Reality Closes in on Climate Deniers – 2014 Hottest Year

January 16, 2015


Washington Post:

It is official: According to both NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the year 2014 was the hottest ever measured, based on records going back to the year 1880.

It now surpasses all past scorchers, including 1998, 2005, and 2010. Indeed, except for 1998, says NASA, the ten hottest years recorded have all occurred since the year 2000.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the new record is that it occurred even though 2014 was not an El Niño year, of the sort that usually power the already up-trending global average temperature to new highs.

“This is the first year since 1997 that the record warmest year was not an El Niño year at the beginning of the year, because the last three have been,” says Gavin Schmidt, who directs NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which collaborated on the analysis.


Oceanographer Stefan Rahmstorf told the New York Times:

“Obviously, a single year, even if it is a record, cannot tell us much about climate trends,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, head of earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “However, the fact that the warmest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 clearly indicates that global warming has not ‘stopped in 1998,’ as some like to falsely claim.”

Scientists have been telling us for years that the whole “pause” mythology is based on cherry picked measurements and shallow understanding.

Dana Nuccitelli in the Guardian:

This is all happening during a time when we’re constantly being bombarded with inaccurate claims of a global warming “pause.” These mistaken claims stem from the fact that the rate of global surface warming has slowed a bit over the past 15 years, in large part because we’ve seen more La Niña events and fewer El Niño events during that time, and also due to heightened volcanic activity.

In fact, at any point over the past five decades we can find a period during which global surface warming “paused.” Yet each such period was hotter than the last. That’s because each is just a temporary effect caused by a period with a predominance of La Niña events and other short-term cooling temperature influences. As this figure shows (click here for an larger version), underneath the short-term noise, human-caused global warming continues unabated.

The planet actually has a thermometer, the little tube you put in Baby’s bottom. It is, of course, the oceans. Like the tube, they are a vessel of a known capacity, filled with a fluid of a known bottom. When a heat source, say, Baby, or in the case of oceans, greenhouse warming – is applied, the fluid expands.

Just so with sea level, in which, not only has there not been a pause, recent research shows a marked acceleration in recent decades.


Meanwhile, reality closes in on climate deniers.

National Journal:

No longer content with simply mocking the Right’s “I am not a scientist” rhetoric, Democrats are licking their lips at the opportunity to force their Republican colleagues to answer a question about climate change a different way: aye or nay.

A vote on climate change will give the Left another chance to try and paint the Republican orthodoxy as holding tight to an anti-science, anti-mainstream position that global warming doesn’t exist or isn’t being caused by man-made greenhouse-gas emissions. To them, it’s a winning message: to hammer home the idea that Republicans are so anti-science that James Inhofe, who gleefully claims climate change is a hoax, is the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of all places.

When even Pope Francis is saying that climate change is largely caused by “man who continuously slaps down nature” while the House speaker dodges the question, the thinking from the Left is that an up-or-down vote will force Republicans to confront public opinion that’s turning towards concern about climate change.

“They’re in an impossible position and they’d like to not have to address that issue because, frankly, their position isn’t supportable in any kind of responsible conversation,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.

Talking Points Memo:

“Certainly we’ve had changes in our climate. I’ll let the scientists debate the sources in their opinion of that change. But I think the real question is that every proposal we see out of the administration with regard to climate change means killing American jobs,” the Ohio Republican told reporters.

“The American people are still asking the question: where are the jobs? Jobs and the economy are still the number one issue in the country. And I just don’t understand why every proposal that comes out of this administration is just going to kill thousands and thousands of more American jobs.”

Climate Progress:

The solar industry added jobs at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the national average last year, according to an annual report.

The report, published Thursday by the Solar Foundation, found that more than 31,000 solar jobs were added in the U.S. between November 2013 and November 2014. According to the report, 85 percent of those jobs were new, rather than jobs that already existed but which added additional solar responsibilities. There are now a total of 173,807 people in the U.S. with jobs related to solar power, a number that’s increased by 87 percent over the last five years.




18 Responses to “Reality Closes in on Climate Deniers – 2014 Hottest Year”

  1. […] It’s Official, 2014 Hottest Year […]

  2. gregladen Says:

    The escalator graph needs a new step!

  3. omnologos Says:

    The pause again.

    Note how Rahmstorf speaks much better science than the rest. He’s consistent.

  4. omnologos Says:

    Just found out the WP piece is Mooney’s. Of course. Meanwhile at CWG, hosted by the bastion of denialism, the WP:

    “I queried 21 climate scientists. Most replied the record matches exactly what we should expect in a warming world as more and more heat-trapping greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. But a few were unimpressed, expressing the view that warming – while real – has not kept pace with projections from climate models and that one should not read too much into the temperature of a single year.”

    Sanity at last. Far from Nucc, Mooney and Laden. Of course. And near Trenberth and Emmanuel. Woo hoo.

    • Kiwiiano Says:

      They are correct of course, you can’t read too much into a period as short as a year, but as the decades slip by since the first warnings in the 1700 & 1800’s, the temperature trend has been steadily upward. Meanwhile, the ice is melting faster than it’s freezing, rainfall is becoming more erratic, the storms fiercer and the seasons are shifting. Pretty much what you would expect.

      • jpcowdrey Says:

        “But a few were unimpressed, expressing the view that warming – while real – has not kept pace with projections from climate models…”

        A few deluded scientists are maurizio’s standards of sanity. Sounds right.

        • Kiwiiano Says:

          Those same unimpressed scientists would also be the first to admit that the models are subject to constant refinement.

          One of our problems with getting the message out there is that many scientists are reticent about saying anything that could be accused of being inflammatory, everything must be precise and proven.

          But the real world doesn’t work like that. Guesses have to be made, gambles taken. If every manufacturer refused to start the assembly line until they knew exactly what the annual sales would be nothing would be made. Eisenhower would still be bobbing about off the coast of Normandy if he waited until every last detail of the the state of the Nazi forces was logged, right down to what they were having for breakfast.

          Unfortunately many, most folk really don’t want to hear the message that their comfortable lifestyle will HAVE to change, so grasp at every straw the scientists give them to postpone action.

          • Gingerbaker Says:

            Their lifestyle COULD be a lot better, if we solved this thing right.

            Every family pays ~ $3500.00 per year per family member for fossil fuels. I would imagine that the average family’s lifestyle would b more comfortable, not less, with an extra ten G’s in their pocket every year.

          • Kiwiiano Says:

            Ginger baker “Their lifestyle COULD be a lot better, if we solved this thing right.”

            True as far as that goes although the alternatives will still have costs.

            The problem is that humanity doesn’t just face climate chaos, we’re staring down the muzzle of roughly concurrent calamities from over population and depleting resources. When you say “their lifestyle” are you including all those folk around the world who aspire to our middle-class lifestyles? Because to give them all the same opportunities we are going to need another 9 planets.

            Hence we have to get stuck into some serious downsizing and decluttering.

          • omnologos Says:

            We need people showing the way, downsizing and decluttering their lives. Maybe the thousands making up the NYC march are enough a number to catalyze change? Or some commenter here?

          • Gingerbaker Says:

            “When you say “their lifestyle” are you including all those folk around the world who aspire to our middle-class lifestyles?”

            No. Although their lifestyles will improve as renewables replace fossil fuels.

            However, my goal in life is to get people to realize that, short of mass genocide, lowering world population is is a program that will take many decades. And building all the renewables we need to completely replace fossil fuels is a program that we need to start NOW and finish SOON.

            And every time a well-meaning person – like yourself – brings up the distraction of overpopulation into a climate-renewable energy discussion it doesn’t help us move forward.

            Because, strategically, it will take all of us using laser-like concentration to focus on that one overriding important goal – building and deploying the renewable energy systems we need fast enough to make a difference.

  5. Maybe, just maybe, this is a conspiracy by the companies of the world who manufacture red ink and want to get us all to use more of their products.

  6. mike4ty4 Says:

    What I say is this. Whether or not global warming is happening or is caused by humans is NOT a matter of politics, but SCIENCE and FACTS. There is no “Liberal”/”Left” or “Conservative”/”Right” science or facts. There are just the facts, just the reality. Whether you are Liberal or Conservative, you should agree on the facts. You should try to figure out how to adapt/use your ideology to tackle those facts, not try and twist the facts to fit your ideology. Science is pretty solid — Global heating is real and humans are the primary contributor. If you’re a “conservative”, then try to find a “conservative”-based _solution_ to that problem — DON’T DENY THERE’S A PROBLEM! You are entitled to try whatever ideology you please. You are NOT entitled to your own FACTS.

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