Thursday, April 16, 2015

Watching the global thermometer - year to date GISTemp

Sou | 12:44 AM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
There was some discussion on a previous thread about how much the earth may warm this year. I know it's a bit soon, but figured it might be interesting to see how things are faring.

If I remember, I'll post an update to the chart below each month, after GISTemp data comes out.

The chart below is a progressive year to date average for all years from 1995 to the present. What that means is for January each year, it just shows the anomaly for January. For February it shows the average of January and February for each year. For March, its the average of the monthly anomaly from January to March.

If you look at December, each year shows the annual average temperature for the full year. For November, each year has the average for the year up to November, not including December.  (I've made it extra large because of all the fine detail.)

Data Source: NASA GISS

2015 is ahead of the pack so far, though it only goes up to March. The years to watch are 2014, 2010 and 2005. I've plotted them with slightly thicker lines so they stand out more easily.

The coldest year of the lot was 1996, which still ended up more than 0.3°C above the 1950 to 1981 average. Incidentally, the potty peer, Christopher Monckton keeps saying that "it hasn't warmed since 1996" - the drongo. He's got his temperature charts upside down :)

Related updates 


  1. Replies
    1. JCH commented here yesterday (my time) on the ENSO thread.

  2. It took me too long to get over my initial expectation that Jan&Feb&Mar should be represented by 3 segments, rather than 2 segments as shown.
    But obviously, the anomalies cannot be determined until the end of the month, so January has no length.
    Would the graph be more quickly understood by slow people like me if the beginning and the inflection points (on the current year 2015 only) were highlighted - as by local enlargement into a circle?

    This type of graph was very useful in the later months of last year's race, for visual scorekeeping.

  3. Yes, but it's pretty ugly.

    I, and the people I'm representing, may be a little dumb, but we're not blind. Something more subtle would satisfy us. Keep the highlighting red, and make it of minimal diameter - to be just noticeable.
    Then we have the option to navigate by counting off the months to the left, rather than having to drop an eye-balled vertical line downwards.
    Your regular readers don't need such help. But many in the ultimate target audience of non-believers would.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. January 2007 has me scratching my head, but what has me really concerned is the fact that the second half of 2015 will need to be extraordinarily cool by comparison with the first half to have a record high global anomaly sit around a value of 'just' 0.7° C. If the El Niño does manage to sink in its teeth the chances of a particularly cool end to 2015 are low, and the resultant annual mean will be worrying indeed.

    And even if such a scenario should evenuate, the scientifically-illiterate deniers of climate change will still miss the point that it won't have warmed with statistical significance (95% CI) for at least 12 years, but that this doesn't mean that it isn't warming.

    1. December 2006 was also very warm, Bernard. (You can't tell on the chart because it's modified by the averaging.) It must have been a hot NH winter and a hot SH summer.

    2. Yeah I know - I was trying to remember how the planets were aligning to give that really warm NH winter/SH summer, relative to the present context.

      More importantly for the current trend is how the planets will align over the next 6-8 months. It seems that the odds are now in favour of a 'proper' El Niño, so this year will be one to watch with particular interest.

      From my own perspective I think that my prediction* back in 2012 was perhaps a little conservative now... I did subsequently note somewhere that if the El Niño was delayed my estimate would be low, but unfortunately I have no idea where I said that so I don't have the escape clause!

      The point though is that I fervently hope that my estimation was not wrong on the low side, and that the 2015 anomaly comes in as far below 0.71° C as is possible.

      *Over at Open Mind, Skeptical Science and earlier on HotWhopper I originally typed 0.7° C ± 0.1° C, completely oblivious to the fact that I meant 0.7° C ± 0.01° C. Perhaps if I hadn't dropped off the last significant figure of the anomaly value I'd have caught my gaff a few years earlier. :-(

    3. A graph of year vs n in 'it hasn't warmed past n years' would look like the Arctic sea ice death spiral. Also this correlation would associate with causation.

  5. Thanks, Sou. Your efforts are much appreciated. I think a few of us have a niggling feeling that things are about to get a bit more interesting.

  6. The NOAA global report is due out tomorrow (Friday).

    The situation in the west coast of the US (particularly California) is truly horrifying - it may well turn out to be a good example of what happens when an upswing in natural variability meets the increase caused by global warming. But considering Mexico got some incredible unseasonal rainfall, maybe California will get lucky too.

    1. Thing is, they'd need record high rainfall just to balance the record high water loss from the temperatures they are getting:


      I guess Anthony doesn't live in California any more, or he'd be sure to mention it.

    2. I guess Anthony doesn't live in California any more, or he'd be sure to mention it.

      Meow! And I thought I could do snark :-)

  7. Sorry to change the subject of the thread, but this just came in and I couldn't help but gag...

    "Hi Bernard,

    The Australian Government today announced they would contribute $4m for Danish climate contrarian Bjorn Lomborg to establish a new “consensus centre” at the University of Western Australia.

    In the face of deep cuts to the CSIRO and other scientific research organisations, it's an insult to Australia’s scientific community.

    As the Climate Commission, we were abolished by the Abbott Government in 2013 on the basis that our $1.5 million annual operating costs were too expensive. We relaunched as the Climate Council after thousands of Australians chipped in to the nation’s biggest crowd-funding campaign - remember this video?

    It seems extraordinary that the Climate Commission, which was composed of Australia’s best climate scientists, economists and energy experts, was abolished on the basis of a lack of funding and yet here we are three years later and the money has become available to import a politically-motivated think tank to work in the same space.

    This is why the work of the Climate Council is so important - to counter this continuing ideological attempt at deceiving the Australian public.

    Please consider chipping in a few dollars a week to help us stay independent and continue to fight the rising tide of misinformation.

    Mr Lomborg’s views have no credibility in the scientific community. His message hasn’t varied at all in the last decade and he still believes we shouldn't take any steps to mitigate climate change. When someone is unwilling to adapt their view on the basis of new science or information, it's usually a sign those views are politically motivated.

    But with your support we will continue to fight back and reach millions of Australians with information that is based on the best science available.

    Thank you

    Tim Flannery

    P.S We're already busy responding to misinformation in the media. We just called out The Australian for deliberately misinterpreting the science and the Prime Ministers Business Advisor Maurice Newman for getting his facts wrong."

    1. Yeah I saw that. It appears he could no longer get funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Centre, but he has now found a new home in a Western Australian business school.

      I did watch his documentary "Cool It". Lots of straw men and arm-waving, typical misdirection. Propaganda.

  8. You know, there are a lot of us color-blind people out here who can't make much sense out of a graph like that...

    1. I can understand that jdulian. Next month I'll add a table, if I remember.

    2. Thanks! And, thanks for the 3 years that are labeled.


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