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Incredible October warmth guarantees record hot 2015

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Climate Central

It’s about as sure a bet as you can make: 2015 is going to be the hottest year on record.

Month after month this year, above-average — and sometimes record — global temperatures have piled up, raising the odds that this year will be the hottest one humanity has ever experienced. And now October has blown those records out of the water.

Global temperature departures for October 2015. Click image to enlarge. Credit: NASA

Global temperature departures for October 2015.
Click image to enlarge. Credit: NASA

According to newly released NASA data, October was not only the warmest October on record, but had the biggest temperature difference of any month in the 135 years of NASA’s archive. The month was more than a full degree Celsius (nearly 2°F) above the average for the 1951-1980 base period that NASA uses — an unprecedented feat in all those years of data.

The global average temperature for the year so far gives 2015 a 99.9 percent chance that 2015 will best 2014 as the warmest year in the books, according to Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which keeps the temperature records. The virtually assured record is a mark of the steady upward march of global temperatures thanks to the accumulation of greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, as well as a very strong El Niño.

That news comes amid a flurry of other climate milestones: The year is likely to finish with global temperatures at about 1°C above preindustrial levels, halfway past the stated international goal of limiting temperature rise to no more than 2°C from that baseline. International climate talks are scheduled to begin later this month in Paris to hammer out an agreement toward that goal.

Carbon dioxide levels are also currently drifting back above 400 parts per million, possibly never to dip back down again for the foreseeable future as a strong El Niño event lends the buildup of the greenhouse gas an extra push.

El Niño is a major factor in this year’s considerable heat. The event is expected to be one of the three strongest on record. In fact, by one measure, it has already entered the record books, as ocean temperatures in a key region of the Pacific Ocean climbed above those of the blockbuster 1997-1998 event.


El Niño years are generally warmer than those in which conditions in the tropical Pacific are neutral or when there is a La Niña. La Niña is the counterpart to El Niño, featuring cooler-than-normal tropical Pacific waters. But in the past couple of decades, La Niña years have been warmer than El Niño years of preceding decades because of global warming.

That steady warming has overall tipped the odds toward record heat; in fact, the last time there was a globally record cold year was 1911. In contrast, 13 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.

With that overall trend, it was only a matter of time before a month saw a temperature departure greater than 1°C, Schmidt said in an email, adding that it will likely happen more moving forward.

Source: Climate Central. Reproduced with permission.  

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  • MaxG

    And then we have the Australian public who know about global warming, but believe it does not affect them 🙂
    Right!

  • onesecond

    How anyone can still not get the danger of men made climate change puzzles me. Virtually all scientists agree that it is men made, but even if there was only a 1% chance that humans do this we should act asap and with full force. It is our fucking planet!!!

    • trackdaze

      What’s worse is most of the deniers and contrarians know it too. It’s just money talking and/or they love the fight.

      • Peter

        Actually you would think so but my bet is that a great deal of cognitive dissonance is taking place in their minds. Essentially a form of mental gymnastics and contortions is taking place in the minds to avoid the ‘inconvenient truth’.

        • john

          Mental illness would be a better discription

      • Geoff

        The deniers definitely know it. And the worse thing is that it is mostly the politicians who are the deniers. Scum in the resources industry don’t deny it – they just want their back pockets full. It’s all about greed on many levels of the 20% where the 80% (us) have to deal with the consequences. If you haven’t seen Jared Diamonds TED talk on how societies collapse, then I strongly recommend it! https://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse?language=en

        • Geoff

          just to add, the 20% will do everything that they can to make sure they stay at 20%.

  • Rob

    No doubt Tony Abbott and Andrew Bolt have an alternative explanation for this record temperature, which they will reveal to the public, after they’ve consulted with Rupert Murdoch, Gina Rhinehart, Bjorn Lomborg………. and the fairies at the bottom of the garden.

  • Pedro

    Below is a link to a website that uses temperature records from 1910 onwards highlighting heat waves and temperature records set. It is surprising how many of the record temperatures set around the country are in this century.

    http://scorcher.org.au/

  • john

    Very shortly after 2017 there will be a new message no warming from 2016.
    Or by the way during the Paris meeting a very serious paper will be released that has been peer reviewed; in house; that shows that CO2 is in fact a cooling agent.
    No honest this is part of the new perspectives being revealed to the world by the Lord F Lies and his mob of followers.
    Honestly this is becoming a comical play with a few ever increasing small group of players who are getting way lost in their arguments.