Climate Check – March 2020

Courtesy of the BBC

The five minute BBC monthly Climate Check program is proving to be an interesting watch if you are in anyway interested in the climate of the world. In this months edition Ben Rich said that temperatures in Europe had been 3.4°C above average, he then went on to say that very clearly it had been the warmest winter on record. Well that may been true for Europe, but globally the latest GISTEMP data reveals that winter 2019-20 (+1.18°C) remains second warmest behind the winter of 2015-16 (+1.23°C), the warmest winter on record.

In fact the warmth of 2015-16 is spoiling the party at the moment and is proving quite a hurdle for global temperatures in this decade to overcome. Here is a graph using my own DIY global temperatures that I calculate using NCEP reanalysis gridded data that I download from NASA. You can see the extraordinary warmth that commenced in August 2015, and how the bulge of 365 day moving averages peaked later in 2016. Global temperatures have been rising strongly again since January 2019, not as strongly as they did in 2015-16, but quite steadily, that was till the last few weeks when I noticed the first setback in incessant rise.

Here is a close look at the latest daily global temperatures and you can see why the 365 day moving average has started to dip. Cold spells as sharp as this have become quite infrequent, dare I say rare, these days.

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