October 2013 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) Temperature Anomaly Update

The following graph is of annual global surface temperature anomalies, including year-to-date 2013 values. The base years for anomalies are 1981-2010. The GISS and NCDC data run through October 2013, and HADCRUT4 runs through September.


Annual Through Year-To-Date 2013

It appears that NCDC may rank 2013 as the 6th warmest year, while 2013 might rank 9th with GISS and HADCRUT4. That, of course, will change with the November and December values.  Global warming enthusiasts will attempt, as they always do, to turn those rankings into forecasts of doom and gloom. (See the closing discussion under the heading of “The Silly Season is Upon Us”.)

Back to your regularly scheduled update:

Initial Notes:  This post contains graphs of running trends in global surface temperature anomalies for periods of 12+ and 16 years using GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data.  They indicate that we have not seen a warming hiatus this long since the early-1970s (12-year+ trends) or late-1970s (16-years+ trends).

Much of the following text is boilerplate. It is intended for those new to the presentation of global surface temperature anomaly data.


Introduction: The GISS Land Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data is a product of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies.  Starting with their January 2013 update, it uses NCDC ERSST.v3b sea surface temperature data.  The impact of the recent change in sea surface temperature datasets is discussed here.  GISS adjusts GHCN and other land surface temperature data via a number of methods and infills missing data using 1200km smoothing. Refer to the GISS description here.   Unlike the UK Met Office and NCDC products, GISS masks sea surface temperature data at the poles where seasonal sea ice exists, and they extend land surface temperature data out over the oceans in those locations.  Refer to the discussions here and here. GISS uses the base years of 1971-1980 as the reference period for anomalies.  The data source is here.

Update:  The October 2013 GISS global temperature anomaly is +0.61 deg C.  It cooled (a decrease of about -0.13 deg C) since September 2013.




Introduction: The NOAA Global (Land and Ocean) Surface Temperature Anomaly dataset is a product of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).  NCDC merges their Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature version 3b (ERSST.v3b) with the Global Historical Climatology Network-Monthly (GHCN-M) version 3.2.0 for land surface air temperatures. NOAA infills missing data for both land and sea surface temperature datasets using methods presented in Smith et al (2008). Keep in mind, when reading Smith et al (2008), that the NCDC removed the satellite-based sea surface temperature data because it changed the annual global temperature rankings.  Since most of Smith et al (2008) was about the satellite-based data and the benefits of incorporating it into the reconstruction, one might consider that the NCDC temperature product is no longer supported by a peer-reviewed paper.

The NCDC data source is usually here.  NCDC uses 1901 to 2000 for the base years for anomalies.

Update: (Note: the NCDC has been slow with this month’s update at the normal data source webpage, so I’ve used the value listed on their State of the Climate Report for October 2013.)  The October 2013 NCDC global land plus sea surface temperature anomaly was +0.63 deg C.  It decreased -0.01 deg C (basically unchanged) since September 2013.


NCDC Global (Land and Ocean) Surface Temperature Anomalies


Introduction: The UK Met Office HADCRUT4 dataset merges CRUTEM4 land-surface air temperature dataset and the HadSST3 sea-surface temperature (SST) dataset.  CRUTEM4 is the product of the combined efforts of the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. And HadSST3 is a product of the Hadley Centre.  Unlike the GISS and NCDC products, missing data is not infilled in the HADCRUT4 product.  That is, if a 5-deg latitude by 5-deg longitude grid does not have a temperature anomaly value in a given month, it is not included in the global average value of HADCRUT4. The HADCRUT4 dataset is described in the Morice et al (2012) paper here.  The CRUTEM4 data is described in Jones et al (2012) here. And the HadSST3 data is presented in the 2-part Kennedy et al (2012) paper here and here.  The UKMO uses the base years of 1961-1990 for anomalies.  The data source is here.

Update (Lags One Month):  The September 2013 HADCRUT4 global temperature anomaly is +0.53 deg C.  It increased (about 0.01 deg C) since August 2013.




As noted in my post Open Letter to the Royal Meteorological Society Regarding Dr. Trenberth’s Article “Has Global Warming Stalled?”, Kevin Trenberth of NCAR presented 10-year period-averaged temperatures in his article for the Royal Meteorological Society. He was attempting to show that the recent hiatus in global warming since 2001 was not unusual.  Kevin Trenberth conveniently overlooked the fact that, based on his selected start year of 2001, the hiatus has lasted 12+ years, not 10.

The period from January 2001 to October 2013 is now 154-months long. Refer to the following graph of running 154-month trends from January 1880 to May 2013, using the GISS LOTI global temperature anomaly product. The last data point in the graph is the linear trend (in deg C per decade) from January 2001 to the current month. It is basically zero. That, of course, indicates global surface temperatures have not warmed during the most recent 154-month period. Working back in time, the data point immediately before the last one represents the linear trend for the 154-month period of December 2000 to September 2013, and the data point before it shows the trend in deg C per decade for November 2000 to August 2013, and so on.

154-Month Trends

154-Month Linear Trends

The highest recent rate of warming based on its linear trend occurred during the 154-month period that ended about 2004, but warming trends have dropped drastically since then.  There was a similar drop in the 1940s, and as you’ll recall, global surface temperatures remained relatively flat from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s.  Also note that the early-1970s was the last time there had been a 154-month period without global warming—before recently.


In his RMS article, Kevin Trenberth also conveniently overlooked the fact that the discussions about the warming hiatus are now for a time period of about 16 years, not 10 years—ever since David Rose’s DailyMail article titled “Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it”.  In my response to Trenberth’s article, I updated David Rose’s graph, noting that surface temperatures in April 2013 were basically the same as they were in June 1997.  We’ll use June 1997 as the start month for the running 16-year trends.  The period is now 197-months long. The following graph is similar to the one above, except that it’s presenting running trends for 197-month periods.

197-Month Trends

197-Month Linear Trends

The last time global surface temperatures warmed at a rate this low for a 197-month period was the late 1970s.  Also note that the sharp decline is similar to the drop in the 1940s, and, again, as you’ll recall, global surface temperatures remained relatively flat from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s.

The most widely used metric of global warming—global surface temperatures—indicates that the rate of global warming has slowed drastically and that the duration of the hiatus in global warming is unusual during a period when global surface temperatures are allegedly being warmed from the hypothetical impacts of manmade greenhouse gases.


There is very little difference in the end point trends of 12+-year and 16+-year running trends if HADCRUT4 or NCDC products are used in place of GISS data. The major difference in the graphs is with the HADCRUT4 data and it can be seen in a graph of the 12+-year trends.  I suspect this is caused by the updates to the HADSST3 data that have not been applied to the ERSST.v3b sea surface temperature data used by GISS and NCDC.


The GISS, HADCRUT4 and NCDC global surface temperature anomalies are compared in the next three time-series graphs. The first graph compares the three global surface temperature anomaly products starting in 1979. Again, due to the timing of this post, the HADCRUT4 data lags the GISS and NCDC products by a month.  The graph also includes the linear trends.  Because the three datasets share common source data, (GISS and NCDC also use the same sea surface temperature data) it should come as no surprise that they are so similar.    For those wanting a closer look at the more recent wiggles and trends, the second graph starts in 1998, which was the start year used by von Storch et al (2013) Can climate models explain the recent stagnation in global warming? They, of course found that the CMIP3 (IPCC AR4) and CMIP5 (IPCC AR5) models could NOT explain the recent hiatus.

The third comparison graph starts with Kevin Trenberth’s chosen year of 2001. All three of those comparison graphs present the anomalies using the base years of 1981 to 2010.  Referring to their discussion under FAQ 9 here, according to NOAA:

This period is used in order to comply with a recommended World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Policy, which suggests using the latest decade for the 30-year average.

Comparison Since 1979

Comparison Starting in 1979


Comparison Since 1998

Comparison Starting in 1998


Comparison Since 2001

Comparison Starting in 2001


The last graph presents the average of the GISS, HADCRUT and NCDC land plus sea surface temperature anomaly products. Again because the HADCRUT4 data lags one month in this update, the most current average only includes the GISS and NCDC products.  The flatness of the data since 2001 is very obvious, as is the fact that surface temperatures have rarely risen above those created by the 1997/98 El Niño.

Average of Global Land+Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Products


Or some might say the silly season has already begun…or has never ended.

Appearing to have been prepared for the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently published its WMO Provisional Statement on Status of the Climate in 2013.  It begins:

Global Temperatures in 2013

A preliminary assessment of global temperatures during the first nine months of 2013 indicates that this year will likely be among the 10 warmest years since global records began in 1850. For the year to date, January−September 2013 ties with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature that was 0.48°C ±0.12°C (0.86°F±0.22°F) above the 1961–1990 average and equal to the most recent 2001–2010 decadal average. This is also higher than both 2011 and 2012, which were 0.44°C and 0.46°C above average, respectively, when La Niña conditions had a cooling influence over the global temperature.

Ten years from now, will the WMO be claiming that 2023 was among the 20 warmest years since global records began in 1850?

Of course, the WMO’s statement about global temperatures is newsworthy to some, especially those who claim it to be proof that man is responsible for that warming through the emissions of manmade greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

I will continue to reply that there is nothing in the ocean heat content records or the satellite-era sea surface temperature records to indicate that manmade greenhouse gases had any influence on the warming of the global oceans.  Those records indicate the oceans warmed via naturally occurring, coupled ocean-atmosphere processes. The oceans cover 70% of the surface of the planet, and the warming of land surface air temperatures is primarily in response to the warming of the oceans, so much of the global warming (land and ocean) we’ve experienced over the past 3 decades occurred from naturally occurring, sunlight-fueled processes, not from carbon dioxide.

If the subject of the natural (not manmade) warming of the global oceans is new to you, see my illustrated essay “The Manmade Global Warming Challenge” (42MB).   Because much of the warming of the oceans is in response to the naturally occurring, sunlight-fueled processes that are associated with El Niño and La Niña events, we have presented and discussed those processes in minute detail here at Climate Observations and at WattsUpWithThat for almost 5 years.  A detailed discussion of those processes can be found in the 2-part YouTube video series “The Natural Warming of the Global Oceans”.  See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.  Also refer to my ebook Who Turned on the Heat? – The Unsuspected Global Warming Culprit:  El Niño-Southern Oscillation.  (US$8.00 – Please click here to buy a copy.)  A free preview is here.  The natural warming of the global oceans is also discussed in Section 9 of my more-recent book Climate Models Fail, introduced next.

Further, the political entity known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on climate models for their predictions of future catastrophe. But we’ve been showing and discussing for about 2 years that the climate models used by the IPCC for their 4th and 5th Assessment Reports cannot simulate surface temperatures, precipitation or sea ice.  So why should we believe their forecasts of future climate based on projections of future greenhouse gas emissions?  There is no reason to believe them.  Climate model failings were discussed in numerous posts at Climate Observations and WattsUpWithThat.  I’ve collected and expanded on those discussions in my ebook Climate Models Fail.  (It’s available in two formats: Amazon Kindle and pdf, for $9.99.)  A free preview is available here.

Global warming enthusiasts are still claiming that I haven’t explained this or that, when I have provided detailed explanations, supported by data.  I have even responded to their nonsensical claims with the posts Untruths, Falsehoods, Fabrications, Misrepresentations and Untruths, Falsehoods, Fabrications, Misrepresentations — Part 2.  And there will likely be a Part 3 sometime in the future.

And as I noted recently, 30% of my before-tax personal income from the sales of my ebooks (my profits from .pdf edition sales and my royalties from Amazon Kindle edition sales) from November 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013 will be donated to the Philippine Red Cross disaster relief for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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3 Responses to October 2013 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) Temperature Anomaly Update

  1. tomwys says:

    Keep in mind that the HadCRUT4 added 125 Russian stations close to the (recently warming) Arctic Ocean, and the Canadians contributed some more – WITHOUT adding an equivalent number on Antarctica, which has been getting colder.

    So: The upward translation (from a mathematical sense) of temperatures was a foregone conclusion, and the parroting of “Warmest years ever, etc., etc.” was equally foregone.

    No surprise here!!!

  2. Pingback: Also-Rans: NCDC and GISS Global Surface Temperatures Finish 4th and 7th for 2013 | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

  3. Pingback: Also-Rans: NCDC and GISS Global Surface Temperatures Finish 4th and 7th for 2013 | Watts Up With That?

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