NOAA has joined NASA in releasing data for global temperature this March, and not only is the NOAA value a scorcher, it’s the hottest temperature anomaly on record.
It’s easier to see the March 2016 value if we zoom in the time axis; here’s data since 1975:
The latest value is in red.
We also hit the hottest 12-month running mean:
Yes, global temperature has been “off the charts” lately. We get a better idea of the trend if we smooth the data:
The residuals from this smooth tell us that the latest value is also the highest departure from the trend:
This doesn’t necessarily signal a change in the underlying trend. The residuals, although highest most recently, still follow the normal distribution:
It’s not implausible that the latest value is the continuation of the present trend (which for the last 40 years or so has been very near linear) plus random fluctuation — which in this case is from the combination of known (el Niño) and unknown causes.
Any way you look at it, Earth is hot.
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