Hot April, Hot Year?

NASA's instrumental data set for their Land-Ocean Temperature Index, which goes back to 1880, has updated for April, and it appears that this year's April is the second hottest on record. Also, we had one of the warmest winters on record, despite appearances to the contrary for those who live under the Polar Vortex. Paul Douglas posted the graphic above showing anomalies relative to a 1981-2010 base period for the months of December through February. Note that there is general warmth across the globe with a few cool spots, including a VERY cold region over North America.

If we do have an El Niño this year, 2014 may be propelled into the record books as one of the hottest years for the last century-plus of careful global measurements of surface temperatures. Remember, this does not count deeper ocean temperatures which combined with surface temperatures are almost certainly higher than ever, because like it or not global warming continues apace.

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From visual inspection it looks like the area from -2 to 0 degrees and the one from 0 to +2 degrees is not really the same size, as regions with 0 to +0.5 are quite common. But using my visuals is quite unreliable when it comes to data.

By Jimmy Senkov (not verified) on 17 May 2014 #permalink

I have read that during the last ice age, New York City was covered by a sheet of ice that was 5,000 feet thick. Also, 10,000 years ago the ice cap/glaciers began to recede/melt. By my thinking, the only thing that could have brought the end of the ice age was global warming. Why is today's alleged warming attributed to man? I would appreciate it if someone can point to a flaw in my logic.

It is not so much that your logic is flawed as that your information and the context needed to interpret it is not fully formed.

We fully understand what is causing the current warming. It is the release of CO2 from fossil fuels into the atmosphere and the effects that causes. Frankly, have a few dozen ppm of CO2 added to the atmosphere is probably a good thing and not a bad thing because it wold forestall a glacial, which would be highly inconvenient. But the amount we are adding is way more than that, and is absolutely going to raise sea levels to the extent that we will be counting how many feet of ocean is on top of New York City in the near future, instead of how much ice was there 18 thousand years ago. And there are other negative effects as well.

Melbourne, Florida is on average (and at maximum) much closer to the sea than New York. Perhaps that is what you should be more worried about!

Thanks for your comment.