NASA Data for Climate Warming Says Warming Continues for Decade Ending 2009

Global warning continues to make the news. Do you think 1. Global warming is proven? 2. Are the costs associated with Cap and Trade reasonable? NASA WASHINGTON — A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 […]
Global warning continues to make the news. Do you think 1. Global warming is proven? 2. Are the costs associated with Cap and Trade reasonable? NASA WASHINGTON — A new analysis of global surface temperatures by NASA scientists finds the past year was tied for the second warmest since 1880. In the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year on record. Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade because of a strong La Nina that cooled the tropical Pacific Ocean, 2009 saw a return to a near-record global temperatures as the La Nina diminished, according to the new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. The past year was a small fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest on record, putting 2009 in a virtual tie with a cluster of other years –1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007 — for the second warmest on record. “There’s always interest in the annual temperature numbers and a given year’s ranking, but the ranking often misses the point,” said James Hansen, GISS director. “There’s substantial year-to-year variability of global temperature caused by the tropical El Nino-La Nina cycle. When we average temperature over five or ten years to minimize that variability, we find global warming is continuing unabated.” January 2000 to December 2009 was the warmest decade on record. Looking back to 1880, when modern scientific instrumentation became available to monitor temperatures precisely, a clear warming trend is present, although there was a leveling off between the 1940s and 1970s. In the past three decades, the GISS surface temperature record shows an upward trend of about 0.36 degrees F (0.2 degrees C) per decade. In total, average global temperatures have increased by about 1.5 degrees F (0.8 degrees C) since 1880. “That’s the important number to keep in mind,” said GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt. “The difference between the second and sixth warmest years is trivial because the known uncertainty in the temperature measurement is larger than some of the differences between the warmest years.”