Climate Change The Data

The Burn Goes On

At the turn of every month, I check the websites of the agencies charged with collecting and analysing the available data on Global Warming, to find out what the latest position shows.

Some agencies update their online resources faster than others. For example, as of today, the Hadley Centre of the Meteorological Office has produced a summary of the Central England Temperature (HadCET, or CET) for both December 2009 and the whole of 2009 :-

And so has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – finally :-

“Global Highlights : Global land and ocean annual surface temperatures through December tied with 2006 as the fifth warmest on record, at 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average. The 2000-2009 decade is the warmest on record, with an average global surface temperature of 0.54°C (0.96°F) above the 20th century average. This shattered the 1990s value of 0.36°C (0.65°F)…Please Note: The data presented in this report are preliminary. Ranks and anomalies may change as more complete data are received and processed…Global Temperatures : The years 2001 through 2008 each rank among the ten warmest years of the 130-year (1880-2009) record and 2009 was no exception. The global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.56°C (1.01°F) above the 20th century average, tying with 2006 as the fifth warmest since records began in 1880. Globally averaged land temperature was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above average, resulting in a tie with 2003 as the seventh warmest on record. The ocean temperature was 0.48°C (0.86°F) above average—tying with 2002 and 2004 as the fourth warmest since records began in 1880. The 2000s decade (2000-2009) is the warmest on record for the globe, with a surface global temperature of 0.54°C (0.96°F) above the long-term (20th century) average. This shattered the 1990s value of 0.36°C (0.65°F)…”

But the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is still mostly lingering in November 2009 from the online point of view, although I am assured that people have been working on the underlying data analysis this week :-

The satellite data for January 2010 shows that even while a whiteout has taken place in medium latitudes North, the surface temperatures are still higher than the same time last year :-

It’s quite disturbing when one of the scientists involved in this work fiddles with the trend lines :-

Despite the cold snap for large parts of the inhabited Northern Hemisphere in December 2009, the average over the whole year, over the whole globe, was still a good half a degree Celsius or Centigrade above the long-term average.

The Earth’s a big place. The oceans and atmosphere are big volumes. I know the temperatures we are looking at here are just for the near-surface of the oceans and atmosphere, but warming up by that much, and staying that warm, is highly significant.

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