Flirting with 1.5°C as we record 12 hottest months in a row

April 2016 was the hottest April ever, making a run of 12 hottest months in a row. We are starting to flirt with the 1.5°C warming threshold. Here’s the global map, showing impressive warming in high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia is also noticeably warm:

April_GISSTEMPApril_600

Cold spots appear in much the same places as they have been for several months.

The article tells us that February had the greatest monthly anomaly, followed by March, with April equal to January. You can get the picture if you go to Climate Central:

April_4_20_16_CC_new-baseline-12bars-updated-2_600

With April coming in the same as January, we have probably seen the peak of the El Niño effect. Nevertheless NASA climate modeller Gavin Schmidt tweeted that there was a greater than 99% chance 2016 would be a new record. With a bit of luck 2017 will be less warm.

According to Climate Central the first three months of the year were 1.48°C above the 1881-1910 average temperature baseline, which is about as close as we can get to “pre-industrial”. Climate Central call it early industrial. Would you believe NASA reports global temperature change in reference to a 1951-1980 climate baseline, and NOAA reports the anomaly in reference to a 20th century average temperature? Both of these already contain significant warming.

The IPCC in its most recent report used a 1986-2005 baseline, which contains and hides about 0.61°C, or about half the warming already experienced thus far.

If the IPCC data is adjusted, we get to 1.5°C about 20 years earlier, at 2025 to 2030, if it takes that long. This graph of April temperatures (from NASA, courtesy of Stefan Rahmstorf via Climate Progress) looks ugly:

April v 1951-1980_GISSApril16-740x564_600

Update: April in 2016 beat the previous April record of 2010 by 0.24°C.

Elsewhere the autumn melt of Arctic sea ice is proceeding apace. NSIDC now have their system working on one leg, as it were. This is what it shows:

May 15_cropped_600

Tamino at Open Mind confirms that the JAXA (Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency) data looks similar.

Time for climate action, which has not featured much so far in the election campaign.

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