NASA GISS Shows April 2014 was Second Hottest on Record Amidst Epic Siberian Heatwave, Wildfires

Extraordinary ocean surface temperature anomalies that spiked into the range of + 1.4 C above 1880s values and a continued progression of the Pacific toward El Nino began to take its toll in April. NASA GISS shows that global temperature anomalies hit 0.73 C above the 1951-1980 average last month, the second hottest in the record and just behind 2010’s +0.80 C reading.

2010 was an El Nino year and the most recent record-holder for hottest year in the NASA measure. So it appears all it takes is just a slight tilt toward El Nino, as we saw in April, to challenge previous highs.

NASA April 2nd Hottest

(Temperature anomalies for April of 2014 vs the 1951-1980 average. Image source: NASA GISS.)

The global hotspot for the month again centered on the Yakutia region of Siberia stretching south into Mongolia and Northern China and north into the East Siberian and Beaufort Seas. Positive anomaly values hit as high as 7.9 degrees C above average for the entire month in this hot zone. This was the same region that experienced anomalously intense wildfires throughout much of April and into early May with some fires burning along gargantuan fronts stretching 20 to 100 miles.

Alaska, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Queensland and West Antarctica also displayed very warm readings in the range of 2-4 C above average for the month. Meanwhile, positive sea surface temperature anomalies advanced into the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during April, a clear sign that ocean heat was beginning to transfer back to the atmosphere.

Negative temperature anomalies were confined primarily to the Hudson Bay region and to the High Arctic above 80 North in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern Ocean adjacent to Antarctica in the Southern Hemisphere. These cool zones were both small and isolated as most of the world experienced above average to well above average readings.

Zonal anomalies April 2014 NASA

(Temperature anomalies by Latitudinal zone. Image source: NASA GISS.)

High latitude zonal anomalies in the Northern Hemisphere fell off with the arrival of Spring bringing down high temperature anomalies that occur as a result of polar amplification due to human-caused warming and ramp up during late Autumn and early-to-mid Winter. Cold air again retreated toward the pole where it will fight a battle with Summer heat over a diminishing ice cover. Warmth followed the cold retreat into high latitude regions, though, pushing heat anomaly values up to an extreme +2.7 in the region around 70 degrees North Latitude signalling the location of the warm-cold battle line for the onset of late Spring and early Summer. It is a line well north. One that includes sections of the Arctic Ocean now experiencing early melt and/or sea ice break-up.

With the onset of austral fall, polar amplification ramped up for the Southern Hemisphere with extreme low latitude Antarctica experiencing +1.45 C above average temperatures for the month.

Following March’s +0.70 above average reading, April showed continued progress toward warming. And with May seeing further advancement toward El Nino in the first and second week, we can expect global temperature values are likely to keep rising.

Links:

NASA GISS

When April is the New July: Siberia’s Epic Wildfires Come Far Too Early

 

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38 Comments

  1. Bassman

     /  May 13, 2014

    If temps stay above .7, 2014 will be the warmest on record for NASA. It will be interesting to see of NOAA differs much being a little more early in its response to El Niño.

    Reply
    • Looks like we are rather above that range so far for this month as well. SSTs alone are +0.9 to +1.17 above 1979 to 2000 for the first 13 days of May.

      Reply
  2. Tom

     /  May 13, 2014

    Thanks for keeping us informed Robert. I reposted this over on NBL.

    Reply
  3. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    Adding GISS April, 2014 is averaging .64C (above their ’50-’79 baseline). A close and closing 3rd place to 2010 and 2005. Sure hope the [deleted]’s enjoyed their ‘pause’.

    Reply
    • They’re still figuring out the best way to pretend El Niño isn’t building, ice sheets aren’t destabilizing, and that ocean heat content isn’t spiking. It must be tough work, constantly having to generate so much baloney.

      Reply
  4. Mark from New England

     /  May 13, 2014

    “A vote on Keystone was tied to the fate of an unrelated energy efficiency bill that has support in both parties. But that measure failed to get the 60 votes it needed to move forward after getting bogged down in partisan fighting over whether GOP amendments would be allowed.” – in article with this headline at CNN: “Effort to approve Keystone collapses in Senate”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/05/12/effort-to-approve-keystone-collapses-in-senate/?hpt=po_c2

    The Boston Globe carried an Associated Press article on the same vote with the title “Election politics kill bipartisan bid to bolster energy savings”. Which headline more accurately reflects the urgency of addressing the root causes of global warming? Not CNNs!

    All Republican Senators (and a few Democratic ones as well) are adamant that the Keystone Pipeline be approved before they’ll vote on any such energy saving measures.

    Reply
    • Are all republican Senators climate change deniers? They sure act like it.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 13, 2014

        If they’re not, they’re deep enough in the pocket of the fossil fuel companies to obstruct progress when we need it the most. I’m encouraged by the wide coverage and condemnation over Senator Mark Rubio’s recent insane comments. He’ll be eating his words soon enough – but only after much human suffering makes it abundantly clear that he is wrong and the scientists he pans are correct after all.

      • Of course the scientists are correct. Rubio is a first class ignoramus.

  5. Mark from New England

     /  May 13, 2014

    Great article Robert, as well as the previous 3 you’ve put out in the last 3 days!

    Mother Nature isn’t helping her cause, though, by making eastern North America one of the few relatively cool spots on that April temperature anomaly map. The deniers just walk out the door and base their opinion on whether global warming is occurring or not based on whether they need a jacket or not. Yesterday, though, was hot by May standards for New England. It topped out at 87 F in my area, way above normal for this time of year. It was also a very dry heat – only 20% relative humidity – very odd for May here.

    Reply
    • Oh, the deniers have very little excise. Most of them live in the south and west. Except of course for those living on Wall Street. But all they could ever see was money anyways.

      But all joking aside, you’re right. Even if there’s just one cooler than average spot on the face of the Earth, deniers will point to that and declare global warming dead. The problem is that as the Earth goes through its current warming and as ice sheets and glaciers continue to destabilize, you’re going to end up with very extreme variations between hot and cold even though the system, overall, will be warming.

      Reply
  6. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    Hansen’s website shows the decade 1901-1910 at -.36C relative to the 1951-1980 base. (I correct myself from before) so 2014 so far is + 1.00C.

    Reply
  7. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    Bassman. Don’t mean to “bogart’, but and if my high school math is still working properly: If the remaining eight months of 2014 average .6675C we will tie the record 2010 of .66C. GISS global surface air temperatures…..top five: 2010 .66, 2005 .65, 2014 J-A .64. 2007 .62, 2002 .61 Thanks again, Robert. All.

    Reply
    • That’s good math, high school or otherwise.

      Reply
    • Bassman

       /  May 13, 2014

      Your welcome to bogart my comments, it was early in the morning and I figured .7 was a good even number. Although, an El Niño might well blow those numbers away Sept-Dec.

      Reply
  8. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    ….and sorry to have left out the outrageously hot (for me) Summer of ’98. Where does that fit in? Tied with 2002 at .61….the greatest El Nino of the 20th century, didn’t they call it?

    Reply
  9. Colorado Bob

     /  May 13, 2014

    Oh the irony-
    US billionaire Donald Trump has moved to protect his €15m Irish investment from the ravages of global warming.

    Ahead of his first visit to his Trump Doonbeg golf resort today, Mr Trump’s Irish firm has lodged plans with Clare County Council to prevent further erosion to his course.

    The plans follow over €1m damage caused by major winter storms to the links course that forced the club to abandon two holes, resulting in the club relocating the 5th green and the 14th hole. –

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/business/trump-moves-to-save-doonbeg-course-268226.html

    Reply
  10. Robert – you may be amused by this comment thread on the FaceBook ‘Near-term Human Extinction’ support group page, where a competition has broken out to see who can be the first to post your articles (yours is the 2nd or 3rd posting down)
    : https://www.facebook.com/groups/NTHESupportGroup/709497495779378/?notif_t=group_comment

    Reply
    • Goodness! I guess I should write faster to keep them on their toes ;)

      Reply
    • Ugh, a Facebook group that explicitly isn’t there to talk about solutions and states it expects people to have basically accepted near term human extinction to join has 1427 members? More telling it’s the group that I know of to have the highest number of those in my friends network too.

      Why is it too damn much to expect anyone (and I just about do mean anyone these days it seems) to actually act?

      Reply
      • Inevitable doomerism is a tough nut to crack.

      • And due to the tendency of people to follow the peer consensus established by the “herd”, actually dangerous and harmful (especially if it becomes a dominant perception – it seems to be where people are mostly headed at the individual level).

  11. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    To save others any head scratching….my high school math was good, 1st grade addition not so much. Next 8 months need to average .68 to tie GISS record warm 2010. Sorry & ouch!

    Reply
    • We are well above .68 so far for May.

      El Nino seems ever more certain than ever with another west-wind back-burst developing north of the Solomon Islands and the west wind synoptic continuing in the Eastern Pacific.

      Reply
  12. Kevin Jones

     /  May 13, 2014

    I’m on your page. Robert and others. I will be very surprised if this year doesn’t break a new surface air temp record (and an awful lot of other things). Will not be surprised if 2015 is hotter.

    Reply
    • Have to agree. A strong El Nino could well make this a two-year heat spike.

      Reply
      • Mark from New England

         /  May 13, 2014

        Hopefully Marco Rubio and the other influential deniers will take notice! Unfortunately, I have a sneakin’ suspicion he may end up the Republican presidential nominee – he’s young, Hispanic and can speak in complete sentences, even if some (most?) of those are completely wrong as we saw last week.

      • I hope so. I really hope so.

    • Bernard

       /  May 14, 2014

      The 2003 European heat wave … was that because of an el Niño? The Wikipedia entry for that event doesn’t mention a mechanism that caused it.

      Reply
  13. Mark

     /  May 15, 2014

    Is it a coincidence that the largest hottest area is over the Siberian tundra which may be releasing methane? Also for everyone who thinks the upper echelons of the republican party need to wake up; I think that these “leaders” have known the truth for a long time and have probably long ago made such preparations as can be made. I.e. the bush family’s purchase of thousands of acres in Paraguay a few years ago.

    Reply
  1. NASA GISS Shows April 2014 was Second Hottest on Record Amidst Epic Siberian Heatwave, Wildfires | Gaia Gazette
  2. Interview with a Climate Vampire | ONews.US - Latest Breaking News
  3. Deep Ocean Warming is Coming Back to Haunt Us: Record Warmth for 2014 Likely As Equatorial Heat Rises | robertscribbler

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