here but I wish they wouldn't. In fact the anomaly was down from 0.87°C in June to 0.81°C. Oddly, that change is exactly what TempLS mesh now shows, while TempLS grid has the same drop (0.04°C) as GISS. Usually it is the other way around.
OK, so it is a warm year, and this was still the warmest July on record. The NOAA claim that it is the warmest month ever (also Tamino) is based on the annual cycle of absolute temperature, whereby ocean-cominated SH summers are cooler than NH, with less seasonal variation.
Why is this a silly point? The NOAA has a sensible discussion here on the reason for using anomalies in preference to absolute - see point 7. Yet they don't seem to be able to stick to it. They keep lapsing into quoting an annual absolute global temperature, and of course regularly quote a ConUS absolute average.
And it just gets them into trouble, pointlessly. The global absolute is got by adding the anomaly to an annual climatology (14°C) taken from a Phil Jones 1999 paper. But the average anomaly is known rather well, the climatology very poorly in comparison. So the sum is worth far less than the parts. Every now and then, a sceptic raises the 1997 estimate of 62.45°F (16.92°C) for that year and says - see! the world has cooled over 2°C since. NOAA has been forced to add a feeble disclaimer to the 1997 report. But the sceptics are right (for once) to point this out. It just makes the NOAA look dumb. And of course the troubles caused with the absolute average for ConUS (in clumsy hands) are innumerable.
Back to July - we knew that the global absolute has that seasonal cycle. It doesn't mean anything in terms of climate change, and isn't news. March had a very high anomaly, July less. But July will always exceed March in absolute.
That's one of the main things about anomaly - it contains the news. The information content about weather and climate change. If I tell you that it was 17°C here yesterday, you won't be impressed. The natural question is - what is it normally? Ie, what is the anomaly? And then you find that it is indeed quite warm for an August day.
You can see this news issue in a temperature map. If you see an absolute temperature map for July 2015, it looks like any other July. Sure, it tells you that Melbourne Fl is warmer than Melbourne Australia, and much other climatological information. But it doesn't tell you much about July 2015. For that you need the anomaly map.
NOAA knows all this. I just wish they would stick to it.
ps In other news, August so far is pretty warm. And Arctic Ice is still melting, with 2015 chasing 2011 for third place. Antarctic ice has entered a freezing pause, which may be linked to ENSO.
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