Friday, January 16, 2015

BREAKING: NOAA And NASA Confirm 2014 Was Hottest Ever By Far

You're going to hear this phrase over and over again for the next few days:

So much for the "pause" in global warming

Click on this image to make it
bigger, but the record hot
2014 makes it clearer than ever
that global warming continues 
As expected, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record since detailed analyses started in 1880.

Here are some of NOAA's highlights:

* The year was 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal. That doesn't sound like much, but on a global basis, that's huge

* The year beat the old record for hottest global by 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit.

Again, that sounds miniscule, but in the past, when a record global hottest temperature was set, it was almost always by about 0.03 degrees or less, so this is big.

* 2014 was the 38th consecutive year of warmer than normal global temperatures. If you're 37 years old, you've never seen a cooler than normal year. And never will, unless something incredibly extraordinary happens.

* Four of the Top 10 global hottest years have occurred in the past five years. Nine of the Top 10 hottest years have happened in the 21st century.

* Sealing the deal for 2014, December was the hottest 12th month on record for the globe.

* In a separate analysis using a slightly different methodology and data set, NASA also concluded 2014 was easily the warmest global year on record. 

* Oceans really drove global temperatures in 2014. The combined land/ocean temperature is in the numbers I've cited already. But if you just look at the oceans without looking at land, the seas were also by far record hot in 2014. If you just look at land without considering the oceans in 2014, the year just past was "merely" fourth hottest.

* This was the first time since 1990 a global record high temperature was set without an ongoing El Nino, which is a periodic warming of the eastern Pacific. El Ninos tend to raise the world's temperatures, with or without global warmng.

That the record was broken by a large margin in a non-El Nino year is quite remarkable.

Global warming denialists up until now have been saying global warming stopped. That's because if you just looked at the past 15 years of warming on a chart, the pace of rise seemed to slow.

Plus if you cherry pick the data starting with what was once the extraordinarily hot year of 1998, which had a mega- El Nino, the rate of warming did look slow, but really wasn't.

Going back through the entire record of 120 years or so, there are periodic slow downs and speed ups of global warming. Human-caused climate change doesn't make natural climate cycles go away, and those natural cycles will influence the pace of warming over a period of years.

Of course, adding 2014 to the yearly chart of global temperatures kind of ruins the meme that warming has topped.

My bet is the denialists will now say that NASA and NOAA are fudging the data and making it look like it's warming up.

But if that actually happened, there would be so many whistleblowers coming forward with proof that it just boggles the mind that NOAA and NASA would fake the data.

Of course that won't stop politicians. Climate denying politicians now control both houses of Congress, so they'll try to end funding for any climate research or climate measurements.

Worse, Senator Ted Cruz, a real "winner," now heads the committee that controls NASA's purse strings, and Cruz still thinks global warming is a crock.

Don't misinterpret my reporting on 2014 being the hottest on record as anything resembling gleeful.

Quite the contrary. It would have been better for me and the rest of humanity if 2014 started a trend toward some global cooling, and I would have been SO happy to report that.

But that is not to be.

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