This is not normal: October severe, 100F in Kansas, another global temp record

You could call it, “weather gone weird.” Climate out of control might be a more appropriate name.

A rare October severe weather risk in Minnesota. 100 degrees in Kansas on October 17th? The hottest September on record globally. A NASA scientist says 2016 is now “locked in” as earth’s next new ‘warmest year on record’ globally.

The thread that ties it all together? All are symptoms of a dramatically warmer planet earth.

September 2016 was the hottest on record globally. NASA data shows 11 of the past 12 months have set records as the hottest ever recorded globally. Image: NASA

So, what’s the big picture here? How is our unusually warm October globally manifesting on a local level? How do we evaluate extreme, even unprecedented weather in the bigger climate context?

Monday’s weather extremes provide some interesting examples when viewed through the lens of a warmer climate.

Minnesota: Rare October severe weather

Thunder is heard in the Twin Cities an average of 1.8 days in October. The majority of thunder usually occurs in the first half of the month. Thunder and a severe weather risk on October 17th? That’s unusual. A few storms reached severe limits, some with hail and gusty winds through this evening.

Kansas to Chicago: Record October heat 

We’re not just setting daily temperature records here folks. Thermometers in Dodge City Kansas recorded 100 degrees Monday for the first time ever in October.

In fact, Monday’s temperature map looks more July than October from Omaha to Chicago southward.

Oklahoma Mesonet

2016: Next ‘hottest year on record globally’

The big picture? Yet another warmest year on record globally driving unprecedented temperatures locally. NASA’s Gavin Schmidt says after the September data we’re now “locked in” for 2016 as the new record warmest year globally.

University of St. Thomas Thermal Sciences Professor Dr. John Abraham came to the same conclusion earlier this month, and has another way to visualize just how ‘off the charts’ the 2016 data is.

A ‘step change” in earth’s climate?

2016 makes 3 years in a row that our planet has set the ‘warmest year on record’ globally. That’s unprecedented in the modern climate record since 1880. The unprecedented magnitude of earth’s temperature spike the past 3 years has some scientists asking, is this a bigger ‘step change’ in earth’s climate system?

Most climate scientists recognize the recent El Nino role in boosting global temps. But as the tropical Pacific now cools, global temperatures remain at record levels. One benchmark of note; atmospheric CO2 levels in 2016 will likely remain above 400 ppm for the first time on record.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Climate scientists and journalists are often hesitant to connect the dots between individual, unseasonable extreme weather events and climate change. But the previously faint lines between the dots are getting bolder with every new record warmest month and year.

  • Philip A. Rutter
    • MNS

      Thanks for sharing.

  • Joshua

    “Climate scientists and journalists are often hesitant to connect the dots between individual, unseasonable extreme weather events and climate change.”
    This has not been my experience. Every time it’s unseasonably cold, the conservative press and skeptic crowd proclaim warming to be debunked, and every time it’s unseasonably cold or stormy, much of the regular press and climate activists proclaim it as more proof that climate change is real. Just like crime, tales of impending disaster make money.

    Fortunately, the hard scientists, with few exceptions, are much slower to claim that today’s weather is “climate”.

    • Christopher M. Jones

      I am compelled to concur with Joshua’s perspective. Such is the political polarization that permeates climate-change dialogue — which often broadcasts from the one-dimensional vault of intractable monologue — that the objective relevance of data proves difficult to pinpoint. Yes, temperature trends reveal that warming has occurred over the last century, and yes, the consumptive excesses of our species are perhaps the chief culprits in this woeful development, but current conditions, or even decades of seeming evidence, do not substantiate tentative predictions. Thus, I am rationally reluctant to interpret an unusually warm October, or even successive years of above average temperatures, as unassailable proof of the rigid doctrine of human-induced, irreversible climate change. My hesitance to accept that premise doesn’t negate its potential truth; it merely acknowledges that theory lacks the authority of law.

      For the sake of conservational experimentation, I would, however, happily eliminate petrol-fuled automobiles, the burning of all fossil fuels, and many of the superfluous machines on which our society has grown pathetically dependent. Reducing the world population would also be beneficial. At the onset of the twentieth century, roughly one billion humans occupied Earth. That number has since soared to seven billion. Anyone who believes that such explosive proliferation has had no impact on the health of the planet is either grossly misguided or in the deep throes of staggering denial.

    • Philip A. Rutter

      “Fortunately, the hard scientists, with few exceptions, are much slower to claim that today’s weather is “climate”

      Totally, utterly, absolutely untrue. As in “false”; and or a “lie”. Anyone with access to the internet can check it out. Google is great at plain language questions; I suggest “do real scientists now say our weather is due to climate change?” – and read the first page. They (we) do. It is.

      “Joshua’s” statement here is typical of the “better paid” class of professional troll – he sounds so knowledgeable, so reasonable – but he’s selling the exact same line. A nice compliment to the employers’ estimates of the intelligence of your readers, Paul. But a troll by any other name –

      • Joshua

        I was not meaning to be a troll here Philip, and I sure ain’t gettin’ paid. I am also a little ticked at being called a liar. Perhaps I should clarify – when I said today I meant the last 24 hours. In my experience, real scientists don’t say “You know why it’s hot/dry/stormy today? Because anthropogenic climate change!” Here’s an example of real scientists being rational: “Through research, GFDL scientists have concluded that it is premature to attribute past changes in hurricane activity to greenhouse warming…”

        For the record, I do acknowledge a) the climate has changed b) humans are a significant if not the primary contributor to that change. c) uncontrolled increase in CO2 levels is more likely to be dangerous than not.

        You’re not a nice person Philip, but I hope you have a great day.

        • Philip A. Rutter

          Thankfully, we now have an easily visible example of this kind of dialogue – Trump. When challenged, immediately return the challenge – claim personal insult – and offer zero evidence. Actually, I am a very nice person. All this; for those interested, is 100% congruent with paid trolls – also available to search on the internet. And no, the internet is not full of misleading information – just use it to find the original sources; and judge for yourself.

          I stand by my statements here.

          • Joshua

            I apologize for the last sentence of my comment. I looked up your work with the whole chestnut revival thing and I think it’s really cool. You’re not being nice to me, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a nice person in general.

            I don’t know why you’re attacking me, and I can’t prove a negative, so I’ll just leave it at that. We’re evidently incapable of having a civil discussion.

      • Christopher M. Jones

        “Anyone with Internet access can check it out.”

        Unfortunately, the Internet, a dark warehouse of facts tainted with ulterior motives, is, in many ways, the basis of our inability to engage in sophisticated and civil discourse. Were we required to meet in person to address the most dire topics of our age, I trust that a spirit of gentility would supersede a petulant system of character defamation.

        Moreover, it’s hard to deny the thesis of Joshua’s assertions: that today’s weather (i.e., the precise conditions that prevail at this very moment) cannot conclusively be linked to the larger portrait of climate change. As we’re all aware, correlation and causation are distinct variables. Again, I’m not positing that climate change is mythological; I’m merely suggesting that a balmy October fails to constitute hard-and-fast evidence that human-injected warmth is the source of such an anomaly.

        • Philip A. Rutter

          Your understanding of statistics is likely out of date. Check out “Bayesian” statistics – now exploding in their use; including in climate modeling.