The Texas state climatologist — the top climate official in one of the most conservative states in the country — has predicted that this year probably will be the warmest on record.
In his periodic report on Texas weather and crops released this week, Texas A&M University atmospheric scientist John Nielsen-Gammon said:
Global temperatures have been relatively flat for the past several years. Some people use that information to try to imply that global warming has stopped. But it turns out that the factors causing global warming are still there, it’s just that the El Niño-La Niña cycle has temporarily trended cooler and has partially masked the warming. In the tropical Pacific, there’s actually fairly cold water just below the surface. With a La Niña event, that cold water is drawn all the way up to the surface, and interacts with the atmosphere and causes it to be cooler. If you leave the refrigerator door open, the room will be a little cooler. If my forecast is correct, and there’s no La Niña to hide the underlying warming trend, global surface temperatures are likely to increase and set a new record this year.