Since 1979, NOAA satellites have been carrying instruments which measure the natural microwave thermal emissions from oxygen in the atmosphere. The intensity of the signals these microwave radiometers measure at different microwave frequencies is directly proportional to the temperature of different, deep layers of the atmosphere.
The temperatures in the four layers presented here were once calculated using a hodgepodge of code that had been written by different scientists over years. Eventually a new version (6.0) was written by a single scientist resulting in 9000 lines of FORTRAN code. In 2015 Roy W. Spencer et al. of the University of Alabama in Huntsville used this to reanalyse the available raw atmospheric data since 1978. He writes:
Version 6 of the UAH MSU/AMSU global satellite temperature dataset is by far the most extensive revision of the procedures and computer code we have ever produced in over 25 years of global temperature monitoring. The two most significant changes from an end-user perspective are (1) a decrease in the global-average lower tropospheric (LT) temperature trend from +0.140 C/decade to +0.114 C/decade (Dec. 1978 through Mar. 2015); and (2) the geographic distribution of the LT trends, including higher spatial resolution.Roy W. Spencer et al. 2015
Of course the first thing to notice is that there is very little global warming trend in any of the 4 atmospheric layers analysed. The Lower Stratosphere (LS) and the Tropopause (TP) show a cooling trend while the Mid-Troposphere (MT) and the Lower Troposphere (LT) show a slight warming trend. However looking at the data from 1998 onward there is no trend at all — no warming at least in all 4 layers of the atmosphere.
That was 5 years ago. What do we see now?
Latest Global Average Tropospheric Temperatures
Currently the Troposphere temperature data do show a slight warming tend since 1979. But from 1998 there still is very little trend. 2016 was only slightly hotter than 1998. On the 13-month running average there is very little difference between 1998 and 2016. This fact has been referred to as the pause. In 2015 I wrote about this in The Pause continues. Even if the Troposphere temperature does trend upwards in the coming years the rise is extremely small. Certainly nothing there that man cannot overcome using technology. Spencer calculates only 0.56 degrees C rise compared to the 1981-2010 average. The trend was determined to be about 0.11/C per decade.
If it continues we should expect to see a global rise in temperature of 0.11 degrees C in the next 10 years. Then what is all this hype about only 12 years to react? Or it will be too late!
The Earth has had much higher temperatures than this in the past. Maybe we didn’t have satellites back then which could measure the thermal emissions from oxygen but recorded history tells us of periods of intense heat and also of intense cold in the past.