Author Archive

What Period of Warming Best Correlates with Climate Sensitivity?

Tuesday, February 6th, 2024

When computing temperature trends in the context of “global warming” we must choose a region (U.S.? global? etc.) and a time period (the last 10 years? 50 years? 100 years?) and a season (summer? winter? annual?). Obviously, we will obtain different temperature trends depending upon our choices. But what significance do these choices have in the context of global warming?

Obviously, if we pick the most recent 10 years, such a short period can have a trend heavily influenced by an El Nino at the beginning and a La Nina at the end (thus depressing the trend) — or vice versa.

Alternatively, if we go too far back in time (say, before the mid-20th Century), increasing CO2 in the atmosphere cannot have much of an impact on the temperatures before that time. Inclusion of data too far back will just mute the signal we are looking for.

One way to investigate this problem is to look at climate model output across many models to see how their warming trends compare to those models’ diagnosed equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECS). I realize climate models have their own problems, but at least they generate internal variability somewhat like the real world, for instance with El Ninos and La Ninas scattered throughout their time simulations.

I’ve investigated this for 34 CMIP6 models having data available at the KNMI Climate Explorer website which also have published ECS values. The following plot shows the correlation between the 34 models’ ECS and their temperature trends through 2023, but with different starting years.

The peak correlation occurs around 1945, which is when CO2 emissions began to increase substantially, after World War II. But there is a reason why the correlations start to fall off after that date.

The CMIP6 Climate Models Have Widely Differing Aerosol Forcings

The following plot (annotated by me, source publication here) shows that after WWII the various CMIP6 models have increasingly different amounts of aerosol forcings causing various amounts of cooling.

If those models had not differed so much in their aerosol forcing, one could presumable have picked a later starting date than 1945 for meaningful temperature trend computation. Note the differences remain large even by 2015, which is reaching the point of not being useful anyway for trend computations through 2023.

So, what period would provide the “best” length of time to evaluate global warming claims? At this point, I honestly do not know.

U.S.A. Temperature Trends, 1979-2023: Models vs. Observations

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

Updated through 2023, here is a comparison of the “USA48” annual surface air temperature trend as computed by NOAA (+0.27 deg. C/decade, blue bar) to those in the CMIP6 climate models for the same time period and region (red bars). Following Gavin Schmidt’s concern that not all CMIP6 models should be included in such comparisons, I am only including those models having equilibrium climate sensitivities in the IPCC’s “highly likely” range of 2 to 5 deg. C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2.

Approximately 6 times as many models (23) have more warming than the NOAA observations than those having cooler trends (4). The model trends average 42% warmer than the observed temperature trends. As I allude to in the graph, there is evidence that the NOAA thermometer-based observations have a warm bias due to little-to-no adjustment for the Urban Heat Island effect, but our latest estimate of that bias (now in review at Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology) suggests the UHI effect in the U.S. has been rather small since about 1960.

Note I have also included our UAH lower tropospheric trend, even though I do not expect as good agreement between tropospheric and surface temperature trends in a regional area like the U.S. as for global, hemispheric, or tropical average trends. Theoretically, the tropospheric warming should be a little stronger than surface warming, but that depends upon how much positive water vapor feedback actually exists in nature (It is certainly positive in the atmospheric boundary layer where surface evaporation dominates, but it’s not obviously positive in the free-troposphere where precipitation efficiency changes with warming are largely unknown. I believe this is why there is little to no observational evidence of a tropical “hot spot” as predicted by models).

If we now switch to a comparison for just the summer months (June, July, August), the discrepancy between climate model and observed warming trends is larger, with the model trends averaging 59% warmer than the observations:

For the summer season, there are 26 models exhibiting warmer trends than the observations, and only 1 model with a weaker warming trend. The satellite tropospheric temperature trend is weakest of all.

Given that “global warming” is a greater concern in the summer, these results further demonstrate that the climate models depended upon for public policy should not be believed when it comes to their global warming projections.

UAH Global Temperature Update for January, 2024: +0.86 deg. C

Friday, February 2nd, 2024

The Version 6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for January, 2024 was +0.86 deg. C departure from the 1991-2020 mean, up slightly from the December, 2023 anomaly of +0.83 deg. C.

The linear warming trend since January, 1979 now stands at +0.15 C/decade (+0.13 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.20 C/decade over global-averaged land).

New monthly record high temperatures were set in January for:

  • Northern Hemisphere (+1.06 deg. C, previous record +1.02 deg. in October 2023)
  • Northern Hemisphere ocean (+1.08 deg. C, much above the previous record of +0.85 deg. C in February, 2016)
  • Tropics (+1.27 deg. C, previous record +1.15 deg. C in February 1998).

The following table lists various regional LT departures from the 30-year (1991-2020) average for the last 13 months (record highs are in red):

YEARMOGLOBENHEM.SHEM.TROPICUSA48ARCTICAUST
2023Jan-0.04+0.05-0.13-0.38+0.12-0.12-0.50
2023Feb+0.09+0.17+0.00-0.10+0.68-0.24-0.11
2023Mar+0.20+0.24+0.17-0.13-1.43+0.17+0.40
2023Apr+0.18+0.11+0.26-0.03-0.37+0.53+0.21
2023May+0.37+0.30+0.44+0.40+0.57+0.66-0.09
2023June+0.38+0.47+0.29+0.55-0.35+0.45+0.07
2023July+0.64+0.73+0.56+0.88+0.53+0.91+1.44
2023Aug+0.70+0.88+0.51+0.86+0.94+1.54+1.25
2023Sep+0.90+0.94+0.86+0.93+0.40+1.13+1.17
2023Oct+0.93+1.02+0.83+1.00+0.99+0.92+0.63
2023Nov+0.91+1.01+0.82+1.03+0.65+1.16+0.42
2023Dec+0.83+0.93+0.73+1.08+1.26+0.26+0.85
2024Jan+0.86+1.06+0.66+1.27-0.05+0.40+1.18

The full UAH Global Temperature Report, along with the LT global gridpoint anomaly image for January, 2024, and a more detailed analysis by John Christy, should be available within the next several days here.

The monthly anomalies for various regions for the four deep layers we monitor from satellites will be available in the next several days:

Lower Troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

Mid-Troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tmt/uahncdc_mt_6.0.txt

Tropopause:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/ttp/uahncdc_tp_6.0.txt

Lower Stratosphere:

/vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

Gavin’s Plotting Trick: Hide the Incline

Thursday, February 1st, 2024

Since Gavin Schmidt appears to have dug his heels in regarding how to plot two (or more) temperature times series on a graph having different long-term warming trends, it’s time to revisit exactly why John Christy and I now (and others should) plot such time series so that their linear trend lines intersect at the beginning.

While this is sometimes referred to as a “choice of base period” or “starting point” issue, it is crucial (and not debatable) to note it is irrelevant to the calculated trends. Those trends are the single best (although imperfect) measure of the long-term warming rate discrepancies between climate models and observations, and they remain the same no matter the base period chosen.

Again, I say, the choice of base period or starting point does not change the exposed differences in temperature trends (say, in climate models versus observations). Those important statistics remain the same. The only reason to object to the way we plot temperature time series is to Hide The Incline* in the long-term warming discrepancies between models and observations when showing the data on graphs.

[*For those unfamiliar, in the Climategate email release, Phil Jones, then-head of the UK’s Climatic Research Unit, included the now-infamous “hide the decline” phrase in an e-mail, referring to Michael Mann’s “Nature trick” of cutting off the end of a tree-ring based temperature reconstruction (because it disagreed with temperature observations), and spliced in those observations in order to “hide the decline” in temperature exhibited by the tree ring data.]

I blogged on this issue almost eight years ago, and I just re-read that post this morning. I still stand by what I said back then (the issue isn’t complex).

Today, I thought I would provide a little background, and show why our way of plotting is the most logical way. (If you are wondering, as many have asked me, why not just plot the actual temperatures, without being referenced to a base period? Well, if we were dealing with yearly averages [no seasonal cycle, the usual reason for computing “anomalies”], then you quickly discover there are biases in all of these datasets, both observational data [since the Earth is only sparsely sampled with thermometers, and everyone does their area averaging in data-void infilling differently], and the climate models all have their own individual temperature biases. These biases can easily reach 1 deg. C, or more, which is large compared to computed warming trends.)

Historical Background of the Proper Way of Plotting

Years ago, I was trying to find a way to present graphical results of temperature time series that best represented the differences in warming trends. For a long time, John Christy and I were plotting time series relative to the average of the first 5 years of data (1979-1983 for the satellite data). This seemed reasonably useful, and others (e.g. Carl Mears at Remote Sensing Systems) also took up the practice and knew why it was done.

Then I thought, well, why not just plot the data relative to the first year (in our case, that was 1979 since the satellite data started in that year)? The trouble with that is there are random errors in all datasets, whether due to measurement errors and incomplete sampling in observational datasets, or internal climate variability in climate model simulations. For example, the year 1979 in a climate model simulation might (depending upon the model) have a warm El Nino going on, or a cool La Nina. If we plot each time series relative to the first year’s temperature, those random errors then impact the entire time series with an artificial vertical offset on the graph.

The same issue will exist using the average of the first five years, but to a lesser extent. So, there is a trade-off: the shorter the base period (or starting point), the more the times series will be offset by short-term biases and errors in the data. But the longer the base period (up to using the entire time series as the base period), the difference in trends is then split up as a positive discrepancy late in the period and a negative discrepancy early in the period.

I finally decided the best way to avoid such issues is to offset each time series vertically so that their linear trend lines all intersect at the beginning. This minimizes the impact of differences due to random yearly variations (since a trend is based upon all years’ data), and yet respects the fact that (as John Christy, an avid runner, told me), “every race starts at the beginning”.

In my blog post from 2016, I presented this pair of plots to illustrate the issue in the simplest manner possible (I’ve now added the annotation on the left):

Contrary to Gavin’s assertion that we are exaggerating the difference between models and observations (by using the second plot), I say Gavin wants to deceptively “hide the incline” by advocating something like the first plot. Eight years ago, I closed my blog post with the following, which seems to be appropriate still today: “That this issue continues to be a point of contention, quite frankly, astonishes me.”

The issue seems trivial (since the trends are unaffected anyway), yet it is important. Dr. Schmidt has raised it before, and because of his criticism (I am told) Judith Curry decided to not use one of our charts in congressional testimony. Others have latched onto the criticism as some sort of evidence that John and I are trying to deceive people. In 2016, Steve McIntyre posted an analysis of Gavin’s claim we were engaging in “trickery” and debunked Gavin’s claim.

In fact, as the evidence above shows, it is our accusers who are engaged in “trickery” and deception by “hiding the incline”

Spencer vs. Schmidt: My Response to RealClimate.org Criticisms

Wednesday, January 31st, 2024

What follows is a response to Gavin Schmidt’s blog post at RealClimate.org entitled Spencer’s Shenanigans in which he takes issue with my claims in Global Warming: Observations vs. Climate Models. As I read through his criticism, he seems to be trying too hard to refute my claims while using weak (and even non-existent) evidence.

To summarize my claims regarding the science of global warming:

  1. Climate models relied upon to guide public policy have produced average surface global warming rates about 40% greater than observed over the last half-century (the period of most rapid warming)
  2. The discrepancy is much larger in the U.S. Corn Belt, the world-leader in corn production, and widely believed to be suffering the effects of climate change (despite virtually no observed warming there).
  3. In the deep-troposphere (where our weather occurs, and where global warming rates are predicted to be the largest), the discrepancy between models and observations is also large based upon multiple satellite, weather balloon, and multi-data source reanalysis datasets.
  4. The global energy imbalance involved in recent warming of the global deep oceans, whatever its cause, is smaller than the uncertainty in any of the natural energy flows in the climate system. This means a portion of recent warming could be natural and we would never know it.
  5. The observed warming of the deep ocean and land has led to observational estimates of climate sensitivity considerably lower (1.5 to 1.8 deg. C here, 1.5 to 2.2 deg. C, here) compared to the IPCC claims of a “high confidence” range of 2.5 to 4.0 deg. C.
  6. Climate models used to project future climate change appear to not even conserve energy despite the fact that global warming is, fundamentally, a conservation of energy issue.

In Gavin’s post, he makes the following criticisms, which I summarize below and which are followed by my responses. Note the numbered list follows my numbered claims, above.

1.1 Criticism: The climate model (and observation) base period (1991-2020) is incorrect for the graph shown (1st chart of 3 in my article). RESPONSE: this appears to be a typo, but the base period is irrelevant to the temperature trends, which is what the article is about.

1.2 Criticism: Gavin says the individual models, not the model-average should be shown. Also, not all the models are included in the IPCC estimate of how much future warming we will experience, the warmest models are excluded, which will reduce the discrepancy. RESPONSE: OK, so if I look at just those models which have diagnosed equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECS) in the IPCC’s “highly likely” range of 2 to 5 deg. C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2, the following chart shows that the observed warming trends are still near the bottom end of the model range:

And since a few people asked how the results change with the inclusion of the record-warm year in 2023, the following chart shows the results don’t change very much.

Now, it is true that leaving out the warmest models (AND the IPCC leaves out the coolest models) leads to a model average excess warming of 28% for the 1979-2022 trends (24% for the 1979-2023 trends), which is lower than the ~40% claimed in my article. But many people still use these most sensitive models to support fears of what “could” happen, despite the fact the observations support only those models near the lower end of the warming spectrum.

1.3 Criticism: Gavin shows his own comparison of models to observations (only GISS, but it’s very close to my 5-dataset average), and demonstrates that the observations are within the envelope of all models. RESPONSE: I never said the observations were “outside the envelope” of all the models (at least for global average temperatures, they are for the Corn Belt, below). My point is, they are near the lower end of the model spread of warming estimates.

1.4 Criticism: Gavin says that in his chart “there isn’t an extra adjustment to exaggerate the difference in trends” as there supposedly is in my chart. RESPONSE: I have no idea why Gavin thinks that trends are affected by how one vertically align two time series on a graph. They ARE NOT. For comparing trends, John Christy and I align different time series so that their linear trends intersect at the beginning of the graph. If one thinks about it, this is the most logical way to show the difference in trends in a graph, and I don’t know why everyone else doesn’t do this, too. Every “race” starts at the beginning. It seems Gavin doesn’t like it because it makes the models look bad, which is probably why the climate modelers don’t do it this way. They want to hide discrepancies, so the models look better.

2.1 Criticism: Gavin doesn’t like me “cherry picking” the U.S. Corn Belt (2nd chart of 3 in my article) where the warming over the last 50 years has been less than that produced by ALL climate models. RESPONSE: The U.S. Corn Belt is the largest corn-producing area in the world. (Soybean production is also very large). There has been long-standing concern that agriculture there will be harmed by increasing temperatures and decreased rainfall. For example, this publication claimed it’s already happening. But it’s not. Instead, since 1960 (when crop production numbers have been well documented), (or since 1973, or 1979…it doesn’t matter, Gavin), the warming has been almost non-existent, and rainfall has had a slight upward trend. So, why did I “cherry pick” the Corn Belt? Because it’s depended upon, globally, for grain production, and because there are claims it has suffered from “climate change”. It hasn’t.

3.1 Criticism: Gavin, again, objects to the comparison of global tropospheric temperature datasets to just the multi-model average (3rd of three charts in my article), rather than to the individual models. He then shows a similar chart, but with the model spread shown. RESPONSE: Take a look at his chart… the observations (satellites, radiosondes, and reanalysis datasets) are ALL near the bottom of the model spread. Gavin makes my point for me. AND… I would not trust his chart anyway, because the trend lines should be shown and the data plots vertically aligned so the trends intersect at the beginning. This is the most logical way to illustrate the trend differences between different time series.

4. Regarding my point that the global energy imbalance causing recent warming of the deep oceans could be partly (or even mostly) natural, Gavin has no response.

5. Regarding observational-based estimates of climate sensitivity being much lower than what the IPCC claims (based mostly on theory-based models), Gavin has no response.

6. Regarding my point that recent published evidence shows climate models don’t even conserve energy (which seems a necessity, since global warming is, fundamentally, an energy conservation issue), Gavin has no response.

Gavin concludes with this: “Spencer’s shenanigans are designed to mislead readers about the likely sources of any discrepancies and to imply that climate modelers are uninterested in such comparisons — and he is wrong on both counts.”

I will leave it to you to decide whether my article was trying to “mislead readers”. In fact, I believe that accusation would be better directed at Gavin’s criticisms and claims.

P.S. For those who haven’t seen it, Gavin and I were interviewed on John Stossel’s TV show, where he refused to debate me, and would not sit at the table with me. It’s pretty revealing.

How Much Ocean Heating is Due To Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents?

Monday, January 29th, 2024

I sometimes see comments to the effect that recent ocean warming could be due to deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Of course, what they mean is an INCREASE in hydrothermal vent activity since these sources of heat are presumably operating continuously and are part of the average energy budget of the ocean, even without any long-term warming.

Fortunately, there are measurements of the heat output from these vents, and there are rough estimates of how many vents there are. Importantly, the vents (sometimes called “smokers”) are almost exclusively found along the mid-oceanic ridges, and those ridges have an estimated total length of 75,000 km (ref).

So, if we had (rough) estimates of the average heat output of a vent, and (roughly) know how many vents are scattered along the ridges, we can (roughly) estimate to total heat flux into the ocean per sq. meter of ocean surface.

Direct Temperature Measurements Near the Vents Offer a Clue

A more useful observation comes from deep-sea surveys using a towed sensor package which measures trace minerals produced by the vents, as well as temperature. A study published in 2016 described a total towed sensor distance of ~1,500 km just above where these smokers have been located. The purpose was to find out just how many sites there are scattered along the ridges.

Importantly, the study notes, “temperature anomalies from such sites are commonly too weak to be reliably detected during a tow“.

Let’s think about that: even when the sensor package is towed through water in which the mineral tracers from smokers exist, the temperature anomaly is “too weak to be reliably detected”.

Now think about that (already) extremely weak warmth being mixed laterally away from the (relatively isolated) ocean ridges, and vertically through 1,000s of meters of ocean depth.

Also, recall the deep ocean is, everywhere, exceedingly cold. It has been calculated that the global-average ocean temperature below 200m depth is 4 deg. C (39 deg. F). The cold water originates at the surface at high latitudes where it becomes extra-salty (and thus dense) and it slowly sinks, filling the global deep oceans over thousands of years with chilled water.

The fact that deep-sea towed probes over hydrothermal vent sites can’t even measure a temperature increase in the mineral-enriched water means there is no way for buoyant water parcels to reach up several kilometers to reach the thermocline.

Estimating The Heat Flux Into the Ocean from Hydrothermal Vents

We can get some idea of just how small the heat input is based upon various current estimates of a few parameters. The previously mentioned study comes up with a possible spacing of hydrothermal sites every ~10 km. So, that’s 7,500 sites around the world along the mid-oceanic ridges. From deep-sea probes carrying specialized sampling equipment, the average energy output looks to be about 1 MW per vent (see Table 1, here). But how many vents are there per site? I could not find a number. They sampled several vents at several sites. Let’s assume 100, and see where the numbers lead. The total heat flux into the ocean from hydrothermal vents in Watts per sq. meter (W m-2) would then be:

Heat Flux = (7,500 sites)x(100 vents per site)x(1 MW per vent)/(360,000,000,000,000 sq. m ocean sfc).

This comes out to 0.00029 W m-2.

That is an exceedingly small number, about 1/4,000th of the 1 W m-2 estimated energy imbalance from Argo float measurements of (very weak) ocean warming over the last 20 years or so. Even if the estimate is off by a factor of 100, the resulting heat flux is still 1/40th of global ocean heating rate. I assume that oceanographers have published some similar estimates, but I could not find them.

Now, what *is* somewhat larger is the average geothermal heat flux from the deep, hot Earth, which occurs everywhere. That has a global average value of 0.087 W m-2. This is approximately 1/10 of the estimate current ocean heating rate. But remember, it’s not the average geothermal heat flux that is of interest because that is always going on. Instead, that heat flux would have to increase by a factor of ten for decades to cause the observed heating rate of the global deep oceans.

Evidence Ocean Warming Has Been Top-Down, Not Bottom-Up

Finally, we can look at the Argo-estimate vertical profile of warming trends in the ocean. Even though the probes only reach a little more than half-way to the (average) ocean bottom, the warming profile supports heating from above, not from below (see panel B, right). Given these various pieces of evidence, it would difficult to believe that deep-sea hydrothermal vents — actually, an increase in their heat output — can be the reason for recent ocean warming.

New Article on Climate Models vs. Observations

Thursday, January 25th, 2024

UPDATE: Since commenter Nate objects to my inclusion of the Corn Belt graph (yes, it is a small area), please go to the actual article link at Heritage.org where 2 out of the 3 graphs I provide are for global average temperatures. But also remember that we are being told (through the National Climate Assessment’s authors’ belief in climate models) that U.S. agriculture is at risk from warming and drying– the first claim is mostly wrong, and the second claim is (so far) totally wrong. I’ve blogged on this before, folks.

I was asked by Heritage Foundation to write an article on the exaggerated global warming trends produced by climate models over the last 50 years or so. These are the models being used to guide energy policy in the U.S. and around the world. The article is now up at Heritage.org. As a sneak peek, here’s a comparison between models and observations for the U.S. Corn Belt near-surface air temperatures in summer:

UAH Global Temperature Update for December, 2023: +0.83 deg. C

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2024

2023 Was the Warmest Year In the 45-Year Satellite Record

The Version 6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for December, 2023 was +0.83 deg. C departure from the 1991-2020 mean, down from the November, 2023 anomaly of +0.91 deg. C.

The 2023 annual average global LT anomaly was +0.51 deg. C above the 1991-2020 mean, easily making 2023 the warmest of the 45-year satellite record. The next-warmest year was +0.39 deg. C in 2016. The following plot shows all 45 years ranked from the warmest to coolest.

The linear warming trend since January, 1979 still stands at +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.19 C/decade over global-averaged land).

It might be partly coincidence, but the +0.51 deg. C number for 2023 from satellites is the same as the surface air temperature estimate from the NOAA/NCEP/NCAR Climate Data Assimilation System (CDAS). Note that the CDAS estimate is only partly based upon actual surface air temperature observations… it represents a physically consistent model-based estimate using a wide variety of data sources (surface observations, commercial aircraft, weather balloons, satellites, etc.). [UPDATE: it appears the CDAS anomalies are not relative to the 1991-2020 base period… I recomputed them, and the CDAS anomaly appears to be +0.45 deg. C, not +0.51 deg. C]:

Various regional LT departures from the 30-year (1991-2020) average for the last 24 months are:

YEARMOGLOBENHEM.SHEM.TROPICUSA48ARCTICAUST
2022Jan+0.03+0.07+0.00-0.23-0.12+0.68+0.10
2022Feb+0.00+0.02-0.01-0.24-0.04-0.30-0.49
2022Mar+0.16+0.28+0.03-0.07+0.23+0.74+0.03
2022Apr+0.27+0.35+0.18-0.04-0.25+0.45+0.61
2022May+0.18+0.25+0.10+0.02+0.60+0.23+0.20
2022Jun+0.07+0.08+0.05-0.36+0.47+0.33+0.11
2022Jul+0.36+0.37+0.35+0.13+0.85+0.56+0.65
2022Aug+0.28+0.32+0.25-0.03+0.60+0.51+0.00
2022Sep+0.25+0.43+0.06+0.03+0.88+0.69-0.28
2022Oct+0.32+0.44+0.21+0.05+0.17+0.94+0.05
2022Nov+0.17+0.21+0.13-0.16-0.50+0.52-0.56
2022Dec+0.05+0.13-0.02-0.34-0.20+0.80-0.38
2023Jan-0.04+0.05-0.13-0.38+0.12-0.12-0.50
2023Feb+0.09+0.17+0.00-0.10+0.68-0.24-0.11
2023Mar+0.20+0.24+0.17-0.13-1.43+0.17+0.40
2023Apr+0.18+0.11+0.26-0.03-0.37+0.53+0.21
2023May+0.37+0.30+0.44+0.40+0.57+0.66-0.09
2023June+0.38+0.47+0.29+0.55-0.35+0.45+0.07
2023July+0.64+0.73+0.56+0.88+0.53+0.91+1.44
2023Aug+0.70+0.88+0.51+0.86+0.94+1.54+1.25
2023Sep+0.90+0.94+0.86+0.93+0.40+1.13+1.17
2023Oct+0.93+1.02+0.83+1.00+0.99+0.92+0.63
2023Nov+0.91+1.01+0.82+1.03+0.65+1.16+0.42
2023Dec+0.83+0.93+0.73+1.08+1.26+0.26+0.85

The full UAH Global Temperature Report, along with the LT global gridpoint anomaly image for December, 2023, and a more detailed analysis by John Christy, should be available within the next several days here.

The monthly anomalies for various regions for the four deep layers we monitor from satellites will be available in the next several days:

Lower Troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

Mid-Troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tmt/uahncdc_mt_6.0.txt

Tropopause:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/ttp/uahncdc_tp_6.0.txt

Lower Stratosphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

UAH Global Temperature Update for November, 2023: +0.91 deg. C

Friday, December 1st, 2023

The Version 6 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for November, 2023 was +0.91 deg. C departure from the 1991-2020 mean, statistically unchanged from the October, 2023 anomaly of +0.93 deg. C.

The linear warming trend since January, 1979 still stands at +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.19 C/decade over global-averaged land).

Various regional LT departures from the 30-year (1991-2020) average for the last 23 months are:

YEARMOGLOBENHEM.SHEM.TROPICUSA48ARCTICAUST
2022Jan+0.03+0.07-0.00-0.23-0.12+0.68+0.10
2022Feb-0.00+0.01-0.01-0.24-0.04-0.30-0.49
2022Mar+0.15+0.28+0.03-0.07+0.23+0.74+0.03
2022Apr+0.27+0.35+0.18-0.04-0.25+0.45+0.61
2022May+0.18+0.25+0.10+0.01+0.60+0.23+0.20
2022Jun+0.06+0.08+0.05-0.36+0.47+0.33+0.11
2022Jul+0.36+0.37+0.35+0.13+0.84+0.56+0.65
2022Aug+0.28+0.32+0.24-0.03+0.60+0.51-0.00
2022Sep+0.25+0.43+0.06+0.03+0.88+0.69-0.28
2022Oct+0.32+0.43+0.21+0.05+0.16+0.94+0.04
2022Nov+0.17+0.21+0.13-0.16-0.51+0.51-0.56
2022Dec+0.05+0.13-0.03-0.35-0.21+0.80-0.38
2023Jan-0.04+0.05-0.14-0.38+0.12-0.12-0.50
2023Feb+0.09+0.170.00-0.11+0.68-0.24-0.11
2023Mar+0.20+0.24+0.16-0.13-1.44+0.17+0.40
2023Apr+0.18+0.11+0.25-0.03-0.38+0.53+0.21
2023May+0.37+0.30+0.44+0.39+0.57+0.66-0.09
2023June+0.38+0.47+0.29+0.55-0.35+0.45+0.06
2023July+0.64+0.73+0.56+0.87+0.53+0.91+1.44
2023Aug+0.70+0.88+0.51+0.86+0.94+1.54+1.25
2023Sep+0.90+0.94+0.86+0.93+0.40+1.13+1.17
2023Oct+0.93+1.02+0.83+1.00+0.99+0.92+0.62
2023Nov+0.91+1.01+0.82+1.03+0.65+1.16+0.42

The full UAH Global Temperature Report, along with the LT global gridpoint anomaly image for November, 2023 and a more detailed analysis by John Christy, should be available within the next several days here.

Lower troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

Middle troposphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tmt/uahncdc_mt_6.0.txt

Tropopause:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/ttp/uahncdc_tp_6.0.txt

Lower stratosphere:

http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

‘Demographic Warming’: Humans Increasingly Choose to Live Where It’s Warmer

Wednesday, November 8th, 2023

The urban heat island (UHI) was first described by Luke Howard in 1833 for London, England. Urban area air temperatures are almost always warmer than their rural surroundings, especially at night. Thus, the average human experiences warmer temperatures than they would if they lived in wilderness conditions.

This has nothing to do with global warming, and would occur even if there was no long-term ‘global warming’. In fact, since over 50% of the Earth’s population now lives in urban areas (expected to increase to nearly 70% by 2045), the temperatures humans actually experience would continue to break high temperature records even without climate change. For reference, the following plot shows the increase in global population between 1800 and 2023.

Our new global gridded UHI dataset allows one to compute just how much warmth (vs wilderness conditions) the average person experiences merely because most people live where human settlements cause localized warming. The following plot shows my computed ‘demographic warmth’ (during June, July, and August) experienced by the average human and how it has changed since 1800. For comparison I’ve also plotted the area-average temperature departures from the 1885-1984 average of the land portion of the HadCRUT4 thermometer dataset.

What can one conclude from this plot? At a minimum it shows humans choose to live under warmer conditions just by living in densely populated areas — and increasingly so. I will leave it up to the reader to decide if it shows anything beyond that. Note that this does not include the effect of (for instance) the migration of the U.S. population from colder to warmer latitudes, which would show an additional source of demographic warming. The warming shown by the red curve is only for urban effects relative to wilderness conditions at the same location.

Now, don’t be confused about what this means regarding the UHI impact on the thermometer measurements — that’s a different subject. All this shows is an metric of human-centric experienced warmth, not a thermometer-centric estimate of how much warming from the thermometer network can be attributed to UHI effects. The UHI effect on air temperature is due to a variety of processes associated with human settlements, such as replacement of vegetation with buildings and impervious surfaces and generation of waste heat that change the daily energy budget of those locations. Our UHI dataset simply approximates all of those processes using population density as a proxy, a choice made for us by the fact that it is the best (and possibly only) long-term dataset that exists to analyze the UHI problem.