There’s Still Less Warming Than Climate Models Predicted, Despite 2016’s Record Warmth

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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U.S. government climate scientists declared 2016 the warmest on record, based on temperature readings going back to 1880 from a variety of sources patched together by researchers.

Global average surface temperature was 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0.99 degrees Celsius, above the mid-20th Century mean, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

It’s the third record-breaking year in a row, with temperatures driven up by a strong El Nino warming event.

NASA estimates global average surface temperature — which is based on temperature readings from weather stations, ships and buoys — has risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.1 degrees Celsius, since 1880. NASA blames “increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere” for most of the temperature rise.

But an important question not answered by NASA or NOAA is whether the Earth is warming as fast as climate models predicted.

Right now, the world is about as warm as half the models predicted, but, remember, global surface temperatures were driven up a strong El Nino.

Climate scientist Zeke Hausfather compared the global average temperature record to climate model predictions.

Climate models have consistently over-predicted global warming over longer periods.

“Bottom line (which remains unchanged by the 2016 global temperatures) … climate models continue to look like they produce too much warming,” Chip Knappenberger, a climate scientist with the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“It took a near record strong El Nino event (i.e. natural warming event) to do this, and already, as the El Nino Fades the global temperatures are headed back to the lower-half of climate model projections,” he wrote to TheDCNF.

NOTE: A special thanks to Zeke Hausfather for putting together graphs comparing temperature observations to climate models.

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