2014 was a warm year. It is possible that it was the warmest year in the modern temperature record–maybe it was second or third. The top three years are close enough that you could legitimately call it a three-way tie.
What does it mean? In and of itself, nothing. Since 1998 we have had a string of years that were warm and 2014 is another one. But they haven’t been much warmer than 1998. As temperatures rose dramatically between 1976 and 1998, those who are alarmed by the potential of anthropogenic CO2 to disrupt our climate were quite busy predicting that temperatures would continue climbing–the plateau since 1998 disturbs them, sometimes to the point of pretending it isn’t occurring. Those who think the alarmists are full of hot air are quite pleased with the pause.
Although (who was it–Trenberth or Santer? I honestly can’t remember) some prestigious climate scientists have said that 17 years was needed to pick out a trend in global temperatures, really you need about 38, to be confident. (Hey skeptics–you don’t believe these guys about anything else.Why would you believe them about 17 years being sufficient statistically. You know they have problems with statistics, right?)
2014 was more of the same–another year of the plateau following 1998. If you want to know what it means, you’ll probably have to wait for about another 20 years.
If temperatures went down for a couple of years, then that would be worth examining in greater detail. If CO2 concentrations dropped,even slightly, that would be worth examining. But this is more of the same ol’, same ol’.
The fact that the usual gang of alarmist subjects made a big fuss out of the possibility that this was the warmest year should have been the first clue.
2014 did not provide any answers to our questions about climate change. Wait till next year…