Views and debates on climate change policy
Home | Panelists | Staff Blog | RSS

Post Carbon

Decade set to be hottest on record

By Juliet Eilperin

As negotiators worked in Copenhagen Tuesday on fashioning a global climate deal, the U.N.'s weather agency announced here that the current decade is set to be the warmest on record.

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of The World Meteorological Organization, said the period between 2000 and 2009, "is very likely to be the warmest on record, warmer than the 1990s, than the 1980s and so on."

Several prominent weather agencies echoed that same message Tuesday, saying there's no reason to believe global warming has stopped. The findings come at a time when climate skeptics have seized on pirated e-mails from the Center for Climatic Research in East Anglia, as reason to question the warming described by mainstream climate scientists.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, whose analysis helped form the basis for the WMO's projections, said that 2009 is expected to be the "fourth, fifth or sixth warmest" year since records were first kept in 1850.

If actual temperatures for November and December are in line with the agency's estimates the average global surface temperature will be about 0.96 degree Fahrenheit higher than the 20th century average. "This will easily surpass the 1990s value of 0.65 degree F," NOAA said.

The Met Office Hadley Centre, which jointly provides information to the U.N. weather agency along with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, released station temperature records Monday for more than 1,500 of the stations that make up the global land surface temperature record.

"These figures highlight that the world continues to see global temperature rise, most of which is due to increasing emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and clearly shows that the argument that global warming has stopped is flawed," the Met Office said in a statement.

But these calls for action did not go unanswered. Leighton Steward, a former oil executive who has sponsored a U.S. advertising campaign promoting the virtues of carbon dioxide, is holding the "Copenhagen Climate Challenge" Tuesday and Wednesday near the climate talks. The event will feature well-known climate skeptics from both sides of the Atlantic, including S. Fred Singer, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project, and Lord Christopher Monckton, chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  December 8, 2009; 12:21 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Does Greece need to be in the black before it can be green? | Next: Leaked Danish draft shows deep divide


Please report offensive comments below.

What data is this based on? The cooked books at CRU? All other reporting has highlighted how temperatures have flatlined the past ten years.

This is simply Orwellian...and media continues to promote the charade. Shame on you.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | December 9, 2009 12:09 PM
Report Offensive Comment

Juliet, surely this claim will be taken with a grain of salt or two. The most prominent keeper of the surface temp record is CRU and the leaked emails and documents show a research agency which is full of activists and not scientists. The HARRY_READ_ME file shows computer code full of arbitrary and artificial adjustments. No one really understands, yet, how this scandal will affect the global surface temp record.

Yes, other groups also keep global surface temp records but they are just as secretive. It is a good thing these people are being forced to make their data, metadata, methods and code public. GISS is being sued for not complying with FOIA requests, in like manner to the actions of CRU. What are they trying to hide? For now, the global surface temp records are all suspect.

What temp series is above reproach? Well the satellite records have not been affected. Has anyone looked to see if UAH has the current decade as the warmest on record?

The other temp series which is completely open and above reproach is the Argo data. The problem is Argo only started being deployed in 2000 and reached global coverage in 2003. Since 2004, Argo shows no warming of the oceans. This is contrary to AGW theory which claims an energy imbalance will show in the oceans year over year unabated.

The Copenhagen conference has lots of challenges. The biggest is the data is not on their side.

Posted by: RonInIrvine | December 8, 2009 4:03 PM
Report Offensive Comment

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company