I know, I know, I'm behind a bit. Most of the stories on the first six months of this year came nearly a month ago. Better late than never. By now, we all know that the world is headed toward its hottest year ever, breaking the record set just last year. In this post, I'm going to analyze just how abnormal normal the first half of the year has been.
Here is a plot of annual temperatures since 1880:
What would an exceptionally warm
2015 look like? That depends on your definition of "exceptional." I
defined it as close to 2 standard deviations from the trend, which came
to a global average of 0.94ºC or greater. The only years that have
even come near that standard since 1970 are 1983 and 1998, both years
which saw monster El Niño events. Should the current El Niño approach
the magnitude of either of those events, I would not rule out either
2015 or 2016 challenging the 2 standard deviation line. So while 2015
already looks to shatter 2014's record hot global temperature, it could
get even hotter. Stay tuned.