September heat records add to the data corroborating the trend of accelerated warming. For hundreds of consecutive months we have been recording above average global temperatures, now that trend is being eclipsed by a string of the hottest months ever recorded. Almost every month this year was the hottest on record beating many records that were set last year. Seven out of the nine months in 2015 broke records including the last five months in a row.
While a powerful El Niño event in the tropical Pacific Ocean is a contributing factor, as demonstrated by the graph (center left) the real culprit is anthropogenic warming.
September saw the highest ever globally averaged sea surface temperature ever recorded. According to NOAA It was 1.46°F (0.81°C) above the 20th century average and the record that it beat occurred in 2014.
September 2015 also set another record as the month with the greatest rise above average since the dawn of record keeping. September broke the record that was set in March of this year.
Six of the ten highest temperature departures from average have occurred in 2015 or six months of 2015 beat out 1,629 monthly records for the ten highest monthly temperature departures.
While it is easy to dismiss a month or even a year of above average temperature, decades of data are contributing to an irrefutable case for man-made warming.
It is not just the heat that we need to worry about, although that in and of itself will cause a cascade of serious impacts from human fatalities to widespread crop failures. We also must appreciate that more heat will increase the intensity and frequency of violent storms. We recently saw the formation of the strongest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere and the world. Hurricane Patricia generated wind speeds well above 200 mph.
2015 will almost certainly be the hottest year on record beating the record set in 2014 by a significant margin. The trend is clear not only is it getting warmer, but the rate at which that warming is occurring is accelerating with no end in site.
2015 – The Hottest Summer in the Hottest Year on Record
Global Temperature Data Underscores the Urgency of Climate Action
El Niño and Global Warming are Locked in a Feedback Loop
Hottest June Foreshadows the Hottest Year on Record
Extreme Heat in the Western World Marks the Start of Summer 2015
At Least 30 Years of Above Average Temperatures
Heat Records Tell the Story of Climate Change
India’s Heat Wave Offers a Glimpse into the Future
2014 is the Hottest Year in Recorded History
3 Charts: Record Breaking Heat August – October 2014
How Much Heat is Required to Spur Global Action?
Record Breaking Heat Suggests Accelerated Warming
June’s Record Breaking Heat and the Global Warming Trend
James Hansen’s 2012 Research Linking Global Warming and Extreme Weather
In the US 2012 is The Hottest Most Extreme Year in Recorded History
Globally 2012 is One of the Hottest Years on Record