Temperature Trends

2015 Only Third Warmest Year: Preliminary Results from Satellite Data

World Meteorological Organization says it's going to be the hottest year


Dreamstime: Meryll

Just in time for the opening of the Paris climate change conference, the World Meteorological Organization issued a statement in November saying that 2015 would likely be the warmest year in the instrumental record that begins in the mid-19th century. University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist Roy Spencer who is one of the principle investigators that compiles global temperature data based on satellite measurements has preliminarily concluded that, based on current trends, that 2015 will be the third warmest year since 1979. Both the WMO and Spencer attribute a good deal of the current spike in warming to the El Nino phenomenon that was greatly boosted tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures this year.

Spencer notes:

With the November 2015 data now in, it's pretty clear that in our UAH analysis 2015 will only be the 3rd warmest year since the satellite record began in 1979. Based upon my calculations, this will be true no matter what happens in December (barring Armageddon).

Third Warmest

The years are displayed with the warmest on the left, and the coldest on the right. The color coding and arrows have to do with El Nino years.

Spencer goes on to speculate what might happen to temperatures in 2016 if the current El Nino strengthens or fizzles.

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  1. I’m sure we’ll get em next year!

  2. We should do a study on why reality keeps throwing off the studies. I bet we’d find the problem then.

    1. Why let the reality before your eyes get in the way of a good narrative, especially one that pays?

    2. Systemic racism

  3. Well, now I’m convinced.

    We should definitely destroy our economy with CO2 minimizing initiatives that don’t do enough to solve the problem.

    I maintain that the pertinent questions aren’t about the scientific data but about economics. In fact, most of the opposition to the scientific consensus is based on people’s reluctance sacrifice their standard of living.

    How much of a sacrifice will we have to make in GDP per capita before our sacrifices have any impact at all on climate change? How long will we have to continue making such sacrifices before the problem is resolved?

    Isn’t the worst possible outcome that we make enormous sacrifices that aren’t big enough to have an impact on, much less solve, the problem?

    Make people like Barack Obama answer questions like that, and we can really start to have some substantive discussions about what to do about climate change.

    But Barack Obama isn’t even being asked questions like that, and if libertarians aren’t going to ask those questions, then who will?

    1. “How much of a sacrifice will we have to make in GDP per capita before our sacrifices have any impact at all on climate change? How long will we have to continue making such sacrifices before the problem is resolved?
      Isn’t the worst possible outcome that we make enormous sacrifices that aren’t big enough to have an impact on, much less solve, the problem?”

      Ken, Bailey does a good cost/benefit analysis in “End of Doom”, both for ‘fixing’ it and adapting to it. You won’t be surprised.

    2. This is what I’m always asking. Putting aside the (very real) doubts about just what the impact will be and how fix it, I point out that the industrialization of countries like China, India, Brazil, and Russia has created very real economic gains, leading to the reduction of poverty and suffering of literally hundreds of millions of people living right now. Even assuming we could somehow get countries like that to comply with these new “rules,” how much of that gain is worth sacrificing for the possibility of maybe affecting things marginally in a hundred years? Does your answer change when you consider that education and technological and economic development do more to reduce pollution and increase efficiency than arbitrarily mandated government programs?

      It seems selfish, to me, for morons in America and other technologically advanced nations to be fine “sacrificing,” usually by doing things that they wouldn’t have done to begin with, while still living in comparative luxury but trying to stifle economic development in actual impoverished countries. (Nevermind that the most vocal advocates, like Gore and Obama, don’t actually sacrifice anything at all.)

      1. It also doesn’t help that most progtards are also opposed to the various technologies that actually could reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy efficiency. Nuclear? Oil sands? Fracking? GMOs? They seem dedicated to worthless fantasies that absolutely can’t work on a large scale.

    3. But, if we reduce atmospheric CO2, won’t that harm the production of Ethanol, which is vital for combating AGW?

  4. A haruspex slaughtering a lamb and reading its entrails would provide more useful information that would impact my daily life than this data set.

    1. Can I have the meat when it’s done? Gonna make some kebabs.

      1. That was the usual tradition, yes.

  5. “Well, it WOULD have been Peak Oil, but….”
    That’s King’s running excuse, similar to Ehrlich’s. Wonder what the catastrophists’ whine will be…

    1. I suspect the AGWers will soon be using the tried and true method. As natural cycles cause the climate to cool, they will take credit.

      Much like the Aztec priests who claimed to have brought the sun back after an eclipse by sacrificing people on pyramids.

      1. I disagree; it’s a religious cult motivated by hatred at affluence and consumption. They perceive those things as gluttony. So long as gluttony exists, they will wage war on it. They will never declare victory, since they will always see the happy people around them as gluttons.

        1. Of course they’re never going to say “there is no longer a need for our wealth destroying policies” but what they will say when the temperature starts moving naturally back downward is “look how successful our policies have been, we need to keep them on the books indefinitely so we don’t return the bad ole days.”

          1. Yep. Either that or find new reasons why we need to limit human endeavor and economic growth.

            Actually, I’d bet that we see some modest warming in our lifetimes and the political crap changes very little from how it is today. They will keep having completely pointless climate conferences and congratulating themselves on how awesome they are for caring so much even though their policies do nothing but keep more people poorer.

        2. I agree with tarran. They will never declare victory because then they’d have to find something else to do with their lives, and find another trough of money to live on.

          1. When everyone is progtard, the Kingdom will come and the Carbon satan vanquished. But not until then.

        3. Exactly right, like Bernie complaining there are too many varieties of deodorant. The logical conclusion is that we should all work 12 hours a day, never take any time off for fun, no toys, movies, books, etc, all eat government-approved porridge at our work benches, sleep in government bunk beds in government barracks right next to the government factories, no cars …..

          Once you get down the rabbit hole of too much variety, there is no end but nothing optional. That which is necessary is mandatory, that which is optional is forbidden.

        4. “… it’s a religious cult motivated by hatred at affluence and consumption…” and they demonstrate their piety by living in a cave, and wearing sack-cloth (if anything).

          I’ll believe it’s a crisis when those telling me it’s a crisis begin actually living their lives like it’s a crisis.

          1. Beware prophets who profit.

  6. So they won’t be growing wine grapes in the British Isles?

  7. …or fizzles

    Who dumped a whole truckload of fizzies into the swim meet?

  8. No matter what, we must take radical action NOW or millions upon millions will die by 2020. Or 2025. Or maybe 2030. This is an extinction event!!! let’s find the nation emitting the most greenhouse gasses and demand its government seize majority control of industry…

  9. I saw something very interesting from SciAm:

    CLIMATEWIRE: Nuclear Power Must Make a Comeback for Climate’s Sake
    James Hansen and other climate scientists argue for more reactors to cut coal consumption

    1. Hansen has been calling for nuclear as an answer to climate change for a long time. Here what is missing…the GOP saying we need to reduce our carbon emissions and nuclear is at least part of the answer and we propose building more nuclear plants.

    2. Now they tell us after we shut down San Onofre.

  10. Since satellites are lagging surface temps during El Ni?o years, and what Christy says is gospel here, I will quote him as discussed here at Reason:

    “In comparing the 1997-1998 El Ni?o to the current event, Christy noted that while the tropics were cooler in November 1997 than they are now (+0.34 to +0.53 C), “the tropics warmed to +1.28 C by February 1998 during that big El Ni?o.” While this doesn’t mean the current El Ni?o will necessarily follow the same warming pattern over the next four months, it is a point from history to remember, Christy said.”

    He is saying all that heat in the ocean has yet to be transferred to the troposphere. See you in 2016 for further satellite analysis.

    On a side note, click on Rons link to Spencer and check out the comments. It’s not just temperature gauges that get heated.

    1. Yes, plenty of you religious nuts everywhere. I see you’re still waiting for your unicorn to pull all that hidden heat out of the ocean. I would suggest holding your breath, because it’s going to be real soon now.

      1. Christy must think there are unicorns out there, because he cites them ding the same in 1998.

        1. no, he said there is ZERO heat stored in any of the world’s oceans. all are now at 0 kelvin. i’m positive.


          1. Nope. Quote from this month.

            “The tropical Pacific Ocean is still very warm, with much above normal quantities of heat that likely will be transferred to the atmosphere in the coming months.”

            1. Whenever someone says “above normal” instead of “above average,” I stop paying attention. To say something is or is not normal implies that they know what normal is, but no one can know that. They have betrayed their faith in the environmental religion, so whatever follows is a sermon, not science.

            2. Meanwhile the rest of the globe isn’t cooperating and the restoring cold water is flowing in the pacific. Surface temps have been elevated for months and are declining now. Again, I would recommend holding your breath in anticipation because it’s going to happen RSN.

            1. A THIRD OF A DEGREE!
              Folks, for your amusement, here’s what one of the most dense of our AGW trolls trots out to PROVE Americans DEMAND WE DO MORE!


              Yes, it is perfectly acceptable to laugh at Jack; he deserves it!

  11. Satellite data can’t be relied upon as those “birds” are too close to a source of immense heat, and thus have to be “adjusted”.

  12. another global warming lets tear down industry communist

  13. Turns out, these numbers are all lies. NASA has already admitted it as such.
    The great depression, had by far, the hottest climate.
    Why is “reason” promoting this propaganda?

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