WeatherUnderground — Dr. Jeff Masters writes: November 2015 was Earth’s warmest November on record by a huge margin, according to data released by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Thursday.
November 2015 also had the second largest positive departure of temperature from average of any month among all 1631 months in the historical record that began in January 1880; only last month (October 2015) was more extreme. …
NASA also rated November 2015 as the warmest November in the historical record. November 2015’s warmth makes the year-to-date period (January – November) the warmest such period on record, according to both NOAA and NASA.
November 2015 was the seventh consecutive month a monthly high temperature record has been set in NOAA’s database, and the ninth month of the eleven months so far in 2015.
The potent El Niño event in the Eastern Pacific that crossed the threshold into the “strong” category in early July continued to intensify into mid-November, and is now slowly waning. Strong El Niño events release a large amount of heat to the atmosphere, typically boosting global temperatures by at least 0.1°C.
This extra bump in temperature, when combined with the long-term warming of the planet due to human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide, makes it virtually certain that 2015 will be Earth’s second consecutive warmest year on record. The lingering warmth from El Niño is likely to make 2016 a good bet to exceed even 2015’s warmth. (12/18/2015)