According to the now-finalized RSS satellite-derived June 2016 temperatures, measurements show that theglobal warming pause (or hiatus) is on track to resume with a prediction for even lower temps this winter. For June 2016, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) RSS satellite record showed Earth was only 0.46 degrees Celsius (0.84°F) above the 30-year average, a marked decline since its peak in February 2016. They also show worldwide temperatures dropping a full half a degree Celsius since their peak and are actually below 1998 levels for the past three months.

The RSS data is also on par with the UAH satellite dataset. Once the El Niño in the tropical Pacific Ocean officially stopped, NOAA also showed a precipitous decline in temperatures using land and sea-based measuring systems.

El Nino’s effects on Satellite Dataset

Dr. Christy, a climatologist at the University of Alabama/Huntsville (UAH) who maintains and produces the UAH satellite records, notes that 16 of the warmest months in the satellite record (and 21 out of the warmest 25) all occurred during one of three major El Niño events: 1997/1998, 2009/2010, and 2015/2016. He says that the effects from an El Niño are especially noticeable when comparing temps from a specific month. For example, just looking at a previous month like May shows it was warmer during an El Niño by a statistical margin.

Dr. Christy says that June 2016 was the second warmest month in the Northern Hemisphere (0.51 Celsius compared to June 1998 at 0.60 Celsius above seasonal norms), but only the eighth warmest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Despite the effects of El Niño warming, it was only the sixth warmest June in the tropics. This is quite a stretch from so-called ‘hottest year on record’ claims based on heavily jiggered land and sea temperature data used by NASA GISS and NOAA.

Dr. Christy notes that while there is a clear sign of warming in the satellite record, trying to infer long-term trends about our climate based on months or a few years is imprudent. Especially when above-average months are driven by El Niño events.

Regional and Global differences

Regionally, the June 2016 UAH global temperatures show the Northern Hemisphere was only 0.51 degrees Celsius (0.92°F) warmer over the 30-year average, the Southern Hemisphere was roughly 0.17 degrees Celsius (0.79°F) warmer, and the Tropics were 0.38 degrees Celsius (0.68°F) warmer.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says there is a 75 percent likelihood a La Niña will form just in time for the 2016/2017 winter, likely bringing colder winters, resulting in higher heating bills.

Compared to seasonal norms, Christy says, the warmest average temperature anomaly on Earth in June was in the eastern Antarctic, south of the Zhongshan station. June temperatures there were roughly 4.24 degrees Celsius (about 7.63°F) warmer than seasonal norms. When contrasted to seasonal norms, the coolest average temperature on Earth in June 2016 was in northeastern Russia, near the town of Vayegi, where the average June temperature was 3.40 degrees Celsius (about 6.12°F) cooler than normal for June.

NASA recently announced that Antarctica has grown about 33 percent in size, adding more ice than it’s losing.

How satellites measure temperatures

The satellites measure the Earth’s temperature from the ground (or sea level) to five miles up and considered the gold standard by NASA (they aren't affected by non-natural forces). The data is available to the public and both the RSS and UAH datasets are available to download. Dr. Christy, who also works with climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, uses data collected by advanced microwave sounding units on NOAA and NASA satellites for nearly all regions of the Earth. This includes remote desert, ocean, and rainforest areas, where climate data is not otherwise available.