Saturday, November 21, 2015

Will Earth's Hottest Month And Year Cause A Familiar Political Arc?

Trend in global tempeatures 1880 through 2014. Click on the map
to make it bigger and easier to see. You'll notice 1998 was WAY
warmer than previous years, but subsequent years were
in the general ballpark of 1998, not much cooler. I'm
predicting similar trends to 1998 as 2015 becomes by far
the hottest global year on record. 
This week we learned that October, 2015 was the hottest month for the Earth has a whole since they started keeping good records in the late 1880s. By hottest month I mean it temperatures were furthest above the long-term average.

This breaks the record for hottest month set way back in.......September 2015, says NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information. 

Yep, the month before.  October was the sixth consecutive months with record high global temperatures.

This news adds to the evidence that the year 2015 will by far be the hottest on record.

A super strong El Nino, which tends to release a lot of extra heat into the atmosphere, combined with the overall effects of climate change, caused these record high global temperatures.

I have a feeling this state of affairs might end up causing history to repeat itself. The last time we had a super strong El Nino was in 1997-98. That caused 1998, up until that time, to smash the record for the hottest year.

On charts, 1998 stuck up like a sore thumb, way above the average temperature of previous years. But then a funny thing happened. It cooled off a bit after 1998, but not much, and it wasn't nearly as cool in the early 200s as it was in the early 1990s. , .

The world continued to warm, and we eventually had more global hot records, arguably in 2005, in 2010 for sure and definitely in 2014.

But with 1998 standing up so high, at least temporarily above other years, climate change deniers looked at the charts and claimed global warming "peaked" in 1998 and a cooling trend ensued.

That was nonsense, of course. The global temperature always relaxes back downward a bit after an El Nino fades and that was true in 1998. But the world continued to heat up. You gotta look at the overall trend over a long time, and not cherry pick a year, say, 1998, to show a trend.

I bet the same thing will happen in 2015. This year will probably stick up like that proverbial sore thumb in temperature charts. I imagine 2016, or 2017, or 2018, or maybe all of the above, will turn out cooler than 2015.

But the inexorable rise will continue. I guess 2015 is just a preview of the future, just as 1998 was a preview of the the early 2010s.

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