|NCDC's map of global temperatures in Sept. 2014|
are showing a LOT of global heat.
The whole world was hot, hot, hot.
The National Climate Data Center said Monday that if you combine ocean and land temperatures, September was the hottest such month since they started keeping track of these things 135 years ago.
Monday's announcement echos NASA, which earlier this month, using their own measurements, also said September was the hottest on record across the globe
We might be starting a trend of renewed, more intense warming, but of course it's a little too soon to be sure. But here's food for thought along those lines:
The NCDC said this year so far ties with 1998 as the hottest year on record. A lot of people who say global climate change is not happening or is a non-issue would tell you that 1998 was the hottest year on record and it's been cooling off ever since.
That's not at all right, of course. The year 1998 had a mega-El Nino, which causes global temperatures to get hotter than they normally would be, with or without global warming caused by us humans belching tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
Also, overall, the Earth's climate has continued to warm since 1998, just not at as fast a pace it was during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
Besides, 1998 isn't the world's hottest year on record. The Top Five hottest, starting with number one and working down to fifth hottest are: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2013, 2003. So global warming has kept going since 1998 despite what the naysayers tell us.
The apparent slowdown in the rate of warming over the past 15 years isn't really shocking. Many scientists say a lot of the increasing heat in recent years has been going into the oceans. Also, human caused global warming doesn't shut down other natural cycles in the climate.
Human caused global warming might overwhelm these cycles, but they're still in play. So the pace of global warming might wax and wane during different decades.
The heat of 2014 could be a sign that the slightly slower pace of global warming might be ending, but of course we would need many months and years of additional data to verify that.
But every month so far in 2014 except February ranked among the top four hottest months on record. May, June, August and September were the hottest such months on record. February brought a "cool" spell, in which the world had "only" its 18th hottest February, out of the past 135 years.
We might be heading into another El Nino, a periodic warming of the eastern Pacific ocean. As in 1998, the current building El Nino might be adding more heat on top of the warmth induced by carbon dioxide emissions.
It's unclear how strong the upcoming El Nino will be, if it comes at all. It probably won't be as strong as it was in 1997 and 1998, yet still we seem poised to break high temperature records set then.
Obviously, I hope that a faster pace of climate change isn't starting. But if it is, the people who are telling us the concept of human-caused climate change is bunk might have to change their narrative.
You know, the false one that said climate change stopped 20 years ago. I wonder what they'll come up with for a new story?