Ag Weather Forum

New Record Warmth in July

Bryce Anderson
By  Bryce Anderson , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
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(Graphic courtesy of NOAA)

The world July climate report was issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this week -- and the big takeaway is that warming around the earth -- yes, global warming -- continues. There were some relatively cooler areas, but they were small in number compared to the rest of the globe.

Here are some highlight text comments from the report:

The year-to-date temperature combined across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit (0.85 degrees Celsius) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January-July in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.16 deg F (0.09 deg C).

The year-to-date globally averaged land surface temperature was 2.41 deg F (1.34 deg C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest for January-July in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2007 by 0.27 deg F (0.15 deg C).

The year-to-date globally averaged sea surface temperature was 1.21 deg F (0.67 deg C) above the 20th century average. This was also the highest for January-July in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record of 2010 by 0.11 deg F (0.06 deg C). Every major ocean basin observed record warmth in some areas.

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for July 2015 was the highest for July in the 136-year period of record, at 0.81 deg C (1.46 deg F) above the 20th century average of 15.8 deg C (60.4 deg F), surpassing the previous record set in 1998 by 0.08 deg C (0.14 deg F). As July is climatologically the warmest month of the year globally, this monthly global temperature of 16.61 deg C (61.86 deg F) was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880. The July temperature is currently increasing at an average rate of 0.65 deg C (1.17 deg F) per century.

(The previous paragraph is worth noting. Comments about the Earth's warming trend having slowed or stopped since 1998 can be put to rest. -- BA)

The full report is available here:…

Also, the global warming connection to the historic and devastating drought in the Far West was highlighted in a peer-reviewed paper sent out this week. The paper is titled "Contribution of anthropogenic warming to California drought during 2012-2014." It is authored by a team comprising four scientists from Columbia University and one from the University of Idaho.

Here is the abstract summary:

"A suite of climate datasets and multiple representations of atmospheric moisture demand are used to calculate many estimates of the self-calibrated Palmer Drought Severity Index, a proxy for near-surface soil moisture, across California from 1901-2014 at high spatial resolution.

Based on the ensemble of calculations, California drought conditions were record-breaking in 2014, but probably not record-breaking in 2012-2014, contrary to prior findings. Regionally, the 2012-2014 drought was record-breaking in the agriculturally important southern Central Valley and highly populated coastal areas.

Contributions of individual climate variables to recent drought are also examined, including the temperature component associated with anthropogenic warming.

Precipitation is the primary driver of drought variability but anthropogenic warming is estimated to have accounted for 8-27 percent of the observed drought anomaly in 2012-2014 and 5-18 percent in 2014.

Although natural variability dominates, anthropogenic warming has substantially increased the overall likelihood of extreme California droughts."

The lead author of this letter, A. Park Williams of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, told the New York Times that the air over California can absorb about 8.5 trillion more gallons of water in a typical year than would have been the case in the cooler atmosphere at the end of the 19th century.


Twitter @BAndersonDTN



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Jay Mcginnis
8/24/2015 | 9:23 PM CDT
Not really GWL, why do you think I am not part of that special interest group called "big ag"? Why would I subscribe to DTN if I were not part of "the machine"? Just because I beleive in science and understand the effects of carbon on the atmosphere doesn't put me into your stereotype group. Bryce's article is built on science, proven science that has serious implications for our future. Sadly history will point to an idiotic group but they don't plant tomatoes in back yard flower pots, they deny reality.
GWL 61
8/24/2015 | 6:09 PM CDT
And Jay , your part of an idiotic group that thinks you and the world can survive by planting tomatoes in a back yard flower pot.
Jay Mcginnis
8/24/2015 | 3:22 PM CDT
Just read that a glacier in Greenland sheded an iceberg the size of Manhattan but I checked my freezer and all the ice cubes there are fine, how can anyone fall for this global warming thing?
Jay Mcginnis
8/24/2015 | 1:29 PM CDT
Ah yeah GWL, its called "big ag" and you're part of the group.
GWL 61
8/24/2015 | 1:24 PM CDT
I'm beginning to think this website is funded by special interest groups
8/24/2015 | 6:25 AM CDT
This morning as I read this article, I am either dumbfounded or confused. It is 48 degrees. From my DTN weather station, we had zero 90 degree (or more) days in 2014. This Summer we've had only 1, and that was back in June. Normally we get 15 days in the 90's. The 2014 growing season, had GDU accumulation at 95% of normal. As of right now for 2105, GDU's are 99% of our 30 year normal. So my confusion is, why is my part of the corn belt, seeing temps below normal, when the earth over all is warmer. Second, I am confused also that the article states the California drought is the result of global warming. But the atmosphere over California is holding 8 trillion gallons more humidity. Isn't that where rain comes from- atmospheric moisture. And yet the Corn Belt has seen numerous historic rains in the last 5 years or so of 100 year magnitude, 5 to 10 inches from a single event. Then global warming is blamed for the super charged atmosphere holding all the moisture in the form of high humidity. So can anyone else see my confusion in all this, with the same atmospheric conditions causing 180 degree difference in weather events. Oh by the way, this weeks forecast for So Minnesota is temps way below normal. So for those that have surplus global warming could you send seem my way, so our crops can be pushed to the finish. P.S. If we mature our crops to the finish without an early frost, this should be one of our best crops ever. So if that is what global warming is doing for Minnesota corn growing, bring it on.
Jay Mcginnis
8/23/2015 | 6:16 AM CDT
Science is so unpatriotic!
tom vogel
8/21/2015 | 8:23 PM CDT
Bryce: Don't believe those numbers. There is good money in global warming today and the alleged scientists are responding with phony data and phony studies. Since global warming pays so well today, you can count on year after year and study after study showing the earth is warming. It's all baloney!