Beyond Record Hot – “Shocking and Strange”

March 18, 2016


Major media continue to pick up`on our current global temp spike.
Scientists struggling to describe strange new landscape.

Seth Borenstein, Associated Press:

Earth got so hot last month that federal scientists struggled to find words, describing temperatures as “astronomical,” ”staggering” and “strange.” They warned that the climate may have moved into a new and hotter neighborhood.

This was not just another of the drumbeat of 10 straight broken monthly global heat records, triggered by a super El Nino and man-made global warming. February 2016 obliterated old marks by such a margin that it was the most above-normal month since meteorologists started keeping track in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The old record was set just last December and the last three months have been the most above-normal months on record, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden. And it’s not just NOAA. NASA, which uses different statistical techniques, as well as a University of Alabama Huntsville team and the private Remote Sensing System team, which measure using satellites, also said February 2016 had the biggest departure from normal on record.

NOAA said Earth averaged 56.08 degrees (13.38 degrees Celsius) in February, 2.18 degrees (1.21 degrees Celsius) above average, beating the old record for February set in 2015 by nearly six-tenths of a degree (one-third of a degree Celsius). These were figures that had federal scientists grasping for superlatives.

“The departures are what we would consider astronomical,” Blunden said. “It’s on land. It’s in the oceans. It’s in the upper atmosphere. It’s in the lower atmosphere. The Arctic had record low sea ice.”

“Everything everywhere is a record this month, except Antarctica,” Blunden said. “It’s insane.”

In the Arctic, where sea ice reached a record low for February, land temperatures averaged 8 degrees above normal (4.5 degrees Celsius), Blunden said. That’s after January, when Arctic land temperatures were 10.4 degrees above normal (5.8 degrees Celsius).

Worldwide, February 2016 was warmer than about 125 of the last 136 Marches.

Sydney Morning Herald:

Global temperatures leapt in February, lifting warming from pre-industrial levels to beyond 1.5 degrees, and stoking concerns about a “climate emergency”

According to NASA analysis, average temperatures last month were 1.35 degrees above the norm for the 1951-1980 period.

They smashed the previous biggest departure from the average – set only in the previous month – by 0.21 degrees.

“This is really quite stunning … it’s completely unprecedented,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, from Germany’s Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research and a visiting professorial fellow at the University of NSW, noting the NASA data as reported by the Wunderground blog.


The blog’s authors, Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, described February’s spike as “a true shocker, and yet another reminder of the incessant long-term rise in global temperature resulting from human-produced greenhouse gases”.

The monster El Nino event had contributed to the current record run of global temperatures by increasing the area of abnormally warm water in the central and eastern Pacific.

Compared with the rival record giant El Nino of 1997-98, global temperatures are running about 0.5 degrees hotter.

“That shows how much much global warming we have had since then,” Professor Rahmstorf said.

The first half of March is at least as warm, he added, and it means temperatures “are clearly more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels”.

“We are in a kind of climate emergency now,” Professor Rahmstorf said, noting that global carbon dioxide levels last year rose by a record rate of more than 3 parts per million.

“Governments have promised to act [to curb greenhouse gas emissions] and they need to do better than what they promised in Paris” at the global climate summit last December, he said.

Australia has not dodged the heat, either, with record national temperatures falling at the start of March, the Bureau of Meteorology said in a special climate statement.

The heat surge also comes as the future of climate science hangs in the balance in Australia , with the CSIRO planning to slash monitoring and modelling research.

The most northerly latitudes of the planet were the most abnormally hot regions in February, with large areas reporting temperatures 12 degrees or warmer than average, the NASA data shows.


16 Responses to “Beyond Record Hot – “Shocking and Strange””

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    “Major Media” in the U.S. is not picking up much on the “astronomical,” ”staggering” and “strange” temperature anomalies. Brief mentions at best, and no extended explanations or commentary from climate scientists. The most I’ve heard is basic reporting of the high temps and a few wishy-washy comments about how “SOME scientists think GHG and global warming MAY be the cause”.

    I keep talking about how the whole Arctic is the planet’s canary in the coal mine, and we are truly approaching SHTF time up there. Maybe when the impact of this “spike” DOES get to Kansas the morons will wake up (and of course we’ll then have a panic response). A good read that personalizes what is going on up there:

    “Researchers are already beginning to connect such changes in the jet stream to weather effects in mid-latitudes such as the unseasonable blasts of cold Arctic air known as the polar vortex”.

    “From where Ed Alexander sees it, they had better get moving. “To put it in context: I tell people to imagine what if Los Angeles was 60 degrees warmer than it was supposed to be – because Fort Yukon is 60 degrees warmer than it’s supposed to be”.

    “People think the changes up here are invisible … but if it only changes half as much down there as it has changed up here you guys are in for a hell of a lot of trouble.”

    • pendantry Says:

      This is clearly conspiracy theory material (and therefore dismissable out-of-hand) but:

      I strongly suspect that the reason that mainstream media fail to report such things is that they are following rules laid down by our policital overlords which prohibit releasing ‘news’ that could start major panic.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        Conspiracies happen all the time. And conspiracies are much easier to accomplish these days – the oligarchs own the media and the political process so regulation of conspiracies is virtual nonexistent.

        Indeed, there is no need to hide conspiracies these days – it is done blatantly. The few are profiting over the many – that is the essence of an oligarchy, which is the essence of conspiracy.

        The U.S. media is owned by a very few corporations, all of which are diversified outside of the news sector. Rupert Murdoch has an enormous global reach. It has been obvious to any interested observer that American and much European and Australian news is highly content-censored compared to other countries.

        No need to be self-conscious about calling a spade a spade. 🙂

  2. grindupbaker Says:

    I’ve seen diverse snippets and pondered some logic that the El Nino periods started diverging from La Nina ones ~1990. The typical baseline difference had been 0.13 degrees but it might be diverging. A few things said by climate scientists indicate stronger stepping in a warming climate – more La Ninaish with increasingly powerful occasional El Nino. I’ve been trying to assemble the fragments into something coherent that could be commented on and attacked as appropriate, maybe this weekend.

  3. And for then next five to ten years we can expect the denial machine to start all temperature charts with 2016 and say there hasn’t been any warming.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      LOL. If temps do drop a bit after this El Nino fades, you can count on that.

      And they will have the same denier whores testifying before Congress and showing the “new” graphs to prove it. And remember that people like Inhofe rely on the fact that it snows in the winter to demonstrate that there is no global warming and it’s all a “hoax”. It’s tough to fight that kind of genius.

    • redskylite Says:

      Agreed – I’m sure journalists like David Rose are getting ready with the cherry picked charts and interviews with Judith Curry, that is if the temperature anomaly does slacken off a bit in the post El Nino years. Not so sure it will, we must be awakening sleeping giants at both poles (especially North). Otherwise the temperature stats are all fabricated tale will spread. (Easily disproved by higher A/C bills). Deniers are sounding more desperate and looking more cranky than ever before. But I am amazed at the total indifference shown by many people I know, and the lack of simple remedial actions.

  4. To me the comment “the $hit has finally hit the fan” is probably appropriate….

    • pendantry Says:

      Butbutbut… the scientists are wrong! (How many times does one have to shout “FIRE!” in a burning building before the panic begins?)

      • pendantry Says:

        Dammit, sorry, should’ve double-checked that link.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Hartmann gets it, and so do you, as evidenced by your 3/20 8:06am comment. There is most definitely a conspiracy involving big money, their wholly owned “media”, and our bought and paid for “political overlords”. How they think they are going to avoid the disaster is beyond me—-maybe Musk will transport them all to Mars?

          PS Shouting “fire” in a burning building dos not necessarily lead to panic. If there are enough clearly marked and accessible exits, if the fire is not spreading too rapidly or making too much toxic smoke, and people keep their heads and proceed towards the “exits” calmly and deliberately, it may actually save many lives to so shout. (In this case “exits” = AGW solutions)

          • pendantry Says:

            You’re right. However, when there are no exits, panic ensues…

          • dumboldguy Says:

            You are so self-absorbed (and self-impressed with your “pendantry”) that you have made another error.

            Buildings of all sorts ALWAYS have exits because they have entrances—they work in both directions. If they didn’t, there would be no people inside them and they could burn without any human consequences—-if someone shouted “fire”, the only “panic” that might ensue is that of the owner of the (empty) building as he watched the value of his property disappear.

            To go back to the metaphorical, the “exits” (as in AGW solutions) are also reversible, in that we do pretty much understand how we entered into this mess and do understand how we can turn around and undo the fossil fuel use that was our entrance into the dilemma. Simply produce much less CO2 and do it very soon (and hope for the best).

            I do wish you’d stay on your blog and play at your pendantry and phylarology games there. You expended more effort on your “debate” there with Lewis Presley a year ago than you have in all your posts on Crock. IMO, Crockers do appreciate irony, humor, some word play, and a bit of sarcasm—-self-absorbed “cuteness” not so much.

          • pendantry Says:

            Ah… what to say, apart from ‘no’.

            There are no ‘exits’ from the AGW trap. We don’t have the technology to remove the carbon we’ve already emitted, nor do we have, as a society, the will to discontinue our suicidal pursuits.

            As for the ad hominems: suffice to say that I shall endeavour not to rise to your bait in future. Live long, and prosper \\//

  5. kap55 Says:

    The more important point is that this is not a “monster” El Niño at all. It’s just a fairly average one, if we look at the non-temperature signal alone, by using the SOI index instead of the temperature-dependent ones.

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