SCIENTISTS at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) recently announced that the average global sea surface temperatures in July was 62.6 degrees F making it hotter than the previous record of 1998 and the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880.
The record average is from satellite based measurements and was initially disputed by some sceptics including climate scientists Roy Spencer, University of Alabama, Huntsville. Dr Spencer initially attributed the error to a data processing blunder at NOAA, but has since conceded the blunder in the calculations was his.
So, there are official statistics that indicate sea temperatures for July 2009 are the warmest on record – even warmer than July 1998!
There are other measures of sea temperature. For example, NASA started deploying free floating Argo buoys in the world’s oceans in 2000 with the full complement of 3,000 in place by 2003, and measurements from these well spread buoys indicates that the oceans have been cooling.
Changes in ocean temperature are theoretically a much better measurement of heat accumulation, and thus global warming, than say changes in air temperature. But it seems there are more discrepancies in these data sets, and thus more potential for cherry picking from both alarmists and sceptics.
And I now understand why advisors to the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, recently insisted that sea temperature rather than air temperature is a better measure of warming.
http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/08/spurious-sst-warming-revisited/ and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/31/spencer-always-question-your-results/