Evidence that ERA5-based Global Temperatures Have Spurious Warming

by Dr. Roy Spencer, August 6, 2019 in GlobalWarming

“Reading, we have a problem.”

As a followup to my post about whether July 2019 was the warmest July on record (globally-averaged), I’ve been comparing reanalysis datasets since 1979. It appears that the ERA5 reanalysis upon which WMO record temperature pronouncements are made might have a problem, with spurious warmth in recent years.

Here’s a comparison of the global-average surface air temperature variations from three reanalysis datasets: ERA5 (ECMWF), CFSv2 (NOAA/NCEP), and MERRA (NASA/GSFC). Note that only CFSv2 covers the full period, January 1979 to July 2019:

ERA5 has a substantially warmer trend than the other two. By differencing ERA5 with the other datasets we can see that there are some systematic changes that occur in ERA5, especially around 2009-2010, as well as after 1998: