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).
One of the best climate data journalists and temperature graph builders: Stephan Okhuijsen – of Datagraver.com. You can follow him on Twitter to stay up to date with his work. Recommended! (For data go to data.jma.go.jp.)
But before we come with the exact numbers here’s a request: dear meteorological and climatological institutions of the world, how hard can it be – could you please agree (for global temperature datasets) on one single baseline – a baseline that makes sense and that is shared across all datasets, so we can compare your anomaly figures? (That baseline of course should be the pre-industrial baseline – so we can (easily) see how far anthropogenic fossil fuelled climate change has progressed.)
Now according to JMA March 2016 was +0.62 degrees Celsius above the climate average value (of all March values) of 1981-2010 – exactly as high (also an anomaly of +0.62 degrees Celsius) as February 2016 lay above all February values.
JMA also uses the 20th century average (we presume all values between 1900-2000). In that case March 2016 was 1.07 degrees Celsius above average – actually beating February, because February had an anomaly of 1.04 degrees above the 20th century average.
As pre-industrial climate is the climate average temperatures of before 1850 those deviations – the ones we measure UNFCCC climate targets against (see our previous post – how we are closing in on 1.5 degrees, thermal inertia included) – the new global monthly anomalies are probably beyond 1.2 degrees.
Our temperature trend series continues. We will get to real temperatures. Not the observed ones. Not the forecasted ones. But the unmasked ones. Stay tuned.
© Rolf Schuttenhelm | www.bitsofscience.org