Sunday, June 06, 2010

Tropospheric temp, May 2010

The temperature anomaly or "divergence from average temp." (1979-98 base years) last month was 0.53 C. See chart from

This is still "high" due to the lingering El Nino, which officially ended at the latter part of last month. A fall in sea surface temperature (SST) does not immediately translate to a fall in both surface temperature and tropospheric temperature, there is a lag of a few months. Thus, the June-July 2010 tropospheric temp is expected to fall.

Satellite measurement of the lower troposphere, about 8 kms. above sea level, is seen to be more objective than surface station temperature measurements. The latter is often affected by bad siting -- like temp. measurement tool that are just 1 or 2 meters away from an office air-con exhaust, or beside an asphalted parking lot, or beside a building that directly reflects sunlight. All of such bad siting produce temperature readings that are warmer than usual. Satellite measurement of tropospheric temperature does not suffer from this kind of bad siting and hence, "urban heat island" (UHI) warming bias.

I watch this monthly update from Dr. Roy Spencer's blog. This known climatologist from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is doing that kind of analysis, among his other work. In the past, I really wished to meet the man himself.


And I did meet him, 3 weeks ago in Chicago, during the Heartland's 4th International conference on climate change (ICCC). He was one of the keynote speakers in the 3-days event. One of his major arguments is that clouds greatly affect the world's climate, and he is interested if initial warming by CO2 will result in "positive feedback" (more warming) or "negative feedback" (less warming, if not cooling, due to the presence of more clouds).

For those following the global warming-cooling debate, visiting his site, at least once a month, is a rewarding and mentally-challenging thing to do.

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