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Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Environment, Featured, Politics | 13 comments

Scariest stats, so far, on global warming

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Here’s one way to look at it: If you’re around 50 now, the rest of your life will be much tougher thanks to the changing weather patterns. But you’ve got it easy compared to your children who will have some truly scary years thanks to the rapidly changing climate.

In the annals of climatology, 2014 now surpasses 2010 as the warmest year in a global temperature record that stretches back to 1880. The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997, a reflection of the relentless planetary warming that scientists say is a consequence of human emissions and poses profound long-term risks to civilization and to the natural world.

Of the large inhabited land areas, only the eastern half of the United States recorded below-average temperatures in 2014, a sort of mirror image of the unusual heat in the West. Some experts think the stuck-in-place weather pattern that produced those extremes in the United States is itself an indirect consequence of the release of greenhouse gases, though that is not proven.

Several scientists said the most remarkable thing about the 2014 record was that it occurred in a year that did not feature El Niño, a large-scale weather pattern in which the ocean dumps an enormous amount of heat into the atmosphere. …NYT

Climate change deniers have been clinging to El Niño as a way out of what they regard as climate change nonsense. They don’t have El Niño to lean on anymore.

Longstanding claims by climate-change skeptics that global warming has stopped, seized on by politicians in Washington to justify inaction on emissions, depend on a particular starting year: 1998, when an unusually powerful El Niño produced the hottest year of the 20th century.

With the continued heating of the atmosphere and the surface of the ocean, 1998 is now being surpassed every four or five years, with 2014 being the first time that has happened in a year featuring no real El Niño pattern. Gavin A. Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in Manhattan, said the next time a strong El Niño occurs, it is likely to blow away all temperature records. …NYT

So now believer and denier are going to have to face some really hard times together.

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

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  • The point is the overall trend, not if one year is warmer or colder. Plus we continuously have years which are warmer, never the coolest in history.

  • Rambie

    Just look at the science without a political filter from either side. The overall average temperature trend is rising.

    • JSpencer

      “Just look at the science without a political filter from either side.”

      Good luck with that. 😉

  • Rcoutme

    Although the trend for temp is rising, the qtty of CO2 in the air is a very small amount compared to other gasses (less than 1 per 1000). Many, many factors, CO2 and methane being prominent, are contributing to the warming. In the end, it is very likely that we need to prepare the world for the warming trend more than we need to try to curb emissions. In short, if emissions and other gasses are to blame, unless we were to create some sort of super-absorbing plant surge, we really can not eliminate the CO2 that has already been sent into the atmosphere.

    Having said that, I am still in favor of curbing emissions. I am just also a realist when it comes to the political and economic “realities” of our times.

  • JSpencer

    To the extent it’s “inevitable”, it’s because we’ve made it that way. This has gone way past the “debate” stage, certainly way past the “legitimate” debate stage. At my age I’m probably not likely to be deeply effected by climate change, but I’m concerned for my nieces and nephews and their children. They are bound to look back at us and marvel at how we could have been so incredibly irresponsible.

  • I was on my phone yesterday when someone repeated the bogus conservative claim of a hiatus in global warming, and therefore couldn’t add a link. Here’s a post which shows some of the ways how the right wing noise machine distorts the facts, including misquoting scientists, to promote the false claim of hiatus in warming:

  • jack dale


    Probability of
    warmest year

    2014 ~38%
    2010 ~23%
    2005 ~17%
    1998 ~4%

    2014 has the best chance of being the warmest


    Probability of
    warmest year

    2014 ~48%
    2010 ~18%
    2005 ~13%
    2013 ~6%
    1998 ~5%

    2014 has the best chance of being the warmest year.

    NB – 1998 was the year of the strongest El Nino event of the previous 50 years. 2010 and 2005 were also El Nino years.

    2014 was El Nino neutral.

  • jack dale
  • archangel

    Hi paul merrifield. me me etc.

    read the commenter’s rules at top of masthead before you post again. There is no attacking other commenters, writers or site. Read the rules, abide and all will be well.

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