Satellites do not agree with NOAA that November was hottest on record for the planet

Media are running with this story – Warm November set heat record for planet
NOAA have their own page too – NOAA – Global Analysis – November 2013
Yet RSS lower troposphere satellite temperature anomalies say November 2013 was only 16th warmest since 1978. UAH data shows November 2013 to be 9th equal warmest – so no support for NOAA there either.

When you consider the miniscule thin skin of atmosphere that satellites are sounding it seems unlikely that they should vary by so much from the surface.
I know I would back many thousands of soundings being pinged constantly and impartially by the little travellers against the surface thermometer network with all its known biases – not to mention constant adjustments so that the past is colder.

9 thoughts on “Satellites do not agree with NOAA that November was hottest on record for the planet”

  1. Anthony Watts puts it down to questionable stations in Russia.
    Many areas, such as USA, Spain, UK and even Australia had a cool month.
    I suspect that Russian readings are influenced by growing use of outdoor steam piping for heating communities as well as food, fuel and vodka rationing during the 1980s when town temperature records were exaggerated low in order to qualify for better rations.

  2. I examined four regions of high warming grid boxes in the USSR about 12 years ago.
    I could not justify the warming anywhere in rural stations.
    I said then –
    I said then –
    Summary of Findings

    In not one grid box, in any of the datasets, could this survey find in rural records the 1901-1996 warming magnitudes featured in Karl 1998.

    In 80% of comparisons the Jones 1994 trends were warmer than GHCN or GISS. The GHCN and GISS trends are generally in fair agreement considering the sparse station density and frequent gaps in data.

    In some cases, strong warming trends were based on data from fast-growing cities such as Irkutsk. In view of the well-documented urban heat island effect in such localities, the use of such data to indicate climatic trends lacks credibility.

    Data gaps early in the 1901-1996 period, and the increased likelihood of outlier data in pre-1935 records which are hard to check, may have imparted other non-climatic effects on trends.

    Despite the central control of the soviet system, the continuity of meteorological recordings over the period is far from impressive. It also appears that economic and social re-adjustments during the 1990’s have precluded significant improvement in record-keeping over this huge land-mass, despite the sharper focus on climate issues since 1988. Given the substantial contribution of “Soviet warming” to “global warming” shown in Fig 1, it is vital to reassess all of the Soviet station-by-station records.

  3. I think the areas where data are missing are a lot more important than the Russian data. If you look at the UAH LT maps, a lot of areas where NCDC has no data are relatively cool. It’s easy to see the large anomalies in one place and get distracted. I think they may indeed be exaggerated, but I don’t think that is the primary reason why the rankings are different.

  4. Warwick,

    Your link to “NOAA Global Analysis” shows a map with only two unusually warm countries in November: Russia and Australia.

    Funnily enough, the Russian claim may be more justified, to judge from the RSS map here: Practically all of European Russia is 2-4 degrees above normal.

    Australia, by contrast, is very average on the RSS map – a little cooler in the east, a little warmer in the west.

    Has the BoM finally managed to get more spurious warming in our surface stations than even the Russians?

  5. On a second look at NOAA’s map of global extremes for November [] I see that the Australian warm patch (the only one apart from Russia) has this notation:

    “The September-November mean temperature was the warmest such period on record at 1.57 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average.”

    Every other highlight on the map refers only to November. Australia’s warmth had only been at record levels in September, as I read first here: November was very average, even a bit below on the RSS map []. Yet NOAA manages to spin the Aussie warming story out for 3 months!

  6. An important factor in Russian temperatures is black carbon and aerosol emissions.

    There is a little known organisation called the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative, specifically tasked with reducing primarily black carbon emissions, almost exclusively in Russia and the ex-Soviet Union states.

    While black carbon emissions from industry have been greatly reduced since the end of the SU and in particular post the 1998 Russian Financial Crisis. Agricultural burning is still widespread, although efforts are ongoing to reduce this practice, and likely contributing to increased late summer/autumn warming. The time most burning occurs.

    Reduced BC and aerosol emissions reduce cloud seeding and reduce scattering and absorption of sunlight, both effects resulting in increased solar insolation at the surface increasing surface temperatures (and of course increasing ice melt, primarily older ice with embedded BC).

    I’ll note the irony of an organisation specifically tasked with reducing Arctic ice melt actually causing the opposite. But this the wonderful world of climate science, where ideology trumps data every time.

  7. “The September-November mean temperature was the warmest such period on record at 1.57 degrees C above the 1961-1990 average.”

    Anecdotal evidence from the garden.

    Planted the summer vegies out as usual [September] in the semi arid region where I live……..lost half of them in the October cold snap……replanted……only just flowering now……normally have tomatoes, cucumbers etc. by now….also apricots and plums have still not ripened….

    Dear BOM, please sent notification to my garden re warmest period on record so plants can adjust their thinking.

  8. Interesting divergence between this year and last year’s Antarctic sea ice extent. Last year around this time the extent went back to the 30 year average, before increasing relative to the average in the SH autumn. This year the sea ice extent has remained stubbornly above the 2 standard deviations line. Indicating to me that the recent increase in Antarctic sea ice is a permanent change and will likely increase further this autumn. Rather than the recent increase being just natural variability that will reverse.

    If the sea ice does increase further, I’m wondering at what point it will affect the viability of resupplying Antarctic stations.

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