When I tell the truth, it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those that do.
NOAA, NASA, the Japanese, and the World Meteorological Org. all say 2014 is the hottest year in the modern record.
From NOAA Global Analysis – Annual 2014 :
The year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880….To date, including 2014, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred during the 21st century. 1998 currently ranks as the fourth warmest year on record.
Six individual months ranked as the warmest for that month in the modern record:
Six months of 2014 (May, June, August, September, October, and December) were record warm, while April was second warmest, January, March, and July were fourth warmest for their respective months, and November was seventh warmest.
Bloomberg did an interesting, brief (20 seconds) animated display of the temperature record since 1880, at this link:
2014 Was the Hottest Year on Record
And from Japan:
2014 was the hottest year on record, Japanese scientists say
The global cooling people (they may have one good point, mentioned below) have a couple of things they’ll trot out. One is that 2014 was not the hottest year in the satellite temperature measurement data sets. The headline from the folks who keep the satellite data says this:
2014 was third warmest, but barely
The article at the link, which only sometimes works, explains that they take measurements at different altitudes. In one data set, 2014 was the third warmest year; in another, 2014 was the sixth warmest year.
The other point is in this chart from NOAA:
This shows the separate trends for temperatures taken on land, ocean, and the two combined. 2014 is the hottest year in the combined data (the black line) and in the ocean data (the blue line). It is the fourth warmest in the land-only data (the gold line). Some global cooling people impugn the ocean temperature data, claiming that the thousands of ocean temperature buoys provide suspect data. Even if they turned out right about that, which seems very unlikely, the long-term trends are exceedingly clear on all of these charts.
Where the global cooling people may have a point is not about the warming trend being a fallacy, clearly they seem wrong about that, but about the cause of the warming. While I think humans do play a part in the warming, I think that part is small compared with natural cycles, especially those driven by the Sun, which people underestimate across the board: the Sun not only keeps our physical bodies alive, but also lights our inner life via its connection with each of us at the point of the pineal gland, in the center of the head. So the Sun has a very wide spectrum of influence. People have been amazed in recent years by repeated largest-storm-ever-recorded events, but these aren’t happening only on Earth, they’ve been noted on other planets as well. Check this from UC Berkeley:
Amateur, professional astronomers alike thrilled by extreme storms on Uranus
“This type of activity would have been expected in 2007, when Uranus’s once-every-42-year equinox occurred and the sun shined directly on the equator,” noted co-investigator Heidi Hammel of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. “But we predicted that such activity would have died down by now. Why we see these incredible storms now is beyond anybody’s guess.”
While the warming trend brings changes, I think those changes will be quite welcome in the long run. Unless, of course, the place you live has a lot of its infrastructure near sea level. Coastal cities the world over are hiring Dutch water engineers to plan how to keep the rising water out. Cities like Miami don’t like to talk about it (they worry about real estate values!), but they are spending hundreds of millions on new sea walls, as shown in this seven-minute video (h/t KR):
Is Miami Beach drowning?
Those new sea walls won’t help a bit with storm drains that, instead of draining water away from city streets, now bring sea water to those streets at high tide. Most of these people make their plans using the UN’s IPCC estimates for sea level rise, stated in millimeters per year. I think such numbers will come to be seen as vastly underestimating the trend. As the video of Prof. Bartlett’s famous course on exponential growth shows so well, people have a tough time seeing the implications (and sometimes dangers) of something that grows by a fixed percent each year. Chris Martenson tries to summarize the exponential concept in a six-minute video and does a pretty good job of it:
Crash Course Chapter 3: Exponential Growth
Storms and Floods
And the storms–on Earth, that is–just keep on coming. The increase in precipitation is likely great proof of the Earth’s warming trend as more water evaporates and becomes available for storms.
Increases in extreme rainfall
Dr Westra … said trends in rainfall extremes were examined over the period from 1900 to 2009 to determine whether they were becoming more intense or occurring more frequently.
“The results show that rainfall extremes were increasing over this period, and appear to be linked to the increase in global temperature of nearly a degree which also took place over this time.
“If extreme rainfall events continue to intensify, we can expect to see floods occurring more frequently around the world.” Dr Westra said.
Here is a map showing the observed increases in very heavy precipitation events in the USA by region from 1958 to 2012:
In last year’s Earth changes statistical update, a chart from the world’s largest re-insurance company, Munich Re, was used to show that the increase in storms and floods was not imagined by deranged bloggers but was being reported by the hard-nosed insurance industry. This year, they didn’t update the chart, but they did publish that the number of “loss events,” as the insurance world calls them, hit a new record of 980 events:
In total, 980 loss-related natural catastrophes were registered, a much higher number than the average of the last ten and 30 years (830 and 640).
If they had updated the chart, it would include a bar similar to the one I added in purple for 2014, with the 980 level shown by the purple arrow:
Clearly, the trend of natural catastrophes, especially storms and floods, is still on the rise. Munich Re noted that there were fewer deaths than previous years and–while noting that the death toll was lowered by the lack of a mega-catastrophes like the Japan earthquake/tsunami of 2011–applauded countries for their use of improved early warning systems. It sounds like both nations and individuals are wisely beginning to gain respect for the power of these events. Let’s hope that this is a general trend that leads to more and more people moving away from areas prone to flooding, typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis. An appropriate regard for these accelerating trends can save individuals and humanity a great deal of anguish.
Unusual and massive flooding has become, well, usual, even epidemic. Here are some just from the last month, compiled by SOTT.NET:
With 156 magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquakes during 2014, the large-earthquake uptrend is more than intact. Here is my updated chart, using data from the USGS, with the arrow showing the clear trend:
Maybe you think that’s an anomaly, not enough data is shown? Here’s the same chart with an additional nine years of data, back to 1973:
The science community is starting to admit the trend:
A global surge of great earthquakes from 2004-2014 and implications for Cascadia
The last ten years have been a remarkable time for great earthquakes. Since December 2004 there have been no less than 18 quakes of Mw8.0 or greater – a rate of more than twice that seen from 1900 to mid-2004.
In 2014, there were no mega-quakes like the magnitude 9+ quakes that caused the deadly tsunamis of 2004 in the Indian Ocean and 2011 in Japan, so there were no major tsunamis.
It’s becoming commonly accepted that fracking and its associated wastewater injection activity causes earthquakes. So far, at least, these have been smaller-size quakes:
Hydraulic fracturing linked to earthquakes in Ohio
Oil Wells Linked to Oklahoma’s Stunning Increase In Earthquakes
Second Greeley, Colorado earthquake halts injection site work
Wastewater disposal may trigger quakes at a greater distance than previously thought
If you don’t live near a fracking site, here’s a great “meet your new neighbors” photo:
At the start of 2015, these were the numbers for currently-active volcanoes, with their colors as shown on the maps below (the interactive version of the map is here):
||Warning/minor activity (orange)
Ring of Fire map:
Rest of the world:
Some say that the extraordinary amount of volcanic activity is contributing to weather wildness and a slowing of the Earth’s warming trend. The latter point would not be surprising given this chart from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project showing that truly major volcanic eruptions temporarily slow the rising temperature trend:
The article at this link has a short video of Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano which has been producing 50 to 70 cubic meters of lava per second since August, 2014.
And these are just the land-based volcanoes. No one knows how many undersea volcanoes are active, though some are starting to think they are active enough to be warming the oceans. Previously-underwater volcanoes have been creating new islands, one in Tonga (which has been erupting every five minutes for a month) and two in Japan.
Tongan Volcano Creates New Island
Dramatic Video Shows Volcano Making New Island Off Japan
Methane is being released not just from the ocean floor in the Arctic:
Arctic Ocean releasing large volumes of methane
but also all along the Atlantic Coast of the USA:
Hundreds of Methane Plumes Erupting Along East Coast
In an unexpected discovery, hundreds of gas plumes bubbling up from the seafloor were spotted during a sweeping survey of the U.S. Atlantic Coast….Between North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras and Massachusetts’ Georges Bank, 570 methane seeps cluster in about eight regions, according to sonar and video gathered by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration ship Okeanos Explorer between 2011 and 2013.
Sinkholes continue to proliferate. SOTT.NET is the only service I have seen tracking these numerically. Yes, many sinkholes can be explained by broken water mains and the like, but others have no known explanation. SOTT.NET shows this as the emerging trend:
What’s causing these trends?
There are several theories about the cause of these increasing Earth changes. In my view, the one that best encompasses the full array of changes is the one that says, summarized briefly: Earth and humanity are beginning their evolutionary passage from third dimension to fourth dimension reality and therefore everything, everything is becoming more permeable, from the Earth’s crust to the lies of our governments to the divisions between the planes of existence, enabling more people to increasingly access realms of life that have traditionally been hidden. In any case, it seems that two things are clear:
1. These trends are accelerating, not diminishing, and as such, they deserve people’s attention and respect. Prof. Bartlett is right, people don’t realize the power of exponential trends, even less so with accelerating trends. Living in places that these trends indicate as high risk areas reminds me of a phrase in the financial markets for remaining in trades to the very last minute where the chance of gain is small and the risk of loss is huge: “picking up nickels in front of a steamroller.”
2. Whatever the cause or causes, there is clearly a pervasive energetic component to this planetary event. One demonstration of this is the great upset and upheaval taking place in the animal kingdom, which will be covered in Part 2.