Temperature Trends

Global Temperature Trend Update—May 2013

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GlobalWarmingThermometer
Credit: Meryl: Dreamstime

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 2013:


Global Temperature Report: May 2013

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

May temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.07 C (about 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Northern Hemisphere: +0.16 C (about 0.29 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

Southern Hemisphere: -0.01 C (about 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit) below 30-year average for May.

Tropics: +0.11 C (about 0.20 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for May.

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

Global Temperature Trend Chart
Credit: Roy Spencer

Notes on data released June 4, 2013:

Global average temperatures and the tropics continued a slow cooling drift in May, downward from a warm January, said Dr. John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Compared to seasonal norms, during May the coldest area on the globe was in northern Greenland, where the average temperature was as much as 3.75 C (about 6.7 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms. Compared to seasonal norms, the "warmest" area on the globe in May was in the northern Siberia. Temperatures there were as much as 3.91 C (about 7.0 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms for May.

Go here to see the monthly satellite data since 1978.

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  1. Over the last 15 years, the peaks seem to be getting smaller. We are going on 40 years of accurate temperature data and have yet to see anything like the rate of increase forecast by the climate models.

    Question Ron, ten years from now when we have nearly 50 years of data and we are still puttering around .10 C per decade or less, can we finally put this idiotic theory to bed?

    1. What is the rate of increase forecast by climate models?

      1. Depends on the which ones you want to believe. The ones in the 1990s had it increasing .5 or more per decade.

        The bottom line is that we are today exactly where we were in 1998. And no model predicted that or can explain that.

        1. Just because all the models and predictions have been wrong doesn’t mean the science is wrong!

          I mean, they voted!

          A bunch of really smart experts took a vote so it must be true!

          Consensus is the new science!

          Who the fuck are you to argue otherwise? Are you a really smart climate scientist working under government research grants? I didn’t think so!

          You’re just repeating the lies from scientists under the employ of the corporations! They’re only interested in profits so they can’t be trusted!

          Why do you lick the corporate boot that holds you down?

          1. I realize you are being sarcastic, but you’re partially correct when you say “Consensus is the new science.” It’s not new, however. Science has always been about consensus.

            “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn should be required reading for people on both sides of the global warming controversy. There will always be some anomalous climate data, just as there is always anomalous data period. There will also always be scientific “camps.” Even the big bang theory is not universally accepted, as about 10% of physicists are steady-state theorists.

            The question comes down to how much to screw with things in the attempt to “stop” global warming, assuming it’s man-made or amenable to human intervention (most of nature is not amenable to man’s intervention anyway). I say we do what we can to limit pollution, clean up existing messes, and plant more trees — lots more. Everybody wins that way. But that’s where I personally draw the line. Sorry, but I’m not about to go live in a cave to limit my so-called carbon footprint, especially not when up-and-coming economies get a free ride and face no such restrictions. The semi-religious, statist, and wealth re-distributionist aspects of the green movement cannot be ignored or dismissed as necessary.

            1. 10% of physicists are steady-state theorists.

              Cite? In 30 years of doing physics and chemistry, I’ve never met one, especially after the last COBE nails were driven into the coffin.

            2. most of nature is not amenable to man’s intervention anywa

              If by nature you’re talking about the universe. If you’re talking about the earth’s biosphere, this is an absurd claim. Humans affect nearly every aspect of nature on this planet. Why wouldn’t we? We are everywhere, we pollute, we demolish landscapes and forests and species… what can you mean by this?

              But you’re ahead of most here. The appropriate place for the debate to be is on the policy response. That the same faction that is ideologically opposed to government intervention is also overrun by a bizarre and unjustified skepticism in this one field of science suggests that even they admit the only real response to climate change is massive collective action. But that doesn’t mean the science is bad, it means the antigovernment ideology is bad. Anyone with a little intellectual humility should be able to admit this.

              Nobody wants you to live in a cave. The only thing serious people are interested in is preserving what we can of our status quo lifestyle and accounting for the increasing well-being of formerly impoverished societies (whose populations number in the billions).

              It is hard to imagine a global policy response to climate change that is not far less radical an action than doing nothing. Put it this way: what if nature is the thing that will force you to live in the metaphorical cave, and government that might be able to prevent it?

        2. I will always have a link for you.

          Because all you have is already-debunked denier talking points.

          1. More faith based science. The graph the guy uses shows temerpatures rising less than predicted. And moreover, look at the scale of the graph Tony. He made it such that the lines look close. But when you look at the numbers in the graph, there is a huge deviation from prediction to data.

            1. But John, those people are so smart. I mean, they’re really really smart. Besides, all your denier science is tainted with evil profits, while the official science is paid for by virtuous tax dollars. That and they’re really really smart. Did I mention that the climate scientists are really really smart?

              1. You forgot to add that we must think of the children. They are the reason that we must accept the scientists’ ideas without question. These scientists are infallible and they are only looking out for everyone’s best interests. Pressure to publish and grant money concerns? What are you talking about — Look! A squirrel!!

                1. Pressure to publish and grant money concerns? What are you talking about

                  The grant money comes from government, so there are no strings or pressure involved. That’s because government is perfect and wonderful, and politicians are only looking out for the greater good. They would never use this as an opportunity to pass legislation that increases their power.

                  On the other hand denier science is funded by corporations. They only seek profit so they cannot be trusted. Unlike politicians who derive their funds by beautiful coercion, corporations rely on customers giving them money in exchange for goods and services. That’s just disgusting. Acquiring money through voluntary action. Only those who rely on coercion can be trusted.

            2. I guess huge is a relative term… but denier claims have been far more off than mainstream claims.

              I’m not making a political argument here John, I’m just accepting current scientific opinion on this matter. Politics should have nothing to do with it. That deniers like you have politicized science, particularly on a topic with such huge consequences for human beings, is a travesty.

              1. That deniers like you have politicized science

                Haaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!

                Your ilk wants to use government force to destroy the economy in the name of “saving the planet”, and deniers are the ones who have politicized it?

                Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!

                I’m out of breath that’s so funny!

                Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaha ha ha ha haa!

              2. I guess huge is a relative term… but denier claims have been far more off than mainstream claims.

                Tony, stop! Please! I’m laughing so hard people are at work are asking me what’s so funny!

                Natural Climate Change Deniers like Hansen were predicting widespread flooding and elevated temperatures that didn’t show up! Now they are claiming that the heat must be magically going into the ocean, without any idea of how or why. They haven’t made any testable predictions regarding the behavior of the Earth’s Climate that bore out.

                1. They haven’t made any testable predictions regarding the behavior of the Earth’s Climate that bore out.

                  But there’s a consensus! And they’re really smart! And deniers are funded by corporations! So it doesn’t matter if none of their testable predictions panned out! They’re really smart and the opposition is tainted by profits! Appeal to authority and ad hominem for the win!

          2. Meanwhile back in reality

            These observed developments have prompted the U.K.’s Met Office Climate Center (the national weather service) to quietly revise its projections. They now say: “The latest decadal prediction suggests that the next five years are likely to be a little bit lower than predicted from the previous prediction.” The predicted increase from 2013 through 2017 was 0.43 degree Celsius above the 1971-2000 mean, while the previous prediction said temperature would increase 0.54 degree from 2012 through 2016. Simply stated, it will be cooler than they expected!

            The London Daily Mail published a chart that, as they say, “reveals how [the IPCC’s] ’95 % certain’ estimates of the Earth heating up were a spectacular miscalculation.” Comparing actual temperatures against the IPCC’s 95% certainty projections, the lines track closely until recent years, at which point the line representing the observed temperatures “is about to crash out of” the boundaries of the lowest projections. They were supposed to climb sharply after 1990.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/la…..y-funding/

            If you would just try to open your mind a bit Tony, you would do better.

            1. His mind is so open that his brain fell out.

              1. That was a good one.

            2. Your predictions aren’t wrong if you revise them afterwards to match the results! Just ask Obama about the unemployment numbers with the stimulus!

              1. Carbon pricing will result in a net benefit the economy as compared to doing nothing and trying to adapt to the consequences.

                There is too much wrong with that to even bother.

                1. Seems like a perfectly valid claim to me. What is with libertarians and the fallacy that doing nothing has no costs?

                  1. What is it with the statist fallacy that government doing nothing equals no one doing anything? Oh yeah. That distinction between government and society that your feeble excuse for an intellect simply cannot grasp.

                    1. If people individually or markets were capable of dealing with a problem like climate change, then massive changes would have already emerged. A global environmental problem is the mother of all externalities. Individuals and markets can do nothing about it.

                      The only fallacy here is the assumption that the status quo has some kind of inherent virtue and no costs associated with it.

            3. The predicted increase from 2013 through 2017 was 0.43 degree Celsius above the 1971-2000 mean, while the previous prediction said temperature would increase 0.54 degree from 2012 through 2016. Simply stated, it will be cooler than they expected!

              I like the blatant spin of characterizing the projection as being “cooler” rather than “less warm.” It doesn’t actually debunk global warming concerns in general to say temperatures are increasing but at a lower than projected rate; it merely suggests that the worst environmental consequences will take longer to happen. This is the intellectual equivalent of claiming the Social Security trust fund is solvent because revised CBO projections show it being exhausted in 2035 instead of 2030.

              1. It doesn’t actually debunk global warming concerns in general to say temperatures are increasing but at a lower than projected rate;

                Actually, it does.

                Because the whole CAGW cult superstitiously asserts that an increase in CO2 will directly raise temperatures slightly, triggering a bunch of positive feedbacks in the short term that will elevate temperatures much higher, until some negative feedbacks cause the system to hit equilibrium.

                If the positive feedbacks they hypothesized don’t show up (and the lack of increased water vapor levels etc imply that the positive feedbacks do not exist) then equilibrium temperature will be much lower.

                1. This. Also, see this interesting recent paper linking CFCs to global warming. Note how the temperature line in the graph fits CFCs far more closely than CO2.

        3. AGW would be a lot easier to accept if the numbers the models come up with were closer. I wouldn’t expect them to match exactly but they should be close.
          Of course I am just an ignorant denier.

    2. But if that theory goes away, they will have to find something else to replace it with to make humans feel guilty so these guys can reap billions from gullible ‘eco-warriors’.

      1. I’m trying to get Man Made Weather Escalation coined as the next booger man we must throw money at.

        1. We’ve never had as much weather as we do today, and it’s because of man’s fiddling with Things He Ought Not.

          1. yeah, that’s probably it, cav. Because we never had hurricanes, tornadoes, massive snowstorms, or anything like that before. And what did happen produced no damage. I’m hoping your comment is sarc but thinking it’s not.

            1. Sarcasm only produces bad feelings and misunderstandings. I would never use it in a serious discussion like this.

        2. Anthropogenic Weather Escalation makes a better headline grabber with various scary images and the acronym.

          1. Systemic Human Observed Climate Kinetic -Atmospheric Weather Escalation….

            SHOCK-AWE

          2. Anthropogenic Weather Escalation – Systemic Human Incalescence Tranfsormation

      2. How about “food products that are different from what they were in 1 A.D.?”

        1. You know, a relentless, peer reviewed campaign against certain foods would drive up eating costs, which would disproportionately hurt the poor. It’s perfect.

          1. isn’t that already in place? Between Michelle and Bloomy, the war on foods people like is well underway.

            1. Yeah but are we shifting around global resources yet? Are there summits? Unimpeachable dudes in lab coats emailing each other talking points?

      3. shoes…
        the third world lacks shoes and all you “rich folks” are gobbling up that precious resource…

        1. The third world doesn’t lack shoes; that’s where all my shoes come from.

          1. quiet, you shoe hoarding denier!

    3. “Question Ron, ten years from now when we have nearly 50 years of data and we are still puttering around .10 C per decade or less, can we finally put this idiotic theory to bed?”

      50 years from now, we’ll have more ways to precisely measure global surface temperature as well as “new” methods to quantify AGW without referring to the tried and true old and busted thermometer. There will continue to exist those who cherry pick data and call trends, and media and academic publications who will sensationalize the cherry-picked data and predict doom. There will continue to exist those who will profit from this sensationalism, and feed this cycle.

      So no.

      But by then, everything will be electric, fed by clean renewable energy sources that don’t emit carbon-based molecules into the atmosphere, and the internal combustion engine and coal powerplants will be nothing but a distant memory*. So we’ll have to find a new climate boogeyman.

      *according to Popular Science anyway

      1. Freedom causes global warming; you can’t just let that stuff get too out of hand.

        1. Well, heat is particle motion. So the problem is letting all those particles move. We should remove that freedom from them, and no more warming.

          1. Why don’t we create a system, like a computer, to which everyone could be hooked up, that feeds data to their brains creating an illusory world in which they could “work” and “play”, while in reality they are being safely contained.

            1. It could be some kind of grid or something.

      2. But by then, everything will be electric, fed by clean renewable energy sources that don’t emit carbon-based molecules into the atmosphere, and the internal combustion engine and coal powerplants will be nothing but a distant memory*

        So nuclear?

  2. Noise continues to be noise.

    1. slop noise…

  3. So, maya as well hang on to the waterfront property for another generation or so?

    1. Yeah. You need to be really long on Gulf-front property in GA.

  4. Why Ron chooses to report Christy and Spencer’s satellite data, when they are mostly known for being famously wrong about how satellite and ground measurements differ and for being deniers until they had to admit they were wrong, when there is plenty of mainstream science to report on, is his own business. But it should be known to the 99% of commenters who deny scientific fact on this matter that, if you’re going to be skeptical of climate science for [insert bullshit reason here], then you really need to start with Christy and Spencer, who have been far more wrong more often than any of the various climate bogeymen like Hansen and the IPCC.

    1. Yeah Tony, just because they broke the law, corrupted the peer review process and destroyed their base data so no one could check their work is no reason to suspect them of lying. I mean it is not like Hansen didn’t get rich because of his involvement or anything.

    2. “Mainstream science”?

      Is that as reliable as the “Mainstream Media”?

    3. Christy and Spencer, who have been far more wrong more often than any of the various climate bogeymen like Hansen and the IPCC.

      I almost fell off my chair I was laughing so hard at that. Hansen predicted in 1986 that by 2026, Manhattan would be underwater.

      And Tony, you really should stay away from Skeptical Science, they are neither skeptical, nor followers of the scientific method. Rather they are an Orwellian propaganda outfit, and judging by the thorough way that Cook has shit himself with the latest “97%” paper they really don’t understand at all how science works (although it was entertaining watching Dana Nuticelli reduced to calling Richard Tol a denier after Richard Tol patiently tried to explain why their paper was a worthless exercise on its statistical methods alone).

    4. T: You do know that the other temperature data sets have been corrected as well?

      And you do know that recent analyses have have significantly lowered climate sensitivity estimates, suggesting that the climate apocalypse is at least delayed by some decades?

      1. Sock puppet, Ron. It is just a hand moving back and forth to mimic talking.

      2. Tony doesn’t know shit about shit. Even if he’s a real person and not a suckpuppet.

        1. there isn’t really there there, is there?

      3. Making the problem something we should have addressed in 1970 rather than 1960? Picking Christy and Spencer is an obviously ideological move. You work for an ideological outfit. What’s the problem here?

    5. scientific fact on this matter

      Please, expound. Not with an empty appeal to authority or circular reasoning, but with actual science.

      …he said mockingly to the poster who has displayed repeatedly a complete lack of understanding of the scientific method.

      1. Tony’s idea of the scientific method is someone taking a poll of around a thousand scientist, weeding out the ones that don’t identify themselves as climate scientist, then asking those that are left if they have determined that AGW is verifyably happening and then reporting that “97% of scientist agree AGW is real and a threat”.

      2. The scientific method is what you learn in 4th grade.

        Science is the study of reality. It takes many avenues and uses many strategies. How would you prefer we study climate? Take a spaceship to 50 earthlike planets and conduct controlled experiments over a few centuries?

        There is an overwhelming consensus by experts on this topic. If you don’t buy it, then you’re either an idiot or someone who needs to publish a Nobel-worthy study. So which are you, stupid or lazy?

  5. Why can’t we just agree that we’re destroying ourselves by causing too much nature?

  6. The government should step in now and ban the climate.

  7. Very interesting information.

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