Happy New Year to everyone!
There is a very good reason why the trend and general progression of tropospheric temp anomalies since 2000, as rendered by the new UAH.v6 dataset, are most likely correct. (Read this post to understand why it was necessary for UAH to update their tlt product from its version 5.6 in the first place.)
The reason is that they both match to near perfection the trends and general progression of incoming and outgoing radiation flux anomalies, as rendered by the CERES EBAF ToA Ed2.8 dataset, over that same period. They’re all flat …:
Figure 1. Incoming radiant heat (ASR, “absorbed solar radiation”) (gold) vs. outgoing radiant heat (OLR, “outgoing longwave radiation”) (red) at the global ToA, from March 2000 to July 2015.
Watch how there is an excess of incoming over outgoing during and after La Niñas (2000-2001, 2008-2009, 2011-2012), and an excess of outgoing over incoming during and after El Niños (2010). At other times the two more or less balance. As you can see, during 2015, the golden ASR curve has been considerably above the red OLR curve. They will most likely switch places within the next few months (post July 2015, the last data point, that is) as the current El Niño builds and peaks.
But the overall trend is completely – and impressively – flat in both series …
How does this line up with tropospheric temps? UAH tlt gl v6 vs. CERES gl ASR:
More solar radiant heat absorbed by the Earth system below the ToA during La Niñas, less absorbed during El Niños. At other times, balance. ENSO-driven patterns in cloud and WV amount and distribution in the global tropospheric column are responsible. Note how only the solitary 2009/10 El Niño makes an impact, not the lesser Niños between the 1998-2001 and 2007-2009 La Niñas and after the 2010-2012 La Niña.
UAH tlt gl v6 vs. CERES gl OLR:
I’ve shown this one before. But the correlation is still highly impressive (and, I would say, reassuring). ENSO-driven cloud/WV patterns make the OLR anomaly larger than you’d expect during La Niña 2007/08 and less than you’d expect during El Niño 2009/10, general mechanisms explained by e.g. Loeb et al. 2012.
I dare say you’d be pretty hard pressed to try to explain these plots away, including the rather obvious tropospheric “Pause” in ‘global warming’ …