Jan 11, 2017

Global Warming’s Record Year

Open Mind

I’ve often emphasized that just because Earth shows an indisputable warmingtrend, that doesn’t mean every year will be hotter than the one before. In addition to trend, there is also a lot of fluctuation in things like global temperature. So we shouldn’t expect each year to break the temperature record.

But we did in 2014. We did again in 2015, by a substantial margin. We did again in 2016, by a substantial margin. The third year in a row of record-breaking global temperature will probably get the most attention, but it may not be the most important or most worrisome record set last year.

It’s also the second year in a row that we’ve broken the record for temperature over land areas only.

We set a new record low for annual average sea ice extent in the northern hemisphere.

In addition, we set a new record low for annual average sea ice extent over the entire globe.

Despite the importance of the record-breaking levels of important indicators of global warming, more worrisome is that 2016 set a new record for the atmosphere’s concentration of CO2.

Certainly we haven’t really made any progress toward reducing our greenhouse-gas levels. But even more troubling is that fact that we haven’t even made progress toward slowing the growth of atmospheric CO2. The year 2016 brought a new record high amount of increase in CO2.

We’re not just failing to gain ground, we’re losing at a record pace.

Just when we most need to slow our greenhouse gas increase, it’s actually accelerating. And there’s also a new, worrisome record: the U.S. government’s new administration is now in the hands of a record number of the most vile and idiotic climate deniers imaginable.