"There is no standstill in global warming," Jarraud said as he presented the WMO’s annual review of the world’s climate which concluded that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth hottest year since 1850 when recording of annual figures began.
"The warming of our oceans has accelerated, and at…
This winter has been a tale of two Americas: The Midwest is just beginning to thaw out from a battery of epic cold snaps, while Californians might feel that they pretty much skipped winter altogether.
In fact, new NOAA data reveal that California’s winter (December through February) was the warmest in the 119-year record, 4.4 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.
The map above ranks every state’s winter temperature average relative to its own historical record low (in other words, relative to itself and not to other states). Low numbers indicate that the state was unusually cold; higher numbers mean it was exceptionally warm.
As you can see, the Midwest was much colder than average, while the West was hotter than average (despite a season-long kerfluffle about polar vortexes, the East Coast wasn’t exceptionally cold, after all).
As we’ve reported, there’s currently a scientific debate over whether climate change in the Arcitc is making the jet stream “drunk,” and thereby increasing the likelihood of extreme cold spells; the exact role of climate change in California’s record heat is still unclear.
MOTHER JONES: California Just Had Its Warmest Winter on Record
These maps, from Vizual Statistix, show the average annual temperature range across the United States, and how that value is calculated.
This is because Fahrenheit is based on a brine scale and the human body. The scale is basically how cold does it have to be to freeze saltwater (zero Fahrenheit) to what temperature is the human body (100-ish Fahrenheit, although now we know that’s not exactly accurate). Fahrenheit was designed around humans.
Celsius and Kelvin are designed around the natural world.
Celsius is a scale based on water. Zero is when water freezes, 100 is when water boils.
Kelvin uses the same scale as Celsius (one degree, as a unit, is the same between the two), but defines zero as absolute zero, which is basically the temperature at which atoms literally stop doing that spinning thing. Nothing can exist below zero Kelvin. It’s the bottom of the scale.
Fahrenheit: what temperatures affect humans
Celsius: what temperatures affect water
Kelvin: what temperatures affect atoms
I like how this very helpful explanation contained the phrase “stop doing that spinning thing”
The UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report today saying it is “extremely likely” that humans have been the dominant cause of unprecedented global warming since 1950. Learn more about what the State Department is doing on climate change at http://www.state.gov/e/oes/climate/.
Data courtesy of NASA
A new NASA study suggests that projections of Earth’s future warming should be more in line with previous estimates that indicated a higher sensitivity to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Image Credit: NASA SVS/NASA Center for Climate Simulation
As posted on NASA Climate.
On this network are based the instrumental temperature records.
The instrumental temperature record shows fluctuations of the temperature of earth’s climate system. Initially the instrumental temperature record only documented land and sea surface temperature, but in recent decades instruments have also begun recording sub-surface ocean temperature. This data is collected from several thousand meteorological stations, Antarctic research stations, satellite observations of sea-surface temperature, and subsurface ocean sensors. The longest-running temperature record is the Central England temperature data series, that starts in 1659. The longest-running quasi-global record starts in 1850.