Thursday, November 19, 2015

NOAA October 0.98°C!

The NOAA report is out, and shows the global anomaly rose from 0.90°C in September to 0.98°C in October. The report says that it was the hottest measured October, but in fact it was the highest anomaly of any month in the record by quite a long way, ahead of 0.9°C in just the previous month.

As expected, the rise was less than for GISS. The reason is coverage of Antarctica. Antarctica had been very cold, and switched to warm in October. GISS, which weights by total area, is very sensitive to this, and so lagged in Sept, followed by a big jump. My TempLS grid does the same. But NOAA only counts the grid cells with information, which are few in Antarctica. Consequently, it rose to a record anomaly in September, with a relatively smaller rise in October. Still, that means it upped the record by 0.08°C.

TempLS grid behaved in much the same way as NOAA, as it usually does. It rose by 0.06. The regional pattern of warmth described in the NOAA report is much as described in the TempLS report.

Update. I'll comment further on some questions in the TempLS October post. First, as Olof noted, Barzil and Greenland, not then in, had a considerable warming effect. So the rise in TempLS mesh, at 0.24°C, ended up exactly the same as GISS. And TempLS grid at 0.06 was very close to the 0.08°C rise for NOAA. This is the usual correspondence, relating to the respective methods.

There was also the question of SST. TempLS, in its attribution analysis, showed a small contribution from SST. But HADSST3 had actually declined. This made me more cautious about TempLS-based prediction. But the NOAA report showed NOAA ocean at 0.85°C, a rise of 0.04, very similar to the TempLS attribution. And that figure was also a record for any month, improving on the previous month's record.

Update. I've shown below the latest recent plot, from here. It shows the global indices set to a common anomaly period of 1981-2010. You can see how TempLS and GISS are currently moving in tandem, as are TempLS grid and NOAA.


  1. Really impressive by NOAA. I did not expect that much from a gridded dataset with poor polar coverage. It will be interesting to see what Hadcrut4 and Cowtan &Way can do. They need +0.05 and +0.10 to beat their previous highest from Jan 2007. I think it will be easier for C&W.

    It is not only Antarctica that contributes to the +0.24 Giss rise from October. I have a special Giss index which use SST in the whole ocean (also under ice) plus landmasked Giss. That index rose only 0.12 from Oct, so air over ice in the Arctic ocean and around Antarctica has likely contributed with the remaining 0.12.
    (I use this index for apples to apples comparison with CMIP5-data that as standard provide SST under ice, as does ERSST.)

  2. These record global anomalies are apparently causing corresponding over-heating in the denialosphere. Steven Goddard is shrieking FRAUD at the moment. What he's done is to announce the GISS data from 17th Oct, but then shows the NOAA anomaly map from 17th OCt which is still incomplete - BECAUSE IT'S 17TH OCT, AND NOAA DIDN'T RELEASE OCT DATA TILL 19TH OCT, BY WHICH TIME THEIR MAP WAS COMPLETE. (DOH!!). Having conflated NASA and NOAA he then further compounds his error by accusing both of fraud.

    I discovered this ludicrous farce, since Tallbloke's Talkshop has cross posted it without a murmur of criticism. I've made a couple of posts pointing out the silliness. So far the response has been a total non sequitur from Tallbloke's trust lieutenant "Old Brew".

    1. Just to clarify, I've posted at Tallbloke. Saves having to face the Goddard/Heller snakepit.

    2. Bill, Brave of you to post at Rog's Talkshop. It's a no-win situation, as even though you can get your point across you will get smeared. I am getting accused of plagiarism by Rog, ha ha, that's pretty funny.

      Are you saying that commenting at Goddard is even worse? Different levels of craziness out there.

    3. WHUT, I got a long rambling reply from a Gail Combs telling me I was "clueless". I avoid Goddard's place because it's so horribly misanthropic: hanging round there is likely to throw me into depression. He had one post claiming that the Syrian refugees entering Europe are an Islamic plot to take over Europe. That's ALL the refugees, not a few ISIL maniacs using this as an opportunity to enter Europe undetected.

    4. Bill, If I recall your last name, is it Ha**ree and are you related to the guy named for the famous quantum computational algorithm? (you will either know whut I am talking about or not :)

      Yea, Goddard is way over the top. Like a Trump.

    5. Whut, or should that be Mr. P......... You're right about my surname. If I am related to the great Douglas Hartree of the self-consistent field method for finding solutions to the Schroedinger Equation then it's a very distant connection. Suffice it to say we have our origins in the same village of Harptree in the south-west of England about 30 km south of Bristol.

      Well, that was a lively discussion about your paper over at Hot Whopper. I can see why people were being so hostile, even though it's sad there should be such an atmosphere of suspicion. For such an atmosphere we can thank all those brilliant citizen scientists and Auditors who labour so selflessly to save Humanity from the Green Blob.(Warning: the foregoing may contain traces of irony).

      Seriously, though I urge you to publish in whatever decent peer - reviewed journal you can. The climate science community would take notice. Well, it even worked, briefly, for McIntyre when he published his decietful nonsense about red noise and hockey sticks. And that wasn't even a decent journal.

    6. Bill, I will always remember your name because stuff you learn in college you tend not to forget :) Lucky that you weren't distantly related to Fock. lol, that would have been tough to deal with as a kid.

      Definitely will try to get the findings published in a machine learning journal. Thanks for your support.

  3. I predict by linear regression to the existing Oct 2015 datasets for the other Oct 2015:

    HadCRUT 0.80
    BESTlo 0.86
    C&Wkrig 0.92
    BESTla 1.38
    CRUTEM4 1.13
    Adj Mesh 0.926

  4. Now HadCRUT and CRUTEM4 are out. Land was a little bit warmer then my prediction, but both within the 1-sigma error.
    HadCRUT 0.811
    CRUTEM4 1.177

    1. Anon,
      Yes, that is pretty close. I think the modest rise in HADCRUT goes with the drop in HADSST3, whereas NOAA ocean, based on ERSST, rose.

  5. Cowtan has posted a preliminary Hadcrut4 kriging anomaly for Oct, 0.927 C. This is a new record, like in all other global datasets except Hadcrut4, and quite close to the TempLSmesh value for Oct. I guess that Hadcrut4 Oct also is preliminary (maybe a new policy to post early preliminary values like the others)

    Looking at the global map of the Hadcrut 4 landing page, an icebreaker seems to have half encircled the North pole, reporting SSTs that are not as warm as the air above ice, as inferred by reanalysis or infill of the Arcticsea from surrounding land stations.
    However, that area is relatively small, and if I get it right it should not affect the infill over the rest of the Arctic ocean, since C&W don't fill in SST over Ice. Thus, in Hadcrut kriging most of the Arctic sea should have anomalies of +4 C, except half the area north of 85 degrees.

    1. Olof,

      I touched on HadSST3 upper Arctic coverage for October in a previous thread.

      The issue is that anomalies in this area are produced by referencing measurements against a fixed -1.8C climatology. If you look at reanalyses for the 85-90N region the average October 2015 air temperature is about -16C, with typical October average being about -22C, sea surface temperature climatology about the same. The fact that HadSST3 reports positive anomalies here indicates rather extreme anomalous warmth where and when the measurements were taken, >20C above normal. However, use of a -1.8C climatology means reported anomalies are small.

      If you look at the HadSST3 average for 80-90N there is actually a clear annual cycle in the anomalies, peaking in July, meaning that upper Arctic anomalies in October are almost guaranteed to be reported cooler than September regardless of relative warmth. In terms of impact on the global average, essentially the more upper Arctic grid cells which get reported in October the cooler the global anomaly will be compared to September, although not a huge effect.

      On the other hand, these measurements are clearly taken in pockets of open water between ice coverage, so temperatures probably are not representative of the wider area (the open water heat island effect OWHIE). It also wouldn't surprise me if measurement taking were weighted towards early October rather than spaced evenly through the month, which is problematic given the large temperature gradient through the month. Worth noting that comparative grid cells do not seem to be filled in the ICOADS monthly summary or ERSSTv4, suggesting measurements here failed some form of QC check.

      As Kevin Cowtan noted in the other thread, it's a complex problem.

    2. Yes, I also noticed that ICOADS SST had nothing 85-90N in Oct.
      But ICOADS tAir for the area showed -14.8 for Oct, which is +5.8 above the 1961-1990 climatology, ie very similar to the reanalyses. Infill from the northernmost Russian, Canadian and Greenland stations would by my qualified guess give anomalies of +4-5 C
      Obviously those icebreakers (or whatever) take some air temp measurements that are quite representative for the area.
      I wonder if air temperature data from IABP buoys are ingested into weather forecast models and reanalyses (or get into ICOADS tAir). The IABP SSTs are obviously not included i ICOADS SST.

      Anyway, my opinion is that SST should not have been used at the North Pole in Oct. It is not very representative for the 2 m air anomaly..

    3. The ICOADs platform map seems to suggest the measurements come from a mixture of moored and drifting buoys:

      Not sure what they're moored to? Drilling platforms?

    4. PaulS, that ICOADS figure 1 /b give some hints. There seems to be data from both drifting and moored buoys in the Arctic Sea, but no data from ships (no icebreakers). It is impossible to moore a buoy in the drifting ice, so it must be moored under the ice, but then it can't report data to satellites... Strange...

      I guess that moored buoys are anchored to the bottom with several km:s long wires. At least the TAO buoys measure ST at various depths down to 500 m.

    5. Final Had4 krig is 0.922.

      To clarify, I first run kriging on the ensemble median, which gives a preliminary estimate, and then I krig each ensemble member individual and take the median of the resulting maps. The latter calculation gives the final result, but takes ~36 hours. Given that I was slow on the had4 update this month I uploaded the preliminary, which I don't usually do.

      The HadSST values round the pole won't affect us because we work with a fixed (monthly) ice mask to avoid the ice edge bias. There's a discussion of the pros and cons in the supplement of our recent model comparison paper.

  6. The NCEP/NCAR-index is ramping up now. According to month to date+forecast, November may become 0.03 C warmer than October. A very high spike, 0.968 C is expected at 00z Nov 29.
    The high temperatures will continue from the end of November into December

    1. Yeah, I've been watching it. Can December top October?