April 2009 Global Temperature Update: +0.09 deg. C

May 5th, 2009 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

2009   1   0.304   0.443   0.165   -0.036
2009   2   0.347   0.678   0.016   0.051
2009   3   0.206   0.310   0.103   -0.149
2009   4   0.091   0.126   0.055   -0.010

1979-2009 Graph

Once again there is a rather large discrepancy between our monthly anomaly (+0.09 deg. C.) and that produced by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS, +0.20 deg. C). We (John Christy and I) believe the difference is due to some combination of three factors:

1) we calculate the anomalies from a wider latitude band, 84S to 84N whereas RSS stops at 70S, and Antarctica was cooler than average in April (so UAH picks it up).

2) The monthly anomaly is relative to the 1979-1998 base period, which for RSS had a colder mean period relative to April 2009 (i.e. their early Aprils in the 1979-1998 period were colder than ours.)

3) RSS is still using a NOAA satellite whose orbit continues to decay, leading to a sizeable diurnal drift adjustment. We are using AMSU data from only NASA’s Aqua satellite, whose orbit is maintained, and so no diurnal drift adjustment is needed. The largest diurnal effects occur during Northern Hemisphere spring, and I personally believe this is the largest contributor to the discrepancy between UAH and RSS.

Comments are closed.