Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hottest June on record - global surface temperature with year to date

Sou | 2:12 AM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment
According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for June was 0.79 °C, which just pipped June 2015 (0.78 C) and June 1998 (0.77 °C). Last month is only the second time in nine months that the GISTemp monthly anomaly is less than one degree Celsius above the average from 1951-1980. It probably won't be the last, now that El Nino is over.

The average for the six months to the end of June is 1.09 °C, which is 0.28 °C higher than any previous January to June period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.81 °C.

There are now nine in a row of "hottest months" from October 2015 to June 2016 (that is, hottest October, hottest November etc). If we could look back over the entire Holocene, it's probably more than 7,000 years since there was a similar run of hottest months on record, that is, not since the Holocene climatic optimum (it's probably hotter now than it was back then).

Each of the previous months except May and June this year (that is, from October to April inclusive) had an anomaly more than one degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean. All of the previous months had an anomaly higher than any month outside of that October to April period.

Below is a chart of the month of June only. Hover over the chart to see the anomaly in any June:
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the month of June only. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Here is a chart of the average of 12 months to June each year. The 12 months to June 2016 averaged 1.01 °C above the 1951-1980 mean and was 0.22 °C hotter than the 12 months to June 2015:

Figure 2 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to June each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Will there be a La Niña?

You can see the global mean temperature trend by month in the chart below, for the strongest El Niño years since 1950, which were followed by a La Nina. I've included the 2015/16 period for comparison. The chance there will be a La Nina is getting lower with each ENSO update. If it happens, it is expected to be quite weak.

Not counting 2015/16, of the seven very strong, strong and strong to moderate El Ninos since 1950, there were only three that were followed by a La Nina. The chart spans a three year period. That is, for the 2015-16 El Niño and subsequent, it goes from January 2015 to December 2017. (For a more detailed explanation see the HW articles: El Niño to La Niña years with more detail here.)

Figure 3 | Global mean surface temperature for strong or moderate/strong El Nino years that were followed by a La Nina. Data source: GISS NASA

Where was it hot?

Again, the high latitudes in the northern hemisphere had areas with high anomalies this month but, as with May, they were not as high as last month. There are also some parts of Antarctica that were very, very hot for that part of the world, and some areas that were very very cold.

Figure 4 | Map showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for June, from the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA

Below is May for comparison:

Figure 5 | Map showing mean surface temperature, anomalies for May, from the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA

Year to date average surface temperature

The chart below tracks the year to date. Each point on the plot is the average of the year to that month. For 2016, the last point is the average of all months to date including June. This year is tracking well above 2015, largely because of the El Niño. To drop below the average for 2015, the average anomaly for the next six months would need to be less than 0.65 °C:

Figure 5 | Global mean surface temperature, progressive year to date to June 2016. Data source. GISS NASA


Given the speculation that this will be another "hottest year", below is a chart showing the average temperature for the six months from July to December from 2000 onwards. Nine of the last 16 years were below 0.65 C. The last time the average for those six months was below 0.65 C was in 2011, the second year of a moderate to strong La Nina.

Figure 6 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the six months from July to December. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Added by Sou 1:16 pm 20 July 2016

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  1. Thanks for the update, Sou. BTW, it's now showing as 0.79, which makes it the hottest June on record. Still, I'm quite surprised as Nick Stokes' TempLS usually tracks very well with GISTEMP, and it was only down .06 from last month from which we would expect GISTEMP to be at 0.86 - 0.87 at least.

    I'm guessing that since the update was so late (by 6 days from the norm), they were expecting updates from some significant areas that haven't come in yet.

    1. Yes, there were initially different numbers in the csv to the txt file. Gavin Schmidt checked and let me know it was the txt file that was correct. I've updated the article now.

    2. .78... just more proof each warmer should be chaperoned by a statistician.

      The faltering La Nina... running into a PDO headwind?

    3. "TempLS usually tracks very well with GISTEMP, and it was only down .06 from last month"

      Well, GISS was down 0.14°C; NOAA NCEI was up 0.02; TempLS mesh was exactly halfway :)

      But yes, I do expect TempLS mesh to follow GISS more closely, and TempLS grid to follow NOAA. LS grid was up 0.046°C.

    4. Thanks for that, Nick. I'm thinking that the reason GISS was so late is that they were still waiting for significant areas to report but couldn't hold out any longer. When/if these stations do report, the June anomaly might still creep up a few hundredths in the next week, closer to reflecting the TempLS mesh anomaly change of -0.06.

    5. JCH, I think you may be barking up the wrong tree regarding "each warmer [presumably you mean 'warmist'] should be chaperoned by a statistician". It's difficult to tell from the PDO graphs out there (most aren't up-to-date or have a difficult to decipher timeline), but I think the PDO has just entered a positive phase after a long time of being primarily negative (from ~2000 through 2014). That makes the odds of a large El Niña developing any time soon pretty remote.

  2. What was our recent visitor blaming all this on?

    "When you have spotty thermometer coverage, and some thermometers are next to heat exhaust vents, then the temperature record is corrupt. Of course things get warmer when you stand next to a heater."

    You see: this is all down to amazing bad luck with all those thermometers just happening to be positioned at places that have gotten hotter, while the rest of the world's surface is getting cooler to balance things out.

    You couldn't make it up? Well somebody did.

  3. I must say it is becoming rather desperate when if not "caused by all those heat exhausts" the figures are only a "statistical error".
    Usually the comment goes along the lines of a "hoax" or somewhat fanciful term.
    I have noticed recently that the average person is noticing that there are not as many frosts if any, anymore.
    Perhaps Sou could dig up an article on the temperature change going from the equator towards the poles.
    As i understand it the change toward the lower temperate regions is greater than 4 to 8 degree c for each 1 c global average.
    My 4c to 8c is a rough guess no substance at all.

    1. Nights are certainly becoming milder where I live.

  4. NOAA are showing June as 0.9C, up slightly on the May anomaly. It seems strange that NOAA is going in the opposite direction to GISS.


    1. Different methods of baseline, homogenization, infilling and so on. The important thing is the data sets are internally consistent.

    2. The BBC are reporting the NOAA figure, I.e 14 months of hottest months

  5. The "paws" is becoming a distant memory. It was what it was, a statistical fluctuation.

    1. Here's a photo reminder, the pause has gone paws up:


    2. My denier friend is still convinced the "pause" will be back Any Month Now, and will be rescued by the coming La Nina. Also, the global decline in temperatures now that El Nino is over signifies "global cooling", which will inevitably bring the Earth back to pre-2013 temperatures.

    3. "which will inevitably bring the Earth back to pre-2013 temperatures."

      Your friend is very unambitious. Couldn't they try for 1998 temperatures?

    4. Go for the brass ring... January 2016 will be below January 2008's .26 ℃.

    5. 17.

      Oh well, at least skeptics don't believe in miracles.

    6. Well, see, pre-2013 (according to deniers) will be enough to reinstate the "pause".

      Bob Tisdale meanwhile has already declared The La Nina Is Here.

    7. Bwahaha! You thermageddonistas don't know jack! The Pause is already back!!!1!11!ELEVEN!

      For the 10 months from September 2015 to July 2016 (inclusive), the Gistemp slope is -0.0006 degrees per month. 10 months with no global warming! Take that warmunists!

      I'd be moderately confident that by the end of the year we'll have a 22 month Pause (March 2015 - December 2016).

      You can't kill the pause! You can only ratchet it up to a higher level.

      (Seriously, I don't think it will be too long before someone posts this ballyhoo intending it to be taken seriously).

  6. The cold spot over South America is a puzzle, I wonder if it will become permanent? It could be an indication that a major change is occurring to ocean currents or wind patterns in that part of the world.

    The North Atlantic cold blog is still there.

    1. I guess what I am speculating about is the Antarctic peninsula is warm, while South America is cool. It looks like a dipole to my amateur eye.

    2. Cool (and wet) conditions in that part of South America is actually a fairly standard end-of-El Nino response - it was exceptionally warm through 2014 and earlier in 2015. (Some data sets show a more consistent cool spot further northwest but that looks to be related to some data issues in Bolivia).

    3. Blair Trewin.

      Thanks, I did not know that.

    4. Hi Blair, thanks for chipping in. Are these storm/weather systems coming in from (exiting to?) the south east or something else? Yeah, local minima around Bolivia looks a bit strange. Nick Stokes' spherical harmonics interpolation exhibits some odd behaviour too.


    5. Harry - you can watch it happen on Climate Reanalyzer. Blobs of blue spin off Antarctica and float right over South America.

  7. I jumped the gun in talking about NOAA's global temperatures in a previous thread, but it turns out I wasn't far off.

    NOAA's numbers are also available, and in NOAA's dataset, this was the fourteenth record-setting month in a row.


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  10. It seems strange to me now that Gavin Schmidt a couple of months ago already estimated 2016's probability of beating 2015's record at 99%. Now that El Nino is waning, and La Nina still a potential, a greater than 0.65 degree anomaly for the rest of the year doesn't seem quite a slam dunk yet. It's likely, yes, but 99% likely? (I actually calculated it at 0.67 degrees on the back of an envelope, but I'm sure your figure is the correct one.)

    1. Hi Greg, you might be right. It's 2 years and 10 months since there was an anomaly below 0.66, but that month and the preceding months averaged 0.61C. (Jan to August 2013)

      Gavin Schmidt still says it's ~99% sure that 2016 will set a new record.

    2. I've now added a chart showing the average for the six months from July to December from 2000.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. I should also add that record years are a poor way of assessing rising temperatures, especially when the previous two years were also records. Whatever happens in the rest of 2016, I'm pretty sure this will be hottest 2 or 3 years on record.

    5. There's no point in worrying. The reaction in Watts-ville will be: if 2016 isn't a record, the deniers will laugh; if 2016 is barely a record, the deniers will discover statistical significance; if 2016 is a big record breaker, the deniers will shout "data fraud".

      It never rains in Watts-ville.


    6. Quick question, this post is about the hottest June compared to previous June's in the historical record

      Is there an absolute hottest month in any 12 months period?

    7. @Tadaaa - Because land area has less thermal inertia and there is considerably more land area in the Northern Hemisphere, the absolute surface temperature peaks more or less in the middle of the Northern Hemisphere summer. Here's a link to a graph of the GISS average monthly offset:

    8. Thanks Mark,

      And makes perfect sense when you think about it

      science rocks!!

  11. Sou I am reminded of a post you did quite a while back pointing out the low points of Niña's show more trend than the highs of El Nino years.
    This is no longer the case.
    Instead you can see an increase in trend for both. Many of us climate hawks had been waiting for the inevitable El Nino to dispel the no warming meme from the denial nutters .
    In a few more I think we will clearly see the death of the no increase in trend meme as well.

  12. As the deniers last hope for a renewed pause, UAH's 4.0 dataset (still beta - has anyone actually seen a reviewed paper yet from Christy and Spencer?) is still tending to show smaller warming trends even than the RSS 3.3 dataset (which is otherwise what it is best correlated with). Even so, at this point it looks likely that even UAH 4.0 will end up with 2016 as at least a very close second to 1998 as the hottest year in the lower troposphere satellite record. One wonders, given its resemblance to RSS 3.3, whether it suffers from the same problems with the adjustment for drifting measurement times that RSS 3.3 have: RSS themselves say this on their website:

    "The lower tropospheric (TLT) temperatures have not yet been updated at this time and remain V3.3. The V3.3 TLT data suffer from the same problems with the adjustment for drifting measurement times that led us to update the TMT dataset. V3.3 TLT data should be used with caution. " see


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