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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 March 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.

Global Temperature by Month 2015

Most people don’t realize that global temperature has a seasonal pattern dominated by the Northern Hemisphere because of much more land in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere and land is where the largest seasonal temperature variations occur.  Figure 1 shows the estimated average global temperature each month in 2015 and for the most recent climatic reference period 1981-2010 based on the University of Maine (UM) Climate Change Institute (CCI) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) data for comparison.  The CFSR data are derived from all the inputs to the Global Forecast System (GFS) weather forecast model runs four times each day.  For 2015 the largest monthly departures from the reference period were toward the end of the year, which also was the time that the latest El Niño was peaking, which could indicate a connection.  Notice there is almost a four degree Celsius (C) range from the coldest month January to the warmest month July.  The annual range in estimated global temperature dwarfs the individual monthly temperature anomalies relative to the reference period.

Global temperature by month

Figure 1. UM CCI CFSR estimated global temperature by month for 2015 and for the 1981-2010 reference period.

Figure 2 shows the UM CCI CFSR monthly global temperature estimates for 1979 through 2015.  As can be seen in the graph, the annual variations are much larger than the overall trend for the period, which is 0.0012C per month corresponding to 1.44C per century if maintained.  There also seems to be more variation from year to year at the low end of the annual range than at the high end.

Global monthly temperature trend

Figure 2. UM CCI CFSR global monthly temperature trend for 1979 through 2015.

Another interesting aspect of global temperatures is that trends for the average coldest month January and for the average warmest month July show some differences.  Figure 2 shows the trend of UM CCI CFSR January global average temperature estimates for 1979 through 2015 (click on the graph to enlarge), including the average of the daily maximums for the month, the average for the month, and the average of the daily minimums for the month.

Global temperature trend for January

Figure 3. UM CCI CFSR global temperature trend for January each year, including the average daily maximum, the average, and the average daily minimum.

Similarly, Figure 3 shows the July temperature trends.  Notice that for both January and July there is about a 4C difference between the monthly average minimum and maximum global temperature estimates.  The trends over the entire period are small compared to the average range within each month.

Global temperature trend for July

Figure 4. UM CCI CFSR global temperature trend for July each year, including the average daily maximum, the average, and the average daily minimum.

The January trend is +0.0134C per year which corresponds to +1.34C per century if maintained, while the July trend is slightly lower at +0.010C per year which corresponds to +1.00C per century.  The highest trend is +0.156C corresponding to +1.56C per century for the January average minimum global temperature estimates.  The lowest trend is +0.0087C per year corresponding to +0.87C for the July average minimum global temperature estimates.

Figure 4 shows an update of the latest UM CCI daily global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through today (2016 January 26).  The October 2015 through January 2016 period has been dominated by high spikes that may be related to the peaking El Niño event.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of the year evolves.

Global daily temperature anomalies

Figure 5. UM CCI CFSR global daily temperature anomalies for 2014 through 2016 January 26.

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.

Quick 2015 Update

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.

Annual global temperature anomalies for 1979-2015

Figure 1. Annual global temperature anomaly estimates for 1979 through 2015 from UM-CCI for surface CFSR and UAH for TLT.

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.

Monthly global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through 2015

Figure 2. Monthly global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through 2015.

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.

Global Temperature Anomalies 2014-15 Daily CFSR

Figure 3. Daily UM-CCI CFSR global temperature anomaly estimates for 2014 through 2016 so far (click to enlarge).

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.

No Real Global Warming for 20 Years Now

A paper published in Nature magazine in 2014 (see link below) looked at recent trends in global temperature in the lower troposphere (TLT) from satellite observations and attempted to remove the effects from major volcanic activity and from the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The result indicates no global warming for over 20 years now, despite the continued rapid increase in carbon dioxide concentrations. Yet one more study that greatly calls into question the “settled science” of man-made global warming. More evidence that the effects of man-made carbon dioxide on global temperature are quite small and perhaps not even significant.  See the graphs below.

Global Temp no ENSO-volcanic

Most people don’t realize that carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant and is absolutely critical for plant survival. Higher carbon dioxide levels actually promote more rapid plant growth and therefore have a major beneficial effect for crops as well as natural plant growth. From 3 million years ago back to more than 200 million years ago, Earth had no glaciers, global temperatures were much warmer, and carbon dioxide levels were much higher than today. Then about about 3 million years ago at the start of the Pleistocene period for reasons unknown global temperatures gradually cooled and Earth entered an ice age that continues today.

We are lucky to live in one of the relatively short interglacial warm periods between the much longer intense glacial periods. During the last 500,000 years there have been five intensely cold glacial periods each lasting about 80,000 to 100,000 years and separated by interglacial warm periods with much less ice but each lasting only about 10,000 to 15,000 years on average. Our present interglacial period is called the Holocene and started about 11,700 years ago and based on past history will likely end sometime within the next few thousand years or less. The next glacial period will be a major challenge for humanity, with ice covering most of Canada, the northern US, and northern Europe. With colder global temperatures come drier air and expanding deserts as well as much lower carbon dioxide levels that will inhibit plant growth. We should count our blessings today and explore the deep meaning of true climate change over the ages to prepare for what will come.

Thanks to Paul Homewood for the tip:
No Underlying Global Temperature Increase For 20 Years

Original 2014 paper by Benjamin Santer, et al,  in Nature:
Volcanic contribution to decadal changes in tropospheric temperature

More on Earth’s climate changes in the last 3 million years:
Three Million Years of Climate Change