The RSS Middle Tropospheric Temperature Now V4.0

Old news now, of course, but there’s a blog post by Carl Mears with nice pix and explanation. Notice this is TMT, not TLT, but at this point we’re largely arguing about the differences between the different groups, and its fine for that. It is, of course, all nicely published in proper style. By contrast, UAH version 6.0 (ahem, beta) was announced most of a year ago and is still not actually a paper, as far as I know. It would be hard for it to be; they’re now on beta 5. Don’t miss me snarking about how crap their code is. Reading the “beta 5” I’m struck by how ad-hoc the changes seem to be (“We therefore changed the AMSU5 reference Earth incidence angle (from 35.0 to 38.3 deg.)…”). By contrast with the professionalism of RSS, UAH seems amateurish.

Update: speaking of amateurish, there’s As it is, when John Christy and I are gone, the UAH global temperature dataset might well die with us by RS. He explains this by not-popular-views, but I think that’s just an excuse; more likely, he’s admitting that their code+methods are so tangled, that no-one else could pick them up. A bit part of any long-term monitoring is leaving it in a fit state for others to continue.

7 thoughts on “The RSS Middle Tropospheric Temperature Now V4.0”

  1. >”By contrast, UAH version 6.0 (ahem, beta) was announced most of a year ago and is still not actually a paper, as far as I know. It would be hard for it to be…”

    Maybe some progress as in submitted:

    “Details of our diurnal drift adjustments (now submitted for publication) were discussed” back in April 2015 at


  2. “Update 10 Nov 2015 **************************

    Carl Mears of RSS has discovered a problem with the gridded values of v5.6 TLS beginning in May 2005. The anomaly values suddenly become 5 to 10 times what they normally are. I’ve checked the daily zonal files and all looks fine there. Evidently there is a glitch in the monthly gridded files I’ve yet to find that impacts NOAA-15 and/or NOAA-18.

    We are looking into this, but since earlier this year have pointed folks to the new dataset version 6.0beta3 which does not have the problem of this older v5.6 dataset. see data here


  3. “Update 4 Mar 2015***********************

    Version 6 is still under construction but considerable progress has been made. We are seeing consistent results as we refine the adjustment method to be as straightforward as possible. The trend in TMT will likely increase from its current value (+0.054 C/decade) while the trend in TLT will likely decrease from its current value (+0.138 C/decade). The correction for NOAA-15 makes a noticeable difference for TLT by removing some spurious warming.

    Due to the new processing technique we will not produce daily values of the products for quite sometime if at all. The key products will be monthly anomalies on the same 2.5 degree grid.

    We are retireing the v5.5 (tlt, tmt) and v5.4 (tls) as these are no longer needed to meet contractual obligations with NOAA. The v5.6 versions will be continued until v6.0 is finalized.”

    Update 6 Oct 2014 **********************

    After 3 years of testing many different ways to solve uncertainties with the MSU/AMSU data we are getting close to releasing v6.0. This version will have completely new limb-corrections, diurnal corrections, and hot-target corrections. As noted before, we did not apply any
    diurnal corrections to the AMSUs (starting in 1998) due to the fact AQUA and MetOP were non-drifting satellites. However, NOAA-15 was a key link in the chain and as an A.M. orbiter it backed into “warmer” parts of the diurnal cycle, and thus contributed to a slight spurious warming (noticeable mainly in LT). This is one factor that is improved. Another key factor is that we now use a multichannel representation of MSU 2 from the AMSUs so that rather than assuming AMSU 5 equals MSU 2 (which is not strictly true) we now have a representation of MSU 2 from AMSU 5,7 and 9). We hope to be out with this as a beta version by the end of 2014.
    Update 8 Nov 2011 *************************

    Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell are working on a diurnal correction for the AMSU channels. To date we have relied on AQUA AMSU due to the fact it was a NASA science spacecraft with on-board propulsion and thus a stable (non-drifting) orbit. AQUA will not last forever, and there are signs of increasing noise, so it will not be suitable as an anchor satellite much longer. The diurnal corrections will allow more data from NOAA-15, -16 and -18 to be utilized. At this point we terminate their use when a drift in temperature is detected: (YEAR/DAY)

    Spacecraft with AMSU used in UAH products as of Oct 2011

    NOAA-15 1998/215 2007/365
    NOAA-16 2001/032 2004/233
    AQUA 2002/221 Present
    NOAA-18 2005/152 2010/182

    We are also looking to bring in the AMSU data from METOP and NOAA-19.

    When the testing is completed we will be issuing version 6.0 of the temperature products. We do not know when such testing will be completed.”


  4. I would guess the crust of the earth is slowly absorbing some heat (The ocean floor might be a candidate ). I would also guess this is not going to stop surface warming.


  5. RS,

    “One would have thought that this would have been a great story for the world’s news media who were so enthusiastic to bury the hiatus. But no. They are looking the other way again. Almost none of the outlets who trumpeted the end of the hiatus has mentioned this latest research.”

    In which DW shows everyone what cognitive dissonance means.

    “Published online 24 February 2016” (that’s all folks, date(s) that is)

    “2.5 Commentary
    Commentary articles are opinionated pieces that focus on a topical issue in climate research that is relevant to policy, the economy or society. These pieces are intended to be agenda-setting, authoritative and informed, and can be provocative articles calling for action on topical issues pertaining to climate research and its political, ethical and social ramifications. If so, they must road-map a proposed solution in detail, not simply snapshot a problem.

    Single-author articles are preferred as this is an ‘opinion’ section of the journal. Commentaries are usually commissioned by the editors, but proposals are welcome. They should be of immediate interest to a broad readership and should be written in an accessible, non-technical style. Figures and diagrams are encouraged, but are not a requirement. Commentaries are typically no longer than 1,500 words, though preferably shorter, and include up to 15 references. Article titles are omitted from the reference list.

    Commentaries may be peer-reviewed at the editors’ discretion.”
    University of Alabama, Huntsville Data: No relevant paper has been published.

    Having quoted all that, I do agree with the NCC Commentary (peer reviewed or not). Setting new all time records in all surface (and satellite) indices currently is grabbing all the headlines though.

    DH ends up saying …

    “And another thing. About those sceptics who are seeking to deny and undermine climate science. It was the sceptics, not the scientists, who discovered the hiatus, this so-called biggest problem in climate science.”

    Now that’s a BIT of a reach, as everyone had the publically available data. Karl, et. al. (2015) was also a BIT of a reach by defining the 1952-2014 period which is only like 0.12C/decade, low balling the “warming slowdown” with the “big hiatus” no less. YMMV


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