Global Temperature Trend Update: May 2012

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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 May, 2012. 

Global Temperature Trend

Global Temperature Report: May 2012

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

May temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.29 C (about 0.52 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.44 C (about 0.79 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Southern Hemisphere: +0.14 C (about 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Tropics: +0.03 C (about 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

April temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.30 C above 30-year average

Northern Hemisphere: +0.41 C above 30-year average

Southern Hemisphere: +0.19 C above 30-year average

Tropics: -0.12 C below 30-year average

(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

Notes on data released June 4, 2012:

Compared to global seasonal norms, May 2012 was the fourth warmest in the 34-year satellite 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. It was the third warmest May in the Northern Hemisphere, and tied as the warmest May over NH land masses, with an average temperature that was 0.68 C (about 1.22 degrees F) warmer than normal for the month. It was 0.95 C (about 1.71 degrees F) warmer than normal over the contiguous 48 states, which made it the fourth warmest May there since 1979.

Compared to seasonal norms, the "warmest" place on Earth in May was along the eastern coast of Russian near the Sea of Okhotsk. Temperatures there averaged as much as 4.29 C (about 7.72 degrees F) warmer than seasonal norms. The coolest spot was in the Gulf of Alaska west of Juneau, where temperatures for the month averaged 2.38 C (about 4.28 degrees F) cooler than May norms.

Go here to see the full satellite dataset. 

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  1. Remind me again – which model predicts temperatures that are essentially flat for several years, with a step up following some El Ninos (1998), but not others (2010)?

  2. Revised April Temps:
    Northern Hemisphere: +0.41 C below 30-year average

    Southern Hemisphere: +0.19 C below 30-year average

    Don’t we usually use minus signs to denote below average?

    1. Only if we don’t want a C-.

    2. BL: Grrrr. Fixed now. The referenced temperatures are “above” not “below” the average.

  3. In other news, the Kyoto Protocol, much like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, is still dead.

  4. So, stay away from the Sea of Okhotsk. Got it, Ron.

    1. Disclosure: Ron vacationed there last year and had a terrible time.

      1. Is that in Wistkonskin?

  5. A composite would be the three numbers added together wouldn’t it? If not, how do they get to that composite number?

    1. Appears to be an average, slightly weighted (Sum is 0.61, composite is 0.29, n=3). Perhaps the tropics are given slightly more weight. I’m not going to do the area calculations, but the tropics are probably slightly larger in area than the sub-tropics, even though they encompass 47 degrees of latitude and the sub tropics encompass 66.5 degrees of latitude.

      1. Thanks

  6. and hardly anybody cares…

    1. Whether The End is Near! as the enviro-cult nutters think, or whether the temperature can only change because God wills it like the creation-cult nutters think, nothing is going to change. The only purpose that the AGW scare serves is to enable the power-hungry to try to seize more power and steal more from everyone else. The temperature will do what it does, for all the reasons and inputs there are, and people and countries will, by and large, do whatever they do.

      So who really cares?

      1. That’s pretty much my take on it. I wouldn’t be surprised if human activity has some effect on climate. But I also think that people are going to burn oil until it is no longer economically viable and continue to use more energy. No policy or scheme is going to change that. Even in the US and Europe cut CO2 emissions drastically, the rest of the world still wants to improve their standard of living and are not going to stop using energy to help some rich Westerners feel better about themselves.

        1. If the US and Europe cut fossil fuel use dramatically, that will simply make it cheaper and more attractive for the 5.8 Billion people out of the 6.8 Billion on earth, NOT living in the US and Europe. Those 5.8 Billion are probably completely uninterested in the sorts of “green” fads with which the Western chattering classes are obsessed.

          1. (even the green fads that actually make sense…)

        2. U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen: http://wattsupwiththat.com/201…..-fall-7-7/

          1. That’s probably because news of the Federal Deficit has caused hundreds of millions to gasp, at once.

  7. Good god! It resembles a sinusoid wave! Why, with that kind of information, we can extrapolate that WE ARE ALL DOOMED!

    1. And then SAVED. Then DOOMED again…

      1. DOOMED by Global Warming, then DOOMED by Global Cooling,then Doomed by Global Warming again….

        1. “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” – Mencken

    2. Ok, we got a sinusoid wave comment.
      Now, to make this an authentic Global Temperature Trend Update, all we need is RC Dean to come back and ask why the 2010 el nino isn’t labelled and for running, centered longer-term averages.

      1. It’s not authentic till Tony, The Derider, or mustard comes in to tell us that we all hate science and have our heads buried in the sand and that reason is controlled by the Kochtopus.

      2. Consider it done, BT.

    3. Since I was wondering about the sine wave last time and there’s no explanation. I dug up that Ron Bailey explained a long time ago that it’s some Excel curve fitting function that is not a sine wave and is not significant. Why is it on the diagram at all?

      1. I think Dr. Spencer likes to put it on there to piss off the true believers (who hate him).

        1. Well, I’m all for sticking it to True Believers, in whatever.

    4. It resembles a sinusoid wave

      It’s almost as if the global temperature fluctuates up and down by ~+/-0.2C in ~48 year cycles peak to peak or something. But that can’t be, everyone knows that the climate was perfectly stable before humans started burning EVUL fossile fuels and pumping CO2 into the air. It’s not like it’s a complex system with several hundred variables and shit tons of unkowns, which makes it extremely difficult to mathematically model.

      Clearly John Christy and Roy Spencer are schills for BIG OIL CORPORASHUNZ!!!11!!!!!

      THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED!!!!11!!!!

      /sarc

  8. In other words, the “trend” is still within the normal annual variation over the past 30 years.

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