NOAA Reports June 2014 Warmest June On Record Keeping 2014 On Track To Be Warmest Year



According to US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists, the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest for June since record keeping began in 1880 with an anomaly of 0.72oC. This was slightly down on the on the 0.74oC anomaly reported in May 2014 which was the warmest May on NOAA's record. US space agency NASA's global average surface temperature anomaly for June 2014 is +0.62oC, down on the record-breaking +0.76oC reported in May and making June 2014 the third warmest June in NASA's temperature records. The NASA data is consistent with the global average temperature anomaly calculated for the lower troposphere using satellite data by the University of Alabama in Huntsville which also indicated that the anomaly in June had eased compared with May. UAH's Version 5.6 global satellite-measured average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for June 2014 is +0.30C making June 2014 the fourth warmest June in the 36 year old satellite dataset. The temperature anomalies reported by NOAA NASA and UAH use different baselines periods and so the actual anomaly numbers are not directly comparable but the trends are; and all three data sets appear to show a decline in anomalies between May and June. However, 2014 remains on track to be one of the warmest years on record. This image shows the June 2014 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius and is courtesy of NOAA. See stories on UAH June data here and NASA June data here and NOAA June data here.





Paper Suggests Antarctic Sea Ice Growth May Have Been Overestimated Due To Satellite Data Error


New research suggests that Antarctic sea ice may not have grown as fast as thought in the past. A team of scientists say a previously unseen processing error in satellite data led to an apparent jump in Southern Hemisphere sea ice extent of around 200,000 square kilometers back in 1991. For comparison, total Antarctic sea ice extent growth since 1990 has now amounted to around 1 million square kilometers.  Satellite observations suggest that sea ice cover in the Antarctic is expanding – albeit at a moderate rate – and that sea ice extent has reached record highs in recent years – most recently at the end of June. The mystery over what has caused the Southern Hemisphere sea ice cover to increase in a warming world has puzzled scientists since the trend was first spotted. Image shows a tabular iceberg surrounded by sea ice in the Antarctic and is courtesy of Eva Nowatzki, distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu. Story here.





Global Warming Pause Is No More Than A Natural Variation Says Statistical Study Of Historic Data


Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy. In a paper published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, Lovejoy concludes that a natural cooling fluctuation during this period largely masked the warming effects of a continued increase in man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The new study applies a statistical methodology developed by the McGill researcher in a previous paper, published in April which ruled out, with more than 99% certainty, the possibility that global warming in the industrial era is just a natural fluctuation in the earth’s climate. In his new paper, Lovejoy applies the same approach to the 15-year period after 1998, known as the Pause, during which globally averaged temperatures remained high by historical standards, but were somewhat below most predictions generated by the complex computer models used by scientists to estimate the effects of greenhouse-gas emissions. This graphic, from the paper and courtesy of the authors and GRL, shows that the pattern seen in the Pause is in line with variations that occur historically every 20 to 50 years where as the warming pattern seen over the majority of the period of the industrial era, if natural, would be the kind of pattern seen only once in thousands of years. Full story here.



BoM Declares El Nino "On Hold" While NOAA Waits For Atmosphere To Respond To Warmer Seas

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has declared that El Nino is "on hold" and stated that "if" an event occurs it is "unlikely" to be strong. America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) believes that the chances of an El Nino Pacific Ocean warming event occurring between now and the northern hemisphere's early winter are "close to 80%". However, NOAA's latest discussion document on the so called El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle of Pacific Ocean warming and cooling makes it clear that the expected atmospheric component of the ENSO has yet to kick in and that while sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the eastern Pacific are above average, SSTs are "weakening" around the International Date Line. BoM's most recent update has adopted a decidedly nuanced tone, pointing out that while the key Southern Oscillation Index has moved negative there is evidence of Pacific Ocean cooling. The graphic above illustrates the difference between so called neutral conditions and El Nino conditions. The current situation is akin to half way house where the SST component of an El Nino event is partly in place but the atmospheric component has yet to materialise. Figure 1 shows the average state of ocean temperatures, rainfall, pressure, and winds over the Pacific during ENSO-neutral conditions. Figure 2.  shows the generalised state of the ocean and atmosphere during El Niño conditions. NOAA image created by David Stroud. See full story on NOAA here. See BoM story here.