Last Month I reported that July 2016 was the Hottest July ever in human history. Now that we have the raw data for August, we can take a peek and see if it is following the ongoing trend.
So is it?
OK, so I was being a tad dramatic last month when I used the qualifier “ever in human history”. The precise definition is that it is the warmest since we started recording precise numbers each and every month in 1880.
Well yes, but this has happened before … right?
There have been some -ve comments about combining paleoclimate data with the present temperature record. The criticism is perhaps appropriate because he combines data extrapolated from models with actual measurements, so in a scientific sense, most would choke upon this if it had been presented within a scientific paper. Oh but wait, it is not a scientific paper, and is instead simply a cartoon designed to drive home a rather important point.
One of those criticising the graph, Chris Colose, does indeed agree that what is now happing is unique.
8/8 But big picture is world w unabated emissions gives 1-2 ice ages of warming over centuries and far outside envelope in millions of yrs.
— Chris Colose (@CColose) September 12, 2016
OK, so not a scientific model, and instead just an illustration of what we are now doing, and so in that context it is indeed a really great way to communicate that. Here is the xkcd graph, and also below. You will need to scroll quite a bit …
Well let me put all this another way …
- The two hottest months the world has ever recorded, last July and then last August, have just happened back-to-back.
- We are about to have back-to-back the two hottest years ever recorded, 2015 and now 2016
- Sea levels are rising
- Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at its highest levels in eons.
Doing nothing is not an option.