Cooling June for Land and Ocean Air Temps


With apologies to Paul Revere, this post is on the lookout for cooler weather with an eye on both the Land and the Sea.  UAH has updated their tlt (temperatures in lower troposphere) dataset for June 2020.  Previously I have done posts on their reading of ocean air temps as a prelude to updated records from HADSST3. This month also has a separate graph of land air temps because the comparisons and contrasts are interesting as we contemplate possible cooling in coming months and years.

Presently sea surface temperatures (SST) are the best available indicator of heat content gained or lost from earth’s climate system.  Enthalpy is the thermodynamic term for total heat content in a system, and humidity differences in air parcels affect enthalpy.  Measuring water temperature directly avoids distorted impressions from air measurements.  In addition, ocean covers 71% of the planet surface and thus dominates surface temperature estimates.  Eventually we will likely have reliable means of recording water temperatures at depth.

Recently, Dr. Ole Humlum reported from his research that air temperatures lag 2-3 months behind changes in SST.  He also observed that changes in CO2 atmospheric concentrations lag behind SST by 11-12 months.  This latter point is addressed in a previous post Who to Blame for Rising CO2?

HadSST3 results were delayed with February and March updates only appearing together end of April.  For comparison we can look at lower troposphere temperatures (TLT) from UAHv6 which are now posted for June. The temperature record is derived from microwave sounding units (MSU) on board satellites like the one pictured above.

The UAH dataset includes temperature results for air above the oceans, and thus should be most comparable to the SSTs. There is the additional feature that ocean air temps avoid Urban Heat Islands (UHI). In 2015 there was a change in UAH processing of satellite drift corrections, including dropping one platform which can no longer be corrected. The graphs below are taken from the latest and current dataset, Version 6.0.

The graph above shows monthly anomalies for ocean temps since January 2015. After all regions peaked with the El Nino in early 2016, the ocean air temps dropped back down with all regions showing the same low anomaly August 2018.  Then a warming phase ensued with NH and Tropics spikes in February and May 2020. As was the case in 2015-16, the warming was driven by the Tropics and NH, with SH lagging behind. After the up and down fluxes, oceans temps in June are back to a neutral point, close to the 0.4C average for the period.

Land Air Temperatures Showing a Seesaw Pattern

We sometimes overlook that in climate temperature records, while the oceans are measured directly with SSTs, land temps are measured only indirectly.  The land temperature records at surface stations sample air temps at 2 meters above ground.  UAH gives tlt anomalies for air over land separately from ocean air temps.  The graph updated for June 2020 is below.

Here we see evidence of the greater volatility of the Land temperatures, along with extraordinary departures, first by NH land with SH often offsetting.   The overall pattern is similar to the ocean air temps, but obviously driven by NH with its greater amount of land surface. The Tropics synchronized with NH for the 2016 event, but otherwise follow a contrary rhythm.  SH seems to vary wildly, especially in recent months.  Note the extremely high anomaly last November, cold in March 2020, and then again a spike in April. Now in June 2020, all land regions have converged, erasing the earlier spikes in NH and SH, and showing anomalies comparable to the 0.4C anomaly prior to the 2015-16 El Nino.

The longer term picture from UAH is a return to the mean for the period starting with 1995.  2019 average rose but currently lacks any El Nino to sustain it.

These charts demonstrate that underneath the averages, warming and cooling is diverse and constantly changing, contrary to the notion of a global climate that can be fixed at some favorable temperature.

TLTs include mixing above the oceans and probably some influence from nearby more volatile land temps.  Clearly NH and Global land temps have been dropping in a seesaw pattern, more than 1C lower than the 2016 peak, prior to these last several months. TLT measures started the recent cooling later than SSTs from HadSST3, but are now showing the same pattern.  It seems obvious that despite the three El Ninos, their warming has not persisted, and without them it would probably have cooled since 1995.  Of course, the future has not yet been written.


  1. brianrlcatt · July 3, 2020


    Great, thanks.

    Exactly what I was looking for. Where is this data on the UAH site please? I can only find higher layer atmospheric data? That Christy or that Spencer have cunningly concealed what I really, really want.

    If you know can you PM me pls?

    I hold it self evident that the oceans control the climate as they hold most of the heat, and their rate of evaporation maintains SST by heat transport across the lapse rate of the atmosphere and the albedo modification water vapour change produces in terms of clouds, massivley powerful control. Roy Spencer puts it at 2.6W/m^2 per degree SST in CHristy paper. And that is increasing exponentially as the rate of evaporation does with SST.. That is the control that keeps Earth stable and has for 500Ma.

    POINT: GHE is not a control and doesn’t change SST, it may perturb it, but this perturbation is quickly neutralised by the dominant control. GHE is not a control system, it is an effect that is neutralised by the dominant control, so CO2’s effect on the lapse rate is also nit a control, and only changes temperatures at altitude, not SSTs.

    The atmosphere is simply a sub system transporting heat to space, smart lagging. Obs. I said that. Agree/disagree?

    My analogy is that you don’t have to re adjust the thermostat when you insulate your roof.

    The land surface is not a primary indication or control of how global climate ACTUALLY changes on the short term and Milankovitch combinatorial orbital forgings. That is a function of the dominant ocean control establishing new equilibriums against external modifiers external to, or independent from, the Earth’s ocean plus atmosphere evaporative control system, primarily Orbital and cosmic forcing. I think you know that as well?

    The continents modify the dominant ocean control locally. The satellite monitoring is uniform and repeatable across the oceans. The instruments on land are not.

    All very obs. Except to IPCC scientists paid to prove otherwise and look away from the obvious controls and effects within the joined up and tightly locked down cyclic control system.

    EVIDENTIARY POINT RE COOLING: Does the SST data yet show the turning point in the 1Ka cycle induced by the combined solar wind cycles that the frequency analysis of observations has revealed???? If the records of the last few thousand years and the short term cycle frequencies were accurately nailed by Ludecke und Weiss, then the slope of the 1Ka cycle must be flat by now, in reality.


    • Ron Clutz · July 3, 2020

      Brian, each month Spencer does an update of the previous month with links to the three atmospheric layers. For example, here is current tlt


    • Ron Clutz · July 3, 2020

      Brian, on your other point about how oceans affect land climates, I was impressed some time back by Frank Lansner’s work comparing temp trends in coastal versus inland stations. For example,

      “Temperature data 1900–2010 from meteorological stations across the world have been analyzed and it has been found that all land areas generally have two different valid temperature trends. Coastal stations and hill stations facing ocean winds are normally more warm-trended than the valley stations that are sheltered from dominant oceans winds.

      Thus, we found that in any area with variation in the topography, we can divide the stations into the more warm trended ocean air-affected stations, and the more cold-trended ocean air-sheltered stations. We find that the distinction between ocean air-affected and ocean air-sheltered stations can be used to identify the influence of the oceans on land surface. We can then use this knowledge as a tool to better study climate variability on the land surface without the moderating effects of the ocean.”


      Liked by 1 person

      • brianrlcatt · August 11, 2020

        Sorry to be needy, but how do you use the UAH date? If you copy it from the link it comes as a block of data with delimiters that are not handled by Excel or Word, as far as I can tell.

        FYI I am working with others to conduct a Fourier analysis of Greenland and Antarctica ice cores to check the alignment of the frequencies with the well known science of cosmogenic radionuclide detection as a proxy for solar winds, since Parker at least, and the magneto hydrodynamic model of the Sun from before that…. this is so well demonstrated yet denied as an effect by those who promote CO2 as the one tue cause. Ref:

        Solar Phys
        DOI 10.1007/s11207-013-0265-0
        A Phenomenological Study of the Cosmic Ray Variations over the Past 9400 Years, and Their Implications Regarding Solar Activity and the Solar Dynamo
        K.G. McCracken · J. Beer · F. Steinhilber · J. Abreu
        Received: 10 July 2012 / Accepted: 26 February 2013 © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ron Clutz · August 11, 2020

        brian, I work with a spreadsheet to process the data and create graphs. Each month in the UAH report is a row of values each separated by a space. A data menu option is text to columns and you use space rather than comma as the separator.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hifast · July 4, 2020

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.


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