HadISST- June 2009 Values

Lucia reported on HadSST June 2009 values, which are out quickly and are surprisingly high given seemingly low RSS values. Lucia:

it looks like the HadSST’s temperature anomalies may finally break their all time high temperature anomalies. The June anomaly of 0.50 C is a big jump up from 0.355C for May:

The preliminary June 2009 HadISST results are a bit of a surprise given that prior RSS results showed a relatively cool June 2009.

I was hoping to do a quick examination of the data, but, as so often in climate science, the comparison took far longer than it should have because of a strange screwup in how the UK Met Office archived the HadISST data. (They double-counted one month in one of their archives – unfortunately the one that I downloaded. I wasted a LOT of time trying to figure out what was going on until I identified the problem. You’d think that some climate scientist somewhere would have noticed that one month occurred twice in the data, but I guess not. I’ll post a bit on this in a comment below. )

I examined HadISST and RSS for the tropics (20S-20N) – partly to simplify things, partly because I’ve been following tropical temperatures. By accident, my first plot was of the HadISST Junes 2009 preliminary in K. Generally one sees plots in anomaly deg C. However, these are derived from absolute temperatures and it never does any harm to squint at data from different directions. So today we’re going to plot in K rather than anomaly deg C.

First. here is a plot of HadISST for June 2009 (deg K).

For comparison, here is a similar HadISST plot for June 2005 (the big hurricane year):

Here is a plot of the difference – there is obviously a striking asymmetry between SH and NH with 2009 being colder in the NH and warmer in the SH (particularly in the upwelling zones). Squinting back at the 2009 SST plot, it seems relatively cool in the Atlantic hurricane development zone, indicating that 2009 is not likely to have a bumper crop of Atlantic hurricanes.

I did similar plots for RSS TLT and will show a couple. Here is RSS TLT for June 2009 – again in K rather than anomaly deg C. In the K plot, the Sahara is obviously a remarkable anomaly that doesn’t stick out in the anomaly deg C plots.

The June 2009 to June 2005 difference for RSS TLT is far more muted than the corresponding HadISST difference, especially at the edges of the southern tropics. There is an interesting increase in east Africa.


Finally here is a plot of June 2009 lapse rate (over the ocean) which again has an interesting pattern. There is a very low lapse rate at the upwelling zone on the west coast of Africa – presumably related to the warm TLT temperatures over the Sahara.

What does this mean, if anything? Dunno.

The SH-ness of the HadISST increase is interesting because it’s definitely been a cool North American summer. We haven’t used our air conditioner once this year and most days, I’ve worn a light sweater. (I’m a Canadian – I like this sort of weather.) Has it been a warm Australian winter?

We’ve been pretty quick to notice temperature declines in other series and need to be equally attentive to temperature increases. In my opinion, as I’ve observed many times, the pure time series properties of the various temperature series do not permit elaborate conclusions one way or the other on the future course of temperatures – either on the part of Rahmstorf and similar data torturers or on the part of people deriving a morale from relatively little temperature increase over the past decade.


  1. viento
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    This is the reason


  2. Antonio San
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    If anything it seems to me the SST June 2009 data off the coast of Senegal shows well the upwellings, a sign of good trade winds associated with strong MPHs, confirmed by satellite images. The June 2009 minus 2005 confirms the tendency compatible with the recent UAH evolution of temperatures i.e. cooling.

  3. Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    I follow this site on and off and have been critical, but I am impressed with your tenacity and skills with data analysis. If someone wants to learn how to deal with large data sets, this is actually a very informative site! Keeping an eye (multiple eyeballs in fact) on the data is good practice.


    We all know that the prospects of severe oil depletion make the climate change worries seem insignificant and I have myself wondered why no one on sites such as climateaudit has tried to debunk any of the oil production projections? This stuff has components of basic modeling and data fitting, and the results indicate that reduction of oil production in the future will be relentlessly downward. Same for coal and natural gas.

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu knows about peak oil inside and out, but will not publicly talk about oil depletion because it could cause huge repercussions on the economy; whereas climate change makes a nice facade to run interference behind as we search for energy alternatives. People will endlessly argue climate change numbers back and forth with industry going along like it was annoying mosquito. The corporations and the public will deal with it, yet bring up a chronic loss of oil availability and you will get a different story. Lots of misdirection going on with the entire debate. Chu is likely happy to see this site generate debate, as long as fight club is not mentioned.

  4. Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Permalink


    Nope, at least not in New Zealand where they are setting multiple records for cold.


  5. Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Same thing in at least parts of Aussie land.


  6. PeterW
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    “Has it been a warm Australian winter?”

    No, I’m f’ing freezing. We have had substantial rainfall (Central Victoria) for a change too – 70mm over the weekend and my tanks are overflowing.

    Lots of snow on the mountains, but that is probably because Gore is in Melbourne ;-P

  7. stumpy
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    In New Zealand the last couple months have been much cooler than average over the entire country by a couple degrees and nearly all the temperature stations are on the coast on the South Island. We had the earliest snows for some.

    NZ isnt shown on the plot above, but its certainly cool down here! I believe Australia has had also been having a cool winter.

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: stumpy (#6), It hasn’t been colder than usual where I am. Melbourne’s June averages were Max 15.6 Min 7.7 (longterm 14 & 6.9). Sydney had 17.9 & 10.3 (ref 16.9 and 9.3),

  8. Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    In NZ, Mount Hutt skifield opened in late May – earliest in quite a while. Skied Porter Heights myself (heh, beginners slope…) on a 90cm base last Friday. Started the wood fire for a few days in February (unprecedented), and stocked up on more wood mid-April. Yeah, weather ain’t climate. But many ancedotes = data.

  9. Ian Castles
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    The Australian Bureau of Meteorology puts the June mean temperature for Australia as a whole at 0.73C above the 1961-90 average.

  10. Carl Chapman
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    In Brisbane, it’s a bit colder than the last few years but not dramatically so. The most common summary on the evening news is a few degrees below average.

  11. Ausie Dan
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

    It’s seemed particularly cold in Sydney this year, but that’ quite likely just me.
    What I do know is that it has been an unusually wet autumn and early winter on the coast, with multiple floods around Brisbane and the northern coast of NSW. Everying outside my windows is lush green and the gum trees are groaning with heavy leaf cover. (Too much CO2 I guess).
    Lake Eyre in central australia filled a few months ago for the first time in over forty years. A huge population of pelicans and other water birds arrived almost instanteously (to breed there) and nobody knows how they sense the flood, because the water travels thousands of miles to get there. This must have been happening for many thousands of years for them to have such instincts.
    Lake Eyre is where Malcom Cambell created a new world speed record on the dry salt flats in the early years after WWII. We had a big drought then I remember, with savage water restrictions, followed by a very rainy season. This year reminds me of 1956 when I got a new job and got wet every day for the first three months walking from the rail station.
    This sure reminds me that the climate is a chaotic system, with irregular period, recurring patterns.
    Must be global warming I suppose!

    • ianl
      Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

      Re: Ausie Dan (#11),

      The deep sediment deposits in Lake Eyre contain an interesting history, spread over more than several hundred thousand years and delineated by geological drillhole logs.

      When these inland floods periodically occur, fed by huge amounts of meteoric cyclone rains across the north-east area of Australia, the fish go inland with the water and the birds follow the fish. Water then pools in the lake beds in Central Australia and takes several years to evaporate with any significance. The bird flocks breed in this bonanza of food – let the good times roll, etc

      But when the water evaporates to the point that fish life is unsustainable, the birds leave for better pastures … leaving behind the last hatching chicks. Nothing can save them, of course, so the eggshell debris and chick corpses simply pile up as a layer.

      Drillholes have recorded many, many scores of these sequential eggshell layers, dated to a time depth of over 200,000 years. The closest analagous situation I know of is the Kalahari Desert situation in Africa.

  12. Joe-h
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    Australian Monthly Climate Summary: June 2009

  13. Joe-h
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink


  14. Bob D
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    NZ has been cool lately, here is the current picture:

    The reason the graph begins in Oct 2001 is that’s as far back as the NIWA summaries extend on their website.

  15. Bob D
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    Not sure why the graph is missing, it showed in the preview. Never mind, click here to see it.

  16. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 10:55 PM | Permalink

    Re Australia, Ian Castles and others have answered in part. Additionally, here are the official maps of the Bureau of Meteorology for the winter months of May and June 2009 so far, showing here the anomaly in monthly mean maximum temperatures. Remember that much of Australia has sparse weather stations and that the contours might reflect this. Also remember that a “global mean” for Australia depends on the balance of stations between naturally hot and naturally cold parts of the continent, even when grid cell methods are used. Here I used maximum daily recorded temperatures rather than average or minimum, because the maximums influence perceptions more since people are awake and aware.

  17. ChrisJ
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

    Almost 250 children under the age of five have died in a wave of intensely cold weather in Peru.


    Children die from pneumonia and other respiratory infections every year during the winter months particularly in Peru’s southern Andes.

    But this year freezing temperatures arrived almost three months earlier than usual.

    Apparently, the heat isn’t in Peru…


  18. Hal
    Posted Jul 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    It’s also unusually cold in South America

    (H/T to climate depot)

    Children die in harsh Peru winter

    But this year freezing temperatures arrived almost three months earlier than usual.

    Experts blame climate change for the early arrival of intense cold which began in March.

    Winter in the region does not usually begin until June.

    Nice non-sequitur by the BBC science reporter

  19. Craig Bear
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

    Damn cold in Perth. It was warm and no rain until a few weeks ago. Then suddenly it’s been rain rain rain and freezing. (all relative though, i’m sure you canadians would be out running with no t-shirts on) 🙂

  20. Peter West
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    Further to #16, here’s a link to the minimum anomaly map. The minimum also, I think, influences perceptions of winter temperatures.

  21. Nick Stokes
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    If you want to see where it has been hot and cold, this GISTEMP map is a reasonable guide for May. It shows NZ as a cold spot, but Peru seems OK.

    • Basil
      Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

      Re: Nick Stokes (#23),

      Well, compare that GISTEMP map to this one:

      Now to be clear, this Japan Meteo image is just for the first week in June. Here are links to the second, third, and fourth weeks:

      I see a lot of “blue” in the SH that isn’t showing up on the GISTEMP map? How come? It is just a May/June difference? Maybe. You can pull up the weekly maps for May with these links:

      You know, GISS isn’t the only meteorological agency in the world following world temperatures. I really dislike, if not distrust, the GISTEMP smoothing. If I’m reading these Japan Meteo maps correctly, we get the data without smoothing.

      Finally, just to complete the picture, it has warmed up a bit, anomaly-wise, in the first week in June, especially in South America:

      But there is still a bit of blue in NZ and western Oz.

    • bender
      Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

      Re: Nick Stokes (#23),
      Several NH modes appear now to be flipping. PDO going negative (warm pool shifting northward). ENSO going El Nino. NAO/AMO/AO changing to warm northern European and Siberian coast. Worth scanning the climatology literature to see if real climatologists agree.
      Try to parcel out the natural vs. the anthropogenic in such a complexly interwoven fluid dynamic system.

      • bender
        Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

        Re: bender (#30),
        Follow-up to the OP. The AGW “fingerprint” won’t show a “big red spot” in any short-range snapshot (monthly, yearly). At these ultra short time scales the background natural variability will overwhelm the spatial pattern of long-term GHG response. IMO that’s what the June 2009 snapshot shows: a new pattern of anomaly. It’ll persist for a while and then break down.

  22. Louis Hissink
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 4:31 AM | Permalink


    It’s been a rather cold one for a Perth Winter – for the first time ever I had ice on the car’s windscreen and I am staying at a place called Herne Hill, north of Midland and in the Swan Valley on the coastal plain – Darling Scarp to the east. Google it.

    At 0650 hours today (Monday 13 July) the outside temperature sensor said 3C. Colleauge mentioned 3 degrees for Perth from the news, but ice on windscreen means 0 C – I am reduced to wearing a fur hat (I look like a Russian or as Santa Klaus some other wit opined).

    Can’t wait to get to the NT and do the rest of the drilling near Borroloola – Perth is tooooo coooold,

  23. Louis Hissink
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    Fur hat – sheepskin had made by Ugg company. I look like a Russian Tartar in winter garb, then. 🙂

  24. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    Looks like a lot of Aussies follow CA. Nice to see.

    • deadwood
      Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

      Re: Craig Loehle (#26),

      Although often beyond my own training in earth sciences, this site is good reference materiel for all English speaking (or at least reading) people.

      Canadian Ex-Pat in America

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 7:36 PM | Permalink

      Re: Craig Loehle (#26),

      Written in the nicest possible way in deference to your past contributions, a few Aussies are suggesting that certain interpretative problems arise and grow in USA. (We had a Vice-Presidential event here yesterday). To be fair, the USA also provides satellites etc upon which we rely, as well as much good information.

      There are global mechanisms whose explanation can benefit from more SH input.

      Some hobby horse examples now. The geographical inconsistency of the 1998 temperature peak is one. A 40-year warming of the inland of Australia faster than the coast also seems possible. There are patterns between the divergence or convergence of Tmax and Tmin over the years. These topics are temperature-related. There are other diverse ones also.

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

        Re: Geoff Sherrington (#34), Far from meaning any offense, I am impressed with the number of aussies involved here vs the size of the country, and the same holds in my field of Ecology where I often cite Oz scientists. Spent a few weeks in Perth and loved it.

  25. Clark
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Re: Nick Stokes

    I like how eastern Siberia is 8 degress above normal. Sweet!

  26. Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    “The preliminary June 2009 HadISST results are a bit of a surprise given that prior RSS results showed a relatively cool June 2009.”
    It takes a few months for SST to manifest themselves in lower tropospheric temps.

    Look at the past week; the warm anomalies seem to be fading: http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/research/cmb/sst_analysis/.

  27. John K. Sutherland.
    Posted Jul 13, 2009 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Webster Hubble telescope person. The world is not short of oil. It is not even short of cheap oil at this moment. Oil shales and tar sands contain multiples of the oil resource contained in the near East. At prices over $70/barrel it is exploitable if politicians would get out of the way.

    The most recent of my articles here covers some of this.



  28. stephen richards
    Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

    The ISST pulse may well be showing now in the latest satelite temperatures. See here at Phil Spencer’s site


  29. Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    It has been a relatively cool Australian winter, and if the weather reports say different, they are lying.

    It looks to me as if global warming has suddenly relocated to places where there are few people to say it is not happening. Much like the Medieval Climatic Optimum only occurred where there records.

  30. Pofarmer
    Posted Jul 14, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    So, I have a question. Are these anomalies being driven by high temperatures or low temperatures?

  31. Richard
    Posted Jul 15, 2009 at 4:46 AM | Permalink

    Freezing New Zealand Winter and Children die in harsh Peru winter

    There is an interesting graph on WUWT on the June anomaly.

  32. Johan i Kanada
    Posted Jul 15, 2009 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    Has the HadCRUT3 global (land & ocean) monthly average temp anomaly for June been released yet? (I have not been able to find it.)

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