Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence
Article first published online: 9 JUL 2004
Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 31, Issue 13, July 2004
How to Cite
2004), Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L13207, doi:10.1029/2004GL020212., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 9 JUL 2004
- Article first published online: 9 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 JUN 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 27 MAY 2004
- Manuscript Received: 9 APR 2004
 Observations suggest that the earth's surface has been warming relative to the troposphere for the last 25 years; this is not only difficult to explain but also contrary to the results of climate models. We provide new evidence that the disparity is real. Introducing an additional data set, R2 2-meter temperatures, a diagnostic variable related to tropospheric temperature profiles, we find trends derived from it to be in close agreement with satellite measurements of tropospheric temperature. This suggests that the disparity likely is a result of near-surface processes. We find that the disparity does not occur uniformly across the globe, but is primarily confined to tropical regions which are primarily oceanic. Since the ocean measurements are sea surface temperatures, we suggest that the disparity is probably associated with processes at the ocean-atmosphere interface. Our study thus makes unlikely some of the explanations advanced to account for the disparity; it also demonstrates the importance of distinguishing between land, sea and air measurements.