In their latest release, the annual analysis by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, revealed on February 6th, that Globally the year 2018 became the fourth warmest on record. This takes into consideration the sea and land temperatures gathered from around the world.
“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said GISS(Goddard Institute for Space Studies) Director Gavin Schmidt. He also states that the globe has warmed at least Two Degrees Farenheit(1 degree Celsius) since the 1880’s, when just about everyone agrees that record keeping began.
He said “that the warming, in large part, was due to emissions into the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, and attributes that to human activities”.
Weather vs. Climate
In NOAAs’ findings, the Continental United States had it’s 14th warmest year on record. This is due to the weather that we had, as not all weather patterns are the same world-wide. Not every heat wave crosses the entire globe, nor does a hurricane often affect a dessert nation.
That’s where climate jumps in, the overall ‘state of the earth’ as far as warm and cold spots, from season to season and year to year.
One of the warmest spots on earth thru the year was the Arctic, where literally millions of tons of sea ice have now disappeared, exposing acres of never before seen lands. This has been and will continue to affect coastal cities world-wide and low elevation Islands in the worlds oceans.
“The impacts of long-term global warming are already being felt, in coastal flooding, heat waves, intense precipitation and ecosystem change,” said Schmidt.
Their system of measurements consist of around 6,300 weather stations, Antarctic, Arctic research bases and stations, measurements from ships crossing the oceans and many gauges affixed to buoys around the world
The Poles And What They Are Screaming At Us
I’m referring to the Arctic and the Antarctic, when I type poles. More and more ice, that has been around for who knows exactly how long, is disappearing at levels that even scientists 30 years ago would not believe, even though they believed in the changing climate.
The rates of new ‘land’ showing at both poles is seen in many satellite pictures using your favorite search engine. And of course, the next question is where does all of that freshly made water go. Just ask thousands of residents along coastal areas of the United States, or any other ocean side country in the world.
The extend of sea ice in the Arctic, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which gathers info from NASA and NOAA, reports that the ice measurements for December were 378,000 square miles smaller(7%) than previous averages from the 1981 to 2010 average. It was also the 4th smallest since their records began in 1979.
In the Antarctic, that extent of sea ice was 530,000 square miles smaller, or 13% loss ice for the same periods.
These are both record low sea ice extents for a year, surpassing 2017 as the old record holder and all indications is that 2019 will be even smaller yet.
Both Land and Oceans Are Warmer
Through 2018, the global land temperature average was 2.02°F (1.12°C) above the average for the 20th century. That put it at the 4th highest from in the 1880 to 2018 time frame. And again, the top four departures above average were 2016 the warmest, followed by 2015 and 2017, now 2018. Looking at the data from January of this year, we are off to another, what looks like, record-breaking year.
Much of New Zealand and Europe , along with parts of Russia and the Middle Eastern countries all reported ‘record’ high temps. There were no land areas that reported record cold for the 12 months.
And for 2018, the global oceanic temperature average was 1.19°F (0.66°C) above that 20th century average. Again, like it’s land counterpart, 2018 followed 2016, 2015 and 2017 as the 4 warmest departures on record.
Parts of the southern Pacific ocean, parts of the north and south Atlantic oceans and the north western Pacific oceans, all reported record highs. And like the land temperatures, no ocean waters reported record low temps.
Where We’ve Been
Back in 1896, a Swedish Scientist named Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927), was believed the first to warn that combustion of fossil fuels could eventually harm the atmosphere and lead to a global calamity. At the time, he suggested that CO2 could lead to a temperature rise in the 5 degree Celsius range over time. Those calculations led him to believe that allowing the carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would be mainly a ‘human caused’ problem.
There wasn’t much more scientific discussions on the possible problem until sometime in the 1940’s or so, when some developments in infrared technology allowed people to actually see the gasses that were escaping.
In the mid 50’s, more technology and theories came and a fellow named Gilbert Plass summarized his findings by stating that the more carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere, the less radiation, that would harmlessly escape into space normally, would now be trapped in a layer of the atmosphere.
Governments and decision makers continued to disregard the scientists thru those years, and only in the last 10 years or so have most began to take the science seriously. But back when those early studies were taking place, one group was paying attention all the time, and that was big oil.
Where We’re Headed
As back then, big oil is still at the table and spending more money on lobbying and paying decision makers to just ignore it for another year or let the next generation worry about. Politicians in 2019 are still being paid big dollars to flog the science and call it all a hoax, made up by a group of tree huggers, what ever it takes to make the science seem wrong.
It doesn’t take a scientist to know that if you turn a car on in a closed garage, the gasses will sooner or later get you. That, unfortunately, is what we are doing to our planet, just choking it off.