RSS and UAH “Meteorological Annual Mean” (December to November) Global Temperatures Fall Far Short of Record Highs in 2014…

…And what we might expect from the GISS, NCDC and UKMO products.

Alarmists from around the globe are awaiting the global temperature product update from GISS, which should be released sometime around the 15th of this month. As a separate listing, see the data page here, GISS provides the annual-average December-to-November data, what is referred to as the “Meteorological Annual Mean”.  I thought it would be interesting to see in advance of the GISS release where the RSS and UAH “Meteorological Annual Mean” lower troposphere temperature anomalies came in for 2014. See Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1

As one might expect, due to the additional volatility of the lower troposphere temperature anomaly products, the “Meteorological Annual Mean” values for 2014 are nowhere close to the record highs for the RSS and UAH global temperature products.


IF (big if) the December-to-November mean is close to the November-to-October mean, Figure 2, then the “Meteorological Annual Mean” for GISS should be similar to 2010.

Figure 2

Figure 2

The NCDC product for November 2014 will appear a few days later, on the 18th.  It should be at record highs, Figure 3, if the December-to-November mean is close to the November-to-October mean.

Figure 3Figure 3

Last, toward the end of the month, the November 2014 UKMO HADCRUT data will be published, and based on the same big-if scenario, Figure 4, the December-to-November mean will probably be about the same as 2010.

Figure 4Figure 4

So strap yourself in for some alarmism.  I suspect we’ll be hearing about global surface temperatures for the next few months.

Of course, we know that the record high global surface temperatures in 2014 are primarily a response to a prolonged weather event in the North Pacific. If this is news to you, please see the post here.  Maybe, after the mainstream media get their fill and something else takes the alarmist stage, there will be a report from some agency that provides an open explanation for the 2014 record highs…maybe not.


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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13 Responses to RSS and UAH “Meteorological Annual Mean” (December to November) Global Temperatures Fall Far Short of Record Highs in 2014…

  1. DB says:

    “Of course, we know that the record high global surface temperatures in 2014 are primarily a response to a prolonged weather event in the North Pacific.”

    Bob, might there be a connection between the North Pacific warmth and the 98/99 El Nino some 15 years ago? If you remember the paper by Jacobs et al., they found strong warming effects in the North Pacific a decade after the 82/83 event.

    “Here we present evidence from modelling and observations that planetary-scale oceanic waves, generated by reflection of equatorial shallow-water waves from the American coasts during the 1982–83 El Niño, have crossed the North Pacific and a decade later caused northward re-routing of the Kuroshio Extension—a strong current that normally advects large amounts of heat from the southern coast of Japan eastwards into the mid-latitude Pacific. This has led to significant increases in sea surface temperature at high latitudes in the northwestern Pacific, of the same amplitude and with the same spatial extent as those seen in the tropics during important El Niño events. These changes may have influenced weather patterns over the North American continent during the past decade, and demonstrate that the oceanic effects of El Nino events can be extremely long-lived.”

    Decade-scale trans-Pacific propagation and warming effects of an El Niño anomaly

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    DB, the 1997/98 El Nino redistributed a tremendous volume of warm water in the Pacific, so anything is possible. I suspect, though, that it will eventually be traced back to the 2009/10 El Nino…by Josh Willis and that group. Unfortunately, we’ll have to give them time. The alarmists will need to take the ball for a while.

  3. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Bob, I have a question you might be able to answer. I can’t find the answer by googling.

    HadCRUT4 is made up of land temperature data (CRUTEM4) and sea-surface temperature data (HadSST3), weighted 30% and 70%, respectively.
    RSS and UAH are the equivalent lower troposphere data, however restricted between latitudes 85S-85N

    I understand that HadSST measures water temperature of the first couple of meters of the oceans. My question is why do they use sea water temperature rather than surface air temperatures over oceans (from the HadMAT database). Isn’t the latter more comparable with the lower troposhere? I also wonder what HadSST uses in the areas covered with sea ice, which after all is about 7% of the ocean’s surface. The water temperature under the sea ice is -1.8C but the air temperature could be tens of degrees lower.
    So if we compare HadCRUT and RSS for instance aren’t we comparing apples and oranges?

    I would appreciate if you could shed some light on this inconsistency.

  4. Bob Tisdale says:

    Thanks, Andrew. Now I have the topic for a short post for tomorrow. Climate models and ENSO? How silly.

  5. Thanks, Bob.
    We shall see, other will not even look at the data; they already know what they want to think.

  6. Bob Tisdale says:

    Hi Chris Schoneveld. Your comment wound up in the spam filter for some reason. Glad I found it.

    Marine air temperature is even more poorly sampled than sea surface temperature. Marine air temperature also has a known “heat island effect” during the day, with sunlight reflecting off the decks and other ship surfaces. That’s why MOHMAT is a nighttime only dataset, which skews it with sea surface temperature data and with land surface air temperature data.


  7. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Still the question remains how sea surface water temperatures can be representative of what we are after: the atmospheric behavior. How does HadCRUT sample the air temperature in areas of sea ice or do they take the water temperature of -1.8C under the ice? I know they do that in their modeling assumptions. At least that is what I gathered from this paper by Shea and Trenberth (see: ).

  8. Chris Schoneveld says:

    So they measure nighttime temperatures because the daytime temperatures suffer from heat island effect. I find that a bad justification for ignoring the air temperatures above the oceans. Shouldn’t they try to use different methods for measuring day time temperatures?

    Now I understand why HadCRUT claims that 2014 may become the hottest year which is not nearly so in the data from MSU measurements. As you showed yourself, this may happen because the Extratropical North Pacific sea surface temperatures are extremely high lately pushing up the global mean. Surely the TLT from RSS and UAH are not as much affected by these high SST in the North Pacific and hence won’t show 2014 as the hottest on record. This example is convincing enough for me to take the HadCRUT data with a grain of salt and stick to genuine air temperature data, i.e. MSU.

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    Chris, regharding marine air temperature data, it’s not what they can do now, it’s what they have to deal with from the past.

    Also, one of reasons TLT data are not showing record high levels this year is how TLT data respond to El Nino events. The lower troposphere is warmed in two ways during El Ninos: (1) it warns in response to the surface warming and (2) in the tropics, the lower troposphere warms when the heat released from the tropical Pacific through evaporation is then released to the atmosphere when all of that additional moisture condenses.

  10. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Thanks Bob.
    I remain puzzled (because of my ignorance, no doubt). If, as you say, “lower troposphere warms when the heat released from the tropical Pacific through evaporation” wouldn’t that cause a cooling of the sea surface? So SST will drop while lower troposphere temperatures are going up in response. And the rain that results from the condensation will lower the SST further, I presume. Hence water and air temperature trending in opposite directions.

  11. Bob Tisdale says:

    Chris Schoneveld, a couple of things to also keep in mind. Yes, the evaporation cools the tropical Pacific during an El Nino, but there’s plenty of warm water rising to the surface to replace it. An El Nino generally does not “consume” all of the warm water. The second thing to consider is the amount of time the evaporated water stays in the atmosphere. If memory serves, it’s about 10 days. There are discussions of that on webpages about the “water cycle”.

    “Opposite directions”? Yes and no. If we were to plot eastern tropical Pacific TLT anomalies versus NINO3.4 SST anomalies, there is a noticeable time lag in the tropical Pacific TLT anomalies so that they run in and out of synch with the SST anomalies, but mostly in in synch.

    Here’s an animation showing SST anomalies (top map) and TLT anomalies (bottom) during the 1997/98 El Nino:


  12. Chris Schoneveld says:

    Instructive animation. Thanks Bob.

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