November Burns Through Temperature Records

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2015 on pace to be hottest year after November proves to be scorcher.

This November was the warmest on record, according to a monthly climate update issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information. Weather forecasters say the odds are low — and that temperatures are likely to remain near record levels for this time of year across much of the eastern U.S. through Christmas Eve. November was also the seventh month in a row to average global temperatures that were not only warmer than average, but also broke records set during previous years. It also marked a trend that should see 2015 follow 2014 in becoming the hottest on record, given that the first 11 months of the year were also record warm. The warm forecast comes as NOAA reported the U.S. just had its warmest autumn (defined as September through November) in the 121 years that records have been tracked.

November’s data showed that across the globe, average land-surface temperature was higher than the 20th century average by 2.36 degrees Fahrenheit (1.31 degrees Celsius). This was the highest for November in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2013 by 0.27 degrees, and marking the seventh consecutive month that a monthly global temperature record was broken.

The entire year of 2015 will likely prove to be one of the five warmest ever recorded in the United States, with record and near-record warmth in Florida, Nevada, Washington and Oregon. If this December is among the three-warmest year-end months on record, 2015 would be second-warmest year ever for the contiguous 48 states, behind 2012, he said. When weather and climate agencies like NOAA incorporate monthly reports like these into the larger record of climate data, they can compare average temperatures over time to detect patterns of how Earth’s climate is changing, and how quickly. The warm weather is in part because of an El Nino weather pattern that has a bigger impact in the western U.S. and some other weather factors affecting the rest of the country, Baxter said. In 2009, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change proposed a goal to global leaders — keep average temperature rise to under 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F.) And with warming already estimated at 0.85 degrees C, the world is nearly halfway there.

The December global temperature would have to be at least 1.46 degrees below average–or 0.43 degrees colder than the current record low December temperature of 1916 for 2015 to not become the warmest year in the 136-year period of record. The oceans alone also set a new November record, NOAA says, in large part due to the very strong El Niño that has been present in the equatorial Pacific since April.

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