The reason the satellite gathered lower troposphere datasets are rising over the last 6.5 years while the surface temperature datasets are falling is due to the phenomenon I first identified around five years ago by examining the sea surface, land surface and lower troposphere datasets and the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR)dataset, and the solar activity and surface sunshine hours datasets which tells us about the rate that energy is headed back into space compared to the rate it is coming in at.
What I discovered was that land surface temperatures mimic sea surface temperatures a few months later. The ocean is the big dog in the Earth's climate system. It can contain as much heat in the top six feet as the entire atmosphere above it. The Sun heats the ocean because it's rays penetrate 300 feet down into it. 'back radiation' from greenhouse gases can't do this because they are long wave radiation emanating from a cooler sky to a warmer sea. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that heat does not pass from cooler bodies to hotter bodies.
Of course the warmies say this doesn't stop an atmosphere that has more greenhouse gases in it from slowing down the rate the ocean cools at by making the air warmer and therefore harder for the ocean to shed heat into, and indeed this is what the warmies think has happened. But there's an obvious problem with their theory, which is that the amount of radiation leaving Earth's atmosphere for space increased over the global warming period 1975-2004, rather than being trapped and redistributed downwards.
The logical explanation is that the diminished cloud cover (as verified by ISCCP weather satellite data and now two new ground based studies from Spain and China) over the period allowed more sunshine into the oceans, thus raising their temperature. This of course raised the temperature of the near surface air over the land as well, and so made it have a stronger differential to the coldness of space. That's why the more sophisticated explanation of how the 'enhanced greenhouse effect' is supposed to work fails.
In that explanation, the 'effective altitude of emission' rises due to the extra co2 making the atmophere more opaque to outgoing radiation, and since the higher altitude is colder, the surface has to rise in temperature to get the atmosphere to emit at a higher temperature so it can lose as much energy back to space as arrives from the Sun.
But this is back to front. The increased OLR proves that more energy from outside the system must have been getting in. Otherwise the increased OLR would mean that the system would have been cooling rather than warming. CO2 doesn't create energy, it just slows down its transmission outwards from Earth. But since the surface warmed while OLR increased too, additional energy must have been reaching the surface from outside.
Since the Sun only varies by around 0.1% over the 11 year cycle, and increased by around the same again over the C20th, it's additional output must be amplified by changes in cloud cover, and this is indeed what prof. Nir Shaviv of Tel Aviv university found in his study on using the oceans as a calorimeter to measure the effect of increased insolation at the surface. His findings were published in a paper at the Journal of Geophysical Research, but you can read it for free here:
The energy balance between OLR and the incoming sunshine proves that this must be a bigger effect than an increase in co2 can have, and so it must be the majority cause of the warming we saw in the late C20th.
But things have changed. The ISCCP weather satellites have measured an increase in cloud since the turn of the millennium and this is confirmed by another method of measuring how much sunlight is being reflected back into space. The Earthshine project measures the brightness of the light being reflected by the Earth onto the moon's surface, and this has increased over the same period, showing that more sunlight is being reflected away before it can get to the surface.
So what has all this got to do with why it is that the lower troposphere temperature has increased over the last 6.5 years while the surface air temperature has fallen?
Since the sun went quiet and cloud cover consequently increased again, not as much sunshine has got into the oceans, and consequently they have started cooling slightly since 2004. This makes the sea surface has cool down, and since land surface temperatures mimic what the sea surface does a few months later, they have cooled too. But the lower troposphere higher up above the ground has warmed, because the excess energy stored in the oceans while the sun was very active and cloud diminished between 1975 and 2004 is now being emitted back out into the atmosphere, and from there out to space.
But how come this energy being emitted into the atmosphere from the oceans isn't being trapped by the extra co2 and then re-radiated back down to the surface and warming it up?
The answer is that it is trying its best, but the effect is much less powerful in relation to the effect of a more active sun in the warming period and a less active sun now, than the warmist theoreticians believed, because they didn't take into account the effect of the active sun causing diminishing cloud cover, and so the sea surface and ground is cooling and the heat is escaping back to space now the sun has become sleepy, keeping the troposphere warm on its way.
Solar cycle 24 is very low, even though it should be near maximum now, and if the methods my research team has developed for predicting solar activity are correct, then solar cycle 25 won't be any stronger. Which is why I'm confident Dean will be buying the beers in 2020, though we might be drinking them under cloudier skies.
And that's the memo, as my dear friend Lubos Motl will, I hope, be saying for many years to come.