Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×
Earth NASA Space News Science Technology

Warmest March In Global Recordkeeping (wunderground.com) 368

Layzej quotes a report from Weather Underground: March 2016 was by far the planet's warmest March since record keeping began in 1880. In the NOAA database, March 2016 came in a full 1.22C (2.20F) warmer than the 20th-century average for March, as well as 0.32C (0.58F) above the previous record for March, set in 2010. This is a huge margin for breaking a monthly global temperature record, as they are typically broken by just a few hundredths of a degree. Global satellite-measured temperatures also found this March to be the warmest -- the sixth consecutive monthly record in the UAH satellite data set. Gavin Schmidt, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has estimated that 2016 already has over a 99% chance of being the hottest year on record, based on the first three months alone.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Warmest March In Global Recordkeeping

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @02:12AM (#51945259)

    Maybe those 1880 satellites weren't calibrated as good as they are now?

    I hear it's a little cool in the midwest this April.

    • These temperature records are made with thermometers on the ground and in the oceans, not from satellites. You can't really measure the surface temperature from a satellite. At best you can figure out the temperature of the lower troposphere, and even that is really hard to get right.
  • why is the temperature record significant?
    are the specific causes known and how exactly?
    if the causes are known was the temperature with accuracy predicted by models when those causes were included? why not?

    • Re:some questions (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @02:34AM (#51945303) Homepage

      why is the temperature record significant?

      It's just one of many data points, but many people still think "global warming" rather than the more accurate "climate change" so pointing out that it's getting warmer and warmer is a way of getting across the view that things are getting worse and that the rate of change is accellerating.

      are the specific causes known and how exactly?

      Known, not really. Lots of theories, many with quite a lot of supporting evidence, but nothing that can be pointed at and said "this is the way this is" with a degree of certainly like you can apply to a proven physical law. Welcome to much of science; that's just the way it is - a series of ever more accurate models that hopefully get close enough to the reality to be "good enough" for what you need to do, but quite often never actually getting there in a manner similar to Xeno's Paradox [wikipedia.org].

      if the causes are known was the temperature with accuracy predicted by models when those causes were included? why not?

      The current models are often insanely complex and even then simplify the reality down considerably to enable computation to occur in a reasonable timeframe; e.g. data points for a given model might now be collected and calculated on a 1km grid instead of a 10km grid a few years ago - an order of magnitude more accurate, but still with enough margin of error to miss something important, or have nature throw a curve ball through that would have needed 100m resolution for the model to catch. See above about Xeno's Paradox.

      • It's just one of many data points, but many people still think "global warming" rather than the more accurate "climate change"

        How is "global warming" less accurate? The average temperatire is warming and that causes the climate to change. It's two facets of the same thing.

        • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

          It's less accurate because a lot of stupid people misinterpreted it as "warmer everywhere, all the time, and an exception proofs the opposite of that rule".

        • possibly because it doesn't refer to additional changes like more storms, lots of changes to weather patterns due to things like the jetsteam moving about. (thats my guess as to why global warming is less accurate)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zocalo ( 252965 )
          I was thinking less accurate more in that it just focus on one aspect of a much larger and more complicated picture rather than being incorrect. For instance, it might theoretically be possible for the average temperate to stop increasing, but we could still suffer catastrophic effects from some other aspect of climate change - e.g. the proposed effect on Europe of a massive glacial ice melt causing the warm water flow across the Atlantic to stop. It's also only accurate on a global scale; some areas of t
          • For instance, it might theoretically be possible for the average temperate to stop increasing, but we could still suffer catastrophic effects from some other aspect of climate change - e.g. the proposed effect on Europe of a massive glacial ice melt causing the warm water flow across the Atlantic to stop.

            ...which would in turn lead to additional warming, because the ice has melted, and decreased albedo. So no, that would lead to more warming, thanks though.

            It's also only accurate on a global scale;

            Yes, that's why we call it global warming. Thanks for playing, but you lose.

          • by dave420 ( 699308 )

            The increase in energy in the atmosphere is called "global warming", and the effects seen from it are "climate change".

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )
        It's an important data point because among other things it ties in with the recent widespread coral bleaching event.

        The current models are often insanely complex

        Yet apparently still able to be understood and debunked by economists and bug-eyed sudoko puzzle composers. Funny how a game gets played both ways in order to deny reality. Either it's so simple we don't need the experts or it's too complicated for the experts but the science deniers are claiming both!

    • Specific causes are mainly a combination of anthropogenic global warming and a major El Nino adding a spike on it. There are other lesser things to factor in.

      The timing and strength of El Ninos is not predictable in advance so any general climate model run would not capture that. If after the fact you force a climate model to follow the actual timing and strength of the El Nino they get pretty accurate.

    • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

      aka, the "im just asking" line of attack.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @02:21AM (#51945277)

    Honest question.

    I ride my bike to work. My house is powered by a solar panel installation. I recycle everything I can, compost a lot of the rest, and generate very little actual garbage. I do have a car but it's rare I actually need to use it.

    What exactly am I supposed to do about global warming? Yell at my neighbours because their piece of shit 1970s automobile spews a cloud of toxic black crap every time they pull out of the driveway? Make funny faces at the moron down the street who insists on driving a hummer every time he passes my house? Stand on the side of the road with a sign over my shoulders that says "REPENT, THE END IS NEIGH"?

    I'm just one person. Most of my close friends and family are mindful about their impact on the planet just as much as I am. I don't know what we're supposed to do beyond that, though. When I hear shit about the crap places like India and China are pumping into the air, I wonder why the hell I'm bothering in the first place. I suppose 'cause it's the right thing to do, but I don't know how much of a difference a dozen of people could possibly make.

    • by lobiusmoop ( 305328 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @03:07AM (#51945385) Homepage

      What exactly am I supposed to do about global warming?

      Birth control.
      When you cut through all the environmentalism BS, you see that the real underlying problem is obviously overpopulation.

      • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @03:58AM (#51945551)

        Birth control.
        When you cut through all the environmentalism BS, you see that the real underlying problem is obviously overpopulation.

        Thankfully for most Slashdotters, involuntary abstinence is a very good form of birth control.

      • by Captain Kirk ( 148843 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @04:11AM (#51945579) Homepage Journal

        I suggest you download and watch Idiocracy: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

        Birth control by smart intelligent people who care about the planet is just a way of handing it over to stupid uneducated people who don't use birth control and don't care about the planet.

        If you wouldn't vote for people like that in an election, why on earth would you hand the future of the planet over to them and their descendants?

      • When you cut through all the environmentalism BS, you see that the real underlying problem is obviously overpopulation.

        If you look at carbon footprints you'll see they vary wildly and the main factor is wealth. The west has a huge carbon footprint. Africans have a small carbon footprint. China has a modest but increasing carbon footprint. Hard to refuse China for trying to reach our standard of living.

      • You think that's a more practical solution than emissions control?

        Phase out the coal & oil, transition to carbon-neutral energy, and now we can support high populations, economic growth, and lavish lifestyles with no fear of climate change.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        If we carry on as we are, we are looking at population levelling off at around 11-12 billion by 2100. Most the growth will be in Africa. As we have seen in places like Bangladesh, education really works to bring down the fertility rate (around 9 in the 1960s to around 2.4 today).

        12 billion is sustainable if we make sure those people have access to a high standard of living powered by renewable energy and fed through sustainable farming. We are going to have to bite the bullet and start giving away tech like

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          12 billion is sustainable if we make sure those people have access to a high standard of living powered by renewable energy and fed through sustainable farming

          If you can have 12 billion survive at a high standard of living, that means you haven't reached the maximum population size yet.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            That's my point, we won't reach the stage where quality of living has to decline if we manage it properly. The birth rate will level off due to education and the availability of contraception, as it has done in other developing nations.

            Human population isn't some uncontrollable thing that just increases until all resources are consumed like bacteria.

    • you've done your bit as stated in the changes you have made to your life style. unfortunately, it takes a long time for the majority to get with the program as they are happy in their ignorance.
    • What exactly am I supposed to do about global warming?

      It sounds like you are doing what you can about it already without going too radical like changing your profession to become a politician to directly affect policies. A crucial thing to do is ensure you never vote for anyone who is a denier and who wants to gut the scientific institutions so that they stop saying things that don't match their feelings on this matter.

      Being confrontational to your neighbors is certainly not going to win any converts. And don't worry about what anybody else is doing. In fact,

    • The answer is "Vote in elected representatives who will enact a global carbon tax".

      That's the "solution" that's waiting in the wings.

      It's uncertain if that solution will address this problem but it's what some people want to impose upon us.

      LK

      • A carbon tax sounds like a good plan, as long as it's combined with tax reduction in other places to make it overall tax neutral. The advantage of a carbon tax is that it puts the cost of carbon on the receipt, and lets the actual carbon reduction be done by the free market.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Mashiki ( 184564 )

        Every place of country that's enacted has had two things happen: The economy stalls, and people end up out of work. That leads to massive discontent, and in turn leads to a voter backlash.

        You want to make a real difference? Vote in elected representatives that push for nuclear power. Drive down the cost of energy as a whole, and you'll get everything you want in your carbon tax without the crushing problems of collapsing an economy where companies simply pack up and leave. If you however believe that g

    • As other said, it sounds to me that you're doing your part, as best as you can from where you stand in life. The rest is politics. At the very least you show that it's possible to do that. Beyond that, do you think that there are people who would like to do that, but can't, for various reasons? If you think so, then you can push for the socio-economic system to make it more convenient to do like you - while avoiding to shit on people who really can't. It's a delicate balance of policies to find.
    • I'm just one person.

      So am I, and most of my friends and all of Denmark and the rest of Europe....

      See where I am going?

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @05:16AM (#51945739) Homepage

      Yell at my neighbours because their piece of shit 1970s automobile spews a cloud of toxic black crap every time they pull out of the driveway?

      Maybe. In the Europe even old cars have to meet emissions standards, even old ones. [www.gov.uk] So we don't really have a problem with people running broken cars belching out smog, because they are required not to.

      Why should you accept someone polluting the shared air that you both have to breathe?

      I don't know what we're supposed to do beyond that, though.

      You already did a lot, and you should be commended for that. Beyond that the best thing now is probably to keep pressure on politicians to address the issue. The US has a huge problem with denialists in government. Get them to follow the lead of those countries that are making a big effort to address the issue, like Germany.

    • Vote for governments that will stop your neighbours running those cars and pressure India and China to close their coal plants.

    • by Alomex ( 148003 )

      Support government action. Much as people in America like to pretend the government is only a source of pure evil, reality is that great progress has been made through government action. Today the environment is cleaner than before the EPA was passed and several species have made it back from the brink of extinction. There are many other successes, such as the highway network, public health campaigns and public education.

    • You are doing a lot of the right stuff personally. The rest you can do is rage awareness (talk to your neighbors but do so politely and look at studies about how to persuade people. You need to do it in terms of their values not your own values). Also, help donate to politicians who will help implement policies who will help the problem. For example, right now Emily Cain is running in Maine for the US House in one of the most competitive districts and she is very strong on global warming issues so you can
  • Hypotheticals (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Empiric ( 675968 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @02:24AM (#51945283)

    1. March was the highest average on record by 2F, all of which was anthropogenic in origin.

    2. March was the highest average on record by 2F, 1F of which was anthropogenic, and 1F was caused by long-standing historical temperature cycles.

    3. March was the highest average on record by 2F, all of which was caused by long-standing historical temperature cycles.

    What modifications of human industrial/consumption/energy behavior would you recommend for each of these cases, given that which is actually the case is not determinable? Implicit in this is the question of what the "right temperature" would be.

    • Re:Hypotheticals (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KeensMustard ( 655606 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @03:06AM (#51945379)

      Well, if number 3 is true, it's probably time to consider killing yourself.

      That scenario suggests firstly that some undetectable phenomena is driving climate change, and also that some undetectable phenomena is preventing the warming that should have occurred from rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, there is a century long conspiracy plot, possibly the moon landings were faked to keep this plot secret, and presumably the entire scientific community is in on it. The level of power and authority and basic competence need to sustain such a secret over such a length of time is indicative that the power structures we thought governed the world are not actually effective, we live in a state of absolute servitude and what we think is real is probably not real. It's hard to believe that humans could achieve such a thing, implying an outside influence - supernatural, or possibly alien in nature.

      Given that you are powerless, and have no ability to change that situation, I suggest in this circumstance that your best course is to top yourself, and let the blissful kiss of death ease you.

      Alternatively, you could consider asking yourself "What framework or philosophy might guide our collective actions in this circumstance, and what methods can we use to help us understand the situation better?" Let me suggest that rather than making shit up as a method or listening to mouth breathing liars as a strategy to understand the situation better, that we could employ science. And lo and behold! Science has already told us what has caused the problem and given us at least a rough outline of how to make things better.

      Maybe you don't need to kill yourself after all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by x0ra ( 1249540 )
        Existing models have failed to correctly predict "the pause", so why should we continue to trust them blindly ? They are obviously missing something...
        • Re:Hypotheticals (Score:4, Informative)

          by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @04:37AM (#51945633) Journal

          There has been no pause. It only looks like "a pause" if you cherry pick an outlier warm year and ignore the trend.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by fnj ( 64210 )

            There has been no pause. It only looks like "a pause" if you cherry pick an outlier warm year and ignore the trend.

            What makes me cry a little is that you probably honestly believe that and you have a lot of company.

        • Because existing models don't even attempt to predict short-term cycles like ENSO. These are considered "noise" that has no effect on the underlying trend, despite temporarily slowing or boosting it. That's what they're "missing", and this is not news.

          Use the models for predicting long-term trends, not what the temperature will be like next year, and they work as designed.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          There was no pause, the amount of energy was correctly predicted within a reasonable margin of error, it's just that it didn't all go where most models predicted it would. That energy warmed the oceans instead of the atmosphere, but it's still there and there was no actual pause in the warming of the Earth as a whole.

          In the absolute best case this buys us a little more time. It doesn't invalidate the widely accepted models in any way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Empiric ( 675968 )

        Your hyperbolic defensiveness was very amusing. Thanks.

        If you prefer, same temperature, 2F change, but it -would have been- 3F mitigated by a -1F attributable to non-anthropogenic variation.

        Again, what is the "right number" as a target, given that I presume you aren't arguing for purely arbitrary objectives for the purpose of literally-unquestionable political "give us unlimited budgets and power for the purpose of achieving... something".

        And yes, this [wikipedia.org] was very much a "conspiracy" in the political sense, a

        • Your hyperbolic defensiveness was very amusing. Thanks.

          Defensiveness? Wow did you get that wrong!

          Is there a 150 year long conspiracy to fake climate science? What is the purpose of this conspiracy?

          Again, what is the "right number" as a target, given that I presume you aren't arguing for purely arbitrary objectives for the purpose of literally-unquestionable political "give us unlimited budgets and power for the purpose of achieving... something".

          What are you even talking about? Right number of what?

          • by Empiric ( 675968 )

            Yes, your "counterpoint" of repeated suggestions that I kill myself was simply childish rhetoric appropriate to someone with no logical reasoning capabilities at all.

            So, again, is clear there is "Climate Change". That is a simple tautology. Apparently you're hoping that I'm arguing against that so that your stock responses can be shoehorned into the question.

            I'm not in any way suggesting the climate doesn't change. That, in itself, is uselessly self-evident. The serious discussion starts at the point of

            • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

              why must there be a perfect ideal number?
              sometimes in science you can trends or effects that are obviously harmful if allowed to continue without knowing what the ideal would be.

              besides, the ideal "baseline" here is so obvious I can assume you are brain damaged not come up with it yourself (and your conspiracy belief only furthers that assumption): a climate that changes according to its natural patterns, whatever they may be, without human input. the ideal is such that the effect of humanity is neutral. no

        • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

          Again, what is the "right number" as a target

          Here are the costs associated with climate change: https://www.ipcc.ch/publicatio... [www.ipcc.ch] . The ideal goal would be to advance a transition to the new energy economy at a rate where the costs of doing so are commensurate with the costs of delaying.

          • The ideal goal would be to advance a transition to the new energy economy at a rate where the costs of doing so are commensurate with the costs of delaying.

            You mean we should have started 50 years ago.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          So you call any political philosophy that you disagree with a "conspiracy"?

          The simple fact is that no-one has managed to come up with a credible model that includes non-anthropogenic variation on anything like the scale required to match the observed effects. What you really need to demonstrate is that there is an alternative explanation, published as a paper and rejected by some conspiracy rather than on the grounds that it failed a fair scientific peer review.

        • by dywolf ( 2673597 )

          son you are absolutely nutters.
          this is why "im just asking" trolls deserve no real response.
          they use suggestive or leading questions (informal manipulative fallacies) to open, and then reply with their garbage.

      • I wrote a post on the same hypothetical scenario a few days ago, with a non-suicide option for this admittedly frightening scenario:

        https://slashdot.org/comments.... [slashdot.org]

    • by Layzej ( 1976930 )

      Any record is going to be a result of the combination of some cyclical effects, some random noise, and the secular steadily rising trend from human activity. You can use deviation from the trend to determine how much of that is human activity and how much is cyclical:http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1970/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1970

      You can look here for economic consequences of climate change: https://www.ipcc.ch/publicatio... [www.ipcc.ch]

      Regarding what to do about it, my preference would be to let the mark

      • Regarding what to do about it, my preference would be to let the market decide the solution. A revenue neutral carbon tax would reduce income and sales tax (we ought to be encouraging income and spending so this is good) and it would send a price signal to move us from carbon into the new energy economy.

        I like the way you think. The market is a powerful tool if it's properly set up, but can't come up with solutions on its own in many issues.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @03:17AM (#51945433)

      Let's say that it is all natural --- now what? We still don't want all the ice to melt.

      Let's say it is "all human". Now what? The governments don't actually do anything.

      Why not do something concrete like ban all non-emergency air travel? NO NOES THE INCONVENIENCE!!! Why not ban all government use of jets? Why not ban the use of corporate cars that aren't electric? Why not ban air conditioning?

      It isn't really about whether or not something is happening but rather governments never follow through, making the alarmism itself rather pointless.

      No one is willing to live up any luxuries, especially the big shots jetting around to these conferences.

      • by Alioth ( 221270 )

        Banning air travel will do nothing. Air travel only contributes about 2% of the CO2 output.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @05:59AM (#51945885) Homepage

        We need to stop pitching it as giving up luxuries, because that isn't what's needed. We need to pitch it as making your life better.

        A better insulated home saves you money on HVAC and maintains a more pleasant environment (no more air-con chills or huddling around the radiators). An electric car is smooth and quiet and powerful and charging at home is much more convenient than regular trips to fill up on petrol, so the sooner the prices come down and we can all have one the better. Plus any reduction in the pollution entering your lungs improves your health and reduces healthcare costs (how much do you spend on allergy meds and inhalers?), and reduces the time and money you spend cleaning your home.

        Don't say it's not possible. People in Europe and Japan have similar or better standards of living than people in the US do, and use a fraction of the energy.

    • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
      We have a good idea what climate norms suit us as a species fairly well (based on higher global productivity metrics, fewer droughts, etc.), and we have a good idea what environmental norms suit us as a species fairly well (healthier populations with fewer environmental related illness, fewer famines, etc.). Both are definitely changing on a global scale, and we strongly suspect that the two are closely linked. We also know from things like the laws of thermodynamics that we must be having *some* effect o
    • I don't think we should do anything based on the March temperature alone. Instead, look at the long term smoothed trend, which shows a rise that's mostly anthropogenic in origin.
  • ....that many commenters do not have a sound grasp of statistics. nah fuck it .....I cant be bothered telling you about 30 year averages, mathematical modelling, errors etc Go and sit in your basement and cook/freeze whatever and ignore basic high school physics.
  • Leave us alone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tom229 ( 1640685 ) on Wednesday April 20, 2016 @08:38AM (#51946705)
    I have a car, because I have to drive to work. It's expensive to own a car and I'd rather not, but it's much more expensive to live in the downtown core where my office is, and to have my wife stay home with the kids. Therefore we both work, we live in the burbs, and we drive to work and daycare... like everyone else. Not because we want to, but because we have to.

    I heat my house with natural gas and power it from whatever power is on the grid because it's my only option as well. I live in a townhouse and don't think I'd have much success convincing everybody to upgrade their furnace and install solar panels above their unit. I'd love to live in my own detached house with infinite money to customise it for the planet, I simply can't afford to do so.

    I recycle as much as I can, even though there's evidence that for many products it costs more energy to recycle than make new, such as with plastic.

    This movement wonders why nobody seems to care? We've been berated and guilted with this shit for decades. We are all concerned, but most us are running the hamster wheel, working the wage slave gig, hoping like hell to be able to send our kids to college and scrap together enough money we'll be able to relax a little before we die. So I'm not really surprised when people get a little tired of hearing this shit and make up excuses why not to believe it. You're preaching to the wrong people. Take it to congress, to industry, and to other world leaders... leave us alone.
    • I have a car, because I have to drive to work. It's expensive to own a car and I'd rather not, but it's much more expensive to live in the downtown core where my office is, and to have my wife stay home with the kids. Therefore we both work, we live in the burbs, and we drive to work and daycare... like everyone else. Not because we want to, but because we have to.

      You belong to the top 10% of the world, and you're acting like you have some God given right to be in that position. Pretty funny if it wasn't so sad.

    • Actually, what I don't understand is why the electorate DOESN'T hold government and industry more to account.

      I sympathise with your position. You made some choices based on what was pitched to you as the ideal way to progress through life. You have a house and cars, a partner and children. Those are all sensible decisions to make. I don't think anyone should blame you for making them.

      So given that the problem is being kicked down the road to be a burden on your children, why DON'T more people take it seriou

Pause for storage relocation.

Working...