California has been in drought for some time now, visible in California data for the Palmer Drought Severity Index, or PDSI. It’s a measure of, well, drought severity. On the PDSI scale negative numbers mean drought (i.e. unusually dry conditions) while positive numbers mean unusually wet conditions, so it’s the most extreme negative PDSI values that mark the most extreme drought. Anyway, here are 12-month moving averages of the data through April
With the death toll from a recent killer heat wave in India up over 2,500, making it India’s 2nd-deadliest heat wave on record and the world’s 7th-deadliest, I can’t help but think how much more common this is becoming. Russia 2010 with over 55,000 casualties, the 2003 European heat wave killing over 70,000, are still fresh in our memories. One wonders how many more such “memories” lie ahead.
When it comes to temperature at Earth’s surface, with 2014 the hottest year on record and 2015 on pace to exceed even that, things are getting hot for those who deny that global warming is a danger to us all.
In their scramble to find something that looks like global warming has somehow “paused,” they seem to have settled on one particular data set with which, if you wait until just the right moment to start looking, it looks like they want it to look.
Pope Francis is taking man-made climate change seriously. With a papal encyclical due soon, the trailer is Epic
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In the last post I graphed the average temperature for 2015 so far with the annual averages prior to that. It’s certainly not the clearest way to show things, and someone who doesn’t read the text and pay close attention could get the wrong impression. It was also pointed out that there may be seasonal differences in the way temperature has changed; maybe January through April has behaved differently than other times of the year. Finally, the inherent scatter in a 4-month average is bound to be higher than that in an annual average.
In an attempt to present things more clearly, here are a few more views of where we are. We’ll begin with year-long averages for all the data points, but to include the most recent data let’s end each year with April. Here is the average temperature for each May-through-April period since 1880:
Since last year was the hottest on record, many people have trained a keen eye on this year’s temperature data so see how it will compare with last year’s record-breaker.
So far, it’s a hot one indeed. How hot? NASA has just released the global temperature data for April, and although we only have four months of data for the year so far, some of the folks at home are wondering how this-year-so-far compares to previous years’ temperatures. Here you are: