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December 8, 2009 – Original Source: Climate Progress, by Dr. Joseph Romm

Global Warming Is Not Slowing, New Analysis Says

Good NYT headline, though this isn’t really “new analysis.”  I pointed last December that the climate story of the decade is that the 2000s are on track to be some 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s based on NASA’s data (see “Very warm 2008 makes this the hottest decade in recorded history by far“).  And that was quickly followed one week later by Met Office and WMO say 2000s are easily the hottest decade in recorded history.

Now, however, it is official from the World Meteorological Organization, in their news release today “2000-2009, The Warmest Decade“:

The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989).

The NYT story was based on the WMO release early today, but NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center also reports today:

The 2000 – 2009 decade will be the warmest on record, with its average global surface temperature about 0.96 degree F above the 20th century average. This will easily surpass the 1990s value of 0.65 degree F.

As for 2009, it is on track to be the 5th warmest the way WMO calculates global temps, which figures in the Hadley/CRU data.  But 2009 could easily be as high as the second warmest in the NASA dataset (see “Must-see NASA figures compare 2009 to the two hottest years on record: 2005 and 2007“), which is almost certainly more accurate than the Hadley/CRU dataset (see “Why are Hadley and CRU withholding vital climate data from the public?“).  We’ll hear from NASA in the next few days.

What makes these record temps especially impressive is that we’re at “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” according to NASA.  It’s just hard to stop the march of anthropogenic global warming, well, other than by reducing GHG emissions, that is.

Unfortunately, the warming isn’t even across the globe:

This year above-normal temperatures were recorded in most parts of the continents. Only North America (United States and Canada) experienced conditions that were cooler than average. Given the current figures, large parts of southern Asia and central Africa are likely to have the warmest year on record.

[Actually, NOAA says “The average annual temperature for the contiguous United States is projected to be above normal.”  It was the third coolest October for the contiguous 48 states.]

That is no doubt one reason why Americans — or at least conservative Americans — have grown in skepticism this year:  They have been bombarded with anti-scientific disinformation on “global cooling,” while at the same time failing to personally experience a very warm year.

Next year will be interesting.  The fossil-fuel funded forces of antiscience will ramp up their disinformation campaign while it seems increasingly likely that 2010 will be the hottest year on record.  No doubt is the partisan divide will grow stronger.

Here’s what the Met Office told Bloomberg:

“This tells us that global warming is still rising,” Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at the Met Office, said in a telephone interview in Copenhagen, where two weeks of United Nations talks began yesterday to draft a climate deal. “Greenhouse gases continue to increase, and it’s clearly important we reach an agreement in Copenhagen to reduce them.”

… “We would expect roughly half the years from 2010 to 2020 to be warmer than 1998,” said Pope.

Some other interesting factoids from the WMO release:

China suffered its worst drought in five decades. Water levels in parts of the Gan River and Xiangjiang River were the lowest in the past 50 years. In India the poor monsoon season caused severe drought impacts in 40 per cent of the districts. The north-western and north-eastern parts of the country were badly affected. It was reported to be one of the weakest monsoon seasons since 1972….

Sustained dry conditions in the Murray-Darling Basin [of Australia] have now continued for nine years….

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season closed with the fewest named storms and hurricanes since 1997, most likely due to the unfavourable cyclonic conditions caused in part by El Niño. A total of nine named tropical storms were formed, including three hurricanes, two of which were major hurricanes at Category 3 strength or higher. (The averages are 11, 6 and 2, respectively).

And, for the record, WMO does not just rely on the Hadley/CRU data:

This press release was issued in collaboration with the Hadley Centre of the United Kingdom Meteorological Office; the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom; the National Climatic Data Center, National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service, and the National Weather Service under NOAA; and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the United States. Other contributors are the NMHSs of Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Japan, Morocco, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey and Uruguay. The African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD, Niamey), the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), the Centro Internacional para la Investigación del Fenómeno de El Niño (CIIFEN, Guayaquil, Ecuador), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC, Nairobi, Kenya), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Drought Monitoring Centre (SADC DMC, Gabarone, Botswana) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) also contributed.

Global Surface Temperature Trend : Result from three Global datasets: NOAA (NCDC Dataset) , NASA (GISS dataset) and combined Hadley Center and Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UK)  (HadCRUT3 dataset)

The linked figure in the last paragraph is what posted on top.


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