“Satellite Temperatures and El Niño“. Steven Goddard has convinced himself that recent satellite temperature observations are “too warm”. He’s compared them the surface temperature records and decided that the satellite record is somehow incorrect because of unspecified El Niño effects. Maybe it’s because of aliens with investments in carbon-neutral technologies?
I thought that the surface temperature records were hopelessly contaminated by Urban Heat Island effect, human incompetence and malevolent selection and were to be ignored (because they showed a strongly significant warming trend) in favor of the purity of satellite measurements (a useful delaying tactic because they were too new to have good statistical meaning). I guess the surface temperature records are fine when they suit the denialist argument du jour.
Here’s what happens: The surface temperature record is only observed at the surface. Satellite measurements reflect a much ‘thicker’ selection of the atmosphere. The vertical transport of heat/moisture has a lag of several months and hence satellite measurements will normally trail surface measurements.