Hottest Monthly Temperature Anomaly Yet

NASA has released their temperature data for January of 2016, and this month came in as the hottest monthly temperature anomaly on record


Here’s what it looks like since 1970:


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40 responses to “Hottest Monthly Temperature Anomaly Yet

  1. Four months in a row of greater than 1 degree Celsius anomalies. Every one unprecedented before the first one.

  2. Harry Twinotter

    It certainly is impressive. The JMA temp series one beat the last January record by 0.23C which is around 3 decades of steady warming. I guess we will know by the end of 2016 if this is just an unusual spike, or a break in the trend.

  3. Call me crazy, but it almost looks like there’s been an upward trend in global temperature since the mid-1960s.

    Somebody should look into that.

  4. This is the spike expected from El Nino, right?
    Because the scrabblers are going to be dooming saying it’s a new trend.
    “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right ….”

  5. Is it time to quote Jason Box yet?

  6. Here in central Maine, this past week is the first time this winter we’ve had our traditional rupture in the circumpolar cycle, which floods us with very cold polar air (it has been -8 F for the past few nights). Now it is about 50F, ie. an 80 F difference over 24 hours. Our cellar has gone from having rime ice on the granite blocks (Monday at -8 below) to a small brook running through it tonight (Tuesday, 50 F, heavy rain). Odd.

  7. If this El Nino develops like the one of 1998, there might still be one or two more tenths of a degree to go.

    • Babies that are overfed are fat. This El Nino has been fed on the highest concentrations of greenhouse gases in history. We can expect it to be the fattest El Nino in history, and not like any El Nino in history.

  8. rabiddoomsayer

    Off topic but could the micro encephalophy in Brazil be Zika plus piriproxyfen. Zika alone did not have the devastating result, piriproxifen has been used elsewhere without so many problems. But in Brazil the association between Zika , is pretty much a given, but also strongest the areas where piriproxifen is used. How to test, how much do you charge?

  9. I’m wondering how often the monthly (let alone the annual…) global anomaly will in future dip below the 1951-1980 baseline.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we’re close to the time when that will never happen again – if we haven’t already passed it…

  10. > you may be talking about Kevin Trenberth

    No, I’m not talking about scientists.
    Reality is plenty scary.

    Am I right reading that graph that the high excursions in the past have generally been a pair of extremely hot years, then a return to the longterm rising trend.

    I’m thinking about the people for whom every excursion is presented as representing a tipping point one way or the other — that kind of extra-extrapolation.

    • Trenberth thinks the PDO may be in a positive phase, which would mean the 30-year trend could go from less than .2 ℃ to as much as.2 ℃, or more, in the next decade.

  11. “No warming since 2016. Global warming has clearly stopped.”

    I can just hear it now.

  12. The very large anomaly in the Arctic is striking and makes me concerned that there is a data issue with GISS. The change between Dec and Jan seems implausibly large. Compare:

    • I am no expert, however I can say that on the Atlantic side there has been a string of one nor’easter after another for 6 weeks now. Nor’easters pump a lot of warm air located in more southerly regions up into the central and eastern parts of the arctic North Atlantic basin. Svalbard, for example, has seen above freezing temperatures with the sun not yet up, or essentially so, at latitude 78N lately. There are cold air masses over land in the Canadian north (which led to the recent blast in the US) and eastern Siberia. Neven discusses some of this on his blog and forum on Arctic ice. He also talks about the local weather in other regions of which I have no knowledge of at all

      There really does appear to be a large weather anomaly up there right now. Whether it becomes some new equilibrium in the climate as well remains to be seen.

    • As a quick cross-check, compare the DMI data:

      That, too, shows a sudden change just before New Years. It also shows, if you troll back through the record, that such events are not unprecedented. So, at a quick glance at least, I’m not too worried about a data issue. While the Arctic is vast in human terms, it’s a surprisingly small fraction of the planet, and hence is more variable than one might think.

    • @ Paul

      Why? First, RSS also had a huge increase in compare to Dec, on the other Hand, circulation in January was partly disturbed and cold comes to the continents and the warm air to the arctic.

      In compare to NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis, the temperature-anomaly in the arctic is more much to cold



    • Oreskes wrote a book about certain merchants…

      A different source, IJIS;topic=230.0;attach=25314;image

    • Quite possibly there isn’t a problem. The weather system that gave us a 70F Christmas Eve in Massachusetts crossed the Atlantic, flooded bits of the UK and then reached the North Pole around Jan 1st, where it took the temperature above freezing, 40-80F above normal for the time of year, depending on your source.

      That system was so anomalously warn that I feel like it could be completely skewing the monthly data. The timing is spot on for it to contribute to the large 45-60 latitude anomaly in December, and the 60-90 latitude anomaly in January. Remember that months are bins with arbitrary start date.

    • Paul, two things make me doubtful that there’s a data issue with GISS.

      First, the consecutive lattitudinal points in the January graph are consistent in their trends toward the pole, which would mean that if there’s an “issue” if covers many stations and does so in a graduated fashion.

      Secondly, there’s a shift in the ‘peak’ lattitudinal anomaly from south of 60°N to north of 60°N, so not only is there a consistency in adjacent data points but there’s a consistency in the movement in the location of the ‘mass’ with the greatest anomaly. And given that this great ‘mass’ of anomalous temperature seems to have moved north, the comparative increase in the magnitude of the anomaly for January is similarly consistent.

      I think the apparent appearance of an “issue” is simply the eye expecting one graph to resemble an other. In reality the physics of anomalies driven by human-caused global warming are such that it’s enirely plausible and indeed predicatble that such pairings of profiles would be expected between consecutive months.

  13. It will be interesting to see how low the temperature goes when the next La Niña arrives, perhaps in 2017. Will it continue the trend line of warmer and warmer La Niñas?

  14. @Paul: Some regions around Svalbard are free from sea ice this winter that were usually ice covered, making more then +20°C anomaly there. Compare the GISS with the reanalysis on this site below:
    Averaged over the Arctic the reanalysis is even warmer the GISS.

    • Yes, this is my worry – that the surface data used are biased (in Jan this year) with more ice free regions. Does the GISS analysis consider this information to avoid a large error in calculating the anomaly across the entire Arctic? The very linear behavior with latitude north of 60 suggests that there are few measurement locations – perhaps Svalbard is one of the only sites used. On the other hand, the reanalysis should fix this bias, so perhaps there really is no issue – it is just really really warm (by comparison).

  15. Paul

    Remember that the Arctic is small, especially if you are plotting latitude on a linear axis. So by definition it will be more variable month to month.

  16. If you transform the baseline from 1951-1980 to 1961-1990 using the monthly averages, GISTEMP January is 0.002 °C below December. Just sayin’.

    (I suspect that when El Niño has subsided and all the instrumental estimates are in, December 2015 will be the new consensus monthly anomaly record. But given the lag last time, there’s still a few months to come that could beat it. That’s until the next Pacific Ocean burp.)

  17. HadCRUt4 January 2016 is published.

    0.894 C. Warmest Jan on record, and the second warmest month on record – beaten by last month.

    No monthly anomaly in the 0.9s as yet. 2nd warmest month is 0.894, warmest is 1.005. Ignoring uncertainties…

  18. NOAA have also released the 2016 January figure. Like HadCRUt4, it’s the warmest January in the record, and the second warmest month behind December 2015.

  19. @gerg
    I expect that February will beat it.

  20. Febuary?

    Write the same story … again (i keep hoping there will be a global ‘ah ha’ moment …)

  21. Interesting playing with after these past 4 months. GISTemp now gives statistically significant global warming in just 4 years. No wonder the global warming denialists are in denial of the surface temperature data.

    [Response: That’s an interesting result, but I’d be wary. Such a short time span makes it too difficult to get reliable estimates for the noise variance or the autocorrelation structure.]