates from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Reanalysis Interim adjusted (ERAI adj), US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the UK Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature version 4 (CRUT4), and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST), all final through September 2017. All estimates have been shifted to the latest climatological reference period 1981-2010.

Update 2017 November 5

Final October 2017 global temperature anomaly estimates from UAH, RSS, and ERAI adj have been added to the graph, and the UM adj estimate has been revised based on final daily estimates for the entire month of October.  The revised UM adj estimate for October now shows an increase of 0.11C from September.

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Global Temperature September 2017

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) monthly global surface temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through September 2017 from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) and from WeatherBELL (WxBELL) are graphed below.  The UM CCI CFSR estimates have been adjusted (UM adj), while the WxBELL CFSR estimates have been left unadjusted to show the difference.  The UM CCI CFSR adjusted monthly estimates for June through August 2017 are based on final daily averages and the estimate for September 2017 is based on preliminary daily averages, and thus these estimates may change slightly when the final monthly estimates are released. The UM CCI September estimate showed a small rise from August while the WxBELL estimate showed a small drop.  Most likely the UM CCI September estimate will show a small drop similar to WxBELL once final daily averages for September are released. Click on the graph below to see a larger copy.

Also shown for comparison are monthly global temperature anomaly estimates from seven other major sources, including lower tropospheric estimates from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and surface estimates from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Reanalysis Interim adjusted (ERAI adj), US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the UK Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature version 4 (CRUT4), and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST), all final through August 2017 except CRUT4 which is final through July 2017. All estimates have been shifted to the latest climatological reference period 1981-2010.

Global Temperature April 2017 Preliminary

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) monthly global surface temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through April 2017 from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) and from WeatherBELL (WxBELL) are graphed below along with monthly global temperature anomaly estimates for the lower troposphere derived from satellite measurements provided by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).  The UM CCI CFSR estimates have been adjusted (UM adj), while the WxBELL CFSR estimates have been left unadjusted to show the difference.  Both of these estimates showed large decreases from March to April in 2017 while the UAH estimate showed a small increase.  The UM CCI CFSR adjusted monthly estimates for August 2016 through January 2017 are based on final daily averages and for February through April 2017 are based on preliminary daily averages, and thus these preliminary monthly estimates may change slightly when the final monthly estimates are released.  Click on the graph below to see a larger copy.

Also shown for comparison are monthly global temperature anomaly estimates from eight other major sources, including lower tropospheric estimates from the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and surface estimates from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Reanalysis Interim adjusted (ERAI adj), US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the UK Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature (CRUT), and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST), all  final through March 2017, except for CRUT which is final through February 2017.  All estimates have been shifted to the latest climatological reference period 1981-2010.

The graph above shows that the various global temperature estimates converged in early 2016 and then diverged considerably later in 2016 and have remained divergent in early 2017.  The convergence seems to be associated with the strong El Niño event that peaked in early 2016.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the remainder of 2017.

Update 2017 May 6

Final April 2017 global temperature anomaly estimates for RSS and ERAI adj have been added to the graph, as well as the final March 2017 estimate for CRUT.

Global Temperature March 2017 Preliminary

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) monthly global surface temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through March 2017 from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) and from WeatherBELL (WxBELL) are graphed below.  The UM CCI CFSR estimates have been adjusted (UM adj), while the WxBELL CFSR estimates have been left unadjusted to show the difference.  Both of these estimates showed small increases from February to March in 2017.  The UM CCI CFSR adjusted monthly estimates for August 2016 through January 2017 are based on final daily averages and for February and March 2017 are based on preliminary daily averages, and thus these preliminary monthly estimates may change slightly when the final monthly estimates are released.  Click on the graph below to see a larger copy.

Also shown for comparison are monthly global temperature anomaly estimates from seven other major sources, including lower tropospheric estimates from the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and surface estimates from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) Reanalysis Interim adjusted (ERAI adj), US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the UK Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature version 4 (CRUT4), and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST), all  final through February 2017, except for CRUT4 which is final through January 2017.  All estimates have been shifted to the latest climatological reference period 1981-2010.

The graph above shows that the various global temperature estimates converged in early 2016 and then diverged considerably later in 2016 and have remained divergent in early 2017.  The convergence seems to be associated with the strong El Niño event that peaked in early 2016.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the remainder of 2017.

Update 2017 April 4

Final March 2017 global temperature anomaly estimates for UAH, RSS, and ERAIadj have been added to the graph, as well as the final February 2017 estimate for CRUT4.

Global Temperature November 2016 Preliminary

Climate Forecast System Reanalysis  (CFSR) monthly global surface temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through November 2016 from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute (UM CCI) and from WeatherBELL (WxBELL) are graphed below along with monthly global temperature anomaly estimates for the lower troposphere derived from satellite measurements provided by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).  All three of these estimates showed a slight increase from October to November.  The November UM CCI and WxBELL estimates are preliminary and may change slightly when final estimates are released.  Click on the graph below to see a larger copy.

figure-1-global-temp-anom-2014-2016-nov-prel

Also shown for comparison are monthly global temperature anomaly estimates from five other major sources, including lower tropospheric estimates from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and surface estimates from the US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI), US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), the UK Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature version 4 (CRUT4), and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST), all  final through October 2016, except CRUT4 which is final through September 2016.  All estimates have been synced to the latest climatological reference period 1981-2010.

See the Monthly Trends page and the Daily Update page for the latest graphs of monthly and daily trends for the UM CCI CFSR estimates (access from the menu at the top of this page).

El Niño Comparison 1997-98 versus 2015-16

The current El Niño that started in 2015 appears to have peaked and to be slowly declining now as can be seen in Figure 1.

Multivariate ENSO Index comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16

Figure 1. Multivariate ENSO Index comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16.

This figure compares the Multivariate El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Index (MEI) provided by the US National Atmospheric and Ocean Administration (NOAA) for the current 2015-16 El Niño versus the 1997-98 El Niño.  Since the satellite global temperature estimates typically show the largest response to El Niño events, global estimates of the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) estimates from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) are presented in Figures 1 and 2.  Both figures compare the TLT estimates for the 1997-98 El Niño versus the 2015-16 El Niño so far.

RSS global TLT anomaly comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16

Figure 2. RSS global TLT anomaly comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16.

Satellite peak global TLT estimates for El Niño events often lag the peak MEI and that appears to be happening with the current El Niño event.  Both the RSS and UAH global TLT estimates through January 2016 are still rising.

UAH global TLT anomaly comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16

Figure 3. UAH global TLT anomaly comparison for 1997-98 versus 2015-16.

If the current El Niño follows a similar pattern to the 1997-98 El Niño, the global TLT estimates may not peak until somewhere in the February to April range.  The 1997-98 El Niño, as well as the 2010-11 El Niño were both followed by strong La Niña cooling events as can be seen in Figure 4 (click to enlarge).  Thus, it seems likely that the current El Niño will also be followed by a strong La Niña, although time will tell.

UAH global TLT anomalies vs Multivariate ENSO Index 1996 through 2016 so far

Figure 4. UAH global TLT anomalies vs Multivariate ENSO Index 1996 through 2016 so far.

Figures 5 shows the current Sea Surface Temperature  (SST) anomalies for today (February 7, 2016) which can be compared to the Figure 6 map of SST anomalies for the same date in 1998.  Both maps were provided by the University of Maine Climate Change Institute.  Click on these figures to enlarge.

Global SST anomalies for 2016 February 7

Figure 5. Global SST anomalies for 2016 February 7.

Global SST anomalies for 1998 February 7

Figure 6. Global SST anomalies for 1998 February 7.

These maps indicate that in 1998 the El Niño was more intense in the far eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean, as compared 2016 where the highest SST anomalies are farther west, in the central portions of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and slightly weaker.  Interestingly, both years exhibit a cold SST anomaly pool in the North Central Pacific Ocean.

For monthly updates to key figures, see the ENSO page accessible from the menu bar at the top of this page.

CFSR Global Temperature January 2016 Preliminary

One nice thing about the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) data is that it is available at least in preliminary summary form every day from the University of Maine (UM) Climate Change Institute (CCI).  They have now posted preliminary data for all of January 2016 which has been used to produce the graphs presented here.  For those new to this data, it is derived from the US National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS) global weather model run inputs four times each day and is currently Version 2.  The CFSR data are also processed and reported by WxBell and their output is usually very close to that provided by UM CCI:
http://models.weatherbell.com/temperature.php

The UM CCI CFSR summary maps and graphs are here:
http://cci-reanalyzer.org/

The UM CCI January daily CFSR show a continuation of the large high spikes in global temperature anomaly estimates that began in October 2015 and may be associated with the El Niño pattern.  The highest spikes in daily global temperature anomalies have coincided largely with the highest spikes in Arctic temperature anomalies which may be at least partially a result of warm El Niño air being advected into the Arctic for dissipation.  Figure 1 shows the daily CFSR global temperature anomaly estimates since 2014 (click on the graph for more detail).  The January estimates are preliminary and are based on the UM CCI reported values adjusted using a linear fit derived from the October through December preliminary versus final estimates.

UM CCI CFSR daily global temperature anomaly estimates 2014-2016 Jan

Figure 1. UM CCI CFSR daily global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through January 2016.

Figure 2 shows the monthly CFSR trend in global temperature anomaly estimates for the current century so far, since 2001.  The October through December 2015 monthly estimates were calculated from the UM CCI final daily values.  They have not yet reported the final October through December monthly values, which may be slightly different.  The January 2016 value is preliminary and is based on the adjusted UM CCI preliminary daily data described above.

UM CCI CFSR monthly global temperature anomaly estimates 2001-2016 Jan

Figure 2. UM CCI CFSR monthly global temperature anomaly estimates and trend for 2001 through January 2016.

The 21st Century CFSR global monthly temperature anomaly estimates continues to show a substantial downward trend, despite the recent upward spike since October 2015.  The current trend is -0.001 degrees Celsius (C) per month, which corresponds to -0.18C over the 15 year and one month period and to -1.2C per century if maintained.  Considering a likely uncertainty on the order of plus or minus 0.3C to 0.5C, the current trend for this century so far is well within the uncertainty range, and thus a real trend cannot yet be confidently established.  Regardless however, there does not appear to be a large upward trend in temperature so far this century.  A century trend of +2C would correspond to a 15 year trend of +0.3C, which would barely be detectable with low confidence, so we can say with confidence that we are not seeing such a high trend as predicted by most long-range climate models.  That in turn indicates a poor performance by these models.

The preliminary January CFSR global temperature anomaly estimate of 0.51C is slightly lower than the 0.55C for December and may indicate the beginning of a downward trend in coming months as the El Niño slowly fades away.  At face value, the implied January global temperature estimate of 13.0C ties 2005 for the second highest January in the CFSR record since 1979.  The highest January was 13.1C in 2007.  Within an uncertainty of plus or minus 0.3C to 0.5C, we cannot really determine which of these January global temperature estimates was the highest.

The CFSR data begin in 1979 and the trend for the entire period through January 2016 is shown in Figure 3.  The trend for this period of 37 years and one month is +0.0011C per month, which corresponds to +0.48C for the period and to +1.32C for 100 years if maintained.

UM CCI CFSR monthly global temperature anomaly estimates and trend

Figure 3. UM CCI CFSR monthly global temperature anomaly estimates and trend for 1979 through January 2016.

Thus considering an uncertainty of about plus or minus 0.3C to 0.5C, there is only marginal confidence in this small upward trend for the period.  Even if this trend continues for a full 100 years, it will still be well below the 2C per century and higher projections from long-range global climate models.

For for the latest CFSR daily and monthly updates to key figures, see the Daily Updates and Monthly Trends pages accessible from the menu bar at the top of this page.

I recently found annual average temperatures from the weather station at the top of Mount Washington in New Hampshire in the northeastern US at an elevation of 1,912 meters (6,274 feet).  Measurements from this site may be fairly representative of temperature changes over time in the lower troposphere for higher latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.  Figure 4 shows the Mount Washington annual temperature trend for 1949 through 2015.

Mt Washington NH annual temperature trend 1949-2015.

Figure 4. Mount Washington, New Hampshire, annual temperature trend for 1949 through 2015.

The temperature measurements at Mount Washington show a slight downward trend of -0.0115C per year, which corresponds to -0.77C over the 67 year period and to -1.15C over a 100 year period if maintained.  There is certainly no indication of warming at this location.

Update 2016 February 11

The Mount Washington data graphed above was obtained from the Weather Warehouse at the following link:
http://weather-warehouse.com/WeatherHistory/PastWeatherData_MtWashington_MountWashington_NH_January.html

I thought it was a bit odd how much the annual mean temperatures varied from year to year and I was a bit surprised how cold the annual temperatures were.  So I decided to try and corroborate the data using the daily data available on the Weather Underground (WU).  I had to retrieve a year at a time of daily data, but managed to get daily temperature average, minimum, and maximum data for 1973 to current and then calculated annual average temperatures.  The results do not match the Weather Warehouse data.  The average temperature over the entire period from 1973 through 2015 for the Weather Underground data was -2.5C as compared to -14.8C for the Weather Warehouse data.  The WU lowest annual average was -3.8C for 1980 and highest was -0.9C for 2012, showing much less range than the Weather Warehouse data which ranged from -21.4C in 2004 to -8.9C in 2006.  The long-term average temperature from the WU data are more in line with the -2.6C mean temperature for 1981-2010 reported in Wikipedia.  Therefore, I am now very doubtful that what was obtained from Weather Warehouse is correct.

I went to the US National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI) and retrieved daily data by month to spot check the WU data.  It appears that the WU data were derived from hourly observations and do not fully reflect the maximum and minimum temperatures on most days.  Therefore, I plan to download the NCEI data to compile annual averages since 1948 and will make a post about the results.