On Friday, NASA confirmed that October 2014 tied with October 2005 as the hottest since records began in 1880. This follows a string of record-breaking monthly averages for May, June, August and September.
This news will come as no surprise to Californians, who are on track to mark 2014 as the hottest year in their state’s history. In fact, the only way California will escape that dubious honor will be if it experiences “a December that’s basically colder than anything we’ve had in California,” Paul Iniguez, science operations officer for the Hanford office of the National Weather Service, told ClimateCentral.
Of the ten warmest years since scientists began keeping records, nine of them have occurred in the twenty-first century, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And if November and December continue the trend of the previous months, 2014 will rank as the hottest of them all.
Speaking to the AP, NOAA climate scientist Jessica Blunden said that it’s “pretty likely” that 2014 will be the hottest year on record.
This evidence is not enough to convince prominent climate deniers like Republican Senator Jim Inhofe, likely to be the 2015 chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, who says the “scientific record does not agree” with Democrats that are convinced global warming is real. “In fact,” he said in July, “for the past 15 years, temperatures have not increased.”
This flies in the face of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, composed of the leading experts in climate science, which found that “each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850.”
Moreover, the most recent 30-year period, 1983-2012, “was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years” in the Northern Hemisphere.
Then again, if Inhofe and his fellow Republicans are planning to battle the EPA, the facts are simply the first casualties of war.