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And Now, Three Consecutive Record Warm Years

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2016 was even hotter than 2015!


Figure 1. Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Figure 1. Graph of Global Average Temperature. Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Data released by NASA reveals that the average global temperature in 2016 was even hotter than in 2015, and by a substantial margin. The data is shown in Figure 1. 2014 was a record, then 2015 was a new record, and now 2016 is a new record: this marks the first time in the data maintained by NASA that the world has set three consecutive records. The data indicates that the temperature was at record highs during every month of the year.

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In 2016, global surface temperature was 0.12°C warmer than in 2015. In 2016, the temperature was .99°C warmer than during the reference period, from 1951-1980, and about 2.0°C warmer than the late 19th Century.

Figure 2. Map of Annual Temperature Anomaly, 2016. Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Figure 2. Map of Annual Temperature Anomaly, 2016. Source: NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Figure 2 shows a map of global temperature anomalies. In terms of heavily populated areas, portions of the United States, Canada, Russia, and Brazil were especially warm. But in truth, the real pattern here is that the farther north you go, the more severe the warming.

The NASA report is based on satellite measurements of temperature over both land and sea. In general, satellite measurement is quite accurate. The report does not address the many other climate variables that are addressed in the State of the Climate report published by the American Meteorological Association. That report, however, takes many months to prepare. In the previous post, I reported on the most recent State of the Climate report, which concerns 2015, not 2016.

Sources:

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. GISS Surface Temperature Analysis: Global Maps from GHCN v3 Data. Downloaded 1/18/2017 from https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps.

NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. GISS Surface Temperature Analysis: Analysis Graphs and Plots. Downloaded 1/19/2017 from https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs.

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