|On the heels of the hottest year ever recorded, and the hottest January, February 2016 temperatures may have been as much as 1.44 C hotter than the 1951 to 1980 NASA baseline.|
Converting to departures from 1880s values, if these preliminary figures prove correct, the figure could be an extreme 1.66 C hotter than 1880s levels for February.
|Record high global temperatures are centered on the Arctic — a region that is very sensitive to warming and one that produces a number of amplifying feedback loops such as accelerating Arctic sea ice and snow melt, albedo loss, and permafrost thaw. |
Global ocean heat accumulation has been on a high ramp since the late 1990s with 50 percent of the total heat accumulation occurring in the 18 years from 1997 though 2015. Since more than 90 percent of the greenhouse gas heat forcing ends up in the world ocean system, this measure is probably the most accurate picture of our rapidly warming world. Such a swift accumulation of heat in the world’s oceans guarantees that the atmosphere will respond.
|Such atmospheric heat has not been experienced on Earth in at least 150,000 years. The speed at which global temperatures are rising is much more rapid than anything seen during any interglacial period for the last 3 million years and is probably even more rapid than the warming seen during extinction events.|
Global mean surface temperature change from 1880 to 2015, relative to the 1951–1980 mean