Global Temperature Trend Update: August 2012

Every month University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer report the latest global temperature trends from satellite data. Below are the newest data updated through August, 2012.

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.14 C per decade

August temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.34 C (about 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for August.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.38 C (about 0.68 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for August.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.31 C (about 0.56 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for August.

Tropics: +0.26 C (about 0.47 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for August.

Notes on data released Sept. 5, 2012:

Compared to global seasonal norms, August 2012 was the third hottest August in the 34-year satellite temperature record, according to Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. The last three Augusts have been three of the four warmest in the past 34 years, trailing only August 1998 — which was during a major El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event.

An El Nino warming event is still evident in the global temperature maps, stretching out across the tropical and southern Pacific Ocean from the west coast of South America, with temperatures in the tropics warming slightly from July through August.

The coldest and hottest spots on the globe (compared to seasonal norms) weren’t all that far apart in August: The “warmest” area was in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina, where temperatures were as much as 3.43 C (6.17 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than season norms. The Antarctic winter continues to run colder than normal. Compared to seasonal norms, the “coldest” spot on the globe in August was near the South Pole, with average temperatures as much as 3.38 C (6.08 F) colder than normal for the month.

Go here to see the processed satellite temperature data.

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  • Tim||

    "The “warmest” area was in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Argentina..."


  • Anomalous||

    Not my Falkland problem.

  • Mike M.||

    "I'm yawning. I'm yawning some more. AND, zzzzzzzzzzzzz..."

  • o3||

    excessive heat makes one need a siesta

  • ||

    I was going to say something.....but Mikes snoring inspired me to sleep. Probably for the best.

  • Pip||

    "Compared to global seasonal norms, August 2012 was the third hottest August in the 34-year satellite temperature record"

    Who gives a fuck? This is meaningless.

  • BarryD||

    Furthermore, the previous two hottest Augusts weren't using performance-enhancing drugs.

  • Tim||

    Miss August 1979 was the hottest on record, in my opinion.

  • BarryD||

    Sad case. She was murdered in 1980. Seriously.

  • BarryD||

    BTW what are the confidence intervals for these measurements?

  • BarryD||

    2 decimal places, assuming a maximum temperature of 50ͦ C (it does get hotter but let's make it easier on ourselves), that would mean that we're making measurements that we are confident are all accurate to 1/5000 or ±0.02%. Actually, it's more like ±0.01% if you figure you want the last digit to be close to correct, not 1 off.

    Either that, or the delta numbers are bullshit.

    I'm curious about how we measure to this level of accuracy. Maybe we can. But that's a crazy precise level of accuracy for a real-world measuring instrument.

  • BarryD||

    BTW that's assuming a temperature low of 0. -50 or lower is more likely, in the Southern Hemisphere.

    So correct that to ±0.005%

    Can we really make measurements that accurately, consistently, over time, all over the earth?

    Or are we merely assuming that all the errors far greater than ±0.005% will just cancel each other out? Is that realistic to assume?

  • ||

    Where is the graph?!?!?!?

  • Richard||

  • Archduke PantsFan||

    No way, it's gonna start cooling off in the next month or so.

  • kwais||

    So global warming is it real or not?
    Is it a bad thing or not?
    Is it man made or not?

    What is the informed skeptic's position?

  • o3||

    climate chg can fits historical norms w 6 iceages 6 melts, the last just 12,000 yrs ago.

    as the BEST study posits re AGW, one must provide a change agent other than CO2 which also correlates w the change both now and historically.

  • BarryD||

    IOW "if you can't prove a negative we invented, then you must be wrong".

  • ||

    the informed skeptic's position on all questions:


  • Bobarian||

    Man, this is some bullshit... I was just in Argentina, and it was cold as hell, like it was winter or something.

    Seriously though, let's start the measurements 1978, the peak of the 'the next ice age is coming' scare.

  • Bobarian||

    'in' 1978...

  • robc||

    This was one of the mildest Augusts I remember.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Yep. Many days with highs in the 70s is pretty fucking awesome for Central KY in August.


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