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NCDC August report: The end of global warming?

By Joe Romm on September 16, 2008 at 10:15 pm

"NCDC August report: The end of global warming?"

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Last month, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center reported “the globally-averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was … the ninth warmest for the January-July year-to-date period” (out of 129 years), as I reported here. The first seven months of the year were +0.45°C (+0.81°F) warmer than the 1961-1990 average.

Now here’s the shocking news. The NCDC just reported that “the globally-averaged combined land and sea surface temperature … ranked as the ninth warmest … January-August year-to-date period.” The first eight months of the year were … wait for it … +0.45°C (+0.81°F) warmer than the 1961-1990 average.

So you see, there has been essentially no warming whatsoever from July to August, which is probably because August tied with 1995 as the tenth warmest on record.

Bottom line: Other than a record decline in Arctic sea ice (see “Arctic shrinks by an Alaska and 3 Arizonas in August“), August was a pretty dull month climate-wise — heck, “El Ni±o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions were in a neutral phase during August” — and I was desperately trying to spice it up with a sexy headline that might at least temporarily excite my few remaining denier readers.

Since interest in the campaign seems to have brought in a bunch of new readers in the last few weeks, let me repeat the key points from my last post on the monthly data.

While the monthly data doesn’t tell us much about the climate, the peer-reviewed scientific literature has a couple of interesting forecasts for the next decade:

  • The “coming decade” (2010 to 2020) is poised to be the warmest on record, globally.
  • The coming decade is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960.
  • The fast warming would likely begin early in the next decade — similar to the 2007 prediction by the Hadley Center in Science (see “Climate Forecast: Hot — and then Very Hot“).

That is why they call it global warming.

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5 Responses to NCDC August report: The end of global warming?

  1. paulm says:

    Interesting to see what the lowest winter temp and the highest summer temp over the period is compared to the average lows & highs?

    Winter was above average in the North West this year I think.

    Were have a glorious Indian Summer here.

  2. Robert says:

    Its a slow process dominated by noise. Monitoring the climate on a monthly basis is a bit counter-productive, as the occasional peak will make every subsequent month to the next peak look as if global warming has stopped. The chart in this RealClimate article makes this clear.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/uncertainty-noise-and-the-art-of-model-data-comparison/

  3. Earl Killian says:

    Robert, I am sure she will “believe” in climate change for oh, about 48 days.

  4. paulm says:

    Global warming greatest in past decade

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-09/ps-gwg082808.php

    Well that puts a dampener on the solar issue!