The Guardian: Current record-shattering temperatures are shocking even to climate scientists

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February 2016 was likely the hottest month in thousands of years, as we approach the 2°C danger limit.

February 2016 global surface temperature anomalies.
February 2016 global surface temperature anomalies. Photograph: NASA GISS

“Stunning,” “wow,” “shocker,” “bombshell,” “astronomical,” “insane,”“unprecedented”– these are some of the words climate scientists have used to describe the record-shattering global surface temperatures in February 2016.

NASA GISS global monthly (red) and 12-month average (blue) surface temperatures as compared to pre-industrial temperatures.
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NASA GISS global monthly (red) and 12-month average (blue) surface temperatures as compared to pre-industrial temperatures. Photograph: Dana Nuccitelli

It’s difficult to see any ‘pause’ or slowdown in the global warming over the past 50 years.

To put the current temperatures into context, prior to last October, monthly global surface temperatures had not been more than 0.96°C hotter than the 1951–1980 average, according to Nasa. The past 5 months have been 1.06°C, 1.03°C, 1.10°C, 1.14°C, and 1.35°C hotter than that average, absolutely destroying previous records. Estimates from Noaa are in broad agreement with those from Nasa.

Right now, the Earth’s average surface temperature is hotter than it’s been in thousands of years; potentially even longer.

Read more here

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