Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Worldwide, March Was The Second Hottest On Record, With An Ominous Asterisk

Most of the world was hotter than normal in March, 2017,
according to NOAA. It was the second warmest March
on record for the globe, only behind 2016
NOAA's National Centers For Environmental Information just released their monthly report on the world's climate, and hot times certainly continue.

March, 2017, on a global basis was the second hottest March on record, behind only 2016.

Here's the weird part, and it takes a bit of explanation:

Global temperatures rise when there's an El Nino. That's why the world set so many hot temperature records in 2015 and 2016. Global warming, combined with an El Nino, boosted temperatures, leading to those all-time records.

El Nino is long gone, though forecasters think it might re-emerge later this year. Things should have cooled off in 2017, and they really haven't.

The weird thing is this: March, 2017 was the first month on record that was at least one degree warmer than average at a time when no El Nino was happening. Records go back to the 1880s

As always in even very warm worldwide months, there were relative cool spots in March, mainly Alaska, much of Canada and New England, and to a lesser extent southeast Asia.

But many areas were mega-warm. Siberia was off-the-charts hot for March. Germany had its warmest March on record. Central Australia and the south-central United States also had a record warm March this year.

The first three months of 2017 combined were also the second hottest on record, bested only by the first three months of 2016.

The United States itself is going through a prolonged, unprecedented heat wave,

According to the Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang:

"The latest one, two, three, four and five year periods - ending in March - ranked as the warmest in 122 years of record keeping for the Lower 48 states, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

The Washington Post lists a series of freakishly hot spells in different regions of the country during this five year period. They include the 70 degree readings here in Vermont on Christmas Eve, 2015.

We here in Vermont have definitely been sharing in these bizarre warm spells. That includes the 72 degree temperatures in Burlington, Vermont in late February that shattered high temperature records for the month.

The year 2016 in Burlington had the most days of any year dating back to the 1880s with temperatures getting up to 80 degrees or higher.

If the climate in the United States were remaining near normal - which it clearly has not given the NOAA information from the Washington Post - the number of record highs and record lows in a given month or year would be roughly equal.

Just to cherry pick an example, February, 2017 in the United States logged 7,137 record highs and oly 173 record lows. Instead of a 1-1 ratio between highs and lows, it was a 41-1 ratio. Bizarre.

All this data is a boatload of new evidence, as if we needed it, that the climate is really off the rails locally, in the nation, and in the world.

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