Real Global Temperature Trend, p13 – First 3 months 2016 are top 3 hottest months on record, 2016 now certain new hottest year

2014 was the hottest year on record. 2015 is the hottest year on record. January, February & March were the three hottest months on record (with December 2015 now number 4). 2016 will be the hottest year on record. Yes, climate change is progressing neatly.

Global temperature graph NASA GISS for March 2016 record
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p12 – March breaks February record, says JMA. Have +1C peaks become new monthly norm?

We knew that in early March the northern hemisphere broke the 2 degrees pre-industrial temperature limit. We did not expect it would also break February’s global record. But it did.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) that ‘insane temperature peak’ of February 2016 is apparently not as insane as we thought. Because the next month, March 2016, has a positive temperature anomaly that is exactly as high – on the second decimal that is(!) – as the previous month if we compare to the 1981-2000 climate average, as JMA is accustomed to.

When it’s a draw we guess you need to lower the baseline. JMA also uses 20th century average as a baseline (a step in the good direction anyway) – and against that baseline March has just broken the unbreakable record of February, and we can add yet another month to a new mountain chain of extreme global temperature peaks (that have very little to do with El Niño – and a lot with climate change).

temperature graph March 2016 broke global record - JMA
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p11 – Under agreed 1.5 degrees target world has 8 years of emissions for rest of century

And that understanding has just ended the Age of Coal. Thank you coal – it’s been great fun. We’ll have to leave the rest of you where you’ve been for the previous millions of years.

In our quest to uncover the ‘Real’ Global Temperature Trend we are closing in on a value for the ‘Real’ Global Temperature (RGT) – that is the observed temperature minus all masking factors, including thermal inertia. Today we take a look at values the latest IPCC report (2014) uses – to establish a sense of ‘how long we still have’ before we breach the newly agreed 1.5 degrees climate target.

Molecular structure of coal. Coal is carbon intensive, emits a lot of CO2
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p10 – Refining cloud feedbacks lifts climate sensitivity to 5-5.3 degrees(!), say Yale researchers

Climate models have falsely assumed a (strong) cloud brightening cooling feedback, researchers of Yale University (Ivy Tan & Trude Storelvmo) and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Mark Zelinka) write in Science. Refining cloud behaviour in a warming atmosphere leads to far higher calculation of climate sensitivity – and therefore expected 21st century warming.

Yes. Part 10 of our series to unveil the ‘Real’ Global Temperature Trend is a real shocker.

cloud ice feedbacks - a complicated matter, but climate sensitivity is higher!
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p9 – ‘Not all Climate Forcers are equal, so Climate Sensitivity is Higher,’ NASA says

Climate sensitivity is hot these days. That is because ‘the lukewarmers’* have tried to suggest it is overestimated – and now real climate scientists are publishing studies showing the opposite: climate sensitivity may be underestimated.

Revising climate sensitivity upwards, according to NASA GISS
Revising equilibrium climate sensitivity upwards, according to NASA GISS. Under ‘effective radiative forcing’ 20th century observational studies match complex models and paleoclimatology’s best estimates for CO2 climate sensitivity.

Today it’s the folks at NASA GISS, who recently published on the matter in Nature. Tomorrow it’s a Yale University-led research group, that just published about climate sensitivity in Science. You’ve guessed it – our quest to uncover the ‘Real’ Global Temperature Trend continues!

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Real Global Temperature Trend, p8 – Major eruption of Mexican Popocatépetl volcano can cause temporary cooling, 1997 Nature study warned

In our series about the ‘Real’ Global Temperature Trend we’ve learned not to exaggerate the climate cooling potential of volcanoes. That is because many volcanoes are of the wrong type, lie on the wrong latitude – or, the vast majority, are simply too small to cause a significant dip in global temperatures.

Webcam image of Popocatépetl explosive eruption of April 3 2016
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p7 – ‘Volcanoes did not cool the Earth in the 1980s, so Climate Sensitivity at least 2.1 to 8.9 degrees Celsius’

Even if you assume a low value for the variables of SO2 cooling and the rate of heat uptake by the deep ocean. Yes, that caught our eyes too.

“Studies of these [volcanic eruptions and El Niño] effects using climate models have improved understanding of the climate system and increased confidence in projections of global warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gases” – Alan Robock, Rutgers University in Encyclopedia of Global Environmental Change (2002)

Major volcanic eruptions indicate climate sensitivity might be higher
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Real Global Temperature Trend, p6 – THIS is the line you get when you combine ALL (established) temperature measurements

You know about our series by now. We’re investigating the ‘Real Global Temperature Trend‘. That means, as we swim through a turbulent ocean of climate records, we want to maintain a clear view on the horizon – to see where exactly we’re going, and how fast.

To do so the below graph is very helpful. Very helpful for anyone who wants to know what’s going on with the climate. Because before you can establish what exactly should be the height and shape of the climatological trend line (spoiler: that one is higher than this one, do follow our series to understand why) you of course first need to be able to draw a proper statistical trend line.

Global temperature trend line from observed data - 5 datasets
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