Monday, April 04, 2016

Last Month Was the Hottest March in the Global Satellite Record, and the Arctic Is Still Sizzling - by Joe Romm

The lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly (Credit: UAH scientist Roy Spencer) Click to Enlarge.
Last month was the hottest March on record, according to newly-released satellite data.  And it followed the hottest February on record.

The Arctic was literally off-the-charts warm last month, as we’ll see.  It’s no surprise, then, that Arctic sea ice set a record for the lowest maximum extent.

First, the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) data shows that in March the lower troposphere (the lowest part of the atmosphere) was a remarkable 1.3°F (0.73°C) above the historical (1981-2010) average, a baseline that is already some 0.8°F (0.45°C) hotter than pre-industrial levels.

Higher highs and higher lows — the warming trend is quite clear in the satellite data.  As the UAH’s Roy Spencer and John Christy — both leading deniers — have reported, the UAH data shows a “global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978 [of] +0.12 C [0.22F] per decade.”

But wait, how is it that Ted Cruz and other climate science deniers keep claiming there hasn’t been any warming in the satellite record since 1998?  The short answer is they’ve been ignoring all of the reliable sources that show warming, but have focused on the one satellite record that even Spencer and Christy knew was in error.  Now that this error has been corrected in the peer-reviewed literature, as we reported, there aren’t any more datasets that don’t show warming.

“Record-Shattering February Warmth Bakes Alaska, Arctic 18°F Above Normal,” was the Climate Progress story last month when NASA released its February temperature data.  How warm was the Arctic in March?  Off the charts.

Look at what the heat did:  It kept Arctic sea ice growth almost flat for over a month during a time when sea ice extent normally soars to its annual maximum.  The result, as the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported last week, was the lowest winter maximum on record.

Read more at Last Month Was the Hottest March in the Global Satellite Record, and the Arctic Is Still Sizzling

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