Friday, January 6, 2017

First surface temperature 2016 record - TempLS.

TempLS mesh was down a little in December, from 0.699°C in Nov to 0.653°C. That actually makes it the third warmest in the record, behind 2014 (just) and 2015. TempLS grid actually went up by about 0.04°C. As usual, this reflects differences at poles, which were not so warm in December. This affects TempLS mesh more, as it will GISS relative to NOAA/HADCRUT

The main map features are cold in N central Russia and NW America (but not Alaska), and big warmth around Central Asia.

But the main news is that it completes the year average, which was a record high at 0.807°C. All TempLS anomalies are relative to 1961-90 base years. 2016 beat the 2015 record of 0.728°C, so there shouldn't be much chatter about a "statistical tie". I have posted the series of cumulative records plots here. The plot for TempLS mesh is below. It shows a new color and level in each year a record was set.

TempLS grid was also a record at 0.776°C, vs 0.745°C for 2015. That's closer, reflecting again the fact that warmth at the poles was a feature of 2016, and is picked up more strongly by TempLS mesh. I expect that this will be reflected in the major indices, with GISS setting a record by a good margin, but NOAA and HADCRUT closer, In fact, HADCRUT is no sure thing, although I think the rise in TempLS grid this month increases the likelihood.

Data for RSS and UAH5.6 are also in. RSS V3.3 TLT dropped as did UAH V6, but still narrowly set a record for warmth in 2016. UAH5.6 had 2016 warmer by a more substantial margin. You can see the predicted record plots updated as data comes in here.


  1. Off-topic, I just read through some of your clear and insightful comments on radiative heat transfer and equilibrium at WUWT, a site I rarely visit.

    I admire you for your astonishing patience.

  2. Another dataset is in for 2016, the radiosonde dataset Ratpac A..
    The free troposphere, 850-300 mbar, is up by 0.25 C from 2015, and 0.34 C from 1998. The latter increase is twice that of RSS TTT v4 and UAH TLT 5.6, which suggests that there still is a cool bias for AMSU-satellies, also in the newest datasets.

    They also report surface data, that is up by 0.15 C from 2015, which despite the fact that it is based on less than 85 stations, agree very well with the much more comprehensive ordinary surface datasets

    1. Carl Mears of RSS stated in Aug 2013:

      "I do tend to leave out RATPAC. This is because the individual station data are adjusted before 2005, and then not adjusted after 2005. We have shown that when comparing global radiosonde averages to satellites, it is critical to subset the satellite data to the radiosonde locations (Mears et al, 2011)."

      This is an interesting point.

    2. Mears is wrong with the years. Before 1996 both Ratpac A and B relies on the LKS series.
      Six independent upper air specialists independently assessed the data , whereafter they met and came to consensus about inhomogeneities and adjustments.
      After 1996 the data in Ratpac A is adjusted by the first difference method. Station data is not adjusted per se, only cut at metadata breakpoints, so that the neighbour stations carry the regional trend over the break.
      Ratpac B, which contain the data of individual stations, is not adjusted after 1996. Thus, Ratpac data is not suitable for the simple subsampling and averaging that Mears et al use for validation.

      However, the problem can be solved if satellite data is subsampled from Ratpac station areas, whereafter a global average is created by use of the Ratpac A averaging method, region by region, zone by zone..
      Then, satellite data and Ratpac A can be compared "apples to apples"
      Like in this validation:

      One could suspect that there might some kind of method change break in Ratpac A at 1996, but the Ratpac creators validated the dataset and couldn't find any inconsistency compared to other datasets.
      Little Ratpac A agrees well with other major datasets (that are based om 5-7 times more stations). Here is a comparison from 1970 with an early base-period:

      The trends from 1970-now are: Ratpac A 0.20 C/decade, Radiosonde average (four datasets) 0.20 C/decade, models 0.25 C/decade
      Trends from 1997-now: Ratpac A 0.27 C/decade, Radiosonde average 0.28 C/decade, Models 0.28 C/decade