Feb 2011 global temperature anomaly maps

Posted: March 7, 2011 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

These nicely dug plots just in from Tim Channon. I hope this will become a regular monthly feature, as they give great information in addition to the time series plots provided elsewhere. Click on the images for the full size versions as WordPress compression makes a bit of a mess of them – Sorry Tim.

Lower Troposphere

Mid Troposphere

Lower Stratosphere

Upper Stratosphere

North polar view of Lower Troposphere

  1. tallbloke says:

    Well, a lot of people have spent time looking at these maps over the last few days, but no-one has spared the time to thank Tim for spending the time to make them. How can we expect future updates if we don’t show our appreciation?

    Thanks again Tim!

  2. Roger Andrews says:

    Apologies Tim, and thanks for the plots (I’ve been off doing other things).

    Yes, updates please.

    Any chance of including surface temperature and SST?

  3. P.G. Sharrow says:

    It is hard to appreciate some thing that I do not have enough information to evaluate. While they are very nicely done, I could use some hint as to what is being displayed.
    Sorry Tim, I just call’em as I see’em. 😦 pg

  4. Tenuc says:

    I had a quick look at Tims excellent plots, but I’m afraid I’m not very interested in temperature anomaly data, as I think it has little value in determining what’s happening to our climate – even if you believe the data is solid enough to provide a good observation of the real world…

    Lots of magic tricks depend on diverting the attention of the observer from what is really happening – climate science seems to have learned this lesson well!.

  5. tallbloke says:

    P.G. that’s my fault rather then Tim’s. He supplied the maps, I should have supplied more description. Basically these are maps at various altitudes, with the temperature anomalies shown from warm reds to cold blues. It’s interesting to see the way the anomalies invert: when it’s warmer than usual near the surface, it’s colder than usual at high altitude, and vise versa.

    Looking at those sorts of things gives us insight into the way the atmospheric circulation works, and how it might be affected by near space weather etc.

    So while Tenuc is right that surface temps don’t tell us about the balance of energy flow directly, the maps can help us understand inter-annual global surface temp fluctuation by getting a better idea of when heat gets trapped in the atmosphere and when it escapes to space more easily.

    I’ll have a think about what other data we could present along with these monthly maps to get a useful idea of what affects what. Suggestions welcome:
    Solar windspeed,
    Zonal windspeeds,


  6. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Ok, now I see the point of view. The heat energy movement from the surface to space is a climate factor the needs to be concidered, while movement across the surface is well known weather. Change in speed of energy movement vertically might well be magnetic rather then gravitional. Gravity compression / decompression would be equal above and below. pg

  7. tallbloke says:

    You’ve got it. 🙂

  8. Tim Channon says:

    There are a raft of maps available and can be done with variations.

    One of the intents was not misleading the viewer unlike so many do.
    These are equal area maps whereas the underlying gridded data is unequal area.
    Plotting plain rectangular is equivalent to putting a magnifying glass on the polar regions and downplaying the tropics. To make that worse there is no good polar data, with the satellites doing the best approximation. UAH does show both poles, RSS shows almost all of the north and less of the south.

    With satellite there is a degree of information by altitude. This shows a highly critical fact which is poorly understood, the shift in stratospheric temperature, which is inverted anyway.
    This software also produces time series and extracts of time series for latitude/longitude. The original development was to extract from gridded, with all the different datasets in a common data format. Extending to maps seemed reasonable.

    Available databases

    SST and surface, yes.

    The work is incomplete and the last thing I did was try to handle missing data better on rendering, without much progress. As it stands gnuplot does the rendering but there are restrictions on what it can do as well as being a very awkward and cantankerous package.

  9. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Tallbloke and all;
    While crusing the comments on the Chiefio site I came across this link


    A very interisting read about JPL research on mantel material circulations and their magnetic effects on surface weather systems. pg

  10. P.G. Sharrow says:

    the above failed to work,


    try this one pg

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    A NASA/university study of data on Earth’s rotation, movements in Earth’s molten core and global surface air temperatures has uncovered interesting correlations. Credit: NASA/JPL-Université Paris Diderot – Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris

    Ok that one works, Tallbloke, sorry about garbageing up this thread. 😦 my bad. pg

  12. ariel says:

    What software did you use to create these plots?