November Temperature

NASA has released the November global temperature estimate. It’s hot


This year will end up the hottest year on record. Here are annual averages, with 2015 the year-to-date average (so it’s only based on 11 months, not 12):


If we want to know the trend (and we do), we might smooth the data, like this:


This month already marks the hottest 12-month period on record, as shown by 12-month moving averages:


Somebody tell Ted Cruz.


35 responses to “November Temperature

  1. Telling Ted Cruz the facts clearly does not sway the man. He is an ass of epic proportions. I cannot imagine any sane person looking at the data and coming to the conclusion the Senator has reached…unless you were paid handsomely by the fossil fuel industry to conclude otherwise.

    • Ted Cruz, and Curry, and the rest of the despicable bunch will slander climate scientists rather than accept the data.

      I guarantee that.

    • He is very good at what he does though. I watched some of the senate hearing and the guy sounds really plausible if you don’t already know he’s lying. He doesn’t _sound_ like a crazy, he emphasis how important it is to follow the science, he has plenty of ‘facts’ to back up his case. He’s a really dangerous guy.

  2. The more times I see that 1940-1946 bump in global temperatures in the NOAA/GISTEMP series (based on ERSST including a large increase in the number and extent of surface sea temperatures taken by navy vessels during the Second World War) the more it makes me want to drill down into the distribution and see how reliable (or not) it really is.

    Anyway, back to 2015 and the trend. Just look at all those hiatuses over the last 50 years! Why, there must be dozens of them, each more statistically significant than the last.

  3. Very interesting to look at the 12 – month – period – curve.
    It looks like the turning points lying in a certain envelope, the variability becoming a bit smaller from decade to decade. See here: Completely generated by eyballing.
    Wonder if one could corroborate this numerically.

  4. I’m sure Cruz and Smith will attribute this to “doctored” data. After all, lack of evidence of a conspiracy is the strongest evidence of a conspiracy.

    Has anyone done an analysis of changes in precipitation? I live in Central TX (not in Smith’s district, and I voted against Cruz), and water’s been a concern for several years now. Not anxious to relive the 2011 drought, nor the fires that were associated with it, and I *really* don’t want that to become the new normal.

  5. The “12 month moving average” plot is interesting. It shows numerous periods (e.g. 1998) when the slope was larger than in the past year. Together with the super-El Nino, maybe that suggests that the 12 month average could go quite a lot higher before its next downtick. Anyone want to predict its next local maximum?

    • 2016 will likely be hotter than 2015, by some margin. That heat stored in the central Pacific will be released to the atmosphere before it dissipates.

  6. According to the Moyhu website, NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data for December (to 13th) suggest that it’s mounting a challenge to be the warmest month of 2015:

    • Those guys are pretty good at predicting the right range. Looks like equal to or greater is the range. The amazing thing the December anomaly is relaxing back from out of sight to merely sky high.

    • Those are amazing figures. It took me a moment to realize that they were against a 1994-2013 base period.

      I couldn’t say it with great confidence, but the last week may have been one of the warmest in modern human history.

    • You mean December will show the highest monthly temperature anomaly of 2015. The warmest 2015 month (and hottest month on record globally) was in fact July, because of the relatively strong annual cycle. Here:

  7. Pierre-Normand Houle

    “Somebody tell Ted Cruz.”
    Ted Cruz isn’t going to listen. Judith Curry told him personally that satellite measurements are “the best thing we have” because “they’re global” (or so she believes) and because surface temperatures have “issues” that need to be “sorted out”.

  8. Kinimod – I took the HadCRUT4 yearly data (because that’s what I had on hand) and calculated the standard deviations for each 13 year period (nothing special here about 13 years) starting in 1970. I found the linear regression line though the standard deviations plotted by end-of-period year, and the slope of that regression line was -0.0013. So there may be something to your observation.

  9. I’m going to make a bold prediction. Given that we’ve had two years of new record high temperatures, 2016 will almost certainly see a regression to the mean, which will swiftly be followed by cries of “There’s a new ice age coming, let’s start burning more fossil fuels” from the likes of Cruz and co.

  10. Asteroid Miner

    December is being too warm for December so far in Moline, Illinois. A lot of people like it at first, but not after being reminded of possible consequences for groceries.

    • Same here in the Atlanta area–today’s high is predicted to be 69 or 70 F, depending on the forecast you hear. More than enough to cause comment, though it’s not actually a record; apparently it hit 77 back in 1971.

      I wonder about the month as a whole though; so far the monthly mean maximum (through the 15th) is 65.6, versus a monthly mean of about 54.

      Of course the first half of the month will normally be the warmer part anyway, but that seems like a pretty big difference to make up by New Years. Just a local curiosity, I suppose–it’s the big picture that matters, and we already heard about that above.

  11. @ctg: “I’m going to make a bold prediction. Given that we’ve had two years of new record high temperatures, 2016 will almost certainly see a regression to the mean, …”
    I’m also going to make a bold prediction. After 2014 was a new record high temperature, and 2015 will be certainly a new record high temperature by a large margin, the year 2016 will make the third new record high temperature year in a row.

  12. I’ll just join the chorus of December looks like being the hottest ever here. We’ve never before recorded a heatwave of 4 consecutive 40C days in December. But we’re well on the way. It was 34.6C at 9am here (that’s 94.2 in old money) and down here near the sea it’s only expected to get to 37.

    I just checked. Oh dear, it’s already 35.8. Good job I’m going over to look after my itsy bitsy baby granddaughter for the day. Daughter’s aircon is better than ours.

    • And good on the BoM for actually calling it as climate change!

    • I’ve always been amazed at the ferocity of Adelaide’s heat waves!

      • I remember one rather insightful bloke who described Adelaide’s climate as being “edge of a desert”. Makes you look at the geography differently. If you’re in the city or the closer suburbs, you tend to think of beaches on the west, hills on the east and south. If you take just one step back for a larger perspective, you see what he means. Those hills are what separate the Adelaide area from arid Mallee areas and the thin ribbon of green that runs either side of the Murray.

        He didn’t think this was all bad for gardeners though. That “isolated oasis” location, sea in one direction, desert and near desert in the other three, means that we’re much less likely to suffer transfer of garden pests, in particular fruit fly, because we have no endemic species and we can, with a little effort, keep out the Mediterranean and WA varieties. So gardeners can revel in abundant crops of tomatoes and peaches and other summer goodies without forever having to discard maggot-infested produce as so many home gardeners must do in other states if they haven’t given up entirely.

        Of course, the clay soil and low humidity makes us _ideal_ for rose growing. Black spot is only a problem for people who get their garden design and/or their watering regime wrong. We have the international rose trial site at the Botanic Gardens and roses on street corners and roundabouts all over the place.

        And wine. And olives.

  13. It is rather toasty here in Adelaide, too. Today’s forecast maximum (Fri 18th) is for 42C, and Saturday is for 43C. No snow for Xmas.

    • 14C and damp here in Somerset.

      In midwinter. Around the same latitude as Moscow. Distinctly non-dickensian.

  14. Geez, that hiatus after 1998 seems to disappear once you smooth it for multi year trends, big surprise there. I never understood why the IPCC gave it any credence.
    December?? I’m staying inside as it goes North of 40 today in Melbourne (that’s about 105 if you still use the old measure). Australia seems to be contributing to December’s attempt at hottest month ever. Will cool down for a few days but back over 30 for Christmas.
    The El Nino will lead us into another drought too.
    The deniers had no credibility to start with and they are looking even sillier now.

  15. The East Coast of the US has been having ridiculous weather for the time of year, record highs being set everywhere. Last weekend the record set in central NJ of 63ºF in the 20s was broken at 72ºF, similar weather expected for Christmas Eve!

    • It was a cool November here in California, and December also seems cool to me.

      I don’t know why that should interest people, but if everyone else is doing it I feel I should too.

    • Yeah, we had thunderstorms forecast for Christmas morning in Atlanta. That’s not something I’ve ever experienced. And I mean *ever*. It now seems as if the peak risk–and I say risk, because some areas have up 50% chances of tornados, too–is now Thursday the 24th, but there’s still a 50% chance for Christmas morning. The forecast high for Christmas is 77 F (25 C)–for context, the all-time December high maximum is 79 F, set on December 1, 1991. Greg’s comment below is correct in spirit–this is mostly weather. But it’s pretty damn freakish weather.

      Except it’s not altogether a ‘freak,’ is it?