Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Catching Up on Climate Change

Thanks to world travels, inversions and air pollution, and active storm cycles, I haven't had a chance to throw some climate tidbits at you in some time.  Here goes.

2016 Warmest Calendar Year on Record Globally

I'm late to the party on this one and you probably knew this already, but 2016 was the warmest calendar year on record, inching out 2015.  Collectively, those two years easily represent a new "high" for the planet, well above anything else in the instrumented record.
Source: National Centers for Environmental Information
Tough to say if 2017 will set another record.  I wouldn't be surprised if we pushed it a bit higher, or if we settled back a bit as has often happened during the long-term warming trend over the past few decades.  If the latter occurs, don't fall talk of a global warming pause or hiatus.  The train has left the station and we're on our way to a warmer future.

No Record for Utah

The statewide average temperature in 2016 for Utah was in rare territory, ranking as the 6th warmest in the instrumented record, but still lagged behind the remarkable 1934.

Source: National Centers for Environmental Information
January 2017 Close to the 20th Century Average for Utah

January felt a bit more like an old-time winter this year and the data bears that out as the statewide average temperature was nearly dead on the 20th century mean.

Source: National Centers for Environmental Information

Record Low Arctic Sea Ice Extent 

The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported last week that record low Arctic ice extents have been observed from October through January.



  1. You're offsetting the CO2 from all that travel, right? ;)

  2. Are you still going with CO2 as the main cause of anthropogenic global warming?

    1. Roses are infrared
      Ultraviolets are blue
      Why is climate changing?
      Because of CO2.
      (Quote from Gavin Schmidt, but it sums it up nicely)

    2. As you know I don't agree but that is still the opinion of many and a long standing hypothesis. Regarding the warmest year on record, NOAA says the increase was 0.04 C over 2015, the British Met Office reported a 0.01 C increase over 2015. Both increases are well within the margin of error which is approximately 0.1 degrees C. A 0.04 increase is meaningless compared to last year since it is well within the margin of error. I do agree that the long term trend of warming (0.99 C if you go with NOAA, less if you go with Met) over the 20th century mean is far from meaningless.

  3. Scot, you don't agree because you see climate change as a matter of ideology rather than science...