Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Actual (Not Alternative) Facts Concerning The Hottest Year Yet Of The Modern Era: 2016
After the email arrived in my inbox that the incoming EPA gang of Scott Pruitt plans to replace scientific data and facts with alternative facts, it occurred to me that getting the facts of the hottest year out might be appropriate. Before the Trumpistas got in, the EPA with other agencies (NOAA, NASA) delivered the sorry stats concerning 2016, as the third straight record warm year in a row - and the hottest yet of the modern era.
What are some of the facts revealed via the separate analyses?
- The last time the planet was warmer than 2016 was 125,000 year, this according to data extracted concurrently from tree rings, ice cores, sediments, according to NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt.
- The average temperature across land and ocean surfaces in 2016 was 58.69 degrees F or 1.69 degrees above average. This, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It was the largest differential by which an annual global temperature record has ever been broken.
The Agency pointed out that while the difference may appear insignificant, global climate temperature averages are reckoned generally in tenths of a degree difference, or even hundredths of a degree.
- Most of the warming recorded thus far for Earth has happened in the past 35 years and 16 of the 17 warmest years have occurred since 2001.
- Temperature records were set on nearly every continent and no land areas were cooler than average.
- For eight straight months (January through August) each month recorded its warmest temperatures since record keeping began 15 years after the Civil War.
- The warmth detected was 80-90 percent the result of long term climate trends (including the fact CO2 accumulates and molecules remain in the atmosphere on average 100 years) and 10 percent derived from the El Nino climate pattern. (According to Gavin Schmidt)
Finally, the warmth last year contributed to deadly heat waves in Asia and the Middle East, as well as record low sea ice in the Arctic.
Process these stats carefully and save them, because you won't be seeing them on agency websites much longer if the Trump bunch has their way.