Graph of the Day: Satellite Temperature Records
February 2, 2011
Santer was responding to a quote from Dr Roy Spencer, in regard to the current extreme winter weather. Dr. Spencer is “the official climatologist of the Rush Limbaugh show”.
“I believe the events we are seeing are entirely natural,” Roy Spencer, a meteorologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told AOL News. “Persistent storminess in one location means someplace else is having unusually quiet weather. One of the reasons we know this is [that] our global precipitation measurements from satellites show that the total amount of precipitation that falls on the Earth remains almost exactly the same, year after year.”
Spencer said global temperatures have been falling for about the past 12 months. “The global average is now approaching the long-term normal,” he said.
In response, Dr. Santer sent out the above figure, and a statement:
Roy Spencer’s statement that “The global average is now approaching the long-term normal” is disingenuous and misleading.
The attached figure (meaning, the graph above) shows estimated global-scale changes in the temperature of the lower troposphere (TLT) from January 1979 to December 2010. Estimates are from John Christy and Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and from Carl Mears and Frank Wentz at Remote Sensing Systems in Santa Rosa (RSS). The datasets are the latest versions of the UAH and RSS lower tropospheric temperature retrievals.
The total linear change in TLT over this 384-month period is 0.47 degrees C for UAH and 0.52 degrees C for RSS. Even the UAH TLT data show a global-scale temperature increase of nearly half a degree Celsius over the past 32 years.
Yes Virginia, this is what Global Warming looks like. And you too, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania…