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Satellite Temperature Data Supported By Radiosondes

January 22, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




As we know, there has been a concerted attempt in the last few months to discredit satellite temperature measurements. In a way this reflects on the success that sceptic bloggers have had in bringing them to the forefront and pointing out that they do not support NASA/NOAA’s hottest year claims.

Indeed it is only recently that most of the media has begun to pay attention to the fact.

This may be the reason that Schmidt and Karl put up a slide of satellite trends at their joint news conference yesterday.





It confirms what we already knew. that 2015 was only the 3rd warmest, still well below 1998. But what was most significant was the fact that radiosonde data pretty much confirmed everything the satellites were telling us.

Radiosondes, of course, don’t offer the comprehensive geographical coverage that satellites do, but they do provide more direct measurements. As such they are a useful complement to satellites.

The most significant radiosonde numbers are the 5000 and 10000 ft ones, as this is the same area that satellites measure as lower troposphere. The 10000 ft radiosonde data peak in 1998 and 2010, as do the satellites. Oddly though, the 5000 ft ones peaked in 2005.





Certainly this data makes it much more difficult to rubbish satellite as has been attempted. After all, it was Tom Wigley who wrote in this paper back in 2006:






One final point to note. Attacks on satellite data often turn into attacks on the credibility of Roy Spencer and John Christy, who run the UAH series. Yet once again we find that it is actually RSS that shows the least warming.



  1. January 22, 2016 7:11 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  2. John Peter permalink
    January 22, 2016 7:43 pm

    First they tried to explain the pause with over 50 reasons why the heat had gone elsewhere including into the deep ocean. Then they increased their adjustments to the surface temperature records to eliminate the pause. Then they discovered that the satellites and balloon data did not comply with this greater warming and they turned their heavy guns on the satellite measurements. I am sure that C. A. Mears was leaned on to disown his own work. Fortunately Spencer and Christy are made of sterner stuff.

  3. January 22, 2016 9:06 pm

    Great post, Paul. I was surprised at slide 10 in the press conference briefing until I remembered that Senator Cruz held a Senate hearing in December, Data or Dogma, where this was a big deal. And Rep. Smith’s Conressional oversight committee is investigating the 2015 Karl paper that karlized the NCEI and GISS records to produce the press conference result. The soundbite ismthat the satellite nd radiosonde data agree with each other, and not withnthe karlized surface records.

  4. Don permalink
    January 22, 2016 9:51 pm

    Have you a link fro that Radiosonde data/chart? Thanks.

  5. David Richardson permalink
    January 22, 2016 10:44 pm

    The idea that radiosonde data is in error goes back many years. GCMs predicted that global warming would develop an equatorial hotspot at the top of the troposphere. When after 15 years plus sonde data showed no such hotspot climate science said that the sondes must wrong. Now those satellites on the naughty step as well. Truly shameful.

    The word science in line three is used in a very loose phraseology.

    • January 22, 2016 11:11 pm

      The original radiosonde diss was in AR4 concerning humidity sensors, which did have a cold dry bias at alritude and went through several instrument versions. All fixable by cross calibration, which has been done and IPCC ignores. Wrote it up in the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth. The same instrument bias charge cannot be leveled at temperature thermistors. So the balloon attack switched to land biased, over/ undersampled readings. That is true if used for GAST. But not if you only use the oversampled, land biased weather balloon data to validate the global satellite inferences for those same land areas. Sample bias argument loses all power.
      Where available, radiosonde have been used to validate UAH. Even to validate latitude differences. Since UAH is very similar to RSS, implicitly validates RSS also–even tho AFAIK RSS is not directly validated by radiosondes.

      • David Richardson permalink
        January 23, 2016 8:02 am

        Thanks ristvan, very interesting.

  6. Don permalink
    January 23, 2016 12:11 am

    Found it.

    Click to access noaa_nasa_global_analysis_2015.pdf

    • January 23, 2016 1:02 am

      Isn’t the internet great? And it has an indelible memory, unlike Clinton’s email server. And google web crawlers are really good once you get the keyword hang.

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