Tag Archives: global temperature

January 2016 Was The Hottest On Record

The world cant seem to catch a break. Its not been long since it was announced that 2015 was the hottest year on record, and it looks likely that the mercury will continue to climb. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) have just crunched the sums and found that the January just passed was the warmest globally since records began. Not only that, but it was the hottest month by the largest margin, beating the global average by 1.13C (2.03F), according to NASA.

This makes January the ninthaddition to the string of hottest months on record that began back in May last year, and was 0.3C (0.48F) warmer than last year’s. The massive ramp up in the warming of the planet has been attributed in part to a particularly strong El Nio that has persisted off the east coast of the Americas over the past few months. The weather system has been blamed for the drought thathas hit Australia, the massive forest fires seen across Indonesia, as well as severe droughts and flooding that have left almost 100 million people facing food shortages in both South Africa and South America.

The temperature departures from average by latitude, clearly showing that the Arctic, at the highest latitude, is warming faster than other parts of the world. NASA

This current El Nio seems to have finally passed its peakaccording to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), yet NOAA is yet to call it. This doesnt mean that were on the home straight, however.The WMO warns that the world will still face enormous humanitarian difficulties for months to come,asdue to the sizethe weather system reached, the impacts are still being felt in all corners of the globe. It is currently too early to confirm whether it has been the largest El Nio ever recorded, but the WMO does note that it is at least comparable to the current record holder of 1997-98.

This continuous warming of the planet is already having an impact on the environment. The Arctic is being particularly hard hit, with the sea ice shrinking to a new record low for January. According to the NOAA, the warming of the Arctic is off the chart, as they recorded temperatures at least 5.6C (9F) warmer than average over much of Alaska. The ice covered an area of 13.5 million square kilometers (5.3 million square miles) last month, which is around 1 million square kilometers (402,000 square miles) less than the last 30-year average for this time of year. Thats an area the size of both Texas and New Mexico, combined.

With carbon emissions not looking likely to be significantly cut any time soon, the climate is simply going to continue to warm, and with it the setting of new global temperature records is likely to become more and more of a common event.

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Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/january-2016-was-hottest-record-world-continues-warm

2015 Was The Hottest Year Since Records Began By An Enormous Margin

Climatologists have been predicting it for the last few months, but with all the data now analyzed, its official: 2015 was the hottest year since records began in 1850. The news comes after three of the worlds major organizationshave concluded their independent analysis of their climate data and unanimously drewthe same conclusion. This is the second year in a row that global temperatures have broken the record, and if current trends continue, then it looks like 2016 will make it a third.

The results were released by NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.K. Met Office, who all agree the data showaworrying trend. Althoughthe heads of state all gathered in Paris at the end of last year to agree to limit global warming to below 2C (3.2F), while striving to prevent average temperatures to rise above 1.5C (2.7F), it may already be too late for that. 2015 was a record-breaking year for our climate. Global mean temperatures reached 1C [1.6F] above pre-industrial levels for the first time and the year’s average global temperature was the highest ever recorded, says Peter Stott, from the Met Office in the U.K.

The consequences of the mercury creeping ever higher have already started to be felt across the globe, although due to nuances in the weather and climate patterns, some places are being hit harder than others. India, for example, experienced the second-worst heat wave in the countrys history last year, claiming more than 2,300 lives when temperatures reached up to an unforgiving 48C (118F) in some cities. China, on the other hand, was severely hit by flooding, costing the nation an estimated $25 billion (16.6 billion) and affecting 75 million people.

This all occurred even before we take into account what could be one of the worst El Nio events the world has seen in a century, which has only acted to exasperate what was already set to be the hottest year. With its continuation into 2016, its putting things in place to make this year equally warm, if not hotter. Such a large El Nio not only impacts the Americas, playing a hand in the flooding in South America and the record warm December across much of the United States, but might also create problems as far away as Africa, causing droughts and potentially famine.

Normally when heat records are set, they are reached gradually, but this year saw the average global temperaturejump by a staggering quarter of a degree fahrenheit, adding to the thoughts that temperatures are rising at an increasingly rapid rate. According to the Mets figures, 2015 was a whopping 0.75C higher than the average from 1961 to 1990. While there are slight discrepancies between the meteorological organizations due to differences in methods and data sets, they all converge on the overall outcomes.

Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASAs vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth, explains Charles Bolden, NASAs administrator, in a statement. Todays announcement not only underscores how critical NASAs Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take noticenow is the time to act on climate.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/2015-officially-hottest-year-records-began