Warmest September globally since recording keeping began
October 25, 2005 10:33 AM   Subscribe

No surprise: Warmest September (globally) since record keeping began, according to NOAA, 1.13 degrees above the 1880-2004 long term mean, with land temperatures more than 5 degrees F above normal across large parts of Asia and North America. Ocean temperatures were third highest on record.
posted by stbalbach (46 comments total)
 
I wonder if that has anything to do with the horrible constant rain we have been getting in the Northeast the last few weeks. Beyond even the global warming concerns the weather is jus depressing...
posted by UMDirector at 10:39 AM on October 25, 2005


Shut up stbalbach you nazicommunist ! You wait just wait till they privatize NOAA , that'll teach them to shut up about what's really happening in the world.

Everything is going just fine, nothing to see go ahead. At worst we'll throw a giant ice cube in the ocean and make it colder.
posted by elpapacito at 10:41 AM on October 25, 2005


i thought it was a very warm september in michigan ... i really couldn't recall a warmer one
posted by pyramid termite at 10:41 AM on October 25, 2005


sooooooooooo screwed
posted by sourbrew at 10:46 AM on October 25, 2005


What is surprising is how little press this news received since its release on Oct.15th. Or perhaps I dont read the rights sources, but I just stumpled on this while browsing the NOAA site. I guess as the world warms up record-breaking weather becomes the norm.
posted by stbalbach at 10:47 AM on October 25, 2005


Temperature fluctuates. Any one data point could be an anomaly.
posted by russilwvong at 10:49 AM on October 25, 2005


Not 2005!!!!!
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005


Metafilter: I just stumpled upon this while browsing
posted by grateful at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005


You mean like how 4 of the 10 strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic happened in the past 24 months?
posted by stbalbach at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2005


Good argument not to have kids. We're probably fucked. They'd be fucked for sure.
posted by Elpoca at 11:30 AM on October 25, 2005


Good argument not to have kids. We're probably fucked. They'd be fucked for sure.
posted by Elpoca at 11:30 AM PST on October 25 [!]


Or a good reason to have them. In a post-civilization world, the best way to get laborers and soldiers is to grow your own.
posted by mullingitover at 11:34 AM on October 25, 2005


Needs more study...

NOAA is under the Dept. of Commerce.

Dept. of Commerce, phshea, right. Comm-erce, communism, seeing the link here?

I'm hearing financial folks are factoring this stuff in as solid data when figuring commodities futures (I'm from Chicago). That's about the maximum depth to my knowlege on that subject (secondhand hearsay).


But when people start putting their money on it, I start listening.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:44 AM on October 25, 2005


Yes, let's all give up! Stop having kids!! In fact, stop having sex! Stop fucking moving, people! Stop eating lunch! The world is getting... warmer!

I was talking to my brother about this the other night, and the fact remains that even if the melting of the ice caps signals dire consequences for our planet, the ramping up of the earth's atmospheric temperature is certainly not irreversible. All we need is a nuclear winter or a mega-volcano blast to propel us into another ice age!

Enough with the doom and gloom, people. Go buy some ice cream and turn that frown upside-down!
posted by billysumday at 11:44 AM on October 25, 2005


South Park "Run! It's global warming!", "We didn't listen!"

908 - "Two Days Before The Day After Tomorrow" Bittorrent
posted by dand at 11:48 AM on October 25, 2005


From the page:

U.S. precipitation was below average during September, with unusually dry conditions for much of the East Coast and parts of the Plains and Northwest. Georgia, South Carolina and Maryland had their driest September on record.

From Bloomberg:

This has been the wettest October on record in New York's Central Park, where records have been kept since 1881. So far, 14.37 inches had been measured through yesterday, beating the record of 12.97 inches in 1913, said Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman with the National Weather Service's headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Providence, the capital of Rhode Island and the second largest city in New England, may have more than 16 inches of rain in October after the coming storms, said Tracy McCormick, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. It's already broken the previous record for the city, 12.74 inches, set in April 1983.

It's also been the wettest October on record for Worcester, Massachusetts, which has had 13.46 inches of rain as of yesterday, above its previous record of 10.98 inches for the month set in 1955, Vaccaro said.


This is the problem with looking at things in isolation. Are things warming globally? Possibly. Does one hot month indicate that they are? No, no more than one dry month suggest that the next will be as well.
posted by fet at 11:51 AM on October 25, 2005


Global warming predicts extreme events becoming more common. These are not isolated data points, they form a trend.
posted by stbalbach at 12:09 PM on October 25, 2005


This is the problem with looking at things in isolation. Are things warming globally? Possibly. Does one hot month indicate that they are? No, no more than one dry month suggest that the next will be as well.

Yeah--it's ironic. Ultimately, it's only the short-term, local (meaning micro-scale) picture that people notice and care about from day-to-day. Yet, in the end, it's the longer-term global (meaning macro-scale) picture that actually counts. Many don't even seem aware that the two pictures can drift out of sync from a particular vantage point. Sort of reminds me of that early stage in childhood development before the false belief theory of mind emerges--that is, the stage of development before children learn to recognize that they and others can hold mistaken beliefs about the world. If I personally notice it's cool outside today, then there can't possibly be a broader warming trend. I think this is one of Franis Bacon's Idols of the Tribe, or something isn't it? That people have a tendency to over-privilege personal experience and anecdotal evidence? Ah, who cares. Bacon was kind of an aristocratic hack anyway... (Sorry for rambling a bit...)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:17 PM on October 25, 2005


*Tosses his sandwich out the window*
posted by Plutor at 12:20 PM on October 25, 2005


I hate the term 'Global Warming.' It doesn't describe the problem adequately, and simultaneously provides an easy out for pro-polluters.

The real problem is Climate Instability. Not that things are getting hotter, per se, but that the weather patterns that we have become used to are not set in stone.

I just can't see why there is so much resistance to this concept. It is inevitable that in a closed system (such as, say, the Earth) if you change one factor, it affects many other factors. Therefore, there will be many, many more 'hottest/wettest/driest' on record in the years to come...
posted by Cycloptichorn at 12:22 PM on October 25, 2005


This is the problem with looking at things in isolation.

Yep True.

Are things warming globally? Possibly.

So the answer to this is unquestionably unequivocally yes. Not even contrarians disagree with this fact at this point. Please catch up to 2005.

Yes this one instance but see we've had a long string of these instances for the past 15 years. Hotest years, hotest months, most hurricanes, biggest hurricanes, least amount of snow. At this point it does add up, it is happening.

This is not really news however because we've already gone through a string of "Warmest Year" stories over and over...
posted by aaronscool at 12:23 PM on October 25, 2005


Yes, many years ago, evidence of global warming was met with the response, "We need to study the issue more." Well, years have passed, more study has been done, and it appears that people were right, global warming (and other consequences of climate change) is occurring, but the results of the study are decried or met with responses that they are part of a mass hysteria on the part of the public. What's clear is that the problem with the early talk about climate change was not that "more study" was required. What's clear is that what people were expecting was that "more study" would result in a more acceptable answer, and people are upset that the answers are not what they wanted.

However, I encourage all skeptics of climate change to call for "more study" until the researchers give you all the answer you want.
posted by deanc at 12:24 PM on October 25, 2005


* Catches Plutor's sandwich *

Mmmm, Pastrami. (chomp)
posted by grateful at 12:34 PM on October 25, 2005




Also see this AskMe thread: How to demonstrate the human impact on climate change?

I'm not as pessimistic as Elpoca. Yes, things could definitely get pretty bad, but the twentieth century wasn't exactly a walk in the park (*), and we managed to survive that.

(*) Hannah Arendt, preface to The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951):

Two World Wars in one generation, separated by an uninterrupted chain of local wars and revolutions, followed by no peace treaty for the vanquished and no respite for the victor, have ended in the anticipation of a third World War between the two remaining world powers. This moment of anticipation is like the calm that settles after all hopes have died.
posted by russilwvong at 12:40 PM on October 25, 2005


Yes, many years ago, evidence of global warming was met with the response, "We need to study the issue more." Well, years have passed, more study has been done, and it appears that people were right, global warming (and other consequences of climate change) is occurring, but the results of the study are decried or met with responses that they are part of a mass hysteria on the part of the public.

Yep--and people attribute the current skepticism to Chicken-littleism ("You people have been saying this would happen for years, so why are we supposed to believe you now?"--never mind that what those people were saying all along was that the change would likely take many years to become obvious. Again, not a lot of folks inclined to take the longview these days.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:42 PM on October 25, 2005


true, russilwvong. we have a long history of somehow managing to survive our best efforts to do ourselves in, and we probably will muddle through.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:44 PM on October 25, 2005


The Earth's climate is a very complex system with chaotic aspects. We know that in the last few million years it has had two stable states: a cold state (ice ages) and a warm state (Holocene-like conditions similar to today). It may have other stable states as well (very hot? snowball earth?) and since atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gasses are off the chart it is very difficult to know if there may not be an anthropogenic new state which we are about to flip into.

What is scary is how fast it flips between the states. The Greenland Ice cores suggest that the flip from cold to warm may have taken as few as three years, and certainly no more than a decade or three. it then took quite some time for all the ice to melt. Similarly, the plunge back to near glacial conditions after several thousand years of Holocene-like conditions was extremely rapid, and probably caused by a massive ice-dam burst in the now-Great Lakes area - flooding of the North Atlantic with cold fresh water effectively turned off the Gulf Stream almost instantaneously.

The point being, we may be looking for trends or stabilities, and dismissing short term fluctuations, and that makes sense in a system with a lot of intertia. But in a chaotic system, we could quite literally flip states in a way that is historically (and prehistorically?) unprecedented. As far as I can understand, this is the number one reason to take anthropogenic alterations of the earths atmosphere very seriously indeed -- the change we are talking about inducing may by its very nature be unpredictable in size, scope, timing and rapidity.
posted by Rumple at 12:56 PM on October 25, 2005


Also, while we as a species would probably survive the transition (at great human cost), the same cannot be said for many other species. The grand extinction we are in the middle of would be hastened extraordinarily, heralding a catastrophic decline in global biodiversity. The Earth has been through those before, but it takes millions of years to recover that biodiversity. So the argument that we survived the 20th century ok despite a few wars is pretty facile.
posted by Rumple at 12:58 PM on October 25, 2005


The Earth has been through those before, but it takes millions of years to recover that biodiversity. So the argument that we survived the 20th century ok despite a few wars is pretty facile.

I agree with you here in principle, rumple. I'm just trying to hold out some hope for the future, since we're all kind of stuck with whatever happens next, and there's no point taking too pessimistic a view.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 1:02 PM on October 25, 2005


all-seeing eye dog -- which is fine, but not everyone who is not pessimistic is well-informed -- most of them are in denial. Indeed, some of them are in such mind-bendingly active denial that they have effectively turned into faith-based zealots. And while we *may* be stuck with a completely fucked up climate, we also can lower the probability of that happening by cutting back on greenhosue gasses etc. Who knows whether next years' excessive carbon emissions will be the straw that breaks the camel's back?
posted by Rumple at 1:11 PM on October 25, 2005


rumple: couldn't agree more...
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2005


there's no point taking too pessimistic a view

My pessimism (cynicism really) is that while we can still do something about this problem we won't and when the problem manifests itself fully there will be nothing we can do.

Call it whatever you want but until we the people of the US actually do something like raise CAFE standards, give tax breaks and incentives exclusively to clean energy and not to fossil fuel companies or any number of things we could be doing I will hold in the belief that we won't fix this problem in time.
posted by aaronscool at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2005


I sort of imagine the last man on earth, fist shaking at a world that can no longer provide him sustenance, shouting with his dying breath: "The plural of anecdote is not data!" This brings me a little joy.

There's a cartoon in that somewhere.
posted by furiousthought at 1:34 PM on October 25, 2005


furiousthought: that's hilarious/heartbreaking! you should make it happen and then post it as an fpp here (there's gotta be some artistically inclined people sneaking around MeFi who could help...) you could sell it to american scientist.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:12 PM on October 25, 2005


On a related note, "What Part of 'Global Warming' Don't We Get?"
posted by ilsa at 4:40 PM on October 25, 2005


Yep...it was SO HOT, why it was the hottest September in recorded times! All 125 years or so, compared to...oh, say hundreds of millions of years of history.

Nope, not buying it.
posted by davidmsc at 4:49 PM on October 25, 2005


davidmsc: see this graph.
posted by russilwvong at 5:01 PM on October 25, 2005


Yep...it was SO HOT, why it was the hottest September in recorded times! All 125 years or so, compared to...oh, say hundreds of millions of years of history.

Nope, not buying it.


Actually, now that you put it that way, davidmsc, I just might reconsider and trust the future of my entire civilization to your firm hunch that someone's trying to sell you a bill of goods. That does seem like a much more sensible thing to do than to seriously research the case for climate change before I form an opinion, since the first thing that sprung into my mind once I read your argument was, Gee, that sounds right to me.

Snarking aside, unfortunately there's a hell of a lot more hard data behind these global climate change concerns than just the historically documented warming trends in recent history (for more detailed discussions of these topics, you might scrounge around here). But who am I or anyone else for that matter to suggest you might not be the most qualified person to advise the rest of us on these topics; your reasoning is clearly air-tight, and your grasp of all the facts in the debate is self-evident.

(D'oh. Well, I meant to put the snarking aside at least.)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 5:06 PM on October 25, 2005


(and before I get shredded, let me add: I'm not saying that "the hell of a lot more hard data" I alluded to above is conclusive--just that it strongly suggests good reason for concern...)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 5:15 PM on October 25, 2005


In 1800 the world has around 1 billion people versus 6 today and 9 or 12 in 2100. To compare the weather of even 200 years ago with today is irrelevant to the reasons people are concerned (usually the sceptics response to this is the world doesnt need as many people to which we roll our eyes and say go back to sleep and let us know when you wake up).
posted by stbalbach at 5:27 PM on October 25, 2005


The heat waste from 6 billion people must be phenomenal. This is probably enough to effect our environment alone, let alone pollution...

Cycloptichorn
posted by Cycloptichorn at 5:50 PM on October 25, 2005


Cycloptichorn: As it happens I was just given that argument as a refutation of carbon-pollution-based models of global warming. (A good friend is taking Climatology, taught by someone with a perhaps too-healthy dose of skepticism for hockey-stick models.) Human biomass is barely 1/3 of 1%, assuming certain estimates are correct.

I suspect the goal of making that point was to suggest that if global warming is directly caused by human body warmth, solving it would require drastically reducing our population. Solving global warming, then, is equivalent to genocide. I can't be entirely sure, though.

What is surprising is how little press this news received since its release on Oct.15th.

The same record keeps getting set, N out of every 12 months, these last few years. It's no longer news.
posted by dhartung at 7:26 PM on October 25, 2005


stbalbach, dhartung - The "Methane Burp" hypothesis I've mentioned previously ( reference : research on Methane Hydrates ) isn't news either even though it could point to the end of human civilization, and our species, in a "Permian extinction 2" scenario .

We're currently looking to a likely future of 1) Strong Methane burp = doom 2) Weak Methane burp = humans might squeak by.

This isn't considered newsworthy, nor is the mass die off / cutting of pretty much all the Earth's equatorial forests. Or melting ice pack, dying coral reefs, hurricanes.....why ? - I don't know. US Domioninism ? Reg Morrison's "The Spirit in the Gene" hypothesis ? Mass distractibility ? Toxic food ? Aliens ? Smurfs ?

Take your pick : but we'd best pull out of this nose dive, and I believe we can.

_________


Meanwhile, anyone who'd consider buying an insurance policy from davidmsc is someone I'd likely call an idiot.
posted by troutfishing at 8:44 PM on October 25, 2005


It couldn't have anything to do with ionospheric heating could it?
posted by augustweed at 12:12 AM on October 26, 2005


Anything that means I can turn the thermostat down and save some money this winter is good.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:16 PM on October 26, 2005


The Real Problem

Rapid melting of the arctic permafrost is an unrecognized time bomb. Huge deposits of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more destructive than carbon dioxide, are locked in the permafrost. Within the last five years the surface permafrost in an area in Siberia, the size of France and Germany combined, has started to melt for the first time since the last ice age, 11,000 years ago. Methane, released as "burps", could snuff all mammalian life in the arctic, according to one informed estimate, in as little as 15-25 years. These clouds would also drift south, threatening all life on earth. Twice before in the history of the planet, roughly 55 million and 251 million years ago, methane threatened to extinguish life on earth. Present and planned efforts to slow Global Warming fall tragically short of what is needed. Every one of us may be facing a little publicized planetary emergency.

Not merely high prices and shortages, but the very hope for the survival of life on planet earth, requires an extremely rapid transition beyond dependence on oil, gas and coal. Vested interests need to recognize their most important interest is life itself, for themselves, their children and grandchildren. During WWII, our nation proved capable of producing aircraft and armament in quantities that would have been considered unbelievable a short time earlier. A similar all out effort, to develop and produce little-known breakthrough systems, such as those based on the conversion of Zero Point Energy; as well as rapid expansion of all carbon free energy technologies that can slow global warming, must become an urgent near-term priority.
posted by Overtone at 12:34 PM on November 4, 2005


« Older I Want It That Way   |   Keep the wheels turning Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments