The prefered temperature record of the warming-doubters has released the monthly update for December http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/01/global-satellites-2016-not-statistically-warmer-than-1998/
Roy Spencer puts a brave face on the headline by pointing out that 2016 wasn’t statistically hotter than the second warmest year in the satellite temperature record. Yet that is cold (warm?) comfort to those who hope that natural causes are behind global warming. The December 2016 anomaly is a drop after the El Nino of 2016 had passed but even so is relatively high.
In July Spencer had been more sceptical (not unreasonably) that 2016 would match 1998 but temperatures cooled less than was expected through the rest of the year.
Here is a different way of looking at these record years. This isn’t a great way of showing the data because one axis is just ordinal but I think it provides a change from the usual graphs.
Each year of the UAH sattelite record is plotted against its rank (1 = warmest). I’ve listed 1998 as rank 2, which might be visually misleading as the difference between 2016 and 1998 is not significant. What the graph shows is the chance of a record year increases with some reliability as we move forward in time.
Yes, to some extent it is neither here nor there whether a given year is a record or not. The actual issue is the steady warming across the board.