Contrary Weather

January 20, 2016

20140228-135941-250x340Sunshine this Wednesday morning on California’s north coast, for a little while anyway, as the bright is buffered by decent cloud cover.
Supposedly, a short break today with another ass-kicker rainstorm due tomorrow evening and into Friday — next nice, clear-weather day forecast maybe for Sunday.

Nowadays, weather chit-chat ain’t idle. In a case of enviro-irony, just as the US east coast hunkers-down for a “crippling” snow storm expected this weekend, some news about warmth — the Guardian this morning: ‘2015 smashed the record for the hottest year since reporting began in 1850, according to the first full-year figures from the world’s three principal temperature estimates.’

The UK Met Office, and our own NASA and NOAA confirm a frighteningly-chilly trend of incandescence.

(Illustration by Handoko Tjung, found here).


Data released on Wednesday by the UK Met Office shows the average global temperature in 2015 was 0.75C higher than the long-term average between 1961 and 1990, much higher than the 0.57C in 2014, which itself was a record.
The Met Office also expects 2016 to set a new record, meaning the global temperature records will have been broken for three years running.

Truth in details and the heat of December — an indepth look at the whole rising-temperatures scenario can be found at Mashable, also this morning, especially an interview with Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and the heat ‘trend‘ from last month.
Some notable points:

“Generally speaking you have a warm year in the year following an El Niño,” Schmidt said in an interview in his office on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

“What we have here is something else. The El Niño that we’re seeing is starting at the end of 2015, and so there hasn’t been enough time for that to really have an impact on the annual mean temperatures,” Schmidt said.
“So 2015 was warm even though there was an El Niño, and it would’ve been a record year even if you abstract out the El Niño affect, 2015 would’ve been a record warm year by a long chalk,” Schmidt said, using a British term meaning “by far.”
The lag effect that El Niño has on the atmosphere means that 2016 is also likely to set another warmest year record, or come close to it, Schmidt said.
“We expect 2016 to be if not the warmest then one of the top five as well,” he said.

According to NASA, the month of December was particularly extraordinary, with the highest departure from average of any month on record.
The temperature anomaly for the month was 1.12 degrees Celsius, or 2.01 degrees Fahrenheit.
This beat out October and November for the top spot on the most unusually mild month list.

“Records can be broken for all sorts of reasons,” Schmidt said.
“But these records are being broken because the planet itself is warming. And it’s going to continue to warm because we continue to burn fossil fuels.”
Schmidt said the 2015 record is really “the odometer moment” that people tend to be fascinated by, though scientists are focused on the continuous, overall warming trend that is now playing out largely as they predicted.
“We like to mark things in steps rather than continuously, and when you’ve got a continuous process, once it marks a step, then people pay attention,” he said.
“These are steps, records are steps.”

Yet what would happen to this whole narrative with a Trump/Palin White House?
Or consequences of this: ‘India has an ambitious plan to double its coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes (about 1.63 U.S. tons) a year by 2020, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to bring power to 300 million people who live without electricity, and give a boost to manufacturing.’


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