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Polar bears check out the USS Honolulu near the North Pole


Oh, yeah, so the planet set another record average temperature for 2016, which beat the previous record in 2015, which also beat the previous record in 2014. Cue the Usual Suspects to point out that it snowed somewhere it doesn't usually snow last week, and that all the data is faked anyway by rich scientists who also hate freedom. For what it's worth, however, this is the first time three consecutive years have set new global temperature records. It's probably just a rounding error, so let's go drill some oil wells and mine some coal. The climate pansies at the New York Times point out it's possible that one of these days, even Republicans may notice there's a problem:

The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The data show that politicians cannot wish the problem away. The Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.

Happily, the very next paragraph contains information that any global warming denier can distort to say, "see? It's an anomaly!"

In 2015 and 2016, the planetary warming was intensified by the weather pattern known as El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean released a huge burst of energy and water vapor into the atmosphere. But the bigger factor in setting the records was the long-term trend of rising temperature, which scientists say is being driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Just ignore the whole second half of that paragraph and you can say "Even the climate alarmist New York Times admits the El Niño phenomenon was responsible for the higher temperatures. Buy stock in Exxon and confirm Rex Tillerson if you want America to remain prosperous."

Oh, hey, if you know anything about the disturbing phenomenon of feedback loops, this should be especially worrisome: The greatest temperature extremes were in the Arctic, "with temperatures in the fall running 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal across large stretches of the Arctic Ocean." Higher Arctic temperatures mean less sea ice, which means less of the Sun's light is reflected back into space, resulting in further warming of the Arctic waters, and less sea ice, and... if you believe in the fairy tales of "climate science," you can see how that might mean we're pretty much fucked there. Oh! And then there's the melting permafrost, which is releasing even more CO2 and methane from previously frozen plant matter. Hahaha, good thing the scientists merely make that stuff up to scare you into giving up your essential liberty for a planned economy, smaller cars, and NO FREEDOM. Otherwise it might be something to worry about. Or even take action on.

Incidentally, the hottest year on record also featured a new hottest day in the history of India: 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit in the town of Phalodi. Don't worry, though! That's nowhere near the hottest ever recorded temperatures on the planet, which, depending on whose methodology you trust, was either 134.1 °F in Death Valley in 1913 or 136 °F in Libya in 1922. So maybe Earth is actually getting cooler, if you're an idiot who can't tell the difference between a single data point and a long-term trend.

In conclusion, it might still be possible to slow global warming, even with Trump in the White House, but actually reversing it is going to take a hell of a lot more political will. Don't worry, though. Jim Inhofe should be along with a snowball any moment now.

Wish we had some bad poetry to take your minds off this. Maybe calling your senators at their local offices and politely telling them you would please like them to oppose the nominations of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State or Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator would help, some. Oh, that Pruitt fellow, he is a caution, by the way. In his confirmation hearings today, he said he isn't all that sure whether lead is bad for children.

Hey, Wonkette, why are you confusing things by mentioning lead? Lead does not cause so-called global warming! FAKE NEWS!!!!!!

Tell you what: Let's wait a few decades and see what the science says then, OK?

[NYT / Rebecca Leber on Twitter]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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