HadCRUt3 vs. ERA Interim

Climate (or global atmospheric) reanalyses are an alternative way to assess how the global climate evolves over time, a blend of model and observation. They tend to include a multitude of variables, but I would like to focus on the one specifically pertaining to our recent discussion about GISTEMP vs. HadCRUt3: global temperatures.

There’s a host of different climate reanalyses around; among the most reputable ones, though, are those conducted by the American agencies NCEP (NOAA) and NCAR, the Japanese JMA, and the European ECMWF.


So, what is a climate reanalysis?

ECMWF explains:

“A climate reanalysis gives a numerical description of the recent climate, produced by combining models with observations. It contains estimates of atmospheric parameters such as air temperature, pressure and wind at different altitudes, and surface parameters such as rainfall, soil moisture content, and sea-surface temperature. (…)

ECMWF periodically uses its forecast models and data assimilation systems to ‘reanalyse’ archived observations, creating global data sets describing the recent history of the atmosphere, land surface, and oceans. Reanalysis data are used for monitoring climate change, for research and education, and for commercial applications.

Current research in reanalysis at ECMWF focuses on the development of consistent reanalyses of the coupled climate system, including atmosphere, land surface, ocean, sea ice, and the carbon cycle, extending back as far as a century or more. The work involves collection, preparation and assessment of climate observations, ranging from early in-situ surface observations made by meteorological observers to modern high-resolution satellite data sets. Special developments in data assimilation are needed to ensure the best possible temporal consistency of the reanalyses, which can be adversely affected by biases in models and observations, and by the ever-changing observing system.”

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Why “GISTEMP LOTI global mean” is wrong and “HadCRUt3 gl” is right

Two renditions of global surface (land+ocean) temperature anomaly evolution since 1970:

compress-2 (4)

Figure 1.

The upper red curve represents the final 46 years of the temperature record most frequently presented to (and therefore most often seen by) the general public: NASA’s official “GISTEMP LOTI global mean” product. There is hardly any “pause” in ‘global warming’ post 1997 to be spotted in this particular time series. It is the one predictably trotted out whenever an AGW ‘doom and gloom’ activist sees the need to ‘prove’ to a sceptic that “global warming” indeed continues unabatedly and rub his face in it.

The lower curve in Fig. 1 is an altogether unofficial one. However, it should still be fairly familiar to most. It is the one having been consistently used by me on this blog to represent actual global surface temperature anomalies since ~1970. It is time to explain (and to show) why …

This particular curve is simply the now defunct UEA/UKMO land+ocean product “HadCRUt3 gl” with an en bloc downward adjustment of 0.064 degrees included from January 1998*. The “Pause” is here vividly seen as but one (albeit an extended one) of several plateaus in an upward, distinctly steplike progression of global temps since the 70s.

* I discussed here why this is a necessary adjustment.

Now, which one of these two renditions is more honest in its attempt to depict the actual “reality” of things? And which one is the result of simply inventing extra warming?

Let’s have a look.

The following analysis uses data acquired from KNMI Climate Explorer and WfT.


I will draw your attention to a remarkable circumstance. Continue reading

The strange 60s step change between global temps and the AMO …

Something that’s been on my mind for a while is that strange relationship – or, to be more precise, that conspicuous correlative relationship – between the evolution of North Atlantic (70N-0, 80W-0) SST anomalies (the AMO, only with trend included) and the global temperature anomalies:

AMO1

Figure 1. Annual AMO (with trend imposed) vs. global temps (HadCRUt4, adjusted down 0.064 degrees post 1998) from 1860 to 2014. Continue reading