What’s Hot, What’s Not

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

I got to thinking about the idea of a temperature field. By that I mean nothing more than an estimation of theoretical temperatures given some variables like say latitude and elevation. We all know that as we go poleward it gets colder, and the same is true when we go upwards into the mountains. So we can make a formula that can estimate the temperature at any spot on the Earth if we know its latitude and elevation. It’s an excellent estimation, with an R^2 of 0.94.

In the CERES satellite data, the relationship works out like this. Start at minus thirty-one degrees. Add sixty times the cosine of the latitude. Then subtract six degrees for every thousand metres of elevation. That gives you the estimated temperature for any given location. I note that the decrease in temperature at higher altitudes, about six degrees C…

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