Oceans, oceans, oceans. You thought the atmosphere was complex? Well, just take a look at the oceans. Oddly shaped features with disturbing cycles and conveyor belt currents. Home of the octopus, the blue whale and a Mariana Trench full of complicated science. Continue reading →
In part 16 of our temperature trend series we take a better look at one of the main reasons almost everyone still underestimates climate urgency: ‘Thermal inertia’ of the climate system – a delay between the moment of emissions of CO2, and the moment the (majority of) inevitably resulting atmospheric warming manifests itself – a time lag of decades, with very large implications.
It’s raining climate records since late 2014. That has increased to a proper storm from October 2015 – the first month to show global temperature anomalies of more than 1 degree above the 1951-1980 climate average (so higher still above pre-industrial(!)). And if April 2016 too will have an average global temperature deviation of at least about 0.9 degrees above 1951-1980 climate average (and it will likely be higher) then the world will have had 12 consecutive monthly temperature records.
Take a minute to think about how insane that really is: Each and every month breaking the monthly temperature record in a data range that goes back to at least 1880. So much for ‘natural climate variations,’ right?
2014 was the then-hottest on record, which was broken by 2015. And despite the fact that La Niña conditions are developing and East-Pacific (see graph below) ocean temperature anomalies already peaked in November 2015 – our guess is that 2016 will break 2015′s global temperature record.
Yes, if you would extrapolate the global temperature “trend” line from early 2015 to early 2016, you would look at a 20 degrees Celsius warming over the century.
March broke the record of all Marches. February broke the record of all Februaries. January broke the record of Januaries. And if April too would break the record of all recorded Aprils before – then we would have 12 such monthly temperature records in a uninterrupted row(!!)
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.
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).
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.
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.