Upper Air - March 2013


Troposphere

Lower Troposphere

March Lower Troposphere
March Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.18 +0.32 Coolest 28th 1993 -0.46 -0.83 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 8th 2010 +0.58 +1.04
RSS +0.10 +0.18 Coolest 24th 1993 -0.39 -0.70 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 12th 2010 +0.49 +0.88
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
March
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.29 +0.52 Coolest 32nd 1993 -0.37 -0.67 +0.13 +0.24
Warmest 4th 2010 +0.57 +1.03
RSS +0.17 +0.31 Coolest 28th 1985 -0.38 -0.68 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 8th 1998 +0.51 +0.92

Mid-troposphere

March Mid-troposphere
March Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.03 +0.05 Coolest 21st 1993 -0.41 -0.74 +0.01 +0.02
Warmest 15th 1998 +0.48 +0.86
RSS +0.10 +0.18 Coolest 24th 1993 -0.41 -0.74 +0.06 +0.12
Warmest 12th 2010 +0.48 +0.86
UW-UAH +0.07 +0.13 Coolest 25th 1993 -0.51 -0.92 +0.07 +0.12
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
UW-RSS +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 25th 1993 -0.51 -0.92 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 11th 2010 +0.55 +0.99
Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
March
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 31st 1993 -0.29 -0.52 +0.02 +0.03
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.54 +0.97
Ties: 2007
RSS +0.22 +0.40 Coolest 29th 1993, 1989 -0.31 -0.56 +0.07 +0.13
Warmest 5th 1998 +0.51 +0.92
Ties: 2007, 2004
UW-UAH +0.20 +0.36 Coolest 32nd 1993 -0.38 -0.68 +0.07 +0.13
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.62 +1.12
UW-RSS +0.28 +0.50 Coolest 31st 1993 -0.41 -0.74 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.58 +1.04
Ties: 2002
RATPAC* +0.46 +0.83 Coolest 55th 1965 -0.90 -1.62 +0.15 +0.27
Warmest 2nd 2010 +0.79 +1.42

*RATPAC rank is based on 56 years of data

Stratosphere

March Stratosphere
March Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.22 -0.40 Coolest 12th 1999 -0.61 -1.10 -0.32 -0.57
Warmest 24th 1983 +1.21 +2.18
RSS -0.24 -0.43 Coolest 11th 2012, 1999 -0.55 -0.99 -0.27 -0.49
Warmest 25th 1992 +1.16 +2.09
Year-to-Date Stratosphere
January–
March
Anomaly Rank
(out of 35 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.30 -0.54 Coolest 11th 2006 -0.55 -0.99 -0.35 -0.62
Warmest 25th 1983 +1.32 +2.38
RSS -0.35 -0.63 Coolest 8th 2012 -0.56 -1.01 -0.31 -0.56
Warmest 28th 1983 +1.24 +2.23

Background Information

Temperatures above the Earth's surface are measured within the lower troposphere, middle troposphere, and stratosphere using in-situ balloon-borne instruments (radiosondes) and polar-orbiting satellites (NOAA's TIROS-N). The radiosonde and satellite records have been adjusted to remove time-dependent biases (artificialities caused by changes in radiosonde instruments and measurement practices as well as changes in satellite instruments and orbital features through time). Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements date back to 1979.

The mid-troposphere temperatures are centered in the in the atmospheric layer approximately 3–10 km [2–6 miles] above the Earth's surface, which also includes a portion of the lower stratosphere. (The Microwave Sounding Unit [MSU] channel used to measure mid-tropospheric temperatures receives about 25 percent of its signal above 10 km [6 miles].) Because the stratosphere has cooled due to increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere and losses of ozone in the stratosphere, the stratospheric contribution to the tropospheric average, as measured from satellites, creates an artificial component of cooling to the mid-troposphere temperatures. The University of Washington (UW) versions of the UAH and RSS analyses attempt to remove the stratospheric influence from the mid-troposphere measurements, and as a result the UW versions tend to have a larger warming trend than either the UAH or RSS versions. For additional information, please see NCDC's Microwave Sounding Unit page.

The radiosonde data used in this global analysis were developed using the Lanzante, Klein, Seidel (2003) ("LKS") bias-adjusted dataset and the First Difference Method (Free et al. 2004) (RATPAC). Additional details are available. Satellite data have been adjusted by the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). An independent analysis is also performed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and a third analysis has been performed by Dr. Qiang Fu of the University of Washington (UW) (Fu et al. 2004)** to remove the influence of the stratosphere on the mid-troposphere value. Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements began in 1979.

References

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Upper Air for March 2013, published online April 2013, retrieved on December 19, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2013/3.