Recent global warming as confirmed by AIRS
This paper presents Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder (AIRS) surface skin temperature anomalies for the period 2003 through 2017, and compares them to station-based analyses of surface air temperature anomalies (principally the Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP)). The AIRS instrument flies on EOS Aqua, which was launched in 2002 and became stable in September 2002. AIRS surface temperatures are completely satellite-based and are totally independent of any surface-based measurements. We show in this paper that satellite-based surface temperatures can serve as an important validation of surface-based estimates and help to improve surface-based data sets in a way that can be extended back many decades to further scientific research. AIRS surface temperatures have better spatial coverage than those of GISTEMP, though at the global annual scale the two data sets are highly coherent. As in the surface-based analyses, 2016 was the warmest year yet.