One popular climate record that shows a slower atmospheric warming trend than other studies contains a data calibration problem, and when the problem is corrected the results fall in line with other records and climate models, according to a new University of Washington study.
The finding is important because it helps confirm that models that simulate global warming agree with observations, said Stephen Po-Chedley, a UW graduate student in atmospheric sciences who wrote the paper with Qiang Fu, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences. They identified a problem with the satellite temperature record put together by the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Researchers there were the first to release such a record, in 1989, and it has often been cited by climate change skeptics to cast doubt on models that show the impact of greenhouse gases on global warming....
"There's been a debate for many, many years about the different results but we didn't know which had a problem," Fu said. "This discovery reduces uncertainty, which is very important."
When they applied their correction to the Alabama-Huntsville climate record for a UW-derived tropospheric temperature measurement, it effectively eliminated differences with the other studies....
Once Po-Chedley and Fu apply the correction, the Alabama-Huntsville record shows 0.21 F warming per decade in the tropics since 1979, instead of its previous finding of 0.13 F warming. Surface measurements show the temperature of Earth in the tropics has increased by about 0.21 F per decade.....Usual cautions apply - maybe this correction will turn out to be incorrect. If not, this will be the second time the UAH series will turn out to have a mistake that bias it to underestimate warming.
Probably just a coincidence.
UPDATE: post title revised per comments.
UPDATE 2: per John Mashey, more than twice. See p.100, and especially see "Corrections made" table in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAH_satellite_temperature_dataset showing there are 4 ups and 3 downs, not counting the latest up. Ups tend to be bigger than downs.
UPDATE 3: thinking maybe I'm a bit too snarky here. When's the last time I created a satellite temperature series? Anyway, yet another case of observations falling in line with standard theory.
UPDATE: Eli: Strictly speaking this paper is about the TMT product, the mid-trop, not the TLT, the lower trop, however since both use the same satellite, and TLT is a mix of detectors using some majic software that Roy and John have not shared, if the Fu fits, Roy can wear it.