Thursday, January 08, 2015

2014 was hottest year on record, but skeptics still not ready to admit global warming exists

The Japan Meteorological Agency, the first organization to release worldwide temperature data from 2014, says last year was the hottest year on record, Chris Mooney reports for The Washington Post. That information could go a long way toward casting doubt on skeptics of global warming, especially if the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA have similar results when they release their findings on Jan. 16.

Based on information released through November, it is expected that the NOAA/NASA report will name last year the hottest on record, Mooney writes. The UK Met Office's Hadley Center has already stated that 2014 was the hottest year on record in the United Kingdom. 

Penn State University climate researcher Michael Mann told Mooney, "The record-breaking temperatures should put to rest once and for all the silly claim by contrarians that climate change has somehow stopped or stalled. In fact, the warming of the globe continues unabated as we continue to burn fossil fuels and increase concentrations of planet-warming greenhouse gases."

Yet, realists and skeptics continue to interpret weather information differently, Mooney writes. Skeptics believe in the "pause" effect, which "largely relies on the then-record temperatures of 1998 in order to create the impression that there's been little or no global warming ever since. Yet the fact remains that the 2000s were considerably hotter than the 1990s, and indeed, in most datasets 1998 isn't even the hottest year any longer." (Read more) (Skeptical Science graphics)

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