Sunday, March 13, 2016

Holy Celsius, Batman! GISTEMP Smashes Previous Record

GISTEMP for February was by far the warmest month in their records: +1.35°C. (Note added: that means the highest anomaly; February itself wasn't the warmest absolute temperature of all 12 months in the record.)

It feels weird just to write that. This smashes the old record, set the previous month, of +1.14°C.

The northern hemisphere anomaly is downright scary: +1.90°C. That's the 10th-straight month the NH has set a record.

The southern hemisphere was +0.81°C, the warmest February but only the 5th-warmest SH month ever. Only.


JoeT said...


When you say February was the warmest month, you really mean February had the largest anomaly, yes? The anomalies are with respect to the mean over the period 1951-1980 for that particular month. It doesn't mean that February is actually the warmest month on record. Because the northern hemisphere has more land than the southern hemishphere the planet as a whole warms up more in July and cools down in January; basically it follows the seasons of the northern hemisphere. There is about a 3C difference for the mean surface temperature between January and July.

The reason I'm writing this is that I've seen a number of blog posts which have claimed February is the warmest month on record and I'm beginning to doubt my own understanding. What say you?

David Appell said...

Sure, largest anomaly. I'll clarify that.

Windchasers said...

Yeah, JoeT, you understand correctly.

This February was warmer than an average February by more than any other month was warmer than an average for that month. E.g., largest anomaly.

Hmm. With global warming, we expect warmer winters more than warmer summers, yeah? Which would mean that months like January and February are going to warm more quickly, which means that their anomalies will rise more quickly. We'll see more record anomalies in the winter months than the summer months... if I understand correctly.