Research Webpage

John M. Haynes

Climate Observations

The rate at which the earth system accumulates energy is of great interest in the study of its climate system. I maintain the following two plots for quick reference (there are many others who make similar plots). They are plotted from data obtained directly from the individual data providers shown.

Air temperature. This plot shows the observed anomaly of monthly mean air temperature constructed from five data sets. HadCRUT5, NCDC, and GISS show surface air temperatures and are based on weather station observations. RSS and UAH are largely independent satellite-based observations of lower tropospheric temperature. The thin lines are the monthly-mean values, and the thick lines are a time-average over a 21 month period.

Ocean heat content. This plot shows the observed anomaly of 3-month mean NOAA ocean heat content in each of two vertical layers.

Updated through December 2023


HadCRUT5 · Data obtained from UK Met Office Hadley Centre. See also ... Morice, C. P., and Coauthors, 2021: An updated assessment of near‐surface temperature change from 1850: the HadCRUT5 data set. JGR Atmospheres, 126, e2019JD032361,

NCDC · Data obtained from National Climatic Data Center. See also ... Smith, T. M., R. W. Reynolds, T. C. Peterson, and J. Lawrimore (2008), Improvements to NOAA's historical merged land-ocean surface temperature analysis (1880-2006), J. Clim., 21, 2283-2296.

GISS · Data obtained from NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. See also ... Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo (2010), Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys., 48, RG4004, doi:10.1029/2010RG000345.

RSS · MSU/AMSU data are produced by Remote Sensing Systems. See also ... Mears, C. A., M. C. Schabel, and F. J. Wentz (2003), A reanalysis of the MSU channel 2 tropospheric temperature record, J. Clim., 16, 3650-3664.

UAH · Data obtained from University of Alabama in Huntsville. See also ... Christy, J. R., R. W. Spencer, and W. D. Braswell (2000), MSU tropospheric temperatures: Dataset construction and radiosonde comparisons, J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 17, 1153-1170.

NOAA · Data obtained from National Centers for Environmental Prediction. See also ... Levitus, S., et al. (2012), World ocean heat content and thermosteric sea level change (0-2000 m), 1955-2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 39, L10603, doi:10.1029/2012GL051106.