Since when did 0.625 equal 0.632?

The annual temperature for 2020 in the ERA5 series from Copernicus was 0.625°C making it the second warmest year behind 2016 in their record that started in 1979. But Copernicus are under the impression that 2020 “tied” for the warmest year on record with 2016 – how can that be when 0.632°C is higher than 0.625°C? I’ve asked the question of Copernicus in Twitter to try and find out why. In the meantime the BBC News seem to have beaten me to it because they include a quote from Copernicus in their news article which says:-

The Copernicus service concludes that while 2020 was very marginally cooler than 2016, the two years are statistically on a par as the differences between the figures for the two years are smaller than the typical differences found in other temperature databases for the same period.

Copernicus
Courtesy of BBC News

So that’s all right then very scientific then – when you don’t get the result (or headline) that you want come up with a bit of gobbledygook. If Copernicus think they can measure global temperatures to three decimal point accuracy they should stick to that accuracy, and declare that 2020 was the second warmest year on record and fractionally behind 2016.
It won’t be long before the GISTemp results are out for 2020 in which I’m sure 2020 will be crowned the warmest year on record. I also anticipate that the CRUTEM4 series reveal their annual temperature (which won’t be out for a good few weeks) we will find that 2020 was second warmest. The UKMO have been crafty though and have dreamed up a super series that combines three of the leading temperature series into one, and possibly in that one we might end up with another “tie” to appease all the competing organisations who monitor global temperatures.

4 thoughts on “Since when did 0.625 equal 0.632?”

    1. You don’t have to be a scientist to as an obvious question like that one.
      In this case the question is valid enough it’s the answer that’s a bit dodgy!

  1. We’ve been told for years that the temperature is on an upward death spiral & there are a lot of political & academic careers riding on that scenario; they cant lose face by admitting that like investments …values may rise or fall.

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