Global Warming ‘Pause’ Far From Over

  • Date: 14/10/15
  • Bob Tisdale, Watts Up With That

It’s very hard to overlook the fact that, over the past decade, climate models are simulating way too much warming and are diverging rapidly from reality.

This post provides an update of the values for the three primary suppliers of global land+ocean surface temperature reconstructions—GISS through September 2015 and HADCRUT4 and NCEI (formerly NCDC) through August 2015—and of the two suppliers of satellite-based lower troposphere temperature composites (RSS and UAH) through September 2015.  It also includes a model-data comparison.


The NOAA NCEI product is the new global land+ocean surface reconstruction with the manufactured warming presented in Karl et al. (2015).

Even though the changes to the ERSST reconstruction since 1998 cannot be justified by the night marine air temperature product that was used as a reference for bias adjustments (See comparison graph here), GISS also switched to the new “pause-buster” NCEI ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature reconstruction with their August 2015 update.

The UKMO also recently made adjustments to their HadCRUT4 product, but they are minor compared to the GISS and NCEI adjustments.

We’re using the UAH lower troposphere temperature anomalies Release 6.0 for this post even though it’s in beta form.  And for those who wish to whine about my portrayals of the changes to the UAH and to the GISS and NCEI products, see the post here.

The GISS LOTI surface temperature reconstruction, and the two lower troposphere temperature composites are for the most recent month.  The HADCRUT4 and NCEI products lag one month.

Much of the following text is boilerplate…updated for all products. The boilerplate is intended for those new to the presentation of global surface temperature anomalies.

Most of the update graphs start in 1979.  That’s a commonly used start year for global temperature products because many of the satellite-based temperature composites start then.

We discussed why the three suppliers of surface temperature products use different base years for anomalies in the post Why Aren’t Global Surface Temperature Data Produced in Absolute Form?

Since the August 2015 update, we’re using the UKMO’s HadCRUT4 reconstruction for the model-data comparisons.


Introduction: The GISS Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) reconstruction is a product of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  Starting with the June 2015 update, GISS LOTI uses the new NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST.v4), the pause-buster reconstruction, which also infills grids without temperature samples.  For land surfaces, GISS adjusts GHCN and other land surface temperature products via a number of methods and infills areas without temperature samples using 1200km smoothing. Refer to the GISS description here.   Unlike the UK Met Office and NCEI products, GISS masks sea surface temperature data at the poles, anywhere seasonal sea ice has existed, and they extend land surface temperature data out over the oceans in those locations, regardless of whether or not sea surface temperature observations for the polar oceans are available that month.  Refer to the discussions hereand here. GISS uses the base years of 1951-1980 as the reference period for anomalies.  The values for the GISS product are found here. (I archived the former version here at the WaybackMachine.

Update:  The September 2015 GISS global temperature anomaly is +0.81 deg C.  It’s unchanged since August 2015.


Figure 1 – GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index


NOTE:  The NCEI produces only the product with the manufactured-warming adjustments presented in the paper Karl et al. (2015). As far as I know, the former version of the reconstruction is no longer available online. For more information on those curious adjustments, see the posts:

Introduction: The NOAA Global (Land and Ocean) Surface Temperature Anomaly reconstruction is the product of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), which was formerly known as the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).  NCEI merges their new Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 4 (ERSST.v4) with the new Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly (GHCN-M) version 3.3.0 for land surface air temperatures. The ERSST.v4 sea surface temperature reconstruction infills grids without temperature samples in a given month.  NCEI also infills land surface grids using statistical methods, but they do not infill over the polar oceans when sea ice exists.  When sea ice exists, NCEI leave a polar ocean grid blank.

The source of the NCEI values is through their Global Surface Temperature Anomalieswebpage.  Click on the link to Anomalies and Index Data.)

Update (Lags One Month): The August 2015 NCEI global land plus sea surface temperature anomaly was +0.88 deg C.  See Figure 2. It rose (an increase of +0.08 deg C) since July 2015 (based on the new reconstruction).


Figure 2 – NCEI Global (Land and Ocean) Surface Temperature Anomalies


Introduction: The UK Met Office HADCRUT4 reconstruction merges CRUTEM4 land-surface air temperature product and the HadSST3 sea-surface temperature (SST) reconstruction.  CRUTEM4 is the product of the combined efforts of the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. And HadSST3 is a product of the Hadley Centre.  Unlike the GISS and NCEI reconstructions, grids without temperature samples for a given month are not infilled in the HADCRUT4 product.  That is, if a 5-deg latitude by 5-deg longitude grid does not have a temperature anomaly value in a given month, it is left blank. Blank grids are indirectly assigned the average values for their respective hemispheres before the hemispheric values are merged.  The HADCRUT4 reconstruction is described in the Morice et al (2012) paper here.  The CRUTEM4 product is described in Jones et al (2012) here. And the HadSST3 reconstruction is presented in the 2-part Kennedy et al (2012) paper here and here.  The UKMO uses the base years of 1961-1990 for anomalies.  The monthly values of the HADCRUT4 product can be foundhere.

Update (Lags One Month):  The August 2015 HADCRUT4 global temperature anomaly is +0.75 deg C. See Figure 3.  It increased (about +0.04 deg C) since July 2015.


Figure 3 – HADCRUT4


Special sensors (microwave sounding units) aboard satellites have orbited the Earth since the late 1970s, allowing scientists to calculate the temperatures of the atmosphere at various heights above sea level (lower troposphere, mid troposphere, tropopause and lower stratosphere). The atmospheric temperature values are calculated from a series of satellites with overlapping operation periods, not from a single satellite. Because the atmospheric temperature products rely on numerous satellites, they are known as composites. The level nearest to the surface of the Earth is the lower troposphere. The lower troposphere temperature composite include the altitudes of zero to about 12,500 meters, but are most heavily weighted to the altitudes of less than 3000 meters.  See the left-hand cell of the illustration here.

The monthly UAH lower troposphere temperature composite is the product of the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). UAH provides the lower troposphere temperature anomalies broken down into numerous subsets.  See the webpage here.  The UAH lower troposphere temperature composite are supported by Christy et al. (2000) MSU Tropospheric Temperatures: Dataset Construction and Radiosonde Comparisons.  Additionally, Dr. Roy Spencer of UAH presents at his blog the monthly UAH TLT anomaly updates a few days before the release at the UAH website.  Those posts are also regularly cross posted at WattsUpWithThat.  UAH uses the base years of 1981-2010 for anomalies. The UAH lower troposphere temperature product is for the latitudes of 85S to 85N, which represent more than 99% of the surface of the globe.

UAH recently released a beta version of Release 6.0 of their atmospheric temperature product. Those enhancements lowered the warming rates of their lower troposphere temperature anomalies.  See Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog post Version 6.0 of the UAH Temperature Dataset Released: New LT Trend = +0.11 C/decade and my blog post New UAH Lower Troposphere Temperature Data Show No Global Warming for More Than 18 Years. It is now at beta version 6.3.  The UAH lower troposphere anomalies Release 6.3 beta through September 2015 are here.

Update:  The September 2015 UAH (Release 6.3 beta) lower troposphere temperature anomaly is +0.28 deg C.  It dropped (a decrease of about -0.03 deg C) since August 2015.

04 UAH TLT v6.3 Beta

Figure 4 – UAH Lower Troposphere Temperature (TLT) Anomaly Composite – Release 6.3 Beta

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