Climate scientists have declared the first half of 2015 to be the hottest six month period on record going back to 1880, with the average global surface temperature anomaly hitting 0.85 degrees Celsius above the 20th Century average.
“During January – June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. “This was the highest for January–June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.16°F (0.09°C).”
That’s warm! But it’s not as warm as climate models predicted it would be by this time. The “record warmth” was less than the average of 108 climate model projections calculated by climate scientist Chip Knappenberger of the libertarian Cato Institute.
— Chip Knappenberger (@PCKnappenberger) July 20, 2015
“So, even the record warmth of 2015 still has observations running a bit below the average model projection,” Knappenberger told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Which means that ‘worse than expected’ is far from being in play.”
NOAA’s claim that January to June 2015 is the hottest on record comes after the climate agency made controversial updates to its surface temperature data that eliminated a 10- to 15-year period with no significant global warming.
“Newly corrected and updated global surface temperature data from NOAA’s [National Centers for Environmental Information] do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus,’” wrote NOAA scientists in their study.
From 1998 to 2012, the “new analysis exhibits more than twice as much warming as the old analysis at the global scale,” at 0.086 degrees Celsius per decade compared to 0.039 degrees per decade, according to NOAA.
NOAA’s temperature adjustments were heavily criticized by some climate scientists, but others pointed out that even the inflated temperature data suggests man-made carbon dioxide emissions aren’t having much impact on the climate.
“Even if it has warmed in the last 15 years, the rate of surface warming (and deep-ocean warming) we have seen in the last 50 years still implies low climate sensitivity,” wrote Dr. Roy Spencer, a former NASA scientist who is now a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Spencer used a “1D time-dependent energy balance model” to match up predicted warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, or climate sensitivity, to the new temperature record created by NOAA.
“In this case, we see that a climate sensitivity of only 1.5 C was required, a 40% reduction in climate sensitivity,” from what climate models predicted, Spencer wrote. “Notably, this is at the 1.5C lower limit for [climate sensitivity] that the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] claims.”
“Thus, even in the new pause-busting dataset the warming is so weak that it implies a climate sensitivity on the verge of what the IPCC considers ‘very unlikely,’” Spencer wrote, adding that including natural climate forcings brings climate sensitivity to 1.3 degrees Celsius.
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