Global Warming Undeniable, Says NOAA Report

All the temperature indicators are rising, while ice and snow indicators are declining.

Probably no annual world climate report is more authoritative than that issued by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Their “State of the Climate in 2009” appeared in the June 2010 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) and is the 20th in a series.

The report, compiled by more than 300 scientists from around the world, analyzes 11 key climate indicators for the period 1940 to the present (One of them, stratospheric temperature, is not shown on the diagram above):

  • Land surface air temperature
  • Sea level
  • Ocean heat content
  • Sea-surface temperature
  • Specific humidity
  • Marine air temperature
  • Tropospheric temperature
  • Stratospheric temperature
  • September Arctic sea-ice extent
  • Glacier mass balance
  • NH (March-April) snow cover

The first seven of these indicators—measurements of sub-stratospheric temperatures, sea level, and humidity—are rising. The last three—measurements of ice and snow—are falling. Stratospheric temperatures are also falling because of ozone depletion (ozone absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun.)

The 1980s were the warmest decade up to that point, and then each year in the 1990s exceeded the ‘80s average, making the ‘90s the warmest decade. Totals for the 2000s won’t be available for maybe another six months, but so far each year in this decade has been warmer than the ‘90s average.

To view the charts for these indicators, click here.

The report’s conclusions are unequivocal:

“A comprehensive review of key climate indicators confirms the world is warming and the past decade was the warmest on record.”

“[These indicators] all tell the same story: Global warming is undeniable.”

“What this data is doing is, it is screaming that the world is warming,” said Peter Thorne, who helped develop the list when he worked at the Met Office (British weather service).

To read a related article in The Guardian/UK about this and other recent climate reports, click here.

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