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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10 thoughts on “David Archibald predicts the May 2009 UAH MSU Global Temperature Result”

  1. The CPC Historical ONI page has been updated, putatively Jan. 14th but I checked
    on the 16th and found nothing.

    They revised last sum from -0.1 to 0.0, the third such in a row. Absurd!

    The OND sum is -0.3, a tad weak. Erl is banking on a positive move in March.

    I’d say the Ozzies are about at loggerheads. My instinct is behind DA on this
    one but I’m embarrassed to say it’s not much regarded.

  2. My instinct is behind DA on this
    one but I’m embarrassed to say it’s not much regarded.


    Why are you embarrassed and why do you think it’s not “much regarded” – and, more to the point, why do you feel you need to associate yourself with such a ‘prediction’. I don’t know what game David is playing, but it’s certainly not helping the sceptic cause. If, as many suspect, David falls flat on his face with his prediction it will simple reinforce the ‘warmers’ view that sceptics are bunch of oddballs and crackpots.

  3. John Finn:

    Just a weak attempt at humor, not a Scandanavian forte.

    I fully expected LaNina winds to turn over SSTs, but this hasn’t happened.
    Today Bill Illis notes winds have subsided. Erl’s 200 hPa values have fallen
    off the table in the last week or two.

    I fear the cooling DA and I expected may not obtain. I still admit to being
    dubious re: Erl’s SH fall El Nino though. Npnetheless, I do not regard my
    expectations here as informed. The 2008 La Nina was quite early.

  4. It looks like the current La Nina is weak and DA’s estimate of -0.3C is consequently too high. I think DA will likely get the sign of his prediction right but not the magnitude.

    And as for David’s methodology, I don’t see much difference to the GCMs. Both cherry-pick the data to get a trend and then extrapolated the trend out into the future. Both would deny cherry-picking.

  5. Warwick;

    Off topic, but there is a new Philipona paper out which, amongst other things, takes a longer data sample period then the previous 1995-2003 one; still the same issues; declining areosols, stabilising brightness, increasing LDR, increasing surface absorption, relatively declining upward longwave and increasing temperature; he makes the point about the increase in SH [absolute humidity in the paper] which is a shot across the bow of Miskolczi and NOAA records, although P doesn’t indicate at what level the absolute humidity is increasing; all due to AGW. The link to the abstract;


    Comments? Thanks for the ref, I will get to that later, if you come across a pdf please let me know. I suppose you have seen my crits of his earlier papers

  6. “Us” as in every last one of. Current El Nino conditions are not likely to
    produce NH warming, even with PDO going neutral. ENSO and PDO need to be
    ‘in phase’ for teleconnection.

  7. Let me remind you Gary – every month the BoM (and no doubt other National MetOffices) produce at great cost predictions for rain and temperature which very often turn out in 3 months to be utter rubbish. At a cost a hundreds of $millions.
    Take the NASA/NOAA solar predictions of recent years – at what colossal cost ? – revised (more than once) out of sight – dragged kicking and screaming to reality.
    I could carry on but I think the point is obvious.
    We sleep well.

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