The World Meteorological Organization said Monday that preliminary data shows that 2016 is on track to become the hottest year ever recorded -- surpassing the previous high, set just last year. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
GENEVA, Switzerland, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Temperatures in 2016 are on track to make this year the hottest on record, a global collection of meteorologists said Monday.
The World Meteorological Organization released an evaluation report that said average temperatures this year are expected to top those recorded last year, when 2015 was listed as the hottest year ever seen.
"Another year. Another record," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement. "The high temperatures we saw in 2015 are set to be beaten in 2016.
There is no reasonable argument that can deny the global temperature is rising. That is obvious from many effects - ice coverage, glacial melt, storm intensities, warm blobs in the ocean, aside from the temperature measurements. That is important to me because I lack a lot of respect for the integrity of global temperature data.
That is a huge statement for me since I was responsible for some of the data that went into the Canadian Climate archives for many years. I spent many of the last several years of my career with Environment Canada's Meteorological Service fighting with head office to save the integrity of that very database, and I wasn't alone. I have an award on my wall honouring me for that fight. There was some limited success but for the most part the quality of data entering the Canadian Climate database deteriorated over the last few decades.
So, while I don't dispute the notion that global warming is happening, I question the accuracy of the measurements.
I also question the cause that WMO is placing entirely on anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. They may very well contribute, but that has not been proven to my satisfaction. In fact, as Professor Murry Salby has displayed, in ancient history it is clear that maxima in CO2 in the atmosphere has followed maxima in global temperatures by 800 years.
"The extra heat from the powerful El Niño event has disappeared. The heat from global warming will continue."
This statement, however, can be challenged. Exactly what 'heat' is he referring to, the obvious equatorial water temperature anomaly associated with an El Nino? Because the temperatures over the past two years, if they have been as warm as is claimed, will result in the temperatures of lakes and even some ocean currents being above normal, possibly even record high.
These temperatures will not return to normal just because El Nino stopped. Water temperatures take many months of above or below temperatures to respond significantly. Northern lakes will most likely remain warmer than normal at least until they freeze, which will probably occur a little later than normal this winter. That will affect land temperatures right into the early part of winter. Next year, however, will be very different indeed.
According to the WMO, preliminary information indicates that global temperatures were 1.2-degrees Celsius higher in 2016 than in pre-industrial levels. World temperatures between January and September have been about 0.88-degrees (C) above the average (14-degrees Celsius) from the 1961-1990 baseline reference period.
1.2 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. Pre-industrial times would be several hundred years ago. By the way, that's when all homes and offices would have been heated by wood or coal. So, that's not a terrifying rise in temperature.
The hypothesis that greenhouse gasses would build-up over centuries to reach a possible critical breaking point is quite reasonable, though not proven. So, one would expect an acceleration in temperature rises as we appear to be experiencing.
However, the use of temperatures from the year of the strongest El Nino on record is flat-out fear-mongering and sensationalizing. If you ever doubted that there is an element of conspiracy in the global warming hysteria - this very article should dispel that doubt. No reasonable, responsible, and honest climatologist would ever make such a comparison.
"This would mean that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century," the WMO's statement said.
Meteorologists said El Nino weather patterns were responsible for some of the temperature spikes early this year, but noted that climate change indicators are also alarming.
"Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase to new records. Arctic sea ice remained at very low levels, especially during early 2016 and the October re-freezing period, and there was significant and very early melting of the Greenland ice sheet," the organization said.
The WMO said the deadliest weather-related event so far in 2016 was Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm that pounded Haiti last month.
"Because of climate change, the occurrence and impact of extreme events has risen," Taalas said. "'Once in a generation' heatwaves and flooding are becoming more regular."
Taalas added that the WMO supports the Paris Agreement, reached this year to fight climate change, and said the pact "came into force in record time and with record global commitment."
2016 year-to-date temperatures versus previous years
This graphic compares the year-to-date temperature anomalies for 2016 (black line) to what were ultimately the seven warmest years on record: 2015, 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005, 2009, and 1998. Each month along each trace represents the year-to-date average temperature anomaly. In other words, the January value is the January average temperature anomaly, the February value is the average anomaly of both January and February, and so on. The average global land and ocean surface temperature for January–July 2016 was 1.03°C (1.85°F) above the 20th century average of 13.8°C (56.9°F)—the highest global land and ocean temperature for January–July in the 1880–2016 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.19°C (0.34°F).
The anomalies themselves represent departures from the 20th century average temperature. The graph zooms into the warmest part of the entire history.