Global Temperature Trend Update—September, 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 August, 2010.

August 2010 slips (barely) in as second hottest August

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

August temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.51 C (about 0.92 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.67 C (about 1.2 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.35 C (about 0.63 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

Tropics: +0.36 C (about 0.65 degrees Fahrenheit) above 20-year average for August.

July temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.49 C above 20-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.64 C above 20-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.34 C above 20-year average

Tropics: +0.42 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 Sept. 7, 2010:

August 2010 was the second hottest August in the 32-year satellite temperature dataset, with a global average temperature that was only 0.01 C cooler than the record set in August 1998, according to Dr. John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. That difference is well within the error range of the measurement, however, so the two months might as well be tied for the hottest August in 32 years.

As the El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event continues to fade, 2010 remains the second hottest year in the record, with average daily temperatures through August that were only 0.06 C (about one-tenth of one degree Fahrenheit) cooler than the record set in 1998—also during an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event.

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  1. I’m mellllllting, mellllllllllllting….!!

  2. Finally, vindication of my Global Warming Climate Change alarmism.

    (I just hope one day we don’t discover they put that weather station satellite right next to an air conditioning condenser satellite.)

  3. Meanwhile, three days ago, we had snow at 6000 ft.

  4. I wonder if there has been any variation in energy output from that flaming ball of gas about which the planet orbits.

    Even if there was it wouldn’t matter. I mean, it’s not like legislation can control the sun’s behavior.

    If it is indeed true that climate change is controlled by that massive nuclear reactor that provides us with daylight, then such information must be suppressed. There is simply too much invested in blaming climate change on those dirty profit seekers in the fossil fuel industry, and on the original sin of being a carbon based life form.

    1. What about the flaming ball of molten lava under our feet? And the “hole” in the magnetic field?

      1. Negligible when compared to the amount of energy received from that star we orbit.

    2. Yes I’m pretty sure that climate scientists have taken the sun into account.

      1. I’m pretty sure that climate scientists take into account whatever it takes to get results that please the sources of their funding.

        Since the sources of their funding are interested in regulating human activity, and cannot regulate solar activity, it stands to reason that those scientists who succeed at renewing research grants minimize the effect of solar activity on the climate.

        1. What an idiotic thing to say. You would posit a conspiracy so immense and so convoluted that it would be rejected as a James Bond script, calling into question the entire enterprise of science in the process, and assume that conspiracy is larger and better funded by than the attempts by the oil and coal industries to kill carbon legislation. What a dupe. I can’t take this nonsense anymore.

          1. Who said anything about a conspiracy?
            It’s out there in the open.
            Nobody is hiding it, it’s right there in plain sight for anyone with a mind to see.

            Which is why you cannot see it.

    3. Even if there was it wouldn’t matter. I mean, it’s not like legislation can control the sun’s behavior.

      Bullshit! We can legislate anything we want to.

  5. Why do the “global average” temperature trends seem to fluctuate up with the Northern Hemisphere’s Summer. Shouldn’t it be more steady or is the Southern Hemisphere not having record summer weather?

    1. Much more water in the Southern Hemisphere = much bigger heat sink/reservoir, in effect.

      At least that’s my guess.

    2. And as alluded to below, the Northern Hemisphere summer is not exactly canceled out by the Southern Hemisphere winter, due to more water.

  6. Im going to repeat it until you fix it: zero line should be average of 79-current, not 79-98, unless you can tell me why 79-98 makes any kind of logical fucking sense.



      1. He can stop publishing it until they fix it then.

        Or, he can put the numbers into a spreadsheet and publish a correct one instead.

        1. E-mail Ron and suggest that.

          Getting your knickers in a twist on the comment thread seems unproductive toward these ends.

          1. Ron reads the comments, see below.

    2. I disagree. The zero line should be a 0 degrees C so that the graph does not distort the trivial changes in average temperature to make them look like mountains and valleys.

      1. 0 C is just as arbitrary. Now if 0 Kelvin was the baseline….

        1. Speaking of which, when I was back in grad school, I had an office mate who hated any graph without a zero on the y axis. He felt they were trying to hide something. For example, he hated the Dow Jones charts in the newspaper with say 8000 as the low end and 12000 as the high, he felt they were intentionally amplifying the perception of the day to day fluctuations which were just noise.

          He would probably favor 0 Kelvin as the lower left end of the graph.

        2. I was going to say that as well, but figured I would leave that up to you 😉

          1. Graph manipulations are one of the most common ways that statisticians lie.

    3. robc: As I explained the last time — this is standard for reporting temperature trends — all temperature records use baseline periods. It’s not specific to the UAH guys.

      1. But there is no logical reason for that baseline period, makes much more sense to use the entire dataset as the baseline period.

        Dont see any disadvantage to the baseline changing every month.

        And why that period and not just 1979 for example?

        If the baseline doesnt have a reason, it is bad science.

        1. I’d pick the average temperature over the last couple of ice ages as a good “zero” line. That represents about the coldest we know the earth can get.

          The top of the graph can be set to the average temperature when the dinosaurs were running around.

          That should adequately bound our current situation.

        2. But there is no logical reason for that baseline period, makes much more sense to use the entire dataset as the baseline period.

          Why? There is no logical advantage to your proposal. No matter how many times you suggest it. The graph shows the deviation from a baseline. Once you have established the baseline there is absolutely no logical reason to change it. It just makes your graphs harder to compare as they are updated.

  7. No, Dave T. The Southern Hemisphere is currently having a record cold winter right now.

  8. Daddy I’m scared.

  9. Ron,

    Is there some reason you like this Huntsville research over others? Also, is there a standard within climatology circles? How to achieve “across the aisle” consensus on a specific source of data?

    1. I’m guessing it’s because it’s the only regularly-published data set that is 100% consistent and consists of no proxy data. In other words, it’s all direct measurements from satellites, which lessens the error significantly.

    2. The UAH data is probably the least suspect. The main scientists (Spencer and Christy) aren’t known to be insane warmers like the douchebags at NASA.

    3. CB: The UAH data measures the temperature of pretty much the entire lower troposphere. Other surface records are spotty. That being said, all the main global temperature records follow the same general trajectories for recent temperature trends, although they differ on the actual decadal trends in temperature.

      1. One significant difference between the satellite measurements (UAH & RSS) and the land/sea surface measurements (GISTEMP & HADCRUT) is their variability.

        The satellite measurements tend to show higher highs and lower lows, whereas the land/sea surface records appear to be less sensitive. This is likely because air warms and cools faster than land or water.

        As well, the satellite measurements show a lower overall warming trend than the land/sea surface records, probably because land surface records may be biased upward by a number of factors (Urban Heat Island effect, METAR data errors, and adjustments by NOAA).

  10. (Shameless plug)

    I wrote a program to generate charts from the UAH data. It has three kinds of curve fitting: running average, polynomial, and FFT. It’s available at:

    It uses the same baseline as the UAH chart.

    For some reason the dataset I just downloaded doesn’t include August. The most recent measurement is still July.

    1. Whats the slope on the best fit line?

      1. Nevermind, didnt see it at the bottom of the chart. The help for the program clarified it for me.

    2. danke. Playing with it, the total period baseline is about +0.08 C.

  11. I just don’t see any good that could result from discovering we’re in a warming or cooling trend. It’s not like we would really be able to find and fix the cause of the change. Government will only use it to take away our freedom.

  12. I’ve re-labeled that chart “Our Marriage” and sent it to my wife. (I switched the El Nino Warming to “Trip to Vegas without Kids” and “Mt. Pinatubo Cooling” to “That time I left the country without you for 2 weeks”.)

    Pending Robc’s approval, the baseline is “Waking up drunk and trying to defenestrate an ugly, anonymous woman”.

    1. That sounds like it might be absolute zero, so I approve.

  13. Ron — it might fun to plot these against the major GCM predictions, starting with Hansen A from 1988 (we can presumably ignore B and C, since emissions are much closer to A).

    The two major issues that really matter are

    1) predictive reliability of GCMs
    2) impact of higher temps

    AGW proponents argue 1 is high and 2 is strongly negative, skeptics argue 1 is low and 2 is minimally negative or even slightly positive.

  14. http://diggingintheclay.files……e-maps.png

    1910 – 1939 we had a warming trend

    1940 – 1969 we had a cooling trend

    1970 – 2010 we had a warming trend

    The upward warming trend we have in the satellite record is only upward because we had no satellite record prior to 1979.

  15. Yes, truly terrifying…unless you consider the last 10,000 years.…

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