Within a climate context was last October just an average October and, to coin a phrase, there was nothing to write home about, or is it another data point in the ongoing climate change story?
We now have some data we can get our teeth into.
In the US
We don’t get the full national October data from NOAA until 12th November, and their global October data is still also being crunched, but we do now have some preliminary insights …
This is the summary …
The average temperature for October across the contiguous U.S. was 52.3 degrees F (1.8 degrees below the 20th-century average), making it the coolest October since 2009. It ranked in the lowest third of the 125-year record.
… and so that’s it then, Climate change is over and we are back to normal.
Oh but wait …
Alaska had an average October temperature that ranked in the warmest third of the historical record. Below-average temperatures were present from the High Plains to the Pacific Coast, while above-average temperatures blanketed the eastern third of the country.
The average precipitation last month across the contiguous U.S. was 3.14 inches (0.98 of an inch above average) and ranked as the eighth wettest October on record.
Year to date | January through October 2019
The bigger picture, obtained by taking a data sample for the entire year and then comparing that to all of the recorded data yields this insight …
The average U.S. temperature for the year to date (January through October) was 55.5 degrees F, (0.5 of a degree above the 20th-century average), ranking in the warmest third of the record.
Yes indeed, it is win win win, the US is in the top 3 … except of course that’s not exactly a win is it.
We should also not forget that this is going on.
Fires blaze across California: Large and lethal wildfires scorched parts of Northern and Southern California during October and some remained active at the beginning of November.
On A Global Scale
While NOAA might still be crunching their data, ECMWF (the European Center for Medium Range Forecasting) have published their October global insights.
Globally, October was 0.69°C warmer than the average October from 1981-2010, making it by a narrow margin the warmest October in this data record. Europe generally saw above-average temperatures, with the exception of most of the north and north-west of the continent. Temperatures were much above average in large parts of the Arctic, while much of western USA and Canada experienced much below average temperatures.
Here is an illustration of this global picture for October. The blue bits are below average and the orange/red bits are above average …
If you lived in a blue bit then you might indeed think climate change was done and dusted.
If you had a specific conclusion, such as the idea that climate change is a Chinese hoax or similar and you were a card carrying member of the GOP hence such a belief is part of your identity, then it is possibly to cherry pick bits of data to backup that conclusion.
The problem with that approach is that all you have done is to delude yourself. For any explanation of an observation, you need to be able to explain all of the data, and not simply the bits you take a fancy to.
The CO2 400 ppm Minimum
Not too long ago we breached the 400 ppm for CO2 within our atmosphere. Today that 400 ppm measurement is gone and not even visible within our rear view mirror.
The bottom line is this.
As long as CO2 levels continue upwards like this …
Then it is inevitable that global temperatures will also continue upwards like this…
Some might indeed argue about this.
Their argument is not with the scientific community but rather is with the laws of physics.
That’s not an argument they can ever win because the brick wall of reality is not fooled by cherry-picked data.