More surface warming is observed than atmospheric warming?

With greenhouse gases in the troposphere absorbing re-radiated infrared from the surface, climate models suggest more warming in that region of absorption. But early observations showed that surface warming was slightly greater than the warming of the upper air temperature.

While such a temperature pattern would pose a problem for the models that attribute the observed warming to greenhouse gases, subsequent claims have been made that the measured atmospheric temperatures had systematic errors. It is claimed that the corrected temperatures show agreement with greenhouse modeling.

This is a plot of temperatures from Wikipedia, with the illustration credited to Robert A. Rohde. It compares direct surface data with microwave sounder satellite data of lower atmosphere temperatures (denoted UAH and plotted in red) and another interpretation of the same data set labled RSS and plotted in blue. The straight lines are indicate the average slopes of the temperaature vs time lines between 1982 and 2004. These data sets indicate slightly more rapid warming of the lower atmosphere, in agreement with greenhouse effect modeling.

Skeptical views of CO2 driven global warming

Collins, et al.
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