Friday, January 22, 2016

2015 is the hottest year in the modern temperature record

Climate data for the calendar year 2015 has been released and the results are sobering. Globally averaged temperatures last year easily surpassed the previous mark set in 2014 by a whopping 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 C). You have to go back to 1998 to find an instance where the new record is that much greater than the old one:

The 2015 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York (GISTEMP). NOAA scientists agreed with the finding that 2015 was the warmest year on record based on separate, independent analyses of the data. Because weather station locations and measurements change over time, there is some uncertainty in the individual values in the GISTEMP index. Taking this into account, NASA analysis estimates 2015 was the warmest year with 94 percent certainty.

“Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice - now is the time to act on climate.”

The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.

Anti-science carnival barkers have been pitching various and misleading statements and cooked data for some time trying to downplay climate change. As recently as last month, Senator Ted Cruz seemed quite pleased with himself when he was caught red-handed at his own hearing on climate starting his own private temperature interval in the year 1998, seen in the graph above as one of the prior hottest years on record, in a transparent attempt to downplay the global warming trend to date.


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