How hot is the earth now?
The weather may not be warmer where you live, but northern Eurasia and several oceanic areas are heating up. These unreported high temperatures have contributed to an amazingly high global temperature rise, especially when land and sea temperatures are both taken into account. The authority on global climate is NASA, so we had a look at their raw data in their GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index.
Taking into account how Arctic sea-ice loss and accompanying tundra temperatures have been reported, the northern areas occupy media items quite a lot. The point is that we will all be affected as secondary effects on vegetation, agriculture, prices of food and rise in sea levels bite. Last year, we had the highest recorded global temperatures yet recorded. Trouble is that 2014 had the same headlines and it is likely that this very heavy El Niño will help 2016 to exceed the record again. One hope is that 2017 will not be a record breaker, as El Niño ends in the next few months.
The politicians who make so many promises and the scientists who make climate models will be celebrating if next year cools slightly, but what if it does not reveal a break in the trend? The 1.5oC temperature rise that was bandied about in Paris will be forgotten and the 2oC rise will be hard to prevent.
March this year was globally more than 30% up in temperature (at 1.28oC ) from last year, while February was 50% up (at 1.34oC .) April seems cool to me but who knows what is going on in the Pacific or how the southern oceans are modifying their storms? It will only be a few days till we find out, but this is not just a competition for observers.
Instead of simply looking, I have to tell myself what can I do to mildly affect this trend. The diesel car scandal continues to heat up in the same way as the earth. The recycling habits we have need continuous revision. Maintaining wildlife and even very large forests could turn out to be a wise option in the long term. Flooding, CO2 absorption and multiple ecosystem effects flow from stewardship of our environments. Global warming is explained more in our encyclopaedaic article here.