Apr 17, 2019

Recent global warming as confirmed by AIRS

J Susskind, G A Schmidt, J N Lee, L Iredell
Environmental Research Letters

We may actually have been underestimating how much warmer [the Arctic’s] been getting.

Gavin Schmidt, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which keeps the temperature data, and study co-author

  • Presents Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder (AIRS) surface skin temperature anomalies for the period 2003 through 2017, and compares them to station-based analyses of surface air temperature anomalies (principally the Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP))
  • States that AIRS surface temperatures are completely satellite-based and are totally independent of any surface-based measurements
  • Shows that satellite-based surface temperatures can serve as an important validation of surface-based estimates and help to improve surface-based data sets in a way that can be extended back many decades to further scientific research
  • Finds that AIRS surface temperatures have better spatial coverage than those of GISTEMP, though at the global annual scale the two data sets are highly coherent — as in the surface-based analyses, 2016 was the warmest year yet