The October 2015 global temperature beat the previous record by far, and the likelihood that this year will become the hottest year in recorded history is very high. Data from NASA revealed that the combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2015 was the highest for October in the 136-year period of record, at 0.98°C (1.76°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F). Not only was last month the warmest October since 1880, it also achieved the greatest temperature difference than any other month in 136 years of archival data from NASA.
Discovery News wrote that October was the sixth month in a row this year that had set a global monthly temperature record. In total, eight months this year have been the warmest for their specific month. Regarding the alarming temperature record, Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, tweeted the following on Tuesday.
“The probability that 2015 will be a record warm year is now 99.9 percent.”
The temperature of October was more than one degree centigrade above the average for the years 1951-1980. So far, the anomaly record was recorded in January 2007, which saw a difference of 0.97 degrees Celsius. According to a report from USA Today, the record warm year is being fueled by a strong, naturally occurring El Niño and man-made global warming.
This year will probably end up having a global temperature which exceeds one degree above pre-industrial temperatures. A record that, for the experts, is a sign of global warming due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and El Niño. This phenomenon — which describes the warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean— so far is among the three strongest ever, according to the available data. National Geographic wrote that El Niño has an impact on ocean temperatures, the speed and strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and local weather from Australia to South America and beyond. El Niño events occur irregularly at two- to seven-year intervals.
According to The Guardian, the current data tells us that the long-term global warming trend persists, and it was only temporarily slowed because of the prevailing La Niña conditions from 1999 to 2012. The figures represent a significant jump in climate change and some scientists fear it will eventually lead to the end of our civilization. One such scientist is Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Earlier this year at the presentation of the encyclical in the Vatican, Schellnhuber gave the following statement.
“Not the poor but the wealthy are putting our planet, and ultimately humanity, at risk,” Schellnhuber said. “Those who profited least from the exploitation of fossil fuels and contributed least to greenhouse-gas emissions are hit hardest by global warming impacts, unless we strongly reduce emissions.”
The German analyst also spoke on the rising concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Ever since CO2 was declared a danger to human health by the US EPA, its significant threat as a greenhouse gas is given added importance as the leading cause of climate change and rising temperatures on the planet.
“The atmosphere, heaven above us all, is a global common – yet it is used as a waste-dump for greenhouse gases by the few,” he said. “The Pope is making history in highlighting this. If we want to avoid dangerous climate change, we have to restrict the use of the atmosphere by putting a price on CO2 emissions. This would generate revenues which could be used to improve access to clean water or education, especially for the poor.”
[Image via David McNew/Getty Images News]