Learn what few know: how much did we warm in May? how much has the world warmed since 1979?

Summary: The world has been warming. Seldom mentioned is how much it has warmed, which allows alarmists to more easily sow fear. For the answer we turn to the NASA-funded global temperature data from satellites.  They show the warming since 1979 is small (so far; the future might be quite different). The truth is out there for people willing to see it. Only with it can we prepare for our future.

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”
— conclusion of the IPCC’s AR5 Working Group I

Pure alarmist propaganda



  1. Status report: what do satellites tell us about global warming?
  2. The long-term history of warming
  3. Who produces this satellite data & analysis?
  4. About The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)
  5. For More Information

To the right is a typical over-the-top image to arouse fear, about a world now less than one °F warmer than the 30-year average.

(1) Status report: what do satellites tell us about global warming in May 2014?

Satellites provide the most comprehensive and reliable record of the atmosphere’s warming since 1979.

The May 2014 Global Temperature Report
by the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville
(Blue is cold; red warm}. Click to enlarge.

May 2014 Global Temperature Report
Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville


See the equivalent graph from the surface temperature stations of the Climate Anomaly Monitoring System (CAMS) of the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) at the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP).

Key points from the UAH report (prepared under contract for NASA), which show a world that has warmed since 1979, but only slightly (few alarmists know this; even fewer admit it):

  1. It was the 3rd warmest May in the satellite record (since 1979). The global composite temperature in May was +0.33°C (0.59°F) above the average for May during 1981-2010.  {the other satellite record, RSS, has it the 6th warmest}
  2. The warmest May was in 1998, during the “El Niño of the century”, at +0.56°C (about 1.0°F) warmer than average.
  3. May 2010 — also an El Niño month — was 2nd warmest at +0.45°C (0.81°F).

More about the world’s atmosphere temperatures in May:

  1. Global climate trend of temperature starting in 16 November 1978: +0.14°C  (0.3°F) per decade.
  2. Compared to seasonal norms, in May the coolest area on the globe was over the northern Pacific Ocean,
    where temperatures were as much as -2.8°C  (3.7°F) cooler than seasonal norms.
  3. The warmest area was along the western border of Kazakhstan, where tropospheric temperatures were +4.2°C  (7.5°F) warmer than seasonal norms.
  4. Anomalies are computed per the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recommended method, comparing the current temperatures vs. a 30 year base period ending with the latest decade.

For more detail see Global Temperature Update Through 2013, James Hansen, Makiko Sato and Reto Ruedy, 21 January 2014.

(2)  The vital context: a longer-term temperature history

Two decades of cool weather, followed by 15 years of warm weather. Wide swings in temperature; a relatively flat trend since 1998 – 2000. For more about the pause see links to climate research in Section 5.

(a)  From the UAH monthly report,  a graph of the full record of UAH satellite data (started in 1979). Click to enlarge.


UAH Satellite Temperature Record thru May 2014
Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville


(b)  A different view of the UAH data, by Roy Spencer, principal scientists on the UAH team (at his website).

UAH Satellite Temperature Record thru May 2014
Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Click to enlarge.


(c)  The UK Met Office shows a longer-term history

These numbers cannot be properly understood until put in a historical context, as in this graph from page 10 of “The Recent Pause in Global Warming” published by the UK Met Office in July 2013.

UK Met Report, July 2013
UK Met Report, July 2013


(3) Who produces this satellite data and analysis?

(a)  About the global satellite data, from the May report:

As part of an ongoing joint project between UAHuntsville, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites to get accurate temperature readings for almost all regions othe Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available.

The satellite based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level.

Global warming
Global warming

(b)  About John R. Christy

He is Professor of Atmospheric Science at U Al-Huntsville, and Director of their Earth System Science Center (ESSC). He is also Alabama’s State Climatologis. See his full profile and publications here.

(c)  Roy Spencer is a principal research scientist at the ESSC and member of the Affiliated Faculty at the U AL-Huntsville.

(4) About The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)

The satellites record the lower troposphere temperature (~ 8K altitude), not the surface temperature. Both are ways of measuring this key aspect of our weather.

Q. What do we mean by daily mean SAT?A. Again, there is no universally accepted correct answer. Should we note the temperature every 6 hours and report the mean, should we do it every 2 hours, hourly, have a machine record it every second, or simply take the average of the highest and lowest temperature of the day ? On some days the various methods may lead to drastically different results.

Read the rest here.

Truth Will Make You Free

(5) For More Information

(a) Reference Pages about climate on the FM sites:

  1. The important things to know about global warming
  2. My posts
  3. Studies & reports, by subject
  4. The history of climate fears

(b)  An introduction to climate change:

  1. What we know about our past climate, and its causes
  2. Good news!  Global temperatures have stabilized, at least for now.
  3. What can climate scientists tell about the drivers of future warming?
  4. What can climate scientists tell us about the drivers of future warming?  – part two of two



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