Improved temperature dataset from satellites show a faster warming of our climate

New tropospheric temperature satellite record compared with NASA surface measurements. Produced by Carbon Brief using data from RSS and NASA. (Source:

Long-time series of satellite datasets, such from the American MSU and AMSU sensors, are an important asset to evaluate the temperate changes in our climate system, in particular at the tropospheric level. Climate sceptics, supported by politicians (e.g. Ted Cruz during the last American campaign), have long relied on satellite datasets to claim that global warming is overestimated.

An improved temperature dataset made by researchers from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), based in California, have released a substantially revised version of their lower tropospheric temperature record. After correcting a lot of problems due to decaying orbit of satellites, the new data record not only shows:

  • a 36% faster warming since 1979 and nearly 140% faster (i.e. 2.4 times larger) warming since 1998;
  • and a much better agreement with the global surface temperature record produced by NASA.


This new reprocessed satellite data record substantially undermines the argument of climate change deniers. But still more works are necessary to evaluate the gaps with the projected climate models.

See for more information:

  • The article explained in detail on CarbonBrief here
  • “Ted Cruz keeps saying that satellites don’t show global warming. Here’s the problem” from the Washington Post here
  • Paper of Mears et al., 2017: A satellite-derived lower tropospheric atmospheric temperature dataset using an optimized adjustment for diurnal effects here
  • The FAQ about the new tropospheric temperature dataset update by Dr. Carl Mears here

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