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It’s official: 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by cyclopathic, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    It’s official: 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history - The Washington Post
    [​IMG]
     
  2. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    An important line from another article on this:

    "The last time the Earth set an annual NOAA record for cold was in 1911."
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Not in Alabama:
    Source: NOAA says 2014 was warmest year worldwide on record; state climatologist John Christy disagrees | AL.com

    The article has Christy's point of view about economic development and microclimate. Here is a direct quote from this article and it is consistent with his past statements:
    Regardless, the next quote justifies OCO-2:
    • CO{2} domes around urban areas - they exist, use Google to find references
    • Mauna Loa Observatory series - CO2 Now | CO2 Home
    • First OCO-2 image:
    [​IMG]
    Source: Global Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide | NASA

    Based upon the legend, there is a spread of 15.5 ppm, roughly 3.8%. So it begs the question of whether the atmosphere Christy studies, ground level to ~5 miles, and often moves has to demonstrate high enough concentrations to effect Christy's CO{2} model.

    Still, the NOAA chart shows Louisianna, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas appear to be locally cooler. So Christy has support about global warming 'in my backyard.'

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    then why did i freeze my a$$ off? oh, i know, it's cause i'm old.:unsure:
     
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    You were warming up Alaska and keeping the Arctic sea ice thin.

    Bob Wilson
     
  6. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    In an earlier recent thread, I tried to make the point that 'each decade warmer than the previous' has more meaning than individual years. I don't know how one judges statistical significance in comparing annual data, but I am sure it is not the case that 2014 is statistically warmer than 1998 (only about 0.05 oC separates them). Does that matter? no, but decades do.

    Media needs red meat though, whether it comes from science agencies or John Christy.

    On the latter, urban heat islands exist, that's for sure. But the idea does not explain why rural stations also have increasing T. Does not explain global decadal T decreases before 1970. Does not explain why satellite T records are also increasing. It does suggest that heat waves are (and will be) more severe in cities. Perhaps that worries Dr. Christy as well, but I don't know if he has said so.

    What I'd rather stress (and some other people do as well) is that this is the first time we know about where multi-year T did not decrease after a very strong El Nino (1998). We used to have that pattern.

    There were two periods of decadal T decreases in 20th century. I am waiting for climate models that can explain those patterns from physical principles, but y'all know I presume it to relate to oceanic heat redistribution. Not just me - I've suggested reading Tsonis before.

    If infrared absorption has now overcome that oceanic thing, we won't have another decadal T less than its predecessor. Not until CO2 levels are lowered, and that won't happen for a very long time.

    When new annual records become mundane, maybe they won't even get reported...

    +++
    Bob, your OCO2 map looks like one would expect at the end of N Hemis. summer, except for the high levels in Eastern Asia. I should consult with people who operate eddy flux towers in that area, and ask about their seasonal patterns of photosynthesis and decomposition. South of that (Yunnan Province) the eddy flux data look as one would expect. The simple hypothesis is coal combustion I suppose.
     
  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    A while back I asked 'what separates a weather from a climate?' For me the question identifies the width of a Gaussian filter to see long-term trends. The sad thing is the output of the Gaussian filter ends at one half the width.

    I wasn't paying attention to his opinions during the EU and Russian heat wave of 2007. All I've seen are local articles where he asserts the importance of economic development often citing Africa.

    In April 2011 tornadoes tore up the transmission lines in North Alabama and many of us had power outages of over four days. Fortunately night temperatures were in the 40s. Had it hit in August-September, there would have been a lot of heat deaths.

    I think we're going to learn a lot from OCO-2.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I don't think that either Christy or NOAA is wrong although they each would like to claim the other is. 1998, 2010, and 2014 all could have been the hottest year based on measuring error and what you are measuring.

    One thing for sure is that the earth has been warming since the LIA (little ice age), but no one seems to have good answers on why it cooled for the little ice age. This warming is not at all linear, and we have hot years and cold ones. If the worst predictions of carbon dioxide made in the late 90's were true it would be much hotter now, but it appears natural variation is strong enough to overcome warming for short periods of time ;)

    There is no great knowledge gained from one hot year, especially one where the atmosphere is cooler than other hot years. That doesn't mean their is not a warming trend, but let us not get ahead of ourselves claiming that hot -> global warming, or next cold year will be cold => no global warming. We do know 2000-2009 was warmer than 1990-1999, and it is likely this trend is continueing with the begining of this decade being warmer still.
     
  9. GregP507

    GregP507 Senior Member

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    Since the present protocol for measuring such temperatures has only existed since about 1880, the proper statement should be "warmest year since 1880."
     
  10. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    1880 is the most common start year for the various global compilations. 1850 and 1790 are others, but there was not a good distribution of measurements way back then.

    One would want to be careful, however, not to accidentally give the impression that earlier temperatures are unknown. This is where the paleoproxies come in, and some of them (especially stable isotopes) have been carefully intercalibrated with thermometers. Tree-ring width turns out to be far from an ideal choice, as trees respond to water availability and (especially recently) CO2 increases.

    The PAGES-2K analysis in Nature Geoscience in 2013 may be the most complete multi-proxy analysis so far. Their Figure 4 taken at face value would suggest "since 800 AD" but none of the paleoproxies are annual. Thus not comparable to 2014 or any other single year.

    In the longer view, paleos suggest that 125 thousand years ago was warmer. 55 million years ago was warmer still. It is primarily such results that lead (me) to doubt that we are heading for an 'extinction bottleneck'

    It is reasonable though, to focus on shorter intervals. Because now we are doing this 7+ billion people thing, and thus more susceptible to climatic extremes. Recent trends in global crop yields (small but significant negative responses to +T) are not particularly optimistic.
     
  11. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I would say we are fairly sure (greater than 2 sigma confidence) that it is the hottest year since 1400, as margin for error for years in the little ice age keep them cooler than today.

    I can't remember the range for 800, but probably the most we could say is it is the hottest decade as error for single years that for back is fairly high. Then again I don't understand the point of going back and comparing single years to years that old.
     
  12. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    The PAGES (first author Ahmed, in case you're looking) has 6 points (vertical data ranges actually) per 200 years, and the most recent one they show is as I stated above.

    Earlier studies on that same Fig. 4 suggest "since 1100AD" or so. Those are not with glued-on hockeystick blades.

    I would not take a firm stance on what temperature records should or should not be compared. Except not to hang too much on single-year data, and I've said that already. Inclined towards leniency in general, based on the idea that data and analyses are transparent, and thoughtful readers can assess the evidence themselves. Now, this is not what the media does in general, but one could approach the subject in that manner.
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    The press is of course saying global temps rising fast, based on this.

    We need to hear response from the skeptics "models possibly looking wrong" folks who said the last 20 years temps were level, not going up like the models said they should. They were saying last year, unless temps start heading up, we need to question the models. Is this the evidence they would say they need to fall in line, or is it not.

    East Coast USA has been very cool last 12 months we had cold last winter, cool summer now still pretty cold here. Entire rest of globe is warmer...crazy that East Coast is blue.
     
  14. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    A key issue, but one not frequently discussed, is that temperatures are changing much faster now than when they changed in the past due to natural orbital variations etc.

    I think the temperature increase track we seem to be on is increasing at least 10x faster than during the natural 'ice age' variations. The temperature has gone up 1F over a much shorter period of time than recent natural climate shifts and will likely continue doing so. Many of the species living today haven't had to survive temperature shifting that quickly.
     
    #14 Jeff N, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  15. Stevevee

    Stevevee Active Member

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    From Berkley Earth


    The!Average!Temperature!of!2014! Results!from!Berkeley!Earth!
    ! January'14,'2015'

    Berkeley'Earth'has'constructed'an'estimate'of'the'global'average'temperature'during' 2014,'including'land'and'sea.''The'key'findings'are:'

    '

    1. The'global'surface'temperature'average'(land'and'sea)'for'2014'was'nominally'

      the'warmest'since'the'global'instrumental'record'began'in'1850;'however,' within'the'margin'of'error,'it'is'tied'with'2005'and'2010'and'so'we'can’t'be' certain'it'set'a'new'record.''

    2. For'the'land,'2014'was'nominally'the'4th'warmest'year'since'1753'(when'the' land'surface'temperature'record'began)'

    3. For'the'sea,'2014'was'the'warmest'year'on'record'since'1850'

    4. For'the'contiguous'United'States,'2014'ranked'nominally'as'the'38th'warmest'

      year'on'record'since'1850.''


      http://static.berkeleyearth.org/memos/Global-Warming-2014-Berkeley-Earth-Newsletter.pdf
     
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  16. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I definitely agree with not using individual years. Taking a quick look at PAGES 2000K reconstruction they use 30 year moving averages of the past. Ofcourse potential errors get stronger the further back you go, so the most we can say about that reconstruction is hottest 30 year period in the "X" years. Individual years in a 30 year period should have a great deal of natural variation.
     
  17. wxman

    wxman Active Member

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    NOAA also reports that global precipitation in 2014 was near average for the third consecutive year, and the U.S. continues to recover from the 2012 drought.

    The number of Atlantic basin tropical systems was below average in 2014 again.

    The Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent was above the 1981-2010 average during last winter (December 2013 - February 2014).

    For the third consecutive year, tornado activity in the U.S. was well below average. 2014 was the third consecutive year that the number of confirmed tornadoes was below 1000, which hasn't happened since 1987 - 1989 (before deployment of the WSR-88D Doppler radar system).

    So, there's really no sign of significant climate disruption, in spite of the general warming, yet anyway.
     
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  18. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    We have seen rapid temperature changes in the paleo record. This leads to a confirmation of the theory of tipping points. The problem is we don't know what the next tipping point is, if there is one. The best example is the younger dryas.

    NOAA Paleoclimatology Program - Perspective on Abrupt climate Change
    These natural changes were quite devastating and coincided with a massive extinction event. Some argue that both were caused by a meteorite, but that too is a natural phenomena. The last few decades temperatures have been changing much more slowly than the younger drias, so unless we hit a tipping point (which IMHO is highly possible) life will go on.
     
    #18 austingreen, Jan 20, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  19. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    Many areas in the Southern Hemisphere warmed during the younger dryas so the estimated global temperature "only" dropped about 0.6C or 1F. Although it lasted much much longer, that's similar in temperature change to the global drop that might be caused by 2 big volcano eruptions within the same year.

    The numbers you quoted were regional areas that experienced the greatest change. They were large changes that hit in a short time span of something like 5-50 years. On the other hand, today's global warming is estimated to cause a global rise of 4-8F in the next 85 years with regional changes closer to the poles seeing larger effects. The southern arctic is expected to see temperstures rise by 5-16F some 85 years from now if we stay on our current track.

    I'm not reassured that life will continue on as usual with those kinds of dramatic changes within a 100 year time frame (with continued worsening after that) just because the severity and timeframe of the change is somewhat less during that specific unusual event than what is projected now.

    The normal global rate of change during orbital ice age cycles that life has adapted to is more like 1F spread over 1,000 years, not 4-8F spread over 100 years which is the track we are on now.
     
  20. lindali

    lindali New Member

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    We heared the report: this year is the hottest year every year:D