While global surface temperature cools, the lower troposphere has record warmest October

Image: 29 interesting facts about Greenland – Greenland for beginners

Yesterday, we noted the drop in global surface temperature from HadCRUT data. Today, we have this report from the UAH dataset that points out the heat has not left the lower troposphere (about 14,000 feet altitude) based on this report from the University on Huntsville’s Dr. John Christy.

Lower troposphere dataset has warmest October in satellite temperature record

By Phillip Gentry, UAH

Global Temperature Report: October 2017
Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade

Notes on data released Nov. 2, 2017:

Apparently boosted by warmer than normal water in the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean that peaked in June and July, global average temperatures in the atmosphere rose to record levels in October, according to Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center (ESSC) at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. October 2017 was the seventh warmest month in the 39-year satellite temperature record. It joins September 2017 as the warmest months on record not associated with a typical El Niño Pacific Ocean warming event.

Of the 20 warmest monthly global average temperatures in the satellite record, only October and September 2017 were not during a normal El Niño. Compared to seasonal norms, the global average temperature in October made it the seventh warmest month in the satellite record.

October temperatures (preliminary)

Global composite temp.: +0.63 C (about 1.13 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.
Northern Hemisphere: +0.67 C (about 1.21 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.
Southern Hemisphere: +0.59 C (about 1.06 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.
Tropics: +0.47 C (about 0.85 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average for October.
September temperatures (revised):

Global Composite: +0.54 C above 30-year average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.51 C above 30-year average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.57 C above 30-year average
Tropics: +0.53 C above 30-year average
(All temperature anomalies are based on a 30-year average (1981-2010) for the month reported.)

Warmest months (global average)
(degrees C warmer than 30-year October average)

  1. Feb. 2016     +0.85 C
  2. March 2016   +0.76 C
  3. April 1998     +0.74 C
  4. April 2016     +0.72 C
  5. Feb. 1998     +0.65 C
  6. May 1998     +0.64 C
  7. Oct. 2017   +0.63 C
  8. June 1998    +0.57 C
  9. Jan. 2016     +0.55 C
  10. Sept. 2017   +0.54 C

Among the 39 Octobers in the satellite temperature dataset, October 2017 was the warmest for both the globe and the southern hemisphere by statistically significant amounts: Globally, at 0.63 C warmer than seasonal norms, October 2017 was 0.20 C warmer than October 2015 (+0.43 C). In the southern hemisphere, October 2017 was 0.59 warmer than seasonal norms. The second warmest southern hemisphere October was in 2016, with an average temperature that was 0.42 warmer than seasonal norms.

October 2017 was also the warmest October in the northern hemisphere, but by a smaller amount: +0.67 C in 2017 compared to +0.63 in 2015.

In the tropics, October 2017 was tied as the second warmest October in the temperature record. October 2015 was the warmest tropical October on record with an average temperature +0.54 C warmer than seasonal norms. Octobers in 2016 and 2017 tied for second at +0.47 C warmer than seasonal norms.
Warmest Octobers (global average)
(degrees C warmer than 30-year September average)

  1. 2017 +0.63 C
  2. 2015   +0.43 C
  3. 2016   +0.42 C
  4. 1998   +0.40 C
  5. 2003   +0.28 C
  6. 2005   +0.27 C
  7. 2014   +0.25 C
  8. 2012   +0.24 C
  9. 2006   +0.22 C
  10. 2010   +0.20 C

Compared to seasonal norms, the coldest spot on the globe in October was in eastern Russian, near the town of Omtschak. Temperatures there were 1.97 C (about 3.55 degrees Fahrenheit) cooler than seasonal norms.
Compared to seasonal norms, the warmest place on Earth in October was over the Northeast Greenland National Park. Temperatures there averaged 4.61 C (about 8.30 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than seasonal norms.
As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, 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 of the 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. Once the monthly temperature data are collected and processed, they are placed in a “public” computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
The complete version 6 lower troposphere dataset is available here:

Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:

Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.

— 30 —

Dr. Roy Spencer adds from his website:

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for October, 2017 was +0.63 deg. C, up from the September, 2017 value of +0.54 deg. C (click for full size version):

Global area-averaged lower tropospheric temperature anomalies (departures from 30-year calendar monthly means, 1981-2010). The 13-month centered average is meant to give an indication of the lower frequency variations in the data; the choice of 13 months is somewhat arbitrary… an odd number of months allows centered plotting on months with no time lag between the two plotted time series. The inclusion of two of the same calendar months on the ends of the 13 month averaging period causes no issues with interpretation because the seasonal temperature cycle has been removed as has the distinction between calendar months.

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 22 months are:
2016 01 +0.55 +0.72 +0.38 +0.85
2016 02 +0.85 +1.18 +0.53 +1.00
2016 03 +0.76 +0.98 +0.54 +1.10
2016 04 +0.72 +0.85 +0.58 +0.93
2016 05 +0.53 +0.61 +0.44 +0.70
2016 06 +0.33 +0.48 +0.17 +0.37
2016 07 +0.37 +0.44 +0.30 +0.47
2016 08 +0.43 +0.54 +0.32 +0.49
2016 09 +0.45 +0.51 +0.39 +0.37
2016 10 +0.42 +0.43 +0.42 +0.47
2016 11 +0.46 +0.43 +0.49 +0.38
2016 12 +0.26 +0.26 +0.27 +0.24
2017 01 +0.32 +0.31 +0.34 +0.10
2017 02 +0.38 +0.57 +0.19 +0.07
2017 03 +0.22 +0.36 +0.09 +0.05
2017 04 +0.27 +0.28 +0.26 +0.21
2017 05 +0.44 +0.39 +0.49 +0.41
2017 06 +0.21 +0.33 +0.10 +0.39
2017 07 +0.29 +0.30 +0.27 +0.51
2017 08 +0.41 +0.40 +0.41 +0.46
2017 09 +0.54 +0.51 +0.57 +0.53
2017 10 +0.63 +0.67 +0.59 +0.47

The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through October 2017 remains at +0.13 C/decade.

Why Are the Satellite and Surface Data Recently Diverging?

John Christy and I are a little surprised that the satellite deep-layer temperature anomaly has been rising for the last several months, given the cool La Nina currently attempting to form in the Pacific Ocean.

Furthermore, the satellite and surface temperatures seem to be recently diverging. For the surface temperatures, I usually track the monthly NCEP CFSv2 Tsfc averages computed by WeatherBell.com to get some idea of how the most recent month is shaping up for global temperatures. The CFSv2 Tsfc anomaly usually gives a rough approximation of what the satellite shows… but sometimes it differs significantly. For October 2017 the difference is now +0.23 deg. C (UAH LT warmer than Tsfc).

The following charts show how these two global temperature measures have compared for every month since 1997 (except that September, 2017 is missing at the WeatherBell.com website):

Monthly comparison since 1979 of global average temperature anomalies (relative to the monthly 1981-2010 averages) between UAH LT deep-layer lower tropospheric temperature and the surface temperatures in the CFSv2 reanalysis dataset at WeatherBell.com.

As can be seen, there have been considerably larger departures between the two measures in the past, especially during the 1997-1998 El Nino. Our UAH LT product is currently using 3 satellites (NOAA-18, NOAA-19, and Metop-B) which provide independent monthly global averages, and the disagreement between them is usually very small.

While we can expect individual months to have rather large differences between surface and tropospheric temperature anomalies (due to the time lag involved in excess surface warming to lead to increased convection and tropospheric heating), some of the differences in the above plot are disturbingly large and persistent. The 1997-98 El Nino discrepancy is pretty amazing. As I understand it, the NCEP CFS reanalysis dataset is the result of collaboration between NOAA/NCEP and NCAR, and uses a wide range of data types in a physically consistent fashion. I probably need to bring in one of the dedicated surface-only datasets for further comparison…I don’t recall the HadCRUT4 Tsfc dataset having this large of disagreements with our satellite deep-layer temperatures. Unfortunately, these other datasets usually take a few weeks before they are updated with the most recent month.

…the 2nd of the following two plots has been fixed)…

Here’s the comparison between UAH LT and Tsfc from the HadCRUT4 dataset, through September 2017. Note that the difference with the satellite temperatures isn’t as pronounced as with CFSv2 Tsfc data, but the HadCRUT4 data has more of an upward trend:

As in the previous figure, but now CFSv2 Tsfc data has been replaced by HadCRUT4 surface data (with the latter having anomalies recalculated relative to the 1981-2010 base period).

The UAH LT global anomaly image for October, 2017 should be available in the next few days here.

The new Version 6 files should also be updated in the coming days, and are located here:

Lower Troposphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt
Lower Stratosphere: http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tls/uahncdc_ls_6.0.txt

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/02/while-global-surface-temperature-cools-the-lower-troposphere-has-record-warmest-october/


Massive Snow Accumulation Records U.S & Canada & Greenland All Time Ice Gain

Record snows blanket western USA and Canada, its not only the depth of the snowfall, but the record early start for such depths. Additionally record early melt season end in the Arctic, rebounding sea ice growth and record Greenland ice growth especially on the western edge which used to be the IPCC favorite area to prove global warming. Its her, time is up, welcome to the grand solar minimum intensification.


Earth’s ‘ozone hole’ shrinks to lowest since 1988

From NASA Goddard:

Warm Air Helped Make 2017 Ozone Hole Smallest Since 1988

Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth’s ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced Friday.

According to NASA, the ozone hole reached its peak extent on Sept. 11, covering an area about two and a half times the size of the United States – 7.6 million square miles in extent – and then declined through the remainder of September and into October. NOAA ground- and balloon-based measurements also showed the least amount of ozone depletion above the continent during the peak of the ozone depletion cycle since 1988. NOAA and NASA collaborate to monitor the growth and recovery of the ozone hole every year.

“The Antarctic ozone hole was exceptionally weak this year,” said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “This is what we would expect to see given the weather conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere.”

The smaller ozone hole in 2017 was strongly influenced by an unstable and warmer Antarctic vortex – the stratospheric low pressure system that rotates clockwise in the atmosphere above Antarctica. This helped minimize polar stratospheric cloud formation in the lower stratosphere. The formation and persistence of these clouds are important first steps leading to the chlorine- and bromine-catalyzed reactions that destroy ozone, scientists said. These Antarctic conditions resemble those found in the Arctic, where ozone depletion is much less severe.

In 2016, warmer stratospheric temperatures also constrained the growth of the ozone hole. Last year, the ozone hole reached a maximum 8.9 million square miles, 2 million square miles less than in 2015. The average area of these daily ozone hole maximums observed since 1991 has been roughly 10 million square miles.

Although warmer-than-average stratospheric weather conditions have reduced ozone depletion during the past two years, the current ozone hole area is still large because levels of ozone-depleting substances like chlorine and bromine remain high enough to produce significant ozone loss.

Scientists said the smaller ozone hole extent in 2016 and 2017 is due to natural variability and not a signal of rapid healing.

Ozone depletion occurs in cold temperatures, so the ozone hole reaches its annual maximum in September or October, at the end of winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Credits: NASA/NASA Ozone Watch/Katy Mersmann

First detected in 1985, the Antarctic ozone hole forms during the Southern Hemisphere’s late winter as the returning sun’s rays catalyze reactions involving man-made, chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine. These reactions destroy ozone molecules.

Thirty years ago, the international community signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and began regulating ozone-depleting compounds. The ozone hole over Antarctica is expected to gradually become less severe as chlorofluorocarbons—chlorine-containing synthetic compounds once frequently used as refrigerants – continue to decline. Scientists expect the Antarctic ozone hole to recover back to 1980 levels around 2070.

Ozone is a molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. In the stratosphere, roughly 7 to 25 miles above Earth’s surfacethe ozone layer acts like sunscreen, shielding the planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress immune systems and also damage plants. Closer to the ground, ozone can also be created by photochemical reactions between the sun and pollution from vehicle emissions and other sources, forming harmful smog.

Although warmer-than-average stratospheric weather conditions have reduced ozone depletion during the past two years, the current ozone hole area is still large compared to the 1980s, when the depletion of the ozone layer above Antarctica was first detected. This is because levels of ozone-depleting substances like chlorine and bromine remain high enough to produce significant ozone loss.


At its peak on Sept. 11, 2017, the ozone hole extended across an area nearly two and a half times the size of the continental United States. The purple and blue colors are areas with the least ozone. Credits: NASA/NASA Ozone Watch/Katy Mersmann

NASA and NOAA monitor the ozone hole via three complementary instrumental methods. Satellites, like NASA’s Aura satellite and NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite measure ozone from space. The Aura satellite’s Microwave Limb Sounder  also measures certain chlorine-containing gases, providing estimates of total chlorine levels.

NOAA scientists monitor the thickness of the ozone layer and its vertical distribution above the South Pole station by regularly releasing weather balloons carrying ozone-measuring “sondes” up to 21 miles in altitude, and with a ground-based instrument called a Dobson spectrophotometer.

The Dobson spectrophotometer measures the total amount of ozone in a column extending from Earth’s surface to the edge of space in Dobson Units, defined as the number of ozone molecules that would be required to create a layer of pure ozone 0.01 millimeters thick at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit at an atmospheric pressure equivalent to Earth’s surface.

This year, the ozone concentration reached a minimum over the South Pole of 136 Dobson Units on September 25— the highest minimum seen since 1988. During the 1960s, before the Antarctic ozone hole occurred, average ozone concentrations above the South Pole ranged from 250 to 350 Dobson units. Earth’s ozone layer averages 300 to 500 Dobson units, which is equivalent to about 3 millimeters, or about the same as two pennies stacked one on top of the other.

“In the past, we’ve always seen ozone at some stratospheric altitudes go to zero by the end of September,” said Bryan Johnson, NOAA atmospheric chemist. “This year our balloon measurements showed the ozone loss rate stalled by the middle of September and ozone levels never reached zero.”

Anthony’s thoughts on the issue:

While this is good news, it may not be related to the CFC reductions from the Montreal Protocol.

While there are claims that the shrinking ozone hole is due entirely to CFC reductions, it has been suggested that the ozone hole has been a permanent feature of Antarctica for millennia, and that it is a product of cold, wind patterns, and lack of sunlight in Antarctica’s deep freeze dark winter. Ozone in the upper atmosphere is manufactured by the interaction of sunlight, specifically the ultraviolet spectrum:

Stratospheric ozone. Stratospheric ozone is formed naturally by chemical reactions involving solar ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) and oxygen molecules, which make up 21% of the atmosphere. In the first step, solar ultraviolet radiation breaks apart one oxygen molecule (O2) to produce two oxygen atoms (2 O) (see Figure Q2-1). In the second step, each of these highly reactive atoms combines with an oxygen molecule to produce an ozone molecule (O3). These reactions occur continually whenever solar ultraviolet radiation is present in the stratosphere. As a result, the largest ozone production occurs in the tropical stratosphere.

The production of stratospheric ozone is balanced by its destruction in chemical reactions. Ozone reacts continually with sunlight and a wide variety of natural and human produced chemicals in the stratosphere. In each reaction, an ozone molecule is lost and other chemical compounds are produced. Important reactive gases that destroy ozone are hydrogen and nitrogen oxides and those containing chlorine and bromine. Source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2010/twentyquestions/Q2.pdf

Yes, and without sunlight, ozone production stops, and the chemical reactions take over. Cold is also a big factor in the atmospheric chemistry process. This is why the ozone hole over Antarctica is a seasonal phenomenon.

Figure Q10-1 Source: NOAA ESRL


Low polar temperatures. The severe ozone destruction represented by the ozone hole requires that low temperatures be present over a range of stratospheric altitudes, over large geographical regions, and for extended time periods. Low temperatures are important because they allow liquid and solid PSCs to form. Reactions on the surfaces of these PSCs initiate a remarkable increase in the most reactive chlorine gas, chlorine monoxide (ClO) (see below and Q8). Stratospheric temperatures are lowest in both polar regions in winter. In the Antarctic winter, minimum daily temperatures are generally much lower and less variable than in the Arctic winter (see Figure Q10-1). Antarctic temperatures also remain below the PSC formation temperature for much longer periods during winter. These and other meteorological differences occur because of the unequal distribution among land, ocean, and mountains between the hemispheres at middle and high latitudes. The winter temperatures are low enough for PSCs to form somewhere in the Antarctic for nearly the entire winter (about 5 months) and in the Arctic for only limited periods (10–60 days) in most winters. Source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/csd/assessments/ozone/2010/twentyquestions/Q10.pdf

While there is evidence that the worst posited offenders (CFC-11, and CFC-12) are in fact purging from the atmosphere, the question remains over whether the ozone hole would ever go away, since we have no data prior to the 1980’s, we just don’t have much data history on it.

CFC concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere. Source: https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/hats/graphs/graphs.html

We are worried about it now because we can observe it for the first time in human history. The fact that NASA now says a mild winter made the ozone hole the smallest observed since 1988, suggests that it truly is just a seasonal feature of the region and reliant mostly on weather patterns for its year-to-year intensity, rather than being driven entirely by chlorofluorocarbon catalytic depletion. Even the American Geophysical Union admits that the Montreal Protocol seems to have no effect on the change in size of the ozone hole.

Time will tell, the jury is still out on this one.

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/11/04/earths-ozone-hole-shrinks-to-lowest-since-1988/

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