Diaz, H. F., 1990: A comparison of "global" temperature estimates from satellite and instrumental data, 1979-88. Geophys. Res. Lett., 17, 2373-2376.


A comparison of surface temperature changes over land and ocean areas with tropospheric air temperatures derived from satellite measurements over the period 1979-88 reveals differences in the relative rankings of the individual yearly values over the oceans. The discrepancy occurs mainly in the warm half of the set of years, with good agreement evident during the colder half. Since the land data agrees well with the satellite measurements, unless there is an unknown problem with the surface marine temperatures, it appears that interannual surface temperature variations over the oceans compare poorly with such variations in the troposphere above it, particularly when the oceans are relatively warm. Agreement between the satellite measurements and an index of tropospheric temperature derived from a set of globally distributed radiosonde stations is excellent.