Global Temperature Trend Update—February, 2010


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 January, 2010.


From the University of Alabama in Huntsville press release, the satellite data report that this has been the warmest January in 32 years and is 3rd warmest month overall. Go here for the satellite data.

Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade

January temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.72 C (about 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for January.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.84 C (about 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for January.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.61 C (about 1.1 degrees Fahreneheit) above 20-year average for January.

December temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.29 C above 20-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.33 C above 20-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.25 C above 20-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 20-year average (1979-1998) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released Feb. 10, 2010:

A large El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event exposed the atmosphere to enough extra heat energy to cause the warmest January and the third warmest month overall in 32 years, and the warmest month in almost a decade (compared to seasonal norms), according to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

"This has the potential of breaking the records set in February and April 1998, during the 'El Nino of the Century,'" Christy said. "I looked at sea surface temperatures in the Central Pacific and it wasn't as warm as 1998, but what is there is spread out further than it was in 1998. That exposes the atmosphere to a lot of extra heat."

Hottest months in the satellite record
(Compared to seasonal norms)
Apr 1998  +0.76 C
Feb 1998  +0.76 C
Jan 2010* +0.72 C
May 1998  +0.65 C
Jan 2007  +0.59 C
Jan 1998  +0.58 C
Jun 1998  +0.57 C
Mar 1998  +0.53 C
Jul 1998  +0.52 C
Aug 1998  +0.51 C
Nov 2009  +0.50 C
Jan 2005  +0.49 C

Hottest Januaries in the satellite record
(Compared to seasonal norms)

2010* +0.72 C
2007  +0.59 C
1998  +0.58 C
2005  +0.49 C
2003  +0.48 C
2002  +0.40 C
2004  +0.37 C
2006  +0.37 C
2009  +0.30 C
1988  +0.27 C
1999  +0.17 C
1987  +0.14 C

Hottest months in the tropics

Feb 1998  +1.31 C
Jan 1998  +1.09 C
Apr 1998  +1.06 C
Mar 1998  +1.05 C
May 1998  +0.89 C
Jan 2010* +0.74 C
Dec 1997  +0.73 C
Feb 2005  +0.68 C
Dec 1987  +0.62 C
Mar 1983  +0.60 C
Jan 1983  +0.58 C
Jan 2007  +0.58 C

Hottest months, southern non-tropics

Jul 2009  +0.71 C
Jan 2010* +0.58 C
Nov 2009  +0.58 C
Feb 1981  +0.55 C
Oct 2002  +0.49 C
Aug 1996  +0.47 C
Oct 2005  +0.46 C
Feb 2001  +0.45 C
Jun 1998  +0.44 C
Sep 2002  +0.44 C
Sep 1980  +0.44 C
Apr 2002  +0.44 C

Hottest months, northern non-tropics

Apr 1998  +1.01 C
Feb 2009  +0.99 C
Feb 2006  +0.97 C
Feb 2007  +0.89 C
Feb 2004  +0.88 C
Mar 2008  +0.88 C
Jan 2007  +0.86 C
Jan 2010* +0.84 C
Feb 1999  +0.84 C
Mar 2004  +0.84 C
Mar 2007  +0.83 C
Jul 1998  +0.82 C

NEXT: The Bipartisan Corporate State

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  1. But there’s snow in Washington so all that data must clearly be false. Drudge told me so.

    1. Time magazine said that this snowstorm is the result of Global Warming. Not so long ago, Robert Kennedy Jr. said that the lack of snow was the result of Global Warming. So, with warmists, it is Heads, You Lose, Tails, I Win.

      1. There’s a difference between temperature and precipitation.

        1. Re: Syd Henderson,

          Really? Have ypu told Times, or Mr. “Green-is-Me” Kennedy?

        2. Actually there is, but there is also a connection. Warmists feel warming will increase the water vapor in the atmosphere, but not the precipitation. They see the water vapor forming high level Circus cloud that will effectively blanket the heat and hold it in.

          Skeptics see the increased water vapor forming low level clouds that will reflect radiation back into space reducing temperatures and fall back to earth as rain or snow also cooling the planet.

          So I would February figures to be quite a bit colder due to albedo effect and the cooling from the snows.

    2. This is because they use averages instead of high/low temperatures meaning this data doesn’t really tell us anything other than manipulate peoples perceptions. This isn’t science.

      1. Whenever I hear about average global temperature, I think of an old skit on ABC’s late night news broadcast, “World News Now,” called the national temperature index.

  2. This is just more evidence of a global conspiracy of scientists who want to help al gore dominate the cap and trade market.

    1. Time magazine said that this snowstorm is the result of Global Warming. Not so long ago, Robert Kennedy Jr. said that the lack of snow was the result of Global Warming. So, with warmists, it is Heads, You Lose, Tails, I Win.…..tml?hpt=T1

      I KID YOU NOT.

      1. Yeah, well, that’s one of the tell-tale signs that Global Warming–or Climate Change–is unscientific: the endless multiplication of abstract entities to support the tottering structure and the inability of the hypothesis to be tested. Occam’s Razor and the unmet requirements of testability and falsifiability have long since shredded the credibility of the Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis beyond all recovery.

      2. If you ever saw the movie, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING, you have an example of what we see from the alarmists.

        The father in this movie was a proud Greek man. He would ask his daughters classmates to give him any word and he would show them how it comes from Greek.

        One of the girls gave him the Japanese word Kimono. It stopped him for a minute, but then he found a Greek word that was close to it that meant fall and in the fall you needed to put on a robe which is what a Kimono is, so Kimono comes from Greek.

  3. I forget, are we attributing El Nino to Global Warming Climate Change these days or not?

    1. No, no, no! It’s because we don’t have universal health care! That’s what is causing global climate change!


      1. Finally, something we can agree on 😉

        1. Sarcasm does a body good.

          1. No, the gourd! Follow the gourd!

      2. Thanks for cleating that up 😉

        1. and clearing, I should not forget to thank you for clearing it up too, lol

    2. Some might. El Nino is a warming event for most of the globe, but one of the effects is to pull cold moist air down across North America from the North Pacific. Most of the moisture is streaming from the coast of California and, as the system moves east, from the Gulf of Mexico. Since El Nino is warm ocean off the coast of Peru, I have heard suggestions that El Ninos might become more common.

      If that were the case, than the Atlantic hurricane season will be milder and the North American winters generally colder and wetter.

  4. That settles it. January was super warm and the earth kicked out more co2 lately than ever. Oh, wait.

  5. El Nino depends on which argument works for increasing State power at any given time.

    Where is the proof that this is

    1. Bad
    2. Stoppable by a $100+ trillion dollar international bureaucracy?

  6. Prime decline hider James Hansen’s NASA GISS colleague Andrew Lacis declared that the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report had “no scientific merit”.

  7. Everything looks pretty good to me. El Nino makes me unconcerned. There’s about a fifteen year bump. Big fucking deal.

  8. So I see we’re going to continue to beat this dead horse. Not surprised, just bored.

    1. “I won’t argue of the color of skeletons when they were horses.”

      1. Aeon Flux references? What, do you watch reruns of Liquid TV in the mornings?

        1. “Man alive, Goodchile! You give me the hinks!”

          1. The unobserved state is a fog of probability, a window of and for error. The watcher observes, the fog collapses, an event resolves–a theory becomes a fact. What is the truth? Tell me if you know and I will not believe you. Things are never as they seem. Clean gloves hide dirty hands and mine are dirtier than most. Without truth there can be no justice.

            1. Nose wheel feels kinda mushy.

    2. I just saw this show on PBS that included dramatic reenactments of what happened to residents of Pompeii when the Plinian eruption occurred two thousand years ago (they’re due for another, in theory).

      Anyway, it made me think of Seattle. When I was out there for my extended work project, I heard a few residents discuss what would happen if Mount Rainier blew. Historically, at least one massive mudflow took out what some call Tacoma and south Seattle. Not to mention all the other crap that comes with an eruption.

      At least you aren’t right at the foot of the volcano like the Pompeians were. That looked like an unpleasant way to go. Not to mention that the time for getting the hell out is limited when you’re right there.

      1. No, I’m on Western Ave, so any earthquake is going to bring 1st Ave down on me. I spend most of my time in Fremont at work, though, so I might have a chance.

        1. I wasn’t thinking about quakes, which are another threat up there, but that’s probably a more likely event.

          For an eruption, I say stay and watch the whole thing. Seattle is far enough away that you’d like survive. Just find some high ground and webcam the experience.

          1. The Cascadia fault will be the destructor of Seattle. It is coming due to shift again. Of course, it’s possible that Rainier will pop off at the same time. Tommy Lee Jones hisself couldn’t save the city from that.

      2. Last night PBS did a show on the evolution of heart surgery. Now days, they lower your body temperature to about 50 degrees F, remove all of your blood and then shoot sodium pentothal into your heart to make it stop bleeding.

        The patient is morgue cold, has a heartbeat of zero and barely any discernable brain wave activity. It’s as if the patient were dead. They can keep the patient in this state for as long as they need to.

        Absolutely amazing!

        1. Last night PBS did a show on the evolution of heart surgery. Now days, they lower your body temperature to about 50 degrees F, remove all of your blood and then shoot sodium pentothal into your heart to make it stop bleeding.

          The patient is morgue cold, has a heartbeat of zero and barely any discernable brain wave activity. It’s as if the patient were dead. They can keep the patient in this state for as long as they need to.

          Absolutely amazing!

          And it looks expensive.

    3. Epi, “So I see we’re going to continue to beat this dead horse. Not surprised, just bored.” Don’t give these guys any ideas on what else to do with dead things.

  9. We’re trying to draw MNG in for his daily beating.

  10. Ron,

    I don’t see how any of these numbers mean anything given the questions about temperature measurement. We all act like we have any idea what “global temperature” is. Yet, we also know that the number of temperature measurement stations has been reduced over the years. And worse, that the reduction in the number of stations has been biased towards rising temperatures (i.e. high altitude and colder stations have been reduced disproportionally). I don’t trust any of these numbers. I frankly don’t trust anything put out by anyone in the field of “climate science” if you can call it that. Unless and until they start completely over and redo all of their work, I am not paying attention to any of it.

    1. John, this is satellite data.

    2. John,
      If you look at the study, there is a single data source for this time–satellite data not ground stations.

    3. John’s correct. There is no such thing as one global temperature. Assuming one exists, it’s still impossible to determine tenths of a degree changes multiple decades out, as the Al Gore clan claim.

    4. The satellite data measures a well-defined mean temperature.

      The exact cause/effect coupling of that number to stuff happening on the ground is less well defined, but for glod’s sake stop bitching about the average.

      On the other hand, feel free to bitch about the averaging procedure used for ground station data. (At least if you know anything about it. My reading of the climategate email suggests that they were hand tuning the weights on the basis of experience and intuition—a recipe for introducing conscience or unconscience bias. Yikes!)

  11. Not that I doubt the numbers, but where was January warm? Who was making up for the weather in Florida?

    I spent a week in Miami and it was miserable (including the coldest Orange Bowl in history).

    1. I live in Upstate NY. It got to the mid 50’s here for a week. That’s unusual for us. The rest of the month was pretty friggin’ cold, though, so I don’t know what it means. Just saying, it was warm here when it normally isn’t.

      1. How upstate? Real upstate or Westchester County-ish. Anything east of the Hudson is pretend upstate. I’m about 40 mile north of Binghamton.

        1. Real Upstate. Saratoga County, near where the Mohawk meets the Hudson.

    2. I live north of Seattle and this is by far the nicest, warmest and dryest winter I have experienced since moving here from California years ago. It was sunny and 60+ here yesterday… I think this time last year we still had snow on the ground.

    3. This winter has been very mild up here in Alaska. And since Alaska is ten times the size of Florida, the Sunshine State’s contribution to the average doesn’t stand a chance.

  12. As I said on a thread yesterday, in about 270 years we will have enough satellite data to start drawing conclusions. I cant wait.

  13. You anti-science types disgust me.

  14. Do people not believe in global warming because they truly doubt the science or because they don’t like the conclusions (CO2 limits) that the science leads to? I think most people who don’t believe in global warming are not objectivly looking at the evidence. They just don’t want to believe it’s true. (a lot like evolution)

    1. I don’t believe it because many of the main movers and shakers behind the whole thing have been exposed as liars and data fabricators.

      Some of them in fact are even outright criminals who should be in jail.

    2. I believe in warming. And cooling. Climate change. It happens. Agreed.

      It’s that whole “what’s causing it” that’s at issue.

      And the case for “manmade” is, at best, suspect these days.

      1. …and then there’s the whole, “if it’s manmade, so what…should we do anything or not…why…what…what’s it cost…will it work…to what end”.

        Complicated. Good thing the science is settled!

        1. And why is the presumption always that warming is bad? What if in turn it is exactly what solves global hunger? Didnt earth support far more life when it was much, much warmer than it is today? Hell, I think there was a period of a couple million years where we had no ice caps at all, the planet was much hotter than today, that included vegitation large enough that it makes my oak look like broccoli and supporting blood-pumping life land-dwelling monsters big enough to swallow a person whole. Somehow I think the earth and life will be fine.

          1. Nobody presumes this. Go beat a different straw-man.

            There are some benefits to AGW. They are just few and small relative to the likely downsides.

            If you would like to turn the world back into a hot-house earth like the Tyranosaurs lived in, I hope you have a good plan for the ~10 million years that the biosphere takes to recover from the mass extinction that we would endure on our way there.

            1. Nobody believes you because your predictions keep proving wrong (and yet somehow these failures of yours never falsify your position; that’s why it’s religion, not science). Judging by your track record thust far, this latest bull-glow warming flatulence of yours about liabilities outweighing benefits will also assuredly prove false as well.

              1. OK, you made the claim twice.

                Now you need SIX citations of my false preductions. Anything less, and you are a confirmed liar.

    3. Duncan

      Most people who do believe in global warming are not objectivly looking at the evidence either. They haven’t seen the evidence: that is, actually read the IPCC reports themselves. All they’ve ever seen or heard are reports that journalists have written based on those journalists reading of the executive summaries of the IPCC. The executive summaries have been criticised as drawing overly broad conclusions fron the reports by not only outside scientists but by members of the IPCC itself. I strongly suspect that included in this group are the Tonys, Chad’s and MNGs of the world.

      And then there are the ones who haven’t really paid attention to anything but Al Gore saying “the science is settled.”

    4. I won’t speak for anyone but me, but my story may give you a hint. I used to be in the camp of cynics who assumed that since the only scientists (I was aware of from traditional media sources) who were saying AGW is bogus were guys who worked for oil companies, it was likely that AGW was real. At that time it didn’t really occur to me that AGW scientists could possibly gain something from the massive reformation our society would require if they were right. “Why would they lie?”

      Upon delving deeper into the intense lack of credible data coming from AGW scientists and the intense lack of intelligence of the lefty politicians who believed every ounce of it, I started to listen to alternatives.

      And I believe in evolution.

      1. Politicians are extreme over reactors. “Sumpm must be dun! Think of teh children!1!!!1one!!!1”

        I blame myself for not thinking about that before all possible scenarios.

    5. I mistrust the science for the same reason that environmentalists mistrust the science — when the science is done by Big Oil, or anyone who’s ever gotten a dime from them, or anyone with incentive to misrepresent or outright fabricate results. I just happen to be cynical enough to remember that there’s a lot of money and power at stake for both sides of the issue. There’s no reason to think that Big Green Energy is any less corrupt and greedy than Big Fossil Energy.

      Moreover, corporations are motivated by nothing but money (which would be worthless if the world’s economy collapsed due to ecological catastrophe anyway), while environmentalists are motivated by morality. I agree with C.S. Lewis:

      “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

      True believers will twist any fact or theory to support their agenda, because they truthfully believe that they are saving the world — and what’s a little dishonesty or minor corruption when the world is at stake?

      1. “There’s no reason to think that Big Green Energy is any less corrupt and greedy than Big Fossil Energy.”

        Yes there is. The latter group want’s to own your life.

        1. I meant the FORMER, not latter.

          1. Actually, I can’t help wondering whether both sides are really in cahoots, kind of like how the health insurance companies are actually in favor of socializing health care if it means everyone is forced to buy one of their plans.

            Might big oil companies be secretly trying to get people to believe in AGW so that they can lobby their way into several hundred billion dollars of “green” research funding (more than they make in a decade) while producing a false scarcity of fossil fuel to give them an excuse to jack up the price on every gallon of gasoline they sell? Or are they maybe trying to slit each other’s corporate throats so the survivors can hog a bigger market share for themselves?

            It’s hard to believe huge conglomerates with as many in-house lawyers and Congressmen in their pockets as the oil companies surely have would not be able to pull off such a scam on the taxpayers, especially since they’d hardly be the first ones to engage in such financial perversity with our elephantine government bureaucracies–and succeed. Really, sometimes the question with a big politician and a huge corporation is which one has the other one in the pocket.

        2. I think you were correct as you said it here.

          Green Energy doesn’t exist unless it picks your pocket. It requires 25 times the subsidies given to any of the fossil fuels to be competitive.

          The left likes to say the subsidizes to Big Oil is bigger than to green energy but that’s because we get about 80 times as much energy from fossil fuels as we do from green energy sources.

    6. I agree that the global climate is constantly changing. I agree that reliable temperature data (which goes back only about thirty years) shows there is about a fifteen year warming trend. I agree that anthropogenic contributions to atmospheric gasses can even influence atmospheric temperatures (simple chemistry). This is the full extent of the “consensus”.

      Is the small amount of anthropogenic gasses significant enough to overtake natural climate change? Doubt it. Is the fifteen year warming trend a long term trend? Too early to tell, none of the bullshit climate models have accurately predicted or replicated what has already happened. Computer programs are not experiments, all they do is demonstrate someone’s hypothesis. All the anthropogenic global warming evidence I am familiar with are simply looking at data and drawing conclusions, but not testing those conclusions. I can do that.

    7. I just hate polar bears. And Bengalis.

  15. Do people believe in global warming because they truly believe the science or because they like the conclusions (CO2 limits) that the science leads to? I think most people who believe in global warming are not objectively looking at the evidence. They just want to believe it’s true. (a lot like socialism)

    1. I believe in facts and numbers. You apparently prefer faith–just like evolution.

      1. Because reasonable skepticism has no place in science?

        1. Reasonable skepticism has a huge place in science. But if you don’t base your ideas on evidence or data, then you are just promoting a faith based idea. When multiple data sources are consistent, maybe it’s time to believe the numbers instead of faith.

          1. Consistent with what? You do realize that the proof, which isn’t as strong as it was previously believed to be, is only that we’ve been in a warming trend, not that anthropogenic causes were/are a substantial component. Nor is there anything remotely scientific about the push to “do something” about whatever AGW there is.

            Climatology is a very inexact science, trying to work with chaotic systems in the present and in the past. With historical data in particular, assumptions had to be made that can be and are challenged. We just don’t know enough to talk about certainty or consensus.

            Frankly, the AGW proponents sound more like the ID side of the evolution “debate” (evolution is, of course, well established and proven), to me. Caution and tentative conclusions are one thing. Yelling about cataclysms and insisting that there’s consensus on more than there is consensus about is another.

            1. The key being you dont have to claim “consensus” on things that are consensus, because everyone already agrees.

              1. Robc: Concensus clearly implies unanimous agreement among small groups of people. But beyond a dozen or so, that definition is dubious, and beyond fifty, requiring 100% agreement is absurd. You couldn’t get a consensus that the sky was blue or the sun rose in the east, if you had a sufficiently large group of people.

                1. We have a consensus, everyone: the claim of consensus is meaningless.

            2. Pro Lib,
              You can’t seem to decide whether to argue that there is no global warming or it’s not caused by man. Which is it? Why don’t you believe this data series? Why don’t you believe that the US set twice as many new record high temps as low temps in the last decade? Yes, historical data has it’s problems and cleaning data to create a time series is imperfect, but that doesn’t make it wrong, just weaker. I’ve actually collected data and created time series for a living. I understand that it is imperfect.

              1. I’m being inconsistent? When did I say that there’s no warming? I’m not sure we’re still in a warming trend–no one can say that for sure–but we may very well be.

                Temperature varies considerably over time. Whether this latest instance of warming is mostly attributable to man-made causes is yet to be proven. Furthermore, even if it’s true, whether it’s necessary to do anything about it has also not been established.

    2. Hurly:

      I wrote my high school senior report on climate change, around two decades ago. I was a Republican then. I remained concerned about this issue through my years of college and grad school, where I was a Ayn-Rand loving freak. Now that I am an adult, an ardent Democrat, and a scientist, my opinion that AGW is a serious problem has only grown stronger…exactly in line with the data.

      Data > ideology.


      Any political movement which defies this law will be condemned by history.

      1. “I wrote my high school senior report on climate change, around two decades ago”

        Wow, you must have been some fucking expert.

        “Now that I am an adult, an ardent Democrat, and a scientist, my opinion that AGW is a serious problem has only grown stronger”

        What does being a democrat have to do with global warming, besides ideology?

        “exactly in line with the data.”

        Wow, you really are a fucking expert. You can look at some numbers, and make a claim that you can’t test.

        You’re not a scientist, and you’re not an adult.

        1. Do you have a coherent response to the fact that I put facts before my ideology. My position on climate change has not changed despite a wide swing in my politics, which proves, unlike you, that I am capable of putting facts before my ideology.

          1. I haven’t ever seen you refer to anything other than debatable data and coincidental evidence.

            My position on climate change has changed the more I look at the “evidence” and realize there is nothing more than a hypothesis with reasoning that can easily be challenged, unlike other scientific disciplines that can be analyzed mathematically (chemistry, physics) or with solid, visible evidence (evolution, biology, geology).

      2. All that proves is that you were heartless as a teenager and have become brainless as an adult.

        1. And it sounds like he has daddy issues. Which explains him and Tony.

      3. The problem you have is the data is very suspect.

        Here is one example. Why GISS Temperature Anomalies/Rankings Are Always Changing
        This letter was sent to NASA GISS’s James Hansen by Arvind Kumar after he noticed that the anomalies he had downloaded each year had changed with each new update.

        Dear Dr. Hansen,

        I see that the numbers in the data set here keep changing. I know that there were reports that you revised them once to make 1934 the hottest year on record and this was due to a bug. However, when I go to, I find that the numbers for specific years change arbitrarily and I have picked dates after you made the change. Perhaps it is not arbitrary, and maybe this is the famous “Mike’s Nature Trick” that everyone speaks of? Can you please explain why the numbers for the same year keeps changing?

        Here are links and the data sets for 01/10/2006, 10/14/2007, 02/21/2008 and current date.

        The numbers for the Annual Mean from the four links for many of the years are not constant but are as follows (enlarged here):

        It is disturbing because it appears that the numbers are touched every year so that the claim of the current year being the “hottest on record” or the “second hottest on record” can be made. This would be consistent with, for example, 2005 when the number was first .99 but needed to be wound down to .71 the next year when the numbers for 2006 came out so that the 2006 number was significantly higher than the number for 2005. Subsequently, the 2005 number had to be increased in order to make the average for the decade higher.


        Well the answer came from E. M. Smith of the Musings from the Chiefio site:

        “It is inherent to the way GIStemp runs that every month will produce a new and different history.

        EACH and EVERY time the input data changes (by, for example, having a new month of data as time passes) will produce a different set of
        ‘homogenization’ adjustments and different UHI adjustments and GRID Box adjustments.

        One example: All records shorter than 20 years are disposed. If a record is 19 years 11 months long, it is simply thrown away. In the
        next month, ti will be 20 years old, and so kept. Suddenly there are 20 years of history for this new record and just as suddenly it will be
        used to fill in missing data in other temperature series for the past 20 years. More perniciously, it will also participate in UHI adjustments that may extend to the beginning of time in the data set (it can help determine the adjustment factor during the period of overlap, that may then be applied in far removed times.)

        So it is simply to be expected that history, in GIStemp, is a polite fiction that is re-written on each monthly computer run. So you can point this out to Hansen and friends and they will simply nod approvingly.”

        If you want more go to the CRU computer codes.

        Here’s another interesting one:


        Back in 1989, future Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Working Group 2 (WG2) lead author Stephen Schneider disclosed several tricks of the trade to Discover magazine:

        To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest.

        The following month, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian climate data. Apparently, Hadley ignored data submitted by 75% of Russian stations, effectively omitting over 40% of Russian territory from global temperature calculations — not coincidentally, areas that didn’t “show any substantial warming in the late 20th-century and the early 21st-century.”

        Adding to the glacial egg on the AR4 authors’ faces was the statement that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps, and Africa were being caused by global warming. It turns out that one of the two source papers cited was actually a mountain-climbers’ magazine. Actually, this is a relatively authoritative source compared to the other: a dissertation from a Swiss college student based on his interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.

    3. Do people believe in global warming because they truly believe the science or because they like the conclusions (CO2 limits) that the science leads to?

      Considering that people already predisposed to thievery-with-no-character (i.e. socialism) see the implications and jump to the conclusion that a) Man did it and b) We need an economy-destroying juggenaut to “fix it”, I don’t believe they really care about the data one way or the other. The fudging by the IPCC and the bullshit that came from the CRU demonstrates this.

  16. It has been snowing a lot everywhere I know of. And it is February now and still snowing. I’m surprised January was so historically warm.

    1. The title of the post is the “Global Temperature Trend Update,” not the “Look Outside My Window Temperature Trend Update,” or even the “US Temperature Trend Update” for that matter.

      1. In the three places I’ve been in January, all three were colder/cooler than normal for January. Boston, Amsterdam, Johannesburg. Britain was completely covered in snow. I’m hesitant to believe the satellite data wasn’t massaged in some way.

    2. Warmer temperatures do cause more precipitation. It has been snowing a shit ton but it is also melting pretty quickly after each storm. This is El Nino.

      1. Same here; we’ve had a couple of pretty good storms by Oklahoma standards (but far less than DC’s getting), but a lot of days in the 40s and low 50s.

      2. Yeah, it’s been pretty damn cold here in Germany. I was just remarking on how anti-intuitive the weather is. I’m obviously not a meteorologist or climatologist.

      3. That it snows when it is warm is even something my Rush Limbaugh worshiping father understands.

        Snow is almost always preceded by warm moist air and followed by a cold blast. The precipitation is the result of the collision of the two.

        1. Warm fronts and cold fronts, obviously. Also, the warmth perfectly explains why it snows more near the equator than it does nearer the poles.

  17. Piltdown Man! Piltdown Man!

  18. John, this is satellite data.

    It’s not the satellite data. There’s effectively no such thing. It’s “calibrated” to ground measurements.

    There is no information about the Earth’s temperature. Not on Earth.

    1. Fair enough.

      What i really meant was that this is not from the same datasets that have been called into question.

      And, I neglected to say that I too have misgivings about trying to collect a meaningful dateset that tells us anything really meaningful about global climate trends.

      Certainly not as a basis to justify the kind of radical political and economic changes that the greens are calling for.

    2. Short version: no, it’s not.

      Slightly longer version: calibration is against a on-board hot source (monitored by platinum resistance thermometers) and the cosmic background radiation. And yes, that’s a long stretch for assuming linearity, but the physics is extremely well nailed down.

      Longer version:…..-produced/

  19. Do these data on a monthly basis even mean anything? There’s gotta so much noise in the data. I just don’t get the point of a monthly update when the argument is that 100 years is too little data.

    Now to global warming generally. Every talking head on TV pretends that the issue has only one question that needs to be asked to confirm the necessity of cap and trade: Does it global warming exist?
    Well I think there are about five or six questions they’re missing:
    1. Does global warming exist?
    2. Is it man-made?
    3. Is it dangerous?
    4. Is the federal government capable of coming up with a workable plan to solve the problem?
    5. Are the costs of global warming lower than the costs of government action?
    6. Repeat question 5 for cap and trade

    I probably missed a couple, but the point is that the media want us to think the apocalypse is coming, and they don’t want us to think too hard about it.

    1. I have always felt there were five different levels of looking at Global Warming.

      1. Doesn’t exist. The climate has been stable for the last 6000 years.

      2. The forces behind the variations in climate are too large to be influenced by humans. Yes, the global temperatures are rising, but there is nothing we can do about it.

      3. The forces behind the variations in climate are larger than most of the influences by humans. Yes, the global temperatures are rising, but there is only so much we can do about it. We must make sure the cure is not worse than the disease.

      4. The forces behind the variations in climate are chaotic and easily influenced by human activity on a global scale. Global temperatures are rising and will likely cause secondary effects exacerbating their effects. We must act swiftly to control our influence over the global climate while we can.

      5. It is already too late. Our children and our children’s children will curse our memory.

      My vote is one level three, but I’m more inclined to two than four.

    2. IMHO, here are the answers:

      1. Yes.
      2. Yes.
      3. Yes, but not to you and me. A bunch of species nobody has ever heard of will go extinct. A few hundred thousand people in shitholes like Africa will die (but who cares about them, right?). Farmers in Iowa will have worse growing seasons while those in Canada will have better ones. But to the average Westerner, the only meaningful difference will be an overall shrinkage of women’s fashions.
      4. Nope.
      5. To your average Westerner, yes.
      6. To your average Westerner, yes.

  20. Just a couple questions: What’s the “ideal” temperature? How do we know?

    1. Re: Almanian,

      Answers: We cannot know and we cannot know – it is as ridiculous and futile as trying to determine the ideal price for Keebler chocolate chip cookies.

      Anybody that talks about rising temperatures as if there was an “ideal” temperature to compare with, is a crank, and should be treated that way.

      1. Best price is FREE! (nom nom nom)

        1. I rest my case.


      2. Exactly – thank you, OM as always!

    2. Partial answer: our infrastructure is optimized for the climate we’ve known for the last 20-100 years, and much of it is expected to last for that long again (some dams and bridges and the like for longer than that).

      If things change, it’s going to cost.

      The locations of our cites were chosen to agree with conditions sometime during the last 200+ years. If things change, some will be less well sited (but, perhaps some will be better). Again, I’d put my money on change costing us.

      Should we launch into some enormously expensive effort to “stabilize”? Can’t say for sure, but I’m guessing “No”.

      1. If things change, it’s going to cost.

        That’s what insurance is for.

  21. I am El Nino. Yo soy El Nino. For those of you who don’t habla espanol, El Nino is Spanish for: The Nino.

  22. So what is the plus minus accuracy of this satellite data? Does anyone know what satellites they use and the accuracy of their instruments?

    And what do they use to celibate the data. Do they adjust it using ground stations which are also being adjusted using computer models

    I am betting that they don’t have anything which will calibrate their satellite within 1 deg F so how can you claim to be accurate to less then 1 deg F

    1. I’m betting that you don’t know and should do some research before you guess. Skepticism is all well and good, but you should have more basis than “I bet you can’t calibrate this satellite so I’m skeptical”

      1. I am biased because they are claiming that they can determine world temperature down to the hundredth of a degree F. That is an extreme claim and at the very least they need to tell in their press release what their claimed error is

    2. As there are no error bars on the graph, clearly the accuracy is perfect.

    3. See…..-produced/

      Note that these are “Departures from a 20 year average” and not absolute temperatures

      The claim is that the instrument is fairly accurate, but very stable (i.e. take absolute scales with caution, but believe trends).

      Finally recall the statistics of means formed over large sample with random variation: the (random) error on the mean is the (random) error on a single measurement divided by the square root of the number of measurements taken. Details in this case are a little more complicated because it is necessarily a weighted mean, but…

      Systematic uncertainties follow different math, but tend to be stable between measurements. There are also long term systematics, which the UAH people have identified and claim to have backed out of the results.

  23. This is from the Times article I link above. Seems like Warmists just don’t have a sense of irony:

    Ultimately, however, it’s a mistake to use any one storm ? or even a season’s worth of storms ? to disprove climate change (or to prove it; some environmentalists have wrongly tied the lack of snow in Vancouver, the site of the Winter Olympic Games, which begin this month, to global warming).…..z0f9iLOidv

    Never mind that the same media that’s calling for prudence is the same that linked the Hurricane season that brought us Katrina to (what else?) Global Warming. I call that irony.

    I call the media peddlers of lies and shams, but I call the above irony.

    1. The Time blogger also does not seem to see the contradiction when he writes:

      There is some evidence that climate change could in fact make such massive snowstorms more common, even as the world continues to warm.

      So it is a mistake to use a season of storms to disprove or prove global warming, but that does not STOP the blogger from insinuating that this spell of freezing storms could be caused by Global Warming. So, don’t listen to the disprovers, don’t listen to the amateur environmentalists – listen to us, the priests.

      1. You are STILL confused by the difference between weather and climate, and cannot understand that AGW will cause more precipitation and bigger storms? What part of this exceeds your ability to comprehend?

        Where did you get the utterly false idea that AGW implies that there will never be freezing temperatures anywhere, which seems to be what you are arguing. If you are NOT arguing this, then it is patently obvious that the bigger precipitation events predicted by AGW will sometimes occur where there are freezing temperatures.

        Seriously: Are you really that stupid, or are you just dishonest? I would love to know. The deniers like you seem to straddle the borderline with an odd sort of deliberate ignorance.

        1. Do you understand that Old Mexican was complaining that the reporter was talking out of both sides of his mouth?
          You cannot say that unusually cold weather cannot be used to disprove global warming while simultaneously suggesting that unusually stormy weather may be proof of global warmiing?

    2. Katrina wasn’t caused by Global Warming like the Zealots suggest. It was God’s retribution for the ungodly behaviour that the locals have embraced for the sake of Profits. at least that’s what brotherPat told me on the 700 club.

      1. What is Brother Pat’s explanation for God letting the Saints win the SuperBowl?

        1. Deal with the devil.

          1. And the devil is me. Deal with ME.

  24. Tell that to the sea turtles and manatees that all froze to death in record numbers during January.

  25. Not calibrated with ground stations. From Spencer who is co-investigator at UAH:

    Contrary to some reports, the satellite measurements are not calibrated in any way with the global surface-based thermometer record of temperature. They instead use their own on-board precision redundant platinum resistance thermometers calibrated to a laboratory reference standard before launch.

    1. the temps readings must be wrong.

    2. The problem is that their thermometers don’t directly measure earth temperature. At best they calculate temperate based on measuring reflected radiation from earth surface and this involves all sorts of assumptions. One of which is that they are actually measuring surface temp rather then the various layers of atmospheric temperature or roof temp or plant temp. And without ground based direct calibration they have no firm bases to say that their “space thermometers” are correct.

      1. Simply wrong. They take measurement of the (microwave band) thermal radiation from atmospheric gasses.

        There is no reflection involved.

        There is a deconvolution of different atmospheric heights involved. The math is similar to that used in CAT scans.

        See…..-produced/ for a pop science++ version, or find and read the papers for the full detail. Your local university almost certainly has the journal or an online subscription.

  26. It doesn’t matter if AGW is real or if there is anything we could possibly do about it if it is! All that matters is that we do SOMETHING so that we can feel all noble and connected to mother earth!

    1. Is there a Rosary equivalent you can do to make yourself feel better?

      1. A pint of ice cream with hot chocolate sauce.

  27. My ouija board just told me the science is settled

    1. You mean the pink one?…..lowed-up-b

  28. I’m going to defer to my personal climate change guru: Dylan Ratigan.

  29. Time magazine said that this snowstorm is the result of Global Warming. Not so long ago, Robert Kennedy Jr. said that the lack of snow was the result of Global Warming. So, with warmists, it is Heads, You Lose, Tails, I Win.

    I had hoped all the remaining Kennedys were immolated in the ceremonies emtombing Teddy but, alas, it seems that is not so.

    1. It’s a shame they did not have a burial at sea, so we could torpedo their ship.

  30. The strange thing is the lack of Chad or Tony in here yet. I’d have guess that a high number would have brought them running.

  31. Oh, I am here. The opportunity to gloat is just too much. Too bad none of you had the cajones to take up any of my multiple offers to bet about the 2010 average temperatures…my victory is looking more like a lock every day.

    The satellites have finally come around and killed one of your hobby-horse arguments (“Global cooling” is dead. R.I.P. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200), and how to libertarians respond? By claiming the satellites are wrong, too.

    How can you live with such intellectual dishonesty?

    1. Too bad none of you had the cajones to take up any of my multiple offers to bet about the 2010 average temperatures…my victory is looking more like a lock every day.

      Hey, I have the drawers . . . Or what did you mean to say with cajones?

    2. How the fuck do this year’s average temperatures do anything to show there isn’t cooling, especially being spiked by El Nino? At this point, how the hell can anyone claim that there is any kind of long term trend at all?

    3. Your bet was: find a single far-left “peer reviewed” propaganda-organ-posing-as-scientific-authority that disagrees with you. Of course, no one was about to go on any wild goose chases like that for your sake; one might as well go looking for a government official who wasn’t a Stalinist in Stalin’s regime!

      In fact, with prediction after prediction of yours failing to come true, scandals overwhelming all the unscientific institutions to whom you attribute scientific authority, and even your former allies in the lamestream media turning against you, I’d say it’s our scientific victory over you and your raving lunatic cult that is now all but assured. When people fail to die from your predicted apocalypse and your discredited fellow cultists are all thrown out on their asses in the next election(s) (yielding no particularly terrible effect on the planet), we will be gloating over you even more than we already are.

      I can also predict with near certainty that if you’re still here at all after that, you’ll be making a futile effort to convince us that no, it really was your tubthumping advocacy of green fascism that kept the planet from heating up and roasting us all alive. While I can’t imagine every variant, the conversation will go something like this every time:

      Us: “But tubthumping for green fascism doesn’t keep away global eco-apocalypses! There haven’t been any global eco-apocalypses, you moron!”

      You: “See? All that tubthumping worked just as I said it would! We prevented the imminent global eco-apocalypse that would have killed you all! I just won the bet I made with myself! Victory! In your face, denialists!”

      Us (to each other): “Can you believe this guy? What an idiot!”

      1. In fact, with prediction after prediction of yours failing to come true

        Citation, please. At least three, or you are a confirmed liar.

  32. Northern Hemisphere: +0.84 C (about 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for January.

    It’s true – I had to shed my Caribou Skin coat because of the heat! Oh, nasty! My feet are burning!

  33. Who gives a damn about the 20 year average?

    Global warming is supposed to take lllooonnnggg periods of time. The propaganda warns of oceans rising *over the next hundred years*. Ice Ages last hundreds of thousands of years. What does the small, insignificant 20 year average tell us?

    It tells us that we haven’t been monitoring the global temperature long enough to have any statistically meaningful data.

    1. Not necessarily, dramatic changes in the Earth’s atmosphere have in the past effected equally drastic changes in the temperature of the planet (e.g. mass extinctions after large volcanic eruptions, asteroid strikes, etc.). The GW argument posits that human activity in recent centuries is effecting a level of change in the atmosphere of similar magnitude.

  34. I don’t understand how anti-global warming folks can justify invoking Occam’s razor on the one hand to discredit climate change theories, and yet with the other point to a vast international conspiracy as the culprit for the promulgation of those theories. It doesn’t follow.

  35. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn. Morning, Reason. Still arguing about this? Didn’t you know the science is settled. Off to work…

  36. Apparently satellite data were not available pre-1978 so the start date for data collection was right at the end of the 1940s-1970s “The Next Ice Age ” is coming cool climate period which followed the 1900-1930s extreme warm climate period and so on as the earth’s climate continued its natural occuring cyclical climate change periods.

  37. “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 January, 2010.”

    Pardon me if I simply refuse to believe anything that originates with a “climatologist.” ~cough-voodoo-cough~

  38. Warmest January in 32 years? Did anyone have the capability 32 years ago to obtain accurate and comprehensive satellite data regarding atmospheric temps? I think not. After all, the first IBM pc came into existence in 1981 (29 years ago). Therefore, what is their standards for comparison?

    Can you say “Quaternary Palynology”? Can you say “Brattahli?”? I think you can.

  40. The problem is that once science becomes politicized it looses its objectivity and believability.

  41. Cr@p. Post-Climategate, I’ll only trust this kind of graph if ALL the raw data is available, and the src code as well.

    1. See the link that Bailey posted at the top? Follow that, walk up the directory tree. Read the notes (various readme’s a “docs” folder near the top). If you actually want to understand the instruments exactly you’re probably going to have to read some journal articles too.

  42. Sorry, Dr. Christy, that climate issues have become so politicized that not even objective observation is accepted at face value; that, thanks to people like Albert Gore, real observations provoke averse reactions from all corners.

    Crisis structures are about creating the conditions and restriction that define who makes money and who pays, by force. Thank you, Dr. Christy, for simply stating your findings and ensuring they’re not part of the political climate agenda.

  43. Well, I’d love to see a side by side comparison of this graph with:

    A. Observed Sun Spot activity over the same period.

    B. Measured mean Martian temperatures over the same period.

    Just a hunch that correcting for the Pinatubo and El Nino events that the graphs might have some correlations.

  44. Would not you adult-scientist-democrats expect that Mt Penatubo would have caused a temperature increase, since it blasted huge quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere?

    1. Sulfur compounds and dust you idiot.

  45. For the Fox News viewers who can’t think beyond their driveway… the keywords are “global” and “climate”. I know it must be hard for you. LOFL.…..ahara.html

  46. It’s crazy to deny global warming when it takes a stronger ac unit every year just to keep up with the heat waves and a stronger heater all winter to keep up with the snow storms. I’m sick of global warming deniers. I see the evidence every day at work!

  47. I looked at sea surface temperatures in the Central Pacific and it wasn’t as warm as 1998, but what is there is spread out further than it was in 1998. That exposes the atmosphere to a lot of extra heat.”

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