Satellite Data Says 2014 Actually Wasn’t The Warmest On Record

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Climate scientists and environmentalists sounded the alarm this year after Japanese climatologists reported 2014 was the warmest year on record based on global surface temperature readings.

But satellite temperature data shows that 2014 was not even close to be the warmest on record. In fact, 2014 was only the 6th warmest year on record, according to the Remote Sensing System (RSS) satellite data set that measures the lowest few miles of the Earth’s atmosphere.

RSS and UAH data show 2014 was not even close to being the warmest on record. (Graph courtesy of Steven Goddard)

RSS and UAH data show 2014 was not even close to being the warmest on record. (Graph courtesy of Steven Goddard)

Climate scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer with the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) said, “2014 was third-warmest, but barely.” UAH is home to the other major satellite climate dataset.

Christy said, “2014 was warm, but not special. The 0.01 degree Celsius difference between 2014 and 2005, or the 0.02 difference with 2013 are not statistically different from zero. That might not be a very satisfying conclusion, but it is at least accurate.”

Christy noted that from 2002 to 2014, temperatures have warmed at a rate of 0.05 degrees Celsius per decade which he calls “statistically insignificant.” Since 2002, global temperatures have averaged about 0.18 degrees Celsius warmer than the 30-year baseline average, according to Christy.

RSS and UAH satellite data show there has been no global warming for 18 years and three months — a so-called pause in global warming that has lasted since the late 1990s and continued through 2014.

“The Great Pause is a growing embarrassment to those who had told us with ‘substantial confidence’ that the science was settled and the debate over,” Christopher Monckton, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and a climate skeptic, wrote in his analysis of the near two-decade pause in warming. “Nature had other ideas.”

“Though approaching 70 mutually incompatible and more or less implausible excuses for the Pause are appearing in nervous reviewed journals and among proselytizing scientists, the possibility that the Pause is occurring because the computer models are simply wrong about the sensitivity of temperature to manmade greenhouse gases can no longer be dismissed, and is demonstrated in a major peer-reviewed paper published this month in the Orient’s leading science journal,” writes Monckton, who has been studying and writing on global warming for years.

Surface temperature datasets that government climate agencies generally rely on for global temperature averages are based on readings from thousands of weather stations, buoys and ships across the world.

Based on these reading, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) declared 2014 the hottest on record, hitting 0.63 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average global temperature. But 2014 was only 0.05 degrees warmer than 1998, the next hottest year on record, according to JMA data.

Surface temperature records, however, still show pause in global warming over the last 10 to 15 years, despite 2014 being declared the warmest on record by Japanese scientists.

As for the continental U.S., 2014 was only the 34th warmest, as record cold temperatures plagued the beginning of the year.

“Very warm conditions dominated the West, with four states having their warmest year on record, while the Midwest and Mississippi Valley were cool,” said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “The Northern U.S. was wet, and the Southern Plains were dry; the national drought footprint shrank about 2 percent.”

NOAA is set to release its own global climate assessment for 2014 later this week. It’s expected the agency is will also declare 2014 the warmest on record.

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