The Trend In Monthly Global Mean Land And Sea Temperatures: Up

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Home / The Trend In Monthly Global Mean Land And Sea Temperatures: Up

The global land and sea temperature anomaly for October, 2014. Analysis courtesy of NOAA

NOAA reported its monthly global temperature and precipitation analysis for October on Nov. 20. The results are not a surprise. Here is a summary:

  • October, 2014 was the warmest October on record.
  • The first ten months of 2014 were the warmest for that period on record.
  • The most recent full year (November, 2013 through October, 2014) was the warmest year-long period on record.
  • The October, 2014 sea surface temperature was the warmest for October on record.
  • Warmth was spread across the globe, with at least one station on each continent and in each major ocean reporting an all-time high temperature for October.

The Exceptions To The Trend Towards Higher Temperatures

A few places had colder than normal temperatures in October:

  • Very cold temperatures prevailed in west-Asian Russia.
  • The midwest US was slightly colder than normal.
  • The central North Atlantic Ocean and western Pacific Ocean were colder than normal.

Increases In Ocean Temperatures Are Fueling The Record Warmth For 2014

The story has been the same for many months: Higher sea surface temperatures are pushing the combined land and sea average temperature higher each month.

One possible conclusion that can be reasonably inferred from the data is that some of the heat from CO2’s greenhouse effect is hidden in the deeper ocean because water is a good heat conductor. The surface of the land is a very poor conductor of heat.

This hypothesis is easy to test. Go out on a hot, sunny day to any surface which can be excavated a few inches like the beach or a dirt field. Feel the surface temperature and then dig down a few inches. The surface will be hot (You’ll burn your feet on beach sand), while the sub-surface will be near the average temperature of the air for the time of year.

Now go in the water at the beach on a hot day. The water is still cool, even at the surface. Water conducts heat well, and the radiation striking the surface is quickly distributed to the deeper water.

Details Of The October, 2014 Global Temperature Report

Though the land temperatures for October, 2014 set records in just a few places, many areas reported October temperatures among their five warmest ever.

  • The US had its fourth warmest October.
  • France had its fourth warmest October.
  • Germany had its third warmest October.
  • Switzerland had its fourth warmest october.
  • Denmark had its second warmest October.
  • Australia as a whole had its second warmest October.
  • Western and South Australia had their warmest Octobers.

Details Of The First Ten Months Of 2014

Global land and sea temperature anomaly for the first ten months of 2014. Analysis courtesy of NOAA

The persistence of the overall global weather pattern this year is reflected in the comparison of the October temperatures with those for the January to October period. The cold pockets in the US, central Atlantic, and west-Asian Russia are still in place, with only changes in the extent of departure from normal.

  • The central US was much colder in the ten-month period than in October.
  • Cold water in the north-central North Atlantic was a little less pronounced in the ten-month period than in October.
  • The cold in western Asiatic Russia was less severe over the ten months than in October.

The persistence of weather patterns has been an observed effect accompanying the recent rise in global temperatures. The current extended cold period in the eastern United States (Extreme Weather Event Artichoke) is an example of what can happen when the weather pattern gets stuck in place in the short term.

The California drought is what can happen when a pattern persists for years.

October, 2014 Precipitation

Land-only precipitation percent of normal, October, 2014. Analysis courtesy of NOAA

Precipitation is highly variable on a short-term time scale, so it is hard to conclude anything from a single month’s data.

The notable departures from normal on the October precipitation map are connected with tropical cyclones.

  • Japan suffered through two typhoons or their remnants, Vongfong and Phanfone.
  • Cyclone Hudhud affected southern India.

Though any quantitative analysis awaits more data, there is a qualitative observation that can be made from the October precipitation map: There appears to be more blue (above average precipitation) than red. In a warming atmosphere, more precipitation would be expected.

Air holds more water vapor as it gets warmer; more water vapor would be expected to lead to more rainfall.

Do The October, 2014 Data Prove That Global Warming Is Real?

There is no question about the long-term temperature trend: Temperatures have risen well over a degree Fahrenheit in the last century. Nor is there any doubt that the temperature is now rising globally: Five of the six most recent months (all but July) have been the warmest on record for that month. All credible models of the effect of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere show that the temperature would be expected to rise.

There is little argument about the cause of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere: Burning of fossil fuels. The conclusion is inescapable: Climate change caused by anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels is here.

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