UAH V5.6 Global Temperature Update for August, 2013: +0.16 deg. C

September 10th, 2013 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Sorry for the late temperature update, I’ve been at a NASA AMSR meeting in California.

The Version 5.6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for August, 2013 is +0.16 deg. C (click for large version):

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 20 months are:

2012 1 -0.145 -0.088 -0.203 -0.245
2012 2 -0.140 -0.016 -0.263 -0.326
2012 3 +0.033 +0.064 +0.002 -0.238
2012 4 +0.230 +0.346 +0.114 -0.251
2012 5 +0.178 +0.338 +0.018 -0.102
2012 6 +0.244 +0.378 +0.111 -0.016
2012 7 +0.149 +0.263 +0.035 +0.146
2012 8 +0.210 +0.195 +0.225 +0.069
2012 9 +0.369 +0.376 +0.361 +0.174
2012 10 +0.367 +0.326 +0.409 +0.155
2012 11 +0.305 +0.319 +0.292 +0.209
2012 12 +0.229 +0.153 +0.305 +0.199
2013 1 +0.496 +0.512 +0.481 +0.387
2013 2 +0.203 +0.372 +0.033 +0.195
2013 3 +0.200 +0.333 +0.067 +0.243
2013 4 +0.114 +0.128 +0.101 +0.165
2013 5 +0.083 +0.180 -0.015 +0.112
2013 6 +0.295 +0.335 +0.255 +0.220
2013 7 +0.173 +0.134 +0.212 +0.074
2013 8 +0.158 +0.107 +0.208 +0.009

Note: In the previous version (v5.5, still provided to NOAA due to contract with NCDC) the temps are slightly cooler, probably due to the uncorrected diurnal drift of NOAA-18. Recall that in v5.6, we include METOP-A and NOAA-19, and since June they are the only two satellites in the v5.6 dataset whereas v5.5 does not include METOP-A and NOAA-19.

Names of popular data files:


54 Responses to “UAH V5.6 Global Temperature Update for August, 2013: +0.16 deg. C”

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  1. mike maguire says:

    Thanks Dr. Spencer. Your work is much appreciated.

    With ENSO-neutral conditions expected(make that predicted) to continue through the upcoming Winter, one would not expect that to contribute to a spike up or down for awhile.

  2. Thanks, Dr. Spencer.
    I have updated your graph in my climate and weather pages (English and Spanish).
    I found interesting that the global temperature dropped .01C in August.

  3. mike maguire,
    Note that the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI) is about -0.5 in August.

  4. torontoann says:

    Exactly what we “stick-in-the-muds” like, viz another month
    wherein the dog does not bark.

  5. PhysicistPhil says:

    Always appreciated, Dr. Spencer. How’s your progress on version 6 going?

    All the best,

  6. 4.
    Many are in denial of the climatic response to the last two prolonged solar minimum periods,(Maunder Minimum /Dalton Minimum) and do not accept the concept of thresholds, which require a certain degree of magnitude change and duration of time change in the state of solar activity in order for it to exert an influence on the climate.
    The period from 1844-2005 should have shown weak to no solar/climate correlations due to the fact solar activity through out that time was in a steady regular 11 year strong sunspot cycle with peaks and lulls which would masked any potential solar/climate correlations.

    To clarify there is not one prolonged solar minimum period during that time frame following several years of sub-solar activity in general , to refer to ,to see if prolonged solar minimum conditions do or do not exert an influence on the climate directly and thru secondary means.

    In addition I would like alternative explanations to account for the many past abrupt climatic changes(such as all 3 of the Dryas events) the earth has undergone in the past.

    AGW theory has already been proven to be incorrect to those of us who know better and have looked into the many predictions it has made which are wrong.

    The models have predicted the basic atmospheric circulation(more of a +ao reality more of a -ao) and atmospheric temperature profiles wrong(lower tropospheric hot spot reality no hot spot )therefore it is not at all surprising the climate forecast are wrong. Not to forget co2 concentrations are a response to temperature change ,they do not lead the temperature change

  7. In order to have a solar/climate connection show up the solar conditions have to vary by a certain degree of magnitude over a certain duration of time, anything short of that WILL NOT BE ENOUGH ,to show a solar /climate connection.

    This is why it is hard to show solar/climate connections since the end of the Dalton , to very recently.

    However the sun has gone into a prolonged solar minimum state which is turing out much WEAKER then the conventional forecast thus far ,and IS going to have an impact on the climate going forward if the prolonged solar minimum reaches the many solar parameters I have talked about.

    solar flux sub 90 sustained.
    solar wind sub350 km/sec. sustained.
    UV light off upwards of 50% sustained.
    cosmic ray count 6500 or more sustained.
    solar irradiance off .015% or more sustained
    ap index 5.0 or lower 98+% of the time sustained.

    These solar values folowing several years of sub solar activity in general which we have had since year 2005.

  8. stephen says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    First, thanks for your work.

    Quickly to my question, the latest from the IPCC and others is that the “missing heat” from the past 13 years or so is now no longer missing. It is supposedly building up in the oceans, and the rate of planetary heat gain is still increasing even though the surface temperatures are not going up.

    Can you speak to this in relation to your theory that climate change is more natural than manmade?


    • We have a paper about to appear on this subject….I will blog on it when it is published.

    • sky says:

      What is really missing in the “missing heat” conjecture is any plausible physics by which solar heating would accumulate in the cold deep ocean without affecting the near-surface layers.

      • Stephen says:

        To complete this line of reasoning, you would also have to explain where the heat is really coming from or prove false the claim that the ocean is warming at an accelerated rate.

      • glenncz says:

        this is all so easy. just look at the ENSO index.
        From 1977 to 1998 we were in an El Nino dominated period.

        However do note that Dr. Spencers work shows no real rise in global temperature from 1977 through 1997, his data only shows a step up in 1998 after that huge El Nino in that year.

        But aside from that, the global warming from 1977-1998 was very likely from El Nino predominating, and the flat period since is from the basically neutral ENSO since 1999. What else do you really need to know about climate? Of course there are other factors, the sun(TSI, magnetic, cosmic rays & more), planetary orbits, short term effects of volcanoes, clouds and possibly a minuscule effect of CO2.

        All you have to do is look at look at the monthly changes. ENSO can throw global around, inc or dec, by .6C in just a few months. Don’t ya think that ENSO could be the main factor in the .4-.8C rise in global temp since 1977. I doubt the ocean would even notice!

        • Steve Reddish says:

          when you say “From 1977 to 1998 we were in an El Nino dominated period.”, you sound to me as if you think El Ninos are spontaneous events that drive global temps up. That is like saying boiling water heats the pot, instead of the heat being pumped into the pot by the stove burner heats the water.
          In the case of the the oceans, don’t you think El Ninos are actually a mechanism to release heat from the oceans into the atmosphere?

          Increased solar activity appears to corelate well with El Nino spells, indicating heat is not stored in the oceans, but released rapidly by El Ninos. A drop in number of El Ninos would mean a drop in recent solar input.

          Comments, anyone?

          • Steve Reddish says:

            Upon second reading I realize my comment is more personal than I intended. My comment was intended to be directed to the group. My apologies.

          • stephen says:

            Does sound interesting. The IPCC et al seem to be quick to conclude that their finding of the “missing heat” proves global warming, but they seem to be quick to come to these sorts of conclusions lately, and then mother nature often immediately proves them wrong.

            I’m not smart enough to conclude whether GW is manmade or natural, but considering that none of the “official” predictions ever come true, they seem not to have a good handle on the mechanisms at work. And they seem to want to make the situation appear more dire than it really is.

            I also really learned that this notion that “97% of climate scientists agree” is at least partially hogwash. Apparently there is a group of studies that conclude anywhere from 82% to 97% of climate scientists agree. And when you look at some of the studies, they don’t even make sense. For example, one of the studies concluding 97% simply counted climate papers. Well, logic would suggest that those who think there is a problem are more likely to write papers about it. Meaning the survey’s conclusions are totally without merit.

        • stephen says:


          You basically just said that “A and B” happened at the same time, therefore “A” obviously caused “B”. This is not scientifcially valid conclusion.

          I do look forward to Dr. Spencer’s report, which I assume will employ the scientific method to arrive at conclusions.

      • Kasuha says:

        I’m not missing any physics here. Oceanic water is heated up in tropics and cooled down on poles which leads to ocean circulation. If you heat the water more, the rate of its flow towards poles and subsequently the whole circulation increases. And as the water flows faster it doesn’t cool down that much on poles and it takes the rest of the heat down along.
        As long as the “global” warming seems to be concentrated mostly on the northen hemisphere, the flow increase is also stronger there. Hence Arctic ice decline.
        The deep water may keep “heating” this way for hundreds of years without having any noticeable impact on anything. What increased the most is the release of heat on poles and residual heat taken down with the water is negligible when the water upwells near the equator to get heated again. Your fridge doesn’t stop working when it’s hot oustide, just the cooling medium becomes slightly warmer.

        • sky says:

          In claiming that “Oceanic water is heated up in tropics and cooled down on poles which leads to ocean circulation” you indeed miss a lot of physics. For starters, ocean circulation is driven primarily by geostrophic winds, rather than water temperature.

          • beevor says:

            VERTICAL circulation is driven by the thermo-haline
            effect. This mixes the entire ocean on a time-frame
            of 500/1000 years. As someone has pointed out,
            the water that sinks in the far North comes up largely
            in the far South. Hence, one effect is to make the
            Northern Hemisphere some 6 Deg C warmer in the
            mid-latitudes than it would otherwise be. And,
            if excess heat somehow IS going straight down to the deeps –
            well, jolly good luck to it!!

          • sky says:

            That’s not at all how vertical circulation works in the oceans, which, unlike some lakes. don’t experience any wholesale overturning over any time scale.

            There are indeed areas in the far North where cold, hypersaline water sinks sluggishly, contributing to the formation of bottom water. Such ultra-cold water, however, doesn’t “come up largely in the far South,” or anywhere else, for that matter. The upwelling seen around Antactica is driven by the circumpolar winds, rather tnan by thermohaline effects, and involves only the subsurface layer exposed by driving away the surface layer.

            As Carl Wunsch put so aptly, “the great conveyor belt is a fairly tale for grown-ups.” Insofar as heat transport is concerned, THC is merely a weak-sister adjunct to the much more ubiquitous wind-driven circulation. Greater land-mass proportion in the NH, not any imagined “conveyor belt,” is what accounts for the higher mid-latitude temperatures there than in the SH.

      • barry says:

        sky, there is constant heat exchange between the layers. The upper levels of the ocean could remain at constant heat while the bulk of heat transfer is to the depths. All that needs to change is the nett heat transport up or down. Think of the system as in constant flux, with changing rates of transport, rather than fixed packages at different strata. If the flow increases downwards, then less heat remains in the upper layers and in the atmosphere.

        I don’t know if that is what has been occurrng, but it should be physically possible.

        • sky says:

          “Heat exchange” is a slippery concept when not tied to the constraint of entropy, which provides direction to actual heat transfer. It is precisely on this point that any notion of deeper, colder layers being warmed from above without any effect upon the shallower, warmer layers becomes physically untenable.

    • Dr. Strangelove says:


      The ocean ‘missing heat’ theory is consistent with natural variability theory of climate change. The ocean-atmosphere dynamics is dominated by natural cycles like PDO, AMO, ENSO, THC. The ocean acts as a thermostat (strong negative feedback) regulating the temperature of the atmosphere. This could explain the failure of climate models to predict actual observations. The models assume strong positive feedback to CO2.

      I think it is plausible that all temperature trends since 1850 are all natural variability. IPCC holds that natural variability are just noise but temperature warming trends are caused by anthropogenic forcing. The problem with this claim is the noise itself can produce trends.

      A good example of noise producing trends is the random walk theory of stock market. It states that daily stock price changes are random. Mathematicians used a random walk function and made a computer-generated chart. It was virtually indistinguishable from a real chart of stock prices. They gave the random walk chart to stock market technical analysts. The analysts identified trends and gave predictions of future direction of the random walk chart.

      If this can happen in the stock market, more so it can happen in climate. Daily stock price changes are small compared to annual changes. Its less likely for random daily changes to produce a long-term trend. In climate, daily temperature variations are larger than annual and decadal temperature anomalies. It is more susceptible to noise creating an apparent trend.

      We cannot rule out anthropogenic forcing as the cause of temperature trends. However, if the cause is indistinguishable from noise, then it is also noise.

      • Stephen says:

        Basically what you said is you can make a model match history perfectly, but it still will not necessarily predict the future. This is pretty much how I view the climate models. Of course they match historical data. They were tuned to match!

        • barry says:

          No, except for a few experiments that try to isolate components of the system, hindcast GCMs use no historical temperature data. They use estimates of historical forcings. Tuning is done for components where the physics are not well proscribed. Tuning is not done to create trends, just average behaviour.

          • Stephen says:

            Yes, I didn’t mean to imply that the models were simply tuned polynomials or something like that. Obviously you model what you think you understand, and and tune the unknowns. But the point is that matching history is not proof of a good model. But repeated failure to predict the future is generally excellent proof of a bad model.

          • barry says:

            Treating model results as a binary output (good/bad, good match/falsified) is a political paradigm. Maybe that’s your point and you are comfortable with it, but it just seems to me like a write-off of science. But what does it really mean that recent surface/lower atmospheric temps are on or below the lower envelope of ensembles? Is climate sensitivty lower than previously estimated, and do we have enough data (16 years?) to make that determination if we accept that there is uncertainty in modelling? What is the value of constraining the global heat budget to a couple of layers and making pronouncements about our understanding of global warming – if not political?

            It seems a bit too pat to dismiss hindcasting on generalities. We have much better estimates of the forcings and regional and ocean atmosphere behaviour than we do for the future (obviously), so it seems pretty straightforward that hindcasting is a good test to improve models.

            We may come at the subject differently. I’m interested in how models are improved. The political ramifications must take into account uncertainties, which a ‘good/bad’ paradigm completely excludes. It is a disappointing feature of the general ‘debate’ that this paradigm is dominant. But I may find it disappointing simply because the political ramifications don’t matter to me.

    • torontoann says:

      “…the rate of planetary heat gain is still going up…”

      There is little evidence for an ACCELERATING heat gain.
      I think you meant “…the planet continues to gain heat…”

      “…even though the surface temperatures are not going up…”

      That is the obvious point – the heat has begun to go
      into the deeper Ocean (where it can not change conditions
      in an important way, before thousands of years pass away); and so, why should anyone worry about a (possible) heat gain if that is the ultimate sink for it? It is not going to “just pop back up” from a thousand feet down, merely because it is 0.4 Degrees C warmer down there than it was in the time of Queen Victoria!

      It is inevitable that excess heat will eventually end up in the water; water IS the skin of the Earth, for all practical purposes, and on any time scale of more than a few years.

      The mass of the Sea is 400 times that of the Atmosphere,
      and the ratio of heat capacities is even more lop-sided, at

  9. Dr. Spencer do you think the reason why the satellite observations suggest there is more energy lost to space during and after warming then the climate models is due to LESS clouds during and shortly after warming events,allowing more out going long wave radiation to escape into space?

    This would also go along with the theory less clouds equate to an overall warming while more clouds equate to a cooling. A negative climate feedback, caused by clouds in contrast to the models which call for a positive climate feedback.

  10. Walter Dnes says:

    Dr. Spencer;

    I have a comparison of some monthly temperature anomaly sets at

    There are separate tabs for each of 6 data sets, for a graphical showing of how far back you can go with a data set, with a negative slope. Data is current to July or August. UAH v5.6 seems to be the outlier. There is a negative slope for the periods…

    RSS Nov 1996 to Aug 2013
    HadCRUT3 Apr 1997 to Jul 2013
    HadCRUT4 Dec 2000 to Jul 2013
    NOAA/NCDC Dec 2000 to Jul 2013
    GISS Feb 2001 to Jul 2013
    UAH Jul 2008 to Aug 2013

    Separately, I have a spreadsheet at home that compares the most recent 12-month running mean, versus the annual means for period of record, to get the rank. The latest 12-month means indicate…

    HadCRUT4 would be 9th highest
    GISS would be 9th highest
    HadCRUT3 would be 8th highest
    RSS would be 8th highest
    NCDC/NOAA would be 7th highest
    UAH would be 4th highest

    Again, UAH v5.6 appears to be an outlier. Any comments?

  11. Werner Brozek says:

    To add to what Walter said above:

    Version 5.5 is not positive for 107 months since October 2004.

    To the end of August, 2013 on UAH would rank 7th warmest if its average anomaly stayed that way for the rest of the year on version 5.5.

    So Version 6 takes UAH even further away from the others than Version 5.

  12. torontoann says:

    Well, obviously, Drs. Spencer and Christy have an awful warmist bias!!!

  13. TOM TUCKER says:

    Dr, Spencer et al,
    Assuming the other sensors are consistent with Spencer’s, we now have way more than 2200 measurements that clearly show that the computer models that are the sole basis for the AGW hysteria are fatally flawed. This should be a stake that can be driven through the heart of AGW.
    I recently put together a 10 minute pitch based on Spencer’s senate testimony and his “Epic Fail” articles and gave it to my congressman. He agreed with everything I said, including that all efforts strictly aimed at reducing CO2 emissions should be put on hold until/unless measured temperatures increase significantly.
    However, his view is that politicians and the carbon-based energy industry are so afraid of the environmentalists that they will not attack the basic premiss of AGW but rather will only continue to try to mitigate the impact. HE BELIEVES THIS WILL BE THEIR POSITION UNTIL PUBLIC OPINION IS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY.
    What are all you guys doing to change public opinion?
    I really want to see this fraud exposed and all the waste of time and money stopped.
    Tom Tucker

  14. Stephen Wilde says:

    Changes in the level of solar activity appear to be able to alter the global air circulation resulting in less clouds when the sun is active and more clouds when the sun is inactive.

    So an active sun gives less clouds, more solar energy into the oceans and skews ENSO in favour of El Ninos which warm the air as more energy flows through the air on its way to space.

    So an active sun lets more energy in AND more energy out with the overall system energy content remaining much the same except for some variation around the mean caused by the varying timings of the various oceanic oscillations.

    An inactive sun does the opposite.

    There is no significant ‘extra’ energy stored in the oceans because the recent increase in cloudiness from more meridional jets and more equatorward climate zones prevented it from entering the oceans in the first place.

    It was simply reflected out to space.

    If that continues then El Ninos will become still weaker as compared to La Ninas and the air will cool.

  15. TOM TUCKER says:

    Andres, Where is your web site. I’d like to see it.
    Tom Tucker

  16. beevor says:

    Mann case?

    I thought he was going to Judge Judy?
    You know what I mean. The show where you make
    an ass of yourself for ten minutes in front of
    a day-time audience, and are then given a
    little money for the defamation, or scratched
    car, or whatever.

  17. Dan Pangburn says:

    About 90% of average global temperature change is driven by natural ocean oscillations plus phenomena that correlate with the sunspot number time-integral.

  18. Mattias says:

    I have followed this cite for many years. It’s always fun to see the new dots every month. It’s a little scary that the data more and more start to indicate the same ~0.1 per decade that other analysis based on other data with higher noise but with longer time period showed. But I like that it also show that models in the 90s were very poor in predicting the temperature development. From this data it’s oviously less than a whole degree warmen than the 90s )) . The longer this data is followed, the more it will be helpful.

  19. beevor says:

    Why is ~0.1 Deg C per decade “a little scary”? The range
    of the Max-Min thermometer in my garden, over just the last
    few hours, is 10 Deg. C. (6.0 to 16.0). Am I supposed
    to wet myself, that in twenty years the range for Sep 13 in
    my locality might be 6.2 to 16.2 C? According to actuarial tables, I have a 90% chance of being DEAD then, anyway.
    I suppose that means a 10% chance of longing for death, as an escape from the unbearable heat and the sea slopping in
    through my top-floor windows!

    • Hops says:

      Personally, I’m not worried about myself. I’m worried about my children.

      And frankly, my definition of “alarmist” is anyone who thinks the world is going to end if we start cutting back on fossil fuels. Personally, I think we should do so regardless, just to reduce pollution in our own lifetimes.

      But I think that what’s happening in Colorado is the sort of thing we can expect from climate change, if not now, eventually. They’ve gone from drought and record forest fires to floods that destroy the infrastructure. Now they have to rebuild that expensive infrastructure to withstand heavier downpours — if they even can; sometimes there’s just no room to move a road or make a higher bridge.


  20. I think the temperature data that Dr. Spencer post each month is the most accurate ,and is what I am going to continue to use.

  21. torontoann says:

    All the satellite series seem to be in
    agreement now, as regards the big picture.

  22. Kristian says:

    torontoann says:

    “All the satellite series seem to be in
    agreement now, as regards the big picture.”

    There is actually near perfect agreement all the way between RSS and UAH if you only adjust the former up by 0.03C from October 2005 and the latter up by 0.06C between January 1992 and September 2005:

    That is, the UAH time series curve clearly seems to have its midsection ‘fallen in’ en bloc (compared to most all other global datasets, be it land, sea or troposphere) while RSS seems to have the same problem, albeit to a smaller degree, with its end segment.

  23. Hops says:

    The chart of the LT temperature always has a running 13 month mean. That’s a small sample size for something so volatile.

    Would it make more sense to display a running 10 or 20 year mean?


  24. torontoann says:

    I think the purpose of the (centered) 13-month average
    which is shown is to eliminate any seasonal bias in the measurements.

    A (centered) 10 or 20 year mean for 2013 would not be
    calculable until 2018 or 2023 respectively. One for
    future statisticians perhaps. A non-centred moving
    average is always hard to interpret, as it introduces
    a phase shift.

    There is nothing to stop anyone from applying smoothing
    techniques such as splines to the raw numbers in the
    data files. Dr Spencer used to show a fitted polynomial,
    but got a lot of flak for doing it, even though he disclaimed any intention of drawing conclusions. He has quietly dropped it!

    The Mark I human eyeball is quite good. As you say,it is
    obviously a series which jumps around a bit. And yet, it
    is equally obvious that the data points since the late 1990’s are bounded by the maximum and minimum related to the El Nino and subsequent La Nina of that time.

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