The lower troposphere data is out for January, so here's an update of the comparison of El Niño years. First the lower troposphere, with UAH data for January added. The shaded area is the approximate time span for El Niños. These charts aren't precise. They are a mix of v6.04 beta and v6.05 beta. That's because the latest beta version isn't up on line yet. I got the latest months' data from Roy Spencer's blog:
|Figure 1 | Lower troposphere temperature for selected El Niño years. Data source: UAH|
It's a bit closer to the lower troposphere temperatures in previous El Niños, which is less of a rise than I expected. The January global value is 0.54 C above the 1981-2010 baseline average. In 1998 and 2010, January was 0.49 C above the baseline average, so only 0.05 C difference. This is much less than the difference in previous recent months. Not that you can tell a lot by a single month.
In the UAH lower troposphere data, each of the last four months has been the hottest ever for that month. Here is the chart comparing January only. This has beta v6.05 for January 2016 and 6.04 for the rest.
|Figure 2 | Lower troposphere temperature for the month of January only. Data source: UAH|
And below is the chart showing the four month average - October to January, for each year. Again this is a mix of versions, but it gives you a general idea:
|Figure 3 | Lower troposphere temperature - average of October to January. Data source: UAH|
If this keeps up then 2016 could be a new record high for the lower troposphere - or not. It's only January after all, so it's a bit soon to speculate.
While here, I might as well show you the El Niño chart for the surface, with GISTemp, including December data. The surface has heated up a lot more than the air above it.
|Figure 4 | Surface temperature for selected El Niño years. Data source: GISS NASA|