For the 36th November in a row, global temperatures were above average

For the 36th November in a row, global temperatures were above average

Last month, we had a popular post noting that people 27 years old or younger had never experienced a month of cooler-than-average global temperatures. A lot of people — presumably ones who lead such full, busy lives that they cannot click links and/or read past the first paragraph of an article — were quick to point out that where they lived (invariably somewhere in the northern expanses of Canada) it had in fact been very cold one winter, and that this personal, localized experience trumped 332 months of above-average global air and land temperatures because the world revolves around them.

Anyway, the point is: We’re up to 333 months.

The average November temperature across land and ocean surfaces around the world was 1.21°C (0.67°F) above the 20th century average, marking the fifth warmest November since records began in 1880. … Including this November, the 10 warmest Novembers have occurred in the past 12 years. The 10 coolest Novembers on record all occurred prior to 1920. November 2012 also marks the 36th consecutive November and 333rd consecutive month with global temperature higher than the long-term average. The last month with a below average temperature was February 1985, nearly 28 years ago.

333 months! Halfway to the apocalypse, one can only assume.

The map of variance from average temperatures is amazing. Not a single spot on Earth has seen record cold temperatures this year. Zero. But the U.S. and Europe and broad stretches of ocean have seen the warmest years ever recorded.

Click to embiggen.

And yet that’s still not enough to propel 2012 into position as the hottest year the world as a whole has ever seen. (But it will certainly end up as America’s hottest, as the map above suggests.) Through last month, this year is only the eighth-warmest in history.

Click to embiggen.

Each of the seven warmer years have occurred since 1998.

An important caveat: You will note that the map above is not uniformly red! That is because temperatures are different in different parts of the world. Maybe you can remember 10 Novembers warmer than this last one — that does not mean that the global average for November 2012 is the 11th-warmest! Your mileage may vary, as they say.

And another caveat: August 2040 will (possibly) be the 666th straight month with higher-than-average global temperatures (somewhat undermining the concept of average). The map for that month will likely be a pure splotch of red, as Earth will have been consumed by hellfire. Please prepare appropriately.


State of the Climate, Global Analysis: November 2012, NOAA

Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.

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For the 36th November in a row, global temperatures were above average

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