|NOAA says the globe had its warmest|
March in modern record this year. The only
major cold spot was the northeast U.S. and
On a global basis, March averaged 0.85 degrees above the 20th century average for the month. But if you take the whole world into account, it's impossible to get a month that is several degrees warmer or colder than normal.
That 0.85 degree departure from normal in March is the third greatest of any month since the NCDC has kept track of such things.
The only notable cold area on Earth in March was the northeastern United States and eastern Canada.
This is the latest in what has seemingly become a constant string of new heat records across the globe.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center said Arctic sea ice reached its lowest extent on record for the month of March.
As Dr. Jeff Masters noted in a recent blog post, five nations or territories have already recorded their hottest temperatures on record so far in 2015, and the year is still young. The year with the most nations or territories with new all time heat records was 2010 with 21 such records, but two of those records have since been broken.
The fingerprints of human-induced global warming are all over this latest barrage of hot climate data, but it's not the only hand in the mix.
A developing El Nino is very likely helping to boost the nearly worldwide heat. When this periodic warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean hits, global temperatures tend to spike upward, no matter what humans might be doing to the planet.
The combination of global warming and El Nino means there's a good chance 2015 will be the hottest year in modern records for the Earth as a whole. Right now, 2014 stands as the hottest times man has experienced since well before the 1880s, when record keeping got a whole lot more detailed.
Very likely, there might be some years, maybe 2017, or 2018, that are "cooler" than 2014 or 2015, because El Nino, if it develops, will have probably ended by then. This could bring on a very subtle, very temporary global cooling for a couple years, maybe.
When we get a year or two that's not a new worldwide heat record, we'll hear the inevitable, "See, the world is cooling." from those who would oppose any efforts to combat global warming.
But those are just political talking points. Because of the myriad factors and cycles that affect climate, some years will be warmer than others, even as the general trend line goes up and up and up.
That's what you need to follow, the general trend line. And certainly not a random cold spell in which some U.S. Senator can declare global warming a non-issue because he went outside and made a snowball during the winter.
Bill Maher, that very blunt political comedian, had a blistering segment on climate change during his show this week. You might agree with the guy, you might not on all kinds of subjects he touches upon, but you have to admit, Maher cuts to the chase.
|Bill Maher mocking Ted Cruz for when Cruz|
compared himself to Galileo while saying
he doubted climate change exists.
Like him or not, Maher goes for the kill.
In his climate rant, he mocked politicians who continue to say they don't know enough about global warming because they're not scientists.
Kind of like saying legislators can't appropriate funding for a new road because they are not dump trucks.
Maher said many GOPers' public stance on climate denial isn't for the general population. He says it's for the corporate donors who keep them in office..
Or as Mahar crudely put it: "It's not why politicians suck more than ever, it's who they're sucking more than ever.
The whole video is worth watching, if only for the bitter laughs. So go ahead: