The Hottest Year (So Far)

Scientists at NOAA and NASA announced the 2014 was the hottest year since systematic record keeping began in 1880.  This is all the more striking because 2014 wasn’t a strong El Nino year, when you expect especially warm global temperatures. If you leave on the East Coast or in the Midwest, you may not have noticed any warmth — the eastern U.S. was the one land-area on earth that had a relatively cool year.  But the Western U.S. had very hot temperatures, making drought conditions worse.

As this graph shows, there has been an unmistakeable long-term trend for the past 115 years, despite year-to-year fluctuations:

global temperatures

As it happens, the same day, Pope Francis made some very apt remarks.  According to the Guardian, here’s what he said:

“I don’t know if it is all (man’s fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature,” he said. .. .

“We have, in a sense, lorded it over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth,” said Francis, who since his election in 2013 has made many appeals for the protection of the environment.

“I think man has gone too far,” he said. “Thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this.”

Amen to that.

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Reader Comments

4 Replies to “The Hottest Year (So Far)”

  1. Scientists balk at ‘hottest year’ claims: Ignores Satellites showing 18 Year ‘Pause’
    Climate Depot ^ | Januuary 16, 2015

    UK Guardian: ‘Hottest Year’ Claim: 2014 officially the ‘hottest year’ on record US government scientists say – ‘Nasa and Noaa scientists report 2014 was 0.07F (0.04C) higher than previous records…The global average temperatures over land and sea surface for the year was 1.24F (0.69C) above the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) and Nasa reported. The scientists said 2014 was 0.07F (0.04C) higher than the previous records set in 2005 and 2010.’

    But scientists and climate skeptics are countering that the claims of “hottest year” are based on immeasurable temperature differences that are based on hundredths of a degree differences.

    Climate Depot’s Marc Morano issued this statement: “There are dueling datasets. Surface temperature records and satellite records and they disagree. The satellites were set up to be “more accurate” than the surface records. See: Flashback: 1990 NASA Report: ‘Satellite analysis of upper atmosphere is more accurate, & should be adopted as the standard way to monitor temp change.’

    Any temperature claim of “hottest year” based on surface data is based on hundredths of a degree hotter than previous “hottest years”. This immeasurable difference is not even within the margin of error of temperature gauges. The claim of the “hottest year” is simply a political statement not based on temperature facts. “Hottest year” claims are based on minute fractions of a degree while ignoring satellite data showing Earth is continuing the 18 plus year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’. See: The Great Pause lengthens again: Global temperature update: The Pause is now 18 years 3 months (219 months)

    Claiming 2014 is the “hottest year” on record based on hundredths of a degree temperature difference is a fancy way of saying the global warming ‘pause’ is continuing.”

  2. Temperature measurements made last year, or over a period of 134 years, amount to nothing in terms of significance to a global climate change time scale. Measurements made over a period of a few thousand years would be significant.

    Further, temperature measurements made a century or more ago, are really not comparable to measurements made today, for so many reasons. Instrumentation has changed, locations and the number of measurements taken in a year have changed, surface conditions have changed, motivations for taking and reporting measurements have changed, methods for integration of data over the earth’s surface have developed, etc.

    Unfortunately, the motivations of researchers does affect their collection of data, and the conclusions they draw. Even the choice of a label for the Y-axis in the graph presented – Temperature anomaly – suggests a bias in data analysis.

    But quoting the Pope to provide support for a supposedly scientific study, is a bit of a stunner. Not sure who that might be expected to persuade.

  3. The Catholic power house siding with the science …
    What a long waited victory for Galileo !
    ;- )
    Benoit (@GoEcoSynergy)

  4. “…. “Hottest year” claims are based on minute fractions of a degree while ignoring satellite data showing Earth is continuing the 18 plus year ‘pause’ or ‘standstill’…..”

    The ‘pause’ is a credible and hard scientific fact that the California Environmental Bar resolutely ignores while trying to persuade others to do likewise. Pity the fools. When confronted with the truth about climate fraud, even distinguished professors of environmental law cannot seem to cope with the sad and troubling consequences of wasted years, skulduggery, propaganda, falsehood, discredit and shame.

    The truth is ascending and setting us free.

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About Dan

Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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