2015 Really Is “The Warmest Year in Modern Record”!

Our regular reader(s) may recall that this time last year we took umbrage at an article by David Rose in the Mail on Sunday about the joint NASA/NOAA press briefing outlining their findings about global surface temperatures in 2014.

We’ve been discussing Mr. Rose’s recent misleading “Tweets” about the Arctic with him:

As a consequence we also found ourselves in conversation with Gavin Schmidt of NASA about this year’s NASA/NOAA press briefing about global surface temperatures in 2015, which takes place on January 20th. Pencil it into your diary:

Climate experts from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will discuss the release of new data on 2015 global temperatures, and the most important weather and climate events of the year, during a media teleconference at 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 20.

The teleconference panelists are:

Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York
Thomas R. Karl, director of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina, and chair of the Subcommittee on Global Change Research for the U.S. Global Change Research Program in Washington

Media can participate in the teleconference by calling 888-790-1804 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 415-228-4885 (international) and use the passcode “climate.”

Audio of the briefing, as well as supporting graphics, will stream live.

Whilst we wait with bated breath for the NASA/NOAA announcement, here’s how the Gavin, David & Snow show has been going over on Twitter:


You will note from the exchange on Twitter that the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project are one of the organisations that have already declared 2015 “The Warmest Year in the Modern Record”, which brings me to the Arctic connection. Tamino explains over at “Open Mind”, in an article entitled “Hottest Year On Record“:

When it comes to global temperature over land and sea, Berkeley produces two versions, different in the way they treat areas covered with sea ice. Version 1 uses air temperature estimates for sea-ice covered regions, version 2 uses ocean temperature estimates.

and quotes BEST as follows:

For most of the ocean, sea-surface temperatures are similar to near-surface air temperatures; however, air temperatures above sea ice can differ substantially from the water below the sea ice. The air temperature version of this average shows larger changes in the recent period, in part this is because water temperature changes are limited by the freezing point of ocean water. We believe that the use of air temperatures above sea ice provides a more natural means of describing changes in Earth’s surface temperature.

As Tamino puts it:

Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer. Here are annual averages through 2015 (which is now complete) according to version 1:


Here it is according to version 2:


Any way you look at it, 2015 is the hottest. Any way you look at it, there was no “pause” in global temperature.

[Edit – 17:30 UTC on January 20th 2016]

The joint NASA/NOAA media briefing on 2015 global average surface temperatures has just finished. The recording of the event is due to go online “in 2 hours” or so from:


You can get a good flavour things by taking a look at the second half of the Twitter “Storify” above. This one sums things up:

Whilst we all wait for the recording to emerge, you can download the slides for the briefing from:


and here’s a video summary NASA have released:

Note too that the UK Met Office released their numbers this afternoon also. Here’s how they look:

and here’s the Met Office’s video in which Peter Stott explains their conclusion that:

2015 – Warmest year on record globally

I waited patiently in the NASA/NOAA queue to ask some Arctic related questions, but never received the call. I’ll let you know when I receive the promised answers by email.

3 thoughts on “2015 Really Is “The Warmest Year in Modern Record”!

  1. I have some screenshots of #reggie comments in support of Jim Hunt that were never posted from september 2003…

    …but I am sure you had the feeling that was likely the case

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