Global Warming Is Warming

The latest data from NASA GISS has come out, showing a surprise result for the month of March.

Hat tip to Jeff Masters of Wunderground for sending this info. He’ll probably be blogging on it soon.

The surprise is that March, while expected to be warm due to human caused greenhouse gas pollution, turned out to be very warm globally. This is a surprise because the Earth supposedly just experienced a minor cooling La Niña event that ended in January. March 2017, it turns out, is the fourth warmest month since 1880 expressed as an anomaly from a 1951-1980 baseline (that’s a bit tricky, more on that below).

Here’s the current list of warmest months:

February 2016, 1.32°C
March 2016, 1.28°C
January 2016, 1.13°C
March 2017, 1.12°C
February 2017, 1.10°C
December 2015, 1.10°C

The key thing to notice here is all those years being very very recent.

The ranking of months is on a month by month basis. In other words, Feb 2016 is not necessarily the warmest month of all the months over 120 years. Rather, it is the warmest of all the Februaries over this period of time. This may seem like a strange way to do it, but it actually makes sense. Even though these are global values and thus integrate northern and southern seasons, there is a potential for intra-annual variation in global temperatures, for a number of reasons (including the uneven distribution of land and ocean between the northern and southern hemispheres). For this and other even more esoteric reasons having to do with how to track anomalies, we compare months to months (Januaries to Januaries, Februaries to Februaries, etc.).

Comments

  1. #1 Michael
    April 14, 2017

    “The Earth won’t really look like this, but I find it amusing that science deniers hate burning earth pictures.”

    You are a very, very good person. A little bit dim but good. Don’t you see how poor minded your blog is? No arguments only propaganda. If you want so see a blog without propaganda from a scientist feel free to look here:

    http://scilogs.spektrum.de/klimalounge/author/rahmstorf/

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 14, 2017

    I know Stefan Rahmstorf. Stefan Rahmstorf is a friend and colleague of mine. You, sir, are no Stefan Rahmstorf.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    April 14, 2017

    Also, how the hell is listing pure data and describing what it measures propaganda? Explain that!

  4. #4 dean
    April 14, 2017

    “No arguments only propaganda.”

    Apparently, in the new world led by the habitually dishonest folks on the modern right, presenting data and explaining what it means qualifies as propaganda.

    Lying about it, as mikeN, rickA, and others do, is not propaganda, but simply opinion.

  5. #5 Wow
    April 14, 2017

    “No arguments only propaganda.”

    Ah, the “Nelson” defence: “I see no ships!”.

    You’re very dim. Not very nice, but very dim. No arguments, only whinging.

    Sad.

  6. #6 BBD
    April 14, 2017

    And the ‘argument’ for low climate sensitivity continues to evaporate in the heat.

  7. #7 Gerrit Bogaers
    Laren NH
    April 14, 2017

    I just found this out:
    People have to overcome their worst fears and inhibitions to be able to investigate how nature really works, the visable, the invisable, and their internal and external relations. Climate change is a forebode ans symptom of earth change and people helped to give this change a huge push forward towards a human catastrophy. We are in the era of the big turnover. Laren NH, Good Friday April 14, 2017, 21.56 PM DT.

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    April 14, 2017

    “The Earth won’t really look like this, but I find it amusing that science deniers hate burning earth pictures.”

    Didn’t take long for an example to show up.

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    April 14, 2017

    I know, right?

  10. #10 Gerrit Bogaers
    Netherlands
    April 14, 2017

    A pity that most Americans only speak American. Here is what Stefan Rahmstorf writes, quote:

    “Können wir die globale Erwärmung rechtzeitig stoppen?
    11. April 2017|
    Von Stefan Rahmstorf
    | 50 Kommentare

    Im Pariser Abkommen wurde, bildlich gesprochen, die Rettung der Welt vereinbart. Aber geht das überhaupt noch, und wie?
    Zunächst: was heißt hier die Erwärmung „rechtzeitig“ stoppen? Darüber kann man durchaus unterschiedlicher Meinung sein – für die Rettung vieler Korallenriffe zum Beispiel ist es leider bereits zu spät, die Meere haben sich schon zu stark erwärmt. Aber um diese Debatte soll es hier nicht gehen, sondern um den Haltepunkt, auf den fast alle Staaten der Erde sich 2015 im Pariser Abkommen geeinigt haben: deutlich unter 2 °C, möglichst bei 1,5 °C. Gut 1 °C globaler Erwärmung haben wir bereits hinter uns. Das Ziel von Paris ist wissenschaftlich gut begründet und sinnvoll – aber ist es überhaupt noch erreichbar?”

    Mr Rahmstorf underlines the peril Earth is in, and he emphasizes the necessity of taking drastic steps trying to avoid the ultimate disaster, of which he has no picture, but I have a most plausible picture, namely a new Ice age with complete different oceans, islands and continents. For the unbelievers, just watch and see what is coming, no burning planet, but something completely different. It’s not funny, you can sure bet. If we are alive by then? That would be a miracle.

    People make a mess of earth, and the above is a necessary natural development to save earth from human destruction.

    See our wordleaders and big industries. Far from wise.

    Laren NH, Good Friday 14th. April 2017, 22.29 PM DT.

  11. #11 Wow
    April 14, 2017

    “of which he has no picture”

    Incorrect. He has quite a detailed framework that pictures the problem. And it’s not “an ice age”. Sorry.

  12. #12 BBD
    April 14, 2017

    Gerrit B

    Mr Rahmstorf underlines the peril Earth is in, and he emphasizes the necessity of taking drastic steps trying to avoid the ultimate disaster, of which he has no picture, but I have a most plausible picture, namely a new Ice age with complete different oceans, islands and continents.

    A new glaciation? How is this plausible? Sequestration of a large pulse of CO2 by geochemical sinks takes many millennia. It’s going to be too warm for glaciations for a long time to come.

    What Wow said, basically.

  13. #13 MikeN
    April 14, 2017

    >What Wow said, basically.

    Something completely different indeed.

  14. #14 Omega Centauri
    April 14, 2017

    Greg didn’t do a good job of explaining why the warmest monthly anomaly isn’t the same thing as the warmest month.
    The reason is that the average global temperature does vary throughout the year, and the anomaly is calculated relative to the monthly average. This is just because of different hemispheric heat storage ( less area is ocean in the north), but also the earths orbit is noncircular and at the closest (roughly January 4 IRC) sunlight is 7% stronger then at the furthest part of the orbit.

    [Greg did a fantastic job explaining it. See my note below! – Greg]

  15. #15 G. Bogaers
    Netherlands
    April 14, 2017

    The from statistics known ‘sudden’ or better ‘sharp’ change from interglacial into glacial needs a sharp incline of world temperature to a certain maximum, which causes the ice sheets of the poles to melt, by which process the buttressing effect of ice sheets vanishes, after that land ice on Greenland en in the Antarctic has no more stud to keep the land ice in its place, and then slowly but slowly and then increasing its speed the land ice will tumble into the ocean with great force. I am speaking about land ice continents with a thickness of 2 till 3 kilometers and surfaces with the size of France and or Spain, read, 555.000 square kilometers (the size of France, Europe) respectively 500.000 square kilometers (the size of Spain, Europe). For the Antarctic they are chips, but for this process they are the mass needed to function as a fuse. These ice bullets will cause huge tsunamis, in American English of Trump I mean really, really huge, enormous, big. Hundreds of meters high, rolling with great speed, destroying populations on many, many ocean islands and shores of continents, inter alia down under.
    These land size gulfs rush the world over, causing crumbling of the earth mantle. The earth plates will start breaking apart and drifting, accompanied by huge storms, earthquakes, volcanism, change or earth axis, forming new poles, a new ice age and perhaps a change of time and day, These processes are too complex and too chaotic to give detailed views.
    Anyway it is enough to make us very humble in the eye of nature. It´s all in my studies on psychic research and science.
    See my three volume study the Apocalyps of earth in five stages, coming soon in May or June in the Netherlands, published in Dutch. In it I described more detailed this process, and the Hairline Breaks (named after Medium De Haar and myself (HB-lines) in the land ice masses of the Antarctic, with which the process of sliding away of land ice masses can be recognized Laren NH, Easter Saturday, April 15th. 2017, 2.34 AM DT.

  16. #16 dean
    leedwitt@gmail.com
    April 14, 2017

    “medium De Haar”

    Again: medium = quack, scam artist for the gullible. Don’t expect your over-hyped “apocalypse saga” to be taken seriously.

  17. #17 Gerrit Bogaers
    Netherlands
    April 15, 2017

    A categorical denial and or discrimination of ‘psychic research’ as member of the scientific community as a whole proofs one thing concerning the mindset of those deniers: where anxiety begins science stops in such a mindset. I don’t have any problem with the choice for denial of such a denier in question. Truth and facts can be denied, even by large sums of people. Still it is a pity people shutting their eyes and brains for this part of nature and of science, but nevertheless nature and all what is in it , prevails. Nature doesn´t discriminate. If people condemn noticeable outcomes of psychic research, they are hurting themselves. To such people I would suggest overcome your prejudice and fears and start taking psychic research, its hypothesis and results seriously with a sceptic mind. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good. Reject every kind of evil. Paul, Thessalonians 5. New Testament, Bible, New International Version (NIV). It won’t harm you. It broadens and deepens your insights and gives more choices. Laren NH, Easter Saturday, 15th. April 2017, 7.43 AM DT.

  18. #18 Wow
    April 15, 2017

    “These land size gulfs rush the world over, causing crumbling of the earth mantle.”

    This will not happen. The earth’s mantle does not crumble under that sort of thing.

    “The earth plates will start breaking apart and drifting”

    That won’t happen either, the mantle is stronger than water. The continental drift will still happen, but there will be no massive increase in rate because of the increase in sea levels or the rush of ice off Greenland and Antarctica.

    “change or earth axis, forming new poles”

    That DEFINITELY won’t happen.

    “These processes are too complex and too chaotic to give detailed views.”

    Then they’re too complex for you to claim as you do. The processes are clear enough to the non deluded to make some knowledge based claims, and they preclude most of what you’re talking about.

    “A categorical denial and or discrimination of ‘psychic research’ ”

    Is supported entirely and valid. Not merely from the previous woomancer idiocies spouted, nor even the complete and utter failure to do anything vaguely scientific by those still “trying” to test their theories, but also with your BS claims quoted above.

    YOU categorically deny the supported and evidentially based science from people like Rahmstorf. And spout stuff you pulled from your ass to put in a book you’re plugging here that is both full of bollocks and years later still unwritten.

    “Truth and facts can be denied”

    So can bullshit and bollocks.

    “If people condemn noticeable outcomes of psychic research, they are hurting themselves. ”

    The only noticeable outcome of such research is that it’s bunk. You condemn those outcomes and you are hurting yourself.

    “start taking psychic research, its hypothesis and results seriously with a sceptic mind.”

    You first. Stop the gullibility BS.

    ” Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all”

    James Randi and the organisation, and most skeptics do. And they fail the test. But idiot woomancers like yourself ignore that and treat the “prophesies” with adoration and gullible obedience.

    ” hold on to what is good. ”

    Meaningless. YOU mean “believe in my preferred psychic, not the other idiots!”.

  19. #19 Wow
    April 15, 2017

    “Something completely different indeed.”

    Something you don’t comprehend “mike”? Remedial adult classes are available in your area.

    Hey, deniers, why aren’t you commenting on great booger’s post? It’s alarmist and doom-saying, yet you’re not refuting it like you do with the other things you claim is doom-saying alarmism. Is that because
    a) you believe in THIS doom prophesy?
    b) it’s not blaming carbon so you don’t want to diss it?

  20. #20 dean
    April 15, 2017

    “psychic research” is a joke. Nothing has ever been found. The fact that you’ve been bamboozled enough to think there is something valid in that area says something about you — it says you don’t really understand much.

  21. #21 Christopher Winter
    April 15, 2017

    It’s interesting that Michael undertakes to refute what he labels “propaganda” by citing a blog written entirely in German.

    I happen to know that Stefan Rahmstorf has a Web site in English. Also, he’s active on Facebook; he is fluent in both languages.

    [SR puts everything he deems important in English eventually. He is also a major contributor at Realclimte. -gtl]

  22. #22 StevoR
    Reality as demonstrated by scientific evidence
    April 15, 2017

    If this doesn’t scare you then you do NOT understand it or its implications.

    Those whoare actual experts and rocket scientists – listen to them becoz they actually do know what they are talking about. (& can explain why with all that evidence stuff if you ask them nicely or even if ya don’t.)

  23. #23 StevoR
    Adelaide hills, South Australia
    April 15, 2017

    PS. Also I still think the word “Overheating” is a lot more accurate and apt here instead of mere misleadingly mild “warming” as a lexical choice .

  24. #24 MikeN
    April 15, 2017

    >“Something completely different indeed.”
    >
    >Something you don’t comprehend “mike”? Remedial adult >classes are available in your area

    How about in yours? Reading comprehension, basic logic, anger management, the list goes on.

  25. #25 Wow
    April 15, 2017

    “How about in yours? ”

    Yeah, but you won’t find the commute easy, “mike”, so I suggest you go to your one in your area, it’s a lot easier.

    “Reading comprehension, basic logic, anger management, the list goes on.”

    Oh, yes, they can teach you all of those, except the anger management classes. You’ll need to see a therapist for those, “mike”.

  26. #26 G. Bogaers
    Netherlands
    April 15, 2017

    I hit someone else’s brainspots.

    Laren NH, Easter Sunday, 16th.April 2017, 0.47 PM DT.

  27. #27 Wow
    April 15, 2017

    Oh, well, feel free not to keep us informed, B.

  28. #28 MikeN
    April 15, 2017

    >why aren’t you commenting on great booger’s post?

    The end result would be that you get banned at a blog.

  29. #29 Wow
    April 16, 2017

    “The end result would be that you get banned at a blog”

    Not really. I don’t think greg knows great boogers nor hypocritical about letting some BS on and on but not others.

    This isn’t WUWT, you know.

  30. #30 Wow
    April 16, 2017

    PS I take it that you won’t be commenting on any one else’s posts either since that reason does not exclude one single poster here.

    Nice to know that you’re going to shut the fuck up.

  31. #31 Li D
    Australia
    April 16, 2017

    Hello Greg. Thanks for the update.
    Its easy to feel rather maudlin about it all.
    The evidence is so in your face clear.
    And although theres some clear movement
    and action on an international level, it dosnt
    seem urgent enough.
    I can see a comparison with nukes through the decades.
    Everyone knows MAD is catastrophic.
    There was and is some international movement
    and action. But not to the extent warrented by the threat.
    Signatories to the NPT really aint following through in a
    whole hearted way. The general public seems
    to feel a level of ambiguity and apathy about it.
    I fear similar apathy with climate change because
    of this precedent.
    I appreciate that you and other contributers to Scienceblogs
    keep pushing the issue. Christ i hope its not in vain.

    All you deniers can go fuck your selves. You are seriously
    not contributing in a healthy skeptical way that advances
    science or humanity or the health of the biosphere.
    Being contrary just for the sake of it in an uneducated manner
    shows yas for the 4 year old mindset yas continually
    exhibit.

    Li D
    Australia

  32. #32 MikeN
    April 16, 2017

    I didn’t say it was this blog.

  33. #33 mark
    On the Mason & Dixon Line.
    April 17, 2017

    I wonder if G. Bogaers (#15) has read Expanding Land Theory: Origin of the Continents, by Dorothy Parker Farrell (1971). It was a highly amusing tale of continents sliding out from beneath the mountains while the Earth’s magnetic field was off.

  34. #34 Wow
    April 17, 2017

    Where do you get the idea you have to say it is this blog when you’re posting on this blog?

    Burbling insanity again, “mike”?

  35. #35 Greg Laden
    April 20, 2017

    Omega Centuri:

    “The reason is that the average global temperature does vary throughout the year, and the anomaly is calculated relative to the monthly average. This is just because of different hemispheric heat storage ( less area is ocean in the north), but also the earths orbit is noncircular and at the closest (roughly January 4 IRC) sunlight is 7% stronger then at the furthest part of the orbit.”

    Nope.

    The anomalies are used primarily for reasons I didn’t mention because it is esoteric and off topic and I didn’t want to get into it. But it has to do with the basic fact that all “direct” measurements are actually relative (and thus, measurements of anomalies) unless all conditions and instruments are perfect. They aren’t, so anomalies are use. If the measurement devices had all been placed by scientists from 2010 going back in time and enforcing standards, we might not use anomalies, but these temperature records are assembled from diverse sources.

    Regarding the seasonal variation, no also. The northern summer is actually the warmest part of the year, on average, over many decades, and it is simply not known why. The difference is very small, and not considered important enough to launch a major research project to investigate. In my view, it is most likely a simple calibration issue, since the southern temperatures are based more on sea, and also, the southern hemisphere is less well measured. The difference is such that a small problem with measuring Africa could explain all of it.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    April 20, 2017

    NOTE:

    Much of this conversation is more about the topic at a different post, in which I’ve just embedded a conversation with S.R. himself, so some of you may want to check this out:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2017/03/28/global-warming-has-and-will-continue-to-cause-extreme-weather-new-research/

  37. #37 Cynthia Watson
    May 4, 2017

    Climate change has been hugely increase by humans. Climate change caused by human sources can be reduce if we can all educate ourselves and learn ways to help slow it down. At this point it is difficult to actually remove the GHGs, but we can reduce them so in the future the levels could possibly drop. However, if we don’t do anything about it, we will reach a point of no return. It’s sad that some people will only realize this issue when we have many species of animals going extinct or some places will be too hot or too cold for proper crops to be grown and food resources will diminish along with breathable air. At what point will we realize this is an issue, when it’s too late?