ncep_cfsr_t2m_anom(24) (Ryan's Map)

(Click map to enlarge)

On the WeatherBELL site, Dr. Ryan Maue has an interesting post about January’s worldwide surface temperatures. He uses the data that is put into the models, before they run the computer and come up with our long range forecasts. Although the forecasts are often wrong, especially once you get more than five days into the future, the data the use as a starting point is from top-of-the-line satellites, and is 100% correct. (Or one would really really hope it was correct.) From this data he can get the average worldwide surface temperature on a monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly basis.

What blows me away is how much the average temperature rises and falls, just during the course of a month. I am not talking about a single place, such as Boston. I’m talking about the average 2m temperatures across the entire planet.

If you take the 2m temperatures averaged across the lower 48 states of the USA, it jumped up and down between .5 above normal and .5 below normal five times during January, and averaged out….average.  (Or actually, according to Ryan, one one-thousandth of a degree above normal.)

While the yo-yoing of temperatures across the entire earth may not be so extreme, I have seen it vary nearly a degree in a single month.  Then we get the average for the entire month, which this past January comes to a tenth of a degree above the 1981-2010 average.

In other words, on a monthly basis we currently are a measly tenth of a degree above “normal.”  Our planet is not “running a fever.”  If my body temperature was 98.7 rather than 98.6, I doubt my boss would let me skip work.

However, on a weekly, a daily, and even an hourly basis, our planet’s average temperature goes shooting up and crashing down, without any uproar.  Nothing goes extinct and the sky doesn’t fall. 

The fuss about the average surface temperature of our planet is getting so old even Chicken Little is starting to yawn.



  1. I’ve noticed the same thing with other metrics like sea level rise. Select any tide gauge and you can see monthly fluctuations 10 times the doomsday scenarios for a hundred years from now.

    btw I found your blog from WUWT I had the same question about Atlantic air not arctic air being the source of Russian snow.

  2. Thanks for commenting, David.

    I think it might be interesting to figure out the effect the warm AMO’s creation of less-than-average ice north of Scandanavia might have. Of course it must have some effect, as even a butterfly flapping its wing has some effect. However I feel leaping to the politically-correct conclusion (that “Global Warming” must be the cause of EVERYTHING) gets in the way of discovering the true causes and the true effects. That is why I get grumpy at times, when I comment on WUWT.

    By the way, I checked out your site. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read, so far. I’m going to copy the above paragraph and stick as a comment below your post about arctic sea ice effecting the weather.

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