A map of temperature anomalies during October. Red shows the biggest deviation from the standard (temperatures recorded between 1951 and 1980).

If you’ve been wondering why your coats stayed in the closet and your heater remained off for the first part of fall, wonder no more. This October was the warmest on record. Ever.

Last month beat out all the other Octobers to get the title of hottest Octobersince record-keeping began in the late 1800’s. It was also the highest deviation from ‘normal’ global temperatures. Those temperatures were recorded between 1951 and 1980, and are averaged to get a general baseline. The data comes from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which looks at temperature changes over long periods of time (decades as opposed to days).

If it sounds like a familiar story, that’s because it is. Last winter was one of the warmest on record, even with all the snow. 2014 and 2012 were also record-breaking years, and with the addition of October to its already hot lineup, 2015 is likely to surpass both.

Extreme heat is now 4 times more likely than it was before the industrial revolution, and that shows no signs of stopping.



NOAA Global Summary lnformation – June 2015

Note: With this report and data release, the National Centers for Environmental Information is transitioning to improved versions of its global land (GHCN-M version 3.3.0) and ocean (ERSST version 4.0.0) datasets. Please note that anomalies and ranks reflect the historical record according to these updated versions. Historical months and years may differ from what was reported in previous reports. For more, please visit the associated FAQ and supplemental information.

June 2015 was warmest June on record for the globe.

Global land areas and oceans each record warm for June.

First half of 2015 also record warm.

Global highlights: June 2015

June Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Percentiles

June 2015 Blended Land and Sea Surface 
Temperature Percentiles
 June 2015 Blended Land & Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in °C

  • During June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.58°F (0.88°C) above the 20thcentury average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.22°F (0.12°C).
  • The June globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.27°F (1.26°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2012 by 0.11°F (0.06°C).
  • The June globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.11°F (0.06°C).
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for June was 350,000 square miles (7.7 percent) below the 1981–2010 average and 60,000 square miles larger than the smallest sea ice extent that occurred in 2010. This was the third smallest June extent since records began in 1979, according to analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center using data from NOAA and NASA.
  • Antarctic sea ice during June was 380,000 square miles (7.2 percent) above the 1981–2010 average. This was the third largest June Antarctic sea ice extent on record and 140,000 square miles smaller than the record-large June extent of 2014.

Global highlights: Year-to-date (January–June 2015)

    • During January–June, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53°F (0.85°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.16°F (0.09°C).
    • During January–June, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 2.52°F (1.40°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.23°F (0.13°C).
    • During January–June, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.17°F (0.65°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January–June in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C)

For extended analysis of global temperature and precipitation patterns, please see our full June report

Source: Global Summary lnformation – June 2015

NOAA Global Summary lnformation – June 2015

If we protect our soils and manage them sustainably we can combat climate change.

A look at how our Soils help to combat climate change in their role of sequestering CO2, and how our collective habits can damage this benefit with potentially devastating consequences.

If we protect our soils and manage them sustainably we can combat climate change.

Summer heat wave arrives in Europe

An extreme early summer heatwave re-wrote the record books across Europe during the end of June and beginning of July. Daily, monthly, and all-time records fell across the continent. Average temperatures for the week of June 28-July 4 were up to 12-13°F (7°C) above average across parts of Europe—a welcome anomaly during the winter but a devastating one during the summer.


Average temperature anomalies (°C) for Europe during June 28-July 4, 2015 based on preliminary global weather station data. A heat wave across the continent led to average temperature anomalies up to 7°C in parts of western Europe. Image provided by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Broken Records

The United Kingdom saw its hottest July maximum temperature on record on the first day of the month (July 1) as temperatures rose to 98°F (36.7°C) at Heathrow airport in London. According the UK Met Office, temperatures in southwest Wimbledon reached 96.3°F, the highest temperature ever recorded during the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

In France, Paris recorded its second-hottest day ever on July 2, with a high temperature of 103.4°F while three stations set all-time highs on July 1 including Boulogne-sur-mer, Dieppe, and Melun with temperatures of 95.7°F (35.4°C), 100.9°F (38.3°C), and 102.9°F (39.4°C) respectively.

Elsewhere, temperatures reached 104°F (40°C) in July for the first time on record (records date back to 1943) in Madrid. Meanwhile in Germany, a new national record was set on July 5 when a weather station in Kitzingen recorded 104.5°F (40.3°C), breaking the previous record for hottest temperature ever recorded in Germany by 0.2°F.  Numerous locations also set records for hottest day, including Berlin, where July 4 temperatures maxed out at 100.2°F, the highest on record dating back to 1876.

According to Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, Geneva, Switzerland, observed its hottest day in history (103.5°F) on July 7, which was also the hottest July day in Switzerland’s records and the second hottest recorded in any month. Farther north in the Netherlands, Dr. Masters also noted that the high temperature (100.8°F) in Maastricht on July 2 set an all-time record for July for the country.

Suffice to say, it was not any ordinary heat that enveloped Europe during the beginning of July.


Average upper-level (300hPa) winds from June 28 – July 4, 2015 amidst an ongoing heatwave across Europe. The wavy jet stream formed into an omega block, so named after its resemblance to the greek letter omega. Map based on NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis data.

The atmospheric setup

The jet stream, an area of fast moving winds high up in the atmosphere (four to eight miles), became incredibly wavy during the heat wave, forming what is known as an “omega block.” While an omega block may sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, it has a much simpler atmospheric origin. When the jet stream gets wavy, it can occasionally look like the Greek letter omega (Ω). Try to see it for yourself in the figure above of 300hPa (jet stream level) average winds during the heat wave.

These blockages occur when a high pressure is locked between two low pressures on either side. Over Europe, this high allowed hot air from the tropics to move north and essentially get trapped over Europe. Clear skies allowed for the temperatures to rise even further, creating a stronger dome of high pressure, reinforcing the already stagnant omega block atmospheric pattern. The high pressure blocked any potential low pressure systems from moving over Europe, instead pushing them to the north, like a large boulder diverting water in a stream. The omega block over Europe eventually weakened and moved east by the end of the second week of July, allowing cooler temperatures to prevail.

Heat waves—extended periods of hot days and, especially, very warm nights— are associated with some form of similar blocking pattern where high pressure systems get locked in place for an extended period of time. A particularly intense European heatwave in 2003 (Stott et al. 2004) helped cause probably the hottest summer in Europe since 1500 AD and led to a reported death toll exceeding 70,000 during the summer of 2003 (Robine et al. 2008).

With regards to the future influence of climate change, some scientists have hypothesized that blocking patterns like that seen during this heat wave will occur more often in the future (Francis and Vavrus, 2015), but that possibility is still being investigated. Regardless of the mechanism, however, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that due to climate change, not only is it likely that heat waves have increased across large parts of Europe, but in the future, it is very likely that heat waves will last longer and occur more often. Meaning communities should be prepared for heat waves like this to occur with an increasing frequency in the century to come.


Francis, J.A. and S.J. Vavrus, (2015). Evidence for a wavier jet stream in response to rapid Arctic warming. Environ. Res. Lett.,10.

Stott, P. A., Stone, D. A., & Allen, M. R. (2004). Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003. Nature, 432(7017), 610–614.

Robine, Jean-Marie; Cheung, Siu Lan K.; Le Roy, Sophie; Van Oyen, Herman; Griffiths, Clare; Michel, Jean-Pierre; Herrmann, François Richard (2008). Death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003. Comptes Rendus Biologies 331 (2): 171–178.

Source: Summer heat wave arrives in Europe

Summer heat wave arrives in Europe

Lindsey Graham: Why Don’t Republicans Believe The Scientists On Climate Change?

Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham hit back against members of his party who don’t accept the science behind climate change Tuesday.

During an interview on Late Night, host Seth Meyers asked Graham — who has acknowledged his acceptance of climate change before — whether he was “surprised” that so many Republicans don’t share his views on the subject.

“Well I’m not a scientist,” Graham responded, echoing the numerous lawmakers who have plead ignorant to the mechanisms behind the earth’s weather and climate when asked if they think climate change is happening.

“I know I’m not a scientist,” he continued, “but here’s the problem I’ve got with some people in my party: When you ask the scientists what’s going on, why don’t you believe them? If I went to 10 doctors and nine said, ‘Hey, you’re gonna die,’ and one says ‘You’re fine,’ why would I believe the one guy?”

Senator Lindsey Graham on Donald Trump’s Campaign – Late Night with Seth Meyers

Graham’s statement hints at the scientific consensus on climate change: 97 percent of climate scientists who actively publish research agree that climate change is happening and is “very likely” caused by man.

If one were to take Graham’s analogy to doctors literally, the number should be even higher — he would go to 30 doctors, and approximately 29 would tell him he was going to die, while the one left over would say he was fine.

Graham’s made the comparison to doctors before. Last month, he called out the rest of his party for not focusing enough on environmental policy.

“When 90 percent of the doctors tell you you’ve got a problem, do you listen to the one?” Graham asked on CNN’s State of the Union.

Graham added during the CNN interview that he does accept climate change and that, if elected president, he would address the carbon dioxide emissions that cause it in a “buisiness-friendly” way.

Graham’s acceptance of climate science distances himself from the rest of the Republican contenders. When asked about his views on climate change on Late Night with Seth Meyers in May, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz said that, according to satellite data, the earth hadn’t warmed in the last 17 years, and that a cold spring in New Hampshire bolsters that claim — a description of climate change that’s been debunked. Marco Rubio has said there’s “no consensus” on climate change, and has skirted questions about it in the past. Donald Trump has tweeted multiple times about how snow and cold weather is proof that climate change isn’t happening. Chris Christie has said he thinks climate change is real and that humans “contribute” to it, but there is not much evidence he’ll act on climate if he’s elected.

Graham hasn’t been perfect on climate — in 2010, he backtracked on a cap-and-trade deal, which ultimately failed. Still, he’s made the issue a bigger part of his campaign than his fellow Republican contenders.

Source: Lindsey Graham: Why Don’t Republicans Believe The Scientists On Climate Change?

Lindsey Graham: Why Don’t Republicans Believe The Scientists On Climate Change?