NASA: Charts Show The “Scorching” Quality Of 2015

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Think Progress recently shared some great NASA charts, which were tweeted by Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), earlier this month. Here’s the first chart/tweet:

Dr Joe Romm of Climate Progress added a chart from Climate Central that included a similar temperature chart but with overlapping charts for greenhouse gases. This comparison is quite telling:

Climate graph

Back to Schmidt, he also noted in a tweet that, “With Nov update to GISTEMP, the probability of 2015 being a record year is > 99.999%.”

Romm had a great addendum to that:

Scientifically, >99.999 percent certainty is equivalent to the chances that:

  • The new Star Wars movie will make money.
  • Donald Trump will say something at the Las Vegas GOP debate that will offend somebody.
  • At some point in your life, you will experience either death or taxes.

How hot was November? NASA reports it was a whopping 1.05°C (1.9°F) warmer than the global mean for 1951-1980 — a full 0.25°C (0.45°F) warmer than the warmest November on record.

It was so warm that, as the NASA temperature map on top shows, parts of the Arctic and Siberian permafrost were a staggering 10.2°C (18°F!) warmer than normal. That is particularly troubling since the permafrost contains twice as much carbon as the atmosphere, and as it defrosts, it releases that carbon in the form of either CO2 or methane (CH4), which is 84 more times more potent at trapping heat than CO2 over a 20-year period.


And this is yet another reminder why we do what we do here on CleanTechnica. An increasingly hot world means more disastrous superstorms, rising seas gobbling up coastlines, more exotic diseases, more crop failure and famine, more drought, rising food & water prices, and widespread extinction of species. In other words, a warmer world not really what we should be aiming for.

Enjoy NASA on twitter for more along these lines (and, you know, space stuff). And keep an eye on Climate Progress for more important climate news.

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Cynthia Shahan

Cynthia Shahan, started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. Words can be used improperly depending on the culture you are in. (Several unrelated publications) She has a degree in Education, Anthropology, Creative Writing, and was tutored in Art as a young child thanks to her father the Doctor. Pronouns: She/Her

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