Evidence of an energy imbalance in UAH data?

Posted: January 2, 2013 by tchannon in Analysis, atmosphere, climate, Cycles, data, methodology, weather

Last year the Talkshop pointed at the work of Okular, although to me it seems like yesterday. This reminded me of a long pending look in detail at satellite temperature data I have been meaning to do, difficult because I want to operate on area subsets which means code for extraction has to be written.

This post is a quickie for content whilst Rog takes a rest.

Lets use KISS (keep it simple stupid),  look at a diff between the troposphere and stratosphere. UAH to end Nov is on disk so that will do for a quick look.


Simple point by point subtract, done for global and for north and south hemispheres, where the result shows no material difference.

If you look at Sv: Warming by the Sun or by the Atmosphere …? by Okular he (I assume) writes about thermal balance. There is similarity but not quite the same.

For me it is a few seconds to do this


This is a strong indication the long term curve is quite simple, dark line is actually two traces almost matching. One is a pure sine from the analyser least squares fit and the other is abuse of filtering, 20 year low pass on a short dataset with end correction, works well enough.

Sensibly this is just the law over that time period, nature rarely does functions, good approximation though. (~57 year so this is the infamous ~60y)

One other thing I will show


Simply a running sum of the yellow trace above, will be zero mean ‘cos the software producing the function will do that. Perhaps this shows how disturbance then returns to zero. Perhaps others are better able to interpret these things.

Data is here as .ods inside a zip

Aside: I am also testing to see if finally a version of OpenOffice has been fixed, have been stuck with V3.2 (with security holes), where none of the updates in either of the forks have fixed things. OO branch is generally better but this is LibreOffice 3.6 and so far has behaved on the chart module. Were some dire breakages. Seems visually as before, good, works well enough, I like boring. Seems to transfer plots fine to offline blog composing.

Post by Tim Channon

  1. Paul Vaughan says:

    The kinks in the residuals appear related to stratospheric volcano eruptions.
    The flattening of the long wave appears related to the crest of the QBO integral.

  2. Max™‮‮ says:

    Been pretty satisfied with LibreOffice myself, been using it for school for a while now.

    Not quite sure what the rest is though, have to look at the Okular site to see what he’s talking about.

  3. tchannon says:

    Reverted again. Lots of other breakages but the big surprise is the dramatic speed hit, rough an order slower is the new.