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It Was An Extremely Hot Year for Planet Earth

The Weather Channel has taken to using dramatic language to describe ordinary winter weather, with special names for snowstorms, and the term “polar vortex” to refer to what our parents simply called a bitter cold front. It’s cold outside for much of the United States right now. But then, a year ago, it felt cold too. That’s what winter is like… sometimes. The truth is that normal cold winter temperatures feel especially bitter to us these days because, over the last couple of decades, we’ve been experiencing many unusually warm winters.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed this perception today, as it released data showing that, occasional bouts of cold air included, 2013 was the fourth hottest year on Earth ever directly recorded by scientists. It was the 37th year in a row with a hotter than normal global temperature. The National Snow and Ice Data Center confirms that, even as we talk about this being an especially cold winter, signs of global warming persist. Even as you may be feeling chilly while waiting for the bus to arrive, the surface area of Arctic sea ice is actually at historically very low levels.

1 comment to It Was An Extremely Hot Year for Planet Earth

  • Tom

    Good job Green Man.

    https://robertscribbler.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/2013-4th-hottest-year-on-record-deep-ocean-warming-fastest-nasa-noaa-find-no-pause-in-long-term-warming-trend/

    2013 4th Hottest Year on Record, Deep Ocean Warming Fastest, NASA, NOAA Find No Pause in Long-Term Warming Trend

    With the readings coming in for 2013 — atmosphere, ocean surface and the deep ocean — it becomes increasingly obvious that anyone saying planetary warming has slowed down is clearly misinformed.

    Criticisms of the misinformed aside, according to reports from NOAA’s National Climate Data Center, 2013 was the world’s 4th hottest on record since temperature measures began in 1880. All this despite ENSO conditions remaining neutral in the Eastern Pacific and deep ocean heat content continuing to rapidly rise while sucking a portion of that heat out of the atmosphere.

    The NCDC measure found numerous regions in which temperatures were the hottest ever recorded including a large swath of Australia, a broad stretch of the Pacific Ocean adjacent to New Guinea and the Philippines, an area larger than Texas at the heart of the Asian Continent, and multiple other locations ranging from south of Svalbard to East Africa to the Indian Ocean to the Northern and Southern Pacific. Aside from these record hot zones, over 70 percent of the land and ocean surface measured came up either hotter than average or much hotter than average while 28% of the globe experienced average temperatures and less than 2% of the Earth’s surface experienced cooler than average temperatures.

    Notably, no regions of the globe saw record coldest temperatures and the only zone coming up cooler than normal cropped up in the Southern Ocean just north of Antarctica.

    NASA found 2013 to be the 7th hottest on record and the 2nd hottest non El Nino year on record.

    Helpfully, NASA also put together a graph of global temperature averages as measured since 1950 showing that atmospheric warming has continued unabated despite much false and inaccurate press coverage of a ‘global warming hiatus.’

    [read more]

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