Record Temperature Spike

Latest data from NASA:


At +1.35C, this is the biggest monthly temperature anomaly (measured from the base period of 1951-1980) ever measured, and it is a near certainty now that 2016 will be warmer overall than 2015, making for a third-time consecutive record breaking year.

There are several reasons for this:

(1) The El Nino effect. This year’s is a pretty strong one as far as they go, but not quite as strong as the one in 1997-1998, which produced the last major local peak and formed the lynchpin of GW denier arguments throughout the 2000s. Nonetheless, average global temperatures in February 2016 were almost half a degree higher than the +0.88C anomaly seen in February 1998. The most comparably strong El Nino before that was the 1982-1983 one, but the February 1983 anomaly was fairly unremarkle at +0.40C. That’s a difference of almost a degree between then and now.

solar-irradiance(2) Solar irradiance is actually pretty weak relative to its average in the 1950-2000 period so that can’t be part of the explanation.

(3) I wonder to what extent if any the major recent uptick in methane emissions from melting permafrost, which has expressed itself in the form of some spectacular new craters in Northern Siberia last year, has contributed to this.

All in all, this is very bad news for the international community’s target of limiting global warming to the IPCC’s two degrees injunction.

There have been some encouraging counter developments – for instance, global carbon emissions actually fell in 2015 – but celebrations are premature since there have been plenty of prior periods when global CO2 emissions fell not just for one year but several years in a row: 1973-1975 (first oil shock), 1980-83 (second oil shock), 1989-1994 (collapse of the highly energy-inefficient Communist economies), and 2008-2009 (the Great Recession).

In any case, if the aforementioned methane release scenario is at or close to the runaway threshold, that wouldn’t really matter all that much anyway.

For myself I have always been skeptical that this particular drifting oil tanker could be stopped in time to avert serious levels of warming. I still stand by my 2010 prediction that “geoengineering” is going to start appearing on normies’ vocabularies sooner rather than later, and perhaps implementation of some geoengineering schemes will begin as early as the 2030s. It’s unlikely to be a happy project that brings everyone together. I suspect it’s more likely to either take the form of a ruinous geopolitical free-for-all, or to catalyze the consolidation of today’s already incipient globalist elite into a stiffling singleton.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Anatoly – what do you think of this?
    There is talk that a third or a half of all oil and gas reserves will have to stay underground.
    If you are Saudi with officially 90 years of proven reserves, wouldn’t you want to pump a lot faster – that is double current production? and if you were Venezuela with even more claimed reserves?

    Is it that urge to produce more despite falling prices and rising demand?

    Then there are issues about the urgency of building pipelines to get the stuff to market…

  2. Seamus Padraig says

    There have been some encouraging counter developments – for instance, global carbon emissions actually fell in 2015 …

    When this actually happens during periods of absurdly low oil prices, it usually means that the economy is sh*t.

  3. Pseudonymic Handle says

    After EL Nino will start another 20 years plateau. I don’t expect that I will ever see the direct effects of GW, while the impact of measures justified by GW are already been felt.

  4. Jamie_NYC says
  5. It’s a scam. If someone would go back to the year 2000, and read all of the prognostications about 2015-2020, we should already see low-lying areas of the globe being submerged. Needless to say, even 1-inch high atolls are still mostly right where they were back then.
    I am surprised someone as smart as Karlin bought into the charade, hook, line and sinker.

  6. Sam Haysom says

    Karlin supports Big Climate Control because he knows the Russians sure as hell aren’t going to wreck what’s left of their economy to fight “global warming.” He supports climate hysteria in the same way an enemy of Russia would support higher proof vodka knowing it would hurt his enemy with negative social effects far more than it would hurt his nation.

    Additionally milder winters decrease the need for Russian natural gas weakening the only trump card Russia can still weild.

  7. the more interesting question in the climate change debate is whether global GDP will rise or fall, and by what margin by let’s say..2100.
    obviously some countries(RF) may gain, some(Philippines) may lose. Maybe you could do a quantification as you did with the military might:) It might be possible to do a rating of all countries, if they are net winners or not losers. As far as I am aware, the IPCC predicts more or less gains, or only small loses spread over a long time period.
    david friedman deals with this rather often on his blog, i highly recommend it.(he also plays WoW and writes fantasy, if you didn’t know)

  8. You’re such a moron, Sam, you can think of various lame justifications for chanting “Russkies suck!” but not perceive that they are mutually incompatible. Your first paragraph presupposes that AK knows global warming is false, your second that he knows it is true.

  9. Sam Haysom says

    No it presumes that Karlin is completely uninterested in the truth or fiction of global warming. Higher truth like the Russians used to talk about back when Putin’s old pay masters were running the show. I suggest getting a little madder at Russians for sucking and less mad at me for gently pointing it out.

  10. So your comment amounts to “1+1=3. Additionally, 1+1=2.” You are an idiot child.

  11. Mr Karlin:

    I guess we Wisconinites missed that temperature spike.

  12. And I guess we Californians did not miss the spike. Don’t confuse weather and climate.

  13. I’m old enough to remember ‘global cooling’. It was a very big deal not long ago. It was also a scientifically-based theory. In fact, global cooling (GC) is still likely, if not inevitable.

    I wrote studied and wrote about GC as a journalism undergraduate at CU Boulder in the 70s. Strangely, all the data that all the experts were touting at the time (and I interviewed some of the big shots) has either disappeared or been altered. Or so it would seem. Mr. Karlin’s weather chart, for instance, doesn’t even show it. Strange. Yet there it was: Global Cooling. The threat. It was real. It was ominous. The media told us so.

    GC was on Newsweek’s cover. It was on Time’s cover. It was on Page One of the NY Times. ‘Average Global Temperatures Continue to Fall’. Worrisome! I was there. I witnessed it. Not the cooling–which was imperceptible. The headlines.

    The measurable phenomena of GC allegedly began after WWII and continued until the late 70s. Then the ‘greenhouse effect’ (global warming) became the new boogeyman and GC allegedly stopped. So government funds and studies were shifted elsewhere.

    One thing is for certain: our planet’s climate apparently changes continuously. If so, then this is surely due to natural forces since we humans haven’t been around that long. And there’s data in the fossil record that shows enormous change. Even ice core samples and tree ring studies speak to profound climatological changes over the past 250,000 years.

    Why the dramatic shifts?

    Nobody knows for certain. But it doesn’t involve SUVs.

    For instance, over the past one million years, we’ve had eight ‘glacial periods’ on earth. Presently, we’re basking in a mild ‘interglacial period’. So be prepared: the next ice age is right around the corner (give or take a thousand years). But when it happens, most of humanity is doomed. Food production will crater.

    As for climate, only 12,000 years ago, humans could walk from Siberia to Alaska because so much water was locked into glaciers and ice sheets (and the oceans were so much lower). America’s upper Midwest was under hundreds of feet of ice. Then the global climate rapidly warmed. Modern humans began to cover the earth. Human numbers soared.

    What’s next? Got me.

    In the meantime, please be skeptical of those who pretend to know the future. Sometimes they are mistaken.

  14. Warming is perceptible.
    How global it is?
    Let’s assume it’s global, and that it is long-term steady.

    Only last year, climate scientists have published hundreds of peer reviewed papers that conclude against human-made global warming:

    Let us generously accept the following thesis: Those papers just show that the peer-reviewed process is often broken, (the scientific community is somewhat in shambles), many climate experts are pretty stupid or lack a firm grip of their field of expertise … and, at the root of that, regarding physical sciences, the process of higher education is in serious trouble.

    What bothers me is the virtual absence of discussion of that problem, at least in public.

    It is rather silly to try to get a precise view of the natural processes if the institutional ‘glasses’ through which you’re looking are corrupt, and you ignore that corruption. Whether you assume AGW is established or not, either way points to a high-level corruption that has to be the concern no. 1.

  15. WorkingClass says

    Well yeah. The surface of the planet is getting warmer. We humans are not too stupid to do anything about it but we are too stupid to come together as a species which is what is required. Here in the states I expect we will soon change the thermometers.