Tropopsphere

Lower Troposphere

May Lower Troposphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
RSS +0.40 +0.72 Coolest 37th 1985 -0.47 -0.85 +0.18 +0.32
Warmest 8th 2020 +0.67 +1.21
March-May Lower Troposphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
RSS +0.44 +0.79 Coolest 38th 1985 -0.46 -0.83 +0.19 +0.35
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.78 +1.40
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
RSS +0.40 +0.72 Coolest 37th 1985 -0.43 -0.77 +0.20 +0.35
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.83 +1.49
Ties: 2021

Mid-troposphere

May Mid-troposphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.29 +0.52 Coolest 38th 1982, 1985 -0.32 -0.58 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 7th 1998 +0.64 +1.15
RSS +0.27 +0.49 Coolest 36th 1989 -0.34 -0.61 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 9th 1998 +0.59 +1.06
STAR +0.21 +0.38 Coolest 33rd 1989 -0.35 -0.63 +0.11 +0.20
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.59 +1.06
Ties: 2001, 2004
March-May Mid-troposphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.32 +0.58 Coolest 38th 1985 -0.36 -0.65 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.68 +1.22
RSS +0.29 +0.52 Coolest 38th 1993 -0.33 -0.59 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.65 +1.17
RATPAC* +0.52 +0.94 Coolest 59th 1965 -0.92 -1.66 +0.17 +0.31
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.94 +1.69

*RATPAC rank is based on 65 years of data

Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.26 +0.47 Coolest 38th 1985 -0.37 -0.67 +0.13 +0.24
Warmest 7th 2016 +0.69 +1.24
RSS +0.24 +0.43 Coolest 35th 1989 -0.33 -0.59 +0.13 +0.23
Warmest 9th 2016 +0.67 +1.21
Ties: 2004
STAR +0.17 +0.31 Coolest 33rd 1989, 1993 -0.32 -0.58 +0.11 +0.19
Warmest 12th 1998, 2016 +0.58 +1.04
RATPAC* +0.58 +1.04 Coolest 61st 1965 -0.93 -1.67 +0.18 +0.32
Warmest 5th 2016 +1.02 +1.84

*RATPAC rank is based on 65 years of data

Stratosphere

Lower Stratosphere

May Lower Stratosphere
May Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.46 -0.83 Coolest 5th 2011 -0.67 -1.21 -0.24 -0.44
Warmest 40th 1992 +0.91 +1.64
RSS -0.36 -0.65 Coolest 6th 2011 -0.57 -1.03 -0.18 -0.32
Warmest 38th 1992 +0.89 +1.60
Ties: 2008
STAR -0.33 -0.59 Coolest 9th 2011 -0.56 -1.01 -0.18 -0.33
Warmest 36th 1992 +0.90 +1.62
March-May Lower Stratosphere
March–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.39 -0.70 Coolest 8th 2012 -0.53 -0.95 -0.23 -0.41
Warmest 37th 1992 +1.04 +1.87
RSS -0.32 -0.58 Coolest 9th 2012 -0.45 -0.81 -0.17 -0.31
Warmest 36th 1992 +1.02 +1.84
STAR -0.29 -0.52 Coolest 10th 2012 -0.45 -0.81 -0.18 -0.33
Warmest 34th 1992 +1.03 +1.85
Ties: 1995, 2021
Year-to-Date Lower Stratosphere
January–
May
Anomaly Rank
(out of 44 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.35 -0.63 Coolest 12th 2012 -0.57 -1.03 -0.25 -0.44
Warmest 33rd 1983 +1.14 +2.05
RSS -0.29 -0.52 Coolest 11th 2012 -0.48 -0.86 -0.19 -0.34
Warmest 34th 1983 +1.06 +1.91
STAR -0.27 -0.49 Coolest 13th 2012 -0.47 -0.85 -0.19 -0.35
Warmest 31st 1983 +1.06 +1.91
Ties: 2011

Background

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 NCEI'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 Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Monthly Upper Air Report for May 2022, published online June 2022, retrieved on June 25, 2022 from https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/upper-air/202205.

Metadata

https://data.nodc.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/iso?id=gov.noaa.ncdc:C00762