Here’s the proof our planet is still warming

Climate change deniers say there’s been a pause in the heating of our planet.

But the data don’t bear that out.

Here’s a graph from the Japan Meteorological Society with October data, using the same measurement stations as the U.S.’s NASA. [source]

The red line captures the long term trend and it clearly goes upward. The graph measures temperature anomalies.

The line at the end that spikes up is this year, 2015.

Average global temperature

Global average temperature, October. Japan Meteorological Society.

Moreover, a recent piece by climate scientist John Abraham notes there have been multiple studies just this year showing there is no pause in the rise of temperatures.

There are ups and downs over the decades but the overall trend is up.

This graph from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows why the earth is warming, as it displays how increasing carbon and rising global temperatures go together.

Screenshot 2015-12-02 06.51.37

As writer Jonathan Chait has pointed out, “scientists discovered more than a century ago that carbon dioxide traps heat.” In other words, we’re talking basic chemistry.

And there’s been no pause.

It’s been happening everywhere, including in Maine, where rising temperatures has already affected our oceans and forests, and increased the tick population.

2014 was the hottest year on record, with 2015 likely to break that record.

You can see global trends in this video from NASA.*

By the way, some day it would be good to know why climate change deniers think the major scientific organizations and top peer reviewed journals are lying about climate Why do they think all those scientists be engaged in a conspiracy?

And it would be really good if the current heads of congressional committees on science weren’t themselves deniers.

After all, new technologies have led to huge increases in efficiency for alternative energy with plunging costs. Between that and tax policies like cap and dividend, which would put money in people’s pockets, it is possible to limit this trend. But we have to start by accepting reality.


*Regarding the video posted above, NASA says:

The year 2014 now ranks as the warmest on record since 1880, according to an analysis by NASA scientists.

This video shows a time series of five-year global temperature averages, mapped from 1880 to 2014, as estimated by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

While scientists expect temperatures to fluctuate from year to year, the average temperature of the planet as a whole has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) since 1880. This trend is largely driven by increasing human emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The GISS analysis incorporates temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations around the world, ship- and buoy-based ocean temperature readings and data from Antarctic research stations.


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.