NOAA: The State of the Climate

August 2, 2016


Painting by Jill Pelto

The American Meteorological Society just published a Climate Year-in-Review for 2015, featuring some great analysis, and illustrations by Glaciologist/artist Jill Pelto.   About this time in 2012, I spent several days on a Northern Cascades glacier with Jill and her Dad Mauri.

Seth Borenstein for Associated Press:

Earth’s fever got worse last year, breaking dozens of climate records, scientists said in a massive report nicknamed the annual physical for the planet.

Soon after 2015 ended, it was proclaimed the hottest on record . The new report shows the broad extent of other records and near-records on the planet’s climatic health. Those include record heat energy absorbed by the oceans and lowest groundwater storage levels globally, according to Tuesday’s report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“I think the time to call the doctor was years ago,” NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said in an email. “We are awash in multiple symptoms.”

The 2015 State of the Climate report examined 50 different aspects of climate , including dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice and glaciers worldwide. A dozen different nations set hottest year records, including Russia and China. South Africa had the hottest temperature ever recorded in the month of October: 119.1 degrees Fahrenheit (48.4 degrees Celsius).


Even though it was a relatively quiet hurricane year in the Atlantic, there were 36 major tropical cyclones worldwide – 15 more than average, said NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden, co-editor of the report published Tuesday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The report underlined the warnings featured from MIT’s Kerry Emanuel and others in my recent Hurricane update:



Report highlights include these indications of a warming planet:

  • Greenhouse gases highest on record. Major greenhouse gas concentrations, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide, rose to new record high values during 2015. The annual average atmospheric CO2 concentration at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, the location of the world’s longest direct measurements of CO2, was 400.8 parts per million (ppm), which surpassed 400 ppm for the first time. This was 3.1 ppm more than 2014, and was the largest annual increase observed in the 58-year record. The 2015 average global CO2 concentration was not far below, at 399.4 ppm, an increase of 2.2 ppm compared with 2014.
  • Global surface temperature highest on record. Aided by the strong El Niño, the 2015 annual global surface temperature hit record warmth for the second consecutive year, easily surpassing the previous record set in 2014 by more than 0.1°C (0.2°F). This exceeded the average for the mid- to late 19th century — commonly considered representative of preindustrial conditions — by more than 1°C (1.8°F) for the first time. Across land surfaces, record to near-record warmth was reported across every inhabited continent.
  • Sea surface temperatures highest on record. The globally averaged sea surface temperature was also the highest on record, breaking the previous mark set in 2014. The highest temperature departures from average occurred in part of the northeast Pacific, continuing anomalous warmth there since 2013, and in part of the eastern equatorial Pacific, reflective of the dominant El Niño. The North Atlantic southeast of Greenland remained colder than average and was colder than 2014.
  • Global upper ocean heat content highest on record. Globally, upper ocean heat content exceeded the record set in 2014, reflecting the continuing accumulation of thermal energy in the upper layer of the oceans. Oceans absorb over 90 percent of Earth’s excess heat from global warming.
  • Global sea level highest on record. Global average sea level rose to a new record high in 2015 and was about 70 mm (about 2¾ inches) higher than the 1993 average, the year that marks the beginning of the satellite altimeter record. Over the past two decades, sea level has increased at an average rate of 3.3 mm (about 0.15 inch) per year, with the highest rates of increase in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
  • Extremes were observed in the water cycle and precipitation. A general increase in the water cycle, combined with the strong El Niño, enhanced precipitation variability around the world. An above-normal rainy season led to major floods in many parts of the world. But globally, areas in “severe” drought rose from 8 percent in 2014 to 14 percent in 2015.


The report touches on the impacts of warm sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, related to a huge El Nino, and the infamous “Blob” off North America.


17 Responses to “NOAA: The State of the Climate”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    Preview of coming attractions. Tom Bates will likely dispute the facts in this piece. DNFTT!!!

    • redskylite Says:

      Hint to deniers: Try lots of bewildering obfuscation and bs, mention the Fu**ing Medieval Warming Period (a lot – but call it the MWP), talk about Eric The Effing Red and old yellowing parchments, don’t forget the bl**dy UoA Satellite atmospheric temperature readings. Sometimes works with the mugs, at least it did 15 years ago.

  2. Magma Says:

    Greenhouse gases highest on record.
    Global surface temperature highest on record.
    Sea surface temperatures highest on record.
    Global upper ocean heat content highest on record.
    Global sea level highest on record.
    Extremes were observed in the water cycle and precipitation.

    Eerie. It’s almost like there’s some sort of pattern or connection.

  3. redskylite Says:

    George Monbiot very aptly expresses views which I fully agree with in today’s Guardian. Hope it doesn’t fall on totally deaf media ears.

    The climate crisis is already here – but no one’s telling us

    “If humanity fails to prevent climate breakdown, the industry that bears the greatest responsibility is not transport, farming, gas, oil or even coal. All of them can behave as they do, shunting us towards systemic collapse, only with a social licence to operate. The problem begins with the industry that, wittingly or otherwise, grants them this licence: the one for which I work.”

  4. Tom Bates Says:

    Gee the world is ending and we need to throw all those virgins in volcanoes to appease Mother Ghia. OR maybe this is simply a strong El Nino, less strong than 1997-98 per RSS data and it is cooling again. Giss is 66 percent fake data, plugs put in by a computer program which for some strange mystical reason makes every plug ,99 percent ,hotter than actual temperatures replaced by the plugs.
    Nevermind that it was hotter in 1000 AD unless trees grow under glaciers in Alaska, never mind the NASA study of Greenland’s ice cores showing it hotter than the present for the last 4000 years accept for the little ice age, nevermind another study showed the last glacier period pretty well ended in a few hundred years, our runup must be much faster even if it is not melting millions of square miles of glacier ice thousands of feet thick and best of all never mind NASA models which show changes in earths tilt and orbit have the earth warming for the next 25000 years at a rate 340 times greater than an actual NASA sponsored study of CO2 forcing, a study never repeated for some strange mystical reason by Hanson when he ran NOAA. The study showed forcing of 0.08F. Maybe Hansen was upset that Barrow Alaska median temperature last year was 5.1 degrees cooler than in 1902.

    As far as extreme weather is concerned the insurance industry report for last year had extreme weather payouts down from normal for the last six years, we know it must be wrong as insurance companies just love to pay out money.

    • Gingerbaker Says:

      B-I-N-G-O !!!!!!!!!!!! BINGO!!! I won! I won! !

      I won the Tom Bates Gish Gallop Bingo!!!!!!

      uh…. where’s my prize?

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Uh, GB? I didn’t even know we were playing (?)

        I must admit, though—Master Bates did cover a lot of squares in his oh-so-tired Gallop, including my favorite—-the ever popular “it was hotter in 1000 AD unless trees grow under glaciers in Alaska”. LMAO!

        And is “NASA models which show changes in earths tilt and orbit have the earth warming for the next 25000 years at a rate 340 times greater than an actual NASA sponsored study of CO2 forcing, a study never repeated for some strange mystical reason” a new one from Tommy-Poo? Sounds interesting. Got any sources for that, Tom? Or did you make it up?

        I also like how Tommy talks about the MEDIAN temperature in Barrow, AK. Is he confusing median with average? Economists and social scientists sometimes talk about “medians”. weathermen and most scientists do not because it’s a meaningless statistic for them. That won’t stop Tommy from using it to try to confuse the unwary, though (devious and deceitful little devil that he is).

        And sneaky Tommy says “insurance industry report for last year had extreme weather payouts down from normal for the last six years”, as if that means anything. I won’t waste the time to look that up, but if it’s true, it’s just a small “flat spot” in an ever-increasing trend that we have examined here on Crock several times. Of course, Tommy will grasp at any straw, just as he does with the “pause” when we are having record breaking highs in 2015 and 2016. Any piece of bullshit thrown up to cover the cracks and blemishes in the denier wall of lies is apparently good enough for Tommy.

        (And I know I said DNFTT, but Gingerbaker made me do it).

    • Tommy-Poo,

      In an earlier comment thread, you made this claim — do you remember it?

      …and only shows warming after that when they plug 66 percent of the data with estimates which are higher than the actual temperatures they replace.

      I proved you wrong by showing that the NASA warming trend can easily be replicated with raw data (no adjustments/estimates/etc.) Link here:

      When you continued to post here without retracting that completely false claim, I followed up here:

      You also ignored that second request to retract your claim.

      And a third.

      And a fourth.

      And a fifth.

      So I’m following up with yet another request (this one is at least the sixth). Will you admit that you were wrong about NASA and how it processes temperature data?

      Every time you show up here, I will hit you with this request.

      Every single time.

      And I won’t stop until you acknowledge that you were wrong.

      (Actually, I don’t really expect Bates to man up and admit that he was wrong; I’m simply using him as an example of how deniers are utterly and completely incapable of admitting error, even after they tell the egregious whoppers).

      • dumboldguy Says:

        At least Tommy-Poo doesn’t say “Prove it” 27 rimes in one comment like Russell Crook does.

        • Crock friends, want to win a can’t-lose $100 bet with “dumboldguy”? Wager that he literally cannot show you a direct online link to this so-called comment he claims I made, where the word “prove it” is repeated 27 times, and where you can view the full context of the whole thing. After receiving your $100 bill, ask yourself how many other accusations are there that “dumboldguy” can’t back up.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Here’s our favorite denier whore, once again asking me to “prove it”. I didn’t make it up, Russell, but I am not going to spend the time to find it again—-I came across it while “investigating” some of your many deluded posts across the web, and it was a rather inane exchange between you and a sane person on an obscure site—-the only noteworthy thing about it was that one of your comments was nothing more than a string of “prove it”s—-so many that I just had to count them to quantify the depths of your depravity—-it was exactly 27.

            I DO find it interesting, however, that you only want to risk $100 on this bet—-you DID want to bet $10,000 with Christopher Keating. Aren’t you as sure of your chances this time? Or has Heartland cut your funding and you can’t make “big bets” anymore?

            Anyone who wants to read a rather skillful disassembly of Russell by someone who has way more time on his hands than I do should read “Russell Cook: Climate Science Harasser” on Keating’s blog. Keating also does a great job on another lying denier whore, Tom Harris, in the comments section.


            Oh, by the way, Keating finally tired of Russell’s lying BS and blacklisted him, saying in reply to Harris’ last comment in the string:

            (TomHarrisICSC * a year ago*) (Why did you delete Cook’s last post, Keating? I typed in a reply and it vanished because you would not allow the public to read what he said. Was his post really that frightening? I’ve read somewhere in Cook’s comments elsewhere that deleting comments is the hallmark of AGW believers who’ve lost the argument. Is that why you deleted his post? Why don’t you allow his post and then let readers decide if Cook has won with his latest arguments?).

            (Keating in reply) “I not only deleted Cook’s comments, I also blacklisted him. Here’s why (hint, hint Tom)”.

            “Cook’s method is to harass and intimidate. He does this with personal attacks, red herrings, straw men, and false arguments. He will make a statement as if it is true, then refer to himself as ‘proof’ that his statement is true (‘It’s true because I said it in a previous comment.’) Talking to Cook is like talking to a kindergartener. The logic is fatally flawed, the arguments are false, and the lies are so blatant that it is even amusing to listen to him. But, as with any petulant child, the entertainment value eventually wears off”

            “I have allowed Cook to comment here, despite his trollism and personal attacks, because I try to encourage everyone to speak their minds – even when that mind is a sick one, such as with Cook. However, I require a certain level of decorum. I don’t have to put up with personal attacks on my own blog, especially when they have no relevance to the discussion and bring nothing of value. But, when someone starts making personal attacks (of equal non-existent value) on other commenters, then it is time for them to leave”.

            “Cook failed to ever address any of the valid arguments made here. Instead, he resorted to trollism and the tactics I mentioned above. It is good for people see how Cook (and others like him) engage in lies and deceit. But, I’m doing a disservice by allowing him to lie and deceive in an unrestrained manner. Deniers don’t exist in the scientific world (and are a minority of the public), so they should get time in a scientific discussion accordingly – i.e., none. I have been extremely generous is allowing people like him (and you) to promulgate their lies and deceit.”

            “By saying I ‘lost the argument’ by deleting his comment is no different than saying I would lose the argument by deleting comments by Holocaust deniers, Moon landing deniers, tobacco harm deniers, 9/11 ‘Truthers’, people who say the Sandy Hook massacre didn’t happen, and all of the other sick minds. And, yes, people who deny global warming, climate change, and the horrible price it is inflicting on people are just as sick as all of those others”.

            “As can be expected, Cook left stating a false argument, a strawman, and a lie. What else is new?”

            “Cook’s claim about losing an argument illustrate the very problem with deniers – the physical universe will do what it does no matter what we say. You can say there is no climate change all you want. You can say manmade emissions don’t cause global warming all you want. You can say there is no link between what we do and the consequences all you want. You can reject as much science as you want. But, in the end, the universe doesn’t care. There is no ‘winning’ or ‘losing.’ The laws of physics are undeniable and the conclusion is absolutely certain: manmade emissions are changing the climate and the entire world (humans included) are suffering as a result. There is positively NOTHING anyone can say to change that fact. And, no matter what you say, the environment and humans will suffer as a result of those emissions. Again, that is a fact”

            I am looking forward to the day that Peter “blacklists” Russell on Crock, but hope that he wastes NOT ONE WORD explaining why. (Note too that Russell has again HACKED himself two thumbs up for this comment—he thinks it’s funny—-I think it proves his dishonesty).

          • “Dumboldguy” sez regarding the time where I said “prove it” 27 times, “…it was a rather inane exchange between you and a sane person on an obscure site”, and then sez, “…you DID want to bet $10,000 with Christopher Keating”.

            Friends, this is why our pal “d.o.g.” is the gift that keeps on giving, and why I’m able to live rent-free in his mind the way I do. Regarding his claim about the first bit taking place on “an obscure site”, that’s why any Crocks person betting “d.o.g.” that he can’t come up with the site will win. Increase your wagers to $10 grand if you want to give the guy an incentive to go look for what he says he won’t look for. If he’s dead certain on his claim, he can stand and deliver. Regarding “… exchange between you and a sane person”? Nossir. The question you guys should ask is what’s sane about a person confronting me out-of-the-blue with an unsupportable accusation.

            On the second claim, I made no such $10 grand bet – which can be seen if any of you rummage through Keating’s site. Worse for Keating, when you take the time to read through my own blog, you can read the comment he deleted in its full context, and then will readily see why Keating banned me: it was because he also could not stand and deliver when it came to backing up his claim that skeptic climate scientists were paid industry money to lie. I don’t harass and intimidate. I give you guys EVERY opportunity in the world to back up your claims ….. and you don’t even take a swing at what should be a homerun ball for you when it comes to pointing straight to your dear leaders’ evidence indicting skeptic climate scientists of being in a pay-for-performance arrangement with industry people.

            Stop for a moment, look in the mirror, and ask yourselves why you can’t rise to such a simple challenge. Then, ponder just how much more trouble your dear leaders and their Green 17 Attorneys General will face if they can’t rise to this same challenge. Like I said so many times now, figure out an exit strategy.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Yep, Russell is delusional. Poor Russell.

          • All eyes on you now, “d.o.g.” Look in the mirror and ask yourselves why you can’t rise to such simple challenges. The next question to ask is why you torpedo your own credibility with such self-inflicted wipeouts.

            Face it, friend, the solitary excuse you all have for ignoring skeptic climate scientists – industry corruption – implodes under hard scrutiny, and it takes your leaders and their inconsistent narratives down with it. All I do is ask where the evidence is. No name calling, no profanity. Imagine what a powerful ally I could become, if only you could point straight to killer evidence proving Fred Singer et al. knowingly lie and are paid handsomely and instructed thoroughly on what, when, where, and how to lie.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            There are no “eyes” on you or me here, Russell. This is a dead thread that no one is visiting but you, and you only do it to get your “whoring for Heartland” chit punched by your Uncle Fred Singer so that you can draw your whore’s paycheck.

            And your one-note song is REALLY getting tiresome. “Prove it” endlessly repeated on a site that talks of the SCIENCE of AGW is moronic. Oh, I forgot, in spite of being challenged countless times by me and others here to “talk science”, you keep repeating your one note song because YOU DON”T KNOW ANY SCIENCE.

            Nor have you ever responded to the “challenge” to open up your site to outside comments so that we can address your sick bullshit there rather than crap up Crock.

            And the “solitary excuse” that we all have for ignoring skeptic climate scientists (and attacking them) is that they are liars and distort and misinterpret the science of AGW—-the issue of “industry corruption” is really irrelevant, although anyone who is not as sick and deluded as you knows that they, like you, are whores for fossil fuels.

            You whine about “profanity”? LMAO! Your very existence is “profane, vulgar, and obscene. GFYS, Russell—-you are one sick and sorry puppy, and each and every comment you make only reinforces that truth.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        rimes = times

        There is nothing “poetic” about either Tommy’s or Russell’s maunderings.

    • ceist8 Says:

      Wild rantings from a Climate Truther

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