GISS Global Surface Temperature Analysis for January 2016. Graphic: NASA / GISS

18 February 2016 ( – The Scientists are floored and we should be too. The global heat and especially the extremely high temperature departures we’ve seen in the Arctic over the past month are flat-out unprecedented. It’s  freakish-strange. And what it looks like, to this particular observer, is that the seasonality of our world is changing. What we’re witnessing, at this time — it looks like the beginning of the end for Winter as we know it.

Hottest January on Record — But the Arctic is Just Outlandish

Anyone who observes the Arctic — from scientists, to environmentalists, to emerging threats specialists, to weather and climate enthusiasts, to just regular people unsettled by the rapidly unraveling state of our global climate system — should be very, very concerned. The human greenhouse gas emission — now pushing CO2 levels to above 405 parts per million and adding in a host of additional heat trapping gasses — appears to be rapidly forcing our world to warm. To warm most swiftly in one of the absolute worst places imaginable — the Arctic.

Not only was January of 2016 the hottest such month ever recorded in the 136 year NASA global climate record. Not only did January show the highest temperature departure from average for a single month — at +1.13 C above NASA’s 20th Century base-line and about +1.38 C above 1880s averages (just 0.12 C shy of the dangerous 1.5 C mark). But what we observed in the global distribution of those record hot temperatures was both odd and disturbing.

Though the world was hot as a whole — with El Niño heat dominating the tropical zones — the furthest above average temperature extremes concentrated at the very roof of our world. There, in the Arctic lands of now-thawing glacial ice and permafrost — over Siberia, over Northern Canada, over Northern Greenland and all throughout the Arctic Ocean zone above 70 North Latitude — temperatures averaged between 4 and 13 degrees Celsius above normal. That’s between 7 and 23 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual for the extraordinary period of an entire month.

And the further north you went, the more heat you ended up with. Above the 80 North Latitude line, temperature averages for the entire region spiked to around 7.4 degrees C (13 degrees F) warmer than normal. For this area of the Arctic, that’s about equal to the typical difference between January and April (April is about 8 C warmer than January during a normal year). So what we’ve seen is absolutely unprecedented — for the entire month of January of 2016, temperatures were those of Springtime in the Arctic. [more]

No Winter For the Arctic in 2016 — NASA Marks Hottest January Ever Recorded



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