The Pause Update: December 2016

The complete UAH v6.0 data for December have been released. I present all the graphs for various regions, and as well summaries for easier comparison. The Pause has ended globally and for the Northern Hemisphere, and the Tropics, and may soon disappear from the USA, and the Southern Hemisphere.  The 12 month mean to December 2016 for the Globe is +0.50 C.

These graphs show the furthest back one can go to show a zero or negative trend (less than 0.1 +/-0.1C per 100 years) in lower tropospheric temperatures. I calculate 12 month running means to remove the small possibility of seasonal autocorrelation in the monthly anomalies. Note: The satellite record commences in December 1978- now 38 years and one month long- 457 months. 12 month running means commence in November 1979. The y-axes in the graphs below are at December 1978, so the vertical gridlines denote Decembers. The final plotted points are December 2016.




The Pause has ended. A trend of +0.32 C/100 years (+/- 0.1C) since March 1998 is creeping up, but the 12 month means have peaked and are heading down.

And, for the special benefit of those who think that I am deliberately fudging data by using 12 month running means, here is the plot of monthly anomalies:


That’s since December 1997.

Northern Hemisphere:


The Northern Hemisphere Pause has well and truly ended.

Southern Hemisphere:


For well over half the record, the Southern Hemisphere still has zero trend.  The Pause is about to end.



The Pause in the Tropics (20N to 20S) has ended and the minimal trend is now +.32C/ 100 years.  12 month means peaked mid-year.

As Tropical Oceans closely mimic the Tropics overall, I won’t show their plot.

Northern Extra Tropics:


The minimal trend is up to +0.6C/ 100 years.

Southern Extra Tropics:


The Pause persists strongly, however 12 month means are still rising.

Northern Polar:


The trend has increased a lot to +2.35C and since February 2003 +0.88C/100 years.

Southern Polar:


The South Polar region has been cooling for the entire record.

USA 49 States:


The Pause has shortened again and is about to disappear altogether.



The Pause is still 21 years 5 months, and means have peaked.  Will the Australian Pause survive where others have failed?

The next graphs summarise the above plots. First, a graph of the relative length of The Pause in the various regions:


Note that the Pause has ended by my criteria in all regions of Northern Hemisphere, and consequently the Globe, and the Tropics, but all southern regions have a Pause for over half the record, including the South Polar region which has been cooling for the whole record.

The variation in the linear trend for the whole record, 1978 to the present:


Note the decrease in trends from North Polar to South Polar.

And the variation in the linear trend since June 1998, which is about halfway between the global low point of December 1997 and the peak in December 1998:


The imbalance between the two hemispheres is obvious. The lower troposphere over Australia has been strongly cooling for more than 18 years- just shy of half the record.

Global TLT anomalies are now dropping rapidly.  The next few months will be interesting. The Pause will disappear from the USA and Southern Hemisphere soon, but not the Southern Extra-Tropics or Australia. El Nino tropical heat is strongly affecting the North Polar region now, and will affect the Southern Hemisphere early this year.

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15 Responses to “The Pause Update: December 2016”

  1. Viv Forbes Says:

    Thanks Ken, very interesting.

    I thought El Nino had ended?

    N and S hemispheres act differently because of the distribution of land and water in the high latitudes.

    Have you read “The Inconvenient Skeptic” by John Kehr. The best book on the subject I have read. I am sure you wll find it interesting and useful.


    PS Did you leave a mysterious phone message for me this afternoon?

  2. kenskingdom Says:

    No phone message!
    El Nino has well and truly ended, but the effects last for many months. A coming post will look at differing hemispheric behaviour. Land/ ocean distribution is the obvious culprit of course. Haven’t read that book, will look for it.

  3. ngard2016 Says:

    Ken, thanks again for your UAH V 6 updates. But can you clear something up for me? On the York Uni temp software there are two HAD Crut 4 listed, called HAD Crut 4 land/ocean and HAD 4 Crut Global krig v 2. So which one is the correct or normally quoted HAD 4 temp data-base? Beats me what krig v2 means and why is land/ocean different than global anyway? Can you help? Amazing again how they completely ignore the PR UAH V 6 and yet use RSS v 4 TTT although it hasn’t passed PR yet.

  4. ngard2016 Says:

    Ken, how much of the temp increase would you allow for because of a strong el nino like 1997 to 98 and 2015 to 16?
    And does the pause remain if you allow for that short term warming increase? Dr David Whitehouse seems to think the pause still exists if you remove the el nino effect? And he quotes the MET office to back up his claim.

    Also GISS uses a base period of 1951 to 80. If you drop that period and use 1979 to 2008 you get a different result and if you choose 250 instead of 1200 klms it drops a lot more. The base they use is the coolest 30 year period since 1910, so surely this is a ridiculous choice.

    • kenskingdom Says:

      ENSO events come and go. They are large scale weather events. If you remove the effects of El Nino you should also remove the effects of La Nina. Best to leave things alone and look at the record from a long term perspective. Then you can see the steep rise in the 1990s to early 2000s and then a distinct plateau to about 2014-15.
      A base period is just that- a base period. Anomalies are calculated from various baselines to show the relative rise and fall and resultant distinctly non-linear trends. You could if you wish choose as your baseline the temperature in December 1978, in other words zeroing the UAH record from the start point. The graph still looks the same. It’s only when people start colouring in with blue and red that I get annoyed. It’s all relative.

  5. ngard2016 Says:

    I’ve landed in moderation again.

  6. ngard2016 Says:

    Ken what are your thoughts on this column graph of GISS Loti data from 1880 to 2014? Anthony Watts used this graph in “Climate Change the Facts” book to compare to more scary ways to show this index.
    Some of the luvvvvies seem to get very upset on some blogs if this graph is shown. Perfectly legitimate as far as I’m concerned.

    • kenskingdom Says:

      A question of scale. It shows the earth has a steady temperature by comparison with deep space, but we are really interested in the earth’s temperature at various points as it varies from year to year, and millenium to millenium, so we need a scale that shows this.

      • ngard2016 Says:

        Ken, using UAH V 6 Dr David Evans has found a warming trend of just 0.6 c /century since 1997 and 1.2 c since Dec 1978. That includes 3 strong NATURAL el nino events over the last 20 years. The temp tool at York uni shows the same results for RSS V 3.3 TLT, except the full trend is 1.35 c/ century. HAD 4 L&O shows about 1.3c/century since 1996.99 and since 1850 just 0.5 c/ century or about 0.8 c over the last 167 years.

        Yet Prof Patrick Lloyd’s 8,000 year global temp study found an average temp deviation of 1 c/ century. And he used both Antarctic and Greenland ice core proxies over that long period of time. The Concordia Uni study found just 0.7 c of AGW warming since 1800 ( about 0.33 c/ century) and they estimated OZ’s contribution to be 0.006 c over that period. That’s a whopping 6 thousandths degree C. sarc.

        But our present slight warming has come at the end of the coldest sustained period over the last 10,000 years. But I’ve just heard the ABC, Fairfax, Climate Council etc telling us that OZ must step up our reduction of co2 emissions if we want to avoid their disastrous CAGW. And OZ emits just 1.2% of global co2 emissions and Lomborg’s PR study has found that Paris COP 21 will have ZIP measurable temp reduction by 2100. Are these people barking mad?

  7. Dig and Delve Part III: Temperate Regions | kenskingdom Says:

    […] this post I draw together ideas developed in previous posts- Poles Apart, Pause Updates, Dig and Delve Parts I and II– in which I lamented the lack of tropospheric data for the […]

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