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Prediction of the May 2009 UAH MSU Global Temperature Result January 18, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Temperature.
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Prediction of the May 2009 UAH MSU Global Temperature Result


Dr David Archibald

Dr David Archibald

There are now 30 years of satellite data on global temperature. The graph below shows the University of Alabama Huntsville Microwave Sounding Unit (UAH MSU) results for the period 1978 to 2008.

See larger image here.

Examination of the record shows a change in character in 2001. Prior to that year, global temperatures tended to rise in a narrow band for a couple of years then have a relatively rapid fall. After 2001, temperatures tended to peak in January and then have a much wider annual range than previously. This is shown in the following graph:

See larger image here.

The above graph overlays the month to month results for the period 2002 to 2008, a total of seven years. The larger blue line is the average. For the last seven years, global temperature has tended to fall 0.3 of a degree between January and May, and then rise again to December. Departures from this are caused by El Nino and La Nina events. Just as the 2007 El Nino added 0.2C to the January 2007 result, the 2008 La Nina reduced temperatures in the first half of 2008 by 0.3C. The following figure shows the strength of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) which drives the formation of El Nino and La Nina events.

See larger image here.

Another large La Nina formed in late 2008. The combination of the annual pattern of temperature change and the current La Nina enables a short term forecast of the UAH MSU result to be made. The combination of a 0.3c response to the current La Nina and the usual 0.3C decline from January to May will result in a 0.6C decline to May 2009 to a result of -0.4C (0.4C below the long term average). See PDF here.

Let’s see if David can do better than the UKMO has done in recent years. UKMO is already talking a top 5 warmest 2009.


1. SunSword - January 18, 2009

Problem with link: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/MSU_Archilbald0109.JPG — image not found.

2. Francis Tucker Manns - January 20, 2009

Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.
Water vapour (0.4% overall but 1 – 4 % near the surface) is the most effective green house gas followed by methane (0.0001745%). The third ranking greenhouse gas is CO2 (0.0383%), and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high; making seawater a great ‘sink’; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation is being studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
“Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.”
As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.

3. Ric Werme - April 16, 2009

1. SunSword – January 18, 2009

Problem with link: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/MSU_Archilbald0109.JPG — image not found.

Just typos – with fixed spelling:

The second link works with the typo. (Joe can’t type….)

4. honestclimate - April 16, 2009

Thanks Ric, I’ve fixed the original link now.

5. John A. Jauregui - May 5, 2009

It gets even better. The true is CO2 is good, not bad. We all benefit from more of it in the atmosphere, especially farmers and foresters. Why?
Plant growth stops at 200 PPM in the atmosphere.
Plant growth is optimized at 1000 PPM; commercial greenhouse owners invest good money in CO2 generators to raise greenhouse concentrations toward the optimum to increase the productivity of their fixed growing area.
In particular, increased levels of CO2 enable plant growth in drought conditions.
150 years ago CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was 285 PPM, now it’s 385 PPM. It’s like free airborne fertilizer in the atmosphere.
Increased levels of CO2 have significantly increased crop and forest yields over the last century. If environmentalists truly wanted a greener planet they would want more, not less, CO2 in the atmosphere.
Warmer temperatures are generally good, not bad. Most of us benefit from warmer temperatures, especially farmers and foresters. Why?
Warmer temperatures increase growing seasons and produce more consistently successful crops from year to year.
Warmer temperatures reduce heating fuel consumption in the winter. This is a very big deal today because world oil production peaked three years ago and will begin a permanent decline in two years. That is why the cost for all fuels is going through the roof. Fuel costs will only decline during economic down turns, like we are experiencing now.
Warmer temperatures two thousand years ago enabled the rise of the Roman Empire. The subsequent cooling period resulted in the fall of the Roman Empire and the social and economic decline into the Dark Ages. The next warm period one thousand year ago ushered in the Renaissance. Today’s warm period enabled the rise of the United States. The Dalton (type) Minimum the sun is now entering will dramatically affect us all by virtue if it’s impact on crop yields in the northern and southern hemispheres.
The cooling we are now experiencing, together with declining availability of carbon based fuels, will dramatically affect our lives and our economy. Taxing the use of carbon based fuels will make matters much worse. Taxing carbon is like leaning into a right hook. It’s a quick way to end the fight.
Warming is caused principally by the sun, not by elevated levels of CO2.
Energy from the sun drives our climate, not CO2. Energy from the sun is modulated by the oceans and the atmosphere to produce our weather. Changes in climate are driven by long-term changes in the sun’s radiative output and magnetic field strength. Google: Fairbridge Solar Inertial Motion (SIM) for a sense of how this works physically.
The principal green house gas is water vapor. It provides 95 percent of our greenhouse warming effect. Without it the earth would be a ball of ice. As a greenhouse gas, CO2 is a distance fourth behind methane and nitrous oxide, which produce most of the remaining 5 percent of greenhouse warming. CO2’s concentration in the atmosphere is four one-hundredths of one percent (.04 %). That’s roughly equivalent to the thickness of the floor wax on your community’s high school basket ball gymnasium, compared to the distance from the floor to the ceiling. The quantity and warming effect of CO2 in the atmosphere is negligible.
The two trends described above have done more to “GREEN” the planet over the last several decades than anything humans have done to motivate that change. Both trends are now headed south, naturally. Solar activity is declining and will continue for the next few decades, cooling the earth about 2 degrees (C) in this quiescence period. The sun has just emerged from several decades of very high activity, which has warmed the earth by about one half degree(C). CO2 levels will naturally decline as carbon fuels production, particularly oil, begin their long decline. World oil production has been flat for three years. We are all going to meet our Kyoto targets whether we plan to or not. The environmentalists should be pleased. The rest of us won’t.

6. Robert Alex - May 12, 2009

Lets face it. Future temperatures do not matter. The ‘Global Warming Community’ has $MM to lose as the trend toward global cooling continues. Many scientists who once believed global warming was taking place have changed their minds because of the recent global cooling but very few stories have been written about it. The DailyTech.com Science Blog gives a great account of the turnaround. Unfortunately those in DC who control the bucks are going to continue spending megabucks for alternative energy when it would be so wise to drill in ANWAR. We should try every way we know to develop energy and stop the $Billions from going to those who support the terrorists.

7. danita - June 29, 2009

Recent global cooling? I don’t think so . .. the following if from the NASA Goddard Insitute of Space Study . ..

“”2008 is the ninth warmest year in the period of instrumental measurements, which extends back to 1880. The ten warmest years all occur within the 12-year period 1997-2008.”

Where do these posters get their false information, and why are they so keen on spreading it around?

8. Vladimir - July 10, 2009

what is the error of the presented data? how is that nobody plots the measurement error or at least an estime of the error on the graphs?

9. Vladimir - July 10, 2009

Sorry, can’t help myself. I am a physicist and it is really intriguing to me that the temperatures are measured apparently with an error much lesser than 0.1 of a degree. This is very high accuracy and how is it attained? What was the accuracy of the data from 1800s? What is the accuracy of the temperature reconstruction from those thousands of years ago? When I was a student our professors did not pass lab data if detailed discussion of measurement errors was absent. Recently there is alarming trend easily seen in almost all publications of bluntly disregarding even mentioning of measurement errors. So, it appears that current attitude is that the accuracy is infinite. What you all are thinking about that?

10. Willilam Judd - July 15, 2009

Danita, Perhaps the temperature readings before ‘satellite measurement’ is unreliable. Perhaps the earlier data was recorded in in the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere. As more sites were recorded there was a natural trend for the ‘global’ temperature to ‘appear’ to rise. In my opinion it is very deceitful of the Godard Space Centre to try and compare the earlier recordings with the satellite data. Please keep well; I feel we are all victims of the poorly trained journalists and their need to ‘constantly’ supply ‘news’: even if it means ‘manufacturing’ the ‘news’. Then there are those who are only too keen to help the ‘uncritical journalists’ by making rash statements. W

11. Jim - July 18, 2009

I recently read that in the last 15 years many of the rural surface measurment stations have been removed and moved into more urban areas. This causes ground surface temperatures to be weighted to the warming side of the scale due to retained heat from urban areas. I understand that the statelite data shows sea surface temperaturs declining as well.

12. Gary - November 9, 2009

Low-cost thermocouples routinely measure to 0.5 degree when calibrated properly. High-cost thermocouples can do much,much better. Then, when averaged across thousands of readings, you can easily get a half of an order of magnitude additional resolution, meaning about 0.2 degrees. Then, when averaging across thousands of sensors, you can quite easily get down to 0.1 degrees. I’ve been doing sensor work for about a decade.

Far more relevant to the global warming debate is CONFIRMATION BIAS:


or the site of your choice. If you are not aware of your own confirmation bias (it is a VERY powerful instinct) you can never hope to achieve an honest assessment of something that gets your blood moving.

Happy truth seeking,

13. Eduardo Flores - February 1, 2010

If in fact the sun during active periods has a stronger magnetic field wouldn’t that affect the earths proximity to the sun, after all we’re on a floating ball of mostly iron.

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