Temperature Trends

Hottest January in Satellite Temperature Record Leads Off 2016

Global average temperature trend bumped up from +0.11°C per decade to +0.12°C per decade


Dreamstime: Meryll

Every month University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologists John Christy and Roy Spencer publish global temperature trend data derived from NOAA satellite measurements. Their latest analysis finds that January, 2016 was the warmest first month of the year since satellite data began to be reported in 1978. January's global average temperature was +0.54 degrees Celsius above the 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported. The next warmest Januarys occurred in 1998 (+0.49°C) and 2010 (+0.48°C).

Interestingly, warming has increased so much recently that Christy and Spencer also report that global average temperature trend since they last reported in December has now been bumped up from +0.11°C per decade to +0.12°C per decade.

Overall, the Northern Hemisphere temperature was +0.70 C (about 1.25 degrees Fahrenheit); the Southern Hemisphere was +0.39 C (about 0.70 degrees Fahrenheit); and the Tropics was +0.85 C (about 1.52 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than the 30-year average for January.

In their notes, Christy and Spencer observed that, as was widely anticipated, "global temperatures in January set a record for the month, eclipsing January 1998 as the warmest January in the satellite temperature dataset. In a sense, that could mean 2016 is in a "race" to see if it will pass 1998 as the warmest year on record. In addition to a major El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event, 2016 has 17 years of warming to raise the base temperature from which the El Niño begins."


They additionally observed, "While the global temperature in January was a record setter, in the tropics January 2016 fell significantly (more than 0.25 C) short of the 1998 record. It could mean less energy is available to be transferred from the ocean into the atmosphere. It could mean the heat transfer might peak later this year than in previous El Niño years or might already be near its peak. What we know is that under the best of circumstances the climate system is complex and difficult to forecast. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months."

Go here to check out the monthly temperature data since 1978.

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  1. Could Jesus microwave a January so hot that even He could not eat it?

      1. What kind? Choose carefully.

        1. For as the true Hot Pocket will bring you flavor, the false one will melt through your mouth.

          Just kidding. They all melt through your mouth.

        2. Meatballs and Mozzarella…that is the Hot Pocket of a carpenter.

          1. You chose…wisely.

          2. As long as you didn’t say Ham and Cheese.

            1. What if the ham was kosher?

  2. On the off chance that you’re thinking to yourself something along the lines of “It sure seems strange and a little hard to believe that every single month and year is supposedly setting a new all-time record”, just remember that there is no such thing as a reliable temperature record anymore because the ClimateGate perps destroyed it to cover their tracks.

    1. That attitude won’t get you invited to the Right Cocktail Parties.

      1. Are previous years’ temps the same as they were before, or are they being adjusted downward to make this year the hottest? What’s the margin of error?

    2. DD: You really ought not to make such statements about the data supplied by Christy and Spencer since they are actually the guys who challenge the surface temperature data that you think has been wrongfully adjusted.

      As background you might want to take a look at my article, “Temperature Record Chicanery: An Overhyped Scandal.”

      1. Dumbass,

        NOAA Butchers Math in Report Claiming 2015 Was Hottest Year Ever
        Are you perspiring? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA), by now, the sweat should be pouring down your face because 2015 was the warmest year ever recorded. But, if you are feeling cool, calm and collected, perhaps it’s because the “record” temperature numbers presented by NOAA were either wrong or someone messed up, somehow.

        Because, using NOAA’s own numbers, 1997 was almost four degrees Fahrenheit hotter than 2015. …

        1. How does that respond to Mr Bailey’s post? He was making the point that this article is based on satellite data, not the (surface) temp records that have been notoriously doctored in past years. You respond by talking about more Surface temp records? That doesn’t even make sense.

          1. He doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  3. This past year has been amazing weather wise. We’ve finally got enough rain to fill up all our lakes. The summer was incredibly mild, the winter has been incredibly mild, and we’ve had enough cold snaps to murder the bugs but not kill the plants (they are blooming like it’s spring, I love it). If we could get weather like this every year I’m pretty sure a lot of people would be willing to sacrifice their first born to the blood gods.

    1. That’s weather, not.climate you denialist shitlord.


      1. Don’t care, if this climate results in this kind of weather every year I’ll happily do whatever I can to encourage to continue to do so.

    2. Where are you? I want more damn snow.

        1. This sign is 20 feet tall. Taken last week, it’s probably buried under at least 2 feet of snow now.

      1. Texas, and we aren’t having snow, which is part of what’s nice.

        1. It was super nice to get through December and January not having to worry about my 6 month pregnant wife navigating icy stairs.

          Seriously, I’ll go burn a motherfucking rain forest if it means another year like we had in DFW.

          1. Not having ice on the concrete between my house, car, and work has been fantastic. That stuff is so dangerous, and the last thing I need is a broken bone from an uncontrolled fall.

          2. You need to email me so we can get together.

            1. Definitely.

        2. You sent your snow to the East Coast, didn’t you? Admit it!

          1. Absolutely. And last year we sent our heat to the Pacific Northwest!

          2. And I’ll do it again!

        3. Texas still has blizzards

        4. Well, I’m sure it’s nice in Texas. Further north it’s so damn dark no matter the temperature, I need snow to counteract the dark dreariness.

        1. Somehow the giant East Coast blizzard managed to drop absolutely no snow at all on me in southern NH.

    3. Wasn’t so awesome for Iran and Iraq. 160F heat indexes ain’t no joke.

    4. Yup. If “climate change” means milder summers and winters, I don’t see the problem.

  4. Ron Bailey I saw this and thought of you. I appreciate your articles that address the subject.


  5. After the last two murderous winters here in Michigan this has been great. Temps in the 30s instead of the sub-zero stuff.

    1. But can you still go ice fishing?

    2. As long as you realize Michigan will continue to get murdered the Saturday after thanksgiving…

  6. …global average temperature trend since they last reported in December has now been bumped up from +0.11?C per decade to +0.12?C per decade.

    Oh the humanity of a 1.2 degree increase over a century! It’ll be Waterworld in 500 years at this rate. No wait, 800 years. No wait, never.

    1. Never is a long time. The ice caps will probably melt again sometime in the next million or so years.

      1. Still won’t result in water world. There simply is not enough water on the planet to take up a significant part of the dry land (with the obvious caveat that 70% of the planet is already covered in water).

        1. Waterworld. That’s what it would look like. There would be no Florida, so it’s got that going for it.

          1. More importantly, it looks like DC and Jersey are screwed. This is looking better by the minute.

    2. I regret to inform you, per Michael Mann’s predictions, New York City is actually already underwater.

    3. But that’s like three degrees in real temperature.

      1. What you did there, I saw it.

    4. Why was everyone in Waterworld so dirty?

  7. One of the authors of the data set, Dr Christy, recently testified in Congress on the subject of the Global Circulation Models that are used to justify climate change laarmism and their utter uselessness as predictors of the world’s climate in the light of overwhelming contradictory physical observations

    I think his written testimony is a must read for everyone interested in this subject:

    It is a bold strategy in my view to actively promote the output of theoretical climate models while attacking the multiple lines of evidence from observations. Note that none of the observational datasets are perfect and continued scrutiny is healthy, but when multiple, independent groups generate the datasets and then when the results for two completely independent systems (balloons and satellites) agree closely with each other and disagree with the model output, one is left scratching one’s head at the decision to launch an offensive against the data. This doesn’t make scientific sense to me.

    Of course we all know the reason why. The IPCC, like the Discovery Institute is only interested in denial of science contradicting the doctrines of their religion.

    1. Who are you going to believe? Your lying eyes?

    2. t: Could you please straighten out DD above? Thanks.

      1. And if he doesn’t straighten out, string him up!


      2. Don’t make me enact your labor!!!!! 🙂

        I’m so tired of explaining it!

        I think the satellite temps are very reliable. The observational records of surface temps are reliable and not destroyed. The models of historical global temperatures built on those observational records are of questionable validity, but that has much more to do with the poorly documented process by which they are generated and the use of questionable stats to “correct” suspected errors. Very simply put, the processes appear to allow bad data to corrupt good data in the name of correcting data that looks bad to look more good.

        The lost records in climate gate are the list of stations used to generate historical versions of the HADCRUT dataset. The raw data is around. It’s just that nobody can replicate it properly because Phil Jones couldn’t remember what he did and hadn’t documented it.

        1. Isn’t Phil Jones the name Zaphod used at the party in Islington?

        2. I think the satellite temps are very reliable.

          Which go back to 1979 and can’t prove THE HOTTEST YEAR OF ALL TIME!!!!!

  8. Climate is measured in units of 30 years.

    So, why all the excitement over one year?

  9. My two cents:
    I can’t shake the idea that supporters of the man-made climate change idea are eco-warriors in their hearts and therefore everything they say is suspect.

    My limited understanding of climate leads me to believe that climate is a great big cycle and if the climate is warming, it almost seems like hubris to think that we are disrupting the homeostasis of such a huge system.

    1. Re: Mr. Drew,

      it almost seems like hubris to think that we are disrupting the homeostasis of such a huge system.

      You don’t seem to understand. According to the Marxians (whose minds orbit planet Marx) the hubris is what we humans display for not doing anything to save the planet.

      Yeah, they’re in orbit, about to land on their heads.

  10. Someone really needs to put airconditioning on these weather satellites. The temperatures are clearly uncomfortable for those who are imprisoned in them and forced to take temperature readings.

  11. What I find interesting about the modern media take on climate change, is how many things are simply uncritically reported as the results of “climate change”. No scientific backing, no study, no correlation between increased CO2 and the particular event being discussed. Nope, we saw something unusual, so… climate change… coming up next, we’ll talk to a girl that uses Tinder to create a rape crisis network!

    1. He human nature didn’t suddenly change in the past few decades.

      Remember all those people who uncritically accepted that women lacked the cognitive ability to become doctors ten decades ago? Who believed that negros if left unmolested would sink into degenerate savagery? That marijuana turned mexicans into crazed murderous fiends?

      Their kind didn’t go extinct. They just adopted different superstitions.

      1. Hmm…+1 to you both if such a thing is possible. The media is always lazy and stupid when it comes to science. Tiny incremental gains in knowledge don’t get ratings, so instead it’s all “Good news for chocolate lovers!”

        And the people who swallow this tripe have been with us always

    2. I think they do it cause it gets them hits.

  12. Just in time for the 200th anniversary of “1800 and froze to death”

  13. Wait just a minute. Obama went full whoopass on the climate. We have that fancy, new Clean Power Plan, and we have that Paris Climate Agreement deal. How is it possible the planet is still warming?

  14. Hottest January in Satellite Temperature Record Leads Off 2016

    Hottest January ever! Makes July seem like August – on Venus!


  15. What we know is that under the best of circumstances the climate system is complex and difficult to forecast.

    I have it from good sources (ok, Marxians) that the climate system is not complex at all and that the climate can be controlled very easily if we all just embraced Marxianism and eschewed capitalism because it is yucky to the planet.

    Words to that effect, just equally stupid.

  16. It all just keeps getting better, doesn’t Ronald? And that’s measuring up to 60,000 feet above the surface!

    Heck, it’s a conspiracy.

    1. It’s banal, like you.

  17. Could you please not show a picture of scorched earth next to such stories? Higher Global temperatures will generally lead to a wetter and climate around the world.

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