David Archibald predicts the May 2009 UAH MSU Global Temperature Result

Contributed by David Archibald
There are now 30 years of satellite data on global temperature.
30 yrs of UAH MSU global LT temps
The graph above shows the University of Alabama Huntsville Microwave Sounding Unit (UAH MSU) results for the period 1978 to 2008.

Examination of the record shows a change in character in 2001. Prior to that year, global temperatures tended to rise in a narrow band for a couple of years then have a relatively rapid fall. After 2001, temperatures tended to peak in Jan and then have a much wider annual range than previously.

This is shown in the following graph:
Annual MSU 2002-2008
The above graph overlays the month to month results for the period 2002 to 2008, a total of seven years.

For the last seven years, global temperature has tended to fall 0.3 of a degree between January and May, and then rise again to December. Departures from this are caused by El Nino and La Nina events.

Just as the 2007 El Nino added 0.2° to the January 2007 result, the 2008 La Nina reduced temperatures in the first half of 2008 by 0.3°. The following figure shows the strength of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) which drives the formation of El Nino and La Nina events.
Influence of SOI on global LT temps 2002-2008
Note how the SOI prior to end 2006 is mainly mildly negative (El Nino) but is noisy with sudden excursions into positive mode which presage cooling, then from mid 2007 the positive (La Nina) phase dominates causing tropical cooling and leads to the global cool period in early-mid 2008. The combination of the annual pattern of temperature change and the current La Nina enables a short term forecast of the UAH MSU result to be made.

The combination of a 0.3° response to the current La Nina and the usual 0.3° decline from January to May will result in a 0.6° decline to May 2009 to a result of -0.4° (0.4° below the long term average).

David Archibald
12th January, 2009

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Should RSS correct their lower troposphere satellite data ?

Dr Fred Singer’s, SEPP Science Editorial (copied below) #1-09 (1/3/09) in “The Week That Was” (TWTW), address’s the issue of the difference between University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) [Christy and Norris, 2006] and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) (Mears and Wentz 2005) MSU lower troposphere (LT) temperature data[1979-2007].

Dr Singer refers to the Heartland Institute publication which he edited, “Nature Not Human Activity Rules the Climate”, where Fig’s 9a and 9b seen below, indicate the effect of the hypothetical correction that is required in the RSS data. In a nutshell, the red squares should plot further to the right to agree closer with the blue squares.

Fig's 9a - 9b

The RSS MSU_LT anomalies show a greater warming trend 1979-2008 than do UAH and the majority wisdom around the pro-IPCC Blogosphere is that RSS are correct and UAH wrong.There is also published peer-reviewed evidence that a cooling correction to RSS is required. Randall and Herman Jan 2008 say in their abstract:

“..Diurnal correction signatures still exist in the RSS LT time series and are likely affecting the long-term trend with a warm bias.”

There is more in their paper which I do not have.

The Douglass and Christy paper (Accepted by Energy and Environment Aug 2008) “Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth” has an Appendix A. “Comparison of MSU and RSS” where the authors address the issue and conclude that there is a positive jump of 0.136 degrees K in RSS at about 1993, when two satellites briefly overlapped.

I agree with Dr Singer that this is indeed a significant correction that is required in RSS LT MSU.
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“Our hot, dry future”?

THESE days, it can be hard to imagine how Melbourne ever earned a reputation as the gloomy, rain-filled capital of the south. But, growing up in the 1970s, my memories are full of muddy ovals, local creeks in flood and catching tadpoles in puddles that lasted for months on end. How things have changed.Since 1996, each successive calendar year has brought the city below-average rainfall. With 299 millimetres recorded so far this year, and with just three months to go, it seems virtually certain that this year will become the 12th in a row that has failed to get to the average of 650 millimetres. September 2008 was the driest on record in Melbourne, and the outlook for the remainder of the year suggests that below-average rainfall will continue.So why has it been so dry? The drought started in late 1996, and the subsequent El Nino years of 1997, 2002 and 2006 have each been particularly dry. Ordinarily, these events would have been interspersed with wetter years, but since 1996 the intervening periods have only approached average at best, with the deepening drought particularly evident in our reservoirs and stream-flows.

My main criticism of the article is that the BoM relies on Melbourne CBD rain data to back up their regional conclusions regarding “climate change” and drought, while the rainfall history is in fact affected by the growing urban heat island.

Melbourne Regional Office 86071 (MRO), a weather station in Melbourne’s CBD is

(a) excluded from their own High Quality (HQ) dataset and

(b) shows a negative trend of 90mm (a stunning 13% of mean annual rain) over the last 153 years when compared to the nearest HQ station, Yan Yean 35 km NNW.

So much of what they say in “Our hot, dry future”, is slanted by this amount, no wonder I am critical of much that the BoM publishes.

153 years of declining rain in Melbourne CBD

Melbourne Regional Office weather station in Melbourne’s CBD which has rain data from 1855, is a site that has undergone enormous changes in its surroundings as the city has been built and expanded over the centuries, resulting in an ever-increasing urban heat island.

Melbourne UHI transect on calm night

The above illustration is from a 1997 BoM paper.

High rise developments have increasingly affected wind and changing pollution levels over the decades could also cause variations in rain formation. Up to post WWII coal burning would have been common leading to much worse pollution than modern times, (note visibility data) and air quality data show improvements over say the last 40 years.

These are just a quick sketch of some reasons why weather data from a large and expanding urban heat island is a most unsuitable source from which to draw conclusions about, climate change, regional changes and long term rain trends.

Finally, the article contains another BoM failed prediction, saying in the second paragraph, “..the outlook for the remainder of the year suggests that below-average rainfall will continue.” Wrong BoM, the 2 month rainfall total for November-December for Melbourne Regional Office was 130.8mm compared to the long term mean of 118.7.

Jennifer Marohasy featured 5 articles on her blog examining the subject during October 2008; the first titled How Melbourne’s Climate Has Changed: A reply to Dr David Jones (Part 1) was posted on 14 October and parts 2 to 5 were later in the month.

Tim Curtin shafts the Garnaut Report

You can go to the Quadrant front page and read Tim’s dissection of Garnaut.

The contradictions of the Garnaut Report
Tim Curtin, January-February 2008

The Report makes many dire projections for the future, including the claim that without drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly carbon dioxide, there will by 2100 be major declines in gross domestic product (GDP) across the globe … The Report offers no evidence for such effects having already become apparent despite the warming temperatures experienced globally and in Australia since 1976. On the contrary, that whole period has seen the fastest economic growth ever recorded across almost the whole globe, and Australia is no exception.

If his main article should go offline, I have archived it here.
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Traveston Crossing Dam catchment rainfall trends

Reading recently that the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh had pushed back for five years any action on building the Traveston Crossing Dam I thought the years end was a good time to post some catchment rainfall history.
Traveston dam catchment rainfall histories
Claims by the usual suspects about “worst drought ever”, and variations on this theme are shown to be rubbish. Just a normal, usual drought by the look of it.
A five year postponement sounds like the death knell to me.

Continuing setbacks for NOAA / NASA solar cycle 24 prediction

Updating my 30 October post. “Hard lesson about solar realities for NOAA / NASA”
December provisional RI sunspot number from the Belgian group SIDC (World Data Center for the Sunspot Index) has come in at 0.8.
Hathaway ongoing failed solar prediction
Waiting on NOAA / NASA to produce their December numbers at colossal cost to taxpayers, then update the now famous Hathaway “ever-moving prediction”. There is an animation at the excellent Anthony Watts web site.
I see at solarcycle24.com we now have had 26 spotless days snce the weak spot in early December.

How reliable are Coral Sea SST (Sea Surface Temperature) data ?

There is a discussion at the Jennifer Marohasy blog, “Sea-surface Temperatures along the Great Barrier Reef” Posted by John McLean, January 5th, 2009, re recent research from AIM in Townsville that global warming is harming the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The AIM scientists use the UK Hadley Centre SST data to show global warming is affecting coral.
This got me to take another look at a post of mine on Willis Island in the Coral Sea, a site that refuses to warm.
[Note here how politicians were running with the pro-warming conclusions, long before the published paper by De’ath et al is available.]
At the time I compiled Hadley and Reynolds SST data along with lower troposphere satellite temperature trends for the grid cell 15 to 20 degrees South and 145 to 155 East, which neatly has Willis Is. fairly central and extends west to the GBR coast.
This graphic shows that the Hadley SST data warms by ~0.75 degrees C while Willis Island land data actually cools slightly.
Willis Is composite trends
Now a good photo of the Willis Is. weather instruments can be found on the “Australia’s Reference Climate Station Network” web page.

www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/reference.shtml#rcsmap

by clicking on Willis Island on their map.
[Let me know where the actual BoM RCS temperature data can be downloaded from please]
Willis Is weather station
Now take in this idyllic scene and ask yourself, could the sea surface temperatures warm without warming air above them, which must then be reflected by the thermometers inside the Stevenson Screen which looks to be only 100-200 metres away ? That is what the Hadley Centre and the US based NOAA/NCDC are asking us to believe with their over-adjusted SST data. That the sea can warm without affecting air so close over the island. Note both the satellite data and Willis Is. cool slightly 1979-2005 while the Hadley SST’s warm. For the period 1982-2005 both the satellite data and Willis Is. cool slightly while both sets of SST’s warm.
Note: I downloaded the SST and satellite data from the KNMI website www.climexp.knmi.nl/
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