Abstract: Updated tropical lower tropospheric temperature datasets covering the period 1979–2009 are presented and assessed for accuracy based upon recent publications and several analyses conducted here. We conclude that the lower tropospheric temperature (TLT) trend over these 31 years is +0.09 ± 0.03 °C decade−1. Given that the surface temperature (Tsfc) trends from three different groups agree extremely closely among themselves (~ +0.12 °C decade−1) this indicates that the “scaling ratio” (SR, or ratio of atmospheric trend to surface trend: TLT/Tsfc) of the observations is ~0.8 ± 0.3. This is significantly different from the average SR calculated from the IPCC AR4 model simulations which is ~1.4. This result indicates the majority of AR4 simulations tend to portray significantly greater warming in the troposphere relative to the surface than is found in observations. The SR, as an internal, normalized metric of model behavior, largely avoids the confounding influence of short-term fluctuations such as El Niños which make direct comparison of trend magnitudes less confident, even over multi-decadal periods.
Keywords: tropical temperature; climate change; satellite temperatures; climate models
Export to BibTeX
MDPI and ACS Style
Christy, J.R.; Herman, B.; Pielke, R., Sr.; Klotzbach, P.; McNider, R.T.; Hnilo, J.J.; Spencer, R.W.; Chase, T.; Douglass, D. What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979? Remote Sens. 2010, 2, 2148-2169.
Christy JR, Herman B, Pielke R, Sr, Klotzbach P, McNider RT, Hnilo JJ, Spencer RW, Chase T, Douglass D. What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979? Remote Sensing. 2010; 2(9):2148-2169.
Christy, John R.; Herman, Benjamin; Pielke, Roger, Sr.; Klotzbach, Philip; McNider, Richard T.; Hnilo, Justin J.; Spencer, Roy W.; Chase, Thomas; Douglass, David. 2010. "What Do Observational Datasets Say about Modeled Tropospheric Temperature Trends since 1979?" Remote Sens. 2, no. 9: 2148-2169.