Time To Talk Temperature—May 2013 Global and Sea Surface Update


The source for this posting comes from work done by Dr Roy Spencer.  His web site can be accessed by clicking here.

Satellite Measured Atmospheric Temperature Anomalies.

First the University of Alabama –Huntsville (UAH) satellite global temperature anomaly.  The May anomaly dropped to +0.074 C from April’s anomaly of +0.103.  The global temperature anomaly in January 2013 was +0.504 which was the highest temperature since early 2010. This chart below covers the time period that the satellite system has been in existence.  By contrast with the ground based temperature measuring systems, the satellite system is essentially global in that it is measuring lower atmospheric temperature of the ¾ of the globe represented by the oceans as well as the ground.  It is the gold standard of global temperature measurements in my opinion. (Click on Charts to Enlarge.)

May13UAH_LT_1979_thru_May_2013_v5.5

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 17 months are:

YR MON GLOBAL   NH        SH    TROPICS

2012 1   -0.134   -0.065  -0.203   -0.256

2012 2   -0.135   +0.018  -0.289  -0.320

2012 3   +0.051  +0.119  -0.017  -0.238

2012 4   +0.232  +0.351  +0.114  -0.242

2012 5   +0.179  +0.337  +0.021  -0.098

2012 6   +0.235  +0.370  +0.101  -0.019

2012 7   +0.130  +0.256  +0.003  +0.142

2012 8   +0.208  +0.214  +0.202  +0.062

2012 9   +0.339  +0.350  +0.327  +0.153

2012 10 +0.333  +0.306  +0.361  +0.109

2012 11 +0.282  +0.299  +0.265  +0.172

2012 12 +0.206  +0.148  +0.264  +0.138

2013 1   +0.504  +0.555  +0.453  +0.371

2013 2   +0.175  +0.368  -0.018  +0.168

2013 3   +0.183  +0.329  +0.038  +0.226

2013 4   +0.103  +0.120  +0.086  +0.167

2013 5  +0.074   +0.162  -0.013  +0.113

YR=year;  MON=month; Global; NH=Northern Hemisphere; SH=Southern Hemisphere; Tropics.

Satellite Measured Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Satellite measured sea surface temperature anomalies are shown in the chart below.

seasurfacetempmay13RSS_mwSST_2002_thru_May_2013

Dr Spencer summaries this chart as follows:

“The anomalies are computed relative to only 2003-2006 because those years were relatively free of El Nino and La Nina activity, which if included would cause temperature anomaly artifacts in other years. Thus, these anomalies cannot be directly compared to, say, the Reynolds anomalies which extend back to the early 1980s. Nevertheless, they should be useful for monitoring signs of recent ocean surface warming, which appears to have stalled since at least the early 2000′s. (For those who also track our lower tropospheric temperature [“LT”] anomalies, these SST anomalies average about 0.20 deg. C cooler than LT since mid-2002, but there is considerable variability in that number).

The SST retrievals come from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and are based upon passive microwave observations of the ocean surface from AMSR-E on NASA’s Aqua satellite, the TRMM satellite Microwave Imager (TMI), and WindSat. While TMI has operated continuously through the time period (but only over the tropics and subtropics), AMSR-E stopped nominal operation in October 2011, after which Remote Sensing Systems patched in SST data from WindSat. These various satellite SST datasets have been carefully intercalibrated by RSS.”

These charts are consistent with the concept of no statistically significant change in global temperature for the past 15 years.

cbdakota

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