What is the average temperature of the Earth ? How can we tell if it’s heating up with all the confusing noise from variability in the system ?
The UAH satellite data record offers a view of temperatures at different heights above the Earth’s surface. It accomplishes this by analysing the outgoing radiation from the Earth.
At 4.4 kilometres above the surface, on Channel 5, where you would expect things such as the “Urban Heat Island effect” to be insignificant, and weather systems to be less randomising, 2010 is proving to be a rather warm year, likely hotter than 1998, 2005 and 2007. Drawing in the 20 year maximum temperatures, it is clear that 2010 is knocking records.
Solar activity is at a minimum, so that can’t be driving this year’s warming. Cosmic rays aren’t causing this warming either, and the warming is ongoing, despite the cooling predicted from decreasing CFCs. The Earth has continued to warm up consistently, despite recent claims that the warming has levelled off or gone into reverse.
We are frying the sky. It’s time we paid serious attention.