Tuesday, December 15, 2015

November GISS down by only 0.01° on record October.

As reader David Sanger noted November GISS global average is out, at 1.05°C anomaly. That would be the hottest in the record, if they had not increased October to 1.06°C. The late rise in Oct is not unexpected, since as Olof noted, Brazil and Greenland came in late and relatively warm. TempLS Oct went up too.

Most of the indices now agree on a very slight reduction from October to November. TempLS mesh is down 0.035°C; the NCEP/NCAR index was down about 0.05°. TempLS grid was down 0.01°C, and even the troposphere indices from satellite showed a similar small drop. TempLS mesh and GISS are generally more sensitive to polar changes, which were not large this time.

In other news, December is looking very warm indeed, in the NCEP/NCAR index. I had earlier written about a huge peak in early October, which made October a record month by a great margin. The peak of recent days is much larger again, almost reaching 1°C (1994-2013 base) and staying there for several days, though the latest reading was down to a mere 0.&°C. The average for December so far stands at 0.794°C, 0.23°C higher than October's record.

Even the sea ice is responding. Both Arctic and Antarctic are well down.

Here is the GISS map of anomalies, from here:

This time, it's looking warm everywhere. That confirms my observation from the TempLS breakdown that this month major regions contributed almost equally to the average. The TempLS spherical harmonics map from that report is quite similar:

Again, if you want graphics detail on the station temperatures, it's in this WebGL map.


  1. Ok, warmer than I thought. I expected a cooling of 0.04 for GISS in November based primary on TempLSmesh.
    Now I expect for December 1.07. This based on
    So far monthly mean +fcst is 21 day, it would be 1.12, but the last 10 day will probably be cooler than the first.

    1. 1.07? I would expect higher. The NCEP/NCAR figure for 12 days on a 1951-80 base is 1.354. It will likely not stay so hot, and NCEP/NCAR has been running ahead of GISS, but still, that is a big lead.

    2. I expected this last week too. But on this site the 7 day forecast is now 0.4 colder then the first two weeks of December, even 0.2 colder then the October/November anomalies. Despite of very warm North American east coast and projected record warmth in Europe, the other regions are forecasted to cool, there is also a cold spell in the Arctic from Siberia to Greenland.

    3. Why would the last ten days be colder than the first ten days? Just not likely to get that hot again so soon?

    4. Yes. It's unlikely that it gets that hot again. So I assumed my previous predicted average anomaly for the remainder of the month.

    5. Update: fcst is not so cold. Month so far +fcst (24 days) would be 1.12, I expect 1.09 for GISS Dec 15.

  2. Actually November is a new record, at least with the 1981-2010 base period. Over at karstenhaustein.com/climate Giss Nov is reported as up 0.021 C from Oct. This means that his "outlier" NCEP GFS/CFSR reanalysis, suggesting Nov up by 0.027, was quite right for Giss-guessing..

    November is a new record in Gistemp dTs, beating "old" Jan 2007 by the tiniest margin, +0.01 C. Thus, the surface air temps now show a clear response to the el Nino, and will likely peak on a much higher level somewhere between Jan-Mar 2016

  3. I see UAH 6 is also out for November. I'm struck by the lack of an el Nino "spike" in the satellite data so far. Sure, there's a modest rise, but if 1997/8 is anything to go by we should expect to see satellite series anomalies exceeding those for surface temperature. If it doesn't happen then that casts further doubt on the satellite series.

    1. Bill H - I keep seeing this expectation/assumption that this El Nino event will play out like 97-98 did. I will be surprised if it does that. For one thing, I think the PDO was at very different place back then. According to the Trenberth paper, OHC went down as a result of the 97-98 El Nino. That may not happen this time. Anyway, they say the satellite spike lags. Will it lag through December? Maybe.

    2. In 1997/98 the MSU-series started to climb for real in December 97. Peak levels were recorded in February (2) and April (1).

    3. It's a pity that S&C have not updated UAH 5.6 November yet. They should do that, because it's in their contract with NOAA to maintain the 5.x series

      Anyway, if we look at other troposphere indices, the Autumn 2015 anomaly for Ratpac A was larger than that of Spring 1998. And the peak is still to come, probably in the spring season 2016..

    4. "It's a pity that S&C have not updated UAH 5.6 November yet."
      They have only in the last day or two (16 Dec) updated the file version of V6.0. Roy is quick with the blog announcement, but the file takes weeks to update.

    5. Well, they just posted UAH 5.6 data for Nov, 0.46 C. Similar changes from Oct as v6.0, but on a higher level...

    6. Bill H: If it doesn't happen then that casts further doubt on the satellite series

      I don't think so. I think the problem for the satellite measurements with the reliability of the the long period trends. But I believe this has to do with the issues of matching up the temperature records of consecutive satellites (as one fails and the next one comes on line).

      I've not seen anything that suggests that the short-period variability using just one satellite should be less reliable than the surface record.

    7. I should have said there are other issues that affect long period trends, even within one satellite, associated with instrument drift, etc. These will affect long-period trends, but should't affect whether you see short period transients like ENSO driven weather changes.

    8. Carrick - you've probably seen this:

      Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2)

      Sherwood is presenting a paper AGU:

      Temperature trends in the updated data show three noteworthy features. First, tropical warming is equally strong over both the 1959–2012 and 1979–2012 periods, increasing smoothly and almost moist-adiabatically from the surface (where it is roughly 0.14 K/decade) to 300 hPa (where it is about 0.25 K/decade over both periods), a pattern very close to that in climate model predictions. This contradicts suggestions that atmospheric warming has slowed in recent decades or that it has not kept up with that at the surface. ...

    9. Thanks to Carrick and JCH for the responses to my comment about the apparent failure of the RSS and UAH temperature series to register the current el Nino.

      To answer JCH: I'm not just comparing with the 1997/8 el Nino. As Foster and Rahmstorf indicate, the satellite temperature series show a much larger sensitivity than the surface temperature series to ALL significant el Nino's up to 1997/8. By 2010, however, this is no longer the case - the sensitivities are similar, and now the satellite data are showing considerably less sensitivity to el Ninos.

      See the top graph in http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/FR11_Figure7.jpg

      TO answer Carrick: you may be right about satellite series giving good reliability on a short time-scale. However, soi-disant sceptics are claiming good reliability from 1979 to the present.

      Thanks for the link to the current Sherwood et al. paper: looks very interesting as a technique for overcoming the temporal unreliability of the satellite record. However, our "sceptical" friends will of course dismiss it as yet another conspiracy to hide an "inconvenient truth". By contrast, failure of their beloved temperature series to properly register a major el Nino will be more difficult for them to dismiss.

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. Hi Bill,

      I would certainly not claim that satellite are superior to surface records when it comes to the temperature trend from 1979 to now. In fact, I find it completely silly that Monkton has decided to focus on RSS in his BS arguments that there is a real "pause" in warming.

      I would also say that the satellites measure different quantities than the surface sensors do, so there's no reason to expect a one-to-one relationship. In particular, short-period variability need not express itself in the upper troposphere with the same exact phasing as the surface measurements.

      I also don't know of any good argument to discount the AMSU based measurements of the mid and upper tropospheric temperatures. That we see different behaviors 2015/16 versus 1997/8 for surface versus mid/upper troposphere is also not particularly surprising to me.

      Fundamentally, I'm not willing, without a much stronger argument about instrumentation issues, to automatically assume the difference between the two over these shorter time periods is due to a failing of the satellites.

      But I do think the argument should be made that the multi-satelillite reconstructions is less robust than the surface record. So longer period trends in the satellite reconstructions should be treated with due skepticism.

    12. JCH, yes I've seen that paper, thanks.

  4. Bill H - no doubt at all in my mind that the 2000s are showing the satellites are not saying anything useful at all about the global mean surface temperature.

  5. JCH,
    I certainly agree with you, and for that matter Carl Mears of RSS, on the shortcomings of satellite based measurements of global temperature, specifically those of... Carl Mears (et al.) of RSS Unfortunately, the existence of RSS temperature series, shorn of the uncertainties highlighted by Mears and others, continues to fuel global warming denial.

  6. Hi, Nick,

    The forest fires around Melbourne are receiving Attention in the news here in the UK. I hope you're OK in Moyhu.

    Best wishes, Bill

    1. Thanks, Bill,
      I don't actually live in Moyhu, where I'm sure they had a worrying few days. Where I am is much more urban. But it was certainly hot, and the fires caused a lot of damage. It's a big worry to be getting such bad fires so early in the summer.

  7. Replies
    1. I've been wondering about the validity of comparing surface sea temperatures as a measure of the relative strength of the 1997-98 and 2015-16 El Ninos. After all, there has been 18 years of warming in between the two events.

      Instead of wondering I guess I should compare the monthly SST records for the central Pacific from ERSST or HadSST. Next year, maybe.

    2. The best way to look at El Nino is by taking the dipole difference of Tahiti and Darwin, that is the SOI measure. ENSO is a standing wave phenomenon and that standing wave exists independent of AGW.

      Standing waves are tricky devils and can invert their phase with little forcing. That's why I believe that little progress in modeling ENSO has been made over the years. http://ContextEarth.com/2015/12/12/biennial-connection-from-qbo-to-enso

    3. Magma,
      "I've been wondering about the validity of comparing surface sea temperatures as a measure of the relative strength"

      Yes, soon it would be El Nino all the time. But
      NOAA is onto it:

      "Due to a significant warming trend in the Niño-3.4 region since 1950, El Niño and La Niña episodes that are defined by a single fixed 30-year base period (e.g. 1971-2000) are increasingly incorporating longer-term trends that do not reflect interannual ENSO variability. In order to remove this warming trend, CPC is adopting a new strategy to update the base period.

      There will be multiple centered 30-year base periods that will be used to define the Oceanic Niño index (as a departure from average or "anomaly"). These 30-year base periods will be used to calculate the anomalies for successive 5-year periods in the historical record: "

      And Web is right - SOI doesn't have this problem.

    4. Thanks, Nick. It seems that my thoughts on the matter were only lagging three years behind those of the NOAA.

      @whut, I did consider what El Nino represented as a physical phenomenon rather than just a warm eastern central Pacific, but the media commentary (even news releases from technical organizations) has been dominated by discussions of the localized temperature anomalies relative to an older baseline.

      Best wishes for the New Year.

    5. Actually, since this paper by L'Heureux et al. was submitted November 28, 2011, probably closer to five years behind.

      Linear trends in sea surface temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean and implications for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, Climate Dynamics

  8. Forecasts for the arctic (Atlantic side) are insane this week. Those insane forecasts are now showing up in buoy data. Buoy 300234062785480 located at 85.45N rose 25C in 9 hours (and is now above freezing). It was -24.3C at 0600 hours (day 363.25) and +1.0C at 1500 hours (day 363.626).

    Table of buoys.
    Datafile for 300234062785480.

    Meanwhile Longyearbyen, Svalbard had a high today of 43F. That's higher than the average high for some of the summer months - despite the sun having set on October 26th and not seen since. Insane.