Climate Catastrophe: Graphs and Commentary

Short Version: click here for full essay

Ongoing essay: updated occasionally, last updated July 14, 2022

Climate data from NOAA (version V) unless otherwise stated.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a climate scientist!

Some June 2022 Highlights

1. June 2022 was the sixth warmest June on record, measuring 0.87°C warmer than the 20th Century average.

2. The last eight 12-month periods ending in June (2015-2022) were the eight warmest on record. Eighth place June 2015 was 0.07°C. warmer than the ninth place June 2010.

3. The average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in June, 2022 was 420.99 ppm, an increase of 2.05 ppm over June, 2021, as measured at the Mauna Loa site. The 12 month running average (July, 2021 through June, 2022) was 417.39 ppm.

4. The El Niño / La Niña (ONI) index rose to -1.0 for the three month period, April through June, 2022, still within the moderate La Niña range.
La Niña conditions (index of -0.5 or lower) tend to bring cooler global temperatures, while El Niño conditions (index of 0.5 or higher) tend to bring warmer temperatures.
5. From Germany to China to Australia, as planet Earth continues to heat, and war disrupts energy supplies, nations turn to coal for energy, thereby further over-heating planet Earth.

6. The Supreme Court of the United States has gutted the EPA and the US government's ability to protect life on Earth from climate change.

7. Yellowstone National Park is closed for the foreseeable future. Heavy rain and warm temperatures on top of a deep, melting Spring snowpack led to devastating floods.

8. On the night of June 10, Phoenix experienced a LOW temperature of 90°F. It's only June. Who knows what July and August will bring? Cities, like Phoenix, are fast becoming unlivable due to extreme heat.

9. Iconic rivers and lakes in the US Southwest are all but disappearing due to long-term drought and heat. The Rio Grande, the Colorado River, Great Salt Lake, Lake Mead and Lake Powell are all shrinking and may soon disappear entirely.

10. Thousands of cows in Kansas died from extreme heat. Meanwhile, in Ethiopia, 1.5 million cows have died due to a prolonged milti-year drought.

Perhaps, this is a sign we should switch to a more vegetarian diet. Cows are heavy producers of the powerful greenhouse gas, methane.

11. The remnants of early season Hurricane Agatha which struck Oaxaca on May 30, killing 11, reconstituted themselves in the Caribbean (after a sex change) as tropical storm Alex, killing four in Cuba and flooding parts of southern Florida.

12. Afghanistan, still suffering from hunger and the ravages of a recent earthquake, is struck by flash flooding which killed 19.

13. Bangladesh and Eastern India continue to experience devastating floods. Much of Bangladesh, a low-lying country, may soon be under water.

14. Spain has been devastated by wildfires, heat and drought. The heatwave extends over much of Europe.

15. The Amazon has suffered its worst six months of deforestation in the first half of 2022, 80% greater than the first half of 2018. June was a particularly bad month for the Amazon.

The following eight paragraphs were added to the full essay since the February update:

(New March 2022)
The month of February, 2022 set a new record for CO2 in the atmosphere, 419.28 ppm, surpassing the record set in May 2021 by 0.15 ppm. Over the period covered by this graph, rarely has the monthly record set in the previous Spring been surpassed as early as February of the following year.

(New May 2022)
8. On the other hand, CO2 concentrations in March 2022, fell back to 418.81 ppm, below the May 2021 concentration before rising again in April. This could be related to disruptions from the Russo-Ukrainian War which started on February 24.

(New May 2022)
In 2008, 2020 and 2022, during late Northern Hemisphere Winter, CO2 concentrations exhibited an unexpected, although temporary, decrease. No other recent year shows a late Winter decrease to this degree. These years also saw the beginnings of the three greatest global economic disruptions of recent times: The stock market crash in 2008, the covid pandemic in 2020, and the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2022. That this is merely a coincidence beggars belief.

(New March 2022)
The US Department of Energy has wasted over $1 billion on “scientific” schemes for carbon capture and sequestration from burning coal with no positive results.

(New June 2022)
5. However, attempts to attribute individual weather events to climate change have been, for the most part, disappointing. This June 2022 article from Science may give you a feeling for how little progress we've made in attributing individual events to climate change.

(New June 2022)
6. Even so, there comes a time when one must say that natural variation and coincidence are so unlikely that they must be discounted. The sheer number, destructivenes and variety of recent extreme weather-related events, as well as the lack of any reasonable explanation other than climate change, leaves little room for doubt that in the aggregate, climate change is at fault.

(New June 2022)
7. The June 2021 heat dome over western North America may have been the most extreme heat event ever recorded on Earth. Climate models, however, have been unable to predict the occurrence of such an extreme event.

(New June 2022)
8. The World Weather Attribution Initiative declared at the time that the June 2021 heat dome would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change. This statement may well have been an “overreach.”

Some Recent Temperature Graphs and Tables

Monthly temperature anomalies: 2008-present

How to read this graph:
This graph compares each month separately to the 20th Century average (for months of that same name only) and ranks them separately. In other words: The month of March is compared only to other Marches. The month of September is compared only to other Septembers.

For example: The warmest March, June and October are all colored red. The second warmest January, April and December are all colored orange. The April colored light blue (2012) is between the 11th and 15th warmest Aprils inclusive and is 0.73° C. warmer than the average of all Aprils in the 20th Century. The November colored yellow (2019) is the third warmest November and is 0.91° C. warmer than the average of all Novembers in the 20th Century. Etc.

When there is a tie, the tying months are all given the highest rank. For example, Septembers: 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020 are all colored red (warmest). No September is colored orange (second warmest) yellow (third warmest) or light green (fourth warmest).
Table of warmest 12-month periods

A 53+ year temperature graph: 12 month overlapping anomalies

53+ years of CO in atmosphere: 12 month overlapping averages

A 142 year temperature graph: 36 month overlapping anomalies