October of 2015 May be the Hottest Month Ever Recorded — A Record That May Stand For But a Month

One thousand six hundred and eighteen (1618) — that’s how many months we have in all of the global temperature record starting in 1880. And early indications are that October of 2015 was possibly the hottest month out of them all. A record hot month, during a record hot year, in a record hot world. A new extreme temperature record that may just stand for one or two months as temperatures are likely to continue to climb coordinate with the peak of a Monster El Nino in the Pacific.

* * * *

As of today’s NOAA El Nino report, sea surface temperatures in the key Nino 3.4 zone had hit a range of 2.7 degrees Celsius above the climatological average. These temperatures are about equal to maximum weekly values achieved during the 1997 El Nino — which in many respects was considered to be the strongest on record. This most recent heat spike puts the 2015 El Nino within striking distance of being the most intense El Nino ever witnessed.

ocean-heat-content

(A sky-rocketing global ocean heat content is, through the agency of a monster El Nino, in the process of backing up into the atmosphere — pushing global temperatures to new all-time record highs. Image source: NOAA NODC.)

As with most El Ninos, the result is that excess ocean heat is backing up into the atmosphere at a heightened rate — pushing global temperatures higher. In a normal year, on a normal Holocene Earth, this would have temporarily spiked atmospheric temperatures. But this year, the record El Nino is being fueled by oceans that are taking in an unprecedented amount of heat. Heat re-radiated by an atmosphere loaded with greenhouse gasses in the range of 400 ppm CO2 and 485 ppm CO2e. And now the oceans, being the greatest store of heat energy on Earth and sucking up more than 90 percent of the added heat due to human forced warming, are returning the favor.

Hottest October on Record

As a result, the world is now experiencing some of the hottest temperatures ever seen. The year of 2014, when the Pacific began to settle into the current El Nino trend, was the hottest on record. But that new global high temperature mark didn’t last long. For as that human-accumulated ocean heat continued to bleed back into the atmosphere, 2015 set a path to supplant 2014 as the new record holder. Global temperatures were raging to new heights. But the worst was still to come.

With a record El Nino starting to hit its peak in a hothouse world what we’re in for over the next few months is likely to be something, yet again, unprecedented. And already, early NCAR data reanalysis points toward October of 2015 being the hottest month ever recorded.

NCAR reanalysis

(Reanalysis of NCAR global temperature data shows that October of 2015 was the hottest month in the global climate record. Temperature averages in the above graph are comparable to a 1994 to 2013 baseline that’s about 0.7 degrees Celsius hotter than 1880s averages. The new departure, according to Nick Stoke’s reanalysis is +0.2 C hotter than September and +0.15 C hotter than the previous hottest month ever recorded — January of 2007. Image source: Moyhu.)

According to early reports from Nick Stokes (a retired CSIRO scientist) at the climate blog Moyhu, NCAR temperature reanalysis has put October at the hottest in the global climate record at +0.567 C above the 1994 to 2013 average. This shoves October into the range of +1.18 C above the 1951 to 1980 average and about +1.38 C above 1880s averages (in the NCAR context). Since GISS has tended to range a bit cooler than the NCAR figures this Fall, Nick estimates LOTI temperatures from the NASA analysis are likely to hit a range of +1 C above the NASA baseline or about +1.2 to +1.3 C above 1880s values in that measure.

If these NCAR comparisons bear out, they would make October of 2015 the hottest month in all of the global climate record in both the NCAR and the GISS measures. Notably, Nick Stokes NCAR figure shows a substantial +0.15 C departure above the previous record during January of 2007. A NASA GISS figure of +1 C would also beat out January of 2007 as the hottest month ever in the global climate record, but by a somewhat smaller +0.03 C margin.

Even so, as a record or near record El Nino continues to hit maximum warmth in the Pacific, it is likely that more monthly global temperature records are in the pipe. Peak surface global temperatures typically occur during the months after El Nino hits top intensity. So it is both possible and likely that November, December, January, February and even March could continue to explore new maximum monthly temperature thresholds. Meanwhile, the inertia of all that extra ocean heat bleeding back into the atmosphere presents a decent chance that 2016 could even beat out 2015 as the new yearly record holder. It all really depends on if El Nino spikes still higher and if that peak extends significantly into next year.

In any case, the human hothouse is again re-writing the record books.

Links:

NOAA’s Weekly El Nino Report

NOAA NODC

NCAR/NECP Index up 0.2 C in October

NASA GISS

Hat Tip to Wharf Rat

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141 Comments

  1. TomCobbler

     /  November 2, 2015

    Robert, Its tempting to keep using 97/98 trends as a comparison for 2015/16 surface trends. I think 2016 will be the most interesting year in terms of surface temperatures for a while. Even if this current El Nino tracks closely to 1998.

    The main reason I think 2016 could be different than 1998 is that 2016 could be occurring at the start of a positive PDO pattern whereas 1998 occurred at the end of positive PDO. Not sure how much this matters but it could produce more warming (or less) in 2016 compared to 1998.

    If there is one really bright spot to giant pulse of surface warming happening now is that it will influence the U.S. 16 presidential election.

    Reply
    • Good points to consider, Tom. Thanks for sending them on. We have no perfect oracle for the future. Only a past that gives up a few decent hints.

      As for the 2016 Election… I’m thinking republican climate change denial is about to bite off quite a lot more than it can chew.

      Reply
      • Longjohn

         /  November 3, 2015

        I have been saying for a few months now, since July that it was the downside to the ’97-’98 el Nino that was the record breaker and that will be 2016 for this el Nino so there is a very good chance that 2016 breaks the record again or at least is a Top 3 along with 2015 and 2014

        I also predict that 10 years from now these same Deniers will be saying ‘Global Warming stopped in 2015 so there is nothing to worry about” …..

        Reply
    • Phil

       /  November 3, 2015

      Also some recent commentary on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum website on the 2015 El Nino thread about whether the current El Nino is likely to be followed by a strong La Nina event as has happened in the past. Some view that the remaining heat in the WPAC (in contrast to 1982/83 and 1997/98) might work against the emergence of a strong La Nina following the current event.

      Very good blog Robert as usual.

      Reply
      • The hot blob hasn’t fallen. A symptom of one hell of a PDO flip + the obvious influence of human forced warming. One implication would tend to be a lower likelihood for a strong La Niña or possibly even just a neutral state for some time. With El Niño tending to dominate more, the tendency would be for more storm track amplification and equatorial warming. In such a case, polar warming might tend to slow down a bit.

        Interesting times, as usual, Phil. Great commentary as well.

        Reply
      • It is just as possible ENSO will slide into neutral, and then return to El Nino late 2016 or early 2017. As for the prolonged La Nina following the 1997-1998 El Nino, it was followed by three El Nino events in a row, and 2005 was the warmest year in some of the thermometer series. GISS, for example, has a stronger 30-year warming trend through 2005 than it did through 1998. 2014 could be just be the beginning of a PDO-induced warming trend. The last 60 months of the GISS series shows warming at more than .04C per year… the last 48 months is more than .06C per year. It will be interesting to see where the PDO-induced warming ends up in 2023. It could far exceed the IPCC’s .2C per decade.

        Reply
      • Longjohn

         /  November 3, 2015

        Nature abhors the linear function and adores the exponential function …… it only goes to figure we will see heating follow an exponential curve, especially when it’s under constant reinforcement from hydrocarbon emissions that are also following a more exponential rather than linear curve (Just plot the CO2 emissions over the last 100 years) ….. An exponential curve looks linear in the beginning and then just skyrockets up (or down) and that would be the “Tipping Point” scientists warn us about.

        Rate of change is also important, warming in the last 100 years is faster than any other time in Earth’s History. Normal warming would be imperceptible in a human’s short lifespan. Rate of change is velocity and what does Einstein’s brilliantly simple equation tell us about Velocity and Energy? E=MC² …. More velocity, which is squared = more Energy. As far as I know no scientists takes this Energy increase into account when trying to calculate the Tipping Point so I’d suggest the real point may be lower than they think

        Reply
    • redskylite

       /  November 3, 2015

      That’s

      Reply
    • redskylite

       /  November 3, 2015

      Finger trouble, try again . . .

      That’s an interesting point, I’ve been following the PDO index since reading several discussions by Dr. Kevin Trenberth, and it certainly suggests postivity. Earlier today I read an article in the New York Times (by John Schwartz) on a similar track . .

      “And a longer-term cycle of heating and cooling known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation may be switching from a cooling phase to a warming phase. On top of all that is the grinding progress of climate change, caused by accumulation of greenhouse gases generated by human activity. “

      “The other large force at work, the Pacific decadal oscillation, is a long period — sometimes, as the name implies, spanning decades — of relatively cooler or warmer water. Since about the year 2000, the oscillation has been in a cool state, which many climate scientists say has allowed the ocean to soak up a great deal of the heat generated by greenhouse gases as part of climate change. “

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/science/global-warming-pacific-ocean-el-nino-blob.html?ref=topics&_r=1

      Reply
      • At the outset of the 1930s there were back-to-back La Nina events, Starting in 2011there were back-to-back La Nina events. What followed was a strengthening PDO and a lot of El Nino events that culminated with a prolonged El Nino during WW2. The GMST warmed significantly. And then the PDO index started decoding as did the GMST… a nosedive to 1952, and then ACO2 took over and has never really relinquished its grip. A strengthening PDO index will look like historical PDOs. A weakening PDO index will look very different, as it did after ~1983. The GMST will go up for most of it, and flatten – the pause – when the index numbers are actually persistently negative – 2006 through most of 2013. That is how I predicted the PDO was about to flip positive, and then it did. Lucky guess, but it was my hunch… roughly ~42 years peak to peak.

        Reply
  2. climatehawk1

     /  November 2, 2015

    Tweeting.

    Reply
  3. Loni

     /  November 2, 2015

    As always Robert, the information is very well crafted.

    I see that you are closing on 5000 ‘followers’, I don’t suppose Sen. Jim Inhofe is on that list? Perhaps we should gift him a subscription, maybe then he can see what a snowballs chance in hell, er, I mean a snowballs chance on the senate floor will have next year.

    Reply
    • Cheers, Loni. I think Inhoffe should stop pandering to the Kochs. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Better if he spent his efforts promoting solar and wind. Far better for his children at least.

      Reply
  4. “Global warming, increasing aridity and rapidly expanding human population will lead to drylands covering half of the Earth’s land surface by the end of this century.

    LONDON, 1 November, 2015 − If global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the outlook for at least half the inhabited planet looks arid. By 2100, according to new research, at least half − and perhaps as much as 56% − of the land surface of the planet will be classified as dryland.

    Dryland, to a geographer, is not desert: it is terrain on which rain certainly falls, but rainfall is balanced by evaporation and transpiration through plant tissues. That is, dryland offers a precarious living to a sparse population.

    It doesn’t take much – overgrazing, erosion, ambitious cropping − to tip the balance and turn the land into desert. Right now, 38% of humanity makes a living on the drylands.

    So the report in Nature Climate Change by atmospheric scientist Jianping Huang and colleagues at Lanzhou University in China that under global warming scenarios, drylands are to expand is very bad news for those who are already among the poorest in the world.

    That is because 78% of expansion of drylands – and 50% of the planet’s population growth – will occur in the developing countries.

    Climate scientists have already predicted that, in a warming world, arid regions are likely to get even less rain, while humid ones could be at greater risk of flooding.

    They found that climate models so far have underestimated the global trends in drying regions. Temperatures will rise, and so will levels of aridity.

    But as population will also rise, along with pressure on existing farm and rangeland, so will the risk that ever greater areas of the drylands will become degraded and, in effect, desert lands.

    Some of the increasing drylands will be in eastern Siberia, Alaska and north-west Canada. Northeastern China will also be affected.

    The report says: “In the late 21st century, the extent of the drier areas increases, and the drylands cover nearly all of the continental areas of Africa and Eurasia between 30° to 60°N and 15° to 50°S and western North America. Thus, drylands dominate the global land surface.

    “These results support previous studies that the aridity changes over land have not simply followed the ‘dry gets drier, wet gets wetter’ paradigm.”

    The same study confirms that 78% of the increased dryland occurs in developing countries. It says: “These results imply that the survival environment in developing countries will be more vulnerable.”

    Under one scenario, drylands increase by 11%, under the other by 23%. By the end of this century, drylands will cover 50% or 56% of the terrestrial globe. The warming trends over the drylands are twice as great as those over the humid regions, which once again amplifies the pattern of aridity.

    The developed world will be affected, but the developing world will be hurt even more, by increasing aridity, greater temperatures and faster population growth.

    “The same temperature rise will probably have a greater effect on the poor and vulnerable populations inhabiting the drylands, leading to increased poverty, degradation of the land and ecosystems, soil loss and further desertification,” the scientists warn.

    “By 2025, drylands may occupy 48% of the global land surface and sustain 51% of the global population growth from 2000 to 2025 − 50% of which will occur in developing countries, compared with only 1% in developed countries.”

    http://climatenewsnetwork.net/spread-of-drylands-will-hit-poorer-nations-hardest/

    Reply
    • Interesting report. One that confirms many of the impacts of warming the world ocean system. I find it curious, however, that so much of the increased aridity is seen to be front loaded to 2025. Even under the best case scenario, this leaves out the impact of at least half of the warming. In addition, it’s worth noting that impacts to poorer regions are born by all in the form of nation destabilizing and mass migration.

      Reply
  5. Local destabilization can cause complete loss of West Antarctica’s ice masses

    “In our simulations 60 years of melting at the presently observed rate are enough to launch a process which is then unstoppable and goes on for thousands of years,” Feldmann says. This would eventually yield at least 3 meters of sea-level rise. “This certainly is a long process,” Feldmann says. “But it’s likely starting right now.”

    Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-local-destabilization-loss-west-antarctica.html#jCp

    Reply
  6. -“…. But a Month”
    Yup, November is supposed to be up there too.
    ‘Up, up and away…’

    Reply
  7. Especially if the A/C fails in the Capitol Building! Then the District should be renamed, Hell MD.😉

    Reply
    • The above message was for Loni, on her comment re: Inhofe, and things getting hot on the Senate floor.

      Why, oh why, oh why does the Internet make incredible goofs when I use my iPhone, even when I do all actions correctly?😡

      Reply
  8. Colorado Bob

     /  November 3, 2015

    Cliff Richard – Devil Woman [HQ stereo]

    Reply
    • mfranklin

       /  November 3, 2015

      That brings to mind those women who deliver the fear-porn on the Focks Newz Channel. Those pretty women would never omit vital information that could be used to make decisions about whether ff is tanking the climate, right?

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  November 3, 2015

      So I went to see Mary. And I came home and, googled , colorado bob, and then I googled this song by Cliff Richards.
      He’s at #3 , colorado bob is the top 4 results.

      That’s pretty cool. I’ve been after this for years.
      My search results flood the field .
      Colorado Bob – Newsvine
      The Tundra is on Fire – by Colorado Bob – Newsvine
      COLORADO BOB
      Colorado Bob | Facebook

      I haven’t done all this for nothing. A sand billy from Texas has Colorado Bob .
      I was born in Lubbock. And ran off to the woods And when they asked about me back home. It was “Bob, Bob who ?”
      “Oh, you know! Colorado Bob……………”

      That’s how II go my name.

      I never dreamed of the net
      But I put that time on the web. I have some very cool stuff on the web.
      My leather art page’s are as good as it gets.

      But the results all speak to Climate. Years of it..

      This this huge spike all happen after I met Robert . There are hell of a lot people reading here.

      40 Years of Leather Art

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  November 3, 2015

        It comes in @ parts.

        40 Years of Leather Art Pt. #2

        Reply
      • I think you’ve done damn good my friend. I learn something from you every day🙂

        Reply
      • Great stuff, Bob. I just had time to go thru the 1st part for now–deeply talented and passionate you are. Thanks for sharing more of your story too…I’m going to google ya and play my part in keeping you up there where you belong.

        Reply
  9. Cyclone Chapala should make landfall in mainland Yemen in a few hours

    Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  November 3, 2015

    The Wallflowers and Jordan Zevon – Lawyers Guns and Money

    Reply
  11. Abel Adamski

     /  November 3, 2015

    Speaking of our other cohabitants of Earth
    Getting smarter ?
    http://www.skynews.com.au/culture/offbeat/2015/10/28/injured-deer-walks-into-us-emergency-room.html

    A deer injured by a car made its way to and entered Hospital Emergency, only to be captured and put down by Deputies.
    What can you say

    Reply
  12. Abel Adamski

     /  November 3, 2015

    There is still such a long way to go, Murdoch Media and the right wing extremists have much to answer for, the Kharmic consequences for them are bo consolation to the rest of the world.
    http://www.watoday.com.au/environment/climate-change/csiro-survey-most-coalition-voters-reject-humans-to-blame-for-climate-change-20151103-gkpgf8.html

    While many respondents accepted that people in developing countries would be among those hardest hit by extreme weather and other climate-related changes, support for increased aid to help them cope gained little backing from respondents. Increased government spending on renewable investment won the most support.

    Greens Senator Larissa Waters called for the study to be revived.

    “It’s incredibly disappointing that funding for CSIRO to keep carrying out this valuable study in the future has been axed,” Senator Waters said.

    Reply
  13. Andy in SD

     /  November 3, 2015

    saltwater intrusion Miami

    Miami is one of those canaries in the coal mine.

    As much as $500 million to install 80 pumps and raise roads and seawalls across the city over the next 5 years.

    With so much going against it, Miami is fighting the windmill. They are pulling out groundwater at ever faster rates to satisfy a growing population. The ocean is rising putting extra pressure in place to replace that fresh water with saltwater. In western Miami Dade county, limestone mines seem to be creating vacuums that pull the saltwater in as well.

    So what does one do in this case? Well of course! Build more, more, more and right on the waterfront. Oh… and just drop a half billion dollars on pumps to buy some time.

    They are slowly creating a Venice clone…..

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article41141856.html#storylink=cpy

    Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  November 3, 2015

      “Not my fault!!”

      Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light’s cooling canals at its Turkey Point nuclear plant on Biscayne Bay are too salty, but the utility is far from the only source of the saltwater that has seeped into the aquifer and created an underground plume, FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said Tuesday.

      http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/fpls-president-says-saltwater-intrusion-isnt-all-t/nn2sS/

      Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  November 3, 2015

      Underground saltwater is already spoiling the aquifer and moving closer to drinking water supplies for six million residents. If the Everglades dries up more than it already has, peat soil that provides the scaffolding for an entire ecosystem could collapse. This summer, a dangerous fog of yellow sulfur appeared in Florida Bay…..

      http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article41416653.html#storylink=cpy

      Reply
    • When I was at Univ. of Miami and working a short time in that city afterwards, I got to visit some of those limestone excavations. All of them turned into lakes, and none of them smelled salty.

      Those guys will be lucky if they make themselves a Venice clone. More likely, South Florida will have to be abandoned due to lack of drinking water… unless they build a pipe to Lake Okeechobee *and* it remains fresh.

      Reply
      • Andy in SD

         /  November 3, 2015

        Ed,

        What got me onto this as I had coffee was your note above “2 C = 42 ft of SLR.”

        My immediate thought was the intrusion that would cause! As our population centers on the coastline rely so heavily on wells, the SLR damage would be preceded by saltwater contamination. The population suffer-age would be well underway prior to infrastructure collapse.

        Reply
    • Andy in SD

       /  November 3, 2015

      Not to be outdone….

      The Mekong Delta is eroding as well….

      The endless green fields scored by the river’s nine tributaries, which the Vietnamese call “Nine Dragons”, explain why this area is one of the world’s major food baskets.

      It houses the richest inland fishery and accounts for more than a fifth of the world’s rice exports, although looks can be deceptive.

      Encroaching sea water from the south, a proliferation of hydro dams in the north and large-scale sand mining are endangering the delta, officials warn.

      As a result, an alarming 500 hectares (5 km2) of land is being lost to soil erosion every year, they say.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34407061

      Reply
    • It’s happening around the world now. Look at the delta regions and low lying coastal flatlands, peninsulas, atolls, and barrier islands to take this hit first.

      Reply
      • Apneaman

         /  November 3, 2015

        On many occasions (books, lectures, interviews), I have heard Dr Peter Ward predict this very thing.

        Reply
    • PlazaRed

       /  November 4, 2015

      Wonderful comment, reminds me of the lemming story.
      Humans have away of being attached to things and I suppose that doomed seaside city’s are probably not going to be an exception!
      As they pump out more ground fresh water, it can not be replaced by anything other than salt water, as there will be nothing like enough rainfall to replace the fresh water.
      So they will also build a wall or dyke around the city and then when the next hurricane comes it will become a very large pond?

      Reply
    • Oale

       /  November 5, 2015

      This sounds about the correct time to start to organize a sailing event in 2150 in the center of the city. Requirements for participation, a boat, food supplies, AK-47 or similar, plenty of ammo, good FPS skills, fishing equipment. The winner gets the access to the remaining fresh water supply at Big Cypress RV Resort.

      Guessing the rainwater in Florida http://www.rssweather.com/climate/Florida/Miami/ won’t be enough for the population.

      Reply
  14. Pras

     /  November 3, 2015

    Thanks Robert. Your comment “… But this year, the record El Nino is being fueled by oceans that are taking in an unprecedented amount of heat…”
    This means, ocean is taking heat as well as radiating heat .. Will this constitute abrupt climate change ?

    Reply
    • I’d call this hitting the next step higher. Abrupt climate change would involve hitting tipping points. The more we warm, the more risk there is of that. I’d call this the next step up for a very rapid, geologically speaking, human forced warming. One that increases risks for hitting tipping points. And one whose initial forcing has grown more ominous and more capable of inflicting large scale geophysical changes.

      Reply
  15. Eric Thurston

     /  November 3, 2015

    NY Times article. Has its typical weasel statements about how you can’t blame global warming for any particular weather ‘event’. At least they are paying some attention to the issue.

    The Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/science/global-warming-pacific-ocean-el-nino-blob.html?emc=edit_th_20151103&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=50996296

    Reply
    • They’re right about one thing. The North Pacific is incredibly hot at the moment. And not just due to a record El Nino.

      I have a very rudimentary cell analysis that I use for Nino 3.4 temperatures on a daily basis. It takes into account GFS and an a few other measures. Today the cell analysis showed Nino 3.4 at 3.1 C above average. This analysis tends to run about 0.2 C hotter than the NOAA updates. But it looks like we may get another jump next week in Nino 3.4. Possibly to 2.8 or even 2.9 C. That would probably lock this thing in as stronger than 1997. Monster El Nino indeed.

      It’s worth noting that a number of studies did point out that a warming world could see more frequent and stronger El Ninos. This tipping point was, as with many, pushed out toward higher temperature ranges than we currently see. But one wonders if some of that ocean feedback isn’t already starting to trend in. I tend to wonder how much rate of warming and total energy imbalance matters with regards to tipping points as opposed to simple temperature corollaries.

      My view is that IPCC gets the big picture mostly right. But the uncertainty on tipping points worries me.

      Reply
    • Christina in Honolulu

       /  November 4, 2015

      It might be helpful to require media outlets to use clear standards of proof, akin to legal standards of proof, that can be used in different contexts. This could enable scientists to state the evidence meets certain standards showing that man-made warming is contributing to extreme weather events. For example we need evidence showing “beyond a reasonable doubt” to criminally convict someone, or a mere “preponderance of the evidence” in the civil context which is a scant 50.1% to hold someone liable for monetary damages. The NYT article stated, “Wether there is a clear and detectable human-caused component to today’s cyclone activity is hard to prove…” But what is the amount of evidence/certainty needed to meet the “clear and detectable” standard? Perhaps there IS enough evidence to me a preponderance of the evidence standard, but not enough yet for beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Reply
      • Compare the climate change coverage to the way the media covers a baseball player who’s on steroids. When climate scientists say that human forced warming puts the cycle of natural weather variability on steroids, it makes for a pretty apt comparison. So the question I have is why doesn’t the media quibble over why it can’t be proven that a home run or pitcher’s total shutdown of hits is attributable to steroids? The truth is that some are and that’s why players cheat by taking steroids in the first place. Same thing with extreme weather. The context of human warming and climate change fundamentally alters the weather so that it operates in a completely new way. It’s not the same baseball game with steroids added, nor is it the same weather with climate change added.

        So media is completely hypocritical in the way they cover the one issue one way and another issue in a completely opposite manner (it’s all about the steroids for baseball and it’s all about the uncertainty for climate change). They may not realize it. But characterizing the subject this way makes them merchants of doubt.

        Reply
      • Robert and Christina re: the media. They may not realize it. But characterizing the subject this way makes them merchants of doubt.

        I’m afraid that they know very well that they’re selling doubt. Individual journalists/investigative reporters may even cringe when told what can make it into print and what cannot.

        The more I’ve learned about the harassment and the threats that climate scientists receive, the more I’m concerned that even media outlets that would gladly tell the truth are terrified of the consequences. Which speaks to the value that blogs like yours have for us, Robert…thank you.

        Reply
      • Speaking of media that sells doubt and lies about the climate with impunity. Here’s a summary of what the right wing media has been telling their readers about Lamar Smith’s fight with NOAA about their hiatus data. I don’t have the fortitude to actually read or listen to what they’re saying(about anything). Fortunately there are others who can.

        http://mediamatters.org/research/2015/11/03/conservative-media-rally-around-house-committee/206597

        Reply
  16. wili

     /  November 3, 2015

    http://www.weather.com/news/weather/news/cyclone-chapala-socotra-yemen

    Cyclone Chapala Hammers Yemen; At Least 3 Dead

    Reply
  17. Not surprising but hurts nonetheless.

    WASHINGTON, DC (November 3, 2015) – In the opening days of the month when National Geographic magazine is scheduled to be turned over to 21st Century Fox, the magazine’s employees were told to stand by their phones to wait for calls – one by one – to come to Human Resources to learn the fate of their jobs.

    https://nppa.org/node/72817

    Reply
    • Sad to see the fall of a great magazine to such an amoral corporate entity.

      Reply
      • Indeed, Robert. Ouch. I’ve not looked into the back channel stuff. Like why did Nat’l Geo sell out? Who were the players in that deal? I imagine(hope?) that if a campaign had been launched to let the public know what was happening that we would have responded to avert this?….I knew nothing until the deal was done.

        Reply
        • That tends to happen a lot with these big corporate buy-outs. Back room deals that only become widely publicized after most of the decisions have been made. In addition, the Wall Street media cheer leads for them. Which can turn such takeovers into self-fulfilling prophesy.

        • And the Wall Street media? Well the big medium, The Wall Street Journal, is a Murdoch organ, too.

        • They monopoly written all over them. They should be broken into tiny little pieces.

      • I remember when it was run by a non-profit. Soon we will have nothing but FOX 24/7/365. Everywhere, in all the media. Just like Russia! :9😡

        Reply
    • wili

       /  November 4, 2015

      At least they got out one last great issue before the fall–on GW! They probably knew it was the last chance to get the word out on this the most crucial story of the age: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/climate-change/special-issue/

      Reply
  18. Colorado Bob

     /  November 3, 2015

    The Future of Climate Change Is Widespread Civil War
    Failure to cap carbon emissions will not only bring on climate shocks, but also worldwide instability, insurrection, and warfare.
    By
    Michael T. Klare
    http://www.thenation.com/article/the-future-of-climate-change-is-widespread-civil-war/

    Reply
  19. Colorado Bob

     /  November 3, 2015

    2.7 million South African homes affected by drought, 2 provinces declared disaster areas

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Residents of a South African coastal town say their drinking water “tastes like the sea” as a worsening drought affects fresh water sources, according to a local newspaper.

    Citizens of Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal province lined up with buckets for fresh water distributed by officials as one of the driest periods in 50 years increased the salt content of rivers, reported the South Coast Herald newspaper. Elsewhere in the province the levels of dams have dipped to about a third of capacity, according to South Africa’s ministry of water and sanitation.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/11/03/drought-in-south-africa-affects-towns-drinking-water

    Reply
  20. Misleading U.N. Report Confuses Media On Paris Climate Talks

    Because the actual numbers are discussed in depth here, this isn’t news to us?

    I feel badly for Christiana Figueres. She’s trying to live/work her passion for our climate, yet knows that on a fundamental level, her life is in danger if she doesn’t give in to big FF….

    A very misleading news release from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — coupled with an opaque UNFCCC report on those pledges, which are called intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) — has, understandably, left the global media thinking the climate talks in Paris get us much closer to 2°C than they actually do.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/11/03/3718146/misleading-un-report-confuses-media-paris-climate-talks/

    Reply
  21. labmonkey2

     /  November 3, 2015

    and in other [space] weather news…those living in the northern parts of the US may be in for some aurora borelis treats as our suns recent activity – coronal hole – ejects more powerful particles in our direction.
    http://www.weather.com/science/space/news/strong-geomagnetic-storm-to-send-auroras-to-earth

    Currently at G1 status, with a possible strong G3 predicted by NOAA.

    Reply
  22. James Burton

     /  November 3, 2015

    Hopefully everyone here knows I do not Troll this blog! I need to present this thing I just read today in passing. And ask how in the world can this sort of thing be constantly put into press? ” Antarctica is actually gaining ice, says NASA. Is global warming over?

    Not quite, scientists say. But new study results show the fallibility of current climate change measuring tools and challenges current theories about the causes of sea level rise.”
    “In a paper published in the Journal of Glaciology on Friday, researchers from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, the University of Maryland in College Park, and the engineering firm Sigma Space Corporation offer a new analysis of satellite data that show a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001 in the Antarctic ice sheet.”

    As you can imagine, the blog world is on fire again with this story. I am smart enough to know that this tidbit does nothing to change to trend of rapid global warming.
    As to the report, is someone trolling the entire world with these stories, or are they half truths spread as fact?

    Reply
    • Hey James. First, some clairification.

      1. The head researcher’s name is Jay Zwally and he’s been publishing these results for some time. So it’s nothing new.
      2. The paper focuses on volume and mass gain due to snowfall at the top of the ice sheet.
      3. In the context of this particular set of research ice mass gain, according to Zwally, has fallen from 112 billion tons per year during the 1992 to 2001 period to 82 billion tons per year from 2001 to 2008.
      4. This is a single report from a single scientific research base.
      5. The consensus studies show ice mass loss from Antarctica. So there are some good reasons to doubt that the Zwally paper conclusion is valid.
      6. The final irony here is that this isn’t real news. The Zwally research line has been published repeatedly over the years. This new report is just an update to old research. The mainstream media has simply taken the bit in mouth and is now falsely characterizing the Zwally paper as some kind of refutation to global warming and sea level rise. Which is utter and complete tripe.

      So none of any of this changes the fact that Antarctica’s glaciers are destabilizing at never before seen rates, that seas are rising faster than at any time in about 10,000 years or that the world is now experiencing its hottest period in probably 150,000 years.

      In essence, this is one paper of many and most of the consensus studies now show mass loss from Antarctica. As such the Zwally report is a bit of a relic outlier. But even if it is correct, the impact of warming and the trend toward melt even shows up in this paper.

      Reply
      • James Burton

         /  November 4, 2015

        Thanks for clearing that up. I suspected as much, MSM is desperate it seems, doing the cherry picking thing over and over again.

        Reply
    • We’ve had three or four articles now that have addressed comments on the Zwally paper. I’ll go ahead and address questions about it here as well. But this will be the last article thread for it. The paper has been puffed up to represent something that it’s not. And it has been spun up as something that is supposedly new — when it isn’t. No new findings, just the same old Zwally research with a few updates. As such, I honestly don’t think it’s a significant enough matter to warrant an article.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 4, 2015

      With Respect RS I will add in what I think are also key factors nullifying this article which if you read thru I brought up before.
      A) Zwally is reporting on radar altimetry reading the altitude of the cover, not density.
      B) Greenland and I assume also in key Antarctic areas they use GPS to measure the Earth rebound from ice loss, in Greenland this can be substantial, in fact with substantial calving events they experience “earthquakes” reading in the scale of 3-4.5 from the instantaneous rebound. In short this completely distorts any altimetry conclusions, they are valid for well inland in Antarctica.however which was modelled to be the case decades ago.
      C) Any Mass conclusions are just derivations and calculated without taking density and the melting of the extremely dense ice underneath which is happening.
      D) The satellites whose function it is to measure mass and do so extremely well (even the Californian water Table loss) tell a completely different story. If the discussion is about mass, I know what I would consider the Gold Standard

      Reply
      • Absolutely, Abel. They’re basically measuring volume and using a bootstrap calculation to get mass. The GRACE data directly measures ice sheet mass and the studies based on those measures show Antarctica losing mass.

        Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  November 5, 2015

        Zwally in an interview with Nature.com.

        “I know some of the climate deniers will jump on this, and say this means we don’t have to worry as much as some people have been making out… It should not take away from the concern about climate warming.”

        Reply
  23. Christina in Honolulu

     /  November 3, 2015

    Another “hottest” month explained. “Earth’s climate may be more sensitive to increased CO2 than is currently thought,” says coauthor Tim Lowenstein, a geologist at Binghamton University in New York. In 2015, CO2 levels have reached 400 ppm and are on track to top 800 ppm by the end of the century. Current projections say that doubling CO2 will result in a 3 degree rise in global average temperature. The new work suggests that that prediction significantly underestimates the impact of greenhouse warming, Lowenstein says.”

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/eocene-temperature-spike-caused-half-much-co2-once-thought

    Reply
    • A couple of points to consider here:

      If you look at the paleoclimate record, Earth System Sensitivity for each doubling of CO2 is in the range of 5-6 degrees Celsius. The ECS Sensitivity measure that is now used is an artificial one that assumes slow feedbacks will stay slow and that warming is only in the context of this Century.

      But the real number is ESS. And according to ESS at 400 ppm CO2 (485 ppm CO2e!!) we’ve locked in at least 2-3 C warming long term and 1.5 C this Century. Problem is, that 485 ppm CO2e number points to a 2 C warming this Century and a 4 C warming long term.

      We’ll probably hit 1.0 to 1.1 C above 1880s this year (for the global annual average). Next year could be higher with such a strong El Niño blowing up. That about lines up with current total global forcing and an ESS of 6 C.

      That said, if aerosols are generating as much negative feedback as IPCC indicates, then we could be a bit more sensitive. Possibly due to the fact that the human forcing is so amazingly fast that the oceans and ice sheets don’t have much chance to draw down heat or GHG excess.

      Now 800 ppm CO2 … That’s about a 4.5 C temperature rise this Century and a 9 C rise long term.

      Reply
    • Abel Adamski

       /  November 4, 2015

      May I just reprise an earlier article I posted for Christina
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150225132103.htm
      First direct observation of carbon dioxide’s increasing greenhouse effect at Earth’s surface

      “They found that CO2 was responsible for a significant uptick in radiative forcing at both locations, about two-tenths of a Watt per square meter per decade. They linked this trend to the 22 parts-per-million increase in atmospheric CO2 between 2000 and 2010. Much of this CO2 is from the burning of fossil fuels, according to a modeling system that tracks CO2 sources around the world.”

      For perspective, the Maunder Minimum reduced Earths energy input by about 0.5 Watts/SqMetre, i.e approx the amount we effectively raise it in 50 years. Why the Solar Minimum being predicted is only of interest to deniers

      Reply
      • Twenty five years, according to this assessment Abel — which lags IPCC net forcing increases from all GHG over the 1980 to 2011 timeframe by more than 0.1 watt per meter squared per decade. Problem is the total added forcing from all GHG emissions since 1750 is in the range of 3.3 watts per meter squared (2.3 net minus aerosols). So even a grand minimum doesn’t really take much of the edge off. Plus the negative forcing is transient and its peak only lasts for a relatively brief period. So at current emissions rates, including all GHG, according to IPCC, we overcome a grand minimum about every 15 years.

        See IPCC data for reference:

        Reply
      • wili

         /  November 4, 2015

        Thanks for the great insights, as always, Robert. Could I bother you to remind us what the ratio is between Radiative Forcing (in W m^2) and the global warming expected (eventually from this forcing (in C). I think it is a bit unfortunate that the IPCC labels its various pathways with the previous numbers, though most people can only really comprehend the latter, and of course very few of us remember the conversion factor from one to the other (to the extent that this factor is even well established).

        Reply
      • wili

         /  November 4, 2015

        I did a little digging and found some infro here that is kind of an answer to my own question, particularly in the tables under “Projections based on the RCPs”
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_Concentration_Pathways

        Reply
  24. – Robert, these links furthers my earlier thread about Saudi influx to US real estate, and American English language schools as Arabia becomes less habitable during anthropogenic global warming:
    Worth noting — a hay, oil, money, and water resources matrix in a Saudi American symbiosis.

    Here’s some recent headlines: [The hay is for dairy cows = more methane]

    ‘Saudi Arabia has a hay farm in Arizona because Saudi Arabia is out of water to grow hay’

    Outside of Phoenix, in the scorching Arizona desert, sits a farm that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy uses to make hay for cows back home.

    That dairy company, named Almarai, bought the farm last year and has planted thousands of acres of groundwater-guzzling alfalfa to make that hay. Saudi Arabia can’t grow its own hay anymore because those crops drained its own ancient aquifer.
    Saudi Arabia’s mysteriously disappearing water came to light around the turn of the century. By 2002…
    … investigation revealed the culprit: Wealthy farmers had been allowed to drain the aquifers unchecked for three decades. [Sound like California?]

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/11/03/1443993/-Saudi-Arabia-has-a-hay-farm-in-Arizona-because-Saudi-Arabia-is-out-of-water-to-grow-hay

    Reply
  25. – “Without desalinization there is no possibility that any major cities in Saudi Arabia could exist”

    ‘Examining the environmental cost of tapping alternative sources for water, oil’

    Saudi Arabia is known as one of the top oil producing countries in the world. However, it may have never earned that reputation if not for a quest to find fresh drinking water in the late 19th century, because of drought and repeated cholera outbreaks.

    In an essay published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, Michael Christopher Low, an assistant professor of history at Iowa State Univ., explains how the search for water led to the discovery of oil.
    … the precarious relationship between oil and water in Saudi Arabia as well as the U.S.

    Low, who specializes in modern Middle Eastern and environmental history, says 15% of the oil Saudi Arabia produces is used to power its desalination facilities, which convert salt water into potable water.

    http://www.rdmag.com/news/2015/11/examining-environmental-cost-tapping-alternative-sources-water-oil

    Reply
    • Without a subset of arable land set aside from outside to feed Saudi Arabia the state as it is would be completely unsustainable. With climate change threatening arable land around the world, this presents a security catch 22 for a nation whose oil production still represents the cornerstone of its wealth. Continuing to sell and burn the oil wrecks them. Why? Well, because in a sustained global food crisis the cost of importing food becomes extraordinary in an open market or a very dodgy proposition in a market in which food exports are increasingly boycotted. I wonder how well they realize this simple fact.

      Reply
  26. Poll: Climate change not a big concern for most Americans

    AP — WASHINGTON — Americans are hot but not too bothered by global warming.

    Most Americans know the climate is changing, but they say they are just not that worried about it, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And that is keeping the American public from demanding and getting the changes that are necessary to prevent global warming from reaching a crisis, according to climate and social scientists.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2015/11/poll_most_americans_not_too_co.html

    Reply
    • The filter through which most Americans get their information on climate change still vastly and irresponsibly downplays the issue. Do most Americans know that a flood of refugees will be hitting our shores with climate change? Do coastal dwellers know their cities are all facing a rising tide that could force them to move in 5, 10, 20 or 40 years, basically destroying property investments for millions? Do people around the U.S. Know that climate change puts their water and food supplies at risk leaving them vulnerable to future price shocks and lack of access? Do Americans know that weather will grow ever more extreme as the climate warms and glaciers destabilize? Do they know that they may face military deployment to other nations or even to parts of the U.S. as states start to collapse and destabilize due to flooding, storms, loss of crops and water, habitat destruction or all of the above? Have they been told these things in a way in which they’ll understand and believe it?

      The short answer is categorically no. The media spreads doubt about climate change’s influence on all these related crises and as long as that keeps happening most people will just plain fail to get it.

      Reply
      • doug

         /  November 4, 2015

        Well said Robert.

        Reply
      • Word. Robert.

        Reply
      • Mark in New England

         /  November 4, 2015

        Yes, and perhaps the nucleus of another great story from you Robert!

        Reply
      • Jacob

         /  November 4, 2015

        Excellent point, sir.

        … and do they understand that there will be millions of American refugees moving about within our own borders or to Canada due to the numerous factors you’ve pointed to?

        Reply
      • PlazaRed

         /  November 4, 2015

        After the borders of the USA, there is nowhere left to go!
        Brings me to remember the stern face of the US boarder control officer who always asks me, ” how long will you be stating in the USA, Sir?”

        Reply
  27. Syd Bridges

     /  November 4, 2015

    Yet more bad news that the northern winter months may produce more hottest months. Usually, July is the hottest month worldwide, but there is no such thing as “usual” anymore. With the Nino 3.4 reading now at 2.7, we are likely to see the second strongest one at least. This year is the worst by far that I can remember for the climate worldwide. A sort of “annus horribilis” for climate, though as the warnings have been coming in for over a century, and have been arrogantly denounced by polluters and their servile politicians, perhaps “the Year of Nemesis” might be more appropriate.

    I await with interest Rep Lamar Smith’s version of where this year stands in the rankings. Third coldest year since 1880, perhaps?

    Reply
  28. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    Drought Compounds Hardship on Cyclone-hit Vanuatu
    On the island of Tanna, villager Anauda Johnson said his crops have been destroyed.

    “Everything was destroyed during the cyclone and now with the drought, there’s nothing left in the garden,” said Johnson.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/drought-compounds-hardship-on-cyclone-hit-vanuatu/3036154.html

    Reply
  29. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    This Is What Five Years of Drought Has Done to California’s Farmland

    Promises of rain to come withstanding, California is still smack in the middle of a long, punishing drought. So what does it look like when a top agricultural state undergoes years of drought? Not good, friends.

    The USDA and NASA’s Ames Research Center put out this map comparing the amount of idle farmland four years ago to today—and found that the amount of idle land this year had topped 1 million acres. That’s double what we were seeing four years ago.

    http://gizmodo.com/this-is-what-five-years-of-drought-has-done-to-californ-1740304954

    Reply
  30. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    Obvious answer found to why Arctic ice is darkening, see it

    Some papers suggested the “dark snow” is the result of forest fires or climate change — but a new study led by researchers at Dartmouth shows that degrading satellite sensors aboard NASA’s MODIS satellites are behind the decline in reflectivity, not pollution.

    http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/darkening-of-arctic-ice-due-to-old-satellite-not-pollution/59302/

    Reply
  31. Eric Thurston

     /  November 4, 2015

    NY Times

    China Burns Much More Coal Than Reported, Complicating Climate Talks

    This shows the folly of depending on the figures reported by countries for their CO2 (and other) emissions. The only thing that really matters is that Keeling curve and when it levels off and starts to fall. Everything else is basically propaganda.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/04/world/asia/china-burns-much-more-coal-than-reported-complicating-climate-talks.html?emc=edit_th_20151104&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=50996296

    Reply
    • Aldous

       /  November 4, 2015

      Unfortunately, this is not just a small rounding error either, “…the new figures add about 600 million tons to China’s coal consumption in 2012 — an amount equivalent to more than 70% of the total coal used annually by the United States.” I’d be curious if the same gaps in data collection apply to 2013 & 2014.

      Reply
    • – And much of the coal is shipped through US West Coast ports and carried across a dysfunctional and acidic Pacific.
      All of this traffic must have a profound impact on this part of the E. Pac.

      Reply
      • – Aerosol pollution from China burning the coal gets blown back across to the US West Coast even as major efforts are under way to increase extraction and shipping of US coal.
        Profit and highly destructive jobs are propelling this dangerous enterprise.
        These negative impacts should be part of any effort to stop coal exports.

        Reply
  32. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    Portugal floods: Albufeira deadly storm ‘a Devil’s act’ says minister

    Portugal’s interior minister described a deadly storm that devastated the seaside resort of Albufeira as an act of the Devil, urging his countrymen to get insurance cover as “God is not always a friend”.

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/portugal-floods-albufeira-deadly-storm-devils-act-says-minister-1527004

    Reply
  33. Colorado Bob

     /  November 4, 2015

    Eleven killed, 100 people evacuated in Beheira after heavy showers across Egypt

    As Egypt faces another bout of stormy weather in just a couple of weeks, many eyes are turning to Alexandria, where the military has also had to intervene, sending out relief and drainage trucks.

    On social media, Egyptians are using the hashtag #Alexandria_drowns, which has been repeated in nearly 29,000 tweets, as of publishing time.

    http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/eleven-killed-100-people-evacuated-beheira-after-heavy-showers-across-egypt

    Reply
  34. Jeremy

     /  November 4, 2015

    More propaganda.
    Downright scary that the loon Monkton gets serious consideration.

    http://www.acting-man.com/?p=41111#more-41111

    Reply
  35. James Burton

     /  November 4, 2015

    With the war in Syria in the headlines, and many videos appearing on youtube of the conflict, one thing stands out very clearly. Desertification is widespread, not just where Syria is a desert of course, but in places that were once fertile! You can see large tree plantations where the trees are now growing out of dry sands, where once fertile earth was there, you can also so field markings in the desert, where once farm fields stood, now it is baked earth, with sand building in. Using google earth I surveyed the areas featured on youtube videos, and see all the hallmarks of former streams and rivers, now filling with sand and baked earth all around.
    What’s worse, a recent trip to Argentina got me interested in just why that nation is so dry, when we drove over major rivers, by major lakes, and over countless streams that were totally dry! The Andes shadow makes large areas dry of course, but I speak of regions that were fertile and now dry. Even the poor sheep are finding pickings slim down in Patagonia.
    This evidence tells me, the refugees are our future! The great drying out of former fertile lands is going to pressure millions to move. Climate Refugees if you will!

    Reply
  36. FB tells me it’s Robert’s birthday….🙂
    HB RS

    Reply
  37. – 1104 The Traffic and Weather Channel characterized ‘Chapala’ as one “odd event(s)”.
    Followed by a FF CC car commercial.
    – CNN’s ticker mention “one million in Yemen” suffering from flooding.

    Reply
  38. – Though not news around here. Media did mention it.

    NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre under threat from sea level rise

    The image above shows NASA’s historic Kennedy Space Centre precariously placed by the Atlantic Ocean and under threat from rising sea levels.

    Since the 1940s the coastline has moved inland by up to 60 metres as sea levels have risen.

    Reply
  39. Drought Compounds Hardship on Cyclone-hit Vanuatu

    SYDNEY— The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is in the grip of a severe drought nine months after its islands were battered by a powerful cyclone.

    Cyclone Pam was one of the most powerful storms the people of Vanuatu had ever seen. The category five storm caused widespread damage…

    … Nine months later the South Pacific archipelago is facing another emergency – a severe drought triggered by the El Nino weather system.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/drought-compounds-hardship-on-cyclone-hit-vanuatu/3036154.html

    Reply
  1. October of 2015 May be the Hottest Month – A Record That May Stand For But a Month | GarryRogers Nature Conservation and Science Fiction (#EcoSciFi)

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