Global Temperature Report: June 2020
Global climate trend since Dec. 1 1978: +0.14 C per decade
June Temperatures (preliminary)
Global composite temp.: +0.43 C (+0.77 °F) above seasonal average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.45 C (+0.81 °F) above seasonal average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.41 C (+0.74 °F) above seasonal average
Tropics: +0.46 C (+0.83°F) above seasonal average
May Temperatures (final)
Global composite temp.: +0.54 C (+0.97 °F) above seasonal average
Northern Hemisphere: +0.60 C (+1.08 °F) above seasonal average
Southern Hemisphere: +0.49 C (+0.88 °F) above seasonal average
Tropics: +0.66 C (+1.19°F) above seasonal average
Notes on data released July 2, 2020 (v6.0)
June’s seasonally-adjusted global temperature of +0.43 °C (+0.77°F) slid back a bit from May’s very warm value led by a temperature drop in the tropics of 0.20 °C (0.36 °F). If you’ve been watching the situation in the tropical Pacific Ocean you will note that sea surface temperatures there have declined since mid-April. Indeed, the deeper layer of ocean there has lost a considerable amount of heat, some of which made its way to the atmosphere, keeping the tropical and global temperatures quite warm.
While it’s too early to make a prediction based on one-month’s temperature change, it is likely that global temperatures will not rise and may fall if the cool water entrenches itself, producing a La Niña episode. The latest NOAA forecast gives equal chances to a cold La Niña versus a neutral event for the coming winter. Please take note that I am not a forecaster but am simply speculating about the conditions I see. See the latest from NOAA here:
Central Norway experienced the globe’s warmest departure from average at +3.5 °C (+6.2 °F) above average. As is usual, when it’s very warm in one place, there are usually a series of alternating cold and warm regions in the same latitude belt. That was true this month, but the coldest absolute departure was far away in the Ross Sea of West Antarctica. It is already very cold there in winter, but the atmosphere was -3.3 °C (-5.9 °F) even colder than average.
The global map contained scattered regions of warmer than average temperatures. Besides Scandinavia, other areas of extra warmth were found in central Canada, eastern Pacific Ocean, far South Atlantic, SW Australia and NE Russia. Cooler-than-average regions included Kazakhstan and north, far eastern Russia, and the oceanic region off the West Antarctic coast.
The conterminous U.S. experienced near-average temperatures being +0.38 °C (+0.68 °F) above the norm. Alaska was cooler than average in June so that the 49-state mean temperature departure was a bit lower than the 48-state value being +0.25 °C (+0.45 °F). [We don’t include Hawaii in the US results because its land area is less than that of a satellite grid square, so it would have virtually no impact on the overall national results.]
Spoiler Alert first published March 2019: As noted over the past several months in this report, the drifting of satellites NOAA-18 and NOAA-19, whose temperature errors were somewhat compensating each other, will be addressed in this updated version of data released from March 2019 onward. As we normally do in these situations we have decided to terminate ingestion of NOAA-18 observations as of 1 Jan 2017 because the corrections for its significant drift were no longer applicable. We have also applied the drift corrections for NOAA-19 now that it has started to drift far enough from its previous rather stable orbit. These actions will eliminate extra warming from NOAA-18 and extra cooling from NOAA-19. The net effect is to introduce slight changes from 2009 forward (when NOAA-19 began) with the largest impact on annual, global anomalies in 2017 of 0.02 °C. The 2018 global anomaly changed by only 0.003°C, from +0.228°C to +0.225°C. These changes reduce the global trend by -0.0007 °C/decade (i.e. 7 ten-thousandths of a degree) and therefore does not affect the conclusions one might draw from the dataset. The v6.0 methodology is unchanged as we normally stop ingesting satellites as they age and apply the v6.0 diurnal corrections as they drift.
To-Do List: There has been a delay in our ability to utilize and merge the new generation of microwave sensors (ATMS) on the NPP and JPSS satellites. As of now, the calibration equations applied by the agency have changed at least twice, so that the data stream contains inhomogeneities which obviously impact the type of measurements we seek. We are hoping this is resolved soon with a dataset that is built with a single, consistent set of calibration equations. In addition, the current non-drifting satellite operated by the Europeans, MetOP-B, has not yet been adjusted or “neutralized” for its seasonal peculiarities related to its unique equatorial crossing time (0930). While these MetOP-B peculiarities do not affect the long-term global trend, they do introduce error within a particular year in specific locations over land.
As part of an ongoing joint project between UAH, NOAA and NASA, Christy and Dr. Roy Spencer, an ESSC principal scientist, use data gathered by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA, NASA and European satellites to produce temperature readings for almost all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean and rain forest areas where reliable climate data are not otherwise available. Research Associate Rob Junod assists in the preparation of these reports.
The satellite-based instruments measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about eight kilometers above sea level. Once the monthly temperature data are collected and processed, they are placed in a "public" computer file for immediate access by atmospheric scientists in the U.S. and abroad.
The complete version 6 lower troposphere dataset is available here:
Archived color maps of local temperature anomalies are available on-line at:
Neither Christy nor Spencer receives any research support or funding from oil, coal or industrial companies or organizations, or from any private or special interest groups. All of their climate research funding comes from federal and state grants or contracts.