Tag Archives: Warmest Month

The Earth’s Surface Continues To Warm Because Of Human Greenhouse Gas Pollution

Recently NASA GISS released the measurement of the Earth’s surface for January 2016. I added this latest measurement to the long term database (from 1880) and calculated the running 12 month average of surface temperatures. This is the resulting graph:


These are anomaly values, as indicated. January was the warmest month recorded in terms of anomaly, and it follows December 2015 as the previous warmest month. The top warmest anomalies in the entire NASA GISS database (going back to 1880) are listed below.Notice that all of these years are recent, and notice that the warmest and most recent months (from late 2015 through the present) are MUCH warmer than previously.

2016 JAN 113
2015 DEC 111
2015 OCT 106
2015 NOV 102
2007 JAN 95
2010 MAR 92
2002 MAR 90
2015 MAR 89
2014 SEP 89
1998 FEB 88
2010 APR 87
2015 FEB 86
2014 OCT 85
2014 MAY 85
2015 SEP 82
2015 JAN 81
2014 AUG 81
2013 NOV 80
2010 NOV 79
2005 OCT 79

NOAA: October Warmest On Record

NOAA has just followed JMA and NASA in reporting on October’s average global surface temperature. The surface temperature is the combination of thermometer-at-head-height data and sea surface temperatures, averaged out for the planet. Several groups track this data, and though there is much overlap in the instruments used, each group has its own way of processing the data to eliminate errors and biases, and to adjust for missing information (such as large regions with little data).

NOAA points out that October had the greatest above-average departure from average for any month. Also, NOAA confirms that the year to date temperature is the highest in their data set, which goes back to the 19th century.

Other highlights from the NOAA web page:

  • The October average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October on record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.36°F (0.20°C), and marked the sixth consecutive month a monthly global temperature record has been broken. This record departure from average was also the highest on record for any month, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.13°F (0.07°C).
  • The October globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.39°F (1.33°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in October 2011 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The October globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for October in the 1880–2015 record surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.27°F (0.15°C). This was also the highest departure from average for any of the 1630 months of recordkeeping, surpassing the previous record set last month by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for October 2015 was 460,000 square miles (13.4 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the sixth smallest October extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.
  • Antarctic sea ice extent during October 2015 was 90,000 square miles (1.3 percent) below the 1981–2010 average. This was the 14th largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record. On October 6th, the Antarctic sea ice extent reached its annual maximum extent at 7.24 million square miles, slightly above average and in contrast to the past three years when record large maximum sea ice extents were observed.
  • According to data from NOAA analyzed by the Rutgers Global Snow Lab, the Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was 1.49 million square miles above the 1981–2010 average and the seventh largest in the 48-year period of record. Eurasia had its sixth largest October snow cover extent, while North America had its 11th largest.
  • The year-to-date temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.55°F (0.86°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C). Eight of the first ten months in 2015 have been record warm for their respective months.
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged land surface temperature was also the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record at 2.30°F (1.28°C) above the 20th century average. This value surpassed the previous record of 2007 by 0.31°F (0.17°C).
  • The year-to-date globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.28°F (0.71°C) above the 20th century average and the highest for January–October in the 1880–2015 record. This value surpassed the previous record of 2014 by +0.14°F (+0.08°C).
  • The full report for October is here.

    I put NOAA’s graphic of land and ocean temperature for the year to date at the top of the post. There are three things to note here.

    First, the vast majority of the planet’s surface is above average for the year so far. Second, huge areas of the land and sea are record warm for the year so far. Third, that blue patch in the North Atlantic is still there. This is a region that has been anomalously cool for several years now, and is of significant concern because changes in atmospheric and ocean conditions in that region may cause a shift in the major Atlantic sea currents that control a lot of weather in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in northern and western Eurasia.

    Here’s a graphic of specific anomalies of note for October 2015 (original here):


    NASA Reports Astonishing Uptick In Surface Temperature

    We knew October was going to be hot. Only hours ago the Japanese Meteorological Agency came out with their data showing October 2015 to be the hottest October in their database. I’ve not checked yet to see if it was the hottest month in their database. October 2015 was the hottest month in that entire database, which goes back to 1891.

    October 2015 was the Warmest Month in the Entire NASA Dabase

    Now, NASA GISS, which also keeps track of these things, has come out with their numbers. The predictions from experts like John Abraham indicated that October 2015 might be in the 90s (that’s the anomaly value used by them, and that I use in the graphs here). If the temperature anomaly were to be high enough in the 90s, it would equal or break the record for warmest month ever in the entire direct temperature measurement database.

    But it didn’t do that, exactly. Nope. The temperature of the Earth’s surface as measured by thermometers at heat height over land, combined with the sea surface temperature, was not in the 90s. It was 104.

    SO, we are one full degree warmer than the NASA baseline, which is NOT the proper pre-industrial baseline. NASA uses 1951-1980 as their baseline, and that includes global warming that has already happened.

    So here is the global average temperature anomaly for the entire NASA GISS database expressed as a running 12 month average, though October 2015:


    And, here is the NASA GISS surface temperature anomaly for January through October, for all the years in the database, so you can see how 2015 stacks up so far:


    The graphic at the top of the post is for all the Octobers only. If you want to use any of the graphs somewhere else, consider GOING HERE to get a higher resolution (just click on the graphic at that post and a higher res version will pop up).

    Here are the warmest 20 months in the NASA GISS record of monthly temperature anomalies. Note that October 2015 is the warmest, and it beats out the previous warmest month, January ’07, which was during a strong El Nino year:

    2015 OCT 104
    2007 JAN 97
    2010 MAR 93
    2002 MAR 91
    2015 MAR 90
    2014 SEP 89
    1998 FEB 88
    2015 FEB 87
    2010 APR 87
    2014 OCT 86
    2014 MAY 86
    2015 JAN 81
    2014 AUG 81
    2013 NOV 81
    2015 SEP 80
    2005 OCT 80
    2015 AUG 79
    2014 DEC 79
    2014 APR 79
    2012 OCT 79

    (Note that these are temerature anomalies, not temperatures. Boreal summers tend to be the warmest months globally, so the warmest month in actual temperatures is probably June or July. But climate change is tracked with anomalies for obvious reasons.)

    Sou at HotWhopper has more, including the graph she makes every month showing surface temperatures in yet another way, HERE.

    Andy Skuce has a post discussing October’s temperature reading, with another graph showing temperature anomalies across the months for several years, HERE.

    And, R. Stefan Rahmstorf has posted the following graph here and here, for yet another look.

    Eli Rabett has taken Rahmstorf’s graphs for the last several months and turned them into a moving GIF, HERE.

    Interview with John Abraham

    John Abraham is a scientist at St Thomas University in the Twin Cities. John is famous for doing battle with a famous science denialist (that’s what the meme above refers to), for his blog at the Guardian, for his research in several areas such as ocean heat, and for keeping track of month by month increases in global surface heat caused by anthropogenic global warming.

    Sunday, I had the honor of interviewing John Abraham about current developments in climate change. It was Sunday morning so you were probably either sleeping or in church, but don’t worry, there’s a podcast!

    You can listen to the podcast here:


    Or here.

    Here’s a partial list of other Atheist Talk interviews I’ve done, in case you were looking to spend several hours listening to me asking interesting people questions.

    Emily Cassidy
    Sheril Kirshenbaum
    Anastasia Bodnar
    Shawn Lawrence Otto on “Sins of Our Fathers”
    Michael Mann
    Paul Douglas
    Me talking about the 5th IPCC report (Interviewed by Stephanie Zvan)
    Me talking about science denialism (Interviewed by Stephanie Zvan)
    John Hawks
    Shawn Lawrence Otto on Science Policy
    Shawn Lawrence Otto on his book “Fool Me Twice.”
    Don Prothero
    Me, John Abraham and Kevin Zelnio talking about climate change
    Me and Desiree Schell talking about skepticism
    Martin Rundkvist and Yusie Chou
    Neil deGrasse Tyson
    Me and PZ Myers talking about controversy
    Me, Maggie Koerth-Baker, Steve Borsch, Will Steeger and Lynn Fellman
    Ed Brayton
    Lynn Fellman and me talking about fossil hominins
    Me talking about missionaries (Interviewed by Mike Haubrich)
    Me and Genie Scott talking about creationism (interviewed by Mike Haubrich)
    Me talking about the evolution of the human diet
    Me talking about academic freedom

    We Just Had The Warmest September on Record

    We have been having a run of very warm months, and according to the GISS database, updated yesterday, September was the warmest on record, and the records go back to the late 19th century. This is global average temperature of the surface.

    I’ll have more about this later, as other databases are updated. Sometimes one data set shows slightly different results than others, so it is good to look at them all as a group. Also, NOAA has not updated its climate watcher thingie yet.

    If October, November and December turn out to be very warm as well, 2014 will end up being one of the top three or four warmest years on record, despite a somewhat cold start.

    Warmest August on Record, Global Warming Continues

    According to data just updated by NASA, last August was the warmest August for the entire instrumental data record, which begins in 1881. This has been something of a mixed year but overall warm. Of the 134 years for which there are data, the coolest month this year so far was February, at 17th place, with July also being cool, at 11th place. Keep in mind this is over 134 years. For the months of January through August, there are no one-digit ranks (1 through 8) prior to 1989, inclusively, and you don’t really start getting consistent “top ten” ranks until 1998.

    Monthly ranks so far this year, January was 4th, Feb was 17th, March was 4th, April was 2nd, May was first, June was 3rd, July was 11th, and as noted, August is 1st. For a year in which we are not (yet) experiencing an El Niño, that is very, very warm.

    Again, these are global temperatures. Your local mileage may vary.

    We don’t know how 2014 will rank as a year. If there is no El Niño it will rank high. If an El Niño gets going soon enough to affect the year’s average, 2014 may well be in the top few warmest years since global warming began.

    Here is where the year to day (Jan through Aug) stands in relation to the years in the data set since 1990 inclusively:

    Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 11.47.10 AM