Dr. Roy Spencer:

Strong December Cooling Leads to 2016 Being Statistically Indistinguishable from 1998

The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly for December 2016 was +0.24 deg. C, down substantially from the November value of +0.45 deg. C (click for full size version):

The resulting 2016 annual average global temperature anomaly is +0.50 deg. C, which is (a statistically insignificant) 0.02 deg. C warmer than 1998 at +0.48 deg. C. We estimate that 2016 would have had to be 0.10 C warmer than 1998 to be significantly different at the 95% confidence level. Both 2016 and 1998 were strong El Nino years.

The 38 years in the satellite record, ranked from warmest to coolest (and ignoring statistical uncertainty) are:

RANK YEAR deg.C.
01 2016 +0.50
02 1998 +0.48
03 2010 +0.34
04 2015 +0.26
05 2002 +0.22
06 2005 +0.20
07 2003 +0.19
08 2014 +0.18
09 2007 +0.16
10 2013 +0.13
11 2001 +0.12
12 2006 +0.11
13 2009 +0.10
14 2004 +0.08
15 1995 +0.07
16 2012 +0.06
17 1987 +0.05
18 1988 +0.04
19 2011 +0.02
20 1991 +0.02
21 1990 +0.01
22 1997 -0.01
23 1996 -0.01
24 1999 -0.02
25 2000 -0.02
26 1983 -0.04
27 1980 -0.04
28 1994 -0.06
29 2008 -0.10
30 1981 -0.11
31 1993 -0.20
32 1989 -0.21
33 1979 -0.21
34 1986 -0.22
35 1984 -0.24
36 1992 -0.28
37 1982 -0.30
38 1985 -0.36

The global, hemispheric, and tropical LT anomalies from the 30-year (1981-2010) average for the last 24 months are:

YEAR MO GLOBE NHEM. SHEM. TROPICS
2015 01 +0.30 +0.44 +0.15 +0.13
2015 02 +0.19 +0.34 +0.04 -0.07
2015 03 +0.18 +0.28 +0.07 +0.04
2015 04 +0.09 +0.19 -0.01 +0.08
2015 05 +0.27 +0.34 +0.20 +0.27
2015 06 +0.31 +0.38 +0.25 +0.46
2015 07 +0.16 +0.29 +0.03 +0.48
2015 08 +0.25 +0.20 +0.30 +0.53
2015 09 +0.23 +0.30 +0.16 +0.55
2015 10 +0.41 +0.63 +0.20 +0.53
2015 11 +0.33 +0.44 +0.22 +0.52
2015 12 +0.45 +0.53 +0.37 +0.61
2016 01 +0.54 +0.69 +0.39 +0.84
2016 02 +0.83 +1.16 +0.50 +0.99
2016 03 +0.73 +0.94 +0.52 +1.09
2016 04 +0.71 +0.85 +0.58 +0.93
2016 05 +0.54 +0.65 +0.44 +0.71
2016 06 +0.34 +0.51 +0.17 +0.37
2016 07 +0.39 +0.48 +0.30 +0.48
2016 08 +0.43 +0.55 +0.32 +0.49
2016 09 +0.44 +0.49 +0.39 +0.37
2016 10 +0.41 +0.42 +0.39 +0.46
2016 11 +0.45 +0.41 +0.50 +0.37
2016 12 +0.24 +0.19 +0.30 +0.21