September was the fifth consecutive month this year to set an all-time high temperature record. May was hotter than any May on record. June, July, and August - ditto. September was the hottest September since reliable global records were kept back in 1880.
So, just as 2014 was the hottest year on record, 2015 - barring some freak winter conditions - is almost certain to knock last year off its record perch. When the "hottest year" is a record that lasts just one year, it gives you something to chew on.
But there's a little more magic in September's figures. September, 2015 also logged the "greatest rise above average" for any month in the 136-year historical record. That suggests that not only is the heating continuing but it's not linear and may be accelerating. We seem to be getting hotter faster.
Part of this could be attributed to the Pacific (multi-) Decadal Oscillation. The Trade Winds for the past 15-years have been dumping atmospheric heat into the ocean depths. When the PDO switches, as some think it's beginning to do, that heat energy (that cannot be created or destroyed - the thermodynamics thing) will be returned to the atmosphere, compounding anthropogenic global warming. It's sort of like putting global warming on anabolic steroids.
People in their mid-30s today have never experienced a month, not one, of below average temperatures. Their status quo has been steady increases and a train of record temperatures - monthly, annually and decadally.
Meanwhile, our here on the Left Coast or, as we like to call it, our Harper-Free Zone, we're being told to expect our warmest winter ever. That means I probably won't have to get the snow shovel out of the garden shed again this year. But winter anxiety here is focused on our snowpack. Last year was disastrous - there was almost none. This year, even if warmer than last winter, may be better. AccuWeather says we'll have more snow on the mountains but Environment Canada disagrees. For once I hope the government types are wrong - but they rarely are.