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RSS YTD Temps Only 7th Highest Since 1998

December 5, 2014

By Paul Homewood


We now have the RSS satellite temperature data out for November, and, as with UAH, they show that this year will be nowhere a record, as is being touted for the surface datasets. Indeed, this year is running in only a modest 7th place.





As with UAH, November is down on the previous month, this time by 0.03C, which indicates that the response of atmospheric temperatures to El Nino conditions this year has now happened. There has been expectation in some quarters that the atmosphere was still lagging, even though the El Nino first appeared in April, but these hopes now appear rather forlorn.

YTD anomalies are currently running 0.03C higher than they were 12 months ago, but, significantly, they are below previous El Nino periods, such as 2002/3 and 2005. The major El Nino years of 1998 and 2010, of course, stand way above anything else on the record.



When satellite data fails to give the required answers, it is often claimed that satellite and surface datasets are measuring different things. There are certainly going to be variations on a month to month basis, but over longer periods there has been good correlation, as Woodfortrees show.


offset 0.2



As Roy Spencer has pointed out, satellites are a much better measure of global temperatures than surface measurements for a host of reasons, such as UHI, constant adjustments to the historical temperature record and extremely patchy coverage.

There is one other reason to add to the list; satellites measure temperatures throughout the atmosphere, and not just the thin sliver at the surface. As such, they give a much more comprehensive picture. Atmospheric temperatures are also a very good indicator of sea surface temperatures, as a warmer sea surface quickly passes this extra heat up into the atmosphere. so as to re-establish equilibrium.

  1. December 5, 2014 5:24 pm

    It was a significant test for my New Climate Model that the current El Nino be weaker than normal (compared to the establishment expectation that it be a strong one) due to the more meridional jets and increased cloudiness caused by the quieter sun of the past 14 years or so.

    It has come to pass.

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    December 5, 2014 5:28 pm

    So far, 2014 has not experienced a classic El Niño. The current (4 Dec.) ENSO alert of the US -CPC claims a 65% chance for a winter/spring El Niño.
    Assuming that El Niño fully emerges, the forecaster consensus favors a weak event.

    Click to access ensodisc.pdf

    Whether one is hoping for cold or warm it doesn’t look like El Niño will play a big role now or in 2015. There seems to be a dozen or so explanations – each with a vocal advocate – for whatever is going to happen. Some say warmer, some say colder. I’d like it a bit warmer but as I don’t often get what I want – place your bets on colder.

    • John F. Hultquist permalink
      December 5, 2014 5:32 pm

      While I was writing my comment – and mentioning the dozen explanations – Stephen W. provided #1. Next —

  3. December 5, 2014 7:56 pm

    Looks to me RSS is now down by almost -0.1K (rounded to one figure after the comma) since 2002
    According to my dataset, on means,

    Click to access henryspooltableNEWc.pdf

    2nd table,
    we are down -0.015K/annum = -0.2K since 2000.

    the interesting thing about my results is that both maxima and minima are also coming down, now at ca. -0.01K/annum since 2000.That is at least -0.1K since 2000.

    Now, figures like 0.1K and 0.2K are so small that you cannot feel it… don’t have to worry.

    But it is amplified at the higher latitudes [this has to do with the chemistry TOA] and negated at the lower latitudes [due to more condensation energy coming free]

    So be worried if you live at higher latitudes and suffer from poor crops and rather move south if history books will tell you that the 88 year Gleisberg cycle is real.

  4. December 5, 2014 10:47 pm

    Thanks, Paul.
    Both UAH and RSS look so similar to the MEI that I have come to think that ENSO is the control knob, not CO2. But governments cannot tax ENSO …

  5. December 5, 2014 10:52 pm

    As Paul shows here, HadCRUT4 agrees.

  6. Brian H permalink
    December 6, 2014 9:11 am

    Could hardly be averager. Right in the middle of the pack.

  7. Ron C. permalink
    December 7, 2014 6:12 pm

    It is also interesting that RSS ConUS November 2014 anomaly was a whopping -1.53C, #1 coldest November in their record. November 1992 was the next coldest anomaly at -0.82C.

  8. December 8, 2014 6:54 am

    Reblogged this on The k2p blog and commented:
    Global warming PR always peaks at the time of a UN climate conferemce. Last week we had much weeping and gnashing of teeth about 2014 going to be the warmest year ever (based on adjusted temperature data sets). This week has started with glaciers melting everywhere.
    In the meantime the satellite record shows that the pause in global temperature continues (over 18 years now) and that ice cover at the poles is pretty close to the average over the last 30 years.

  9. Ron Brooks permalink
    December 10, 2014 5:18 pm

    The fact that they are speculating on 2014 temperature before the data are in tells you they had a goal in publishing this prediction.


  1. Satellite Data Contradict ‘Warmest Year’ Claims | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
  2. How much did the world warm in November? How fast is it warming? See the numbers. | Fabius Maximus
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