July 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update: +0.49 deg. C

August 3rd, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

2009 1 0.251 0.472 0.030 -0.068
2009 2 0.247 0.565 -0.071 -0.045
2009 3 0.191 0.324 0.058 -0.159
2009 4 0.162 0.315 0.008 0.012
2009 5 0.139 0.161 0.118 -0.059
2009 6 0.041 -0.021 0.103 0.105
2009 7 0.429 0.190 0.668 0.506
2009 8 0.242 0.236 0.248 0.406
2009 9 0.505 0.597 0.413 0.594
2009 10 0.362 0.332 0.393 0.383
2009 11 0.498 0.453 0.543 0.479
2009 12 0.284 0.358 0.211 0.506
2010 1 0.648 0.860 0.436 0.681
2010 2 0.603 0.720 0.486 0.791
2010 3 0.653 0.850 0.455 0.726
2010 4 0.501 0.799 0.203 0.633
2010 5 0.534 0.775 0.292 0.708
2010 6 0.436 0.550 0.323 0.476
2010 7 0.489 0.635 0.344 0.422

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature remained high, +0.49 deg. C in July, 2010, although the tropics continued to cool as La Nina approaches.

As of Julian Day 212 (end of July), the race for warmest year in the 32-year satellite period of record is still too close to call with 1998 continuing its lead by only 0.07 C:

1998 +0.62 +0.73 +0.51 +0.90
2010 +0.55 +0.74 +0.36 +0.63

To exceed 1998 as the warmest year, the daily global average temperature for the remainder of this year (1 Aug to 31 Dec, 2010) will need to average above +0.466 deg. C.

As a reminder, five months ago we changed to Version 5.3 of our dataset, which accounts for the mismatch between the average seasonal cycle produced by the older MSU and the newer AMSU instruments. This affects the value of the individual monthly departures, but does not affect the year to year variations, and thus the overall trend remains the same as in Version 5.2. ALSO…we have added the NOAA-18 AMSU to the data processing in v5.3, which provides data since June of 2005. The local observation time of NOAA-18 (now close to 2 p.m., ascending node) is similar to that of NASA’s Aqua satellite (about 1:30 p.m.). The temperature anomalies listed above have changed somewhat as a result of adding NOAA-18.

[NOTE: These satellite measurements are not calibrated to surface thermometer data in any way, but instead use on-board redundant precision platinum resistance thermometers (PRTs) carried on the satellite radiometers. The PRT’s are individually calibrated in a laboratory before being installed in the instruments.]

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27 Responses to “July 2010 UAH Global Temperature Update: +0.49 deg. C”

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  1. Ana says:

    Could you also give the numerical value for the 13-month average in your updates? And what was the top value in 1998?

  2. Chris Brown says:

    Hi Dr Spencer,

    I sometimes follow the daily temperature updates on the amsutemps site, but they don’t really match the temp anomalies you post here. Is there any chance you could do a post on any adjustments you do? It would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, do you combine the ch05 anomaly with the sea surface anomaly?


    • The numbers should start to match much better now…we just finished a more careful intercalibration between those daily data from Aqua AMSU, and the final multi-satellite numbers that make up the official UAH product. We do not combine the tropospheric and SST temperature in any way.

  3. Phil B says:

    is the running average line still to be updated? – doesn’t seem to have moved any despite a low value falling off the back.

  4. BenjaminG says:

    Chris Brown wrote: “I sometimes follow the daily temperature updates on the amsutemps site, but they don’t really match the temp anomalies you post here. Is there any chance you could do a post on any adjustments you do? It would be greatly appreciated.”

    I second this request. It’s a little surprising to me how much the final value differs from the raw numbers. January 2010 for instance, runs way below record highs most of the month, but the final numbers come out higher. July 2010 runs above record highs most of the month, but comes out lower.

    So, I would welcome a ‘for dummies’ style post on the process that takes us from the raw data posted at the amsutemps temps site to the UAH5.3TL2 numbers.


  5. boballab says:

    To those talking about looking at the Vortex site and then comparing them to the actual anomalies posted and finding a difference, especially in older data such as Jan 2010, you need to keep something in mind, all the values on the Vortex site were from the NOAA 15 Satellite until recently. This had a problem if I remember right: the satellite was out of fuel and drifting, thus causing the readings on the Vortex site to be incorrect (needing a lot of correction) compared to the Aqua satellite.

    You can go back and read some of Dr. Spencers older posts about how the dataset is constructed:



    Ah here it is from the Vortex site:

    “Daily averaged temperatures of the Earth are measured by the AMSU flying on the NOAA-15 satellite. The satellite passes over most points on the Earth twice per day. The AMSU measures the average temperature of the atmosphere in different layers from the surface up to about 135,000 feet or 41 kilometers. During global warming, the atmosphere in the lower atmosphere (called the troposphere) is supposed to warm at least as fast as the surface warms, while the statosphere above the troposphere is supposed to cool much faster than the surface warms.”

    Prior to going on an almost month long vacation when you opened the drop down menu for Channel it gave you the height, mb and Channel 05 but nothing stating Aqua, after I got back from vacation I noticed that it says this now:
    “14,000ft / 600mb (AQUA ch 05 v2)”

    • The values on Vortex are the official UAH values after all intercalibrations and adjustments.

      The ch. 5 values on the Discover website are from Aqua AMSU only. As of today, the daily values have been intercalibrate to the rest of the official, multi-satellite values on Vortex so that the daily-updated data on the Discover site should give a much better indication of how the current month’s anomaly is shaping up.

      The record max and min values are now fixed, too…they are based upon the period 1979 through 2009.

  6. Chris Brown says:

    And the amsutemps site has just been changed? What happened?

  7. dorlomin says:

    Lucia over at The Blackboard blog took this screenshot for one of our climate discussions earlier this month


    However the record highs for July over at
    Seem to have had some appended onto them for early July. This is used for little more than a bit of fun betting but still a couple of people have been suprised by July 2010 not being the warmest, could you shed any light on this or is it someone else who monitors these things?

    • As of today’s update (Aqua ch. 5 v2) to the processing for the Discover near-real time daily data, you should get a much better match between those values and the final, “Official” UAH values that get posted on Vortex once a month. Before today, there were large discrepancies.

      Part of the problem here is that Danny Braswell and I did not do the coding for the Discover web site, and it is very difficult to get the people that originally coded it to change it. I don’t do Java, unless it is served hot and black.

  8. Reader says:

    Can you clarify something please ?

    re: these measurements:

    1998 +0.62 +0.73 +0.51 +0.90
    2010 +0.55 +0.74 +0.36 +0.63

    So, one of the supposed greenhouse fingerprint is warming in the tropical upper troposphere but cooling in the stratosphere (right ?)

    So, are the measurements above suitable to establish a value of the tropical upper troposphere ? Or are they more suitable for display surface temperature behaviour ?

    And … if adequate for establishing tropical upper troposphere behaviour, what has the stratosphere done in the same time ?


  9. Chuck L says:

    Roy, I thought that you might want to know that Joe Romm has declared the UAH global temperature anomalies can no longer be relied-upon because of the adjustments that you make (?) and your having gone to version 5.3. Of course it is OK for GISS to adjust past and present temperatures.

    No comment or response is necessary, just thought you might like to know.

  10. sod says:

    Roy, i also have serious doubts about the UAH results and your adjustments.

    but perhaps you can give a quick answer to an obvious problem:

    since 2005 you factor in the NOAA data. but you directly comper the data with 1998, which does not include that data. how would the comparison look without the NOAA data?

    transparency is often described as a good way to counter doubts about a dataset. i would appreciate it, if you could post the 5.2 data along, so that we can see how the adjustments effect the new month immediately. thanks in advance!

  11. Paul K2 says:

    Dr. Spencer… The Aqua Channel 5 daily reported data seemed to show a period of several weeks during July where the measured temperature was higher than any other channel 5 measurement since the satellites began measuring data. The monthly anomaly reports seem ambiguous in this regard. I am wondering if the daily satellite data is robust and accurate enough to answer the obvious question:

    Did the global troposphere in July 2010 reach temperatures hotter than at any previous time in the satellite record?

    Looking first at the monthly global anomaly data, the UAH data seem to say NO or MAYBE, with an anomaly of 0.489 versus 0.52 in July 1998, while the RSS data seem to say likely YES (with a chance the answer is MAYBE), with a monthly anomaly of 0.653 versus 0.606 in July 1998.

    But if daily average temperatures as measured by the satellites were used, the question perhaps could be answered with greater certainty.

    In the same way, the question: “Did the NH troposphere hit record high temperatures in July 2010?” could be answered more definitively.

    It seems to me, that if the satellite troposphere temperature data were processed more effectively, there is much more information that could be gleaned from the data. If I understand the methods used to process the satellite data, the average temperatures are being calculated daily, or at least can be calculated daily. This should give the opportunity to garner more information from the satellite data, as compared to the surface global temperature records which use calculations involving anomalies and don’t attempt a rigorous calculation of an average temperature, either globally, or even over a significant portion of the planet.

    Thanks for allowing comments today.

  12. Phil B says:

    Can’t seem to post using the inline reply

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear Roy but I was referring to the running 13-month average in the above graph – doesn’t seem to have changed from June.

    Phil B

  13. Ray says:

    I have tried to replicate the above graph in Excel and I have to agree with Phil B that the 13 week average does appear to be out of date. A way to tell is that the June average was 0.443, which is at about the same level as the actual June figure, but the July figure is 0.477, which should be much nearer the July monthly figure.

  14. Reader says:

    @Chuck L on August 3, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Joe Romm seems confused. UAH temperature anomalies are derived values it makes sense to review your procedures and refine them if you can.

    This is in direct contrast to GISS which takes raw, real temperature values and manipulates them to produce derived figures bearing little resemblance to the original values and this is purely to satisfy James Hansen’s fixation with Venus and CO2.

    I just find it weird that a guy can do his formative post graduate work and then many years of work following looking at Venus / CO2 and yet no one even seems to suggest that he is biased and blinkered in his interpretation of science. Not to mention that he left NASA just as they were about to launch to Venus to (and this is right at the start of his career) to fix the problem with earth’s CO2. He has always thought CO2 was bad, it’s never been science for James Hansen, it has always been a religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      Romm has used the UAH anomaly calculations in the past (most recently on July 28th this year) to illustrate his claims about the hottest, month, year, decade, etc. He is a hypocrite in addition to his other “endearing” qualities.

  15. Rogerio Maestri says:

    First, sorry for my English. Not everything is perfect!
    Now let the question. It is possible the temperature of the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean passing through Central America? The question may seem stupid, but if you look at the temperatures of the SST provided by NOAA, there is a continuity both in absolute values in the anomalies between the two oceans!
    I plot some graphs in my personal blog that show these continuities.
    I am engineer, not a meteorologist or climatologist, but I think that the sea temperatures on the east coast of Central America should be very different from the west coast.
    I ask you a question, I’m talking nonsense or is there a problem in the measurements of SST?
    See http://engenheiro.blogspot.com/2010/08/esta-mesmo-se-medindo-temperatura-dos.html

  16. Matthew says:

    Dear Roy,

    You don’t think this warm year globally is down to co2 do you?

  17. Juho says:

    Hello Roy!

    Two days ago, a John O’Sullivan made these accusations towards satellite data:
    Do you know if the faulty data ended up in the NOAA-16 satellite dataset or is this just a baseless assumption?

    • the bad data are coming from the AVHRR on NOAA-16. I don’t know whether anone uses this for a climate dataset, but if they did, they would be doing quality control anyway. It has no impact on our measurements.

  18. Chris Brown says:

    Is there something weird going on with ch05? The last few days have been crazy hot, and even with lag wouldn’t the La Nina have started to drop the temp anomaly by now?


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