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Last decade warmest on record

By Juliet Eilperin

The last decade was the warmest on record, according to a report issued Thursday by the World Meterological Organization.

The United Nations' agency findings echo the recent findings of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which concluded the period from 2000 to 2009 was the warmest since modern temperature record keeping began in the 1850s.

This new report will no doubt be subject to debate in the ongoing climate wars.

By

Juliet Eilperin

 |  March 26, 2010; 12:48 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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It is kind of sad that every piece of evidence that stacks up against the cult of denial simply requires them to manufacture more made-up facts and conspiracy theories to justify ignoring the evidence that is staring us all in the face. Same with tobacco, same with asbestos, same with thalidomide, same old same old.

Posted by: sparkplug1 | March 29, 2010 7:41 PM
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RAVENSFAN20008 ~ big answer ~ until recently no reputable university offered a degree in climatology.

In any case it's an interdisciplinary field of study so you have quite capable climatologists who are otherwise known as atmospheric scientists, etc.

Frankly, most currently practicing climatologists don't have degrees in climatology.

My Master Planner degree (incidentally) has everything in it but the advanced physics courses, but I did the advanced math for an earlier degree. Many people who claim to be climatologists have less adanced course work than I do, and I don't claim to be a climatologist.

You should have advanced course work in agriculture and other bio-sciences to be a full-fledged climatologist. Good idea to know how plants work Fur Shur.

At the same time I'm a trained historian and I know how to evaluate religious concepts in non-Western traditions. The folks at the IPCC probably thought their director was just an a-hole and not a religious fanatic when he told them to tone down the stuff about the Sun's variations!

Posted by: muawiyah | March 28, 2010 10:41 PM
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KLINGER1 ~ the "Sun radiance" issue is clouded because it was published by the IPCC. The director is/was (I hope by now) a Hindu who is a devotee of a goddess who is the mother to the Sun god, and his character is to be eternally constant and perfect.

It is known the director ordered the folks writing the article to ADJUST the findings to, coincidentally I'm sure, conform to his religious beliefs.

Let me attack the definitive report ~ the data base was ignored. No, Sunspots are real.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 28, 2010 10:28 PM
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Let me ask you this: How many people on this thread have climatology degrees?

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | March 28, 2010 10:26 PM
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ORKNEYGAL: You are unconvinced by the peer-reviewed analyses of global mean temperature over the last 1000 yr, but you cite a very poorly documented result as gospel truth. I'm willing to believe that the Earth was significantly warmer during the middle ages--its very hard to accurately measure this after all--but the Idso, Idso, and Idso link you provide doesn't demonstrate anything. It lists a bunch of previously published studies and combines them in such a way to claim that the Earth was warmer. How are these different published measurements combined? It doesn't say. How are problems in the geographical spacing of the measurements handled? No mention. What about time, does a warming in 900-1000 AD in one location and a warming in 1000-1100 AD in another location count simply as "warming"? Also not mentioned, though that's what Idso's co-authors Soon and Baliunus did in another infamously bad paper on this topic.

It's perfectly possible that the Earth was warmer 1000 yr ago because of variations in the sun's radiation, but that it is warmer now because of CO2 (solar radiation has been basically constant for the last half century or so). A very warm Medieval Warm Period would only go against the greenhouse gas theory of global warming if it was shown that there was a mechanism operating then (ie,not human greenhouse emissions) that could account for global warming now. There have been attempts to do this but they all need a lot more "religious" belief in their correctness than the greenhouse gas idea.

Posted by: klinger1 | March 28, 2010 6:58 PM
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Liars. It's the U.N. They are flat out of credibility.

I say again: Liars.

Posted by: JamesChristian | March 28, 2010 6:48 PM
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The overwhelming paleoclimate evidence from around the globe is that the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was synchronous, world wide and much warmer than today.

So much for the it is the "warmest on record" nonsense from the warmists. It's the warmest ever measured by a thermometer, but no where near the warmest when measured by other methods.

But the warmists and their apologists have to deny that the MWP ever happened, because it means that their religious-like belief in AGW is exposed for the steaming pile of junk science that it truly is.

If the temperature was higher when CO2 levels were lower, then CO2 can not be the controller of Mother Earth's temperature.

The science is really that simple.

A thousand years ago, the Earth was warmer than it is today; before the social and industrial advances that have made modern people the healthiest and most prosperous in history. MWP deniers want us to believe that plant friendly, ocean cleansing and life giving CO2 is a bad thing to better advance their meglomanical desire to both boss around the developed world and further impoverish the poor while pocketing a lot of taxpayer money along the way.

Taxing carbon is not the answer to the ever changing climate.There is only one answer to changes in climate that has ever worked for humanity.

That is adaptation.

http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Posted by: orkneygal | March 28, 2010 6:15 PM
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Germans are losing their fear of climate change, according to a survey, with just 42 percent worried about global warming.
Coalition mulls extending nuclear phaseout to 2050 - National (26 Mar 10)
Köhler urges higher gas prices for environment - National (21 Mar 10)
Mob of marauding minks snacking on woodland creatures - Society (19 Mar 10)
It seems the long and chilly winter has taken its toll on climate change sensibilities.

The latest figure is a clear drop from the 62 percent of Germans who said they were scared of such changes just last autumn.

The new survey, carried out by polling company Infratest for Der Spiegel magazine, showed a quarter of those questioned thought Germany would profit from climate change rather than be badly affected by it.

Many people have little faith in the information and prognosis of climate researchers with a third questioned in the survey not giving them much credence. This is thought to be largely due to mistakes and exaggerations recently discovered in a report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, the IPCC.

Even the crazy, green Germans are giving up the cult of global warming.

Posted by: alance | March 28, 2010 3:43 PM
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Don't listen to what they say,
Listen to what they do with their Money !
What are beach front properties going for in Miami, Florida vs central North Carolina?

Posted by: cpeterka | March 28, 2010 1:44 PM
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KRANKYMAN: "Does this mean that the 2000s are warmer than the period when Greenland supported farming and dairy cattle, etc? I thought not."

Actually there is farming now in Greenland, see www.greenland-guide.gl/reg-south.htm.

By the way, the topic under discussion is Global Warming, not Greenland Warming. Generally speaking, the smaller the region you look at, the larger the climate fluctuations in that region and the less strongly controlled by the upward trend in greenhouse gases. That's because fluctuations in the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean redistribute heat. Many of these fluctuations cancel when we average over the whole globe. The change in the global average over the last century of record-keeping seems to be a bit larger than our best guesses at global average changes over the previous thousand years or so.

CITIZEN4TRUTH correctly points out that there are plenty of other reasons to curb fossil fuel use and so the kinds of things we can do to reduce global warming may be helpful even if climate scientists are wrong about global warming. On the other hand, if we wait another few decades to see if the upward temperature trend continues and the connection to greenhouse gases is even more certain than it is now, it may be too late to avert frighteningly large changes in the climate.

Posted by: klinger1 | March 28, 2010 9:46 AM
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Ahh, expert climatologists, your ability to predict the future is, IMHO, far from accurate. We have a finite amount of data to support MAJOR global shifts in warming. Record keeping for actual temperatures began approximately 150 years ago. I know there are other key indicators besides simply temperatures, but it is ridiculous to pretend they are extremely accurate to the point of predicting cataclysmic weather phenomena. I mean, hell, the weather man does extraordinarily well to predict three accurate days of weather.

But I do believe citizen4truth has the most thoughtful commentary on the matter. There are a limited amount of carbon fuels upon which our society is greatly dependent. Alternative energies need to be developed for this reason alone.

Posted by: dustinwalker20 | March 27, 2010 10:47 PM
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As the record keeping began in 1880 "warmest decade ever.." is not much of a claim.

Rather it is the overblown hyperbole utilized by Warmers.

Now that the Warmer data is dead such headlines mean nothing. The citizen now knows warmers make the stuff up anyway to suit whatever argument du jour they happen to be making.

Posted by: krankyman | March 27, 2010 10:06 PM
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I believe the arguments concerning the existence and causes of global warming are generally fruitless. I've seen a number of bloggers state the "greenhouse effect" is something made up by climate scientists, and I have been in numerous "discussions" from those who have no idea what they are talking about but dismiss global warming. (I am an academic environmental scientist and know something about it.) You can't argue with that mind set no matter what you say. The public is skeptical. And, the arguments are generally divisive and nobody cares for that. The excess of bad information on the Internet compounds the problems.

A different direction is needed.

I think we can all agree that petroleum will run out. Plus, reliance on imported petroleum has many negative consequences in foreign relations. Estimates vary, but petroleum will likely dry up sometime within the next 50 years. The supply is finite. Coal combustion creates unwanted health issues. In a report by NAS/NRC: Hidden Costs Of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production And Use, estimates $120 billion a year in health costs attributed to coal burning. Plus coal releases mercury, arsenic and particulates that cause severe immune suppression and disease. We don't really want to expand coal combustion. It is dirty and messy getting it out of the ground and burning it. Natural gas has advantages that will extend the lifetime of fossil fuels, but demand for a limited supply will be intense as petroleum runs out.

So, we need investment and rapid development of sustainable energy sources, which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the same time. We need carbon sequestration technology for the combustion of biofuels, which are rapidly becoming more abundant and home grown, to reduce emissions of all types. Plus, plus, plus, the new energy industry will create many excellent and well paid technical jobs. Would you rather be digging coal out of the ground or working in new energy technology R&D? Pretty easy answer.

It's time to shift discussions of carbon emissions to something much more productive and beneficial and I believe generally more agreeable among everyone.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | March 27, 2010 9:56 PM
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Warmest decade ever... Does this mean that the 2000s are warmer than the period when Greenland supported farming and dairy cattle, etc? I thought not.

This whole thing is SOO overblown. Remember the 70s when the concern was the imminent 'ice age'. Nothing generates research grants like a little panic.

Posted by: steves2 | March 27, 2010 9:09 PM
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AGWSKEPTIC99: Your earlier post quoted no upward trend in satellite temperature, and your later post linked to a site which shows that there actually is an upward trend punctuated with short term events like El Nino and volcanoes. That's a pretty big change in your message to go by without comment.

Meanwhile, it's almost impossible to have a public discussion of global warming without belief that humans are causing global warming being called "religious". It seems to me that the "religious" belief is with those of you who are sure that there is no global warming, or if there is its not too big, or if its big its not caused by humans, or if its caused by humans its not as big as other climate events in the remote pasts.

Maybe, just maybe, scientists (no quotes here) who argue for anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming are actually doing so because they believe that the data and theory actually support this conclusion.

Posted by: klinger1 | March 27, 2010 5:59 PM
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The IPCC Working Group paper, like the other groups mentioned that support AGW, long ago crossed the line between scientific inquiry and research and advocacy. Advocates search for reasons to support their beliefs.

Scientists search for explanations for things that they don't understand and then construct theories from their research. Scientists validate theories that predict environmental changes by comparing future events to their predictions. Scientists share their data and methods, once they publish their papers, with other researchers so that their work can be independently confirmed.

When I put the word 'scientist' in quotes while referring to the current crop of IPCC based advocates, it is because they don't act like scientists; they act like religious believers and advocates. Nothing that disagrees with their beliefs is worthy of discussion, research or considerations because it is heretical.

The more you read the more you learn about the way a small number of people control the basic data sets and provide their adjusted temperature series to the rest of the community. The satellite measurements will continue to be attacked because the satellite instruments are not 'adjustable'.

One of the other posters mentioned the main reason that temperature records from surface stations are not reliable. The urban heating effect is not measured or adjusted properly. Adjustments are made to add temperature to rural stations and urban stations are don't get corrected for increases in people density soon enough or often enough.

Since the AGW folks are trying to prove a one degree increase in the last hundred years, small measurement errors do make a lot of difference. Evidence that there is no crisis would mean that millions of dollars now allocated to studying and preventing the crisis goes away. People who have staked their professional reputations on these sloppily measured and adjusted ground station temperature series, and who's future grants depend on sticking to their stories, are not the ones who should be trusted to validate their own results.

Whether the recent warming trend continues or not doesn't prove anything except that climate varies over time and has since the beginning of time.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 27, 2010 4:38 PM
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My apologies for linking to old information. Here is a link to information current within the last month showing again that temperatures measured by satellite track events like El Nino and volcanic eruptions. There are other explanations like the Pacific and Atlantic current changes that also account for temperature changes.

The AGW theory continues to be as stated below: We know some temperatures got warmer, and we can't find any other explanation, so our CO2 theories must be correct. Correlation is different than causation.

http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 27, 2010 4:26 PM
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Funny how that happens when you take readings from urban centers and eliminate all the cooler measuring stations. Baffling.

Posted by: skscottkeyes | March 27, 2010 1:11 PM
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The links for NASA posted above are sorely out of date! For up to date information check http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/

Posted by: commonground | March 27, 2010 11:44 AM
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More on satellite data: see Science, 11 Nov 2005, p. 972, for a letter from global warming skeptics Christy and Spencer admitting their processing mistake and reporting that satellites show a trend of .123 K/decade 1978-2005 in the lower troposphere. Other groups looking at the same data find a larger trend due to disagreements in details of how the data should be processed.

The 2007 IPCC report (Working Group 1, available online) gives a full discussion of different ways to measure global temperature.

Posted by: klinger1 | March 27, 2010 11:08 AM
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AGWSCEPTIC99: Your quote from NASA is over 12 years old. Since then an error was found in the processing of satellite measurements and the corrected measurements show atmospheric warming.

OMBUDSMAN1: See http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/anomalies.html for NOAA measurement of global mean temperature showing clear upward trend till about 2005. The entire record shows year-to-year ups and downs, none of which disprove the general upward trend since the 1970s.

GARYEMASTERS and CHARLIE651: You ask good questions but you don't seem to think that scientists have considered these questions already. Solar radiation has been measured since about 1978 and there has been no upward trend to account for recent global warming (though the sun may be partly responsible for early-20th century warming). Other unknown mechanisms may make the Earth warmer or colder, but we know that the massive amounts of greenhouse gases put into the air by society should warm the Earth, and that appears to be what is happening.

Posted by: klinger1 | March 27, 2010 11:00 AM
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Probably I should have included a link to the NASA web site page for the quote in the post below so that everyone could read the information for themselves. Obviously there is credible information that seriously conflicts with the constant stream of AGW/GHG advocacy promoted by the Post, the WMO source of this article, and the rest of Al Gore's flock, but some of you who are not addicted to the AGW Kool-Aid may want to read another viewpoint:

http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd06oct97_1.htm

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 27, 2010 9:33 AM
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The last decade has been the warmest if you accept the measurements from the 'scientists' who advocate for man made global warming based on CO2 and the publicity produced by the people who control what is published in the Washington Post and other similarly supportive media outlets.

If you use actual NASA satellite temperature measurements, as opposed to the sloppily measured and sloppily adjusted ground temperature station measurements used by your 'scientist' advocates, recent temperatures are nothing unusual. Of course satellite measurements use actually verifiable technology and the people interpreting the results don't worship at the church of global warming, so there is maybe something wrong with them. From the NASA.GOV web site:

"Unlike the surface-based temperatures, global temperature measurements of the Earth's lower atmosphere obtained from satellites reveal no definitive warming trend over the past two decades. The slight trend that is in the data actually appears to be downward. The largest fluctuations in the satellite temperature data are not from any man-made activity, but from natural phenomena such as large volcanic eruptions from Mt. Pinatubo, and from El Niño. So the programs which model global warming in a computer say the temperature of the Earth's lower atmosphere should be going up markedly, but actual measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere reveal no such pronounced activity."

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | March 27, 2010 9:21 AM
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So what?

What does it mean?

What other questions should we ask?

It gets warm every spring and it gets colder every fall. That is the natural cycle.

The "warmer" argument is like a chain. One link (warmest decade) is like stainless steel. Many other links are like paper and ignored.

People will tell me a million times "
It is getting warmer." But never say "We don't know if an ice age is on the way or not."

Why not?

Because ice ages are caused by factors in the sun, the orbits of the Earth and even dust in space between Earth and the Sun.

CO2 in the air may help us avoid the damage of an ice age.

So the question should be

"Is warmer good or bad?"

Right now it could be bad.

But if it saves us from the pain of an ice age, it could be good.

You got to think.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | March 27, 2010 8:41 AM
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The U.N. is not reliable. Far from neutral third party in the debate, it stands to gain great power if the world accepts the hoax that is man-make global warming.

Posted by: hit4cycle | March 27, 2010 8:29 AM
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To state the “Last decade warmest on record” brings questions to my mind. I am not a scientist, but I understand scientific principles. Exactly were on earth were the temperature measurements taken? In order for that statement to have validity the exact same spot on earth (latitude and longitude) would have need to be use? Not all areas of earth have been recording temperatures since 1850. There are two locations that might add credence to the argument; measurements take at the same location on the equator or the South Pole. If in fact the last decade was the warmest on record was it due to earths natural cycles or due to manmade causes? What is the natural cycle for global temperature for the last hundred years, and thousand years, and million years? It is time we started questioning facts presented to us, because maybe the facts might be true but the causes false. Honest scientific analysis would be in order and eliminating data in the analysis is unacceptable.

Posted by: charlie651 | March 27, 2010 6:35 AM
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The last decade can be the warmest on record even if there has been no warming for 15 years. It's simple math.

Posted by: hubbleman | March 27, 2010 6:29 AM
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"This new report will no doubt be subject to debate in the ongoing climate wars."

No kidding, when the head scientists at East Anglia says there has been no warming for 15 years.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html

Try again.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | March 27, 2010 2:46 AM
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