Tamino’s radiosonde problem, Part 1

RSS vs. RATPAC tamino

Figure 1. Original found here: https://tamino.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/ted-cruz-just-plain-wrong/

A good month ago, the perennially unsavoury character calling himself Tamino once again tried to hold up the spotty “global” network of radiosondes (weather balloons) as somehow a better gauge of the progression and trend of tropospheric temperature anomalies over the last 37 years than the satellites, by virtue of being essentially – as he would glibly put it – “thermometers in the sky”.

So his simple take on the glaring “drift” between current surface records and the satellites over the last 10-12 years is this: The surface records are right and the satellites are wrong. Why? Because the surface records agree with the radiosondes while the satellites don’t! The radiosondes implicitly – in his world – representing “Troposphere Truth”.

And so, when your starting premise goes like this: the radiosondes = thermometers in the sky = troposphere truth, then any “drift” observed between them and the satellites (as in Fig.1 above) will – by default – be interpreted by you as a problem with the latter.

To repeat Tamino’s fairly simplistic reasoning, then, in the form of some sort of logical-sounding argument: Surface and satellites don’t agree. Radiosondes and satellites don’t agree. But surface and radiosondes do agree. Which means the latter two are right, their agreement robustly verifying the ‘rightness’ of each. (And also, the radiosondes represent “Troposphere Truth”.) Which leaves the satellites out in the cold …

There is, however, a definite issue to be had with this line of argument.

It doesn’t hold up to scrutiny … Continue reading

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UAH need to adjust their tlt product

Update (March 9th) – Dr. Roy Spencer just gave an interesting response:

“yes, we have been aware of some spurious warming over land versus over the ocean after approximately 2000. Our version 6 dataset (now close to completion) will have most of that removed, although it looks like some of it is genuine.”

I guess we all just have to wait and see …



I have earlier noted a rather curious blocklike shift up in the UAH tlt (lower troposphere temperature) timeseries occurring abruptly some time in 2005. (There is most likely a similar – only downward – step at the same time in the RSS tlt timeseries; however, this post will not address this one.)

The 2005 shift seems very much to originate in the land portion of the UAH dataset. The shift can readily be seen here, but not at all in the oceanic portion, a situation which is quite unprecedented in the record – global land temps simply do not by any known natural mechanism all of a sudden jump out of step with the global ocean temps and then remain elevated high above thereafter:

Land vs. ocean, UAH

Figure 1. As you can see, something quite out of the ordinary happens in the UAH land curve in 2005. Continue reading