MAY 25TH  2006
A new publication on this subject by the NOAA ( US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), is now aviailable in full (9.2MB) or in part, from
The full title is "Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences"
Its authors include T.R.Karl, T.M.Wigley, J.R.Christy,  T.C. Peterson, F.J.Wentz, K.Y.Vinnikov, .R.W.Spencer, R.S.Vose, R.W. Reynolds, B.D.Santer, P.W. Thorne, C.K. Folland and D. Parker. This includes most of the people working on temperature records, with the notable exceptions of P.D. Jones and J.E.Hansen
Part of the Abstract is as follows  "Specifically, (i.e. previously)  surface data showed substantial global average warming while early versions of satellite and radiosonde data showed little or no warming above the surface. This significant discrepancy no longer exists because errors in the satellite and radiosonde data have been identified and corrected. New data have also been developed that do not show such discrepancies"
Figure 1 of the "Executive Summary" shows a comparison between the latest, corrected, versions of four temperature records of  global anomalies from 1958 to 2004. The top two, are Lower Stratosphere, and Mid Troposphere and Lower Troposphere and I will ignore them.
The third one shows the superposition of four separate records, two of which, extending only from 1978 to 2004, are from satellite data, (UAH :University of Alabama, Huntsville):and RSS  :Remote Sensing Syatems) and the other two, all the way from 1958 to 2004, are  from radiosondes (HadA2: Hadley Center, University of East Anglia, and RATPAC :Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate). The agreement between all four graphs is remarkably good, particularly for the satellite region, 1978 to 2004. .Discrepancies between them seem to have been successfully removed. .
The fourth graph is the surface record from 1978 to 2004 with superposition of records from NOAA, NASA (Goddard Institute os Space Studies) and HadCRUT2v (Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia) They also show close agreement
At first sight graphs three and four appear almost identical. but one difference which the abstract says existed only in the past, is still there. Despite all the corrections, the temperature change in the lower troposphere, with all four records is very near to zero from 1978 to 1997, whereas the surface record shows a definite rise over that period. I showed this is true in my Newsletter no 98 by magnifying the relevant section of each record and comparing them.
The graphs all contain dotted lines to show the influence of the volcanoes Agung in 1963, El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1993.. It is obvious that all these depress the temperature for a short time after the eruption, so they enhance a perceived upwards trend.  The Report makes no attempt to correct for this. They make a much greater error by ignoring the many El Niño ocean events over the period which were greater towards the end of the sequence, and enhance a perceived upwards trend to a much greater extent. The 1998 El Niño was so great that it masks the real differences between the two graphs almost on its own, as soon as you draw a linear curve through the data.
This conclusion is further confirmed by some of the other graphs in the report. In figure 3.3 of Chapter 3 the lower graph is a plot of the two radiosonde records again, at a slightly higher scale. It is again evident that there was no "global warming" in the 850-300 hPa region of the atmosphere from1978 to 1997 despite El Chichon at the beginning and Pinatubo halfway through.
Chapter 3, Figure 3.3a shows a slightly larger graph of lower troposphere readings, but only plots the UAH and RSS satellite data and one radiosonde, HadAT2. It shows, once again, no warming from 1978 to 1997
Chapter 3 in Figure 3.1 has a better version of the three surface records from 1958 to 2004 and it is obvious that it shows a steady increase since 1978.
Appendix A on "Statistical Issues Regarding Trends" by T.M. Wigley has Figures 1 and 2 from 1978 to 2004 where he indicates  not only the volcanoes El Chichon and Pinatubo, but also six El Niño episodes over the period, at 1983, 1988. 1992, 1995, 1998 and 2003. Although these are more or less evenly spaced over the sequence, the events themselves increased in intensity, so they impose an obvious upwards bias to the temperature record which is ignored by this report. The 1998 eveny was particularly strong.
Wigley's Figure 2 shows all three satellite records with the derived trend lines. The UAH record shows a negligible upwards trend even when the 1998 El Niño is included, The RSS record shows only a slight trend with the 1998 El Niño.but none without it. The third record, from UMd (University of Maryland) was not plotted on the graph in the Executive Summary. It shows a slight upwards trend even without the 1998 El Niño, but this would probably disappear if the effects of the two volcanoes are considered.
Chapter 3 in Table 3,3 Gives the results of linear regression for all the records
For the surface the slopes are 0.16±0.04ºC (NOAA), 0.16±0.04ºC (NASA) and 0.17±0.04º (HadCRUT2v), all per decade
For the radiosondes, in the lower troposphere, they are 0.02±0.07ºC (RATPAD), 0.03±0.08ºC (HA\adAT2). all per decade
For the satellites, they were 0.04±0.08ºC (UAH), 0.13±0.08ºC (RSS) and 0.20±0.07ºC (UMd)
Then there are "reanalyses" These are defined in the glossary as "a mathematically blended record that incorporates a variety of observational data sets (with adjustments) in an assimilation model."
The trends of these reanalysis records, which are not plotted anywhere, are, for the surface; 0.12±0.07ºC (NCEP50; National Centers for Environmental Prediction) and 0.11±0.06ºC (ERA40; European Center for Medium-range Weather Foirecasts). per decade.
The linear trends from reanalysis for the lower troposphere are -0.04±0.10ºC (NCEP50) and 0.07±0.10ºC (ERA40).
These results show that the discrepancies between the temperature records of the lower troposphere and the surface have not disappeared. They have been confirmed. The very thorough correction of the various instruments has not changed the obvious contrast between the surface and the lower troposphere, particularly  for the period 1978 to 1997. The absence of any warming trend in the lower troposphere over this period by all of the instruments involved shows that the effects of increases iun greenhouse gases are not detected in the region where they are thought to be most prominent for a period of ten years.
The agreement of linear trends from 1978 to 2004 claimed in this report is not confirmed for many of the individual records,notably for both radiosondes, the best established of the satellite records (UAH) and both of the reanalysis records.
When the disturbing effects of the 1998 El Niño are considered, all records except one (UMd) show neglibible warming between 1978 and 1997, and even this single exception would probably go down to a negligible trend if the effects of volcanic eruptions are consodered,
The information from this report is the best evidence we have so far that the supposed effects of increasing greenhouse gases on global temperature are currently undetectable
Vincent Gray
75 Silverstream Road
Crofton Downs
Wellington 6004
New Zealand
Phone/Fax 064 4 9735939
"It's not the things you don't know that fool you.
It's the things you do know that aint so"
Josh Billings