Tallying 2014: Closing in on a Record?

December 3, 2014



We’ll know in a few weeks where 2014 falls in the temperature record. It will be close, possibly a record in some datasets, and not others – setting up more head-exploding holiday party conversations with Uncle Dittohead and Aunt Teabag.

You’re welcome.


The first ten months of 2014 have been the hottest since record keeping began more than 130 years ago, according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That may be hard to believe for people in places like Buffalo, New York, which saw a record early snowfall this year.

But NOAA says, despite the early bitter cold across parts of the United States in recent weeks, it’s been a hot year so far for the Earth.

With two months left on the calendar, 2014 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record.

The average global temperature between January and October has been 0.68 degrees Celsius (1.22 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 20th century’s average global temperature of 14.1 C (57.4 F).

NOAA’s analysis is an important “health gauge” indicating an ominous trend for the planet, says CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam.

“It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be a skeptic of the causes of our warming planet,” he says.

There was also one notable cold spot on the map.

The average temperature this year in the midsection of the United States, which saw a severe winter, has been below the 20th century average.

Economic Times – India:

NOAA said the ocean temperatures were also the warmest on record in October with an increase of 1.12 F over the 20th century average of 60.6 degrees.

“Record warmth for the year-to-date was particularly notable across much of northern and western Europe, parts of Far East Russia, and large areas of the northeastern and western equatorial Pacific Ocean,” NOAA said.

“It is also notable that record warmth was observed in at least some areas of every continent and major ocean basin around the world,” the agency said.

Of particular note, several countries have already seen an average temperature increase of more than 2 degrees Celsius in October 2014 compared to 20th century averages, including Australia, Germany, France, Switzerland and Sweden.


This year could be the UK’s warmest for almost 250 years as measured by the world’s oldest temperature record, say researchers.

The 11 months from January to November have already been the warmest period on the Central England Temperature record.

And meteorologists from the University of Reading believe there is a 75% chance the year will turn out to be the hottest since the record began in 1772.

They say man-made climate change is at least partly to blame globally.

According to the CET record – which measures representative temperatures from a triangular area between Lancashire, London and Bristol – every month so far this year apart from August has been above the long-term average.

The researchers said 2014 would set a new record unless December temperatures were cool.


Australian Bureau of Meteorology – Special Statement:

Spring 2014 was Australia’s warmest on record (Figure 1, Table 1). Seasonal mean temperatures, averaged nationally, were 0.1 °C warmer than the previous record set just 12 months ago, during spring 2013. Temperatures were 1 .67 °C above the 1961–1990 average, the largest such departure from the long-term average observed since national records began in 1910. The previous record positive seasonal departure, set during autumn 2005, was 1.64 °C above the average.

Say you’re a smoker. You’ve been smoking for 40 years.
You have a nagging cough…


Eight out of 10 Americans now believe the climate is changing, according to a new survey conducted for Munich Re America, the world’s largest reinsurance firm.

“Our survey findings indicate that national sentiment over whether or not climatic changes are occurring has finally reached a tipping point,” said Tony Kuczinski, president of Munich Re America.

The main survey question — “In your opinion, do you believe that climate change is occurring?” — did not specify whether the changes were due to man-made or natural causes, according to Peter Hoeppe, head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research.

Hoeppe said that about 60% of people say the climate is changing due to man-made causes.

The results of the survey are based on 1,008 adults surveyed Oct. 9-12 by independent pollsters from ORC International, a market research agency.

The survey found that 71% of respondents believed greater use of alternative energy sources, such as solar or wind power, would be the most effective in the battle against climate change.

46 Responses to “Tallying 2014: Closing in on a Record?”

  1. omnologos Says:

    There’s nothing to discuss apart from the sad state of a multidecadal climate debate now confined to one or two months

    • Unless you’re engaging in statistical misrepresentation like the skeptics are going.

      • omnologos Says:

        If someone is misusing data to show X it makes no sense to use the same data to show the opposite of X

        • Actually your side was using the old “lying with statistics” to prove that global warming wasn’t happening. In fact the data said nothing of the kind. Your side simply cherry picked data that showed a “non confirmation” of a regression line (not enough data) and then claimed that it showed “no global temp increase”. This is a lie, made to people who were math illiterate. Non confirmation simply means that you can’t reject the null, not that it proved that the null was true.

          Right wingers have done this throughout history. Nixon claimed that as a law’norder president, he had decreased crime because the “rate” of increase was going down. In fact, a straight line increase in crime happens to result in a “rate” decrease because the percentage as part of the whole has to go down. But even a math illiterate would recognize a straight line as a problematic increase.

          • omnologos Says:

            There’s no “my side”. My opinions are mine alone and based on the authority of myself. Your side meanwhile knows temperatures ought be going up and up by now, by incontrovertible amounts in all datasets. Maybe 2014 will start a trend like that but there’s no way to know for many years ahead of us.

        • Omnologos says:

          And what “authority” would that be? And why would “all data sets” have to be going up to “prove” climate change?

          • omnologos Says:

            Not just me, it’s been said by Real Climate too. And they don’t need be in phase, just show clear unequivocal accelerating warming. As I said that’s impossible to spot this year.

        • jpcowdrey Says:

          “If someone is misusing data to show X it makes no sense to use the same data to show the opposite of X”

          Au Contraire, it requires proper analysis of all the same data to demonstrate that ‘someone’ is misusing it. E.g., cherry picking a statistically non-significant portion of the data using a grossly anomalous starting point, commonly referred to as a type II error:


          There is no obvious acceleration in these data sets. However, claiming this is robust evidence against acceleration, is, again, a type II error. These longer data sets show unambiguous acceleration on a century scale:

          Click to access CRUTEM4v.pdf

          You’re not even lying with statistics, maurizio. You are revealing your abject ignorance of the subject.

          That makes your assertion that you as an individual are qualified to make authoritative judgements about anything quite absurd.

  2. jpcowdrey Says:

    Sad state for those in denial, maybe? There hasn’t been anything like a robust debate from those who like to call themselves skeptical, but are, in truth, more akin to self-deceiving cynics, for going on two decades.

  3. skeptictmac57 Says:

    “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to be a skeptic of the causes of our warming planet,” he says.

    I think he underestimates ‘skeptics’. It is not difficult to be simplistic.

  4. The #1 response by your Dear Uncle Crackpot to this news will be to say the RSS and UAH satellite measurements show that this wasn’t the hottest year. You will do your best to point out to him that may be true, but the measurements only differ by a few hundredths of a degree. You will also try to point out that over the long term, direct measurements match the satellite record very closely and other good stuff you read at SkepticalScience.com. Of course, your uncle, not interested in nuanced debate, will then demand you explain to him why the Antarctic ice sheet is growing.

    Meanwhile, your other relatives will quietly think both you and your crackpot uncle are both lunatics and will wait for a pause in the argument so they can steer the conversation to matters of more significance like the NFL playoffs or how bad reality TV is nowadays.

  5. Haven’t been on here for a while – glad to see someone’s been regularly replacing omnologos’ batteries.

    • omnologos Says:

      It’s amazing anybody can expect a robust debate if the arguments on display are wholly personal. Maybe Uncle and Aunt will keep quiet as there’s a loonie at the table and it’s neither of them.

      • jpcowdrey Says:

        Not all the arguments are personal, maurizio. However, those seem to be the only ones you are willing to respond to. Even then, you fail to offer any logical rebuttal to the plain evidence of your mental short-comings, except to whine and throw insults.

        Who does that?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Omno runs on batteries? All along I’ve been thinking he was a wind-up toy and trying to do my share to wind him up periodically. Actually we need to fit him out with a solar panel (and hope he remembers to keep it pointed at the sun).

  6. […] CNN’s premature claim: NOAA: 2014 is shaping up as hottest year on record BBC’s premature claim: UN climate talks begin as global temperatures break records Reuter’s premature claim: U.S., British data show 2014 could be hottest year on record Sensible blogging on the topic: 2014 Headed Toward Hottest Year On Record — Here’s Why That’s Remarkable Tallying 2014: Closing in on a Record? […]

  7. dumboldguy Says:

    Martin Lack has posted something after a long absence.

    He shows an interesting graphic and links to the Guardian article he sourced, which might have some special significance to those in the UK (except for Omno, who will deny the truths it contains)


  8. rayduray Says:

    Judging by that photo at the top of the page, I’d say the horse won it by a nose.

    Speaking of which, the “nose” of English sparkling wines should be extraordinary this year. Unlike 2013 with early fall storms to contend with, or 2012 with generally crummy weather in the wine districts of southern England, 2014 seems set to be a superb vintage.

    See more about this silver (and “Rosé”) lining to climate change here:


    Bon apetit? Mais, non. Cheers!

    • jpcowdrey Says:

      Tell me if you’ve heard this one:

      How many men does it take to drink a flagon of English wine?

      • rayduray Says:

        No I haven’t. Similarly, I haven’t a clue what a flagon amounts to. I’ll await your punch (and Judy) line, sir. Hopefully it’ll be a sparkling one! 🙂

        • jpcowdrey Says:

          OK, since you called me sir:

          Four. One to imbibe the wine, two to hold him down, and a fourth to pour the vile stuff down his throat.

          It’s an old joke. Nowadays we have decanters.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        I await the punch line also.

        But since this post is about statistics, I CAN offer the answer if the question had been “How many statisticians…..?”

        The answer is “One (plus or minus three)”.

  9. mbrysonb Says:


    Didn’t you just declare, ” My opinions are mine alone and based on the authority of myself”? Oh– maybe you aren’t looking for a robust debate either.

    • omnologos Says:

      Tell me mrb whose authority are your opinions based on? And don’t tell “the scientists'” because then I’d have to ask on the base of whose authority you decided to base your opinions on “the scientists'”.

      • skeptictmac57 Says:

        So, can we assume from that statement that you do not base your opinions on any scientists?
        That would certainly explain a lot.

  10. omnologos Says:

    Had a moment to look at Tamino’s. He’s suffering from the usual ex-post-facto syndrome. It’s too easy to choose a posteriori a criterion to show whatever we’d like to show. Maybe he’ll get the courage to predict the future for once and stick around until the prediction is verified.

    It’s a known difficult problem… http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/entries/a5d5c088-75ac-3093-b1bb-7f685d5f71c3

    Anyway the argument that the acceleration is evident on a centennial scale confirms my initial point. 2 months are 1/600 of a century. Even one year is only 1/100 of a century. Therefore if it’s the centennial time scale that matters, nothing that will happen in the last two months of 2014 is of much interest, and even the ranking of 2014 will be pretty much inconsequential.

    If 2015 were 1C cooler than the 30y average, there would still be “global warming” on some timescale.

    • jpcowdrey Says:

      You’re criticism of Tamino is a blatant red herring. The point is to demonstrate that the so-called ‘pause’ is an artifact of a misuse of data by using the misused data in context of the greater data universe to show that even with the little hump in the last ten years the rate of warming has not paused any whatsoever.

      That point was an example used to demonstrate that this assertion is nonsense:

      “If someone is misusing data to show X it makes no sense to use the same data to show the opposite of X”

      Will you own up to your error, maurizio, or will we see more prevarication?

      (I predict this is a rhetorical question.)

      That acceleration is only discernible over a period larger than several decades does not mean 2014 is inconsequential. Every additional point in a data series is consequential. It is one more year above the predicted linear trend line, making the case for continued acceleration just a little bit stronger.

      If one wishes to engage in a robust discussion, it is obligatory that one commit to staying on point and acknowledge one’s pointed errors.

      You are unwilling to commit or acknowledge your errors.

      Therefore you are unwilling to engage in a robust discussion.

      And you wonder why you are insulted.

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